Setting Limits Helped My Daughter Cooperate Willingly

My six year old daughter seemed fine when she came home from school.  Her nine year old brother had been sick for three days and I was looking forward to her being with us.  However, it wasn’t long before she started being cutting snowflakesuncooperative, demanding and grumpy.

She said, “No, I’m not putting my backpack away” and then commanded, “Get me some milk.”  This was really a jolt to my system after a quiet day with my son. I didn’t like where this was going so I decided to set a limit and see what would happen.

She was cutting snowflakes at the table and I put my hand over hers saying, “Honey, your backpack needs to be put away, so I cannot let you cut anymore snowflakes until you do that.”  She screamed at me, “Noooooo” and stomped off to the living room.  I followed her, moved in next to her warmly and put my hand on her knee.  Instantly, she put her head on my lap and sobbed for about 30 minutes.

She told me that it wasn’t fair that her brother got to stay home with me and that we all did stuff that he wanted to do.  She was able to offload her feelings of being left out and the unfairness of me doting on her brother.  After about 30 minutes of this, without me saying a word, she got up and put her backpack away.  I got her a glass of milk and we calmly and playfully sat at the table making more snowflakes.  It was amazing to watch the shift in her after she got her big feelings out.

-Certified Instructor, Kristen Volk