Punishment methods for pre-teen

Tanya - posted on 11/26/2008 ( 34 moms have responded )

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Hi there. I am wondering about some alternatives to grounding. My darling daughters have the preteen attitude happening, which makes them not care about their punishments when they do something wrong. I've taken their favorite things away, not let them go out or talk on the phone. I have tried so many things, and am getting frustrated. Help me please!

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Angie - posted on 01/15/2009

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My son is 12 and has that attitude also. He has gotten a lot better because I decided that when he is disrespectful to me or any other adult, he has to do community service...picking up trash on the side of the road. We do it on Saturday and he's out there for about 5 hours. I believe that his punishments should give something back at the same time...which grounding doesn't do. He hates doing it, but it gives him PLENTY of time to think about his behavior and how he should adjust it LOL. Hope this helps you.

Danielle - posted on 06/20/2013

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Hi,

I am a "step" mom (I hate the term step) to a 10 yo daughter who didn't know what being punished was till recently. It was hard to discipline a child we only have weekends during the school year and weekdays in the summer. I have spent many hours looking up what to do about the attitude only I was getting. Every weekend I got attitude or rules weren't followed the following weekend shed come home to find something from her room missing first it was the wii then the tv then the computer and now she has a mattress on the floor! They are all privledges to have and when she can go a month with following the rules then I will return something. If I still get the attitude I simply tell her to go to her room cuz I refuse to talk to someone who is rude to me. Nothing changes over nite but it is getting better and now she knows I mean business. Good luck I hope this helps.
Ps I am all for rewarding good behavior too ie waterparks picnics renting movies and having family fun nites.

Kathy - posted on 01/03/2009

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consistency will prevail!!! Get the book 'How to have a New Kid by Friday'. It helped me a little with the mouthiness. I don't respond at that moment, but later when the child wants something from me, I tell them no. If they persistently ask why I've given that answer, I tell them because I was offended at how rude they were blah blah blah and now I won't be doing 'such and such' for them today. Maybe another time. Even if they apologize and beg, it doesn't take their action back. No matter how important it is that they get or do whatever it is. Let them explain why they weren't allowed the 'such and such' (visiting a friend, trip to mall, sports practice - whatever it is). Maybe next time they'll be a little more polite and cooperative with you. don't forget the consistency!!

Anyways, it's a good book and he gives specific examples which really helped.

GOOD LUCK!!! mine are 3 weeks away from 14 yrs, 6 weeks away from 13, 12 1/2, 6 weeks away from 9 (the worst attitude of all), and 3 1/2 - Attitude seems to be ALL I GET!!!!!

Tara - posted on 02/17/2013

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My daughter just turned 11 and I am already going through these things, she is inbetween staying at my house and her fathers, as I am a singel mother, and her father is married, so if she breaks the rules there I have to follow up with punishment here, and one thing I learned is she had an "I don't care" attitude toward an punishment, but after talking to therapist and other parents, I was told this is sooo normal for a tween to do, but in reality they do care, they just put up a front, but I did notice was works is letting them know they have somthing to work toward. (i.e) taking away their cell phone, let them know they can have it back in a month..provided they can behave, and if they are showing alot of progress they can have it back soon, just be sure not to give it back to soon, it'll defeat the purpose, It sounds contridicting but for some reason this has worked alot better than just your grounded give me you phone and go to your room, because once in their room they start thinking of how "unfair" your being.. other than how they need to act to get that phone back. lol.. what a story! Hope it kinda helps.

Karoline - posted on 11/26/2008

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For my 13 year old son the only thing that seems to work for the attitude is physical punishments like holding books or doing squats. The excercise is good for them and you'd be amazed at how apologetic they can be after 10 minutes of it.

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Don - posted on 06/26/2014

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WTF? Phisical punishment? Letting them picking random garbage for 5 hours? You're a lot of neurotic dominants. Stop doing that to your kids. Discipline can be teached without that shit. Don't use your children's behaviour in order to justify your own abusive behaviours.

