6 year old doesn’t like her family

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Q: I am at my wits end. My 6 year old daughter is impossible to handle. She constantly talks back and never obeys her parents. She always lies and if a conversation is not going her way she will say “I dont want to talk about it.” She is very disrespectful and every time she gets in trouble for being disobiedient she says she does not like me that I dont make her happy. The hardest thing for me is that everyone else in her life other than her parents treat her like she can do no wrong, Especially her grandpa. Well lately, when she gets in trouble she says she does not like her family and she wants to go live with Grandpa. I am at a loss of what to do with her. Please help!!!!!

A: This kind of situation needs more attention than I can give it in an advice column. Something is terribly wrong. It’s not usual for a six year old to behave this way. You had this child when you were only 18 so it’s possible you didn’t know how to parent her. But it’s also possible that you are being undermined by other members of your family. The only thing that is absolutely clear to me is that you and your little girl need to have a better relationship. The situation as you describe it can only get worse. I strongly urge you to find a family therapist to help you figure out what is going on with your daughter and to help you and your husband learn how to love her and how to parent her. Your therapist may want to bring other family members, like Grandpa, into your sessions now and then so that they can learn what kind of “help” is helpful and how to support you in making a successful and happy family. Please don’t wait to get some professional help. This situation has gone on long enough.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 10 Aug 2008

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2008). 6 year old doesn’t like her family. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/08/10/6-year-old-doesnt-like-her-family/