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Can anyone help me understand who I feel so guilty when accurately disciplining my children?

I have a 10 yo daughter who is bright enough to be at the top of her 5th grade class, but I have a very hard time getting her to bring her dirty clothes to the laundry room once a week. This has been going on for about a year. My husband and I have sat her down and talked to her multiple times. She just "politely" ignores us when we remind her throughout the week to bring them. She is not combative or ugly to us whatsoever. Once I let them sit in her basket to see how long she would leave them there and it took her 3 weeks to bring them (after I finally broke down and remind her). And guess what....I was the one who had to wash 3 weeks’ worth of clothes. I obviously have issues with needing approval because I hate to feel like I am punishing them. Right now she is in her room asleep (school closed due to snow) because once again she failed to bring them after being prompted many times throughout the week. I simply told her she could not go outside to play with friends etc. I did not remove TV, iPod or things like that. I feel terrible and confused. I just want her to learn and get the point. Does anyone have a suggestion and or have you ever researched why mothers feel SO guilty for disciplining even when it is necessary? I want to always fix everything for them so they don't have to suffer. I know it is best to teach them but I can't seem to stop the guilty cycles that tie me up in knots.


Asked by stella257 at 2:59 PM on Jan. 13, 2011 in Tweens (9-12)

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Answers (7)
  • Dont you DARE feel guilty...I ask my 7 year old to bring his laundry to me too :) By the age of 10 however, I plan on teaching him how to do his own...

    So up the ante! Tell her since she seems to not be able to at the very least bring them to you. Tell her that you will no longer do her laundry. She is responsible for washing drying, hanging and putting away.

    Tell her when she is ready to wash them you will assist her in learning how the first several times.

    PLEASE dont feel guilty for trying to teach and be a parent!

    Answer by mom2twobabes at 3:02 PM on Jan. 13, 2011

  • Maybe you should change her punishment to something that has to deal with the consequences of her behavior. If she doesn't bring the clothes, then she has to wash them herself. The it isn't really a punishment, more of a cause and effect type of deal.

    You really should not feel bad about disciplining her, that is your job.

    Answer by SleepingBeautee at 3:03 PM on Jan. 13, 2011

  • I understand the guilty feeling but what you need to realize is, that babying them and not helping them become independent is NOT GOOD for them either. TRUST ME. My fiance was babied his entire life. He can't even choose a place to eat because he wants everyone to decide for him. Its a really hard struggle in our relationship trying to make him independent and to become a father to our son instead of remaining a child himself. Your daughter genuinly seems like a good kid, which is probably why you feel bad about disciplining her...but not following simple rules like bringing her dirty laundry to you is going to spell trouble when she's a teen and thinks she doesn't have to listen. Its not like you're asking her to remodel the house. Its a simple task that needs to be obeyed or their will be consequences. People who DO NOT discipline their kids are showing lack of caring. Good luck!

    Answer by Ash9724 at 3:04 PM on Jan. 13, 2011

  • I started doing my own wash when I was 10. Each of us kids had our own laundry basket and an assigned day to do it. If we didn't do it on our day we had to wait until our day the next week. She is fully capable of doing her own laundry. Teach her how the machine works and let her do it on her own. Ignor the piles of clothed in her room and refuse to wash her stuff for her. It will save you work and time, and she will either learn to be responsible or she will have to start going to school in dirty clothes. Trust me, once her favorite outfit has been at the bottom of the pile for two weeks, she will give in :) Hang in there, mom!

    Answer by Robbiesmommy83 at 3:05 PM on Jan. 13, 2011

  • I at certain times felt horrible about punishing my dd but most of the time I knew it was in her best interest and as the parent it was my JOB to do it. You have to try to put aside the emotional part and look at the situation logically. I always loved my dd but if I had made my decisions based on my emotions I would have never made the right decisions.

    As for the problem your having with you dd listening and getting laundry to you? She knows you will take care of it that is why she doesn't have to. My dd once said to me at the age of 10 (in a very snippy tone) "where is my such and such shirt?" I said, " I didn't get to it but I did wash a bunch of other shirts" her response "I DON'T WANT THOSE SHIRTS" again with the tone. I looked at her and said "well from now on you will ALWAYS have what you want to wear ready - because you will be doing your own laundry." I walked her down to the washer and dryer and showed her how.

    Answer by sue118 at 3:20 PM on Jan. 13, 2011

  • Thank you all for your answers. They are all great and I agree! My mind knows it is simple but for some reason I struggle when I put my foot down. She is now out of her room singing and dancing around (nothing that I did). She actually came out and hugged me ; ) I guess she just come to her senses. I feel better and hope that the consequence she is serving because of her actions today will do the trick. I am going to explain to her tonight that if this sort of problem happens again she will be totally responsible for washing all of her clothes from then on. I feel a lot better and I appreciate the time each of you took to respond to me : ) The support is great! This is the first time I have ever ask a parenting question like this...I will do it more often.

    Comment by stella257 (original poster) at 4:00 PM on Jan. 13, 2011

  • I dont understand whats so hard about, once a week saying bring 'your clothes down please'.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:20 PM on Jan. 13, 2011