Re: Chronically Unhappy 5 Year Old....
If you are consistent and don't allow her to grump and go through life that way, and if you make the alternative truly something that she doesn't like, she will eventually opt to rejoin normal life and be cheerful. From your post it sounds like she gets away with it sometimes and like you try to appease her with choices and variances, etc. If that is the case, stop allowing even one instance of appeasement or kowtowing. It sounds like she is making everyone miserable. Her choices to be rude and grumpy should be making life miserable for *her*, not for everyone else (although yes it does cramp our style as parents from time to time as we have to enforce consequences that do change what we'd rather be doing).
If I'm off, ignore my advice but it really sounds like she's not convinced that she has to be a generally kind and pleasant person in order to get through everyday family life. To me it sounds like she needs more consistency and perhaps in a way that she feels it more keenly (i.e., maybe she doesnt care two straws about time out, but shell feel it if she loses x/y/z --and continues losing q/r/s/t/u/v/w... etc and on and on until she gets with the program), so she'll absolutely get the message.
Jess, Happy wife & mom to 6 fun kids (ds11, ds9, dd7, ds5, ds3, and precious lil' ds born @ home 2/20/13)
I aim to encourage Christian women at Making Home