Jump to content
JustMyGirl

Struggling to manage my DDs personality

Recommended Posts

JustMyGirl

I'm having a hard time the last few weeks managing DD and her very strong personality.

I'm an introvert who is easily overwhelmed and I struggle with anxiety. DD is very different from me.

She's incredibly stubborn and persistent and doesn't take no for an answer. Badgers me with repeated requests after I have said No. Negotiates endlessly. A request to stop play and move to the bath/dinner/ whatever next stage is stalled at every turn and she will ask and ask for another 5 minutes then another after that.

Screen time is a good example. Yesterday after school I agreed to her watching a 20 minute show but we discusse that after that was over she would hand the iPad back. Of course when it was over she tried to negotiate more and I ended up snatching the iPad as she would not hand it over.

I want to use gentle parenting with her but it's not working. This morning we were out running errands and she kept asking for junk food. I kept declining but when she just wouldn't stop I snapped. That's the only thing that works but that's not the mum I want to be.

She's 5y8m by the way.

Anyone have any useful tips for dealing with this type of personality? I literally have a headache after being out with her for an hour this morning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
José

I wonder if a parenting program like triple p or 123 magic might be helpful?

 

I think what you have described is pretty common behaviour.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mumofsky

I agree with PPs, I think possibly she's getting too much engagement and interaction when she negotiates. I recently read a good approach - that the best way to deal with difficult children is to think of yourself as the CEO of a company, and take the tone and approach they would take with a difficult employee. Calm, assertive, in control and unwavering. They wouldn't devote much time to negotiating or entertaining whinging.

 

The other helpful hint I've heard is to think of yourself as a wall. It doesn't lash out or react, but no matter how much she pushes against it, it stands firm. Minimal response once you've explained the fair reason for the decision, and then just reinforcing the rule as need be.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
José

I suspect what is happening is:

1) you are not setting limits and following through early enough, which is causing you to become annoyed and them reacting more strongly because you are now cross

2) you want to avoid any emotional outburst that might happen if you do set and hold onto a firm limit.

 

In the iPad scenario I would

- tell her she has 1 show initially

- give her a 5min warning the show will end soon

- ask her for the iPad back at the end

- when she pulls away, say "you really want to keep watching your show! I know how much you enjoy Disney. It's a shame the show has finished for today. Would you like to put the iPad away or would you like me to do it?"

- if she doesn't out it away, I would then calmly and confidently remove the iPad from her hands and out it away.... No warnings, no second chances, just do it because you don't want to get into a struggle/negotiation that's just going to annoy you

 

 

I agree with this.

 

While i love the book the whole brain child its not where i would start here.

Id start with some standard behaviour management.

Love the analogy of a wall that a pp mentioned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lunagirl

I'm having similar problems with DS1, aged two. Rosiebird, that's some great advice that I will keep in mind.

 

OP, one thing DH pulled me up on is the use of requests. You mentioned in your post requesting your DD to stop playing and her not obeying. I have been doing the same, eg. asking DS to please come into his room so I can change his nappy. DH said that this makes it sound to DS like he has an option. So I've been working to frame my words to him so it's clear when it's not a request but something that he has to do.

 

Edited because I hit enter too soon.

Edited by Lunagirl
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
cinnabubble

I have a ten year old "loop hole kid". She can argue her way through anything and everything. She's an excellent debater.

 

She also has anxiety. Her psychologist tells us not to negotiate on stuff. Don't enter into discussions. It's OK to pull rank as a parent, which is very different from being authoritarian (something nobody should want). She needs a firm no, repeated as necessary, and a refusal to discuss once no has been established.

 

To kids like this, sometimes explanations can sound like the beginning of a hook to hang an argument on. In my hard won experience, the very worst thing you can do is engage emotionally with the loop hole kid. They're about winning at all costs and they're happy for your sanity to be collateral damage.

