I started reclaiming my authority already

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by flutterbee, Jul 11, 2008.

  1. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    This is minor if difficult child-land, but, I can't tell you how much better I feel to feel like I'm beginning to take back the house.

    difficult child got a $60.00 Wal-mart gift card from school JUST for taking the proficiencies. Yep. A gift card just for taking a test that is required by law that she take. (And we wonder why kids have a sense of entitlement. Ahem.) It came in the mail this week.

    difficult child came to me a few minutes ago and said she needed some new earrings. She has a pair of stud earrings that she sleeps in and I can't remember if they're supposed to be black or silver, but now they're one of each. I told her that when we go to spend her gift card she can get some then. Well, no, because she wants to get minutes for her Tracfone and she wants a Sims game and she won't have enough if she gets the earrings, too.


    She is not happy with me. She stomped off, but did stop short of slamming her door, when I told her that I guess she'd have to decide how much she wants the earrings.

    This seems minor. But in recent months, I would have caved and told her that I would buy her another pair of earrings (on top of the 5 or 6 pairs she's gotten in the last month) because I would have wanted to avoid a battle.

    I must have had the mom look going on because she really didn't argue too much. She stared at me in disbelief and then stomped off.
  2. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Way to go, Heather! Woo Hoo!
  3. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I love those baby steps. You go girl!!!
  4. KateM

    KateM Member

    Doesn't it feel empowering to be able to not cave? What a great feeling! Each step gets a tiny bit easier. Glad to hear your difficult child handled her disappointment without slamming doors!
  5. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Yeah!! :) You Go Girl!

    It helps when you can start setting the new norm with the little things. I love the look of disbelief. She will probably be back with more ammunition on this one but you have already set your foundation and will be able to stand calm and strong.

    Great job!!!
  6. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    Atta girl.

    Did you ever notice how those free things our kids earn/win/whatever always end up costing us money?
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We go through this with difficult child 3, too. Less so with easy child 2/difficult child 2 since she began earning her own money.

    It also comes from anxiety - with difficult child 3, it's often something he wants NOW. We deal with it by buying ONE thing at most, but we keep it until he buys it from us. And we only ever have one item in storage at a time, so if he wants something else (such as an unbeatable game on sale) and he hasn't paid us back for whatever we currently have - too bad. We do bend the rules sometimes, but in general he knows we mean it, and if he argues too much then he also knows the policy of us even doing as much as we do, will stop.

    For difficult child 3, often just knowing that the item has been purchased and is safe from being either sold out or going up in price, reduces his anxiety to the point where he (and we) can cope.

    But we do like you did this time - we totally refuse to own the conflict, if it's something HE wants and should be buying. It becomes a choice HE has to make.

    Example: difficult child 3 was asked by the neighbour to mind their dog while they were away this last week. The neighbour got back and paid him $5 a day (for just playing with the dog each day!) which netted difficult child 3 a total of $25. I had just bought a memory card for difficult child 3 for $20, which he could earn on our points system. So I told difficult child 3 that if he wanted, he could buy the card instead so he could have it now instead of waiting until he earned the points. But for difficult child 3, cash is like a souvenir, he often doesn't want to spend it.

    His choice. He is prepared to wait until he's earned the card. And I'm happy, because it means I can use the card as leverage to get him to do more work (which earns him the points).


    Looking again at your first post, Heather - your daughter came to you and said she needed new earrings. She didn't come to you and say, "Will you buy me new earrings?" although clearly it was what she wanted. She already was aware of the need to go in softly and try the manipulation thing, to hopefully con you into buying them for her.
    And you didn't engage!

    Well done!

  8. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    All right! Way to go! Even though she'll probably try some other approach, you have put the problem in her lap. Adults have to make these decisions every day (i.e. how to allocate a finite amount of money); for teens there's no time like the present.
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Excellent, Heather. Budgeting and delayed gratification are basic necessities of life. Way To Go.
  10. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    Good for you!! You will be my inspiration for when my difficult child comes back from camp and sees that the tornado of a room she left has not been touched or cleaned by me and learns it must be cleaned properly by her before she is allowed near any electronic items (that she won't have had access to for 4 weeks due to camp).
    I am always so fearful of how they take certain things and which statement will be the one that provokes her into smashing everything in her room. From one mom to another YOU ROCK!!
  11. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Oddly enough, after another incident this morning - not as minor as last night's - where she locked herself in her room for an hour or so and I went on with life as normal, she ended up in a better mood than she has been in in weeks.

    Maybe coincidence. Or maybe she likes the security of knowing who the mom is. She has always strongly craved structure and tradition.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not authoritarian. But I'm not running a democracy either. At least, not anymore.
  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I think it is knowing exactly where she stands that is working here. She got the same answer next day, so she knows you are being consistent (= reliable, in her mind).

  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I went on with life as normal, she ended up in a better mood than she has been in in weeks.

    I like it! She's not the center of attention. Way To Go.
  14. ML

    ML Guest

    I agree with daralex, you rock and this inspires me too!
  15. Marg's Man

    Marg's Man Member

    Wyntersgrace said
    You should not be running a democracy.
    Parenting cannot be a democracy, it has to be a benevolent dictatorship; the sort that fools the people/kids/G'sFG into THINKING they have a say. All the while you are guiding them to do what you want them to do.

    Marg has written extensively on the techniques we use and she is a much better writer than I am so I am not going to try to repeat them.
  16. OpenWindow

    OpenWindow Active Member

    Way to go!
  17. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Way To Go Heather!! You do rock!!
  18. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Way to go! You have set the perfect example about prioritizing our wants and needs.
  19. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I like it... I had to explain to N just this morning that, No I would not just go to my "Piggy Dank" to get some money so I could buy her something she HAD to have in a toy catalog!
    I ended up telling her all about "earning" money once again... maybe by Wynter's age it will sink in???
    Good for you