Posted by: Daisy | 2009/09/09

Five and a half and refusing to obey

My daughter is five and a half and is starting be very out of hand. When I reprimand her, she tells me that I can' t tell her what to do. Last night I asked her to help me with the dinner dishes and take them to the kitchen for me. She said she' s not my maid. Then I asked her to please take the plates at least and leave in the sink and she took hers and then said she didn' t eat of her father' s &  my plate. She always has a cheeky answer like this for me. When I ask her to do something, she acts as if she never heard me and continues with what she was doing. I tell her repeatedly and she just looks at me.

I am at my wits end. Dad doesn' t help much with discipline and will say in front of her that I should say " my darling, my angel, please brush your hair" , etc.

How do I remedy this doc? Where am I going wrong? She recently spent a month with her grandparents, where she was spoilt rotten and I wonder if this was a setback. She is usually a wonderful child, well mannered and helpful and smart.

I need to get control and want to know where to begin and how. Her dad does spoil her a lot. He still feeds her breakfast by hand, and even requests for me to do this. She won' t eat a meal on her own as she is busy playing or watching tv and wants to be fed. She' ll be 6 in 4 mths time. I allow her to bathe on her own, but dad insists I bathe her. He dresses her for school every morning. When she' s with me, I give her the clothes and she does it herself.

Am I expecting too much for a child this age? Should I still be doing everything for her.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

If you'll check the archives of the forum, we have discussed just this sort of problem many times, and you will find the presviousdiscussions helpful. And indeed, I;'ve already discussed a very similar issue earlier today.
You need to remind her that you are not her maid, either, and that you will only serve food for her IF she has at the last meal taken ALL the plates through and helped with the washing and drying.
You and your husband must draw up a list of the basic rules, and discuss them with her --- as non-negotiable --- and a list of penalties for each time she fails to keep to a rule or help with a chore. The penalties depend on what she values, but can include loss of TV or cell-phone access for one or more days ( depending on the number and extent of infringements ). And Dad must stop this "my angel" rubbish, and stop spoiling her, which is indeed a form of abuse. What on earth makes him think she has to be spoobn-fed ?
You are not expecting too much --- you are expecting far too little. Dady is the problem ( maybe abetted by the grandparents ). D's g explains perfectly how confusing this is for the child

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Our users say:
Posted by: Daisy | 2009/09/09

Thanks CS &  DG. I have spoken to hubby on numerous occassions and he constantly insists that I speak to her in a sweet voice and using affectionate terms such as my angel and my darling. I keep telling him he is spoiling her. Problem is, he tells me this in front of her and I know this is why she doesn' t take me seriously - she knows daddy will reprimand me. She' s daddy' s girl through and through, but I can' t make him see that it doesn' t mean he loves her less or will lose her love if he is firm with her.

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Posted by: Daddys girl | 2009/09/09

Sounds like daddy is the problem. Maybe he does not understand that your reprimands is out of love and nothing else. A child needs limits, it is crucial. You will have to have a little talk with him, before it is way too late. No use one parent try to discipline the child and the other gives in. A child needs order and stability, and when the reaction of the parents to behavior is confusing to the child, hê /she does not understand what is going on. Imagine you have two bosses at work that act similarly (just example), how would you feel and react. Talk it through.

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