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Thread: My Strong-willed child!

  1. #1
    Registered User becky84's Avatar
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    My Strong-willed child!

    Today was my daughter's first ballet class (she's 4), and she was downright embarrassing. She kept yelling things at the teacher -- "Can I play with that teddy bear?" "My turn! Me! Me!" -- and the teacher actually had to turn off the music and stop the class because in the middle of another little girl taking a turn dancing, Adriana ran up to the teacher and started yelling questions at her! I was mortified, and the teacher was really annoyed. I'm sure the other parents were annoyed too; I know I would be if another child was wasting everyone else's time like that. This continued, with the teacher reprimanding her, until the end of the 1-hour class.

    My daughter has always been loud and strong-willed, but this was just downright disrespectful. She acts like this at home all the time, but I was really shocked to see her act like this in public. I have tried explaining to her that she is being rude, I've tried standing her in the corner for time-out, I've even tried spanking her and sending her to bed when she just persists in acting like such a brat! I hate to talk about my daughter this way, but it's true. I don't know how to teach such a stubborn and strong-willed child how to use her manners. It's like she has no concept of what manners even are. My son is the complete opposite (he's 2); he will obey whatever you ask him to do, and if he disobeys and is put in time-out, he actually learns from it. Does anyone else have a child like this? Does anyone else know what I'm talking about? It's like there is not one form of discipline I have tried that works with her, and I am a "spare the rod and spoil the child" type of parent.
    Last edited by becky84; 09-16-2009 at 01:03 PM.

  2. #2
    Registered User heathbar's Avatar
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    my initial thought is this...you said she shouts and yells a lot, is her hearing ok? Have is ever been tested?

    That being said, I would have warned her once or twice she is only 4 and had it continued I would have told her that was not the way to behave and picke dher up and left. Maybe she just isn't ready for dance lessons or something that requires her to be quiet or still for very long. She isn't a brat and I imagine you were fustrated, but I don't believe spanking would help. I'm sorry but a hour dance lesson is too long for a 4 yr old in my opinion. Either find another dance place where the lesson is shorter and the teacher keeps them moving or find her another activity. Perhaps go to the library for 15 min a week where she has to be quiet. If she's quiet she can pick out a book or DVD to take home. But again your daughter isn't a spoiled, stubborn, brat...she is an inquisitive, active, social 4 yr old.

    PS: I'm so not a spare the rod spoil the child kinda parent. I think putting her in her room once you got home from dance would render ineffective due to the time span.
    Heather

    And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~Anais Nin~

    “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” ~Dr Seuss~




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    I'm studying to be an Early Intervention Specialist. I would say that some kids are just a lot more active, vocal and outgoing than others. I would use natural consequences with her in this situation. Tell her the rules for listening, paying attention etc during ballet. If she wants to go, she needs to follow the rules, otherwise you'll take her home. She might just not be ready for a class like ballet. She might do better at sports. There are good and challenging things about having a strong willed child. My daughter Jasmine is 12 and was strong willed growing up. Now she is good at giving speeches, drama, singing, cheer and preforming in front of others. She is also super smart. I personally would not do the harsher punishments for something like her ballet class, but it is very important for you to have rules for your daughter. My daughter used to act out and I made a behavior chart for her. It worked and I did have issues with her growing up. Now she is well behaved and I get compliments. I've been getting compliments since she was about 8. I have to tell you, I rarely got compliments about her manners before age 8. Some kids are just more strong willed than others. Does your daughter like ballet/want to do it?
    I had an issue with my daughter and brushing her hair when she was younger. She would never let me brush her hair. Some moms told me to tell her that if she wouldn't let me brush her hair that we will get it cut short. It worked! You never know what will work for which child.
    OK I still haven't found the button to start a new thread. Amazing, I can get a Masters degree but I can't start a new thread or find the button lol!
    Katie

  4. #4
    Registered User becky84's Avatar
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    Just to clear the record, I did not take her home and spank her after ballet. It would be unfair to spank a child long after the problem has occurred. The discipline techniques I talked about are things that we have tried to remedy this at home. I do not spank often, only when the child gives me that defiant look and says "I will NOT," and that does happen occasionally. I understand each family has their opinions on this, but in our family that is disrespectful and not to be tolerated.

    And, I DO NOT think my child is a "spoiled, stubborn brat." I did not call her that, and I don't appreciate my words being twisted like that. If you are not here to help, please do not post. I am looking for other mothers who have strong-willed children and what has worked for them.

    Anyway, she is extremely excited about doing ballet. Actually, the reason I signed her up was because she asked me to. She likes to watch those dancing shows with me on TV, and she turned to me one day and asked if I would "take her to ballet." I appreciate the advice about telling her what is expected beforehand and letting her know that if she wants to go, she must obey those rules. I think that would work with her, because she is a logically-minded person. I will try that and see how it goes. As active as she is, maybe we should try karate!

