WHYYYYYYYYYYYYY does my 5 yr old cry all the time!? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 04-14-2009, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am at my wits end with this girl and feeling like hitting her! This is why I come here, to try to find some other way to deal with her tantrums and keep myself from harming her.

Sorry if this post is all over the place and/or missing something you may need to give advice. Baby on lap and screaming is distracting.

Back Story: We are AP and positive parents. I have 4 children, boy 7.5, girl 5.5, boy 2, boy 4 months. My daughter has been a pretty good kid, but VERY flighty. That's always had me annoyed with her when it comes time for chores, etc. She acts like she can't do it, or doesn't know what she's supposed to be doing, or in some other way tries to get out of her responsibilities. Sending her to her room/time out doesn't help because she'll fake it on purpose just to get sent away to delay the responsibility! She pretty much tries to avoid doing anything you tell her.

It might be so stark because my 7 year old is so good about it. He does things before you even ask him to, like an adult! She almost always throws a tantrum, despite everything we've tried. We've got a soid routine of cleaning every single day, I've tried giving her only the things she enjoys, reward charts, etc, you name it we've tried it.

Anyway, this is the major area of contention (chores/responsibilities), though the crying and the anger have been REALLY bad in general the past couple of weeks. She'll suddenly just start spitting words at everyone and when you ask what's going on she says she's really angry and everything everyone says is just making her angrier. We've tried to pin point a food that may be doing it (we have food allergies), put her to bed earlier,etc, but nothing is helping.

Right now she's having a huge tantrum in the dining room because my husband is telling her to clean off the table. She tried to tell him she didn't know where the garbage was. It's been in the exact same spot since she was 9 months old. She's literally trembling and screaming. My 2 year old has never had a tantrum like this. I'm angry, disgusted, and at a loss how to handle her emotions anymore.

We always let the kids cry if they need to/don't stuff their emotions, but this is downright ridiculous. It feels like she's doing it to manipulate, though we never back down because of crying/tantrums, so what the heck? It's not the baby, it's not any big change in her life, it doesn't seem to be related to anything!

Help?

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#2 of 27 Old 04-14-2009, 01:11 PM
 
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I'm sorry, that sounds really difficult. What if you helped her through her chores? Even if she knows how to do them herself, maybe a parent helping with a positive attitude will help her feel less negative about it?
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#3 of 27 Old 04-14-2009, 01:28 PM
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It doesn't sound like she's ready for the responsibility of doing chores. Since you never back down it wouldn't be manipulation. It seems she is really upset and angry. Children are so different that it doesn't matter what your DS was able to do at 5. Have you tried making the chores optional, except for maybe picking up abit after herself?
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#4 of 27 Old 04-14-2009, 02:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by gabbyraja View Post
It's not the baby, it's not any big change in her life,

Help?
Big hugs! I just wanted to say that with the new baby only being four months maybe it is the new baby which is way she is having these extreme tantrums/ crying episodes. Perhaps she is actually jealous and she can't explain why and she's having a hard time dealing with not being a baby and not being a pre-schooler anymore. I would recommend you reading this book ( a second hand copy from Amazon would be very cheap)

'Kid Cooperation How to stop yelling,nagging and pleading and get kids to cooperate' by Elizabeth Pantly.

This will give you some amazing tools to get her to do what you want for example, there is something in there called 'Grandma's Rule: You may do _________________ after you have done________________. So that is one tool you can use on a daily basis.

Maybe ask her to do one thing for a while and then gradually building in a bit more responsibility when you feel is the right time.

why i said about the baby thing is b/c early on i thought my LO wasn't bothered about baby. one year down the line, she most certainly is.

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#5 of 27 Old 04-14-2009, 04:42 PM
 
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This has worked for her thus far and so she will continue to use it to her advantage. Since you have such a small one you will need your husbands total cooperation in this. Be 100% consistent and make opportunities to practice 3-4 times a day when you have the strength and resources to handle a long drawn out tantrum.

Keep chores simple and straight forward. expect them to take some hand holding.
expect the tantrum and be ready to deal with it as long as it takes.
eventually she will see that the hissy fit gets her no where. and being defiant is not to her advantage.
Once she has completed the task thank her. if you have other things to do carry on to the next thing (although i recommend working on getting her to do one chore with a cheerful attitude and then moving on to two etc. and even still at 5 I would spread a few simple chores out throughout the day)

Do not send her to her room. Like you said she has already figured out that this works to her advantage. She gets out of doing whatever for however long. mission accomplished. instead keep her right by your side. don't get frustrated or angry at her just calmly restate what you would like her to do. repeat instructions in as as few words as possible. don't nag or lecture or reason or bribe. she is 5. they are masters at tuning you out . . . every few minutes. if she says something about I don't know where the garbage is for example simply state the facts. yes you do. now please clear the table.

