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She cries over EVERYTHING!!!

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Dd is driving me nuts.  She'll be 5 in two weeks.  Somewhere along the way, we raised a difficult child.

She doesn't demand toys at the store, and she's great about sharing and taking turns, but she does demand things be done *her* way.  I don't understand the sense of entitlement though, because unless it's made clear from the get-go that her choices mean a damn, she never gets a say!  This child does not pick where we go, what we eat, etc, so it's not like we've given her the idea that she gets to make any real decisions about our household.  Not to say she never gets to decide anything, but it's more like, if we're going to watch a movie, she gets to pick which one (and usually out of a selection).  

If we tell her to hurry up because she's late for school or dance class, she yells back to "stop talking to her" and then starts wailing.  Loud, siren-like wails.  Same thing if we tell her to try to go potty.  Or to do anything.  It takes everything to stop myself from "giving her a reason to cry."

What do I do?  Ignoring it only turns the sirens into blood-curdling screams.  Spanking turns the sirens into screams.  I lose the yelling matches (she's louder than me). Tossing her out the window would probably alert the neighbors.  

We try reasoning with her after she's calmed down and explaining that while she can cry all she pleases, she may not do so at such a high volume.  She agrees, but then it happens again.

Punishing her by taking toys away doesn't impact her.  At that split second, she's really pissed off, but 5 seconds later, the toy doesn't matter.  Toss it, for all she cares....she's got an imagination to entertain herself with.

I am pregnant and very worried about this continuing after baby arrives.  And as much as I'd like to blame the realization that there's an impending sibling on this behavior, it's been going on long before the newest bun hopped in the oven.  Wits end here.  Please help.

by on Jan. 19, 2013 at 9:23 AM
Replies (221-226):
by Platinum Member on Jan. 19, 2013 at 3:22 PM

I love how you keep choosing to ignore what I said about how you're not ignoring her.  lol.

That's ironic.

by Silver Member on Jan. 19, 2013 at 3:35 PM
If you need more advice, PM me. Im a child and youth counsellor :)

Quoting Sagely: for thought.  Thanks!

Quoting MochaBerry24:

Okay I understand what you are saying. How about rewarding her with events instead of objects? Like if she has three good days in a row she gets to go to a movie with special girl time or the zoo ect. If that gets pricy, you can do smaller things like going for ice cream ect. I would tell her that she is a big girl now and that she can choose to act like a big girl or she can choose to act like a baby. You can tell her that babies dont get to go do fun things that big girls get to. Empower her and use choice language. Always remind her that she is choosing to act a certain way and she is choosing to either have a reward or a consequence. Make her behaviour all about her choices, that way she has some "control"

Quoting Sagely:

Because we can all still hear her clear as day.  

I can keep up the ignoring thing for now, but I'm concerned about when the baby gets here that I won't be able to curtail the tantrums to allow baby to sleep.  

Since I've been doing the ignore thing for nearly a year now with no changes, I'm not confident that the tantrums will suddenly stop or become less frequent in the coming months.

And I promise, she is, in fact, ignored and left alone while she flips out.  The whole time.

Quoting MochaBerry24:

What is wrong with letting her scream until she is exhausted? I would tell her that if she is going to behave that way then she can scream in her room alone. She gets no attention for that kind of behavior.

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by Anonymous 21 on Jan. 19, 2013 at 3:38 PM
Ever heard of a spanking. Give her something to cry about, and stop being a push over.
by Platinum Member on Jan. 19, 2013 at 6:29 PM
Lol ♡

Quoting Sagely:

Awww, thanks Michelle! I'm concerned about some of those memories...

Quoting egyptian_mommy:

For all of you who are bashing OP, shut it. You don't know her, you don't know the kind of person she is. I do, having known her for over 20 years. If she says it doesn't work, it doesn't. If she says she's tried it, she has. If she says she has followed through, believe me, she has. OP is not the kind of person to post this lightly. She is a highly intelligent person and a determined one. She's simply trying to find a solution that works, not one that she's already stated a hundred times does not work.

