DH's expectations for 8 year old-help! - Mothering Forums
Gentle Discipline > DH's expectations for 8 year old-help!
abeliamama's Avatar abeliamama 10:47 AM 04-05-2008
My DH and I are having a hard time with being on the same discipline page lately. I have been trying for years to get him to see the virtues of GD. He wavers between seeing it my way and resorting back to his "she should do it because I said so" ways. As our DD gets older, he gets less tolerant.

Last night I asked DH to get DD (8 in 2 weeks) in the bath while I did dishes. She was piddling around and not going after a few requests. So next I heard him getting really irritated with her. He's not a yeller, but just really intense and disapproving, demanding she get in the bath, that it's ridiculous she not when he has asked her numerous times, etc. DD melts in a corner, crying. I come in and gently ask her and walk her up and she goes willingly. Granted, at that point I was the "nice" parent. She probably wouldn't have gone up for me either if I was the original one to ask.

I approach DH about later and he gets defensive and asks, "What would I have done differently?". I say I probably would have used humor and gone up with her. I am glad he is open to new approaches, it's been a long road trying to get him on board with GD.We have told her if she's not ready she will miss book time and she says she doesn't care. It seems like lately she is yelling and crying a lot when we are trying to get her to do something she doesn't want to, which started about a year ago but has escalated. I don't want to enter the tween years with this sort of power struggles every day. Each instance on its own isn't so major, but added up over the course of a day it puts a toll on the mood in our house. I guess what I am asking is, what is reasonable to expect from her age as far as doing everyday things like bath, teeth, homework without a struggle? What would you do? Any good books about 8-12 year olds?

Mama to DD 4-00 and DS 4-03

Magella's Avatar Magella 11:53 AM 04-05-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by abeliamama View Post
I guess what I am asking is, what is reasonable to expect from her age as far as doing everyday things like bath, teeth, homework without a struggle?
I'm learning that it's better to ask "what is reasonable to expect given my child's individual abilities, temperament, and development?" rather than "what's reasonable to expect given her age." Kids differ so much in their abilities, temperament and development at any given age. It's not really always appropriate or fair to say "since my child is 'x' years old, she should be 'y'." (eta It's also sometimes important to revisit my understanding of my child's abilities, to check for accuracy-not just because I might be overestimating my child's abilities, but also because I may be underestimating them. Sometimes a child grows and I still think of them as less mature and less able than they actually are.) And what ways of interacting with her would allow you as a family to resolve these issues with less struggle, how can you work together with her to solve these problems? I find that in our family the more we focus on connection and addressing problems proactively (addressing common problems through problem solving before we're in the midst of a problem again), the more smoothly things go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by abeliamama View Post
Any good books about 8-12 year olds?
Your Eight Year Old, Your Nine Year Old. If you haven't already read it, Kids, Parents and Power Struggles is a good book. So is Connection Parenting. Also, your dh might like The Secret of Parenting: How to Be in Charge of Today's Kids--from Toddlers to Preteens--Without Threats or Punishment.
abeliamama's Avatar abeliamama 12:34 PM 04-05-2008
Great advice! Thanks! I guess the problem stems from my DH thinking my DD is capable of doing these things. She just doesn't want to. Not quite sure what I think.

I haven't read any of these books but will. I've been so focused on my DS's sensory/behavior issues that I haven't read on books pertaining to my older child at all lately.

Maybe that's part of the problem...she feels her younger brother gets more attention because, I'll be honest, the squeaky wheel gets the grease! And she sure got some grease last night.

Mama to DD 4-00 and DS 4-03
Magella's Avatar Magella 01:32 PM 04-05-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by abeliamama View Post
I've been so focused on my DS's sensory/behavior issues that I haven't read on books pertaining to my older child at all lately.

Maybe that's part of the problem...she feels her younger brother gets more attention because, I'll be honest, the squeaky wheel gets the grease! And she sure got some grease last night.
I think this is worth exploring a bit. Sometimes it's hard to be the sibling of a child with special needs. Our oldest, with special needs, at times-out of necessity-does get more of our energy, attention, and time. And that is hard on the other kids, we really have to make sure we're meeting their needs also. It's hard, sometimes, to give everyone what they need.

eta:
Quote:
Originally Posted by abeliamama View Post
I guess the problem stems from my DH thinking my DD is capable of doing these things. She just doesn't want to. Not quite sure what I think.
Maybe she can comply, but doesn't want to. I would explore why that is: what are the dynamics in your family? Does she feel that she isn't getting the respect or attention she needs? Is she seeking more autonomy? Does she have difficulty making the transition from an activity she enjoys to the things you ask her to do? Does she get "lost" in her thoughts and distracted from what you told her to do-getting lost along the way? (My son does this-he's so in his own imagination and thoughts at times that he just gets easily off-track, and we need to repeat requests, make eye contact, give lots of supervision. He's 6.) I guess what I do is assume kids would do better if they could, because they want to live in harmony with their families, and look for what's getting in the way.
momuveight2B's Avatar momuveight2B 02:38 PM 04-06-2008
At this age I would be expecting her to do the bath alone. She may not be telling you but I distinctly remember wanting privacy at this age.