So for example:
dd it is time for you to pick up your legos (pleasant and confident)
whining tantrum ensues . . .
stop crying and pick up your legos (pleasant and confident)
more screaming shaking and angry words
you may not speak like that to people. pick up the legos and calm down when you are done we will talk about your feelings. (pleasant and confident)
whaaaaaa
start cleaning up your legos dd (pleasant and confident)
I don't know where they go . . .
you silly. you can't fool me. you know where they go. put them away right now please then we can play outside together (pleasant and confident)
repeat, standing right by her side until she does what she is asked
"thank you. would you like to talk about your feelings now?
(if yes, have a pleasant chat, so long as she can chat pleasantly, brain storm ideas about how cleaning can be more fun, easier, when and how it is ok to express her feelings etc )
if no: Thank you for your cooperation. I love it when you pick up your toys like I asked. you are a good helper! hugs and kisses. you may go play now! (or whatever . . . )

the important thing is that you remain calm and confident and cheerful. really her crying and raging is not hurting anyone. it is not even hurting her. so look at it as an opportunity to over come this behavior and instill good qualities in your dd. Every tantrum is an opportunity for growth. you may need to do this 100 times before it sinks in. the more tantrums she has in a day though means you will get to that 100 times so much faster I know it seems overwhelming but with consistency and patience you can get her past this. She may never jump at the opportunity to do chores but perhaps you will at least have pleasant cooperation.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#6 of 27 Old 04-14-2009, 06:15 PM
 
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This is weird but I had a visceral reaction to your post. I think I must really relate to your DD.
I remember being told to stay in my room until I cleaned it when I was little and I used to get so angry and cry and scream. To this day I hate being told what to do and will sometimes not do something (like the dishes) simply because my DH told me to. It is so immature and dysfunctional but I guess I'm still rebelling.

I'm just wondering if your DD would respond better if you give her a time frame in which to do things of her own volition? Help her find her own motivation to do things and phrase things in such as way so that she feels happy to help. Like "It would be really helpful to me if you could put the plates on the table" and don't force her to comply every time. I notice my DD likes to be a big girl and clear her plate from the table but it's not a chore or something she "has" to do because I don't force her. Or you could ask her to help and give her two options so she gets to choose.

I know helping out around the house is important but it sounds like the tantrums are not really worth it. It might be easier with such little ones to let a few things go to have some peace for a little bit and then re-group.

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#7 of 27 Old 04-14-2009, 06:48 PM
 
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I was like that as a kid..and teen. I would do absolutely anything to avoid chores of any kind. these ideas are based off of what would help me, and what would trigger me!

try making everything be very, very specific. No room for any grey area. completely black and white. Instead of "clear off the table" it needs to be "pick up everyone's plate, and put it in the sink" Instead of "clean up your room" its "find all your clothes on the floor, and put them in this hamper" (and save other aspects of "clean your room" for later in the day, or another day, because multi-step is just too much) Instead of "wipe the kitchen counter", "use this wash cloth to wipe up those 2 spills" Stick to one step, clear, specific jobs. If she knows that there is a clear end in sight, she might be more willing (for example, she knows she'll be done/free as soon as all the plates from the table are in the sink) Resist adding another task once she's done ("now, get all the forks") because that takes her from thinking she's done, to,..starting all over!

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#8 of 27 Old 04-14-2009, 06:56 PM
 
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I would not make helping mandatory. If you take the pressure off, she will start helping again. Now, I'm not so good at following my own advice, but when I can manage to have a good attitude, this is what we do.

Who wants to help me do the dishes? You can wear the special yellow gloves!

Let's put the clothes away before we (watch cartoons, go outside, etc). It will get done faster if you help.

Can you clean up your toys or do some need to go into the attic for awhile b/c I can't clean them up every day.

Who wants to help with the recycling?

Who wants to help cook dinner or set the table?

I have one child who will put away the clothes and another that will help with the dishes. Usually they don't mind setting the table or getting the ketchup out of the fridge. Mostly I just need them to be doing something productive so I know they are out of trouble.

When ds2 was born, it was very difficult for a year. hth!
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#9 of 27 Old 04-14-2009, 11:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LiLStar View Post
I was like that as a kid..and teen. I would do absolutely anything to avoid chores of any kind. these ideas are based off of what would help me, and what would trigger me!

try making everything be very, very specific. No room for any grey area. completely black and white. Instead of "clear off the table" it needs to be "pick up everyone's plate, and put it in the sink" Instead of "clean up your room" its "find all your clothes on the floor, and put them in this hamper" (and save other aspects of "clean your room" for later in the day, or another day, because multi-step is just too much) Instead of "wipe the kitchen counter", "use this wash cloth to wipe up those 2 spills" Stick to one step, clear, specific jobs. If she knows that there is a clear end in sight, she might be more willing (for example, she knows she'll be done/free as soon as all the plates from the table are in the sink) Resist adding another task once she's done ("now, get all the forks") because that takes her from thinking she's done, to,..starting all over!
that is a really really good point! with my 5 year old I have to give her really specific one thing at a time instructions. "throw your dirty clothes out of your room" put the covers on your bed "arrange your babies nicely on your bed" bring me the dishes "wash the table" simple stuff like that. stuff that she can realistically complete in 2 minutes or less.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#10 of 27 Old 04-15-2009, 07:00 AM
 
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I don't agree with just letting her out of doing any chores whatsoever. Even at 5, children need to learn that part of being in a family means that sometimes, we have to do things we don't necessarily want to do.

