Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Little Girl Issues

We’re having some issues with our daughter. She’s very temperamental and moody and very self-centered. She’s been saying some really mean things to her brother, me, and the new nanny. Her newest phrases to me when I put her down for a nap or when she has to go to time out are “I want my nice mommy back. You don’t love me. I want a new mommy.” When asked to put on tights by the nanny the other day because they were leaving, she responded with “I want a new nanny. I don’t like you.” She also says over and over again "nobody is playing with me!"

My first reaction is pure anger. How dare she say these things? But I’m trying really hard to find out the psychological reason behind her actions. I know she’s been through a lot when it comes to her sitters/nanny. I also know that she’s almost five, and there has to be a ton of things going on in her little body as she’s growing up. She’s also going to be a big sister again, which means that mommy is not feeling well and worn out and can’t play like she used to.

So we’ve talked to her. We were firm with her in that the way she talks to the nanny and I has to stop. When I asked her what was going on the other night, she looked at me and started crying and said “I don’t know what’s going on with me.” It broke my heart. So I pulled her into my room to fall asleep with me while I read, and for the first time in a long time she seemed happy, if even for a couple of minutes.

Yesterday I left a special note taped to her mirror before I left in the morning. When I got home she acted all weird about it, but I know she loved it. Then this morning she came into my room while I was getting ready and said “Mommy, you didn’t leave me another note.” So before I left I put another one up there. Maybe little things like this will help.

It’s hard with two kids…especially a girl and a boy. They rarely want to play the same things, so we’re very often split at night…one with one child and the other with the other one. She told me that she wants alone time with mommy and daddy, but I told her that she has to share us with her brother, that’s just the way it is.

If any of you have any other ideas, I would love to hear them! It kills me to see my little princess acting anything but happy.


Anonymous said...

Ouch. That's rough. Sorry :(

What about sending your son to your parents (or another family memeber) for a weekend? It'd give him one on one time with someone, your daughter the time she wants/needs with you and your husband AND you and Hubby won't be split between the two kids. Then, a few weeks later, send her to your parents and have a weekend with just your son.

I think the leaving a note idea is so cute. I use to love it when my Mom would leave me a note--even if I didn't always acknowledge it or acted weird about it after the fact.

I think you're right and the reason for this is a bunch of things rolled into one: have a new sitters/daycare/nannies, knowing she's going to school soon, knowing there's a new baby on the way, dealing with the slight changes in you being run down and tired. And? She's five and a girl. We're tough at any age :)

Sorry to go on and on and not have anything good to say. I'm sure the other readers with more experience and more of a brain will have some great advice for you.

Sherry said...

How about once a week having a "girls day out" Maybe a quick lunch, a shopping trip, or even just hanging out together watching a movie, or baking!!! Girls are tempermental to say the least and they do feel slighted so easily. The different sitters, etc no doubt has had an effect on your daughter and now the new baby on the way. She is the oldest and may need that one on one time, even if it's just an hour. Try to make it the same time each week, so she knows her time is coming.
I hope you find some solution cause I know it's hard to see her like that. The notes, awesome idea, I love it.

Julie said...

With a 6 year old girls of my own - having been where you are here is my two cents. ALOT of that is 5 year old girl talking - so many of our friends with little girls have been thru the same thing.

radioactive girl said...

I remember that when each of my kids was around 5 or 6 years old, it was my least favorite age with them. I think you are doing a great job, but with all the adjustments she has been through lately she is just testing, don't you think?

Good luck with this! You are a great mom, and you will both get through this. Just keep doing what you are doing and it will all work out.

Kelly M said...

I completely agree with everyone else. The change in routine probably has her way out of whack. I was going to suggest what Kellie did. You and the HUbby spend a day with just her. Have her pick out what she would like to do..of course with your guidance. THen do the same with your son. Maybe once a month do this. Leaving notes is a good idea as well!

I think once she gets adjusted to the new schedule and realizes it's not going to change..things will even back out again! Hang in's gotta be tough! But don't forget your an AWESOME MOMMY and it's not you she's angry at. It is just how she is reacting to all the changes in her life.

Rachel said...

I don't really have much advice for you about this. It's a girl thing really. It's her age also. I am sure that the changes in her childcare have something to do with it too. When I was pregnant with Alyssa, Kaylie was 5. She started getting in trouble at school too.

i think it was just all the changes. The baby coming, she was getting ready to start kindergarten too. Just try to show her some extra attention when you can. It's the little things, like the notes.

Amy W said...

I agree with Rachel, it's a girl and age thing. Ashley is self-centered as well.

Edie said...

I think this is a typical thing all kids go through at this age. The best thing you can do is to continue to point her in the right direction. I wouldn't give in to it though b/c it would make her feel like she has power with her remarks. Guide her and address the issues as they arise one by one. Plus, you are right, she has experienced a lot of change recently. So, she's probably acting out more than usual.

Best of luck!

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately I can't offer much (any?!) advice, but I can empathasize with how hard that must be to hear, especially when you're doing everything you can to be the best mom you can be. To BOTH your kids.

Gotta tell you though, one of my best childhood memories is that in my school lunch bag/box, every single day, my mother would write me a cute little note on my napkin. I always looked forward to lunchtime just to read her note.