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Appropriate punishment?

My oldest daughter is almost 9 (in June) and has...issues. Recently she has gotten really defiant to the point we are seeking professional help for her.
Anyway, she had her DS (which was a gift from my dad last year against my wishes) taken away because she sneaks it at night and stays up late playing it or fights with her siblings over it.

It was in my desk drawer and she was due to get it back this weekend if her attitude improved. Well last night I noticed it wasn't in my drawer any more. Come to find out she snuck in my room 2 days ago and took it and has been staying up late playing it in bed.

Now she's mad because I took it again and she's grounded. It's gotten to the point that I can't remember a time she wasn't grounded. Now she's screaming that she hates everyone and we all hate her and throwing things (this is like an every day thing with her).


Asked by justanotherjen at 8:04 AM on Mar. 5, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (10)
  • Momofsaee
    she is actually the oldest of 4. I think the others are 7, 6 & going on 3. Though I am sure Jen will correct me if I am wrong.
    She really seems to think that everything should always be about her. I hate to see what happens when her hormones start to come in full blown.
    I don't have any advice. We have talked about this for years & things have not gotten any better. I say spank her & stop making the other kids deal with her bad behavior. I would move her to Nora's room simply so no one else has to deal with her tactics. Her DS would also be gone for a long time. I would put it some place she would not find it. I would also get her case about having gone into your stuff & taking something that was not hers to take at that moment.

    Answer by mommybug77 at 4:18 PM on Mar. 5, 2009

  • sounds like she is hitting her terrible teens early lol i have a fourteen year old son the same way he's been grounded now for like two months and he just wont quit. i dont know the answer nothing i do is working either. good luck

    Answer by jodi205 at 8:15 AM on Mar. 5, 2009

  • If punishing her (grounding/loss of things) isn't working, what if you did the opposite, and tried REWARDING her ONLY when she does good/nice/helpful things? To get her on the right track, it could be REALLY simple, like her doing something unprompted--like putting her dirty clothes in the hamper, or preparing her own snacks, making her bed, helping put groceries away, etc.) And the rewards don't have to cost anything...she will earn MORE privileges just by doing what is expected.

    For example, if she loses the privilege of playing with her DS, then she doesn't just lose it for a few days/week, BUT she gets it back WHEN she demonstrates several CONSISTENT good behaviors! You could make a simple grid/chart and post it in a common place to remind her of her goal(s).

    It's kind of a take on the whole "kill 'em with kindness" adage! GOOD LUCK!!!

    Answer by LoriKeet at 8:17 AM on Mar. 5, 2009

  • i agree with- LoriKeet. i have the same problem with my daughter she is 11 and she has always been like this nothing works for her. she also has adhd and bipolar. i hear the same stuff when she is mad or doesnt get her way and she will i wish i were dead, and throws things she gets worse the older she is getting but the meds are helping a bit. but still outburst like no tomorrow. she has been grounded for 2 months cuz she wont clean her room no friends till its clean. and when she has her attitude no friends and i will put her in timeout till she is ready to be nice. sometimes it works (SOMETIMES) you can pm me anytime if you ever need to vent or talk i know what your going through. but try the things that LoriKeet had said. i do this as well and they like it.

    Answer by melissa197829 at 9:06 AM on Mar. 5, 2009

  • Yes, we've tried that but if it doesn't actually benefit her she won't do anything nice for anyone else. So she would only do something nice if she knew she was getting the DS back. But it just never happens. Even suggesting she do something for someone else sends her over the edge. She acts like I'm telling her to cut of her own arm or something.
    It's ridiculous. The sad part is she was about to get the DS back from the last time it was taken away because she had been pretty good all week. I was going to give it back after school on Friday.
    We've tried charts and all. The other kids like them and see that they are doing stuff to earn rewards. She views it as a way to show how much we hate her since she refuses to do the stuff to earn the rewards. It's insane the way she thinks.

