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How can I calm down my difficult daughter?

Q: My daughter is nine years old. She lost her maternal grandparents in the last two years to whom she was very attached and who used to listen to her patiently for hours on the telephone answering all her queries. After the death of my parents even I was very disturbed and in poor health. My daughter loves me and starts crying if she sees me in pain. But lately she has become very arrogant, stubborn and demanding and has started telling lies, too. She feels that we compare her to our younger 4 years old daughter. She doesn't listen to me or my husband and replies back. If we try correcting her, she starts crying. She is good in studies, obeys her teachers but misbehaves with us at home. We live in a nuclear family; she doesn't have any friend circle here and stays at home only. Once in a while we go out to the market or for dinner. I am 34 years old and a patient of stones, hernia, high BP, diabetes and chronic pain in the back and head. I feel I am unable to play with them all the time, and being ill lose my temper easily. Her father being too busy at work hardly plays with them and is short tempered too. Being protective parents, we don't allow our girls to go alone anywhere but try to fulfil their wishes as much as we can. Now, please let me know how to deal with her; we love her like anything and want her to learn good values and become a good human being. I want her to gain interest in studies and in music, which she is learning for the last 18 months. Please help.

A:Your 9-year-old daughter is obviously suffering from the loss of her grandparents. You should be gentle with her and give her some time to talk about her feelings to you. Your use of the terms arrogant and demanding shows your low level of tolerance for her problems. Please avoid comparing your daughters and do not give importance to fair colour. Talk to her teachers and find out what they would advise for her to do. She should be encouraged to make friends with children in the neighbourhood around the house. Instead of always trying to improve her, think of ways in which you can all have fun doing things together. She could help you in the kitchen. When she does some task, give her a pat on the back or a word of praise. The home should be a friendly place where all the members are relaxed and happy. Because of your own health, you may tend to be very strict and take a policing role in your child’s life. Get her storybooks to read and music she can listen to.

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