Attitude of a six year old? - Mothering Forums
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The Childhood Years > Attitude of a six year old?
Girlsmama's Avatar Girlsmama 10:50 PM 07-15-2007
I'm new here but i'm looking for some words of wisdom or advice about my six year old DD, she's only been six for about a month but latley she has been so sassy, and nothing seems to be helping.......
I'm at my wits end, i have four other kids and i hate focusing on the 6 year old all the time with disipline, is this just a phase? will it ever end?!

mamaduck's Avatar mamaduck 11:02 PM 07-15-2007
This thread might be interesting to you!
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=710618
bdavis337's Avatar bdavis337 11:15 PM 07-15-2007
Seems like we need a "six years old" sticky lately!

I played Mousetrap with my 6 yo this evening and it was such a different experience than the last time we played, probably about 4 months ago. He couldn't stay seated, talked the ENTIRE time, had his hands on every single piece of the game.....we had fun, but I'm worn out just from that 45 minutes of fun!
annettemarie's Avatar annettemarie 11:21 PM 07-15-2007
We're going through this at our house as well. My sweet-as-pie little helper has become the biggest backtalker in three counties. We're just doing a lot of gentle reminding and trying to ride it out. I've also started teaching her how to cook, and she loves seeing if she's "big enough" for other household tasks. Twice this week she's cleaned my bathroom. So, there are positives and negatives I guess.
Embee's Avatar Embee 12:30 AM 07-16-2007
Without hesitation, I can say that 6 has been most difficult. There was a lot of hype about 2 that just never came to pass. And while there were sensitivities at 3, we dealt with them in stride. Four had it's moments for sure, but still in the course of everyday life, we managed without prolonged stress. Five was relatively uneventful.

Six has been so very hard. Tense, INtense, sassy, unpredictable, explosive, rebellious to the point of putting himself in danger, food has become an issue for the first time, sensory issues are heightened, stomachaches have increased, I could go on (and on). DS is clearly at odds within himself, and then also with me. He wants desperately to be independent and yet, still needs me. If I offer that something he's doing could be dangerous, "let's find a way of making this safer." he'll sound off his frustrations (oh so sassy!) and continue on. OTOH, If I opt to hold my tongue and allow him to experience natural consequences, and he does happen to fall and scrape a knee? Yep, you guessed it, ALL my fault! "Why didn't you tell me it was dangerous?!" I read in the Ilg and Ames book (Your Six Year Old) that the 6 year and his mother are often "embroiled." Yes, 'embroiled' hit it dead on.

However, for however hard he's been on me, DS is hardest on himself, "I'm so stupid." "You wished you never had me as your kid." That last one said said in frustration at having to stop playing and go with me to the bank--we'd been playing ALL morning. I told him of our plans and gave him ample time to transition. I expressed some frustration because of his dawdling (because we were under the time gun), and he decided that I must never have wanted a kid because hey, if you did you would make darned sure that the world revolved around me! The drama of this age knows no bounds. I believe the Ilg and Ames book described it this way, "The 6 year old is an egomaniac as all the ages that come before it. The difference at 6 however being that YOU are no longer the center of his world, *HE* is. Yes, this resonated with me.

The most difficult part of all of it though, has been my extreme difficulty in maintaining my attachment with DS. I have to work harder than I ever have and in DS's eyes I'm rarely doing enough, or the right things. It used to be a matter of just making time, plopping down and playing with him, letting him take the lead. Voila, instant reconnection. But at this age, even my surefire reconnection approach only helps about 1/2 the time, if that. At some point during this tumultuous year, I finally said to myself: I'm just going to do the best I can, relax as much as I can, try not to be too hard on him (or me!), and most importantly, continue trying to maintain the connection between us.

DS is 6 1/2 now. Things are easing. Very much so in fact. I think we reached a peak about 2 months ago and I'm seeing DS coming into a new way of being. More centered, more calm. Our relationship is on more even ground, and we're finding new ways to connect as he is forever changing and growing. There was a time not so long ago that we couldn't get through a day (an hour) without drama and I'm realizing it's been a month or two with relatively little.

My best advice? Take a deep breath, hang on and hang in there! Yes mama, this too shall pass.

