Discipline advice needed!

Danielle - posted on 12/08/2014 ( 6 moms have responded )

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I am having issues with my daughter's behavior (she's just turned eight). She is becoming increasingly rude, challenging my authority and generally believing she's in charge of the house not me! She ignores instructions to tidy her room or help with chores and has been wlifully disobedient.I don't know where the sweet treasure I once had has gone! I have only spanked her once (she was six) but time-outs, talking rationally and calmly about her behaviour, sending her to her room or depriving her of her favourite things are not working. I have come to the conclusion she would benefit from a trip across my knee. Half a dozen firm smacks across her bottom will hopefully be the trigger for better behavior but I am uncertain of the outcome if I go this route. By that I mean I have not always been consistent with discipline ie making threats which I don't always carry through (my fault), I am certain she thinks I won't spank her (maybe that's the problem) but I don't want to turn the episode into a scene where she resists and won't comply. Any ideas on the course to take if she refuses to be spanked and makes a fuss?

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Ev - posted on 12/10/2014

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I have to say I agree with Shawnn here on this. You should have been consistent since day one and never backed down on anything you decided to do. By doing so you have given your child free reign over you. This child knows what buttons to push to get what she wants and acts the way she does to get what she wants. That is what is wrong with kids today: Parents back off or give in too much to them. Then the parents wonder why the kids treat them like crap.

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Spanking a kid should never be an option... think about it, what are your teaching your kid? that hitting to get things your way is okay? is that really what you want to teach your kid, or do you want to teach her respect and politeness?

Be consistent with everything.

If she missbehave and wont tidy her room, warn her and say: "If you do not tidy your room, I am going to take all the toys not in their place, and put them in this big black bag. and then you can only get them back after you have earned them back"

You need to have already decided what she should do to earn her toys back, like be polite for three days, take out her own plate after dinner, take out the trash and so on (just remember that she is only eight, 2 or 3 chores a day should be a max)

Then when she don't clean her room, go take all the toys away.

The key here is that you need to be persistent, and you need to keep a cool head. She might scream and kick and everything, but you must be the adult and keep a cool head, be polite about it but firm.

If you want to teach your kid to be polite and use good manners, you need to be a good example. Hitting your kid is not a good example of how to behave.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 12/10/2014

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So, basically, what you're saying is that, rather than communicate with your daughter, who is old enough to understand basic language (in this case I'm going to assume English, because your typing is fluent), you'll assault her to attempt to get your point across.

When you say "talking calmly and rationally about her behaviour", are you having a discussion with her, or are you dictating?

Assault isn't going to fix your discipline problem. What you will communicate to your daughter at that point is "I am not good at communicating with you on your level, and I'm not good at sticking to my guns in a disciplinary manner, I've decided that assaulting you is valid discipline". You're not showing any respect for her, as a human being at that point. You're proving that you're bigger, stronger, and meaner.

I'm a huge disciplinarian. I stopped spanking when my kids could understand basic English and I could communicate with them.

Danielle - posted on 12/10/2014

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Thanks Sarah I appreciate you taking the time to write back. Like you said re your own kids I think this is a case of pushing the boundaries as nothing is going in the background as I have checked (schools, friends, clubs etc). I have tried time-outs and also removal of key items like computer, games etc (she has no phone as I don't believe children of that age need them).
Having exhausted those avenues I was chatting to two of my close friends who are both pro-spanking (as a last resort) and they were both in agreement of the route I should take.
They are both naturally more assertive and confident about applying discipline than me hence my post! I appreciate you are not in favour of spanking and I absolutely respect that standpoint. I agree with your last comment that : "If you think she would "refuse" a spanking (who wouldn't?) then it seems to weaken your authority unless you are ready to force her to comply."
That is my dilemma.I have decided at the next show of defiance or disobedience what will happen (a spanking) but I don't want to this to turn into a bigger episode than it needs to be.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 12/08/2014

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You have rooted out the problem right here: "I have not always been consistent with discipline ie making threats which I don't always carry through (my fault), I am certain she thinks I won't spank her"

Get consistent. When you take something away, tell her how long you will keep it, and what will be required to get it back, and DO NOT BEND.

Spanking a child who is well able to comprehend your native language is assault, not discipline. Just toughen up your backbone, and stick to your guns.

Sarah - posted on 12/08/2014

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I think you said yourself what the issue is: "I mean I have not always been consistent with discipline ie making threats which I don't always carry through"
First of all, has there been a recent stressful change in her life? Did she have a friend move away, is she having trouble at school, anything? All of my kids have gone thru phases like this too. It seems like as they mature, they need to check to see if the boundaries have changed at all as well. When you are faced with having to discipline her, tell her why and start taking away privileges one by one until the behavior improves. Start with her ipod, game-boy, friend visits, tv time, desert, and continue removing items until she is down to the bare bones necessities. If necessary, she could end up with a change of clothing, a pillow and a blanket. I don't think it will go this far. At a time when she is in a good mood, try talking to her about her behavior. Say something like "you and I aren't getting along so well lately and I wonder if you have something on your mind that you'd like to talk about?" Let her know you will be there is she needs you and you love her but the behavior is not acceptable. When she does things the first time you ask, or is polite to you; point it out and praise her.
I personally am not pro-spanking, but that is your choice. If you think she would "refuse" a spanking (who wouldn't?) then it seems to weaken your authority unless you are ready to force her to comply.

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