Continued disobedience/disrespect with 5.5 yo girl


I have not asked for help on my 5.5 year old girl for the longest time - thanks to your advice, we clamped down and stopped tolerating the defiance and saw a marked improvement for a stretch. We have just had one of the longest stretches of compliance and obedience since 18 months old. BUT she has been testing again. Why? Is this normal or have I not been consistent - it is hard to know. Her daddy has also been very, very busy with work and the kids have hardly seen him recently. Both usually misbehave when that happens. But daddy's work can't be helped.

She has started to talk back more, argue more, ask WHY, sigh, roll the eyes when told to do chores or other things. Plus, when she explains something to me, it's not clear and I misunderstand, she would talk to me like I was an idiot (quite a rude tone of voice - something which I dislike from the bottom of my heart). Do I ignore or remind? I admit a rude tone triggers a knee-jerk reaction in me - I usually get extremely cross as I'd never have dared to use that kind of tone with my parents like that at this age.

Also been dawdling and becomes talkative (on purpose) while doing the chores very, very very slowly. I have sent her to her room, eventually realising its disobedience. Two days later, she tries it again in a different way. She has also pretended to not understand a variety of things I tell her to do. Or forgets. Sometimes there is no way of knowing whether its genuine forgetfulness or failure to understand! She has fooled me many times as she is a wonderful actress, and by the time I realise its pretending, I'm already cross and its become like a game. She is a rather intelligent child (and I'm often the silly parent for not realising her antics!). Any advice to dealing with this kind of slippery misbehaviour? I am rather disappointed that she is testing me on the same issue (defiance) again. We have been dealing with it for a long time - and with each passing year, it just takes different forms as the child grows. They get smarter about hiding it. Normal for it to come up from time to time? I was under the impression that Rosemond said it should not be an issue any more after age 3.

I also feel like I'm always after her in the morning to get through her routine and reminding her what to do with each step. I usually have her do them in a particular order (It's get dressed, toilet, wash and brush, breakfast). Then, make the bed and put away dishes (this is flexible - though often happens after breakfast). When can I expect her to go through her morning routine without being told or prompted with each step? She does not like being prompted and she tells me (in a frustrated tone "I KNOW!!") but she often forgets without prompting. So what kind of freedom can I expect or allow at this age with this sort of thing?

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