difficult child pushing the envelope

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by sweetiegirlz, Oct 29, 2007.

  1. sweetiegirlz

    sweetiegirlz New Member

    I grounded difficult child days ago.

    She hasn't kept to it yet.

    Today, after school, (I was sleeping from nightshift) she went out of the house behind my back, and sweet talked easy child into going with her to see her friend.

    It was dark.

    I had told them both after school when they woke me up NOT to step foot out of the house.

    When difficult child and easy child came walking back to the apt with their friend.
    I told difficult child: "see, you won't even look at me because you know you're wrong!"

    Her response was to look at me in very snotty way.

    Her friend even wouldn't look at me because I had already told the friend yesterday in a private talk that difficult child was grounded, and not to try to hang out with her until I told difficult child she could.

    I went to the friend's home to speak with her parents.
    OF COURSE, "no my mom's not here and my dad is sleeping" was the response.

    difficult child is really rebelling now. She's worse than usual with her insults. She uses her sister. One minute she is telling her, " I hate you, fat pig." and the next minute she is trying to coerce her into helping her see her friend behind my back.

    It was fortunate that when I grounded her, I left some room open for further tightening. Like she could watch tv but now she can't because of her incident.

    What I am afraid of is that she will be pushing the envelope in every respect now that she thought she got away with hanging out with her friend for awhile.
  2. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    If that were my son, he'd be doing the same thing. Just my .02 worth but I think you're going to have to either hire someone to be there with the girls after school or get them into some type of after school program. The only way you're going to get your difficult child to follow the rules is to monitor her and that's either going to entail you not sleeping or having someone there. In that kind of situation (with you sleeping) even easy child's would sometimes leave or have someone over. Put a difficult child into the mix and rule following when mom is asleep just isn't going to happen. (I don't mean this as anything negative towards you at all by the way. Just giving my opinion in general.)

    I would definately look into some sort of alternative supervision though. As long as you work nights, this will continue and telling her not to do this or that just isn't going to work.
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    I agree with mstang67chic. Your difficult child needs supervision. Unfortunately, grounding is not teaching her to be respectful; it's teaching her to be sneaky and disrespectful. I'm not sure further grounding without TV is going to do it either.
  4. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I third the motion.

    If there is no way you can switch to working days, then there has to be some supervision for those kids while you sleep. It is just too tempting, especially with a difficult child in the mix. It is almost setting her up for failure. Poor kid will be grounded forever.
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think that grounding is the LEAST effective and useful method of disciplining kids. It really teaches them nothing, unless it is something like you are grounded until your room is clean to this standard AND you can enforce it.

    I agree that you need to get some form of supervision for the kids. Is it possible for you to sleep while they are in school and do the other stuff while they are home before you go to work? I know we had quite a long period of this while I was a restaurant manager.

    I know it is hard.

    You really can't expect the other kid to help you enforce your child being grounded. difficult child is telling her that you said she was ungrounded.

  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I had this same problem when I tried to sleep during the day. Well, not that my son was trying to become ungrounded but just that I never could get any sleep due to various issues surrounding him.

    You will either have to make other arrangements for difficult child or find another job. I know...it bites. I couldnt continue on nights because of my son. In my case, the school was bringing my son home every day after he was there for a few hours. Seems they decided an hour or two of sleep was plenty for me!
  7. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I'm with the ladies above - I believe I mentioned it on your last thread on grounding of difficult child.

    I don't believe given her diagnosis & her physical age, that she can manage to remain grounded. Most likely her cognitive/developmental age given her diagnosis is around 7. No 7 year old can ground themselves & keep things under control.

    It seems that you'll have to find a different job or hire a sitter for a few hours to keep an eye on things. Maybe you can band together with others in the neighborhood & hire a couple of teenagers to take on a group of these kids who don't appear to have afternoon supervision.

    The reality of GFGdom bites; more than one of us have had to leave or have been let go of positions due to difficult child issues.

