6 year old who causes mom to get into trouble with dad

Wendy - posted on 04/21/2010 ( 31 moms have responded )

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My daughter Lora is almost 7 (Halloween). She is basically a "daddys" girl, but I am the one who is with her 90% of the time. Dad does live in the home with us, but he is always doing this or that or going here or there, so Lora doesnt get a whole lot of time with him. It seems like lately she has been purposely doing things that get me into trouble. For instance, she knows that she is to brush her teeth every night before she goes to bed. So I am telling her to get up and brush her teeth before she falls asleep, daddy is going to yell at me if you dont. Do you think she gets up to brush them? NO! I must had told her at least 7-8 times before she finally did and that was only because I got up with her. She is old enough to brush her teeth without me standing over her. You would have to see it to understand what Im saying. But it just seems that she has this little dark side to her that if Im not good or give her what she wants or what she wants to do, then Im in trouble. And that trouble ranges any where from cold shoulders to straight up ignoring but not until after I have gotten yelled at. He treats me like Im stupid and dont know what I am doing. I love my daughter with all my heart but when is enough enough?

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Amanda - posted on 04/26/2010

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It sounds like your daughter may have lost respect for you and a child MUST have respect for their parent. By you telling her that her dad will yell at you if she doesnt do something, that is giving her power over you and bringing you down to her level [like a child instead of a parent] I would say first off you need to stop putting her in a position where she knows she is in control. If you want her to go brush her teeth then make her brush her teeth and just leave any mention of her dad out of it. From the sound of things he is not around a whole lot anyway. My husband is also not around alot, he is in the military, so when he is gone I am it. I am the only person here to make the decisions regarding the kids. I dont say "eat your green beans or when your dad gets home next week I'm telling him your not listening to me" I am the mother and I demand the respect that being the parent is due. Yes my husband is the head of our family and I am not misleading to him in any way but I have found that things are just simpler when I handle the little every day things with out having to involve him anyway. It just confuses everyone anyway since we do things differnatly sometimes.

From what you posted I am assuming that you and the father are not together and that you have custudy, if he can not become more supportive of you as her primary parent maybe he should take custudy for awhile and see how good of a job he could do. If I am not mistaken I have heard that most children in split families are like this, playing one parent againgst another, I wouldnt be surprised if she even tells you that she wants to go and live with her dad whenever she doesnt get her way with you. I still think the most important thing for you to do now is get the chain of command reistablished between you and your daughter, and to get the respect back in your house.

Good luck

Martha - posted on 04/24/2010

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I was under the impression that we were to share advice and encouragment to the best of our ability here with other mothers. That is what I did. I certainly can't advise or encourage in a way that I would find futile. That would be hypocrisy for me and useless babble for everyone else. If this was found objectionable then possibly I was mistaken about the entire point of "Circle of Moms" as I stated above. Again, positive advice and genuine encouragement was my intent. What was yours?

Sharon - posted on 04/24/2010

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I actually found that if you focus on Satan as your center - you gain more power over a man.

I hate the religious insertion when it wasn't asked for.

Barring that - Maybe if the two of you were to dance naked around a maypole (giant phallic symbol) your marriage would be magically healed.

Sharon - posted on 04/22/2010

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Your husband is a mental midget.

He's enjoying this little power play. Its like a chick fight for him, between you & your daughter.

All kids do this. Play one parent against another. Its their way of manipulating and controlling their environment.

I would look my husband dead in the eye and say " SHUT THE FUCK UP." Then I'd spank my daughter and put her to bed. Whether she brushed her teeth or not.

Being worried or afraid your husband will yell at you because your daughter willfully doesn't brush her teeth? Are you fucking kidding me?

Iridescent - posted on 04/21/2010

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Maybe marital counseling would benefit. I can't blame you for being worn out. Also, at 6, your daughter is old enough to sit down and discuss this with reasonably to some extent. Simply state that she can do what she's asked, or you will do it for her, and not in a way she finds fun or funny. Two birds, one stone. I brushed my son's teeth twice. Now he is certain to brush his own, because when I do it, it's not pleasant. Make regular chores something more pleasant for her to do as she's supposed to (reward some, when appropriate) than they are when you need to do them. But also address your husband's attitude and behavior.

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31 Comments

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Frances - posted on 02/04/2011

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wow there's alot of responses on here for you, hope you can take onboard each ones advise, remember you choose how to live ur life, if you feel theres a problem then there is. empower yourself to achieve- best of luck hope you can work towards a better solution for all.

Lisa - posted on 01/31/2011

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I don't think this issue has anything to do with your daughter. I think it has to do with your husband's issues...whatever they may be. Apparently your daughter is looking for attention and one of the ways they get attention to by being naughty because sometimes to a child...negative attention is still attention.

