Logical consequence for defacing property? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 29 Old 01-26-2011, 08:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I just had to pick up my dd from school because she wrote all over the bathroom walls (2inch letters, every single stall). They did make her clean it up and she will have OSS today and 2 days of ISS. But I feel like this deserves some sort of consequence on our end as well, especially because this is not the first time she has defaced property, but it has always been stuff belonging to the family before this. I would like to try to find something that will make her understand why it is not okay to do this, and will make her stop and think before doing it again. Maybe like some type of community service thing. What would you suggest? (She is 12)

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#2 of 29 Old 01-26-2011, 08:19 AM
 
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She's 12? Yikes. My first response would be to clean out her room of EVERYTHING that is not necessary (clothing and bed stay- that's it). Same with anything she has around the house. I would be so PISSED she would be lucky to get those things back with time. Is that gentle? No, but I'll be honest and that would be my first response.

 

I do agree with the community service though. Cleaning a park (trash removal, cleaning picnic tables, etc)? Talk with the school and see if they would allow her to "help" the janitor clean for a few weeks (the evil part of me would say for the rest of the school year....)?

 


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#3 of 29 Old 01-26-2011, 08:30 AM
 
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Get her some paint and a paintbrush, and work on some grafitti removal around town.  Maybe contact your local government to see if there are any upcoming cleanups she can participate in.

 

When I was your DD's age I was caught writing on desks and carving into them.  Ma and the principal thought of a good one for me.  I stayed after school for a week, and cleaned desks.  Room after room.  Never ever did it again.

 

Ma was creative like that. 

 

Also got caught smoking, good old ma suggested I be assigned to picking up all the cigarette butts and trash in the parking lots.  Dr Moore thought it was great and had me do it. It was evermore the smoking punishment, rather than sitting in ISS all day, you got to roam around with your stick and gloves and bag and get laughed at. He was a wise man.

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#4 of 29 Old 01-26-2011, 09:57 AM
 
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I would ask the school to have the resource officer give her a serious talking to about this.  I remember our resource officer doing this and it had a big effect on my behavior.  I wasn't taking my mom all that seriously at that point but I took him very seriously.  I think a community service requirement is also a good idea and that you should really impress on her the seriousness of what she did and the fact that it is illegal and can have bigger more serious consequences.

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#5 of 29 Old 01-26-2011, 10:11 AM
 
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 I would not impose a consequence. It's just not how I roll...

 

 I think the school taking their response is appropriate; she defaced their property.

 

 I would discuss your feelings on what she did (embarrassed maybe, disappointed, shocked) and get some insight from her as to the why of it all. See if she'll share what's going on in her head a bit. 11-12 yrs old can be such a whackadoo age, right? dizzy.gif

 

I would also share that defacing the property of others is technically illegal, and in the right (err wrong?) situation can get her and you into legal trouble. I am no "always follow the laws always and forever" cheerleader, but I do advocate knowing all the risks involved, and respecting others.

 

Is she interested in art? Graffiti is, IMO, a very important and valuable artistic expression. She may want to learn about it more. modifiedartist.gif

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#6 of 29 Old 01-26-2011, 10:33 AM
 
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No consequence?  Really?  Honestly, I think contacting the local parks and rec would be a great idea - she can do graffiti clean up in and around some local parks.  You could also contact the DOT and see if they need someone to do some bus stop graffiti clean up - although I don't know who would be in charge of that, or who to talk to, I bet someone could direct you.  Maybe talking to the police department about some good volunteer opportunities. 

 

12 is really the age to catch it.  They won't call the police on her for doing it now, but if she gets caught defacing anything else there can be some serious consequences, including probation and community service that is court ordered - not just mom-ordered.

 

Good for you for taking this seriously OP.

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#7 of 29 Old 01-26-2011, 10:34 AM
 
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What have you done in the past when she defaced the property of family members? What has she said about why she does this?

 

 I think some sort of community service where she is responsible for cleaning other people's mess (litter removal of some sort, cleaning up graffiti) would be appropriate...Especially since she is now defacing public property. 

 

I agree that you should have some discussion about her motives for defacing property. Why does she feel the need to destroy things that do not belong to her? Is she angry? Bored? Is she just wanting to have fun or is she being malicious?

 

I'd really worry more about her intentions behind it than the actual "teach her a lesson to make her stop."

