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message 1: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa | 43 comments I thought I would start a new thread since I'm looking for advice. Lately, my almost 5-yr-old daughter has decided to start rejecting a friend she has had for about 2 1/2 years. They see each other every few weeks and have always been happy to see each other, sometimes playing really well unguided, and other times needing a lot of input from me. Anyway, about a week and a half ago the two of them were looking through a Playmobil catalogue together and he friend said she wanted the same little play set that my daughter wanted. My daughter was enraged - it was as if the girl had said "There's only one of these sets in the world and I'm going to have it and you're not hahahaha". As a result, my daughter has decided the girl is not her friend anymore. No matter how much I've tried to explain "Look, they make a lot of these sets, and maybe Madeleine will have one, and maybe you'll have one" - she just is completely irrational about it and screams "I WANT THE FIRST ONE AND I DON"T WANT HER TO HAVE ONE AT ALL!" Last night she dreamt that she had a bag of gum drops and this little girl came over and spilled all of her gumdrops. She woke up screaming for me and cried and cried and kept saying how she hated this girl. What to do? I like the little girl and the girl's mother. Anyone have any ideas what is going on here, and how I can help my girl get over it and get on with her friend again?

message 2: by Shea (new)

Shea | 346 comments That is a tough one. I don't have any first hand experience dealing with a situation like this, however, my first thought is to let her have a break from her friend. I wouldn't push her to reconcile, which might just stress her out more. Maybe she just needs some space or time with a different friend. I would guess that if you let her have a break she will come to miss her friend and decide that she would like to play with her again. My only other question is does the friend routinely take things away from your daughter or taunt her with things that she has that your daughter doesn't?

message 3: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa | 43 comments Hi Shea,

Thanks for responding. In answer to your question, no the friend never takes things or taunts my daughter - that's why I find it so odd. Nevertheless, I am allowing her to have a little break - they start kindergarten together in a week and a half, and I hope it is resolved in my daughter's mind by then!

message 4: by Sherry (new)

Sherry Hi Vanessa,that's a tough one.I think the idea of letting her have her space is a good one.Bottom line,kids needs to feel listened to and respected even when it seems irrational to us.Actually that's true of all of us isn't it.

message 5: by Beth (last edited Aug 11, 2008 02:06PM) (new)

Beth Hi Vanessa,
Could she be having anxiety regarding kindergarten? Have you been focused on the fact that she will be in class with this particular friend? She may just be feeling insecure and is acting it out towards this friend. She almost sounds threatened by the little girl's actions. She is looking for control. If this is out of the blue and coming out in dreams, I think it is probably not necessarily directly related to the friend, but possibly to the big, scary step that is going to take place next week.
I have watched my own child and my friends' children behave very out-of-character during the weeks priorto the beginning of kindergarten, first grade, transitioning to middle school, etc. So many adults talk about it to the kids trying to get them excited and feeling positively, but I think it just seems to stress them out. The unknown is so scary - the need for control is powerful during these transitions. Just an idea... best of luck working through this!

message 6: by Sherry (new)

Sherry What a good point Beth.There does sound like she perceives a threat and is experiencing a high amount of anxiety.

message 7: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Sometimes I think girls are just emotional beings from the get-go. Little boys tend to be like they are when they are older and let things roll down their back and they don't feel very wounded by their peers. Girls are sponges with spouts of emotion and "feelers."

I had a friend at this age who I fought terrible, nasty battles with and then we had great make-up sessions where we were the best of friends. We are friends now...jeesh...30 years later! But I remember the horrible, nasty, crying rows we would have with each other. When we talk about it today, as we remember it, usually the spats started over something SUPER trivial. For example, I was always a puny kid...never gained weight and could eat anything from day 1. She began life and continues to live life as a comfortably fluffy person. She hated this about me....and I hated that she was"fat." It would fester in each of us and we would have feelings of disgust about each other and be really day would come where one of us felt awful about how we were treating each other and we would make up and be best friends again. Stupid. We laugh at this now. But it sure was difficult for us at the time if we still remember it this vividly today.

As for the toy situation, maybe your daughter just wants to have a special thing just for herself. Something she doesn't have to share with her friend. Something she can brag about. Girls communicate in strange complicated ways. This is why we grow up to be such good manipulators...LOL!!!

You can see is a rare thing to see women who stick together over the test of time.......but men have no problem. Women roommates in college have terrible rows where the men don't. Women remember and file away the name of a back-stabber or a disloyal friend, where men will be playing basketball with them in the next week.

