trouble with my 6 year old

Missy - posted on 05/30/2012 ( 18 moms have responded )

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having a horrible time getting along with my almost 6 year old daughter, everything is a struggle, a fight, an argument. I have tried pretty much anything. please help

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Shelley-Ann - posted on 06/03/2012

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Hi Missy:

It isn't going to be easy and be sure to ask your doctor lots of questions when you get to the appointment. And don't be discouraged if the doctor doesn't have much to offer in the beginning. There's usually more than one reason for situations and sometimes it's necessary to take an approach from different angles. Perhaps missing your husband is compounding matters for both of you. I know in my case my husband's presence usually helps calm things down for both of us. Your daughter probably has a lot of bottled up feelings she doesn't know how to deal with appropriately.

When children start to negotiate with you and you're looking at this little child arguing with you sometimes you wonder what the hell is going on. I've been learning to let some things go in order to insist on others. It's really about learning the art of negotiation because it's not possible to say "because mommy said" sometimes. I've also started talking to my daughter during times when there's no struggle so that I can understand her better. I've found that some of the fighting and argument is simply her trying to assert herself. She has a very strong, somewhat aggressive personality and I'm constantly intervening between her and her sister, who is older.

Children aren't usually able to recognize the future consequences of their actions. So when we're not arguing about something I talk to her about this and we discuss possible consequences and the fact that she needs to be mindful of her actions. This is something that's repeated several, but I keep doing it even though I've done it a million times before because I've seen where progress is being made. It's like helping her think things through.

Another thing that has been helping is meditation for me. Keeping calm and recognizing when a situation is going to spiral into an argument before it begins has helped tremendously. I'm much better able to look at the situation a little more detached so that I don't get as emotional or exasperated as I used to. So, at least I'm not adding my frustration to the situation. I'm also learning to ask and not tell. Not because I'm the parent and I want something done at a particular time should I just say "go do this". I'm looking closely at the way I approach her and I've begun asking. So, if I want her to pick up her toys I say "Sweetheart, could you pick up your toys and put them in the basket please?" If she responds, "not now mommy" I could do one of two things... insist she do it right away or ask myself how urgent is it. I would respond with "why can't you do it now?" and I listen to the answer. Then, I might give her a few minutes to finish what she's doing then remind her to pick up her toys. Or I would ask her to pause what she's doing and do it now, then she could return to what she's doing. This usually helps but it hasn't solved all the tantrums and the fights, yet I can see as she gets older she's understanding more and more and we're able to work things out better.

Also, when we're not in a struggle, I ask her about how she feels when we get into a struggle and we talk about different ways she could deal with her feelings without throwing a tantrum or hurting someone else (like hitting her sister when she wants a toy from her). A lot of it has to do with learning how to deal with unhappy feelings, anger, sadness, hurt. We talk a lot about using words and learning that everything isn't going to be her way and about learning to love and care for other people and their feelings, sharing with them etc.

Then there's her diet. I've noticed that when she's hungry she gets very cranky. Her pediatrician says she's growing healthy and normal and that everything's fine, but whenever she's hungry she'll get upset quickly, shout a lot etc. She hardly ever notices to say "mom I'm hungry" so I usually monitor her meals very closely. Also, her sugar intake is an issue. She has limited amounts of sweets, and certainly very little after 2pm. I never give her vitamins after lunch, or any soda or hard candy in the afternoon or I'm just asking for trouble later on. It's worth observing when your daughter is most agitated and thinking about the source of the trouble.

It's not easy, but I try to give her respect and I let her know that I expect it in return. I let her make as many choices as I can, usually limiting her options within a few that I could live with. We often talk about situations where she'd need to trust me and my judgment because I'm older, have seen more of the world, and my job is to protect her so she might just need to listen to me and not ask questions sometimes. I let her know that not every situation would allow for her choice because sometimes there might be danger and I'd need to act quickly. Thankfully so far we haven't been in any really serious situations but I keep talking to her about it so that I can get her cooperation there because you really never know.

I know this message has been very long but I hope it has been helpful to you. Don't lose courage and don't give up. At 6 your daughter really needs you and with her father being away often, you're the only parent. It's a lot of pressure on you but you're on the right track to getting what you need to cope with the situation and helping your little one cope as well. Good luck. You're in my prayers.

