How do you handle defiance? Take things away?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by orcaauntie, Aug 31, 2011.

  1. orcaauntie

    orcaauntie New Member

    Sorry to be so new and post yet another topic. I have posted a couple of topics already.

    Two/three main reasons my Niece is the way she is lately is because of Facebook/Internet, and her cell phone and her friend who has no boundaries or positive parenting in her life. I guess not the items themselves, but more the feeling of entitlement to them and the NEED to have them constantly. Do you think taking things away when a child misbehaves is effective, or counterproductive?

    Mom tried to disable her FB because she was posting highly degrading and inappropriate things about my Mom because she got mad at her. This isn't the first time, but this time was worse than normal. It backfired on us because it sent an email to her, telling her how to reactivate it. Oops. Didn't know it did that! Now she changed her password, and told me she'd give it to my Mom "eventually".

    Mom turned off her phone data plan. As of last night, Niece didn't realize this and just thinks that her phone is loading Facebook.

    Mom changed the passwords to log into all home computers and told the kids that the new rule is that there is limited computer time, and she will log them in when needed. Today after school, Niece wanted to use the computer. Mom said she would log in with the password for her. Niece apparently flipped out briefly, threw her cell phone and broke it.

    What do you do when you KNOW her hanging out with her best friend causes much of her behavior? When my mom tried to restrict my Sister from hanging out with her bad friends, she just did it more and got into more trouble.

    How do you handle your child throwing fits when they don't get their way? Many people have said to "hit em where it hurts" and take the things that mean the most to them, away until they behave. If they misbehave again after it is given back, take it away again, for longer.

    We are having trouble with my niece feeling entitled. I think the problem is, is that they haven't had appropriate boundaries or limits throughout their childhood. This is new for them. They are used to getting what they want, or someone not paying attention enough to know the difference (part of why they live with their grandparents).

    How would you go about handling this in the best way possible? We don't want to shock my Niece (or the others), into more rebellion. I am personally worried that the efforts we make to help correct her behavior are going to backfire and make her rebel more, and turn into her Mother who was constantly in trouble which has followed her throughout her life, to this present day.

    We need to do something that will adjust her behavior and feelings toward my Mom. It is highly destructive and hurtful. When she is mad, she says the mean things about Mom and calls her mean names BECAUSE she knows it hurts her.
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Take a deep breath. Slow down. You're getting caught in the 'fix the behavior' trap. (not uncommon, by the way)

    No, you do NOT know that her hanging out with her best friend causes so much of her behavior.
    Maybe they are best friends because they share similar behavior?
    Maybe there are other reasons.
    This friend could drop dead tomorrow - or her family could move half-way across the world, and I will guarantee that your niece's behavior will not change as a result.
    Therefore... that is NOT the cause.

    You can't fix the behavior until you know the cause. Because... what you do to "fix" it is totally different depending on the cause.

    If the siding on your house is rotting, it doesn't help to paint it. You have to replace the siding. (but its amazing how many corrupt contractors and renovators will try to get away with painting over rot)
    If your kid has behavior problems, even IF you manage to force change, it will always backfire, because... the underlying problem has not been dealt with.

    We all want fast fixes. The problems are huge. The downsides are even bigger. We're watching those we love "drop over the side of the cliff".
    But the fast fixes don't work.

    Maybe some of the other warrior moms have some armour you and your mom can borrow... you're gonna need it.
    It will be a huge fight to get to the bottom of the problem.
    "Because it really isn't that serious a problem"... (ya right! - when am I supposed to call... when she's dead? my mom's dead? really!)

    I hear ya. I feel for ya. Its no fun.
    And its really tough at first to wrap your brain around the fact that these really PITA kids are really not wanting to be that way. Its a call for help.
    And yes, they push away the help they need - because THEY don't understand what is happening either. But its still a call for help.
  3. orcaauntie

    orcaauntie New Member

    Ok, we do not KNOW this is the cause. But it is a contributing factor. She is fine when she is not around her. She was in my home for two months and did not see her, she was great. She returns home, hangs with her friend every single day and she's flipping out on Mom. It's a contributing factor.

