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Brienne

I can’t deal with 6yo behaviours

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PocketIcikleflakes

Ds (7yo year 2) and dd (4yo kindy /pre school) both do this at times. They are fine in the afternoon then horrible for the last hour before bed. For them its over tiredness or being over people.

 

Is it possible for you to move everything earlier so there is less to do right before bed?

 

All I've been able to do is get them to bed right on time to allow more sleep. Skip bath or shower when I can. Early into pjs, early dinner etc. The most helpful for my kids is to ask them if they are feeling too tired so that they have learnt to identify what is happening, then embracing the sillyness. So with a board game I'd say "ok, so if we're too tired to play by the rules lets play silly snakes and ladders, how do we play that?". I decided that if they are too tired to play by the rules / be sensible, they are too tired to reason so I'd just as well go with it. I find doing that stops things escalating.

 

It doesn't stop the start of the behaviour, but it means I'm putting my evening energy into being daft rather than an unwinable battle of wills.

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Fizgig

My DD (6yrs) has been like this too. One thing I did a few years ago was realise that she was just too tired to handle having a bath and all that entailed (lots of steps, lots of instructions) after dinner. Try moving it to earlier in the day, ours are usually around 5 o'clock with dinner immediately after. A friend does baths at 4:30 and finds her kids cope much, much better.

 

When I was in the midst of losing my mind with DD I had a serious thought about how things went bad. What was making her get angry (for mine it was anxiety), what did I do that made things worse (tried to hurry her up, gave too many instructions), what was not working (giving or threatening consequences). By this analysis I realised that I needed to flip things. Instead of "this will go away if you don't do X" I had her earn the special thing by earning gems that I picked up in a $2 shop. With your example I would do; "you can earn 10 minutes playing a game with me if you earn 2 gems. You can earn one gem for having a bath, and every time you speak with beautiful manners you can earn a gem. If you get 3 gems we can have a silly game where our pieces move however we want and we talk in silly voices." Then you make sure she earns it the first day you start. If they don't earn it early on they often don't see the point.

 

I also agree with PPs that "How to talk so kids will listen, and listen so kids will talk" is an excellent and useful read.

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22Fruitmincepies

Bathtime here is the first thing we do when we get home, or it doesn’t happen. DD has snacks and a long play in the park before we head home. And so many silly, physical games, DD needs lots of touch.

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ERipley
Edited by ERipley

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Brienne

It’s a bit silly, but I teared up reading the responses. It is just such a relief knowing that others are going through the same thing and that she doesn’t hate me.

 

I have changed up a few things from your responses, moved the bath to before dinner and last night we shared a bath with a bath bomb and played with toys while dinner was in the oven.

 

I set some natural consequences - we have to be in bed lights out by 7:30. Being silly/argumentative and taking forever to do things means less time for stories. So if we get into bed by 7, that’s a full half an hour of stories and one on one. So some gentle reminders of the time seemed to do the trick. She was still really silly and a bit disrespectful, but didn’t escalate into a shouting match, so I count that as a win!

 

Changing my mindset that she’s not trying to be my enemy helps. Stepping back and thinking “she’s not trying to make me angry, she just can’t regulate right now”.

 

We did a child led day yesterday that she got to choose what we do, which was nice. I also want to implement the “silly time” and the leaving the room when you shout.

 

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José

 

 

Changing my mindset that she’s not trying to be my enemy helps. Stepping back and thinking “she’s not trying to make me angry, she just can’t regulate right now”.

 

 

 

ive heard this before and quite liked it.

 

'my child is not giving me a hard time, they are having a hard time'

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Lou-bags

Great update OP! Definitely a win.

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JoanJett

Good to hear OP! Having those moments of connection make the bad days easier to bear.

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Sincerely

I fully agree with PPs who have advised that all kids need downtime when they don't have to 'behave' as others expect. When my DS and his cousin were that age, DS was also well behaved at school & a monster at home (he knew I loved him unconditionally), whereas my brother & SIL were very strict parents, so my nephew was well behaved at home and frequently on detention at school.

 

I vaguely remember that in my childhood, role model behaviour and academic performance were expected from me (attended a school where my grandmother had been a teacher & my mother was their most famous Dux), so I spent a LOT of downtime on a swing in our garden.

 

The potential great news is that if they know how to behave in public and are being horrible at home because they know how much you love them unconditionally, they can turn out to be fiercely loyal, amazing teenagers.

Edited by Sincerely

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Kreme

I would echo a PP’s advice to check in with her teacher next term. Those behaviour rewards can indicate there is a problem with behaviour regulation at school and the teacher is trying to turn it around with rewards.

 

It doesn’t suit everyone’s style but I advocate for fewer rules. At school they need rules because there’s lots of kids with competing needs and a few adults. At home where the ratio is more even you don’t need a whole heap of rules for every occasion. We tend to stick to simple ones about no hitting, I won’t listen to you if you shout at me and don’t damage property. Everything else seems to fall into place. Little kids don’t need a bath or shower every day, just wipe them over with a wet washer if it’s causing distress. The important time spent reading a story together shouldn’t be sacrificed for a shower, IMO.

 

6 year olds are super silly. That’s how they’re made. It can be frustrating for parents but it’s normal. Try being silly with her occasionally, it’s quite liberating!

 

If you ease back a bit on the rules and structure and she’s still looking for opportunities to defy you, then I’d probably seek out a medical opinion to ensure there is nothing else at play. Good luck!

 

 

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