How do I parent my 6-year-old?

I am looking for some advice on how to deal with my 6 year old daughter who in the past few months has done a total 180 as far as her behaviour is concerned. She has been incredibly difficult lately, doesn’t listen to anything, goes and does things she’s knows she’s not allowed to do but does them anyway. Will straight up tell me “NO” to my face when I ask her to do something etc. Throws literal toddler tantrums when she something doesn’t go her way. It’s become a lot! And has caught us off guard because she’s always been a good kid. She does well in school and enjoys the social aspect but even her teacher has commented lately on her behavior. About a year and half ago we lost her “papa” (my father in law) and she took it really hard. When I try to ask her why she’s been acting the way she has she says its because she has only been sad and angry since papa died. It breaks my heart to know she’s hurting so much still and I’ve reached out to a grief counselor for her but how can I get her to understand that acting out isn’t a constructive way to deal with her grief? I feel so defeated because it feels like nothing we do helps her and I’m now at a loss for what else to try.

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Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. How do I parent my 6-year-old?

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Put the child in counseling to learn proper ways of grieving her Papa. Stand firm in your discipline. No means no and stick to it regardless of what she does. Try time out minute per age (6).
What ever punishment U give out for being disrespectful or just plain not listening be consistent.

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She’s grieving and it will effect her behaviour especially if she was close to him, you also need to remember that she is still coming into her own and discovering who she is so she will test your boundaries, if she wants some time alone give her that time alone but check in on her so you know she’s not being destructive etc… I do it with my son and he’s 8, he loves his alone time but I always check in on him to make sure he is ok. Always remind her that she can talk to you about anything and you know how she is feeling because you were once her age and you also experienced the same emotions. She isn’t alone, you are her safety net! Good luck mama.

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But she was fine the first year after he passed?

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I think u should ask her how does she think it makes papa feel When your mean an not listening to mommie ….

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Plus remind her that papa always told her to be a good big girl an always listen to mom an that that makes papa happy plus spend time having coloring time an so u all can talk and draw ask her to draw herself and papa plus remind her that it makes u very sad when u say mean things and ask her at random times what can u do to make her happy an just have mommy and daughter time at Barnes an Nobel library somewhere different so u can have one on one alone time she probably trying to figure out why she is mad stay in prayer with her an play classical music or relaxing music an get some lavender calming body wash she needs to stay calm heard an loved :heavy_heart_exclamation::heavy_heart_exclamation::bouquet:

My son was like that but he didn’t lose anyone. He was very rebellious, stubborn, demanding, and disrespectful and not listening. I took him to counseling for 2 years his behavior has changed much better. When he is so angry and act up I tell him go your bedroom give yourself a break to relax and read a book or something to calm him down he will be in room for 15-30 min to have time to think why he is being like that so he can be calm to talk. It works and he come out expressed his feelings and need talk to get stuff off his chest or whatever it bothering him. Right now there are a lot of new adjustments and one sibling walked out of the house without a words. He is in middle school, his sister is 22, married and have a baby. She had to move up north in different state due of military that her husband is in. Now the older brother is 20 he moved and walked out of the house. No way to get hold of him at all he did that 3 times. Make my 2 boys angry, heartbroken, and crying because we all don’t know why he completely shut his whole family out. He going thru emotional issues.

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Talk to her Dr she need counseling immediately talk with her school and the school guidance counselor she’s hurting and doesn’t know how to grieve

Grief counselor is a great idea. Good on you. Also an artistic outlet for her to express her grief when words aren’t enough. Ask your librarian to recommend books to help her through the grief & acting out.

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Yes, art, diary, maybe something active. Karate, dance, sports. All good outlets. This is rough, the more she acts out, the more love she needs. Good luck, mama. :black_heart:

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Are we same person? Lol all jokes aside my son is going through the same thing he’s almost 7 and literally Lost my father when he was 2 going on 3 he regressed majorly after his passing. We thought we got past everything but now it’s alot we have him in therapy and taking to the pediatrician about possible other issues.

