looooooong rant

I am at the end of my rope, or at least I feel it. I am trying to keep my pulse at a normal rate, Tink is throwing the royal-est of all royal tantrums in her room, and I am going against everything I know and screaming at her.

I tried to do a behavior chart with her. Per doctor's suggestion, I choose 2 behaviors that I really would like to see changed, and put them on the chart. I choose cleaning her room and talking smart. I go over the chart with her the other day, and she starts having a kaniption. "This chart is stupid, you just MADE these rules, UP, I am going to make YOU a chart mom...". How the hell do you respond to that? I tell her no, it is my house, my rules, and she wants to argue every point with me. No mom, it is her house too, because she lives there. Ya know, I don't have time for this. I drop the subject so that I am not sucked into a stupid argument (hello, with a SIX year old), which works against me, because now I have not talked about the chart with her. And if I don't talk about it with her, we can't start it.

Then there is my next door neighbor, who catches Tink every single time she does something wrong, and tells on her to me, and in front of her tells me what I should do to punish her, and then scolds her by saying things like "you disappoint me" (OK, I can go with that) or "you are not my friend anymore" (WTF, are you kidding me?). The other day she caught Tink going through the stuff in the hatch of my van, and spraying carpet spot cleaner into the air with one of the neighbor kids. OK, she's grounded for the night, neighbor kid is not, what else is new. The days here are tough because the only girls around here are a set of twins age 7, who are left home in the care of their 10 year old brother while mom works all day. One of these twins was in on the spraying with Tink. The twins play pretty good with Tink until someone else comes along, then they all gang up on Tink every time. Well this morning I had HAD it. I snapped. They did it again, and I went off. First I sent the other kid home, not that it was my business, but 3 seven year olds playing unsupervised? The brother was in the house playing video games. One of the twins ran into the house too (the one who did the spraying) but I caught the other one (who is normally the instigator). I held her still and yelled at her till she cried. At the time I felt justified, I mean I've had the kid here for meals and overnight a million times. And every time someone else better comes along, these kids start breaking Tink's toys, calling her names, telling her she is a loser, just rotten stuff. Of course afterwards i felt like a big jerk.

This evening the neighbor comes over to tell me that Tink is sitting on the hood of my car. I don't know who I am more ticked at, Tink for sitting on the car, or the pain in the backend neighbor for tattling AGAIN. So Tink is in for the night. And has been crying and whining for 2 hours. The first half hour was "but mom, where else do I sit? I was only sitting on the car. No fair." Like I need to explain why I don't want her on the car. After 25 minutes, I realize that I am indeed sucked into another one of her ridiculous arguments. All along I have been attempting to get her in her room to settle down. No mom, it's too hot. No mom, you didn't answer me. No mom, it's stuffy in my room, I can't breathe". I finally lose it and crack her in the behind. Just to get her to stop talking and get in her room.

Which she promptly trashes.

I am ready to put my head through a wall.

Well THEN I find out why her room is so stuffy, she turned the blessed HEAT ON! She comes out, rolling on the floor, "I'm so hot, mommy when am I un-grounded, what can I do, I'm hungry, I'm thirsty..." Well, you can clean up your room. And as much as I have no desire to be in a room with her, I know that she needs things broken into chunks, and I am prepared to assist her. Nope, she screams at me that if I tell her that ONE MORE TIME she is going to have a stroke.

Good Lord.

I try to be understanding, this is a sucky situation for her. I am so sick that I spend most days laying in bed. I don't have the energy to play with her much. the kids around here are not so nice. She is stuck in the house and bored a lot of days (there are exceptions, I do have some wonderful neighbors) but I just can't handle this. and she is SIX. I am so in for it in a few years if I don't get this under control.

Anyone who read this, you are brave. thank you.

Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Oh my-the reasoning of our difficult children! The chart reasoning sounds like something my difficult child would say. The neighbor would start to seriously bother me. It's one thing if she is doing something unsafe then she should tell you but she has no right to tell you how to deal with it or to talk to her that way.

The not many friends part is hard. Are there any day camps in the area that she could attend?

I'm sorry things are so rough right now-sending gentle hugs your way.


New Member
Well, I'll be perfectly honest with ya. Stop arguing with your kid. She's 6. You're the parent. She's the kid.

