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Help! I am getting to the end of my tether......

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icemaiden | 14:18 Tue 08th Sep 2009 | Family & Relationships
10 Answers
My 9 year old Daughter in the last six months has gained an attitude, especially with her step-dad.
She constantly argues with both of us and when we ask her to do the simpliest thing she grunts or answers back.

Is this the age when they start doing this? My partner has been with us since she was 3 years old and although they havent had the best relationship it really has only been in the last six months that they are constantly arguing. To the point where I could quite easily walk out!

He takes a huge interest in all she does including asking her about shool, helping her with her homework but it always ends in them arguing. Either because she is rude to him or she just ignores him. I have got her on her own and have asked her what is wrong and why she does this, and she just shrugs her shoulders.
We have punished her by stopping her going to Brownies and taking her nintendo away and even going to the extreme of emptying her entire bedroom of all her stuff!

It really is getting me down. We are looking to go away as a family in November (we have only been away once before) but I really don't think I can cope with all the arguing.

Any ideas will be appreciated.


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Is she being bullied at school and taking it out those who love her?
Even at age 9 it is possible that she is starting to go through puberty,I was 10 when mine started (many,many years
We all know the problems that are associated with a child's changing body,but they also struggle with emotions and moods.
You need to sit your daughter down and explain calmly to her why her behaviour is unacceptable,outline the punishments that will occur if she continues with it and stick to these punishments.She will probably grow out of it (eventually) but you are very likely going to 'suffer' this for years to come.....the joys of parenthood....
So what has changed in the last 6 months? Have you another child together?
Question Author
Thank you for your answer albaqwerty. I did indeed ask her if she has had any problems at school with the work, teachers or other children and she has said that she enjoys school and that there are no problems. in fact she couldn't wait to go back yesterday.
She is very popular in the school and has many friends.
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Daffy654..Thank you for your answer. It's possible her body is changing, I gave her a really good book recently about how the body changes when you are young. About mood changes and physical changes. Maybe I should see if she has read it recently.

caththecrazy...nothing obvious has changed. No extra children! We both spend a lot of time with her doing numerous activities.
glad to hear school is ok. Maybe it's just a phase and/or puberty kicking in. (just love the phrase "it's just a phase"- they go from one to another :D) keep lines of communication open. Boy! She must have pushed buttons for you to empty her room. I sent mine to my tv, no pc etc etc. Keep your chin up :D
Daffy's advice is sound.

It is a phase all girls go through, so you are not alone!

Your partner may fel extra pressure as a 'non-biological' parent, so you must help to bolster his elf-esteem during this time, as well as backing all his discipline decisions - if you think he is wrong, talk to him alone afterwards, but back him in front of your child.

During times when you are all having a good time, point it out verbally, how nice it is when everyone is nice to each other, and how you all enjoy being together. You should each take time to assure your daughter that you love her and are proud of her - she will be going through periods of doubt and low self-esteem, which manifest themselves in slks and moods. When you ask her what is wrong and she says she doesn't know, don;t get frustrated - she is telling the truth, she doesn't know, you have to read between the lines a little.

Make sure you each take time to give her some individual attention and time, and that you each affirm her as a good person whom you love a lot.

Beddtime is still a good time to kiss her good night, and tell her you love her - I still do this with my youngest daughter, and she is twenty! We are never too old for a cuddle and some reassurance.

It is a tough period, but be patient, she will re-join the human race eventually - they all do!
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Thanks guys for all your reassuring answers.
Phew, So pleased I am not alone, as she is my only child it's hard to know if this is normal.

Albaqwerty-didn't think to send her to my room instead of emptying hers. What a great idea and less effort. Will do that in future.

andy-hughes- Thank you for your answer. Lots of things I do already, like back him up with discipiline decisions and it was only just this weekend that I took him aside and mentioned that I think raising his voice did not help the situation at the time. I think I need to concentrate more, as you have said, by acknowledging the good times and commenting on how great they are. I do hope this phase doesnt last very long.

Great advice from everyone. Thanks again.
I am no expert, but am a Dad.

I am a bit surprised to hear you talk about 'punishing her' by stopping Brownies etc.
Surely this is just increasing the divide. I would suggest this is very unwise.

Perhaps you should take a leaf from advice for dog training, to reward good behaviour and not react to bad behaviour.

Is there anything she really likes doing such as bike rides in the countryside, or swimming, that you or your partner could do with her to re-establish the friendship?
Good suggestions from PB or even something she will enjoy doing with her step dad without you

Maybe she would be like this even if you weren't with your partner - sometimes we always think a happens because of b but rarely consider c

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