Frustration kicks in...

Canada
February 10, 2007 12:22pm CST
My four year old daughter lately is out of control. I don't know what to do with her anymore. I can spend all of the attention in the world on her, but she STILL acts up. This past week, I understand she's sick so its taking a lot out of her. But the past few days she's been acting up, throwing supreme fits, demanding I drop everything I do for her, and I can't do this. I can't drop everything for her, there are two other children in the home here. One of which is an 8 month old baby. So she knows at times I can't always run to her. She knows I love her, she knows I will do anything for her, but her behaviour lately is out of control. I don't know what happened or what has happened, if its a phase or what, but holy heck I don't know how much more of her little attitude im supposed to take . I mean she screams at me (when she knows more than the average in vocab skills) and Ifind myself getting frustrated because she just won't quit! I mean the screaming is one thing, but lately its been all about the crying. She's been so whiney and crying lately over nothing! If you look at her the wrong way she will cry. When I ask her what is bothering her, she says nothing... What would you do? I don't believe in spanking, so I don't spank her. I do raise my voice more often than not... but nothing seems to be getting through to her.. Thoughts?
2 people like this
14 responses
@Debs_place (10525)
• United States
10 Feb 07
Tell her that you don't understand her when she screams or whines, send her to her room and tell her when she is ready to talk nicely she can come out. This way she is bing ignored for bad behavior, some kids feel bad attention is better then no attention at all. By sending her to her room until she comes down and paying attention to her whenshe is acting nice will reinforce proper behavior.
2 people like this
• Canada
10 Feb 07
yeah but i've been told sending her to her room is "isolating her" and apparently thats not allowed anymore..
• United States
10 Feb 07
What do you mean it's not allowed? By who? It's called taking the desired reward away as a punishment. And it's a tool that is very effective discipline no matter what age!
2 people like this
• United States
10 Feb 07
Plus the time in her room lets her learn to play by herself, it's not much different that the naughty spot or time out chair.
1 person likes this
@apky12 (775)
• United States
10 Feb 07
I think she may be doing this because of the baby. Sometimes it takes children a while to build up feelings and express them. This happened with my friend. Her daughter was 1 1/2 years old and her 4 year old starting peeing on the floor everywhere. The doctor said it was because of the 1 1/2 year old and he was jealous. I wouldn't punish her but I would sit down and talk with her. I would tell her that you are more than willing to help her out and do things with her but she needs to stop crying and tell you what she would like from you. At 4 she definitely knows what you are talking about. Also, maybe set up a reward system. If she doesn't whine for a day she gets a sticker on a board. After 10 stickers she gets a reward like something from the dollar store that she gets to pick out and you just take her and not her siblings to get her prize. She would probably really like that. It's time for the 2 of you and she gets something.
• United States
10 Feb 07
When you see her getting frustrated try asking her to help. This way she would feel like she is involved, she now has the role of big sister. Maybe helping with the plastic dishes, picking up some toys, reading (telling) a story to her siblings, or being a big girl and making sure the little ones are safe.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Feb 07
It sounds like your daughter is jealous of the younger child. Whether or not this is actually the case. Just do a lot of talking to her about your youngest child, let her know that mommy has to be shared with everyone else in the household. Stop responding to her tantrums so much. She has you wrapped around her finger, and she knows that if she throws a fit, then she can get mommy to come running to her.
1 person likes this
@mari61960 (4895)
• United States
10 Feb 07
It sounds like a bit of jealousy to me. Jealousy between siblings is a real, powerful emotion that cannot be wished away. You cannot talk your child out of feeling jealous of the new baby. The feeling arises, in part, from the depth of your child's love of you and from the strength of the connection between you. In order to know how to handle this strong feeling most effectively, it helps to put yourself in your older child's shoes, to see the issue from his point of view. Imagine that your husband comes home one day with another woman. He announces: "Dear, I love you as much as I always have, but now this person is going to live with us, too. By the way, she is also going to take up a lot of my time and attention because I'm crazy about her. She is more helpless and needy than you are anyway. Isn't that wonderful? Aren't you delighted?" How would you feel about that new woman in your family? What is important is not that the child feels jealous, which is normal, but just how he resolves the feeling. Putting his feelings into words helps him master them. You can say, "I love you, too. I love you and the baby." Sometimes having her become your helper in taking care of the baby helps. You can tell her all about being a "big sister" and have her help with little things. I was put in charge of hand washing of my younger brother and sister. My sister was born when I was three and my brother 11 mos later... I was really "put out" by it all...lol Good luck I hope this helps.
