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New here and crying...I have no idea what to do, punishment and natural consequences - Page 3

post #41 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dandelionkid View Post
For all those calling for dd#2 punishment- it sounds like there are a lot of personal experiences that are influencing thoughts on this. If DD2 has a history of breaking, destroying or being really jealous of dd1's stuff then Im sure OP would have mentioned something. I agree with another poster- natural consequence is the tension and anger in the house. She doesn't need to be punished!!! Of course, the right course of action may be skipping the trip to come up with the money but not because she "deserves" it. I feel just as badly for dd2 as for dd1. Hard hard situation
In my experience, parents tend to be willfully blind to this sort of behaviour.
post #42 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcstar View Post
How does one distinguish between "punishment" and "natural consequences" in this situation?
in any situation a natural consequence is something that happens on its own as a result of something else(eg: you drop your water on the floor, you get your feet wet) a punishment is something you would do to someone(eg: sent to room for spilling water)

i think youre thinking of logical consequence, which is just another way of saying punishment.


someone brought up the possibility of dd2 being jealous of dd1, im afraid that making her miss the trip would just breed more resentful feelings from dd2.

and dd1 is putting her mom in a hard place by demanding a brand new guitar when the money just isnt there. sure it seems only fair but shes old enough to work with her mom and old enough to be expected some more adultlike behaviour in this situation. shes got a lesson to learn in this too.

i think its fine to expect dd2 to pay her back but i dont think withholding a special trip is the way to do it.
post #43 of 132
My first instinct is to say use the camp money. But I think there are some other things to think about and discuss with your older dd, when she is cooled off a bit.

How about getting a cheap guitar with the promise that when she gets her nicer one back she can sell it and get some extra cash? DD2 would end up having to fund both, but it would mean she could go on the trip.

Have you talked with dd2 about the possibility of going for a very long time with no allowance and all her extra time doing chores to earn $ to pay back dd1? She may prefer to use the camp money rather than working really hard for a very long time. In that case I would have dd2 pay you back, and do what you can within your budget to get dd1 the guitar sooner.

There is so much to learn here for both kids - sometimes crappy things happen and we need to try and make the best decisons possible. It could have been a medical problem or a fire. Hopefully dd1 can grasp some maturity from within herself to think this through, and dd2 can as well. It's hard to think rationally at that age.
post #44 of 132


Momma, this sucks. I'm so sorry.

I am so torn and they aren't even my babies!

I hesitate to cancel the camping trip because I wonder if the cost of losing that trip is more than the cost of the guitar kwim? It sounds like a milestone for DD#2 with a ripple effect that is maybe more valuable than the guitar.

Not that DD#2 should get off scot free with what she did, but I'm not sure canceling the camping trip is an equitable solution with an equivalent value.

I think your girls are old enough that you should engage them in brainstorming and problem solving because that will teach a valuable lesson to them both. Maybe they are willing to eat the cheapest of the cheap food for a few weeks to raise the money in the household budget. Maybe DD2 is willing to sell some of her toys in a garage sale.

Whatever you do, I say go for solutions that make them active participants in solving the problem because I think that will build your family up whereas punitive logical consequences such as no camping trip might exacerbate the current tension and result in further problems.

As you focus on DD2 to help her manage restitution, help DD1 manage her grief so she can come to a health place where she can forgive her sister, this is equally important imo.

Hope that helps. Good luck momma.

V
post #45 of 132
Thread Starter 
I'm torn as well. I just can't bring myself to give up DD2's camping trip money, even as much as I want to fix things for DD1. The tension in the house is hard on me. DD1 (who has NOT hit DD2, only says that she wants to, which are 2 different things IMO) can't stand to be in the same room as DD2. The tension isn't bothering DD2 at all, she admitted she likes always being able to watch what she wants on TV because DD1 isn't there, or being able to play her music loud because DD1 isn't in the same room complaining. So the natural consequences are not getting to her.

I tried talking to both girls separately again. DD1 wants a new guitar, not a cheaper replacement, and she won't budge. DD2 just shrugs, says she didn't mean it and that she is sorry, but that she doesn't want to give up the camping trip. I also went over our budget again...there is no room to cut anything, we were already down to the bare minimum. I thought above having a yard sale, but we really don't have anything to sell to begin with. I already had a yard sale last year because money is already tight and I wanted to de-clutter our place.

Basically it comes down to if I give DD2 the money for the camping trip then I won't be able to buy DD1 a replacement guitar until Christmas. DD1 is not old enough (legally) to get a part-time job, so she would have to babysit for close to another year to save the money if she did it by herself. DD2 is too young to even babysit, and I don't always give the girls an allowance regularly so it would take DD2 even longer to save if she did it by herself. I still have a little time before the trip payment is due, so I can still weigh my options. Reading all your responses has helped, thank-you so much.
post #46 of 132
It kind of sounds like DD1 is the only one that's suffering here. Not that anyone should "suffer", but it sounds like she is, and DD2 is getting off scot-free, getting the TV to herself and getting everything she wants. So the question is, who's learning anything here? Is DD1? Is DD2? Who should be learning something out of this?

