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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am really feeling like a terrible mom lately and I'm raising a terrible child. My dd is perfect at her preschool-she spends two mornings a week there. So i feel like it must be me. I just always feel like I handle things wrong lately. We so need to reconnect.<br><br>
Example-the other day she threw down her bag of apple that she was eating. I asked, demanded, begged, then threatened for her to pick it up and put it back in the refrig if she was done. Then I got distracted asked her if she did it-she says yes. Well, I'm staring right at it just as she answers YES. She lied-she has never lied before.<br><br>
She has started attacking me and her brother. I say things like we don't hit, kick, pinch but she doesn't listen. She even almost poked her brother with a fork. I have even tried time outs-don't work. There is no empathy at all. I try to talk to her about hitting hurts people-doesn't seem to care.<br><br>
She has started grabbing things from her brother and she won't share. She is good with kids her own age and great when we are playing outside which we do a lot. She is also great one on one when the attention is completely on her. I know there is a connection but I can't just ignore her brother. He is almost two so she is used to him by now. When I ask her why she is mean to him-she says because I don't like him.<br><br>
Basically, just being a bit unlikable lately. I feel like I catch myself making the same requests several times with no response. I keep yelling and she sometimes just laughs.<br><br>
The saddest part is she is feeling this negative energy. When she went to bed last night she told me that she loved me and when I said it back she said no you don't. Because you are mean to me. I tried to explain that I love her but I don't like her behavior lately<br><br>
Help. I feel like I used to be good at this and now I'm totally loosing my confidence. Am I raising a monser? Sorry so long.
 

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If she is behaving well at pre-school you are doing something right.<br><br>
She obviously has the ability to control her behavior and act on that.<br><br>
So why isn't she acting well around you??? Because she feels secure around you and knows in her heart that you will love her no matter what. (Although she decided she had better ask prob picking up on your unhappiness.)<br><br>
This is all GOOD. You Do NOT have a big problem, you only have a little one.<br><br>
So what to do. My adivce is to try to disengage as much as possible, espec when it comes to lying (which is very normal and natural) So it should go like this:<br><br><br>
YOU: "Did you pick up those apples and put them in the fridge?"<br><br>
DD: "Yes."<br><br>
YOU: "Um, I don't think so, you need to pick them up now."<br><br>
Notice how much easier this is then getting into it with her about "Do not lie" or "Telll me the truth" Ignore the lying. Show her it does not get her anywhere (because she still has to pick up the apples)<br><br>
And if she then says "NO"<br><br>
Tell her you expect her to do it. You can offer to help.<br><br>
You can even do it yourself, if she really won't but then you need to say in a serious voice "I asked you to pick up the apples and you did not. I don't like that, next time I expect you to do it." (END OF DISCUSSION)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Interesting. I did the opposite in that situation. I went on and on about how terrible it is to lie. I wanted her to understand that but you are saying to just not make a big deal out of it. Maybe showing her that it isn't getting anywhere?<br><br>
BTW, thanks. Yes, I tell myself everyday that she is at her worst around mom and dad sometimes because she feels safe and loved.<br><br>
Just seems all at once lately. I'm a bit worn out.
 

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No advice here...<br><br>
But I SOOOOO know what you mean. Sounds exactly like my house. Wears a mom down.<br><br>
So... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
I'll be watching this thread!
 

