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I don't know how to deal with stroppy, rude 8 year old DD

(49 Posts)
sandyballs Thu 17-Sep-09 12:25:21

Feel a bit depressed today after a big altercation with my stroppy youngest daughter this morning.
She was stamping around, refusing to get dressed and generally being a little back-chatting shit, I did my very best to stay calm and not rise to it but suddenly I lost it completely, saw red and started screaming like a mad woman. God knows what the neighbours thought!

I don’t know how to deal with her rudeness, I’m not sure she is even aware she is being rude to be honest, even though we
point it out every time, she seems surprised. Didn’t expect this at 8, it’s more of a teen thing. Someone here at work suggested it could be hormones!! Surely not!!

Walking to school afterwards I said ‘So how do you feel after the dreadful morning we have had, as I feel thoroughly depressed
and there is no need for it to be like this’. She said ‘It doesn’t bother me at all’ and just skipped into school.

Maybe there is something wrong with her??? She doesn’t seem to get or be aware of other people’s feelings and emotions. I see her sometimes trying to ‘get’ it in certain situations but it is an effort for her, it doesn’t come naturally. She’s still very literal about everything.

For instance she wouldn’t go and comfort someone who was crying, it would unsettle her and she’d back off. Whereas most
of her peers at this age would try to do something about it.

kreecherlivesupstairs Thu 17-Sep-09 12:44:54

Sounds a lot like my only dd, same age, same lack of insight into how her behaviour upsets others. She is however aware of other peoples feelings, just doesn't give a toss when she's talking to me or dh. Mine wouldn't go and comfort someone else who was crying either, other peoples tears really seem to upset her. No advice, just a quicky to let you know you aren't alone.

sandyballs Thu 17-Sep-09 14:20:49

Thanks kreecher, nice to know I'm not alone grin.

sweetheart Thu 17-Sep-09 14:24:43


there is nothing wrong with her other than being a 8 year old girl - my dd is exactly the same and although it's frustrating I think it's just their age I'm affraid!

bosslady Thu 17-Sep-09 14:45:16

You are definately not alone my dd is 7 nearly 8 and has been a complete madam for a long time, back chatting screaming at me, she even told me to shut up the other day while I was telling her off for her stinking attitude! I often think there should be a helpline for abused parents!!

Alot of people say its her age and a girl thing too most of the mums I speak to that have both girls and boys say that boys are easier. Who knows all I know is I have two girls and my other one is picking up bad habits from her big sister!!

The only way I can get through to her now is by grounding her take away her freedom I tried taking toys and naughty steps etc they just didnt work.

notanidea Sun 20-Sep-09 01:13:28

I have asimilar issue with my 8 year old and I lost my patience today,She was never like this but a sweet little girl till 6months ago - we have banned all electrical/electronic instruments if she does anything like this but nothing is working.Any suggestions how to tackle this or atleast any idea how long would this last?

mathanxiety Sun 20-Sep-09 06:03:30

I usually send DD to her room until she's ready to apologise and be civil, which can take a while occasionally. I think she needs the time on her own up there with her things to just calm down and relax rather than getting in the habit of fighting with me -- so I send her there at the first hint of stroppiness. She spends all day in school; I sometimes wonder if she needs a little unwinding time before being admitted into polite company when she comes home. She tends not to comfort other children who are crying, in fact seems upset and bothered by it -- I put that down to being my youngest, and therefore having an idea of herself as the person who receives care and comfort from others.

I also think boys are easier than girls at this age. They tend to be very non-confrontational, whereas girls seem to relish a knockdown drag-out fight with mum. However, boys tend to turn the non-confrontation thing into a tendency to lie as teenagers, whereas girls continue to fight, ime, so at least you know something about their lives that way...

AphroditeRocks Sun 20-Sep-09 06:25:07

You really aren't alone, I was considering posting a very similar thread myself. DD, 7.10, is a nightmare at times.
She's full of disobedience, insolence and, on occasions to her brother, downright spitefulness. Yet when she's not exhibiting these characteristics she's the sweetest, kindest, most thoughtful and empathetic child a mother could wish for. She's also very intelligent which I think adds to the problem as she knows exactly whose buttons to push!
Ironically, whenever I speak to teachers or the parents of friends that she visits, they describe the most delightful child so I guess she reserves all that venom and surliness for her nearest and dearest (mainly me!). Although she does seem to have a deep empathy and sympathy for her friends and peers, so I guess I should be grateful for that.
mathanxiety- I think the whole school vs home issue is the key - I've always suspected she needs to let off some steam after having to constantly exhibit self-control all day. I've even resorted to the "would you say / do that to your teacher?" line and threatening to send a letter to school asking for the girl that stayed behind the school gates who got exchanged for my she devil daughter who came home. That usually provokes a short-term reaction but nothing behaviour changing.
Tried confiscating toys and grounding too but that usually just evokes a "I didn't really like that" or "I didn't want to go out anyway response"
* sigh *

donnie Sun 20-Sep-09 07:35:09

I could have written your post myself - my dd1 is nearly 8 and does all the things you have described ! she can be utterly vile and yesterday screamed - literally screamed - at dh and me and said she hated us and we were awful parents and she would run away just because I wanted to brush her hair!!!!!! then cue tears, self pity and all the rest of's so hard. Probably the best thing to do is walk away and leave her to get on with it but it's difficlut. No advice but commiserations! You aren't alone and no, there is nothing 'wrong' with your dd - some children just don't get empathy for a while IMO.

sandyballs Sun 20-Sep-09 21:51:56

Thanks for all your replies. It's interesting to hear others experiences with similar aged girls.

