My 11 yr old daughter is making me nuts with her stubborn backtalk - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 28 Old 05-02-2013, 09:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We are having issues with bedtime. This daughter is a morning person who napped until kindergarten. She is a solid sleeper who wakes up in the morning (between 6 and 6:30)ready to go, but craters every afternoon and evening when she doesn't get at least a good 9 hours of sleep. We've set her bedtime at 8:30 (she's a 5th grader) and we usually get her to her room and in bed by 9. She reports laying awake until 9:30 or 10 sometimes, and has argued non-stop for months that she needs a later bedtime.

 

For me the biggest thing is that I really need a break from this child by 8:30 at night. She was a very attached baby/toddler/little kid and remains quite focused on attention from me. Even though I work out of the house her need for mom-time gets exhausting in just the two or three hours of contact we have in the evenings (I'm pooped from my day, too).

 

Every night she drags her feet at bedtime. This behavior has been with her since she was born, really, but it is really getting on my nerves. Tuesday night she managed to spend 1 hour "getting ready for bed," and needed to

  1. tell me how she was improving her cartwheels (she doesn't do gymnastics)
  2. ask me about her costume for a school event (that she'd already figured out over the weekend)
  3. ask me again about a possible change to her costume
  4. complain about her hair
  5. sing
  6. come to me to ask me another question

 

At this point I just told her I was done responding to her and she needed to go to her room. She argued with me that it was just a "5 second question" but I refused and told her if she argued again she'd lose TV priviledges starting with the next day. She paused for a moment and blew me a raspberry (which lost her TV priviledges) and then stalked off to her room.

 

This all came to a head yesterday because she wanted to watch TV even though she'd lost her priviledges the night before. I reminded her of the sequence of events, which led to her screaming and sobbing hysterically for an hour. Not kidding.

 

I'm ready to implement the "Love and Logic" bedtime lesson where the kid stays up to whatever time they want and then has to get up in the morning and go to school. DH is with me on this one. I guess I'm looking for support and BTDT because I'm miserable today after all this drama last night.

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#2 of 28 Old 05-02-2013, 09:53 AM
 
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Sounds a lot like my own daughter (13yo).  In fact, your checklist of bedtime questions/ procrastinations sounds so eerily familiar, I just had to respond. smile.gif  I think it just comes with the territory of tweens/ teenagers.  I totally get your frustration though- and we've been through the same arguments.  

 

Our girl still pulls this stuff frequently, but it's less 'dramatic' now- meaning it doesn't escalate anymore to the point of tears, yelling, and her getting in trouble.  Over the past few years she has come to understand that she needs a good solid 9 hours sleep (10 or 11 is best for her).  We would point out times where she was acting 'out' due to lack of sleep so she could begin to correlate her own emotions and behaviors (and subsequent getting in trouble over them) to her staying up past her bedtime.  Eventually she got it.  

 

One thing that helped was keeping the same bedtime but allowing her to read for an hour or so (so I guess in effect 'lights out' was pushed back an hour).  This helped tremendously in lessening her resistance to going to bed.  Kids need to unwind... She also wouldn't feel tired and so would balk (understandably) about being told to go to bed.  

 

I also told her that if she was late to school because she overslept, she would be grounded.  It only took a couple times of that happening before she got her act together in the morning.  And, knowing she had to get up and moving early to avoid being grounded really helped her start self-regulating, to where I didn't really need to intervene anymore.  I know you said your daughter is a morning person and has no trouble waking up, but mornings were a big issue with our kid and so that is where we focused our consequences.

 

Last, I would gently caution against letting her stay up however late she wants.  Again, I get where you are coming from with this.  We implemented a similar thing with our daughter, though it was about eating breakfast and packing a lunch.  Every morning was a huge battle trying to get her to eat and take a lunch.  I had finally had enough, and told her she could do whatever she pleased, granted it didn't get back to me that she was complaining about being hungry at school (or bumming food off friends).  I honestly thought it would only take a day or two before being miserable with hunger at school would prompt her to eat breakfast and bring lunch.  Well, I was wrong.  This went on for months.  Finally at conference time her teacher told me that she was excessively tired during the day and snapping and lashing out at her classmates, and even her teacher (whom she adores and respects tremendously).  Thats when I realized I needed to enforce the eating habits again, because it was negatively affecting her classroom performance and relationships, and clearly her 13 year old brain was unable to make or care about the correlation.   

 

Long story short (lol) is that while I get the temptation to let her self-regulate her own bedtime, I would just say that the negative affects of this could be far more reaching than her having to deal with being tired.  It could seriously interfere with her education and friendships and set her up to really get in trouble at home.  My advice is that I wouldn't do this until she shows a little more maturity or recognition of the importance of good sleep.  Just my (very long) 2 cents wink1.gif

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#3 of 28 Old 05-10-2013, 01:23 PM
 
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I agree that a 11 year old is not mature enough to self regulate her bedtime.  Did you know the part of a person’s brain that is involved in decision making skills is not fully developed until they are in their early 20s?

 

I like Fortune Teller’s suggestion of letting her unwind for an hour.

