Why types of consequences/punishments are appropriate for an 8 year old?

Angela - posted on 07/04/2010 ( 16 moms have responded )

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My 8 year old doesn't think I'm the one in charge. He is very unruly. I try to enforce consequences, but they don't seem to phase him at all. Need some advice on how to handle this.

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Sarah - posted on 07/17/2010

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I think that most of these tactics seem very effective. I just wanted to add a little...I count to three, but only after each time explaining what the consequence will be, because it does change with each setting. So for example, "I'm going to count to 3, and when I get to three if you don't put away these toys, I will put them away and when I put them away you won't be able to play with them for a week. One.....two... And the first bunch of times you will have to follow through because he wants to see if you'll actually do it. So don't threaten something crazy like I'm going to throw them in the garbage or you will not play with them forever. You may want to say these big warnings, but they know that you are bluffing. So say something that's more realistic and effective. And follow through follow through follow through. Another thing I do with my little ones is say-Do you want to do this the easy way or the hard way? Then I explain-the easy way is that you pick up, make your bed, whatever it is....and the hard way is that -either you make them do it or you are taking something away or whatever the consequence is. It is very important to get a handle on their behavior while they are still little and you are physically stronger than them. My nine yr old son is very stubborn, and still has the occasional melt down. It really doesn't happen all that much anymore, but I also make sure that all his basic needs are met (food, sleep, love) and he usually just needs to sit on his bed to cool down. There have been times when I actually have had to carry him up the stairs and place him in his bed kicking and screaming. But at all times I try to remain calm so that he sees that HE is the one being out of control. Sometimes I just have to give him a hug until he calms down. It's tough, but it gets better. Also if I do lose control and yell-which sometimes happens more than I'd like :) -I take a deep breathe and try to explain that mommy is tired and frustrated and that it's not okay to yell but that it happens sometimes and that I'm going to try not to do it so much and maybe we can all try together. Then I give him a hug and tell him that he's usually such a good kid and that I love him, but I do not like the way he's acting right now....blah blah blah. It helps for the child to see that the parents are human and make mistakes too, but that you can all try to be better. It also helps to - while you are all calm - collectively come up with some coping strategies, like when I am yelling and feeling out of control I will try to take a deep breathe and maybe I just need to have some alone time in my room or punch a pillow or go shoot hoops-whatever they come up with as long as it's resonable. I'd say this is for when they start getting a bit older though. I hope any of this helps. Good luck! It's tough at first but will definately get better. They are all good children on the inside. Sometimes they are tired, hungry, and just wanting your attention or praise. They are our children, made from us and we aren't perfect either-we need to show them how to act and they will be happier for it.

Angie - posted on 07/05/2010

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Don't TRY to enforce consequences ENFORCE consequences. Make the consequece fit the action. For instance:

You were supposed to come home at 2pm from your friend's house and you came home at 2:30, therefore, you won't be going to your friends house.

You slammed your door when you went into your room, therefore, you may not close your bedroom door for 1 week. Since you can't close your door, your room will have to be cleaned to my standards. If the door doesn't stay open, remove it from it's hinges for a month.

I asked you to feed the dog and your "forgot", therefore, you will not any of your meals for a week until after the dog is fed.

As long as the punishment fits the crime and your never go back on your promise to enforce the consequence, he will quickly learn to do as he's told.

Cynthia - posted on 07/16/2010

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My oldest is 14 and we have been struggling with him and it seems we are yelling more than getting along and I was given this advice. (I wish I would have had it sooner)
When he is asked to do something (dishes, pick up after himself, whatever) ask once then let it go. If he does it great! If not I do it myself and make a note. Then when something came up that he wanted to do the answer was no sorry you didn't (do the dishes when I asked etc.) We talked with him about how things were going to be dealt with before we implimented it so he new. It was amazing how much less yelling and frustration there is in the house. I know it's more on my husband and I for a bit but in the long run our son is learning to listen and respect what we are saying without the yelling.

Carla - posted on 07/15/2010

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Helezna, it sounds like you're raising my oldest girl ;) What a drama queen! We went round and round, she was grounded most of her high school years. Her friends would plan something and tell her 'keep your mouth shut until we leave for --whatever'. It never failed, she would just HAVE to have the last word, and would end up on on restriction. I know this isn't encouraging, but she DID grow up to be a good wife and mother and employee. I guess that's all I could have asked for, huh?

As for everyone else, consistency is the word of the hour. I participarly liked Becky and Angie's answers! Our one daughter took her son's door off the hinges, took his bed, his clothes, computer, TV, iPod, phone. He gets one pair of clothes, he washes them each night. I know all this sounds harsh, but some kids are hard to get through to, and they know you can't do anything physical to them or you'll be arrested. It's up to us to come up with creative alternatives.

