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Please help at the end of my tether

(8 Posts)
mummytopebs Tue 06-Oct-09 19:15:39

dd is 4.5 and is an absololute nightmare. She is fine at school but at home she is awful, she whinges or crys all day, she tantrums, she totally kicks off over the slightest thing. We have tried star charts taking toys off her and tonight i am ashamed to say have smacked her, i really am at the end of my tether - Please advise me because at the moment i think she doesnt even want to be here

3littlefrogs Tue 06-Oct-09 19:19:30

Has she just started school?

It is an awful strain, and exhausting, being good at school all day.

Did she go to nursery before she started school? Is she used to being away from you all day?

She will be much hungrier and more tired than before, so will need more sleep and a much earlier supper and bed time.

I wouldn't go overboard on rewards and sanctions at this stage TBH. Just more food, more sleep and lots of quiet one to one time and cuddles till she comes to terms with all the huge changes in her life.

MakemineaGandT Tue 06-Oct-09 19:20:06

You sound really fed up - get yourself a nice glass of wine and read a magazine for a bit (assume she's in bed now?). I don't know what to suggest, but thought I'd send some moral support! Is she an only child? I guess you need to look at how you react to her "moments" - ignoring bad stuff and praising the good stuff goes a long way I find

3littlefrogs Tue 06-Oct-09 19:22:10

It is normal for behaviour to regress a bit at this stage. She is very small. We send children to school far too young in this country. sad

MakemineaGandT Tue 06-Oct-09 19:22:52

Good advice 3littlefrogs - I find my children are badly behaved when hungry/tired too. If my DS (4) has a strop I just send him to his room to calm down - he actually wants to go I think as it gives him a chance to regroup and come back "normal" - I just remain calm, ask him to go, and say he can come back when he's ready to be calm again. When he comes back I make sure to give him a hug/include him in what everyone else is doing and just put the bad moment behind us without going over it

mummytopebs Tue 06-Oct-09 19:30:58

She has just started school but her behaviour has been like this for a while, she just constantly crys and whinges we give her lots of attention, she constantly wants us to play with her and kicks off if not. The whole thing esculated tonight cos she didnt was to have her hair washed which consisted of a massive tantrum, splashing water all over the bathroom, screaming at the top of her voice and calling me a euughh head (screaming it over and over), then totally losing it and thrashing out. During this i remained calm took 2 toys from her bedroom but am afraid to say when the hysterics had gone on for 15 mins i smacked her, which of course did no good.

I am really concerned cos i am pregnant at the minute and know this behaviour cant continue. Its like she has a split personality cos when she is with others she is perfect. I really dont know what i am doing wrong

3littlefrogs Tue 06-Oct-09 21:50:24

How have you been during this pregnancy? Have you been sick? Very tired? Could she be anxious about you? Is anything else going on that could have made her feel insecure?

She is clearly unhappy, but maybe you are not feeling strong enough to really sit her down, talk to her, explain the boundaries and consequences and stick to them. It is really important to be in control, be consistant, but also to remember she is very small and needs loads of reassurance.

Has she heard you or others talking about the baby coming? She may have all kinds of fears about this.

Could you sit down and play some games with duplo people or similar, so that she can act out her feelings? You can learn an awful lot by doing this.

Greatfun Tue 06-Oct-09 22:05:29

This sounds very much like my DD. I have found a counting system works well. For exmaple, You have until I count to 5 to calm down. 1,2,3,4,5. Most of the time she calms down but if not (there has been alot of this recently) I stay calm, get whatever needs to be done (hair wash/out of shop/get home) and then put her in her room and say she can come down when she has calmed. I do this for my snity as I cannot bare all the screamign and need a bit of space between us at times like this. DD has been particularly bad over the last few weeks and I am sure its tiredness. She and her brother have a cough/cold and have been quite difficult. I also always talk to her about it once she is calm to explain why she shouldnt behave that way. A reward chart naybe useful but personally I find it hard to keep up. The other thing is to look for danger points. For my DD its that time after school before dinner. We have a 20 minute walk home and I now make sure I have the spare seat on my buggy (Phil and Teds) so I can give her a lift home, bring a drink and a snack and don't make any after school arrangements. I also make sure she is in bed by 7 so she gets a good sleep.

The advice from 3littlefrogs is spot on. This could be jealousy of the new baby (assuming she knows you are preg)/ Maybe get her involved in getting things ready for baby, play with her doll with her, tha sort of thing.

It doesnt sound like you are doing anything wrong. Just be as calm as possible and be consistent. I sympathise. My two were being particulalry wingey last week and I ahve struggled to keep it together at times.Don't gve yourself a hard time about a one off smack. I have done the same.

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