5yo defiant behavior- vent - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 3 Old 07-02-2009, 03:38 PM - Thread Starter
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I am so stressed and just feel like i need to get it out. any advice would be appreciated.

My daughter just turned 5 and I have a new baby girl (2 1/2 weeks old). My daughter has had some significant changes in her life in the last month. In addition to having a new baby sister, she is out of school for the summer. She was in full time pre-school and loved it.

I am aware that this is a difficult time for her and have tried to keep some activities planned and focus on positive behavior. She never stops moving and talking/singing. For example, right now, she is laying on the floor talking to herself and trying to climb up the wall feet first.

Since the baby was born, her behavior has gotten progressively worse. Now, I find my self regularly in tears. I have almost no patience with her and her behavior turns just as quickly.

We get out of the house a lot, because she is gets bored and so do I. I have no problem nursing anywhere, so I enjoy doing things.

Today, I had an appt to get my hair cut. We packed up some crayons and coloring book to keep her entertained. There was a bowl of candy, she asked if she could have one - I said, yes, when we leave, if you have good behavior. The baby happily nursed the entire time. But, my 5 yo insisted on getting into things. She "cleaned" all the hair off the floor by hand, kept picking up the scissors, tried to comb my hair while the stylist was cutting, sat on the floor under me and played with the hair products that were for sale, and ran out the front door to play outside all while talking "baby talk" like she was 2. For each of these, I asked her to stop and redirected her. This was a big distraction for me, the stylist and the other customers. And, embarrassing.

it came time to leave. when we got outside the door, she said, "what about the candy?" I said, "no, because you didn't follow direction." She stomped her feet and said, " yes." I said, "let's get in the car." She said, "I am not leaving, I am getting candy." Here I am carrying the baby and I just "see red." I feel like hitting her. (and a couple of times recently, I have). I had to literally drag her to the car while she is yelling that she is not leaving. Then, she spends 20 minutes telling me that she did not disobey and she did not sit on the floor and on and on. I tried not to engage in the conversation and eventually said - "ok, you had no candy, it is over now. let's start fresh."

We use 5 minute time outs and have recently started taking away toys. Also, I used to count to 3, then time out - but with the constant back talk, I go straight to time out. As soon as I ask her to stop something, she tells me no or starts and explanation of why she is doing it.

As I was typing, she said, "I am hungry and opened the fridge to stand in front of it." I said, "Close the refrigerator" She said, "NO, I won't!" I cloed the fridge and offered her two options - she choose grapes - I got them out for her and she doesn't want them.

this type of "backtalk" is just constant and exhausting. I feel like the only break I get is to put her in front of the tv (which I don't want to do).

Her behavior is even worse when my husband gets home in the evening. By then, the baby is fussy - and we are all hungry and I just feel like running away.

thanks for listening.
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#2 of 3 Old 07-02-2009, 04:13 PM
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I think you handled the situations admirably actually, you may not feel like it, but you stuck to your guns and didn't use empty threats. Personally, I would have made the hair appointment at the weekend so that dd could stay with dh or have made a play date seeing as she is finding the change over from being at pre-school all day to being at home difficult. I actually wouldn't describe her behaviour as defiant, I would say that she was bored. The fridge thing is fairly age appropriate and you could maybe explain why holding the fridge door open isn't good - environment etc my dd really responds to this sort of thing, giving a choice is perfect and it's her decision not to eat what she chose!

Also Siblings Without Rivalry may be a book you would be interested in - loving the new baby etc is right there in the first chapter and has a very interesting and very different slant on the arrival of a new member of the family - it maybe interesting to you to read.

Anyway I hope all works out for you.
take care

ewe + dh = our little lambs + we and have many just : and : life .
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#3 of 3 Old 07-03-2009, 12:04 AM
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Your baby is only 2 weeks old and you are going out with a 2 week old and a 5 year old with behavior issues to get your hair cut? What are you thinking??? You should be in bed or at least have your nightgown on. It takes about 6 weeks to recover from an easy birth. You should take it easy at least until the blood flow stops. You are trying to do too much too soon.

Get help with your 5 year old and / or your house. Hire a doula, house cleaning person, baby sitter, mother's helper or similar person if you have the money. Look on Craigslist, some people will even work for food. You could hire a high school or college girl.

Counting teaches your child that she doesn't have to do what you say, you will stand around counting. If it's worth correcting your child about, it's worth the child doin it right away. Time outs are a form of punishment and punishments don't teach good behavior. At best they stop bad behavior - that usually doesn't happen.

I'm sorry your care providers haven't told you about taking it easy and how you should have help since you have a baby and another child to care for.

I recommend any of the books on the book list by Elisabeth Crary. They are for young children and easy to get started with changing the way you are doing things. Siblings Without Rivalry is more for older kids.

: Grandmother , 3 Adult Sons

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