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My 4-year-old daughter is very rude to me. She says she hates me, I’m the worst mom ever, she plans to run away, and she wishes Daddy stayed home and I worked. I bathe her, feed her, play with her, and do just about everything else. Why would she be so mean to the person who does everything for her? When I ask her, she says, “You don’t do nothing,” or some other smart remark. What is her problem? It’s hard to love someone who doesn’t appreciate the things you do.
She doesn’t hate you. But she also doesn’t respect you. Deal with the latter, and your fears of the former should go away.
Realize that most children have a natural, ingrained love for their parents. And if the parents treat them well, that love should continue. However, we can often be the cruelest to those we love. I’ve never heard a good explanation for that phenomenon, but it’s still true. You’re the one at home, so everything bad that happens is obviously your fault. It sounds like you have a diva on your hands, and if Daddy stayed home with her, he’d probably be taking the same kind of heat you’re taking now.
The most likely explanation for your situation is that your daughter believes the world really does revolve around her. Do nine great things but neglect the 10th, and you’re a wicked witch. Such fantasies are common in young children, and it is the parents’ job to get the kids started on the path to reality.
I’m going to offer you a three-step solution to your diva problem:
1) Stop letting the kid give you lip. She lies, threatens, and talks back. My mother found a slap across the mouth would do the trick. If you’re not comfortable with such a solution, use some other punishment and levy it every single time she treats you disrespectfully. Whenever the kid is rude, stop what you’re doing and leave after levying the punishment. You are the adult, the mother. You deserve respect, but only you can ensure you receive it.
2) Give the girl a reason for gratitude. Many children, when spoiled, become less appreciative of what they have. I know of a family with a room full of expensive toys. After receiving so many luxuries, the children just didn’t care as much. They still wanted more, but they lost interest in new stuff quickly and stopped taking care of it. If the girl thinks you do nothing for her, then set aside one day to show her how much you really do. Let her know in advance that you’ll be teaching this lesson, then give her the minimum. Food, clothing, shelter. Make plain food, something healthy but not her favorite, and with no dessert. Don’t play with her, don’t give her any gifts. Help her with problems if she asks, but don’t volunteer anything. Then, at the end of the day, tell the girl that she just experienced the minimum mother. She’ll probably prefer the maximum.
3) Get Dad involved. If the girl is disrespecting you, her father must weigh in on our side.
Don’t expect a huge change overnight. But if you put a stop to the disrespectful comments and continue being a good mother, your daughter should come around.
What are the mental consequences of locking a child in her room?
If the lockdown doesn’t last long, there should be very few consequences. All of us get used to being alone in a familiar place, and unless the girl must remain in the room for so long that she needs to use the bathroom or gets extremely hungry, there is no harm done.
That said, why lock the door? Has the kid snuck out after being sent to her room before?
I will assume this period in the bedroom represents part of a punishment, so you should certainly stick to your guns this time rather than being seen as wishy-washy. But don’t keep the door locked for long. And in the future, don’t lock the door unless you’ve seen evidence that the girl will leave her room in defiance of the punishment.
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