The best,
Em
Girlsmama's Avatar Girlsmama 01:20 AM 07-16-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Embee View Post
DS is 6 1/2 now. Things are easing. Very much so in fact. I think we reached a peak about 2 months ago and I'm seeing DS coming into a new way of being. More centered, more calm. Our relationship is on more even ground, and we're finding new ways to connect as he is forever changing and growing. There was a time not so long ago that we couldn't get through a day (an hour) without drama and I'm realizing it's been a month or two with relatively little.

My best advice? Take a deep breath, hang on and hang in there! Yes mama, this too shall pass.

The best,
Em

Thanks so much for this! It's nice to know that my 6 year old isnt the only one, oh boy am i hanging in there!
Terrilein's Avatar Terrilein 03:03 AM 07-16-2007
You are so not alone and I agree with embee - toddlerhood was a breeze for us even if there were constant issues to deal with. 6 is so very intense, the sassing is shocking, the dawdling is annoying and the demands on my time and attention (like every 2 minutes "MaMAAAAAAAA!") is draining. But the sassing has gotten better, dd is learning that a family works as a team and she's so wonderfully helpful. As for the dawdling, I just schedule in extra time for before we need to go anywhere and she does try, but still gets terribly distracted. She's also learning to wait until I'm done with XYZ before I can do/make her something. But honestly, the girl still just drains all my energy.
mamaduck's Avatar mamaduck 09:14 AM 07-16-2007
There must be a componant to all of this that involves our own personal trigger points. I have enjoyed age 6 so much with each of my kids! The intensity really doesn't bother me -- really excites me actually! Toddlerhood was very hard for me though. I wonder if -- when we hit a wall like this, related to a certain age - if it might be helpful to do some self-examination to figure out what triggers us and why.
zaftigmama's Avatar zaftigmama 09:51 AM 07-16-2007
I came to MDC just to see what I could find about 6 year olds - because mine is making me absolutely crazy lately. This thread does set my mind at rest.

My dd turned 6 early June. She was fine during the end of the school year, and then we all had two weeks off. She started camp last week, and says she loves it. But she's been horrible at home. Everyone I talk to about it says she's probably just tired from being at camp and being so busy and stuff. Which could be part of the explanation.

But she's really been off at home. She's whiny, cries at the drop of a hat, is fresh and rude to her brother, very sassy and bossy to me and dh. And all of these are new behaviors - all at once. I mean, obviously she was fresh once in a while, or whined about something, but not all the time. She is very clingy - we went to a birthday party and she wouldn't participate at all, just hung on me and cried about something. And everyone that knows her kept asking what was wrong - it's just so unlike her.

My sister swears that the last six months of every year are easier than the first, but all of this just came up so suddenly. I've talked to her to make sure nothing has happened, and nothing comes up. I feel terrible because I've been dreading spending any time with her, and this is our summer vacation.

I'm at a loss - but reading this thread is definitely inspiring.

Take care,
USAmma's Avatar USAmma 03:50 PM 07-16-2007
I read somewhere that at age 6 girls go through a hormone surge that prepares them for puberty. They do get more emotional and also they start to get more hair on their legs (and prepare to get it elsewhere). My dd went through that right on schedule. I mean, she's acting like a little teenager and on one hand I'm laughing about the stuff she gets worked up about (not in front of her of course) and on the other hand I'm tearing my hair out because she won't listen to reason.
Terrilein's Avatar Terrilein 05:13 PM 07-16-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by USAmma View Post
I read somewhere that at age 6 girls go through a hormone surge that prepares them for puberty. They do get more emotional and also they start to get more hair on their legs (and prepare to get it elsewhere). My dd went through that right on schedule. I mean, she's acting like a little teenager and on one hand I'm laughing about the stuff she gets worked up about (not in front of her of course) and on the other hand I'm tearing my hair out because she won't listen to reason.
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!! That explains a lot! And both dd and I have noticed that her body hair has picked up to. So I've got a mini-teen. How cute!
StillForest's Avatar StillForest 01:01 AM 07-19-2007
Thanks so much for this thread and all of the links. You are indeed not alone. I've been crowned the "Worst Mom in the World" several times in the past day/week.... Came here to post on this very topic and am very relieved to realize that I am not alone. I've been wondering where I went wrong etc etc.... My DD definitely seems like a min-teenager....and actually often says that she wants to be a teenager just like her 16-year-old sister. Gotta be careful what you wish for ;-).
mamaduck's Avatar mamaduck 09:42 AM 07-19-2007
USAmma -- that would explain my confusion! I have only boys, who were just darling at 6 years old! I was starting to wonder why the heck my experience was so different.
ewe+lamb's Avatar ewe+lamb 02:53 PM 07-19-2007
we call them tweenagers in the UK!!! tweenies being after toddlers and not yet teenagers!
lakesuperiormom's Avatar lakesuperiormom 01:20 AM 07-25-2007
i have 6 yr old son who will turn 7 at the end of aug (and please can i have an attitude change w/that age change??) and he is a BEAR to deal w/lately!! he won't liste,he's clingy,he's rude,he's mean,he wont share...i could go on and on.....i was beginning to wonder what the ehck was wrong w/him and then i found this thread...i don't think it's just girls....it's an age thing??
LeftField's Avatar LeftField 10:12 AM 07-25-2007
This was a good thread for me to read! My son turned 6 in May. With the exception of age 3 1/2 (which still has been THE hardest age in my house), he has always been pretty mellow and helpful. He does have strong sensitivities and he's always had food issues.