    Concern is, she's been in therapy for a long while. She's on medication. She's starting to act this way more and more. It's not getting better.
    I hope so!! :)

    Yes, it's no fun. We're feeling overwhelmed because therapy has been in place, medication is in place, all for a long period of time and things are getting worse. Should we start from scratch?

    And, I still pose a curious question= when she is misbehaving, calling my Mom horrible names, or throwing a fit because of not getting her way or something, what do we do? Just let her do it? Take things away? When she flipped out because of Mom needing to log her in to the computer, she didn't go on it at all because she decided to throw a fit instead of letting Mom log her in. So, now she is watching television with the family.

    Looking for advice on what really works for the others on these boards. Tried and true methods?
  4. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do from a distance. It's your mom who bears the brunt and the burden of the abuse, and she's the one who needs to stay consistent in her rules and her expectations.

    I have restricted electronics/computer time/phone time/leaving the house when I felt the unacceptable behavior warranted. Logical consequences seem to have the most impact - if you throw your phone and break it, no phone. Tough tofu. You can't behave like a civilized human being (one of my favorite phrases) out in public? You stay home. You want to physically assault or threaten me? Explain it to the nice officer who shows up after I call 911. Not my problem (another of my favorite phrases).

    There were times I felt more like a police officer than a parent, however, Miss KT is well aware that I have a very low BS tolerance level, and when she needed "a knot in her tail," as my Nana used to say, I'd put that knot. I say again, though, that it's not on you to decide, it's on your folks to make the decision and stick with it.
  5. orcaauntie

    orcaauntie New Member

    Very true, but I try to help her as much as I can from where I am. She asks me for advice and what she should do. I have no children so I don't know "what works" necessarily. But she trusts me, I know the history, and she knows I am logical and responsible so she turns to me a lot. I am pretty much all she has outside of the kiddos and my stepfather. I just try to be logical and advise as I can... so I found this site for guidance and experience to try and help her :(

    I love your phrases, too. They are just too cute. "Tough tofu"- love it! My mom did what I like to call tough-love thing with my sister. Calling cops when she got abusive, went MIA for a day, etc. It all backfired because my sister has lived and does live a tough life. No job, lives off of SSI, seeks the attention of men- is in a relationship where she's unhappy but stays because she NEEDS the companionship. She became addicted to drugs and all. Unfortunately the town they all live in is full of druggies. My family can't move because of my dad's job and being stuck in their mortgage- and perhaps even because of the courts being involved with the kid's custody.
    So, we are trying to devise a plan for a different approach and need help. Many of you have been through it all, and back again. Thank you all so very much for your information and support thus far. I sincerely appreciate every bit of it!
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    YES. You need to start from scratch.
    Because... the therapy and the medications are not taking you where you want to go... it usually means there is another element to the picture, and IT needs to be addressed - until you get there, whatever IT is will work against everything else you are doing.
    Get a completely fresh evaluation - including all of the current events, attitudes, behaviors, etc.
    Maybe even help your mom start a Parent Report - its a great way to pull together the million bits of info that you will need if the next evaluation is going to be detailed enough.

    If everything had been working up to a point in time, and then went downhill, I'd be making a different guess - in that case, maybe outgrew medications dose or developed tolerance to that medication, OR some major negative event (trauma, child abuse, or whatever) that has added to the picture.
    But in your case... it doesn't sound like there was a cliff to drop off of... just a set of problems that continues to get worse...
    Please correct me if I'm missing something...
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    The problem with THAT being... ???
    Sounds to me like it was handled pretty good. She's "watching TV with the family"! Good choice.
    You haven't seen what some of "our" difficult child kids around here would have done!