Charli - posted on 01/06/2014

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Our Son has just turned 12. He's had a hell of a year after losing his biological mother in 2012, which he is getting counselling for as there are many issues surrounding his past in the care of his mother. Over the past few months he has been like a yoyo which is to be expected. I allow some movement in his behaviour however in recent weeks I have learned that his past is not what is causing he's behaviour problems. He down right just doesn't seem to care about anything we do or say. As I am a 'step' mum I feel it is hard for me to prove that I can be a mother or even a friend to the boy as he assumes that all women are the same (hitting, shouting, swearing) and whatever else he has been subjected to. My issue is no matter what we do nothing works. Gets banned from TV, computer games, misses out on activities other than the ones I will not take away from him such as Karate & Guitar lessons. I give him incentives to earn his things back which will work but then he will do something stupid and break a different rule. My problem is he knows he's doing it and continues to do so even after promises that he will be a good boy. We have literally tried everything. The only thing I will not resort to is physical punishment such as a smack on the bottom. I'm not making excuses but after the treatment of his mother I don't think it will work anyway and only put more fear into his mind.
I just cannot cope with the sly, devious things he will do, like sneak around and take something that isn't his and the lies are unbelievable. His attitude came out boxing day and has remained the same over the past week or so. Needless to say I have grounded him, removed toys from his room, he is isolated to a certain extent but he just doesn't get it. There are many reason as to why I think he behaves like he does but everything I do backfires as he just continues to push. How can i be a good step mum to a boy who had his biological mother treat him so badly that he feels its now ok to do the same to me?
We all do our best by our children and each child behaves different to the next. The only thing I can see to try now is CBT for children. I don't think he understands the true concequences of his actions. I know its still early days and i get that he has had a difficult time but everyone tells me no matter what 'stand my ground'. How can I when we just go round in circles? We are lucky that he has not yet started ranting and raving. His mind set is that of a 6 year old. Just crys when i speak to him about his punishment or what he is losing as result to his bad behaviour. Complete lack of respect and despite telling me he understands and will be a good boy he continues to fail where we all know he can succeed. Who knows? Maybe I've got it all wrong???
Charlotte

Annie - posted on 06/21/2013

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Danielle I didn't bash you or anyone. I said I Fe it is not a good idea. You stated yourself "and when she returns I explain why something is taking away". My post was stating my opinion. Kids are smart and in their mind it is sneaking. They learn behavioral and social skills primarily from parents and or family members. I never bashed you Hun. I feel everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

Danielle - posted on 06/21/2013

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Annie- I am a working mom so I am not there when she leaves. I do not sneak in her room to remove anything and she has a bed in her room I have explained many times to shut off the tv and computer or it will be taken away. And trust that when she wants to play on her computer and its no longer there she feels the punishment and when she returns I explain to her why something was taken away. I'm not going spank a child for leaving a tv on and I'm not going to yell or get upset cuz I have learned it gets no where with my daughter. Every child is different which calls for different parenting styles I am just offering what worked for my family to get my point across. Her bio mother threatens to smack her butt, which I don't agree with given our situation, and our daughter laughs and no progress is made. Like I said at the end of my post I do reward good behavior and grades guess its not "sneaking" when we put the toy or cd or iTunes gift card on her pillow. Later when my bf and I are both home we explain how prou we are of her accomplishments, so we can praise her as a family and explain why she got a surprise ( or in your words "sneak") a reward on her pillow. This site is for moms to talk with other mom an offer advice not bash them.

Annie - posted on 06/20/2013

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to Tanya I agree with Tara ong I reward and punish where needed. But i do NOT go over board but they do care wether they show it or not and I personally feel taking beds away or sneaking it out of their room while their not there isn't a good idea. Which i know tara didnt say that. They need to see you do the punishment for it to register that YOU are doing this as a punishment. Heck i would have loved not to be there when my parents whooped my butt. But it doesn't work like that. Youd punish them without them seeing and feeling it in that moment. Punish them soon after it and make sure you and your partner (if applies) agree and are The same page. the thing is their smart as everything. They change the game you change the rules and how it's played.

Annie - posted on 06/19/2013

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To C.M. Well usually we all can get blinded by our companion. Perhaps sitting back and watching the two interact and perhaps it could be a communication issue between the both of them. Perhaps step dad isn't showing enough love that the son is yearning for. Or meeting the expectations that he set for dad. In my experience when the child has issues with a step parent it's because the step parent and child are not getting along. It's just not your son it's the step parent as well. So sit back and view how both interact with each other. Perhaps a small issue or a bigger one that you may have not noticed before. As far as punishment I agree with Tara it works with my daughter.

