View Full Version : SD7's doing two very annoying things! Advice please?

January 17th, 2012, 01:22 PM
Hey everyone :) long-time lurker here...

My DH and I are raising my SD7 together and although usually she and I get along just fine, there are a few things she does that just trip my trigger. I'm hoping that some parents out there can commiserate and maybe offer some advice.

The first thing is that she's constantly asking "What's next" and "What're we doing after xyz?" Some background: Prior to this last summer, DH only had SD7 every other weekend, but I pushed for him to take her 50/50 time to be more involved in her education, her interests, to give them more time together, and to get some consistency between the two households. We are the more stable household, financially and emotionally. So for ~5 years of SD7's life, when she saw DH, it was to "go and do" - things like the zoo, a movie, concentrated playtime at home, etc. She already has very obvious attachment issues (can't be in a room by herself, can't play by herself, can't think of being outside by herself) that we're attempting to get over, but it's slow going. Now that she's with us 50/50 time for 2-3 weeks at a stretch, she's seeing that we're pretty normal too. We stay home a lot, cook meals at home, do chores, etc. etc, but still seems to expect an action-packed week full of every waking minute being scheduled. Help!

The other thing she does is "remind" adults around her about something they said or mentioned going on at a certain time. She's slowly (painstakingly so) getting a concept of hours, minutes, and seconds, so I halfway expected her to turn into a watch-watcher, but I find it terribly rude for a child to address an adult -- any adult, whether it's me, DH, grandparents, friends over for dinner, anyone -- in such a passive-aggressive and toe-tapping manner. I'm not sure how to get her over that one, because I am a stickler for being on time (DH is constantly late about everything by about 15 minutes). I don't mind that she watches the clock so much as I mind that she attempts to be pushy with her elders.

Has anyone had to deal with these sorts of things in their kids? I didn't have her for the first years of her life, so I feel like I could have fixed this long before it became an issue. When she's at our house, she's normally a very good, happy, active, and healthy child, even with the adjustment period between houses, but this is becoming more and more of an annoyance as the days go on.

Thanks ahead of time :)

January 17th, 2012, 02:00 PM
How old is your SD?
Have you told her that it is impolite to "rush" her elders? I really wouldn't fret over the time thing to much other then to remind her, when she does it that it is impolite. It more then likely is just a faze that she will grow out of.

January 17th, 2012, 02:59 PM
For thing one, how does she react when you respond with non-action-packed activities? "After xyz we're going to relax at home. You can chose an activity there - reading, coloring or playing in the back yard." It's okay to have "Nothing" as an activity on a schedule. This is just my two cents - I realize it's a very, very, very annoying thing (I know kids that are like that) but I also applaud you for recognizing that it's not really her fault. She has been "trained" to expect constant activity at your house. I think with time it will get better. :) I implemented "Mommy Quiet Time" at my house when my kids were small. It was their time to entertain themselves while I had time without kids underfoot. My kids are now 16 and 15 and I still sometimes declare Mommy Quiet Time (right now for instance). :)

For thing two, that's just an easy lesson in manners. I'm not sure I understand though, what you mean about being pushy with her elders? What type of thing is she saying? The way I'm envisioning it, she's saying something like "We need to leave at 2:00" over and over. In this case, the thing to do is acknowledge that yes, you do need to leave at 2:00, and that is x minutes from now which gives her enough time to clean her room. (I'm a mean mom... when my kids are annoying me I mention some activity they don't enjoy and they disappear quickly.)

It sounds like it'll just take an adjustment period. :)

January 17th, 2012, 03:18 PM
I am so glad the action packed weekend (every weekend) has ended - trust me, changing things now will pay off tons when she gets older and has homework... that was assigned Friday and is due Monday.

January 17th, 2012, 03:54 PM
Swiss - I have told her multiple times that it's rude to contradict or rush her elders (or "remind" them of the things they've said or done in that tone). Her biomom says that at her house, SD7 has a tendency to "mom" her little brother, to the extent of punishing him when she thinks he's been bad. :S

KayKay - Yep, I've started doing something similar, although I normally say something like, "Daddy's working; go find something to do." or something my mom used to say to me, "parents aren't playmates; we're working on something else right now, so you need to entertain yourself". Glad to know that Mommy Quiet Time is somewhat universal ;) Regarding being pushy, she gets a very snotty tone that reminds me of that brat from Full House, "You said that such and such was going to happen." or "But we're supposed to be doing blah right now." I think this may be in combo with her current testing of when/how sarcasm is appropriate: it's almost like she's trying to express something but doesn't quite know how (or is worried she'll get in trouble).

Snafu - you're not the only one. I think because they only had four days out of the month before I became part of the family, her dad felt like he had to compensate to make her love him. Thankfully, that's leveled out some :D As much as I love and adore SD7, I cannot stand the clinginess she came with; thankfully, that, too, has died down, although she still needs daily reminders that "Daddy is working now. Go find something to do." He works from home, so we still haven't been able to establish boundaries because he's perfectly willing to stop working in order to focus on her -- something I need to break HIM of.

January 18th, 2012, 04:13 AM
just remember that she's young & it sounds as if she has security issues ... have you guys ever taken her to counciling/had her go to the school councilor?

it will take time, (hugs) - but as she's young - eventually it will get better

January 18th, 2012, 04:56 AM
Everything you are saying is age-appropriate behavior especially for an only child. I have a DD7 who is very demanding of my time. There are times when she needs to entertain herself if I am busy. Like KayKay, I do try to take my own time and we have plenty here to do to keep her occupied. It's also important to allow a child to be bored; that's when they learn to entertain themselves and their creativity abounds!

There are times when I include her in my busy-ness. Sometimes she loves it. Sometimes it encourages her to find her own diversions.

At 7, she's also starting to turn from mom and dad and seek out friends. I encourage her to have friends over from time to time.

When she gets mouthy, I tell her directly that her tone has to change. I rephrase what she's said and have her repeat it. It's the best way for her to learn. And for me because I recognize the words and attitude; it seems she's my little parrot. :o

One thing I would NEVER do is seek to fix my DH. If he chooses to stop working and play with DD, that's his right as a father. This stage is so short. Before long, they will not want to play with us and we won't be able to remember how they were when they were small. Being your child's playmate at appropriate times is one of the most important things a parent can do. There's a well written article about the importance of playing with your child: http://www.originalplay.com/develop.htm . As a parent to an almost 18 year old and a 16 year old, too, I can fully endorse it.

January 18th, 2012, 06:19 AM
It does sound like she is testing her boundaries and it is a good thing that you recognize it.. Whatever you do, consistency and patience are the key. I know that you have said countless times that she is being rude; unfortunately you may have to say it countless more times. My youngest daughter was very much the same way.

January 18th, 2012, 06:45 AM
Oh, and welcome to the forum! I'm glad you came out of lurkdom. :wave: