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Please tell me what I'm doing wrong?? Is it me? - Page 2

post #21 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by mum21andtwins View Post
How are these things respectful??
I don't see a problem with anything she has written. I am not interested in discussing this further, and am leaving this thread.

Good luck, OP!
post #22 of 164
The rule was, before they go out, she needed a bath. No bath=no going out. She couldn't go get the treat because she didn't take a bath.
That's not disrespectful.
post #23 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earthy Mama View Post
The rule was, before they go out, she needed a bath. No bath=no going out. She couldn't go get the treat because she didn't take a bath.
That's not disrespectful.
,
No it wasn't copied from the OP:
Quote:
Originally Posted by brokenheart View Post
My DD (7) She asked if she could have a certain treat for her lunch, and I said ok, we'd pick it up while we were out.
<SNIP>
Then I got her bath ready. She was not interested in having a bath, but I explained she had to get clean/wash her hair before we go out.
the snac was promised and later a condition was added for that snack that IS disrespectful.
post #24 of 164
Thread Starter 
OP here. Thanks for your opinions, everyone. It totally helps to talk this out. I honestly am trying to be a good parent. I try to respect her. I am not trying to be a control freak. But if I let her just decide on everything, it would be chaos here...remember, she's 7.

We did have to wash her hair. It was tangled, dirty and sweaty. That was the only time we had to have a bath....I wasn't that concerned about her being dirty when we ran our errands. But if she didn't wash her hair, it would still be dirty the next morning for school. Yes, I admit...I'm not ok with her decision to attend a special day at school with nasty hair. I'm not going to respect that decision because to me that would bad parenting. And as well, it would reflect badly on me. I wasn't asking anything unreasonable of her. A very quick bath is no big deal (and it isn't like she has an issue with baths...she was just choosing to be difficult).

As well, I did promise her a special treat for lunch. But the way I think about it is this: It was a treat. It was a privilege (not an automatic right). It was something nice I was going to do for her. She lost that privilege by refusing to wash her hair so we could go on our errands. And being super-mouthy. Why would I want to go out of my way to do something kind for someone who is rude to me? Am I missing something?
post #25 of 164
Not at all and you are being waaay more calm about it with her than I would be-but I guess I'm just more disrespectful than most.
post #26 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by brokenheart View Post
OP here. Thanks for your opinions, everyone. It totally helps to talk this out. I honestly am trying to be a good parent. I try to respect her. I am not trying to be a control freak. But if I let her just decide on everything, it would be chaos here...remember, she's 7.
I dont think anyone was saying you aren't trying to be a good parent!
I have to say that I disagree slightly you regarding your dd making her own decisions on everything.


Quote:
Originally Posted by brokenheart View Post
We did have to wash her hair. It was tangled, dirty and sweaty. That was the only time we had to have a bath....I wasn't that concerned about her being dirty when we ran our errands. But if she didn't wash her hair, it would still be dirty the next morning for school. Yes, I admit...I'm not ok with her decision to attend a special day at school with nasty hair. I'm not going to respect that decision because to me that would bad parenting. And as well, it would reflect badly on me. I wasn't asking anything unreasonable of her. A very quick bath is no big deal (and it isn't like she has an issue with baths...she was just choosing to be difficult).
Maybe not in your mind but obviously she had reason to think it unreasonable. why could she not have a bath before school? or before bedtime?
And why would it be bad parenting? And why do you care what someone else thinks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brokenheart View Post
As well, I did promise her a special treat for lunch. But the way I think about it is this: It was a treat. It was a privilege (not an automatic right). It was something nice I was going to do for her. She lost that privilege by refusing to wash her hair so we could go on our errands. And being super-mouthy. Why would I want to go out of my way to do something kind for someone who is rude to me? Am I missing something?
Because you love her unconditionally, because you said you would and why should there be strings attached?
And why should she obey you with everything when she doesn't want to? and why when someone is not respecting her wants/needs should she treat that person with respect?