Angie - posted on 01/31/2011

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Telling your child that her other parent is going to react against you for her choices is wrong.

Paula - posted on 04/27/2010

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be sure to not make the brushing you rteeth about what will happen to you ... what are the consequences for her if she doen;t brush. sound like she is enjoying the reaction. It also sounds as if your husband needs to realize that it is your daughter who needs the consequences for her actions not you. we can be friendly to our children, but not their friend, we are their parents, who must guide them to be responsible people.

Katie - posted on 04/27/2010

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Tell your husband if he's got a problem with the way you're raising the child that YOU gave birth to, then maybe he needs to home a little more often and he needs to take charge and do it himself. Then maybe he'd realize that its not as easy as it looks and he should stop criticizing you for everything you do. Because I bet you're doing a great job, you're probably just so worn down from doing it all! I really think you're daughter isnt listening to you because she misses her father or maybe she sees the tension and is using it to her advantage (or both). My daughter is 3 and 1/2 her father and I are together, we're engaged but he does not live in the house with us. So if shes not seeing him very often she stops listening to me, starts talking back and having tantrums that she wants daddy. Kids need both parents equally, girls need their fathers as much as they need their mothers, have a talk with your husband about how important it is that he be there as much as possible, kids need both parents the burden shouldnt solely be on you, its not fair. Your husband sounds a lot like my fiancee...lets you do everything and then criticizes you for it. Don't take it anymore, have a serious talk with him, go to counseling or better yet, one night when he's home relaxing, sitting in front of the TV...say..."I've gotta run to the store, can you get Lora ready for bed?" and LEAVE, for like an hour and see if her teeth are brushed and Jammies on when you come back.... if not...GIVE HIM HELL! then say....not as easy as it looks, huh Dad? Well, maybe not that dramatic lol but give him a taste of his own medicine, he deserves it!

Erica Denegal - posted on 04/27/2010

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I would agree with Dawn Chappell! I like that ;-) Wendy you should really have a sit down w/ hubby & let him know this isn't helping raise our daughter properly and she is playing on both sides. My 3 yr old(almost 4) has been brushing on her own for a long time, so when she tries to pull, I need you to come with me, I say: OKAY The Princess is a baby again and Mommy has to buy pampers...or O you just learned how to do this today right? then she laughs& moves on ;-) another is I am usually up earlier to have coffee, so by the time she gets up...sometimes we will brush together. (YOUR PRINCESS IS PLAYING YOU BOTH) and she is winning. Good luck to you Mom ;-)

Meagan - posted on 04/27/2010

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this definitely sounds like a case of lazy daddy.
if he wants things a certain way then it is his responsibility. your daughter is obviously acting out to try and get some of his attention, and because you are the one who is always there you cop it. i recommend having him take over the bedtime ritual including teeth, and you sit down and relax. you've done enough for one day. my husband and i always alternate bath/bedtime. and he isn't even the father of my children!
talk it out. be honest about how you feel, but try not to make him feel like you are blaming him, i say things like- "I feel stressed out when i have to deal with tired kids at bedtime, if you could help by ... that would be a great help" or even "while i clear the dinner dishes can you please help the kids with teeth brushing"
i know just how it feels to feel like your husband doesn't see what is goin on, but he loves your daughter as much as you do, you can do this together.

SYLVIA - posted on 04/26/2010

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So I am telling her to get up and brush her teeth before she falls asleep, daddy is going to yell at me if you dont. ?????????????????
Why on earth to start with other than get your butt out of bed your teeth have not been brushed need you go into the other part of the statement.....you are putting yourself to the nanny level not her mother....

Dawn - posted on 04/26/2010

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Ok, what can YOU do right now (without hubby needing to cooperate) to fix the situation?
1. Give pumpkin a 5 minute heads-up "In 5 minutes, it will be time to brush your teeth"
2. Tell her it's time to brush her teeth. Don't say anything else. 3. If she doesn't go, just repeat, matter-of-fact quiet tone, "It's time to brush your teeth now." Then the trick is that whatever it is that she'd rather be doing - you stop it. Unplug the tv, whatever. All very calmly.
4. She does not get to do ANYTHING else until those teeth are brushed. But you are not yelling or losing it, even if it takes 7 hours the first time. Think Supernanny style.

This strategy works on teenagers with Aspergers and behavior disorders, so it should work on your 6 year old.

Incidentally, same strategy works great on husbands. "There is no yelling in front of the children." Repeat, calmly and matter-of-factly until he cuts it out or stomps off.

