I am a single mom to my daughter is 6 - she's beautiful, sometimes sweet, yet very moody and gets upset and stays upset -- you can't change her mood or make her laugh til she is ready. She gets upset over the littlest things. Last night we were looking at ornaments that I had gotten on sale after Christmas she couldn't see them but I was showing my two stepdaughters and she got mad and stormed off. This morning she said she didn't want Sunny D but I poured it in her glass not thinking and she got mad and took the cup and went in the bathroom to wash it out. Both times I sent her to her room. I tell her if she doesn't straighten up she'll lose TV time or her new DS -- but she just gets so unhappy at times. I tell her I want my big girl and my happy girl - she says she try. I tell her we all make mistakes and forget things so not to get upset. My partner's two girls have their issues too, but for the most part if they get mad he tickles them or makes them laugh within 2 seconds. My daughter, Ella on the other hand storms off and talks back and gives you this eye look that could kill you and makes this noise with her mouth shut that just makes me mad. Sometimes I feel like w/ the stress going on I have little patience with her but more with the others cause they don't misbehave as much or in the same way Ella does. When she doesn't get her way or when I can't pay attention to her right then she gets mad - if I'm driving and concentrating I won't hear her and she'll get mad and tell me I'm not listening and she's not going to say it again. It's soooo frustrating. I feel like this is hurting my relationship w/ my significant other. Ella just doesn't listen or respect me and isn't scared of me at all. I'm desparate for some help -- I need to know how to handle these too frequent melt-downs!!! Please help! What do you do?
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WOW! You just described my 6 yr old! Are u sure her name isn't Halle? I am in the same situation.. It is almost like Halle IS NEVER happy! No Matter what! I just cannot take that because it makes me feel so sad.. I want her to be happy! But also, it drives me bonkers! I get so frustrated sometimes.. I am working so hard to figure out what to do also!
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Part of this problem is that your daughter (and the second poster's daughter) was born with a temperament that's not easygoing and flexible. She wants what she wants. To be happy, she feels that she needs her expectations to be met.
Part of the problem may be in how you meet her moods. If you are anxious about them and worry about making her happy, if you offer her thing after thing to try to make her happy, she will continue in her behavior. She will continue to be moody and crabby partly because it gives her power over you.
What you need to teach her and what she needs to learn and repeat over and over to herself is: Life is not fair.
You didn't want Sunny D? Too bad. That's what we have. Life's not fair.
If you continue treating her as though SHE has reasonable expectations, then she will continually be disappointed and she will continually try to make other people bend to her ideals. Don't make this mistake.
As she grows older and becomes more independent, she needs to learn that the world will not treat her kindly or fairly. It will not take care of her or provide her with what she wants. It's up to her to make her own happiness. It's up to her to be flexible enough to accept what's THERE rather than what she has in her head.
If you continually try to provide for her happiness and prevent her from ever feeling unfulfilled or disappointed is setting her up for a LIFETIME of disappointment and unhappiness. Don't do this to her.
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While the previous poster gives some ideas of how to effectively deal with the moodiness and stubbornness in your 6 year old, I do want to assure you that your child's emotions and lack of expressing them appropriately is extremely right on target for her age. Several of us recently went through the stage of what we termed the "Scary Sixes" with our children, and what you said you're experiencing with your daughter was very much what we experienced.
So, I want you to know it's not something you did to 'cause' her to suddenly act this way. But now, it is your job to help her learn through this stage.
Setting boundaries and kindly, lovingly, and consistently sticking to them is how you'll best get through this. This process is NOT for the faint of heart!! I remember the Scary Sixes very well, and it's a wonder we got through them, but we did!
Start with House Rules. (some people publish these in an easy-to-access spot in the house, like a poster on the playroom wall, or on the fridge) The #1 House Rule that worked then and now for us is RESPECT. That includes self, others, and our stuff. Everyone in the house follows these rules, that even means adults. Consequences are infraction-appropriate. We wrote a lot of sentences, for example, in our house on how to treat others nicely. If toys not picked up in a timely manner, then toys were taken away. If the choice of drink, like Sunny D, was pooh-poohed, well then you can certainly get your own glass of water, completely OK!
