I have a daughter who will turn 6 in 2 months. She’s always got an attitude going on and I can’t get her to stop. She always wants her way and if it’s anything aside from her way it’s a total break down. She screams (even in public), hits/kicks, throws a fit, cries, and says mean things such as I hate you or I don’t care or Go away. For instance, after I got her from school today I planned to take her to Dairy Queen for some ice cream. We stopped off at the gas station first and she threw a fit over wanting a cupcake there. I told her if she has the cupcake we won’t go to dairy queen. She said ok and I got her the cupcake. After she ate the cupcake she started to scream/cry and throw a fit because she wanted dairy queen too. I told her she made her choice. She wouldn’t stop yelling so I ended up raising my voice to her and tell her to settle down. She then started to cry and said I hurt her feelings by yelling. It’s always a constant drama episode with her and I’m not sure what to do. I’ve tried just about everything. Is this normal behavior?? I really can’t imagine that it is. Am I doing something wrong? I feel like a failure as a mom all the time and I’m tired of having to yell at her, put her in time out, take things away, and spank her. I just want to be able to get along with her and have fun.. play games.. and do normal daughter/mother activities. Instead, I dread the time we have together because I know it’ll be a constant argument with her. Please HELP!
My son (now 15) was the same. It was so bad, I felt I was going crazy.
I was so permanently stressed and upset I was completely incapable of viewing the situation rationally and working out a strategy, much less implementing it so please don’t feel like a bad Mum – you’re not.
With the benefit of hindsight (and about 8 years!), it’s really quite simple to deal with this. Simple but definitely not easy.
You basically need to ignore her bad behaviour, stay calm and impose logical consequences. Do not get stressed, do not doubt yourself and do not take on board any of the nasty things she says. Remember, she doesn’t mean them – she’s a kid and she’s behaving irrationally.
It may not look like this is the case but your daughter is really crying out for you to help her. She needs you to be calm and mature and teach her how to behave properly and how to control her emotions.
So how do you do this?
In a case like the one you’ve described, you need to stick to your plan and say ‘no sweetie, no muffin, we’re going to Dairy Queen’ or something along those lines. Keep it cheerful and firm but very matter-of-fact. You’re the adult, you have a plan and you’re sticking to it.
If she starts to throw a tantrum, you should give no warnings, enter into no arguments, simply say IMMEDIATELY ‘OK, no Dairy Queen, we’re going home.’
DO NOT HESITATE OR SHOW DOUBT.
DO NOT CHANGE YOUR MIND.
DO NOT ARGUE.
DO NOT YELL.
Just go home and do whatever you would normally do, calmly and without paying any attention to anything your daughter does or says.
At home you can put her in time out or just ignore her until she cries herself out or whatever. Personally, I’d choose the latter. She’ll be so shocked by what you’ve done, she’ll get the message without any further action from you. It might take her a little while to think over what’s happened but she’ll work it out eventually.
OK, I know this is MUCH easier said than done but stay strong, even if you collapse in a quivering, crying mess in your bedroom later on.
Trust me, do this kind of thing once, twice, maybe three times and your daughter will get the message and start to cooperate.
Once she does, do not let down your guard. This is a really hard job you have to do and you will have to reinforce the lesson again and again. The lesson that, if your daughter chooses to be compliant and cooperative, nice things will happen. If she chooses to misbehave, she will not get nice things and she will be ignored.
I struggled with this for years before I realised (yeah I know, dumb me) my son needed much more firmness from my husband and I. Our son is a fraternal twin and his brother has always been an easy, cooperative happy kid, as is their sister. I couldn’t work out why the same parenting techniques didn’t work with their brother.
Some kids are just very tough to parent and you have one of them. Fortunately you have time on your side but you MUST fix this now. Your daughter will be very unhappy later (as will everyone around her) if you do not. A bit of pain now (yours and hers) will prevent lots more pain later.
Stay strong, get some support and be kind to yourself but do stick with it, even if the strategy seems not to be working.
Good luck and God bless.
P.S. With the cupcake example, I’m in favour of keeping things simple while you’re trying to change this behaviour. Later, when your daughter is behaving well, you can negotiate – ‘You can have the cupcake or Dairy Queen but not both. Which do you prefer?’
In the beginning, this is asking for trouble. Let her learn the new rules first.
Oh no mum this is an old man here who has on occasions done the Santa Claus bit She is as frightened of the conflict as you are.You are not a failure as a mum.As I found out with my sons when they were young a kid cannot really handle ultimatums.You don’t have to yell at her and give time out away just love her and whatever you do make that very obvious.She loves you but she might not like what is happening.There will be other things going on in your life too.Kids need space.Please don’t spank.She has to play games with kids close to her own age.The memory of a six year old lasts a very short time.You can share other things that she will remember and love forever and I am talking about the kids books .If you relax she will.At six she has already grown past being two or three and playing with mum or dad.Read to her at night sometimes you know Alice In
Wonderland,The Wind In The Willows,and The Wizard Of Oz.
It is normal, but it does mean you have to be firm with her. Stick to your decisions. If you’re going to get ice cream and she starts complaining, go straight home. If she’s at the store and throws a tantrum, so straight home. Make sure you’re doing the time outs right (tell her why she’s in a time out, set a timer, when time out is over, tell her why she was in a time out, have her apologize).
If things don’t get better take away something she really likes for a longer amount of time. For instance, if she throws a tantrum, no more desserts for a week. She gets one warning and then she’s punished.
Good luck! I know it’s not easy! My 2 year old is just starting and it’s a nightmare!
