need help/support with strong willed 5yo

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-25-2001
need help/support with strong willed 5yo
Sat, 06-21-2003 - 7:28pm
My dd is very strong willed and very verbal. She has also over the past month or so developed the moodiness of a 14yo. One example is her reaction to something that she thinks is "wrong" , a child moves her lunch over and takes her chair at lunch at camp. She goes completely wild, crying and it takes a long time to get her to calm down. I know children of this age have a very black and white view to the world but I wish her reactions were not so theatrical! She will go through whining/crying jags at home and as you try to reason with her she will shift her answers trying to find a problem you can't solve "I can't find my pencil, I'm thirst, I miss daddy (who might be in the next room, or at work at a reasonable time), I'm bored...).

I have always tried to keep the view that most phases only last 3 months, which has gotten me to this point reasonably sane, but I would love to hear other parents who have to deal with very theatrical children. Although no child's home is perfect, my dd has a nice home, 2 loving parents without major baggage, a younger brother etc. Yes, I am a working mom, and she is in day care, but I do everything I can to be there for her and my family - I don't want to open a debate on working parents. I guess the part that bothers me the most is that these outbursts seem to be more "theatrics" then real problems, and I have not been successful in finding a way to lower their intensity. I am leaning towards believing that she is acting out because of fear of kindergarten or growing up - they have been practicing for graduation and of course we have visited her new school etc.

She always acts excited and happy about kindergarten, but it is a big change.

Oh well, I could babble on forever but maybe this is enough to get someone started who thinks this sounds familiar!

Thanks, Linda in FL

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-22-2003
Sat, 06-21-2003 - 11:13pm
Maybe it is something about the water here in My daughter is 4 and is VERY theatrical and melodramatic and always has been. She acts in similar ways as you described but for her I can't really say it has been a phase although it seems to have intensified in some ways lately. Yesterday we were walking out of the grocery store to our car and another car was driving toward us slowly waiting for us to pass and my daughter held her hand up in a STOP fashion and started saying to me "that lady doesn't know how to drive,she's not being careful",etc.etc. when the driver was doing absolutely nothing wrong. It would be funny if it weren't so constant or so over the top. She also has complete meltdowns over things. My husband and I have always given her lots of love and attention and she has tons of caring extended family and a little brother like you so don't blame yourself. I think some kids just have this type of temperament. Anyway, I don't have much advice but good luck-this too shall pass!
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 06-28-2003 - 8:23am
I have one that entertains as well.'s the curse of an outgoing personality. =)

What works particularly well in these types of situations is to stay calm yourself. I know in the beginning of my son's "performances" I would rush over and be so firm with him that as time progresses I noticed "I" was teaching" him Drama tips! LOL! Stay calm and slowly respond in a calm voice. "Honey, take a deep breath. Can you please find another way to say that?" Show her how to take deep breaths by doing it yourself (exaggerate it at first so she notices it). This will do wonders, believe me. It takes at least three weeks for a habit to kick in, so be patient. =) It won't go away, because it is her personality, but it will get better. She still has lots of time to learn how to control herself, and by asking her to take deep breaths when she is emotional, you are helping her quite nicely!

BTW, if you are noticing it is around conflict, it may take her a while to get used to the fact that things aren't always like they are at home. My son gets FURIOUS when other kids take things from him, and tends to lose his control. I figured out it's partially because that doesn't happen to him on the norm, so he gets upset when it does happen. For example, if you have DSL or cable modem, right? And you have ot go somewhere else to use a PC but it is dial up. The change would be irritationg and overwhelming, insipiring all kinds of emotions in you. LOL It's the same for our kids. Try to think of it that way. It helps me stay clam dealing with his iratic but not irrational behavior. KWIM??

I hope this helps you out some! Let us know how things go!

Janet =)

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