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Raising a tween with no rules or consequences

So my dh is 28 and is so worried about being accepted by his 12 year old daughter, that he lets her get away with everything! She has lived with us now for 5 years, and now is a spoiled brat. She walks all over him, is rude and disrepectful, and feels entitled to her way all the time. Dh says that he already feels older than he is, and being cool with things has helped thier relationship and he doesn't want to push her away and make her hate him by disciplining her.
Well I think he has finally realized what a brat she has grown into, and says maybe he was wrong, especially now that she is in the stage to start liking boys and thinking she can go out on dates and so forth.
So how do you go about setting rules and conseqences for a child that has never had any? And how do you make sure she knows you mean business, and what can I do to help back dh up and make sure he doesn't fall back into letting her rule the house?


Asked by Anonymous at 5:46 PM on Aug. 24, 2009 in Tweens (9-12)

This question is closed.
Answers (6)
  • Start with a talk with her. Have dad explain that he was wrong in not setting boundaries but that it needs to start. So to begin with, there will be a few rules put in place that she needs to adjust to and there will be consequences when she doesn't. Have the rules written out and discuss with her the importance of these rules. The FOLLOW THROUGH, that is the most important part. So, let's say that one rule is, "No disrespect" then the consequence should fit the crime, so that may be that she is not allowed to be in the room with you when she is disrespectful and you will not hear her out. Then the first time she blurts out something in a disrespectful manner, send her to her room. Then go speak with her and give her the tools to do it properly. I.E. "That was disrespectful of you to call me stupid. Next time, how about you try to say........." You are basically going to have to teach her from square one

    Answer by Petie at 5:51 PM on Aug. 24, 2009

  • I would start by having her help make the rules. I now that sounds a little crazy. But have him sit down with her and explain to her that now sense she is getting older but is still not yet an adult there has to be some rules. If she messes up HE is in part responsible for her actions and so therefore, there going to need to be some changes.
    Dont belittle any ideas she comes up with. Right down all the possible rules for various things and also have her help come up with consequences if she happens to break the rules.

    Answer by outstandingLove at 5:50 PM on Aug. 24, 2009

  • which means teaching her how to speak to you, how to react in difficult situation etc. It can be done. Pick up a book, Parenting with Love and Logic, it works well with older children.

    Answer by Petie at 5:52 PM on Aug. 24, 2009

  • Speaking of books How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk was an outstanding book. And was written to help parents with older children (but can also be applied to younger kids as well).

    Answer by outstandingLove at 6:30 PM on Aug. 24, 2009

  • That is a really tough age to start laying down rules and drawing boundaries. I recommend that you and your husband read AGE OF OPPORTUNITY by Paul David Tripp. It's one of the best books I have ever read on parenting teens, and this child is going to soon be a teen. The earlier book for younger children is SHEPHERDING A CHILD'S HEART by Tedd Tripp. The authors are brothers, and they have tremendous insight into parenting. One other book that you might find helpful is BOUNDARIES by Dr. Herny Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. You cannot afford to waste any time. Your window of opportunity is not all that broad. I wish you the best.

    Answer by NannyB. at 7:22 PM on Aug. 25, 2009

  • It's hard to make the switch, but it is worth it. You have to decide what you will do and stay strong. Don't just dabble in it - make a plan to start on a certain day and then do it. If you need guidance, try some Love and Logic books, or better yet attend a class. Good luck.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:26 AM on Aug. 26, 2009