    I'm sending positive thoughts that today is a better day.
  8. sweetiegirlz

    sweetiegirlz New Member

    I suppose that I could sleep from 9am to 3pm only. I guess I could handle that amount of sleep. then that would only leave the weekends for me to have someone supervise them. I guess I could do that.
    If I was married in a family situation, I believe I would have a little more choices to pick from.

    Getting another job is out of the question.I'm a single parent who is struggling without a car. I walk to work. We are surviving on my paycheck which pays significantly higher than anywhere else I applied would and has benefits. Night shift was the only avail. open.

    That may or may not change in the future.

    I am not sure what to do if I can't ground difficult child??

    I know I have taken away a lot and it doesn't phase her. No music, no computer, no t.v.

    If I make her write sentences or essays, she just refuses to do it.

    If I give her extra chores she just refuses to to do them.

    All of the other 3 kids responded to everything I ever laid down for them as consequence.

    I know she is probably really emotionally younger, but I'm not sure how to approach that discipline wise. I've never had to deal with this kind of rebellion and raging that she's been doing.
  9. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Well, I do not have near the experience that the other mommies have here, but let me tell you a little story.

    At my old house, my biggest problem was getting Tink to pick up after herself. Her room was a disaster area. She had stuff everywhere. I tried punishing. I tried taking away priviledges. I tried allowance. I tried bribes. I tried grounding. I tried Chinese water torture (OK, not that) but you get my point. Nothing worked.

    Well just recently we moved. With the move came a new set of rules. All of her stuff was in my possession. She had to earn back all of her belongings by behaving for me on a daily basis. That included keeping her room up. She has now earned back all her stuff and still keeps her room clean.

    The point I am making is, if you make a new set up (where you are awake when she is home, and she will have no way to sneak anything), you may choose to start her with earning back all her belongings. Or you may go the total opposite direction and give her a clean slate. Thing is, you will be there to supervise her and make sure she does not get into any new trouble. If she messes up, then pick an appropriate consequence. Now if you ground her from her friends, and you are there to oversee her, she is really grounded.

    I do have a question though. When you work nights, are the 9 & 11 year olds home alone?
  10. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    While I agree with the others - I realize we live in a not-so bendable world. I was a single parent for a long time, technically I still am, but DF is part of our permanent lives.

    So if you can't change jobs - what other alternatives do you have available to you? Would it be possible to

    1.) Go to your supervisor and ask for a shift change saying that you have 2 young girls who are spending the night alone and are very scared something is going to happen?

    2.) Go to your supervisor and ask for 3/2 shifts. Three days a week you work days 2 days a week you work nights until full time day shift is available?

    3.) Find an elder-type person who is looking for room and board in exchange for watching / monitoring the girls at night?

    4.) Find a social service in your area that offers cars to single mothers. There is one here where I live. People donate them just for this reason. There is a mechanic too.

    5.) Find an afterschool FREE program like Boys & Girls club that will help them after school with their homework and provide a positive environment until they have to go home?

    6.) Get a cell phone and keep in your pocket to call the girls and have them call you from the house and check in every 30 minutes or so? You could keep the phone in your pocket on vibrate and not even answer it so you didn't use Minutes. Tracfone is cheap (I have it) and adding time to it has it's perks for free minutes if you have computer access.

    7.) Ask a neighbor to keep an eye on them.

    8.) Talk to the friends Mother when shes (ahem) AWAKE. And I promise if you tell them that there is NO supervision at your house from this time to this time maybe the mom will be less likely to allow HER daughter to go to your home.

    9.) Maybe if she's a really cool Mother she will offer to keep your girls at night? You keep hers the days you have off so she can get time alone with her hubby?

    10.) On grounding. I have found it only has ever led to more arguments. So what we did was still ground but SHORTER TERM. This way the idea that YES LITTLE GIRL you ARE BEING PUNISHED is getting through, but in smaller steps. And by making it shorter term she doesn't HAVE a chance to buck your system or push your envelopes.