It can be totally normal, but then again it can be what you are willing to tolerate.
I know it’s hard, but to me it sounds like you need to develop her sense of choices and consequences. There are several games and things you can do or play to help her learn this so that it will be easier to learn when it is in regards to discipline. Start by making her make choices that teach her either/or, not both. You can watch a video or I can read a story. You can have a dessert if you finish your veggies. You can play with your dolls or your puzzles. You have to put those toys up before you can get a different one.
But the best advice I can give you is BE CONSISTENT, NO MEANS NO.
And the whole fit thing, if she does it in public, leave but ignore her, to make you upset is the goal here, tell her this is not ok and we will not go back into the store, restaraunt, etc until she calms down. Yes I have left buggies of groceries to get this point across. It is not easy but once she sees that you will not tolerate it and that there are consequences to her behavior, it will get better.
Remember giving in means she wins, but sadly she loses because she doesn’t learn to calm herself, to rationalize choices, or that we don’t always get what we want. You can do it and remember that time outs are sometimes good for you too! Good Luck.
Hi it sounds like you really need to visit this website about parenting tips. I found it very helpful for me and my children. It outlines not only what the child does wrong but the adults as well. it also explains why and how to fix the problems you have with your children. Discover common parenting mistakes that makes your childs behaviour worse. It is very helpfull. My kids were littles terrors and after discovering that site, I have seen a big change in my childrens behaviour and mine. Started to live an easier stress free daily life, just from some simple changes.
First off, you are not a failure as a mom.
When I was little, I was very similar to your daughter. I would throw fits are scream and kick and do things very similar to what your daughter does.
My parents just stuck me in my room when I was having a fit and left me there until I tired or cried myslef out and they didnt come up or say anything to me. They just let me go at it. And when I was quiet for about half and hour they came up and they talked to me. And I didn’t fight because I was to tired to do anything. Or I just fell asleep if they didn’t come up becuase I was so exhausted. I remember my mom completely emptied out my room except for a mattress because I was being so bad. And when she thought I was ready to have my things back she put them back in my room.
If your daughter is misbehaving constantly, put her in time out when she misbehaves. Set a time for her to be in time out, like 15 minutes or so. And have one time out spot in your house that she always has to go to. If she leaves, make her go back and when she leaves she has to start the whole 15 minutes again.
I wouldn’t yell at her. When my parents yelled at me it scared me and made me cry harder because I was scared. So don’t yell at her. Just calmly tell her to calm down.
With the situation about the cupcake, you should have explained to her clamly that she made her descision to get the cupcake and not the icecream, so she has to deal with her descision.
Tell her that the whole world doesn’t revolve around her and that she is being very selfish when she acts out like that.
you need to talk to her about NEW RULES. she needs more firmer dicipline and you sticking to them. if you say something , it goes!! if she throws a fit spank her in time out explain what she did wrong and walk away. praise her when she does something good. try to give her more positive feed back compared to bad things. make the rules clear and stand by them. dont give in to her screaming because that what she wants. When you reward her make it a big deal and show her how happy you are. but when she is bad only raise your voice when neccisary because then she try to say your so mean which your not.
Your daughter is engaging in very normal behavior. You are, however, encouraging rather than discouraging it by giving into it, and that has to stop.
The rule in our household is ":Crying will NEVER get you what you want.": We introduced that rule when our eldest daughter was two, and have enforced it through the terrible twos of our second child. They are now 4 and 7 and there are no tantrums.
There is no way I would have ever given in to that request for a cupcake, and after the misbehavior in the gas station the trip to Dairy Queen would have been cancelled, too. I would have absolutely ignored any crying/screaming/attitude. I wouldn’t have yelled. I would have simply tuned it out and calmly said, ":Take a moment to let it all out, then calm yourself down and when you can express yourself in a respectful way I will speak to you.":
When my children give me attitude or act disrespectfully at home they are immediately deprived of some privilege (tv, computer, video game, toy, etc). If they cry because of the punishment I tell them they can go to their room until they are able to compose themselves and speak to me in a respectful manner. I do not tolerate that sort of behavior, and I certainly never reward it with anything.
Your daughter needs you to impose limits. She needs you to stand up for yourself and tell her when her behavior is unacceptable. She needs you to take control and deny her privileges, fun things and good times because that is the only way she is going to become the kind of person that you–and others–want to spend time with. Do you like to hang out with adults who only think about themselves, treat you badly and are not in any way grateful or respectful to you? Of course not. So why would you want to be with a child who treats you that way? And why are you letting her treat you that way? She needs you to tell her to cut it out, to ignore her drama, to validate her feelings of anger and disappointment but to let her know that she needs to vent and deal with them in private–not torture you.
She is old enough to understand ALL of this, and once you have managed to provide enough disincentives for the tantrums you need to implement a course on politeness and gratitude–pleases, thank-you’s and I’m sorry’s. My children never berate me when I raise my voice to them. They apologize for their misbehavior. Period. You need to stop giving into this child and remember that setting limits is one of the best things you can do as a parent, because limits are love and by setting limits you are going to help your daughter be someone other people want to be with.
Um, I hate to break your bubble, but a 6 year old girl does not understand how and why it’s important to maintain composure in public, why you can’t throw fits like that, until you at least try to explain it to her. They are smarter than most parents give them credit for.
You need to lay down some rules with this girl now before it’s too late and she grows up and continues with an attitude (wait til she’s a teenager :/)!!
She is now old enough to undestand some rules that you give to her!