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I'm feeling bad about DD's punishment but I'm at the end of my rope

(18 Posts)
bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Fri 03-May-13 19:19:31

DD recently turned 8 and for a while now has been pushing boundaries. Unfortunately that could have serious consequences for me as she's kicking off in the mornings and making me late for work when that happens. I've talked to her calmly to explain why we have no time to argue in the mornings. I've explained why I need my job, I've told her the basics of what would happen if I lost my job, I've got her dad to talk to her, her childminder to talk to her, we agreed a word for me to say to her when she starts kicking off, for me to say do that she remembers why she isn't to kick off in the mornings. This has been getting worse over the last 2 weeks, and she's had time outs, lost toys to the 'box' as a consequence but all to no avail. I repeatedly told her this morning if she didn't stop her arguing and shouting and refusing to get ready then I'd take every you out her room tonight. And still it didn't stop her.

So when I picked her up from After school care I went to tesco and bought 3 large containers, and every toy and book had been chucked into them. She's kept 3 books and 1 toy and is banished to get bedroom tonight and tomorrow.

I think it's sinking in how serious this is but in feeling really bad! Too harsh?

Mondrian Fri 03-May-13 19:27:10

Motivation is generally more effective.

orangeandemons Fri 03-May-13 19:31:50

I would praise the good and ignore the bad. Always works best with my difficult dd

Grammaticus Fri 03-May-13 19:35:06

Not too harsh. You've tried everything else!

Iwaswatchingthat Fri 03-May-13 19:38:25

Think 8 must be a turning point of moodiness in girls. Mine was awful in the first few weeks of being 8. Mornings were torture and I would feel so cross that she was being so selfish when she could see me being stressed!

We started a chart linked to pocket money - it worked almost overnight. The targets were simple like 'getting ready without a fuss'. Just 20p per day with occasional surprise bonuses for being extra sensible. It really motivated her.

Good luck!

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Fri 03-May-13 20:01:50

I'm hoping motivation is to behave better to 'earn' her toys back. I've had a heartfelt chin-wobbly apology so far.

Mondrian Fri 03-May-13 20:39:13

That sounds like a good step, hope morning routine becomes more fluid.

SweetPea91 Fri 03-May-13 22:01:40

Have you spoken to your DD about why she acts this way? Could she possibly be having some trouble at school with bullying which is why she is acting up in the mornings?

stowsettler Sat 04-May-13 17:05:51

IMO the most important thing if warning a DC that there will be consequences to their actions, it's imperative that you make sure that these consequences do happen. Otherwise your authority disappears in one fell swoop. So personally I think you're right to carry this one through. Now she's learned her lesson, some positive reward system may be the way to go. Hope she continues on the right path :-)

Amilliondifferentpeople Sat 04-May-13 17:16:06

Stupid question but could alarms be set earlier? Or change all the clocks....

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Sun 05-May-13 01:15:05

No bullying, although she's not keen on school. More so because she's not enjoying the harder work, and less play time. Clocks being set earlier is a tricky one to balance but I will be changing her waking time on school mornings to see how it goes. She doesn't go to sleep that early, not because she's allowed to stay up late, but because she plays in bed when she's supposed to go to sleep. No toys are even required, she just lives in her head playing out whatever scenario is in her mind, something she told me about only a few weeks ago. Which makes sense given how knackered she is when she does get up. I try and let her sleep 'til she wakes herself, and for the most part that is early enough to get ready with plenty of time to spare. When I wake her, she instantly starts the day grumpy and that will often lead to arguments anyway. But it's not the main, or sole reason she kicks off. The slightest thing can mean she'll just refuse to get ready, like she's got the wrong shoes, or the wrong outfit, or her hair is too tuggy to brush etc. Basically any excuse to avoid doing what needs to be done to leave. She just wants the freedom to play all day and she doesn't like not having that.