 

Me, this is what I would do.  When you tell DD it’s time for bed and every time she  asks you a question that is not related to going to bed.  Obviously a question like, "Mom, there aren’t any clean towels for me to dry off with" does not count.  :)

 

You impose a punishment of some kind.  You know where it hurts her the most.  Be it TV privileges, time on the computer, or 15 minutes earlier bed time.  Every time she asks a question, tells you how she’s improving her cartwheels, etc. etc. you simply add on another punishment.

 

It will go something like this

 

"Daughter – time for bed."

"Okay mom.  Hey, will you will add gold trimming to my costume for the Romeo Juliet play?"

"That’s 15 minutes earlier you have to go bed now."

"But mom I just had one question and then I’ll go!"

"That’s another 15 minutes"

"But mom!" 

"That’s 45 minutes now.  Want to make it an even hour?"


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#4 of 28 Old 05-10-2013, 02:50 PM
 
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PP, that sounds mean to me.  If someone did that to me I would feel like I was not respected at all.  It would shut down communication in general (maybe about things you'd want to hear from your daughter about) because I would think that my mom didn't want to listen to me.  However, something in the same vein that I would be comfortable with is saying, "This isn't an appropriate time to talk about that."  And just repeat that answer.

 

I like the idea of having a time that she needs to be in bed, but add on an hour or half hour of reading.

 

Maybe you've tried this, but what about making the evening time more peaceful?  Could you spend 15 minutes of reeeeeeaaally concentrated "daughter time" where you just focused on her.  Could you do something together...like make dinner, do dishes,...anything to keep her contained and focused so she's not annoying you?

 

It seems like from the questions she's asking that she might be seeking you out for connection.  I remember sometimes just wanting to be around my mom a lot.  I'm not saying you're not giving her your all and are disconnected.  I'm just thinking that it's not like she's asking a "where's the towel?" question.  I think it could be even more important to answer her in the case of her just wanting to talk to you.  Is she the kind of person that could sit and snuggle next to you on the couch?  You could even say, hey why don't you come hang out with me.  And then if she's like Mom, I don't want to hang out with you I just want a later bed time...Well then you know that's your real issue and she also knows that you want to be close to her.  Oh, and I totally understand that that may not be possible or it may be the last thing you want after a long day when you really need alone time.  I just find that sometimes giving More actually makes it easier, so I feel like I'm giving less.  Does that make sense?  Like if I'm rushing and a kid is screaming, sometimes if I take a moment to connect, even if I'm running late, it makes things easier and things go faster. 

 

Sorry about the backtalk you're hearing.  My advice is just keep calm, carry on, model good behavior, and be really firm about what won't be tolerated. I don't see punishment as the best way to do that. But I think nastiness deserves the "mom look" or saying "that was totally unacceptable. do you want to try again?"  I'm interested to see what others advice is.

 

OP, I'm sorry if this isn't enough BTDT or support.  I really do hear that you need some time for yourself and your daughter is driving you crazy and you care about her sleep.  Good luck.

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#5 of 28 Old 05-10-2013, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the comments.

 

I think Salr hit the nail on the head. As soon as I posted my note a couple of weeks ago I started thinking more clearly about this daughter and her need for connection and attachment to me. She's really not that different from when she was a newborn, or a toddler, in having a serious need for mom time.

 

In our family we do penalize the kids for clear infractions, and I have definitely used the accumulation mentioned by amber to make the point that some behaviors are really unacceptable. I don't think it would work for this girl to do that regarding bedtime, though. She is really so incredibly stubborn; that whole approach would be a downward spiral like the tantrum from the original post. I can't do that so often.

 

While I agree that she is probably not old enough to make a good decision about bedtime, I am willing to let her go at it for a while. School is almost over here and she's a top student. The consequences of her bad choices will not be terrible. Plus, she feels like a very special person now that she has the ability to decide her own bedtime. She decided it should be 9 pm, instead of the 8:30 we had been shooting for. Last night she had lights out at 9:30. Nothing much has changed except the animosity of the evenings. And yes, I have made more of a point of spending one-on-one time with her.

 

It was very helpful for me to organize my thought to post here so I could get a little perspective and see what was really going on.

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#6 of 28 Old 05-10-2013, 04:33 PM
 
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My 11-year-old daughter can get heavy with the backtalk too. And the arguing! And when I tell her to stop arguing with me, she starts arguing about whether she was actually arguing! It can drive a person crazy.

I have no solutions to that, I'm afraid. I'm trying to handle it each time it happens as best I can. As for bedtime, I put mine in bed at 8 and tell her she can read until 9. That works well but if it created too much conflict I'd probably do what you decided to do.
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#7 of 28 Old 05-11-2013, 10:34 AM
 
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being in similar situation as you here are things i have identified:

 

your dd's need for autonomy

your need for down time

your dd's need for connection

your need for your dd's wellbeing - that is sleep

 

so here are my suggestions as said by pp:

 

try the love and logic method. let her go to bed when she wants to. let her learn through her experience. dont rub the point home though when she does go to bed on time.

 

dd and i get an intense together time in bed snuggling together. most nights dd wants it, unless she is mad with me. dd says that is her favourite time of the day to get together and just chat. 

 

your dd is old enough for you to state your own needs. mind you your need is downtime. space from her. it should not be tied into the command "you go to bedso i can rest". ask for downtime. i do that with dd all the time. now its become second nature to her. 

 

now about the backtalk. see to me that's not a problem. that comes with the age and teh times. i've done it. its a normal way to be. what i have noticed is if i dont do self care then i cant deal with teh backtalk. i take it personally. other times i can see what the backtalk is all about and it doesnt affect me that much. 

 

dd at 10 has serious contributions to do to the family. not chores. but contributions. some she likes. some she doesnt. she loves cooking dinner from scratch, but hates doing laundry. so we help each other. but having her do more at home, as well as contribute to family decisions some major, some minor (how to spend the money we have, where to go on vacation, how best to spend our limited grocery money) has really helped her cope. 

 

however she does get into her moods. and she backtalks. and i know its the age and hormonal so i have to put up with it just like my mom did. i allow a certain amount. but some i dont. what is really important is what i allow. makes a huge difference to dd. 


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#8 of 28 Old 05-19-2013, 06:16 AM
 
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Does anyone ever lay in bed at night & remember things you needed to do that day like phone calls you needed to make or picking up a gallon of milk, but forgot till you were trying to go to sleep? I am always like this lol. Just a thought. Maybe she remembers these questions she wants to ask you at bedtime. You could let her pick out a special notebook for writing down questions for Mom that she thinks about at bedtime so she will remember to ask you the next day. I've started using a memo pad in my phone smile.gif And I think she did a good job choosing 9 for a bedtime as opposed to 10 or 11. Is she getting plenty of rest? My middle daughter turns 10 next month. She comes & gives me another hug & kiss 2 or 3 times just about every night before finally going to bed. I send my kids to their rooms at 8 & they can watch TV till 9 when I go turn them off & they're usually already asleep. Sometimes I do let her stay up with me a little longer but she likes to fall asleep with the TV on, so I just remind her TV goes off in 30 min, TV goes off in 15 min & she usually goes on to bed.
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#9 of 28 Old 05-23-2013, 03:52 PM
 
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Ok, well I definitely disagree with you and the first poster (punishment for sleeping late at 11 when you aren't waking them up? wow, that's super punitive...) 11 is a hard age, as is 12. They seem independent enough, yet still require a lot of praise and guidance.

I think your expectations are reasonable for a 13 year old. Not 11. My DD is 12.5 and "almost there" when it comes to putting herself to bed and waking herself up 100% of he time (she sets an alarm but only wakes up to it maybe 30% of the time), and even still, she has a million things to tell me right before she goes to bed. I don't know what it is at this age bout forgetting things until bedtime, but you should definitely not be withholding contact with her because of "bedtime". She WILL hate you for that.

Kids at this age definitely need approval, feedback, and someone to listen. Denying her this "because it's bedtime" will make her feel unheard, unimportant, and resent you, which is great if you're trying to raise a serial killer or bullemic who cuts to feel something. Otherwise, you need to recognize her desire for autonomy. You need to make her feel important. Clearly, she does not feel reassured enough in her daily life, or else she wouldn't be starving for attention at bedtime. She just wants to feel okay when she goes to bed so she doesn't stay up worrying if her parents love her or have anxiety nightmares. Everything you do for he next few years is CRUCIAL. You have to be here for her now more than ever. Puberty is a really hard thing, and if you don't feel secure about your parents caring what you think from 11-13, you are going to have SO MANY PROBLEMS. If you need time for yourself, fine, take an hour after dinner. Let her watch TV. But be there when she needs you from 9-10.
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#10 of 28 Old 05-24-2013, 12:22 PM
 
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Judging from some of the comments on here, it’s no wonder this generation of kids are rude, disrespectful and spoiled.

 

Punishing a child because she’s late for school is going to turn her into a serial killer or a cutter? 

 

Stopping a kid from stalling going to bed is being mean?  

 

For the record, I wasn’t talking about turning a child away if she had something important to say.  I’m talking about a kid who is just trying to find something to talk about to get out of going to bed, which is clearly the case here.  The things the OP’s daughter are telling her are NOT important and can wait for another time to talk about them .  And yes, if this was my child I’d shut that down and I have.  There are plenty of other times in the day for us to communicate, bedtime is not that time.  I make sure that I give both of my kids individual atttention each day, just not when it's time to go to bed. 

 

Really, I can’t imagine what self entitled brats some people are raising.  Oh dear god, let’s not punish little johnny for disobeying me, I might hurt his little feelings, he might turn into a serial killer.  Let’s let the kids run the household instead of the adults.  Let's let them stay up half the night because they have to tell me about a hangnail they have.  Nevermind that they'll be too tired for school the next day and probably fail that spelling test they have to take.  /rant. 

 

I'm sorry, but some people need to learn how to be a parent and not a friend to their children.  I heard something once that I think should be repeated on here:  Parents who make their children the center of their universe will raise children who expect the world to revolve around them.

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#11 of 28 Old 05-24-2013, 12:32 PM
 
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I would do the shut it down method as well, in fact I do with my 7 year old.  But with an older kid, who's mind is clearly racing would be to ask her to write down all the things she's thinking of before bed so that we could talk about it in the morning. I'd still enforce bedtime hardcore and use increments to make an earlier bedtime as a consequence of not going to bed on time.  Once she's in her room, she stays and she can write it down. 

