I have an 8yo dd and a 6yo dd. They go through phases of being pretty helpful, kind, and cooperative for several months, to being very challenging and difficult and rude to me for periods of time. In public and at school they seem to do great. We get lots of compliments on how confident and kind they are. However, when they are in a bad phase, they are really awful to me. I am not sure if this is normal at this age. When I talk to my mom about their behavior, she seems to think they shouldn't be acting this way at ages 8 and 6. She feels I should get family counseling for us all and that it is only going to get worse as they get older.
I feel that for the most part they are great kids, but that sometimes they are excessively rude and uncoopertive to me. For instance, we have been having battles with my 8 year old about wearing underwear to school. She won't put underwear on int he morning. I bought her new underwear b/c she said the old kind is uncomfortable, and she still won't wear it. As I am writing this, I am realizing that I should probably just let her not wear underwear! It seemed important, but I guess it is really her choice at 8. Do you think that is reasonable?
Another example is homework. My 6 year old throws tantrums about doing her homework, even if it will only take her 30 seconds to do. My 8 year old, will sit their with it in front of her and not do it for an hour and a half. I can't manage to cook dinner, hold baby, manage the 6 year old and prod the 8 year old into doing her homework simultaneously. Advice?
Then there is the rude language. They both will tell me to shut up sometimes. My 8 year old told me she hated me this morning when I was trying to get her moving and out the door. I tell them in a really serious way, "you may not speak to me that way". But they continually do.
Is this sort of stuff normal? We are trying some star charts to encourage good behavior during times like the morning school routine and dinner. They sometimes only seem to encourage more screaming and anger though when the child doesn't earn the star b/c they are being awful. It feels counterproductive sometimes.
I feel like my 8 year old is always trying to challenge me. Ever since she was 3yo until now. I thought maybe that behavior would stop when she got to be 5 or 6. Is that normal? Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated. Thank you.