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Ok Ladies, I need a little perspective here because I'm all worked up about this. Tonight (4th July) we went to my BIL house. When we left, I flipped out on DD#1 because she threw a fit about the fact that she couldn't stay longer.<br><br>
As some background, my BIL has not invited anyone from my DH's side of the family for approximately 5-6 years due to his wife's aversion to my Dh's family. She forbid my nieces from seeing their grandmother for 4 years and my BIL just recently started to re-establish contact with his family. IN any case, this was the first time in years we were invited to their house for a huge 4th bash. I had absolutely no desire to go. It wasn't anything to do with the family feud (which I am not a part of) but more because my family recently experienced a loss (my brother passed away suddenly<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> ) and I just didn't feel up to being at a party, let alone one that I knew would be tense since DH's family has been ostracized by my SIL for so long. Anyway, we went and, not surprisingly, my SIL did not even come up to greet us. IT was an outdoor event and there were lots of people around but she, and her family, completely ignored my Dh's family and us. Ok, it was rude, but not unexpected from her. In any case, after about an hour, I had enough and was tired of sitting in the house because dd#2 (2 1/2) was terrified of the loud fireworks outside.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:<br><br>
Ok, that's the background....now to the real issue. Before we got there, I talked to myDD#1 (5 1/2) about going. She was so excited because all of her cousins would be there. One of her cousins is her age and the two of them are inseparable when together. From the moment we got there she and Sophia were together, playing, laughing, watching the fireworkds show. I talked to her about the fact that when it is time to go, I wanted her to be on her best behavior. That means that she can be disappointed but that I don't want to hear whining (we've had an issue with lately)<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: Soooooo, it was 9:30 and I wanted to get dd#2 home and gave dd#1 a 10 minute warning, asking her to put on her sandals. She started whining and I asked, actually told, her to stop. She just kept whining and whining and eventually just started wailing, not just crying but actually wailing. She then turned to MIL and was crying as she literally clung to her cousin, who naturally started whining and crying too.<br><br>
I was getting increasingly irritated, no, actually I was downright mad at her. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: I was furious that she started to throw hysterics and was causing a scene when I just wanted to gracefully leave. Before I knew it, my other SIL's and my MIL were there trying to console the "poor" 5 yr olds, making promises to get them together, walking us to the car, carrying the kids. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: Even DH, who is usually on board about not perpetuating behavior like that was caving and carrying dd. We all ended up by my car, with dd still wailing, saying she wanted to drive with daddy (who came in his work van) and crying about staying with her cousin. All of the aunts and uncles, including DH, were standing there trying to console her and her cousine (who was likewise crying and carrying on). The more it went on, the more LIVID I became. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br><br>
As soon as we drove off, I completely went off on dd, yelling at her about her deplorable behavior.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> I know that wasn't the way to handle it and yes, I feel terrible about it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">: I don't generally lose it like that. I told her that I was embarrased that she acted that way, disappointed that she threw a fit and that I NEVER, EVER wanted her to make such a display again, especially when in public. I told her it is always ok to feel disappointed, to even say that she's disappointed and sad, but that crying, whining and being rude is never acceptable to that extent. I just had my fill of a stressful situation that was made even more stressful by dd's theatrics when leaving. I've also had this issue with her lately, where she throws a fit when she isn't getting her way.<br><br>
So, was that asking too much from a 5 yr old? After I calmed down a bit, I asked her if she had anything to say and she said she didn't. I wanted to talk to her some more about it but, since it was way past her bedtime, she crashed out in the car. She briefly woke up when I put her in bed and I apologized (because we have a pact to never go to bed mad at each other) but I don't think she was really listening.<br><br>
What do you think? I really feel that there was a lot of catering going on with the two girls and that at this age they know how to manipulate a situation with negative behavior (which includes whining & crying IMO) to get what they want. Everyone was trying to console them, offering playdates, sleep-overs and what not. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: Is it reasonable to expect the best behavior, which includes leaving politely and without theatrical fanfare, from kids at this age? Any suggestions on how to handle it better the next time???<br><br>
Thanks for listening and for your advice in advance!!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
Libby
 