 

At the age of 12, she should be able to understand the difference between right and wrong. She should also be able to respect the property of others. If she is just a creative soul who is wanting to beautify the world around her, then she should choose an outlet that A: doesn't break the law (which could get YOU in trouble as her parent) and B: doesn't disrespect others in the process.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#8 of 29 Old 01-26-2011, 10:35 AM
 
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I believe she does need consequences at home as well. The ideas to have her do community service of some type are good. And yes, figure out why she's doing it. That's very important to know.

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#9 of 29 Old 01-26-2011, 11:34 AM
 
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No consequence?  Really?

Yep, really. Well, no imposed at home. Clearly the school admin has their structure etc.

 

Quote:

Good for you for taking this seriously OP.

Agreed! nod.gif


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#10 of 29 Old 01-26-2011, 06:54 PM
 
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No consequence?  Really?

Yep, really. Well, no imposed at home. Clearly the school admin has their structure etc.

 

Quote:

Good for you for taking this seriously OP.

Agreed! nod.gif


 

I'm really curious what "Taking it seriously" looks like if there are no at home consequences?????  I'm really honestly very confused b/c your post seems to be very contradictory.

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#11 of 29 Old 01-26-2011, 07:16 PM
 
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You said it was 2 inch letters covering every single stall? May I ask what it said?

 

Until I had all the facts and clearly understood her motivation, I could not possibly guess at a constructive response.


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#12 of 29 Old 01-26-2011, 07:21 PM
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Taking things seriously doesn't necessarily mean punishment/"consequences". I'd be really concerned if my 12 year old were doing something like this in school, and I'd work really hard to understand why she did it and what was going on. That's how I would take it seriously. It sounds like a really, really angry thing to do, and I'd wonder why she was so angry. Does she like school? How does she feel there? Is she struggling academically? Socially?

 

Why has she defaced property belonging to family members in the past? To me it really sounds like something is going on, and if you don't know what it is (and IMO this goes beyond adolescent silliness or immaturity) I'd seek counseling.

 

Have you read Hold On to Your Kids? Especially at this age, I think building relationships of mutual trust is the most important thing we can do with our kids, before they hit the teen years and problems become so much more serious. IME, if your relationship with her is good everything else tends to fall into place...

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#13 of 29 Old 01-26-2011, 07:36 PM
 
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I don't know that I would necessarily impose logical consequences beyond what the school is doing (it would depend a lot on the context this happened in and what issues are at the core of this kind of behaviour).  My sense is that the consequences from the school can only address one aspect of this problem. At home there would definitely be natural consequences that would include an awful lot of talking, a tighter reign in terms of freedom and priviledges based on the eroding of trust, a reevaluation of the peer group and a lot more family connecting around activities that promote gaining perspective, developing gratitude and responsibility.  There would probably be some counselling as well - as a family and possibly on her own. My instinct is that this kid needs more connection, and so the consquences would need to both support that and open up a new way of seeing and coping with whatever the root cause is.

 

Good luck OP. I hope you and your daughter can find a peaceful way through this.

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#14 of 29 Old 01-26-2011, 09:38 PM
 
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Taking things seriously doesn't necessarily mean punishment/"consequences". I'd be really concerned if my 12 year old were doing something like this in school, and I'd work really hard to understand why she did it and what was going on. That's how I would take it seriously. It sounds like a really, really angry thing to do, and I'd wonder why she was so angry. Does she like school? How does she feel there? Is she struggling academically? Socially?

This, basically. Serious can look like a lot of things it turns out. It's more important to me to have an insight into what is happening and how we might address/solve it than to hand out consequences.


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#15 of 29 Old 01-27-2011, 05:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Taking things seriously doesn't necessarily mean punishment/"consequences". I'd be really concerned if my 12 year old were doing something like this in school, and I'd work really hard to understand why she did it and what was going on. That's how I would take it seriously. It sounds like a really, really angry thing to do, and I'd wonder why she was so angry. Does she like school? How does she feel there? Is she struggling academically? Socially?

This, basically. Serious can look like a lot of things it turns out. It's more important to me to have an insight into what is happening and how we might address/solve it than to hand out consequences.


I agree that figuring out what is going on is important - but then when you figure out how to address it there are consequences.  Solving the problem doesn't always happen through talking and connecting.  Especially since the OP's child has done this before.  One person above stated natural consequences of losing freedom and privileges, and I think that's more of a logical consequence than a "natural" one simply b/c naturally nothing would happen at home? 

