I know this is where I'm supposed to introduce myself so I will but, I couldn't figure out how to post a new thread in another forum. So here it goes. I'm 26 a wife and a mother of a 6 (7 in May) year old daughter and a 3 1/2 little boy. My son is hard to handle but, what boys aren't? lol He just knows how to push everybody's buttons but, at the same time is so so sweet! But, My concerns right now are of my daughter....
I'm at my WITS END with this child!!! I'm losing it! To give a little background on me, growing up my mother was a REALLY bad alcoholic and when I got into trouble by her it was ALWAYS physical and she was ALWAYS so mean! No matter what I did wrong..whether it was a big thing or a small thing. Sometimes I feel like my mother slips out of me sometimes..like I'm ending up like she was. Although, I'm NOWHERE NEAR as bad as she was...but, it still scares me!
Back to my daughter,
Her name is Judy, she is the IDEAL PERFECT child anybody could ever want! She's in 1st grade, she's A.B honor roll EVERY semester, she got citizen of the month (it's an award for great behavior in school, being responsible and showing a good example for other children) she received that reward in February FOR January. Her school in EVERY grade does a behavior color chart, green, blue, pink and purple is GREAT. The BAD colors are (in order from not so bad to very bad) Yellow, orange and red. Red is REALLY bad and a note gets sent home from the teacher. The color chart gets sent home every night, then on Fridays it gets sent home for me to sign and send back on Monday.
In the past 2 months this is what she has done:
The last week in February she got ALL yellows and oranges and a RED!!! That friday was the day she got a red. She went to stay the night with her Nana that night and Nana picked her up from school. When I asked her what color she got on that day (friday) she said she didn't remember...I asked her where her chart was and she said it wasn't sent home. I was super busy with a client (I'm a photographer) and I honestly didn't think anything of it and let her go spend the weekend with my mother in law. That next Monday when she went back to school, I received an email from her teacher stating that Judy had LIED on EVERY single day of the following week about her colors, that friday (when Judy said she didn't remember her color and the chart wasn't sent home) the teacher said she sent her color chart AND a note home with Judy to give to me. My daughter LIED about all her colors, HID the chart from me and FORGED my signature thinking she would get away with it!!! It didn't even say my name...it was just scribbles..so half of me wanted to laugh in her face..but, I was SOOOOOO PISSED!!! Since then, she has continued to LIE to me almost on a daily basis, she is lying about EVERYTHING from stupid petty things to HUGE things like her colors from school.
So now, her teacher is initialing EVERY day so Judy can't lie to me anymore about her colors. She has gotten almost ALL bad colors since that week and maybe two GOOD colors total since then. The teacher is informing me that Judy REFUSES to stop talking and playing in class etc etc. I could go on and on about the stuff she's been doing recently that has me so upset that I'm having a nervous breakdown some days about it. It was literally like a light switch, she went from this almost PERFECT ideal child to: who the hell is THIS kid?! Now, I know a lot of you are thinking "did something happen recently that she would react this way too" the answer is NO! That's the crazy thing about this!! My husband and I have a VERY loving marriage, we never fight, we're loving to both our children, we do EVERYTHING we can for both of them! They do NOT NEED or WANT for anything...they're VERY well taken care of. Judy has friends and doesn't get bullied or anything. So I literally have NO CLUE why all of the sudden she is acting this way?!?! I'm SOOOO Lost!!!!
I really need help from other mothers with daughters around the same age. I'm wanting to get ideas on punishments (which I have tried almost everything) I want ideas on how to handle these things because I have nobody to talk too!! :( I also just need to talk with other moms because I'm losing it...my husband is a GREAT man and father but, come on ladies..you KNOW how men are (lol) I am just completely lost in this! So, any thoughts, ideas ANYTHING PLEASE PLEASE share with me!!!
Thank you SO much for reading my chapter here and I'm looking forward to hearing from you all!
Thank you again! ~Nikki a struggling mommy
Married to a wonderful woman since 2010. Baby boy C arrived in June 2013!
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I am not really sure that I can help, but wanted to at least sympathize. I too have a daughter that lies to us, and has done so for a few years now. She's 9, closer to 10. But she was lying to at by the time she was your DD's age, probably younger.
