Having read a few parenting blogs, I have a hypothesis on my daughter’s behaviour.
This one was most interesting: http://www.parentspartner.com/im-the-boss-understanding-why-a-child-wants-to-be-in-control/
The gist of it is that under circumstances where the child isn’t fully dominated, there is the feeling that they need to become the alpha.
There is a list of behaviours including bossy and controlling; insists on fairness; attempts to appear stoich (I have seen this); resists being given chores; resists physical contact.
The gist of it fits for how she behaves.
The solution is not to dominate by shouting or bossing or controlling. It’s not about domineering.
Its much more subtle: the alpha that you need to become is protecting and comforting. You become the one that defends against attack by having built trust.
This also fits as something that could work, because she is very calm with her oma and that is exactly how it feels to be around oma. Oma is dominant but in a protecting and comforting way. It’s hard to explain.
There are lots of different parenting styles and it can’t be one size fits all. I do not believe that my bean is responding to domineering or tough love parenting. It isn’t toughening her up it’s making her fearful. And coming out as “alpha behaviour” that just makes the situation worse.
I think as parents we know instinctively what a child needs, and there’s no doubt that it is clear here that she needs to be put in her place. Last night I tried the method of dominating her physically when she was being a tart. This involved holding her down and kissing her with delicious slurpy mummy kisses. It seemed to have an effect.
Our challenge as parents is to consider alternatives to our behaviour, just as in any other relationship. In this case I am going to try dominating in a counterintuitive way.