The Challenges of a Five Year Old

I came across this post recently and it seemed strangely familiar. It reminded me yet again that we remember things differently to how they were – I’d thought at around three when Ava was first at nursery that she was quite the delight and clearly that wasn’t always the case.

Since we came back from our holiday she has been bloody hard work. I think rather a lot of it was down to the fact that she was still overtired from holiday, and struggled to catch up with sleep, because she has been a lot nicer this week after having some early nights.

But jeez Louise, she’s been like the devil child and I’ve felt like I no longer knew her at all. It’s been hard I’ll admit, and pretty sad too.

I think it’s kind of hard to explain how she has been exactly, and I don’t think I can even describe how bad she has been, but honestly she’s been horrid! She’s been throwing her head back and screaming when she wants something/is upset/doesn’t get her own way/has to get dressed and there is just so much drama, it’s unbelievable. She’s acting like a toddler, but worse, because she knows better, and is stronger and has a lot more attitude, and fights me until I break down and either shout or cry, or both.

It’s like she becomes this completely different child, who isn’t lovely, and doesn’t love me but just wants to hurt me and do exactly what she wants. She will often get a sly little smile on her face whilst I’m telling her off or explaining to her why she can’t behave like that, and it’s horrible. I had to make her go in her room last week and shut her in there until she calmed down a bit, and whilst I got away from her for a few minutes.

Luckily this week she seems more like herself again, and whilst she’s still mardying a lot more than I would like and think is acceptable, my lovely, kind, caring, thoughtful little girl is back with us again.

She’d had lots of late nights on holiday and then once we were back home she was so tired that she was struggling to get to sleep every night but still waking up early, so it’s only really been this last week that she seems to have caught up.

It’s crazy how she has been and I’ve really struggled with it and found it hard to deal with. I just haven’t known what to do with her when she’s been like this. I suppose I would consider myself more of what you would call a ‘gentle’ parent and like to remember that she is only five and is still learning about the world and herself, and boundaries. When I’m cross with her or she’s having a mardy about something tiny, I like to remind myself that the little things are still big things to her right now and that she’s not actually being the world’s biggest drama queen, but that she is five. And that this is hard for her too. But that has all gone out the window over the last few weeks and I’ve found myself wondering what on earth I can do to get this child to listen to me and do as I say. Or at least not scream at me and fight with me.

I feel like we’ve never really had a need or desire for things like the naughty step, but I’ve really found myself wondering what the hell I can do with her when she’s been like this. I’ve just been at a loss as to what to do and it’s really been getting me down on top of everything else. I think I could do with reading up on ideas for what to try if she gets like this again, because I honestly felt clueless as to what to try. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt like that on my entire parenting journey so far. Although I’m sure I have that feeling to look forward to many times in the future!

I’m so glad that for now my beautiful girl is back and someone I recognise again. I missed her.


  1. 6th July 2017 / 5:12 pm

    It sounds like you’ve had a difficult time. I think children always react to a change in routine, but just persevere and hopefully you’ll both get back on track. Be kind to yourself. Sending hugs!

  2. 6th July 2017 / 5:56 pm

    I too have a five year old daughter and I’ve said many times to friends, family that I feel as though I’m getting a glimpse of the teen years. She seems to have hormonal episodes and the attitude can be hard to deal with. A lot of parents at school say the same so there must be a big developmental leap going on around this age. I’ve actually dubbed it the terrible 5s before now and I know there is plenty more to come.

  3. 6th July 2017 / 6:24 pm

    I know how you feel, I often feel my 4 year old gets like this in the school holidays and reverts to normal again once back into the routine of school. I find introducing the reward chart during those times works quite well for my little one. She can earn both smiley or sad faces with rewards or penalties… might be worth a try when things get tough? You’re not alone though xxx

  4. 8th July 2017 / 10:00 am

    My four year old has been the same recently and its been mainly a tiredness issue.

  5. 8th July 2017 / 12:59 pm

    I know exactly how you feel! I actually posted something about this topic on Monday! I have 4 kids, and there is always at least one who is being horrible. They won’t listen to a single word I say, and they scream and fight all the time! Motherhood is just really HARD. I’d like to tell you it gets better, but like one of my commenters pointed out, it just gets different. People always say to enjoy every minute, but are you really supposed to enjoy the minutes when they’re kicking you, or being disrespectful right to your face? I don’t enjoy those minutes. Please just know that you are not alone. Plenty of children behave this way. I don’t have any great advice, except to say that I understand how you feel.

  6. 9th July 2017 / 6:59 am

    My 5 year old daughter has been like this for 2 years, plus my two year old is going through the terrible twos. And they fight and scream daily. It’s tough! Hopefully they will calm down a bit as they get older! I never wanted to be a shouty mum, but unfortunately I have to raise my voice daily at the moment to stop the chaos! I think it’s just family life!

  7. olivia kirby
    30th July 2017 / 9:31 pm

    Hi – I wanted to enter the competition but the comment box had disappeared! The answer is £39.99. I entered on the rafflecopter but the comments seem switched off.
    Sorry for posting here X

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