What should I do? Punishment

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by dstc_99, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    Over the last week and weekend I have done about 20 loads of laundry. Now granted it is the easy child and difficult child’s job to do their own laundry but I had some extra time and I did as much as I could. I did not hang the clothes or put them away, I laid them on the back of a chair and left them on the kitchen table. The girls were in charge of hanging their stuff, putting their stuff away, and going through the bra underwear and sock basket to retrieve their own items. Needless to say this resulted in hours of me having to ask them to put things away. Last night I was down to towels and blankets on the table and one load of laundry. I told the girls I wanted it put away before they went to bed.
    At about 1030pm I went in to check on difficult child because hers had not been done. She was asleep in bed but I woke her up and told her if they weren’t done by the time I got home today that she was grounded. That gives her 1 hour to put away 2 blankets, 6 towels, and hang/fold a couple of shirts.
    Now as I am sure many of you know punishing a kid with ODD tends to be more painful for the parent and the easy child than it is for the difficult child. Plus I have to worry about her attempting to strangle herself which is unnerving. On the other hand if I don’t punish her then I am letting her get away with it and telling her it is ok. I have backed down so many times in the past in order to avoid conflict and to save my sanity.
    So I need advice! Should I ground her and take away her cell and car? Or should I let it go?
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Why don't you tell us more about her. ODD isn't a very helpful diagnosis. If she is, say, doing drugs, in my opinion she should never have a car...too dangerous or a cell phone. Just not enough to go on here. Is she maybe suffering with a serious mood disorder? ODD doesn't stand alone and, frankly, seventeen year olds are not routinely diagnosed with ODD...that is usually a young child's diagnosis and it isn't very helpful for young children either. My decision on what to do about the above problem would depend a lot on her diagnosis and functioning level...

    Tell us about her early childhood and the years leading up to now.
  3. isis

    isis New Member

    Well, what I would do is carry through on the threat. No explanations (you already gave it, when she asks why say 'you know why'), no critical remarks (no 'you should have, you never, you ...whatever'), no advice (no 'next time you should do what i said' or anything like that) just dispassionately carry through with what you said you would do and do the best you can to ignore the ensuing outburst. As simple thank you if she's done it....
    good luck
  4. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    JMHO, but this is a battle you should not be having.

    You thought you would be "nice" and do everyone's laundry. Well, so what did being "nice" end up getting you other than a lot of aggravation and a huge headache? No good deed goes unpunished.

    I think the "consequence" is that Mom no longer does even one iota of difficult child's laundry. Also, anything left on the table should have quietly "disappeared" never to be seen again. (eg Hey! Where's my blue towel? What blue towel? I am not in charge of taking care of your stuff. If you can't find it - you must not have taken care of it.)
  5. tammybackagain

    tammybackagain New Member

    just my opinion here but difficult child 1 still to this day says that when mom says... it's done. She heard you say she would be grounded so I would do it. I agree no answering why, nothing and try to ignore the outburst I always went to a Book or Computer while difficult child was ranting. long as he didn't hurt himself or my stuff.
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Punishment doesn't work well even for "normal" kids.
    Logical consequences, however...

    DF is right.
    1) one consequence is that you won't be repeating this "gift"
    2) second consequence is that anything not put away becomes "yours" to do with as you see fit. (doesn't matter whose it is... including husband's wallet, if he happens to put it through the wash and not put it away when it comes out the other end of the cycle... <grin>)
    3) Yes, these rules apply to EVERYBODY.

    What logic is there to tieing a "laundry problem" to "use of cell phone"?
    Abuse your phone privs - and you lose your phone, yes.
    Abuse your curfew or other "when out" privs, and you lose your car rights, sure.
    Abuse your laundry-helping-mama, and... you get laundry-related consequences.
  7. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    You mean you didn't just dump her laundry on her bed and let her sort it out for herself? Wow, you're REALLY nice. If Kiddo doesn't start helping soon I think her laundry is going to start getting dumped on her bed.
  8. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    difficult child was diagnosed back in kindergarden or 1st grade with ADD and ODD. We were having issues with her not paying attention and with her getting so frustrated that she was unable to manage any type of correction. IE: you did this math problem wrong and need to redo it.....the teacher taught me to do it that way.....you dont know how to do math mom.....frustration....screaming....banging hands on table type of thing. It got to the point that giving any correction caused a meltdown. She has slowly grown out of the ADD but the ODD has continued. She has refused therapy and even when I did get her to go she was paranoid that they were telling me everything and then would refuse to speak with them.

