We are really struggling with Little Miss, our soon to be 5 year old. We love her dearly; yet end up being mean to her regularly. She just pushes us, both me and Oh-so-lovely-daddy, to our limit.
It all starts in the morning: 3 year old is dressed (by himself mostly) in 5 minutes. This same task takes Little Miss upto 30 minutes (her uniform is laid out, she has been able to dress herself for 18 months at least). We have tried bribery, competition, rewards, threats, shouting… nothing seems to make a difference. By the time she gets down it is very hard to be positive about her achievement.
Breakfast takes her another 20 minutes at least…by this time she has pushed me to the edge. Walking out the door I am on the brink of a nervous breakdown. Our morning “routine” often makes us late and the delay means I have to swap the drop-offs around and the school run takes me 20-30 minutes longer.
Apparently, she is no better at eating in school. The other day she said she decided to sit separate from her friends so she wouldn’t chat away the time. Apparently, the teacher commended her “mature decision”.
The “fun” starts again after school- when we get home I ask her to get changed out of her uniform. All her clothes are, again, laid out on a chair, so it should be easy. She is keen to come and play with her brother and our neighbour’s son, so there should be a good motive to hurry. Yet, my Little Miss will often emerge 1 hour later from her room.
Once changed she is in a good mood, drawing and playing. She is not keen on taking her school work out or her piano practice, so I don’t push her on either.
When asked to help with getting ready for dinner (putting toys away, washing hands, setting the table), they are given a pre-warning and then when the time comes she eventually hears her name and slowly complies. It is very difficult stay calm while I am slaving away with dinner preps.
Dinner is hell! She’s jovial and would chat away, not eating a bite. It will often take her over an hour to finish a small portion. Food will go in her mouth and remain there, unchewed, for 5-10 minutes…. and it doesn’t seem to matter whether it is her favourite dish or one she’s not too keen on.
We’ve tried competitions, complimenting how nicely she sits, uses her utensils…any positive aspect we can find. Most dinners end with threats- I try counting, I try saying she won’t get dessert (yoghurt, fruit, etc.), try sitting her separately, saying no bedtime story… nothing seems to have effect!
I am really at loss! This feels like a downward spiral, where I cannot be happy with my gorgeous daughter. I am a grumpy, horrible mother always having a go at her. It breaks my heart and often makes me cry.
Please tell me there is a way out!