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by on Jan. 19, 2013 at 8:00 PM
Ok, I offered very specific suggestions and you don't seem to be willing to try them.

Quoting Sagely:

Hmm...she doesn't demand toys or stuff.  It's more like she wants to do what she does on her own schedule in her own way, if that makes sense.

I did strip her room once.  She threw a fit at the pool, so I packed up our stuff and we left.  She screamed the ENTIRE way home.  So, when we got home, I sat her little butt down in a chair and made her watch me walk into her room with empty trash bags and walk out with full ones.  I literally STRIPPED her room of EVERYTHING but the sheets, pillow, and heavy furniture.  Everything was gone, even the pictures on the walls.

Then I walked her inside and told her that only good girls get to have fun rooms and that she would have to be a good girl in order to get her things back.  Put her shock.

I tried to make her earn everything back, but after a couple months I realized it was just taking too long when we still had three full bags of stuff.  Probably shouldn't have made her earn back individual pictures and maybe just stuck with the toys or something.

I will say that we do not buy her gifts except for major holidays or birthdays.  If she gets something outside of that, it's because it's needed (like if she outgrows her shoes or something).

There is no communicating with her when she's screaming.  And, there's very little warning of a potential meltdown.  It's not like there's an argument that leads to the outburst.  It goes like this:

"Hey, why don't you try to go potty real quick?"

"I don't want to!"

"Okay.  Please go try so we can (insert fun thing here)."

"But I don't need to go potty!  Stop talking to me!  AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"

Quoting trl12081208:

First you need a good phychologist ASAP. The other thing you can try is validating feelings. If she yells, "I want that Barbie!" You mimic her facial expressions and tone and yell, "You really want to get that Barbie! You haven't gotten a toy in a long time! That's a really pretty Barbie and you want it!" Be as loud as she is. Then she knows you have heard her. She may calm once she knows you understand. Then you can talk. I would also put a crackdown on buying her anything for a good while until this is sorted out. Whenever she is behaving make a big fuss. Get really animated. When she is being rude, strip her room

Down. Allow her to earn items back with proper behavior. Please get some help. In ten years this will get ugly.

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by on Jan. 20, 2013 at 11:25 AM
It seems as if you are unwilling to allow her to have natural consequences. I think you are headed for serious trouble. You need to seek out some help.

Quoting Sagely:

I was saying that while she does love going to dance, it's not her whole world.  It would impact me (my wallet) far more than it would impact her for a missed class.  Her most important things are internal.  I could take all her toys and pull her out of school and she'd still find a way to entertain herself.  I know, because I've done it before (two months).

She does it at school too.  I'm very consistent.  Freakishly so.  I'm not giving up though.  You are right, I'm stubborn, and I will not give up.  This is one of the ways in which I'm seeking help (posting on a parenting forum for varied suggestions).

Quoting trl12081208:

Listen if you are not willing to forgo a dance class to focus on parenting then you have your priorities confused. Every child has something that is very important to them. If dance class is her most favorite thing then there you have it. You have to be willing to do the hard work but you are also very stubborn. In ten years you won't be able to handle her and society will do it for you. I would start with seeing her school social worker. If she isn't doing this at school then this is a home problem. I believe that you are not as consistent as you think. Don't give up. Get help.

Quoting Sagely:

Meh, I'm venting on the internet.  I do turn bitchy when fed up.

She has no reason to be fed up.  This morning, we had cinnamon rolls and watched cartoons.  Then she had to get ready for dance class (which she LOVES), but because that included such an atrocity as brushing her teeth in less than 45 minutes, we had a meltdown.

She can't take that long to brush her teeth.  Dance class would be over.  And as great of a lesson as it might be to teach her that if she doesn't hurry up, that she'll miss the class...she'll get over it long before I will.  I paid over $1,000 for that class.  Her ass is going.

Quoting Anonymous:

You come across as a bit of a bitch. Maybe she's acting like she sees.

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