    Behavior modification with children is not a lot different than training any animal. (And only MY kid was a horses pettutie, so you can see how this analogy will work). If you think of a dog or a horse, one that has NEVER been ridden - it's wild. I mean you can get a rope over it's head but you certainly aren't going to throw a saddle on it, and ride in in Dressage immediately. You have to train YOURSELF and TRAIN THE HORSE to do what is being asked of it. If I am training a horse to walk, trot, canter....and it doesn't perform the way I think it should - think about this : I GROUND THE HORSE to it's pen. Big hairy deal says the horse, I just got out of doing eXactly what you wanted me to do, and now I have time to do what I want to do. And the horse, eats, sleeps, talks with other horses in the barn...poops ...and WE clean it up. Kids are not much different.

    But if I take that same willful horse and just keep working on ONE thing at a time say the trot, and it doesn't perform well and I hobble it (tie it's legs together) and LEAVE it out in the round pen so it can't move, can't eat, can't see other horses and just ignore it's neighs and whinnies, then go back and try the trot and it is willful immediately I put the hobbles on and leave it there ignore it and come back later. Eventually with small steps like that I'm telling the horse "I am in charge and here is what I ask of you" Won't do it? OH well I'm not going to send you to the stable for entertainment...you're going to sit here for 30 minutes and then we'll try again.

    Instead of 'grounding' your daughter or adding chores, go back to basics. Get a chair, set it in the corner and tell her for 30 minutes she sits there, for every one time she turns around it's another 10 minutes (get a timer too) for every time she gets up ? another 5 minutes, for every time she gets out of the chair THAT is when you say "EITHER SIT THERE FOR 30 MINUTES WITH YOUR MOUTH CLOSED AS YOUR PUNISHMENT OR and then you take away something of real value, stating that since she did NOT want to do the simple 30 minutes of silence in the corner she has CHOSEN to have her Ipod or her skate night or friend taken away for 2 days) HER CHOICE.

    The exercise seems really like and exercise in futility - I mean who of us would learn anything by sitting in the corner for 30 mintues? BUT what you are doing is establishing that SHE (ALL ON HER OWN) has choices and that YOU mean what you say. And the punitive damages aren't SO heavy that she wants retaliation - it just shows her that eventually YOU are in control. Of course you NEVER EVER utter those words (I AM IN CONTROL) it's like a death wish with these kids. But what you are doing in small steps is showing her you're the boss, and she has a choice. We ALL always have a choice.

    Also you have to have a written set of rules posted for everyone to see in your house. And allow your girls to participate in what they think is fair punishment. Actually I love this because they will always say something they think is lame, but when you take it from them the Gods seem to shine on us and at that moment whatever lame thing they felt they could do without is what they will need in the next 20 minutes. It has to be fair and serious.

    If the rules were not posted for you at work...how would there be any order in the workplace? Say no one ever told you you were to be in the place you work by 7:30 and you strolled in at 10:00...they say YOU ARE IN TROUBLE and you say BUT SHOW ME WHERE IT'S WRITTEN! EXACTLY - so write down the rules the consequences AND.....AS ALWAYS so that they don't become disgruntal...the rewards. You like to get a bonus for your hard work....when the girls behave SO DO THEY. And it's QUITE alright for one to get a reward and not the other, matter of fact if it happens the first time and it bothers her = it's a sign you are doing something right.

    Hope this helps you....parenting alone is tough, working when you want to be home (I'll just censor myself here otherwise it would light up like a tree in Times Square around Christmas)

    But YOU TOO have CHOICES - You can quit your job, and find something else - you choose not to. You can choose your words carefully around your girls, you can make their punishment fit the crime, you can make this work - yes, even alone. Remember God was a single parent, but he had a lot of angels and disciples to help. Find your angels, find your disciples.

    Star - the rather long winded.
  11. ShakinThingzUp

    ShakinThingzUp New Member

    I agree with the others about the supervision, and think that your plan of changing your sleep time schedule is a good start.

    Here's another idea....

    Rather than grounding my daughter and taking things away (because she would then just blame me and use that to back up her claims that I'm an awful & mean person, which is not teaching her responsibility at all...) instead I took everything up front, and made her earn it back.