Julie - posted on 06/04/2012

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I have the same issues with my 6 and 8 year-old step-daughters. The younger one is in counseling for adjustment issues and the older one has ADHD/ODD. It's complete turmoil in our home. They came from home with no structure, no rules, no discipline, no attention and so much neglect the judge gave my husband full-custody with no visitation for mom. Add my 15 y/o son with ADHD/ODD & PDD and my extremely energetic 3 y/o son who refuses to potty train and a husband gone 12 hours a day! I feel your pain girl! :) Shelly has some good advice. A lot of what she said, especially about letting them make choices you are comfortable with, is part of the Love & Logic parenting technique. Set up a reward chart. Give her stickers for everything she does right without a fight and then a treat at the end of the week. When she's having a fit, put her in her room or leave the room she is in. Sometimes mommies need a time-out too! ;) Good luck!!!

Lori - posted on 06/01/2012

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I have the same trouble with my daughter...everything's fine except if her plans don't go her way and then she flies off the handle. She's eight now and this has been a particular hard year as far as her behaviour in school (the teachers think she has adhd but her doc disagrees) but it's getting a bit easier at home. I try to change her mind whenever I can feel a confrontation coming on but I won't put up with rudeness or back talk either. I usually put her on time out in the corner for 10 minutes and it seems to calm her down. Whenever you get frustrated because she tries to fight or argue with you just remember that it may mean she is just a strong willed girl and has strong beliefs and opinions and even though now it's hard to deal with it may be beneficial in the long run when she sticks up for her rights as a young lady and doesn't let anyone walk over her. But try your best to make it plain to her that you are her Mom and what you say goes. :)

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Natalie - posted on 07/05/2012

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As soon as my daughter started in year 1 at school and turned 6, I found that she started getting checky. Everything I did or said she would either answer back or argue with me, as if she knew how to winde me up.
What I do find now is that shouting at her doesnt help and actually makes her worse and her teacher made sense when she said "They are still babies!" and in reality, even though they are six we do forget, that they are still young and innocent.
My husband always says act like the adult, as by argueing with her, you may aswell be 6 too lol x

Pamela - posted on 06/12/2012

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Go to www.projecttapping.com There is a method to help heal your own emotional ills with what is called the Emotional Freedom Technique ( EFT).

I have been using this technique for about 6 weeks and have been healing all kinds of current and past problems.

It takes some quiet time, so do it when the children are asleep and you have some energy left to apply to your needs!

The highest and best as you witness the changes in your life!

Susan - posted on 06/12/2012

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You can't argue with a child, that just lowers their respect for you and that's when the problem begins!

Shelley-Ann - posted on 06/09/2012

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You're welcome Missy. I used to get really frustrated and was at my wits end until I started reading everything I could find on kids who are a little more active than others. My first daughter was very calm, soft spoken, and obedient. What most people would call a perfect child. So when the second one came around, my husband and I were sooooo not prepared! Where I'm from ADHD isn't well diagnosed and many times children get branded as being trouble makers or bad when they're just trying to adjust to their environment. I work outside of the home so getting my daughter enough activity is demanding but I try because I realize it's very important. I also use the 1 2 3 logic and it seems like it's the only thing that works sometimes. We do try to reward good behavior but I haven't yet tried the reward chart so that's my next plan. As many strategies as I can use I try. It's a work in progress.