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#12 of 28 Old 05-29-2013, 02:35 PM
 
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Really, Amber3902? I can't help but feel that the bulk of your rant was directed, in part, at me, yet you refer to redirecting your child or imposing consequences as "punishment". Do you get "punished" by your job for being forgetful? Or are you projecting your own insecurities on your child?

I am in no way the type of parent who lets my kids walk all over me. My children do not always get what they want, and they definitely suffer the consequences of their actions on a daily basis. But the difference here is that I do not "punish". Everyone makes mistakes, and I do not hold them more accountable than I would for anyone else. We all procrastinate, we all take short cuts every now and then (you ever hid some laundry in the closet because people were coming over and you didn't have time to put it away?) and I believe being fair and respectful with kids is the best policy.

I am not saying every kid with strict or "punishment" based upbringings will have psychological damage, but look at the facts. I am an occupational therapist dealing mainly with kids and teens and I see SO MANY KIDS who would be doing way better without the fear of punishment from parents at play. Many psychological professionals agree that respecting your kids while setting reasonable boundaries is the way to go. "Choose your battles wisely" isn't the same thing as letting your kids disrespect you and take advantage of you. My 12 y.o. DD is at the top of her class, popular at school, does better in Choir than kids 2 years older and is an amazing, giving, talented individual. She makes plenty of mistakes. She learns from them, while I do not punish nor tolerate complaining about consequences. I could not be happier with her, and I stand by my conviction that punishment for victimless mistakes is unnecessary and even damaging at this precarious age.
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#13 of 28 Old 05-30-2013, 06:15 AM
 
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Onyxfire, you are right the bulk of my rant was directed towards your comments.

 

Yes, I do get punished at my job for being forgetful.  You better believe if I forget a due date and that causes a project to run over it will be reflected in my job evaluation.  But the OP’s daughter is not being forgetful.  She was told to go to bed, and she’s trying to find reasons to stay up late.

 

You said “Kids at this age definitely need approval, feedback, and someone to listen. Denying her this "because it's bedtime" will make her feel unheard, unimportant, and resent you, which is great if you're trying to raise a serial killer or bullemic who cuts to feel something.”

 

I disagree that a child who is just trying to find reasons to stall going to bed will turn into a serial killer if you don’t indulge their every little whim.  The OP’s daughter is supposed to go to bed.  Instead she finds reasons to stall going to bed – mom, look at me do a cartwheel – NOT important.  Complain about her hair- NOT important.  Sing a song – again NOT important.  It’s obvious the child is just trying to find ways to stall going to bed.

 

I offered a reasonable way to stop the stalling by pushing the bed time up 15 minutes.  You say doing that is going to turn a child into a serial killer or a cutter?  Wow, way to over dramatize.

 

And I see nothing wrong with making a child deal with the consequences of their actions.  I see nothing wrong with a healthy fear of punishment.  If you tell your child to stop playing with something that might harm them, like a cleaning product, what are you going to do when they continue to argue with you about it, instead of doing what they’re told?  Are you going to indulge their objections as to why they want to play with cleaning products or are you going to punish them if they don't do what they're told to do? 

 

By the time you finish discussing the reasons why Lysol is harmful they’ve already sprayed themselves in the eyes and you have a trip to the ER.  Sometimes you can’t indulge your child’s conversations, sometimes it’s more important that they do what they’re told to do, when they’re told to do it.  If your child is walking into the street and you see a car coming, WHEN do you want them to obey you?  Fifteen minutes later?  Twenty minutes later? Or immediately so they don't get hit by the car?  Are you going to listen to them talk about why they need to play in the middle of the street while at the same time a car is coming down the road?

 

Maybe what you call punishment is not what I call punishment.  If my child doesn’t listen to me when I say it’s time for bed, and they’re stalling, i.e. finding every excuse under the sun like the OP’s daughter is, then yes, she needs to be punished.  If that punishment is going to bed 15 minutes earlier, then yes, that’s punishment and I see nothing wrong with making a child deal with the consequences of her actions.  If they stay up late and that causes them to be late for school the next day, some kind of consequence should happen.  What do you think will happen when they get a job?  Will they be allowed to show up late every day?  If their boss tells them to do this project, and instead of doing the project they procrastinate, causing the project to run past due or over budget, what do you think will happen?  The REAL world is not going to be so forgiving. 

 

The facts are parents are afraid to punish their kids and as a result they grow up irresponsible, disrespectful, and expect everything to be handed to them.  And I stand by my conviction that punishing a child for not doing as their told – i.e. go to bed without stalling will not damage a child.   That’s great your child is doing so well.  Maybe your child doesn’t need a lot of discipline.  But each child is different.  Some kids need more discipline than others.  If a child is not responding to one method, then other methods needs to be tried.

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#14 of 28 Old 05-30-2013, 06:42 AM
 
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Wow - I'm pretty shocked by how harsh some PPs have been in their statements.  This is MDC, right? orngbiggrin.gif

 

You may not turn your child into a serial killer, but you are setting up a power struggle, where the kids feel disrespected and shut out.  A kid who feels like that is not going to talk to you candidly about life as a teenager (which is a huge safety concern) - that kid is not going to feel like they matter, or have a healthy self-image.  That kid is also far more likely to bully others, because you've bullied them - so that they can feel in control of someone or something.  Because you've modeled that behavior.

