Please help! Our almost 5-year old daughter behaves terribly and we do not know where to start. We read the book Well-behaved Child but we also need individual consultation with you.
A little bit of history: we adopted 2 girls back in 2016.
Older girl has her own problems and we constantly read you articles and books to help solve them. This time we would like to talk about our younger daughter.
She has some degree of developmental delay. She started to talk at 4 years (short phrases, wrong pronunciation), now she is almost 5 and her speech is still not so good, but she talks mush better.
Main behavioral issues:
Issue 1: She does not obey us (however we use alpha speech.)
Issue 2: She likes to sneak into the kitchen when nobody is there and take food, sweets, etc. She eats a lot, but she is always hungry.
Our reaction: when we see her sneaking into the kitchen we would send her to her room for the rest of the day or for several hours. The point is that she shares the room with her older sister and when they are both in the room, it is not a punishment for her. Right now we do not have an option to separate the girls, but soon we will have spare room for her. Lately we decided that she will have to miss the next meal if she comes to the kitchen by herself and takes food.
Issue 3: She takes things without permission.
Our reaction: we used to make her stay a minute with her hands up when she used to take our cellphones. It helped. But now she may take body lotion or hand sanitizer without permission and play with them and store them in her room. Today she went to a friend’s house for the first time and on the way back aimed to steal his toys and was caught by adults.
Our reaction: We just take things back without punishment.
Issue 4: She is mean to her older sister. She may hit her without a reason, take away her things and if only the older girl protests, she would bite her and scream. Today I noticed that she took her sister’s money. I asked her to correct herself and return the money. Few hours later older daughter found her money in a trash bin. The 5-year old took the money from the trash bit and asked for forgiveness but a minute later she wiped her snot at her sister’s pajamas.
Our reaction: Occasional emotional punishment when such things happen. Sometimes I just say to her: You have to correct yourself or say to the older daughter: If she bothers you, tell her to stop.
Issue 5: Recently she started peeing on the floor of her room or in her older sister’s bed (she does not have problems with the toilet and we think it is a kind of protest.)
Our reaction: We calmly make her clean the room, wash wet clothes and wash her when such things happen.
Issue 6: She lies all the time even if we do not ask her.
We need to find a proper strategy and punishment for our almost 5-year old daughter. We know that Mr. Rosemond suggested in this articles to lock down 5-year olds in her room for 4 weeks, but for our almost 5-year old a week is still the abstract concept due to her developmental issues and we doubt that this is a good thing for us to do. Plus the point that girls share a room also need to be taken into account. We eat healthy food and candies are rare on our tables. She does not like cartoons. She rarely plays with her lego. But she likes visiting her grandmother and she also likes drawing.
Please suggest where we start. We are angry with her a lot lately and this keeps getting worse.