My vote is still use the camp money to replace the guitar. Or have the girls work out something with you, together, as a family.
post #47 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by ell View Post
Completely agreed. Her actions have consequences. And frankly I'm dubious about her story about "imitating" rock stars on TV. Surely she noticed that when they banged their guitars around, the guitars smashed? Plus, not only did she destroy her sister's most valued posession, she violated tons of boundaries by touching it without permission in the first place. It was a terrible thing to do to her sister and I think the punishment is justified.
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post #48 of 132
s:

I"m not a mom (yet!) so you can take this with a grain (or more) of salt. This camping trip is a luxury for your DD2, not a necessity.

What if your DD2 had decided to smash the microwave, or something else that needed to be replaced immediately?

I really think that DD2 should have to miss the trip. There simply isn't money for her to go anymore. You've gone over the budget with DD2, so this should make sense to her. Also, it seems that DD2 isn't being outwordly remorseful to DD1. I can see how this wouldn't make DD1 feel very forgiving.

ETA: whichever you decide, I know it's not going to be fun for either of your girls; I just wanted to give you some hugs in advance. You seem like such a thoughtful mama-- I'm sure either way, it will work out for your dd's.
post #49 of 132
Sort of OT -- given how tight your financial situation is, you really should investigate how to get child support from the girl's father. He shouldn't be getting off scott free from his responsibilities -- his actions should have consequences too!

OK, back to the situation at hand. Some random observations that might start some additional brainstorming:
* Everyone here seems stuck with narrow thinking. You are only seeing 2 options, your older child is only seeing "make it right" and your younger child doesn't seem to be engaged at all.
* A 10 YO is old enough to earn money from neighbors. She can garden, clean houses, do laundry, do ironing. She might have to really hustle to get those sorts of jobs, but it can be done. Honestly, from your description of her, a little humility at having to do so might be a good thing. Also, with summer on the way there might be some mother's helpers options that open up. She could also help with a family business -- something that you and she could take on at home to make extra income for both of you. While she can't work in a company, she can earn money if she is creative and resourceful.
* I think you are over-valuing the camp experience. This might be the only time for this trip, but there could be other trips in the future.
* It sounds like both girls need to wake up a bit. Being angry is one thing, refusing to be in the room with the person is another. Wanting a replacement guitar is reasonable, demanding a new version when the one that was broken had been used (by her) seems unreasonable. On the other hand, the attitude you describe for your younger child would be intolerable to me.
* Once you get this particular situation solved, you probably want to go back and look at the relationship between the girls overall and work on that because I think it will get worse before it gets better and this sort of thing might crop up again.

I think that, in your shoes, I would insist that BOTH girls discuss the situation, face to face, politely. If I couldn't make that happen, I would enlist the help of a professional (school counselor, free clinic counselor, something like that) because that indicates a much deeper issue. I would try for the positive solution that younger child needs to earn the money to replace guitar by the end of the summer. Yes, that will be hard and yes it means that she will really have to ask around for work and do work that she might not like. And probably it will take many many hours over the summer. That seems much more fitting than simply taking the camp experience away. If she doesn't, then it might mean no new clothes for school or whatever you might spend money on at that point.

To shorten your older child's wait, you might investigate options for earning extra income yourself. I know this can be really hard depending on where you are and what you are already doing.

If you can, you might make paid work options open for both girls throughout the summer on a first come first serve option. That would again encourage younger child to work towards her obligation, but give your older child the option of getting some things for herself as well.
post #50 of 132
Any updates, Mama? How are things going?
post #51 of 132
Thread Starter 
Thank-you everyone for taking the time to respond It helps a lot to be able to talk about this and to not be judged.

In regards to the father and child support, I really didn't want to talk about this, but since a few people have brought it up, I will address it. I don't know where the father is, and neither do the courts. A few years ago I sought assistance from a lawyer. Two separate private investigators have not been able to find him. He is not in the United States, Canada, Europe or anywhere else...kwim? No one knows where he is, and he doesn't have any relatives or family that anyone knows of, so I can't get help there, as much as I want and need it. It is really hard for sometimes, but I have come to accept it.

Now about DD2 working off the debt. I do want her to work, I know there is work she can do from the neighbors (besides babysitting) The only options to be a mother's helper are too far away, she get can't there by herself because I am at work. I expect her to work and pay me back for the guitar no matter what avenue I take, but the thing is it will take her a long time to pay me back, so even I don't give DD1 the trip money and DD2 works I won't be able to afford a new guitar for DD1 until Christmas.

