My 7 year old daughter will not do anything on her

Shanean - posted on 05/18/2009 ( 11 moms have responded )

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She will not dress, will not wash in the bath tub. She is even talking like a baby and I am clueless what should I do?

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Ratna - posted on 04/25/2013

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hi, my daughter only wants to watch tv she dont want to do anything by her self not even study, she is 7 yrs old student of class 3

Becky - posted on 05/21/2009

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[I'm saying this in the context that you've stated it's been only in the last year she's been behaving in this way]

As her mom, do you believe, or have you observed that she has the ability to do for herself? Does she speak like a baby at school? To her teachers? If she has the ability to do these things on her own, and to speak properly, then do not put up with such behavior! Do not dress her, bathe her, or respond to her when she speaks like a baby. Let her experience the consequences of reverting to infantile behavior when she knows better. Obviously, you won't allow the lack of bathing and dressing herself to come to an unhealthy point, so when it's time to do these things, offer a pretty serious punishment if she chooses not to. I'm reminded of a story in one of my favorite books, "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing." If I'm recalling it correctly, the narrator's little brother would not eat his food and it was becoming a serious problem. His exasperated parents finally took him to the bathtub, plopped him down in it, and dumped the bowl of cereal on his head and said, "Fine. If you don't want to eat it, you can wear it!" It seems harsh, but it did not harm nor publicly embarrass the child. It simply put into context FOR HIM how ridiculous and frustrating his behavior had become. The next time your daughter refuses to bathe on her own, run the bath water or start the shower, pick her up, fully clothed, and put her in the shower or bath - actually in the water. Tell her if she wants to undress and bathe, she'll have to do it herself. Start removing privileges such as TV, games, outings with friends, certain toys, etc., and, as another mom stated on here, tell her that if she insists on being a baby, she'll be treated like one. See how many days it'll take her to shift her behavior when she realizes she's going to be penalized or punished for behaving in a way that she knows not to. Never give in to her behavior, and never go back on punishments that you say will happen. This is some pretty serious behavior, and if it's attention she's trying to get, make sure that NONE of this behavior attracts attention or assistance from you. While being very tough on her misbehavior, though, you should consider taking her to a children's counselor to see if you can unlock what might be behind the bad behavior. Since you used "will not" instead of "cannot," I suppose that this is a choice she's making to act like this, and you have to show her that you're the mom, you're in charge, and she will do as you say, and no amount of pitiful, baby behavior or defiance will change that.

If she seems incapable of doing these things (I don't mean, stubborn and just won't - I mean, has lost the actual ability), she needs to be evaluated by a neurologist and a child psychiatrist immediately, because in that case, her behavior (and the fact that it's been a relatively recent change) is alarming, and obviously, not her fault in any way.

User - posted on 05/21/2009

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I agree with Beth. My son has a multiple Diagnosis, and ADHD is one of them, as well as an Autism Spectrum Disorder, and regression is one sign.

Beth - posted on 05/20/2009

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Don't always go with the fundamental adhd diagnosis...they always run towards that first...who evaluated?...I have found within the school system, at least in my case, they are pushing towards trying to have the kids medicated for any type of acting out situation...if the child is not the proverbial 'cookie cutter', they look for the quickest solution to the problem...if school was who did the evaluation...I would look for private evaluation...look for a neurodevelopment pediatrician who works with kids with these issues every day...and watch for something in the autism spectrum...which would most likely be a mild form if that is what the diagnosis is...but a lot of kids with some form of autism are first diagnosed with adhd, and come to find out it is something in the autism spectrum...if there does not seem to be any problems with learning and paying attention and retaining information...do not take the adhd diagnosis as being legit...they need to look deeper...and the first sign of something in the autism spectrum is regression...just something to think about...

Shanean - posted on 05/20/2009

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Quoting Emma:

has she always been like this or has she started acting like this again?
if it is something she has started doing you could try treating her like a baby?? she might not like it and stop



She just started it this year and it seems like its just getting worst. I had her evaluated and she does have adhd. It is the hardest on me because its so stressful. I do not want to medicate her at this age. She is in counseling, but she has only had one session. I hope the counselling works for her. She is going into first grade next year and it is so much harder.

Shanean - posted on 05/20/2009

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Thanks for all ur suggestions. Yes she is in a councelor for adhd and it just flared up this year. As a parent it has been very hard on me with teaching her and helping her understand how important it is to grow up.

Alice - posted on 05/18/2009

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First off, don't give in to her and do everything for her. I'm assuming of course this is new behavior. Second, figure out what is most important to her whether it be TV, video games, telephone, etc. Tell her she has a certain amount of time to change her ways and to start doing things on her own or no more of whatever, after all if she wants to be a baby then babies don't get those things so she won't either. Give her a couple days to mull things over if she wants to lose her most cherished possesion...not just hours to decide (even tho you want to give her minutes!) If, after the specified time she hasn't come around, CARRY THRU! As for the talking bit, tell her straight up if she speaks like a baby to you then you will ignore her. If she keeps pestering you with baby talk, the only response you give is by looking away from her and tell the room that you don't talk to babies, only to the big kids who know how to talk. I'd also be willing to show VERY tough love and if she won't dress or brush her hair, take her to school as is....Clue her teacher in on what's happening and I bet the embarrasment of going to school in jammies and looking terrible with unbrushed hair will put an end to a lot of your problems. The thing is you have to follow thru! Be tough!! It won't hurt her to go a couple days with not washing or dressing, she will learn quickly her actions have consequences and that is all part of growing up. Good luck and stick to your guns!



Now, if this is how she has been all the time, get her checked by the school psychologist for developmental delays, even her teacher can help out there...A neurologist is a good idea but start with professionals whe see her everyday and also see truly developmental delayed children every day and what they are like.

Donna - posted on 05/18/2009

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Is she normal developing or does she have a challenge (learning disability, Autism Spectrum Disorder, or anything along those lines.)
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When did it start? What has changed? Is there a new house? New Baby? New man in your life? New teacher at school? Many things can cause stress and a change in behavior, especially in children.

Emma - posted on 05/18/2009

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has she always been like this or has she started acting like this again?
if it is something she has started doing you could try treating her like a baby?? she might not like it and stop

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