Punishment for easy child?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Jul 3, 2009.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Most of you know that easy child moved out this yr, due to difficult child's behavior. She moved back in, on the premise that she would have and use the lock on her door, both to keep difficult child out, and to keep off-limits things in.
    We also agreed that she would have her own laundry basket and do her own laundry, and would not have to do our laundry.
    We agreed she would help clean the house, as she is a partner and family member. (I have specific tasks for her.)
    We agreed she would have a curfew of 11 on weeknights and 12 or 1 a.m. on weekends. (She is 18.)

    She has broken every agreement.
    The one that has me steamed at the moment, is that my husband gave her our credit card and let her buy junk food at the grocery store while difficult child was at camp. I told her to have it all eaten or put away in her room when he returned.
    Of course, she didn't. I warned her Wed. and Thurs. She agreed. Then I cut her some slack, and stacked it all outside of her bedroom last night. She walked right past it today and went out with-her boyfriend. She even called me to tell me where she was going, and said she'd forgotten to take the food out of the hallway. :confused::laugh:

    I bagged up all the wheat cereals and other junk food, and considered giving it away to a friend of mine.
    husband had a fit and said he thought it would be better to have easy child earn it back.

    She lost her computer mouse this a.m. because she didn't do anything around the house. She didn't care ... because she knew she'd be out with-friends or working most of the time.

    husband and I are going to take her car keys tonight and she has to earn them back. Now THAT will impact her.

    Sheesh. She's turning into a difficult child. The whole point of her moving out was to give her emotional space and safety. She's got that. Now, she's taking advantage. Plus, leaving out wheat products is like bait for difficult child. (She's got more in the freezer, like frozen french toast.)

    Just one more rant ... she is supposed to pay half of her cell ph bill ea mo. She didn't make any $ this winter, and is working 2 PT jobs this summer. She got tons of $ from friends and family for graduation gifts, and combined with-her work checks, has a plump acct.
    I suggested I transfer the $ she owes from her savings to our chkg acct. She wanted to pay it $50 at a time. I gave it some thought and decided against it, since she has owed it since Christmas and it just keeps accruing, so I called her and told her I was transferring it today.
    She just doesn't get it.
    Any of it.

    :confused: :faint:
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Make her get it. You are on the right track. If she leaves food out that she isnt supposed to, confiscate it. If she wont pay her bills, grab that cash if you can. Do what you can to make her life conform to what she promised even if it means locking the doors at curfew.
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    You will have to make her get it. If not, she isn't going to. I don't know if she helped out at the friends' home, or if she was a long term pampered guest. If she was a long term pampered guest, then the time away did her no favors.

    You do her no favors at home by letting her pull this stuff. You may have to be insistent with husband, but if she agreed to these things then you both have to push her to do them. The wheat food should immediately be locked up by YOU. In the trunk of your car if need be. If her frozen food is still in the freezer, throw it away. She had a deadline. She had a warning. It is far more realistic to have her follow the no wheat rule than to have difficult child follow the "leave all the yummy wheat stuff alone" rule simply by virtue of their ages. If you add in the fact that difficult child may likely have had some in utero alcohol exposure which makes learning things VERY difficult, and then the aspergers/ADHD stuff on top of it, well, I wouldn't be fond of an older child tempting difficult child like this. Esp when the result of him not following his diet is physical violence and/or other risky behaviors. (I think that was a big part of the reason, sorry if I remembered incorrectly.)

    Take the money now. Yank out what you feel is appropriate for the remainder of the summer or year also. Otherwise the money will be gone. Also figure out the cost for unlimited text or whatever if she doesn't have it and add that in. Chances are she will go overboard if she gets mad, so let her get mad but don't punish your budget.

    Maybe even move the $$ into a separate account so that she can SEE that it is there for future months. Be SURE she cannot transfer the money out.

    Take the car keys. Don't give them back too easily. If she is going to be out past curfew have the door locked and don't open it a time or two. Or go and strip her room after curfew. She loses whatever you can remove in the time she is gone. I had a very stubborn friend in high school who's mother did this. It was the ONLY thing that got her home. She never knew what her mom would take. And her mom donated it all to a charity. She was working and her mom figured if she wanted to stay out late she could literally pay for it.

    Laundry, well, don't do hers. Set a specific time that she can use the machines. A set day of the week can work well. If she doesn't have the clothing dried by the time her time is up, put the damp/wet laundry in a basket for her. She can hang it on a clothesline. You can even hang a clothesline in her room - just make sure you anchor it in the wall studs.

    If her clothing molds or mildews, it must be pitched. She has money and can pay for her own new clothing to replace it.

    It may be easier to find a cleaning woman to come in every week or two and take the money out ahead of time. Move the money from HER account now, while it is there. Around here it is $40 - $50 for about 4 hours of work. If she doesn't want to do the work she can pay for the cleaning woman. YOU get to decide what the cleaner does, NOT her. I would use it for heavy cleaning and do the picking up, but that is what I have seen work for many people. If she cancels the cleaner, then she MUST do the work OR pay extra for temporary cleaners. The cleaners are doing this for their living, and usually require a commitment. There are services that will do occasional cleaning, just be careful. Some of the franchised maid services limit things like the number of towels or rags a cleaner will use. One national franchise was shown on camera cleaning an entire house from dishes to dusting to floors (NOT in that order) with just 1 or 2 rags.

