Mothering Forum banner
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My oldest daughter is nearly seven. We also have a four year old daughter, a two and a half year old, and a 13 month old son. Anna was a high-need baby, who grew into a manageable high-need toddler. Our family is stable and reasonably happy, but with four small children, I often feel tired and "maxed out". We home schooled Anna for kindergarten, and last year, she attended a small neighborhood Montessori school. I observed that afternoons after school, she was very rude, sassy, and defiant. Anna has been at camp this week in the mornings, and she seems ok when I first pick her up, but by early evening, she is out of control. I often cook dinner while she is in her room having some mandated alone time in response to sassing, screaming angrily at the top of her lungs, "You are SO mean to me! This is all YOUR fault!" The behavior is bothersome, but what is most upsetting is that she seems to be constantly angry with us.

We try hard to speak respectfully to her and to treat her with respect and kindness. I grew up in an abusive home with a mother who bullied, shamed, and was physically very rough with us. I often feel myself reverting to my mother's patterns of "discipline" and have a constant struggle to keep control of myself. I have spanked in anger. I have had years of counseling and have, more or less, moved past all of these things with help. I certainly feel guilt about having contributed to Anna's troubles -- she seems to me an anxious kid, not the happy kid I hope I can help her to be. I also feel guilty about the other children -- I believe in the value of siblings, but I think some one on one time might go a long way, and I feel so low energy. I wonder if I am just too lax, as I have other children whose needs are more urgent, and if in effort to not repeat my parents' behavior, I have erred on the side of being too lenient and then also been too rough -- a very inconsistent mommy to her.

I wonder if homeschooling again will create a happier child. She enjoys being with her friends, but she is obviously depleted at the end of the school day, and I am, as well, which makes for stressful evenings.

An example: yesterday, we went to the neighborhood pool. Anna spoke rudely to me while in the pool when asked not to run. "I WASN'T running. I'm NOT stopping because I was just SKIPPING." I reminded her about her tone of voice, etc., but she persisted with "Hmph! I am NOT listening." I had her get out of the pool, which she did, and she laid on the pool chair hollering and screaming, "You are SO mean to me! You NEVER let me do anything fun! I'm NOT getting out of the pool! I'm NOT staying here! EVERY ONE else gets to play!" She did stay where she was of her own accord; we did not give in and allow her back in the pool, but she screamed the whole time as I gathered up the other (disappointed) children. On the way home, after she calmed, we discussed her behavior and that she would have no TV in the car for a week... not sure this was a reasonable punishment... probably no pool would have made much more sense... but Anna really loves her TV time.

I want to stop this whining, sassing, rude behavior. These episodes are so common for her and happen multiple times a day. I feel like it's probably happening because I have failed at parenting her properly, and this is causing some major mama guilt, but most of all I want to help her change. I can't think of why she is acting out, and she tells me day camp is fun (I have looked in, and it seems fine), and nothing else has really changed in her life. We are moving to a new house soon and have been renting and had to move rental homes, which was stressful, but all in our very same neighborhood. We have moved often in the past (a few long distance moves) before moving to this new neighborhood a bit over a year ago -- could she be anxious over this? Enough to create such crazy behavior? The episodes are really out of control! They are fairly consistent, but worse when she has school/camp/lots of activity. Any advice?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
((((hugs)))) You are doing the best you can with what you have right now and with 4 kids you ARE maxed out. I know I am with three kids and my oldest is about the same age as yours. Try to let go of the guilt, she will appreciate how hard you are working to be a good Mommy someday. When I lose my temper and yell more than I like to, I always make it a point to sit down with my child and apologize and say I am trying to learn not to yell so much and I ask for forgiveness from my child.

My 6yo DS can also be very sassy. I think some of it is the age. Recently, when he sasses or says something rude to his brother I say "let's try that again". Sometimes he really doesn't know a better way to say what he wants to say and so we talk about it and sometimes I hold him accountable to rephrasing himself. If he can't do it after a few tries than I will put him in timeout. After timeout, I ask him again and usually he knows just what to say. So far, it's working pretty well. Just that one little phrase helped us prevent many power struggles. It gives him the chance to fix his mistakes without being crticized and me the chance to teach him without losing my patience.

A couple other things that have worked well for us is to say "My ears don't hear whining" or "I'll be happy to talk to you when your voice is calm like mine".

One other thing, I work one afternoon a week and my Mom comes over to watch the kids. She lets him get away with anything. I had to talk to her and respectfully ask her to not let him sass her and expect him to say please and thank you etc... Make sure that everyone who takes care of your DD is on the same page and sends the message of talking respectfully.

Oh, do you think she could be tired (or even hungry) after school or after camp? If we've had a big day, I definitely notice more attitude so to speak and so I will have him lay down and read books for a half hour or 45 minutes.
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top