    Yes, you have to address behavior in the mean time.
    Try the approach in The Explosive Child - because it may change the dynamics significantly.
    (Right now, your mom is taking a Plan A approach... with predictable results - and sometimes we still have to use Plan A - you'll understand when you read the book.)
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    The ultimate cause still may not be the best friend but as you have observed, having daily contact with the friend does seem to be aggravating things. But as has already been said - if your niece is going off the rails anyway, she will seek out the sort of friend who enables her and validates her. This validation is what makes her worse, and she is actively seeking it out. Remove one such friend and another five will come out of the woodwork.

    I have found that taking things away generally does not help, but it does depend on the child and the circumstances. Instead, keep her busy. If she is too busy to spend as much time with friend, that is good. But where possible, keep her busy with things she is happier doing. So it could involve taking her to the mall, or somewhere (preferably away from people, so mall may be a bad example) where she is not likely to meet her friend. Also - if she wants to spend time with her friend, invite the friend around so all contact is supervised. It is possible to keep the occasion pleasant - let the girls watch a movie and make popcorn for them, watch the movie with them and discuss it with them. Engage the friend also, befriend her, make your home a welcoming place for her so friend actually wants to spend time there. Or if friend continues to lead difficult child astray, difficult child hopefully can begin to see that friend is not being reasonable.

    As for the really bad behaviour - natural consequences. You broke the phone? You can't have another until it is paid for. Alternative - get her a Tic Talk phone, they're tough plus very limited in what they can do. I think you can also track them online to see where the child (or at least their phone) is, geographically. They're a phone for little kiddies who are just starting out with a mobile phone and can't be trusted with them. But they are a way for you and them to stay in touch with one another. But a Tic Talk can only call previously programmed numbers as agreed by supervising parent. And it can't text or access the internet.

    Just a few thoughts. But if the girl has been allowed far too much freedom, clamping down too far too suddenly will cause rebellion and she will move beyond safe boundaries very quickly. It is better to apply more limited controls for longer, than to lose control and influence entirely, if she runs away.

  9. orcaauntie

    orcaauntie New Member

    Sorry to sound like I have anything but a clue- what is a Parent Report?

    I do not think you are missing anything. Could be a tolerance to the medication though, I will check with Mom how long she has been taking them. Maybe need a new dose, or new medication.
    There perhaps are some small things that could be adding to it, like going to a new school (junior high now!), things we may not know about that she does not tell us, and seeing her Mom. I am not sure these things would make her spiral though. My Mom thinks them seeing their Mom actually and unfortunately sets them back a step or two every time because they get confused. All three kids have said they are happy living with my parents and do not want to go back to their Mom's- except when they get mad at my Mom. When my nephew gets mad he sometimes tells her he wants to go live with his Mom.
    Anyway- I will tell my Mom your advice. I do think starting fresh is a good idea. If they determine her course of treatment is what she needs then we can continue that. I sure hope they WILL do another evaluation. since she just had one last year. In the mean time, Mom needs to work on her consistency and setting limits no matter how tough it is, and how much they fight it. :)
  10. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Perhaps if the other girl has an involved parent, you can take turns directly supervising their play.

    At 12, she does not need access to the internet unsupervised. You mom did great by password protecting all the computers. I would follow-up with blocking her ability to go anywhere that she may get access to a computer.

    Eeyore's computer has bSecure parental controls on it and they are strict. Actually right now, his internet access is shut off and so is his phone due to his inappropriate behavior.
  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    What kind of evaluation was done last year? as in who, what tests did they run, what kind of detail...
    We usually can only get an evaluation every 3 years - but we got one 2 years apart... the second one was flagged as an "update" - but in reality the second therapist did 3x the testing that the first therapist did.
    You need a "reason" - and there are lots of valid ones, and tdocs and psychiatrists and neuropsychs know what insurance needs to hear... usually.

    Parent Report - go to the "site resources" section.
  12. orcaauntie

    orcaauntie New Member

    Very good point. Thank you. I agree.

