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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there,<br><br>
I am feeling so frustrated with my 4 yo DD. My family just moved half way across the country a month ago, so there has been a lot of big adjustment in our family. We are currently living with my in laws while we house hunt, which is going great. They have a big basement that we are set up in, and are so sweet and supportive of our AP parenting style for our daughter. I have been trying to be so supportive and patient to our DD, but it seems to me that she's just getting worse! She's being so rude and cranky lately. She's never in a good mood and she will just turn on a dime... she told me today that she hates me when I came to pick her up from a play date with a neighbor girl across the street. I feel like we've been here for 5 weeks now, and I don't want to overdo it with the sympathy card. I want to be respectful and gentle, but moving isn't a get out of jail free card that allows you to treat everyone in your family like crap either!<br><br>
Does anybody have any advice on how to deal with this? Is it the age? Is it the move? I haven't liked my parenting lately--- I'm frustrated and pissed, but also guilty and sad about our recent move myself. I want to do the right thing for my sweet DD, but I don't know what that is. Any advice is so appreciated!<br><br>
Thanks,<br>
nimamom
 

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I would recommend talking to her, but also setting some pretty firm limits. You could say something along the lines of, "I'm sorry you are not feeling well today (or are unhappy about leaving your playdate, or whatever), but you may not speak to me that way. If you want to talk about what's upsetting you, I will listen."<br><br>
Have you ever read <i>How to Talk so Kids will Listen, and Listen so Kids will Talk</i> ? It has some really good ideas about how to cut through the surface issues and get to the underlying problems.<br><br>
Another thought. Is she sleeping well? I know when my dd1 doesn't get enough sleep she becomes incredibly cranky, contrary, and difficult to be around. She's a completely different child when she has had plenty of good rest. Could the move have disrupted her sleep?<br><br><br>
Bec
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
bec,<br><br>
Thanks for the book recommendation. I haven't read that one, but I have heard friends suggest it before... I will definitely check it out. Your suggestion is pretty much how I have been handling it up until now. This morning I said something along the lines of "I'm sorry you're feeling sad today. But it's unacceptable for you to talk to me like this. I'm happy to talk about how you're feeling if you use a nice voice, etc." Sometimes she responds, but today she just got more angry, and I lost my patience and raised my voice. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
The sleep is a good suggestion as well. She has been sleeping fine, but I'm thinking perhaps I should be putting her to bed even earlier. During this time of transition, I'm sure we ALL need more sleep! Thanks so much for your reply!<br><br>
nimamom
 

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The three things that can make my kids act like little monsters are:<br><br>
1 - insufficient sleep<br><br>
2 - poor diet<br><br>
3 - growth spurts<br><br>
Could any of these be factors? I know my kids get super-difficult when they're tired, and it isn't always obvious that they're tired except that they act really, well, clueless and insensitive. It is worse if they haven't eaten too well that day, or if they had too much sugar earlier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have noticed that the eating thing is big. Low blood sugar really can set DD off! Depression is a possibility. We've only been here for a month, we're just starting to get into a routine. I have DD enrolled in preschool 2 days a week starting in the fall, which I know will help. She does well with routine, and I know it's hard for her to have completely changed our reality. For now, it's just a matter of getting through the summer until our fall routine kicks in.<br>
Tonight I'm trying to put her to bed a half hour earlier, hopefully that will help.<br><br>
Thanks for your replies! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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I just wanted to say that I would think it's the move more than anything else that's affecting her mood. We moved when our dd was 2.5, her behavior was pretty cranky, and I didn't realize just how much the move affected her until 4 months later she was crying and cranky one day and out of the blue asked "why did we have to leave the apartment?" Moving is a huge deal for kids. I heard of a book called "When Children Grieve : For Adults to Help Children Deal with Death, Divorce, Pet Loss, Moving, and Other Losses" by John W. James, Russell Friedman that, obviously, discusses how to help kids grieve. Unfortunately, I had not heard of this book when we moved (maybe it wasn't published yet) so I haven't read it, but I sure wish I had. Helping kids grieve (which is really what they, and we, do when we move to a new home) is something somewhat different from run of the mill disciplinary issues. Good luck, and I hope things settle down for all of you soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sledg,<br><br>
Thanks for the book recommendation! I'm off to my library to try to track that one down. This morning she wanted to talk about the move, why we had to "lose our house," as she put it. She really is having a hard time, as we all are. Moving is really stressful... and I think I underestimated how difficult it would be for DD. I had thought since our family is here it would be easier... but I'm realizing it's still leaving the only home she's ever known- with all our friends and familiar places. It's good to know that somebody else had similar behavior during a move.... and that it ended! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Thanks again...<br>
nimamom
 

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i don't know if this applies to any of the other scenarios, but what i wondered about when you went to get her at a playdate was the transition<br><br>
my dd has never been good with sudden transitions unless she is the one to originate them<br><br>
maybe when you arrived at the neighbors you could say something just to let you know we're leaving in five minutes or such...
 

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If she craves routine and you need to adjust to a new community, maybe some activities before preschool in the fall? Swim lessons maybe? Tumbling? Low-key daycamp? Even finding a regular play group at the park would probably help. This could accomplish several things -- give her some friends to play with, get some exercise (thus helping the sleep and moods), and giving you a bit of a break, which you probably need too!<br><br>
All of that being said, I have a son who fits the same description, but we haven't moved, haven't shifted the routine, haven't done anything different. So maybe its just a stage?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes, transitions are definitely something that can set her off emotionally. Today is going much bettter... after she talked about how much she misses our old house this morning she has been in a much better mood. She has on days and off days, just like me I suppose! I am signing her up for some swimming lessons and some dance classes which start next month--- and hopefully that will help with establishing more of a routine! I was talking to another mom of a 4 yo the other day, and she was relating to me that her DS is the same way. I guess it's a tough time to move! But fortunately she's feeling a lot better today. She even told me that she likes our "new" city today. That gave me hope! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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