17 answers

I Dont Know How to Get Along with My 9 Year Old Daughter.

My 9 year old daughter argues with everything I say. I don't care what I ask her to do she has some kind of remark or argument. It starts from the time she wakes up until she is arguing with me about going to bed at night. I really don't know how to handle her. I find myself getting very angry and constantly arguing back. I try to ignore it some and she just pushes and pushes until i cant. She has a 4 year old brother and he is learning from her bad habits. I feel like there is always so much tension in our house. Even when we are all doing something fun there is always something that happens to fuel someones fire. There are times that her and I get along so good. Every now and then she gets in a relaxed mood and she is so pleasant. The rest of the time she does not know how to relax. She is constantly on edge which causes me to be on edge. My husband and I totally disagree on how to handle her so that does not help either. I really just need some peace and harmony in my home. I think all four of us are very defensive and stubborn. How can i create the peace and harmony my family needs so desperately?

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I only asked this question about this time last night and I have had so many helpful responses. Last night I got a few responses within five minutes and they made me realize that the first thing that had to happen is having a heart to heart with my husband. We stayed up until 2am talking. We both agreed that the first thing we had to do to help our daughter is to help ourselves. My house hold seems so loud lately. From my 4 and 9 year old to my husband and I, the dogs and things like tv, phones etc. the noise level has been out of control. We all have to be loud to be heard over all the noise. My husband and I decided to get up this morning and start our day off calm and quite. We did not raise our voices one time today. Both my son and daughter were much more relaxed today. I understand that I am fueling her fire to argue and I know now that has to stop. Today she started arguing with me over ending her turn on the Wii. I very calmly told her that when she wanted to talk to me nicely I would discuss it with her. She took and deep breath and we came up with a solution we could both be happy with and my blood pressure stayed down the entire time. I know we have a long way to go but my husband and I are now in complete agreement of what needs to happen. Because of that we can start now and change the dynamic of our household. Anytime my daughter is away from home with family and friends I hear nothing but how nice and polite she is. She has never been in trouble at school so I must be doing something right. I really want my kids to be able to come home to a positive environment. I can not believe how negativity can take over. I was raised in a very positive environment. I have nothing but wonderful memories from my childhood. I want so much for my kids to think back on there childhood as adults and smile. My husband did not have such a great childhood as I did. He strives on making sure he only takes the positive things he got from his Mom. I hope and pray we can turn this around. My daughter is such an exceptional child. She has so many wonderful things about her and we are going to start concentrating on the good more instead of the bad. After one day of trying to change has helped everyone in my household. I know that if we keep it up we will turn this around and we can all be happier as individuals and as a family. Thanks so much for all the wonderful responses. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers to help us be able to continue to change our negative ways and giving my children the chance to be the happy kids they deserve to be. We have had so many happy times in our family and I intend on making sure that they continue. We plan to focus on making the good things more important than the bad.

Featured Answers

I havea ten year old son who is exactly like that also. It is very hard and also very frustrating. I started by not argueing back,and basically ignoring the behavior,this really helped. I simply informed him that if he was going to act that way,I was not goig to talk to him until he stopped. we also started taking away his allowence when he actedthat way also. at the beigining of the week he starts with a certain amount, if he engages in any undesirable behavior, he loses money. This has been very effective. I hope these ideas help.

2 moms found this helpful

I have a 13 yr old girl- so I know how that goes!

But this is helpful-

Cod liver oil, 1 tbsp a day
b complex liquid drops under the tounge daily
Magnesium malate 2 pills, daily.
And lots of water - the nerves run on hydro electricity. Dehydration creates cranky people.

All of the above support and maintain calm because they support the nervous system. In fact my whole family is on this regime and we get along so good now. The other thing I don't do anymore if caffeinated coffee. It definitely created anger for me- the kind where you snap and it doesnt feel like its you.....

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

I was about 8 when this started in my household growing up. I look back at my adolescence, and I wish that someone, somewhere would have said, "This is not normal," and gotten me the help that I needed. Instead, people chalked my argumentative, moody behavior up to simply being an adolescent. It wasn't. You say that your daughter seems "on edge" all the time. Please, please talk to her pediatrician about this. For me, this was the start of my struggle with bipolar disorder, which really blossomed later in adolescence (about 15/16). I now take a mixture of Fish oil, Vitamin B2, and Vitamin D in addition to my medication - and they have helped me a lot.

Even if there is no underlying medical condition causing her change in mood - it may help you to evaluate if there has been some change or stress in her life that may be causing this new behavior. Dig a little into her life. What is going on at school? What is happening with her friends? Is there increased stress at home? There might be something you can do to lessen her stress.

It's not unusual for a nine-year old girl in the U.S. to be entering adolescence.
I work with adolescents, and I often find that they argue because it gives them some sense of control when the rest of their life seems out of control. Can you help find her something in her life that she can control? Horseback riding is a great sport for adolescent girls - because it lets them feel like they are powerful - they can control this strong, big animal all with small movements. It also allows them to feel responsible when they take care of another creature, and tired - which is all to the good. :)

In the meantime, I recommend David Walsh's book, "Why do they Act That Way?" and the book, "Getting to Calm: Cool-Headed Strategies for Parents of Tweens" by Laura S. Kastner.

Good luck!

