Ask an expert
Question

25 Nov 2012

WORRIED ABOUT 6YR OLD''S ATTITUDE
I HAVE A GORGEOUS 6YR OLD WHO I LOVE TO BITS, BUT I FEEL LIKE I AM LOSING MY MIND WITH HER BEHAVIOUR. SHE FLAT OUT REFUSES TO DO THINGS E.G YESTERDAY WAS HER GYMNASTICS YEAR END CEREMONY AND SHE FLAT OUR REFUSED TO PARTICIPATE. SHE DOESN''T PARTAKE IN SPORTS AT SCHOOL BECAUSE SHE DOES NOT WANT TO. I TRY TO ENCOURAGE AND SUPPORT HER BUT I AM AT MY WITS END. IT IS CAUSING PROBLEMS IN MY MARRIAGE AS MY HUSBAND GETS VERY ANGRY WITH HER ABOUT HER ATTITUDE AND I GET STUCK IN THE MIDDLE. SHE HAS NO PHYSICAL DISABILITY AND HER SELF CONFIDENCE IS FINE. IS THIS A POWER STRUGGLE THING? IT FEELS LIKE SHE AND I ARE CONSTANTLY FIGHTING ABOUT HER NOT LISTENING TO ME AND SOMETIMES EVEN REFUSING WHEN I ASK HER TO DO SOMETHING. I FEEL LIKE THE WORST MOM ON THE PLANET! SHE''S AN ONLY CHILD AND SLIGHTLY SPOILT I MUST ADMIT. I WANT HER TO BE BALANCED AND OFFERED THAT SHE TAKE SOME ART LESSONS NEXT YEAR, BUT THE ANSWER WAS THAT SHE DOES NOT WANT TO, NO PARTICULAR REASON. PLEASE HELP!!!
Answer 351 views
Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

I'll let some of the Wise Women and moms who are regulars on this forum, provide the main responses here, on the sort of issue where they're usually so helpful.
There's surely a power struggle at play here - children realize, at various ages, the huge power they can wield by saying NO.
When a child is, for a time, in such a negativist frame of mind, its usually easier to get her involved in school sports by strongly suggesting that she shopuld NOT tqake part. But do explore why - is she simply being stubborn, or has she, as many kids do, had some bad experiences in relation to sports being teased or bullied, for instance ?
Frankly, school sports are often worth very much less than they're puffed up to be. For every child who gets to enjoy healthy exercise, there's another child who gets to be teased, defeated and with damaged self-esteem.
Instead of focussing on arguing with her about why she doesn't want to do whatever you suggest, take an alternative approach. Ask HER to suggest which of the available alternatives SHE picks to take part in, as out-of hours activities. Its like the old example fo the kid who doesn't want to get dressed to go out - instead of arguing about whether she will get dressed ( where she wins by not getting dressed ), argue about whether she'll wear the red or the green dress, and whichever one she picks, she's dressed anyway.
You're far from the worst mom, so don't think so litle of yourself. Its so easy to get into fights aboutchoixes where it actually doesn't matter which choice is made.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.