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  1. #1
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    Default Mum's of 8 year old DD's..help me please!

    I need opinions and advice from mums with children are around this age. My 8 year old DD is turning into a nightmare and I am having a very hard time coping with her. She teases her brothers non-stop, she does not listen to me at all - at all! She is rude, insolent , disrespectful. I end up in full on screaming matches with her and her 'bad mood' can last for 2 hours. She will scream at her brothers - and is sometimes physical. It is having a very negative impact on our my feeling towards her and the general family harmony. DH has to basically back me up all the time with her - she tries it on him but is in general much better behaved for him. I am at teh stage that if I know DH is working that afternoon/evening or I am going to be with them for the day alone it make me feel anxious and I dread it. She has always been difficult and I new it would get harder as she gets older but I am having serious fears for when she reaches the teen years. Her brother can also be difficult but usually led by her. For example - last night after a very long few hours alone I was trying to get them to bed and they were all jumping on the bed. 10 minutes of asking them not to , stop now etc, etc and DD basically just sat there with a smirk on her face the whole time. I ended losing it completely and then she just out right laughed at me - then i started crying in front of them. She is much better when she is on her own and she doesn't have 'behavioural issues' this behaviour is only with me. I should ad she can be a lovely little girl when she wants to be but is extremly stubborn and always has been. I do get anxiety which does not help but this is making it much worse. Sorry for the vent but can anyone else me!

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    What are the consequences of her behaviour?

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    VicPark  (08-04-2016)

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    Either time out which used to work quiet well but now she doesn't really seem to care or I have started taking privileges off her but when you do you get an hour of crying and nagging and I'm sorry. Like literally she will follow me round the house, alternating between pleading and begging and crying to yelling at me and getting really angry. behaviour that in itself requiers some kind of discipline. That and I am running out of privileges.

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    I think you just need to follow through no matter how much nagging. Otherwise she will never learn.

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    Id also suggest time out but if its not working maybe take one of her special toys off her for a day and when she starts to behave give it back to her.

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    You need to stay strong and assert your place in the family ranking. She has seen weakness and is using it to her advantage. I know this sounds nasty and authoritarian but it can all be done with love and respectfully.

    Does she have any responsibilities? My 8yo has a chore chart linked to pocket money. She is then also responsible for her oown money and has saved up several large amounts for an item since we started it.

    Additionally she has a star chart for good manners/helping etc - this has been going for years and doesn't get used much but useful when her behavior starts to slip.

    Also lots of praise when she plays well with her toddler brother, lets him "win" etc.

    So that's the "positive reinforcement" half of it.

    Then the other side is consequences anf following through. DD would not get away with following me around carrying on. If she needs to cry and wail about it she can do it in her room. If she refuses then I'll pick up all 30kg of her and take her there. I would warn her first, but carrying on would attract an extra consequence. Eg. "You need to go to your room now because you are angry, to cool down. If you do not go now you will not have access to the iPad for 2 weeks instead of 1. Do you understand?"

    Once a consequence is handed down, do not ever back down on it (unless it was something overly harsh you just screamed out in a moment of anger - then discuss it and come up with something more fair).

    Above all, try to pre-empt tthe behaviour. Stop the kids and cool them down at the first sign of about-to-turn crazy/nasty. So kids run into room before bed and are about to clamber onto the bed... step in there with a clear "stop! It's quiet time."

    Also, watch her mood after school each day. DD gets overloaded by all the social BS that starts at this age and can take it out on us at home. Sometimes she needs to talk through it, other times she just needs a bit of good old fashioned cheering up.

    If you're still struggling to work out her triggers, also check what she eats. There could be something there tipping her over the edge behaviour wise.

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    Albert01  (08-04-2016)

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    I should add, if all of the above seems like a big jump from where you are now. Sit down when she is calm, fed and well rested and explain that things need to change and what/why you will be doing. Give her opportunity then to collaborate with you in setting behaviour standards and coming up with appropriate consequences.

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    If there are difficulties with a child within a family unit, what are the root causes? Could there be issues with the child? Or how the parents are interacting with the child? Or a combination of the two? I honestly don't mean that as an insult . When there is a situation such as what you're family is going through I don't think there is a baddie or a goodie. Just two sides that are speaking different languages and may need some help coming together.

    There's no shame in getting help to help everyone get along. Can you see your local GP to see if there is a behavior management course you can do? One thing that struck me is you mentioned your child gets 10 minutes of warnings. Too long IMO.

    Could your daughter have any issues that she needs extra help with? Sensory? Attention? Could an event have traumatized her? Could she been needing something from yourself or her dad? As an 8 year old I remember not getting along with my parents. I felt they favoured my sibling. I felt they didn't spend enough time with me. I found their authoritarian style upsetting. I acted out. With hindsight I think there were other issues at play too. They never once attempted to get to the root cause of my outburst - they just labelled me a bad kid. Things would have been a lot different if they would have just spent some time with me, sat down and let me talk without fear of getting in trouble. Not saying it's the same with your daughter - just trying to demonstrate how important it is to get inside your kids head and look at the world from their perspective.

    Best of luck CC ..

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    My oldest is an emotional person. I first discovered this when she was about 7 and decided to start testing every boundary and rule we had. She would get very angry and violent almost. We decided to tackle it from every direction. In case it was related to the fact she had two younger siblings cutting into her time, DH and I made a point to spend Friday nights just with her, let her stay up later, do some board games watch a movie.

    When a tantrum happened we told her it was okay, and she could go and calm down and relax in her room or outside but we were not going to interact for 20 minutes (unless it was to intervene in a dangerous situation) and literally set a timer. Some days she'd pull everything out of her room, throw it in the hall way, or she'd just scream and cry. And then some days she'd wash her face and just go sit away and chill. It was just continual "that's okay, when you're calm we can talk but I'm not going to engage in this". It took a lot of work and she's now 11 and now she will go and chill out or say 'I need space'. We never worked out what it was, we just countered it with more time and acknowledging her mood and refusing to engage. Good luck.


 

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