She hasn't been quite as bad since thurs - there seems to be a pattern where she gets worse and worse, I eventually lose it and shout, and she bucks up for a while. Sleep is still an issue though.

She constantly calls down, wants me to check on her every 20 minutes, says she feels sick, too hot, too cold etc etc. Drives me mad. She has been in bed since 7.30 tonight and she is still awake. I know 7.30 is perhaps early for an 8.5 year old but she was calling down until nearly 11.00pm last night and she is knackered.

thegreatprocastinator Mon 21-Sep-09 21:31:44

Oh please some angel turn up and give us some advice! My 9.5 DD is a feckin NIGHTMARE, strops at the slightest thing challenges everything I say and her favourite lines are "It wasn't me" " I didn't do it " "It wasn't my fault" "I DON@T CARE" " I HATE YOU" I know there definatly are hormones at work, but oh god the idea of another 5 or 6 years of it is unbearable!!

Really really helps knowing I'm not alone tho!

Maybe we could form a help group and discuss ways to --make them suffer-- help them control their emotions...

lloobylu Tue 22-Sep-09 08:55:07

God boys are sooooooooo not easier! my 8 yr old is a lovely, sweet, cheeky chappy but had suddenly turned into a stroppy teenager backchatting and generally being rude and refusign to do anything i ask!! it is driving me insane. ive tried reasoning and then also turning into a mad monster and shouting at him but he just shrugs his shoulders and say 'so what' 'i don't care' uurrrrgggggghhhhhh HELP how do i deal with this? i've thought of making a chart where he can earn psp/computer time if he's good and take time off if he's naughty - do you think this might work? I desperately need some ideas. is it really hormones at this age already?????

Sago Tue 22-Sep-09 13:13:56

sandyballs- i hear your problem as I am going through such a stage with my nearly 7 yr old .

how do you react when she calls down constantly at bedtime? does she really need you? does she feel she is rushed into bed while the fun goes on downstairs? is this just a "game" to play with you?

observe your own behaviour and see if there is something there that you can (and want to) change to stop the calling down in the evening ...negotiate an extra 15 mins up tomorrow night if tonight she does not call you, a sticker chart...whatever works for your child...then put her to bed, sort her out for temperature etc and remind her that you are not coming back up...

I have to add I am crap at observing and changing my own behaviour but it is only when dh is around and comments on it, that I see how I am feeding my dd's behaviour and can then slowly think about changing my behaviour to change hers...and the change is often provoked by some sort of crisis like the one you describe´s hard. good luck.

Poshpaws Tue 22-Sep-09 13:30:06

Just came onto MN to get some information re my Ds (8) and am relieved to see that he is not alone and neither am I.

Was beginning to think that there was something wrong. He is rude, defiant, horrid to his 2 younger brothers and we had a shouting match last night and this morning, this morning's being over Lego!!!!!

However, he can be very helpful, very kind and supportive to his friends and his brothers and behaves well at school.

Are we supposed to ride the storm and if so, how long does this storm last????

thegreatprocastinator Tue 22-Sep-09 20:51:00

so we've all got the problems and no answerS

my day ended with a good half hour screaming abdab shedevil DD... about NOTHING, stayed calm, sent her to her room yadda yadd yey....Just exhausting. I even tried mentioning it to my gp, to see if there were any parenting classes that could help blush she just told me her 8 year old son was exactly the same! It helped.. for a bit.

Tried talking to school, just had an excruciating friday meeting where they gave helpful hints like counting to 10 and taking deep breaths


They assured me they'd never seen her temper at school, obviously thought I was being OTT

In between the horror she is a sweet thoughtful, intelligent little girl, but jesus when the she devil erupts it's hideous.

She also has a much younger sister (15 mo) who sits watching open mouthed... please god not watching and learning... I mean you never get 2 the same, do you? DO YOU?

scotlass Tue 22-Sep-09 21:11:51

I've a 10yr old and have also gone through the mill with her attitude / back chat / venom. have to say i do think there is a pre puberty hormone thing as now her body is beginning to change she seems to have settled for a bit.

Tonight she wrote a note in front of me as we were having mum/dd time, me drying her hair that I
a) slap her
b) swear at her
c) take things away from her
I think this was to punish me for the fact I was going nuts that she had taken an hour to shower and wash her hair and i wanted upstairs quiet for baby ds to finally get some sleep ( has slept for about 10 mins today).