I had alot of success with charts and rewards. I'd go through the whole shabang here, but well, I type it all up and 99% of the people dont read it anyway LOL! So, if you'd like advice on that, I'd be happy to give it, PM me.

You picked two rules. Those are the two things you are working on. You put them on the chart. You offer the reward for abiding, if there is one, and you CLEARLY STATE the consequence with the chart, and that's it. There's no argument. She does what she's supposed to do, she wins, she doesn't, she doesn't. No arguing. Ignore her. Charts DO NOT work in a week. Nor two. Nor three. They take time and patience. Your kid didn't learn to NOT listen in a week. She's not going to learn to listen in a week.

As for the nosy neighbor, tell her to bite the big one. Kindly tell her to mind her own darn business.


I totally understand. you are sucked into their arguments, and so angry that by the time you realize you just got sucked into a 6 year olds argument it is half over. Unfortunately I get sucked in and not even realise it until after. Then there are the times I am so angry I would leave and got to a neighbors (they know me and difficult child) and just tell them I need a time out before I lose it with him. He then calls there looking for me because I left him home alone. I don't stay long, just long enough. It is so hard to NOT get sucked in. difficult child's have such an amazing way. I would tell your neighbor or anyone else who wants to tattle, that you know what she is doing, thank you. Then after the neighbor leaves call her in. If she does something and neighbor feels it is there part to tell you, I would say, Thank you, I'll handle it. Or simply tell them if she is doing something where she will get hurt I appreciate you coming and telling me, however if she is not getting hurt, or hurting anyone, I'll handle it.

Hope you both are calmed down. It's rough. It'll be better.


Active Member
I have different ideas to Janna about the chart.

Basically BBK, you happen to have a kid who is darn good at logic. And she's using it back at you.

Of course, we do want our kids to grow up with the ability to reason with other people and make a case for whatever it is they feel strongly about. And with some kids (and I suspect Tink is one of them) simply arguing back, using the line, "Because I'm the Mum, that's why!" (I have a friend with a t-shirt that says this) simply will not work (friend with t-shirt currently has BIG problems with her typical teen daughters).

And also, BBK, I know you know this - DON'T shout at her. All this does is show her that the loudest person wins. it also feed into eavesdropping neighbour.

But yeah, our kids do get us to the point of wanting to slam our heads through the wall (hi, neighbour! Need a new wine glass? Why is that one pressed up against my wall?)

Tink has a lot of problems. I really feel for her, with 'friends' like that. Chances are in years to come they will get on better, but right now they sound like poison if unsupervised. And Tink & friends would really resent supervision.

OK, I admit something about myself now, as it relates to people on this site - when I see the combination of ADHD & Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) (or other signs I see in my Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-ish kids) my brain and my ideas switch into Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-mode. Because it is THESE kids whose brains are wired differently, and who you frankly can never win an argument with, long-term, simply by trying to overpower them. They are INCREDIBLY strong. They have stubbornness racked up to maximum and beyond - the needle is not only off the scale, it's wrapped round the stops. You won't win if you are the immovable object to their irresistible force. Ever heard of erosion? You mightn't move but you will get worn down to nothing, and THEN they step over the rubble and do what they want.

Not good.

Back to my suggestions (sorry for rambling) -

1) Give the chart a go. But do it with Tink's cooperation. The FIRST aim is not to change her worst problems, but to win her over with charts. So sit and talk with her about charts in general, and your concerns in general. Make lists. Ask TINK which behaviours or problems she wants to target first. And if Tink wants you to have a chart too - you have two alternatives. First, agree but with the same rules - YOU get to decide which things you want to work on. Or your second alternative - "it's a bit tricky to try to manage two people on charts in the one house."
Personally, I'd go for the first option. We ALL have things we're trying to work on. Maybe if Tink can help you, she will be more willing to accept help from you.
And there ARE sneaky benefits to trying this - if you ARE the competent parent you believe yourself to be, you will soon run out of things to change that are on the same scale of the things you want Tink to change. SHE will see the disparity at some stage - or at least is more likely to.

There is nothing wrong with our kids knowing we're not perfect. If I yell at one of my kids for leaving a drink bottle on the floor, and it turns out it was husband, I will then apologise to my kids and ask husband to pick it up.

