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Hard time with 8 years old

My daughter gives me extremely hard time when I ask her to read or do math, she yells, kicks and refuses to do any school related work. I cannot make her.

Also she is soooo picky about her food, any meal I have trouble with her.

She have hard time to wake up in the morning or dress herself. Only with my help or with her dad's help she finally organizes herself.

I am exhausted and literally dread interaction with her, almost any goes with my yelling or her yelling... any advice?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 11:55 PM on Jul. 24, 2013 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Answers (18)
  • Parenting and organizational classes

    Answer by Dardenella at 11:57 PM on Jul. 24, 2013

  • We have organized schedule, she goes to camp or we do mini field trips, she goes to swimming every day, once a week has art and music. She does any non-school related activities- no problem. But meals, school-related activities, going to sleep and waking up ARE real challenge... sigh.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 12:00 AM on Jul. 25, 2013

  • Do you mean homework? During the school year?
    Sounds like you may be taking over responsibility that belongs to her, generating power struggles as a result. This dynamic gets established over time, so it doesn't "correct" easily. But the solution is to correct the imbalance by returning responsibility to the person to whom it belongs! You will need to hang in there because it is unlikely to be a smooth transfer of power. Your daughter has learned to resist, which means she isn't strong-willed or willful, despite appearances &'s more like she's oppositional or reactive (reacting against YOUR will, but not used to being self-directed.) When you notice this signal, best to recognize it as a sign that things have long been out of whack (due to your best intentions & efforts) and try to correct that issue so the resulting dysfunctional dynamic can resolve. It will, if you are successful at seeing what you DON'T own.

    Answer by girlwithC at 12:18 AM on Jul. 25, 2013

  • Such as with meals. She is in charge of whether she eats & how much she eats. You don't have to struggle, and she can have her honest feelings in reaction to what you offer. Do try to work with her when you plan meals, so that you are not making it unnecessarily difficult or challenging, and so that she's likely to find something tolerable in the meal. But leave the control with her. Do not try to reason with her (about how she actually DOES like this or that, or liked it another time) & don't try to talk her out of her feelings or reactions (such as about whether or not something is good, terrible, stinks, etc.) That doesn't mean ignoring her; it is about making space for her to be a separate person with her own feelings & opinions. Even "negative" ones. You can respond by acknowledging that she can't stand the smell of dinner (etc.)
    Make it explicit that those things (whether & how much) are up to her; she's in charge.

    Answer by girlwithC at 12:24 AM on Jul. 25, 2013

  • I'm wondering if some kind of a behavior chart would work for her, where she gets rewarded if she does what she's supposed to do *without* you telling her. Then too, natural consequences can be good teachers. If she doesn't eat what is served for dinner, she goes hungry till breakfast. Sounds harsh, but remember that in these cases, she's the one in control, the one who gets to decide how the situation turns out. So you don't have to nag, yell, plead, or try to change the outcome yourself.

    Answer by Ballad at 12:32 AM on Jul. 25, 2013

  • I mean practice of reading and math. We are on summer break till September and I am scared she'll forget everything. I am not sure how to make her to direct herself in terms of food or getting dressed or dealing with reading and math...she simply won't so it... If I tell her something, whatever it is she tells me "No".

    Just now I asked her to pick outfit for tomorrow, clean her teeth and go to bed. She said "no" and kept touching my face, then run away and jumping on the bad. Her dad got up and started to dress her to sleep, she jumping on the bad and having fun with him, but completely ignored what I asked... Her dad closed the light and I cannot come in...

    In the morning she asked for meat balls for lunch, when she came from the camp and tried them, she yelled that they are disgusting and she won't eat them. She wants sausage or chicken instead, then she ate them anyway. The same story at the dinner time :

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 12:42 AM on Jul. 25, 2013

  • Behavioral chart does not work for her, she tears it off, hides or simply puts V by herself without doing anything. She wants things only her way and it is very hard to compromise with her. She listens better to her dad, but he is not the one to insist on 'hard' things like math or eating right. He would give her candy, ice-cream or water melon for dinner, just because she asks...

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 12:57 AM on Jul. 25, 2013

  • note: parenting classes seems a bit insulting of a response. you are trying HARD and aren't beating the crap out of her... I think classes would be a waste of time and $$$ at this point

    Answer by hibbingmom at 1:56 AM on Jul. 25, 2013

  • seems a bit crazy for an 8 yr old.
    Also sounds like dad is more...forgiving and gives in and you two need to work TOGETHER
    when you ask her to do something, there need to be conseuences for her when she doesn't do it.
    Don't make a struggle out of eating and whatnot, gie her the food and that's it. She decides to eat or not

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 8:55 AM on Jul. 25, 2013

  • You need to grab your spine and be a parent. It is going to get worse before it gets better. Time for homework sit her down and explain the assignment. Do not let her pull you into an argument. If she says no, oh well. It's an escape behavior. If you argue with her, in her mind, there's a chance she won't have to do it. So don't get drawn in. Now if she tries to leave the table to do something like play. Take away the toy and remind her once you must do the homework first. Ignore the impending tantrum. Cannot stress that enough. You can block her from hitting or hurting herself, but do not make eye contact and do not verbalize with her. This includes if she is supposed to go swimming. First homework, then swimming. If she misses out on swimming so be it. Try to include one thing you know she will eat at meals. If she doesn't eat what you serve oh well. Off to bed hungry you missed your chance.

    Answer by 2autisticsmom at 9:00 AM on Jul. 25, 2013

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