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How should I punish my ten year old daughter so it sticks?

My ten year old daughter is out of control and no punishment works. This past WEEK alone I caught her going to the park down the street without permission, lying multiple times and now today the teacher sent home a letter informing me she was caught writing on the bathroom walls and she's been forging my name on homework for TWO MONTHS now! I swear she thinks she's above being punished. That she just gets a get out of free jail card no matter what she does. Nothing that I do with her works. Not grounding or time out or taking away the computer (etc). I NEED a punishment not only that fits the crime, but will be something that will make her think twice before stepping out of line again. Any input/ideas welcome. thanks!

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Asked by Anonymous at 5:27 PM on Oct. 25, 2008 in Tweens (9-12)

Answers (10)
  • Don't leave her alone ever. Trust is a big lesson to learn. This is a big case of that. You need to explain to her that kids are born with a clean slate. She has gone into the negative in the trust area and needs to work real hard to build it up. And that doesn't mean one week of being good. That is a very long process. Be in contact frequently with her teacher and get on the same page. Don't allow her to go to the bathroom alone....the school should have that policy in place if she's committing vandalism. The teacher should not accept any note with your name on it, which stinks, as you may really want to send in a note. That means more work for calls, emails or stopping at the school to hand deliver your own notes. Children need to earn privileges, and she doesn't seem to be there at this point.

    Answer by EireLass at 5:32 PM on Oct. 25, 2008

  • Sounds like you and your daughter need to talk to someone together. She is crying out for attention. Something is bothering her. Has there been a significant loss recently? 10 is young to be so uncontrollable so I think something is really bothering her. She needs you to understand her first and then to help her get control of her behavior. I know I couldnt' do that on my own. I would start with advice from the guidance counselor to get a handle on what is going on. I feel for both of you Mom. Realize she is troubled and not just trying to get out of being punished (IMO)

    Answer by manna1qd at 5:32 PM on Oct. 25, 2008

  • I tend to agree with the other 2 people. What has worked with my soon-to-be step-daughter is writing sentences. I know it sounds old school, but it has worked for her so far. We generally have her write 100 sentences of the desired behavior. This maybe a bit simplistic for your situation, but it sounds like it maybe worth a try. Good luck!!

    Answer by Precioussmurf at 5:49 PM on Oct. 25, 2008

  • What do you guys think of this for starters? I think I'm going to have her write letters to both sets of her grandparents explaining in detail the crimes she's committed. I know even at my age if I had to tell my sweet grandma-ma one of my dirty crimes I'd be likely not to do it again...

    Answer by Genevieve7 at 6:08 PM on Oct. 25, 2008

  • I agree with Eirelass!! In addition.......................take away the phone and computer privilages and no socializing of any kind!

    Answer by amydh at 6:48 PM on Oct. 25, 2008

  • In the words of Dr. Phil......."Find her currency." What matters to her? What is it that she "can't live without?". Take that away from her. The trick is on you staying consistent and firm with what you say. If you threaten a punishment, follow through with the threat. Don't let her think you are "full of it". I have 5 kids ages 9-19 and let me tell you it isn't all peaches, but the key is mean what you say and follow through. Keep in touch with her teachers weekly. Know her friends. Their names, parents, etc. Monitor the computer. If she has a cell phone, take it away. A 10 year old has no need for a cell phone. Writing sentences has worked w/ my 9 yr old. Good luck!

    Answer by goinginsane1 at 9:38 PM on Oct. 25, 2008

  • Call a police station and explain what you are experiencing and see if they will allow a tour. Maybe a shock is what she needs. At 10 she may well not care about anything. But if you let her know you still find her "worth saving" then maybe she will listen. Just a thought.

    Answer by SusieD250 at 9:43 PM on Oct. 25, 2008

  • I agree that you need to talk to someone. Has something happened to her? These unfortunately are acting-out symptoms. Is she left alone often? I don't want to scare you, but it's possible she's been abused and doesn't know how to tell anyone, for fear of disappointment or retaliation. I'd take her to talk to the teachers. Come up with a plan with the teacher in front of her; the teacher calls you once a week to update you on her progress. If she does well, she can use the computer for the weekend, SUPERVISED. If not, back to the books instead. I also agree that she shouldn't be left alone. If you work, take her to work with you. Make her sit on the floor in the corner to do her homework while you do your job. If you work retail/non office, make her follow you around (talk to your boss first, most are accomodating!). Good luck.

    Answer by ChefMom94 at 1:52 PM on Oct. 26, 2008

  • This child is not crying out for attention, she's crying out to have freedom that she must first earn...

    Basic rule ~ she's 10 years old...she should not be left unattended...she should be watched...if that measn she needs daycare, then that means she needs daycare at her age...strict, strict, strict...if taking away things that matter to her doesn't do any good for her, then you begin to get her where it really hurts....begin denying her the things that she enjoys, one being her freedom and the other not allowing the extra's in life for her...begin providing only the basics..walking her to and from school...keeping in close contact with the teacher....making surprise visits to the school, etc...its time for some tough discpline and not give in to your heart..tough love mom...

    Answer by treasured_hope at 11:59 PM on Oct. 27, 2008

  • some times you just have to file charges on children that are out of control.. ive never had to do this with my girls.. and they are about the same age as your daughter.. but i have a friend that has had to do it with hers.. and believe me it works.. her kids now have straightened up.. because when they gone to court the judge had told them if they dont behave he wont think twice of putting them in jail if he has to see them again.. and since then shes not had no problems with them.. you just some times have to do what is best... but i do agree alot with other moms that have had ideas for you to do... but you got to try what is best and what you think will work... if you need any more help feel free to send me a message..

    Answer by babyguls9899 at 9:59 AM on Nov. 13, 2008

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