4 moms found this helpful

First off you need to talk to your husband in private. Ask him to never disagree in front of the kids about punishment, handling of a certain situation and you agree to do the same. You both have to present a united front and talk about the issues with the situation in private away from the kids. Next make sure she is getting plenty of sleep as alot of times this is the age where bedtimes are adjusted allowing for staying up later and this is the time where they start to enter puberty and need more sleep than ever. Sit down and have a talk with her and let her know the easier things go, how she listens to you, responds to you and Dad the more fun she will get to have. Make sure you make your point clear...as in arguing for the sake of arguing will get things removed from her life, like a TV from her room, computer from her room or whatever she has that is a bonus. If it gets bad enough remind her and then if needed follow through on the only thing required by law is to receive enough food, clothing, and shelter and to get her to and from school. Pull in the reigns now as this is your shot before the teen years.

3 moms found this helpful

The arguing seems common for that age group, my 8-year old is just getting into that stage and her friend's moms and I always commiserate!

At that age they are trying to be more independent (think terrible twos on a whole new level) and yet they still lack the responsibility level so they still need to be told what to do.

What I've found is that giving responsibilities that she can do, or giving her things to do in a way she can be independent helps a lot. You know how two-year-olds will always want the thing you DIDN'T offer them? Well 9-year olds seem to be that way on a whole new level too! So handling them the way you would a two-year-old (but on that higher level) seems to work for me.

For example, my 8-year old wants to dress herself, but she picks the most horrendous combinations! Sometimes I let it slide, but some of her outfits are too horrible to take her in public. But if I say anything it's an argument and she wants to wear what I've said she can't even more. She always wants to be right. So, I try to make situations where she can be right and she stops fighting. We pick out her clothes together, or I let her select from several outfits I have put together.

Sometimes I just let her be right. Once she insisted that "papaw" was spelled "payapa" and it turned into a big argument. So I said "ok, that's the way it's spelled." and left it at that. Later on she addressed a card to her papaw and spelled it her way and he read it and said "who is pay a pa?" After that she spelled it right! Some lessons have to be learned the hard way. She also refused to wear a heavy jacket and gloves. So I let her wear what she wanted and she was so cold! I said "that's too bad you're cold." and left it at that.

I guess that age they just want to be independent and right. So if you just let them be right (even when they are wrong) they figure it out in a hurry. Also, sometimes she tries to start an argument and one time I just scooped her up in my arms and gave her a big hug and a kiss and said "you know, I love you so much because you are so good at arguing!" She didn't know what to do with that...and it ended the argument in a hurry!

You are the adult and you have to be the diffuser. I also agree that making sure she's getting enough sleep and getting her vitamins in would help too. And when she's escalating the argument, know she's trying harder to assert her independence...so what can you do to help that!

Good luck! I know it's hard!

2 moms found this helpful

I havea ten year old son who is exactly like that also. It is very hard and also very frustrating. I started by not argueing back,and basically ignoring the behavior,this really helped. I simply informed him that if he was going to act that way,I was not goig to talk to him until he stopped. we also started taking away his allowence when he actedthat way also. at the beigining of the week he starts with a certain amount, if he engages in any undesirable behavior, he loses money. This has been very effective. I hope these ideas help.

2 moms found this helpful

I have a 13 yr old girl- so I know how that goes!

But this is helpful-

Cod liver oil, 1 tbsp a day
b complex liquid drops under the tounge daily
Magnesium malate 2 pills, daily.
And lots of water - the nerves run on hydro electricity. Dehydration creates cranky people.

All of the above support and maintain calm because they support the nervous system. In fact my whole family is on this regime and we get along so good now. The other thing I don't do anymore if caffeinated coffee. It definitely created anger for me- the kind where you snap and it doesnt feel like its you.....

1 mom found this helpful

A book that I've found extremely helpful is called "Parenting With Love and Logic." Instead of arguing back and forth, you give her choices. For example, You can either clean up your room or lose tv privileges for a week. With my younger ones I'll ask them things like which toys they want to clean up first and give them a choice of two. The premise is that everyone needs to feel a certain amount of control over their lives. If she starts to argue you just repeat your choices. Arguing may be her way of distracting you so she can get out of something. At this age she's getting ready to start puberty too, so hormones start coming into play. So things may be okay one minute and the world ending the next. If you want peace and harmony in your home, one way to encourage a bit of that is pointing out when you see her (and your hubby) doing something good. Make it specific and genuine. It only takes one person to start to break the cycle of negativity. Good luck to you!

1 mom found this helpful

You've had some good suggestions, C.. I agree that your daughter might have some physical need that is going lacking, possibly sleep, or nutrition.

If that's not the case, check out the possibility that she's being exposed to something she's sensitive to. I have developed chemical sensitivities that have me frequently irritable, anxious, and uncomfortable. Lots of kids these days have sensitivities because new, untested chemicals are so common in household products like fabric softeners, air fresheners, cleaning products, even cosmetics and foods.

Your daughter sounds quite a bit like my younger sister, who was a handful from a very young age. My sister went on to develop very serious bipolar disorder, which went unrecognized until she was in her 30's. She would have done so much better had she been treated early in her life. As it is, she developed many negative and reactive habits because nobody, including her, understood that she had a medical problem.

Good luck. I hope it's nothing that severe. While you search for answers, read some good parenting books. I have heard that How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk, by Adele Faber, is helpful to many parents. (I plan to read that one myself, soon).

1 mom found this helpful

I use a bit of the love and logic as well, and it's good. I also really enjoy John Rosemond (www.rosemond.com) and his books. His Six Point Plan for Raising Happy Healthy Children is excellent. He has a new book out on discipline, but I haven't read it yet. You might check the library, or I get them used on amazon.

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