2) You've probably already made a list of behaviours you want Tink to change. Ask her to write her own list. And if she insists it's not fair for her to do it and not you, once again you have two options - you could say what you've said before - "This isn't equitable because I'm the adult, you're the child. it's my job to raise you, not your job to raise me. You've got enough on your plate just learning to manage your own life." Or you could take the other option - agree. Then YOU make up y our own list, as she is making up one for you. Meanwhile she has to work on her own list for herself. You then both sit down (cookies & milk time) and compare lists. Treat it as an exercise in self-awareness as well as sharing. You finish the exercise with, "What are we both going to do now? What do we want to achieve from this?"

3) Playtime. Tink gets up to mischief. Personally, there are some things I wouldn't worry about, but then I'm not a single parent with nosy neighbours constantly criticising. It's natural for you to be tougher on your daughter than maybe you need to be. It's YOUR daughter who is the kid on the block constantly being punished, when other kids also involved are not. Tink is smart - she KNOWS this isn't fair.
So, I would restrict playtime to ONE friend at a time. If Tink goes visiting, she may not go to a house with no supervising adult, or where there is more than one child actually playing with her. And as soon as there is trouble (such as kids being mean) then Tink is to come home, BEFORE any mischief happens. Walking away is the best coping strategy with kids not playing nice.
OK, this rule would mean she can't go to the twins' house to play. What's wrong with that? If you want to amend the rule, she can go to play with more than one child, IF there is more than one supervising adult. This means you can drop in on a friend for coffee (or invite them round) and together, you play with the kids. Maybe a board game, maybe hide & seek, maybe an outdoor game. Or while the kids play outdoors, the parents can sit outside and relax while they watch the kids have fun.
It's a way of reintroducing 'nice' play, learning the rules of good play and undoing a lot of old damage. Also relearning appropriate behaviour management all round, the other kids too.
If a visiting kid gets nasty, send them home. This is supporting Tink, who really is too young to be expected to have that level of responsibility for other kids' behaviours. She can't handle her own - why expect her to cope with other kids causing trouble for her?

4) Nosy neighbour - I would thank her for her information, then close the door while you find your daughter. This is almost exactly what I go through with mother in law. I love her to pieces but she can really cause trouble sometimes by correcting my kids when they don't need it. Example: easy child 2/difficult child 2 cooked a dinner party to celebrate our return home from holidays. naturally she invited mother in law - we were happy to share the 'party' with her too. But mother in law has a bad habit of teasing the kids. Just gentle, light-hearted stuff, she says. But you don't tease Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kids unless you do it very carefully, and really know what you're doing. Plus difficult child 3 was actually seriously sick with the flu and we hadn't realised it. I was busy in the kitchen with easy child 2/difficult child 2 and didn't stop the 'needling' of difficult child 3 because he was tired and had his head down on the table. The prolonged formality was tiring for him, plus he didn't like everything that had been cooked. Which wouldn't have been a problem, if I had been there to defuse things. If I'd seen things sooner, I would have sent him to bed. Instead, problems escalated to a screaming match and the evening ended very badly.
It shouldn't have. I should have been more aware of mother in law's 'teasing' of a boy who was less able to tolerate it than usual. Like with ANY kids who aren't playing nice - you separate them. I couldn't send mother in law home, it is easier to send difficult child 3 away from the table to bed, where he really needed to be.
You don't try to discipline a feverish kid.
Now mother in law adores my kids. She really loves difficult child 3 and he loves her. But he could see, even though he wasn't well, that grandma was causing trouble. Because he is so very Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), he couldn't see why I didn't punish grandma the same way I would punish a child. "Because she is grandma, she raised your father, it is not our place to correct the person who raised us," is the only answer I can give him. That, and "walk away".
We go back to our primary aim - we want the problem to stop. Walking away removes us from the problem behaviour. You can't stop it forever, only get into the habit of walking away each time it happens, before it gets to screaming point.
So at least for now, see nosy neighbour for who she may be - someone who probably cares more than you realise, but a real pain in the neck who undermines your discipline and tries to take over. Give her t he benefit of the doubt.
"Thank you for telling me - I will handle it from here," is maybe the best option, at least to begin with. You ARE a single mother, so the neighbour probably feels you need extra support (like you need THIS kind of support!??!?). If neighbour is telling you something that you already know about and which you feel is not an issue, tell her this. "It's OK, Tink has my permission. But I'll just take a peep, for an update, to make sure she's staying on task."

