Am I the worst mother in the world?

Ashley - posted on 06/27/2012 ( 21 moms have responded )

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For the past 3 months my 5 year old daughter has been acting like she 30 years old...talking back, telling my husband and I what to do, getting an attitude....all of that and today she's been pushing my buttons with her "NO" word. She hit her friend in the face with the door and when I told her to just go sit in the corner she yelled in my face "NO I'M NOT GOING!" And I "whooped" her butt for the first time...now I can't sleep, I'm continueously crying and upset that she pushed me that far! I have never done that before, I only threatened all the time! Now I feeel like the worst mother in the world! Am I? What can I do about how I feel?

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Louise - posted on 06/28/2012

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We have all been there at some point Ashley, take a deep breath and start again tomorrow. Your daughter is trying to control you and to do this she needs to know your limitations. Well now she has found them. What you do next time is remove her from the room to her bedroom and close the door. This gives you breathing room to calm down and think what to do before getting to the point of lashing out. This will also teach your daughter that back chatting will get her nowhere but exiled to her room. Give her 10 minutes to cool down and then go back in and talk to her about why you are cross and tell her ways of dealing with situations differently.

Every child goes through this at some stage. I raised two boys who used to wind me up for fun I am sure when they were little. I am now raising a little girl who is very defiant. Placing her away from me whilst I calm down is the safest way for her. It gives me time to think and teachers her that acting like this is not appropriate.

Dry your eyes and put this down to a bad day. You are not a bad mother, if you were a bad mother you would not care about what you have done. You do care very much. New day, fresh start.

Alexis - posted on 06/29/2012

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Your fine. Try next time to pick her up and put her in the corner or time out or whatever discipline you are using. Consistency and follow thorough are key. Something I did when I spanked my son for the first time and then I broke into tears was to stick with my explanation of why he was being disciplined and that what he did was not right. Then I apologized for hitting and that we don't hit. On another note, having an outspoken, opinionated child can be stressful now but I see it as a strong trait that just needs to be curved into a positive productive thing that will make them great adults and leaders.

Laura - posted on 06/28/2012

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First, forgive yourself for losing control and swatting her...it happens. Hopefully you can resolve to not let it happen again.

I think maybe you are expecting too much from her and she is now frustrated and out of her own control. She's five, so is welcome to her opinion, but doesn't get to dictate policy; that's your job.

Its time for you to regain control. Instead of telling her, sometimes you have to guide her (take her by the arm and lead her to the chair/corner, etc) when she needs to follow directions. Try to keep your voice loving, calm and firm. She needs to know you care and at the same time mean business-and-not-maybe.

You are her mother, not her friend....you can't care whether she likes you or not. If you have told her "no" 100 times and then let her get away with it on time 101....you'll have to start over at 1...because in her mind you caved and she got away with it (in her mind she wins over you); kids are very single minded.

Somewhere along the line your daughter got the idea that she is in charge. Of course, she isn't, but for her to relax and be the kid again, you and her dad will have to step up and assert yourselves as her parents.

Deanna - posted on 07/02/2012

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Your daughter is going through a stage. My 3 year old is there and has been for over a year. You had to discipline. It is part of parenthood. She hit her friend, talked back (more like screamed). It was the breaking point, we ALL have them. I applaud you going so far without spanking. Takes strength. Now that you have, your daughter knows you mean business. She may act out a bit more for a bit but knows Mom means it. She should start to settle.
You are NOT a bad Mom!!! You are a good one!!!

Keri - posted on 07/01/2012

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My son started getting "butt smacks" when he was almost 4. They're never hard or to the point they hurt him. My parents spanked me and my brother and my husband and his sister were also spanked. I honestly don't believe "time out" works, especially at such young ages. The concept of "time out" is meant to give kids a chance to think about what they've done and why it's wrong - our little ones just don't have that cognitive ability. In fact, scientist say the area of the brain responsible for making sound, rational, choices isn't even fully developed until age 25. Now, a question: did the spanking get through to her and cause her to stop? Spanking is NOT abuse, no matter what popular culture wants you to think. When done right and for the right reasons, it's a great tool, in my opinion. All I have to do is ask my son "do you want a butt smack?" He'll say "Nooo!" cover his butt and stop doing whatever it was he was doing.

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Laura - posted on 08/02/2012

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The is a small percentage of kids who truly do have ADD, ADHD, and do fall somewhere in the low end of the autism spectrum. Personally, I think its over-diagnosed. We all love our kids, but I think too many parents are buying into the concept that "my kid has this diagnosis so I'm not responsible for his behavior". I disagree. Here's my story.

