4 1/2 yr old not doing what I say to do/doing what I say not to do!! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 11-14-2013, 10:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Please others tell me their experiences. DD has had some of these issues all along but now I find it harder to deal with. I feel SOOOO frustrated alot (!) of the time. I feel like almost every night I lay down with her and tell her I am sorry for behaving badly. This is becoming such a pattern that I am afraid it is becoming part of her ( mommy who gets mad etc). I could use some advice how to handle myself but more on if this is normal.


Here are some examples of time she does what I tell her not to do them-I tell her to stop grabbing at the tooth, she does; I tell her to not cut anything other than paper, I tell her to not draw on wall, I tell her to not put the dogs on a leash inside, I tell her not to yell when dogs are barking, I tell her to wait to go into the fridge etc. It all sounds so normal when I write it down but it feels over the top in real life.  She also will do something, often, the second after I tell her not to. ("don't pour it out" and she does)


She also had a hard time doing what I tell her- come inside, go into bathroom, lie down etc


Again, as I write this it seems so normal but in reality I feel so stressed out all the time. Everything seems like a constant effort and I have to say things over and over.


Which is ironic or something because the third issue si have is her constant inturrupting, asking the same question over and over and over and over again. I mean seriously she will ask me the same thing 10 times in 5 minutes (it could be "can I watch a movie" or it could be a "why" question)


Any experiences or thoughts???

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#2 of 4 Old 11-19-2013, 08:07 AM
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GAAAHHH.  We have had this problem off and on since our kid was 3; he's now almost 9.  It's so frustrating!  I understand completely how much it wears on you even though it sounds like such little problems--it's the non-cooperation that hurts my feelings and seems like he doesn't realize I'm the parent (why doesn't he feel the fear of disappointing his parents that seemed to be instinctive to me when I was a child??), plus the cumulative effect of being defied over and over again.  So, I don't have any foolproof strategies, but these are some things that help when we make ourselves do them instead of just shrieking the first thing that comes to our frustrated minds....


Say what you want, not what you don't want.  Instead of, "Don't pour it out," say, "Keep it in the cup."  For something that's a persistent problem, give the positive instruction before the negative behavior begins.  For example, I used to get frustrated that my son would fill his cup completely with water, brush his teeth, use a little water for rinsing, then dump the rest of the water down the sink and waste it.  I tried, "Take only as much water as you're going to use," but that didn't work--he really liked filling the cup to the top.  So I started saying, while he was still brushing, "Give your extra water to the plant," pointing to the potted plant that's next to the sink.  Now he usually remembers to pour the rest of the water into the plant pot.  (I have to remember not to water that plant myself--it's getting more than enough from him!)


Say, "When...then..."  Instead of, "Don't turn on the radio," say, "When Daddy gets up, then we can listen to the radio."  Instead of just, "Pick up the markers," say, "When you have picked up your markers, then we can go to the park."  This lets her know that she WILL be allowed to do the thing she wants to do, just not NOW.


When she does something that you have previously, recently told her not to do, impose a logical consequence immediately.  Don't give a warning.  It is a lot easier to stay calm when you act quickly instead of letting repeated noncompliance get to you.  For example, she's drawing on the wall, although you told her yesterday and last week and many times in the past 3 years that drawing on the wall is not allowed, so you know she knows it's not allowed.  Take the crayons away.  Say, "Crayons are only for drawing on paper.  Because you were drawing on the wall, you may not use the crayons any more today."  Put the crayons out of reach.  If she begs for them back, repeat, "Because you were drawing on the wall, you may not use the crayons any more today."  Next day, when she asks for the crayons, say, "Tell me how you are going to use the crayons."  She should be able to explain that she will draw only on paper.  Give a very positive reaction, "That's right!  Crayons are for drawing on paper!  Let's get out the paper."  Get her all set up to do it right, then get out the crayons.


At night when you apologize for behaving badly, is she also apologizing for HER bad behavior?  If not, I think you need to find a different way of discussing this.  I agree it's important to model responsibility for our actions, but you're right that doing this frequently--if it's one-sided--can give her the impression that Mommy getting mad is the real problem here, and she'll focus on that rather than on changing her behaviors that trigger you.  I feel more successful with apologizing right after spinning out of control and then explaining: "I'm sorry I yelled.  When you waste water, I feel angry.  We are lucky to have clean water to drink.  We need to use it wisely."  I try to just *briefly* state the triggering action and then keep the focus on how *I* feel and what *we* do when we're doing it right.  If you go on and on about what your child did wrong, it starts to feel like a harangue that's easy to tune out, plus you're emphasizing what you *don't* want.  But it's crucial to say *something* about why you were mad.  The book Parent Effectiveness Training is an oldie but goodie filled with great examples of how to do the "When you... I feel... because..." thing well.

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#3 of 4 Old 11-20-2013, 10:03 PM
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I'm in the exact same boat! My 4.5 and my 7 yr old completely ignore all my requests constantly. I yelled this evening saying listen to me I'm your mother!!! I don't have any advice, just commiseration.
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#4 of 4 Old 11-22-2013, 01:25 PM
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HI - did any of you have your child do the pre-kindergarten screening?  Here in Minnesota, all 3 year olds can be screened.  At this screening, my DD scored 12 when 15 was minimum.  We were referred to other childhood screeners and just completed that process.  It was a much more in-depth process looking at 5 different areas and had two testers, two testing sessions that were one-on-one, and one observation session at her preschool.  We received the results that I have been reluctantly starting to absorb.  My DD was diagnosed as Developmentally Delayed.  Her two areas (she needed to score two standard deviations below normal to 'qualify') of concern are language processing and cognitive development.  Having her evaluators and the lead preschool teacher plus my husband and my observations all coming together to say -> she just may not understand what we are asking/saying and if she does, she may not know how to communicate back.


We are going to take advantage of the Early Childhood Special Education one-on-one sessions being offered to her to help her with the goal that by next year she will be at peer level and ready for kindergarten.


Another option we are looking into is hiring a speech/language pathologist to observe her and possibly use their services as well.  If you hear speech pathologist and think only about how kids speak, this is not everything that they do.  Speech/language pathologists also can help children (and adults too!) process language.


So long way of saying, when we ask our DD something and she gives us a blank stare, does not look at us, answers inappropriately (Cinderella is one of her favorite answers regardless of the question), that she either may not a) understand our question and/or b) know how to communicate in return.


My personal experience is that I was in a car accident several years ago and diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injury and had only 10 sessions with a speech pathologist.  Odd, right?  Well those 10 sessions change my life around and I was able to process language again.  For me, I would want to say something, and felt the inside of my brain was running around trying to find a word, then trying to put words together, then finally a sentence would come out.  For us, that all comes without even thinking.  For others, it can be a challenge.


So for the past year, my hubby and I have been wondering...   Can our dd do/say things and choosing NOT to?  Or is it that she just cannot.  I am sure now there is some combination of that for our answer.  Now we are looking at helping her improve her ability.  The behavior/choice aspect is something else.


Good Luck!

Cheryl, mom to Olivia Grace (May 2009), Zackary James (Jun 2012)

both hypnobabies births

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