Help! My Kid is Driving Me Crazy!

Help! My Kid is Driving Me Crazy!

Child….”You drive me crazy!”   “You are such a brat!”   “You never listen to me!”

Do you ever catch yourself thinking or saying things like that about your child? Do you struggle to gain control of your interactions, wishing, hoping, pleading that things just go smooth for once? Maybe it’s not all the time, just occasionally but even then you feel things are JUST not WORKING!!!

positive parenting

Here is the thing:  Are these thoughts  really true or just how things seem in THAT moment?

Is your child “driving you crazy” or do you have a million and one things on your mind?

Is your child a “BRAT” or having a really tough time with something, maybe they are tired, hungry, getting sick, or needing to reconnect, take a breather etc…?

Are your expectations, thoughts and feelings all in alignment, realistic or possibly needing a little adjustment?

What might happen if you take responsibility for your  feelings, thoughts and decisions in that moment? What happens if you strive to accept that your child has at time complicated feelings and that they need you to coach and guide them through it all?

Here are five things you can do to help you when it feels like your child is driving you crazy:

1. Ask questions and try to really understand what is going on with your child and the situation.

2. Involve your child. Let your child be part of the solution by asking them to help solve the issue.

3. Stop picking at the little things and instead look at all the positives and great thing your child does well.

4. Spend time together that is meaningful – no screens or phones to interrupt. Making time to connect daily really makes a huge difference!

5. Double check your expectations – is what you want really developmentally feasible?

As parents, we must be willing to be a part of the solution, to face the problem together with our child and not make the child the problem.  Maybe there is a problem, a need, a something that you can tackle and transform into a solution. Chances are, no matter how difficult a day is going,  it’s probably not just our child that is driving us crazy or being a brat – but rather something within ourselves or in the relationship that needs some attention.

So what is challenging you lately? 

Peace & Be Well




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Ariadne is a happy and busy mama to three children. She practices peaceful, playful, responsive parenting and is passionate about all things parenting and chocolate. Ariadne has a Masters in Psychology and is a certified Positive Discipline Parenting Educator. She lives on top of a beautiful mountain with her family, and one cuddly dog.

11 Responses to Help! My Kid is Driving Me Crazy!

  1. my 4 year old daughter is driving me nuts. she was always highly demanding of attention and has improved immensely as she has gotten older. But now she is in the why stage, and i feel like crying. i am normally a quiet person, now i have someone asking me why about every single little thing. even reading a book to her is interrupted with many whys. Dressing her under pressure, eg getting ready for school, is another nightmare and i find myself raising my voice, threatening to leave her etc.. i never hit her as i dont believe in that. but i need some help. any tips please? it doesnt help that i have financial stress, and i think that already makes me highly strung. i hate raising my voice and making her unhappy, but i wish she would be more cooperative. i know that that is extremely hard for them to understand at that age

  2. Olive,
    I hear your frustration and above that I hear that you really seem to want to do differently and be more positive. Can you start small? Pick one positive way to respond, maybe with the dressing issue – have you thought of creating a routine chart that your daughter can follow (no stickers or anything, just a check list so YOU don’t have to nag/remind her of what to do next) OR perhaps setting the alarm clock just a smidge earlier to give yourselfs a bit more time? Little solutions sometimes create breathing room for us to deal with bigger stuff you know?

    The why although annoying is a sign your daughter is curious, interested and really wanting to hear what you have to say! My favorite way to answer why questions is “what do you think?” and if I need time to do something i may say “hey, can you imagine why and make a picture about it? you can show me when you are done and we’ll talk about it!”

    trust that you CAN take steps towards being more positive – one step at a time! thank you for sharing your story and reaching out.