I would just continue to observe the girls together because it is important that they learn how to resolve their problems as independently as possible. Space for the moment is a great idea. Try talking to her in a positive way to validate her feelings. As parents, we never fully know the whole story. Encourage positive behaviors...ex. if you can't say something nice, please don't say anything at all....that kind of stuff.

5 is a super tough age. This is the beginning of the "snot" phase. Girls show their true colors early on by becoming or being the target of a "snot." My twins are almost 4 and they are beginning a little of this with me. Next will be their friends. Sigh. be a little girl. It sure is hard to grow up, isn't it ladies???

Please tell us how this situation turns out. for those of us with daughters, it would be great advice we can turn to...I know I certainly would appreciate it!!! Good luck...

message 8: by Vanessa (last edited Sep 14, 2008 03:09PM) (new)

Vanessa | 43 comments Hi Ladies,

Thanks everyone for the advice. I thought I would give you an update since Pamela was interested in how this turned out and since we have been in Kindergarten 3 1/2 weeks now.

So, my daughter thankfully forgot all about the toy - it was her birthday recently and she got a whole bunch of toys that wiped the memory of the disputed one from her mind! The friend is in her class. I kept my daughter away from her until the start of school. On the first day my daughter was a bit frosty toward her, but it seems that the shared experience of starting kindergarten and being in the same class has wiped away my daughter's animosity toward this other girl. That said, it seems she has gravitated toward other children as playmates and only says a friendly "hello" to the other girl as they line up for te start of the day. When I asked her the other day if she plays with this other girl at all during recess, she told me "No Mom. I like her, but we are interested in doing different things." So, it has all turned out okay - while they haven't had a joyous reunion as bosom pals, I'm happy at least that my daughter is not being unkind to the other girl and that she has been able to take stock of the friendship herself and make her own decision regarding this girl, without me "forcing" them back together as playmates. They may take up with each other again at some point in the future, but I will let it be their decision.

message 9: by Pamela (new)

Pamela OH....Thank you so much for the update. I am glad this has turned out to be an amicable situation. PHEW!!! Girls are amazing little creatures. I love to watch mine interact with their friends. Thank you for sharing, Vanessa!

message 10: by Sera (new)

Sera Wow, great story, Vanessa! Your daughter is handling this very maturely, which is awesome.

message 11: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa | 43 comments Sorry to hear you are having a worrying time with your son. I am living in fear of adolescence with my son - even though he and I are very close, he is a bit of a moody fellow and I'm anticipating him shutting me out when he hits his teens.

Do you have anyone else on the scene who your son can confide in? Is he close to his father, or his teacher, or perhaps the scout master? I've read that teen boys sometimes will find it much easier to confide in an authority figure that they view as a mentor - usually male. Perhaps you could ask the scout master, or your brother or another male who is in your life and who has a close relationship with your son (without being too close - like a parent) to tr to have a chat with him to see what is going on. Good luck - and let us know how it turns out!

message 12: by Santina (new)

Santina (littlesaintina) | 292 comments Mod
Wow that's tough, I clearly have no experience with boys or teenangers.

My husband has a 16 year old son from his first marriage. Last year he went through a similar situation with his boy. They weren't really sure what was making him bahave that way. I don't want to scare you but his their case it turned out to be drug use. Nothing heavy, pot. Even that though turned out to be from other issues. He was still mad over the divorce, and his mother is never home. So in the end they did take him to a counselor. I think sometimes kids do just need a perfect stranger to listen so they feel like they're not going to be judges.

I really hope everything goes well for you and your son. I know it has to be the hardest thing to see your child suffering and not know how to get them through it. I counseling can't hurt.

message 13: by Santina (new)

Santina (littlesaintina) | 292 comments Mod
Wow, he sounds like a fantasic kid. I think in this society we all struggle with over scheduling and kids even more so. The fact that he was willing to talk about, apoligize for his actions and agree that counseling might help. That is a person who is going to grow into a wonderful adult.

I'm so glad it was just frustration and nothing more.

message 14: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa | 43 comments That is so great that he opened up to your husband, and then you. You must both have a very good relationship with him.

message 15: by Sherry (new)

Sherry 14 is a really hard age for kids.They see themselves as moving towards adulthood and part of them wants that very badly and another part is very much wanting to remain a child.There can be a LOT of difficulties managing their emotions and anxieties.Just as 2 is a tough age developmentally so is 14.I would check into how things are going in school and with his friends.How does he perceive himself amongst them as this can be a time for feeling frustrated and inadequate.Kids really need to have a neutral person to share with and councilling can provide a great place for him to unload and develop new skills in dealing with strong emotions.Remember,some of this is hormonal too and that definitely fuels the emotion.