I feel very strongly that a child should have full ownership over their bodies at all times. not "allowing" them ownership over their own bodies is a dangerous thing ime.

I am also not being snarky but genuinly asking those questions.
post #27 of 164
OP, I feel your pain. My DD is 6 1./2 and very much the same. She IS a spirited child. Her big issues are transitions, sleep and a few food additive sensitivities.

I think the first thing you need to do for yourself is examine why you feel so hurt by her words. Is she triggering some unresolved feelings from your past? I find it much harder to deal with the "venom" coming from DD when she uses phrases that are similar to the people in my life that have hurt me.

Next you need to grow a thicker skin. Your DD loves you. She feels safe with you. When she has a verbal tantrum (I think that is what the nasty talk is at this age) remember that she is probably acting out because she is overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with a situation, with an emotion, whatever. I doubt very seriously that she "doesn't like you". She's just an overwhelmed child that does not know how to control her own, obviously very strong, emotions very well yet.

I always make peace with DD after a tantrum. I will giver her a hug, tell her I love her, and we move on. I don't hold a grudge or treat the outburst as a behavior issue with lasting repercussions. This single action as greatly improved out relationship and her behavior. I'm not saying that she no longer tantrums or speaks to me like I am garbage at times, but things have become much less dramatic and are over sooner. We are both happier.

There is an excellent article about tantruming her at MDC. Reading really changed my perspective on what's going on. Just because our kids are older than toddlers does not mean that the wisdom in the article does not apply. (I looked for it to post a link but could not find it. Does anyone else know the tantrum atricle I'm talking about and have a link?)

My DD can have a horrible time with transitions. I have found giving her lots of warning if something needs to happen quickly or if we are changing up an established routine. If I don't, and a change is sprung on her and she is tiered, hungry or just cranky she often loosed it.

I also had to stop worrying about what other people think about me, my DD or my parenting. My goal is to get through the day as smoothly as possible and to meet everyones needs the best I can. Sometimes that means DD goes out in a mismatched outfit, with less than neat and clean hair. Sometimes that means DD has an epic tantrum because it's time to leave the park because her little brother needs to go home for a nap. Sometimes she has to wait because I'm finishing a meal, a conversation, going to the bathroom... (you get the idea) and being nasty or disruptive just means she has to wait longer.
post #28 of 164
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earthy Mama View Post
Not at all and you are being waaay more calm about it with her than I would be-but I guess I'm just more disrespectful than most.
I think I love you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mum21andtwins View Post
Maybe not in your mind but obviously she had reason to think it unreasonable. why could she not have a bath before school? or before bedtime?
And why would it be bad parenting? And why do you care what someone else thinks?
I do appreciate your response. I just think we have totally different parenting styles. I couldn't be this way personally. I feel like kids need guidance and loving authority. I don't believe 5, 6, 7 year olds are always capable of making choices that are in their best interest. If she was totally in charge of her own body/life, she'd never brush her teeth and she'd eat lollipops for breakfast. And I do care what other people think. I don't want people judging my child at school if she's dirty. Also, I didn't think I needed to get into all the details, but there were real reasons why on this particular day she had to have her bath right then. I am not unreasonable or rigid. If she could have had a bath before school or before bed, that would have been fine. She couldn't this time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbieB View Post
I think the first thing you need to do for yourself is examine why you feel so hurt by her words. Is she triggering some unresolved feelings from your past?
Yes, very good point. And the answer is yes. Some of her words do bring up some insecurities.
post #29 of 164
I don't think that she is too young to understand that what she is saying hurts you. I too have a 7yo, while she is not nearly extreme as your dd, she does have a bad attitude sometimes and can say hurtful things off the cuff.
I think that enforcing with her that her words are hurtful to you is something that needs to be done consistently.
post #30 of 164
I think you did fine, brokenheart. There are times when things have to happen and kids have to do things. I have four kids who hate to get their hair wet. Because I'm not going to allow poor hygeine, the hair gets washed. (The same way that brushing your teeth is not an option).
post #31 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by mum21andtwins View Post

Maybe not in your mind but obviously she had reason to think it unreasonable. why could she not have a bath before school? or before bedtime?
And why would it be bad parenting? And why do you care what someone else thinks?

