HELP! DSD keeps hiding things! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 06-13-2012, 07:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am about ready to scream right now :scared.gif  Our DSD keeps hiding things right before she goes to her mom's house for 3 days. These are usually things we all need and use or something of her brother's that is important....so far it has been the kids' toothpaste (so my daughter can't brush when she leaves), DSS's goggles that he needs for swim lessons and now the remotes for the Wii, so we cannot watch Netflix or Hulu (we don't watch regular TV)! Sometimes she fesses up and gets the stuff when she returns, sometimes she refuses to admit she hid something and sometimes she admits it but forgets where she hid something. She says these are "jokes" she is playing on us and doesn't think it's a big deal. Now I have to go three days at least with my daughter crying that she can't watch her shows. I don't know what to do. We've talked to DSD, yelled, punished, etc...she also does other "jokes" like she replaced all the soap dispensers with water (the soap is clear so you couldn't tell right away). I can't take it anymore. I am so tempted to "hide" all her things. HELP! She does not get these jokes are not funny.

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#2 of 8 Old 06-13-2012, 08:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, it turns out it was DSS who hid stuff this time :( He's younger - 7 - and I think now he is learning from her to play these jokes that make me crazy! Still need help with this. I can almost guarantee when we ask him about it on Friday he will just laugh. On top of all this, we are going camping on Friday, Saturday and Sunday...is it fair to punish during a trip like that, especially right after they get back from mom's?
 

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#3 of 8 Old 06-13-2012, 08:46 AM
 
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That sounds incredibly frustrating.  I agree that some sort of consequence should occur this weekend, but I have no idea what.  Is there anyway to tie it to the inconvenience of the missing items?  Or efforts to make it up to the people affected?
 

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#4 of 8 Old 06-13-2012, 09:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Since he hid the remotes, it would be simple to say he can't watch TV for the weekend, but since we'll be camping that won't work. We might be getting a new telescope, so I thought of telling him he can't play with it on Friday night, but that just seems mean plus I don't know if it's going to arrive in time for the trip (I just ordered it last week). I don't want to ruin his vacation. I wish we could just sit down and talk to him, but when we do this he just laughs. He thinks everything is funny until he gets punished which is extremely frustrating because I'd rather not punish!
 

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#5 of 8 Old 06-13-2012, 12:07 PM
 
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My take is that they're trying to do things to bond and feel closer to you while they're gone, maybe to be sure you still remember and care about them when they're not there. I would expect the behavior to escalate if you punish them for it, because it would feel like you were repeatedly rejecting their attempts to stay connected while away. It may go from "jokes" to outright malicious acts, lashing out because of the rejection. Everything is cause and effect. They're choosing these behaviors for a reason. I would have a serious sit down when they got back, not a punishment. A discussion about the reasons behind these jokes, and what they are trying to accomplish with them. Maybe you can address the problem by giving them a positive way to do this? Make a ritual of baking some cookies or something before they go, most will stay there for the family to munch on each night after dinner - but a baggie can go with them so they can munch on them and think about you all? Or do some kind of craft or something each time before they go. It goes up in the house, or into their bag to show off? The point being a bonding experience right before they go, that produces items both parties can enjoy while they are apart. 


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#6 of 8 Old 06-13-2012, 02:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by incorrigible View Post

My take is that they're trying to do things to bond and feel closer to you while they're gone, maybe to be sure you still remember and care about them when they're not there. I would expect the behavior to escalate if you punish them for it, because it would feel like you were repeatedly rejecting their attempts to stay connected while away. It may go from "jokes" to outright malicious acts, lashing out because of the rejection. Everything is cause and effect. They're choosing these behaviors for a reason. I would have a serious sit down when they got back, not a punishment. A discussion about the reasons behind these jokes, and what they are trying to accomplish with them. Maybe you can address the problem by giving them a positive way to do this? Make a ritual of baking some cookies or something before they go, most will stay there for the family to munch on each night after dinner - but a baggie can go with them so they can munch on them and think about you all? Or do some kind of craft or something each time before they go. It goes up in the house, or into their bag to show off? The point being a bonding experience right before they go, that produces items both parties can enjoy while they are apart. 

 

I think this might be right. Cookies is a good idea, or maybe you could make them mail for each day? You could find a bunch of knock-knock jokes or something online and label an envelope for each day they'll be gone, they could do the same for you or for their siblings and put pictures they drew in there or whatever?


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#7 of 8 Old 06-15-2012, 03:33 PM
 
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I agree with the last 2 posts - issues like this always flow from some unmet need - maybe it is accurate that it is a need to stay connected with you/have you stay connected with them while they are gone, or it could be something else entirely. Identifying that need & meeting it - and sharing your own needs - is what will be truly effective in changing the behavior. They are definitely old enough to participate in this kind of conversation!
 


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#8 of 8 Old 06-16-2012, 01:00 PM
 
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I wonder if you could give them something else to hide FOR you guys while they are gone-i.e. help them write notes or make a small present to hide in a fun place to discover while they are gone (and you could hide a note in their bag or pocket or something too), if you think the issue is feeling connected.  I would still discuss why it is not okay to hide things that you need, which is not fair to the rest of you, but perhaps this could turn it into a positive, fun behavior instead of an incredibly aggravating one :)


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