She just got her toys back in her room after a week of being pretty strictly grounded. She had 2 days of having toys back and 1 day of being able to go outside and play. The condition was that she was not to be watching TV unless explicitly told she could. Today DH, who works late nights and is 2 weeks from his degree, says he woke up at 9 to find her out watching tv with the volume down really low. I work on Saturdays so I wasn't home. This is clearly deception. She knew she wasnt supposed to so she tried to hide it from us. I just dont know what to do. I told her that she just took a huge step back in her punishment and that she could forget about TV for the remainder of the school year. I will still be taking her to the library and we are still reading our family book together. I just dont know how to get through to her. She doesnt respond when i try to talk to her about why she chose to do something, I think she knows she doesnt have any ground to stand on. I got pretty upset and let her know i felt like she was taking advantage of how hard her dad and I work. and she claimed that wasn't what she was doing. I told her that the consequence to her not following the rules and ignoring them was that she was taking advantage of us. She has turned into a completely different kid than she was last year. I am lost.
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10yo daughter completely obsessed with boys - Page 2
I got pretty upset and let her know i felt like she was taking advantage of how hard her dad and I work. and she claimed that wasn't what she was doing. I told her that the consequence to her not following the rules and ignoring them was that she was taking advantage of us.
I don't really follow your train of thought here. It sounds like you are making it about you and your DH, and I don't see that.
One of the positive things about a good counselor is getting input from a expert on ways to tweak parenting to better suit a specific child. Counseling is a good option when we are stuck in life, when we can't figure out what makes sense next.
I'm feeling concerned reading about the punishments. Obviously, you'll handle this the way that works for your family, but my two cents is that it's starting to feel very restrictive, and frankly, I don't think you're going to come out winning here. I don't know your situation, but it seems like there should be some emphasis on connection, which is what you'll need to get through adolescence. Yes, she is pushing limits, and she is young for it. The idea of counseling is great because right now it sounds like you're experiencing all of her behavior as a power struggle. Sometimes it isn't. I don't know that escalating the punishment is going to help.
I'd take a step back, hold the line on the really important issue, and get some counseling/support for yourself to help clarify your concerns, get some developmental perspective, and work on a plan.
Why aren't you letting her watch TV? Are you concerned she's seeing something on there that's age-inappropriate and giving her ideas about boys? If so then the solution might be to get some parental controls on the TV or allow her to select from some age appropriate videos if she wakes up first. If you're just punishing her by taking away her TV time I'm afraid that will seem arbitrary and unconnected to her inappropriate behavior with the boy and she may feel it's just plain mean which could cause her to be resentful and less cooperative. If she woke up and no one else was awake she was probably pretty bored. Maybe you could help her find some appropriate solutions to that problem (books, crafts, audio books, etc), so she doesn't turn to the TV. If you really don't like TV you might consider getting rid of it or getting rid of cable.
We have very minimal TV viewing here mainly because I'm concerned about the ads. We also have TiVO with parental controls so if the kids did turn on the TV they could only get to appropriate shows. Our TV set up is pretty complicated (techy DH) and sometimes it's hard for me to even find the program I'm looking for. My kids don't even attempt it. Maybe you could make your TV too complicated to use like ours is !
We don't really have punishments in our house. We do have consequences. Neither of my girls has shown any interest in boys aside from Harry Potter and Ron Weasley, but if they were to do something like, say, run off with a friend (more likely for my 8 yr old to do this). The consequence would be for my kid to end the playdate if I didn't think she realized the seriousness of the situation and not see the friend for awhile. There wouldn't be grounding (although that wouldn't be inappropriate in this scenario — we just don't do grounding). I would probably accompany her on any outings and explain that I need to know where she is. There would not be a set time for the not seeing the friend to end, but the next time a playdate came up I would reiterate that they needed to stay where an adult knew where they were and if they want to go for a walk they need to let someone know. If they didn't cooperate we'd try some other more contained situation where they couldn't go off on their own for the next playdate.
