I'm at my witts end...

Chantel - posted on 08/13/2009 ( 17 moms have responded )

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My six year old is a very stuburn and head strong child. She also gets very angry when things don't go her way or she gets in trouble. She yells and screams and can be very disrespectful. She also has a blatant disregard for other peoples things, if she wants it is she will sneak into it, no matter how many time she is told to leave it alone. I'm at my witts end, I don't know what to do any more.

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For every 'bad' thing my 'bad' kid does, I take one of his/her precious toys away- he/she can only gain it back after really, really good behavior- took me about 1-2 weeks, but after my kids saw that I wasn't kidding around, it stopped. Once in a blue moon, I get that behavior again, and guess what? A toy is taken away, and that takes care of things. Good luck, I know it's super-duper frustrating....

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Meghan - posted on 08/24/2009

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This sounds exactly like my 7 year old daughter. Over the last year we've tried many things but what seems to work the best is making sure she gets enough attention. She has 2 younger brothers that demand attention and I think she feels left out. If my husband & I make a point to spend time talking to her and asking her about her day it seems to make a huge difference, Oh, and making sure she gets enough sleep!

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Who is the Boss............... who runs the house................ who is the mom..............there are different kinds of time out..........and there are different kinds of Behavior Management thing to help you..............ie books ,classes, you do not have to give into her................. when she has a temper tantrum LAUGH at her and walk out of the room.......make her take the things back to the people.........put her toys in time out.....where she can not get them back .......the trunk of your car...........if she will not be good out in the world do not take her................ these are rewards that she must earn not take from you............... but you must be the boss............. not her or you will have a girl you do not like living at your home .........................

Beth - posted on 08/16/2009

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Whatever you decide to do, be firm about it. Don't be wishy washy...like "punishment" one time, the next time, letting her get away with it...she will pick up on that and run with it, knowing if she applies the right kind of "pressure" you will give in. The stealing will stop. This has been a problem off & on for years in our house. It's usually due to stress (mine is going into 7th grade, so I suspect something will happen in the next month, just because...) Good luck! :)

Samantha - posted on 08/16/2009

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i think its the age group. my daughter is 5 and you have to security check her at the supermarket as she will want lipglosses or something usually expensive. I find it hard also and if she takes from a friend she has to apologise to the childs mum and dad and if she takes from the shop she has to talk to the check out person. Then she feels sad and may hopefully learn a lesson. Then by the time we get to the car and she has stewed on it for a bit i calmly explain to her that what she did was wrong and that mummy and daddy still love her.

Paulette - posted on 08/16/2009

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The bible has the right answer. Spare the rod, spoil the child. That does not mean abuse. That means discipline. Parents are afraid to discipline their children these days so they stay stressed because their children rule the house. I have graduated three children and still have one in school. My son received the highest honor at their graduation ceremony for his treatment of fellow students and staff. Teahc your children God's ways and not the world's and they will go in the right direction and you will have peace inyour home. If God is not in your home, you will never have peace.

Helen - posted on 08/15/2009

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If your not doing time outs, you should be. Be sure to praise her for all the good things

she is doing. Make sure your playing outdoors with her when you get home. It really

sounds like she is needing more attention for you.

Tammy - posted on 08/15/2009

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Yes, any of Dobson's parenting books: The strong-willed child, Parenting isn't for cowards, Hide and seek, Dare to Discipline, Love must be tough . . . Also: Creative Correction, How to behave so your children will too, and Have a new kid by Friday.



Don't raise your voice, children listen more closely when you get more quiet.

Say it once, then walk away. If she doesn't obey you must follow thru with the consequences. Choices=Consequences. Obedience is immediate, complete, and with a good attitude.

Research authoritarian, permissive, and authoritative parenting styles. It's all about balance.

Choose your battles wisely. Set guidelines to help you decide where to draw the line: you will not hurt people or property. It has to be very important for you to enforce every day for the next 12 years :)

Kimberly - posted on 08/14/2009

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I know just how you feel Chantel, i have an 8 year old boy who has been that way since.....well, birth! LOL! but really, it is hard to have such a stubborn child, i can relate to your frustration. There have been many many times that i have felt like i was at a dead end, but the key is consistancy, and ya gotta show her when you say something you mean it and there are consequences for her actions. Try to keep her busy, that seems to help with my son, i have him in Football, Baseball, and Wrestling. Maybe for your daughter if you can get her into like t-ball (yes they let girls play), gymnastics, anything really that will keep her moving and thinking. And make sure you praise her ALOT for the good things, it will make her feel so good about herself you will hopefully start to see a change, and just be there for her, these kind of children need alot of attention so there minds dont waunder too much, and tell her MANY MANY times throughout the day how much you love her and how good she is. I wish you the best, and your little angel too, if you need any help feel free to send me a message.

Melissa - posted on 08/14/2009

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Be consistent with your discipline of her and it will work. We have had similar problems with our 4yr old boy. These are things we do:

1. Naughty spot (we have a step) where your child is made to sit there for the period of minutes matching your daughter's age (6 yrs = 6mins). If she gets off before the period is over, put her back on and start the timer again. It can be a battle the first few times but if you are consistent and keep doing it, she will learn very quickly. When she is placed on the naughty spot, you need to talk to her to ensure that she understands why she is there. It might be better to have the talk when the period is over as she will listen to you then. Too many tears at the beginning.

