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Was I Harsh or not Harsh Enough?

Posted by on Jan. 10, 2014 at 2:11 PM
  • 31 Replies

This past Sunday I went to the grocery store.  Before I left, I told my 15 year old daughter three things she had to do before I got back.

1. Make her bed up

2.  Do the dishes

3.  Empty the trash

I even wrote it down for her.  I went to the store and got back about an hour later.  When I got home, I asked my 8 year old daughter where her sister was.  She said she was on Facebook.

The only thing 15 yr old had done while I was gone was make her bed up.  So as punishment I took her cell phone from her for five days.

Was I harsh or not harsh enough?

 

A couple of days later she left the TV and the light on in the spare bedroom.  I told her she left them on and she said "You leave the TV and light on."  I said, "Don't worry about what I do, go and turn the light off."

Then she said "I left it on because you do that and leave it on for me so that I can check the weather."   Um, no, I DO NOT leave the light and TV on her, I forget to turn the light off myself, and when someone says hey, you left the light on, I say thanks and go turn the light off!

We got into an argument, because she kept trying to explain herself, and I kept telling her I didn't want to hear excuses, all I wanted to hear was "Yes ma'am, I'll go turn the lights off."

I was very annoyed because I felt that she was deflecting her wrong doing - like a kid who gets caught at school for something and turns around says "But Johnny did it too!" 

She says she was just trying to explain why she left the light on, that she was not trying to be disrespectful.

Did I handle this the right way or was I too quick to shut her down?

I want her to communicate to me, but at the same time, I don't want to condone her to making excuses for herself.  

I admit she irritated me, because her dad (my exhusband) would do the same thing to me.  Whenever I would tell him he didn't pick up after himself he'd turn around and say "Well, you left the bread out!" 

Tonight D15 wants to go out with friends, and I'm letting her.  An outsider might say I shouldn't let her go out tonight since she's been giving me grief all week, but I did withhold her cell phone an additional day for talking back to me, and I don't think a person should be punished twice for the same "crime".  What do you think?

by on Jan. 10, 2014 at 2:11 PM
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Replies (1-10):
atlmom2
by Susie on Jan. 10, 2014 at 2:22 PM
2 moms liked this
Perfect. You told her, wrote it down and set expectations. Maybe she will understand you mean business. Don't listen to her excuses. Walk away.
Phone was punishment, not going with friends.
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JessicaR7
by Member on Jan. 10, 2014 at 3:09 PM

 I think you did the right thing.  If you take everything away at once it doesn't leave the parents with a lot of wiggle room when the next consequence is given.  I also think outsiders don't live in your home, aren't the expert on your child, and should keep their parenting opinions to themselves. Also, if they can't be supportive of your parenting style..they shouldn't say anything.

amber3902
by on Jan. 10, 2014 at 3:13 PM
1 mom liked this

Thanks.  I was just speaking of hypothetical outsiders.  No one has actually commented on my parenting, because I haven't told anyone about this. 

I guess I was just second guessing myself, so technically I'M the outsider, LOL.

Quoting JessicaR7:

 I think you did the right thing.  If you take everything away at once it doesn't leave the parents with a lot of wiggle room when the next consequence is given.  I also think outsiders don't live in your home, aren't the expert on your child, and should keep their parenting opinions to themselves. Also, if they can't be supportive of your parenting style..they shouldn't say anything.


mumsy2three
by Shauna on Jan. 10, 2014 at 3:14 PM

I think you did the right thing. You took the phone as punishment and followed through, didn't allow her to have it back before the period of time you said.

cheetah90210
by on Jan. 10, 2014 at 3:17 PM
You gave her simple instructions nothing to talk about just do it.
amber3902
by on Jan. 10, 2014 at 3:18 PM

Thanks.  So you think the number of days the phone was withheld (five days) was an appropriate amount of time?

I usually only take it for a day.

Quoting mumsy2three:

I think you did the right thing. You took the phone as punishment and followed through, didn't allow her to have it back before the period of time you said.


mumsy2three
by Shauna on Jan. 10, 2014 at 3:28 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting amber3902:

Thanks.  So you think the number of days the phone was withheld (five days) was an appropriate amount of time?

I usually only take it for a day.

Quoting mumsy2three:

I think you did the right thing. You took the phone as punishment and followed through, didn't allow her to have it back before the period of time you said.


I don't think a 5 day loss is too long. If her phone is a great motivator/reinforcement then that is the best thing to use to get her to change her behavior. Hopefully the next time she has a note and verbal directions to do chores she will remember the 5 days without the phone and just get the chores done instead of sitting on Facebook.

Niccalyn
by Bronze Member on Jan. 10, 2014 at 3:28 PM

I think 5 days might have been a bit much if this was a one-time slip up.  If it is something that is a recurring theme with your daughter, then it was appropriate.  And I think it is fine that you are letting her go out with her friends; that wasn't part of the original consequence and you were correct not to incorporate it after-the-fact.

As for her attempting to explain herself...that's a little tougher.  I have a pretty laid-back parenting style and I do allow my children to explain their reasons for doing/not doing things to me.  Once they've said their piece, I will either accept it or explain to them why I find it unacceptable (while respecting their opinion if appropriate).  But, my belief is that I should show my children (and all family members) the same respect I show my friends, co-workers and employees. Now it is different if they are speaking disrespectfully.  But if they are being calm and rational then I will listen.  But that has always been my attitude toward parenting...probably not so easy to accomplish if that's not your particular 'style'!

wagners7
by on Jan. 10, 2014 at 3:42 PM
1 mom liked this

My daughter does that all the time too, the deflecting part.  I think you handled it fine and the punishment was enough.  As for the conversation, she was probably just trying to explain her rational about leaving the light on, but kids always want to argue with us. If you feel like you shut her down too quickly maybe just slow down next time, lesson learned.  No worries.  

amber3902
by on Jan. 10, 2014 at 3:43 PM

Yes, this has happened before, and usually I just take her phone away for a day or two.  So that's why I upped the ante this time.

I totally get what you're saying about letting a child explain their reasons - but what got me was when I said "D15, you left the light on" her response was "You leave the light on, too!" and that got under my skin. (lazy exhusband's response to everything)  I think when she said that it put a bad taste in my mouth - don't want her to make excuses, or deflect, so right away I got irritated with her.

If she had said "Oh, I left the light on so it would be on if you needed to go in the room", I might not have reacted the way I did.

I explained all this to her so hopefully next time she won't appear to be deflecting and I won't react the way I did.

Ugh!  It's been a tough week.  

Quoting Niccalyn:

I think 5 days might have been a bit much if this was a one-time slip up.  If it is something that is a recurring theme with your daughter, then it was appropriate.  And I think it is fine that you are letting her go out with her friends; that wasn't part of the original consequence and you were correct not to incorporate it after-the-fact.

As for her attempting to explain herself...that's a little tougher.  I have a pretty laid-back parenting style and I do allow my children to explain their reasons for doing/not doing things to me.  Once they've said their piece, I will either accept it or explain to them why I find it unacceptable (while respecting their opinion if appropriate).  But, my belief is that I should show my children (and all family members) the same respect I show my friends, co-workers and employees. Now it is different if they are speaking disrespectfully.  But if they are being calm and rational then I will listen.  But that has always been my attitude toward parenting...probably not so easy to accomplish if that's not your particular 'style'!


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