4 1/2 year old daughter--single dad has custody and problems with discipline
My beautiful, smart, energetic, 4 1/2 year daughter has been in my custody for about 2 years. We LOVE each other very much and I admit that I'm a "softy". Her actions sometimes are embarassing around other people. Following rules fall on deaf ears, very moody, defiant, attention span is about 2 minutes(ADHD--don't know at this time)time outs are difficult to maintain, wanting to wear inappropriate clothes, screaming when she doesn't get her way, etc. HELP ! ! Working all day, doing ALL household chores that must be done--meals, laundry, clean, dust, working with my daughter on age related activities, etc. I AM EXHAUSTED ALL OF THE TIME ! ! Any ideas for this SINGLE, EXHAUSTED, LOVING DAD ???
Thanks for taking the time to reach out for some help with your parenting issue. It definitely sounds like you care for your daughter very much, but you're frustrated with some of her behaviors. Instead of letting your emotions guide your actions its always great to take a step back, take a breath, and take in some helpful guidance. You're really showing strong parenting sense by looking for some help.
You mentioned that you may be a bit of a "softy" with your daughter. While wanting to make her happy and have a healthy relationship with her are two important parts of parenting, if they start to interfere with your ability to raise, discipline, and teach your daughter then its time to reevaluate what you're doing. Being firm and consistent with expectations for behavior and consequences (as well as with praise and rewards) both help teach your daughter what behaviors are acceptable and which ones are not. If your daughter does not learn these lessons at home with you, then somebody who isn't so soft and understanding will come along who won't stand for those behaviors. Creating specific expectations (no yelling, no talking back, following rules) which are met with consequences if they are not followed and with praise if they are followed will make it clear to your daughter what she should and should not be doing. Then, when she decides to go against the rules you need to be firm and consistent with giving a consequence each and every time. As the parent, you have control over the situation. We aren't saying you need to run your house like a drill sergeant, but don't let her walk all over the rules either.