My girl can be so mean sometimes

Taletha - posted on 09/21/2011 ( 7 moms have responded )

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I don't know what to do about this my little girl (5)told one of her brothers today that she wasn't gonna be their sister anymore. And most of the time she talks back, cocks an attitude and just plain out be mean. She's had a rough life when she was living with her real mom she been abused, seen her mother do drugs and who knows what else. But is that reason enough to make her this way. I don't want to come across as mean to her because of whats she's been through, but she also needs to learn . When she said what she said today I made her go to her room I could hear her tell her dad I was being mean to her. I just don't know how to handle the sitiuation. Any suggestions please tell me

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Serena - posted on 09/22/2011

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Some of it is the age. They are learnijng that "hey, i have my own opinion and can do what i want to!" Part is attention seeking. Some of it may be not knowing how to deal w the anger emotion. Talk to her about feeling angry and help her find healthy ways to deal w the feeling, ie: hitting pillows, coloring hard on paper w dark colors, runnung outside, etc

Diana - posted on 09/24/2011

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One of my kids responded remarkably to having her own 'star chart'. She got stars when she did good things, was nice, helpful, co-operative with others, etc, and thunderbolts when she was the opposite. if she got more stars than thunderbolts during a period of time ( 4 days, a week, etc) she could have some sort of treat, like some alone time with me doing something fun.

Tracie - posted on 09/23/2011

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My heart breaks for what that poor girl went through with her bio mom. You are in a unique position to show her that life is not the neglectful, angry, abuse that she has been shown thus far.

I agree that part of it is age, but some of it surely has to be anger, confusion and fear on her part. Being abused and watching your mom do drugs is definitely enough to make a little girl feel out of control.

Gently, lovingly set behavior boundaries - the same boundaries everyone else in the home lives by - no hitting, no name calling, no yelling, no mean words, etc. Make sure you address it every time it happens. She will eventually figure it out.

Best of luck to you and your sweet girl!

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Keri - posted on 10/01/2011

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How long has she been with you? It'll probably take a while for her to adjust. You'll need to use discipline, but make sure she understands you are not trying to abuse/beat/hurt her.

Donna - posted on 09/26/2011

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Once emotions have leveled and she seems in a better mood, calmly talk to her about it Ask her how she thinks it makes her brothers feel when she says these things. Your voice and tone will be important. Keep it sweet so that she realizes it's not sarcasm. Empathy is something children have to learn and it seems likely she did not learn this from her real mom.

Then ask something like "What do you think you can do next time when you feel this way with your brother?" Let her come up with solutions. You can guide her in her answers. Allowing her to be a part of coming up with another solution let's her own a better solution and learn how to resolve problems. Get excited about her (good) answers and let her know how much you like the new solution she came up with. Keeping it positive, and rewarding her positive actions, will have her doing more and more positive things. Maybe one day even ask "How do you think brother would feel if you said you were sorry?" Get excited if she says he'd feel good or better. "Do you think he would? Do you think maybe we could go together to do that?" And if she does, big hugs and kisses and rewards.

Sending her to her room may be giving her the attention she wants. She may have only gotten attention from her real mom by doing negative things. By ignoring her words when they happen, she's not getting attention for a negative action.

It would be good to set expectations each day. Maybe when the children will be spending time together (after school when they are together? or weekend morning) by telling the children you expect they use nice words with each other. You could put "Using Kind Words" on a job chart in her room. When she does well for a specific amount of time (a whole day may be too long at first) she gets a sticker. If she gets a certain number of stickers, you'll make her favorite breakfast on a certain day. (Chocolate chip pancakes, yum!) or any reward that would wanting to earn that reward.

Good luck! How wonderful of you to look to find help for your little girl.

Taletha - posted on 09/23/2011

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Thanks I try my best to not just be her mom but her best friend. She is sweet some of the time too we like to do our nails and makeup and hair too. I love my girl to death, but like I said she has that little mean streak and I just don't know what to do I'll try your suggestions thank you thank you thank you

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