Christa - posted on 04/25/2010

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Belive it or not I understand and know what you're going through. Our daughter is the same way! My husband just laughs, he thinks it funny. I have no clue as to deal with it either.

Kirsten - posted on 04/25/2010

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LOL on your first post, Sharon Grey!!!! That cracked me up - and there is so much truth to it!!!!

But, I do agree that Wendy's husband is not treating her the way God intended. And, YES! Dancing naked with your husband around a Maypole, or any pole for that matter, usually makes EVERYTHING magically better!

Wendy, you've gotten lost letting your husband manipulate you that way. That's where your daughter has learned it. And, her behavior is normal. Don't use your husband to get your daughter to do things. You obviously are the only parent here, especially if he is gone 90% of the time.

And, every time your husband puts you down for doing something wrong, tell him that he needs to do it because he is SOOO good at it and he should show you how. Make it HIS chore.

I hope you two can make it work out, but he will have to step up to the plate.

[deleted account]

Well the problem seems to be respect. the children should see that the parents respect eachother and they are a team and they have to back eachother up. the father should have a talk with your daughter and teach her to do as you say and respect you even when he is not around. He needs to set an example because when he respects you, she will too. You deserve that too. She has the power right now because you and your husband are giving it to her. Can you imagine what will happen and how she will use her power when she is a teen ager if you don't nip it right now? Do her a favor and be firm. Often times there are natural consequences you can point out to her too. Like go ahead, don't brush your teeth but you will be the one getting them drilled at the dentist and it wont be fun. Give her the choice to do it or not but tell her what could happen if she doesn't then act like you don't care what she decides. You are way smarter than her!

Martha - posted on 04/24/2010

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The main problem is that Christ is not the center of the marriage. A Godly man will want to spend time with his family. He will desire to find ways to serve and provide for them. In doing this the wife finds it easy to follow his lead and the children see a union unbroken and uncompromised. The children will feel secure and not feel the need to manipulate. She is "getting you in trouble" because at least then daddy is paying attention. When there is nothing for him to yell about it seems he's off doing his own thng. The child wants daddy around whether he is pleasant of mean because children crave that family bond and love that creates stability. My suggestion would be to first figure out your own relationship with our Lord then begin to live through that relationship in your home. A child of God is royalty and doens't have to put up with ungodly behavior. Begin to live your own example. Tell your child of our God. Read to them stories from the Bible. Pray that your husband will begin to see the changes in you and will desire a relationship with Christ for himself. But the bottom line is...if Christ is not the very center of your home and the very core of your own being all will be lost. Either now or later, but all will be futility.

Anna - posted on 04/24/2010

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i totally agree i think your husband has some issues to deal with children at that age can be very willing to push bounderies,your husband should realise this and not shout at you for this but to sit down with you and your child and see why she is doing this and to tell her it is wrong to get mummy into trouble and that it upset you and see if he can get a response you will probably find shes just doing it for attention if hes not in the house a lot ,good luck x

Pat - posted on 04/23/2010

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The problem here is not your daughter, it is your marriage. You and your husband have to come to some agreement about raising your daughter and what the rules are. Being a 6 year old she is very aware of the tensions and knows how to play on them---but you two are the adults and better deal with this now or when she is fifteen you will be in a load of trouble that neither of you can handle.Don't play games with children they need consistency from both parents. Don't blame the child you two need to fix your relationship

Michelle - posted on 04/23/2010

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The issues you are facing are not uncommon in a marriage but need to be dealt with now before you all lose the plot. As hard as it is you need to think about how your own behaviour is contributing to the problems that you face. You will not change the behaviour of your husband or your child unless you change your own. Get yourself a copy of Dr Phil's book on Life Strategies and read it. Yes your husband sounds lazy, self absorbed and insensitive to your needs and your daughter sound like a typical 7 year old who is testing the boundaries to see what she can get away with. You need to stand up for yourself and be clear with both of them about what you need and how you expect to be treated.

Tahnia - posted on 04/23/2010

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Im more concerned that you have a husband who would yell at you because she hasn't brushed her teeth! She is just being a child it is not her fault that you get 'in trouble', you cant put that responsibility on a 7 year old if you do then she will just act out more. The problem seems more the way you and your husband are relating to each other. What are you teaching her about how a women should be treated by putting up with your husband yelling at you because your daughter wont do something. He is a parent too and is just as responsible as you for her behaviour.