I think that letting her tantrum, and not reacting to it in a negative way, might help. If she isn't getting the attention from tantruming, and she finds that she is still expected to do chores anyway, she might just stop it.
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#11 of 27 Old 04-15-2009, 03:17 PM
 
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It hardly sounds like your daughter is "flighty"! Sounds like she's quite intelligent actually, by manipulating you guys that way! Just a thought, that if you label her "flighty", those just might be prophecy-fulfilling words, so be careful with the labels.

You may not believe in this, since a lot of people think it's nuts, but since you're so desperate, I have to share my beliefs on it! I believe whole-heartedly in astrology. When each of our children was born, we drew up astrological charts for them (which goes so much further than "I'm a Leo" or "I'm a Pisces"). There's actually a sign in collaboration with each area of your child's life. The reason your son is so responsible may be simply due to the positioning of a certain sign in a certain place. And you can hardly expect your daughter to be just like your son, even if you don't believe in astrology. We have a 3-year-old girl and a 18-month-old girl and let me tell you, they are like night and day. Our 3-year-old is little miss structure and she needs her life very organized. But our 18-month-old is quite the opposite and is very much the free spirit who just wants to dance, sing, and draw pictures. The beauty of astrology is getting to embrace the really positive aspects of your child without being blindsided by the negatives. We all have negatives! It's only natural that our kids do too. Some kids require more patience than others, some need more emotion, some need more physical activity, etc etc etc. A really important factor, in my opinion, is the Moon position. Whatever sign the Moon was in at the moment of your birth represents how you are emotionally. There are 4 different elements for this - earth, air, fire, water, and I am totally convinced that in order to have a truly harmonious relationship with anyone - spouse, child, coworker, whoever - you have to have Moon signs in the same element. You can't control what Moon sign your child has (for me, I lucked out and DP, myself, and both of my daughters have water element Moon signs - so we're all particularly emotional and need to express our feeling A LOT). If your child's Moon sign is in a different element than yours, it becomes hard to understand how your child feels, and vice versa, and you may spend your entire life feeling like you can't relate to that child and it can lead to a very unsatisfactory relationship. There's nothing you can do to change that aspect of your personality, but understanding the differences can be really refreshing and healing for families.
If you'd like, I would be more than happy to draw up your daughter's astrological chart! I have a computer program that does it quite quickly and efficiently, and I can compare her chart to yours and see what differences there are. It helps me as a parent every day of my life to understand these aspects of my daughters. If you think astrology is nuts and that I'm crazy, that's fine too. But the offer stands if you want it. I'd just need the birth time of the person, the birth place (city and state), the year of birth, and time zone.

Kaiti, in heartbeat.gif with Shane, astrological mama to spitdrink.gif Sophie *12.27.05*, praying.gif Maya *09.25.07*, sleepytime.gif Phoenix *08.23.09* & 3rdtri.gif due *12.04.11*  Having a hbac.gif waterbirth.jpg lotbirth.gif after 3 cesareans!

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#12 of 27 Old 04-15-2009, 05:02 PM
 
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I am not in the camp that because she throws these tantrums it should excuse her from helping. She is only 5, but she is also 5 and a 5yo can help quite a bit(i know mine does). My kids are very aware that adults dont just get to do whatever they want to. Perhaps if you explained that Just as you have to do chores (make dinner, do laundry, dust, mop etc) she would see that shes not the only one helping. It also works for us to have the grandma rule (as someone else called it) its a very good motivator. If you work hard at cleaning up your room we will have time to play outside/watch tv/have dessert etc. Point is, im with you i wouldn't put up with these tantrums. Good luck.

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#13 of 27 Old 04-15-2009, 05:09 PM
 
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Have you tried a book or two about chores and why it is important to help out? Some mdc moms don't like the Berenstain bears but they always got the point across to my kids.

http://www.amazon.com/Berenstain-Bea.../dp/0060573821
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#14 of 27 Old 04-20-2009, 12:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for all your comments! They've given me some ideas, which is something at least.

~What if you helped her through her chores?
Done it. Doesn't help. Besides, one of the reasons I need the kids to do chores is because I simply don't have time or energy to do it all. (hubby works a lot, and can not change that, but most of the time he's away is after the kids are in bed, so they aren't missing out on time with him or anything)

~Have you tried making the chores optional, except for maybe picking up a bit after herself?
Done it. Doesn't help. She would NEVER do anything but play all day if she was given the choice. I take that back. One time last month she switched the laundry without being asked. Needless to say I was about floored.

~Kid Cooperation
I've owned this for about 6 years. I've done Grandma's rule. She would literally rather sit in a pile of dirt the entire day than to clean it up. But it's probably a good idea to read the book again. I also ordered a copy of Playful Parenting through the library exchange, but it hasn't arrived yet.

~Perhaps she is actually jealous and she can't explain why and she's having a hard time dealing with not being a baby and not being a pre-schooler anymore.
It's possible. But we have also read (twice) Siblings w/o Rivalry and follow it to a T! But my mother did mention maybe my 7 yr old is old enough to have special privileges (sometimes can stay up a half hour later than her, etc), my 2 yr old is little enough to have special treatment (can't think of any, but you know 2 year olds) and of course the baby gets whatever he wants... So, maybe indirectly it's the baby, but maybe more a "middle child" syndrome... Still don't think that's "it", but maybe a contributing factor.

