Moving towards order in my house

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by myeverything04, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. myeverything04

    myeverything04 New Member

    Many of you know from my past posts that my fiance moved out and in with his grandparents 1 week ago as I brought a ferret home when he said not too. Of course the ferret was icing on the cake so now that I've removed the icing, it's time to destroy the cake.

    One thing fiance and I are working towards is me moving from being the "best friend" parent, to a parent who helps difficult child instead of hindering her. To start off, I have the 'single parent' guilt (the kind where you pretty much give in to everything because after all, YOU divorced her dad and she isn't growing up in a Leave it to Beaver kind of world) and I also have the 'single child' guilt (the kind where you play with your child whenever she wants because she has no siblings and we don't live near her school friends).

    So my question is, do I go cold turkey on difficult child - list all the rules, consequences and pretty much move towards drill sargent or do I slowly progress? We have house rules (no jumping on furniture - which was broken last night, clean up toys when you are done with them, take plates/cups to kitchen when finished) and those were listed on the fridge, but I don't remember ever setting up a consequence list to breaking the rules. difficult child is an overall good kid, but she plays me like a piano! We had a pretty bad night last night with jumping on the couch, spelling words, yelling, screaming, etc. to the point where I was just done. She got spanked and sent to her room where she cried until she feel alseep.

    I am now (after fiance moved out) understanding how my 'babying' her is not helping but only hindering her ability to play independently, grow emotionally out of the preschool age, reason with herself over her actions, etc. And now I'm trying to find the best way to correct it all without going overboard. Any suggestions?
  2. zaftigmama

    zaftigmama New Member

    Well, this is is how I'd do it (though from what you've posted we have different parenting styles):

    I would have a meeting with her when she is calm, fed, rested (pick the best time of day for that, probably on a weekend) and describe the problems to her, and enlist her help in solving them. If she doesn't live close to her playmates, I'd explore having playdates with her friends. If she is used to playing with you, set aside a short time each day (15-20 minutes) to play with her, or maybe find some kind of activity to do together that you'd both enjoy. Maybe join the Y so you can go swimming together.

    I'd also look at what she's doing not necessarily as misbehavior, but a symptom of her disability. What about an exercise trampoline so she can jump when she needs to? What calms her when she is going off the rails? My kids respond well to a bath, or deep pressure hugs.

    Family counseling would help all of you move toward something that works for everyone. So no, I don't think you should put the hammer down, so to speak. I think that's setting the stage for future resentment, especially if the impetus for this is coming from your fiance.
  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    great first steps, but you are right... a plan without action is not a plan. I don't think it has to be no interaction and be a drill sergeant... this is just my opinion, so obviously if it does not fit for you just ignore...

    for most of us, if a plan is going to work, it works best with it being a skill building, positive reward plan.... To start you might need to help her to build the skills you have not yet gotten her to do. You may need to pick one toy up then she picks one up and it is a game... at the end, playing a game of (whatever) is a reward. For my son, stickers can be a reward themselves...but using them to fill a chart is futile. Your daughter is unique and if that works for her it would be great...building to earn something. Many of our difficult child's have conditions that dont allow for that kind of delayed gratification to work.
    In traditional behavioral training, if you have a kid that it works on (and you dont know really until you try) when teaching / learning a behavior at first it is best to do immediate rewards. then once she is showing signs of learning, you give more intermittent rewards, then you can do random rewards to maintain the behavior (hey, I have really liked how you have been making your bed lately, lets go to a movie!)

    For many of us it is really more that they need the immediate satisfaction and even that doesn't work for some.

    IF she refuses, THEN you move to the consequences.... but that is a separate chart. Refusal to clean, the toys go in a trash bag and stored for X amount of time.

    Refusal to use manners at the table, you can eat alone.

    Just making stuff up here....

    Of course for some, the classic reward is an allowance. But since she is used to getting your undivided attention, you might need to keep some interaction and use it as a reward and a sometimes relationship building thing, but she can't use you as her playmate all the time....

    Some parents like to have the child list what they like to do. Then when they say I'm bored, you can give the list and again, if she uses it appropriately to find something to do then she gets the reward... you entertain yourself for two hours today and I will play one hour of a game, or read, or watch a movie with you tonight.

    I think a list like

    1. help clear up dishes..............................20cents (or a tatoo, or a hug, or whatever motivates her)
    2. pick up toys with mom at 4 pm daily.........................1 hour activity with mom at 7 pm...

    etc... you make your choices (if you think this kind of thing would even work or if you have not tried it)

    but this is much more appropriate in my view, for a young child who is just learning and has not had such expectations


    1. help mom with dishes...............if you dont then you will lose a privelege or a toy.

    2. pick up toys at 4...................if you dont then you will lose a privelege, or you will go to be early , etc...

    Does that make sense?

    For consequences, I would have a separate page saying... If you do not follow directions, you will get one reminder/warning... then if you still do not follow the direction, you will lose a privelege that mom will choose:

    1. no tv
    2. no game time with mom
    3. toys go in storage for several days


    One thing to be careful of is not to take away earned things when they are just learning or when they are young... peeling stickers off charts, losing money they already earned etc... not ok. Just take away future things....stick to the consequence.

    Now, if you are dealing with aggression and they are smacking you before you are about to have your special reward time well of course that is a different story. They can have the reward another day. She must turn it around and hurting you would not be allowed. I can't remember if that is an issue for you but just saying... clearly you are not going to sit and read a happy story with a kid who is calling you names etc.

    For a kid like mine who is learning to try to relax and stop behaviors like that, well, then that IS his program and what he is rewarded for... he calms he is rewarded for doing so. Really hard to not feel like I want to take his world away at that point but it is working. I have moments where I just have to act in the moment for safety but when he does turn things around well, offers on his own to "deep breathe" to go for a walk, etc... he gets a small, not over the top reward for that... luckily he gets too anxious about big things so little things like a tatoo or saying "nice walking" works for him. He used to HATE all compliments but is doing better.
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I agree, you need action, not just a plan. Not just warnings. Not just the word "no."
    I also agree with-Buddy and Zaftigmama about how to implement it. Can't add much more except hugs. :)
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I think it is a good idea to eliminate chaos in your house. Getting rid of the pets may be a good step forward. Paying real attention to yourself and your patterns. Very often adhd adults don't realize that they are making choices that impact their children and diminish the sense of orderly living. I "might" even suggest having a conversation with her where you share ways each of you can make your home happier and more peaceful. Some simple things may be bothering her, too. For example at my adult adhd daughter's house the radio is always on and the television is always on, meals are rarely at the same time, cleanup times are hit and miss etc. and, of course, their are animals who also are fed etc. on a hit and miss timing schedule. She has two difficult child's who function much better when life is "boring" and scheduled.

    Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, she is traumatized by the departure of her Father figure and the emotions that have been in "her" house lately. She may have overheard more than you think and might be frightened by the changes. As a very experienced (and imperfect) parent I know that most children blame themselves for adult problems, are fearful of changes and often lash out because they want the familiar back again.

    These are the first two steps I suggest before identifying punishments for not adapting to new rules. She's kinda faced with alot of new stuff already and it seems that addressing her concerns and your joint effort to improve your homelife should come first. Hugs DDD