  5. #5
    Registered User heathbar's Avatar
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    you completely took what I said out of context and i'll leave it at that. I have 3 very stubborn children and I am a very seasoned parent.

    you said : I've even tried spanking her and sending her to bed when she just persists in acting like such a brat! I hate to talk about my daughter this way, but it's true. I don't know how to teach such a stubborn and strong-willed child how to use her manners. It's like she has no concept of what manners even are.
    Last edited by heathbar; 09-18-2009 at 04:17 PM. Reason: don't feel like getting into a she said/she said discussion so I deleted my post
    Heather

    And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~Anais Nin~

    “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” ~Dr Seuss~




  6. #6
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    Wink

    Hey Katie~
    I have had an experience just like you described. It brings a smile to me now because my daughter is now 17, but when it happened, she was a preschooler and I was VERY embarrassed and frustrated.

    I signed my VERY active and strong willed first born up for gymnastics. The class was designed to be fun and creative for preschoolers. My little angel kept running off from the rest of the group and wouldn't mind her teacher. The teacher (s) had to keep going after her and rounding her in to what the rest of the group was doing. Now some of the other kids were not being perfect, and their moms were yelling at them from the sideline. I decided not to yell in front of everyone, but I took my daughter aside at the end of the class and told her that I expected her to mind her teacher and stay with the group. She acted like she no idea what I was talking about~ I could tell she really didn't understand that she had done anything wrong. The next week, I reminded her again of the rules before she went into the class. The SAME behavior repeated itself. I got a few "looks" from the other moms and I hated that my child was portraying herself badly. I pulled her aside and told her that if she left the group once more, we would be going home. She did and we left. She just could not resist getting on the other equipment! I ended up withdrawing her from the class, thinking that we had some things to work on before she could go back to a group setting like that.

    There are kids who are stronger willed than others. I have three other children whom I rarely had a problem with. But my firstborn seemed to test her limits every five minutes, especially when she was very little. Starting school was a wonderful thing for her. Lots of structure was good for her. Plus she was very smart and it kept her busy!

    She is now a beautiful, sweet, and godly seventeen year old. She still has her own mind, and we do have moments when I have to remind her that I am still her authority, but she is truly a joy. She grew out of it! Praise God- He does reward hard parenting effort and gives us lots of grace. So hang in there! I think the key is consistency and just doing what your child can handle at that age. I always stuck to activities that didn't stress us out. They are supposed to be fun, right?!

  7. #7
    Registered User becky84's Avatar
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    That sounds like exactly what my daughter and I are going through. She's the same way -- when she's reprimanded she gives a blank stare, like "What?". I think she just gets so excited she can't contain herself, and this is the first time she's really been in a structured class setting like this (well, we tried Toddlertime at the library when she was 2, but that ended after many tantrums). I am going to tell her beforehand what's expected of her, and we'll see how our next class goes on Wednesday.

    She really is a good girl, she's got a sweet side to her. She will come up out of nowhere and say, "I love you mommy, you're the bestest girl in the world." It's good to hear from you ladies who also have strong-willed children, and knowing that the sweet side can win out after all.

  8. #8
    Registered User becky84's Avatar
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    So yesterday was Adriana's 2nd ballet class. I laid out the rules for her, and I had her repeat them to me in the car before we went in, and she was perfectly well-behaved! I was so proud of her. She raised her little hand when she wanted to talk, she took turns like the teacher asked her, and the teacher complimented her at the end of the class on how well she was doing. She did tell me that when she is old enough, I should let Adriana try drama classes, because she's very verbal and expressive.

    Thank you ladies for your help! It looks like we've crossed a milestone!

  9. #9
    Registered User DiamondRing's Avatar
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    I have a great book suggestion, it is called 123 Magic for Christian Parents by Thomas W. Phelan, Ph.D and Chris Webb, M.S, M.A.
    Effective Discipline for Children 2-12