~Keep chores simple and straight forward. expect them to take some hand holding.
expect the tantrum and be ready to deal with it as long as it takes.
eventually she will see that the hissy fit gets her no where. and being defiant is not to her advantage.
Once she has completed the task thank her. if you have other things to do carry on to the next thing

Oh, believe me, we've done it all. That "eventually" is going to be when she's 19, I think. She's got the hardest head I've ever seen!

~the important thing is that you remain calm and confident and cheerful. really her crying and raging is not hurting anyone. it is not even hurting her. so look at it as an opportunity to over come this behavior and instill good qualities in your dd. Every tantrum is an opportunity for growth.
I like this. I began with positivity, but she's broken me down and I get angry almost every time I ask her to do anything. I'm going to regroup and try again.

~I'm just wondering if your DD would respond better if you give her a time frame in which to do things of her own volition?
Oh, absolutely not. I mentioned the word flighty before. I SWEAR she's like a bad blond joke! And she's not blond. You know the one where when you say something in one ear it blows straight out the other ear? That literally happens, every day. I COUNTED the amount of time it took for her to forget what she was doing today (the third time it happened. AFTER I had her repeat it to me). 4 seconds. 4...seconds...
Even with that said, I have tried giving her a time-frame (I want X done by X time) but it didn't even sort of work, not even with several reminders.

~Or you could ask her to help and give her two options so she gets to choose.
All this gets me is a pouty, mumbled, angry "Neither!" So I use the "I gave you a chance to choose and you didn't so now I get to choose" which just gets a tantrum.

~I would not make helping mandatory. If you take the pressure off, she will start helping again.

Tried it. Tried everything you suggested and all it gets me is a "Not me!" She's got my 2 yr old saying "not me!" Grrrr.

~LilStar-Your post was DEAD ON! This is the only, and I mean ONLY thing, that has ever worked. And you'd better keep it to fewer than 4 steps, or it's going to be lost in that aforementioned 4 seconds. I think it frustrates me so much because my 2 year old can follow more steps than she can. And he even does all kinds of things without being told! He hears somebody needs a towel and he jumps to get one before anybody else can, etc.

~It hardly sounds like your daughter is "flighty"! Sounds like she's quite intelligent actually, by manipulating you guys that way!
I try to think so, but seriously. Tonight she was at the dinner table (hubby at work) and I was nursing the baby. My 2 yr old was going to waste food, so I asked her to "please take the pan to the kitchen and put it on the stove". She got up, grabbed the pan, dissappeared into the kitchen. One...Two...Three...She reappears, pan in hand, and puts the pan back on the table in the same spot from which she removed it. I said "Eva, put the pan on the stove, please". She startled like she was sleep walking or something and said "Oh!" and took the pan to the stove. AHHHHH! WTH is that?? That's what the whole freaking day is like. She literally does that ALL DAY. I counted 4 times today alone. We're careful what we say in front of the kids, but we frequently say behind her back that she lives in Eva Land. Sigh... I thought it was a toddler thing and she'd grow out of it, then I thought it might be related to food allergies (we have multiple food allergies in each child), but nothing has made it better.

~Astrology
I'm not a "believer", but I never rule anything out. I'd be grateful for a "reading", for all of us! If you only want to do her though, that's ok.
EST for all births
Jessica, 11:30 am, Traverse City, MI 1975
Jeremiah, 3:09 am, Limestone Maine, 1977
Julian, 1:49 pm, Lansing, MI '01
Eva, 6:49 pm, Okemos, MI '03
Jeremiah G, 6:09 pm, Okemos, MI '07
Logan, 4:26 am, Lansing, MI '08

~My kids are very aware that adults dont just get to do whatever they want to. Perhaps if you explained that Just as you have to do chores (make dinner, do laundry, dust, mop etc) she would see that shes not the only one helping
Every day. Every freaking day. We get a lot of "why do I have to", so we repeat it again, and again, and again...

~Have you tried a book or two about chores and why it is important to help out?
Actually, I have not! I doubt it will help a lot, but it certainly can not hurt. Thank you!

Thank you again for all your comments. If anything I've said above has sparked any more thoughts, PLEASE give them here. It's not just the chores that are making her go off, though that is the major point of contention at the moment.

She is crying because Julian called her a name, because she's frustrated with her lessons (we homeschool), just about anything. Multiple times she's said "everyone needs to be quiet! Everything you say is just making me angrier!", through gritted teeth, when nobody has said anything TO her. I asked her a question tonight and she spit the answer at me like I was a stupid A$$. Yesterday I asked her to stop trying to pull my 2 yr old back into the house and let him go out into our (fenced) backyard and she yelled at me that he was going to want to swing and she wasn't going to push him any more. Never mind that I hadn't asked her to push him...

