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proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1374
Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
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Please tell me how to handle my very intelligent, extremely

Customer Question

Please tell me how to handle my very intelligent, extremely strong willed, defiant 5 year old daughter?
I have gotten to the point where I dont even like my daughter anymore. She will never back down and accept punishment and fights me at every corner.
She was reprimanded by her coach at gymnastics yerterday and just covered her ears and refused to listen and refused to continue the class and refused to apolgise afterwards. Eventhough I had told her very clearly that her behaviour was unacceptable and if she did not apologise she would not be allowed to return to gymnastics, ever (its her favorite place/activity and she is doing really well at it).
I decided very early on to parent consciously and be consistant and firm with her as she has been clearly strong willed from birth. I have spanked, used time out, reward charts but she still continues to challenge my authority constantly.
I am at my wits end
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 6 years ago.
Just a few questions: Are you a single parent? Is Emma an only child? Has she always behaved in this manner? Does she behave this way with everybody including teachers at school? Does she relate well with her classmates? Just trying to get a better idea of the entire situation. Thank you!!!
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I am not a single parent, although my husband does often travel for business for weeks at a time so it is often only me at home with the kids. I have a son who was born two months before Emma's second birthday.

She has only just started at school this January but seems to be fitting in well enough. She did struggle to make friends initially, being the only new girl in the class but was settled within two weeks.

She has been going to gymnastics twice a week for a year now and has always been fine with the kids there and has never had any problem making friends in the past.

She is usually ok with other adults unless she feels challenged and then she will stand her ground. She refuses to let any doctor or medical person near her and will physicall fight them off if they try to touch her. She did see a psychologist about this after she was hospitalised after swallowing medication when she was three, as she was deeply affected by the incident. The psychologist suspects this may stem from sensory intergration issues, as she always physically fought any doctor prior to the incident.

She has always been like this. She was always very allert even as a newborn and has never needed much sleep, she reached all her milestones early and was using 5 word sentences by the time she was 18months old, she is also very active and virtually fearless. She is very intelligent and seems to pick up on everything happening around her.

I am afraid that if I dont get control over this defiance now I will have major problems later on. She seems to think that she knows it all already and will always answer back when my husband or I tell her to do something.


Expert:  proexpert37 replied 6 years ago.
Hello my friend...Since your daughter is so afraid of doctors and fearful of psychologists, then you are going to have to be her main support system for the time being. She needs you more than you realize even though you do not like her at this point. Do not give up on her. She is your daughter and parents must love and guide their children through thick and thin. Try to focus more on the times when she is behaving appropriately. Get her more involved in things that she does like. Keep her busy. Sounds like she has a lot of energy. Have her draw pictures of what makes her the happiest. Get her to express her feelings. Then draw pictures of what really makes her mad. Again, have her express her feelings about her picture. Talk about the pictures. You need to reconnect with your daughter. Try to take her out in the city and do fun mother daughter activities. Spanking, yelling, and pulling your hair out will not work with her. She also seems to be manifesting Oppositional Defiance which stems from ADHD... You may want to discuss that issue with your daughter's pediatrician. Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I have wondered about ODD before with her.

I wanted to know, what is better, to"pick my battles" or to be consistant?

Expert:  proexpert37 replied 6 years ago.

The next time that you are able to take your daughter to see her pediatrician, mention your concerns about ODD to him/her and what you have been experiencing. In the meantime, "pick your battles" but also be consistent in focusing more on the positive. Give it a 2-3 months and see what happens...if you can tolerate it. If you cannot make it to see your daughter's pediatrician discuss the issues over the telephone and seek a referral from him/her. Your daughter may feel more at ease going to see a psychologist because she will not have to be touched physically. Also, the office of a psychologist's office is usually more cozy like a family room which would be less threatening for your daughter. She could receive on going coping strategies in managing her behavior and you could receive intervention strategies as well.


Hope this helps. Have a great Sunday!!!!