The reason DD1 wants a new guitar is because she bought a BRAND new one, and it was only 1 month old when DD2 smashed it. She it still was in new condition, kwim? I also want to point out to the poster who said that it was rude for DD1 to not want to be in the same room as DD2, well at this point I am wanting to respect her feelings and not force her to do anything. She hasn't yelled at her sister (except for when it first happened) hasn't hit her, or otherwise been rude or mean or done anything like slamming doors etc so I think all in all she has handled herself very well, and I just want to let her express her anger since she isn't being in her sisters face.

I hope I don't sound rude or mean to anyone who replied, it is just that I am still really torn and so tired. I can't bring myself to make a decision. DD1 wants a replacement of the one that was broken, but DD2 doesn't want to miss this camp (I think she sees how much fun her sister had when she went) For more see my post a few above this. Again, thank-you for all the responses and encouragement.
post #52 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan&Anna's_Mom View Post
* It sounds like both girls need to wake up a bit. Being angry is one thing, refusing to be in the room with the person is another.

I think that, in your shoes, I would insist that BOTH girls discuss the situation, face to face, politely. If I couldn't make that happen, I would enlist the help of a professional (school counselor, free clinic counselor, something like that) because that indicates a much deeper issue.
.
I disagree with the first part of the post i quoted. The older DD is feeling very hurt and angry, and has removed herself from the situation. I can understand this and believe it is responsible. The older DD has stated how angry she feels, and instead of staying around younger DD and perhaps feeling even more angry the older DD has removed herself. I would think the older DD is taking some time to herself, to deal with the anger, and sufficiently cope with her anger before socializing with the sister again. As adults we very commonly remove ourselves from situations and people that upset in order to have time to breathe and return at a later time with a calmer and more reasonable attitude. Perhaps the Older DD is just doing this. She is too upset to speak now, so removes herself so she will not say things she regrets to the sister.

I did this with my bro. I would just ignore him and not be around him until i had dealt with my anger and could reasonably speak to him again. If i had been forced to socialize with him after some misdeed it would have made my emotions even worse.

Later on when she seems to have cooled off and had time to think then i definitely think the two girls need to sit down for a chat. Older DD needs to express her hurt and feelings to younger DD, and the younger girl can express her remorse and feelings about what happened.

BTW, I fully support the use of the camp money for the guitar. Hopefully younger DD can go t the store herself (wit you of course) to shop for the new guitar. This could lead to really good teaching moments with younger DD.
post #53 of 132
No, no, no.

Sorry to be so passionate about this, but I was a "poor kid". DD2 gets to go to camp.

It's a separate issue.

But, she does have to pay for the guitar however long it takes. Life is like that, too.

There are lessons here for both girls. DD1 must learn that things, unfair things, happen, but that we ought to be gracious and patient and loving anyway. She will get her guitar back, but people are always more important than things. She needs to cool down and address dd2 respectfully. State her needs and her desires and ask dd2 what she is going to do to right this wrong. Problems cannot always be solved overnight. And that's okay.

DD2 needs to learn responsibility for her actions, and she must make right this wrong. She is now in debt to her older sister. Somehow she must make it right. Can she work FOR her sister to free the sister to work more? The retribution does not have to be a guitar.

I gotta go, but I hope that was at least something to think about.

But, please, the only thing that links this to camp is the money. I say dd2 goes.
post #54 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just1More View Post
No, no, no.

Sorry to be so passionate about this, but I was a "poor kid". DD2 gets to go to camp.

It's a separate issue.

But, she does have to pay for the guitar however long it takes. Life is like that, too.
What if DD2 does go to the camp and then refuses afterward to pay for the guitar? From her attitude it sounds pretty likely. There is really no way to force her to do so.
post #55 of 132
I think the camp money should go for the guitar.
post #56 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just1More View Post
No, no, no.

Sorry to be so passionate about this, but I was a "poor kid". DD2 gets to go to camp.

It's a separate issue.

But, she does have to pay for the guitar however long it takes. Life is like that, too.

There are lessons here for both girls. DD1 must learn that things, unfair things, happen, but that we ought to be gracious and patient and loving anyway. She will get her guitar back, but people are always more important than things. She needs to cool down and address dd2 respectfully. State her needs and her desires and ask dd2 what she is going to do to right this wrong. Problems cannot always be solved overnight. And that's okay.

DD2 needs to learn responsibility for her actions, and she must make right this wrong. She is now in debt to her older sister. Somehow she must make it right. Can she work FOR her sister to free the sister to work more? The retribution does not have to be a guitar.

I gotta go, but I hope that was at least something to think about.

But, please, the only thing that links this to camp is the money. I say dd2 goes.
I disagree with this. DD1 had a new guitar, DD2 broke it (and doesn't care, it seems). She is owed 1 new guitar ASAP. DD2 needs to pay for the new guitar, and the only feasible way is to give up her camp.
post #57 of 132
I'm wondering how many people who think the camp is more important have a musical passion?