    These are just suggestions. I strongly suggest you pick the ones you are ready to stand firm on and do it. If she makes a financial commitment and will not do it, then pawn her stuff. You won't get much. DO NOT redeem the pawn slip. Just give it to her to do. The Love and Logic book on parenting teens is EXCELLENT. I really think it would be a big help to you as you figure out what you want to do and how you want to do it. I am not sure I would do all the things mentioned, but I would have a plan to enforce whatever I chose BEFORE I told her about it.
  4. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I agree. If the snacks were left out, donate them to the buddy pack program...some less fortunate children will love them.

    Cell phone? Transfer the money or shut it off. Car keys show up when chores are done, too. I'd say she gets it, she just thinks she can also get away with it...bet a little hardline changes her tune.
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    I looked at all the stuff I suggested and want to make sure I was clear. I am NOT saying you have to do all the stuff I suggested. I don't know which items fit better with your family and with easy child's particular nature. NOTHING is the right thing for every child, and usually what is right for one child in a family is not 100% right for another child in that family, esp if there is an age gap between them that is more than just a year or so.

    I thought if I put some different ideas out there that you would be able to figure out which ones were right and how to best make them fit for easy child. Make them fit so that she not only complies but eventually sees WHY it is important to the family for her to comply.

    One of the reasons why I think the L&L books are great is because they stress NOT jumping in headfirst when your child is being difficult. In both the books and the seminar they stress making a plan and then going to your friends and to adult family members and saying: "Here is my plan to provide logical consequences for A. What suggestions do you have? What loopholes or problems do you see?" By doing this before you hand out consequences you can make sure that you don't paint yourself into a really bad corner.

    Sorry if I came across as too harsh, or whatever. Hopefully this is a short-lived adjustment period that will be over ASAP.

  6. therese005us

    therese005us New Member

    I would suggest making her cell phone a prepaid one - that way she is responsible for paying for it ALL the time. If she leaves the food out, then confiscate it, don't give it back at all. She will have to buy more, and be more careful with it.
    I hope things settle down for you soon.
  7. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Since husband handed her the credit card, I'd let him deal with the snack situation.

    I'd cut off her cell phone and tell her to get a pay as you go plan, such as tracfone. It's a privelege to be on your family plan and if she hasn't paid the bill willingly, the service should be cut off just like it would be in the real world.

    I'd also consider getting a small freezer with a lock (I've seen them--sort of oversized dorm fridge size). Give her an allowance for food (unless she's already paying). Any of her gluten products go in the lock down and any left out get pitched.
  8. graceupongrace

    graceupongrace New Member


    The prepaid/pay-as-you-go cell phone is a great idea. After difficult child ran up huge bills on the family plan, we said, "enough." He bought himself a pay-as-you go phone, and now if he wants minutes, it's up to him to figure out how to pay for them. If he has minutes, fine. If he complains that he has used up his minutes, oh well. He can do without until he gets money. This is a good example of consequences, not punishment.

    Putting the responsibility on him has completely removed one area of conflict from the home. (We have plenty of others, lol, but I'm happy to eliminate even one!)

    Good luck!
  9. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I have to agree with the others about the cell phone. I would not have let her keep running a tab from month to month. The "real world" doesn't work that way.

    Get your money, pay off the bill and cancel her phone. If she wants a cell phone, she is old enough to get her own. If her credit is not good enough to get a contract--she can get the pay-as-you-go plan.

    I also like the idea of her paying for cleaning services. Again--that's life. If you don't want to do a chore....you pay for somebody else to take care of it. Perhaps there is a fee for you to do her laundry?

    I hope she learns a few lessons and becomes a better housemate....

  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Perhaps difficult child could be paid to do her chores?
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    If you cancel her cell phone be SURE that SHE pays the cancellation fee. They run about $200 here. You might ask what the monthly fee to put her phone on "vacation" status until the end of the contract is? It might be cheaper to let her put it on vacation and pay for a pay as you go plan.

    It won't seem financially "smart" to pay both things, but it WILL be the real world consequence.
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I LOVE the idea of having the kids pay for maids.
    :) :) :)
    Or even having difficult child pd for what easy child should have done. :)

    I transferred the $ online. That felt GOOD! :) It wasn't all that much--we only have her pay 1/2 her bill--and I'm thinking we should have her pay all of her portion, since we gave her the phone as a gift.

    So, she got the car keys back at 1:00 p.m. In fact, we never took them because she came in so late and didn't wake us like she is supposed to, so I just left a note on the bathroom mirror telling her to give us the keys in the a.m.

    Boy, was she steamed!

    husband made some comment to me about being too harsh--he said to only take the car keys if she didn't clean the car (it was disgusting) and I said my understanding was to take them no matter what, until the work is done.
    He defended her and said, "She's doing the work."
    I said, "There ya go." :)

    Look what it took to get her to do it.

    It's only going to get worse when she scr&ws up in college. We are not going to pay her tuition if she starts flunking classes.
    husband will give her a 2nd chance, but I'm going to make him stick to his guns. He's only making it worse.

    She's a good kid. Smart, gorgeous, talented. Why is he enabling her like this? It will only destroy a perfectly good person. He loves to talk, talk, talk, and then *I* get to be the bad guy.

    Thanks for letting me rant!
    You are all great!