My 5 year old daughter is mean

Rashell - posted on 10/29/2013 ( 2 moms have responded )

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Please help. My 5 year old is turning into a little bully. :( If she doesn't get her way with her friends she acts out. She doesn't physically bully but vocally. I'm so upset bc it doesn't seem to bother her a bit?

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I know this is heartbreaking to watch as a parent; it breaks my heart when I see one of my kids being mean to someone else. I think "How can they be so cold? What are they learning from me??" But if it makes you feel any better, I think it's totally normal for kids to go through this stage, especially girls (in my experience). I've seen many of my cousins act this way when we were little, and my own older sister was absolutely insufferable! Haha. I watched my niece do it a LOT to her little brother and my son, and she grew out of it in a year or two. I've even seen it many a time from my stepdaughter (5 years old) towards my son (4) and she is seriously the shyest, most timid child I've ever met. But when it's just her and my son, the claws come out, and it's been that way since she was 18 months old. Now, I say all that to comfort you, but I am absolutely NOT saying it should be ignored. It is normal for young children to test the social waters and see what gets them what they want and what doesn't, but it's also the responsibility of the parent to correct those behaviors. The kids who consistently get away with treating their peers that way are the ones who grow up to be self-centered adults who manipulate and control others with their emotions and attitudes without regard for others' feelings or well being.

Maybe sit her down ahead and have a very pointed discussion about how we treat others and why (how our words and actions, good or bad, make people feel). I wouldn't suggest speaking to HER the way she speaks to her friends just to show her how it feels (that's been suggested to me before and I totally disagree with that advise), however you could use her own words as an example to ask her how she WOULD feel if her friend said those things to her. Sometimes it's difficult for a child that young to even put themselves in someone else's shoes so that may not be real effective, but it's worth a try. And then after having a good, solid discussion about it, maybe you could just briefly go over main points as a reminder every time someone is about to come visit. Impulse control is still hard at that age too, so you might need little verbal cues to use in the heat of the moment as well to stop her in her tracks, like one or two specific words that remind her of the discussion had earlier about it. For example, if you talk about how a good hostess puts her guest first before herself, maybe if she's getting upset about not getting her way you could just say firmly, "Guest first." Also, the reality is, not all children are taught to be selfless hosts, so there may be times when SHE is the guest and gets upset because a friend doesn't treat her with the hospitality she expects. But that's where it's good to just teach your child to be humble and polite and tell her if she's ever feeling particularly mistreated she can always call you to come pick her up. Often, when faced with the alternative of having to end the playtime, kids will get over it and work it out, and if not she knows she can call you if she's being walked all over, but that it goes both ways when her friends are over...if she can't be a good hostess even with reminders from you, her friends can go home. When this sort of thing happens at a playground or some other neutral ground where no one is the "hostess" I would just pull her aside for a few minutes, have her take a breather, and remind her that we do not speak unkindly to others and if it continues we can leave because that's not an acceptable way to treat people. If it's helpful at all, here are two links with more specific ideas. One is about teaching children how to be a good hostess, and the other is specifically about teaching overall empathy, which I think is the key to teaching children how to treat others.

http://www.meaningfulmama.com/2013/07/ho...
http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/11/living/bul...

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Nay - posted on 10/29/2013

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She will be just fine all kids act out they just want someone to play at all time kids hatr being along

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