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Oh thank gawd it’s not just my 6 year old :slightly_smiling_face: I looked it up apparently this is pretty normal for the age…All the things you said! I have resorted to blackmail, bribery and rational and baloney explanations, changing the subject, warm bath or sbower. My sweetheart precious child will be back eventually!! <3 Good Luck

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Talking not doing anything you need do something else whooping

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Talk to a senior center or assisted living home and find an older person that doesn’t have anybody. And then” adopt” them. Having another grandparent that needs her might be the answer to both persons need to be needed.

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Keep seeking a good counselor. You’ll know when you find one. Doesn’t have to be a grief counselor.

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Try therapy. It’s very helpful and can help her learn how to recognize her emotions and process them in a healthy way.

My mom essentially abandoned me when I was a toddler and growing up when I think back on it the times that I acted up the most were usually when I was thinking of her. A couple times my grandma who took care of me would be like why are you acting like this and I would just break down and tell her I miss mommy and I don’t know where she is. I don’t think she’s purposely being bad most of the time but honestly after a couple good crying sessions where my grandma would just listen to me talk for an hour straight about my mom and how much I miss her I would feel a lot better for a long time. So maybe try that? Sit her down with some tissues and have a good crying session followed by some ice cream or something.

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Ugh talk to her? Like we do all this work with kids about emotions but not what to do with them. I wouldn’t do it in the moment but at a point when she is calm - assuming she can display empathy, You can say “sometimes when. You get mad you might hurt peoples feelings. I don’t think you mean to but what can we do to help you calm down? “ Sometimes time outs work. - where you see it escalating and you call a time out and give them a few minutes. I’ve done “start overs” where I say the way your acting is unacceptable you have five minutes and we can start again. Calm down boxes - with good smelling thing/fidgets/etc that they can use . Sometimes I do deep breathing —- with that age it’s take a deep deep breath now blow up the balloon — or allllllll the seeds off a dandelion. A big refrain of — it’s ok to feel what your feeling. And it’s normal to feel this way. But it’s not ok to hurt people and be disrespectful. Also helping them label emotions bc sad can also be angry, scared, confused, guilty, not feeling comfortable being happy. Helping kids label the emotions and telling them it’s ok to feel more than one thing. Also, If you are upset about something saying out loud- I am angry- and doing deep breathing etc — a lot can be said for modeling appropriate responses. And therapy will also help but that may tide you over…. Sounds like grief / trauma therapy would be helpful. give the therapist a few sessions I say 5-6 (if you go 1x per week) and if you don’t seem to notice a change you can switch therapists. Therapists are people too and sometimes ya click sometimes ya don’t. Therapy isn’t meant to be a go forever thing.

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Therapy is a great way to start. There’s a lot of emotions and her little brain can’t process all of that. Her behaviour is age appropriate, so I wouldn’t punish her, but rather redirect to a healthier outlet. She needs lots of love from everyone around her. Try creating a memory book of her papa with her. You can both talk about the sadness as well as the happy times. It would be a great opportunity to keep his memory alive. Remember you’re her safe person, so you have to allow for some of her frustrations to be taken out on you (within reason). And with that you’ll need an abundance of patience. Make sure you also have an outlet, because it’s a very difficult thing that you’re all going through.

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Do not tell her anything about Papa and how he would feel about her behavior, those words should come from him and since he no longer can speak for himself leave her memories of him alone… This will not help what your going thru… Take her to counseling and you as parents might need some too… You can ask her to share her feelings, clearly she is feeling some type of way… Dont take what she says personal she is 6 and does not always understand the ramifications of her words. Follow thru with clear punishment … Grounded from tablet, tv, seeing friends… Pick just one thing and make her accountable for her actions… You have to put in the work make sure to add I love you and I forgive you. Form open communication now about feelings so when she is 16 she feels safe to talk to you! You got this Mom clearly you love your daughter! Normalize therapy everyone is worthy of healing from their traumas.

Take her to therapy. People expect children to handle loss like a pro, but they have no realm of it. She’s 6… she’s still a baby, she needs guidance and a place that feels safe for her grief to go. Do something nice with her in honor of her granddad. Something she can keep as a memento or something.

