I hope some of you who have BTDT with a 7 yo (my experience w dd1 was so different) can help. I am worried about how my almost 7 yo is defensive and can't admit to simple mistakes. She blames her siblings for everything and can't take responsibility for anything. I am a pretty gentle disciplinarian, but at the end of that particular journey with her due to her inability to listen and retain my simple requests and age-appropriate expectations.
For example: she will have arguments and screaming matches with her almost 3 yo brother rather than offering solutions (as is modeled for her), she doesn't remember to do her chores and has to be reminded every day, she will shut down and refuse to have very simple, non-threatening conversations about a concern and she is very defensive and can't just say, "I'm so sorry". Tonight she told me I was a bad mother. Ouch.
I'm feeling like I'm not equipped to deal with this. She is bright and I *know* that her memory is functioning. I worry that her pride and defensiveness will get in the way of her relationships and prevent her from trying new things in the future.
This started in small doses 1/2 way through last school year and has intensified since then. She is very social and has lots of friends and enjoys her Montessori school.
Any advice is appreciated!
My ds2 is 11 now, but sounds so much like your dd at that age! Now this may have absolutely nothing to do with your dd's issues, but I'll just lay it out there an see if you see any similiarities.
My ds is gifted with a learning disability. He was able to compensate for his learning disability up until the middle/end of second grade because he was so damn bright! Due to him being so smart, we missed a lot of the signs that he was struggling.
As his struggles became more difficult, he became more moody, more reactive, less able to cope with any stress. Basically, he was spending so much time just trying to hide the fact that he was struggling in school, that he just couldn't seem to handle anything else. He became defensive, because he was afraid to look stupid. His self confidence was so shot due to his struggling, that everything became a battle. He reacted defensively to anything he thought was even slightly negative.
Could there be something that has shaken your dd's self confidence?
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I can't speak much on the sibling thing except from the perspective of being a sibling, but something a lot of parents have reported as working (and something that works well in a daycare setting) is watching the child who seems to not be at fault. There may be something your three year old does that your older child really can't cope with because it helps him get his way or get your attention, even young toddlers do this and it is easier to distract and redirect an odd attention seeking behavior than an irate child who isn't able or willing to listen.
try this book. and it will help YOU a lot to cope. it will help you see your dd for who she is.
the first page itself made me cry. because it described my dd to a T and reminded me of when i was a child too.
i know with my dd when she is at fault she NEVER wants to be reminded of it. i leave it alone and she comes to me on her own and tells me what happened. but yes as pp pointed out, i think it isnt so much about your dd but perhaps there is something your 3 year old does that drives ur dd batty. i mean remember your dd cant do her own thing because she is making allowances for the baby. plus i think at her age too most children have a hard time with younger kids.