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Nanner 11-30-2004 05:57 AM

My dd is 4 and I am wondering what other moms do when your dc are just not nice? I try hard to speak nicely to dd and to give positive reinforcement when she speaks nicely. Oftentimes she does speak nicely and she is generally a really great kid- she listens well for her age and is just generally wonderful. Our biggest issue right now (has been for awhile), is that she sometimes speaks so meanly. I do not demand a lot in this area, but I do require that she speaks respectfully to me and others, whether it is peers or other adults. Quite honestly, it really ticks me off when she is rude to others or me when there is no provocation at all. An example is her telling me in a rude voice to do things for her. At times I can relate this to stress or her being tired. But sometimes it seems really random.
Also, there are just times when stress or being tired happen. I think it is important for her to learn to speak nicely even during those times.
With me she can, for no apparent reason, ask me to do something like put her socks on, and if the seam isn't just right she will say "Arrrgghh! No! That is NOT right". I try hard not to get mad, but not to let her treat me that way either. I usually say something (in a nice voice) like "Whoa! That was not a nice way to talk to me. I am glad to help you with your socks, but I need you to speak nicely to me if you want me to put your socks on the way you like". Sometimes this works immediately, sometimes she continues with the 'tude. If I talk too much she gets ticked off.
I know I am not always super-chipper. When I am, she generally will stay that way also. But if I am having a not-so -chipper day, she seems to slip downhill.
Like today, I was sick, and I have five papers due tomorrow (actually three of them were due today and I was too sick to go to school, I had three and a half to do by tomorrow at 8:00am when I woke up this morning). We were out of town all weekend and I have been a great Mom to her the whole weekend.
I was still okay today, just not super-happy. What do you do when things are like this? Life cannot always be a bowl of cherries but I think dd should be descent to other people even when things are not perfect.
What I generally do is try pocitive reminders, then move to a warning that she will have to go to her room until she can be nice (to simplify) if she continues. Then I send her to her room and tell her she can come out when she is ready to be nice to those around her.
This is the short version.
Also, she is generally nice to other children but sometimes will be nasty to other children she knows for no apparent reason.
What do all of you do when you get attitude or when things are just hairy?

annab 11-30-2004 12:26 PM

I am guessing that she already knows when she starts to speak that she is not speaking to mommy in a nice way. I don't think for us it would work to point that out.

I think a simple, "I can't hear you when you use your mean voice" would work and then not say anything else. There may be a few meltdowns at first, but I am willing to bet that she will catch on quickly that nastiness gets her nowhere.

As for being mean to the other kids, how old are they? If they also are 4, they are getting close to the age where they won't want to play with her until she starts being nice. That is a good natural consequence. Until then, I would issue the reminder upon arrival and give her the consequnce. "If you cannot speak nicely to your playmates, then.....(insert whatever works for your family)"

NoraJadesMama 11-30-2004 12:48 PM


Nanner, I sent you a private message about something unrelated. Can you check your PM's? Thanks! Hilary

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