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I've tried everything, I need help!

I have 4 girls, my 8 year old daughter (2nd youngest) is making our home so distressed. She is overly dramatic about everything, if you accidentally bump into her she acts like she's dying, when asked to do things she very rarely finishes the task without several reminders, she received poor marks at school for following directions and listening. She constantly is fighting with one of her sisters and when she is punished she often throws a tantrum, stomps up the stairs, and slams the door to her room. She always has an excuse as to why it is somebody else's fault that she HAD to be have that way. I have tried putting her in the corner, taking priviledges away, a reward system (she earns marbles for good behavior and gets a reward when her jar is full), we have tried sending her to bed early, having her sit out when we go places (like the zoo or park), washing her mouth out with soap for lying, adding extra chores. I am at the end of my rope and everybody in our house is miserable. I want to bring harmony back but I don't know how. Please share suggestions as I am anxious to find something that will make us be able to reconnect, I miss my girl.


Asked by sransom99 at 1:20 AM on Jun. 18, 2011 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 4 (48 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (19)
  • You can certainly have one-on-one time with all your children.
    It might be "somebody's day" if it's too hard to set aside a half-hour per child / day.
    But you might try having that child be your laundry helper or grocery shopper or whatever on that day.

    And the Time Together is not to interrogate, or even to ask...
    It's the Time Together that IS the solution (---maybe).

    Her acting out sounds like she needs to Be with you.

    And to work on communications skills, please look into non-violent communication (NVC), I think it will help a lot here.

    Best wishes!!

    Answer by doulala at 9:53 PM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • Take her out to lunch at a quiet restaurant just you and her. Tell her you love her and miss how things used to be when the two of you got along better and how does she think you two can work on getting your good feelings back. I think there is something bothering your girl--maybe she is being teased or bullied at school or it could be any of a million things but try to get closer to her and listen to how she is feeling.

    Answer by GrammytoTrin at 6:46 AM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • I think 8 year old is old enough for you to sit with her and talk to her and see if something is bothering her and if you can help her. If this behavior started suddenly or got worse suddenly, I suspect that something is triggering it. Talk to her alone. All the best....

    Answer by Ashoonik at 1:30 AM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • I'm dealing with a 23yr.old, only daughter, who not only verbally abuses me, but threatens me. You have the opportunity to catch this early on. I agree with sitting down with her one on one and discussing your feelings and inviting her to do the same. If need be, seek counseling as a professional counselor, psychologist, therapist will advise you on how to go about this. Don't give up! Constantly reassure her that you love her. Be consistent with your resolution. If you choose not to get counseling or can't afford it, try ignoring the drama. According to my psychologist, "you cannot control the behavior of others, but you can control how you react to it." If it's something trivial, let it go. Fighting should never be tolerated nor should her poor performance in school. Stick with the most effective method of punishment (even if not fool-proof) until she shows signs of proper behavior.

    Answer by rosiemendo at 8:09 AM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • Moody kids are crying for help. I was like this at stages in my life when i was younger, just really sensitive. Thankfully there were people and family and friends that reached out to me and took me under their wing when they could see I just needed some extra understanding and attention. Try to make a point of pointing out the GOOD things, spending one and one time with her, and not dwelling/focusing on the negative things as much.

    Answer by KTMOM at 9:31 AM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • Sorry no suggestions here! My 3.5 year old son acts just like that! :(

    Answer by DomsMama07 at 1:22 AM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • That's my big problem, she behaves like she is 2 or 3 instead of 8. I should probably add that although she was doing some of this behavior previously we did just move in February and the behavior did get worse.

    Comment by sransom99 (original poster) at 1:24 AM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • I'd say some mother-daughter time is in store. At 8 she should be respectful and understand the consequences for her actions. Sounds to me like she is just competing for your attention. give it to her. Take an evening and just go to the park, just the two of you. Bond some, talk some, listen some, and gain her respect. Hopefully she'll come around. good Luck!

    Answer by daerca574 at 7:58 AM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • I agree. You should have some one on one time. Maybe she's just craving some extra attention.

    Answer by tspillane at 9:30 AM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • I think there might be some sort of resentment on her part and she is acting out to get attention, even if it is a negative one.  Was there harmony before she started acting out or was she always difficult? I agree with the other ladies that she is old enough to give a good talking to, to inquire what the problem is. Fighting with their sibbling is totally expected and quite normal.


    Answer by older at 10:49 AM on Jun. 18, 2011