We make it clear that it is not ok to be disrespectful to us, and treating us like that is disrespectful. We rephrase things she says in the way we would like to hear them. Etc. But she's just so angry and/or emotional. By the end of the day some days, between the baby, my 2 yr old and her, I just can't put up with her crap anymore. It's like somebody has got to stop, and the 2 littles can't, so she needs to get a handle on herself. Am I expecting too much of her? Am I using my litmus standard (my 1st, who's so even tempered and easy-going) unrealistically? I seriously don't know if maybe my expectations are out of whack, because it sure feels like it's not me but her...

Anyway, thanks again and I welcome more feedback.

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#15 of 27 Old 04-20-2009, 03:12 AM
 
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I have been noticing the "flightiness" in my 5 yr old dd lately- as have my friends with their 5 yr olds. I think it is developmental for her. So much going on in her brain. We have to repeat ourselves many times often and she acts like she just woke up when she finally hears. She also feels like she doesn't get enough time to play (only her whole day) and hates chores. I recently stumbled on something that helps. I sometimes ask her to do a chore i.e sweeping. I say "you can do an excellent job (nothing on the floor when she is done), a very good job (2 or 3 things etc left on floor), a good job, fair, poor etc. She really likes the challenge and finds it easier to focus somehow. Gets a kick out of doing an "excellent" job also which is nice to see. oh yah- sometimes playing cinderella works- she likes me to be the evil stepmom and meanly tell her to do things. Its awesome!! Good luck.
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#16 of 27 Old 04-20-2009, 05:16 AM
 
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Jessica, i think all that 'bad' behaviour is a cry for help.

i think what you have on your hands is a free spirit. and being consistent and structure is not going to work. in fact just the opposite is.

first 5 is a hard emotional age. it is the age when they become aware of the idea of freedom. which means their autonomy. plus the baby. it IS hard on her. plus from what you write esp. about the pan incident - it seems that is her personality. an absent minded child.

now i only have one child so my perspective could be v. skewed.

now a bb board is not a good place for 'conversation'... i may be wrong in how i am interpreting things. so here goes.

everything you write - your whole post read like 'why cant you be like them?' - meaning 'well behaved' like your other kids.

honestly i dont buy manipulation in kids. yeah some do it, but i feel that's ok. to manipulate. i always try to get the best and easiest for me, so why not her.

i would take a step back and work on this with your dh.

first of all lower your expectations. just coz your 7 year old and 2 year old can doesnt mean ur dd can too.

i would totally start asking from a different place. instead of commanding, request with ourselves there. for instance. instead of saying put the pan on the stove, you can say could you please help me out by putting the pan on the stove so ....'

hmmm her comment on the noise during homeschooling makes me wonder of SPD. mild SPD where she has sensitivities esp. sound and really struggles with it.

i seriously do think she is either a v. bright child or else an extremely imaginative child who might make a great writer someday. she seriously reminds me of the super bright members in my family who struggle even today to live a day to day life. in fact i am sure my aunt could possibly have the same pan incident with my uncle and i am sure they must have a similar story. they are the couple who should have separated many years ago but they didnt and its sad for me. i dearly love them both, and can so totally see their 'positives' but they cant in each other.

do you get much one on one time with her?

it really makes me sad to read that you think its her. if anything it might be a combination.

i think you have a wonderful little 'out of the box' girl - you guys just have to find hte right language to connect with each other. she might be difficult now, but she is going to wow you in future.

i know the term 'gifted' is controversial, but really it isnt. if she is way beyond her 'school level' (and i dont mean in reading and writing, but i mean in her comprehension skills, her maturity, her interest) even tho you hs, then parenting takes a different paradigm. if she's not and just absentminded - you cant change that either. you can work with it, but cant change it!!!!

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#17 of 27 Old 04-20-2009, 09:22 AM
 
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Your DD sounds *a lot* like my stepdaughter. She complains/throws tantrums often when we ask her to help with things (she has the same responsibilities every day, so the requests are not new).

One thing that has worked is not letting her do anything fun until the task at hand is completed, often framing it in a way in which if she does not complete the task in a fairly efficient manner, we will run out of time in which to do the fun thing. For example, she has to do certain tasks to get ready for school. If she does them quickly, she has time to play before we leave. If she whines and dawdles, she runs out of time. After running out of time a few times, she got much better about staying on task.

We get the "I'm too tired" excuse a lot. In the evening, we'll tell her that she can get ready for bed as soon as the task is done if she is really that tired, but it means that she can't do [insert activity]. Usually she decides that she isn't tired anymore.

For us, sending her to her room until she is ready to do whatever she is supposed to be doing does work, but since it isn't working for you, I agree with the poster saying to keep her right there by you until she is ready.

We definitely take the line that if you are a part of the family, you have responsibilities and privileges. And for my stepdaughter, being older than the other child, that means that she has more responsibilities, but also more privileges. We remind her of that often.

Good luck! It sounds like you have a challenge on your hands.

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#18 of 27 Old 04-20-2009, 01:39 PM
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~Have you tried making the chores optional, except for maybe picking up a bit after herself?
Done it. Doesn't help. She would NEVER do anything but play all day if she was given the choice. I take that back. One time last month she switched the laundry without being asked. Needless to say I was about floored.

