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  1. #1
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    Default Somebody please help. No bashing.

    This is a rant/needing advice because I can't deal anymore..

    I have a 4 year old little girl. Was once so respectful and helpful and nice. Seemed she never had a bad bone in her body. Now she's the complete opposite.

    She is so so disrespectful, ungrateful and nasty... it hurts my feelings so bad when she says stuff it makes my insides go weak. I can't even stand up for myself that's how much it shocks me, but then she thinks she's won. I can't be nasty to her. I do things to discipline her and I feel guilty straight away and most the time have to just leave it at whatever I've said and walk away before I cry of guilt.

    She won't clean her room, she has a galaxy tab A and she takes pictures of the house we live in and says it's messy and she's going to show people (it's not messy, I'm borderline OCD, the only room that's messy is the room she messes up on a daily basis and not just toys, she rips all her clothes out, all her books out, takes her hangers out of her cupboards, her stepdad builds Lego with her as a bonding kind of activity and she smashes all that up, she has paper everywhere, piles of junk mail & she loses it if I try To bin any of it.), she cut her own hair the other day and tried to hide it from me but she also cut her favourite teddies fur and the hair off of her my little pony doll (to which I have confiscated ALL her toys until she has respect for them) which she lost it over that too and said she doesn't want to live here because I'm nasty and she doesn't get to tell me what to do so why should I tell her what to do, she tells my partner to not go to my room with me, he finishes work and we go to the room and sit on the bed and talk about his day- I personally believe it's important for us to have that talk each day as he knows I care about him and i am interested in him and his life and I still support him even though in 10 minutes we won't spend time together again until we all sit at the dinner table. Today my daughter was riding her my little pony scooter and she walked up to me and said why didn't santa bring me what I asked for I hate this scooter it's disgusting and I don't like it he should have bought me a better one. That ripped my heart out I pay lay-bys for months to buy things for her that I think she will enjoy and that she says she wants and then boom she hates it thanks for that. She also said she hates our house because it has 2 bathrooms and she'd much prefer a house with 1 bathroom- just like nannies. She doesn't realise how lucky she is to have her own bathroom, a $400 tablet, brand new bedroom furniture, toys that no one else has used. Everything she has, has only being hers from day one. I had a completely different upbringing and wanted my child/ren to have a different life to what I had.

    The things I've been doing for discipline are as follows;

    1. Stern warning.
    2. Timeout for 4 mins.
    3. A smack.
    4. Sit in your room for 8 mins.
    5. Take away an item that she cherishes usually her galaxy tab.

    It's so hard to deal with all this my family have stopped speaking to me, and it's stressful because I have no one who I can ask to just watch her for 2 hours while I get on top of the laundry or vacuum the floors. I have had a breakdown where we just got dominoes for dinner and we were walking out the shop I had her in my arms because she had no shoes on, I was holding the coke bottle and she tried to yank it from my hands I held on and stepped down a gutter and she yanked again I lost balance and fell a*s over tit in public with her in my hands all cause she was trying to boss me about and take the coke off of me. I lost it in the car cried my eyes out because I was embarrassed and ashamed that my child just treats me like crap no matter where we are! She constantly tells me off. Someone please help. I need her to respect me again

  2. #2
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    I'm sorry to hear you're having a hard time. I'm curious to know how long you've been with your partner for? Does she feel left out?

    I'm no expert with toddlers but I do work with children and this seems like attention seeking behaviour. Perhaps you've given her too many choices or options? Children need firm boundaries and she can obviously senses she can get away with it day after day.

    Why does she prefer nannies house? Does she feel more secure there? Has there been major upheaval in recent times? Have you taken her to a doctor to be assessed? Does she have friends? Kinder? Playgroup?
    Sorry for the questions, just trying to get a better understanding on why she's like this.

    You don't seem like you're coping. Have you been to see a health professional? You really need to seek out some help for your own issues that you're dealing with too.

    Big hugs and breathe. Kids can be horrible, and you're doing a good job.

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  4. #3
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    Default Somebody please help. No bashing.

    Sorry you are struggling OP - parenthood should be enjoyed, it shouldn't be something your crying over. Of course it's not that easy in real life..

    My first thought is that if your DD has behavioral issues it is not her fault. At 4 years of age it's the parents job to work out what any underlying causes are (it's never because the child is horrible or bad or evil. Never) and develop the right parenting strategies. If your daughter is doing all the things she's doing then it's because the parenting strategies haven't hit the spot. And that's not necessarily a criticism - kids are complex little creatures and it can be bloody hard to work them out.

    The issue is sounds so complex I don't think posters on here are going to be able to sort it out and give you the exact strategies that your child needs. Please see your GP and tell hem what's been going on. They can help with your own anxiety (which is likely impacting on your child), help book in a Paediatrician check for your child (to investigate any underlying conditions or issues your child may have) and can help hook you up with parenting strategies that are tailored specifically to your child's needs. Please do this. There is absolutely NO shame in a parent seeking help. Take it from someone who has been there and done that - help can totally turn things around when it comes to a child.