My daughter, now a thriving adult, was a beautiful, charming, smart and very busy child....she knew her own mind very early and had no trouble letting you know where she stood. There were days I about went out of my mind. She was defiant, had more than a few tantrums and was going to have it 'her way' if it took all day. By sheer coincidence I noticed that her behavior escalated after she ate a store bought treat. I didn't think it was a sugar rush because eating homemade things didn't cause the same reaction. So with a little investigation we found she was overly sensitive to red/yellow food dyes and most food preservatives....all found in packaged goods. So, with my 2-year-old in tow, we started cooking from scratch, avoiding processed stuff as much as possible and watching her reaction when she tried new foods. She was still busy, but became much more cooperative. When there were behavior problems at school I always asked the teachers what activity had been going on before the problem arose....most of the time it was a 'quiet time' or 'free time' or something unstructured....she was bored silly and when she was bored there were behavior problems....keep her busier was the answer; those who did noticed a significant improvement. At this point, she is the executive property manager of a San Francisco high rise, owns a thriving side business, fully participates in her 8-year-old's busy life and is happily married for the past 10 years.

My point is that you have to look past the obvious symptoms to the cause....don't just accept the ADD/ADHD etc....get in there and find out what might be causing the problems. Food is the first villain....go totally back to nature, fresh fruits & veggies, nothing out of a box, read the labels...if you can't pronounce it, you most likely shouldn't be eating it. The food dyes are even in the kids vitamins. Preservatives are horrid....then address the electronics the kids are exposed to...they watch entirely too much TV, video games, computer games, mom's iPhone, etc....and much of the content is too violent for kids under 5.

Again, there are some kids who really are ADD/ADHD, but the percentage is much smaller than recent studies would make you think. The others just may need more one-on-one time with you, often letting them lead the activity and they need to be kept constructively busy. They aren't the easiest kids to raise, but in the end the hard work pays off.

BTW, my son is the polar opposite of his sister....equally smart, charming and cute, but he's a milder personality with a huge attention span and great focus (but only for what he was interested in...story for another day)

Monique Renee - posted on 08/02/2012

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You Need To Disaplin Her It Is Not Right To Talk Back You Need To Show Her That Take Away Things She Like Toy, Candy, Etc. Let Her Learn Even If She Throws A Fit Let Her.

Tina - posted on 07/15/2012

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It's easy to get pushed to the limit somtimes. You're not a bad mum. I'm sure every parent has been at that point before if not they will be. It was a once off don't beat yourself up about it. Unfortunately she's a typical 5 year old pushing boundaries. I don't like to use spanking but I have occasionally not bad normally a tap on the hand I do tend to feel bad. But I guess sometimes they need to understand when they're pushing boundaries. No one else is going to put up with that sort of behaviour and it's better to learn that at home. The most important thing is that you and your husband back each other up especially with rules and restrictions. No matter what it is. If kids see parents disagree they play them against each other then the attention is not on their misbehaviour but debating with each other. Not sure if that's an issue but it's normally a fairly common one.

I look after a 4 and 5 year old for relatives sometimes and they're no different. They do tend to get on the nurves and not listen or it's I can do what ever I want. When they come over all toys are put away. If they want to have fun or have anything they have to earn it. They have broken stuff and pushed limits so I've resorted to doing this with everything including meals. When they say their hungry. I tell them when they can show me they can behave sit down and be good for 5 minutes they can have lunch, a treat or a toy. It seems to work. They've also been given several warnings when it comes to furniture. Last time they came over and decided to jump on the furniture they've been told they're not aloud on the lounge. Until they can treat stuff nicely they cannot use it. While I have had the kids over I can normally have some control but once their parents arrives they start misbehaving again. I think that's typical of any child too.

Stephanie - posted on 07/11/2012

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you ovisly care anuff to be up crying and not sleeping , its okay i think wee have all done it or nearly done it , my son is currently getting assessed for adhd and me of all should know how it feels to have a child scream and shout at me although i have not hit him witch ovisly you never ment, your not alone we'r here to speak when you need to , i try to ignor my son when hes doing things like this and yeah it gets really tuff but walk away from them try and make it clear that you will not listin to her when she shouts and try to ignor her till she speaks appropriatly to you if this dosnt work take her favriot toy untill she apolagizes this always works with my son
hope this helps a little and dont get upset mail me if you want to talk xstephteex@hotmail.co.uk

Peggy - posted on 07/08/2012

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I had a friend who had a son who had ADHD and ODD. The reason she is rebelling is probably the ODD. That really has a lot to do with it and its a compulsion not a choice. So in times like that make sure you are more understanding. Also, have you tried giving her "her time" away from everyone so she can settle.down? talk to her doctor or psychologist about it. s/he may be able to give you some advice to cope with it. hope this helps.

Vivienne - posted on 07/08/2012

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I dont think she needs a therapist so just knows with buttons to press! She can be good at school every one says she is so polite and good it makes me think have I brought the right child home? Never had a problem when she was a baby but now she is 5 everything I ask her to do. Has the answer" its my choice " oh she definitely knows what is right and wrong!