By making the chores optional, I meant really optional, not an issue. Something isn't optional if you're still expected to do it. I meant lay off the chore thing and let her time be her own for awhile, until she's ready to do more. It sounds like she's ready to spontaneously do a little bit. She can help if she wants to, when she wants to.

When I was a child we were 'allowed' to dust and vacuum starting at about 7, but it was a privilege not something we had to do. By the time I was 14 I could clean the whole house and I and my sister just did things as they needed done when we had time. We were never made to help. We were 'allowed' to try specific chores as we got older. I'm a very creative, introspective person who enjoys thinking about the nature of the physical world and reality. I have a math degree and think modern physics is really interesting and just fun. I also read a lot and used to write poetry and short stories. All the reading and time to think helped as I got a full tuition scholarship when I went to college based on my ACT scores. I need time and quiet to just sit and think about things or imagine "what ifs". I would have gone crazy, or at least not become the same person I am now if I hadn't had the freedom to be idle as a child. At 5 my 'job' was to get along with my sister. Our parents worked, that's what adults did, not little kids. There's nothing wrong with a 5 year old playing all day long. Play is how small children learn. It's important. Slowly making what adults do part of her play is a way to teach your DD how to do work.

You should ask yourself "what do I want for my DD as a person". Do I want her to be a happy person. Do I want her to feel her life is peaceful and nice. Have you asked her what she's thinking about when she's so distracted she's forgotten why she went in the kitchen with a pan. I mean asked her in a nice "I'm curious and care about your life experience" kind of way , not in a "why can't you do this" tone. Ask yourself what your goals were when you had your DD. Did you want some extra hands to help around the house or some one to nurture so she could become the best herself she could be.

I also agree with Meemee. But would like to point out not only are people different, but it's really a wonderful thing they are. The world would suffer if some people weren't very different.
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#19 of 27 Old 04-20-2009, 04:39 PM
 
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A lot of this is my kiddo too... I think he doesn't always mesh with with modern society and would be happy on the African Savannah or something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gabbyraja View Post
I try to think so, but seriously. Tonight she was at the dinner table (hubby at work) and I was nursing the baby. My 2 yr old was going to waste food, so I asked her to "please take the pan to the kitchen and put it on the stove". She got up, grabbed the pan, dissappeared into the kitchen. One...Two...Three...She reappears, pan in hand, and puts the pan back on the table in the same spot from which she removed it. I said "Eva, put the pan on the stove, please". She startled like she was sleep walking or something and said "Oh!" and took the pan to the stove. AHHHHH! WTH is that?? That's what the whole freaking day is like. She literally does that ALL DAY. I counted 4 times today alone. We're careful what we say in front of the kids, but we frequently say behind her back that she lives in Eva Land. Sigh... I thought it was a toddler thing and she'd grow out of it, then I thought it might be related to food allergies (we have multiple food allergies in each child), but nothing has made it better.
see, this might say SPD to me too (i am also looking into this myself, as sometimes mine seems to just. not. hear.- like there is a world in his head all the time).
i also second the 'truly optional' chores. not worth the fight for me.
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#20 of 27 Old 04-20-2009, 05:05 PM
 
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First things first... when you're totally overwhelmed send me a pm and I'll watch your dd so you can get a break!! I'm serious.

A couple things...

While it does sound like this is a learned behavior, I don't think it's a manipulation to get out of work... but in a sense it may be a manipulation for attention. It also may be that she's having trouble controlling her emotions to the point where she loses it and then it gets worse and worse like a panic or anxiety attack. I might even suggest getting a counselor's point of view to see if it is a panic attack type situation and get some help with decompressing her so she can refocus in that situation.

Have you tried a VERY VERY strict schedule with her?? Yes, there is still 'free' time as in from 9-9:30 she may free play, etc. You can augment this with a timer -- one that will count down visually like an egg timer or one with lights. From 9:30-9:45 it's cleanup time. Anything left out goes away for 1 week. From 9:45-10:30 it's outside play. 10:30-10:40 pick up. 10:40-10:45 go inside, shoes off, wash hands. Scheduled down to the minute.

Give her a signal for when she's very angry/frustrated... for example a red index card in her pocket. She may hold up the card and go to a predetermined cool down space for 5 minutes (use the timer). A good place would be one you could see her like the corner of the dining room (I've used the rug by the front door), instead of a bedroom where she can play. She gets 5 red cards per day. Use it like you would time out/in, once she's cool you can repeat the directions or have a chat with her.

Try wearing her... I know at 5 she's big so I'm thinking like only for 5-10 minutes at a time to reconnect. You could also try a weighted vest or dedicated cuddle time.

See if you can determine what her "love language" is. That might help you figure out how she can give/receive your attention. Google the 5 love languages or check out a book on it... there's truth to it... I've seen many a classroom bully become a softie when I asked them to pull staples from a bulletin board!

Does she have a lovey?? It might work if the lovey helps her with stuff (and it will be comforting to her). At 5 and with a new baby in the house she might just be really insecure.

She's obviously going through something. Kudos to you mama for looking for help!!! You obviously care about her and your family. You're doing a great job!

