Negative Nelly? Or just a normal 4-year-old? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 12-15-2012, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
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My daughter, who will be 5 in a few weeks, has so many wonderful traits...she is extremely caring and sensitive, outgoing and social, thoughtful, well behaved especially when she is around others, and very open to trying new experiences (she is always the kid jumping in the middle of the group to start dancing; or have a big smile on her face when trying a new activity).

However, she has been SO negative lately.  Constantly complaining how we never buy her anything, complaining that she's "stupid" if one little thing goes wrong (today it was spilling flour on the floor while trying to help me cook), complaining that all her friends treat her mean, complaining that her house and everyone/everything is boring, etc. etc. etc.  Lately I've been trying to help her focus on positives, so right before bed we talk about her favorite thing that happened that day.  It usually goes something like tonight: "I liked playing with the beads, but NO FRIENDS were home for me to play with!!!!"  I feel like, in her world, NOTHING is right.  When I try to ask her about it, she has a hard time responding in any way other than the most recent frustration...she has a hard time evaluating or thinking beyond the current frustrations whether we are talking about what's upsetting her OR what makes her feel good.

She generally gets enough sleep (11-12 hours per night); we have her in preschool 2 days per week plus a few physical activities (she needs a lot of exercise to be happy--easier said than done during winter in Minnesota)...we try to find a balance between having enough to do, but not too much.  When we've overbooked ourselves we always try to take a step back and help her relax, but it doesn't seem to affect her either way.

So my concern in the long run is that she'll sort of turn out to be this cranky, negative person with a dark outlook--alienating others and feeling bad about herself.  OR--this is just normal almost-5-year-old behavior. 

Any ideas?

Thanks for your thoughts!

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#2 of 5 Old 12-15-2012, 10:01 PM
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yup yup. normal age appropriate behaviour. i see it as a way of expressing their awareness of the world. 


you will see some sadness at times, almost like depression. but remember that is part of the process too. at 5 dd brought up stuff she had been ok with and was just so down that that was what life was like. 


then as she grew older and understood more seh got better. 

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#3 of 5 Old 12-19-2012, 12:42 PM
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I have identical girls who turn five Feb. 2, and I could have written your post exactly, word for word.  Except we live in MD and not Minn. 


So, I like to think it's normal behavior!

Mom to : Belle and Izzy
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#4 of 5 Old 01-04-2013, 12:39 PM
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My littlest dd is just six and this is her to a T - still. She can start on long tales of woe which end up with her being very frustrated and cross so we've started stopping her when she starts on one and saying that dragging all this out again (for instance) isn't helping change anything so can we just not talk about it please? We compliment her when things go well for her and tell her when we see her smiling doing something so that in that moment she can see things are ok.


She can now recognise when she's starting to get unreasonable and it's not that we don't listen to her at all; just not the 'woe is me' whining when it hits the third time of repeating! From what I've seen with my other children, the being bored thing does ease with time too when they become more able to just be, without having to be doing something and also when reading becomes more for pleasure than a chore.


Hang on in there and try not to lose your sense of humour:)

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#5 of 5 Old 01-19-2013, 06:49 PM
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My DD will be 5 in 2 months and same thing. I actually was relieved to read this because I have been very concerned lately. She is either happy/not a care in the world or woe is me/depressed/blah. She also is extremely caring, sensitive, empathic towards others, and very smart. I am wondering if this is something common with kids who are extra aware of what is going on around them at a young age. Not sure but it is draining me thats for sure. I've begun to do nightly foot rubs with lavender EO which seem to help her anxiety and going to pick up Sweet Orange EO which is supposedly good for depression as a pick me up. I don't think the fact that its winter and we aren't outside as much is helping.......thx for the post and good luck!

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