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My 5 year behaves like a teenager - wilful, rude and aggressive. Please help
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socrosstonight · 02/08/2009 20:06

My five year old and I have locked horns in a terrifying way tonight. She has always been quite difficult but in the past year I have started to find her more and more objectionable. She is often sarcastic- she sort of mimics what people are saying in a stupid voice designed to make the speaker feel stupid. And if she doesn't get her own way she makes a huge drama out of it, often screaming and hitting me or whoever is standing in the way of what she wants. I always put her on the stairs for violence (most of which is directed towards her little brother but sometimes at me) and never give in to her demands. Tonight she hit me when I asked her to come and let me dry her hair and I put her on the stairs as I always do. When she came off I told her that I wasn't happy with her behaviour and she did the voice mimicking thing. I then told her that I was sick of her backchat and she wasn't having a story tonight as a result. She started apologising and pleading and when she realised that I meant it she said things like 'I hate you!' I did what I have always had to do when I lock horns with her - sit outside her room and just keep putting her to bed when she comes out to beg me to change my mind. Every time she realises I'm sticking to my guns she changes tack and says ever more nasty things. My husband is doing a shift outside at the moment and she has lost several toys to the shelf. But has anyone got some better advice on how to tackle this? TBH I'm at my wits end - I expected to have to deal with these sorts of scenes when she was a teenager but she's only 5 (nearly six) Is this normal?

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Goblinchild · 02/08/2009 20:14

I've got teenagers and they are lovely.
They went through phases when growing up of being unpleasant and very stubborn.
Stick to your plan, stay calm and keep reinforcing the behaviour you want. Don't quit because it doesn't work over a couple of weeks.
Or even a couple of months.

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socrosstonight · 02/08/2009 20:29

Sorry GC didn't mean to imply some teenagers aren't lovely. I just meant that she seems like she has raging hormones working against her. I should point out that she is capable of being very lovely and got a great school report so she doesn't really exhibit this behaviour outside the home. But she's always been really physical hugging people that little bit too hard and jumping on our bed in the morning in an OTT way if you know what I mean.

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socrosstonight · 03/08/2009 15:28

So my dh was right then. Other people's children don't behave like this. Or did I just post at bad time?

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ICANDOTHAT · 04/08/2009 12:35

What do her teachers say about her behaviour at school? Or does the little darling only keep it especially for you ??

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Lupins71 · 05/08/2009 07:13

My dd has had her moments especially when she was between 5-6 she does seem to have turned a corner now she is nearly 7 and I know from a friend that her dd was awful at this age, stick to your guns, have you tried naughty corner/ stair whichever is applicable.

With the mimicking I would suggest something we tried, dd started the day with 10 pennies - she was told that if she was good all day then she got the whole 10p and at the end of the week we would make it up to £1 if she had been good - each time she was bad she lost 1p - its funny to she how much they treasure thier pennies after a week or 2 when they realise they can buy something with it, dd often askes for a magazine and will use her £1 towards it - we no longer use that because she has calmed down but she gets £1 pocket money on a friday and when school is on she stays up later on a friday and watches a movie this is her incentive to behave now, we still get shouting and a bit of cheekyness but not the nastiness that was starting to appear

Good luck

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There · 06/08/2009 04:16

Your daughter is definitely not the only one. I'm on the site looking for advice on how to deal with my 4-year old who sounds very much like your 5-year old. All the behaviours, just not mimicking me yet, but laughing and smurking at me when I tell her off - I'm sure the mimicking will follow!

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rosiest · 06/08/2009 17:10

My 5 year old (nearly 6)is exactly the same as this. He is an angel at school (apparently!!) but since he started full time school in september he has developed an attitude, strops about everything and is rude and cheeky. I had my third child last september also so I thought his behaviour might be due to this - but its been nearly a year now and he is still bad. Help!!

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Mumcentreplus · 06/08/2009 17:22

Between 4-7 they are evil..apparently at 8 they turn normal again I have a 7&5 yr old it really does depend on the child my 7yr old (going on 17) is exactly as described v.v cheeky wretch!

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Mumcentreplus · 06/08/2009 17:25

You have to stick to your guns..be strong they are very wilful..DD1 (7 yr old) has recieved prizes and stickers at school for being helpful and lovely

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specialmagiclady · 06/08/2009 17:28

I have found 1-2-3 Magic book very very helpful with ghastly children.

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mrshibbins · 06/08/2009 17:29

" ......apparently at 8 they turn normal again"

still waiting ...

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Mumcentreplus · 06/08/2009 17:30

dammit!

