DD1 just turned 6 at the end of April. She has always been a pretty sweet and compassionate kid but of course had her "moments" as any kid does. She is usually fairly compliant and easy-going. However, ever since she turned 6 her personality has changed a bit. She is not as easy to get along with, and even developed some mean habits with her little sister that she didn't have before (snatching things from her, pushing ect.) I know this is normal kids stuff but it's just not like her. She has also gotten a bit more defiant and she does NOT let things go when she doesn't get what she wants. She will pout, and whine and complain all day about it and she used to be able to just move on and forget about it. She used to be so much more easy going but now I don't know what happened to her. She is still generally a great kid but all these little difficulties creeping in at once have caught me off guard. there has been a lot going on in her life lately too, she has a DD3 on the way, she recently had a big dance recital, grandparents came to visit and some travelling too so I know it could be any one of those things too. But I can't help but think it might be developmental thing and part of her growing up too. Either way it is kind of driving me nuts! Especially the REFUSAL to let things go when she isn't getting what she wants. I need suggestions, insights, and experiences!
Ds is going to be 6 in August and you just described him exactly! The snatching from younger sib, the defiance, not letting things go!
He also seems to get wound up really easily (which was always true to some extent, but the 0-60 of crazed energy, uncontrollable body seems to have gotten worse).
I hope a BTDT parent of a 6.5 year old will tell us that it is a short lived new to 6 thing!
Yep it's normal. Going through this myself, although my son's personality change struck more at 6 1/2 (So it's fairly recent, as he will be 7 in August). I even whined to his teacher about it, and she reassured me it's all part of normal development, and he will come back to his sweet self eventually!
yes it is a short lived thing (but doesnt feel so when you are going through it).
i call it first signs of prepuberty. i think their v. uncharacteristic behaviour is hormonal.
the problem becomes how to parent. how to be unsderstanding, yet firm.
dd is an intense child. as long as she was mean to me - i was ok with it. she hit me and threw such huge tantrums. i kinda let her have it. she would go to sleep afterwards it took so much out of her.
however i only did it coz i could tell she was not 'present'. plus she only did it to me. in our case her case was even more intense because she lead a v. structured life at school, at her dad's. she needed a place to vent. which was at mine. so i gave her the freedom to vent. most of the times she was greatly sorry afterwards and apologized.
when she got out of it - i cried. because that little girl was gone. she was a young lady with perfect manners who did not argue with the nos. she had matured in a subtle way that i cant put into words.
dd today at ten is going thru pretween things. the hard part is learning a new way of parenting. i tell you it feels this is second time around as i saw her first when she was in K.
the answer is not easy. how is more about intuition. for my child's emotional well being i had to give her freedom. for my friend's son they had to do the opposite. become even structured and stop him. THAT helped him coz he needed the comfort of structure. dd loses it with structure.
so really this stage is really all about you. just know that just coz your child behaves this way, this is not going to be for ever.
the most important thing. take care of YOURSELF. and you will find you will be able to handle the episodes much better and will actually know what to do. if you are frustrated - it helps no one. neither you nor your kids.
My dd, 6, has not been a sweet, gentle kid for q. a few years now but I did find that various changes that have happened, she has picked up at school. I guess the first full time year of school does have a part to play. One of our neighbor's kids also 6, has come out of his shyness. Same goes for dd. She was a v. good listener at the beginning of school. Her teacher said that she was the only one that was focused first thing in the morning. But by the time she hit 6 she had gotten bolder, ignoring instructions and becoming more talkative. At home it's just that she is a more motivated child waking up more or less on time (not always) and not groggy and stubborn at school time.
Don't imagine the worst incidents in your emotional life -- keep a positive attitude.
I haven't BTDT, but I've seen sooooo many topics on this site about six-year-old girls having this problem, so it's gotta be normal. It's amazing at how consistently it is always age six. (Sometimes the topics are about boys, but it's less common.)
Thanks for the responses everyone, this is all very helpful and reassuring!
Any suggestions for curbing the bad attitudes and helping her move on (rather than continuing to argue and whine) when I say "no." ?
imho - this is all hormonal. so its very difficult to predict what will work at different times. what might work once might not work the next time.
the key is you try to keep such things at a minimal. you do that by making sure they eat well, they rest well and they get their heebee jeebies out. i have found a hungry tired child just cannot respond to anything you try to do. they are too caught in their own thing.
i would say dont try to 'curb'. they need to vent, they need to let it out. make sure you draw the limit. for us it was you can do whatever you want at home, but not outside. you can do anything you want to me, but not to anyone else.
as long dd kept to those rules she could throw her tantrums. and she always did.
This is the beginning CrunchyMama. the reason why i call this first puberty. you will see this go away for a while. then it will appear in pretween. preteen, teens ... and if you hold your horses (which is why i say this is about the adults not the child) they will do their thing and you will have your happy relationship again after they are done with their teenage years.
i see this between my mother and me, i see this in my family and my ex's family too.
in the meantime you have to figure out how to evolve as a parent. how to talk to kids so kids will listen and how to listen (is that the name fo the book) while it maybe still a little young to follow is a great guide for parents. so is your 6 year old by Louis bates ames.
humor works really well at this age. BUT you also have to remember, are you changing too. they want more autonomy. are you giving it to them within safe ways.
i hope others have more concrete advice.
Going through a similar thing with my 6.5 yr old DS. Glad to know I'm not alone!
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter" ~~ MLK
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