Posted by: Tired Mom | 2019/03/26

Thanks Doc - Defiance issue

Thanks Doc. I had a chat with her teacher today. It also seems like she is an attention-seeker BIG TIME. I told the teacher to STOP asking my daughter to keep up with the class. I told her that my daughter is the kind of kid who doesn't learn if she doesn't FEEL the consequences. Let her fall behind and she will be stuck catching up at home with very little time to play. I will get the other parents to send me some photos of the school work so that I know what she must do. I think my daughter may also have gotten used to her teacher reminding her constantly. She won't write and then when the teacher says that she is going to clean the board, my daughter 'panics'. I have read about ODD. The psychologists here are not great unfortunately. One even told me NOT to speak my mother tongue (English) to my child because it was confusing. My daughter is 100% bilingual because I did NOT listen to this psychologist. I trust you more ;-) I will read up more about ODD and plan a stricter schedule for her. Due to health issues, her schedule has been very upside down for the past 18 months. I think she might be trying to 'milk' as much out of me in terms of attention. I am going to try to remedy this with her teacher but her teacher but if it continues, you are right, I need to find a reputable psychologist since i will NOT return to the one I went to in the past (when she was accused of having ADHD but a psychologist and psychiatrist said she is perfectly normal). She does fidget but no more than the rest of the kids in her class. She can sit through an entire movie at the cinema without making a noise and she can sit at a restaurant without a problem so I'm sure she is just excited to be around all the kids. She is very sociable and she rarely gets upset. She usually gets upset with herself rather than anyone else. I think that she could be a bit of a perfectionist too. So, several things to consider and I will certainly take into account the possibility of ODD. Thank you so much.

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Our expert says:
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- 2019/03/26

Dear TM,
Brilliant observations.  I can;t imagine what the psychologist could have been thinking of, who suggested you should not peak your mother tongue to your child. That sounds ridiculous. When I worked in Canada, which had a major split between English and French, I studied bilingualism and multilingualism, and wrote about it.  Children brought up in a home with two languages may actually have an intellectual advantage ; though they may for a time speak in a way that confuse some listeners, when they mix their languages. 
Also, in their early years, children learn languages more readily, and even get a better accent, than if they try to learn languages later in life.
When you mention he was restricted by health issues for a time, I wonder whether she might have become accustomed to extra attention then, to being special, maybe even having some special privileges ; and now expects some special attention more generally. 
Attention-seeking behaviour interests me. The way most kids ( and adults ) seek attention is often counter-productive and produces irritation in others,  Then, instead of changing tactics, they tend to do, even more, what is already not working ; like someone who when you don't understand what they said, says the same thing LOUDER, rather than more clearly.
You make a very important observation, something I meant to ask about, in noticing that she is fine in movies and restaurants : situations in which many other kids misbehave.   That shows how her misbehavior responds to social cues, and suggests she will respond well to a planned program to change this.
One more point : with kids being problematic, its so easy to get trapped into punishing the bad bits. I find it even more productive to hunt for occasions when they're doing what you want, and encourage that by giving attention and praise.

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