At any rate, once he got a month into 6, he started backtalking and acting really defiantly. Like, if I make a reasonable request, he might say, "NO! I don't want to!" It's very uncharacteristic of him. His constant mantra is, "It's not FAIR!!!" I bought them cookies at the coffee shop on the way to the Children's Museum. But when I was done with my transaction and it was time to head on to the fun museum, he declared, "It's not fair!!!" because he was using a chess set and I had interrupted him. It's totally bizarre. It IS like having a teenager in weird ways.

The worst, I think, has been the CRYING. OMG, please, no more crying and whining...This kid cries over every little thing, he cries whenever he doesn't get his way, I get the impression that he really can't help it either. I was completely blindsided by the constant crying!

His food issues have gotten worse. We had to come up with a plan to address them, because when he started refusing foods that he does actually eat and when he basically stopped eating supper on most nights, dh and I realized we needed a plan. My sister's dd is the same age and she reports the sudden emergence of food issues.

6, sigh...
Mizelenius's Avatar Mizelenius 11:37 AM 07-25-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaduck View Post
There must be a componant to all of this that involves our own personal trigger points. I have enjoyed age 6 so much with each of my kids! The intensity really doesn't bother me -- really excites me actually! Toddlerhood was very hard for me though. I wonder if -- when we hit a wall like this, related to a certain age - if it might be helpful to do some self-examination to figure out what triggers us and why.
I don't think you can compare your situation to that of others without actually knowing the children. My children were different from each other at the age of 2. When my oldest was 2, I thought-- what is all the fuss? 2 is easy. I thought everyone had "my kind" of 2 yo. I even gave people advice because I thought they had children like mine! Then my 2nd DD turned 2. I got it! She was much more difficult. (Thankfully, the hardest parts only lasted a few months.)

Now my oldest (who was an easy 2) is a difficult 5.5 yo. Mainly, we are dealing with a lot of angry faces, yelling at us all day, etc. It's hard to know why. Maybe because she's starting a new school? Maybe because it's summer? Maybe the 3rd sibling she's had since February just got to be too much? Maybe it's the 2nd half of the year thing? I don't know.

I keep focusing on this: ME. If I am happy with MY actions (was calm with her, did not raise my voice, was gentle with my words, etc.) then I had a good day even if she was difficult. It is hard, though, esp. because some days it is so constant (yelling at me). Two things I am going to start. One is to set aside an evening weekly and go out with just her for an hour to get a drink or dessert, or maybe the library. Something like that. The other thing is to have a love note ready for her every morning (I am doing this for everyone in my house except the baby). When I write it, it reminds me how much I love her and she gets to read that when she wakes up. She is so happy when she finds it!
Embee's Avatar Embee 02:08 AM 07-28-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizelenius View Post
Two things I am going to start. One is to set aside an evening weekly and go out with just her for an hour to get a drink or dessert, or maybe the library. Something like that. The other thing is to have a love note ready for her every morning (I am doing this for everyone in my house except the baby). When I write it, it reminds me how much I love her and she gets to read that when she wakes up. She is so happy when she finds it!


I grew up in a big family, my mom worked f/t, and had a high maintenance husband (my step dad). Every Saturday we did the grocery shopping together. Just the two of us. We'd milk it too: two stores, stop for a snack. I still tell her how much I enjoyed that time with her. Ironically, grocery shopping is the LAST thing DS and I like to do together. Of course, we have a completely different life/set of circumstances.