 

I agree that sometimes, safety trumps explanations.  However, I'd argue that a kid is far more likely to sit up and take notice of your "NO!" if it's used sparingly.  If you treat everything as an emergency, they will tune you out.  You aren't saving a child from running into traffic by giving them "talk to the hand" treatment at bedtime.  That just sounds like a mama at the end of her rope, to me.  I agree with others who say self-care matters, too, so that youc an respond more patiently and connect with your kid - instead of shutting them out.

 

If all you can offer is the equivalent of "shut up right now or be punished" - you aren't getting to the root of the problem.  WHY is the kid avoiding bedtime?  Do they need more close, connected time with you?  The OP says this is the case in her house (and if so, the harsh approach is particularly damaging, since you are hurting them when they are most vulnerable)  Do they need more autonomy, to feel heard and respected, and have a chance to prove themselves or experiment with self-regulation?  

 

I would be concerned if I raised my kids to do everything I say, until they turn 18, and they are all on their own with no developed coping skills other than blind allegiance to authority.

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#15 of 28 Old 05-30-2013, 06:47 AM
 
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To use your work example - if you were having trouble meeting a deadline, would you want your boss to sit down with you, hear you out, listen to your explanation and help you find a solution?  Or would you be happier if your boss refused to listen to a word you had to say, and only yelled and reprimanded you, threatening to fire you?


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#16 of 28 Old 05-30-2013, 07:54 AM
 
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I dunno... I never found it hard to decide which hills to die on. Bedtime wasn't one of them. But if they stayed up late enough to make them tired at school? Well then, that was a natural consequence which they learned from. Might have taken a few days, but so be it. And no, at 11 I would not expect the kiddo to wake up on time 100% of the time. Heck - my youngest had enough trouble at 17 doing so! And honestly? I enjoyed waking her up in the morning. (And no, she has no problem getting herself up and to classes now that she's in college. In fact, she specifically chooses sections of her most important classes to be early so that she will not be tempted to sleep in and skip.) 

 

Since we never really had strict bedtimes, I haven't run into the problem of using any excuse to delay going to bed. There were days when I was wiped and I simply said so, and asked that they just give me space. You know - treated them like real people. And they understood, and let me be. 

 

However, with any conflict we've had, I've always found it better to sit down and have an "adult" conversation. What's causing the conflict, why s/he feels the way they do, why I feel the way I do, and what kind of solution can we come up with. Some things? They didn't get their way with - but they walked away understanding why it was the way it was, even if they didn't like it. The last time I "punished" them was, I think, ~ 5th and 3rd grade. When I made them write a (joint) essay on disrespect - they were rude to one another, so they had to work together. Four paragraphs - opener and closer they had to write together, and each had to write one of the middle paras. And then come and read it to me the same way. By the end of the writing? They were fast friends again, because they actually worked together on all of it. Which was the point of the exercise. And yes, they told me they had - elder said "Well, Mom... she needed some help, so..." My response was along the lines of "Well... that's something to remember. As much as the two of you can annoy each other, you still love each other. Doesn't it make more sense to work it out instead of being mean?"

 

And funny... despite being such a "lax" parent... both are doing well in college, both work and take that responsibility seriously by being on time and putting in the required effort. They are not brats. They do not waste my money by skipping classes and partying all the time (they DO have fun, as they should). 

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#17 of 28 Old 05-30-2013, 08:13 AM
 
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Pickle, Of course, as a child gets older, you’re going to give them more leeway as to discussing things.  And I did state that you need to give your child attention every day so they’re not trying to get your attention when important things need to be done. 

 

I just don’t see anything wrong with imposing some kind of punishment for a child who is stalling going to bed.  I don’t see anything wrong with punishing children when they don’t obey. And I think saying if you punish your child for not doing as they’re told that they’re going to turn into a serial killer or cutter is going overboard.  THAT statement really stuck in my craw.

 

I agree with you that you need to get to the root of the problem and figure out why they trying to avoid bedtime, but at the same time, children need to learn that the world does not revolve around them and sometimes they just need to do what they’re told to do. I don’t think punishing a child when they’re stalling going to bed is “shutting them out”.  

 

As kids get older and into the teen years, there’s going to be more discussion and negotiation about curfews, chores, etc.  But this child is 11, and is acting like a three year old. 

 

 

Quote:

This all came to a head yesterday because she wanted to watch TV even though she'd lost her priviledges the night before. I reminded her of the sequence of events, which led to her screaming and sobbing hysterically for an hour. Not kidding. 

Act like a three year old, be treated like a three year old.

 

I do understand what you’re saying about your boss working with you about a deadline, and of course, I wouldn't want him to yell at me, but that's not what I'm saying.  If you're stalling getting your work done by taking personal phone calls or playing solitaire, that boss is not going to be very willing to get you more help or extend your deadline.

