Help with my world-class whiner
This is ironic because I spent years and a small fortune trying to have my daughter, but I don’t think hate is too strong a word for how I feel towards her these days. The problem in a nutshell is her interminable whining. It feels like 80-90% of her interactions involve whining. We’ve tried counting her, ignoring it, emotional coaching, positive discipline, labeling feelings, but are increasingly turning into people we don’t like when we look in the mirror... yelling, avoiding her, glowering at her, just turning and walking away.
Yes, there are moments of joy (she was an angel at 3) but they currently don’t outweigh the dread I feel ten minutes before she wakes up in the morning. It’s all downhill from there. She’ll wake up bawling, because she “doesn’t want to be alone“ when I’m feeding the baby in the other room. Then I’ll ask her to get dressed and she’ll flatly refuse “No.” Then she’ll whine when I pick an outfit, and cry when I tell her to pick out her own. She’ll fall to the floor when I tell her to get dressed to join us for breakfast... “I can’t!” I don’t give in but she has nevertheless adopted a feigned helplessness. She’ll sometimes purposely trip while walking to garner sympathy. Just now she dropped the iPad saying it was “too heavy.” She has this annoying, high-pitched “damsel in distress” tone she defaults to, even though we’ve asked her a hundred times to use her “regular voice.”
Teachers say they haven’t seen this side of her. We stayed with grandparents for 3 months during lockdown and even in their infinite patience noted they were disturbed by her bad behavior. I was mortified when she covered her ears when they advised her not to put her fingers in her mouth or scowl at them. Tell her not to show food in her mouth and she’ll squint at you and do it defiantly. Tell her to potty before a car trip and she’ll fight you tooth and nail. Twenty minutes after picking at her lunch she’ll whine that she “wants to eat something” and then repeat it for half an hour. Ask her to take a deep breath and she’ll whine “I don’t want to!” Show any interest in a song that’s playing, and she’ll sing the ABC song over it. Say it’s bedtime and she’ll run away, making you chase her down. Get her in bed and she’ll whine “I don’t want to sleep!” until she wakes up the baby. She doesn’t stay in bed, either. At her new post-reopening preschool the boys there chased her with a toy knife and called her cry baby. Frankly I had no sympathy left, and instead thought to myself that that sounds about right.
Is this normal? A sign of teenage years to come? Or is she getting it out of her system? It wasn’t like this pre-COVID but we also had her in preschool full-time so were able to actually enjoy the few hours we had as a family each night.