Disrespectful talk? Immediate apology and a plan (practice via Role Play) on how to handle each situation better next time.
Maybe the world will not treat her kindly or fairly, but YOU certainly can and should. Her house should be her Safe Haven and a place to practice how to act in the Real World.
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I understand completely all you are saying - I'm just trying to figure out how to handle the melt down - punishing her, giving her time to herself, ignoring her. At what point will she realize she can not do this - I tell her life isn't fair. I tell her not to get upset over little things... I don't want to be mean to my child - I'm all she has. I need to know how to handle the meltdowns.
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Just decide that melt downs are a sign of disrespect, and she may not know that there are other ways of dealing with difficult situations. Talk to her very calmly and firmly and let her know what the consistent consequence of her meltdown will be next time she has one. Decide what that is.
It can be Time Alone (that works pretty well for us) so that she can calm down and then discuss the situation when she's calm.
It can be taking away a privilege if the meltdown occurs for an extended period of time.
It can be Role Playing.
Please give an example of her last couple of meltdowns. What happened before them? Describe her meltdown. What happened afterward?
Hi, I'm so glad I came on and read some of your stories about your 6 yr olds. I have a 6 yr old boy who is extremely moody, very mean to his 3 yr old brother,myself and hid Dad when he does not get his way or for any little reason. ex;His brother asks him a question and he starts yelling at him "I don't know Chris ..leave me alone". If I ask him what the problem is..he tells me his brother is very annoying. Everyday homework time is a nightmare. He crys, squeezes his cheeks in frusturation & tells me he hates it. I try to talk it out & ask why he alway looks mad or unhappy & all he says is I don't know. We give him so much love & he has everything he wants. I just don't get it. If I try to rub his head or something like that he gets annoyed. I was starting to think maybe he needs to talk to someone about this. Any advice??
I think you need to trust your instinct on this one.
If your son is too "sensitive", too mean (at times), too unhappy, then I would definitely have him seen by a Child Psychologist - - A Good One!
Children can be complex little creatures, we love them to pieces, but sometimes love and discipline is not enough.....there could be something internal going on and you need to know how to deal with his moods and behavior in a form that works for him.
I would imagine school life is a bit rocky. You need help and support before the school parents and teachers cause you and your son too much grief and stress.
I am happy to help w/support, websites, school info. etc.. if you would like. If you give me your city/state of residence, I can be more specific to your area also.
Hang in there, you're not alone!!! (((Hugs))) -Kathleen
Thank you so much for the advice and for taking time out to respond.Sometimes I feel very torn between taking him for help because If this is just a 6 yr old going through a stage, I feel this might confuse him. I would love if you can give me some info, websites, etc.. Would love to look into it a bit more.. I am going to try to find a child psychologist, A good one like you mentioned and maybe I can discuss these issues with them first before bringing him in. Not feeling so alone anymore. Thanks again Dawn
I totally understand how you feel - - I was in your shoes 4-years ago with my youngest daughter. That is why I feel compelled to be a member and reach out to other parents who are struggling with a different / difficult child, where "typical" parenting techniques don't work. When my 4th daughter came along, I thought I knew all the tricks and had parenting down pat..............WOW, was I wrong!!!!
Anyways, what she did teach me was that reaching out for help is not only important, but a lifesaver. I too thought she'd outgrow her behaviors (everyone always told me she would!!!!), but when she entered 1st grade, homelife and school life basically fell totally apart.
I did find a fantastic Child Psychologist who helped guide me and the family, and eventually we had to move to a Child Psychiatrist. I can not tell you the relief I felt to finally understand what the heck was going on. It was scary too - - a whole bunch of emotions are rolled up into it.
Please understand I am not a Dr., just a mom who wants to help and give you some ideas to explore. Some of the links maybe totally off base, but I just want to throw some ideas/thoughts your way.
Ok, I don't want to overwhelm you with too much stuff right now..........I hope some of this helps Dawn.
Like you mentioned, you can meet with a Child Psychologist alone for the first couple of meetings to discuss your son before bringing him in. One more thing........its super helpful to keep a daily log of your son's behaviors/moods. It doesn't have to be too indepth, just a quick blurb about his day and any highs or lows.