Kristin - posted on 06/07/2012

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Kelsey,

My son is ADHD as well as he has asthma. He is 6 years old and he acts up at school and at home. When he was 3 we did pre school screening and found he had speech delays and required speech therapy. He was frustrated due to his lack of understanding and being able to communicate. We also put him into behavior classes to help with his ADHD. I watch his diet carefully and he is not allowed any red foods as these foods have more sugars (natural or other) than other foods and I monitor his sugar. I also have to ensure he eats because if he is hungry or tired he turns into a bear. What works for me and the teachers at his school is to be consistent and firm. I use the 1 2 3 logic. He knows if i get to 3 he has to go to his room for a time out and he can not come out until he apologizes and we can talk it out. I also take things away ie no trip to the park, swimming, etc. It is hard at first but he is learning that good behavior had good consequences and bad behavior has bad consequences. I also have a 1 yr old daughter and to help with the jealousy issue i made my son into my "big boy" helper. He uised to get me her diapers or other little things which made him feel special and a part of her life and he didnt feel neglected or left out, thank god the jealousy stage didnt last more than a month. I also make sure i make mommy time for my son, so when I put my daughter to bed i spend an hour with my 6 yr old playing board games or something. We lead a pretty active life as I believe ADHD kids need to burn their energy off so I always packed the baby up and still took them to parks, swimming, bike rides, etc. which is a great way to get them to listen and behave. To keep my patience up and energy up i also go to the gym every morning for me time ( I have a 16 yr old who watches his siblings in the morning while they sleep as my hubby works out of town). I found with my son that being consistent firm and calm he listens way better. I always make sure to talk to him on his level to make sure he knows what behvior he did was wrong and why it was wrong and always follow with a hug,

Missy - posted on 06/05/2012

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Thank you Shelley-Ann. I am trying to be patient with her, I know a lot of it is me too, I get so frustraited , Her behavior started long before my husband was away and way before the baby came along, She has always been so strong willed, I pray every night that tomorrow will get better. I do notice sweets make her crazy so we cut that out. I am new at being a stay at home mom and I am now trying to keep her busy and pay all my attention to her (kind of hard with a 6 month old) Still waiting on the Dr referral. Thank you all for the advice means alot. And Julie, I will definately stat a reward chart. Thank you

Shelley-Ann - posted on 06/03/2012

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Sorry about the really long post everyone. I guess I just had a lot to say.

Kelsey - posted on 06/03/2012

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For those of you who have ADD or ADHD children do they act up at school too or just at home? I have a 7 yr old who is a perfect angel at school but when it comes to home, she is a mess it seems. If it is done her way or if she can't do it then just forget it! It seems like the nothing is gonna change. She has other issues too and can't seem to help it. I have tried a psychologist but it doesn't seem to help. I don't know if I need someone else or what needs to be done. Any advice would be great.
Thank You

Jessica - posted on 06/03/2012

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I am having problems with my 6 year old daughter too. She is always throwing tantrums like a 2 year old. if she dosent get her way its a fight. I cant get her to listen,clean stop fighting with her brothers. Ect.. I have done everything. I dont know what to do anymore. Please help!!!

Jessica - posted on 06/03/2012

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I am having problems with my 6 year old daughter too. She is always throwing tantrums like a 2 year old. if she dosent get her way its a fight. I cant get her to listen,clean stop fighting with her brothers. Ect.. I have done everything. I dont know what to do anymore. Please help!!!

Missy - posted on 06/02/2012

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no we just moved to this area 5 hrs from any griefs and family. my husband just started truck driving and is only home once every 5 weeks. until I can get her a Dr apt. I will just continue to try the best I can. but yes she is super hyper and its tough. thank you ladies for all your advice.

Lori - posted on 06/01/2012

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My son was around 5 when my daughter was born and it was VERY frustrating since he was very hyper maybe even more than Shannon. So I can relate to that. Do you have any family close that can help you with things? I had my Mom come up from down east to help me and it was the best thing I ever did. I hope things get easier for you...

Missy - posted on 06/01/2012

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thank you. I just tried to make an apt for her today for therapy. have to wait for a refferal. I am trying my best but loosing patience fast. Ihave a 6 month old too and its very frustraiting

Kristin - posted on 06/01/2012

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I had the same problem with my son who is 6, we put him into behavior classes through chads and he is ADHD as well. With CHADS program it has helpoed immensly with his listening skills and behavior problems. He used to hit and pucnh kick walls everything and now he doesnt do any of that and has learnt that bad behavior does not get rewarded and good behavior does get rewarded. Say if he does something bad or doesnt listen he is not allowed to go to a friends house for a day or we will not go to the park. If he behaves and is good than he can go to a friends house or we will go to the park or swimmin or whatever. I hope this helps good luck

Mel - posted on 06/01/2012

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Having the same problem with my 5 and a half year old daughter. We ended up seeking professional help as it ended up being out of our hands. Sometimes external help is whats needed.

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