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so here is our life. I am stuck. - Page 2

post #21 of 25

laraxc, would it actually be so bad to give your child and allowance to shop for her own cloths? Think about setting some expectations you have for clothing and discuss these with your child, and then try the waters for a while. You regocnize a need of your child (more independence), you can now think how to meet this need.


Your child is 7years old, that's still eons away from being an adult and an employer. Some people have a harder time being criticized than others, many adults are not good at it either. On the other hand, she is 7 years old and involving her in the process of finding solutions to problems is a great way of empowering her, letting her feel more adult. If you think her way of dramatizing a lot of "little" things is a problem, than find a quiet moment, sit together with her and try to find a solution together and see what happens.

post #22 of 25

Since our little people are a reflections of us, I have noticed that my girl overreacts to just about everything.  Her father does too.  To amuse myself I keep her hair in pig tails because it's cute when she tantrums with flopping pig tails!   Ok I kid.  I've only done that once on accident. 


I'm going to completely ignore the food issue and the putting her on the spot.  I've not met one child in this age range who does not overreact.  If there is one out there I believe the child belongs to me and was switched at birth... I would like to switch back please.  Lying is denying the issue.  Lying is completely normal.  Go through your own childhood and tell us all you have never lied.  We all want our children to be honest and we think it reflects poorly upon our parenting if they don't feel comfortable enough to tell us the truth.  Well... get over your ego.  And remember it's normal.  You just need to find a way to teach her that you can be trusted with her version of the truth. 

post #23 of 25

Forced apologies mean nothing, IME.  They teach children that they can say words that are meaningless and get out of it-- who wants insincere?


For lying, usually I just tell my kids that I always know what they are doing.  I know, and they should know that I know.  I tell them I will always find out.  I do not ask them.  I tell them that I already know.  I tell them what they should do next time with no questions and no expectation of admission of guilt. 


I also make a big deal when they tell me things that are hard to admit.  I do not get upset about whatever they did wrong, but instead tell them how brave they are to tell me __.


RE: food hiding.  One of my DDs has done this a few times.  I focus on the real lesson (for me) . . .that she NEVER has to hide food.  Ever.  I tell her if it is important for her to have __, then she can have it, but that she should never hide food.  I never want them to think they need to hide things for me, esp. food.  Food can be tied with emotions, and they should not hide those from me either.


The main thing I try to convey is that lying is bad for their safety.  I am here to protect them, and if they lie, I can't do it as well.  (Yes, this contradicts my statement of always know what they are doing!)

post #24 of 25

Oh, this is something we are working on here.  What I do is discuss talking responsibility.  I focus on the fact that she made a choice-- she and she alone. No one forced her.  It was her decision, and she cannot blame others.  This is EXTREMELY important to me.  I have met too many people who simply cannot take responsibility for their actions because they always got out of it.  BUT, the next step is to give an out.  "You chose this, and it was your decision.  What are you going to do now?"  They need to be able to fix it.  Not with an apology.  They need to talk about what they will do next time-- not just listen to you say it.  They need to discuss and understand the why behind it.  They also need to know that sometimes rules have to be changed and re-thought-- that you are listening.  When they start saying it was not their fault, etc., ignore and be the broken record.  Say, no, you made this choice.  What are you going to do?


It does not work the first time, but being consistent helps.  I think for the people who do not take responsibility, it is actually a terrible burden for them.  As adults, they feel powerless.  Therefore, while it can be scary to own up to mistakes, it is also very freeing to think, "Wow!  I have choices in life!"  I remember feeling so much better when I learned this-- that taking responsibility is, well, a responsibility, it opens up so many doors, and you start to own your own life.

Originally Posted by loraxc View Post

We often use this approach. The problem is that she will argue, argue, argue and make excuses. Even if we briefly outline the broken rule, ask her to follow it and the future, and then say "We're done...end of the conversation" and try to move on, she will not. If we don't respond to her commentary ("But I didn't! Why are you mad at me? It's not my fault! It's because I...I didn't know!") she will get more and more agitated and start yelling at us about how we're not answering her and it's not fair and we're ignoring her. This will degenerate to yelling "MAMA! MAMMAAAAAA!" through tears.