Maybe your kid responds well to punishments, but I know mine don't. They're much more cooperative if I explain why I don't want them to do something and take into account their feelings and their ideas for solutions to the problem. It's hard for me to imagine either of my girls kissing a boy (I think they'd come closer to eating a worm) but I can take a stab at what I might do in that situation. Have you talked to the boy's parents? If I was feeling brave I might try to arrange a playdate with the boy where I was with them the whole time, like maybe take them bowling. That would show that you respect that she likes him (even as a friend), but your presence would set limits. I'm not sure I'd be that brave though. It would also depend on the other parents.
Have you talked to her about puberty and reproduction, etc? I have been having that conversation with my girls since they were about 4 and 2 and expressed some curiosity. I have also reiterated that I think it's really really hard to be a young teen mom and that it's much easier to be a mom when you have a partner and one or both of you is working so you can afford a house and food and doctor bills. They both agree with that idea.
I agree that she needs more connection if possible.
If it helps at all my DH was kissing his girlfriend in the coat closet when he was 7 and he was not at all promiscuous kid/teen, not sexually active at a young age, and is a super responsible great guy. It was also not a big deal and he didn't get in big trouble about it nor did the girl. I would put the emphasis not on her as being bad and slutty (not at all saying you are saying or even meaning to imply this, but I am definitely getting a "sexually inappropriate" vibe from this thread) but instead on what behavior would be appropriate for her. Doing her schoolwork springs to mind! Suppose there was no kissing going on, but this was just a bunch of note-passing and whispering with a girlfriend and not concentrating on what she needs to be doing. What would you do then? I'd be telling my kids that it's distracting for her and for the other girl and they need to do their schoolwork and I know school is almost out, but it's not over yet. I might suggest that they play together at recess, but not play during class.
Remember the old "don't think about an elephant" adage. If I say "don't think about an elephant" what image springs to mind? An elephant. If instead I say what I do want you to think about, "think about a bunny" it's much easier to DO think about that than it is to DON'T think about the other. So, I'd tell her that her behavior at school is interfering with what she DOES need to do and put the emphasis on what she CAN DO and what she SHOULD DO. I think the "no contact contract" was overkill and will now make contact with the boy even more tempting forbidden fruit. I would have hoped for more emphasis on what they could do (talk, swing on the swings, play on the play structure) rather than what they can't do (talk to each other at all apparently).
I would play it cool. Kids like to be sneaky sometimes. We just went on a weekend trip over Memorial Day and my dd2 tried to sneak about 6 Jolly Ranchers into a "candy stash" she didn't want me to know about. I found out accidentally and she confessed in tears. I told her it was no big deal and she was welcome to take them. If I made a big deal about it she would have been even more obsessed with candy and sneakier next time. As it was between 4 girls on the trip they still didn't even eat all of them.
I would be more concerned about her lying (about the TV, about the notes, about the boy), but I would just ask her to tell you and then not over-react and make her feel like she has to sneak. Oh, you were bored when you woke up and didn't know what to do? Well, dad and I didn't want you watching TV without us because there really are just some bad, stupid and inappropriate shows on and we wanted to help you find a good one you'd like. Let's see if we can figure out some other things you can do when you're bored instead.
Basically you want to let her know that she doesn't need to lie and sneak around behind your back. If she gets punished when she gets caught you're just teaching her to be sneakier so she doesn't get caught next time. If the two of you work out a mutually agreeable solution to her problem (not you giving in and letting her do something you think she shouldn't) then she will view you as someone she can go to when she has a problem.
This works for kissing the boy, too, and the notes. "Hey, I found these notes. It sounds like you really like B. What do you like about him? Does he like Harry Potter, too? Is he into art? Just let me know if you want to invite him over sometime and we can all go do something fun like bowling together, or maybe go to the pool, or to the park. I don't think you should kiss him, though. That's very distracting at school for the other kids. Maybe holding hands is okay with the teacher, though. Let's find out."
