My daughter is behaving very bad at home. She is awesome at school, gets straight A's, is in the gifted and talented program but she gets home and she's terrible. I'm very strict with her so I don't know if that's backfiring on me, but then I feel that if you are too nice she takes advantage. She is being HORRIBLY disrespectful, especially with answering back. She's only 7, will be 8 in Feb. I mean I tell her to do something and she gives me a horrible attitude. I just picked her up from her aunts house, and it's like 40 degress out and she's just wearing a sweater. She doesn't even say hi to me and goes "I'm not wearing my coat it's hot out." So I said no, you need to put it on. She insists, even her aunt was like you don't talk to your mother like that. I mean and thats nothing she is worse. I have to tell her to do something countless times, and then when she does it she makes noises, like UGH or rolls her eyes. My friend thinks she may be acting up because I'm pregnant. I hate to be mean to her but I just cant take it anymore. She will no longer have TV, computer time, and as of now, she will not be opening any Christmas presents. I think we need to take drastic measures here because I don't want this to get worse. I feel like I've lost my little girl, all I want to do is cry.
Any advise. I was thinking of starting a behavior chart with her since I do know she works well with rewards. What do you think?
It has to be something with the age. Robbie is the exact same way. He was never like this before and I am totally losing my patience with him.
Sean (38 )
Robbie (8 )
Bailey (April 2, 2011)
"The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind." Caroline Myss
I'm sorry, dear. I'm sure it's VERY frustrating.. Since you asked, here's my 2 cents.. take them with a grain of salt.
1. It's my belief that your sweet girl is acting out because it's sinking in that she won't be your "baby girl" any more.. there will now be another child with which your time will be spent.. SHe's probably confused on what this means to her and is acting out to get some attention now while she can. At that age, they talk at school about the new baby coming and it's almost certain that other kids will remind her (not so gently, either) that (in kid speak..) she's no longer "special". Which is the farthest from the truth!!
2. Personally!! I would not do a behavior chart for rewards.. My standing is that you need to do what I ask you to do, because it is expected. IF she goes above and beyond, surprise her with something rewarding! A new lip gloss.. new nail polish.. $5.00 lego set.. whatever she's into! But I personally don't believe in rewarding for things expected.
THAT SAID! If in your shoes, what I might do is set up a behavior chart to help monitor requirements.. and if, say laundry comes to the laundry room on Tuesday's and Thursdays but she did it on Mon, Wed and Friday (ie 3 times instead of 2), put a gold star in an "above and beyond" column. If she gets so many stars in that column, then choose a reward for her! But not for only doing the bear minimum of what is asked.. those are called chores and are expected.
I think you're doing the right thing by not allowing her the "fun" things - computer time, etc. She needs to know her actions are not acceptable and will not be tolerated! Smart mama. Kids are like bowling alleys.. they need the bumpers up to help them get to a perfect score.. Give them boundaries, they will thrive! Let them run free and they will gutter ball every time!
One thing that works for me when Liliana back talks and it's not acceptable, it doesn't matter who says what nor how many times.. I literally stop in my tracks, ask her to come to me and request her undivided attention (ie. eye contact!). I let her know the way she is treating me (or whomever) is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. I expect her to respond that she understands.. not that she agrees because frankly, I don't care if she agrees! She has to do it, Period. I give her the option to either carry on her day in a better mood and different line of thinking or if she wants to continue how she's been acting, but know there are consequences. Yes, I give her a choice! But she knows that choosing wrong is not fun for her in the least.
Lastly.. (sorry this has gotten so long! ) Remember to breathe. She's going through as many changes and adjustments in her mind are you are with your body. It can be scary.. The cool thing is that once you get to the root of the issue, it's all but resolved quite quickly! I have faith and hope you'll get there.. We all go through it.. hang tough, mama!
Thank you. Although, I completely agree with you about the behavior chart I decided to do it anyway. Being a teacher it's just something I know works when behaviors are too bad. We sat down and we discussed each behavior individually that was a concern. I listed them as a question so she can ask herself if she followed through with the correct behavior. I asked her is she spoke to her teacher that way and reminder her about all the wonderful things we provide her with that many children are not privileged to have. SHe immediately started crying so I think she understood completely. Once the behavior gets better we will start weaning off the chart and reminding her that these are expected behaviors and like you said "she has to do them." I just honestly think I needed some kind of starting point because I have tried everything else.
I must admit she is very much like me, she is very head strong and very much opinionated! However, I never disrespected my parents and I will not allow it to happen in my house. UGH, I went and took a hot shower at 3 in the afternoon so you can only imagine how upset I was. I really hope this brings some needed relief. I just feel overwhelmed with this right now.
I would also (when she's not being bad and you're not feeling fed up with her) sit down with her and just ask (in a nice mom way) if she has been feeling sad or confused lately and see what she says. I would not say "Are you sad about having a new baby" because I know for a fact that if I said that to my son he would latch on to that idea and use it as an excuse for everything. I would just say "I notice that we're not getting along as well as we usually do. Is there something bothering you?" Something like that. I found that even when T was even younger than he is now, a lot of times if I gave him a little bit of sympathy it would clear his behavior right up. For example, I would say "You've been very cranky today. Are you feeling tired?" He would usually say yes, and I would say "Poor guy, being tired makes us cranky and not feel good, huh? Let me give you a hug." And then he would be good again (for a while anyway ) It still works. My one caveat is that I don't do that when he's actively being bad because I don't want to reinforce bad behavior with hugs and attention. It's more like, if he's been bad off and on all day, I'll wait and do it when he's not being bad, so that he is better moving forward for the rest of the day. I hope that makes sense.
-Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)
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I think maybe just sitting down and having a calm talk with her might show some results. My kid's only 4.5, but I find that annualy, he goes through a REALLY bad phase and we have to be firm, give him some extra attention, be patient, and we get through after about a month. I agree it might be the pregnancy. Sounds like you got through to her and I hope you get some results from the chart! Please keep us posted. Kids really put you through the test. Remember, you're only failing if you're not trying.
Well.. I don't have kids, but I've raised my brother pretty much. He's always been lazy and sarcastic (I think he gets that from me), but when I got pregnant, he just.....changed. He even called me one day to tell me he feels like he's losing his mom and the only person to care about him. (he's 20, btw).. I told him just because I'm having a baby doesn't mean I don't care for him or love him any less. But in HIS mind, he's losing his "special" spot with me... even though he's grown.
She was so much better last night and it was such a relief to have my sweet little girl for a change. Today she's been pretty good, I hope she can keep it up.