<snip>

I feel very strongly that a child should have full ownership over their bodies at all times. not "allowing" them ownership over their own bodies is a dangerous thing ime.

I am also not being snarky but genuinly asking those questions.
This is a totally wild guess, but if any custody issue were ever to come up, it would "look good" for the OP if her child doesn't go out in public looking unkempt.
post #32 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post
I think you did fine, brokenheart. There are times when things have to happen and kids have to do things. I have four kids who hate to get their hair wet. Because I'm not going to allow poor hygeine, the hair gets washed. (The same way that brushing your teeth is not an option).
Although I do insist on hair-washing, I'm not sure about this analogy. Dirty hair won't cause hair-decay or heart disease.
post #33 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earthy Mama View Post
The rule was, before they go out, she needed a bath. No bath=no going out. She couldn't go get the treat because she didn't take a bath.
That's not disrespectful.
If this is a long established rule then enforcing it makes sense. If this is a rule that was made up on the spot then it was more of a command than a rule. Some of what happened may be her reaction to a change in her routine, especially if she likes routine a lot. When I have to change things drastically I prepare myself for my dd's complaints so I don't respond in a way that makes things worse. I also do the broken record explanation or why we must change things with a view towards the happy things we will be doing and don't let myself get sucked into a negative interaction (most days).

I don't think anything is wrong with your dd. I would talk like that and worse to my mother when I was a child and she was very authoritarian and strongly believed in hitting us. I didn't like anything that seemed remotely controlling or unfair. A new expectation would have been totally unfair to me and I would have resisted it heavily. Remember that controlling and unfair is from her perception and not yours so you may be perfectly reasonable but she doesn't think you are. Have you tried talking to her about what happened and what her perception was and just listening to what she says? How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk has wonderful tips and conversation starters for conversations with kids of all ages. This book is very helpful for learning to listen to your child while also helping them meet your expectations.
post #34 of 164
My dd has tendencies to act similarily with my dh - instigating yelling/arguing when he's trying to get her to do something. It happens way less with me (though still goes on sometimes, duh, we're people). But my take on it is that:
1. Avoid rushing - lots of reminders about what needs to happen as nicely as possible, and reminders about how we don't want to miss or forget things because we end up having to rush
2. When she starts yelling/arguing with me, I do my best to stay calm and tell her directly how frustrating this situation is, what I'm in particular worried about, and possibly how hurtful something she's said was. And (as long as we've got time to do it - and really this is the best thing we've found for diffusing the arguments) I'll let her know I need to go elsewhere in the house to calm down, get a drink of water or something, and then I'll come back and we'll solve our problem. When I get back I often ask dd first what she thinks we should do about our problem, and she'll usually come up with what I want to happen anyway and be willing to go ahead and get it done when it's 'her' idea, which is fine - I don't have to be in charge of how things happen as long as we're accomplishing whatever it is we need to do.
post #35 of 164
count me in as a mommy who thinks you did a pretty good job-- maybe not perfect, but I'm fairly certain that I haven't been a perfect parent on any day. My DD1 is younger (almost 5) but spends a lot of time with 6 and 7 year olds (before and after care at school) and I've seen a DRAMATIC increase in the exact behavior you are talking about.

First, I don't think it is disrespectful to be a human to your child. To me, that means that a kid your DDs age (or mine) can understand that certain interpersonal behaviors have real-life consequences. For example, if my DD is rude, difficult, mean etc to me- a natural consequence (not a punnishment) would be that I now have hurt feelings, am tired from how difficult she's made things, and am in NO mood to go do special things or get treats. on the flip side, there are plenty of fun times and surprise treats and privledges in her life- and (especially after becoming a big sister and having more responsibility) she certainly sees that days where she makes things "easy" for mommy means that I have more energy and am WAY more likely to do spontaneous and fun things/treats.

secondly, I totaly agree that it is OK for you to want DD to have a reasonable appearance in school. I think there is a big difference between wanting her to "look a certain way" for others, versus having minimum hygiene standards. needing a hair wash before the next day is fine (especially if she has say in other areas of appearance- like picking her clothes) but maybe you could have been flexible about the bath time. We usually do bath before school here (and this is with one parent having to leave by 6:45 am) because DD is too tired to behave and move quickly at night.