The note thing is great. I especially appreciate that it helps you as much as your DD. That the simple of act of writing the note reminds YOU and helps you to appreciate her even when things are tough going. I know this would be helpful for me.

Excellent ideas, mama. I think I may just write DS a note to wake up to tomorrow!

The best,
Em
RubyWild's Avatar RubyWild 01:56 PM 07-28-2007
I find that I have to sometimes resort to little fantasy games. When she doesn't want to brush her teeth, her toothbrush talks to her and tells her she needs exercise and that she misses my Dd's teeth. With my Dd, she'll interact with the truth brush and get started brushing.

If it's time for bed, I say that she needs to get under the furs in her snowy cabin because it's snowing outside.

Well, I only have one, but, for me, these games save me time and struggle. I don't know what's possible with 3 others.
Bruden's Avatar Bruden 01:51 AM 07-29-2007
I'm half way through another one of Louise Ames Bates' books "Your Child at Six: Loving and Defiant". None of you are imaging anything and your kids are right on track with this behavior. I recommend checking it out of your local library. The series is older, therefore some of the stuff regarding the moms at home can be a bit dated for some, but kids haven't changed and I'm sitting her smiling while I read it (and your posts). It doesn't have a lot of advice but rather looks at it from a child development standpoint. They're good for those days when you wonder if they're going to be like this forever.
Brigianna's Avatar Brigianna 03:01 AM 07-29-2007
Dd is 7, but has some of these traits. She's not rude, but she's just acting like an angst-ridden teenager. She's a bit behind in physical development, so I bet she's going through the 6-year hormones now. I just give her her space, and if she wants to sit in her room and read and listen to music and contemplate her horrid misfortune in being stuck with us for a family, I let her.
garviegirl's Avatar garviegirl 01:57 PM 07-29-2007
My 7-year-old has been exhibiting some of these traits too. I thought it was because I have been on partial bedrest for sooo long with a really hard pregnancy, and she's had to do more around here. It's good to know that hopefully it is not just my problems messing her up. I've seen that she's getting more hair on her body lately, and she seems to have so much angst and be misunderstood.

It's hard to think about this as a time for her to be maturing to more of a "child" and less of a "baby" but I guess that's sort of what it is. I mean, she's a child already, but she's coming into herself without being so dependent on us as part of who she is. That's hard to accept but I know it has to happen someday!!
flapjack's Avatar flapjack 02:43 PM 07-29-2007
Yeah, we're right there too.
The good news is that DS1 did grow out of it somewhere in his seventh year (I think, towards the end?)
The bad news is that right now, it feels like the misery will never end : I HATE six. Love the child, but this is definitely the biggest challenge he's ever put me through- and there's been a few.
Mizelenius's Avatar Mizelenius 03:05 PM 07-29-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Embee View Post
The note thing is great. I especially appreciate that it helps you as much as your DD. That the simple of act of writing the note reminds YOU and helps you to appreciate her even when things are tough going. I know this would be helpful for me.
The love note thing has been going well here! It does not take much time, and it is fun for me to make the cards for my kids and DH. I think my DH appreciates it, too! It helps me make sure I never go to bed annoyed at anyone since I have to write that note!
Verity's Avatar Verity 03:13 PM 07-29-2007
I am right there with you.

My youngest turned 6 at the end of May, and has been driving the rest of us bonkers most of the summer! On the one hand, she milks the youngest child/helpless angle for all it's worth, but on the other, is sassier than her 9.5-year-old sister.

My ds was relatively easy at this age, and I don't remember going through the same struggles with my older dd when she was 6. I think I was too preoccupied with 3-year-old issues with her younger sister (the one who is now 6), though. (I'll definitely agree that 3.5 is THE hardest age I've dealt with so far.)

I love the love note idea, and I will try to think of some games to help with bedtime. We were fine for the first month or so of summer, really enjoyed the break from the pressure of schoolwork and schedules. Since then, the sameness in our days and the lack of change of scenery (we haven't gone on any trips this summer) have taken their toll on us. I am soooo burned out right now that it is hard to be spontaneous and creative.
Curious's Avatar Curious 03:40 AM 07-30-2007
Have to agree with recommendations for Bates and Ames Loving and Defiant. That says it all!