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I would continue counseling, but she still needs to be disciplined. Maybe during the grieving, she saw where she could get away with bad behavior and has continued it. ??

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I agree with the grief counselor. Grief shows in many ways and in her case she’s angry. It’s hard losing someone, let alone at 6 years old when you think your loved ones will live forever and the childhood Magic is still alive. I lost my dad at 6 and the best thing my mother ever did for me was get me into a grief therapy. Also remind her, her feelings are valid. She is allowed to be sad, angry, ect but there are constructive ways to show that. It’s hard to cope with death as an adult, so it’s even harder on the kids.

Let her cry, tell her to scream tell her to let all of it out. Take her to the grave site let her talk to him. Let her know he may not be here physically but he will always be in her heart. She needs to know it’s ok but not ok to act out on it.

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Welcome to motherhood! Children are still learning to control their emotions, every year brings forth new challenges. Every child is different, hell all 4 of mine sometimes feel like they switched personalities. Some things are phases, most important thing is to remain calm and patient. Has she been around anyone new? Has anything changed for her? From personal experience I notcied my children would act out after their dad and I split. My 11yr is not the sweet little 6yr old she used to be.

It sounds like it’s her way of grieving. Maybe show her other ways to handle grief. (Crying, writing in a journal, looking at photo albums )

She “used” to be a good kid, she’s still a good kid she’s just feeling some big feelings and should not be punished for that.

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Where’s super nanny …love her show

Please don’t beat or “whoop” your daughter like some of these people are suggesting :sob::weary:

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Get rid of red dye 40

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We lost my mom November 2020 and her and my 6 year old were incredibly close and it hit her really hard to… she started acting up to, not bad behavior but basically not trying in school and randomly crying for no reason… I’ve learned the best thing with her is to just talk with her… I sit her down when she is calm and have her tell me how she is feeling and go from there… its helped alot.

I’d suggest art therapy and grief counseling honestly. Losing someone you’re close to is hard and it’s even harder when you don’t have the tools to process that grief. Talk to her about him, reminisce the joy they experienced together.

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She’s still a good kid. Don’t think like that. She is a good kid, just doing not so good things right now. Shes hurting. Get her into therapy. I personally like play therapy for the younger ones. It’ll help her work through her grief as well as guide her on how to control her actions when she feels that grief

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you might get her to a therapist, something may have happened to cause this big change .

Get her into therapy. Kids usually don’t switch like that that fast unless something traumatic has happened.

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She’s still a good kid she is just going through a phase of bad behavior. Help her find an outlet. All the pent up feelings and feelings she probably doesn’t fully understand or how to process it. Get her to see the grief counselor or a counselor in general. Help her process these emotions. This is that moment where she is ah sling these big emotions now, and if there isn’t a healthier avenue found, she will handle these same big emotions in an unhealthy way as an adult.

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Ugh seems when kids go to school they turn into lil monsters overnight. Usually happens with Kindergarten level but with virtual school they were not getting the same socialization. I used to nanny. Every kid went through this. Hopefully it is a phase. Just be consistent with discipline. Give her a sticker chart for good polite behavior and rewards and that can help. If the bad behavior continues, especially in summer when she is away from other kids’ influences, then perhaps seek some professional counseling. Kids get mouthy at that age. Keep up consistent discipline and correction. Some kids respond to marbles better, counters etc others taking away privileges etc. Good luck

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Start with her doctor…they can lead you from there

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If the grief counselor didn’t go over this with you, then it might be time to consult a child psychologist. It sounds like she is having a hard time dealing with her feelings associated with the loss of her “papa” and doesn’t know how to channel the sadness and anger at the loss. There are some good tips in this link. https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/death.html

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We are going through the same thing with my 6 yr old son. We took away the tablet for months. SERIOUSLY started spanking. There’s a difference in abuse and discipline. My son needed discipline. He was stealing stuff and hiding food and empty wrappers. I’m hoping after months of this that he finally understands. I even threaten to call the police.

