Hi all, I am new to the forum, and SO happy to have found such a great group. My husband and I are big believers in gentle discipline, but we are having our first tricky patch with our recently turned 4 year old daughter.
My daughter up until this point has been absolute bliss. She was an easy baby, an easy toddler, and is now a mostly easy preschooler. Two weeks ago, she finally gave up her afternoon nap, which I'm sure is playing a role in things.
Recently, I have seen a big attitude shift. My daughter will shout or scream tyrannical demands at us, right in our faces. She is also starting up with mini tantrums that are 100% manufactured drama. If we ask her something, or tell her something she doesn't want to hear, she immediately begins whining, turning into a floppy pancake and will start screaming. This type of behavior is for everything, no matter how small the issue. I have noticed that on occasions when my husband and I have caved to the drama, the tears and screaming immediately stop, and she's happy as a clam. This is what leads me to believe she is not genuinely upset, but rather manipulating us with her "rudey attitudey"!
For my part, I will get down on her level, validate her feelings, and ask her to help come up with compromises or alternative ideas when appropriate. Rather than engage me, she will scream or blow a raspberry in my face.
Today, I had enough of it. She raspberried in my face, and I calmly sat her down and explained to her that the behavior was unacceptable. That we are family, and should always treat each other kindly, even when we feel upset. I did not yell or shame her, but I can't help but feel like I lectured her.
How do you handle overt rudeness or manufactured drama for the sake of manipulation? I'm working extra hard to stay away from punitive forms of discipline, but girlfriend has me doubting just how I should address the mayhem!