5). Punishment. If Tink does something like climb on your car, explain why you don't want her to do this. And if your reasons include your concerns for the car's finish, then enlist Tink in washing the car, polishing the car and detailing the inside. We save the detailing job for our kids who continually leave fast-food rubbish inside our car. Not only do they have to clean out the rubbish, they get to clean windows too (a punishment also given to those who draw in the mist on the inside of car windows). Windex, newspaper and polishing cloths.
But at Tink's age I would do it with her. If neighbour kids are involved, enlist them too. Maybe send them home for some work clothes, but get them involved or they cannot play for x amount of time.
When easy child was 8, she and the 6 year old next door climbed on top of six year old's dad's car. Dad was very angry, wanted us to pay for his car to be resprayed (total jerk - which is why his son deliberately damaged the car, we found out years later). The end result was we suggested the kids get out the car wax and buff out the scratches, which really weren't that bad. easy child tearfully told us that next door kid had told her to climb on the car. As she had never climbed on ours, we believed her. Still, she was older and should have known to say no and walk away, but at this age they don't unless you drill it in.

All this means that Tink, certainly at the moment, is very labour-intensive. But from my experience, it is the only way and the FASTEST way. Taking short cuts now means small problems which build later on. It's like a small hole in your favourite hand-knitted sweater - spend a few minutes working on each hole as it appears and your sweater stays looking good and will keep you warm. But leave a hole and let the sweater be used, the hole will continue to grow until it's almost impossible to repair without leaving an obvious mark.

Other rules to use - maybe insist on with neighbour, if you can get friendly enough - no using sarcasm EVER, no shouting (of course) and NO EMOTIONAL BLACKMAIL. If Tink IS slightly Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) as I suspect, these will be much harder for her to understand which will slow things down immensely and also get her VERY angry & frustrated. You want her to be calm and able to pay attention. An angry kid, even if you're glad to see her angry after what she's put you through - will not learn anything from it. Instead, she will feel MORE justified, not less.

Even though she's a pain in the neck at times, I know you love her to pieces. Try and hang on to that.

I know I commented a few times on people interfering because they feel your single status justifies them - I get the same thing because of my disability. A lot of people treat me as mentally defective simply because my body doesn't work properly. I've even been asked, "Does difficult child 3's autism have anything to do with your disability?" It's the condescension that really ticks me off.



Active Member
Just wanted to send hugs......I know how hard it all is, and to be physically ill on top of it must be so difficult.

Hang in there, and try not to think too much about the future. Just take one day at a time. You never know, Tink may morph into a easy child when she is 12 - you just never know, so there is not point in worrying about the future.

As for the neighbor, I would have NO patience for her, and would tell her to take a flying leap.

Charts have never, ever worked for us. I must have a dozen charts saved in my computer from the past (want one? :laugh: ) but not one of them worked. Not to say that they will not work for you - it is just my perspective that for some of these kids they don't motivate. For years I beat myself up that I could not get mat motivated by charts - but I have come to realize that some kids are just not either able to control their behavior enough to comply with the chart, or they are just not reward motivated.

I like the camp idea...and I know camps like the Boys and Girls Club camps are free (I think?). Would you feel up to sitting by a pool with her? I know most kids can play for hours at the pool.

As for getting sucked into an argument with a 6 year old - I have been guilty of that from day one. Mat is the consummate debater - I mean, really..........I find myself sucked into an illogical conversation before I can even blink. It is probably the thing I am working most at even now.

Give yourself a big hug........and hang in there. It will get better. Yesterday was friday the 13th after all!!!! :crazy:


Charts work in the short term for us but difficult child loses interest after a couple of weeks. But I think that's more about his short attention span than anything. I have trouble with consistency too, but that's more about my shotcomings in that area. It will be amazing if we survive each other :smile:
Sharon -

I can't really get her into daycamp right now because she is in summer school, and all the camps I have looked into conflict with the times. Unfortunately, summer school is only M-Th, 8:15-11:30. that leaves the entire rest of the day.