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socrosstonight · 10/08/2009 16:42

Have just come back to this after another desperate scene with dd in which she threw a china snowman at me which hit me on the nose and made it bleed. Only then - at such a drastic result which left me sobbing - did she seem to realise how naughty she had been. (It had been preceded by her hitting me and gradually losing all her favourite toys while being sent to her room) But when she drew blood she started mopping it with a cotton wool ball and saying how sorry she was. I have confiscated her three favourite toys (who she can't usually sleep without) for two days. I was heartened to see I had a few replies here. In answer to the person who asked what she was like at school the answer is, basically, an angel. Her end of reception report said 'BL is a really lovely, sweet girl - quiet and shy in a reflective way with a fantastic vocabulary and popular with all her classmates'. She can be really gorgeous and often is when things are going her way. It's just when you say no to her or try to curb her bad behaviour towards her little brother that she loses it. And she's lethal when bored but very bad at entertaining herself. I should say that her brother who is four is never like this but I sometimes think she has never forgiven me for having him as she's been torturing him since the day he was born.

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costagirl · 10/08/2009 17:02

You poor poor thing, how wearing. I've had days when I've found it hard to like my DS1, who's v bright, v demanding and INCREDIBLY BLOODY argumentative. But the mimicking must be especially hard to put up with - it would infuriate me.

Re the scene tonight, that has to stop. She's being abusive towards you, and needs to learn a bit of respect (sorry if I'm sounding harsh, just how I'm seeing it.)

I would say confiscate toys etc, but you're already doing that, so need to up the anti.

Any nice things happening soon? Parties/days out? She loses one of them for hurting you. Bugger whether it inconveniences anyone else, you're at your wits end and should be supported. If you as a family are going out for a day, could she go to a grandparent/relative with the understanding that she is NOT to be given a nice day/treats?

Whatever you can find to use as a BIG sanction, do it. ASAP. My nephew hits his mother (he's 9 ) and gets away with it all the time. He has no respect for her, and talks down to her all the time. Sanctions never taken.

Your lovely DS will continue being vile to you unless she gets a big shock - make it public for more effect - ie, if she's missing a party, she could phone/visit the friend and explain why she's missing it.

Wish I had the answers for my 2! Have confiscated DS football shirt AND the computer for 2 days, and he's still arsey!

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socrosstonight · 10/08/2009 18:24

Thanks costagirl. It's weird in a way hearing you mention your nephew who isn't sanctioned because it makes me feel even more perplexed. I never given in to her, always sanction her and am not one of those mums who needs her to be my friend all the time. I can't understand how I ended up in this situation. I should give you some perspective as I'm aware that when I have posted here I have always been in a very angry mood and so I might be making her sound worse than she is. She is very loving in many ways - tells me she loves me a hundred times a day and can be really sweet. Certainly nobody outside of the home - friends, parents, teachers - would think of her as a problem child. It's tempting to blame it on the fact that 'she's so bright' but I think that's just a palatable excuse and doesn't tell the whole story. She just has a really terrible temper and flies in to a violent rage when being told off. Her dad and I both work full time so although we have leisurely starts and are able to take her to school we don't get back until seven. One or usually both of us spends an hour and a half with her before bed each night and reads stories and we try to do nice things with her and her brother at the weekend. But suffice to say her behaviour makes me feel that I have done/am doing something wrong and what I often blame it on is the fact that both of us work. We both love our jobs but it is very hard to give enough attention to your children when you work FT. That doesn't really explain today though as I'm currently off work and will be for the next three months. (I don't work all year) What does she want I wonder? Blood? (Oh yes she already has that from earlier) I think I am going to go down your tough sanctions route. We have no relatives nearby so one of us would have to stay at home with her while her brother got taken out but it might be what she needs. ...

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reikizen · 10/08/2009 18:38

So glad to find this thread as DP is putting the girls to bed tonight due to my losing my temper (again) with DD1. She is just as you describe but without violence (thank god) but she is very cheeky and mimics me and does the 'dumb insolence' when I tell her off. I know I was exactly the same but sometimes I wonder if there is something psychologically wrong with her. She seems to keep going until one of us gets really, really cross with her although this can't really be her intention. I have come very close to hitting her I'm afraid. I do a behaviour chart and we are currently on the verge of not letting her go on a sleepover she is really looking forward to. But I think I will try the pennies thing. I think it is very hard when they are so lovely at school, but reassuring too in a way that they are not insane!

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socrosstonight · 10/08/2009 18:44

Completely agree about it being reassuring that they don't behave like this with others. My daughters 'violence' is often a light hit, by the way, it's rarely really painful - it's just like she can't contain her frustration/anger. I'm not excusing it - it's awful - I just don't want people to think she's a hissing, kicking meer-cat who I can't control. She's just a naughty girl who pushes it when you tell her off. I know what you mean about being close to hitting her. A friend of mine told me that her dd was so naughty the other day she pulled up her skirt and spanked her. I was really shocked when she told me that but when dd hit me tonight it took all my powers of self- control not to whack her one back which would have been considerably worse.

