My daughter is 5 and she is bigger than most 5 year old. She hits me when she doesn't get her way. She has also been flipping off with the middle finger. She throws the worst temper tantrums and I can't seem to stop them. She listens to everyone else, but it seems when I am around that all goes out the window. I don't know what to do. I try to talk to her , I take her to the park, and i do just about anything she wants me to. If i don't then she will turn into someone I really don't want to be around, yet she can be the sweetest at times. I don't want to feel this way anymore. I want to have fun without having to fight with her to get her in the truck when it's time to leave the park or when it's time for bed. Her dad and I are separated, but I have a husband and we have been together since she was 5 months old. She listens to him very well, when I'm not around. As soon as I walk in that door she starts up. Please help me. Anyone who has any suggestions, I'm desperate. Thank you!
You mentioned that your daughter listens very well to her stepdad, when you're not around, which means that your daughter has the capability of listening and following instructions.
You also said, "I do just about anything she wants me to."- I believe this is the source of your problem. Your daughter has you exactly where she wants you...she is running the mother/child relationship. Unfortunately, as you have discovered, you can give your child "the world" and it still will not satisfy her or make her happy. Not only is this a bad example for your daughter, it's an unrealistic view of the world. In her adult life, there are no situations in which everything will go her way or she will be given anything she wants. It's your job, as a parent to help prepare her for the world and equip her in ways to be successful.
Here are my suggestions:
Tell your daughter that you've noticed she is unhappy when she is around you, and you realize that it's time for change. She is now 5 years old, and she is going to have a new set of expectations and guidelines related to her age.
-Create a list of daily chores for her, along with positive and negative consequences for her behavior
-List the behavior you expect from her (politeness, no foul words or actions) and the positive and negative consequences- at the end of the week, based on her behavior.
Create a chart and keep track of her actions and behavior. At the end of the week- the score determines what happens (ex- an extra trip to the park, or the movies, or she loses an activity or other desired privilege.)
Its going to be tough, but truly this is what's best for your child. You can do this- stand firm, and make sure you don't give in one anything written down in the chart.
I wish you the very best.
Shirley Cress Dudley, MA LPC NCC FACMPE
Director of The Blended and Step Family Resource Center
Best selling author of the book, Blended Family Advice