  3. Hi I have an almost five year old daughter. I have used many positive parenting tools since she was 2 and until she started kinder this year, she was a quiet, loving kind happy little girl. Shortly after she started kinder it became apparent that she was stressed. She would yell and defy me very chance she got and began using aggressive behaviour, sometimes kicking and hitting me. It took me a little while but I thought about her personality, (she is a perfectionist and must get everything right the first time or she gets very frustrated ) and that maybe she was stressed about kinder and being the perfect child for her teachers. One day I just commented, I bet there are a lot of rules at kinder. She gave a massive sigh of relief and said oh my goodness mum there are so many rules and i Can’t remember them all! We talked a lot about it after that and her behaviour got back to normal. About 4 weeks ago, it began again. She is lashing out at me all the time, saying unkind hurtful things that I worry where she heard these things! No bad words or anything just alot of rudeness and disrespect. She refuses to do anything I ask and bluntly tells me no and to stop talking to her or to get away from her. I have ended up in tears, not knowing what to do after nothing is working anymore. I always talk with her, trying to find out what else is bothering her and how can we fix this together because we are both unhappy. It is only her and I at home. She also mentioned to me only yesterday that a boy at kinder had been picking on her, calling her names so we talked about that and she said she has told the teacher and I will talk with them next week. Do you have any suggestions about how I can help her get through this. I am going crazy! All I am thinking at this point is what am I doing wrong? Is it an age thing? I’m sorry this is so long I just realised how long it is. Thank you for reading.

  4. Hi Claire,
    It sounds like you are doing what you can to get to the root of the issue, perhaps this boy that has picked on your daughter has upset her but she did not know quite how to express that hurt or upset to you so she is expressing it in other ways. Since your daughter seems open to talking to you, maybe you can use that and try to connect with her about what happened, try to listen and reflect as you did about the kinder rules! How is your time together after kinder? Sometimes in the rush of getting through the day that time right after school is so important for children to reconnect this post has ideas about that

    Five year olds have typically learned and understood what it feels like to use hurtful words and often use them back on their parents – either to see what the reaction will be or to experiment with being on the other side of it – so if your daughter is being picked on a lot, she may want to pick on you or be mean because you are a safe target= she knows you love her. It doesn’t mean you have to just accept it, you can let her know that you understand she is upset and that you will gladly talk to her AND you love her AND you will not accept that she hurt you in any way. Check out these games to deal with anger and this one on when kids say “I hate you!” and how to deal.

    Keep me posted – feel free to connect via our email as well

  5. Hello, I have 3 boys, aged 3, 4 and 6. It’s feels like I’m in a permanent battle with them. I feel like I’m always shouting at them, when one is being good, there’s always one causing grief. I’m emotionally drained. I feel like I’m doing something wrong. I feel like a mean mother for shouting, but sometimes that’s the only way to get there attention or I’m letting them push my buttons to the extreme. My 3 year old is constantly playing mind games for attention, he will ask for something, il give it to him and then he’ll say he doesn’t want it or hel go to bed and start crying until I’ve taken all the toys out of his room, he won’t leave my side and starts kindy next year, so I’m concerned how that will turn out. My 4 year old is to clever for his own good, he’s got a answer for everything and he’s continuously correcting me and others, it’s so frustrating! If he can’t get something he goes on and on and on until he gets it. Or until I explode like a bomb! My 6 year old, is a sweetheart, wouldn’t hurt a fly but if he’s not doing something he wants to do, he starts to play up and run around getting the others involved , jumping all over the couches, running riot and I find myself asking him to calm or sit down a 100 times every night. They all wake up before 6am every morning, ones usually wakes the others up and then this makes a horrible day for me because we are all grumpy n tired! Any tips would be a god sent! I don’t want then to remember me shouting all the time when there older, I won’t them to know I love them more than the universe and I’d do anything for them. I just need some kind of reprieve , pleeeease xx