We then proceed to asking her to take it to her room till she can stop yelling and freak out. She will often refuse and at this point I will feel compelled to say something like "In your room or there will be a consequence," at which point she will go, but we are trying to get away from punishment/consequences except when really necessary.

If she does go to her room, she will read and come out calm and apologize...usually. Once she's cooled down she is generally pretty reasonable and able to say what she did that was not okay.

I really feel between a rock and a hard place because I get two voices in my head (and sometimes I hear real voices saying the same thing, too!) One school of thought is that we are too easy on her and let her get away with too much, and we should be immediately clamping down and enforcing major consequences for every incident of unacceptable rudeness, lying, etc. The other is that we are being too hard on her, too punitive, setting her up to be in conflict with us, etc. I just feel so bewildered sometimes.


post #25 of 25
I think that forced apologies, backing kids into situations where they feel like they have to lie to stay out of "trouble," etc., only backfire. I remember being treated like that-- I know you're lying, and you'll stay in your room until you're ready to tell me what really happened, and thinking how ridiculous the whole thing was because my mom KNEW what happened. I don't think it's the best way to teach them about the truth.

It can help a lot to just circumvent the issue of needing permission to get food. We changed the rule from "you need to ask first," to "only at certain times of day." My DD1 really wanted the control and privilege of being able to get her own snacks, but I didn't want her eating snacks right before meals- I work hard to prepare meals, and we have a limited food budget, and it's nice if everybody comes to the table with an appetite.

This just happened to use a few weeks ago, actually.

So what I did was to make a sign, with two side-- one side says YES, and the other side says NOT NOW. I hung it in the kitchen, up over the window where it's difficult to reach. Most of the time, it's hung on the YES side. If the sign is on YES, then kids are free to help themselves to the snacks that I make available-- and I make sure they know where the food is that they can have, and keep foods I don't want them to eat out of sight and out of reach. Then, an hour before lunch, and two hours before dinner, I switch the sign to NOT NOW. The rule is that if the sign is on NOT NOW, you cannot help yourself to food. If there's an exceptional circumstance, and you really feel like you NEED food, then you're to ask an adult.

That way, there's nothing to lie about. I'd say let me see what's in that bowl. Then I'd say, let's go see what the sign says. Oh, the sign says NOT NOW. Honey, you can't take a snack when the sign says NOT NOW. Here, let me put that away for you, and you can get it when the sign says YES again.

I wouldn't then follow that up with any further consequence, unless it became chronic. If it did, then I'd wait for a neutral time, and I'd sit her down and say, love, you know the rule about snacks, and a few times you haven't followed it. If you break that rule again, then I'm going to put the snacks away where you can't get them, and I'm going to be in charge of giving snacks for a few weeks. If you want to be able to help yourself, you need to follow the rules we've set. (Then I'd get real busy in my own head, figuring out where I would put the food to restrict access, so I'd be prepared in case she decided to rest my resolve.) Then, if it happened again, I'd do what I said before, and then I'd calmly go about the business of restricting access-- putting snack foods in an inaccessible location. Then I'd mark for her on the calendar exactly which day the snacks would "come back again," and remind her that when they do, she will have to follow the rule about the sign.

I think the best way to handle lying is to set up the situation as much as possible so that there's no reason to lie.

Re: the drama. Some kids are really just like that. In the above situation, for example, my DD2 could just be like, okay, mama. My son might cry a little. My DD1 would have a full-blown breakdown, complete with accusations of terrible unfairness, and give me to understand that I'd ruined her life forever. She gets over it. If I've made the rule clearcut and simple, and explained it to her thoroughly, then I know I've been as fair as I can be, and so I just offer a little sympathy for her disappointment, and then ignore any further drama. I don't attempt to discuss what happened until she's fully calm.
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