Posted by: Gina | 2009/03/09

My frustration with my 5yr old

Lately I seem to be on edge all the time. My 5yr old tends to get on my nerves so often these days. I don' t know what has happened to the very patient and caring person I was. Now she seems to do everything too slow and I told my 5yr old that she was stupid over the weekend. She just doesn' t seem to listen to anything that I say. I need to tell her things a few times before I get a response from her.

SHe always has to do or say what she wants to first. If she is playing with her toys and I call her to have breakfast she will tell me to wait until she is done. If she is writing and I tell her she is spelling a word wrong, she will continue and tell me that she needs to finish it her way first because that' s the way she wants to do it.

Yesterday she started drawing a picture just as we were leaving home to g out. She insisted that we have to wait until she is done. I then asked her to put on a different t-shirt and she refused and said that she doesn' t need to do what I ask of her. She will do what she wants.

Why is this child being so rebellious or am I just a terrible parent?

She doesn' t do this with her dad. When she needs something from me, she is ever so sweet and then listens to what I have to say. I know her dad spoils her terribly. I keep telling him she needs to do some things for herself. She refuses to eat any meal on her own. She has to be fed. Her father insists that she is still little and has to be taken care of. Am I wrong here? Should I still be running around the house with her whilst she plays and trying to feed her? After her bath she lies on the bed and tells me that I can now put the lotion on her. She won' t even comb her short hair herself.

Is my child just becoming a real spoilt brat?? By the way, she also sleeps in our room. Her dad insisted as she is a child and may get nightmares. Now she is 5 and refuses to sleep on her own. She says she is now afraid of monsters. She won' t go to sleep by herself as well. Her single bed is pushed against our bed. We lay next to her until she falls asleep.

I really need help here. My child is otherwise a bright child and is coping well at school.

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Our expert says:
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If this is a newly arisen problem, it sounds as though what has changed isn't your chil's behaviour, so much as your expectations ( perhaps not altogether realistic ) and your toleration of normal child behaviour. Have you been otherwise more under stress lately, perhaps more anxious and depressed for other reasons, but directly affecting your relationship with your child ?
You are not being a terrible parent, not at all. Burt she does sopund spoiled and intelligent enough to use the situations to her advantage, You need to work with your husband to be sure that you jointly clarify a number of basic rules for the child, with positive consequences for keping to the rules, and negaive consequences to not keeping to them, and BOTH of you operating the same way. At 5 she's too old for this behaviour, more typical of a younger child. She should be grooming herself, combing her own hair, putting on her own lotion. And of course you shoudln't be feeding her. If she doesn't come to a meal at a reasonable time and feed herself, then she can go hungry until the next mealtime.
Dad needs to stop spoiling her --- if he wants her to become a great child and then a great woman, he should save the gifts and treats he spoils her with, as rewards for consistent good behaviour which must include respecting and obeying mom. And the gifts should be seen as coming from BOTH of you, not simply from him.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Maria | 2009/03/09

Your husband has created a big problem here, and will have to be part of the solution. At 5 your daughter should be doing lots of things for herself and definitely sleeping in her own room.

Make sure you warn her when something is going to
happen: " Honey, we' re leaving in 5 minutes. If you' re picture isn' t done then you will have to finish it when we get back."  Then warn her again a minute before and when it' s time to go, go. Either pick her up and put her in the car or leave without her if you think she will find that upsetting enough.

Pick your battles wisely. Perhaps a dirty t-shirt is not worth fighting about. Rather insist on being treated with respect.

I think you and your husband could benefit hugely from a session or two with a good child psychologist to work out a strategy for dealing with your daughter. You can also read some parenting books for ideas. I like Kevin Leman' s books.

Good luck!

Reply to Maria

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