 

Karenwith4 - What types of activities would you do as a family to gain perspective, develop gratitude and responsibility?  I'm not trying to be snarky I promise, I'm looking for tools to put in my toolbox for later!

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Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa View Post

 

Quote:
Taking things seriously doesn't necessarily mean punishment/"consequences". I'd be really concerned if my 12 year old were doing something like this in school, and I'd work really hard to understand why she did it and what was going on. That's how I would take it seriously. It sounds like a really, really angry thing to do, and I'd wonder why she was so angry. Does she like school? How does she feel there? Is she struggling academically? Socially?

This, basically. Serious can look like a lot of things it turns out. It's more important to me to have an insight into what is happening and how we might address/solve it than to hand out consequences.


I agree that figuring out what is going on is important - but then when you figure out how to address it there are consequences.  Solving the problem doesn't always happen through talking and connecting.  Especially since the OP's child has done this before.  One person above stated natural consequences of losing freedom and privileges, and I think that's more of a logical consequence than a "natural" one simply b/c naturally nothing would happen at home? 

Solutions do absolutely come out of talking and connecting. If your child is TRULY talking to you. it has worked a million times with dd. my dd's only punishment has ever been 'yelling' because i myself have lost it. i set limits with her...

 

... especially at 12 for us it would be time for a talk and time for me to look at myself critically to see what could be going on. and yes i can see a school officer talking to her to tell her how serious it can be is a great idea since at 12 i remember taking others more seriously than my mom. 

 

the fact that she has done it before is even MORE reason to find out what's going on instead of straight consequence. Whatever was done first did not work. 


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#17 of 29 Old 01-27-2011, 07:03 AM
 
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I resolved a while ago not to share my sage advice around kids out of my kids' age ranges since when your kid is 6, 12 feels like almost a grown up and when your 10 year old's best friend is 12, suddenly 12 doesn't look so fully formed. :)

 

I loved reading unschoolingma and dar's advice....11-12 is a serious time of coming apart. Do you know what's up with defacing stuff at home? How have you dealt with it? What was up with her painting the bathroom? Was she wanting to get caught?

 

If my daughter seemed to be running after punishment, I'd be very concerned. What does she excel at? Where's her sense of self and accomplishment coming from? It seems like an act of sadness and anger. Is it? Or was it a lark?

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#18 of 29 Old 01-27-2011, 07:23 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa View Post

 

Quote:
Taking things seriously doesn't necessarily mean punishment/"consequences". I'd be really concerned if my 12 year old were doing something like this in school, and I'd work really hard to understand why she did it and what was going on. That's how I would take it seriously. It sounds like a really, really angry thing to do, and I'd wonder why she was so angry. Does she like school? How does she feel there? Is she struggling academically? Socially?

This, basically. Serious can look like a lot of things it turns out. It's more important to me to have an insight into what is happening and how we might address/solve it than to hand out consequences.


I agree that figuring out what is going on is important - but then when you figure out how to address it there are consequences.  Solving the problem doesn't always happen through talking and connecting.  Especially since the OP's child has done this before.  One person above stated natural consequences of losing freedom and privileges, and I think that's more of a logical consequence than a "natural" one simply b/c naturally nothing would happen at home? 

 

Karenwith4 - What types of activities would you do as a family to gain perspective, develop gratitude and responsibility?  I'm not trying to be snarky I promise, I'm looking for tools to put in my toolbox for later!



Well for our family that would be volunteering, service work etc as a family. I don't think that imposing that work as a punishment  has the same positive effect as integrating it into our family values.  It would also get integrated into things like the books we would read, the tv we would watch, the news stories that would get discussed around the table and the relationships we would foster (positive role models/mentors etc). 

 

But I think that this sort of thing is best used as a proactive rather than reactive tool. Empowering kids to be responsible for their actions, connecting them to their community in multiple ways,   creating a sense of gratitude, instilling the attitude that they can use their power and energy to make a positive difference is something that IMO has the most value and benefits if its integrated into family life from an early age.

 

I have a friend who works at a homeless shelter and he takes his son there whenever he feels like his son's perspective is getting out of whack with their family values. In the particular case of the OP I would probably read and discuss Greg Mortensons's books, watch and discuss the Girl Effect video, volunteer as a family locally at a struggling school or fundraise to build schools in developing nations, invite someone to dinner who has a perspective on this to share.

hth

Karen


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#19 of 29 Old 01-27-2011, 07:43 AM
 
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Solutions do absolutely come out of talking and connecting. If your child is TRULY talking to you. it has worked a million times with dd. my dd's only punishment has ever been 'yelling' because i myself have lost it. i set limits with her...

