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Old 02-09-2013, 09:30 PM   #1
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Please help with my 5-yr-old before I lose my mind

DD just made 5. I feel like I'm constantly yelling and scolding her. She's always taking things away from her brother, yelling at him. And when I ask her not to do something, its like she doesn't hear me cause she does it again right after. I'm going to lose it soon because I can't get through to her. I know she doesn't always mean to be defiant, like her brain does not process a command in enough time or something, but it irritates the heck out of me and I'm constantly exasperated.
Any advice to deal with this phase, or ways to help correct her like get her to actually listen would be fantastic

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Old 02-09-2013, 09:36 PM   #2
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Re: Please help with my 5-yr-old before I lose my mind

This is the age my kids start spending a lot of time in their rooms for a couple of weeks until they figure out I mean business. I get on their level, make them look me in the eye, I explain why their behavior is not acceptable, and let them know that if they cannot treat other people with respect, then they will go to their room until they are ready to. We will still have issues on occasion, but for the most part, after a week or two, they do better.

Also, part of it has to do with how you parent. I have a tendency to yell, though I have improved through my years as a parent, and DH definitely tends to yell, so our kids tend to yell at each other. I have to make sure I get my down time in order to keep my cool. I take deep breaths, and sometimes I lose it, and then have to go back and talk to my kids about how it wasn't cool that I lost it and possibly apologize.
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:41 PM   #3
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Re: Please help with my 5-yr-old before I lose my mind

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This is the age my kids start spending a lot of time in their rooms for a couple of weeks until they figure out I mean business. I get on their level, make them look me in the eye, I explain why their behavior is not acceptable, and let them know that if they cannot treat other people with respect, then they will go to their room until they are ready to. We will still have issues on occasion, but for the most part, after a week or two, they do better.

Also, part of it has to do with how you parent. I have a tendency to yell, though I have improved through my years as a parent, and DH definitely tends to yell, so our kids tend to yell at each other. I have to make sure I get my down time in order to keep my cool. I take deep breaths, and sometimes I lose it, and then have to go back and talk to my kids about how it wasn't cool that I lost it and possibly apologize.
thank you. I also do realize that her yelling at DS stems from the fact that I do yell as well, and I'm working on it.
I try my best to be patient with her. But like today for example she was drinking from my water bottle and her brother came to her and water. I told her "please give your brother water too" she kept drinking so he couldnt have and when she was done went to put it back on the counter. What?! hello?
and in the bathtub, they play in there for awhile and the water gets cold. I was draining the water and she she placed a toy over the drain. I removed it and told her its blocking it making it go down slowly. What does she do? Takes a DIFFERENT toy and inches it toward the drain when she thinks I'm not looking erh-maa-gawdddd!!!
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:55 PM   #4
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Re: Please help with my 5-yr-old before I lose my mind

my 5 yr old ds is the same and some days ( Its everyday just some are way worse! ) Night before last he was suppose to be in bed ...well I go in check on dd(almost 2) and he has my pack of flatout wraps in there and the bag of brown sugar and its everywhere and the new container of fat free half and half and he and dd(2) have poured it on their sleeping sister(almost 8 ) and in the tote of summer clothes we were going through ! and it goes on andon. You can take everything away from him , spank , yell , reward anything and nothing works !
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:57 PM   #5
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Re: Please help with my 5-yr-old before I lose my mind

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thank you. I also do realize that her yelling at DS stems from the fact that I do yell as well, and I'm working on it.
I try my best to be patient with her. But like today for example she was drinking from my water bottle and her brother came to her and water. I told her "please give your brother water too" she kept drinking so he couldnt have and when she was done went to put it back on the counter. What?! hello?
and in the bathtub, they play in there for awhile and the water gets cold. I was draining the water and she she placed a toy over the drain. I removed it and told her its blocking it making it go down slowly. What does she do? Takes a DIFFERENT toy and inches it toward the drain when she thinks I'm not looking erh-maa-gawdddd!!!
I hear you, and mine aren't close to that age yet!

*disclaimer: I have no idea if this tactic works for the child, I just know it helps me get validated/calm down

When things like that happen, and I'm cool-headed enough to recognize it - I try to explain EXACTLY what they are doing, and why it isn't acceptable.

Eg in your situation,
"Dearest Daughter, you are inching a toy towards the drain that I just asked you to keep clear. You are trying to do it sneakily. That is helpful, and it isn't good listening because I asked you nicely not to do that." I breathe through the whole thing, but it helps me remember that they are kids, and you can call out behavior that with adults in public we usually can't.

sometimes I'll end with something directive like," Let's be helpful instead and use the toy to push the water towards the drain."