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My son is 6 in August and we lost my little sister in October suddenly (they were really close) and since then he has been acting out but we also suspected adhd before losing my sister and we are going to start therapy soon and see a pead

I got him pizza for dinner the other night and he was in one of his moods, he pushed his pizza, threw it on the ground and stood on it because I gave him 4 slices when he wanted more

Hugs mumma, I know how hard this situation is :purple_heart:

Honestly, you did it already. The grief counselor is the best step forward with her. If she has expressed that she has been sad and angry since her Papa passed away, counseling would be the best way to go. They would be able to help her and guide her with her feelings and help her understand what happened and also how acting out is not the way. They might even recommend an actual therapist, if they think that would help as well. But it sounds like she has feeling and she doesn’t know how to express them but in the way she is acting now. There could be an underlying issue to of bullying or something that happened at school as well. But find a grief counselor you like and see how that goes. For now home, it’s just reassuring her you understand her feelings. Try to even watch videos or go over photos of her Papa and talk about him. Maybe that is something that would help her as well. When people leave us, we don’t always talk about them as much. Maybe she is sad about that too. She can’t see him, so telling her stories can help her feel like he’s there.

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I’d try therapy. She may be taking the grief hard. My daughter was 5 when my dad passed away and it devastated her little self. Be gentle with her, loss at such a young age is very hard to process. Sorry you all are going through such a difficult time. :yellow_heart:

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Therapy. Find out if there’s anything else going on. Bullying in school ?? A good therapist could help. Or just Sit down with her and talk… and listen… and talk…

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I agree with all the others about therapist/dr and I have a question…want to say not judging or accusing…is there any chance that she has been abused somewhere outside of home? School or friend’s house? Somewhere when you weren’t around? I have friends whose little ones had suffered physical and other abuse and these actions sound so much like what she is dealing with in regards to her kids.

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Therapy. Never too young for a child to have a therapist.

We recently lost my Dad who was Papaw to my 9 year old daughter. It took a toll on her. Be patient and keep talking to her. Tell her it’s ok to let her feelings out but there’s still right and wrong. She definitely needs to have some therapy and they will help her and you guys with redirecting and expressing her emotions. Good luck momma.

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you stated you reached out to a grief counselor, but did this counselor ever just talk to her, one to one ???

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Our kids aren’t giving us a hard time, they are having a hard time. I saw that quote somewhere and it resonated with me. It sounds like you are very compassionate towards her and her loss :purple_heart: Has she been able to talk about her Papa? I mean, does he come up in random conversation, like “oh papa would have loved this!” Stuff like that? Helping her understand that it’s ok to enjoy the memories and think about him and grieve him. And maybe make a special little photo album that is all hers and she can help put the pictures in and decorate it. A picture in her room. I guess just making it ok to feel the way she does and bringing it out in the open so she can communicate more. Have more of an outlet. I don’t know you guys personally, and you may already be doing all of this. I don’t know. Maybe ask her therapist what she thinks.

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I would tell her papa is watching her from heaven

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Whatever she’s doing “bad” is there anything similar you could let her do? She may be boundary exploring, and a world of “you can’t” make you want to do the things more. So I’m thinking maybe if you go the other way and say “do this instead” she’ll have a bunch of things she CAN do that are very similar.

For example if she gets into your candles and carves them to hell you can get her her own candles from the dollar store that she can explore carving with. If she colors on the walls find a blank wall you can post paper all over and tell her that is her coloring wall. Redirection can work wonders sometimes, and if that doesn’t help you may need to speak to a professional and get some more ideas that way.

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Sit down and talk with her and explain about death in a way she will understand and then reinforce the time out or whatever you do as a punishment and be persistent every time…

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Yes definitely therapy and also talk her your self and find out if she’s being bullied at school

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Take her to grief counseling for children

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When my dad died my kids were 14, 10, and 7. I had them write letters to grandpa we would take them to his grave and they read them to him. They would then talk about how grandpa would respond. That helped them. Kids don’t know how to process greif they hurt and get angry because the hurt is not going away. Tell her it is ok to be sad about missing papa tell her you and her dad miss him also.