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old and wiser please!!!!!!!!!!!! My dd is 6, and today was really bad. She cried her way out of a soccer game, refused to listen, and then was very defiant once we got home. I need someone to guide me on raising her!!!!!!! Help!!!! We do gentle disciple and I try my best but today was really bad, and I had no clue how to handle her.
 

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Hi Kristin,<br><br>
Sounds like it was a really tough day for you and your DD. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> to you both. I hope things are better today. I don't know how much of a mentor I can be. My DS is 7 (8 in early Jan) so I haven't been at it much longer than you. I certainly do feel old some days, but not everyday. And while I've glimpsed an insightful thought on occasion, I don't consider myself all that "wise." Even so, I would like to help if in no other way than to give you my support (and a few thoughts if you'll have them). <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Obviously, I don't know your family intimately so feel free to dismiss anything I've said if it feels out of sinc with your situation. With that grain of salt, and off the top of my head: Your DD is displaying common stress behaviors. Maybe it was just a bad day (we all have them, right?), or maybe this has been going on for awhile? IME, if you can get to the root of the stress and treat that, you can ease the behavior. Honestly, in most situations like these, we just muddle through while 'in the moment.' We do our best to listen to DS, even if that means *listening* to what his behavior is telling us because if he's stressed, chances are he will find it a great challenge to articulate it verbally.<br><br>
When stress behaviors are popping up for us, I slow way down, and give more focused time to DS. IME, there is no better cure for rough times with DS than just time spent. IOW, rather than try to manage the behavior, I nurture the relationship which incidentally, usually eases the behavior <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug">. Also, it tends to restore our attachment and general good feelings toward each other. Win/win. I sit, and play whatever he wants to play, follow his lead. Let HIM be in charge. Sometimes, he's just needing more focused time with a parent and the play itself is enough. Sometimes he'll show me something more specific that he's dealing with, perhaps a place in his life where he's feeling powerless (IME, defiant behavior is usually a sign of feeling power<i>less</i> rather than the reverse). Play is a safe place for kids to have some of that power they need so I encourage it fully. Here is an article I have found particularly helpful toward this end:<br><br><a href="http://www.naomialdort.com/articles4.html" target="_blank">http://www.naomialdort.com/articles4.html</a><br><br>
If there is a need to address the specific situation I will do so only after our connection has been re-established: "You were really upset at the game today. So much so that you didn't want to play. Can you tell me about that? And then I listen, validate his feelings, say as little as possible. Then together, we'll try to isolate the problem and together come up with a solution that is a better fit.<br><br>
Now for some opinions which you may or may not find helpful. If not, feel free to ignore as again, I'm not familiar enough with your situation to "assume" anything. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"> Six is still very young. Many young children are just not yet comfortable with organized <i>team</i> sports, some not for many more years and some like myself, never (I tried soccer btw, but chose the more solitary/team sport of gymnastics <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">). Kids may like the "idea" of team sports, being with friends, playing a game together, but when the time comes and it's official, it can be full of unforeseen pressure. They sense the 'real' obligation of it ("others are counting on me not to screw up") and this can cause some rather understandable anxiety. If she went so far as to cry her way out of a game, I wouldn't doubt that she has a valid reason for it.<br><br>
For me, it's helpful to keep in mind that I can't exactly "handle" DS. He is his own person. I can nurture and guide but in the end, he'll do what his instincts tell him to. I can listen, interpret behavior and do the things I know <i>he</i> needs me to do to nurture the relationship (PLAY!) as it's this very thing that allows him to be guided by me. OTOH, when I try to <i>control</i> his behavior, his powerlessness increases, the behavior gets worse and our attachment is askew. Once our attachment is altered, I haven't a chance at getting through. The worst of it is when we're in public because being the people pleaser that I am, I'm tend to be way too concerned about what others are thinking or expecting or ME, and forget to focus on my DS and what he is telling me. And if DS is refusing to listen, it's usually because I'm not doing a very good job of listening to him. <i>(I'm not assuming in any way however, that this is your situation, mama.)</i> It helps me to take a deep breath, get some space away together, and let DS express whatever he needs to express and just listen as best I can. Be the model of calm for him.<br><br>
The best and HANG IN THERE. Days like that happen and they aren't easy for anyone, but remember healing is always there, around the corner. Slowing down, taking some time out together can often do wonders for you both. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
Em
 
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