 

It's sometimes really hard to be the parent your child needs and not the parent you always thought you'd be.

post-87190-0-94001700-1478911178_thumb.jpg

  • Like 16

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NannyPlumPudding

I have one of these kids too! It's exhausting and even more so when we are all tired.

 

I negotiate - but only in the beginning of any activity and I outline the consequence then too i.e "okay you can watch one show, but at the end of that show you need to give it back. If you don't I will take it away for 2 days". Then at the end it is final and I follow through with my threat (only took a couple of confiscations and now he knows I mean it). Now he actually puts the ipad up himself and comes to find me "Mum, I finished that show now I'm ready for a bath".

 

I respond with a bored no to his repeated nagging and continue what I'm doing. It's hard to nag if the other person is not responding.

 

I always give them fruit or something to snack on during the food shop which stops 99% of nagging and boredom.

 

At the moment I'm struggling with the bratting behavior and talking back. A fair few room time outs have been had!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PeninsulaGirl

Yes. I have three of those children. Two of them in particular. We struggle with it daily and they give us no choice but to impose very firm consistent boundaries. Very very firm. For one child in particular, at the moment the arguments can be endless. It's exhausting.

 

ETA. we've found it important to come to clear agreements about how something is going to be done before it starts. Then once it is agree to do not negotiate! Everyone must stick to the agreement! We also sometimes just have to explain I will make the decisions because I am your parent, the adult responsible for you. So because it's my job to look after this is how I'm going to do it. Full stop. The end. Sometimes I pull out the 'I love you too much to let you do that' line. Especially in regards to junk food!!

Edited by PeninsulaGirl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
123Tree

OP our son has always had trouble transitioning. So he hates to move on to one thing when he doesn't feel "finished" with the previous. The iPad scenario sounds a bit like that.

 

We would give a warning five before he needs to stop, and then give him one minute to put the iPad away as something "right now" would set him off.

 

A day of errands would require me to tell him the list of everything we had to do (and repeat it throughout the day) and taking a drink and some food with us because he couldn't anticipate lunch without reminders and get anxious.

 

At that age we would make sure he down time each day.

 

Not sure if this applies to you but it might help to think out of the square.

 

Edited to make it clearer.

Edited by 123tree
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rowenas necklace

I've just started reading No Drama Discipline, from the Whole Brain Child people. I've read the introduction and part of the first chapter and it's already making a difference. Check your library to see if they have it, I've borrowed it for now but intend to buy a copy since I can see myself coming back to it over and over.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
majirlo

Hi Justmygirl, you may not like the idea but it's time for some tough love. She already knows how to press your buttons and it's only going to get harder as she gets older.

She needs to learn that no means no and there will be consequences if she argues with you.

Let her know that if she asks again after you've already said no, she will have no screen time the following day (or whatever is fitting). If she continues to act up, send her to her room (taking their audience away usually deflates the situation.

The only way this will work is if you are firm and she sees you mean business. It will be difficult at first because she will no doubt be shocked and try to push harder but if you can stick to it you will have a much better behaved child in a few weeks who will treat you with respect and understand that you are the parent.

To balance the firm discipline, make up a star chart and stick it on the fridge and give her plenty of opportunities to behave well. Make a list of five things that you feel she should be doing, it could be a couple of simple jobs (it's good to get children into the habit of contributing and helping out), i.e., putting her dirty clothes in the basket, picking up her toys, etc and the last thing - not arguing. Encourage her to tell you when she's earned a star and make it a happy occasion.

Lots of love and firm discipline will turn the situation around and you will both feel a lot better. Children feel more secure when they know their parent is sure of themselves. It will also make life easier for you both as she gets older. AND don't feel guilty when you have to be firm with her. Children need parents to be parents.

Edited by Franknsense

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
majirlo

I disagree completely.

 

You don't need to be strict to be a secure leader. In fact, having to be strict, having to rely on punishments and rewards undermines your leadership, in the same way a democratic leader is respected but an autocratic one is resented.

 

Rewards work only in the short term. In the long term they backfire and you need to either keep upping the reward or start punishing for non-compliance. The intrinsic motivation has been lost.

