What an interesting thread! I have read most of it and love to see the continuum of styles represented within GD!
OP - I totally get what you are going through - my dd (6.5) is SO MUCH like this and VINDICTIVE is the adj that comes to mind when things are not going her way - she can manage to say the MOST HURTFUL thing she can think of, especially with dh (who is far more authoritarian then I would like, but he's a work in progress too
For my dd, and to my own line of thinking, this pp put it very well:
|Emotionally, they simply are not ready to have that much control over so much of their lives. It's very, very stressful. I believe it's my job as a parent to bare the brunt of that stress and gradually give more control as he learns how to handle situations over time.
This is not to criticize others who take a different approach but b/w my dh style, my own needs, and the reduced anxiety that results when dd has those predictable boundaries this is what works for us.
One thing that REALLY helps her is, as others have said, is laying out the expectation and the consequence. In your bath scenario I would have given her so many minutes (we have a visual timer that works really well for this)
and let her know she needs to be done when that goes off or we will not have time for xy or z... we use this alot to help her in the mornings and evenings getting ready for school/bed - the key is I leave her to finish the bath alone - she's perfectly capable and just removing my presence removes the attention or power she's usually seeking at that moment (not in a withdrawal of love kind of way - I just go read in the evenings or get myself ready in the am)
another thing w/my dd is she really hates to be 'wrong' or caught making a mistake of anykind - walking away in the above scenario gives her chance to 're-set' herself - and shows her I have the confidence in her to do what needs to be done. And as another pp mentioned? when things are spiraling downward I find it enormously helpful to start over- hasn't happened in a while but there were times where I would take her to our open living room and spin her around and around (I had a silly name for it - the vortex? to go back in time and start over) She would literally become a different kid instantly and our day would move forward more positively....
It's like once they start down that road they have a hard time stepping back even if they want to???
good luck and HTH