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#1 of 25 Old 12-01-2011, 03:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello,

 

My 9 year old is going through a stage that I would prefer she just rush through but this particular phase is lingering. It is the: "This sucks" "Life is unfair" "My Popsicle is too cold...."

 

I've tried multiple things:

 

1) Sat her down and explained that she lives in a nice little neighborhood in New England with great schools, roof over head, loving family and three meals a day....I am also a SAHM so little girl gets driven to and from school...comes home to snacks and a very excited little sister to play with. 

 

2) Being compassionate: "I'm sorry you feel uncomfortable in your life...lets list positive things"

 

3) Listening to the power of positivity cd's in the car.

 

The negativity is really WAY to much. I could barely hear the Cd's due to the heckling from the back seat. Flash forward to last weekend when after 30 minutes (out of a 40 minute drive) to an activity FOR HER THAT SHE WANTED she kept saying: "I'm bored...this sucks...I hate cars, this music is awful, sister is looking at me...." I pulled the car over. Took her out of the car and I got back in, locked the doors, rolled down the window and said: "Are you bored now honey?" 

 

She got back in and was quiet the last 10 minutes. 

 

I am writing this post as a parent. I fully realize that my actions need to change in order for the situation to change. In my currect parent tool box I am not equipped with a good relationship building way of helping my DD through this so yes, selfishly, I can get my sanity back. 

 

 

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#2 of 25 Old 12-01-2011, 03:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok after re-reading my whine I think maybe it was a smaller issue then I am feeling it to be. 

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#3 of 25 Old 12-01-2011, 09:01 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ecomama2two View Post

Ok after re-reading my whine I think maybe it was a smaller issue then I am feeling it to be. 



You know, any time our kids take a negative turn, it can be overwhelming.... even if it's normal, even if it's a phase that will pass... it's still not a joy to live through! I think your car situation was well handled and frankly, I'd just continue in that manner. If she's going to constantly complain about something, she doesn't have to have it, period. 

 

Lots of kids go through this. For my DD, it was at age 13.... ick! I just listened for when something seemed a viable concern or frustration and offered support but then stopped her or left the room when she was just being whiny for the sake of it. It has seemed to pass and 14 has been much better for us.

 

I'd look at the kids she's hanging out with. Is she with girls who like to act older? There are some girls this age who like to "play teenager" as I call it. They act how they think teens should act... everything sucks, talk about boyfriends, ect. If she's in a group like this, I'd see about broadening her horizons with interest based friends passionate about the arts, sports, SOMETHING.


Married mom of two, DD 17 and DS 13.
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#4 of 25 Old 12-01-2011, 09:16 AM
 
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I'm sorry but you made me laugh!  You took her out of the car!!!  Are you bored now?!  Holy heck I've wanted to pull over and drop them off somewhere anywhere!  I have girls and man do they complain!  I was thinking they might be picking it up from DH and I but we're annoyingly optimistic way too often!  I think it's a phase. 

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#5 of 25 Old 12-01-2011, 09:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ecomama2two View Post

 

 

I am writing this post as a parent. I fully realize that my actions need to change in order for the situation to change. In my currect parent tool box I am not equipped with a good relationship building way of helping my DD through this so yes, selfishly, I can get my sanity back. 

 

 



Well, I think you are doing fine as a parent. It isn't easy to be around someone who is negative all the time, even if that person is someone we love dearly. If you had only posted about the issue and were asking for advice, then I'd probably suggest the things you've listed.

 

The one thing I might possibly add, (and I suspect you are doing this but just didn't write it here), is explore some of the sources of her unhappiness with her and try some problem-solving, rather than just pointing out how good she her life is. It's a little tricky, because you don't want her to wallow in it, but if there really are some troublesome issues then maybe brainstorming some solutions might help her. Even just saying, "Okay, you have a problem, is there a solution?" might help her re-frame things a little.

 

Clearly, re-framing and looking for solutions isn't going to work all the time. I'm laughing a little (in sympathy and recognition) at "My popsicle is too cold" and "My sister is looking at me". Deep breaths (for both of you) help too.

 

  

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#6 of 25 Old 12-01-2011, 10:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your responses, I truly appreciate them :)

 

I'm going to try complete positive reinforcement every time she saids something that isn't a complaint or whine...say things like: "Wow, what a great way of expression!" I don't know, she is my eldest...this is all new for me. And she acts on the young side so has no interest in teenagers yet EXCEPT I said she could walk to the library @ 14 and she can not wait for that to happen.

 

A little back story on DD#1. She is nine. Totally into Science and Band (Flute). The family pet: Boo boo the cat is her best friend. Sport: Gymnastics and LOVES Girl scouts. She is a good kid. Straight A's.

