Grounding a kid is like house arrest for stay-at-home moms

Jennifer - posted on 05/29/2014 ( 4 moms have responded )

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My 9 year-old girl has been mouthy and violent toward myself and her brother. She's grounded, but with summer here, that now means we're all confined to the house! UGH! No break!

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Mommabird - posted on 05/30/2014

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I also have a 9(almost 10) yr old daughter. She started her backtalking and smart mouthing about 6 months ago. I quickly figured out she only does it when shes not getting her way. I had to sit her down and explain that we make rules for a reason, to protect and teach them valuable lessons about life. I also realized we needed a schedule at home, a written schedule she could look at everyday for reminding. After a week of following a time schedule I noticed there was a lot less arguing and opportunity for conflict. It also kept her busy, with no time to be bored and revert to acting out. Heres what her schedule looks like: ON SCHOOL DAYS-- wake up, eat breakfast, brush teeth, get dressed, pick up any mess made this morning, when finished with all the above sit and read a book until time to leave for school. Come home ,take backpack to room, bring us any papers from school, eat a snack, 30 min of playtime(outside or in bedroom), homework(if none brought home I make it myself), playtime until dinner(no tv), dinnertime, brush teeth, Tv time until bathtime, take bath, clean mess in bathroom, clean any mess in bedroom, bring all dirty clothes to laundry room on Tues and Fri, pick out clothes for next day, bedtime. Summer schedule doesn't change much except for between breakfast and afternoon snack we added daytime activities and of course lunchtime. To me, it keeps her busy on a schedule with no boredom to make her anxious to act out for attention. We also have a set of House Rules on our fridge and the only time grounding or punishment is needed is if one of those rules are broken. But I usually stop her before she starts arguing and say, if you argue you will get a punishment...and 9 out of 10 times she chooses to stop and think before speaking. Every now and then she is determined to get her way and will continue. After shes spoke her mind I tell her I understand how she feels but because she chose to argue after I asked her to stop she needs to go to the Consequence Can and pick one out. (each one is written on a small piece of paper and folded up a few times). Hope some of this helps!

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Mommabird - posted on 05/30/2014

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Sounds very familiar! We had an accident 2 weeks ago where she was trying to get her 4 yr old brother off the slide at home and when he didn't get off she grabbed his hand and tried yanking him off...which ended up in a trip to the ER because she dislocated his elbow from pulling it out of socket. We didn't see the need in punishing her for this incident because she sat in her room and cried for 30 min after we told her we were taking him to the ER because he couldn't move it. I think the guilt was worse than any punishment. She actually treats him a lot better now...but were still working on her attitude toward me. And your comment about her feelings being explosive...YES, our daughter is VERY dramatic in that way too. When she does show her emotions its very dramatized.

Jennifer - posted on 05/30/2014

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Yes, thanks! We also have lists of rules and routines posted throughout the house. You're right, I think she acts out mostly from anxiety. She's grounded now because she pushed her brother off a bike rack (which he shouldn't have been sitting on, but that's not really the point). He did a double back flip and ended up with a large goose egg on his head. It's like she doesn't even realize she has feelings until they're explosive.

Mommabird - posted on 05/30/2014

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I got carried away with my schedule idea I left out the most important thing....if you just need ideas of how to ground her without punishing yourself, heres a few Ive used. Lets say she starts getting mouthy with you...put your finger up in front of your mouth letting her know to stop talking, ask her to use a calm voice and NICELY speak to you about how she feels. This will take some thought on her part which should give her time to calm down and change her mood. Another thing that works for us is when we tell her to do something or tell her No about something and she starts arguing her way out of it, we stop her with the 'finger in front of the mouth" and ask her if she feels like writing 'I will not argue' 50 times...hopefully she chooses to stop arguing and use her time wisely instead of wasting 20-30 minutes getting cramps from writing. Last thing that works sometimes is taking her radio away until she can go 2 whole days without arguing, then she gets it back...until the next time she gets mouthy. Our daughter is In Love with music and will listen to radio or her cds nonstop if we let her so this is a great bargaining tool for us.

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