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Old 10-26-2009, 03:36 PM   #1
ubiquitousmom
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Default My daughter's bad behavior is stressing me out...

Hello!

My name is Lisa... I am a single, 26-year old Mom doing this all on my own. My daughter's dad lives about an hour north of us, and works on weekends, so I have 100% custody, and no help, as my parents live up north as well.

My daughter seems to go through behavioral spurts... she's extremely intelligent and knows the rules, and I try to raise her with the best morals that I can instill in her. There are times that she is an absolute angel, and she abides by the rules...

...my recent issue is that she has been acting out more and more lately... a lot.

I don't know what to do about it.

An example: today I went to pick her up from school, and a little girl in her classroom came out and said, "Kaila drew on her pants today." I said, "Ok" as I was sighing internally. The bell rang for the end of the day, and all of the children filed out of the class... except Kaila. I peeked inside, and saw her hiding behind the homework cart, trying to roll her pant leg up. I said to her, "Kaila, I already know what you've done, and now you're lying to me about it." She said, "No I'm not" and I explained to her, "You aren't being forthcoming with information, and you're now trying to hide what you did, which isn't being honest with me, and you trying to hide it tells me that you know what you did was wrong. Why are you doing things like this?" (I caught her the other day drawing on the television, and she took change out of my friend's roommate's bathroom a couple of weeks ago and lied about that, too... she's really been acting strangely) Her answer was, "My brain thinks of bad things." I said, "Well, everyone's brains think badly sometimes, but we aren't supposed to act upon these things, and you know what you are and aren't supposed to do." Her response was then, "Well, I was born bad."

I'm at the point where I'm pulling my hair out. I have tried both positive and negative reinforcement - when she's acting well, I reward her with extra time at the park or other activities she enjoys, ice cream, praise, etc... I even scraped together the money to enroll her in a hip hop dance class, which she has been wanting to do for awhile now, which I couldn't really afford, but I did it to make her happy, and to reward her... and when she's acted out, I've tried grounding her, time out, the dreaded whack on the behind... nothing seems to be working with her to act in a proper way consistently. I am at a loss.

Does anyone have a suggestion as to what I'm doing wrong that would cause her to behave in this manner? It's frustrating to me, because I'm trying everything I know how to do, nothing is working, and I feel like I'm not an adequate parent.

Please help me... I am at a complete and utter loss...

Thank you!
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Old 10-26-2009, 05:15 PM   #2
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Default Re: My daughter's bad behavior is stressing me out...

You didnt mention the age of your daughter. So I think I can be non-age specific.

I think its a battle for the age's. My kids can be very good for some time and then behave badly for no apparent reason. Its something that we as adults go through although tempered with a little risk assesment. Whenever you feel that your not "adequate" just visit a public playground or a mall. And you will find yourself saying what the heck are these kids parents thinking?

It would be nice to be able to assign a cause to bad behavour, and when we cant I think we all tend to blame ourselves.

It doesnt sound by the tone of your post that her issues are any more than growing pains. I did not read about repeated meetings with the principal or getting otherwise removed from class, the bus, or many of the things we hear in post's on this forum.


I would'nt spend to much time beating yourself up. It sounds to me that you are doing the things a reasonable parent would do. Good Job!

I would only add. Focus on the positive and let go what you can of the bad. Try to make a time and a place where she can just talk. Not about anything paticular just whatever pops into her little head. I do that alot with my boy and I think it makes it easier for him to talk to me when he really needs to. Also our rule has always been confesion is good for the soul and cuts his punishment in half.

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Old 10-26-2009, 07:55 PM   #3
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Default Re: My daughter's bad behavior is stressing me out...

Thank you for your insight, Bryan. I do tend to blame any issues she is having on myself. And you're right... I forgot to mention, she is 6 years old. One of the reasons I tend to blame myself and look at my parenting harshly is because I had her when I was 19, and I am still working on catching up with growing up completely myself, and raising her correctly. It's not easy, but it's worth it... when she's being good. Otherwise, I go straight back to beating myself up.

Knowing that she's not the only one helps... I don't have a lot of friends with kids around the same age, so it can be difficult for me to compare notes... it's wonderful for the majority of my friends that do have kids, because they get to hear from me and my experiences, as the majority of them have much younger children.

I appreciate your words, and I think I'm going to give your suggestion of talk time a go. We don't get enough time to just sit and talk... er, I don't make enough time. I really should.

Again - thanks! I feel better...
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Old 10-27-2009, 05:25 AM   #4
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Default Re: My daughter's bad behavior is stressing me out...

I find it hard to just listen. I seem to always be giving advice and direction when sometimes they really only want to be listened to. I do this to my wife also. Its kinda a personal battle to keep my mouth shut sometimes.
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Old 10-27-2009, 05:35 AM   #5
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Default Re: My daughter's bad behavior is stressing me out...

atleast you mean well. alot of people have a hard time sitting back and listening when they've been there, done that. all of us go through things and know the consequences of certain actions and we don't want those we love to have to go through that stuff. we want to protect those we love.


check into some of the church day cares and places like that. many of the parents there have been put in similar circumstance that you are in. it would be one way of meeting other parents who are in that "place" too. you're not alone. you can even join a parenting forum, like you did with pf lol, and meet other parents to chat with for adult conversation and more advice that may be needed. when you find time to stop in, don't be shy in putting your two sense in on anything you see. opinions are always welcome.

(i aint sure if ya do or not) you may still have a lot of growing up you can take credit in knowing that you are trying.
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Old 10-27-2009, 08:20 AM   #6
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Default Re: My daughter's bad behavior is stressing me out...

^^^ what 16th ave said! I figure just by trying you're already above the 50th% of parents - don't be so hard on yourself.

She's going to test her limits, maybe even more so since it's "wo-mano a wo-mano" I thought your explanation of the difference between thinking bad thoughts and doing was excellent. This child needs to understand that she's not inherently bad. When you say you've grounded her, what exactly does that mean? Did she not get to go to dance?

It seems pretty normal, seems like she's acting out, maybe trying to get some attention. If there anyone else around who she could have some special time with? This friend you mentioned? Is that a trusted friend she could go off and do a couple of hours at the mall or whatever? I know you don't want to set yourself up to be the bad guy by presenting someone else who's the fun one, but I'm thinking maybe (just maybe) she needs a little space, a little "me" time. As much as you do good things for her, she's still going to remember the "enforcer" you. If she can go off for a bit and come back positive, maybe she won't look at you so harshly (and use the time yourself, to put you in a good frame of mind too.)

I dunno, just a thought/suggestion, may not fit, just trying to think of something for you.
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