My 5 year old behaves like most teenagers. She is mouthy, disrespectful, headstrong and defiant. We started to notice a move toward this behavior when she was about three and a half. Everyone, including her pediatrician, told us this would resolve when she went to kindergarten, but it hasn't gotten any better. Now I find her giving and encouraging physical behavior from the opposite sex. She often tells me how attracted she is to this boy or that boy or how cute she thinks some strange man is. I have no reason to believe my daughter has ever been molested and we DON'T encourage this kind of behavior in our children. Period. I am so concerned for her behavior and afraid for where it may lead her. Has anyone been down this road? Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!!!
Some stuff I can see that she may have picked up from the tv (I do try to monitor what she's watching, however Dad is not on the same page with this.) It's this behavior coupled with the mouthiness, defiance and headstrong attitude that is troublesome. She can be very nice and a good girl at times, but there is a a bigger part of her personality that is mean and manipulative. Sometimes when she's being nice we can see that it's her way of manipulating the situation to be mean to someone else. It's very ugly and shocking to see in a 5 year old. We've always tried to use positive reinforcement with her, but she knows how to turn our positive response into a negative situation. For example, in pre-school she spent a lot of time sitting in the director's office rather than in class because she would defy the teachers and the rules - she even kicked one of the teachers in the throat. The teachers and I kept a behavior book for her and she was rewarded with a "prize" of her choice if she had more good behavior than bad for at least a week at a time. If the prize was something that she really wanted, the good behavior lasted only up to the time she got her prize. The bad behavior would begin again immediately and she would taunt us with the fact that she's gotten what she wanted. We need to nip this problem in the bud before we have some serious trouble on our hands.
Index, she will go to any male that is in the room and sit in his lap and cuddle (yes, we have had the stranger danger conversation many time as well as the conversation about good touch and bad touch). She physically throws herself at the neighbor boy who is twice her age and clings to him with her legs around his waist... it's hard to discribe what she does when she talks to them, it's very flirtatius. If this were happening with boys her age I would put it off as a playing doctor phase, but she is always directed toward older or adult males.
In answer to the previous poster about how she has been disciplined, we have tried just about everything we can think off. It started with time outs. That worked for a day until she decided she could just get up and walk away from time out. We tried (and continue to try) patient conversation with her. The minute the conversation is over, the behavior is back. We've tried sending her to her room, taking away privileges, not allowing her to play with the neighbors. Her teachers and I kept the behavior book for over a year. We've tried to be consistant about the things we try and not give up just because something doesn't work the first time. We've tried things we didn't want to do like spanking and soap in her mouth. I thought maybe she wasn't getting enough Mommy-time so I started spending extra time with her without our other kids. She seemed to enjoy that at first, but then she started manipulating that time too. At fist I was very patient, but after more than two years of this, I find myself having to leave the room or even the house at times it's so frustrating. Friday my husband was informed that she'd kicked the teacher at daycare again. We really don't know what else to try. Perhaps a visit to a psychologist.
I have heard that if you keep candy away from a kid when they are little once they get ahold of it they will become candy freaks. I have alos heard that if you swear in front of your kids and not make a big deal over it they will not be so quick to use the swear words. It's like they are calm until we start to panic. So you say you are not encouraging this behaviour in your home so my guess is she is getting it from elsewhere and the fact that she isn't around that at home has gotten her interested as to why and that is why she contunues to focus on this. I know it may freal you out but maybe if you address the problem direclty and talk with her about what she means when she says attractive and her feelings on it. Maybe if she thinks it's not such a sock or secret too you she will stop making a big deal out of it and move on to something else. That is if you haven't faced the problem head on. I do know that it's hard to pin down a solution. Now my husbands side openly swear in front of the kids and at 1st they didn't swear or make a big deal out of it but now they do when they are trying to annoy one another. On the other side, my family tried to keep swearing out of the home and it became a facination with one of my nieces and she swore for a while until she her parents finally just ignored the bahviour and when she didn't get a surprise response anymore she stopped. Hopefully that helps!
It sounds to me like she is seeking male attention because she is not getting enough attention from her dad. Maybe try the opposite approach with discipline. Talk to her about appropriate behavior and inappropriate behavior. Start giving tokens for appropriate behavior and taking them away for inappropriate behavior. Once she earns so many she can get a toy.
We know a girl who was about your daughter's age who also threw herself at older males (including myself), and seemed way too physical. The parents took her for counseling and were told there is actually a name for this problem, which I can't recall. But it seems certain children have trouble recognizing that other people need their space. With counseling, she's gotten a lot better (she's now six). I'd recommend bringing her to a counselor.