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My 9 year old is a perpetual complainer! I don't know what to do. Nothing is ever good enough whether it's what I'm making for dinner or the speed of the computer we just inherited that my husband and i spent $250 to upgrade. It's never enough. I don't know what to do. I try to reason with her like an adult but that goes nowhere. My husband and I have both about lost our patience with her. Any help would be well received!

We just upgraded a computer for her and her sister to use, exclusively. Once we put the memory in we asked her to try it. before she even pulled up a web page she said "this is too slow". My husband just about lost it. She hadn't even given it a chance.
She was invited to play on a travel basketball team and now that she's doing it she has absolutely no heart in the game. She jogs up and down the court when her team mates are running. She actually pulled herself out today. And when my husband asked her why she admitted to pulling herself out but she didn't have an explanation.
Dinner has gotten to be a battle because things she liked yesterday she decides she doesn't like today. We don't eat out a lot and fast food is a treat so I try to cook balance meals but she refuses to eat them.
I really don't know what to do. I am afraid she has developed this negative attitude that is going to be with her her whole life.

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Asked by mjco at 4:29 PM on Mar. 8, 2009 in Tweens (9-12)

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Answers (19)
  • Maybe try having her say something positive before each complaint she makes. That way, she's still allowed to complain and state her thoughts and feelings, but she also has to practice positive thinking and appreciation. I keep a list of things for which I am grateful. At first it was hard to do, but now it's so easy, and I find I complain about things a lot less in general.

    Answer by BlueFrogMama at 4:31 PM on Mar. 8, 2009

  • ... but then again, my son is 2, so what do I know? Lol...

    Answer by BlueFrogMama at 4:32 PM on Mar. 8, 2009

  • It is a stage in their development I think. Mine is 15 now & I have a boy, I noticed there are quite a few differences between boys & girls because I have a niece just 3 weeks to the day older than my son. I found at that age to kill the negativity, you have to turn it back on them & hold your ground & make it STICK !! Example 1st negative comment at dinner - tell her to get up & don't eat & go to bed since life she thinks is *so* BAD !! She can start over when she wakes up & maybe things will be better for her. Good-night sweetheart. Some SMART tough love at that age always worked for me & BEWARE she is at the age when it works, once they hit their teens you have to become EVEN more creative. One or two nights without dinner won't kill her. Good luck.


    Answer by strongmom40 at 4:57 PM on Mar. 8, 2009

  • If she grips about that computer or ever what else, take it. Let her see what it is like to be without her THINGS she *thinks* are *so* bad. This tween age is the stage before the teen years when they truly think they are immortal. She is still of the age where you can PHYSICALLY show her she REALLY does not have it as bad as she thinks. Kill the negativity now or I'm telling ya from experience once the teen years roll around you loose all control. & by that I mean they are becoming their own person in their teens & I learned in my parenting class this week that in the teen years they will make decisions that mold them & we as the parents really have little say over what they think & how they act. It is called free will & during the teen years they think of ONLY their free will. They don't even comprehend anyone else knowing anything once they hit their teens.


    Answer by strongmom40 at 5:06 PM on Mar. 8, 2009

  • I agree with strongmom40 100%!!!! If your daughter doesn't like it , then she doesn't need it, obviously. You can also tell her, like I tell my 8 yo DD, that a bad attitude is nasty to be around. She has the choice to take her nasty attitude to her room or change it. Sometimes I SWEAR she's in permanent PMS mode!! and she's only 8!!!


    Answer by michiganmom116 at 5:20 PM on Mar. 8, 2009

  • I have this prob with my 13 yr old BOY lol so i do not think its a gender thing. What i do think it si is an atittude of entitlement that a whole generation of kids seemed to have now. If it isn't exactly how they want it at that moment it is bad/wrong/lame/and not worth it to them-blah. I don't have any advice, what i say when son gets out of hand is "why don't you go in your room(or another seperate place) until you can say something positive, your opinion has been noted and the negativity is not necessary right now ty" and that has made him stop and think before speaking. Good luck and lets pray its a phase.

    Answer by Bearsjen at 7:29 PM on Mar. 8, 2009

  • It's called puberty. Get used to it. She won't come out of it for a couple of years then comes teens. Pick your battles. If she doesn't like the speed of the computer tell her not to use it then. If she doesn't like the food tell her to go fix what she wants. Don't let it get to you. roll with the punches. If she always complains then ask her for a solution or better yet, tape her and let her hear herself then ask her how she would handle it if she were the mom. Some of it you will just have to just tune out.

    Answer by admckenzie at 9:17 PM on Mar. 8, 2009

  • My mom made me a sign for my kitchen, "You have two choices for dinner: take it or leave it." I'm beginning to think my daughter is going to starve from leaving it so often. She'll be 9 in two months. She has gotten really negative lately too. I think it is the age. Beginning signs of puberty. And it scares me S**TLESS! I guess it's time to buckle up and try to enjoy the good parts of the ride.

    Answer by sparrowprincess at 10:20 PM on Mar. 8, 2009

  • Don't allow her anything she complains about. At all. She doesn't like dinner, fine, go to bed hungry. She doesn't like the computer, she doesn't use it. At all. If she has class work to do, she can go to the library and deal with the lines for a comp. Easy enough.

    My daughter is down to a bed and four walls for behavior now, and suddenly she is ever so polite. I mean, you wouldn't even think it was the same kid. Our kids don't need to like us-they need to be raised to be polite, respectful adults. I don't buy puberty as an excuse- many of us would have gotten slapped for the ways our kids (try) to speak to us.

    I'm not saying we should wack 'em, but for crying out loud, discipline is an ok thing.

    Answer by lovinangels at 10:58 PM on Mar. 8, 2009

  • She isn't an adult, so why are you trying to reason with her like one. She isn't developmentally there yet. I agree with lovinangels advice

    Answer by PROGENITOR at 12:13 AM on Mar. 9, 2009

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