 

In this situation, the child is told to go to bed.  No singing, cartwheels, or complaining about your hair.  Yes, if the OP gave her daughter attention earlier in the day maybe she wouldn’t be looking for it at bedtime, which is part of the equation.  But the other part is doing as you’re told to do and stop stalling going to bed. 

 

Sorry, I didn’t mean to be harsh in my comments, but the comment that punishing your child is going to turn them into a serial killer really got to me!  Pardon the pun, but to me that’s just over kill.  orngtongue.gif


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#18 of 28 Old 05-30-2013, 08:56 AM
 
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You impose a punishment of some kind.  You know where it hurts her the most.  Be it TV privileges, time on the computer, or 15 minutes earlier bed time.  Every time she asks a question, tells you how she’s improving her cartwheels, etc. etc. you simply add on another punishment.

 

It will go something like this

 

"Daughter – time for bed."

"Okay mom.  Hey, will you will add gold trimming to my costume for the Romeo Juliet play?"

"That’s 15 minutes earlier you have to go bed now."

"But mom I just had one question and then I’ll go!"

"That’s another 15 minutes"

"But mom!" 

"That’s 45 minutes now.  Want to make it an even hour?"

 

^ this is what stuck in mine. smile.gif  To me, that's both shutting your kid out, who is trying to talk to you (and honestly, they may have something important to get off their chest, you never know) and threatening them on top of it.  If I were that kid, I'd feel pretty disrespected, shut down, and certainly less likely to talk to my mom about things in the future.

 

I agree more with PPs who suggested gentler approaches, like telling the child you are too tired to listen properly right then - or that now is not an appropriate time, and giving them a notebook and pen to jot all these questions down so they don't forget (in answer to the question - yes, I often think of a zillion things I need to say or do at bedtime!).  Then promise to address them in the morning and follow through.  You can be firm and understanding without punishment.

 

Basically, I wouldn't ever treat a friend/boss/peer/spouse of mine like that (or want them to speak to me that way), so why on earth would I say something so rude to my kid?  I want to treat them like valid humans and model respectful behavior (lest my child get the impression that it's ok to turn around and behave like that towards someone who is younger, etc. than them).


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#19 of 28 Old 05-30-2013, 09:09 AM
 
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Okay, maybe I should clarify that before you do this method, you explain to the child what is going to happen every time they try to stall going to bed.  That unless it's something important, bedtime is not the time to have a discussion.  (Keep in mind, the OP states the kid keeps on even after she's already answered several of the kid's questions.)  And give them a notebook to write down anything they think of and need to discuss.  (And yes, I do keep post its by my bed for when I think of things).

 

I'm not barking or yelling at them, simply stating "keep stalling and you're going to bed 15 minutes earlier".

 

And BTW - Everyone keeps saying the child may have something important to say.  Well, you KNOW what the child is asking you is NOT important as soon as they ask it.

If you say "time for bed" and the child says

"Mom, I think I'm pregnant"  of course you're not going to say "that's 15 minutes earlier you have to go to bed!"

 

but if the child says "Mom, look at me do a cartwheel" yes, that statement gets the 15 minute warning.

 

Geesh.   The OP works at home, plus spend three hours with her daughter before bedtime.  It sounds to me like this kid is just trying to find ways to get out of going to bed on time.  At age 11 this kid can figure out what's important and what can wait till the next day. 


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#20 of 28 Old 05-31-2013, 07:47 AM
 
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Amber3902, I don't know what your deal is, but my statement was meant to be taken with a grain of salt, a little bit of exaggerated humor to make the OP realize that shutting her kid down because of some hard and fast rule can cause more problems than solving them. Unfortunately, my DD does know a couple of kids who cut, and their parents are very controlling, as was the case with kids I knew as a teen who cut. While getting my Master's, I took a class on adolescent psychology and abnormal behavior, and everything we studied basically came down to parenting down the middle of the road: being too harsh or too lax causes developmental or behavioral problems in many cases. I *never* had a "bedtime" once I started first grade or so, and I have only ever been late to work due to really bad traffic maybe half a dozen times in my life (I am usually there 15 minutes early), never been fired from a job, etc. and my DD is the same. She stayed up until midnight last night to do extra work on a final project that she really wanted to get 100 on so she could bring her 99 average to 100 and did not complain when I woke her up, because it was *her* choice to do this even if it meant being sleep deprived today (she finished all the requirements over the weekend, BTW, 5 days before it was due).

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#21 of 28 Old 05-31-2013, 08:35 PM
 
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To use your work example - if you were having trouble meeting a deadline, would you want your boss to sit down with you, hear you out, listen to your explanation and help you find a solution?  Or would you be happier if your boss refused to listen to a word you had to say, and only yelled and reprimanded you, threatening to fire you?


It isn't your supervisors job to make you happy, it is your job to make your supervisor happy with your work quality so you can get a paycheck.  I don't like comparing kids to adults though, they are developmentally very different and still require a parent, which is why they don't just go out into the world and get a job after they learn to speak and walk.  I think in a work situation where a boss knows you almost as well as your mother and knows you were screwing around instead of doing your work, and have been frequently, you would be very lucky to get off with being scolded and threatened with a consequence. 

