Moody 9 Year Old Daughter

Updated on June 28, 2007
K.H. asks from Carlsbad, CA
9 answers

For the past 2 or 3 months now my 9 year old daughter has been having theses horrible mood swings. And i do remember what it is like to be alomst 10 and going through pre-teen hormones. But i have been tring very hard to be helpful and answer all her question and show her i am here for her. I give her space when she needs it, i let her cry when she needs to. I show her constantly i am here for her and on her side. But i am running out of things to try and she is really starting to drive me crazy. Everything has to be about her all the time no matter what is going on. And when we stand firm on our "NO'S" it makes no difference. She still wines for days and acts the same. Don't get me wrong she is a great kid. Very bright and creative and a joy to be around when her mood swings aren't happening.SO i guess i am just looking for some suggestions on how to be more helpful to her and gain a little bit of peace of mind.

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answers from Stockton on

I have the same exact promblem with my nine year old daughter and it becomes very frustrating. I've even considered taking her to a scared strait program. Just something, because now a days the way kids are growing up its unbeilevable. They are growing up way to fast. Im a single mom raising her and her brother. We are also in counseling but it doesnt seem to work. Hopefully you can give me some advice if you recieve any.

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answers from San Francisco on

LOL Boy does this bring back the memories -- bad, BAD memories!


When my oldest daughter was 10 we went through this. And I didn't know what was wrong with her! Because in my generation the worst hormones hit at about age 13 or 14. I remember we were on a family trip and stopped in to visit my best friend from high school who had daughters older than mine. And thankfully she explained it to me, that girls hit those hormones the heaviest just before puberty kicks in, and now days the process starts so much earlier. (Some scientists think it may be all the hormones we're consuming in our milk and meat, but this isn't proven yet.)

Anway, having gone through this with two daughters and talked to lots of other moms, my best advice is to remember how you coped with the terrible twos stage, the toddler tantrums. Set firm limits over the things that matter, keep your cool and your sense of humor, and remember above all: it's not about you!

So just because she falls apart about everything you say or do... remember its not that you did anything wrong. Just let it roll by. Try to make sure she has a quiet, private space to call her own and that she understands she can go there when everyone seems too frustrating.

Be sure she understands that its okay that she has her melt down moments. She just needs to learn appropriate ways to handle them. (Like going in her room and beating a pillow against the bed. Or having a good cry if she needs it, etc.)

This is also a great time to encourage her in exercising. Something fun like swimming, bike riding, nature hikes -- whatever she might be into. Because this will help detox her body and give a physical outlet to her pent up emotional energy.

Make sure she drinks plenty of water. Being dehydrated tends to make us all feel tired, cranky, and short tempered. Plus her body is changing and is needing more fluids than she is used to drinking. Trying to cut down on sugars can ease mood swings (up to down) as well.

And of course this is a good time to develop other self nurturing and self calming strategies -- asking for a hug, curling up with mom to watch a good movie, soaking in the tub, etc. Maybe she could try yoga, writing (stories or a journal), or calling a best friend on the phone (just set some limits).

Above all, remember that this is a tough time for girls at school too. Fourth and fifth grade is THE pressure grinder for kids. Too much is being asked of them for their stage of development, all while being told it will be worse in middle school (it isn't). Plus, their friendships are changing. Old friends are pairing off with others to become best buds, etc.

Try to find time to talk about what went on at school. And try to refrain from judging or giving too much advice -- especially from siding with friends or teacher. Even if she sounds unreasonable. You could just try a bit of "Wow... that sounds really tough. It sounds like that was really frustrating." If she asks why you think someone said or did something, then share. But otherwise, she just needs to feel someone is really listening to her and accepting her.

Hope this helps! BTW it sounds like you are doing a great job! Just "cheerfully" explain why you have to accomodate other people in the family as well, and tell her you wish you could [whatever she is demanding] but you can't. When she is not fussing up a storm, trying to give her a little special attention. Again, it's a lot like handling a tantrum prone toddler.

Make a special "date" with her to do something just the two of you.. Some part of her is probably grieving the fact that she feels so overwhelmed but doesn't have you as much as she'd like (as she did when she was very small). It can't be helped much, but having special times with you will ease the sting. And it will reassure her somewhat that she is still special to you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Luis Obispo on

Dear K.,

I think that you should take her to the doctor and don't allow him or her to brush you off. You do need to find out what is bothering her. Maybe she is going to start her periods early, or maybe she has a disorder. She must be in about the 4th grade now, and I happen to know that 4th grade is much more difficult - not curriculum wise, but social wise - than it used to be. The student's behavior is really not good. So without blaming it on this or that, try reaching out and if it is the behavior that she sees in the school, then give her lots of support. It is very hard for the teachers to deal with student's behavior these days. So by pass that one. I do not feel that it is the fault of the classroom, but her reaction to whatever it is that is bothering her. So keep searching and trying and you will find some way through this period of time. Sincerely, C. N.



answers from Los Angeles on

I feel for you.
Does she have a journal? sometime s that helps with my daughter.
But even though it would be easier not to say no most of the time, don't slack off in that. But choose your battles wisely.
This may last for a couple more years.
Sucks, but its true!



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi K.,
It sounds like you're doing a great job and you've already gotten some good advice. Since you're already in counseling, make sure you talk to the counselor about this if you haven't already - you want to make sure you're working as a team. Also, I recommend this book all the time, and I really think it should be required reading for all parents - pick up a copy of "How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk" by Faber/Mazlish (I may have spelled the 2nd author's name wrong). It's a quick easy read and goes along with all the boundary and limit setting, special time, etc that everyone is suggesting. Good luck - I hope things get better soon!



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi K., I have a 9 year old boy, who is going through a stage too. I am the soul provider and a single mom with 2 boys, both boys have been estranged from their father for the past 7 years. I do spend time with each boy seperately when they get in those moods. If it is just a walk around the block or washing the dog. When either one feels moody, that is when the quality time begins. Hope it helps.



answers from Fresno on

Wow! You just described my 9 yr old daughter to a T! My daughter also started having awful B.O. to the point that we had to buy deoderant. That prompted a talk about our feelings, and also the changes that her body is going through. It turns out that she is getting underarm hair and had one episode of spotting. You might want to talk to your daughter and see if she is having any body changes, it sounds a lot like puberty!



answers from San Diego on

I had a friend who's daughter acted like this starting around this age. What she ended up needing was more stability. A schedule to follow, like when she got home from school have a snack, do homework, watch tv, eat dinner... a regular schedule. Also she had extra energy she ended up putting into cheerleading. What made the most difference was that her parents became more strict. They would tell her no and if she would keep whining about their decision she would be grounded or punished some way. She can still have her feelings and be emotional, but she had to know she couldn't take it out on other people. I hope this helps.



answers from San Francisco on

sounds like we have much in common.
No one would believe my sweet heart 9 year old girl, was so moody the first hour she wakes-up.
Letting her sleep-in till she self wakes, improves her mood, all day, BUT that is not possible sometimes...
No real answer, just a "me-to" answer...

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