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The mouth/attitude on my daughter!!!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I am at my wits end. I need help! I have lost all patience for my 6.5 year old daughter and her horrendous attitude. Its gotten to the point where I am embarrased by her actions in public and I don't enjoy spending time with her anymore.

 

We had such a great relationship when she was a baby/toddler, all the way up to this past year it seems. We were always very close and I felt like we had the perfect mother child relationship.

 

Lately it seems she is all attitude and rudeness. Defiant and disrespectful. She rarely listens and has the worste attitude! It seems like she's always complaining and pouting and saying disrespectful and rude things. Its gotten to the point where she is actually doing things (I think) to get her in trouble on purpose.

 

So for example, I pick her up from school and everyday she'll ask for things she knows she can't have (like McDonalds ice cream, slurpee or a cupcake, etc). I have gotten her those things in the past occasionally as a special treat, but maybe like once a month since i try not to encourage so much sugar consumption. When I tell her not today, but we can get a snack as soon as we get home, she gets angry with me, pouts, yells at me, generally has a fit and won't talk to me about her day because she can't have the treat. Today I picked her up and she asked if I brought her water (which I have never actually done, we live 7 minutes from school) and I said no, but we could get some water and some lunch as soon as we get home. She was angry with me, and pouty the whole time grunting and complaining. I told her she should go inside, into her room and relax, and she could come out when her attitude was better. The other day, we walked past the house of someone my husband works with. They live close by, and we have gotten together socially on a couple of occasions. This family was having a garage sale, and the wife was out so we stopped by to say hello. My daughter saw balloons and wanted one for her and each of her sisters (2). I told her she could take one for her and her baby sister, but her older sister wouldn't really want a balloon and I didn't want to take all the ones from in front of this ladys house (it was next to th garage sale sign) but I thought it was really nice that she was thinking of her sister. She grabbed the balloon, elbowed me, yelled at me that she was taking it anyway and didn't care what I said, and turned her back to me pouting. Finally I took hold of the balloon, told her I was not taking it home and she needed to let go... she yelled FINE and threw the thing at me. The lady was clearly uncomfortable, and I am sure she told her husband who works with my husband, which makes my husband uncomfortable. Another example, we have these outdoor chairs and she kept jumping up and down on them, and they broke. We got new ones, and told her she could not jump or stand on them anymore she could sit on them. I walk outside and she's standing on the seat... my husband reminds her to please sit not stand. She sits, he goes in, and the second he does she stands on the chair again.

 

Anyway, I don't know why she is acting like this and I don't know how to stop it. Those are just examples of what happens multiple times a day every day. I want my pleasant little girl back :(

post #2 of 13

do u think it can be to gain back your attention off her little baby sister? 

post #3 of 13

do u think it can be to gain back your attention off her little baby sister? 

post #4 of 13

do u think it can be to gain back your attention off her little baby sister? 

post #5 of 13

*


Edited by AbbyGrant - 6/23/12 at 11:26am
post #6 of 13
A middle child between a SN child and a baby? Is she getting much positive attention lately? If not, she might be seeking negative attention.
post #7 of 13

You gave two examples where she showed hunger or thirst after school. With out much effort you could bring a snack in the car for her, she may be genuinely hungry/thirsty. I'm no good if I'm hungry and my dd knows that is an issue for her too and even says "I'm cranky, I need to eat".
 

Otherwise it sounds like she is doing some serious testing of limits. She really took advantage when she knew how much you cared about what your neighbor/coworker thought. Awful situation for you but she is a smart kid. She wants to know what the consequence is when she does not do what you tell her to do. So my suggestion is to make a plan. What are some good consequences? What are some things you are willing to compromise on and some things you are not willing to compromise on? Maybe she could have the treat if she buys it with her money. But if she stand on the chair after you tell her not to she will not be able to X because of her unsafe behavior. We have major safety rules in our house so those always get consequences but they are usually natural ones because the kids get hurt. I give one warning for most things and then follow through. Every time. Through the kicking and screaming. It is difficult but I don't give up. My ds is easy to motivate but my dd isn't. She will do something 25 times and put in one more to just to make sure I really mean it - and I do!

 

I say all this like I'm a hard *** and sometimes I am but I try to do it with love. Once I heard my dd talking to her baby in her room "I love you even when you are mad. I love you even when I am mad". Remind her of your love too. Kids get it. Hang in there!

