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My 7 year old is being really difficult at the moment, I`ve spoilt her since her brother passed away

I have a two year old that throws herself on the ground and head buts walls floors anything hard if she dosnt get her own way , also i have a 7 year old that is being really difficult at the moment and because her brother passed away when she was only 1 i spoilt her now im trying to get her to do more things she is just ignoreing me im at my witts end im not sure what to do have i left it to late please help

Sally...
Answer: Hi, Thanks for contacting me. It sounds like you have had a difficult time over the past few years. It is difficult losing a child, and it is human to “overindulge” the surviving child because you know how grateful you are to still have her. But it may not be that you “spoilt” her, you may just have been more conscious of showing your love for her. There is nothing wrong with that! So don’t be hard on yourself – what you are describing from your 7 year old is typical for a child of her age. Their “job” is to push the boundaries and challenge our authority in our loving and caring home environment. We need to consistently show them how much we love them, but we must make sure that they do “most” of the things we ask of them (if they are reasonable expectations, of course!). As for your two-year old, throwing herself on the ground, it is possible that it is attention-seeking behaviour, or it could be your child’s only way of expressing frustration. How do you react? When does it usually happen? Is she tired? Hungry? Give your child some positive attention at times when she is not behaving this way, and help her to learn some simple words to tell you that she is angry or upset. If you would like further information on these behaviours, please look up articles on my website www.parentsonline.com.au and register for monthly newsletters for behavioural tips and advice. All the Best! Sally-Anne
Answered: 15 Dec 2007