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Seriously, I can't believe I'm putting these thoughts out there, but here goes...I don't like my 6yo DD very much right now, and usually when I look at her I get warm and fuzzy feelings, but lately, nothing at all. I honestly don't really even want her any more. She is the most intolerable person to live with. She contradicts me over the stupidest and most aggravating things (if I say the sky is blue, she will, in all seriousness, say "no it's not.") She contradicts EVERYTHING, no exaggeration. She does not listen to a damn thing I say, EVER. She throws fits and temper tantrums and won't take "no" for an answer. Today I took her to the quilt shop to pick out a fabric and some buttons. She was atrocious the whole time. Then as we were walking out to the car, she asked if we could go to Starbucks. I said no. Then a whole back-and-forth ensued, ending with her yelling "you will do what I say!!" I took the fabric and buttons away from her, telling her that she would have to earn them back. That was 3 hours ago and all I've heard since fabric this and buttons that. I am about to throw them away and my DD too. I'm sick fo this day-in day-out battle. My life is miserable because of HER and ONLY her. To make matters worse DD2 is starting to imitate her behavior. Every time I try to engage in a bonding activity with DD1, she just ruins it. every. single. time. and I come out more upset than ever. I just really don't want to try anymore.<br><br>
Please no flaming, this is not easy. I just don't know if I love her anymore. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> How do I salvage this??
 

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Hugs mama! We are dealing with a very similar scenario with our 7yo DS (since age 6). Some days I just can't stand to be around him, other days are fine. We also have a 4yo who imitates a lot of his behaviors.<br><br>
He is very contradictory, which annoys the hell out of me. I'll say "it's hot in here" and he feels the need to say "no it's not, i'm not hot". I feel like yelling "OH YEAH? are you 9 months pregnant in Florida you little snot??" (i don't, but i want to).<br><br>
He also backtalks and gets an attitude about EVERYTHING.<br><br>
He is rude and has no manners whatsoever, despite my constant and consistent work. My 4yo has the manners of a saint so I have begun to think my 7yo withholds the word thank you just to piss me off.<br><br>
He ruins most of our family outings and fun stuff. Mainly by complaining, having a bad attitude, and being obnoxious. My husband tried to take him to a father/son baseball game recently and he ended up calling me to come pick him up because he was so miserable to be around. It was so sad.<br><br>
He is also very possessive over toys, can't share worth a crap, is loud and bossy, picks fight with his brother incessantly, has major issues over picky eating, and is generally just rude and unpleasant.<br><br>
All this said, I have found the best coping mechanism: LOVE. The more he senses my distaste, the worse it becomes- loving him through all of these hardships has been my best defense. I also talk to him about it a lot. LOVINGLY. Like saying "when you contradict everything i say, you aren't showing me that you care about anyone but yourself. it hurts my feelings". He is very sensitive so I have to be careful how I say things to him, but talking gently really helps- when I'm not pissed off. It has been a tough time, but at the end of the day, he's still my son and i have no choice but to stick by him no matter how he acts, and to show him what's appropriate and what isn't. You know you love your DD, but liking her can be difficult at some moments...<br><br>
I hope you can work through it, I think a lot of this is common for this age group. Hang in there!
 

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I think family counseling is a good thing. I know it helped for dh and I (couples' counseling). A skilled counselor can help you both work on the relationship.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/namaste.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Namaste">
 

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I know right where you're coming from, mama. My 6 yo ds is one of the most disagreeable people I have ever met. I could write a book..(but I won't..)<br><br>
Just want you to know that I really do know how you feel. I often imagine what life would be like without him ruining everything we do.....I do think that special skills are needed to deal with children like ours. I don't have them, but am thinking I need to learn them.<br><br>
Hugs..
 