B wife to B and mama to my two boys B 1/23/07 via csect and H 9/27/08 my vbac babe!
We , selectively (don't) vax, babywear, cosleep, love music, and try to be as crunchy as we can get!
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#21 of 27 Old 04-23-2009, 02:11 PM
 
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how about a reward chart?
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#22 of 27 Old 04-23-2009, 02:46 PM
 
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~Kid Cooperation
I've owned this for about 6 years. I've done Grandma's rule. She would literally rather sit in a pile of dirt the entire day than to clean it up. But it's probably a good idea to read the book again. I also ordered a copy of Playful Parenting through the library exchange, but it hasn't arrived yet.

~I'm just wondering if your DD would respond better if you give her a time frame in which to do things of her own volition?
Oh, absolutely not. I mentioned the word flighty before. I SWEAR she's like a bad blond joke! And she's not blond. You know the one where when you say something in one ear it blows straight out the other ear? That literally happens, every day. I COUNTED the amount of time it took for her to forget what she was doing today (the third time it happened. AFTER I had her repeat it to me). 4 seconds. 4...seconds..
Even with that said, I have tried giving her a time-frame (I want X done by X time) but it didn't even sort of work, not even with several reminders..


~Or you could ask her to help and give her two options so she gets to choose.
All this gets me is a pouty, mumbled, angry "Neither!" So I use the "I gave you a chance to choose and you didn't so now I get to choose" which just gets a tantrum.

~I would not make helping mandatory. If you take the pressure off, she will start helping again.

Tried it. Tried everything you suggested and all it gets me is a "Not me!" She's got my 2 yr old saying "not me!" Grrrr.

~LilStar-Your post was DEAD ON! This is the only, and I mean ONLY thing, that has ever worked. And you'd better keep it to fewer than 4 steps, or it's going to be lost in that aforementioned 4 seconds. I think it frustrates me so much because my 2 year old can follow more steps than she can. And he even does all kinds of things without being told! He hears somebody needs a towel and he jumps to get one before anybody else can, etc.

~It hardly sounds like your daughter is "flighty"! Sounds like she's quite intelligent actually, by manipulating you guys that way!
I try to think so, but seriously. Tonight she was at the dinner table (hubby at work) and I was nursing the baby. My 2 yr old was going to waste food, so I asked her to "please take the pan to the kitchen and put it on the stove". She got up, grabbed the pan, dissappeared into the kitchen. One...Two...Three...She reappears, pan in hand, and puts the pan back on the table in the same spot from which she removed it. I said "Eva, put the pan on the stove, please". She startled like she was sleep walking or something and said "Oh!" and took the pan to the stove. AHHHHH! WTH is that?? That's what the whole freaking day is like. She literally does that ALL DAY. I counted 4 times today alone. We're careful what we say in front of the kids, but we frequently say behind her back that she lives in Eva Land. Sigh... I thought it was a toddler thing and she'd grow out of it, then I thought it might be related to food allergies (we have multiple food allergies in each child), but nothing has made it better.

She is crying because Julian called her a name, because she's frustrated with her lessons (we homeschool), just about anything. Multiple times she's said "everyone needs to be quiet! Everything you say is just making me angrier!", through gritted teeth, when nobody has said anything TO her. I asked her a question tonight and she spit the answer at me like I was a stupid A$$. Yesterday I asked her to stop trying to pull my 2 yr old back into the house and let him go out into our (fenced) backyard and she yelled at me that he was going to want to swing and she wasn't going to push him any more. Never mind that I hadn't asked her to push him...

We make it clear that it is not ok to be disrespectful to us, and treating us like that is disrespectful. We rephrase things she says in the way we would like to hear them. Etc. But she's just so angry and/or emotional. By the end of the day some days, between the baby, my 2 yr old and her, I just can't put up with her crap anymore. It's like somebody has got to stop, and the 2 littles can't, so she needs to get a handle on herself. Am I expecting too much of her? Am I using my litmus standard (my 1st, who's so even tempered and easy-going) unrealistically? I seriously don't know if maybe my expectations are out of whack, because it sure feels like it's not me but her...

Anyway, thanks again and I welcome more feedback.
That sound a lot like my 10 year old DD. She has ADD. This is why she can't focus.. can't remember what she is told, forgets what she is doing in the middle of it. .She takes forever to do anything when she does do it. For instance it can take her 5 hours just to unload the dishwasher. I also have to give her step by step instructions.. once step at a time. If I give her more than one step.. she forgets.

ADD children often have mineral deficiencies.

