Why am I so mean to my daughter??...HELP!

Dana - posted on 03/06/2012 ( 9 moms have responded )




I am a mother of 3 beautiful girls, 7yr, 3yr and 1yr. My oldest daughter was from a previous relationship. She frustrates me so much that I lose my temper daily. She can't follow instructions, and she doesn't listen. I have spanked her in the past, and now I don't feel its right. I also used to have her stand at the wall for time outs, which just doesn't work - never really did. I've tried having her write sentences. I've tried the military style with physical work. Nothing seems to make a difference, so now I think it has to be me. But I don't have this mindset with my other daughters. I wonder if it has something to do with hidden ill feelings towards her father and I'm taking it out on her?... I end up screaming at her and saying things like "what is the matter with you?" which just tears me up inside. I'm doing it all wrong and I feel like the worst parent in the world, but I don't know how to stop and correct this. She deserves better than this. Sometimes my anger flares first thing in the morning, others is right when she gets home from school, or right before she goes to bed. Am I the only one? Please help me...


S. - posted on 03/06/2012




You need to find away to change this asap!!! I used to be very short with my oldest girl too, god knows why,we clash.... A lot, it was her age, my hormones, i was suffering with depression and she use to (still dose) drain me of ALL my attention, I was working too hard! God know what it was! point being I was mean and it most certainly wasn't her fault and didn't ask to be born to me and my problems and yet I was very very proud of her and loved her so much she was the normal one and I was Just a grumpy old cow bag!! I changed over night, I had too. We sat down and I told her what she needed to work on behaviour, attitude "the normal stuff" and I asked her what I needed to change and she honestly told me what I already knew so we wrote a list of rules a bit like a contract for both of us, I had to work at being better, just like a child has a reward chart! It might sound silly but it worked. at least once a month we started to out together cinema or something just me and her (which helped) and if she did have a punishment she would get sent to her room after a warning so we both could calm down. She's 13 now and yes we still clash and yes we still have moment but none more then any other mum n 13 year old, she's a real good girl and she looks up to me so much and I feel like I am a good role model now I'm so glad I sorted my head out!

Sorry I went on a bit but I think it's important that in some situations you realise your not on your own but if you don't change it soon your little girl is gonna grow up and hate you for the way you was and you will make her childhood miserable

Kaitlin - posted on 03/06/2012




It seems like part of it may be that you're trying so many things. Pick something and stick with it. Perhaps a combo reward/punishment- 123 and stars- have you ever heard of that? It works REALLY well with 6-10 year olds. It encourages good behavior and discourages negative behaviors. Quick synopsis: they misbehave, you give them a 1. They misbehave again (could be same thing, could be something different, but something they know they aren't allowed to do, talk back, throw a lamp, hit their sister, etc), a 2. Again, and a 3. A three gets a privalige taken away (if you always get dessert, for example, no dessert that night, or if you usually watch tv before bed, no tv that night). This is daily. At the end of the day, erase the numbers, and start fresh the next day. Stars: when they do something really nice or listen well, recognise it! Wow, nice job helping your sister, or thank you for listening right away. These aren't given out constantly, but try to be realistic- if they're doing something well, tell them. For each time, give them a star. When they get 5 stars, they get to pick a special treat, like getting pizza for dinner, or going to the beach or a special park, or something like that, for the whole family. These do NOT get erased at the end of the day, you keep adding them up. Some days, they get a 3, and no stars. Some days they get two stars. It comes and goes but it works well, and encourages family unity.

The other thing is to try to separate your anger from the situation. Expect kids to misbehave occasionally- they test limits, it's what they do. Maybe you do have hidden resentment, but I think that's probably unlikely- I think you're just a mom of a willful seven year old- and it's frustrating! Give yourself a little break, step back, and make a new plan. I don't think 'it's you' but it's not your child either- it's just the situation and the age. Your younger two might be even more difficult- you don't know- they aren't that age yet, but you HAVE already had a 3 year old and a 1 year old, so you DO know how to deal with those ages.

It's okay, you're not a bad mom. I think the post below is a little harsh- don't let it get you down.

User - posted on 08/09/2012




I do the exact same thing, in the moment its hard to stop but in retrospect the guilt is terrible. You are not alone. You are not the worst parent in the world. I think that if we can find a way to see the child differently then maybe we wont react so irrational.

Miriam - posted on 03/06/2012




Wow!!! poor baby. Im sure its mostly you, especially if you dont feel that way towards the other two. Keep in mind that its not her fault, she did not choose her father (you did!) maybe if you treat her with love and respect you will see that she is a great person!!

Bonnie - posted on 03/06/2012




I don't really know if it is truly you. I tend to think that if it was you than you would be like this with all three of your girls and you clearly say you are not.

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Michelle - posted on 09/11/2017




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Billie-jean - posted on 08/13/2017




I completely understand my 11 year old is driving me crazy. Doesn't listen. I have to ask her to do something over and over and I just end up losing it at her. Everything is so much effort with her it's been like this for years. I always feel terrible n end up in tears sometimes it's hard and at times I don't even want to be around her. And I feel terrible bc she can most likely sence this from me. She says I don't love her n don't care which I always say I do but it's very hurtful n tiring when you can't follow instructions. We have a 4 yr old aswell n I don't have any problems accept her acting like her sister at times. I worry how I am tho bc I can start to see my eldest talking my youngest at time in horrible tone and yelling and demanding :( I'm at my whits end. My hubby works away so when he is home he says all I do is yell n then causes dramas with us bc I try to explain your not here 24-7 n when he's had enough he will explode at her aswell to which I say see I have to deal with this everyday. I feel like a complete failure as a parent.
I'm considering counselling for myself to gather how to deal with it as I don't know where else to go

Elizabeth - posted on 03/06/2012




You're not alone. I think you probably feel this way towards her because she is a different person than the other children. She has different needs and wants from you. I have 3 daughters as well 6, 3, 9 months.

3 year olds are frustrating in different ways than older children. I think that this means we deal with it in a different manor. I sometimes find myself having to yell first thing in the morning too. I have to get myself, and the baby ready and lend a hand to my 3 yr old..and I have my 6 year old asking me to dress her..which she knows full well how to do. All this to get to school on time.

Even though they can be so infuriating we have to remember that just because they are bigger and more mature than the babies..they still need and want our attention and love. I know it's hard sometimes....OHHH do I ever.

Good luck

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