 

In order for children to develop into a respectful, compassionate, helpful adult, they need to be treated in a respectful, compassionate way and they need us to model helpfulness, graciousness and empathy.

 

I can be 100% certain that the OP's daughter would behave well if she was smacked every time she transgressed. Producing good behaviour is not the aim and should not be the aim. Just because punishments/rewards/threats work in the short term does not make it the best way. Your children will model what you do and who you are.

 

Rosiebird, the proof is in the pudding. I can tell you that simple consequences for misbehaving, such as removing the object, losing screen time or time out in their room when the situation escalates, and encouraging positive behaviour through a simple method like rewarding them with stars or stickers is effective for raising children to be capable, respectful adults who are confident of their own abilities and contribute to society rather than displaying anti-social behaviour. There is nothing wrong with giving children boundaries and no one said anything about smacking.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
majirlo

I'm not disputing that punishment, sticker charts and threats work, in the short term, to stop the particular behaviour that you have decided to stop.

 

Who said anything about threats? You simply remove the object and if the situation escalates, remove the audience by sending them to their room. They soon learn that no means no. If they learn boundaries when they are young, you won't have the battle when they are teenagers. Mine are 20 and 22.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Caribou

 

 

Who said anything about threats? You simply remove the object and if the situation escalates, remove the audience by sending them to their room. They soon learn that no means no. If they learn boundaries when they are young, you won't have the battle when they are teenagers. Mine are 20 and 22.

 

I'm similar in parenting like this. But I also talk to DD afterwards once we've all calmed down. It works for me. Some methods of parenting children work well for some and others need a different method. There's no right or wrong parenting. It depends on the child.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AsperHacker

I'd also caution against ignoring nagging. Under react - yes, ignore - no. Because then when your child escalates their behaviour to get attention, inevitably they will do or say something that gets you angry or you can't ignore - and now you're reacting from a place of anger not calm authority, and the child knows you were faking the whole "I so can't see or hear you" thing.

 

Not if you're not faking. Ignoring works brilliantly - give me positive behaviour and I'll give it back to you, otherwise there's nothing. No getting angry, no yelling. It works super quickly and is relatively painless (if you can restrain yourself!).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
majirlo

"If you don't do xxxx I'll send you to your room"

"If you don't do xxx you won't get screen time tomorrow"

They are the 2 examples of threats in your original post.

 

Excuse me, where in my post did I make these quotes?

I would appreciate it if you didn't put words in my mouth, insinuate there is nothing but punishment or assume what my reactions are.

Going to their room gives them the opportunity to calm down and prevents further arguing and getting even more upset. Once they have calmed down you can explain why that behaviour is unacceptable.

This is not an ongoing situation. Once they realise that no means no, you won't have all the arguments.

No wonder so many children have no respect for others and mental health issues have escalated in young children if they can't cope with being told no or having time out.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
*Jasmine*

Mine is similar, and he's gotten a lot better as he gets older (now 10 but he was exactly like your DD at 5). What seemed to work for him was a routine. Rather than getting up to watch Tv then me nagging him to get ready for school we actually wrote on a list no Tv until x, x, and x was done. Same with after school. No tv until homework done, changed, clothes in hamper etc.

 

We still struggle slightly getting him off the Xbox but even then if we set an alarm and say when the alarm goes off it's time to turn it off. For some reason the alarm seems to work better than just asking.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AsperHacker

 

No wonder so many children have no respect for others and mental health issues have escalated in young children if they can't cope with being told no or having time out.

 

Having mental health issues is not related to being spoiled. That's a low blow.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ellie bean

I agree with most of what you're say Rosiebird but I really don't think you've had the experience of parenting a really stubborn child.

  • Like 11

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AsperHacker

I agree with most of what you're say Rosiebird but I really don't think you've had the experience of parenting a really stubborn child.