2. Reward chart for behaviour: We have a whiteboard with different activities and behavioural traits on it. Each good behaviour is a point which turns into pocket money at the end of the week. We also have a 'special' box where he can earn bonus points for good behaviour as this needs to be recognised too. We have watched him progress from no pocket money through to almost 200 points (£2) during a 4 month period. Again, you need to be consistent each day with this too for it to work.

Hope some of this is helpful to you and best of luck with going through this phase in her life.

Sajitha - posted on 08/13/2009

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As a student of Psychology & a mom of 2, I've learned in the books and by experience that Kids do things for a reason. What v need to do is find their reasons. Stealing, telling lies, wetting beds, being defiant, etc. are all done for reasons they are not conscious about but affecting them. No point punishing the action. Find the root cause, repair that and be firm & consistent on the way. In all probabilities, Kids are shouting for positive attention by being naughty. (the logic is if you cannot give me positive attention, then i might as well get some of your negative attention in the form of shouting, yelling, time out, hitting or whatever. That is what we adults do too in our relationships. If we do not get positive attention, we do crazy things to get at least the negative attention!!!!) They would be requiring 1/2 hr more of your undivided attention which may be simply listening to the child talk or watching her play or helping with her homework or giving her a longer bath, putting her to sleep, telling her a story, kissing and touching her much more, genuinely. I know being a working mom, with many kids, it is difficult to get that done, for each child. You would have to work out something to give each child, together may be or individually. Touching them more often, kissing hugging, meeting them in the eye when you talk, praising even the tiniest effort, encouraging them, giving them responsibilities (like cleaning up, setting the tabel, keeping their laundered clothes in their wardrobe, etc) are some things you do not need to take out extra time for. Trust me, a small twist in our approach towards them works wonders and remember to keep at it. Your job will be so much easier by just giving them more attention :) Do try that for a week and let me know. A few things you can do is have to dinner together, without T.V of course. Ask each child to share how their day went (remember, its just a listening session, no blaming, no scolding, just acceptance, concern, assurance) , ask them what they liked most about their day and what they didn't like at all. Even you are encouraged to share, along with your husband or any other adult who is present. Don't feel bad if they give a negative feedback about you. It is one way of knowing if you are doing it right for them. remember, the most basic need of any human being is to be acknowledged, that he/she is a part of your life, including us adults :))) Do meet that, you will have a lot less trouble. And when you are disciplining them, be at their eye level, meet her in the eye and explain calmly why she should not do it (that it hurts other's feelings, its bad manners.. the kid is not bad... the manners are bad, etc). Ask her what consequence she should face incase she does it again. Let her be responsible for her action. And then consistently do that for disciplining. Hope something works.

Katy - posted on 08/13/2009

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I agree with the other posts saying to stay consistent. It is her way of showing her independence because she's "a big girl" I found giving choices when available helps with encouraging appropriate independence. (ie need cereal at the store ask her to choose her box...) A great way to not punish when angry is to let her know you are angry at her behavior and she needs to go ot her room, or other quiet place while you calm down and then can handle the situation rationally. When my daughter would start a yelling scream tantrum I'd look at her tell her that was not good behavior and then I'd leave the room until she was done (cause you know it's for your benefit she's screaming) if there's no one to be irritated by it she'll stop.

Mary - posted on 08/13/2009

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My six year old is almost like yours. The only thing I can suggest is time out. But alone, not in the same room as you. Someplace with no toys also. Don't yell, as hard as that may be, because it is only giving her the attention that she craves. Calmly tell her to go to her room until she can behave. And just keep at it. It will take a long time but eventually she may understand. Tell her that yelling will get her nothing. And only talking with respect will. Good luck!

Charvonne - posted on 08/13/2009

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You have to stay firm and pick your battles. You will have a lot of challenges over the next few years, so now is the time to figure out the lessons you really want her to know and learn and the stuff that is more 'age" related try to let slide. Also, try not to discipline when angry and let her know how you feel every time she does something that is inappropriate. I have a 17 year old and a 7 year old and you will be repeating yourself constantly. But it does get through. Even if it doesn't seem at first like it does.

Tammi - posted on 08/13/2009

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I too have that problem with my five year old, my mother in law heard about a book and got it for us to read I have read and re read and find it to be very helpful. The book is called "10 days to a less defiant child" it is written by a phycologist but in words us norman ppl can understand. It also give examples and suggestions on different types of behavior.



Good luck

Veronica - posted on 08/13/2009

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Must be an age thing Chantel -- my 6 year old steals all the time -- and she is also head strong!! Its hard - but i think continuing to be consistant and putting our foot down will help - and shows whos boss. I put my daughter in her place - meaning i remind her that she is 6 - she has no say in any matters around the house. In the meantime I work on giving her big girl responsibilities - and try to praise her often, and I give her special big girl things that the other kids cant have (the rest are 5, 3, 2 and 1) so i can see how she wants that independance as a big girl, and not be generalized as a baby or kids - you know what i mean?!

I can totally understand what you are going through - and if you'd like someone to talk to - give me a shout!

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