Five-year-old is talking back, yelling and disrespectful!! Have no more patience for this... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 8 Old 06-11-2013, 12:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Our family is really struggling because of our 5 yr old DD's behavior. DH and I are really stressed by it and it's a constant issue in our house but I'm feeling pretty lost in how to handle her awful behavior. The gentle approach we've used hasn't work, nor does yelling, nor does it help to take her toys away. I can tell that she's hurting but I need some suggestions, please. 

 

DD is a strong-willed girl and normal discipline has never worked with her. But lately things have escalated and her behavior has gotten pretty terrible. She yells at us, at her  little brother, her grandparents, etc. She can be so incredibly disrespectful and downright bratty. DD talks snotty to us in our home and out. I've steered away from play dates because I hate to have our friends see her behave this way for fear that it'll affect long-term relationships. 

 

Here are just a few examples of what happens daily, and keep in mind, these are MILD examples. The yelling at us is much more upsetting and worrisome, but I don't have examples off the top of my head.

 

Me: "DD, we've really enjoyed our reading time but now we need to put our books back on our shelf." 

DD: "NO!!!" 

Me: Now getting firm with her because I'm just so dang tired of this behavior, "DD, it's not okay for you to talk to me that way. Please help clean-up your books."

DD: With snotty disregard, "Nope, not going to."

Finally, solution is me raising my voice with her and counting to 5 at which point she does help pick-up, but not without plenty of sassiness.

 

Another example:

DD: "Go get me a hair ribbon."

Me: "Um, you need to try that again, please."

DD: With total snotty voice..."PLEASE, go get a hair ribbon."

Me: "You said please but you need to ask it in way that is respectful."

This goes on for a bit and finally she'll ask it in a somewhat nicer way and I'll get her ribbon. 

 

 

DH and I are constantly saying, "How could you say that differently?" "Please try that again." "That's very disrespectful, we don't talk that way in our family." etc. etc. etc...NO AFFECT on her!

 

Also, she has a terrible time sharing with her brother (and often friends). She yells if brother comes in her room, she won't share any books or toys with him and even is possessive over library books. I really feel like sharing should no longer be an issue...she's FIVE...this seems abnormal. What are your thoughts?  I'm tired of this. 

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#2 of 8 Old 06-11-2013, 02:50 PM
 
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I think you're handling the tone of voice issue well. It does take time but if you are consistent and every single time tell her to talk to you in a different way, she will get it.

The stuff with the brother sounds like some pretty serious sibling rivalry stuff. Have you heard of the book Siblings Without Rivalry? It's by the authors of How To Talk To Kids, which would probably also help with your dd if you haven't read it. My kids are far apart in age and so we don't have a lot of trouble with sibling rivalry, so I'm going to let parents with more experience in that area comment on that.

The one thing I'd suggest is that often it seems like the less you talk, the more powerful the message. So saying, "You're going to have to ask me in a nicer way" and then going about your business until you hear her ask in a nicer way might help. Also, sometimes having one thing you say every time, rather than having a different conversation about it every time, can help. So, something like, "Speak nicely" or whatever, but say the same thing every single time, and then try not to let her drag it into a power struggle. That's really the big thing about not using too many word and having conversations about it - at this age they sometimes take that as an invitation to turn it into a big power struggle.

Anyway, I am sure you'll get more responses and I hope something someone says helps!
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#3 of 8 Old 06-11-2013, 07:21 PM
 
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I have similar issues I our house with DS nearly 5 and DD nearly 2. I have been watching closely lately and realizing that some of my son's barking commands is simply because he is busy or grumpy so the default response is abrupt or unkind. I found a simply "try again" or "do over" is enough to remind him in a friendly way to use respectful language/tone. I just thought of something else I want to try, since DS is so into spelling lately. I'll do my best Aretha and sing " r-e-s-p-e-c-t! Find out what it means to me!" Might help me to keep my good humor about it.

Another recent observation is that often the sharing drama is more related to how a child is approached. When busy/grumpy, it's easy to default into the snatch and grab or a curt remark about being left to play alone. Again, it usually just takes the gentle reminder that we always ask to use it next, or ask his little sister for some space, etc. using a sweet tone really resets the entire sharing transaction, for the most part. Impulse control takes lots of practice, so the grabbing of a toy can often just be that blind drive for what they see without even really noticing that there's a hand holding it. Does that make sense?

My son is excellent about sweetly asking for turns around new people or more social situations, but easily forgets his manners at home. He knows it, but is just so comfortable in his zone that social niceties can be forgotten more easily at home. I know this happens to me at home. I don't always speak or act quite as civilized as I would in a social situation, though I should.
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#4 of 8 Old 06-12-2013, 02:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckymamaoftwo View Post
Me: "DD, we've really enjoyed our reading time but now we need to put our books back on our shelf." 

DD: "NO!!!" 

Me: Now getting firm with her because I'm just so dang tired of this behavior, "DD, it's not okay for you to talk to me that way. Please help clean-up your books."

DD: With snotty disregard, "Nope, not going to."

Finally, solution is me raising my voice with her and counting to 5 at which point she does help pick-up, but not without plenty of sassiness.

