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3,283 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My dd is joyful, spirited, very verbal, mostly sweet, intelligent, and BULL HEADED!
Lately (especially since school ended) she
has been throwing phrases I am not used to her saying.
"What are you gonna do about it?"
"Make me." or "You can't make me". You get the picture.

I don't know what to say back. I don't have the words.

Plus she seems to have regressed. Behaviors I never saw her do when she was a toddler all of a sudden are a daily occurrence.
While in the bathroom she poured a brand new bottle of shampoo all over the carpet in the hall. She's drawing on the walls.

When you ask her to do anything, it's in a minute. Like "Hey dd lets clean up now" "okay, um, first I need a snack" "okay we'll have a
snack" 15 min pass. Okay we had our snack lets clean up" "um, well I have to pee, brb".
If I let it this could go on for hours.

When she is mad she slams doors, yells AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH at the top of her lungs, stomps.

I'm not really good at handling any of this. Tonight she held onto her shoe strings and then swung it at my head. I told her that
really hurt, and asked her why she did that. She simply smiled. Then I get hurt, and I want to yell, but hold it all in, and feel all out of

I should have started this thread with the fact that as a child I had no discipline at all. That pretty much what I wanted I was handed,
and I never had any consequences. This didn't help me at all in adulthood.
I would really like to give my dd the best. People just love her this isn't her normal behavior when we are out of the house. I know
that some of this is a test/power struggle. I just don't know what to do. I am afraid I will blow up soon. I am afraid I'll do the wrong

I have tried talking to her while this is happening. She isn't a fan of that. We have some good talks after about feelings, but nothing
changes. I try to keep her as busy as I can because she really likes to keep active all day.

Any words, book recommendations, ANYTHING would be great. Cause somedays it's really hard to keep on, keeping on.

I would like to set consequences. I can see that dd believes that as long as she yells or fights she will get her own way. But that
isn't how I am. I get reading here and I see that other's don't believe in consequences. Or rewards. I really need a new starting
place to start from. Start fresh. It seems to me that talking and reasoning is just not working. I am actually afraid that I will just freak

I don't want to let on that all day sucks. It's just 3-4 times a day. In between the hard times we really have a fun time in our home.
Maybe this is the way it is, and I just don't handle it well. It's the first time in my parenting that I feel really lost, with out a clue.

4,205 Posts
I think its hard for some children to go from school (where there are consequences and rules) to a more permissive environment without having some adjustment difficulties. It sounds like your DD doesn't have much respect for you or your feelings, and that might be because she feels you are too "weak." I think there is something attractive about having adults set limits for you and being willing to use consequences when you break the rules, as well as giving feedback when you have done something well. It can make a child feel safe to know that they won't be allowed to do whatever they want, and to feel that the parent is in charge. Its kind of frightening for some children to know they can manipulate their parents or hit or verbally abuse them and there won't be consequences.

What kind of rules and consequences did the teachers at school use? I would suggest starting with implementing these. Even if she didn't act out at school, she probably saw other children receiving praise/time outs or whatever, and didn't need to test the rules herself to know what would happen. At the same time you are implementing the same consequences/rewards that the school was using, work on doing stuff to build connection with her (sounds like you are already doing this). Then as she begins to feel safe again, you can slowly fade the rewards/punishment to be more in line with how you feel comfortable parenting.

4,897 Posts
I think that setting limits and having expectations, but not necessarily imposing consequences or using rewards, is TOTALLY in line with GD parenting, and your daughter is definitely old enough to learn that you have your own limits as far as not wanting to be hit, and not putting off cleaning forever. Even consensual parents find *mutually* agreeable solutions, not ones that make just the child (or just the parent) happy. If you don't want to be hit with a shoe (and who would?), I personally wouldn't see anything wrong with you intercepting and removing the show from your environment, to protect yourself from being injured. You don't need to impose any consequences on her beyond removing the shoe and keeping yourself safe, and letting her know that you don't want to be injured. As far as the cleaning, since it's not OK for you to put it of forever, maybe you could come up with a daily "activity" chart that outlines the way you'd like your day to flow, including snack time, clean up time, play time, etc. etc. complete with pictures, and then you can refer to the chart for "what comes next". I've heard those work well for some kids. I personally don't see anything wrong with telling a 6-yo "I'm frustrated we keep putting off cleaning up, we need to clean up now (or after X, and then do it)" and then you go and clean and don't do anything else with her until it's cleaned (you can decide whether she must help or not).

I tend to be on the more strict side of GD, but don't necessarily believe that consequences or rewards are needed...but limits and expectarions? Sure.

If you're looking for a book that talks about limits and expectations, but no punishments, Anthony Wolf's "Secret of Parenting" might be a good place to start, especially if she's coming from a school (read: more "strict") environment and you think a little more structure might help.

Since search is back up (YAY!!) you might want to search his name, or the book name, and there are some other threads that talk about his ideas, you can see if they might work for you.
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