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Momma, I struggle with this myself. Especially with our oldest.<br><br>
But what happened tonight was stressful in and of itself but added to the fact that you are still grieving the unexpected loss of your brother AND it's the first time in several years that the famliy has gotten together it makes it even more stressful.<br><br>
I don't have anything real to say but I wanted to let you know that your post was read. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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How often does she get to see this cousin? If it is rarely (only once or twice per year), I think leaving gracefully (even when prepped beforehand) could be very tough - especially when it is late and she is tired. Add in the stress of the family issues with SIL and your brother's death - my sympathy... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> and you have a short trip to meltdown for dd1.<br><br>
I think you and dp weren't on the same page; you were on edge due to the weird issues with his family; grieving mom... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> I'm not sure how mad you got at her, but it is nice that you apologized. I'm sure it will be fine in the morning.<br><br>
I think repeating your expectations beforehand is good. It just may take dozens of times before she can pull it off consistently. When my kids leave gracefully, I always point out to them how nice it was, and how it makes me want to take them to play there again sometime soon.<br><br>
I think she is likely almost there anyway. My four year old would do the same thing, but I really doubt my six year old would.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>delighted.mama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8553742"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">What do you think? ... Everyone was trying to console them, offering playdates, sleep-overs and what not. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:</div>
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Oh that would have driven me CRAZY! The rule for my kids has always been that if they whine, the answer is no. We have never tried to *bargin* with them to end whining and if someone else did so with my child, I would consider it interferring with my parenting.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Is it reasonable to expect the best behavior, which includes leaving politely and without theatrical fanfare, from kids at this age?</td>
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yes and no. She is really little (in a few years you'll look back and think that she isn't much more than a baby right now), she was tired, she was wired, and I can see it being hard for her.<br><br>
That doesn't make her behavoir OK.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Any suggestions on how to handle it better the next time???</td>
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Get her away from the other adults. Although they were trying to help, they were only making things worse. Tell them to stop it, and just get her out of there even if she is crying. It might not stop it from happening, but it could stop it from excalating.
 

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It sounds like you were dealing with a lot, and were seriously stressed. Just remember, though, that if you were stressed, your dd was too. And likely overstimulated by the environment sugar, fireworks, large crowd, etc). All of this can (and usually will) result in kids exhibiting behavior they would not otherwise show. Plus, if I'm reading this right, the cousin she was clinging to is one she hasn't gotten to see much (if at all?) in her life. She probably thought (and with good reason) that if she leaves now, she will never see the cousin again, which made her very frightened and scared.<br>
Adding all of those together, it makes for a little girl who really, truly, cannot control her behavior.<br>
I think that she responded to the situation- maybe not well, and you shoud definitely explain to her (as you may have done) how you would prefer her to express her feelings, but I think that with the given situation, she was acting much the way many 5yo's would.
 

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Sounds a lot like my dd. 5 year old thing perhaps?<br><br>
I hate it when others get involved when I'm actively working with my dd about an issue. I really want to tell them to butt out. I can't think of way to do it though that doesn't cause them to get mad.<br><br>
When I can I take her to another room and talk to her there. Its less embarassing and other people are less likely to step in.
 

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I just want to point out a bit of subtlety I read in there. Why did your 5yo "have a tantrum" but you "lost it"? Wasn't it the same thing? You didn't get your way, either.<br><br>
I know how hard it is when you get stressed. Looking at our kids as going through the same process helps me understand it better and make a game plan (usually do things as quick as possible, help them through their good-byes and LEAVE! All without saying more than absolutely necessary.)<br><br>
eta: after I'm calmer and not ready to bite heads off, then I can empathise more and accept that s/he's sad and help him. But I have to get back to that point first.
 

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I'm so sorry about your brother.<br><br>
Well, I think, as pp have mentioned, that your 5 year old is probably stressed and sad for the same reasons you are, and so it isn't that surprising that she's misbehaving.<br><br>
If I were going through what you described, the best solution I can think of would be to ask somebody else to get dd #1 to the car. It was going to be hard for her leave no matter what, and someone who is grieving and stressed may not have the emotional reserves to help her leave peacefully. In other words, I think you were expecting too much of her, but you were also expecting too much of yourself. This is a time to call in favors and get the time you need to grieve your brother.<br><br>
Take it easy, decide that she's probably going to act out a little for a while, and while it isn't ok, she may well be doing the best she can while she processes the grief in her household and her own grief (assuming she knew your brother).<br><br>
((Hugs)) to you in this difficult time.<br><br>
ZM
 
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