 

Another example:

DD: "Go get me a hair ribbon."

Me: "Um, you need to try that again, please."

DD: With total snotty voice..."PLEASE, go get a hair ribbon."

Me: "You said please but you need to ask it in way that is respectful."

This goes on for a bit and finally she'll ask it in a somewhat nicer way and I'll get her ribbon. 

 

 

DH and I are constantly saying, "How could you say that differently?" "Please try that again." "That's very disrespectful, we don't talk that way in our family." etc. etc. etc...NO AFFECT on her!

 

Also, she has a terrible time sharing with her brother (and often friends). She yells if brother comes in her room, she won't share any books or toys with him and even is possessive over library books. I really feel like sharing should no longer be an issue...she's FIVE...this seems abnormal. What are your thoughts?  I'm tired of this. 

Is it that she does not want to stop reading or she just doesn't want to participate in putting things away?  Maybe instead of mentioning the end of a fun activity, bring up the next fun activity.  

Like, "let's go look for butterflies in the backyard once we've put our books away" or "let's play hide & seek once we put our awesome books away"...if it's not really a fun activity that's coming next - maybe try to make it funny.  To be honest, no one way always works - but for strong willed kids, I think, playful parenting works better than do as I say, even if I'm being polite about it way.  At least that's what I see with my kid...it allows him to "save face".  As far as manners, some kids inherently always say please/thank you - my kids don't.  But when my kids do, they really mean it in the moment - like "wow, thank you mom for getting me this M&M tshirt - I love it".  But sometimes, when ds1 wants something, it's just not an automatic habit for him to say "Please Mom, can you get me some juice" - sometimes it's just "Mom, get me juice".  I usually consider his tone of voice - I don't always say please either, and if it sounds bratty, I'll usually say "wow, that didn't sound convincing to me" or "i'm sorry, did the invisible servant just arrive?"  - sometimes, he laughs and repeats saying please, but sometimes, he's just feeling bratty or irritated or whatever and does exactly what your dd does - please with a really snotty tone of voice.  5 is not so old yet - many adults have problems being polite, whether they say please or not

As far as sharing, I've never yet met anyone that didn't have sibling rivalry who had siblings.  What works for me (sometimes) is to ask ds1 to help ds2 learn something, do something, play with a toy - and I always emphasize how much ds2 looks up to him and how lucky ds2 is to have an older brother to teach him.  Btw, ds1 is 5, and I still see that he and all his friends have problems sharing...if he's playing with kids his age, I just let them figure it out, but once in a while I do ask him to stop grabbing everything out of ds2's hands.  I'm wondering does your dd have enough things that are truly hers and no one expects her to share?  I mean we adults don't just automatically share everything with our friends (or our kids), so she may be trying to find the boundaries of what really needs to be shared and what is truly hers to decide what to do with.

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#5 of 8 Old 06-12-2013, 04:46 PM
 
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Maybe you could try more "I" statements.  "I'd be happy to get that if you ask me nicely."  "I'd be happy to do X as soon as your books are picked up."  

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#6 of 8 Old 06-12-2013, 05:35 PM
 
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Have you ruled out any medical issues - my dd has been a little toad the last 6 months - turns out she's celiac
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#7 of 8 Old 06-16-2013, 09:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi, thanks for the replies. We haven't explored any medical issues. I do find that her snottiness and tone of voice seems to be connected to the quality of her sleep, and SLEEP is a constant issue for our girl. Always has been.  But truthfully there are days that she is just plain difficult and has a nasty voice/attitude all day despite getting plenty of good sleep, so..? She is definitely a strong-willed child (I'll really appreciate this some day, right?), and playful parenting does seem to help some. I like the suggestion to use "I" statements rather than always saying "You need to use a nice tone" etc.

 

Lmkl, I"ll try your suggestion of  "let's go look for butterflies in the backyard once we've put our books away" or "let's play hide & seek once we put our awesome books away"...if it's not really a fun activity that's coming next - maybe try to make it funny. Although I don't feel like her defiant "NO" is coming from a desire to continue reading books...often times she's already moving on to independent play and therefore doesn't want to bother taking a step back to clean-up previous play's mess. Make sense?

 

All snottiness aside, I do feel that her "thank yous" and politeness is very sincere. It's just the days where she is so darn difficult that cloud all that sweetness and sincerity! After my OP, we've had 3 great scream-free, polite-talking days that I appreciate very much.

I'll keep checking back for responses. Thanks!!

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#8 of 8 Old 06-16-2013, 09:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, and regarding the sibling sharing stuff, I do still feel that she's on the extreme end of her lack of sharing with her brother. It's really pretty awful, and seems more than just typical sibling stuff. I mean, she won't share a darn thing with her brother, nor will she let him step into her room and if he does, then comes the yelling/pushing/screaming at him to "GET OUT." I feel so bad for the little guy. On the flip side, she expects him to share with her and can waltz in and out of his room any time (which really, I think their rooms at this age should be accessible to one another). One night she had a huge meltdown that rocked the family all due to brother and I reading a library book that she had chosen and checked out. Aack!

Anyway, I'll check out the book mentioned in a previous post!

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