 

It is the constant:

"Mom, seriously drive slower..."

"This dinner makes me think we are poor"

"Homework sucks"

"My toys suck"

 

OMG!~!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#7 of 25 Old 12-01-2011, 10:59 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecomama2two View Post

 

"Mom, seriously drive slower..."



I'm a fairly mellow parent, and I've lived through my kids puberty,  but this wouldn't fly at our house. If I were driving my child someone place for them and they made a comment about my driving, I'd turn the car around, drive home, and send them to their room. That would be it. This is just rude and unacceptable behavior, and is not appropriate behavior for ANY age. It's also different than being negative.

 

I honestly think you are going down the wrong path to attempt to teach her to be positive. Although I believe being positive is extremely important and is something we can all work on with our kids from time to time (our family goes around the table every night and each person says one thing they are grateful for) the situation you describe is that your kid is chronically unhappy  and very rude and you are trying to talk her into being happy.

 

It isn't you job to make your kid happy. Until you realize that and let go of that responsibility, you will both be miserable. By constantly engaging in these conversations with her, you are re-enforcing her nonsense.

 

Homework does suck and a lot of kids this age are confused about which toys they are ready to let go of and how they want to spend their free time, but insulting family members is never, ever OK, and is not in the same category of stating how one feels.

 

I'm also a little curious what the relationship is between you and her father -- does he talk to you like this? Where has she learned that this is acceptable? What is going on at home that you think of your child insulting you in the same category as whining about homework?

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but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#8 of 25 Old 12-01-2011, 11:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yup, I see where you might ask about my spouse. But no, she doesn't get it from there. And her actions are not tolerated and we do discipline. It is the circle of act up/discipline act up/discipline that is wearing me down. It's noisy and unpleasant. Did you read the part of me removing her from the car? And yes I know it is not my job to be friends but to parent...which I've been doing...am I wrong to find it tiring? Am I wrong to ask if there is a better way to handle the situation then I already am? 

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#9 of 25 Old 12-01-2011, 01:41 PM
 
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HUGS to you... I also chuckled at the thought of you locking her out of the car : )

 

Not sure if this is it, but it sounds A LOT like how my daughter acted at the start of puberty, right around that age.  Were you an early bloomer?  Have you seen any physical signs? 

 

I didn't know how to deal with the negativity and I responded with a lot of anger and sarcasm.  I realized we were headed down a long, long path if I didn't figure out what was going on. 

 

I read a ton of books on puberty and preteens and got a lot of insight.  I let my dd know that I wouldn't tolerate her bad attitude but when she was in a good mood and behaving appropriately I responded positively.  I started treating her more like an adult and less like a child, giving her a little more freedom, including her in discussions about her chores and allowance, asking for her opinion when shopping.  Treating her like an older child made her act like an older, more well-behaved child.

 

Good luck...keep us posted. 

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#10 of 25 Old 12-01-2011, 03:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecomama2two View Post

..am I wrong to find it tiring? Am I wrong to ask if there is a better way to handle the situation then I already am? 



I thought you were looking for suggestions so I offered some -- to rephrase:

 

1. I would separate out in my own head when she is being RUDE vs when she is being NEGATIVE.  These aren't the same and the same responses are not appropriate.

 

2. I would be very cut and dry when she is rude, and it wouldn't involve much talking from me at all. It still wouldn't be pleasant, but it wouldn't be noisy. "Eerily quiet" is more like the response my kid would get. From what you describe, I think you are reinforcing the behavior.

 

3. When she is negative, I would practice active listening rather than offer solutions or attempting to get her to pivot to a more positive feeling. Sometimes with active listening, people DO pivot to more positive feelings, sometimes they don't. But at least in the end, they feel heard.

 

What I found tiring at this age was that when my kids were little, I could easily make them happy, and then I felt OK. That was no longer possible, so I had to figure out to feel OK even whey they weren't. I had to separate from them emotional, find my own center, and stay there. That was a difficult transition for me. But the more I was able to do so, the less of a cycle their mood became for us. Me not jumping in there with them was helpful for them.

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#11 of 25 Old 12-01-2011, 03:55 PM
 
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I second Linda.  DD1 is on a rude kick.  She'll do something or say something rude and when I confront her she yells "Sorry" then runs off.  I follow her and I usually tell her that I don't want the sorry, I want the actions or words to stop and yelling at me will not get me to leave you alone.  I'm pretty calm in the morning even when I haven't had my coffee.  Though she tries the rude crud a lot lately and DH will ignore her until she changes how she speaks.  She hates it but gets the point.  He told her that talking to him like he's dirt hurts him and she feels pretty bad about it and changes how she speaks to him.  She talks differently to me because I do put up with more and she's rude to her sister.  So our issues are more mom and daughter.  I have been putting my foot down and seeing an improvement.  I won't speak to her if she addresses me like I'm trash and unworthy of her time.  Treat me like the damn Queen B I am!  