You could do some easy Irritability coding also, like: 1 - none shown today 2 - minor irritablity, didn't impact task 3 - minor irritability, with frustration didn't impact task 4 - irritable most of the day, impacted school and/or family 5 - significant irritability and frustration, impacted school/family
This type of charting / info. is great for tracking behaviors over time, because as busy as we are, time slips away and we can not remember what was when.
Write back anytime Dawn, I'm really happy to help any way I can and offer support, because I certainly GET how hard this all can be !!!!
What YOUR saying isnt possible...its referred to as the "scary sixes" just like the terrible 2's for girls and the terrible 3's for boys. its an inevitable stage of life..where a lil girl is caught between that "baby" stage and the "child/kid" stage...there GIRLS...their bodies are beginning to produce hormones, they "feel" things differently now....they get upset easier...do YOU wanna know HOW i know?? i'm the second born of a family with 3 girls and 2 boys...i watched my lil sister go through it..and my older sister go through it...around this age they getting closer to puberty and therefore are beginning that "rage" of hormones we ALL went through...i remember being more emotional at that age...getting my first crushes too...EVERY lil girl has to go through it....my own daughter is going through it too...she is 6 1/2 years old and what makes it worse is im pregnant and she just cant wait...she wants to help mommy change pampers, feed her, play with her, etc. but its different for every child...they handle things differently....but u cant say its the child's fault for being born with a "temperament"....becuz then you would have to say the same about MY daughter as well...and probably with every other 6-7 year old GIRL in the world...and its harder when they are an only child or the first born girl...becuz there isnt anyone other then mommy to learn from...so Ruby 46 your wrong....its not the child OR the mother's fault....becuz the temperament comes from the parents and how they are raised and since i'm sure the 3 of us didnt raise our girls ALL the same way its mostly hormonal...like i tell everyone with a lil girl "it only goes downhill from here..." meaning it doesnt get better until they are older and even then u will still be mommy kissing their ouchies and hugging away their pain now matter how old they get... lots of luck to all of you becuz in the end those of us with lil girls need ALL the help we can get!!! lmfao
VERY well put GnSwoosh...we dont have alot of rules and havent NEEDED alot of them in the past, BUT the ones you have written about are OUR house rules. she doesnt understand the word respect but she understands the actions of respect, which usually include speaking nicely to one another, NOT saying mean things like "shut up" or "go away" or, becuz im pregnant, "your/she's fat"...she KNOWS when she is done she picks up her toys or me and daddy will take them away...treat the TV in her room correctly becuz she didnt buy it and if she doesnt daddy is more then nice enough to take it and put it in the closet until u can say sorry and treat it correctly...usually by the next day she is done being upset by what ever happened the day before and she is practically begging for it back...and the same rule applies with drinks and food....if she doesnt like what we have to drink at the table then theres cold water in the fridge (it has a spout so its easy for her to get herself) and if she doesnt like what i made for dinner her only other choice is PB&J...since she has grown out of the PB&J stage she usually eats whats on her plate and ends up liking what ever it was and asking me to make it again lol....we also have a few other rules she HAS TO abide by she DOESNT take things away from her lil brother becuz he is severely Autistic, non-verbal,non-responsive, no eye contact, and sensory deficit....he also suffers from PICA which is an eating disorder, and so on....he gets extremely violent if u take things from him or get into his personal space and he doesnt want u there...and usually he is ok with my daughter but since she has been going through these "scary sixes" he hasnt been responding to him in the same way...and he is usually the first one to "feel" a difference in someone that is close to him...he "knew" when i got pregnant and at first he went more to his dad then to me...as he wanted nothing to do with me...eventually he got used to it and slowly came back to me...THEN he started being with me more then he was before i was pregnant...he has even become more verbal signing/saying Please/Thank You and he even said "baby" a few times....so im very proud of him...and just so you know he is 4 1/2...some people want to know if he is younger then he actually is becuz he's kind of smaller then other kids his age...anyways, i'm right with you on structure and house rules...its always the way to go with most if not all kids...i believe kids thrive and grow better in homes with better structure habits...
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