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I do not know what to do with her!

I have a 5 yr old who seems to get into EVERYTHING! I have put a lock on the utility closet and put my make-up in there. She got into it a few months back, and ruined all of it, and the carpet, and the walls, her white church dress, (which I have no idea how she go that) and yes I was VERY upset. All total, $150. Then she gets into my artificial nail kit, nail polish everywhere. It was locked, but she dropped it, and it broke. then tonight, she got into my makeup AGAIN and the nail kit! The closet was locked. It was one of those locks where you just slide the bolt over. Little miss problem solver got a chair from her room, stood on it and unlocked it. I was in elbow deep in raw chicken, and I lost track of how long she has been quiet, and then I suddenly smell nail polish. She once again completely ruined everything. Apparently waterproof makeup isn't waterproof in the bathroom sink. And nail polish looks very weird under water.

I have nothing left, absolutely nothing left. And the few of you I know will say I should have watched her more closely, well please refrain from that. I know many of you think makeup is no big deal or painting your nails, but to me, it helps me feel better about myself. I use to pick my skin all the time when I was younger due to a lot of stress and many other reasons. Many of the reasons why some other people cut themselves. My face was my 'pick' of choice. I couldn't stand the feel of bumps on my face. Then when the wound I made healed, it would scab over, then I pick at that. Needless to say, I do not go out in public without even a little makeup.

I learned how to apply makeup good enough to where my scars were hardly noticeable. So the makeup I do use, is expensive. But it does last me a very long time since I learned how to apply it better.

My question is what can I do? Wat punishment is appropriate for a 5 yr old? I sent her to bed, immediately after dinner because I was so upset at her. And I will deal it in the morning. Is that to 'adult'? What upsets me even more is the fact I cannot afford to replace any of that right now. None of it. I am having a hard time making sure I keep the lights on and food on the table.

Help me??


Asked by Anonymous at 11:03 PM on Sep. 12, 2013 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (16)
  • Our anger AT someone generally indicates the same feelings toward ourselves. So if you are furious with your child for something, chances are VERY good that there are unconscious thoughts/beliefs directed toward yourself (often in the form of "should have" or "shouldn't have") that are intensely critical & judgmental. If you think you should have done a better job hiding/locking/protecting the items, or that you should have realized sooner that she was likely "up to no good," then you'll be more vulnerable to being angry with your child & at a loss for how to relate & proceed, instead of being able to see her accurately (for what's going on with her) and to connect & offer guidance. It's the difference between being able to respond constructively, and being vulnerable to reacting destructively to some degree.
    You explain very well how big emotions are tied in the loss of items you lack resources to easily or promptly replace.

    Answer by girlwithC at 11:37 AM on Sep. 13, 2013

  • Wow! All I can say is, she should be old enough to know better by now.
    But, since I don't know her, I'm hesitant to say how you should handle this.

    Answer by KTElite at 11:14 PM on Sep. 12, 2013

  • Is she looking for attention? Some kids will do bad stuff just to get some kind of attention, no matter what it is.... Maybe make more time for her, and also stick to your punishment. If she knows you won't carry through, she'll keep doing it. I'm sorry you're going through this.

    I wish I had more advice.

    Answer by MrsLeftlane at 11:17 PM on Sep. 12, 2013

  • Kids are destructive...and get into everything, mine were and did!
    this will eentually pass- but until then they have locks you can get that require a code. We put one on our bedroom door


    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 11:21 PM on Sep. 12, 2013

  • Shes old enough to know better and she knows she is being naughty when she does this. Tomorrow morning I'd talk to her. Ask very simple questions like : do you know it makes mommy sad when you destroy her special things? How would you feel if someone broke (insert special toy). What would you do if it was broken? Then I'd give her a chore that makes her earn the money to replace it. Of course she really can't, but she can work hard for a 5 year old at something until you think she's learned the lesson

    Answer by Nimue930 at 11:43 PM on Sep. 12, 2013

  • ending her to bed was the right thing. The next step is to tell her that a privilege is lost. You know which ones will mean something to her. It's gone for one week.

    And get a locking case for your girl stuff. Something with a key that you keep with you and never show her which key it is.

    Answer by gdiamante at 11:59 PM on Sep. 12, 2013

  • "But the comment..." you have to separate your feelings about your make-up and your skin," that is VERY hard for me to do after what happened awhile back, and its still so incredibly hurtful, and still bring tears to my eyes. "

    Then consider counseling. I'm serious. You are NOT what you look like; your looks are the LEAST important part of the package that is YOU. It sounds cliche but it is true: What's INSIDE is what COUNTS. Consider that at all times.

    Anyone who judges you by what you look like is not worth the time of day and not worth ONE SINGLE TEAR. Not one. They should be ignored forever, no matter WHO they are.

    True story: Worst people I've known in my life were some of the "best looking." BEST people in my life were a lot more than 60 pounds overweight and most people would consider them bad looking. *I* consider them beautiful, because what's INSIDE their skin is what counts.

    Answer by gdiamante at 2:04 AM on Sep. 13, 2013

  • That makes things harder in the moment, because children "act out" in ways that signal their need for help, their need to resolve certain inner issues that are driving problematic behaviors & tendencies. And their acting out behaviors are likely to trigger their parents (yet again) which makes constructive action really difficult for those parents. So the cycle continues, and the parent's job gets harder because the kids are carrying more baggage that interferes with their behavior, their flexibility & their ability to cooperate.

    Try to think in terms of connecting more with her, noticing her & speaking in ways that convey it (rather than trying to praise or criticize her....just SEE her. "Look at you!" "You look like you're having fun." "You look worried." "Oh, you didn't like that at all, did you?" "You're proud of yourself!" "You wanted me to see this picture!" etc.) 2autisticsmom's suggestions above are helpful examples.

    Answer by girlwithC at 11:58 AM on Sep. 13, 2013

  • *eventually

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 11:21 PM on Sep. 12, 2013

  • I know you are upset. Who wouldn't be? But I think it's worth saying, you have to separate your feelings about your make-up and your skin, and your inability to replace the ruined items, from your decision about what punishment will best teach your daughter not to get into things that aren't hers, make messes, and commit needless destruction. Otherwise, what you do will move beyond discipline into something closer to revenge. I'm not saying you would be abusive, but more like getting even. So something like making her help clean up the mess if you haven't done it already, or setting her to work on some other chore with the idea that she can do something productive for you since she ruined your things, seems logical.

    Answer by Ballad at 1:08 AM on Sep. 13, 2013