 

I told her yesterday I didn't squeeze her out of my vagina for her to treat me like trash.  She stopped for a minute then said, yeah you did kinda of grow me... Ok... I'll try harder. 

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#12 of 25 Old 12-02-2011, 04:40 AM
 
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Its funny, Lindaonthemove, please try not to take this the wrong way. I have often read your posts and think 'goodness she's harsh!' But I go on to agree with what you are saying. For the most part I agree with Linda on how to handle the situation. My very own 12 yo, Sophie, went thru the VERY same thing when she was 9. She went from being a lovely, chatting, giggly, sweet little girl to being this moody, miserable, chronically rude little monster in the blink of an eye. I have 12 yo twin girls(!!) and they are my oldest. It hit me out of nowhere. Sophie was always a little moody, even as a toddler, she was quite demanding. Ive done a lot of what Linda is suggesting, Ive done all the things you say you wanna do too, and the only thing that's worked is the tough love approach. Her sister, Julie, I can talk to her and she comes to her senses, but Sophie needs to be dealt with differently. I hated doing it, but the only thing that worked was tough love. She would need to be restricted/grounded, priveleges needed taking away, and graphic demonstrations like the way you did with the car episode, those are the things that work for her. The only things. Talking to her, empathising with her, trying to be positive with her, none of that works, it only feeds this seemingly attention seeking thing she's got going. We're still working on it, she's still got this moody thing going but its a much more improved situation than it was when it started.

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#13 of 25 Old 12-02-2011, 08:49 AM
 
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Its funny, Lindaonthemove, please try not to take this the wrong way. I have often read your posts and think 'goodness she's harsh!'.


yeah, I know I sometimes come across as harsh.  The thing is, on a day to day basis, I'm not harsh. I'm a really mellow mom. My kids can dress how they want, wear their hair as they want, read and watch what they want. They both have facebook accounts. They can say how they feel, even if swear words best help them express those feelings. They can pick their own activities, and are encouraged to think for themselves. We spend lots of time together doing fun things -- I still read to them every night and we spend a lot of time in nature as a family.

 

They have a lot of freedom to figure out who they really are and what their passions are in life.

 

But, there is a line in how they treat others (including me) and I do have a very no-nonsense approach to setting that line. Tons and tons of freedom, but a very clear line that isn't to be crossed.

 

I chose the word "rude" rather than "disrespectful" intentionally. I think that "respect" is often used to mean that our offspring are supposed to kiss our a$$es because we are their parents, and I don't believe that. I think we have just as much responsibility to treat them with respect, and that we ought to be better at it because we have more maturity and self control. I don't require my children treat me with more "respect" than I treat them, or that I expect them to treat others. But I require that they be *polite* to others -- their friends, their teachers, each other, me and their dad, and (most difficult for them) kids they don't like. 

 

 

 

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#14 of 25 Old 12-02-2011, 09:00 AM
 
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Exactly!  I hate being spoken to like I'm garbage.  I told DD1 I'd like to see her speak to her teacher the way she speaks to me.  Yeah she said that would be rude... duh.gif

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#15 of 25 Old 12-02-2011, 08:40 PM
 
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I suggest not feeding into her complaints by talking each one through with her. It sounds like the conversations are doing nothing but draining your energy. A conversation is a good thing to have when children have a problem but I have found that turning complaints into a conversation causes them to turn from a minor grumble to a validated problem. If I feel any need to respond to my dd's negativity I say something like "I am sorry to hear that /sorry you feel that way" and I leave it at that.

You daughter may just be venting to feel heard or to get something mildly annoying off her chest and you may be making it worse by trying to convince her that she is wrong and should be more positive. I know that I was always very irritated and more set in my negative mood when my mother reacted by trying to change my mind. Even now I usually want to just feel heard, not reinforced or argued with but just heard. Maybe that is all your DD wants from you. I suggest limiting yourself to a one sentence response or even no response for a few weeks to see if that helps.
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#16 of 25 Old 12-03-2011, 06:57 AM
 
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I do think putting her out of the car crossed a line. I was fine when you pulled over - I would have. And then sat there until she figured it out and apologized. But lock her out of the car? No. IMO.