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

A middle child between a SN child and a baby? Is she getting much positive attention lately? If not, she might be seeking negative attention

I am trying :) The baby is now mostly a toddler at 15 months. Whenever my husband is home I try to do special 'dates' with my middle daughter, even if its just running to the grocery store and bringing her along, letting her pick her favorite tea or fruit or whatever. I am finding though that on those outings she is usually pretty good, its when we get home that we have the problems starting up again.

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pbjmama View Post

You gave two examples where she showed hunger or thirst after school. With out much effort you could bring a snack in the car for her, she may be genuinely hungry/thirsty. I'm no good if I'm hungry and my dd knows that is an issue for her too and even says "I'm cranky, I need to eat".
 

You make a good point, and I will try to bring food along. On the days that I have (like if we have to go somewhere after school) packed her lunch and brought it to her, I mostly get complaining about what I packed, so I didn't really keep doing it regularly. but I should try again, for sure. Thanks!

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

Well, i am still feeling frustrated and not really getting anywhere with her behavior. I really want to be close with her, but I find myself not wanting to be around her and wishing she were at school longer :(

 

She just never seems happy or satisfied with anything. We went out to a local forest preserve for the afternoon (what she wanted to do) and brought along our dog (at her request) and she was grumpy the whole time, pouting because I didn't want her walking along the edge of the rocks next to the water. I was honestly afraid she would loose her footing and fall in, and we stopped multiple times to look at the lake. But she walked with an attitude, pouting, basically complaining the whole time. Its like there is always something.

 

I don't know what to do... I want to enjoy her and lately, I just don't really like her. What do I do?!

post #11 of 13

I am sorry you are going through a rough patch.

 

I would try to catch her doing something good and comment on it positively.  Some people don't like praise, but meh - whatever.  She is clearly unhappy right now and could use a little propping up.

 

One thing that has worked for me with my DD is trying to be physically close - patting her leg, impulsive hugs, etc.  Saying I love you at night…..If she is open to this, I would go for it!

post #12 of 13
I suggest sitting down and talking to her about this. You know you two are growing apart so sit down and tell her that, tell her you think she is acting out because she wants your attention but when she acts out so much it is hard to want to give her attention. Reiterate that you love her and want to change this cycle and ask her for ideas. Six to seven is the age when kids make a big jump in reasoning ability and I noticed my dd really pushed for more control when she was that age. Giving her choices that were relevant to her really helped. Deciding on.one or two treat days, writing them on the calendar, and having her cross off the days might help her get past the whining for treats.
post #13 of 13

There is a book we read called have you filled a bucket today ( http://www.amazon.ca/Have-You-Filled-Bucket-Today/dp/0978507517) that helped my 6yo dd see the effect her actions have on others.  When we read the book, I asked them about things I could do to fill their bucket, and we talked about things they can do to fill other people's.  We also talked aobut how whining, complaining, throwing fits etc. empties everyone's buckets - including their own, and how you can fill your own bucket sometimes.  It gave us a new little language that we can use - I ask how their bucket's doing if they're down, ask if their behaviour is filling buckets or dipping from buckets etc. They seem to like the imagery.

 

Another thing that helped was giving her more responsibility.  She didn't want to be treated like a baby, so we raised our expectations and gave her a few extra privileges.  We also did a lot of talking about being happy with what you have, being flexible, and making the most of what you've got when you've got it.  WHile these are pretty big ideas for 6, talking about how I've made time to spend with her & she just spent all of it having a big fit and being miserable instead of deciding to enjoy the time we have together is appropriate. 

 

Another book that might help is "the 5 love languages of children".  After reading this book, I realized that I tend to show my love in a couple ways naturally, but not always the way my kids recieve love.  I need to make sure I give love the way they 'get' it (which is constantly changing, so I try and do all the 5 ways as much as possible).  Usually it's not the big 2 hr play date at a favorite haunt that makes the most difference, its the note in the lunch kit that really matters.  Being able to hit the right button is so much easier than trying to amp up something that's not working!  Being aware that when my 6yo asks for a treat, they legitimately want the treat but the tantrum is usually not just disappointment over the treat but 'you don't love me enough to buy me that!" means that I have been able to head off the storm sometimes by changing the offer from treat to bucket filler. 

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