Eight is usually a very nice age but they need you to help them with tasks around the house and doing their rooms and homework. It goes much better if you offer to do it together or have an older sibling help them.
MRJmama's Avatar MRJmama 05:12 PM 04-06-2008
I'm going throught some of the same struggles at my home. My almost nine year old still to this day has a melt down if I ask her to go take a bath. Her words are, "but I can't do it by myself" The problem is in our house it is not just the bath it is everything that is not her idea. Turning off lights and flushing the toilet I would expect her to be able to do, but daily it is a struggle in our house.

Some days I can't even stand to be in the same room with her. My fear is if this is happening now, what will the teenage years be like?

Not much help I know, but I hear what you are saying.
captain optimism's Avatar captain optimism 06:18 PM 04-06-2008
She will be eight in a few weeks, which makes her seven. On these boards I always see parents feeling worse about their children's behavior when they kind of skip those last weeks or months and round up. Every time we round up, we wind up comparing the child's behavior to that of slightly older children, and feeling bad. I think we shouldn't do that to ourselves, because if we feel bad we can't think.


My kid is younger, so I haven't been there or done that, yet. Transitions are a challenge for us at this age, and it sounds like that's a never-ending thing. I can remember being seven and eight years old and having trouble with those transitions, even though I was a rational being and all! I'm still kind of like that in my forties, actually. You get wrapped up in what you are doing (playing, coloring, reading) and don't want to stop. My son gets wrapped up in whatever he's doing, and I do too. Is your DD like that too?

Maybe set a timer for her, and tell her how you figured out the timing? "I realized that if we want you to be in bed by 9PM, you'll need to start your bath at 7:30" or whatever. We use the timer a lot. Of course I still hang out in the bathroom with a five year old--probably for a seven year old you can offer to run the tub but not stay in to watch her wash.
abeliamama's Avatar abeliamama 01:01 AM 04-08-2008
Funny, she wants privacy getting dressed but never for the bath and has no problem walking around the house naked. Or at least has never asked for bath privacy. She still bathes with her brother who is 4. Is that abnormal? They have a blast in the bath. My DH doesn't stay for her bath-he just runs it if she won't and sees that she's getting in.

And yes, it's this way for everything she doesn't want to do. I do understand getting wrapped up in what you are doing but we give several warnings first. I am thinking of a written out chart for things to do before bed with approximate times but it seems like every day is different...one day this week we had to watch a neighbor's child, one day a neighbor stopped over after dinner, sometimes my DH works late...it's hard to get a time schedule going and stick to it and I am one who likes a schedule. I know that if they get to bed late thet are tired the next day. We have to get up at 6:30 to get to school on time because the same stalling happens in the morning.

I'll try the timer tomorrow. I also need to have a talk with her about this when we are all in a good mood. I can ask her how she feels about privacy then!

Thanks for the responses.

Mama to DD 4-00 and DS 4-03
Evan&Anna's_Mom's Avatar Evan&Anna's_Mom 05:40 PM 04-08-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by abeliamama View Post
I am thinking of a written out chart for things to do before bed with approximate times but it seems like every day is different...one day this week we had to watch a neighbor's child, one day a neighbor stopped over after dinner, sometimes my DH works late...it's hard to get a time schedule going and stick to it and I am one who likes a schedule. I know that if they get to bed late thet are tired the next day. We have to get up at 6:30 to get to school on time because the same stalling happens in the morning.
Hm.. I'm wondering if the lack of routine/predictability might be some of the issue. I have an 8 1/2 YO DS who does not deal with change well at all. Even little things that mess up the routine can throw him for a loop. I expected that it would diminish with age, but it really hasn't. What it has done is morphed in form, but there is still a clear correlation between change in routine and more challenging behavior (and bathroom accidents, but that's another thread). Maybe for a couple of weeks try everything you can to have her stick to a clear after-dinner routine. Even if the timing slips a bit, try to do the same things, same order, same rough timing. If there are visitors, can she still start her bath, for example. Or decline to babysit for a couple of weeks and see if getting back to "normal" helps.
LynnS6's Avatar LynnS6 09:47 PM 04-08-2008
I really like the book "Kids, Parents & Power Struggles" by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka. Despite the title, it's actually a good general parenting book.
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