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screamingabdab · 10/08/2009 18:52

My DS1 went through this phase at around 6 and I panicked, thinking, if he's like this now, what on earth will he be like when he's older? His particular thing was saying "whatever" when I told him off (), and also saying "Blah, Blah, Blah"

Delightful - but try not to rise to it. It is boundary-testing. Stay calm, do not answer her back and be drawn into an argument. Keep anything you say short and to the point. Avoid over-explaining. I used to listen to myself and think that it sounded like 2 teenagers arguing !

Something that also helped me was for DH to be the one to tell him off if he had been rude to me, so that I wasn't put in the position of "nagging"

DS2 is going through this phase right now as well (he has just turned 6), but I am more chilled because I know (I hope) it will pass, as DS1s did.

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reikizen · 10/08/2009 19:00

We seem to go through phases where the behaviour is particularly unbearable and times when everything is nice and settled. This reassures me but every time I forget just how unpleasant it makes our lives, I'm sick of the sound of my own voice! She also winds up DD2 which makes me even madder! Roll on September...

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screamingabdab · 10/08/2009 19:01

Another thing I would say is, after the storm has passed (I used to send DS1 to his room), I would always go in and talk (listen) about the incident. Let her know you know she has strong feelings of anger, that we all do, but she cannot act on that anger.

Make sure you praise her when she has managed to calm down.

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reikizen · 10/08/2009 19:08

Yes screaming, I feel strongly about that too as when I was little my mum used to sort of sulk and not speak to me after I had been naughty which made me feel very upset as children's anger does pass very quickly. So even if I still feel resentful I try to swallow it and be the adult in the situation!

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screamingabdab · 10/08/2009 19:36

Yes, me too. I was a very angry child, and my mum found it hard to deal with, so I did not feel listened to.

DS1 is Karma for that , and Lord has he tested me, but I do try to remember that whatever his extreme reaction, something DID start it, and I should try and find out what it was.

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MovingOutOfBlighty · 10/08/2009 19:46

Although not quite as bad as yours, socross, my dd age 5 is just like a Diva.

The other day within 30 mins, she told me she hated me, she didn't like me and then I was horrible because I accidently ripped her swimming certificate.

This is not the way to handle it, but strangely it worked but will probably scar her for life. I picked up the phone and 'dialed' and asked if there was the person there who wanted a little girl as this one hated her mummy and probably needed to go and live with another mummy. I put the phone down and we briefly 'packed' a bag to go. The whole episode probably lasted 2 minutes. She was really upset and has been absolutely lovely ever since. It's as if I have my lovely, funny, naughty but nice girl back.
I told her that the word 'hate' was awful and never to say it again. I know it sounds a terrible thing to do, but sticker charts, and 'punishments' haven't worked for some time now and I don't like smacking or shouting.
I wouldn't recommmend what I did but I was so upset that day when I just thought how much she has compared to other children and how much love we give her to have her turn around and be so aggressive back. It is bewildering at times.
So no, you are not alone on this one

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socrosstonight · 10/08/2009 19:54

Screaming abdab - you say you were an 'angry child'. Was that just a genetic disposition or did something your parents say make you feel angry? I'm just interested because my childminder mentioned that she was an angry child (she didn't do anything to CM but was just hassling her brother - winding him up/pinching him etc) I said 'angry about what, though?' Her reply... ' I don't know that's between you and her' which I brooded on for days! The sulking thing is interesting to hear too, reikizen because I realised that's what I have done tonight. I could barely look at her over supper and she was doing everything to 'cheer me up'. She said 'when I look at the cotton wool pads I want to cry' (her way of saying she felt guilty about throwing the china toy at me earlier which she had dabbed with cotton wool) and telling me she loved me and even 'I like your hair mum'. She was quite taken aback by my silence I think but the truth was I felt really sad about this afternoon and found it hard to come back from. But I need to be the grown up don't I and not let that happen? She even said 'I've nearly forgotten about what happened earlier mum and I know in the morning I will really have forgotten'. To which I replied 'You may have forgotten but I certainly haven't'. That feels childish now...

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CloudDragon · 10/08/2009 20:02

socrosstonight - my 4 year old sounds like your 5 year old.

I've been delving into a book called 'how to talk to your kids so they listen, and how to listen so your kids talk to you' or some such very long title.

I've begun to follow the advice and it is really making a difference.

(OK so I've read chapter one, but even that has helped!!!)

The premise of the first chapter is that you acknowledge how your DC is feeling and tell them so that they know that someone 'understands them' (honestly it isnt as puke making as I making it!

But it has worked wonders; for example DS was kicking off hugely about not getting a lollypop. Mid tantrum, v. upset, I said 'I bet you really wanted a lollypop, you must be really annoyed'. DH looked at me like this at my pathetic psychobabble (he hates any sort of psychology!) but to both our amazments DS stopped screaming and said 'yes mummy I am, but I will have one soon'

and since then (though I sound like a prize pratt) I have been doing it loads and he really is responding, he isnt perfect but he is much better and hitting much less.

Good luck it's horrible to be at loggerheads (been there often with my lovely but wilful son)

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