Creative punishments?

[deleted account] ( 8 moms have responded )

My 10 year old daughter has ADHA, incredibly immature for her age and with a list of other issues. My husband and I have ran out of ways to effectively punish her. Were we have the biggest problems is with stealing and lying. It's out of control! We feel like we've tried everything, but someone has to have tried something that worked for them that we haven't tried.

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Iridescent - posted on 04/18/2010

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Have you tried turning the tables on her? Go into her room, take something important to her and hide it, and when she notices tell her you stole it. Since it's all your property, it's not illegal by any means, but you don't want to combine this with lying as she may think she just misplaced it and not associate it with her theft. Next, the lying. Lie to her! Tell her great things you want to do on an upcoming weekend, make all these plans, then when the time comes tell her you lied. Or tell her about this great meal you're making as she comes home from school, her favorite, then you serve her least favorite meal and tell her you lied. It gets the point across very fast. Just make absolutely certain you tell her you are doing this to show her how it feels to be on the receiving end of those things, and when she stops, you will.

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Elizabeth - posted on 04/22/2010

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My daughter was the same way she has ADHD and OCD's plus other problems she would steal from school, friends and neighbors then lie about where it came from. It took along time to break her of the habit, I told her repeatedly if she saw something that she had to have to tell me about it be fore she took it. Punishing her only made her worse and more definate. I had to be her friend not Mom for her to trust me we would discuss why she wanted the item and if she really was adamant about it I would get her whatever the item was, but she had to earn it by doing chores or getting good grades. If she was ever in trouble she would come to me and say "Mom please don't be mad but..." this gave me time to catch my breath and not get as angry. My daughter is turning 18 this year she and I are very close to each other and she tells me everything still. Talking things out is what worked best for us. Getting angry just adds to their frustration they dont comprehend things the same way we do, getting down on her level to help her understand why it's wrong and that things can be earned with good behavoir worked better

Elizabeth - posted on 04/21/2010

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Some kids it take longer to learn. You have to dedicate time to watching everything this child does. You must be their when the theft or lie occurs and point it out. You must make a point at the moment of the theft or lie to put your hand on the child look them in the eye and say this is a lie or this is stealing. Then ask the child to tell you what they did after telling them. To see if they understood. You must be consistent and patient until you know the child understands and can tell you what a lie is and what theft is. Once your absolutely sure they understand what lying is and theft is decide what consequence would be appropriate to teach. Also be consistent and patient. For each lie they get this consequence, for each theft their is this consequence. This is the best you can do as a parent. Teach what a lie is and that when you are lied to their will be a consequence. Teach what theft is and that you will consistently provide a consequence.

Michelle - posted on 04/20/2010

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O.K. dumb question, dose she understand what a lie is? Is this behavior a means to control or to ad void getting into trouble? Is your family religious? Next question is just a question and dose not require an answer on this forman....is there a mental health issue in the family or with he? Sometimes this behavior is a precursor to something starting in adolescence.

[deleted account]

We've read the 123 Magic book and several other books on the subject, we go to therapy regularly and she's on meds. We had a play money system in place, she earned money for good behavior, chores and acts of kindness. We made sure the positives out weighed the negatives (I teach kinder, so I am very familiar with this as well:-) The problem we are having with many of these is they'll work for a day or two or even a week but then she looses interest and the whole I don't care attitude is back. We've done the reverse lying and stealing back to her but she is non responsive. Part of her therapy is social cues and norms, she can tell us what is right and wrong and why its wrong but has no application. Thank you all for your ideas! We'll just keep at it with her and praying!

Tracey - posted on 04/20/2010

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My nephew is ADHD and his parents tried everything with no success. Now they give tokens for good behaviour, up to 5 a day and when the kids have enough they can buy something or choose a treat. Bad behaviour = no token. It works much better than punishment. I work in a school and we find that giving stars or rewards works more effectively than punishment.

Wendy - posted on 04/20/2010

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I've heard of making the disipline connect w/ the crime. If she takes something, have her give it back, and also hand over something of hers (esp. if a sibling! it hits home fast). Does she understand what/why she is doing is wrong? Some kids just don't get that connection. (that whole 'excecutive funtion problem' that goes along w/ ADD) Also, if writing isn't a problem (worse than pulling teeth in this house!), you could have her write an apology letter to the person wronged, telling them how what she did could/did affect them and her. Hope this helps.

Jill - posted on 04/19/2010

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My oldest has similar issues with ADHD and bipolar. We use a combination of strategies that are a melding of 1,2,3 Magic and Love and Logic. Both are excellent books and it's easy to use them in conjunction with each other. The other great books are The Difficult Child and Transforming the Difficult Child through the Nurtured Heart Approach. They both help the parents reframe their thinking about the situation and get on top of the issues. Sometimes thinking about it in a backwards kind of way turns the whole ship around. You won't know what I mean until you do the reading.

The secret is to arm yourself with as many strategies as possible and find an excellent therapist. They're hard to find, but they're priceless.

Last thing... don't focus on "punishment." Focus on "discipline." The meanings are different and so are the results. :)

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