    Answer by justanotherjen at 11:23 AM on Mar. 5, 2009

  • I think you described my 10 (11 in may) yr old. Right about 10, she began having these screaming fits where she commonly told us how much we hated her and how life wasn't fair. Shes always been a bit dramatic, but this was overboard. I realized that she was beginning the hormonal stage (which is FIRST in puberty) and anything I thought that was dramatic up until now didn't hold a candle to her current behavior. Nevertheless, I began doing two things. First thing was holding her MORE accountable. Disrespect is a big no no in our home. Its like the unpardonable sin. Simply because its the root of everything else. So, the minute she got mouthy or blew up and began slamming doors, we followed her and demanded that she open the door and apologize and calm down. The second thing we did was make sure that we talked to her more about WHAT she was feeling. Theres a reason, aside from sheer manipulation.....cont

    Answer by momofsaee at 1:49 PM on Mar. 5, 2009

  • that she pulls the "everyone hates me" tactic. Some of it is just to get everyone to feel sorry for her, but other parts of it are valid. I think your kids are about the same age as mine, plus or minus a few years and that middle child syndrome has a lot of these characteristics. She is one of your middle kids, right? The tend to need harsher punishment and MORE attention. So we began talking to her about what she was feeling and WHY she did this or that and then also made sure that punishment was firm. I have a tendency to let the squeaky wheel get the grease and shes always squeaked the loudest. THis has been at the expense of my teen who rebels silently. (much more dangerous). I cant say how I would completely handle this specific situation of yours, but I think the DS would be confiscated indefinately. We have 2 of them, but theres still a fight. I also would probably have had my husband spank her....cont

    Answer by momofsaee at 1:53 PM on Mar. 5, 2009

  • We are firm believers in spanking. I don't know if you share my belief, but even if you don't, theres still a way to send the message to her that what she did was disrespectful, deceitful and will not be tolerated. The key is finding her currency. What makes her tick? What does she love? I say theres nothing off limits that you can't take from it friends, EVERYTHING she owns. (yep done that too), time away from home, anything she loves and values needs to go. I say drastic measures because youve already done everything you know to do. Thats probably why we would spank. Its the only thing that GETS her attention. So, however you handle it....I definately understand. SOunds just like my child. Good luck to you.

    Answer by momofsaee at 1:56 PM on Mar. 5, 2009

  • The oldest ones seem to carry a bit more stress than the others It sounds like she's feeling overwhelmed and feels like she's being treated unfairly.
    You may want to sit and talk with her. Explain to her that you are willing to work with her to get the DS back to her, but she has to work with you, too. Let her know that because she snuck in and stole it, she will lose it for another week. (then hide it). She can have it back if she continues to treat you respectfully. Before giving it back, negotiate a time where she can play it without interruption and without playing too long. Maybe one hour a day, from 7-8pm or something. If you let her in on the negotiation, she'll feel better about the deal, and it will help you both cooperate.
    The punishment for sneaking it back is NON-negotiable. And be sure that you don't use "I'll take the DS away longer" as punishment for other things, like not cleaning her room or something.

    Answer by Ooftacat at 4:29 PM on Mar. 5, 2009

  • OH-it may help her if she knew that the DS was hers and hers alone. I realize that sharing is a good thing, but sometimes, having something that is just hers will feel good. (I also have 4 children, and only one with a PSP). We made it clear to the other boys that it's NOT something that he will be sharing, and if they respect that in their brother,they may get their own when they are 10 years old, too.
    Our 10yo feels overwhelmed like this a lot. Sometimes stepping back from all the fighting and drama and such, and finding out WHY they may be acting a certain way helps us find a good way to work with them.
    I think the older ones (9,10+) are old enough to start making their "own" punishments. (of course-with our approval, and input-lol). When you say, "What do you think should happen", it makes them think of consequences, and points out to them that you are fair...but firm. Since we've been doing that, weve had less issues.

    Answer by Ooftacat at 4:36 PM on Mar. 5, 2009