Show's Over

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by mandcc96, Apr 18, 2008.

  1. mandcc96

    mandcc96 New Member

    difficult child has held it together for 2 days so she wouldn't be pulled from the talent show at school. Talent show was last night. She did an amazing job MC'ing the show (huge props to her since she has massive stage fright!). She was even sweet introducing her sister's act (who also sang beautifully!). But now the show's over and she's back to her same old stunts. She almost convinced me to let her off the hook (she was in trouble earlier in the week for lying) and let her walk home today from school with-her friends. But I held my ground. I guess I'm glad I did since I was woken up this morning by her sister screaming at her to stop. When I asked what was going on her sister said difficult child was throwing crayons at her and calling her names. Don't they know a sleeping/just roused by an argument person isn't going to be in a good mood? Anyways, it's frustrating to know that she can keep it together to make sure she doesn't get booted from something she wants but that as soon as the reward is paid in full, she's back to her old self. Maybe I should be grateful for the cooperative, sweet child she was for 2 days. Maybe I should be selfish and say to heck with-grateful, I want that behavior all the time! Either's over.:dissapointed:
  2. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I vote with appreciating the two good days. I don't know about your daughter, but I know for mine, especially at age 13, it was incredibly hard to hold it together for two hours, let alone two days! It is frustrating to see they can behave when they want something and then revert to the old ways as soon as they get it but, sadly, I truly believe it is the best they can do. On the plus side, as she continues to mature, she'll be able to maintain for longer periods and, amazingly, sometimes just because she wants to, not because she wants something.
  3. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Sorry things are back to "normal". Boy, do I relate to the impulse to just put your foot down and demand decent behavior on a more regular basis. Sigh... sadly, pigs will fly around here before that will happen, so I guess I'd just be greatful that you got 2 decent days *and* be thankful that she's able to keep it together so as to not sabotage things she really does want.

    Waking Mom with an argument???? Ewwww.... bad news indeed, LOL. ;)

    After a certain age, I really began disliking the idea of "rewarding" (aka bribing in my book) thank you for decent behavior that I think should just be a given. on the other hand, is it possible for you to keep an activity or 2 in mind for when you're *really* needing those few good days?

    Hope you have a peaceful weekend - many fingers crossed!
  4. mandcc96

    mandcc96 New Member

    I absolutely do appreciate the two good days even though I'd love to say there were more. There is nothing like being woken up to screaming and fighting (especially with a sleeping baby beside me..the only one I really don't want woken up). But someone else suggested too to keep in mind the activity or goal (short term apparently LOL) to help difficult child (and siblings too) to learn self-control and consequences. I found in the last couple of days that if I resort to 13 y.o. antics (acting just like her in a battle) that she responds exactly the way I'm trying to avoid (although I can't say I blame her). But if I don't say a word, and let her do the thinking and the talking, it's like stirring a boiling pot before it boils over. It's still going to boil but it's not going to spill all over the place and create a mess. She has to participate in the thought process as to what I'm really upset with-her for. She can't just say "I didn't do anything". Instead of stating that she's doing something that I don't want her to do (minor, irritating stuff), I ask her if she really thinks that's the best thing to be doing. It's kinda stupid, but for some dumb reason it works. I'm not going to try and analyze why...I'll just take it. Same thing with-short term goals...I'll take it. Maybe with-a little practice she can make it more than a couple of days. We'll see how things go. Thanks for all the support. I hope everyone has peaceful, enjoyable weekends. I'm hoping to get the baby to nap long enough to garden my front yard. -Chastity
  5. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Not sure if this would help - I noticed about two months ago that my 11 yr old son (anxiety disorder - looking at a possible Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) - defiant behavior at times) was most difficult to deal with after 7:00 at night. So, I came up with a point system. On a poster board, I listed ways that he can earn points. 25 points for going until 3:00 without loosing points (not too much trouble during that time frame), 10 points 3:00 - 5:00 for not loosing points, 10 points for 5:00 - 7:00 for not loosing points, 5 points for 7:00 - 7:30, 5 points for 7:30 - 8:00, 5 points for being asleep by 9:00 pm. A list to loose points: 50 points for annoying 17 yr old sister, 50 points for disobeying to the point mom starts to scream, 25 points for touching the car doorhandle or unbuckling before car was parked (because that was becoming an issue), 10 points for annoying classmate, ect. A third list with a lot of chores that can be done to earn more points (wash bathroom floor, pick up clothes from bathroom floor, ect.) These were all little items about 5 -10 points each. Also included points for showering/bathing, brushing teeth, ect. The fourth list was a list of rewards to turn in points (100 points = $1.00 or donut from local bakery, 550 points = bowling or movie, etc.). This worked like magic. My intentions were to hand out the points throughout the evening as each timeline was met. My son instead started looking at the list about 7:00/7:30 pm, calculating what he has earned and planned on earning and then deciding which chores he wanted to do before bedtime to earn more points. Our evenings turned from ugly arguing to relaxing time of child being very positive about the bed time hours and making sure he was asleep by 9:00 to get those extra 5 points. If we were home after 8:45, he was given 1/2 hour to get to sleep. I introduced the list by saying, "I have noticed that after 7:00 pm if you are not getting ready for bed, you have a hard time listening and obeying. We then end up arguing and fighting. I don't want to argue anymore. I have come up with a way to help us make night times more positive."