Katrina - posted on 02/11/2013

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ive heard of making them run laps, do push ups, starting out doing 15 to 20 if they complain contuine, even in the rain, lol, i however havent tried that but am close to it

C.M - posted on 12/31/2012

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I got some good ideas here! However, I must say I was surprised at some of them. I'm not judging. Everyone is different. But, I tried a cell phone for my 12-yr-old when he was 10...that didn't last long. He hasnt had a phone since. Pocket money? He doesn't get pocket money. He might get gift cards for certain holidays. But, not much. We have a Wii that never gets played...I don't even think it's hooked up right now. My son helps out around the house because we all pitch in. He even does his own laundry. He doesn't hang out with friends because we never have time. However, I suppose he needs to experience some of these things to know what he's missing. Our issues are his attitude toward his stepfather.....sigh.....

Joann - posted on 11/30/2012

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My daughter is the same , its definitely early puberty , I have constant struggles with her as my daughter is moody, bad attitude and most of the time plain Rude ! she thinks the whole world is against her ... I don't know what even do anymore as I don't have an answer , I'm just so over the fighting and its frustrating me that she seems so unhappy... I do all that I can but it changes the mood for like 5 min and then the back-chatting and moodiness starts again.

Traycee - posted on 11/28/2012

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Make them wear the same outfit to school for 3 whole weeks, this works wonders.

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I think it depends on the child my 12 year old gets more annoyed when i ban him from the xbox so thats his usual punishment but my 10 year old likes to go out with his friends so he normally gets grounded. Another favourite of mine is taking their pocket money away.

Cheryl - posted on 11/22/2010

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If they have cellphones-they should be gone.... taken away for a long time until their attitude changes. Any video games...gone. I used to smack them, depending on the deed. My eldest daughter said that the worst thing I ever did to her was to stop talking for some weeks! One would think they would like that....but no...she wasn't a naughty child really. Its a battle of wills and you have to show these children who exactly is boss. You can't have the tail wagging the dog, and they'll push you as far as they can to get their way.... hang in there and don't give in! Do whatever you have to.

Susan - posted on 01/15/2009

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wow these were some awesome ideas! i have a 10 year old daughter... she lived with her dad for a while, learned all kinds of bad habits and attitudes, and has been home with my husband and i for over a year.. she was doing really well and just within the last month or so has fallen back into her habits from her dad... lying, attitude and hiding homework. i wrote some of these ideas down and hopefully we can find one that works!! thanks!

Kristen - posted on 01/14/2009

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Shannon, I Love that idea of the discipline box! I think I will do that for both my 10 and 14 year old sons. I can't wait to see what they come up with. I may have a spotless house by the end of the month!

Michelle - posted on 01/14/2009

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Sheeeesh! I have a 7 1/2 year old daughter, and she already acts like this!!! Not sure what I'm gonna do when she hits puberty! But my husband believes firmly in working the attitudes out! We live on a farm, and there is always a lot of hard work to do. I find that when the attitudes start to happen, hard work, or running can curb the 'tude cause she's soooooo tired after a long day! :)

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i took a parenting class at my church last year and it suggested that for older kids (like my 10-year-old) a discipline box. and in the box, we (my son and i together) wrote down 15 minute jobs around the house to do. for example (let me go get my box..), wipe down all doors & walls, clean the top of the fridge, vacuum, pick out some toys to give away, clean & reorganize two cabinets (mom's choice), wash windows, dust, etc. the idea is not to torture them and if they drag the discipline out to last hours then that's their own fault. other than that, i use grounding from video games, and my well-mannered son will reappear that week!

Christy - posted on 01/10/2009

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HAVE YOU TRIED TAKING THE DOORS OFF THAT TAKES THEIR PRIVACY AWAY, MY DAD DID THAT WHEN I SLAMMED DOORS AND IT ONLY TOOK TWO TIMES WHERE HE TOOK MY DOOR OFF THAT I STOPPED SLAMMING DOORS. YOU CAN ALWAYS PRINT EXTRA SCHOOL WORK OFF THE COMPUTER AND HAVE THEM DO CHORES, YARDWORK, DEEP CLEANING STUFF LIKE THAT.

[deleted account]

We have three boys, 23, 14 and 11, and the one thing that works is to remove privileges, items, such as, computers, stereo's etc.   Nothing else seemed to work as well!



 

Tina - posted on 01/03/2009

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I have a 13 yr old daughter and she has 4 lil brothers and so the attitude thing can be a problem. I have resorted to sending her to her room with no tv,computer or phone. When these things are cut off she has no means to call or text her friends about how mean and unfair her mother is. She can come downstairs when her attitude has changed, and normally it doesnt take too long. Sometimes having their favorite snack with the rest of the family helps because they want a bite too. Silly I know, they are still kids.