I would suggest you see your health care professional to check into deficiencies and the possibility of ADD.
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#23 of 27 Old 04-23-2009, 02:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by gabbyraja View Post
~It hardly sounds like your daughter is "flighty"! Sounds like she's quite intelligent actually, by manipulating you guys that way!
I try to think so, but seriously. Tonight she was at the dinner table (hubby at work) and I was nursing the baby. My 2 yr old was going to waste food, so I asked her to "please take the pan to the kitchen and put it on the stove". She got up, grabbed the pan, dissappeared into the kitchen. One...Two...Three...She reappears, pan in hand, and puts the pan back on the table in the same spot from which she removed it. I said "Eva, put the pan on the stove, please". She startled like she was sleep walking or something and said "Oh!" and took the pan to the stove. AHHHHH! WTH is that?? That's what the whole freaking day is like. She literally does that ALL DAY. I counted 4 times today alone. We're careful what we say in front of the kids, but we frequently say behind her back that she lives in Eva Land. Sigh... I thought it was a toddler thing and she'd grow out of it, then I thought it might be related to food allergies (we have multiple food allergies in each child), but nothing has made it better.
Sorry if this has been mentioned... but um... einstein couldn't even figure out how to tie his own shoes or get himself dressed as a child. Turns out he was just stuck in his own head. You never know what could really be going on in there, but she sounds distracted, not flighty.

Just throwing that out there.

If it's a distraction from her own intellegence issue, though, I think you're going to have to take a COMPLETELY different route. The regular parenting stuff isn't going to work. Maybe figure out what she's interested in and work THAT into her chores? Something that brings her interest into it.

I'm no Einstein, but I certainly live in my own head and am not much of a housekeeper. The times that it DOES interest me is when I learn a new way of doing something or I get a new thing to do it with (or if it's really visibly obvious I'll usually drag myself over to deal with it).

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#24 of 27 Old 09-08-2013, 08:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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lol, I was just back here looking for an old thread about mattresses and saw this. I read through it again, and BOY those were the days.


Turns out aniT had it on the head. I did some REMARKABLE things to change our diets and our health. It isn't until I look back at things like this that I realize how far we've come. First, there was an unrecognized allergy to onions and garlic. When we got rid of them everybody's health and mostly mental state improved dramatically! And soy for my daughter. Now when she has soy  (chinese takeout, for example) we know to watch for the outbursts of anger. She gets irritable, can't take the noise of the other kids, and is just mean in words and actions. Needless to say, we avoid soy 364 days a year. :)

When I started using supplements in an orthomolecular fashion she improved DRASTICALLY! Now she is 10, but since the change has been 95% (she *is* still a kid) cooperative, understanding, gentle with siblings (we added a sister for her in 2010, whom she loves more than any of us! She caught her in the birth tub), happy/cheerful most of the time, etc. She still has "eva moments", butt hey are few and far between now.

After this whole thread about my daughter, it turned out that my then 2 yr old ended up with the worst side effects of our SAD diet and lack of minerals. He's come the farthest. Ad dd#2 was only 6 months old when we made the changes, so she's the healthiest kid I've got! She rarely gets ill, is in the 95-97%tile on growth charts for height and weight (then 2 yr old fell off the chart on the low end for months at a time), etc.

Anyway, thanks for your advice and help back then!


FAs, co-sleeping, babywearing, extended nursing, positive parenting, homeschooler

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#25 of 27 Old 09-08-2013, 08:44 AM
 
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 Now when she has soy  (chinese takeout, for example) we know to watch for the outbursts of anger. She gets irritable, can't take the noise of the other kids, and is just mean in words and actions. Needless to say, we avoid soy 364 days a year. :)


Anyway, thanks for your advice and help back then!

I love when these old threads get updates, and, especially, good endings!  My daughter's main allergy symptoms for wheat and rice is exactly what you've described, down to the inability to tolerate anything but silence and the meanness.  For wheat she adds tears and red-faced rages.  I'm glad you figured this one out.  I've often wondered whether juvenile detention centers shouldn't test for hidden allergies for this very reason.  Most people miss this connection.

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#26 of 27 Old 09-08-2013, 12:55 PM
 
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When I started using supplements in an orthomolecular fashion she improved DRASTICALLY!

After this whole thread about my daughter, it turned out that my then 2 yr old ended up with the worst side effects of our SAD diet and lack of minerals. He's come the farthest. Ad dd#2 was only 6 months old when we made the changes, so she's the healthiest kid I've got! She rarely gets ill, is in the 95-97%tile on growth charts for height and weight (then 2 yr old fell off the chart on the low end for months at a time), etc.

 

 

this sounds great, what did you change foodwise, what were some of the supplements that helped with emotional regulation? do tell!

 

and yes, thanks for the update.

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#27 of 27 Old 09-09-2013, 06:32 AM
 
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I wonder - have you ever said to your daughter that "but your brother (which ever one) could/can do this!"? Not every child can do things/process info the same way. And being compared to another child - especially one she lives with - could be very demoralizing. 

 

I agree that breaking down each of her chores into specific steps is the way to go. But I'd take it a step further. Write it down and/or add graphics. It's hard for a lot of five yo's to really pcture what "clean your room" means, what steps are involved. And it is therefore overwhelming. I'd also work through each chore WITH her a few times. Then ease off - start helping, then tell her you'll be right back but could she move on to the next step, then come back in a few minutes. Increase that time as she gets used to the routine. 

 

I'd also try some motivation for special Mommy & Me time, since she IS the only girl. Dad can use Daddy and Me time. "Hey, kiddo! If we get this done, we'll have time for you and me to go for a walk/paint our nails/go for an ice cream/whatever!" It sounds like she could use some TLC, to be honest. 

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