But now it's a BIG FAT DEAL and it's her and the boy versus the school and the parents. That power struggle dichotomy is a lose-lose situation. Try to get back to being on her team and not her adversary. Work collaboratively to solve the problems. If it's TV when she's not supposed to do TV and the only other thing she has to do is read a book she hates (just an example) that's not a good solution to the boredom problem. She needs some input and she needs her input to be taken seriously, but her input isn't the only input ("TV is the only thing that'll keep me from being bored"). The solution has to be mutually agreeable. You're looking for middle ground here. She doesn't get to call all the shots and you don't get to call all the shots. You each take the other's ideas under consideration and of course the adult gets the final say, but sometimes the kid's solutions are fine.
Edited by beanma - 5/30/12 at 8:24am
I don't know. A kiss at 10 doesn't seem really out of control or like sexually acting out to me. Am I the only one here who had their first kiss at 10? Well I did, and I was totally crazy over him, thought about him all.the.time! But we had a couple of kisses and that was pretty much that until I had my second experience with a boy five long years later. My memory of it is very sweet and I'm happy that it happened and can not imagine what it would have been like to be grounded over it or told that it was somehow terrible.
I am really shocked that the school would act as strongly as they have. I wonder if that's like how when I was 11 it was totally normal to be dropped off at the mall and hang out with my friends all day but now people just don't do that. Maybe this is how things are done these days? But when I was 10, I doubt anyone at school would have cared about a little kiss on the playground. I don't remember seeing that happening in 5th grade, but by 6th grade there was some kissing going on (not me of course, because I had already had my big moment) at school and fairly openly, like in the hallway between classes and the like. And it wasn't anything anyone worried about getting into trouble for. And in 6th grade there were parties at private homes that were basically make-out parties. I'm not saying this is ideal and that I'd feel super comfortable with my child being caught up in it, but I absolutely think its normal for a 10 year old girl to be thinking about boys.
It's easy to get into a situation and punish, and when that punishment doesn't work to make the punishment more harsh, and when that punishment doens't work to make it yet more harsh, etc., rather than considering that the punishment might just not be working for this problem at all, and that making it harsher isn't going to make it work better.
Her turning on the tv really low makes me wonder if that's how she's problem solving at this point, and if that's her survival technique, when her hormones get even more into overdrive, you could have real problems. My parents did this same stuff with me, and I learned to make them think I was following all their rules, but I got very very good at sneaking around behind them. I think you can imagine what kinds of things I got up to.
If this were in my family (and I have a boy crazy 10-year-old girl, though I don't think she's kissed anyone at this point), if she had kissed a boy and it appeard to be a problem, I'd try to connect more with her, make sure she told me everything that happened in any interactions with boys, and I'd keep her having a lot of fun without that boy. The end lesson is that there is so much more to life than boys, but what she's learning is that everything that doesn't involve boys is really boring and restrictive.
rubidoux, I didn't have my first kiss at 10, but like I said my DH had a "girlfriend" at 7. He still talks about her as his first girlfriend and they did kiss. It was all very innocent, though. I also remember a girl in first or second grade, Lee-Ann, running around the tables after Joe. My dd2 had a little friend in K who had crush on a boy, Isaac, in her class and as I said up thread, my dd1 (11) has a boy classmate who received an anonymous love note. There's lotsa love going around in elementary school.
I really think making a big deal out of it is going to make it a mountain out of a mole hill. A kiss when a kid is 10 is developmentally appropriate in my book, even a kiss on the lips, (though probably not ...um... "French" kissing). I'm sorry the school has come down so harshly on them and I hope the parents of both kids can find a way to connect with the kids.
I wish you the best of luck, girls are just not easy at times. (atleast seems like such for me.;) )
I think you may be onto something with keeping her busy with activities. Maybe pickign up some fun activities to do during the summer with a bunch of other girls would be great for her. My older girl was more boy crazy as well but didn't start until around 12.
We found that it helped quite a bit to get her involved with several activities. She loved soccer, dance, and cheer and those seemed to keep her pretty busy but then we moved after a couple years and she lost interest in any activites unfortunately. Again, I wish you lots of luck! Hang in there.