    Now that it's the school year, it will definitely be much easier to keep her busy. She does track and basketball (though they are not passions, just "things to do") so we cannot wait for those to start up. Otherwise, I think Mom should keep her more busy, somehow. Grandma and Grandpa do take each kid out separately to try and bond which I think is great. My mom is not in the medical condition to play physical games with them and such. I think that maybe they could play board games, do crafts, bake, etc. They do some of these things but perhaps they need to try for more. :)

    Another very good point! Thanks! While speaking with my Mom earlier today I explained to her that she needs to ease up. I do not recommend keeping her from her friends. The internet, Facebook, cell phone- sure.. but I think keeping her from friends is too much right now. She needs that interaction and freedom. Niece tries to do things Mom tells her not to, because Mom is trying to protect her a little too much. She needs to be able to make her own mistakes and learn from them. She cannot control her from doing things, or going places all of the time. She has taught her good values and I truly believe Niece knows right from wrong- so just trust that you've done well and she will be a good girl until she proves otherwise. She needs to allow my niece to go places, especially if there is no apparent danger. Example: The kids live to hang out at the park. My Mom has heard of "bad things" going on there, or whatever, so she does not like my Niece going there. I try to explain to Mom that if it makes her happy, and they are not doing anything dangerous or bad, what is the harm? Mom also does not like Niece going to best friend's house because her mom is not very involved, nor is very good at supervising. So Mom prefers best friend to come to their house, but best friend doesn't respect the house, makes messes with no regard to her behavior. I told Mom, while that sucks- would you prefer they be at best friend's house with Mom paying no attention, or at your house under your supervision? Pick your battles.
  13. orcaauntie

    orcaauntie New Member

    No problem with that. It is a good thing. Sorry if my tone insisted otherwise. It is a positive step considering the most recent dealings/reactions.

    Excellent! I can't wait for her to receive it. September 6th is the estimated delivery date!
  14. orcaauntie

    orcaauntie New Member

    The mother is anything but involved. Her kids walk all over her and she lets it happen. This is what we believe is at least contributing to my Niece's problem, because she sees this happening often between her best friend, best friend's sister, and their Mom. :( Best friend's mom doesn't even respect my Mom's wishes for my Niece.
    Example: Niece was to go shopping with best friend and her Mom. However, Niece threw her fit and posted the horrible things about my Mom on her FB. Mom grounded Niece from going shopping with best friend. Best friend's Mom was specifically told Niece could not go any longer due to her behavior. Best friend's Mom picked them up at school after they got their schedules and took Niece shopping with them. This type of stuff makes it much more difficult for my Mom to correct Niece's behavior.
  15. Chaosuncontained

    Chaosuncontained New Member

    I am maybe stating the obvious or I may just be uneducated to your situation. But she is 12, right? Starting puberty. Without Mom. And at this age sometimes it doesn't matter if Mom was/is a MONSTER--they idealize her. "Mom is awesome". Could some of her behaviour be from these things? Her not being with Mom, PrePuberty stuff? My step kids (I have 4) are VERY entitled or so they think. It's really from their Mom giving into every wish, demand and whim...because the poor dears parents are (gasp!!) DIVORCED!

    My oldest son has ADHD and a mood disorder. He has a lot of defiance, mainly at school regarding his schoolwork. We take away things. He hates it. But were consistent (he hasn't had computer time in 3 days and he's "dyyyying"). Obviously it doesn't work ALL the time... but he does make it through the day trouble free some days--all for that computer time! ;) We also try to do more rewarding good behaviour and less punishing troubled behaviour. Pick our battles sorta thing.

    I hope someone gives you good advice...
  16. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Broken phone... too bad. Limited computer... smart move. I would try to distract her and have "reading time" I am lucky and my two love to read. Also, at 12 she can be helping in the kitchen. Don't make it "work or chores" - call it fun - she GETS to make brownies! etc.

