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I swear if Ash doesn't cut it out and SOON, I'm going to lose my mind.
Today alone she:
- Pushed her brother.
- Threw a plate I didn't take from her "fast enough"
- Handed me our xbox controller and said "Put on my show" and when I said not right now she said "Yes. Right. NOW"
- Demanded I do multiple other things "Right NOW"
- Used an AWFUL attitude, tone of voice and body language
Yep. I'm done.
She's been getting worse and worse and NOTHING works.
I don't give in at all. If she uses her "mean words", she does not get what she is demanding.
Of course, once I let her know that she immediate uses her "nice words" in a loud, desperate tone and if I DARE say "Not right now", "Give me just a minute" or "I told you we are not doing that today" she is back to using "mean words".
I just needed to vent. I'm losing my mind with the way she has been!
It can take MONTHS for a child to fully learn something through discipline, no matter what form of discipline you use. You are handling things great. Give it time. Even though you didn't "create the monster" she's formed some bad habits all on her own and eventually she will break them because you are being consistent and she will learn how to change to get what she wants/needs.
Here are some ideas, though. I'm going to call them the 5 P's of Patience. And I made this up but the techniques are not my own, just a compilation of things I've picked up over the years.
--Play Pretend. Play tea party with her where maybe one bear is rude and the other is polite and ask your daughter who she should give the tea to.
--Positive Reinforcement. When she does wait, be sure to verbally notice and/or compliment her patience! Maybe even a sticker on a chart would be further incentive, and 10 stickers = a prize. She can get a sticker every time she asks nicely then waits patiently without any reminders.
--Practice. Even when you can help her right away, get up and go to help her, then say, "I want to see if you can be SUPER patient for 10 seconds before I get you your snack. Let's count together."
--Prepare. This one helps a lot with my kids. Think about this. Your CHILD (remember, just a kid, with the emotional and mental maturity of their age) asks for something rude. You say, "I'm not getting anything when you ask rude. You need to ask politely." In their head, that means "When I ask politely she'll get it for me." In fact, to a CHILD who is interpreting it from a CHILD's perspective, it sounds a bit like a promise to get them what they want when they ask nice. So when after they ask nice you say, "Not right now" they feel like you lied to them (even though you DID NOT). That sends them back to where they started. As frustrating as it is for you, it's ALSO frustrating for them. It feels hopeless. And they may even think, "Well how long do I have to wait and after I wait then she's just going to have another reason to say no." Because remember, they are operating on the emotional maturity of their age. SO, this is why I say "Prepare." Tell them, "After you ask nicely and then wait until I finish the dishes, I can get that for you." It lets them know AHEAD of time what the two requirements are. Then follow through!
--Plan. Another thing we do with our kids a behavioral therapist taught us; it's the "5 second rule" but it's not really 5 seconds. When my kids want something, they have to say excuse me. I say, "Okay, give me five." Then I go about what I am doing and every so often say "1" then "2" etc. If I'm talking with company or have a phone call, I use my fingers to show them the visual count. At that point, when I reach 5, I take a break from what I am doing to address them. I explained this method before we started it, and we also have a basket of things they can do while waiting (or anything else they want to find). Sometimes I tell my son "give me five" and he goes and grabs a book and goes into the other room to read, giving me much more than 5! I space the 5 out, so sometimes a 5 might be 3 minutes or it might only be 1 minute, but I try to make the wait time appropriate to their age and build up how long that 5 is over time. Afterward, if they stood waiting instead of doing an activity, we talk about things they can do while they wait. Another fair option is a timer. You can say, "I need 5 minutes. I am setting this timer. You can go color while you wait, and when it goes off I will get you (xyz)." As they get used to this method, you just say "I need 5 minutes. I'm setting the time." and they will know what will follow and can independently go find something to do. But it takes time to get to that point! The key to this though is planning your time and teaching them to plan theirs; teaching them to plan for waiting and how to wait when the time comes.
FYI--I had a REALLY demanding (dare I say bratty!) daughter for a good year or so until I learned these techniques. I DID NOT GET IT. I was like, she NEVER gets her way acting like that, yet she continues to act like that?! WHY??? Some kids just take a little more work in this area. It's not because we do anything wrong, it's not because we spoil them or because it gets them what they want. They are just strong willed. It's challenging, but I PROMISE you are there are some REALLY rewarding qualities to the flip side of that personality coin. Kids who are demanding and stubborn can learn to channel that energy into being devoted, persistent (in a good way), hard-working, and to being the kind of person who will eventually put just as much effort into doing the RIGHT thing (even when other people pressure them to do otherwise). They just need guidance.
True Story: My daughter, who once was very much the way you are describing and yes, still has her bad/grumpy/emotional days, is at the point now where even if ALL of her friends are misbehaving, she won't do it. I've even seen her REMOVE HERSELF FROM A SITUATION. Example 1: kids throwing popcorn and making a mess. She got up, walked away, and ate lunch by herself instead of sticking around to get in trouble with those girls. Example 2: A friend was running around when they weren't supposed to, and kept saying "Come on, run with me! Come on! Let's go! What aren't you running? Run with me!" and eventually my daughter came and sat next to me and I said "What's up?" and she said "She wants me to run with her but I'm not supposed to." That is because she can be just as strong willed about following directions as she can be about "getting her own way" so keep in mind when dealing with these struggles that there is a positive side to the personality that causes these behaviors. Eventually, you will teach your daughter to harness her personality in a positive way! It takes time, you might lose a little hair along the way, and some days you might even feel like it's HOPELESS. But, it's not, and the eventual payoff will make you the proudest mom in the world. It's SO worth it, I promise you, and I promise you that beneath that demanding exterior is a little girl who is going to SHINE as she matures under your loving guidance.
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Last edited by alittlelost; April 20th, 2013 at 08:13 PM.
Super late reply..sorry! It's been a little hectic here. Ashlynn is still being pretty demanding, but we decided that from now on if she uses mean words when she wants the TV on, or if she pushes her brother or hits him because he's in the way of the television, touching her, etc while she's watching a show that the TV will be off for the remainder of the day. So far it's working somewhat.
She is getting a little better at her tone and words, but we're dealing with a whole new set of issues with her being "mean" to her brother.
Three has been an interesting age so far...