It sounds like you have some good instincts, such as recognizing that initial responses to her on a tired/difficult evening may have reinforced the behavior. Two things: One is that when we realize something is reinforcing, that does NOT mean the little one is doing their behavior *on purpose* to get something they want. Five is a little young to attribute intention like that. I'm sure it gets worse partly because she dreads this cycle as much as you do. She is not in control of it. Secondly, combine ignoring (with neutral emotion) behavior you don't want with non-verbal affirmation in any moment that this is not happening. So, for instance, when you or your partner first sit down to table with her, make sure she's next to one of you, who will squeeze her hand, put an arm around her, or lean over and kiss the top of her head at any time that she is speaking or listening pleasantly. This way all of you start to reinforce each other in happier ways of being. Good luck!

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She/Her ~ Contemplative Minister at Deep South Dharma. Brainspotting Professional. Writer. All about Practice.

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Rev Christie

Rev Christie

She/Her ~ Contemplative Minister at Deep South Dharma. Brainspotting Professional. Writer. All about Practice.

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