 

I don't think the pp is suggesting yelling and threats though, it sounds like she is suggesting a consequence for a behavior a mother finds problematic.  Gentle discipline doesn't mean no discipline and no consequences.  I also think that suggesting that enforcing consequences is going to lead to a child becoming a serial killer is a ridiculous statement to make and it certainly didn't sound like a jokey over-exaggeration.  Just because your kids don't have bedtime doesn't mean the kids who do are in a horrible home where demeaning things happen to them.

 

My dd is only ten and bedtime has always been bedtime so I don't know that I have much to offer.  I give my dd a kiss and hug then say goodnight.  Sometimes she does have something quick to tell me and I let her, but when she has several stalling things I tell her it is time for bed and that I can't wait for her to tell me more in the morning.  On a few occasions I have had to say that it is late and time for bed in a firm voice but that is about it because bedtime has always been bedtime. She has many opportunities throughout the day to tell me things but if I felt that she was truly trying to tell me things she couldn't tell me during the day I would make more of an effort to be available for conversations and one on one time. 

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#22 of 28 Old 05-31-2013, 09:17 PM
 
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Onyxfire,

 

That's funny, your comment about punishing a child will turn them into a serial killer did not contain any LOLs or smileys. You didn't add a disclaimer at the end of your statement like "just joking".  Your entire post seemed pretty serious so I took that statement in the same context as the way the rest of your post was delivered.  And even when I responded to that statement you didn't say you were exaggerating or that particular statement should be taken with a grain of salt. 

 

I get quite tired of hearing "I didn't get enough love and attention as a child" as an excuse to commit crimes.  The man in Cleveland that kidnapped three girls and held them captive for ten years, his attorney is trying to use that line as an excuse for why he did what he did to those girls.  So sorry, I'm a might sensitive when someone says punishing a child is going to turn them into a serial killer.  That kind of statement is not something that should be used as a joke and it sure didn't sound like it in your post.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post

 

I don't think the pp is suggesting yelling and threats though, it sounds like she is suggesting a consequence for a behavior a mother finds problematic.  Gentle discipline doesn't mean no discipline and no consequences.  I also think that suggesting that enforcing consequences is going to lead to a child becoming a serial killer is a ridiculous statement to make and it certainly didn't sound like a jokey over-exaggeration.  Just because your kids don't have bedtime doesn't mean the kids who do are in a horrible home where demeaning things happen to them.

 

 

Couldn't have said it better myself!


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#23 of 28 Old 05-31-2013, 09:49 PM
 
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It isn't your supervisors job to make you happy, it is your job to make your supervisor happy with your work quality so you can get a paycheck. 

 

I don't think I ever said it was? shrug.gif  My point was only that we should treat others how we would prefer to be treated - with respect, understanding and compassion.

 

I don't like comparing kids to adults though, they are developmentally very different and still require a parent, which is why they don't just go out into the world and get a job after they learn to speak and walk. 

 

I'm hoping that this is an unlabeled exaggeration. smile.gif  Of course children need parents, and those parents should strive to model respectful behavior.

 

I think in a work situation where a boss knows you almost as well as your mother and knows you were screwing around instead of doing your work, and have been frequently, you would be very lucky to get off with being scolded and threatened with a consequence. 

 

There are two things I find wrong with this.  One, again, I was speaking in terms of treating others how you would like to be treated.  Two, you are implying an awful lot of negative intent on the part of the child.  This child isn't "screwing around" in my opinion - obviously something deeper is going on, and that should be addressed.  Why not give the kid the benefit of the doubt?  Why not view it as, this child is obviously struggling, let's figure out what's up?  Instead of "this kid is being purposely defiant and a pain in the rear, just to test my authority and drive me insane"? 

 

I don't think the pp is suggesting yelling and threats though, it sounds like she is suggesting a consequence for a behavior a mother finds problematic.  Gentle discipline doesn't mean no discipline and no consequences.  I also think that suggesting that enforcing consequences is going to lead to a child becoming a serial killer is a ridiculous statement to make and it certainly didn't sound like a jokey over-exaggeration.  Just because your kids don't have bedtime doesn't mean the kids who do are in a horrible home where demeaning things happen to them.

 

You say potato, I say... winky.gif Threatening punishment is a threat.  Cutting off someone who is speaking to repeatedly threaten them (in an escalating fashion) is extremely rude, IMO.  Who else can you think of you would treat that way?  I definitely don't believe kids deserve less respect because they are kids.

 

What that does is create a power play.  You may achieve compliance, but at what cost?  I'm betting a child who is treated in that manner is going to feel disenfranchised and disrespected - and may repeat that controlling behavior towards other children, which is then called bullying.

 

This goes back to what was discussed earlier about having to sometimes say no in situations where safety is an immediate concern.  I simply believe that's a technique to be used extremely rarely.

 

Gentle discipline is certainly a broad spectrum.  I would argue, however, that "no discipline" is hardly synonymous with "no punishment."  Many in the GD forum do not support punishment (or rewards, for that matter).  So, sometimes, yes - GD means "no consequences," at least in the way you conceive of them.  There are some people believe in alternatives like natural consequences, but many believe in modeling respect, cooperation, collaborative problem-solving and generally treating children as we would like to be treated. thumb.gif

 

Trying to "hit a child where it hurts her the most" is a pretty aggressive tactic for gentle discipline, and it reinforces some idea that children are enemy combatants.  