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My 9 yo DD was exactly like this at 6. She grew out of it by about 7 1/2. Whenever she pissed me off to the point where all I wanted to do was scream, I would walk away. Simply go off into another room and cool down. I would later talk to her <i>gently</i> about her behavior before and why it was not acceptable.<br>
We created a chart for her. We used a green card for good, a yellow card for okay, and a red card for a bad day. They would each include some kind of consequence or reward.<br>
If she got a green card, she got a sticker and when she got 20 stickers, mommy and her would play a game without her sister and brother.<br>
If she got yellow, no sticker.<br>
If she got red, one sticker was taken off.<br><br>
She really responded well to this and we still do this and she rarely has red cards, occasionally a yellow one.
 

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Two books might be helpful to you:<br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FPlayful-Parenting-Lawrence-J-Cohen%2Fdp%2F0345442865%2Fref%3Dsr_1_1%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1272845778%26sr%3D8-1" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com/Playful-Parent...2845778&sr=8-1</a><br>
and<br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FRaising-Your-Spirited-Child-Rev%2Fdp%2F0060739665%2Fref%3Dsr_1_1%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1272845803%26sr%3D1-1" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com/Raising-Your-S...2845803&sr=1-1</a><br>
These two books have helped me parent in a more loving and understanding manner, which helps tremendously with DD's behavior.<br>
It's tough, but good luck! And hugs!<br>
~michelle
 

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I agree therapy is a good idea. Find a therapist you trust and can work with yourself and perhaps as a family also.
 

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Another book recommendation that might be very helpful is: The Challenging Child by Stanley Greenspan. I like this book because it focuses on connection and problem solving, as well as limit setting. But it doesn't talk about limits until the connection has been well established.<br><br>
I also recommend Playful Parenting. If you say "the sky is blue" she says "no it's not", you can come back with "oh my gosh, you're right! Look at that, it's fire engine red!" And keep getting more outrageous.<br><br>
Have you read How to Talk So Your Children Will Listen? She's a good age for those techniques to work. Sometimes a "wow, you're really mad right now" when she says "You will do what I want!" will defuse the situation.<br><br>
And counseling might be a good idea - better to get problems before they become huge than to let them fester and the connection really suffer.
 

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Oh, yeah. My ds was like this from 6-7. What a rotten little stinker he was. But now he's a delightful 10yo and has been that way for a few years now. Hang in there.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks, mamas! It's nice to know that I'm not alone and that this particular age seems to have these problems. As soon as I wrote the post, I thought "wow, we need counseling." I'll get on that. I KNOW that DD and I are identical in all the ways that make us butt heads. We are both pig-headed, stubborn, opinionated, vocal, temperamental, bossy, inflexible, irritable, and brutally honest (we share some good traits too! LOL! I sure just made us both sound like nut-jobs!). We need to find new ways to relate, communicate, and connect with each other.<br><br>
Up until now, I had a "policy" not to read parenting books LOL, but I have known for a while that I need to start cracking some open, so it was nice to get specific recommendations. I have ordered all 4 of the books mentioned so far and plan on devouring them as soon as they arrive (talk about an inopportune time for our library to close for 2 weeks!)<br><br>
DD and I did make up tonight, and had a blunt talk after we both calmed down. We'll see what tomorrow brings! I am due for a good day, right? Right? (please please please let tomorrow be a good day!)<br><br>
Thanks again!
 

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In addition to the books mentioned I'd like to add one or two to the list Liberated Parents Liberated Children - the pre-cursor to How to Talk by Faber Mazlish, I read the last bit first - i.e. the parents bit - I had to work out the way I was parented before I tackled parenting my children -if that helps any. The other book is Confident Children by Gael Lindenfield - a wonderful wonderful book, I use it all the time for little reminders on how to get things just right for us, our DD has my DH's temperament firey and exceptionally stubborn, but a good trait out of that is determination - so now I see stubborn as determined - I guess we need to look at how to describe our kids sometimes. Hope that it gets better for you all, counselling is something else I thought of too; but you're already there really along with the pps!!
 