    And please do not hit your child. I see absolutely no scenario under which that will make your situation better. It will only make things worse.
    Last edited by VicPark; 13-10-2016 at 03:46.

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  6. #4
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    Sorry you are struggling and sorry if I am off base here but how long have you been with your partner and does anything coincide with when her behaviour started? A few things stood out in your post the A) smashing up the Lego could be a sign of some issues with your partner as well as how she doesn't want him in her room B) Wanting to be at Nannies, why? I don't think it's over a bathroom but could be she feels more secure C) Taking photos on her tablet, that could be her way of wanting to reach out to someone outside the situation to talk to and help. 4 year olds don't know how to properly express emotions and are still learning so please know that your little girl isn't a bad kid she is probably just a little upset and confused and you being her Mum makes you a good person to take those emotions out on. Sorry your struggling and if I am way off base

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  8. #5
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    I've actually seen this a few times with friend's little girls. What tends to happen is they are sweet, lovely toddlers who don't hit the terrible 2s badly, therefore strict boundaries don't get set up, parents feel bad if they ever have to tell them off (because they never used to) and the little girls start to run wild and rule the roost by 4yo.

    The great news for you though is you will absolutely be able to support her in changing the behaviour. She is still your sweet little girl, you just need to tap into it again. I'm a huge fan of positive reinforcement. This doesn't mean never giving a negative consequence, it means consciously pointing out/complimenting every little good thing they do (eg. Oh I love the way you put your bowl in the sink without me been asking!) and choosing to ignore some of the minor things so when you do need to reprimand them about something it has an impact (rather than them feeling like they are always being told off). This way you are giving them attention when they do the right thing - so they keep doing the right thing to get more attention!

    Also, when she does something you see as wrong, look at why it happened. The haircutting is a really typical child behaviour. I remember cutting my Barbie's hair off. It had nothing to do with respecting toys (I grew up with very little - it wasn't even an actual Barbie, just the cheap one) I just wanted to see how she looked with short hair. The fact that Barbie hair doesn't grow back was punishment in itself. (Still sad about that lol)

    Trying to get your coke bottle while picking up pizza - was she at that 'beyond hungry?' stage already? Could you have given her a few crackers before you set off to the shops to avoid the meltdown? (Neither of my kids cope with hungry at all!)

    I agree that there seem to be other issues at play here as well. Definitely seek out some support for your own anxiety as this will be impacting on how you react in situations, if you can keep a clear head and stay calm or not.

    Also, the 10 minutes when you partner gets home, I get why you do it, but generally this just doesn't get to happen when you have little kids. Typically when either of us get home we just all pile on the couch together and ALL spend 10 minutes chatting about our day, before the making-dinner craziness starts. DH and I get our time once the kids are in bed. I couldn't even think of disappearing into our room for even 2 minutes at that time of day - we'd be guaranteed to have the kids follow us in within less than a minute - because the they love us and love when we're all together after a work day.

    Best of luck, just always remember she is still your beautiful daughter, just hiding under a few problem behaviours.

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  10. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juventina View Post
    I'm sorry to hear you're having a hard time. I'm curious to know how long you've been with your partner for? Does she feel left out?

    I'm no expert with toddlers but I do work with children and this seems like attention seeking behaviour. Perhaps you've given her too many choices or options? Children need firm boundaries and she can obviously senses she can get away with it day after day.

    Why does she prefer nannies house? Does she feel more secure there? Has there been major upheaval in recent times? Have you taken her to a doctor to be assessed? Does she have friends? Kinder? Playgroup?
    Sorry for the questions, just trying to get a better understanding on why she's like this.

    You don't seem like you're coping. Have you been to see a health professional? You really need to seek out some help for your own issues that you're dealing with too.

    Big hugs and breathe. Kids can be horrible, and you're doing a good job.
    All of this!

    Big big hugs x

  11. #7
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    It sounds like you're struggling so hugs.

    Have you tried bombarding with praise rather than focussing on what she is doing 'wrong'?

    Maybe try a reward chart. I'd make sure that you get to the end reward the first couple of times really quickly so just start with every little thing that she does well, like saying please or thank you or something. Given that she doesn't seem to be respecting her toys at the moment, I would suggest a non-material reward such as a special outing or one on one time.

    Good luck.

  12. #8
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    I agree that time with your partner is important, but I wouldn't go sit in your room with him for 10mins when he first gets home - that will lead to your DD associating her stepdad with losing time with you. Stepdad comes home and mummy is suddenly available. Save it for later in the evening for now.

    Out of your list of things you've tried I'd choose one and stick with it. Consistency is the key. We choose to give a warning and then time out for 1min per age. Except it was really 'time in'. We'd sit her on a bench and sit next to her. No playing, just sitting quietly for 4mins. Every time. It's not magic, it didn't work immediately, but it did work in the long run.