Thankfully 14 doesn't last forever and nor does this stage.He may pull away but you are obviously a loving and caring parent and he won't pull away for long.

I've been through all of the grief of teenagehood and I can honestly say that nothing ever made me feel more inadequate or intimidated as dealing with my 14 year old daughter when she was acting out.On the up side I never learned so much or grew as an individual as I did during that time.

We survived and are very close.

message 16: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen (momof4boys) | 30 comments Very wise words, Sherry. I agree that if we don't pull away our "awful" teens and tweens will eventually come back to us. And when they do, your relationship will be even closer and more fulfilling.

message 17: by Shea (new)

Shea | 346 comments I would like to poll the moms on this site. I live with my husband and two boys ages 8 and 5. Currently I do not insist that they put the toilet seat down because they use the bathroom far more than I do. Am I raising heathens or is it fair that I put the seat down for myself since they outnumber me? Please let me know what you think.

message 18: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa | 43 comments Hey, if it is a choice between me putting down a toilet seat before I sit down or sitting in someone else's ill-aimed "sprinkles", I'd opt for the former. Mind, you, my husband always puts the seat down and maybe I would feel differently if he didn't.

message 19: by Shea (new)

Shea | 346 comments My husband always puts the seat down in our master bath so I don't "fall in" in the middle of the night. The bathrooms in question are the upstairs bath which pretty much only the boys use and the 1/2 bath downstairs.

message 20: by Molly (new)

Molly | 33 comments Shea, I have to say ur not raising heathens, cause if u are so am i. But i could still blame it on my hubby. That's his job Right? Isnt that the dads responsibility? It is a sore subject in our house but...... I try to LEEEETTT it Gooooo!

message 21: by Marjorie (new)

Marjorie My vote is for heathens!

Pleeeeeaase think of their future wives and daughters! You and only YOU have the power to change their behavior and mold it to conform to all that is "correct"! And by correct, I mean "our" way. I am saying this mostly in jest, but really when you think about it, all boys should be "taught" to get along with their future women. To do their chores and clean up after themselves and open doors, etc.

Maybe I am old fashioned, but if mothers and fathers don't teach their little boys this, then who will?

If anything, Shea, the boys in your family should put the seat down because you are the queen bee and they should answer your every whim! : )

message 22: by Molly (new)

Molly | 33 comments That is funny Marjorie.. my husband is extremly old fashioned he has a hankie in his pocket everyday. He always opens the door when he is with me.. I wish it transfered over to the toilet seat... i guess he is like an oxy moron in that sense. I think ur right it should be down. Who was it that kicked the shoes under the bed and what is the toilet seat equivelent of that?

message 23: by Pamela (new)

Pamela I am lucky that my husband is a germ-o-phobe and has really great bathroom habits. He always puts down the seat for me and I have never had to remind him. Not even once. With that in mind, he was raised by women. His mom raised him and his older sister alone from when he was 3. So he grew up with a natural appreciation for what women expect, I think.

I agree with Marjorie's point that if we don't teach our sons to be respectful and sensitive of women, WHO WILL? My youngest is a son and I will be raising him to put the toilet seat down along with the lid. If I can teach my daughters to put down the lid and wash up after using the toilet, he can certainly do the same. It's common courtesy and that the bottom line.

My husband is also the one I was able to subtly curb his nasty habit of leaving his shoes lying around for me to trip on in the middle of the night by kicking them under the bed.

WELL.......IF I had trouble with him on this topic, I think I would start a sticker chart like I do for the kids to reinforce positive behaviors. They use their manners they get a sticker at the end of the day. He puts the toilet seat down for me...he gets a sticker on his chart which will be mounted right behind the toilet. At the end of 1 week if there are 7 stickers....well......YOU get to decide the TREAT for him.....LOL!!!

message 24: by Mccarley (new)

Mccarley Slater | 4 comments I too need a little advice. I am a SAHM and since we are fairly new to the area we don't have just a whole lot of people to socialize with. I take my daughter to Kindermusik once a week, but our small town has nothing to offer two year olds as far as a mothers day out or aschool of any sort. With the winter approaching I know we will be spending more time inside. She loves to watch her Disney movies and sometimes I feel like she watches them too often. When she asks to watch them for the fourth time in a day I try to encourage her to read a book with me or play something interactive, but she insists on watching the movie most of the time. I have been feeling yucky with my first trimester so I have given in more than usual the past few weeks. My husband works out of town alot and lately I feel like I am failing at keeping her stimulated in the right ways. She is a very smart little girl and has great conversational skills. She knows her shapes, colors, ABS's, and numbers to 20. I know I cannot entertain her all day everyday, but if anyone has any advice on activities for two year olds that may help me keep her away from the television I would really appreciate it!