Read each other's posts. There's a lot of good stuff in here. For the younger ones, 2 is a good time to institute the naughty chair.

Jennifer - posted on 07/08/2010

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when my daughter started that i just explained to her that by law i don't have to buy her new toys and take her out to eat, her friends do not have to come over they have a house etc... it is not a punishment that you do all at once but slowly see what works.

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Jane - posted on 07/18/2010

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My oldest went thru a stage where he said "you can't tell me what to do." Kids are just testing their limits. Make sure your child knows the rules and make appropriate consequences and always follow thru. If they know whining or whatever will get them what they want, they will never stop.

Lorena - posted on 07/16/2010

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Wow! This sounds like a great method, especially when they say but I didn't hear you. By writing it down we have proof. N yes the yelling will stop

[deleted account]

Try the 1 2 3 magic program. Seems silly but really works for everything. Kinda hard to explain and you can usually rent it from your video store.

Gretchen - posted on 07/14/2010

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my son will be 7 and he never wants to sit and the table and eat with me. i know its my fault because when he was little i would feed him first so i could set down and eat. other wise i wouldnt be able to, yes as he got older i should of changed now i am paying for it. its a struggle at times he tries to get me to give in i dont. like with everything else what i say goes. if i tell him , he will not go out and play until his room is clean, that is whats happens. last saturday he made 100 reason why he could finish his room, he was sick, so i told him if your sick you cant swim or go outside. geez he wasnt sick any more and finished his room. took him 3 hrs that should of only been maybe 30min. but i didnt give in.

Becky - posted on 07/13/2010

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I hear that...I have in the past week taken everything away, I mean everything. She is sleeping on a the floor in her room and there is nothing in there. She has to earn all the stuff back. She is now helping around the house, with her siblings and is back to the kid that we all love.... The key is that you have enforce the rules...it is hard but you need to be strong!

Monica - posted on 07/10/2010

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First, I take each item away one at a time for the rest of the day: computer, video gaming, TV. If it continues, then we move on to how many total days it is going to be taken away. We have managed at our house to one time take it all away for one week. I can tell you, after this one time, once I get to taking away days, attitude changes pretty quickly.

Another consequence I use, particularly if I know they are tired, I start to move bedtime up 5 mintues at a time. My kids hate going to bed early, but after a few times of going to bed at 6:30, lights out, they get themselves under control.

The key to consequences, is you have to enforce them. You will get a lot of whining and crying about the punishment, but if you stick to it they will remember and make better choices the next go around. If you give in, then they will prolong the whining and crying and continue their behavior/attitude longer because they know nothing will happen to them.

Also, if you are able to tell them the consequences ahead of time, then they may think twice before they act. This works especially well with siblings, if mine are starting to fight over what show to watch or what video game to play, I give them one warning to work it out or the privelage is lost for the day.

Julie - posted on 07/08/2010

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if it not working,it's because YOUR NOT enforcing the punishment.kids are very smart and know when your just blowing hot air because you never go thru with what you said.they learn that from YOU.

Helizna - posted on 07/07/2010

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I have the same problem with my 8 year old. She really pushes her limits. None of the above disciplines work on her. She just shrugs everything off and rolls her eyes at me. I was smacked in the face as a child when I did that, but I can't bring myself to do that. If I lift my hand for a swat on the butt she screams bloody murder and does the drama queen thing, screaming ,,,"oh my god please mommy please don't hurt me I will never do it again!!" only to do it again minutes after. We recently lost almost everything we have, and the little we have left she has no regard for, so I can't take away anything either. She entertains herself if in time-out. I'm at my wit's end...and unfortunately now we just scream at each other.

Leanna - posted on 07/06/2010

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Whatever consequences you dole out, please remember to be consistent. If you tell him you're going to do something if he doesn't stop his behavior, then you should follow through no matter how hard he cries or fights. That way he'll learn you mean business and aren't playing around.

Ilene - posted on 07/05/2010

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Find something he really likes and take that away for a period of time. Is he into sports? Then no sports for a short time. Computers? Then no computer time for a while. TV..then no tv time for a set time limit., etc.

Sarah - posted on 07/05/2010

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Can you give an example. I found that at about that age kids start testing their limits. Do the punishments fit the crime? One thing that I started doing which is a little controversial is when my child does something wrong I ask her what she thinks her punishment should be. THis doesn't always work but many times she is MUCH harder on herself than I would ever be.

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