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Oh, I forgot to mention the book that really helped me: The Secret of Parenting by Anthony Wolfe.<br><br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FSecret-Parenting-Kids-Preteens-Without-Punishment%2Fdp%2F0374527083" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Parenti.../dp/0374527083</a>
 

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I'm a HUGE fan of Pam Leo's Connection Parenting... her book is relatively short and easy to read, but if you want to avoid "books" she also has a number of articles on her website.
 

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Mine is only 4 but going on 14. I've found that the single most effective thing I can do is reconnect with her when she's like that. How? Not sure how to describe it, because it's not really a method, it's not a certain thing I do. It's just connecting with her. Sometimes playful parenting, turning something into a joke and releasing the tension. Sometimes just grabbing her and hugging her. Sometimes empathizing with her. Sometimes I have to tell her to knock it off in a very stern voice, to get her attention, and then I can give her eye contact and sometimes that turns into a smile.<br><br>
I really know it's possible to fall out of love in a way, and I consider it my challenge to make sure it doesn't happen. It's the love that binds us together, the love that makes her want to please me (even if I have to kind of nudge her to remind her of that), the love that makes me care for her and motivates me to stick with it rather than just screaming at her and stuffing her into her room.<br><br>
BTW I don't consider it necessary to be a doormat to do this, you can be strict and firm and still love. I still tell DD no, I tell her to knock it off, I tell her I'm disappointed in the way she's acting. Love isn't a free pass to do whatever she wants.
 

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I don't do it often enough, but when I can remember to not engage in the contrariness, it helps. So for the sky is blue/no it's not, I'd just say, "huh. OK. Hey, I'm getting ready to cook dinner, wanna help?" and move on with whatever. Bean dip, kid style. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Basically ignoring the contrariness, and not taking the bait to engage in a battle, but <b>not</b> ignoring the *child*, works well in our house, when I can remember to do it. Which I wish I would more.<br><br>
My older kid (almost 6-1/2) doesn't do well with the playful parenting idea where you get silly and keep saying more ridiculous things, etc. because he sees it as patronizing, and he is exquisitely sensitive of anything he perceives as being mocked - has been since before he was 2. Sigh. My younger one (almost 4) likes the hyperbole. Just a head's up that that can backfire, depending on the kid.<br><br>
Contrariness is very draining, and I totally feel your pain. I've found if I lay out my expectations really clearly from the get go when we're on an outing, it works better - very specific about the order of events, and things that are OK and not OK to do in whatever the situation is. And we have started using consequences more, which I had intended to avoid, but I have found it so emotionally exhausting to negotiate every single interaction and event of every day, especially when one half of the negotiation team is unwilling to compromise at all from their original idea (that would be them, not me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> ). So sometimes, it just is what it is, and objections are noted, but the outcome doesn't change. I've also found that giving options and consequences of the options...not necessarily negative consequences - but like, "you can either take a short shower and have more time to play that game now, or you can take a bath and play in the tub but have to stop playing that now" works well too - so it's not me dictating when it's time for bath, etc. works as well...this is something I got away from doing when the older one got to be around 4, because he was cooperating when I asked him to do most things....then, that started happening less and less, and at 6 yrs old he's like a toddler again...and the almost 4 yo is following suit because everything big brother does is super cool. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"><br><br>
It's hard when as an adult, I often do things people ask of me without asking why because I have the life experience to know the reasons and really understand them....but my kids, they're not there yet. They still need to know WHY every time, and make sure they are HEARD and VALIDATED. I have to remind myself that I want kids who know and understand, and not ones who just blindly obey. I dont' do that enough, either....remind myself of that. This is just the really rough part of getting to that point, IMO.
 

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<span>I just wanted to add a <b>hug</b> in there too.<br><br>
It is hard. You've gotten a lot of great tips already, and it's good that you nip this in the bud now, because if you <i>didn't</i> figure out how to help her change her attitude, she'll be a lot worse when she's older.<br><br>
Being consistent with consequences is so, so key--I really liked the chart idea keyley talked about.<br><br>
I think Raising Your Spirited Child is a wonderful book. So is Have a New Kid by Friday by Kevin Lehman.<br><br>
You can do it mama!</span>
 
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