    I took her out to lunch, just she and I, and we talked openly about how I wasn't able to trust her. It took some pushing, but during our lunch, she admitted that she had lied to me a lot and I had reason to distrust her.

    So, I explained that I could not trust her and she needed to EARN my trust. She needed to prove to me that she could be trusted, and earn all the privileges she wants.

    For example - food, clothes to wear and a bed to sleep in are all what I consider rights of a child - they are entitled to those things just by being a child.

    radios, "nice" clothes (the ones they want), MP-3 players, CD players, jewelry, etc. ---- all those things are privileges and not required for a child to be safe and healthy.

    If my daughter wants THOSE things, she has to earn them......... just like in the real world.

    In the real world, if we want nice things we have to work to earn them - we have to do our jobs.

    Your childs job is to do what you say, to follow your rules.

    When she follows your rules, she can have her radio, MP-3 player, etc. back ONE AT A TIME, as she EARNS YOUR TRUST, and proves she can follow the rules.

    If you take it all, and I mean ALL away, then she is going to get ticked off, and rebel the first week - and you have to tell her that its up to her to earn it back and hold your ground.

    It took my daughter a while to "get it," that she would have to really earn it & pretending to behave a few days wasn't going to get all her stuff back......... it had to be long term.

    For example - following ALL the rules back for ONE week could get her the item of her choice.

    Develop your own system of having her earn it back....

    God Bless!
  12. sweetiegirlz

    sweetiegirlz New Member

    BB Kitty: to answer your question, yes they are alone when I leave for work 9:30 PM to 6 AM. I put them in bed at 9 AM, when I come home I wake them for school. I work literally a 10 minute walk away. I notified my downstairs neighbor and they can bang on their door if needed in the middle of the night or call them. They can also reach me immediately if needed. They have a direct line to me.

    The current problem is in the time right after school until dark. which is 3:30pm until 6:30 pm when I am sometimes (NOT ALWAYS Though)still trying to catch up on those zzzz's needed for nightshift.

    I am "lucky" if you want to call it that. that A: California doesn't really have a minimum age law requirement to stay alone. and trust me,,, if they didn't go right to sleep at 9pm I would not ever try this.
    and B: difficult child is extremely mature and independent for her age.

    Yes, I like your idea that worked with Tink, will implement thanks for the advice

    Star: I really appreciate the time it took for you to write everything out.

    I understand the analogy completely of training. I guess I feel especially LOW and defeated because I have already raised two
    wonderful, law abiding, morally conscious adults (23 and 19)

    Then we get to difficult child and all of this wonderful mothering I have been doing for so long goes out the window.

    I don't want anyone to get the idea that I'm a wimpy mommy

    I remember trying the sit in the chair consequence when I was still with my EX.

    I remember the situation escalating with difficult child kicking the wall and flying into her uncontrollable rage all because she couldn't even sit there for her time. But yet I know what you mean about breaking her in this manner.

    I am sorry, If I seem defensive today, I am sleep deprived and feel pretty much like doody on a stick. Here is my lovely, beautiful difficult child....I love her so much... I wish for her the world.

    Thanks, Renee
  13. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Is your neighbor home during the hours from after school till dark? Or is there another neighbor?

    Even if you think that you can handle the 6 hours sleep, it will catch up to you in time. I wonder of there is someone in the neighborhood who can keep an eye on the kids, if you bartered with them. Not necessarily paid them. Heck, you could even barter your kid's time to them! They keep an eye on the kids during the week, they get 2 hours of yardwork from the kids on the weekend or something. The girls are old enough to do it, and when you are a single mom, the family has to stick together and all pitch in.

    I know it sounds like the Waltons, and you are probably rolling your eyes at me. Just tossing some ideas out. You need your sleep, but the kids need supervision. Nobody here thinks you are a wimpy mom. Raising a difficult child is not for the faint of heart, and without a partner, you gotta do what you gotta do. (been there done that!!!)

    Just keep an open mind and explore different options. She is a different kid than your sons (way waaaayyy different, lol) and raising her will be a challenge every. step. of. the. way.

    Hang in there!!