Jennifer - posted on 03/02/2011 ( 1 mom has responded )
I have a gorgeous, energetic, strong willed 4 year old girl. For the most part we get along really well and I've figured out effective ways to manage her behavior, by giving her "choice and control" rather than dictating to her. ie, "you need to brush your teeth, put your shoes on and brush your hair, what do you want to do first?" rather than, "put your shoes on".
Being a single mom and her being an only child she is used to having me all to herself, although when she's around other kids she's good at sharing and can be quite empathetic. However, when an adult comes to visit, she is an absolute horror and will stop at nothing to get my attention! I have had many conversations with her before guests arrive where I explain I need to have a little mommy time and she promises she will watch a dvd, play in her room, read a book or paint etc I make a point of praising her for good/quiet behavior. Sometimes, if I can, I will "make" the guest join in a board game with us all to give her attention then ask her to go on her merry way and entertain herself for a bit. I have had some degree of success but it's really inconsistent.
Today, I was chatting to a neighbor (for about 10 mins) and at one point she was on the floor grabbing at our feet with no knickers on. I picked her up, told her to put her knickers and skirt on and read a book whilst mommy was talking and she'd get a treat." She only got worse, pulling on my clothes, yanking at my hand, pinching me, spilling water on the floor... eventually the neighbor left. I put her in time out. I really don't know what else to do, it's getting to the point where I'm really embarrassed by her behavior and so are other adults.
Our situation doesn't help, solo mom/only child, but that's our situation (and has been since she was 9 months) and I can't do anything to change that. When we're on our own she'll quite happily entertain herself if I'm busy cooking dinner or doing chores, so I know she's quite capable of going it alone for a while.
Does anyone have any advice, I'm not sure where to go to from here? I don't get many visitors, it's pretty lonely being a solo parent, I don't want to scare my visitors away!