@mbarryton (1872)
• United States
10 Feb 07
i also think it may have some to do with the new baby. have you tryed like a time out mat, taking things away or sending her to her room?
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Feb 07
oh boy this sounds so familiar! My daughter (who's now 15 and a wonderful kid!) sailed through the terrible two's and three's but then her fourth year was a nightmare. She was at a constant battle of wills with me. At that age, they are trying to assert some independence, and establish who's boss, which is normal development. Then at the next moment, they are feeling apprehensive of growing up and that's where the clingy, whiney, attention needing comes in. One thing I did notice in reading your post, you mentioned that she screams at you a lot, and you say you raise your voice at her alot. She's just following example. (I had the same issues) I would tell her in as calm voice as possible, " I can't hear you unless you talk nicely to me" Then ignore her. If she really got out of control, I would put her in timeout and tell her we could talk about it when she calmed down. Many, many many times, I held the door to her room closed while she kicked and screamed. I think she just didn't possess the ability to control her temper at that age. I wasn't sure if we'd both live through that age, but we did, and just to give you a ray of hope, the next few years (until she reached puberty) she was just angelic!!!Then the crying started again! LOL!
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Feb 07
I think you should give her a swift little spank on her butt. Everyone is saying that spanking is not the way to go, but really who wasn't spanked when they were younger. I know I was and I do not have any hard feelings towards my parents. I was only spanked a few times and I learned my lesson; therefore, I acted better and was a better child. I worked at a daycare and could tell a huge difference in the children whos parents were willing to spank them every once in awhile IF NEEDED and the one who never did. The ones who had been spanked in the past did act better and respected authority more. I am not saying your should spank your daughter everyday or anything. One time might get her attention and let her know that she needs to straighten up. Good Luck.
@arwenrey (316)
• Philippines
11 Feb 07
Maybe your daughter is traumatized by something that she can't tell. If you think this just happened recently you should bring her to a therapist. I am not trying to make you worry, i just think there might be someone who abused her that she can only blame it on to you.
• India
11 Feb 07
Please proceed on her way for a period of one week.you also cry as like as your daughter and also work as similarly.Next you start to control daily one hour by strictly ansering her questions.gradully you try to increase it.It may cure.If not another method you can follow.
• United States
11 Feb 07
Do not raise your voice on her. And keep on being patient with her. She must be wanting some attention. Try to get her involved while you care for the little one. Ask her to get things for you so she doesn't feel left out. Like getting the baby's wipes, diaper... things like that. Did she get the yelling and whining from someone in the house? I honestly think kids see things and copies them. So don't do anything you don't want your kid to do.
@woody5_16 (171)
• Egypt
11 Feb 07
hi your problem had happened to many mothers and most of them of the same reason that baby jelious of his smaller brother espcially if brother is bvery small you must speak to her and make her not feel that her brother take your attention from her and i am with you ofcourse you mustnot spank her because she might make thing with her brother as he was the reason that you spank her or spank will make her make things you not love it but you can threaten her that you will bit her if she not listen your orders
• Philippines
11 Feb 07
yap spanking is not the right approach, she is probably jelouse of the new baby, try to do something together with the baby, try not to raise your voice to often and ask her gently and if she cries tell her your dont understand her use words she lacks attention thats why and she dont know how to communicate with you on her level and limited amount of vocabulary try to watch nany911 on etc.2nd avenue their approach on some children really is helpful, i hope this piece of advice helps you goodluck on your parenting
• United States
11 Feb 07
You have to be present. Be totally in the now and when she gets no response from you she will eventually stop.