I am the younger sister, and while I never destroyed anything, I did stuff when I felt my sister had too many privileges that I deserved. Also, I now have a younger daughter, and I see how unfair the world seems to her. If she were standing before Solomon, she would definitely let the baby be cut in half to keep the other person from having it (biblical reference, not literal). AND, my mom was a younger sister who PEED in her sister's perfume bottle right before her sister went on a date. (There were many other stories of this sort.)

If a person has a musical passion, then their instrument can feel like part of them. It is not just a thing like a microwave.

I, personally, do not think the mom should work extra to pay to replace it. The daughter has a "resource" available to make reparations.

I think if I wrecked my friend's car, I would have to forgo a few things to make it right. That is not punishment; it is making amends. This is not about missing camp; it is about limited resources that DD2's actions have forced into redistribution. I personally do not see how the money going for the guitar is punishment. If she wrecked a neighbor's guitar, would you use the money immediately to replace it? Would you go to the neighbor and explain that they just have to accept a cheaper replacement or wait 7 months? This is NOT punishment; it is making amends.
post #58 of 132
Yeah, honestly after reading the OP's updated posts it's pretty obvious to me that dd2 smashed the guitar on purpose and doesn't seem to feel bad about it at all.

There is no way that my kid would be going to camp if she was showing that kind of attitude about something like that. At 10 years old she is old enough to be honest about why she smashed the guitar and also about her feelings of jealously or whatever.

If she did something like this to a friend's guitar and the parents wanted it to be replaced then the only choice the OP would have is to use the camp money. I don't think that this is that much different.

Also, I REALLY resented always being told that I was expected to be the mature one in the situation when one of my siblings broke something of mine. It's not fair to always expect the eldest child to show emotional maturity just because they are older. IMO, the oldest dd is handling this very well and I don't think it's wrong to expect an exact replacement. The OP's youngest dd isn't showing signs of remorse or guilt. She can say that she's sorry until she's blue in the face but her actions are saying another thing. No wonder dd1 is so upset.

My mom never saw the jealously (not saying the OP is like this) with my youngest brother. He was awful when he was younger (not anymore, he's grown up a lot and is a great teenager now) and she never saw it at all. It was so absurd that it was funny. He would lie and manipulate and get super jealous of all of his older siblings but my mom never saw it. She would always act super shocked when something happened like it came out of nowhere. We still tease her about it now and he's pretty embarrassed about it too. I think it's probably very normal to a degree but I know how unfair it is to be in dd1 shoes. I hope that it works out for both girls but at this point I really feel like dd2 needs to make amends somehow and it seems like the only option she has is to miss camp. I also think that having to face a pretty big disappointment isn't the end of the world when she has currently shown no remorse for the huge disappointment that she intentionally inflicted on her sister.
post #59 of 132
Here with a musical passion.

DD2 is old enough to know that things that smash will break. I learned at a very young age not to touch my older brother's things. Because I'd have to pay for them if they were damaged.

Money goes for the guitar. I've been to camp, I've owned a guitar. Camp for DD2 would be a social thing for her anyway with girls she sees all the time. A girl who worked for an ENTIRE year - patiently, passionately, and stalwart - deserves what she's earned, IMHO. I think the lesson to learn here is very important, and by letting DD2 not take responsibility for her actions, it might set her up with that mentality and make things in the household even more difficult.

Tough situation, mama. Sorry and wish you the best.
post #60 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by fresh_veggie View Post
Here with a musical passion.

DD2 is old enough to know that things that smash will break. I learned at a very young age not to touch my older brother's things. Because I'd have to pay for them if they were damaged.

Money goes for the guitar. I've been to camp, I've owned a guitar. Camp for DD2 would be a social thing for her anyway with girls she sees all the time. A girl who worked for an ENTIRE year - patiently, passionately, and stalwart - deserves what she's earned, IMHO. I think the lesson to learn here is very important, and by letting DD2 not take responsibility for her actions, it might set her up with that mentality and make things in the household even more difficult.

Tough situation, mama. Sorry and wish you the best.
Yes. Remember, however many months it would take for DD2 to raise the money to pay for the new guitar, DD1 is left unable to practice, unable to improve, unable to share her passion.

I've had my instrument broken once. In my case it was an honest accident, but I still cried all day. I was able to borrow another while my instrument got repaired (I *had* to, I was in the University band).

Like I said before, DD1 has been left bereft, unable to practice, and probably also unable to channel her anger, loss, indignation into any sort of positive energy, for two weeks now. At fourteen, that's an EON.

From the perspective of an adult, missing a year of practice can be made up with dedicated effort. But from the perspective of a teenager, for DD1 to wait for DD2 to earn the money puts her back to square one musically.
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