How to stick to disciplining an 8yr old when she wont listen?

Joyce - posted on 12/14/2013 ( 7 moms have responded )

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Okay, I know that most of the bratty behavior is my fault. I have given into her, and not stuck with punishments since she was born. I tend to feel guilty and give in. What I have done is: I have a child that doesn't listen, argues, manipulates to get her way, and cries about everything (wailing when crying doesn't work). It's gotten so bad that she is not allowed to spend any prolonged amount of time at families houses, and everyone scatters when shes around. Its a constant battle, that I was spending most days trying to avoid her. She has 3 sisters, none of which behave this way. She is the only one that takes me being nice as a weakness. Its gotten to the point the point that something has to change because it's ruining our relationship. I talked to her yesterday and explained that her behavior is unacceptable, and that I was sorry because I have taught her to act that way by showing her that it works to get her way. That I have to stick to what I say, and that it's not going to be easy, but we will change together, and for the better so that we can have a good relationship with each other. That being said, she got into trouble for ignoring me, and her chores. She had a time out in her room for 30 mins. I explained that if she came out we would add more time (30 mins). This was Friday night, Before the 30 mins were up, she was already up to Saturday. So I upped the time and said if she came out again I was adding a day now, we are up to Tuesday. When we got to this point, I hung a belt on her door as a reminder for her not to come out. Is this too extreme? I feel I have to stick to it or she will look at me as a chump, but part of me feels like I'm being mean.

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Shannon - posted on 12/14/2013

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First I think we in our society are making a big mistake when we use the word "listen". We all use it in a way that means "obey". Your daughter knows it means "obey" and she is showing the first tiny hints at being rebellious. And she should have a rebellious bone in her body, it's there to protect her. The trouble is that she is testing it out on you and doesn't know it. I am sure she loves you more than you can imagine but you are first in line to test these things.

If you say to her something like, "I told you to pick up your socks twice already, why aren't you obeying me?" you'd probably laugh at your self.

Sit her down and have a little talk where you tell her, "Hey you are getting older and that is great. I understand why you would want to ignore me about picking up socks, I don't like picking up socks either. But, it's my job to get you ready for life. Someday you will have a boss, someday you are going to be in Jr. High. You have to do what is told of you the first time. Part of my job is to make sure you understand instructions and requests. So if you don't do what I ask of you and I don't give you repercussions, then I am being a bad mom.

And most importantly, keep your relationship entirely out of it. Make it clear that you adore her AND you are teaching her. Ask her if she would discipline a puppy who kept running out into traffic.

Good Luck

Ev - posted on 12/14/2013

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Megan's point I have to agree with to a point. After while some kids will use that to their advantage too. And in doing so can use it as a control. Praise is good but do it when you catch them in the moment of good behavior this way they get the idea this is what you want of them. Also set up some rules that are age appropriate and expand on them as the child gets older but be sure that they understand consequences for those rules and even right them out and post both so that everyone sees what is going on with the rules of the house. Being clear on this from the start will help. One on One time is great with your kids but as I said they can make it work for them too. I work with little ones and they know that we have some rules in class that are set up for them to follow and at the end of everyday no matter how many times they did not follow through or listen I still get hugs because I did not back down and they know it. They also know I care a great deal for them too...in fact I have some that tell me they love me.

Megan - posted on 12/14/2013

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I thought I was really good at parenting until my third child came along. So just sending out a hug...each child is different yet I tended to use the same techniques for each. I found that in the midst of trying to change, it was very helpful to read a book on the subject. Kind of like your own personal parenting class. It helps keep you consistent. You might try reading this book http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0761521...
also I found that spending more one on one time with my child seemed to help also. He liked puzzles. Hey bud lets do a puzzle. Just so you understand if you start to whine, I'm done. Then we would work together for twenty minutes and i would praise him like crazy. Dude you are so good at finding the right pieces... and if he started acting up i would just walk away and refuse to get drawn into his drama.
Find something your daughter likes a craft or cooking and spend twenty minutes most every day hanging out together and give her lots of hugs and praise but let her know that if she acts up you are done. the little bit of extra just you and her time may help. Also make sure she is getting plenty of sleep. A tired child has no control.

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Joyce - posted on 12/14/2013

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That is exactly what I have done and I appreciate the heads up of what will happen if I don't turn this around. Thank you for taking the time to help me, I'm beyond the appropriate words that describes my gratitude. Knowing the girls story has helped me not to feel bad, and think of her future. She isn't happy I took the rest of her stuff, but seems to understand she needs to earn them back. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Ev - posted on 12/14/2013

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I am glad something has been accomplished but just taking the WII away and the activity are not enough. She needs all her things taken from her room and made to earn them back. Apparently she has done this for quite a while. I hope that my story about that girl I know gave a bit of an impression too. I have known this girl since the say she was born. I have hated seeing the choices both her mother made and then she has made where her life was concerned. Her mother did try but then would not follow through with the punishments or consequences. It could be that this girl lost the movie she wanted to see or the concert that her mother planned to take her to (not rock concerts) and then her mother would take her anyway. It was a two sided thing and always....always the girl got to do the activity or got what she wanted. THe mother knows she is a big source of the problem but she learned it too late and now is becoming a grandmother when she is not ready for it and when it should be a happy time as well and its not.

Joyce - posted on 12/14/2013

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Thank you for the reply. My older girls were raised the same, things taken or time out with ways to earn themselves out. They appreciated it and would learn still. The daughter I'm talking about now didn't respond to that approach. She is in her room now, and I took the wii. Her grandparents are coming to make xmas cookies Tuesday. So I told her this morning that I am serious and if she doesn't listen then she will not be participating in the activity. So far so good as its been all afternoon. So I thin we are headed in the right direction.

Ev - posted on 12/14/2013

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Okay, time outs at this age is not going to work. Does she have favorite toys, tech, computer or other things you can take away and make her earn back? You admitted its your fault for letting her get away with it. So what did you do with the other older kids? Why did you not continue the same thing in a way that would work for her? I am not trying to make this sound harsh but by giving in the her every whim is not the way to raise a child and you seem to have done that with the others. Think back to what you did with them and alter it to work for her. You may need counseling too. If you can take things from her she loves the most, you might get the rise out of her that you need.

I know a woman who raised a child alone. A girl who is now an adult. This girl was not made to do chores even after this woman as her to do them. This girl also was not worked with when the homework became an issue of getting it done. So much so, this girl carried the bad homework habits into high school, got kicked out of a program that could have gotten her into college and worked with her over high school in certain classes to improve her grades, barely made a 2.0 to graduate from school, and did even flinch or react when she heard the scholarships her classmates got to major colleges and ivy league schools. It was like it did not matter or she even cared. Growing up this girl was very over protected by her mother, not allowed to go to school dances unless mom went to watch her, not allowed boyfriends in high school and to go to other social functions to learn how to deal with different situations, was not allowed to see movies most of her peers got to, not allowed to go places unless her mother went as well....see the picture. This girl then had to go behind mom's back to do some things. Now this girl is nearly 20 years old and she has no more maturity than a 14 to 16 year old because of this. During senior year of school, her mom tried to put the law down on things but it was too late. This girl is now on her way to mommy hood because she moved out of mom's house hastily and with the boyfriend and lives off his family. She is also due next spring with a baby.

All that because mom was too much of one thing and not enough of another.

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