I have a teen and I am wondering, what do you do when your kid WON'T truely talk to you?  My teen is generally a good kid, though we have had some teenage bumps along the way.  I don't know that there's a parent of a teen who hasn't had teenage bumps.  She's not a sneaky kid, she's only broken our trust one time, and while it was a big deal, it wasn't a BIG deal, iykwim.  I had her when I was just a teen myself, and between my experiences in that arena and DH's experiences in some of the other "juvenile deliquent" arenas (I would rather not get into the specifics here) I feel like he and I have a somewhat good handle on what to look for. 

 

Anyway, despite the fact that she's generally a good kid-no drugs, alcohol, sneaking out, sex etc etc, there are just times where she WON'T talk to me.  She's a somewhat private person.  It's just how she is.  It's not that we don't have a good relationship or that I have been an overly strict parent or anything.  It's just that when something involves those deeper or more private feelings and issues, she doesn't like to talk about it, she never has.  Even as a kid, if she got hurt and was throwing a fit about it, I knew she was fine.  If she got hurt and wouldn't say anything, that was when it was time to get worried.

 

I know she's not the only kid like this, so I wonder...how would you get to those solutions, if you can't get your kid to TRUELY talk to you?  At what point do you give up asking the same questions a million different ways trying to get to the root of the problem?  At what point is the trying to get to the real issues and feelings, getting the teen to truely talk to you, actually crossing into the arena of violating privacy, for a private person?

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#20 of 29 Old 01-27-2011, 07:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa View Post

 

Quote:
Taking things seriously doesn't necessarily mean punishment/"consequences". I'd be really concerned if my 12 year old were doing something like this in school, and I'd work really hard to understand why she did it and what was going on. That's how I would take it seriously. It sounds like a really, really angry thing to do, and I'd wonder why she was so angry. Does she like school? How does she feel there? Is she struggling academically? Socially?

This, basically. Serious can look like a lot of things it turns out. It's more important to me to have an insight into what is happening and how we might address/solve it than to hand out consequences.


I agree that figuring out what is going on is important - but then when you figure out how to address it there are consequences.  Solving the problem doesn't always happen through talking and connecting.  Especially since the OP's child has done this before.  One person above stated natural consequences of losing freedom and privileges, and I think that's more of a logical consequence than a "natural" one simply b/c naturally nothing would happen at home? 

 

Karenwith4 - What types of activities would you do as a family to gain perspective, develop gratitude and responsibility?  I'm not trying to be snarky I promise, I'm looking for tools to put in my toolbox for later!



Well for our family that would be volunteering, service work etc as a family. I don't think that imposing that work as a punishment  has the same positive effect as integrating it into our family values.  It would also get integrated into things like the books we would read, the tv we would watch, the news stories that would get discussed around the table and the relationships we would foster (positive role models/mentors etc). 

 

But I think that this sort of thing is best used as a proactive rather than reactive tool. Empowering kids to be responsible for their actions, connecting them to their community in multiple ways,   creating a sense of gratitude, instilling the attitude that they can use their power and energy to make a positive difference is something that IMO has the most value and benefits if its integrated into family life from an early age.

 

I have a friend who works at a homeless shelter and he takes his son there whenever he feels like his son's perspective is getting out of whack with their family values. In the particular case of the OP I would probably read and discuss Greg Mortensons's books, watch and discuss the Girl Effect video, volunteer as a family locally at a struggling school or fundraise to build schools in developing nations, invite someone to dinner who has a perspective on this to share.

hth

Karen

Punishments and consequences aren't necessarily the same thing.  And, they don't necessarily have to be bad.  When used effectively, it's a lesson.  I agree that a proactive approach is usually best, but no one is perfect and we can't all be proactive about everything.  In addition, not all reactive approaches are necessarily bad. 

 

IMHO, cleaning up graffiti around town would be a punishment and not really effective if that's ALL it is.  However, it becomes a natural consequence and a lesson if discussions of why she's cleaning it up, why it's wrong to deface property etc occur at the same time.  Discussions about how it would feel if it was her property, how it makes the owners feel etc etc.  The idea is to get her thinking about the real consequences of her actions.  Just talking about how someone else has to clean it all up doesn't always work.  Having the child experience the real clean up, sometimes many times over, can be very effective for some kids.
 