    Regarding the medications... is she really taking them, or tossing them when no one looks. I'd be standing there watching when time to take medication. Can your mom get her involved in school or community activities? Keep busy!! Limit the friend. When my girls have a friend I really don't like - I make sure and invite them over for supper. Then the only time I let them hang out is at my house. After a while, either the friend conforms to house rules, or they get bored and don't want to come over. Works most time, but once, the "friend" stole our latest Wii game. Go figure. KSM
  17. orcaauntie

    orcaauntie New Member

    Excellent! My Mom does bake with them sometimes and she sure does love it. She does read, just not often. She is currently reading the last installment of "Twilight". I had reading time with her while she was visiting me, of course she was texting inbetween pages, but I wasn't going to make a big deal of it. :) I think Mom should emphasize this, especially when her new book "The Explosive Child" comes in ;)

    Yes, fortunately, she definitely takes them. She is at least good about it and doesn't fuss. She is watched when she takes them. :)

    She does play basketball and run track. More-so, "just because" and not because she loves it. But hey- that's fine with me! Her Mom used to play field hockey and basketball, then quit around 7th or 8th grade, I sure hope my Niece doesn't do the same thing.
    Good idea about the friends... maybe that will work! She does go to my Mom's often. As I mentioned previously, I talked to my Mom earlier and tried to reason with her- even though the kid doesn't respect your household cleanliness or whatever, she is at YOUR house being supervised with your granddaughter. It's worth a little frustration to have her there versus at the household with no supervision. Who knows, maybe this will also benefit the friend to have a little structure sometimes :)
  18. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Your situation has one more challenge.
    I'm guessing here, but YOUR mom was probably quite young (early 20s?) when she had Niece's mom... and Niece's mom had her young as well?
    If so... YOUR Mom is probably closer to MY age than to the age of most of the Moms of your Niece's friends. That is - half way between "parent age" and "grandparent age".
    Which gives your mom the same problem I deal with all the time...
    The other Moms are late-30's to early-40s. I'm a decade older. They just don't relate to ANYTHING I do or say... we might as well be from different planets!
    This complicates things because its hard to form relationships with your kids' peers' parents. Which makes it harder to be on the same page...

    The friend's mom probably thinks your mom is insane for putting so many restrictions in place.
    Compared to when your mom was growing up, she's being immensely lenient.
    Compared to the peer-mom level of thinking... she might as well be from the 1800s - old, ancient, backward, not "with it". etc.

    My mom did the 'tolerate the other kids' thing... but we had an unfinished basement, and if we spilled paint or whatever, it wasn't a big deal. (Spilled milk was - because its hard to get rid of the smell, concrete absorbs liquid!)
  19. orcaauntie

    orcaauntie New Member

    My mom was 18 when she had my sister and 20 when she had me. My sister had my niece when she was 15- turned 16 3.5 months later. My mom is going to be 48 this year. My niece's, friend's Mom is probably in her 30's somewhere. So yeah, I think you are right :)
    I think you hit the nail on the head.

    Wow- sooooooooooooo right!

    Oh how I loved spilling paint all over our basement. We painted the doors and put our hand prints and such. It was so fun :) Our parents didn't care, it was also an unfinished basement so we were allowed to be as creative as we wanted. The doors are still there, too :)
  20. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    i'm with chaos above up there.

    she's 12.

    1. a dysfunctional mom and upheaval to grandparents.
    2. starting jr. high.
    3. starting school in general after a long, no academic required, no alarm clocks needed summer.
    4. expected to know politeness/manners/life lessons that she quite possibly didnt learn prior to the move
    5. entering/in puberty.
    6. emerging independence.
    7 emerging knowledge that all adults are ijiots.
    8. emerging knowledge that her friends know everything
    9. a girl. and
    10. she's 12.

    i think you should let your mom handle it how she sees fit. she shouldnt tolerate disrespect, but it sounds like she's got enough common sense to address the issue and handles it appropriately. (i too did NOT know the person gets a "reactivate" notice for facebook if you cancel it, ROFLMAO--thats pretty hilarous, and i doubt most parents would realize it either).

    but she'll need to pick her battles--your Niece sounds pretty typical of any 12 year old girl--medications or not, adhd/odd or not.

    ps: tell your mom to get a copy of the school dress code--so when Niece convinces her of the need for cami's and short-shorts and lipstick and mascara she can just point to it and let the school take that fall!