She doesn't get in trouble so much in school, at least not as far as behavior goes (although she does get a bit chatty, but never refuses to stop when caught by her teacher). But our DD is getting in lots of trouble at home. She's very disrespectful to all of us, worse to DS and to me, but definitely enough to DH. She WAS diagnosed with a mood disorder last year, so that has something to do with her issues too. But I do think that the fact that DH has always let her get away with stuff, and often gives in just to avoid yet another fit, is not helpful. We will soon be starting family counseling, since I'm at the end of my wits also. Would that be an option for your family? I am really counting on this to help us.
Funny thing, we also have a younger son (he's newly 9), and, while he can be pretty wild also (not sure I'd call him a terror), he's fairly easy too otherwise.
Wish I could offer more help. I too have tried everything I could think of with DD, until I had to give up because she started to hurt me physically! I'm very petite, and while she's not that big, she's strong and athletic, and knows she can hurt me, and uses that! Not good. Can't wait for counseling to start in a couple of weeks.
I would plan a quiet time with no interruptions and have a long chat with her. You need to reconnect, and find out why exactly she's so afraid of you.
I would would sit down with her and have a cup of hot chocolate; another good time to talk in peace with my kids is at bedtime.
Let her do the talking and listen. Maybe you can also brainstorm together on what she can do to improve her behavior at school.
Judy lied about her colors, hid the chart, and forged your signature because she was afraid of how you would react if you knew about her bad behavior at school. That much is really clear. It doesn't mean she was afraid you would do something really horrible like your mother used to do to you--it might just mean she was afraid you would feel disappointed in her and she wants you to have a good opinion of her--but whatever reaction she expected, she did not want it, so she tried to prevent you from finding out about the bad colors.
You need to know more about her behavior at school. I think a meeting with the teacher, with Judy present for at least part of it, would be a very good idea. All of you know that Judy understands the standards for good school behavior because she was able to keep those standards for months--so why did her behavior change?? That is the big question.
Lying can be a phase at around this age as children realize that it is possible for them to tell adults something that isn't true and be believed at least temporarily--they can get interested in experimenting with that. I remember doing this myself and finally getting a really serious explanation from my mom of why it was not okay--but still finding it difficult to resist for a while. My son has tried lying only once in a while, but when he does we've found that the best response is a consequence related to the lie, and then checking up on him more for a while and when he objects to that, explaining that we aren't trusting his word because our trust was violated. For example, when he said he had no homework but actually had a lot, the reason he was lying was that he wanted to watch TV; so when we found out about the uncompleted homework, he had no TV for a week, a parent went through his folder every evening to make sure homework was done, and one night when I found it wasn't all done he didn't get a bedtime story because he had to spend that time doing the homework. At the end of the week we explained that we were ready to give him more trust again, and went over what we are trusting him to do and to tell us honestly.
What about Judy's other behavior outside school? You said, "I could go on and on about the stuff she's been doing recently that has me so upset that I'm having a nervous breakdown some days about it." but without details I don't know what you mean.
Mama to a boy EnviroKid 9 years old and a new little girl EnviroBaby !
I write about parenting, environment, cooking, and more.
With such a sudden and dramatic change in behaviour I think you do need to consider the possibility of sexual abuse. Of course there are plenty of other possible reasons for the change but it's something you need to think about.
I wonder if she is rebelling against the "perfect child" label. Even if you've never used those words in her hearing, the awards etc may have set the idea up in her mind. Then, I don't know, maybe school work gets harder or she's not feeling great and the effort of being a model citizen and straight A student all gets too much. So she swings the other way to break her own mould, as it were.
I really like the website www.ahaparenting.com They have sections for different age groups as well as articles on how to reconnect, address difficult behaviours etc. I know you said you were looking for punishment suggestions but, because this is a gentle parenting forum, most of the posters on here are looking to get away from punishment-based models.
All the best. Parenting gets harder the older they get I am finding :-(
Mother of two spectacular girls, born mid-2010 and late 2012
I know at my DC's school they consider behavior problems to be an expression of a child feeling frustrated with the work provided in class. 1st grade is often the age when some learning struggles can start to appear. Honor roll in 1st grade is something I would consider pretty meaningless in terms of an evaluation of my child not having some learning glitches. I think I'd ask the school to spend some extra time trying to rule out that my child wasn't acting out because of some challenge with the work expectations in the classroom. I'd also get a physical and hearing and vision test.