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Question
Posted by: Kristen | 2010/07/19

5 year old

HI CS, I got into an argument with a 5 year old. This weekend she came by to watch a movie and wiped her hands all over the couch and I was stunned and asked her to stop she looked right at me in the eye and wiped all over the couch (it was deliberate ) I have never seen a child so disrespectful before and she really upset me. Having supper with the whole family she sits next to me and startskicking my chair
(nobody sees this) so I moved my chair and asked her to stop then she turns to her side and starts kicking my knee. This horrible monster was tormenting me and everybody thinks she''s an angel. Last night she did the same thing and I lost control and told her what I thought of her she then started to hit me and kick me and threw a tantrum. Should I have just ignored the brat or was I right to kick her out the house. (She lives on the same property) My husband and everbody else decides to pet her after this awful behaviour and it''s like ther''s something wrong with me. As kids we were never allowed to bahave like this especially in someone else''s home.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

How often does anyone win an argument with a 5-year-old ?
Anyhow, sounds like you met a real little monster with parents presumably utterly neglectful as to discipline and teahing her respect for others. What I find curious is how such brats manage to convince some foolish parents and others that they are angelic - apparently awesome skills at manipulation of others.
But you mention her "coming round", i.e. visiting. Simply tell her and her parents that her inconsiderate and ugly behaviour is intolerable, and that she will no longer be acepted as a guest in your house unless and until she learns basic discipline and consideration for others - and apologises sincerely to you.
Expect protests from the lazy parents, but recognise those for what they are.
YOu were absolutely right to expel her, and need a serious though calm talk with your husband about how he needs to recognize monsters when they arrive, and not fall for the kids smarm
I appreciate Purple's points, but I doubt whether the gentle approach would have any chance of working when, as I strongly suspect, her parents actively encourage her selfish and antisocial behaviour. When a child has learned that she is entitled to do anything she pleases and without consequences, she'd consider such helpful and kindly responses as simply evidence that you were soft and a perfect target.
Purple's approach would be ideal for her own parents to use. But in the hopefully short times she is with you, you can't undo the harm they have already been doing and the attitudes which they are so firmly re-inforcing.

It is NOT normal for a 5-year-old to behave in this manner. It is normal for them to challenge the envelope and test out the rules and discipline wherever they are, but not to be so defiant - and apparently able to rely on total support and encouragement from her parents.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Lin | 2010/07/19

Just keep an eye on her in YOUR house. If she does something wrong in YOUR house, immediately tell the parents and also tell them that you wont tollerate it in YOUR house. She can do as she pleases in her parents house, but this is YOUR house, YOUR rules.

Reply to Lin
Posted by: Kristen | 2010/07/19

Hi Lin, no her mother lets her have anything and everything she wants. Its actually very sad they have created a monster. She is allowed to behave badly. I am the only one that sees a problem with that behaviour.

Reply to Kristen
Posted by: Lin | 2010/07/19

Does her mother have a " look"  or does she just let her child be?

Reply to Lin
Posted by: Kristen | 2010/07/19

I agree my reaction did make the situation worse. But I disagree with you I did not behave like this at any age. I was raised to treat people and their homes with respect and never had the cheek to look at someone and delberatly do what they tell me not to. My mother would just have to look at me and I would know stop or your in trouble.

Reply to Kristen
Posted by: purple | 2010/07/19

I mean that the purposefully irritating and disobeying is normal at this age, not that one should accept wipings hands on a couch or kicking.

Reply to purple
Posted by: Purple | 2010/07/19

Its your reaction that made it worse.

No, you don''t have to put up with behaviour like that, but there are ways to handle it.

You ask her to stop, she doesn''t, so you look her in the eye and say I''m going to count to three, if you don''t stop, then I" m going to take you home/ send you to sit on the naughty mat / not give you pudding or whatever you opt for here. Then you count to three. If she repeats the behaviour in that time or does it again afterwards, you carry out what you warned her you would do.

She might step up the naughtiness in the beginning to test whether you really will do as you say, but once you have done it two or three times, she will realise that you aren''t gong to be pushed and stop trying.

Hate to tell you this, but you would have behaved exactly like this as a five year old, and five year olds have done this since time immemorial - because its is developmentally appropriate behavour for a five year old.
There''s plenty one can do to teach the child not to do so.

5 year olds know when others aren''t looking, so all everyone else saw was you behaving like a teenager in reaction to a 5 year old. Nowonder they were sweet to her.

Next time she comes to visit, call her aside and tell her that she is in your house and you expect her to behave nicely and that if she doesn''t you won''t put up with it. Spell out the good things she does that you would like to see more of.
If you tell her what you don''t want her to do, you plant a seed in her mind and that is exactly what she will do - yes, just to irritate you, its a lovely fun game. You''ll find many work colleagues still get a kick out of things like that.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: Lin | 2010/07/19

I agree with Maria.
I think she''s tormenting you because she sees that she gets a reaction out of you. Ignore her. If she does something you dislike, tell her to stop, or else you will tell her to go home.

Reply to Lin
Posted by: Maria | 2010/07/19

Your house, your rules as long as they are reasonable. What does her parents do? She is past the age where wiping hands on your couch is ok behaviour and kicking someone is not acceptable either.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/07/19

How often does anyone win an argument with a 5-year-old ?
Anyhow, sounds like you met a real little monster with parents presumably utterly neglectful as to discipline and teahing her respect for others. What I find curious is how such brats manage to convince some foolish parents and others that they are angelic - apparently awesome skills at manipulation of others.
But you mention her "coming round", i.e. visiting. Simply tell her and her parents that her inconsiderate and ugly behaviour is intolerable, and that she will no longer be acepted as a guest in your house unless and until she learns basic discipline and consideration for others - and apologises sincerely to you.
Expect protests from the lazy parents, but recognise those for what they are.
YOu were absolutely right to expel her, and need a serious though calm talk with your husband about how he needs to recognize monsters when they arrive, and not fall for the kids smarm
I appreciate Purple's points, but I doubt whether the gentle approach would have any chance of working when, as I strongly suspect, her parents actively encourage her selfish and antisocial behaviour. When a child has learned that she is entitled to do anything she pleases and without consequences, she'd consider such helpful and kindly responses as simply evidence that you were soft and a perfect target.
Purple's approach would be ideal for her own parents to use. But in the hopefully short times she is with you, you can't undo the harm they have already been doing and the attitudes which they are so firmly re-inforcing.

It is NOT normal for a 5-year-old to behave in this manner. It is normal for them to challenge the envelope and test out the rules and discipline wherever they are, but not to be so defiant - and apparently able to rely on total support and encouragement from her parents.

Reply to cybershrink

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