 

My dd is only ten and bedtime has always been bedtime so I don't know that I have much to offer.  I give my dd a kiss and hug then say goodnight.  Sometimes she does have something quick to tell me and I let her, but when she has several stalling things I tell her it is time for bed and that I can't wait for her to tell me more in the morning.  On a few occasions I have had to say that it is late and time for bed in a firm voice but that is about it because bedtime has always been bedtime. She has many opportunities throughout the day to tell me things but if I felt that she was truly trying to tell me things she couldn't tell me during the day I would make more of an effort to be available for conversations and one on one time. 

 

All of these are, at least, far more respectful and gentle than what the PP was advocating in the quoted passage, IMO.  


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#24 of 28 Old 06-01-2013, 06:00 AM
 
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PIckle,

 

One girl understood my technique and she's right.  I'm not suggesting yelling and threats, I'm suggesting giving a child a consequence for stalling going to bed.  A threat is just that, you say you're going to do something but don't follow through.  I'm not suggesting threatening to do something, I'm saying tell the child if they continue to ask unimportant questions when it's time to go to bed, they're going to have to go to bed 15 minutes earlier.  And yeah, I said "hit them where it hurts".  If you take away your child's books but they hate to read, that's not really a punishment.  If you know your child loves playing on the wii and you take that away from her, that punishment is going to make more of a impression than taking away something that they really don't care about. The statement "hit them where it hurts" should be taken with a grain of salt, LOL. 

 

You think it's rude to stop a kid from stalling going to bed, i.e. asking all these questions.  I disagree.  I believe this child is playing her mom. Maybe part of it is she wants attention, but I think a big part of it is she's just asking all these questions to get out of going to bed.  Really, what kid wants to go to bed?  :)  Last night I told my 14 year old daughter about this situation.  She agreed with me that the kid is just trying to stall going to bed.  I asked her if she thought my method was being rude.  She said "not really, Mom, because if it's a school night she needs to go to bed." 

 

At any rate, I'm done with this thread.  I believe in consequences for poor behavior.  I believe in discipline and appropriate punishment for bad behavior. 

 

Maybe this forum isn't the place for me.

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#25 of 28 Old 06-01-2013, 06:27 AM
 
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There are parents here who believe in punishment, and those who don't. I think there's room for both perspectives, and giving more perspectives gives more for people having a problem to draw upon.

I am personally not a fan of punishment and would not consider stalling at bedtime to be a huge deal, however I understand that there are a number of ways parents might decide to respond to this behavior. Hearing how I might deal with it and how someone who would punish would deal with it can give a larger frame of reference for the parent who is trying to find the right way to handle the problem for her, her child, and their relationship.

I don't think everyone defines "gentle discipline" the same, but to me it means not using physical punishment, shame, or humiliation. I think it leaves room for a pretty wide variety of responses.

To me, pre-teen years are when I try to scale back and start on that progression to where they're completely self regulating. I would personally be pushing for understanding of why bedtime is important rather than obedience. And a little bit of stalling wouldn't be worth the power struggle, particularly with a pre-teen.
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#26 of 28 Old 06-01-2013, 06:55 AM
 
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sounds like my son too.. i wish i had a magic trick.. it has to be the age! ugh.

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#27 of 28 Old 06-01-2013, 11:52 AM
 
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There are parents here who believe in punishment, and those who don't. I think there's room for both perspectives, and giving more perspectives gives more for people having a problem to draw upon.

I am personally not a fan of punishment and would not consider stalling at bedtime to be a huge deal, however I understand that there are a number of ways parents might decide to respond to this behavior. Hearing how I might deal with it and how someone who would punish would deal with it can give a larger frame of reference for the parent who is trying to find the right way to handle the problem for her, her child, and their relationship.

 I wholeheartedly agree with this.  amber - I don't think you should leave - I apologize if I gave you that impression.  My only intent was to highlight that gentle discipline is a wide spectrum, and present my point of view.  Which is clearly different than yours, or One_Girl's.  It's ok if we disagree, or if we find ourselves at different places on that spectrum. thumbsup.gif  There's room for everybody.  Talking to people who do things differently helps me clarify how I feel and why, as well as gives me different ideas for how to approach a situation.


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#28 of 28 Old 06-02-2013, 08:12 PM
 
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Ok, well I definitely disagree with you and the first poster (punishment for sleeping late at 11 when you aren't waking them up? wow, that's super punitive...) 11 is a hard age, as is 12. They seem independent enough, yet still require a lot of praise and guidance.
 

 

Whoa.  Never did I (as the first poster) say that I wasn't waking my daughter up (although I can see how you read it that way).  By grounding her for oversleeping (and being late to school) I meant she had times where she would not get out of bed when I went in to wake her up the first time (or second and third times many mornings).  I do not expect a 13 yo to be their own alarm clock.  I always go in and tell her exactly what time it is- So  she knows how much time she has to get out of bed and ready.  I will go in and wake her up and tell her what time it is as many times as it takes, but it is really up to her to get herself up and moving at that point, and yes, there are consequences for her being late to school on those mornings she chooses not to get out of bed on time.  Just wanted to clarify.

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