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To ask how you keep your patience/temper?

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BethFromThisIsUs · 25/01/2023 22:39

I’m not proud of this one but god I am struggling with my five (almost 6) year old. She is an adored child - smart, funny, kind, and so well behaved in school or with other people etc (so no one ever believes me when I seek advice on the below).

But in the house…everything is a battle with her. Getting her up in the morning. Getting her ready for school. Getting her to eat her breakfast. Getting her in the car. Eating her tea. In the shower. Out of the shower. Into pjs. Into bed. Every single thing a battle that takes ages longer than it should.

Shes too busy playing and running about, and just completely ignores me really. Or shouts and gets angry about how she’ll do it in a minute and I should stop asking her etc. i have tried reasoning, bribery, shouting and various consequences but it just never gets any better.

5 is a child who “marches to the beat of her own drum” shall we say. She is incredibly strong willed and simply not interested in anyone else’s point of view. It’s her way or no way (I don’t think she is like this in school - just at home she’s a little tyrant). I am desperately trying to get a grip on this because frankly I can’t even imagine how we will manage when she’s 14, but nothing works. I feel like I’m constantly “on” at her and I hate it. I feel like a shitty mum. I have to sit on her floor every night because if I don’t she won’t stay in bed. She simply won’t. Doesn’t care about any consequences in that moment. She’s carrying on and fighting sleep till 10pm and it feels like she’s taking the utter piss out of me.

I am exhausted from work, exhausted from fighting with her and I’m finding that I have less and less patience now. I’m becoming more snappy with her and then of course I beat myself up for it afterwards. I’m just really struggling to find a way to get through to her.

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Am I being unreasonable?


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Runningoncoffeealone · 25/01/2023 23:57

It's a tough age. My youngest is turning 5 this year and imo she's already a teenager!
But a few things that have worked for us are....
A reward chart for bedtime. She got a star for each night she slept in her own room and went to sleep by herself, and once she'd earned X amount of stars, she got a small treat.
Lots of praise for good behaviour, for example "Well done Susan! You ate dinner really nicely today and you're turning into such a big girl!" And ignoring the bad behaviour. Quite a few times I've just walked away and started doing something else, and if she questioned me I just said she wasn't being very nice and to let me know when she was going to be nice again and we would continue.
Also tiring kids out can help a bunch! Even if you can't get outside, making up dancing games, hiding things for them to find around the house, or just generally getting them hyper for a bit will burn off loads of energy and they'll be a lot more likely to calmly play with toys or draw something.
Hope things get better soon, hang in there!

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NoSquirrels · 26/01/2023 00:16

i have tried reasoning, bribery, shouting and various consequences but it just never gets any better

Have you tried playful? Gamifying things? ‘Race you to…’ All those sorts of games to make doing the dull stuff fun? Does she get enough control over aspects of her life that you can grant without negative consequences? I mean, getting to school- non negotiable. But PJs on- potentially not. Does it matter what one wears to bed?

Equally, you could have a read up on strategies for PDA (pathological demand avoidance) or ODD (oppositional defiance disorder). I am in no way suggesting she has these! But the strategies are useful regardless. They create a ‘low demand’ framework (so you’re not just triggering the defiant ‘No’ response) and work by engaging the child to seem more in control of choices and their environment. So you don’t say ‘It’s time to have a shower now’ you say ‘I wonder if we should head up for a shower soon? What’s the time, DD?’ And then you go from there to getting her to agree with you (as if it’s her idea) that it would be terrible not to have time for a story or whatever.

It does all take patience though and that’s so hard if you’re at the end of your tether.

Is her DF around to do bedtimes and share the load etc?

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