When I pointed out how hurtful and untrue this was (I promise I don't slap her, the swear thing was cos dh told me off for saying she was really pissing me off at the weekend with her attitude - quick call social services) and yes I do confiscate stuff as a punishment, sometimes works, sometimes doesn't) and how if it blew out of our bin someone could find it and think what poor child in there is being so badly treated she stuffed it in her mouth, then tore it up, then gave me a hug and said sorry.

I blame Tracey Beaker

I also blame split personality on the fact she's a gemini grin

easylife73 Tue 22-Sep-09 21:43:40

Not just girls I'm afraid. Have been having the same thing with DS1 who is 9.2 for a couple of years. I think the problem with him is that we are just too alike, and really seem to butt up against each other! I have to take a step back and apologise for my bad behaviour before we make friends again. He can be very stroppy, argumentative, confrontational, lies sometimes, but can also be very sweeet and loving. It seems to come in phases that last a few months.

DS2 (6.9) can be the same, but because his basic personality is different ti doesn't seem to bother me the same way as with DS1. We just clash I guess...

Glad to know it "normal" though!

Doodlez Tue 22-Sep-09 21:49:27

My self and my friend (another Mnetter called Gorionine) are having exactly the same issues with both our 8 year old DS's. It's NOT just a girl thing.

Gori started a thread about it the other day and whilst she got some good responses, no definitive answers.

It's bloody awful. My DS and I had a huge screaming abdab at the weekend and it ruined the whole weekend for ALL of us sad

Doodlez Wed 23-Sep-09 09:22:54

bump for Gori.

GwarchodwrPlant Wed 23-Sep-09 09:31:19

Here is another persepective.

As an adult now I don't feel I am a very compassionate person. I have to really try and force it.

Without wanting to sound like a sob story I put this down to having an emotional abusive father who was a bully, never seeing compassion between my parents although my mother is a very compassionate person but critical and being bullied at school.

I never saw/learnt compassion growing up so havn't learnt to feel it for others. What I'm trying to say is does your daughter see you being nice to each other, are you considerate of her feelings, do you build her self-esteem and offer lots of praise? Children learn what they live.

Cazza0104 Wed 23-Sep-09 09:45:13

I have just joined this site to talk about this very problem. My son (9.1) does not yell at me, but is stroppy, sulky, ungrateful and careless with everything. This morning, I went bananas when he sulked out of the room because the conker I had gathered, bought a shoe-lace for, and constructed 'was useless' - when he pronounced the string too short. He always apologises, and hugs me, but by then I am a witch and I can't stop having a go. I have tried not yelling, but it's water off a ducks back.

The thing is, I feel that I am criticising him all the time, and he has told me he feels this. However, I cannot help getting frustrated by his apparent inability to care about anything. He is very bright, but produces sloppy work, is lazy around the house, disorganised, sulky and uncommunicative with friends and relatives, very competitive with his sister, - I could go on and on. Then, suddenly, he is adorable and sweet, and I catch him doing something great. I always praise him, in the hope it will catch on - but ten minutes later, when I ask him to do something he doesn't want to (3 times) we have sulky muttering and nasty looks.

I tell myself I should ignore most of it - but I worry that these things will become habits if I don't stamp on them. Then I worry that I am damaging his self-esteem if I carry on. My temper does not help, and I wish I could stay calm (I do try, but it seems to go over his head if I do). Have tried punishments, incentives - all of which work for a nano-second. I think his 7 yr old sister also makes him feel rubbish by being so good most of the time, and his dad travels alot, so I have no support when he's away (he has been away for most of the past 6 weeks). I know he misses him (he's always great on family holidays for example), but don't know how to tackle this problem.

Basically I want my lovely dinosaur-addicted charming boy back - not this Nintendo obsessed reprobate!

Any tips?

Doodlez Wed 23-Sep-09 10:06:43

Cazza - your husband being away might have summat to do with it BUT my DH & I run our company from home, so both of us are here all the time and we still get much of the behaviour you're describing.

GPlant - they learn what they live through other children and adults too though. They are exposed to bouts of real compassion from other people, if not from parents, surely?

I've had a wee wander back through the MN archives and this behaviour/age group has come up a lot. I'm begining to suspect it's an age/phase issue. They're testing their boundaries and pushing towards independent thought I suspect.

Bloody good to know there's loads of other parents out there experiencing the same thing though smile

Poshpaws Thu 24-Sep-09 10:17:20

I agree DoodleZ. DH and I are compassionate (I work and volunteer for charities FGS) and we are kind and loving to each other in front of the children. My family and friends are too.

I don't think DS1 has 'learned'this. Judging by this thread and other RL parents I have spoken to, it has to be a hormonal phase....please God let it be a short one grin

cory Thu 24-Sep-09 10:19:12

Yup it's a phase. Dd has passed through it and is now totally civilised at age 12. Ds is there now, but I have hopes.

Guad Thu 24-Sep-09 10:24:41

DD is like this a lot. What annoys me most is the way she speaks, almost spitting out her words and emphasising the end like 'because I don't wanTTTTT to', she actually makes the t sound like a spit. Drives me mad.

She responds best to me spending more time with just her and being nice when she is horrible but my god it is hard sometimes.

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