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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My daughter has been six for a week and a half and it's weird, but she has just been so much more pleasant to be around. Really! I seriously think it's the year/half-year thing that those Ames and Ilg books talk about, the equilibrium and disequilibrium. These are some of the changes I've noticed:

1) She comes off the school bus in a good mood and is pleasant and well behaved while having her snack, doing her homework, etc. Before, she used to always find something to complain about within minutes of getting off the bus, and it would set an awful tone for the remainder of the afternoon.

2) Mealtimes are more pleasant - dinnertime used to be tense because she would play with her food or use bad manners, or complain about the food, and it was a struggle for me to deal with this without the worry of causing food issues.

3) She gets up and dressed for school without a problem. Before she would just dawdle or lie in bed until it was so late that we had to rush and again, it set a terrible tone for the day because by the time we walked out to the bus stop, I was annoyed with her and she was upset.

4) She's just in a more positive mood overall. She's always been a pretty sunshiny kid, but in the last six months or so she had gotten soooo negative.

Anyway, just wanted to share! keep your fingers crossed for me so that it lasts for more than a few weeks!
 

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Your post has given me hope! My dd is a little over 5 1/2 and in the last few weeks she had been really intense. The last couple of years has been so easy, she has always been a very sunny, independant kid, but suddenly we are having moodiness, negativity, attitdue and even temper tantrums. We were feeling like something was wrong but hopefully this is just a half-year thing and things will start getting back to normal in a few months. The thing I am struggling with is how to respond appropriately to her. If I start to get angry the situation just escalates, so we are working on responding to her immediately, with patience and caring, trying to be firm about boundaries and giving her lots of extra attention. But I worry that I might be rewarding her for being difficult, IYKWIM. What is the line between being a permissive, push-over parent and being a compassionate, present one?
 

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Farmer mama, I hear you! Five and a half was very moody and negative for our usually sunny child, too, as I mentioned above. My daughter, as well, would simply escalate if I got the least bit upset or frazzled when she was acting this way.

It was hard, but I tried very hard to count silently to ten, take a deep breath, and tell her that she needed to find another way to express the same feeling. I tried to make it clear that her feelings were valued, but that the way she expressed them was a choice. And whenever she chose an appropriate expression, I pointed it out and praised her, even when she needed to be helped to do so. For example, she started melting down whenever we had to leave a playdate. I would quickly take her into another room and say, "Please hear my words. I know you are disappointed about leaving, but behaving this way in someone else's house is inappropriate. If you would like to continue to have playdates, you need to help clean up with your friend and leave pleasantly." Then, if she did so (not with a smile on her face necessarily, but without a meltdown), I would praise her once we got out to the car and say, "I know it was hard for you, but you stopped yourself from having a meltdown and left pleasantly. Thank you."

It helped to a point, but it didn't make anything go away...hang in there until her birthday!
 

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Thanks for sharing some of the ways you dealt with this. I think the hardest part for me is that some days I feel completely emotionally drained from having to be constantly ready to help her deal with her emotions (not that she is constantly "acting out", but that anything may potentially trigger her mood to change). About 1 am last night she woke up to pee and was so grumpy and whiney about it I was near tears because I was so drained from dealing with her during the day, and now this is going on in the middle of the night! Anyhow, thanks for listening and reminding me that this will pass.
 
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