    I guess I don't see rewards as bad - he is earning an allowance - when family life goes well, good things happen.

    Bribes in my books are stricter - and more "at this second" - do this now and I will give you something. The above is more like a list of everyday expectations that has a consequence if not met.
    I have a hard time determining consequences for various actions so this helps me and my son know ahead of time what a consequence will be for bad behaviour.

    You may try focusing on morning times as well as after school times, anytime with siblings.

    Chasity is right on also, anytime we can get our kids to talk about their difficult issues, the more they seem to see how their actions are affecting others. It gets them to think about what just happened and how it could have been different. It is teaching them problem solving skills. I am trying to teach my son the difference between personal and objectional. When he has problems in math, he wants to blame his teacher instead of looking at the issue and listening to how to understand something. He is angry so instead of looking for ways to understand, it is easier to place that anger toward a person.
  6. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    I'm on the same page with meowbunny. My experience was that difficult child could hold it together to get the carrot I dangled. It took huge effort on his part to focus on it. He always went back to the comfortable behavior.

    I think of it as being on a strict diet. I can keep it together to reach a goal but I consistently relax after the goal is met and start to resume negative eating habits. My son was no different except his behavior was unacceptable and produced someone who wasn't functioning as he should.

    Keep working with the carrot and stick while increasing the length of time between rewards. I can't say it works for everyone but it gives her a chance to relearn appropriate behavior.
  7. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

  8. mandcc96

    mandcc96 New Member

    Thank you all for the input. It's very helpful and I try to keep it in mind whenever we're about to go a round. The less I speak the sooner it ends. But I'm also making sure that she knows what the exact rules are so there's no room for arguing. I am definitely going to read the article about self-control. I have also tried to work with a points system, but unfortunately it hasn't worked for us so far since I've always had a hard time keeping up with it on a weekly basis. But the suggestion for a daily system might work for us. I know that the shorter the term at this point, until minimal goals are met and time increments can be increased gradually, is what is going to work best for us to achieve longer term goals. difficult child also has issues with us getting sidetracked by her youngest sisters health problems. The baby's need can change from day to day and for someone who needs a strict routine to stay on target, those changes (especially when it meant being away from home for me and husband at the hospital) were too difficult for her to be able to stick to her routine and not lash out. If anyone has any templates for short term point schedules/calendars that they would like to share, I'd be very appreciative. Thanks. -Chastity
  9. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I would start by putting your morning routine into writing. difficult child needs to be involved in writing down her morning routine. Using poster board and various color markers adds some fun. First make a rough draft - ask her how much time she needs for each item (getting dressed, bathroom, eating, free time, ect.) After she sets her time line, figure out what time she needs to get up to accomplish that. If it is too early, ask if she can see ways to cut down on the time (maybe 5 minutes instead of 10 to put clothes on, etc.) Once this is set, give her the poster board and markers. She can make her own poster. I would then assign 5 points for each item she starts and finishes on time. Free time is at the end so if she is running late, less free time. Make sure she includes the time she needs to be at the door with everything in hand to leave.