Honestly, I have no idea if it actually helps, but with my 2.5 yr old, this tactic helps ME calm down. I think it just highlights to me (& her) what the problem actually is, and then I can realize that while it is driving me BATTY, it's not like she's doing crack cocaine or smashing up the family car.
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:53 PM   #6
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Re: Please help with my 5-yr-old before I lose my mind

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Originally Posted by corinne76 View Post
thank you. I also do realize that her yelling at DS stems from the fact that I do yell as well, and I'm working on it.
I try my best to be patient with her. But like today for example she was drinking from my water bottle and her brother came to her and water. I told her "please give your brother water too" she kept drinking so he couldnt have and when she was done went to put it back on the counter. What?! hello?
and in the bathtub, they play in there for awhile and the water gets cold. I was draining the water and she she placed a toy over the drain. I removed it and told her its blocking it making it go down slowly. What does she do? Takes a DIFFERENT toy and inches it toward the drain when she thinks I'm not looking erh-maa-gawdddd!!!
When my kids do something like that, I call them back over to me, and ask them to repeat to me what I asked them to do. They are then expected to do what I asked them to do. I also often ask my kids if they heard me. They have learned that if they don't want me telling them the same thing 500 times, that they need to acknowledge they heard and understood the first time.

Oh, and another thing is to make sure she gets quality one-on-one time with you and DH both.

As for the bath thing, I would have no problem simply taking the toys away (after a warning). It takes some work and practice, but work toward being very clear about what you want from her, making sure she understands what you want (even if it's just the simple "give your brother the water"), and what the consequences will be if she doesn't -- and then follow through with them.

It's not easy, I know. I do much better with my current 5 year old than I did with my 12 yr old when she was 5. We learn as we parent. Hang in there and it'll get better.
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:46 AM   #7
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Re: Please help with my 5-yr-old before I lose my mind

Yes, having read everything here, I would just add that sometimes, and you'd be surprised, your kid needs you to break it down and say it more slowly. My 4 year old is super smart and so I sometimes cynically think she should know everything already or remember everything and sometimes she truly isn't processing what she's doing - or just how annoying her behavior is or how much trouble she's about to be in. The slow, careful repeat is sometimes necessary because their little brains are going a mile a minute in a totally different direction. And then at other times, they pay attention to every single thing you say... sounds a bit like husbands actually. I have found that things like the bathtub scenario - inching something sneakily or whatever - is my daughter's way to solve a problem and sometimes she doesn't even realize how offensive it is to what I'm trying to accomplish. They aren't just little adults, they are children and their brains work in really bizarre ways. It's up to us to show them how to live with us and they need constant reminders.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:39 PM   #8
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Re: Please help with my 5-yr-old before I lose my mind

Be clear. Make sure you aren't saying things like, "Why are you doing that?" or "What do you think you are doing?" because it doesn't make sense to kids. There is no "right answer" to that. (My DH does this drives me up the freakin wall) Make sure you are clear and precise about what you want and make sure she knows what will happen if she doesn't listen. For instance: It is time to get out. Please move the toys. Then, If you don't move the toys, next time you take a bath you can't have any toys. I honestly wouldn't make her share things like a water bottle. Older kids want to have things that are just theirs and they don't have to share with siblings.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:29 PM   #9
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Re: Please help with my 5-yr-old before I lose my mind

I have a kiddo close to the same age and we've started requiring him (and his sibling) to say yes ma'm and yes sir after each request as a sign of respect and to acknowledge that he's listened to what we've said. I had a friend that did this and I always thought it was a bit to formal for us but it turns out it's really effective. We started having a lot of problems with back talking and just plain ignoring what we said. I wish we had started it earlier. If he tries to back talk or disobey I'll stay "stop, I just asked you to do x,y,z...you need to say yes ma'm and do what I've asked." So far it's worked every.single.time. Seriously! I feel way less frustrated and he's not getting in as much trouble. We did sit down as a family and explain that mom and dad were going to expect them to start saying it since we were having so many problems with them arguing about every little thing. We've been pretty strict about requiring it each time, even instead of "okay" or "yes" for the time being.
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:47 AM   #10
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Re: Please help with my 5-yr-old before I lose my mind

I tend to talk too much. Keep it short, and take action. Try to stick to one warning, then follow through with a consequence. With the water bottle, tell her to share, if she doesn't, just take it from her. In the tub, tell her not to put toys in the drain, then scoop her out of the tub if she tries it again. The less emotional you get the better- try to be calm and assertive, then ignore the protests. Very matter of fact.
Now, all of that is easier said than done. Even though I have 4 kids, and *know* what to do, I still tend to yell and do what I call "couch parenting"- where I talk too much and don't get up and deal with the issue fast enough.
5 yr olds can be uber-annoying. Hang in there.
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