Janna - I got your PM, and am SO grateful.

Marg - as usual, you are a wealth of information.

Between the two of you (Janna and Marg) I now have a good idea on how to attempt charts.

KJs, There are times I'd like to tell my neighbor to take a flying leap, and then out of nowhere, she is as sweet as can be. Hmm, kind of like difficult child.

Amber, I am really way too sick to go to the pool. This is truly the worst summer I have ever encountered. My breathing problem has not improved since I was in the hospital, I took a pullmonary function test and still do not know if I have asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), or what (beacause I was breathing so badly they could not administer the entire test), so I am basically homebound. My only saving grace is that I managed to quit smoking, but now have been gaining weight (hello, I lay in bed all day and get no exercise). It is a vicious cycle. And boy does that bring on the guilt. Too sick to do anything with her or take her anywhere, so I end up letting things slide. Sometimes it is out of guilt, sometimes it is because I just don't have the energy to follow through.
Anyways, we're gonna see if I can't get this chart thing to work.

Michele, you hit the nail on the head...us surviving eachother...

I appreciate everyone's input.

please don't be shy, I'd love to hear more.
Hey, lady! Here are two cents' worth of experience, if it's worth even that much.

I didn't have much luck with charts for my difficult child. With zero impulse control, some little piece of paper with sticker on it wasn't going to slow him down at all. He'd lose his temper and blow; I doubt he even remembered the existence of the chart at the time. Now that the medications have stabilized him a bit, I might try them again.

easy child, on the other hand, loves the chart concept and getting rewards that her brother has no chance of getting. [Got that good ol' sibling rivalry here in spades, although it's pretty one-sided: difficult child either doesn't have a clue that there is something to compete FOR or he just doesn't care.] But, the charts worked better when there were very specific goals. "Keep your room clean" was too vague -- I had to go with "keep floor clear" or "all clothes hung up in closet".

Oh, about the room-trashing thing? I let my cubs know that if they don't take care of their stuff, it means they don't value it and I may as well give it to someone does. When my son was younger (and before medications), he'd throw his trains up against the wall, tear stuff, what have you. I took it. Some stuff went into the trash; some went into a charity box; some I let him earn back. A couple of months ago, I heard easy child explaining to difficult child that they don't really own anything until they are 18; right now it's all Mommy's and she can take it away if she wants to. I was somewhat amused to hear my daughter explaining property rights and the age of majority to her brother, but it's a valuable thing for them to know. Seriously, it's your stuff. The law is on your side; work it. The cub trashes the room; you can clean it up by putting it all in a big trash bag. She really can't trash the room too many times before there is just no stuff in it.

easy child is more than happy to try to argue her way out of something or tell me that some rule applies to me, too. Just today, I told her that husband and I were considering having a no-electronics week; she immediately "told" me that this meant I couldn't read stories etc on the computer. I don't bother to argue. I state what the goal of the no-electronics week is (cubs need to learn ways to occupy themselves and not be dependent upon electronics for amusement) and that's it. I'll say, "I'm not going to engage in an argument with you about this" a couple of times if she tries to pursue it but I'm not on trial with a hostile prosecutor despite how she'd like to make it appear. I'll stop responding or leave the room (or send her to hers) if she keeps it up but by now, she doesn't. I say one of my little mantras to myself "I will not engage" until the urge to argue passes. difficult child doesn't have the verbal skills to argue with me; he'll yell or something, but that's a different story.

All I can say about the neighbor is that she sounds like a past mistress of head games. She knows how to keep you engaged in her little game. You don't have to play; the price of her sometimes-niceness is awfully high. I don't punish my cubs on someone else's information in front of them; I think there are sick or bored people that like to see children get into trouble. I just say, "Thanks for letting me know" and leave it. Your life isn't a soap opera for her entertainment. Maybe I'm projecting some stuff onto your neighbor, but you might think about it.

Maybe some of the above could give you an idea; maybe it was all a waste of typing :wink: Take something if it looks good to you ... and good luck!


