I have a 4 year old girl whom we just dealt with tantrums by expecting a 14-day without a meltdown method. She has earned back all her books and toys in her room. It has been 6-7 weeks since the last tantrum. Thank you for all your advice!
Now we are dealing with disrespect and attention-seeking behaviour (It never ends!) I get it that all children need attention, but how much? I try to spend a bit of time with each of them. When I spend time with the younger one (1 year old) and she's constantly in my face with this and that. When I ignore her, she will misbehave in an assortment of ways that guarantees my attention like give rude remarks to me e.g. "You're not allowed to say that, only *I* can say that", or pushing or saying mean things to the brother, or being disruptive and noisy. Gets in my face and joins in scolding the brother when I tell the 1 year old off etc. This forces me to intervene. I keep get this nagging feeling I am being manipulated into giving attention etc..as though she is doing it on purpose to keep my attention on her constantly. I'm not sure what to do - ignore it or discipline it. She has had plenty of my attention for 3 whole years and now I feel I need to spend a bit more on the little one whom I have so much to teach, and a bit less on the 4 year old who should be less demanding. Instead I find myself trying to be fair and giving each one equal amounts. Or ignoring the little one because the older one is louder, more disruptive and more demanding. The only time she will play nicely is if I'm busy and not attending to either child. The rest of the time she is busy trying to maintain her place as the centre of the house. Sometimes I feel like Im not the one in control! What do I do? How do I deal with this?
Another issue is, when her grandmother is here and staying with us (my mother in law), she feels free to talk rudely and behave rudely towards her, disobey her and the lot. No, I don't permit it. In fact, I'm the kind of mother who expects children to talk to adults respectfully. She does it the moment I turn my back even if it is to the bathroom. She has also recently started speaking to me like a peer - rude and a bit of a flippant attitude towards me, and telling me off in the same way I do with her! Saying "NO" back to me by using a tone that I would use on a child when they misbehave. Feels really condescending. I remember when I was a child, I certainly did not dare to speak to my parents this way and neither would my peers dare to speak to their elders that way. What am I doing wrong that she feels free to talk back and be rude and the like, with those older than her? Is this typically a phase in this age where they learn that it is not acceptable to talk to elders the way they talk to peers?
Again, any advice from you will be very much appreciated.
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