 

LOL my just turned 6yo doesn't care if there's an alarm or I'm "on the same side"! Or more accurately, he's not silly and can see straight through that tactic!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lucrezia Bauble

The technique seems similar to the one I am reading in a book - recommended by some EB'ers actually - How to Talk so They will Listen and Listen so They will Talk.

 

Its a good book - and I get the philosophy behind it. I think. But like Ellie has mentioned in her post above, when you have a really stubborn kid on your hands it is incredibly difficult to hold the line. In addition (and I think this is just me) when I talk, or respond - in the way the book recommends I sound so horribly insincere...?

 

Its definitely worth a try though OP - the method has worked for us sometimes, and really can assist in *not* escalating a situation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
aace

The thing is that there is not one approach that fits for each child. DD1 really responds to gentle parenting techniques as Rosiebird has described. I would go as far as saying anything else would damaging for her. She is very sensitive.

 

This same technique does not work at all for DS. He needs boundaries such as "You cannot have the ipad tomorrow if you don't hand when the timer goes" or "You will go to time out if you do not stay in bed". And yes I tried the same technique with him as I did with DD until we were both in tears after hysterical tantrums which escalated into throwing/spitting/hitting/purposely destroying my belongings. I thought he may be autistic and took him to a paed who told me to change my technique and come back in a month if the behaviour was continuing. There was no need to go back .. he behaves so much better and we are both much happier. So is the rest of the family.

 

Until you have had a challenging child you really can't understand.

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ellie bean

The thing is that there is not one approach that fits for each child. DD1 really responds to gentle parenting techniques as Rosiebird has described. I would go as far as saying anything else would damaging for her. She is very sensitive.

 

This same technique does not work at all for DS. He needs boundaries such as "You cannot have the ipad tomorrow if you don't hand when the timer goes" or "You will go to time out if you do not stay in bed". And yes I tried the same technique with him as I did with DD until we were both in tears after hysterical tantrums which escalated into throwing/spitting/hitting/purposely destroying my belongings. I thought he may be autistic and took him to a paed who told me to change my technique and come back in a month if the behaviour was continuing. There was no need to go back .. he behaves so much better and we are both much happier. So is the rest of the family.

 

Until you have had a challenging child you really can't understand.

Yeah if I only had my DS I'd think this parenting gig was freaking easy. I'm very compassionate to DD but I have to kind of succeed in battles of will with her every day, if that makes sense- I think we do really well with her but it's hard work requiring very different techniques to DE.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BeAwesome

About the badgering, another example

 

"Muuuuum! I want chips now!"

"Oh you're hungry are you? It's hard to wait for dinner. I'll be as quick as I can. There aren't any chips tonight I'm sorry, it's steak and salad"

"But I want chips!!! You never let me eat chips!! etc etc"

"You're really in the mood for chips! It's disappointing to be given a dinner you don't want to eat."

*climbs onto chair to get chip packet*

"I won't let you open the chips. I'm going to put this packet away now" (takes chip packet and puts on high shelf)

*tantrum*

Think "la la la" in head as you continue making dinner. Throw occasional sympathetic glance. Occasionally acknowledge ongoing chip craving. Excuse yourself if it's getting you angry

Often that's enough and the tantrum eventually dissipates. If not...

* tantrum escalates, skills appearing useless in face of extreme chip craving!!*

"I can see you're having real trouble calming down. I'm going to take you to your room and we'll have a sit down together"

(I usually end up sitting next to the door to stop DD4 from leaving until she's calm, continuing to reflect her emotions, allow the feelings to run their course then reconnect at the end when she's ready with a cuddle or a book)

 

I clearly don't subscribe to gentle parenting, that sounds a bit nauseating to me. I'd tell me kids tough luck, either stop complaining, go elsewhere, or no more chips for a week.

Edited by RainyDays

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
cinnabubble

The other thing I find useful is giving my kids a way to back down with dignity. I'm not interested in being "the winner" for its own sake, but I need to be the one running the show. Giving them a means to feel like they haven't been defeated in pitched battle leads to smoother day to day life.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...