My oldest has been a bit more challenging since birth. She has a very strong personality and is incredibly stubborn. Despite the fact that we aren’t pushovers, and are pretty firm, she pushes all boundaries and has a way of making me feel like a complete rookie at this parenting thing. She’s six now, and the last few months her behavior has been really exhausting. She’s much more defiant and combative, and I feel like I’m turning into a more reactive and angry parent as a result, which I definitely don’t want. It’s a cycle.

We allowed her to play at a friend’s house last week, which was a big deal since we’ve been so careful due to Covid. When she was told it was time to pick up, she just looked at my friend’s husband and calmly told him, “No”.

I’ve told her she won’t be going back over there anytime soon and it’s because of that. She was warned ahead of time that she had to be a listener.

At home, a lot of what happens is minor stuff; needing to be asked multiple times to do things, etc. But she digs her heels in and is so defiant that it’s difficult to know what to do. I’m sure part of this is that she’s home right now full time, which isn’t easy.

I’m feeling a little defeated at the moment. Any suggestions? I worry that not breaking this cycle will just cause more issues, and I also worry about its affect on her relationship with her sister. Our younger daughter is the complete opposite personality wise, and although I am careful not to compare them, it’s clear she picks up on differences in how we react to them and things they do.