Well-Known Member
Hmmm... I can see where you would be ready for a calgon moment at this point! The neighbor kid sounds like a real fly in the already stinky ointment! How about the next time that she comes and tattles, you tell her "Wow, I'm sorry that Tink is upsetting you with her antics. I guess she just won't be able to play with you the rest of the night." IOW, "go home now".


Mom? What's a difficult child?
Oh the joys of our little 6yo's... I love everyone's ideas. I have tried charts a bit but have not had to much luck... I think for N it might work when she is a bit older. Maybe?
K is not able to stay in the moment or interested in them long enough for them to ever work. I would have to remind her every couple of minutes...
But she really does want to to be good and is so smart that she will argue details with us as well.
I am finding that brief discussions with her when she is calm has been helping, I act out how she acted, which makes her laugh and say "What if Mommy did that when she was upset?" Or when I want something? I ask her if she would like me to destroy things, or scream and yell, refuse to do things she asked me? I throw myself on the floor, I will act these out a bit dramatic. She thinks it is funny, but it makes her think and she says sorry and that she doesn't like acting that way.

I also am learning to not engage her when she becomes elevated, I tell her I will not talk to her when she is like that. It isn't good for her or me and it makes me sad...when she can use calm, nice words we can talk.
If she wants to destroy her room I let her... but she loses something important. I am not big on punishment for her because she really is unable most times to control her mind, but I am seeing her work on slowing down her reactions, and thinking about her actions.

Of course this will all change in the morning and I will have to think of a totally new plan!!! LOL

Good luck


Active Member
Totoro, you reminded me.

We have an ad on our TV at the moment, for a cold remedy. It's a nasal inhaler, you "take it at the first sign of a cold" to "stop them in their tracks before they can take hold".

And the ad itself - a woman shopping with her young boy (he looks about 4). She's muffled up, has just taken a puff of this stuff (clearly, feeling a cold coming on) and glancing over her shoulder, sees the boy holding up a big packet of crisps. She doesn't even get to shake her head - the kid THROWS the bag on the ground and begins to give that fake wail we all hate. But almost immediately, the mother throws her handbag onto the ground, throws herself down too (in the middle of the supermarket aisle) and throws the biggest tantrum you have ever seen, no holds barred. Then she stops completely, picks herself up, looks at her son and jerks her head in a "Come on, I'm leaving now" gesture. The kid, totally taken by surprise and tantrum forgotten (because his mother just threw a bigger one) puts the crisps back and trots off after his mother.

And back to the message - "stop them in their tracks, before it takes hold."

I've not thrown a tantrum at my kids, but I've done most other things that come close, to show them what it looks like. They also know that if they push me, I WILL embarrass them in public. difficult child 1's teen male friends tried to publicly embarrass me some years ago, by telling me an extremely dirty joke, but I upped the ante and so horrified them that they've never tried to embarrass me again.

One last word about wanting tidy rooms - it's one thing I don't try to fix, in kids who can't seem to handle it. With PCs - fair enough, go tidy your room. But I've even had friends come round to help me tidy difficult child 1's room and he was in a panic over it, because things weren't exactly as he'd left it and he couldn't find anything. With his short-term memory problems, he relies on being able to visualise the whole room, and can somehow mentally picture it layer by layer so he can find exactly what he's looking for. If I stir it up or remove things, he gets completely confused and subsequently, very stressed.

So, when trying to get difficult children to tidy rooms, what worked for us was "collect ten things and put them away." Or with difficult child 3 at the moment, who's growing so fast that he's outgrowing clothes within months, I HAVE to get his old, too-small clothes out of there and into the op-shop bag. But there is so much, a lot of it buried under books and magazines, that to think of attacking it all is too overwhelming. So I tell him, "Remove ten items of clothing from your room. I want ten things that are now too small for you, so we can wash them and give them to your young friend."
As long as difficult child 3 knows that what we give away will still be in the neighbourhood, he can cope But to permanently part with something is hard for him, makes him very anxious. Of course, his young friend can eventually give the item away and it won't matter by then. It's the initial removal that's the hardest. Hence - rubbish is also a problem, unless we store it somewhere else first. Sticks and stones that he collects - he can put them in a special place in the garden, but not in th house. The only exception are geology specimens, which go on a special shelf.