    Coming from a heritage of Jewish (on my Mother's side) I often get so frustrated at how Gentiles have read the Word in the Old Testament but have not read it with The instruction and Guidance and Wisdom of The Holy Spirit, who gives light (true meaning) of His Word. In Psalm 23 we read that the Shepherd (who is Jesus) His rod and His staff COMFORTS us. The rod of discipline is a comfort to us and it is a comfort to children. Children lack self-control, hey left to our fleshly desires we all lack self-control (self-control being a fruit of The Holy Spirit it cannot be developed apart from Christ). People long for discipline (correct=godly or Christlike, not religious, discipline). To discipline means to be taught, to disciple means to teach. You are in the highest authority to your child only second to God and it is your responsibility to teach your child or train your child in the way they should go so that when they are old they will not depart from it. If you love your children you will discipline them for a parent who refuses to discipline their child does not love them, because they are not providing comfort of the rod and staff to them so the child can know the right way to walk in. Ask Jesus to parent your daughter through you and know you can do all things through Him who gives you strength. Parenting is hard, we cannot do this effectively without His Wisdom. I am praying for Him to help you always know the right way to discipline and I hope you get this book, it it a good resource and written under true Holy Spirit Wisdom and I really think if it's principles are used, you will see real turnaround in your daughter's behavior soon. She'll love you all the more for it, children know deep down that discipline is love, but it is very important to discipline effectively, not harshly, judgmentally or with condemnation, that religious extreme is not Christlike and it is a misrepresentation (or a twisting of, a perversion of) God's Word.

  10. #10
    Registered User heathbar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by becky84 View Post
    So yesterday was Adriana's 2nd ballet class. I laid out the rules for her, and I had her repeat them to me in the car before we went in, and she was perfectly well-behaved! I was so proud of her. She raised her little hand when she wanted to talk, she took turns like the teacher asked her, and the teacher complimented her at the end of the class on how well she was doing. She did tell me that when she is old enough, I should let Adriana try drama classes, because she's very verbal and expressive.

    Thank you ladies for your help! It looks like we've crossed a milestone!
    Awesome!!!!!
    Heather

    And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~Anais Nin~

    “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” ~Dr Seuss~




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    Karate might be a good choice. It is a high impact workout that teaches discipline and confidence. My daughter is strong willed and she loved swimming and martial arts. SHe did tae kwon do. It taught her how to be respectful to me. Some of the programs encourage the kids to be more respectful and helpful to their parents. Now my daughter likes cheer and tumbling. Strong willed kids sometimes what high impact sports that use their large motor skills. Jasmines cheer is mainly stunt and tumbling. It is like an extreme sport. I've tried to get her to do soccer. She is excellent at it, but she wants to do cheer. Jasmine's dad come from a family of performers and celebrities. I think it is Jasmine's nature to perform.
    OK sorry to ask again, but for the life of me, I can't figure out how to start a new thread! I'd like to introduce myself but I can't find the new thread button and don't know how to do it. Anyone want to give me some tips?
    Katie

  12. #12
    Registered User heathbar's Avatar
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    click on forums

    then click on discussions forums


    then at the top to the left it's small there should be a new thread icon
    Heather

    And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~Anais Nin~

    “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” ~Dr Seuss~




  13. #13
    Registered User DiamondRing's Avatar
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    She responded well to your limits, it shows she was desiring some limits. You came through for her, so she came through for you. My son just threw a whopper of a temper tantrum, he was sat in the corner for 2 minutes to calm down, then I held him and rocked him on the rocker and he fell asleep (he usually does not take a morning nap anymore), since I had no clue what in the world he was even screaming about in the first place I guess he was just tired. Kids are so perplexing!
    I did not know how to explain the new thread thing to Katie, I am so glad you did Heather.

    Oh yeah, and the instructor did not fail to give your daughter recognition for her well behavior and used positive reinforcement-this is good and part of effective discipline, it sounds like you have a good instructor and if she's been doing this awhile I am sure this is not the first time she has seen this happen! It could have been simple case of nerves at the newness of it all and not knowing how to get back a sense of control in a new environment. Your limits help a child stay in control and they know what to do to feel in control again, that is why it is comforting-so way to go Mom, you did it-you rock!
    Last edited by DiamondRing; 09-24-2009 at 01:02 PM.

  14. #14
    Registered User heathbar's Avatar
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    If it's any consellation my 14 yr old daughter who happens to be a freshman in high school had a meltdown 3 days ago, laying on her bed whining. I told her i was going to send her to bed and she starting whining about how it was only 9 at night and I was treating her lik ea 2 yr old...I said well your acting like one. So if never ends even as teens they throw temper tantrums
    Heather

    And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~Anais Nin~

    “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” ~Dr Seuss~




  15. #15
    Registered User becky84's Avatar
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    Oh, I dread the teen years -- that's why I am focusing so much on discipline now, so hopefully at least the respect issue will be worked out by that point. I think my next idea is going to be a behavior chart. I want to put about 2 or 3 things on there that she's been having trouble with, along with 2 chores (picking up her toys and feeding the cat) that she already does well, and each day put stars next to the things that she did well. Then at the end of the week she can get an ice cream or a toy or something if she got all her stars. It might make good behavior fun, and by the time we stop doing the chart hopefully she will be doing these things out of habit.

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