Another thought- if you really had to rush through the after school time to get back out, how about making the bath time the relaxing fun time? when we DO do daytime baths, I usually put DD in (at almost 5, I feel she's old enough to play in the bath alone while I'm in my room (attached) putting away laundry or relaxing) and give her a chunk of time to play. we do bubbles and/or food coloring in the bath. I give her a count down to hair washing and remind her that the sooner we do it, the more play time is left afterwards. Maybe you could have really rocked her world and given her a messy treat she could have eaten right in the bath as the water filled up? DD once had a majorly drippy popsicle in the bath because we didn't ahve time for dessert AND bath- she was thrilled and i got her clean!
post #36 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by brokenheart View Post
)

As well, I did promise her a special treat for lunch. But the way I think about it is this: It was a treat. It was a privilege (not an automatic right). It was something nice I was going to do for her. She lost that privilege by refusing to wash her hair so we could go on our errands. And being super-mouthy. Why would I want to go out of my way to do something kind for someone who is rude to me? Am I missing something?

Do you think she understood the cause and effect of this? Maybe try to spend some calm time with her at bedtime and explain how you see this situation (which repeats itself too often).

I don't know if you need to be more authoritarian but you might need to be clearer what youre expectations are, behavior wise. Respect is a big, heavy concept for young people to grasp, but manners and kindness are easier. So what if you tell her that bad manners, rudeness, and unkindness are no longer acceptable in your home? You might need to write down the kind of positive behavior that you are looking for so when she starts being rude you can say "Is this kind? Is what you said to me polite? Because rudeness is not allowed here." Because it's not really about washing her hair, it's about the what gets said and done in the process.

One caution I will give you, is that you seem hurt that she doesn't recognize the special things you do for her. She is a child and in general, gratitude seems like something you learn over the years. You need to do nice things for people because you want to do them, not because you expect something in return. Buying her a special juice cup is not likely to matter one way or another to her at this age...and in a way, that's good., and a nice example of how unconditional her love for you is as a child.
post #37 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbieB View Post

My DD can have a horrible time with transitions. I have found giving her lots of warning if something needs to happen quickly or if we are changing up an established routine. If I don't, and a change is sprung on her and she is tiered, hungry or just cranky she often loosed it.
After reading all the responses, this is what I'm wondering too - does she mostly melt down and become disrespectful when you guys are having a busy day? I'm not saying you should stay home all the time, but maybe having a lot going on triggers this behavior? I totally understand that sometimes you have to run errands or go out, but I do think all the busyness in our lives affects our kids (and us) negatively.

But count me in as one who thinks you did a pretty good job. It's easy to Monday-morning quarterback your parenting, but not so easy when you're trying to think clearly in the thick of it. Probably the one thing I would change is (if I had thought of it) I would have given her a choice to bathe now or at bedtime. But I doubt that getting just one more choice would have made much difference, honestly.

On the issue of denying the treat: I can see it both ways. I do think that taking away the treat was probably more of an emotional reaction on your part (hope I'm not overstepping here). I do the same thing with DS and regret it later. The treat wasn't explicitly contingent on any expectation of behavior, and it may have been an opportunity to make peace in the middle of war, so to speak, if you had both taken a break and sat down to enjoy the treat. Maybe the scenario I'm imagining was impossible in the situation, but I'm starting to agree with the poster who said it wasn't right to take the treat away. I think it wasn't related to anything that was going on, so it was more of an arbitrary punishment.

