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Discussion Starter #1
DD is 10.

We are very relaxed, but not quite USers (I am thinking of making a leap, though)

DD does not like being told what to do. Basically she does not do (or does not do gracefully) anything she does not want to do.

For example: for the last few monthswhenever I have asked her to do something (usually housework) she has pitched a fit. She will complain that her sister is playing in the room, so she can't clean; or will maintain her brother is not working as hard as she is, ect. Both of these complaints are not usually true - I bend over backwards to make things fair, but that is not how she sees it. Her and I often get into an argument, and she often ends up in her room for picking fights. She does have to do her chores eventually.

This attitude is starting to carry over to academic work. I have never asked a lot of the kids academically, and do not think what I ask is unreasonable at all. It is to the point where she will only do academic work (if she does it at all) if I am working one on one with her - and quite frankly I do not want to work one on one all.the.time. I have 3 kids - and a busy scheduel!

Today we were doing French. I asked the kids to look up words on the computer. Long story short - according to her I gave her brother the "easy words" (huh? you are loooking them up on the computer - it is all the same!) and I gave her longer words. We got into a arguement, and she ended up in her room - again.

I feel like , no I know, she analyses everything I say looking for flaws to get out of doing stuff.

When she came downstairs I tried to talk to her. I was actually going to suggest we ease off on lessons, (or go about them in a more US way - which I think she might be a good match for) when she said "but I want to learn French". I asked her if she wanted me to teach her and she said "yes". What the heck?

None the less I am thinking of switching, with her, to a more child led system.

I am not giving up on getting her to do homework (ha! - take that DD!
:
) but I may let go on the schooling issue.

I so don't want to have power struggles - and I am so tired of arguing all the time.

Vent over. Thoughts of any kind welcome.

Kathy
 

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Um, here's what she'd probably love you to do:

1) Put her siblings in school, or, better yet, sell them on eBay. (Can you sell kids on eBay? Would Craigslist be better?)

2) Give her tons and tons of 1:1 attention since her siblings will be out of the way for hours a day (or all the time.)

3) Hire a French-speaking maid who can do all the housework AND talk to her in French, so she can sit and chat and generally have fun while learning French, and not actually have to work on it.

Since none of those things are possible, here are some more practical ideas:

Give up all control over academics. She'll learn when she's ready to learn. If she wants to learn French, make it HER responsibility to find time to do it- this can either mean doing it on the computer independently or working with you when you're available to do so. Be open to her learning French in a different manner than the one you've been using (if she herself comes up with this alternate method.)

As for housework, you need to come up with something in writing that all the kids agree is fair. I'd try to give her chores that aren't time-dependent, so if she "forgets" to do something, it can patiently wait for her without affecting the rest of the family. Maybe set her to clean up after dinner rather than helping to prepare it? Ask her to scrub the bathtub once a month instead of emptying the trash cans whenever they get full? Stuff like that.

If things get really bad, you can tie in chores to allowance, so if she doesn't do her work, you can calmly say "OK" and there WILL be a consequence later.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, Ruth, you made me laugh a bit.

Yes - DD would like me to sell her siblings on Ebay, hire a maid with the proceeds, and give her the left over money, if there is any, lol.

She has told me she will be rich when she grows up and will hire a maid. You go girl!

Kathy
 

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Hi,
I have a 10yr old dd. She has already hit puberty, and has the attitude to prove it! She has lots of sibling rivalry with her older brother, age 12. So, sibling rivalry/puberty? Those are my ideas of where she might be coming from. I don't have a solution! Last night, I was just re-reading "Hot to Talk So Your Kids Will Listen" and "Raising a Daughter."
Good Luck!!
Rebecca
 

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I hear you. No real advice, but I hear you. The only thing that helps regarding chores here are consequences-- for example, she has to clean her room (we give specific tasks) before a playdate because it will be more enjoyable not to have to trip over clothes. Tomorrow we are going to a museum and she left the office a mess (and she has a playroom where the mess usually goes . . .she spread out
so I told her (nicely) that she'd have to clean it up before we left. She was OK with both of these things.

As for academics . . .that is something I struggle with as well. I think it is because I am arguing with myself about my philosophy about learning and life in general . . .big, big topics. Since I was not unschooled myself, looking back, if I had to take complete control over my learning, I WOULD have sat in front of the TV most of the time. Learning another language on my own would seem overwhelming and impossible. I know, people who have actually USd say that isn't true, but I can't go back and change that about myself, so the fear is there.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
A quick note on the French thing: where we live many jobs (particulalrly those with the government) demand bilingualism in French and English. In this area learning French is important.

In the switch over from hyper relaxed to more USy, the idea that she might be overwhelmed with big tasks (such as learning French) is something to watch out for or gently discuss.

I do not doubt she is a little hormonal/and has sibling rivalry-big time! Thanks for the commiseration.

Kathy
 

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ruthla, you made me laugh outloud.


kathy, i think 10 is old enough to start being an active participant in what and how academics flow throughout the day & week. maybe if you both sit down together... you can share your expectations & concerns ...then she can share her expectations/concerns. then together, you two can brainstorm and create a game plan and figure out how to meet both of your needs/wants. i dunno. just a thought. hugs.
 

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DS is the same age and I can sooooooooooo relate to everything you wrote.

What I've found time and time again is that 90% of the problem is actually ME and not him. Sure, 10% is him, but the other 90% of it is how I react to that 10%. I have to remember that he's a kid, with weaknesses and needs, and how I respond to his problems will soooooooo drastically affect what happens next.

One great thing I've tried to remember is that "children will always do the best that they are able to do." In other words, if a kid is "acting up", it's not because they're TRYING to be negative or contrary or manipulative or whatever. It's because there's some problem that they don't know how to articulate, and it manifests as "bad behaviour". They don't WANT to be bad, they're just, well... being, as best as they know how.

Thinking about all that doesn't solve the problems, of course, but it helps give me some perspective, to not just be reactionary and yell back at him when he gives me "bad attitude". That's when I remember it, of course... *sigh*

Anyway, we've recently been through a really rough time, with LOTS of major arguments and I've been FED UP with his attitude. We had a major blowout a few days ago and it was horrible... he's bawling and yelling and saying that I don't love him! He was saying I don't love him because I don't buy him things and let him do whatever he wants, but all the other kids' moms do. Riighht...

Anyway, after much crying and yelling back and forth, and some time, and more crying, and more yelling, and me TRYING to be patient and explain things, and failing... I think we actually, somehow, found our way to the root of the problem.

It was a simple case of sibling rivalry. His little sister, who he adores, and who he's never shown the slightest bit of jealousy over... he observed that I was spending more time with her and seemed to love her better than him.

Well I was struck to the heart. I don't know how accurate that is objectively, but it's utterly and 100% real to him, and I could immediately imagine how badly that would hurt. All my anger melted away. I gently reminded him that babies (and toddlers) take lots of time and attention, but promised him that I would make more of an effort to spend time with him. After a whole day of yelling and bad moods, he stopped crying. After refusing me to touch him all day, he fell into my arms for a lovely hug. He calmed down. He smiled. He apologized for things he'd said, sheepishly, smiling again.

And he's been behaving MUCH better since then. He's still not a grownup, of course, and won't be for years. But at least the spirit of cooperation is back, our connection is back.

So... it's just a thought. Maybe work on your connection with your DD, outside of concerns about behaviour and academics and chores and whatever. When you're working together instead of against each other, it makes all the difference in the world!
 
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