message 25: by Anna (new)

Anna Could you start a Mom's Day Out in your house and rotate with other moms (maybe those from the Kindermusik class)?

message 26: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa | 43 comments Perhaps you could check out your local library? Many of these do a toddler storytime. If you meet moms there with children of a similar age, you could start a playgroup! I found playgroups to be a godsend in those early years when you are looking for ways to fill up the hours and they are a great way to socialize with your child - a chance for you to make friends as well as her. You might also want to see if there is a local mothers' club in your town. Also, is there a gymnastics gym, or a nearby Gymboree activity center that offers Kindergym? Another great way to stay active during cool or wet weather. I would also try to make a beeline for your local park a couple of times a week as long as the weather is dry - even if it is a bit chilly, just bundle up! It is a great way to make friends - you and her. When my children were little we hit the park a LOT - and usually stayed about 2 hours! It certainly gobbled a couple of hours.

message 27: by Mccarley (new)

Mccarley Slater | 4 comments We did the story time when we lived in Houston, but they don't offer it here. We do have playdates with some people from Kindermusik and she goes to gymnastics once a week. I guess I just worry about the down time, how to keep her stimulated when it is snowing and we are at home. Thanks for the input!

message 28: by Leena (new)

Leena (leena23) I have an independent, willful two year old. I know this is a good thing, all the books say so at least. BUT as her mother it is very hard and frustrating! Everything I do seems to send her into a temper tantrum, I've tried the time outs, distracting her, spanking, taking things away, grounding her, heck lately I've been letting her just scream it out, I have to leave stores constantly. Nothing seems to work :( I need advice please! I actually cried with her today during her temper tantrum at the park! Sad right? All the parents looked at me like I was a bad parent because my child was the only one screaming and kicking on the groun. Well its very emotional feeling like you are fighting with your child every single day. She used to be so sweet, now its like a totally different child. I never give into her, I stick by what I say. Its killing me emotionally. Help!

message 29: by Kelly (new)

Kelly | 36 comments Hi Leena,
At Home I would let her tire herself out during a temper tantrum as long as she is not hurting herself, others or any property or belongings. When you are in public I would gently grab her face and make her look you in the eyes and talk calmly but sternly to give her a warning. If after a minute or so if she continues without saying a word pick her up and put her in the car and take her home. After a few times of this and she will realize her tantrums aren't working anymore she most likely start to get the idea. This will only work if you are able to do this consistently. She needs to learn you are in charge or she will continue to do this and it will get worse as she gets older and she will walk all over you. Believe me. I have 3 daughter's myself. I hope this helps.

message 30: by Sherry (new)

Sherry This may seem out there but have you tried listening to her? 2 can be a very stressful time (especially if she's closer to 3) They are progressing and developing everything. Language skills, motor skills and relationship skills. The boundaries are widening and they are no longer babies but not yet young children. A lot of the angst teens feel is close to the anxiety toddlers can feel but of course they have no language in which to articulate their frustration and anxiety so it comes out in their behaviour, which leads to temper tantrums, whininess and bad dreams.

Some sympathetic understanding coupled with some firm and gentle boundaries may work wonders. I always found that when my children 'acted' up it was usually followed by a significant jump forward in their development. It may be less that she's willful and more that she's clever, sensitive and developing a little sooner than others at her stage.

I think the whole 'willful' thinking does not serve you as it leads to some negative perceptions of your child's character. Kelly's advice is sound and appropriate to the situation. I would add try to see things from her perspective. You're frustration is at a high level and I would guess so is hers. Distraction is an awesome tool but when it fails the best thing to be done is a quiet space for them to have time to calm down. I found that articulating the thing that was upsetting was another way to calm a temper tantrum. 'I don't like when I have to go home when I'm having fun!' 'I don't like getting toys taken away!' Whatever the situation called for it was always interesting to see how quickly the upset winded down. This was a technique I discovered in a book called The Happiest Toddler on the Block: The New Way to Stop the Daily Battle of Wills and Raise a Secure and Well-Behaved One- to Four-Year-Old and found it very helpful. Hang in there, it will get better.

message 31: by Leena (new)

Leena (leena23) Any advice on two year old melt downs?

message 32: by Sherry (new)

Sherry What's caused the melt down?

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