Patricia - posted on 04/22/2010

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I have been there and children are VERY MINIPULATING! You should NEVER tell your daughter that you will be yelled at by your husband if she does not do what YOU say. If your husband is taking her side, he is WRONG for doing so and will raise not only a terribly minipulative person but she could also (yes, I know this sounds extreme but I have seen this first hand....) become sociopathic and very pathological not to mention this minipulation by your daughter will SHREAD your marriage to pieces. Mine was almost ruined because my husband CONSTANTLY gave in to my daughter(s) and I almost left him to raise them all by himself. Thankfully, this woke him up and we are VERY united in how our children are raised.
Do not let your daughter minipulate you any longer. If she refuses to do what you say and sulk IGNORE the sulking, she is trying you emotionally and you cannot have hardly ANY emotion with minipulative people, let alone children; there must be consequences for her behavior and refusal to obey you. If your husband does NOT comply with you, sadly there will be a terrible road ahead for you and your family. Your husband has NO BUSINESS treating you like you don't know what you doing and your daughter has NO BUSINESS ''getting you into trouble''. Your husband must treat YOU with respect and allow you to disipline your daughter when she needs it. I am FERVENTLY praying for not only your marriage but your family as well. I truly pray that you get the respect from your husband that you as a mom deserve.

God Bless :)

[deleted account]

I agree with the other posts. The biggest problem sounds like the marriage isn't truly a partnership. You said in your post that you told your daughter that she needed to get up and brush her teeth or you would get yelled at. She needs to learn that if she doesn't get up and brush her teeth, or brush them before she goes to bed, that there will be consequences for HER. I'm pretty sure you can determine what that should be since all kids are different. I would also seriously urge you to seek counseling. Even if your husband won't go with you, a counselor can help you learn how to respond to his behavior.I know from experience that the longer you let this behavior continue unchecked, the more normal it becomes to you and the rest of the family. Sometimes it just takes one person in the relationship to say, "This isn't right and it has to stop!" Good luck.

Tracy - posted on 04/22/2010

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I agree with everyone else here, the problem is not the child it's the marriage. Your girl is doing what kids do when they see an angle they can work to their advantage. Your husband has no respect for you as a wife, mother or partner. From what you wrote, it sounds to me like he can't be bothered to be a parent, but at the same time feels that he has the right to judge your skills. Right now your daughter is learning to not respect you, too.

Get the two of you into counseling now. It's not going to get better if you don't. I've been there and know exactly where this behavior will lead you.

Kelly - posted on 04/22/2010

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The problem is the marriage not the daughter. She is just working the weak spot in your marriage. The bigger problem is is that he is hurting his daughter more by allowing her to get between you. If she fails to do something without ONE request to do so then she needs to lose privileges or get punished in some way. Seven is plenty old enough! My suggestion is that the two of you sit down without her and come up with a game plan. Checklists are also good for chores and responsiblities with a sticker for a job well done and rewards for a good day or a good week. However you want to build them in. She is manipulative and she is driving a wedge right between you both and somehow she comes out the winner by either getting what she wants or taking the attention off from herself for her own failure to do something.

Wendy - posted on 04/21/2010

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Gosh how much you say is like what I feel. We should be unified together, but we are clearly not! He makes me want to pull my hair out. I dont know how to make him understand this. He has it in his mind the way he wants to do things and thats it! I want to be a good parent and I am hitting myself against a wall doing it. I do admit that I need to be more consistent with Lora but she wears me down. I think that I need to do a complete turn around and get things in order like a regular family is/does. There is always something going on, and I really think starting there is good. But how? I know that I am 42 and I should be able to do this and handle this. But I cant and Im getting lost trying to. Thank you for your response. That was cool

*Lisa* - posted on 04/21/2010

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Wendy! Why will your husband yell at you if your daughter doesn't brush her teeth?? That is strange to me! I would speak to my husband about that if I were you. I agree with Amy. Don't let your husband's behaviour let it affect your relationship with your daughter. She loves you just as much as she loves him even if it doesn't seem that way. Really you are with her 90% of the time as you said so try to enjoy your relationship with her and don't let insecure ideas affect it. As Amy said, she is just a child and very teachable so you can teach her to respect you (even if your husband doesn't which I really think is the real issue there).

Iridescent - posted on 04/21/2010

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Also, this isn't your daughter's fault. She's being a typical child. She sees a rift in your relationship and is simply using it to her advantage, which all children do. Parents are supposed to be unified and deal with situations appropriately, but instead of her being punished for her actions YOU are. So she uses that. Honestly, not her fault. Very much your husband's.

Iridescent - posted on 04/21/2010

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It sounds like your husband has some issues and needs to realize that by 6 years old, not only is a child fully capable of manipulation, but also of some personal hygiene. There's no reason a child should ever be able to cause their parents to fight. If he wants something done better, why can't he get off his behind and do it himself then? He should really grow up.

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