Posts tagged behaviour

What am I doing wrong?

Hunter’s behaviour has been so completely and utterly appalling the past few days that I don’t think a written description can even do it justice. The only thing that has changed in the past week or so is that Leigh has gone back to school after a five week break.

I know that one of the results of this is that I am even shorter tempered and crankier than usual. I can only assume that her behaviour is a reflection of my poor parenting skills ūüė¶

She’s always been…challenging.¬†Right after Hugo was born, she¬†became really incredibly difficult, but improved considerably by the time he was 10 weeks old.

Now, I just don’t know what to¬†do.¬†She’s¬†more openly defiant than any three year old I have¬†encountered, and she doesn’t care about consequences¬†At All. I thought maybe she just wasn’t getting¬†enough positive attention or was having to compete too much with Hugo.

But yesterday while Hugo was asleep I did paintings with her and danced with her to the songs on Play School. When Hugo got up we went to the park and poor Hugo sat in his stroller for ages while I pushed Hunter on the swings.

And then after that she¬†went completely berserk. As the day wore on she was getting more and more narky. She’d give Hugo a little shove or¬†snatch something out of his hands or knock his arms out from under him while he was crawling. If she¬†was told not to do it, she’d immediately hit him again – or hit me.

On the naughty chair she’d scream this crazy high pitched scream which she¬†knows only serves to¬†get her into more trouble.¬†She’d be on the chair screaming, kicking walls and furniture, throwing things and maniacally screeching¬†about not wanting to be left. I tried to let this behaviour go and not give her any attention for it, so it’s not like she was getting that ‘reward’ for it.

By evening we’d tried naughty chair, taking away toys, reasoning with her, shouting at her, distracting her – you name it. She just didn’t care.

The final straw came when she hit Hugo for the millionth time and I asked her to go to the naughty chair for the millionth time. She picked up a toy and hit him over the head with it. I’d had enough and told her she was going straight to bed.

And there followed the most almighty tantrum I have ever seen. She was screeching and screaming, slamming and kicking the doors and walls, throwing herself on the floor, throwing toys, hitting out – seriously, it was so over the top I could not possibly exaggerate the magnitude.

She was practically hyperventilating and totally out of control. It took about 20 minutes for me to help her start to¬†calm down. Initially I couldn’t do a thing, but as she became physically exhausted she let me eventually sit with her, then talk to her.

It was really upsetting for both of us. I can’t stand to see her like that. She’s clearly angry and frustrated and I am obviously not meeting some need, but I don’t know what it is or what to do. I feel like I spend the whole day telling her off, and I don’t want to do that. It’s a terrible way to parent, but what else am I supposed to do??

ETA yesterday was not an anomaly – it was typical of her behaviour this past week. We had friends over on Monday and she spent the whole time pushing and shoving, grabbing things off the other kids, crying like a madwoman every time she didn’t get her way and back answering non-stop. On other days I’ll ask her to do something (“could you please put your bowl in the sink?”) and she’ll offer a reply like “I won’t, and I won’t be your friend any more and I won’t love you and I’m going to hit you/throw this/hurt you”. In between she has moments where she’s totally reasonable and polite but usually only when she sees some immediate benefit.

Comments (3) »