My boyfriend has a little 6 year old girl and she won't listen to us. I really don't understand what to do... I am not the type of person to spank, but she has forced me to the past couple days. Her temper tantrums have gotten worse as has the whining and the fake crying to get her way, but for some reason it just keeps getting worse. We have even started to take things away, but that doesn't help either. We have tried a ticket system, rewards system, positive reinforcement. Everything... Help!!!
I'm a babysitter and I've worked with few kids that are like this. The best thing to do (that I've found) is to out right ignore her. not just the behavior but the kid herself.
She is most likely trying to get attention and unfortunately taking things away, talking with her, and putting her in time out is giving her attention. Now you won't see changes right away, but with time it should get better.
It's difficult to give specific recommendations, without knowing more, but I'm going to share a couple of suggestions, based on observations I've made of whiny children I've seen in the grocery store. It may be that everything I say is already obvious to you -- in that case, please give us more information.
You could try eliminating all electronics for a couple of weeks (cell phones, computers, televisions, gaming toys). That would mean that you adults would not use them either. You may need to use a phone occasionally, but keep it to a minimum, and make sure the phone is not accessible to the child.
You could try eliminating all sweets for a couple of weeks -- and that would go for adults too. To make this easy, make sure you don't have any junk food in the house. Make sure you've got plenty of nutritious food on hand during this time. Have some fun doing some cooking projects with your little one. Six-year-olds can do a lot with a microwave, with direct supervision, and can get a real kick out of "making dinner for Daddy" -- salads work well at this age.
Boredom is your enemy. Keep her busy!
Pick at most three behavior goals to work on at a time. Pick your battles, in other words!
Catch her in the act of behaving well, and give her some low-key praise.
If there's some particularly troublesome behavior, don't get angry! Let her know with a calm but disapproving voice that it was not good.
She needs fresh air and exercise every day!
Look for supportive ways to cope with the stress and take care of yourself. Hitting her is an understandable reaction to the frustration you feel -- but it doesn't help.
My favorite parenting book is "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk" by Faber and Mazlish. It's got lots of great ideas, and is written in a comfortable, parent to parent style.