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#17 of 25 Old 12-03-2011, 07:01 AM
 
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I disagree, Id have done something similar with my child if she persisted with that attitude and nothing else I had tried worked. Absolutely.

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#18 of 25 Old 12-03-2011, 08:08 AM
 
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Heck I've ran out of my house and locked myself in my car with both girls chasing behind me still bickering and complaining to me and about me. 

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#19 of 25 Old 12-05-2011, 07:06 AM
 
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I wouldn't act in a way that is abandonment -- kicking a kid out of a car or the house, saying I wish they had never been born, etc. I think it's all really inappropriate and has no place for parents who are attempting to practice gentle discipline.

 

Of course I understand loosing one's temper and doing/saying things that aren't in alignment with our values. None of us is perfect -- I suspect no one lives up to their parenting standards all the time. But I don't think that kicking a child out of a car is part of GD.

 


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#20 of 25 Old 12-05-2011, 07:51 AM
 
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No it's not GD, but I can why some people do it.  As in they have had enough!  I literally almost lost it the other night.  I was close to going to work just to get away from the bickering and fighting amongst the girls.  DD1 was at a level of disrespect that made me and DH want to run for the hills.  I think we were both trying to find a reason to not be home.  I have wanted to pull over and let them walk home.  I haven't done it but I've wanted to!

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I wouldn't act in a way that is abandonment -- kicking a kid out of a car or the house, saying I wish they had never been born, etc. I think it's all really inappropriate and has no place for parents who are attempting to practice gentle discipline.

 

Of course I understand loosing one's temper and doing/saying things that aren't in alignment with our values. None of us is perfect -- I suspect no one lives up to their parenting standards all the time. But I don't think that kicking a child out of a car is part of GD.

 



 

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#21 of 25 Old 12-13-2011, 09:32 AM
 
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OP, you are too hard on yourself! the car story is AWESOME!!! hilarious! I have 9 yo and YES!!!!!! it's like that!!!! I think more mama humor will help me! 

 

no actual suggestions, just stop blaming yourself. we love them but they are annoying. on the other hand, i do think their lives are hard, and for the first time it's more hard than fun and i suspect they don't know what to do with this, and are thinking life is just going to get worse, and never better.

 

I find it disturbing that the car incident is considered inappropriate/non-GD. you were sitting right there. you juxtaposed the situation to shake up her perspective. you did not humiliate her. you did not terrify her. you did not endanger or abandon her. 

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#22 of 25 Old 12-13-2011, 06:13 PM
 
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I agree you are being hard on yourself. It sounds to me like you are doing a fantastic job. I would focus on not allowing the negativity to affect my mood and attitude, as much as possible. I would also pull back on special privileges and treats if they are not being appreciated.

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I do think putting her out of the car crossed a line. I was fine when you pulled over - I would have. And then sat there until she figured it out and apologized. But lock her out of the car? No. IMO.


Obviously she didn't leave her locked out.  It was a dramatisation of the "privilege" not "right" nature of her ride to her activity that I feel has artistic merit and stirred a truth somewhere deep in my own soul.  So  I wouldn't agree with the above quote. 

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#24 of 25 Old 12-18-2011, 04:41 PM
 
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OMG  I can sure relate.  Sometimes I would be tempted to drive off (Not really, but you know)   I have a 9 year old DD as well. 

 

 

I am so tired of the negativety, manipulation, and moodiness I am ready to scream.  Just today DH and I were joking that we wish we were back to changing diapers and waking up every two hours, that was easy : )

 

 

We did find out our DD has anxiety issues so we are working with someone to help us learn how to help her with coping skills.  Sometimes I feel like me staying at home and giving her so much attention has just spoiled her. 

 

One minute she hates life, the next minute she is laughing and begging to go to a friends house.  My mom tells me it is just the hormones and her taking anger out from mean girl dynamics from school.  She assures me that by 14, she will be heading back to normal.  I can only hope. 

 

DD really is an amazing girl.  But, I do get scared sometimes that the negativety will last and will follow her into adulthood. 

 

 

hugs to you.  There needs to be a "tween" girl support thread. 


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#25 of 25 Old 12-26-2011, 10:58 PM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by ecomama2two View Post

My 9 year old is going through a stage that I would prefer she just rush through but this particular phase is lingering. It is the: "This sucks" "Life is unfair" "My Popsicle is too cold...."



 

I went through this phase as a teenager.

 

First off, you can't "beat" positivity into someone nor can you nag them about it.

 

I think what she needs is an outlet, a creative outlet; a way to express herself whether it be via poetry, writing, drawing, painting, art, etc. That way, it's not directed at the family as much.

 

My phase ended and I'm now a positive, happy adult.

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