Edited by marlne - 6/1/12 at 5:52pm
I am gonna share here about me.. I was boy crazy myself when younger.. By age 10, I too had kissed a boy and we were actually making out at times the older we got. My family and his family were very close and in fact, we would always have sleep overs as well. The furthest we got, which was a big deal back then, was him putting his hand on my back during the kiss. I didn't know much about what we were doing and never had any kind of clue that you could go "further." I do know that my dad had walked in on us when we were in my room under a make shift tent but nothing was ever said. For the boy and myself over time, we just remained friends, and nothing further ever happened. I think we just got bored of the kissing and had more fun swimming and riding our bikes.
When we got a little bit older and a new boy moved on our street, he had quite a bit more "experience" and started telling us girls more of what a boy and girl could actually do. Now that boy, needed to be away from us girls and he was just plain gross in all he said and in all he asked us to do with him. He was the type who was sneaky, trying to get us to lie and sneak to his house and I am thankful that us girls on our street didn't like him.
If I was going through this again with a young daughter, I think I would think about keeping her away from the boy really, not because she kissed him, but because he seems to be trying to influence her in the wrong direction such as telling her to sneak and lie. I'd let her know that its not good to sneak and lie because if something happened to her while she snuck away, how would you know even where to start in looking for her if she really needed you.
Getting her involved with activities to keep her busy may be wonderful for everyone. No punishing needed and she may like the positive influences the activities will be. My younger daughter has thrived with all the activities and kept them up for quite some time.
I think that making out at school at any age is a big deal, and doing it repeatedly after getting in trouble for it is a sign of a problem.
For those that feel the school over reacted, I'm curious what you think schools should do when children are busy doing their best to sneak off and make out, and at exactly what point you feel the parents should be brought into the loop.
Part of the problem with blowing off this behavior as not being a big deal at school is drawing the line about exactly where the line is. Because of how difficult it is to draw that line, I can see schools draw it where they do -- keep you hands and lips and all other body parts to yourself at school.
Linda, I'm pretty sure the OP never said they "made out". That has a connotation of really heavy kissing and groping to me.
The note included that B was her boyfriend, they love eachother, that they want to kiss. also a sneeky plan to get invited over to a friends house that he lives close to so they can hang out.
Note that she says the plan is so they can HANG out not make out.
There's no indication from the OP that the kissing is any more than a peck on the check or a peck on the lips. In fact, in the OP's first post there's mention of 1 kiss that actually happened and that they "want to kiss". In post #12 the OP says they had a second kiss at school and were caught and then had to do the no contact contract or suspension. So all we have to go on is notes that they want to kiss and two instances where they were kissing that we know about (one because she found a note that said they kissed, and one because another child told on them—there's no instance of an adult actually seeing them kiss).
Today i got a call from the school saying that she had kissed him again and that another kid told. They gathered all the notes out of her desk and had the school counselor talk with her. She and the boy now have a no contact contract which means if either of them interacts with eachother they will get suspended.
I'm not at all getting that they "are busy doing their best to sneak off and make out". I'm getting that the OP's dd likes to write notes a lot, but I'm not sure that writing about a "big plan" is the same as trying to implement the big plan. The OP doesn't say that her dd did get invited over to a friend's house and hang out with the boy. I think she could be fantasizing this completely. I mean, obviously she likes the boy, and kissed him, but if she wrote a note about running away to Vegas to marry him that doesn't mean it's going to happen or even that she's trying to make it happen. I think it's fine to call her on it, but I'd do it in a collaborative way -- "Hey, I found these notes on the floor. Sounds like you really like B. If you want to hang out, you don't have to sneak, though. Let's invite him over for supper."
And I'm not at all getting any idea of how involved the boy is in all this. We have a bunch of notes that she wrote. To whom? The boy? A girlfriend? Herself as a kind of diary? We don't have any notes that the boy wrote. We don't have any indication at all of his involvement other than they kissed. He may be at the water fountain or the swings and she comes up and plants one on him and another kid sees and tells. Or he may be wooing her into the playhouse and sneaking away with her. We really don't have any details on that.