I was wondering about a lot of little things Dd started coming up with over the past few months as 6 approaches. It was all there - so this is a phase which will of course pass. All I need to do is keep my head.

I think this all leads to some fears and insecurity. The Bates Ames books describes a number of tics which can arise at 6, which they state relates to stress. They talk about big stresses, but I think at this age, even seemingly little things can be more stressful, with all the increased awareness I see:

What I see happening with Dd is she is much more aware of what is going on around her, more understanding of things, yet an incomplete understanding, with no adult perspective but lots of potential for fears.

Coping skills are immature. I see an ongoing need for attachment and the secuity it provides, rather than trying to channel energy into lots of pursuits.

This is an age where because of my perception of what's going on, I'm doing less, not more. Fewer outside activities, more chances to be home to reconnect with what makes her secure, with lots of opportunities to pursue the sense of mastery others have described the 6 year old as needing: sewing, cooking, cleaning etc.

Dd recently turned down an opportunity to attend an animal show, to spend the day playing babies, with dolls. Her turn down of the invitation was blunt if not rude, and I feel that she was strongly defending her desire for a simpler day.

And I'm using some homeopathic support too.
Curious's Avatar Curious 03:43 AM 07-30-2007
Have to agree with recommendations for Bates and Ames Loving and Defiant. That says it all!

I was wondering about a lot of little things Dd started coming up with over the past few months as 6 approaches. It was all there - so this is a phase which will of course pass. All I need to do is keep my head.

I think this all leads to some fears and insecurity. The Bates Ames books describes a number of tics which can arise at 6, which they state relates to stress. They talk about big stresses, but I think at this age, even seemingly little things can be more stressful, with all the increased awareness I see:

What I see happening with Dd is she is much more aware of what is going on around her, more understanding of things, yet an incomplete understanding, with no adult perspective but lots of potential for fears.

Coping skills are immature. I see an ongoing need for attachment and the secuity it provides, rather than trying to channel energy into lots of pursuits.

This is an age where because of my perception of what's going on, I'm doing less, not more. Fewer outside activities, more chances to be home to reconnect with what makes her secure, with lots of opportunities to pursue the sense of mastery others have described the 6 year old as needing: sewing, cooking, cleaning etc.

Dd recently turned down an opportunity to attend a dolphin show (she says she wants to be a dolphin trainer when she grows up, so she really turned down something she's loved before), to spend the day playing babies with a doll. Her turn down of the invitation was blunt if not rude, and I feel that she was strongly defending her desire for a simpler day.

And I'm using some homeopathic support too.
angela&avery's Avatar angela&avery 10:21 AM 07-30-2007
Im really enjoying 6. Now that ds is 6 we have felt we can really give him a little more freedom and he is more responsible. He gets the mail every day, he stays up later than his sister, he just lost his first tooth. He watches for cars riding his bike, he stops at the corner on walks..... he is so much more focused and calm than he has been... then again it is summer so the anxiety is much less....
naturalmame's Avatar naturalmame 11:33 PM 08-03-2007
Ds is 6, turned in June. A month before he turned my sweet boy began to enter this pre puberty change. He is ohhhh so sassy, rude, aggressive, and bossy. He went from a follower to not just a leader, a tyrant. He loves to push his limits as far as he can and when I enforce a consequence he says " I don't care". It was helpful that he started this change before school ended. His teacher said as you all said that 6 year olds do go through a sort of puberty like change, characterized by sassy, rude, bossy behavior.

My problem is that I feel too that our bond is suffering. I feel that I do not like him much of the time. I hate to even say the words but he is sooo difficult lately and seems to very much want to be! I have to do something because even though I have been trying to make it a point to connect with him and have some one on one time I dread it. Isn't that awful? I am a single mommy, I stay at home and do in home day care to make ends meet. I have felt for awhile I am overwelmed this is pushing me over the edge!! He is my emotional barometer so I know he is feeling how I am feeling about him, I feel guilty about this!.
This thread has helped me to know I am not alone or doing something wrong.
How are you mamas handling the antics. I have gotten pretty firm and instituted conseuences and I feel like he pushes everything to the limit until I say if you choose to do "A" then you will lose this privelage. I hate every interaction to be so negative..... I will be looking for other mamas stories.
naturalmame's Avatar naturalmame 11:35 PM 08-03-2007
Curious, do you mind me asking what you are using for homeopathic support?
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