Reclaim the Baton of Power

Question

My 5-year-old daughter is nearly always waking up in a sour mood. Her eyebrows low, frumpy look, tense arms. It's been so exhausting to start on that foot the past few months. How can I teach/encourage her to wake up grateful or positive?

On days she wakes up in an ok mood, it can quickly go bad if I don't help her do her hair that second or if I don't do what she "needs" me to do in a timely manner. I'm over it.

Answer

From the description you provide it sounds like the baton of power needs to be passed to you, its rightful owner. Miss 5 year old figured out how to take the leadership role to set the tone for the day. Somehow she got the message that her sour mood garners attention. First, I prescribe that you take inventory of your wake up mood in order to identify any area where you might be modeling negativity. That is not to say that everyone in the home needs to wake up with a sunshine face as different temperaments handle mornings differently. I do know that as long as daughter experiences your frustration over her demands, and you still give in to them, things will remain the same. Figure out how you have been reacting to your daughter's moods and start responding to them instead. This could include not paying attention to them and stop focusing on changing them. I cannot think of any reason to immediately indulge the demands of a 5 year old. If you are reasoning that it stops her tantrums you have become the problem. Now daughter will not appreciate the new you, however, over time I can guarantee you she will learn to adjust to the authority you display and willingly accept that you are holding the baton of power and leadership.

Gretchen Slover
drgretchenslover.com

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