Temper Tantrums

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-31-2007
Temper Tantrums
Thu, 05-31-2007 - 10:36am

Hello - I am new to this board and in need of some parenting advice. I am an only child, and I have an only child. She will be five in July. She can be the sweetest little girl and then instantly turn into a little terror. She usually is full of hugs and kisses but it seems that lately she is equally full of tantrums.

She yells NO! She comes up to me and pushes me when she doesn't get her way. She throws crying fits and she is truly a DRAMA QUEEN. She goes to work with me each day as I own my own company. She has been there since she was six months old. She was in preschool last year and she loved going to school. Although I know she adores me as her mommy, she would be the only child throwing a tantrum when I picked her up from school because she wanted to keep playing and not go home.

I admit she has never been on a schedule because mine is so crazy. She spends long, long hours at my office sometimes but she also loves it there too. She has her own office with a futon, a tv, toys, computer, etc. Outside of being in an office, it is no different than when she is at home. We even have a tub so she can take baths when we are late going home. She has always been a trooper and stuck right with me.

The other problem is that she is so nasty to her daddy. He is a loud and grumpy type by nature and I wonder if she gets some of her behavior from watching him. She is great with him when it is just the two of them but as soon as I come into the picture, she doesn't want anything to do with him. She wants me to do everything for her and if he tries to help, she screams that she wants Mommy to do it - not him. Or she will yell at him by saying that she was talking to me - not him.

Then other times she yells at me and she often imitates me by telling me to do things right now. But when I tell her not to talk to me that way, she says please and thank you.

Her behavior is disrespectful and embarrasing to me sometimes. I am sure some of the staff makes comments about how spoiled she is. I have tried timeouts, taking tv away, a spank on the butt once in awhile but nothing works.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2003
Sat, 06-02-2007 - 11:10pm


I read your post a while ago and I've been thinking a lot about it. Here is what I think is going on:

1. I think that even though she spends all that time with you at work, that she is neglected. I think she is craving true attention and time spent with you without the distraction of your job.

2. It sounds like she is spoiled. You probably spoil her because you want her to have nice things and it sounds like you feel guilty for all the time she spends at your office. That is not good for a child. Do you give in to her so that she'll stop her bad behavior? Do you buy her things because you feel guilty for spending so much time working?

3. Children need schedules, they thrive on schedules. You said she spends very long hours at work with you. How can that be good for her? It can't. Her needs should come first.

If I were you this is what I would do given the fact that you probably don't want to/can't quit your job:

1. Get her into preschool or a daycare situation where she is given more attention and can spend time with other children. It can't be good for her to be cooped up in that office day and night with only adults around. This will also put her on a schedule that she really needs.

2. Quit spoiling her. Don't buy her things she doesn't need. Buy her what she needs, give her gifts for birthday/Christmas, etc., but don't constantly buy her things to appease her or because you feel guilty.

3. Do not allow her to treat your husband or yourself like that. Make sure there are consequences for her actions. Figure out what she likes the most and then take it away (t.v., a favorite stuffed animal, etc.) everytime she is disrespectful to you. Put her in time out away from everyone else or find some other form or discipline that works. You've got to be completely consistent to make it work. Never back down. She says something disrespectful, she goes to her room, into time out, etc.

4. Model good behavior. You said she imitates your behavior. Give her a good example to follow. Children are like sponges. She will pick up and imitate your behavior and your husband's behavior. She will also pick up on and imitate the behavior of characters on t.v. shows. Be careful and picky about what you let her watch. There are a lot of shows out there (Arthur, Rugrats, The Fairly Odd Parents) that I will not allow my girls to watch because some of the characters have bad attitudes and they will model that if they watch those types of shows.

I hope this helps. You can turn this around.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 06-04-2007 - 2:27pm

HI, mommy! I can understand why you are so frustrated. Working all your hours and not having any set routine must be very unsettling.

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