Anyway, her punishment ended about 6pm tonight. We had a lot of tears this morning when she realised she wasn't going to her horseriding lesson, but I stuck to my guns, and explained, repeatedly, why she wasn't going anywhere and that she was staying in her room all day. She eventually got out some maths work ( shock ) as she needs help with it, and wanted me to sit with her so we did a couple of pages of that. She liked having space in her room to play due to her toys being removed and proceeded to use the space to do whatever it is she does when she's playing with no toys. She even said her toys could stay in their boxes so she can keep her clutter-free space. shock She then taught me a song from school, helped me hoover her bed room, and then went for a bath. We had a chat about her time in her room, and why it had happened, and she told me that she had decided that she knows not to argue, or refuse to get ready in the morning etc. I said as she'd taken her punishment well, and got on with it without too much complaining, she could come out of her room to watch britains got talent she's obssessed with ant & dec and we ordered a pizza too. So, I think we have a new understanding, she knows I mean business when she's stepped out of line, and she's going to try really hard not to get into the cycle of not getting ready/arguing/shouting etc. She's very keen to help out with various chores now, so hopefully we'll see a lot more better behaviour. Ahem.

I don't want to get too hopeful but it this hasn't worked I'm screwed grin.

Naoko Sun 05-May-13 01:56:00

If she is kicking off over tiny things, and she actually liked her room all uncluttered, even if she was upset about being punished, is it possible that she's feeling overwhelmed? I get like this, I'm naturally disorganised and untidy, my study (I work from home) generally looks like a bomb's gone off and the worse it is the snappier I am at the people I love. Eventually I snap and go on a mad tidying frenzy, organise all my appointments, make all the phonecalls I've been putting off, throw money at small household problems that are trivial but somehow really niggle at me, and life is immeasurably better. I was like that when I was little, too, and my mum helped me cope with reasonably strict routines so I knew what was happening when, and helping me organise my space.

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Sun 05-May-13 08:51:42

There might well be something in what you say Naoko. The problem is DD is the one getting her room cluttered by not clearing up after herself. I've got more strict with her recently because of that i.e. she is no longer allowed 'artistic' stuff to play with without permission as she trashes her room when doing that. She's going to her gran's today so I'm going to filter her boxes to get rid of a lot of her junk, and hopefully she'll not get as untidy with less to get all over the room.

Naoko Sun 05-May-13 11:46:31

Yes, I do that too - I make all the mess in my study even though I hate it. I've never worked out how to keep something tidy, although as an adult I am at least capable of tidying up properly. I struggled with that as a child, I'd be told to go and tidy my room and just sit in the middle of it feeling completely overwhelmed by the task. What ended up happening was that my dad would come with me and tell me he'd 'help'. What he actually did was sit on my bed and chat about inconsequential stuff, and that distracted me from feeling overwhelmed so I just did it all myself.

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Sun 05-May-13 11:52:36

That's a good tip Naoko thanks. I'm going to try that more. I've done it a few times recently but without thinking of the significance for DD. I'm actually very like that too in that too much mess overwhelms me so I try to keep on top of things more to avoid that. I've always found DDs messiness stressful because of that. Thanks.

Mondrian Sun 05-May-13 17:13:52

DD1 at 8 is a bit like that in that she is not a morning person. I recently found out that she only starts functioning properly around noon which I can associate with as I am not a morning person either. Perhaps it's a good idea to remove all excuses for her morning routine, har trouble = get her a tangle teezer, can't find shoes/clothes = as a rule have everything out and ready before going to bed .....

You also need to address her sleep time too, if anything like my DD1 she is grumpy coz she is tired. We also keep an eye on her weekend sleeping and waking time too so she can stay up 30min extra and get up 30 min later too otherwise Mondays will not be fun.

Mondrian Sun 05-May-13 17:17:00

Also agree with Amillion, perhaps in her dazed, tired & grumpy morning state, the morning rush is just too much - my DD even managed to watch some telly while having breakfast (30min routine) and everything is pretty civilised now.

Grammaticus Wed 08-May-13 13:25:35

You can't make them go to sleep though - if they are in their beds, lights out, no toys and still not asleep then that is just how their bodies are set. DS2 is often awake till eleven like this, though his light goes out at ten. He gets up when his alarm goes off at 7 and lies in until 9 at the weekend. It's just how he is, there's nothing I can do about it. Even when he was a tiny baby he wouldn't sleep until 8. I'm usually asleep by half ten, so it seems alien to me.

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