Once a kid has done ten things, they can often see a huge difference. Then, next time they complain of being bored, send them back to do another ten things.

The other thing you HAVE to do, is make sure that clean washing is put away immediately it's given to them, or it will end up on the floor being stirred in with all the stuff they've worn for two weeks at a time and left to ferment. I've found that hanging shirts & t-shirts on hangers to dry, makes this job easier - all a kid has to do is put the hangers in the closet. And I don't even have to iron! I have special clothes pegs with a hole in the head, so I can thread a hanger through the peg head and peg the hanger to the line. It's also faster if I have to clear the line as it starts to rain. Even a strong wind won't blow stuff off the line.

Putting their clean clothes away is not a kid's chore, it's a kid's responsibility. It's not a punishment, it's just what you do - what everybody does, like eating & sleeping. Leaving a pile of clean clothes is the fastest way to turn them into dirty clothes, without ever having the fun of wearing them.

A repeat offender gets to do their own washing, including hanging it out and folding it when dry. failing to hang it properly will mean creases, so then they also get a lesson in how to iron. Failure to comply means going out with dirty, rumpled, smelly clothes. Because there's no way I will do the washing for a kid who won't do his end of the job. And I'm a meanie - this starts at about the same time as toilet-training, because often I'll get the kid to wash their own soiled underwear - not as a punishment, but as a task to be done. They can ask me to help and I'll work alongside them, but they need to see that 'accidents' mean a clean-up job, regardless of fault or otherwise.

I've found the worst offenders for not putting clean clothes away, or for having loads of clothes on the floor, are the teens. difficult child 3 still hasn't reached that worst stage yet *shudder* although his room is bad at the moment. I've told him that when I can see floor all round his bed, I'll buy him a computer game. Because I know, with him, that once his room is tidy it will be much easier to KEEP it tidy, as he is now extending his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) to organising his own stuff (at last).

It's just getting him there, that's hard. But nagging will make no difference to him tidying, all it will do is create bad feeling and a huge tantrum, with no work done.

I expect that in the next couple of years, easy child 2/difficult child 2 & difficult child 1 will both leave home. Then with only one messy kid, tracking the messy room should be easier.

As long as they don't come back home, with our grandchildren!



New Member
Sorry I'm coming into this thread a little late...I just wanted to say that I have been at the end of my rope so many times, I can totally relate. The only suggestion I can give, and this is really hard to do when you're ready to flip, but just try it. I completely just shut down. I mean I just stop engaging back and forth. I almost become robotic. I use this with my 5 yr. old. When he is screaming, "Why can't I have ice cream for dinner?" My response is, "What did I say? I said, No." My voice is calm and quiet. After hearing that a few times and knowing that is going to be my reply over and over, he eventually gets the picture. He still doesn't like it, but he stops asking because he knows I'm going to say, "What did I say?".

I just wanted to share my ideas. Good Luck...


Active Member
next time neighbor squeals, tell her you appreciate her concern, but from now on you will keep an eye on Tink yourself.

I am sorry your child is so challeging lately. hope it gets better. remember not to go to her level. remain in charge, firm, no explanations, tell her you are in charge period.
Thanks again everyone.

I altered the chart a bit, tried to make it a little easier to start with. I know "clean your room" is overwhelming, so I broke it down. There are 3 aspects that I want her to keep up with: Dirty clothes in the hamper, clean clothes put away, and throw away garbage (or I will find granola bar wrappers all over the place). Those are the 3 things that we will work on, and that she will be rewarded/consequenced for. As far as her smart little mouth, I broke that down to telling me "no", yelling, and getting sassy. I'm sure that her mouth will take longer for us to work on, but that is OK.

In any event, I went over the chart with her, and she threw a fit, then ran and made a chart for me. Mine is no yelling and no swearing. She sat around dishing out pennies to me last evening when I did not swear. I had to try not to laugh.

Anyways, another thing that I am noticing is that I don't particularly like how she is acting on her Focalin. It's like, when she is behaving, she is really REALLY behaving, and it is wonderful. But the switch can flip so quickly, and then watch out.

Ay caramba, I am just rambling now. But I am enjoying a couple hours of peace while she is at summer school.

Thanks again for everyone's suggestions.