I get that the OP is incredibly concerned and worried for her daughter and that the school is making a really big deal about it, but I'm not clear at all that it is a really big deal. It could be, but the details aren't here in this thread.
If two kids are really sexually acting out (say, taking off their clothes, or really groping each other, or really passionately kissing each other) I think something should certainly be said to the parents and the kids and some action taken. I am not clear that that is what happened in this instance, though. I don't know how the school can be clear about that either since what we have is #1 a note that said that they kissed and #2 another child telling on them. It's possible that an adult saw the second kiss (that they were still kissing by the time the child who told on them got the teacher's attention), but the OP never says that, so we have no way of knowing what it looked like from a reliable source, and certainly the OP didn't see the kissing.
I can see schools draw it (the line) where they do -- keep you hands and lips and all other body parts to yourself at school.
But they don't! At my kids' public elementary school kids interact physically all the time at recess, work collaboratively on projects, etc. Kids walk into school arm in arm and hand in hand both girls and girls, boys and boys, and girls and boys. I'm fine with them saying no kissing at school, but an innocent peck on the lips is far better in my book than hitting and kicking and shoving which certainly happens plenty in elementary school. A peck on the cheek or lips is not something to threaten suspension over unless perhaps it was bullying behavior. Certainly it should be corrected, but in the same manner that you might correct a child who played with another child a little bit too roughly (not a fight, which is another kettle of fish entirely).
ETA: I think that some of us on this thread (me initially, and maybe some others) are picking up on the OP's obvious concern and distress and may be guilty of jumping to conclusions about the behavior and that's coloring our reactions. It's really unclear how passionate/age-inappropriate or how innocent the behavior may or may not have been. It's clear that it may be causing the dd some distraction and her school work may suffer, but that could certainly happen with girl note-passing and gossip, too.
Edited by beanma - 6/1/12 at 8:51pm
There's also no indication that it was just a peck, either on the lips or the check.
I can see why schools draw the line the way the do, and I'm surprised that other parents don't.
Yesterday I dropped my 14 year old off at an academic camp on a university campus. The kids are staying in the dorms, and it's a co-ed program. They had a one hour orientation that parents had to stay for that went over rules and safety. One thing that was made very clear is that if kids are visiting the room of a another participant who happens to be the opposite gender, the door MUST remain open. If this rule is broken, the parents are immediately called and both kids are sent home. They don't even have to be touching.
In a group situation where adults are legally and ethically responsible for other people's children, the rules are pretty tight and the line may be more extreme than some of us would draw for our own kids.
There is a MASSIVE difference between two kids bumping into each other while working together or holding hands while skipping or other casual contact and ANT contact that is sexual in nature (if that is boy/girl stuff or same sex stuff).
Schools are covering their hind-ends from law suits. It wouldn't be inconceivable that the boyfriend's parents could give the school heck for not protecting their son from sexual harassment. Or they could angrily confront the girl's father and mother. It's ridiculous, but stuff like this happens.
Talk about ridiculous lawsuits... my DD's school is having issues with parents threatening to sue over their kids not being able to go on end of year trip because of bad grades, misbehavior, etc.
Sorry to go off on a tangent there, but anyway...
I had a crush on a boy when I was five, and he liked me back. We never got beyond holding hands and proposing to each other- my "boyfriend" actually gave me this ring of his mom's to wear to show off our love to each other. It stopped, though. My parents thought it was absolutely hilarious seeing five-year-olds proposing to each other on the playground and they did strongly advise us against marrying, as we didn't have any money or a house to live in, etc. to support our marriage. We broke it off when I pushed him too hard on the swing and he fell off, so he got mad and the relationship basically went kaput after that. He did kiss me on the lips ONCE, but I hated how it felt, so we never repeated the action. The funny thing is that as an adult we are STILL friends, and that as a teenager, I actually despised him! I guess what I'm saying is to have a sense of humor about the whole thing.