Kim - posted on 12/17/2008

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I have two daughters who have gone through this phase, and one still in it. First, I have to say that Vitamin B really helps.

Next, we have mantras (not like the religious kind, just family sayings that are ground into our DNA) - "if it's everybody else, it's probably you" and "you do what I want, I do what you want, you don't do what I want, you lose." Then, when the arguing won't stop, "you have removed yourself from my authority." This last one needs a bit of explanation: Removing from my authority means that they don't get my support, access to my resources - they lose relationship - kind of like when I turn my back on God. It is also just as easy to gain it back.

I've repeated them so many times, that now, when my thirteen year old (daughter number 2) starts into an attitude, I just have to start on the second & third mantra and she will whip into shape. Of course I had to follow them up with action.

Daughter #3 recently started the bad attitudes, and I found that each time I have to identify my own bad behaviors that have been adding to the situation, and stop them. Then I have to set good boundaries, then I have to give the child what they need in healthy ways. This child is a quality time person. She got attention through fights, fits and whining. I started sending her to her room every time instead of trying to be a go between and 'fixer'. Then I realized I needed to find positive ways to spend time with her - so I'm playing games more. My oldest was a quality time person as well. She really needed 10 minutes in the car every day, and if she didn't get it, her life spiraled. My second daughter is a gift person - she needs to know I've thought about her - not expensive gifts, just that I've thought of her and not lumped her in with everyone else. (The five love languages by Gary Chapman helps)

Okay - not what you asked, and we definitely take a bit different approach. In our house, having mom and dad mad at you is bad enough.

There was a time when my second daughter went completely awol - she didn't go to school for five weeks. She was having real trouble with transitions. She had long since lost all her privileges. I was working with the school, and praying a lot. I called in the prayer reinforcements, finally had a friend and her mom come over one morning and pray with me. She recently told me - 'Mom, you should have the prayer team come pray over (her younger sister). There is nothing worse. That's what made me shape up.'

Bonnie - posted on 12/17/2008

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I like writing, I send my daughter to her room and have her write down why she thinks I sent her there, and if she were in my shoes what would she do to punish her child for acting in the same manner. Strangely enough her ideas for punishment were worse then mine, or she had no clue. But at least it opened up the conversation and gave her and me time to calm down. Half the time is that they feel like we aren't hearing there little voices and we feel like they should just llisten cause thats what they used to do. If you give them an opportunity to voice it and then come back and talk or debate calmly about it, it usually works itself out most times they just want to be heard.

Stephanie - posted on 11/30/2008

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My 10 year old step daughter does chores for either allowance or a special trip. If she starts her attitude with us she still has to do her chores and gets no "credits" for her trip and no money.

Lisa - posted on 11/29/2008

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I'm an ECE teacher (toddlers, which I've learned through brain research are on the parallel developmental planes as teenagers - heaven help me!) and divorced, single mom of a 10-year old girl.



There is a great book series called "Positive Discipline" that is very similar to our school's philosophy of natural consequence discipline. (BTW, our school has toddlers-8th grade.) What I really like about the series that each book covers a specific age range and has real-life scenarios and advice. Great for reading ahead and picking scenarios that you think might come up.



Most important thing is that you and your husband are on the same page regarding how you will handle the problem. So that requires brainstorming in advance as well. I would suggest having a family meeting when the attitudes are NOT happening and discuss with the girls what the consequences will be when such and such occurs so that there are no surprises when they choose to act out.



Not saying any of this will magically smooth it over, but just like toddlers despite their rebelling/not caring about boundaries/consequences, developmentally they still really crave and need them so that they know what is acceptable, have consistency and predictability in their lives when the world and their bodies are unpredictable.



Hope something helps!

Jane - posted on 11/26/2008

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unfortunately, the only thing i've found to work on my tween is actually putting her in timeout, and THEN sending her to a quiet place (like her room) to work out her attitude problem -- i let her know it's for an attitude adjustment, and when she finally gets rid of it, then we can actually talk about why she feels like she has to throw attitude at me... believe me, it's a work in progress! if there are any quicker ways, i would LOVE to know them myself! (grounding doesn't work because then you're just being a "bad guy" in their eyes and they think you're "out to get them") ... i also try to remember what it was like to be her age again ... good luck to u!

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