Emotional Rollercoaster of the 5-6 year old: Help needed! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 8 Old 01-05-2011, 11:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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After about a 2 mos respite of the challenges of the 4 year old, we are in full swing with the challenges of being 5.  And it's sucking big time in our house.  I feel like I'm totally failing my daughter because I am so heady.  I am a transactional lawyer and I've not had more than a 6 mos at a time break from this (maternity leaves) in the past 13 years.  I'm losing my temper with my daughter and loathing myself for it.

 

The thing I cannot handle is when she insists that I said something I didn't, so, there is no right answer.  Last night she asked what I said, I repeated myself and she insisted that was not what I said, that I'd said something else.  I had no idea how to respond to her.  It was about midnight (she'd gotten up to use the toilet), so, I was not good at coming up with a funny diversion or song.  And it escalated.  In about 20 seconds.  She melted down and I blew up.

 

I spoke to her teacher about it yesterday and she gave me a book today which I will review.  I need some practical tools, though, to diffuse this type of situation.  Because, of course, she saves these performances for me and doesn't do this at school.  Any suggestions out there? 


Mama to add 10/05; ds 3/09, and two angels
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#2 of 8 Old 01-07-2011, 09:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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With zero suggestions, I'm starting to wonder whether our experience is totally atypical.  Can anyone at least respond to that?  That would help me consider whether I should be looking into other ways to address this behavior, like reviewing her diet (which I think is generally pretty healthy, but we do allow special treats [like ice cream, a piece of chocolate or a cookie] on a daily basis after dinner).


Mama to add 10/05; ds 3/09, and two angels
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#3 of 8 Old 01-07-2011, 01:10 PM
 
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Sorry I don't have any advice, but you will probably get more of a response if you post in gentle discipline. For what it's worth, your problem does not sound atypical to me! Sounds like normal five year old stuff. Sorry I don't have any ready words of wisdom for you..

Wife to one amazing husband superhero.gif, SAHM to DS bouncy.gif 10/09, DS babyboy.gif 10/19,  one furbaby dog2.gif, and lots of chicken3.gif!

 
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#4 of 8 Old 01-07-2011, 01:18 PM
 
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I'm sorry you are having such a challenging time with your dd. My middle son, who is just about to be 5, is very like that, too. It's like he needs for what I say and do to be what he wants it to be so intensely that he cannot even see reality....which from a Steiner standpoint kind of makes sense. He is a powerful force of nature and he pushes all my buttons....dh's buttons, too. From a Waldorf perspective, we are both of us trying to do some personal inner work to try and meet our middle son in a way that promotes peace, but this is difficult to say the least. I've found Carrie over at The Parenting Passageway to be a huge help.

On another note, I wonder if you might get more response over on the Gentle Discipline board? Say you are coming from a Waldorf POV maybe?

Hope you find some relief. It can be so draining and demoralizing to be in conflict with a child.

ETA, cross posted with you, Dalia. Great minds....

Gwen , partner to D ; Mamma to T (6) , J (4) , and baby P
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#5 of 8 Old 01-07-2011, 02:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, ladies.  I have considered my personal work and will keep going down that path.  I really need to finish reading the recent Mothering article about anger!  MammaG, intensity is so the right word for my daughter.  Thanks for the suggestions to post in GD.  In the meantime, I did visit Parenting Passageway which helped me see that we could do more work to get our daughter in her body and out of her head (planning on starting fun kids dance classes [salsa or hip hop] next week after bombing in ballet 2 years ago).  I've also dusted off my copy of Seven Times the Sun to try to learn some songs or verses to inject into the moment.

 

This morning's lovely moments were triggered by my a) not waking her up and b) her seeing me with her half naked brother and determining I'd given him and not her a bath (when I was merely investigating what appeared to be a rash on his torso).


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#6 of 8 Old 01-07-2011, 02:42 PM
 
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My general response is "we will have to agree to disagree" and I leave it at that.  It's hard not to get the last word in when you KNOW they are wrong, but if my kid says something back after that I either repeat "we will have to agree to disagree" or I just say "I'm done talking about that".

 

HTH.

 

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#7 of 8 Old 01-12-2011, 06:03 PM
 
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What you are going through is very normal!  My second born is very choleric and we had some rough times when he was five and almost 6.  I thought I was doing everything wrong and couldn't figure out how to change things.  One thing that helped (besides Carrie at Parenting Passageway) was to meditate on him before bed.  A lot of times, when I would go over the day and what had happened, I would get a lightbulb moment on how to change my reaction for the future.  So, if it were my son who was absolutely sure that I decided to give his sister a bath instead, I would simply say "I know you may think that is what happened, but actually, I needed to check her tummy for a rash", and when the "but NO you blah, blah, blah" starts, I would respond with "I understand that is what you think happened" and that is it.  Ho hum attitude and continue doing what you were doing.  If she continued to argue, you could simply reply with "hmm" and maybe start singing a song or humming.  At some point she will stop when she sees you are just not going there with her.    Once she has stopped, I would ask if she is ready to take her bath (by using a descriptive picture).  I hope this is all making sense!  Know you can do this and what a great mother you are for trying to find a better way!


Tanya, wife to my best friend momma to Blake 2/02, Jacob 5/04, Parker 12/05 and MaKenna : 6/09
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#8 of 8 Old 01-13-2011, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks!  I appreciate this response.  I've done much better this week.  Last night was a trial, though, and I ended up praying out loud - my daughter's response was to tell me to not pray about her!  Anyway, I was accosted as soon as I walked through the door, "Can we cuddle?!"  Literally, hadn't put down a bag, removed my hat, nothing.  She has a renewed sense of jealousy surrounding her brother (he's 21 mos) and went on to lament that he gets more attention than her.  So, there's that dynamic going on as well.  She ordinarily requests cuddle time only after he has asked to nurse.  And by ordinarily, I mean 99.9% of the time. Fun times for me!  I now see this as an opportunity to teach her how to move through these emotions, for me not to take this personally, and for me to realize that this is not something for me to get angry about, but, to instead choose to see these exchanges not as her attempts to drive me absolutely batty, but as moments for me to truly parent her and help mold her skills for defuses situations, moving through emotions while giving validity to them, but not allowing them to rule her - and I have to do that through demonstration.


Mama to add 10/05; ds 3/09, and two angels
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