Julie - posted on 07/03/2012

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no your not the worst mum and yours isnt the only child to be slapped for misbehaving. i have always grounded my kids regardless of age. when she plays up send her to her room (and that means no playing ) an would send them for a certain length of time depending on age at 5 years old an hour with nothing but themselves for company. tell them the what they have done wrong and tell them that you are upset with them and dont wnat to see them for a while and put them in their room. they will soon learn to behave.

Laura - posted on 06/29/2012

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I was able to msg you. My email is included. I'm happy to discuss this at length with you. My daughter was high-strung and "thorny" as a little girl. As an adult she's an amazing person and very successful in life.

Bethany, we had custody of a nephew for 18 months during that age. We were very fair and very firm. He was behind in school, serious behavior problems, horrible hygeine, messy and was taking the wrong medication for ADHD. He was also grossly overweight. By the end of the 18 months he'd grown 5 inches and lost 55 pounds, gone from a 2nd grade reading level to 7th grade reading level, outbursts were significantly reduced (mostly related to unexpected changes in routine), participated fully in organized sports (baseball, football) and both teams were champions in their divisions. He helped with the routine housework, kept his room up fairly well, ate what I put in front of him, did his homework pretty well, followed the house rules and learned some manners. I made him take two showers a day with Irish Spring soap (the only kind strong enough to manage his horrible BO) and get serious about his personal care. And at the same time showed him some respect as a human being, quite lacking in his upbringing. He was allowed to stay up for New Year's Eve, had the same steak dinner the rest of the guests had and had sparkling cherry cider in same champagne flutes we had our champagne in....basically he was included as an equal memeber of the household.

Force the school to do their job. Get him an IEP (individual education plan); you will have to fight hard for it, it costs the school district money. However, it follows him through college, so never let them tell you he doesn't need it anymore.

Bethany - posted on 06/29/2012

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go no!!!!! not that i'm trying to pry but from that last comment it seems that your fighting a huge battle, my 11yr old nephew had been diganosed with ADHD for a few years and he has "rages" where by he will do damage to himself others and property to the point of drawing blood.
he has had sever learning setback due to him being suspened and expelled from schools over the last 2 years (hes currently at his 3rd school) we believe and even tho been teasted for it and told no that he has very mild asburgers that the test cant pick up. when he is with me and his almost 29mth old cousin hes fine but at home and even at my parents, he stay there alot, he has his fits.. he also poos his pants frequently his dad (mum n dad seperated when he was 2 1/2, n dad n partner has custody) rings me in tears not knowing what to do so i talk to him and somehow have the nack of calming him down thank god!!
having these sorts of issues can be a major issue for parents more than the children.
if your not already i would seek counciling for both you and your child seperatly and together if possible, but feel free to inbox me and i will be happy to swap stories and advise (i took majority care of my nephew at least 7 hrs a day 4 days a week but sometimes more for over 2 years)

Ashley - posted on 06/28/2012

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Laura I was trying to send you a message but the system won't let me so I guess ill have to type it here...there are more problems with my daughter than should be...when she was two there was an incident and she's recently been diagnosed with ADHD and ODD I wish I could tell you what happened but I'm not comfortable posting it in public but I understand what your saying and completely appreciate the advise I will try what you say

Ashley - posted on 06/28/2012

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Viv its all good tried that doesn't work....just to be curious...and not nosey...have you brought her to the therapist or pysh doctor?

Vivienne - posted on 06/28/2012

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I'm so relived I am not the only one in this situation! I have to bribe my 5 year old to be good or put stars on a good bad chart but she just rubs the bad stars out! If I put her in time out she wants the toilet and then I just fall soft and forgive!

Sarah - posted on 06/28/2012

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I know what you mean. I have done the same thing. I'm not a big fan of spankings but on occasion my daughter has had a swat on her butt only. Although it made me feel horrible. When this happens she is usually being just awful. Afterwards I will sit her down and apologize for spanking her but that her behavior was unacceptable and then I tell her how much I love her. I think it is important to show a child that we can also apologize for our own behavior.

Ashley - posted on 06/27/2012

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Thank you but I still feel HORRIBLE! I mean she's in therapy and all and I really didn't mean to do it but she screamed at me no and it was like a switch just went off...its really hard to calm down I can't even sleep I'm crying so much! But again thank you for your kind and encouraging words! I appreciate it!

Michelle - posted on 06/27/2012

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take a deep breath and relax you are not the worst mother in the world it does happen and sometimes kids take things to far but if all you ever did was threatened but never followed through she would learn very quickly that it was an empty threat and she could keep behaving the way she wants to. Though you feel terrible about it, it is no longer an empty threat she should take you more seriously now.

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