Kids of all different ages have romantic feelings, but they usually don't act on them sexually. And your daughter's only ten- it probably won't be a serious relationship, and it won't last long. Of course, it probably helped that we were friends LONG before we had certain feelings for each other, so our parents knew each other quite well and talked to each other about our relationships. Of course, if the boy is encouraging her to go further than that, then certainly get involved. Still, have a talk with your child about sex, pregnancy, dating, how love is portrayed in the media, etc. That way she knows the boundaries of what's appropriate and what's not. have a talk with her about what she wants- does she picture having a wonderful relationship with this guy? And ask her for her honest opinion of this boy. If she says that he is simply cute or something like that, tell her to look a little deeper- does he make her laugh? Is he nice? Does he help her with homework? If so, then I would consider encouraging her to continue to see him- with parents present, of course. And also get face to face (or call her at least) with her mom- explain that you are concerned that the things she watches at home with her is making her act on those feelings. I'm sure that you can figure out a common theme so that your daughter is not seeing conflicting traditions and rules at either home.
As for the groundings and things like that- yes, punish her for lying, but let's try having you explain to her this way:
"honey, I wish you hadn't lied to me. I could have helped you figure out what to do when you're bored, if only you asked. I felt really hurt. I felt hurt like as if I'd told you we had ice cream, and you got all excited, but it turned out that there's no ice cream. You'd feel awful, right? That's how I felt. I'm trying to protect you from watching bad things on T.V., but you're making this hard to do."
Then have a discussion about how being sneaky and lying can hurt people, and then solve the problem by brainstorming possibilities of other things she can do when she's bored, or tempted to lie or be sneaky, etc.
I know this is long and kind of confusing, but do you get what I'm trying to say?
just wanted to come back and answer some questions. it was more than a peck on the cheek, it was several lip kisses which doesn't perticularly matter. the notes were very involved with him using inappropriate language such as sexy and hot. recently the boy was caught taking off his clothes at recess and trying to get my dd to ask another girl to strip dance at recess. dd didnt seem to be involved but the principle called and said she was being cooperative. I asked that he was to be placed in a different class from her next year. She has been pretty good but yesterday on my birthday i was extremely ill throwing up. DS got sick at school also so we were both home quite ill. DD was going on a field trip today and I specifically told her no electronics on the bus, she used the time i was in the bathroom throwing up to get her Nintendo ds out of the closet and put it in her backpack. after a long night of being sick i got up early because she really needs new shoes and i was going to drive her to school(instead of taking the bus) and get some shoes, i look in her backpack to put her lunch in and there's the ds. i dont understand why she takes advantage of my already crappy birthday to lie and sneak a toy she knew she wasn't allowed to take to school .Im so exhausted and its finals week of DH's senior year of college so i dont want to bug him with this right now and DS is sill puking and im just exhaused. I dont ge why she is constantly pushing us lately i dont even know if i have the energy to deal with any of this right now.
I'm so sorry you were ill! It just makes everything 10 times harder to deal with.
One Girl is right, it's not personal. She didn't take advantage of you, at least not consciously. I know when I was 10 y.o. I took my mom for granted for the most part.
everything is sexualized and it is put that way to make us feel like we fit in this world, that we are part of this because we are involved in someway, because we dress, talk, watch, play in these roles. it is all part of the control. we are part of the sexualization so we fit in. good sheep tactics.
my daughter is starting to show an interest in boys she is nearly nine, this is far too soon for my liking but that is the society we live in, so you either wise them up and let them no the facts earlier or you leave them finding their own way. its quite innocent at the moment but its there. also there are many cultures where this happens earlier and these cultures are very wise and loving and take care of each other their enviroment and future generations, which is more than i can say for ours.
educating our young is so important, educating them is spending time with them letting them no that each creature on this earth is just as important if not more, because creating another human means more consuming as we take more than we ever give back.
- 10yo daughter completely obsessed with boys
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