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Mother-Daughter Clash of the Titans Explained

Mother child personality conflict

Is a harmonious family an alien prospect?

Lately I’ve been feeling like aliens have invaded my daughter’s body, and more than once I’ve been tempted to let them take her to their mother ship.The whining is not only incessant, it seems specifically tuned to irritate my particular nerve center. Every single morning. Every single afternoon. Every evening. I had seriously been contemplating asking the pediatrician if she should be checked out — not because her behavior was so unusual for a 5-year-old, but it seems so unusual for her. Then I had a conversation with a co-worker who has been going through the same thing with her third grader. Her pediatrician explained that all children — at all ages — experience significant hormonal changes when they go through growth spurts. And all parents should expect 6 month stretches of pleasure to be followed by 6 month stretches of pain as their children grow physically, emotionally and socially all at once.  It felt validating, and it also helped me to be a bit reflective. I got to wondering how much of the problem was her and how much was me.  I know I’ve been impatient and short-tempered.  I find it really difficult to join her in some of her favorite activities, like playing with her dollhouse or acting out scenes from Barbie Queen of the Waves. I am happy to let her do those things alone, but even though I know she really wants my attention and company, I just find it painful to participate in those particular games. I’m happy to read with her, do puzzles, bake, or play games and do crafts. But those are never what’s on the top of her list when we have time to spend together. It left me feeling tremendously guilty, and then I read this article on the Huffington Post. It explains that sometimes children and parents clash because their personalities aren’t a good fit. It may be because they’re too similar or too different, but in many cases they just aren’t complementary. The research it refers to doesn’t absolve parents of the responsibility to figure it out and change their parenting style if need be in order to create a more harmonious household. But at least for me, just knowing there’s a reason makes it easier to embark on the process of making change and finding a solution.


  1. Progressive Mom May 21, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Great article. I tend to struggle with the fact that one of my boys is different from the other. Recognizing their different temperaments is difficult in certain situations. Also, my pediatrician talks a lot about how the 1/2 years are hard (4 1/2, 5 1/2). I’ve found that to be spot on…you kind of sail through the first half of the year after their birthday, then things become difficult again. Good luck!

  2. Amy May 22, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    I think I could have written this myself! I’m glad to know I am not the only one struggling with a temperamental 5 year old and have a preference for games/crafts over pretend play. I know I need to be available to play what she wants but, with an infant, my time is so limited that I wish we could spend the time doing something we both enjoy. I do try to suck it up and play pretend some of the time but usually after a lot of whining – on both our parts! 🙂

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