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#21 of 29 Old 01-27-2011, 09:09 AM
 
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Taking things seriously doesn't necessarily mean punishment/"consequences". I'd be really concerned if my 12 year old were doing something like this in school, and I'd work really hard to understand why she did it and what was going on. That's how I would take it seriously. It sounds like a really, really angry thing to do, and I'd wonder why she was so angry. Does she like school? How does she feel there? Is she struggling academically? Socially?

This, basically. Serious can look like a lot of things it turns out. It's more important to me to have an insight into what is happening and how we might address/solve it than to hand out consequences.


I agree that figuring out what is going on is important - but then when you figure out how to address it there are consequences.  Solving the problem doesn't always happen through talking and connecting.  Especially since the OP's child has done this before.  One person above stated natural consequences of losing freedom and privileges, and I think that's more of a logical consequence than a "natural" one simply b/c naturally nothing would happen at home? 

 

Karenwith4 - What types of activities would you do as a family to gain perspective, develop gratitude and responsibility?  I'm not trying to be snarky I promise, I'm looking for tools to put in my toolbox for later!



Well for our family that would be volunteering, service work etc as a family. I don't think that imposing that work as a punishment  has the same positive effect as integrating it into our family values.  It would also get integrated into things like the books we would read, the tv we would watch, the news stories that would get discussed around the table and the relationships we would foster (positive role models/mentors etc). 

 

But I think that this sort of thing is best used as a proactive rather than reactive tool. Empowering kids to be responsible for their actions, connecting them to their community in multiple ways,   creating a sense of gratitude, instilling the attitude that they can use their power and energy to make a positive difference is something that IMO has the most value and benefits if its integrated into family life from an early age.

 

I have a friend who works at a homeless shelter and he takes his son there whenever he feels like his son's perspective is getting out of whack with their family values. In the particular case of the OP I would probably read and discuss Greg Mortensons's books, watch and discuss the Girl Effect video, volunteer as a family locally at a struggling school or fundraise to build schools in developing nations, invite someone to dinner who has a perspective on this to share.

hth

Karen

Punishments and consequences aren't necessarily the same thing.  And, they don't necessarily have to be bad.  When used effectively, it's a lesson.  I agree that a proactive approach is usually best, but no one is perfect and we can't all be proactive about everything.  In addition, not all reactive approaches are necessarily bad. 

 

IMHO, cleaning up graffiti around town would be a punishment and not really effective if that's ALL it is.  However, it becomes a natural consequence and a lesson if discussions of why she's cleaning it up, why it's wrong to deface property etc occur at the same time.  Discussions about how it would feel if it was her property, how it makes the owners feel etc etc.  The idea is to get her thinking about the real consequences of her actions.  Just talking about how someone else has to clean it all up doesn't always work.  Having the child experience the real clean up, sometimes many times over, can be very effective for some kids.
 


 

I'm not sure if you are taking exception to my post or building on the conversation.  
I don't necessarily disagree with you. Cleaning up the graffitti may help develop perspective depending on what lies at the core of this particular child's actions and the discussion part of it may help - but only if the child is in the place to hear it. We don't know enough about this situation to say.  Regardless of the reactive/corrective actions that might be appropriate in this circumstance, if I were faced with this I would also be putting in place proactive tools and strategies to develop gratitude, connection and responsibility. I was responding to a direct question to me about what those would look like in our family and suggesting that they might be better proactive tools than reactive ones based on that question.


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#22 of 29 Old 01-27-2011, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post

 

I know she's not the only kid like this, so I wonder...how would you get to those solutions, if you can't get your kid to TRUELY talk to you?  At what point do you give up asking the same questions a million different ways trying to get to the root of the problem?  At what point is the trying to get to the real issues and feelings, getting the teen to truely talk to you, actually crossing into the arena of violating privacy, for a private person?

I think this is a good point - maybe we should start another thread about it, even. A lot of kids aren't going to be as open with their parents as when they were younger, and the flip side is that it's normal and natural for them to want more privacy as they get older, and it's important to respect that as well.

 

I think keeping basic lines of communication open is a start - talking about how everyone's day went, sharing interesting stories or asking for advice on small things (like, I always ask my kid for fashion advice), that sort of thing. For us car trips seem to be good places for this, and we also connect via text message throughout the day.

