anyone ever cancel christmas or ever had lumps of coal in their stockings??

Amber - posted on 12/22/2011 ( 8 moms have responded )




My 6 year old daughter has the 'tude of a 16 year old and is constantly pushing the envelope. Last year it was so bad I was set on canceling Christmas and taking everything back, but my friends and family talked me out of it. Instead Santa left her a note with her gifts telling her that he is going to keep an extra watchful eye on her this year. I need to think of a way to make her understand that she will never be rewarded for her bad behavior but also not scar her for life. Lol any suggestions?


Sherri - posted on 12/23/2011




I am with Nikki I would never cancel Christmas. That would be so horrible for a child to understand. I would however, possibly take away gifts after Christmas for ill behavior until they earned them back.

Also with the stress and excitement of the Christmas season. It is more common than not for children to start acting out. Trust me ask any school teacher. The kids are often having schedules changed, later nights with get togethers etc. So although the behavior is not acceptable it is often very normal and happens to the majority of kids around this time of the year.

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What forms of punishment do you use? It sounds to me like you need a few new weapons, so to speak. My 5 year old has been starting to become more defiant, stubborn and pushing the envelope into another time zone. He's also become more selfish and not wanting to share. I've discovered a few things that work in curbing this behaviour.

It started with me. My approach had too many "no"s in it, to the point where "no" didn't mean anything any more because it was just another every day word. I would have to yell louder, be more demanding.... hang on, that's exactly what HE is doing! Bingo! That's exactly what happened to me and how I realised what was going on. So, I tried to stop saying "no". Well, it didn't work but I started saying it less and got better results.

I've always been one to say "please" and "thank you" for things and my sons have always done it too. So, I started asking my eldest son, instead of telling. For instance, he's 5 so not real good about keeping to a morning (or any) routine without some help. But, he has been doing it long enough that he really does know what needs to be done. Our routine is breakfast, teeth and get dressed. After breakfast, I used to hound him to go clean his teeth.. "But I'm playing with my racing car!" "No, it's time to brush teeth!" "I don't waaannnnttttt tooooooooo!!!!!! I want to play with my car!" "NO! Go brush your teeth! We have to go soon!" It would go back and forth and get louder and louder. So I changed. As he's putting his cereal bowl into the dishwasher, "Thank you, Seth. Now what time is it?" or "Thank you for putting the dishes in the dishwasher for me! What do we do after breakfast?" The answer is always the same, an enthusiastic "BRUSH THE TEETH!" Well, he does sometimes throw in the "Get dressed!" to see what my reaction will be and when the only response is a puzzled, "Is that right? I thought there was something else we did before getting dressed? Well, okay then, let's get dressed!" He always corrects me and says he needs to brush teeth FIRST.

I try to take this approach with anything and everything I can. We were bickering and butting heads over so much before, but now it's not nearly as much the better I get at finding a way of turning the situation around. The child sees it as being given some freedom and control over his own life. The not sharing thing has just lessened on it's own a bit ever since we stopped clashing all the time too. Overall, he's becoming more bearable to live with, because I've become more bearable to live with. There are still times when he gets a time out (like when he hits, pinches or kicks on his little brother) and times when he gets things taken away (like when he is laying on his brother's HEAD smothering him). What I take away is different each time, because it is whatever is most precious to him at the time. If he's playing with his "pet guinea pig" (it's a zhu zhu pet) and does something that warrants loss of toy, I'll take the guinea pig and put it away for a certain amount of time. Sometimes it's just the same length as a time out, sometimes longer depending on the offence. When he is given it back, we talk about why it was taken away so that he understands what he did was not only not acceptable, but also dangerous. My husband has threatened the punishment of spending a whole day in his room, in his bed, but that's ridiculous and totally inappropriate. A whole day punishment is not punishment but just simply torture and an adult getting his kicks off of threatening a kid. Kids are like goldfish, they're memories aren't that long. That's the whole reason why a time out is only one minute per year of age. Any longer than 5-6 minutes and the lesson is lost. After any punishment, it's necessary to sit down and talk about what was done to warrant the punishment and come to a mutual understanding of what is and isn't acceptable.

But honestly, punishments can work, but fighting the better fight by not fighting works the best. Turn things around. Ask her for her opinion on should she be doing X and what might happen if she does. #1 would be use the fact that our kids love helping us! Get her to "help" you with tidying her room, putting clothes away, brushing teeth... anything and everything.

Talk about finding something to use against her, but not harmful enough to crush her spirit, is very aggressive, confrontational behaviour. She is only going to mirror that exact attitude back to you... and she is.

Good luck!

Barb - posted on 12/23/2011




Teaching consequences works best with cause and effect, with both positive and negative consequences.

Positive would be, i poop and pee in the potty, the consequence is clean panties.

Negative, i chose not to go potty in the potty, now i have dirty underwear.

Giving a year long consequence is not going to be effective. It needs to be somewhat related to the behavior and dealt with quickly, and over within a reasonable amount of time.

If the problem is her attitude, first, make sure you are not the example, and second, say it "that attitude is not acceptable, go to your room and lose it before talking to me" or "that attitude is not going to get you what you want. So until you decide you are going to ask nicely, the answer is 'no'"


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Carolee - posted on 12/23/2011




I was thinking about not letting my son have any of his Christmas presents until he started behaving. Then, I made a video for him here:

You can choose to make a video where Santa tells them that they're not on the "nice" list yet, "but there's still time". My son has been really helpful and nice since.

It won't work for all the time, but it might help you get through the holidays.

Amber - posted on 12/23/2011




she gets punished on a consistent when she disrespects me by not listening which is her major issue. I say no she does it any way she wants something she can't have she throws a fit and the punishment always fits the crime but it seems as though when we get around the holidays everything we've worked on all year goes out the window. She doesn't seem to care she has to sit in timeout or is confined to her room all day or cannot play with her tech toys. I get the feeling that because she knows Santa isn't me she is getting gifts regardless or she is just testing the waters idk but I feel like she needs a reality check badly. I just don't know how to go about it without crushing her spirit

Tara - posted on 12/23/2011




I say cancel Christmas, she will never forget it and you will save a ton of money. She will learn that she better be good from one december to the next otherwise the big fat man in red will not stop his flying reindeer when they reach your house, he will not magically slip down the chimney and put presents under the tree and fill a sock with goodies. She will be good right up until she figures out you are lying to her. Then you might need to actually do some parenting to help her learn to control her emotions and process her own behaviour as it affects others. She might actually need someone to guide her and help her to become a productive, compassionate and empathetic person. But until then you can just lie and say "santa died because you were so bad,".

Nikki - posted on 12/23/2011




No matter what she does I wouldn't cancel Christmas, that could be pretty traumatic for a child. If you want help with her behaviour like Liz said you will need to elaborate.

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