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empathy-reborn, Child Care
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 11
Experience:  L3 in CCLD. Acted as a SENCo. Voluntary Exp with Young People of all ages
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My nine year old daughter has always been a bit "moody."

Customer Question

My nine year old daughter has always been a bit "moody." She often focuses and verbalizes the negatives, even though her life is pretty good: two loving attentive parents, a sister who she mostly gets along with, many friends and opportunities and she is academically successful. She likes school very much, but when I come to pick her up, she is often grumpy and rude to me, refusing to even say hello. I try to see if something is bothering her, but according to her, she was in a good mood all day at school. I explain that it is not acceptable or appropriate for her to act the way she chooses to toward me. Lately, I have been thinking she should take the bus home. There is a bus, but we live in the country, so I pick her up to spare her the long bus ride, but perhaps it would help. I'm not sure how to handle it. I end up feeling frustrated and irritated with her too often. Thanks.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 3 years ago.
Hello and Thank You for using Just Answer. I would be more than happy to assist you today.

I would like a little more background information relating to your daughter so that I can better serve you.

How old is your other daughter?
Have you had a conference with your daughter's teachers to see if they notice a change in her behavior?
How does she behave with your husband?
Why do you want your daughter to take the bus home?
Do you spend any quality time with just this one daughter alone?
Does our daughter say why she chooses to be so negative or does it seem like it's just her natural demeanor?

Thank you in advance for your responses.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My other daughter is seven.

I don't think there has been a change in her behavior, it is just the way it has always been. However, all conferences with her teachers are extremely positive. She is well-adapted, respectful to others and gets along with her classmates and excels in all areas of school.

She is this way with him as well, but he tends to be better at using humor and staying emotionally detached. He is also not with her as often, but I do try to learn from his example, it is just not my nature to emulate him daily.

To be honest, I feel that I go out of my way to leave my work at home to get her from school, because she is adamantly against taking the bus. (Her sister is fine with the bus) It is difficult to stop what I am doing to pick her up sometimes, but the worst is to then be treated so rudely when I am trying to do her a favor. However, writing this down it sounds selfish. Perhaps I am afraid she is pampered too much.As 99% of her classmates (we live in a spread out rural district) take the bus.

I do not spend quality time with her on a regular scheduled basis out side the home, but I am a mindful, attentive parent and I work hard at really listening when she is talking to me, working on art with her, teaching her to cook/bake, etc. It is most often the three of us, though.I More often than not when I ask if anyone wants to do things, be it skiing, biking,yoga,baking,art...her sister wants to do it as well. I think it would be good to have that time, but how to do it?

I think it is just her natural demeanor. I don't want to say too often that she is being negative as I don't want to tell her that story about herself and solidify it.





Expert:  proexpert37 replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your responses. It sounds like you have an awesome daughter who just is pessimistic and sees the glass half empty most of the time with you. Unfortunately, it is really hard to change someone. However as a parent, we have the capabilities to mold and continue to guide our children throughout their lifetime.

Your daughter's actions of being so negative are manifested to gain attention. When you react to her negativity, she gets that attention that she craves. It may be best to try to start ignoring her negative behavior and do not give it a reaction. Just remain positive.

Additionally, tell, your daughter that you want only the best for her and that you want her to be as happy as she can be because she has so much to be thankful for and appreciative of. Then, tell her that you will start rewarding her if she can get through a day without negative comments/behavior. Keep a chart on the refrigerator or in another common area. Every day that she has a positive day, give her a star on the chart. If she can get through the week with a certain number of predetermined (by you) stars, your daughter receives a super special treat or a special outing with just you. The goal is to replace the negative behavior with more positive behavior until it becomes more natural. Children usually respond to rewards and incentives.

Furthermore, if your daughter feels the need to express her feelings about certain things in a negative manner all the time then have her start a journal. She can pour out all of her dislikes in the journal. If you desire, it can be a response journal that you can read and write responses to but always keep your responses positive.

Also, keep an eye out on what your daughter is watching on television. Some of the preteens on today's shows act very disrespectful to their parents. Also, make sure your daughter has friends who are positive and respectful with their parents as well.

Hope that I was able to provide you with some solid advice and reflective inside. If you still need further assistance, please feel free to continue to ask more questions.

Have a wonderful day. Happy Wednesday!!!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your time, but a star chart? I don't think that is a suggestion to pay for. Also, why is she wanting negative attention, when she gets so much positive attention? In addition to this, we don't even own a television and I never heard your advice on the bus scenario. I just thought I'd try this site to see if there was any innovative parenting ideas. Thanks anyway, take care...

Expert:  empathy-reborn replied 3 years ago.
Sometimes a child can be moody if they are being bullied. I would suggest having a serious conversation with the school about her behavior at home. Then they can monitor how she is at school and give you feedback. I would also suggest the use of a star chart to monitor and reward positive behavior and develop a routine for your child to follow. You should also take the time to sit down with your child the rewards for good behavior that she will receive and the consequences that will be put in place for bad behavior.

Having worked with families for quite sometime I understand how difficult some children find to express themselves when they are having problems at school. They will often resource to staying in their room. Have trouble sleeping and even have loss of appetite. Sometimes they will also take it out on the ones they love such as yourself.

I suggest monitoring it and go from what the school says.

Feel free to ask me directly should you have anymore questions.
empathy-reborn, Child Care
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 11
Experience: L3 in CCLD. Acted as a SENCo. Voluntary Exp with Young People of all ages
empathy-reborn and 2 other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  empathy-reborn replied 3 years ago.
I just thought I would check in to see how things were going with the steps we had discussed.

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