 

My kid doesn't do well when put on the spot, so I sometimes bring up "deeper" subjects when I'm doing something else, too, like cooking or driving. I've also found that talking about my life (both past and present) is a good way to sort of gauge her opinions on things, and sometimes she can relate to what I say and that opens up conversation about her life. Writing letters or emails could also be a way to start conversations with some kids - something simple, like "You seem unhappy lately. Is there anything I can do to help? I love you very much and I want to make things better for you if I can."
 

I don't think it's a one-shot deal, either... I think it takes time.
 

 

IMHO, cleaning up graffiti around town would be a punishment and not really effective if that's ALL it is.  However, it becomes a natural consequence and a lesson if discussions of why she's cleaning it up, why it's wrong to deface property etc occur at the same time.  Discussions about how it would feel if it was her property, how it makes the owners feel etc etc.  The idea is to get her thinking about the real consequences of her actions.  Just talking about how someone else has to clean it all up doesn't always work.  Having the child experience the real clean up, sometimes many times over, can be very effective for some kids.
 


I think you could argue that it's a logical consequence, maybe, but not a natural one... and punishments can be logical consequences, too. I guess I just keep coming back to how angry these acts seem to be, and how being forced to clean up around town seems so likely to make a kid more angry. I guess I could see it more if it was a family volunteer thing, like Karen talked about, it might be a way to bring the family closer, although I can also see it as a day of nagging the daughter to get to work and clean up, which wouldn't be so fruitful.

 

I still think that without knowing why she did this, there's no way to effectively prevent something like this from happening again, which I would think is the goal. I think of kids (and teens) as doing the best they can with the tools they have, and our task as giving them better tool...


 
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#23 of 29 Old 01-27-2011, 03:12 PM
 
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Well I am the one who did this when I was 13. I can tell you why I did it too. I remember doing it.

 

I was sitting in class (catholic school) and I wrote on my desk "I hate nuns". I kept retracing it and pressing harder every time.

After class, Sister Jeanne came and found me in the hall. She asked me if I did that on the desk. My eyes welled up with tears. I couldn't lie.

I really was a good girl, but I wanted to be a bad a$$. She just looked at me and nodded and kind of smirked and I said I was sorry.

She never spoke of it again and I was always so glad of that.

 

Now I'll say why I did it. I was ANGRY. I needed attention.

  In our family there were 4 kids, one with cerebral palsy. My mom was tired and lost interest when we entered adolescence. I was too young to know what I needed and even why I felt so alone and angry.

Poor me.

 

I dont write on things anymore

 

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#24 of 29 Old 01-27-2011, 08:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post

I know she's not the only kid like this, so I wonder...how would you get to those solutions, if you can't get your kid to TRUELY talk to you?  At what point do you give up asking the same questions a million different ways trying to get to the root of the problem?  At what point is the trying to get to the real issues and feelings, getting the teen to truely talk to you, actually crossing into the arena of violating privacy, for a private person?

HSL - that is a tough one and i dont know what to say. 

 

this is when the village becomes sooo important. 

 

i am not the ONLY person dd talks to. i have a couple of friends with same age kids who are like family now. my dd talks to them too. i dont expect my dd to talk to me all the time. at one point i expect her to hate me and talk to someone else. it may or may not happen but if it does it wont surprise me. so she already has some other adults she can talk to. she might not feel comfortable talking to my about sex or boyfriends. i have to respect that. 

 

there are pieces and parts of my dd she does not share with me. right away. and i HAVE to respect her silence. thankfully i have never seen her 'hit out' but i have seen her down and sad and i've had to respect her attitude of not talking to her. 
 

I dont know HSL. i look back. my mom and i were completely different personalities. i refused to talk to her. instead of being bad i took it out on myself. but i would not talk to my mom. plus i remember as a teen i had such a skewed up view of the world that i would not talk to her. i never ever felt she would understand me. yet looking back i knew that was not the full truth. it wasnt about my mother. it was about me and my skewed up look at the world. 

 

when i look back i find the one thing i did not believe in is that my mother loved me. again it was about me and not about her. intellectually i knew my mom loved me - in her way but not in my way. she was not a touchy feely person. and i missed that. i really missed the physical touch. if she is open to physical touch you could perhaps do something that wont violate her. 

 

do you share the silence sometimes with your dd. just sit together and not say a word. there is no need for it. 