    Hang in there. Parenting small kids is not always enjoyable. It's hard work, it's draining, it's frustrating. But it's worth it. Good luck. Your lovely little girl is still there, and you can get her back.

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  14. #9
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    I'm so sorry you're feeling this way. None of this behaviour sounds way out of the bounds of normal to me, but when it's happening all at once it can be very overwhelming.
    Previous posters have made some excellent suggestions. I'll add my first thoughts:

    - Please stop smacking, it's not an effective way of managing behaviour. If it does work to change behaviour, it's because your child is afraid and you don't want a relationship based on fear. But it doesn't sound like it's working anyway so there's no point in doing something that's not working.

    - Change your after work routine. Put yourself in your DD's shoes - how would you feel if the person you loved most in the world (because despite her behaviour and what she says, you are her mum and main caregiver and her world) shut you out every single day as soon as "someone better" walked through the door? It would crush me, and it wouldn't make me feel too crash hot about the person I was being shut out for. You and your partner can talk about his day with your DD present, there's no reason I see why you can't. Your partner is an adult and surely can understand that you still care about him and are interested in him without that 10 minutes. Once your daughter is in bed you've got the rest of the evening to talk one on one.

    - Sounds like her behaviour is a combination of attention seeking and power struggle. To address the attention seeking, positive reinforcement can be a really helpful tool. Catch her being good. This is harder than it sounds but Stretched summed it up really well in her post. In terms of the power struggle, the best way to address that is giving her appropriate choices so she still feels in control but is making a choice you are happy with. For example if you're butting heads about the junk mail in her room, you might explain that it's messy where it is so to make things tidy it either needs to go in a display folder/scrapbook, in a drawer or in the bin - her choice. Then (and this is important) - don't stand over her while she chooses as this is likely to escalate her behaviour, move away and give her 'take up time', ie time to decide and act out her choice and save face. Then thank her for making a good choice and move on. Don't make a big deal out of it.

    - if your daughter's behaviour has escalated to the point of having a full on tanty/meltdown, don't try to discipline her at that point. It won't work. Wait until she's calm again and then have a discussion about what happened and what you can both do next time to try and make sure it doesn't happen again.

    - Try to remember that a lot of what she says is not said deliberately to hurt you. Eg the scooter comment - she has no idea you chose that for her, to her Santa brought it from the North Pole. So if she criticises it, she's criticising Santa, not you. She also has no idea of the value of money yet, so whether she has expensive toys and gadgets or cheap ones makes no difference. She just knows what she likes or not and at four, doesn't have that filter in place yet to not blurt out every thought that pops into her head.

    - Make sure that if you punish her, the punishment fits the crime. Natural consequences are great. You've taken away her toys until she respects them - how can she show you she respects them if she doesn't have them? Natural consequences are often better at that age - she has to live with a pony with no tail and doesn't get a new one. Also pick and choose your battles. Don't fight over everything, it's exhausting!

    - Re: the housework. Can you not get a lot of that done while she's playing/watching TV? Or is she the kind of kid who needs your undivided attention all the time? At four she could help you with smaller chores while you do the bigger ones. Or maybe you could look into whether a daycare near you has a place available one day a week for you do do those big cleaning jobs or is there an occasional day care near your house you could use as required? Or I'm assuming she'll be at school next year so worst case - only three and a half more months to ride out until she's at school some of the time and then you'll have time to yourself. It might seem like a long time but it will go fast.

    - Look into Triple P and find out if there are any courses in your area. It's a fantastic parenting program, I think you would get some useful tips and guidance from it. I think there might be an online version too but in person is always better if you can find it. And don't be afraid to seek further help if you need to. There is no shame in it. Your GP, child health nurse, a paediatrician or a psychologist can all be excellent sources of support. Good luck, I hope some of this is helpful!

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  16. #10
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    Thanks so much for everyone's comments really made me feel so much better to read this isn't a permanent thing and it can be fixed. I just want to address, she adores her step dad sh constantly tells him to stay home from work so she can talk to him, he doesn't go into her room.. just something that he's never done and something we don't see he should do. As for talking to my partner when he finishes work it's really honestly the only time we do get to talk about anything at all. We don't close the door and completely exclude her she knows she's welcome to come in, but she chooses not to. He has to be in bed reasonably early because he starts work at 4am and doesn't arrive home until 2-3pm, during the day I try my hardest to do as many things with her as possible so she feels like I want to spend time with her. Yesterday we made a cake, played in the backyard, made decorations for the cake out of fondant, waited for them to dry and then painted them with food safe paint. She can be good sometimes but other times she can be horrible. As for the toys. I shouldn't have said ALL I took majority of her toys, but left her favourite teddy despite she cut his fur, her baby's pram capsule, carrier & highchair a few Zelfs and a couple of babies with no hair, if she can respect those then she can have her other toys back- thanks again for everyone's help!


 

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