  6. Hi Kelly, I’m glad you have reached out. It reads like you are definitely running on a very empty tank – I wonder when was the last time you had a chance to take a break for yourself and refuel your own needs? Do the children attend any kind of playgroups/school programs or have any friends that they can visit so you get a weekly break to yourself? It’s hard to parent, no matter our positive intentions if we are running on empty!! That being said I do know it can feel to some that taking time off is selfish but really most parents come to find taking that time changes a lot of the dynamics for the whole family because it gives you renewed energy to approach things from a more rested, peaceful and patient space. Also, in what ways can you focus on encouraging your children to do things for themselves? What kind of self care skills are they working on – brushing teeth, getting dressed, helping set the table – things like this help children feel capable, trusted and involved with family life and what a bonus that it gives parents a wee bit of space to do less nagging and more enjoying. You’ve noticed what pushes your buttons, now it’s time to focus on how you can avoid that pushing and be pro-active instead of reactive! For example, If you know you will be needing 10 minutes to yourself you might want to offer the children to help with a task or let them know they will need to wait if they need something. it’s ok to ask kids to wait, it’s ok to say no – if that means tears will flow, it’s ok to empathize and give them space to feel better. Lastly, start small, just one positive step at a time, aim for one great conflict resolution at a time and then build on that. I hope this is helpful to you.

  7. I really needed this right now. Thank you for the encouragement. You are absolutely right about having too much on the brain. This is when I notice things stir up, but she senses this and I think it is a cry for attention when I am wrapped up in doing so many things. I like the suggestion of connecting at least once a day. Will try to put everything in my mind to the side for a couple of hours each day in order to connect.

  8. i have twin 2 and a 1/2 yr old girls. one of them is the typical good kid – never any trouble. her sister, however, is the spirited one – the rebel. when they home from school, all i want to do is wash their hands/ feet/ face; change their diapers; dirty clothes and give them something to eat. all the rebel wants to do is take off all her clothes and diaper and roam around naked. i don’t have an issue with that, except, she will do potty anywhere and I am sick and tired of cleaning up that sh*t! i get mad, scream and that just makes matters worse and everything goes downhill. please help. i hate screaming but it looks like that is all i do!

  9. I am so glad I stumbled upon this. My 6 year old is driving me nuts! I really don’t know what’s wrong with me, or her! Every morning I mash up veggies and fruits into a smoothie for her to drink. She doesn’t like the taste, but it’s the only way for her to eat hard veggie/fruits as she hates chewing anything that’s hard. She takes 30 minutes to finish a tiny bowl and I just don’t have the time or energy to constantly threaten her to finish it quickly. Only time she finishes it quickly is when she knows I am already extremely angry at her and she can finish it within 10 minutes. Recently I enrolled her in ballet and she said she likes it, but she never willingly practices at home! Not until I yell/remind her will she start. Same with homework. I enroll her in after school tutoring program, and she just plays in there! I come home and find that her homework is still a mess. After I yell at her and give consequences she will behave well for a day or two and bam, repeat. And the cycle starts over and over again. I give consistent consequences and it just doesn’t work! I tried being nice, I tried being mean, I tried positive reinforcement, reward systems and all that but it just doesn’t seem to work. She doesn’t care! Or even if she did she would forget the moment I’m nice to her again. I’m at my wits end please help! She never talks back to me or gives me attitude, but it’s her actions and the way she behaves when I’m not around or when I’m not angry at her that drives me crazy! I feel like I’m constantly yelling and lately my throat has begun to hurt.

  10. Hi Tina,
    It seems like you are really wanting to do nice things for your daughter like prepare foods and take her to nice activities. I wonder if you could invite your daughter to participate and give her some choices, for example, what kinds of breakfast would she like to eat? Maybe she would preffer apple slices and toast? or Breakfast cereal? If you offer each morning 2 choices, can she then eat something that she likes? Maybe the texture of the smoothie just isn’t something that she enjoys? Research actually shows us that forcing children to eat vegetables leads to eat less of it, not more…strange but true!

    As for ballet, well every family has different values on this, but my daughters ballet teacher doesn’t really ask for the children to practice at home, she says it’s not nescessary in the first years. I would agree with this as class is usually enough at this age and if she wants to dance at home freely, that’s a fun activity too! Instead of asking her to practice, what if you could leave that time for free time and play? Sometimes giving children more choice and more chance to participate in decisions means they will gladly start doing things. Cooperation comes from trusting our children and giving them more choices, within certain boundaries. It’s about a balance so you can work together instead of getting angry. What do you think?

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