 

my ex husband was an extremely private person. extremely. and i had to respect that. and i still do. there are things he likes to deal with himself. and so then i feel my duty is to let them know i am always there (he always knew that) but never try to violate that. 


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#25 of 29 Old 01-28-2011, 09:09 AM
 
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I know she's not the only kid like this, so I wonder...how would you get to those solutions, if you can't get your kid to TRUELY talk to you?  At what point do you give up asking the same questions a million different ways trying to get to the root of the problem?  At what point is the trying to get to the real issues and feelings, getting the teen to truely talk to you, actually crossing into the arena of violating privacy, for a private person?>>>>>>>

 

Sometimes just being together and not asking questions is the best option.  I find sometimes without asking my dd will just talk about school when we're sitting on the couch together or just playing a game.  Now she's only 12 so not a teenager yet but i've read it before that sometimes asking less works.


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#26 of 29 Old 01-29-2011, 08:28 PM
 
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I absolutely DISAGREE with having NO consequence.  Yes, she cleaned up her mess.  Great!  There's natural consequence #1.  But my 4 year old also does this when she writes on a wall. 

By the age of 12, she full well should know that writing on things other than paper is wrong.  Yet she is still choosing to do it, and she's 'defaced' other property before at home....

 

So in my mind, something is not sinking in, and this needs some extra attention.

 

She is 12.  It was school.  The "consequences" of the "crime" can still be small.  I would want to take advantage of this opportunity *before* we are talking about defacing *other* public property where it might truly be treated as a crime.  With a record that won't go away till she's 18.

 

I would want to know why she did it...if she considered it a joke or what. 

 

And whether there's an underlying issue or not....I would want some sort of other consequence besides just cleaning it up.  Why?  Because I'd rather my kid "do some time" helping the janitor clean the toilets or as a volunteer cleaning graffiti in my community *now* before there's a permanent record of a crime....and hope that there never WILL be a criminal record!  (not that I'm saying that's where this is going! just that I'd want the lesson NOW while the price is fairly small)


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#27 of 29 Old 01-30-2011, 10:25 AM
 
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Hi there, so many different views - isn't it great being able to have all these thought and ideas to look through and see what works for you?  I have been thinking about this and if it was my son I think I would be experiencing a mixture of feelings; I would probably feel , concerned, embarrassed, worried; but mainly deep concern over what was going on for my son.  So once I calmed myself down I would want to talk to my son and I would probably start off by trying to empathize; what I thought he may be feeling.  So something like , " You must have felt pretty scared, when you were caught writing on the walls. I know you know that was wrong and I want you to know that I am not going to impose any other punishments, consequences for what you did.  The school is looking after that end of things; and I do want you to follow through with what they ask you to do.  I am really concerned about you. It seems like something is not right for you; that your angry or frustrated or just not happy.  I really love you and I hope so much that when you are ready you will be able to talk to me about what is bothering you.  You know, when I heard from the school I felt embarrassed (angry - whatever it was that I was feeling) that you had defaced the school's property, but you know what:  I don't really care about a written wall, what I do care about is you. And I want you to know that I will love you no matter what you tell me or what you do."    And then, I would really start trying to connect with my child through us doing things together that he likes; ie) going to a movie and going out for hot chocolate afterwards, spending time skating together,  just hanging out building things,  and being really mindful of wanting to connect.   I would not be asking him tons of questions and pushing him overtly, I would be trying to create a space where he would feel safe enough to talk to me.   For me, 12 is a tricky period,  there can be tons of emotions going on and highschool can even be tougher. When I think of my son doing something like this, I imagine it would be a time that he needs to feel loved more than ever and have help sorting through whatever it is that is going on; that we would need to connect more than ever.    Last night, I was working my shift as a youth worker at a youth homeless shelter, mentioned this thread to one of our young residents.  She said without thinking "when people write on things, it is because they want to be heard." 

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#28 of 29 Old 01-30-2011, 11:40 AM
 
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intentionalmama,  I agree with all of that. It very much reflects my approach. thumbsup.gif


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#29 of 29 Old 01-30-2011, 06:28 PM
 
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yes, that too, I would want to find some way to connect as well, because it does really seem like a cry for attention.  And I'd be OK with the consequence staying with the school as well....I just really would want the point to get across that this is NOT cool......before it becomes a problem with much larger consequences (i.e. what happens when a kid graffitis say a public bridge and gets caught?)  I might even do the community service as a family or mother/kid project, but there'd be something.


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