    Once difficult child has her schedule set, your other daughter can make a poster of her own schedule - make sure bathroom times are different.

    Add one line stating that each girl will be kind and helpful to the other. Maybe taking turns setting up breakfast (whoever is in the bathroom, the other either sets out cereal or cleans up the table and these can switch weekly). Asking them to say one nice thing to each other during the morning ("that is a pretty shirt. Good luck on tests today. ect.) Extra points given for helpful/kindness area.

    If this works well, add another set of routines for evening/bed time.

    This needs to be daily to work. It takes time. However, the girls are old enough to review the list each evening to see how well they have done. With a little extra work, you can make copies of the schedule that you can check off each area points were earned. Actually recognition from you each morning as they leave for school will also go a long way, "This morning you did a great job. Do you notice that this morning was much more fun without arguing, crying, meaness? Thank you!" difficult child and sister also are looking for your attention in the morning. Acknowledge their positive actions before they have time to get negative attention. So, check in with them every 15 - 20 minutes to see where they are at on their schedule, help as needed and praise the times schedules are being kept. This check in time can be fun, "Mom, I am done with step 2, starting step 3, over and out." "Mom, mission accomplished with step 4, preparting for step 5."

    Remember these things sometimes don't last long, however, every day it does work is a step forward and gets our difficult child's thinking about how they want their life to be.

    The above may also help if you or dad are not home and someone else is taking care of the girls. They can feel confidence in showing the caregiver their schedule.
  10. mandcc96

    mandcc96 New Member

    Thanks, those are great suggestions! Right now the toughest part is getting my younger daughter out of bed! While my difficult child is in the bathroom most of the morning, my youngest stays in until 10 mins. before the bus comes. She rushes out of bed, whips a brush through her hair and teeth, throws on clothes and out the door she goes (she eats b-fast at school). I have to laugh since her father does the same thing every morning (and has for the last 12 years LOL). But for my oldest, she could spend 20 mins. straightening her hair (I never thought I'd see the day!) and then chew out her sister (who's been sitting by the door for the last 10 mins. and suddenly realizes her books are upstairs) for making her have to rush to the bus. I do want them to leave on a positive note and have a good routine in place. My oldest will be heading off to high school this fall and my middle daughter will be on her own getting the bus everyday so it will be important for them to be able to have that routine. I will talk with them this week over the chart and with the pointers you've suggested hopefully make one that will work. Thanks again. -Chastity
  11. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    That reminds me of when I was growing up. I have a twin sister who would get up and spend up to an hour atleast in the bathroom. Then she would get mad at me because I didn't get up when she did. "Why do you get to sleep in? I get up at such and such a time every morning. It's not fair that you get to sleep longer." I told her that the first thing I needed to do when I got up was to go to the bathroom and since it wasn't available, I would wait until it was until I got up. I always got up as soon as she was out of the bathroom.

    Make sure younger daughter gets the time she needs scheduled in the bathroom. As she is maturing, she will start taking a little longer.

    I also have a dad who didn't understand that four daughters with only two bathrooms to share could not possibly be ready to leave the moment he was. We learned to rush through our morning routine if going anywhere with dad. :)
  12. mandcc96

    mandcc96 New Member

    That sounds like my oldest. She will spend her whole morning in the bathroom and then complain cuz her sister hasn't brushed her hair and teeth yet! I do know that I will need to alot time for both of them as my younger gets older. Right now she's content to "brush and run" but I know those days are coming to an end. I laugh at the dad part since that's my husband. I could be running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get everyones things packed up (not even taking care of any of my stuff yet) and he's at the door ready to go. The girls are definitely going to have to learn how to get around their dad's rush.