DD is 4 in December. I've had a hard time with her lately. She's doing a lot of the willful defiance stuff. If I ask her not to do something, she'll get a smirk on her face, look me dead in the eye, and do what I just asked her not to do. Example? Knocking her sister down. The natural consequence of her sister getting hurt and not wanting to play with her anymore doesn't seem to phase her. I would say that she's oblivious socially, and I know she has social issues. However, she seems so manipulative and menacing when she looks at me, and I know that's a ridiculous thing to say of a child her age. I just don't get it. It happens so many times per day. What do I do?
She was also cared for by my MIL, and we put an end to it because we did not see a positive influence on her at all. The family kids she was with, 6-8yo girls who are growing up way too fast and are very rebellious, influenced her quite a bit. If we discuss something NOT being okay (calling people certain names, rebellious behavior, violence towards her sister, not taking turns) she'll turn around and tell me that cousin J did it and cousin J is a big girl so she should listen to cousin J.
Naptime and bedtime are also issues. We try the whole "gentle transitioning" thing and it doesn't help too much. Everything happens at the same time of day, every day. She still flips when naptime nears, and she violently protests. She kicks me, hits me, screams bloody murder (and it doesn't help that we've just moved into a new building. I'm horrified to wonder what my neighbors may think). She still needs her naps, or she won't be able to function throughout the afternoon. She refuses to nap, and she instead stays in her room and plays with her toys. Fine, but she needs that nap. If I wanted to do away with it, we'd need to do a lot of schedule re-arranging that I'm not sure she would tolerate. I've tried laying down with her, in my bed. She still lashes out at me violently and screams, so not an option. Bedtime IS an issue but not as much as naptime. She enjoys bedtime more because we have more of a routine with it, with reading a story and blowing out a candle, etc. I've tried to do some of the same things with naptime, but she just wasn't having it.
She also has meltdowns, or starts crying abruptly, for the smallest things. If I ask her not to do something, the screaming and crying starts. It is incredibly hard for me to be patient. I have huge rage and anger issues and it is very, very difficult for me to keep them at bay. A lot of times I say things to her I really shouldn't.
I need some support to keep myself sane.