Good luck! I don't know what it's like to have a seven-year-old girl, and I know *I* never behaved that way at seven.

Oh! One more thing - does she have a strong attachment with her peers? I wonder if you should read "Hold on to Your Kids" - it clarified for me one of the difficulties with disrespectful children, which is a stronger peer orientation than parent orientation. Just something to look into, though it may not apply in your case.
post #38 of 164
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gcgirl View Post
On the issue of denying the treat: I can see it both ways. I do think that taking away the treat was probably more of an emotional reaction on your part (hope I'm not overstepping here).

..............................
I wonder if you should read "Hold on to Your Kids" - it clarified for me one of the difficulties with disrespectful children, which is a stronger peer orientation than parent orientation. Just something to look into, though it may not apply in your case.
Yes, I love that book! Yes, it was an emotional reaction on my part. I figured....DD is sitting here making my life difficult and arguing with me when I have a very limited amount of time to get our stuff done. I wasn't feeling that great, and I didn't want to expend more energy arguing about nonsense (I truly don't believe this is about washing hair....it is a power struggle IMO). I asked her a couple of times what would make it better....warmer water? cooler water? did she want me to help her? I don't know why she feels the need to struggle for power...she has lots of power over many, many facets of her life. But anyway....

If she was just arguing with me, dawdling, etc., I could handle it. But when she starts saying outright "NO" and trying to make it impossible for me to get her hair washed and being rude to me, I think she needs to have a consequence at that point. I'm trying to follow the concept of "natural consequences". So to me, a natural consequence is that if she is wasting so much time arguing with me, she's not ready in time and she can't come with me on the errands. AND, if she's rude to me, a natural consequence is that while I'm running errands alone, I'm not going to want to go out of my way to pick up a treat for a child who is behaving rude, mouthy, and uncooperative. At least that's how I view it.
post #39 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by brokenheart View Post
AND, if she's rude to me, a natural consequence is that while I'm running errands alone, I'm not going to want to go out of my way to pick up a treat for a child who is behaving rude, mouthy, and uncooperative. At least that's how I view it.
Okay, for some reason I thought you had already picked up the treat. That does change the scenario I was thinking of.
post #40 of 164
Quote:
Yes, I love that book! Yes, it was an emotional reaction on my part. I figured....DD is sitting here making my life difficult and arguing with me when I have a very limited amount of time to get our stuff done. I wasn't feeling that great, and I didn't want to expend more energy arguing about nonsense (I truly don't believe this is about washing hair....it is a power struggle IMO). I asked her a couple of times what would make it better....warmer water? cooler water? did she want me to help her? I don't know why she feels the need to struggle for power...she has lots of power over many, many facets of her life. But anyway...
I have these days too. Children with this kind of personality can be exasperating.

Quote:
If she was just arguing with me, dawdling, etc., I could handle it. But when she starts saying outright "NO" and trying to make it impossible for me to get her hair washed and being rude to me, I think she needs to have a consequence at that point. I'm trying to follow the concept of "natural consequences". So to me, a natural consequence is that if she is wasting so much time arguing with me, she's not ready in time and she can't come with me on the errands. AND, if she's rude to me, a natural consequence is that while I'm running errands alone, I'm not going to want to go out of my way to pick up a treat for a child who is behaving rude, mouthy, and uncooperative. At least that's how I view it.
I have also started enforcing natural consequences for mouthy, hurtful behavior. At 7, I think it's age appropriate to do so.

I think to be fair, the child does need a heads up that a natural consequence is about to happen. Something like, "Stop yelling at me and being so difficult. If we don't get your hair washed in the next 5 minutes than we will have run out of time and will not be able to go to the store for x,y,z." Of course I have to make sure I am not yelling too and I let DD know that we can go to the store next time we have the car.

By giving a heads up there is no room for "I didn't know." By giving a time when we will go to the store I feel like I am addressing the inappropriate behavior and it's consequences rather than being punitive and taking away a treat.

It's not easy to be so rational and fair when DD's pushed my buttons though.
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