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Hey - I feel for you! Three can be such a difficult age. I have a three year old, and she is just coming out of one of those difficult stages...<br><br>
You know, sometimes I don't make an issue about things like throwing apples on the floor. If I'm pretty sure it is going to turn into a power struggle, I try to avoid that. Depending on my mood and my dd's mood, I might just say, 'I don't like it when you throw apples on the floor. They need to be cleaned up now'.<br><br>
And then start cleaning them up myself, while involving her (say, handing her a piece of apple and asking her to throw it in the garbage - something like that). I find it helps at this age if 1) help with the cleaning up and 2) don't ask her to help, but instead just assume that she will, if you see what I mean.<br><br>
I'd also probably avoid asking her a question that invites a lie - if I can see that the apples are still on the floor, I'd just state the obvious - that they are still on the floor and need to be picked up. Then help with the picking up.<br><br>
If I get an absolutel refusal to help in any way, shape or form, I would probably just state my disappointment that a mess was made and left for me to clean up ('I don't like it when apples are thrown on the floor and I have to clean them up by myself'). And leave it at that.<br><br>
They really do want your approval, so I think this tactic works in the long run. No shaming them, but they know when you don't like a certain behaviour, ykwim?<br><br>
And I know you know this, but the more time you can spend with her/give her special attention/etc, the better. That is what has really helped my 3 year old, I think. She was being left out a lot (she is a middle child - hard, I think), and I've made much more of an effort. Sometimes it is just little tiny things - like giving her a hug out of the blue and telling her how much I love her when she doesn't expect it. Her eyes just light up - it's such a tiny thing, but it has made a huge difference.<br><br>
My 3 year old is also a hitter. I just repeat, when she hits, 'We do not hit' and/or 'I know you are upset, but we do not hit'. I don't really deviate from that, because when she is upset, she can't take anything else in.<br><br>
Later, when she is calm, I might go back and give her a better way to express her anger or whatever. But again - she can't always take that stuff in when she is in the middle of a hitting rage.<br><br>
I agree with Maya43, though - if she is well-behaved at school, you are defintiely doing something right!<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> Kids do take out their frustrations at home, where they know it is safe to do so...<br><br>
Hang in there...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You are so right-I set myself for a lie. Next time no asking questions that have obvious answers.<br><br>
I do need to keep reminding myself that she does ultimate want to please me.<br><br>
Sometimes maybe I just am too hard on her, I don't know. The hitting thing really burns me up though.
 

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My ds is also quite good at school and in classes and when he was trying my patience at home a friend who has a 10 year old son who has been in alot of trouble at school told me to be thankful he was testing at home rather than at school since at least you get to be the one to teach him different behavior rather than someone who may intentionally shame or humilate him. Somehow that has been comforting advice to me - hope it helps.<br><br>
BJ<br>
Barney & Ben
 

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I also have a three-year-old who is acting up, at home, not at daycare. So, if you had seen us today, you would want to take my advice with a grain of salt. Do as I'm trying to do, not as I do, I guess, is my caveat.<br><br>
I agree with the don't ask a question that invites a lie. That piece of advice comes up a lot in parenting manuals, and it's a keeper.<br><br>
I just read Siblings Without Rivalry, which suggests that, in the case of an altercation between sibs, the parents focus exclusively on the victim, "Are you okay? People aren't for hitting." I've been trying this out and, when I succeed in not flying off the handle, it really throws dd (the victimizer) for a loop. She says, huh?<br><br>
The authors also suggest making room for bad feelings between siblings. Have your child spell out all the ways she dislikes her brother. Listen to them. Acknowledge them. Let her know that you've heard and understand her position. That, in itself, might be enough to resolve some of the tension. Everyone just wants to be understood.<br><br>
Let's see. They also suggest allowing for progression after every crisis. Let your dd know that she's capable of better and give her an "out" for every bad situation. Hmm... I'm not expressing myself well. I'll try again. When she engages in unacceptable behaviour, encourage her to find a solution, and let her know that you have every confidence that she will be able to find a better behaviour.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I really like the idea of catering to the victim. She just doesn't seem to care that someone was hurt usually her brother. I feel like a broken record with the "we don't hurt people." Doesn't seem to be sinking in. I guess that he is such an easy target and it certainly gets my attention which is the idea I guess.<br>
Anyone else try anything else that works. I am going to read Siblings without Rivalrys as soon as it is back at the library. Can't wait.
 

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About the lg - if you knew she didn't do it then why did you ask her? Instead just say "I see you didn't do it yet. Go do it now like I told you to." and then follow her and help her do if you need to.<br>
Also if all this started when you put her in preschool I would pull her out. Obviously it is effecting her behavior at home.
 
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