    Over the years it has basically made it impossible to have a mother daughter relationship and I am to the point where I dont engage unless I have to. Dont get me wrong I know so many of you deal with the law and so much worse! That is why I hate to complain here. But now she has started using a cord to choke herself and relieve her pain. That was my final straw I took her to the ER and she is now seeing a therapist one on one approximately every 2 weeks. Since then this has gotten more difficult and now her anger towards me is expanding to her sister a easy child. The easy child has recently been diagnosed with anxiety issues and after one of our more painful nights with difficult child I found out the easy child is cutting herself to handle the anger. easy child has been seeing a therapist as well to deal with having to handle difficult child's anger.

    I held it all together until the easy child got thrown into the mix. Now I am angry! It is one thing for my own child to verbally abuse me it is another to abuse the easy child to the point that she is now having issues that could affect her for life.
  9. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    As for doing the laundry it wont be happening again! Number 1 it isn't worth it and Number 2 I don't have the energy to argue anymore.

    I guess I can understand making the punishment fit the crime but the fact of the matter is she is responsible for doing her laundry anyway. So what punishment is it to say I am not doing it anymore? I will remove all her clothing from the table and hide it. I need to follow through in some way or I will feel like I failed and she will see it as another way she got away with not doing what she didn't want to do anyway.
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    This isn't ODD - well, it is, but the "ODD" is just a list of symptoms.
    Something else is going on.
    Developmental, or mental illness, or SOMETHING.
    There is some reason for the behavior... it's a cry for help.
  11. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I've backed myself into stuff like this too. Now you said it and I can see following through for the sake of her knowing you mean what you say but I'd have no illusion it would solve the problem that started the issue. I mostly plan ahead to reduce the conflicts from happening rather than having to "back down" to avoid conflict (which I bet most of us have done at some point too). So, I now put the basket in his room, if I leave it on the table or where ever, he'd just live out of there. So if he gets to putting it away great. If not, I'm not seeing it. He had to bring his clothes down for me to wash....he wants clean clothes (can't use the machine well yet) so I said I am closed at 10 and if its not down there you can pick out dirty pants to wear. At 9:51 he finally did it. Sigh.

    What you described about doing it only the teachers way sounds very rigid. That flexibility skill is hard to teach. But working on underlying skills like that can help more than punishing after the fact. But consequences are part of life and I too think natural and logical consequences are usually enough though sometimes I FEEL like I'd feel better if I took everything under the sun way so he got the point that I'm angry...not proud of that and it doesn't work.
  12. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I totally understand where you are coming from (been there done that!!)....but -

    This is not healthy for YOU.

    You really need to take a deep breath and take a step back. This is LAUNDRY. Admit it, in your wildest imagination, there was never once a time in your life when you figured you'd be willing to battle to the death over a laundry basket full of clothing. And yet....?

    I know - it's the little stuff that finally breaks you....those day to day, mind-numbingly tedious tasks, that gosh-darn it shouldn't be so hard and why couldn't difficult child for once just do what they are supposed to do and let us all get on with our life???? ARRGGHH!!!

    But once again - in the big picture, it is just laundry.

    If I may offer some advice: I think you need to sit down by yourself and really decide what you want in your home. This is not about "punishing" difficult child...or "one-upping" difficult child...or showing her once and for all who is boss. You need to disengage from those kinds of battles - for your own sake.

    You need to start maming decisions based upon what is best for YOU. And let me tell ya - going 20 rounds over laundry is not it.

    In my own home, we also had a laundry issue. In our case, difficult child would leave all kinds of stuff in her clothes...and it would end up damaging other people's clothing. I would find bobby pins, needles, safety pins, makeup (tubes of lipstick and mascara - ugh!), candy, gum, magic markers, etc that had gone through the wash. One time, she even tried to dye a shirt black by adding color to the fabric and just slipping the shirt in with the rest of the laundry. Ugh! I was so angry and aggravated. Plus - difficult child was not showering or changing her clothes regularly. The items that finally made it into her hamper reeked and were stiff with body soils. It was enough to make one gag!

    Finally, I had enough. For my own sanity - difficult child had to start doing her own laundry....at the laundromat. I even gave her laundry money! If it meant I could avoid the weekly laundry games (and potential damage to my washing machine)...then a roll of quarters every week was more than worth it.

    That is the sort of strategy that could possibly help relieve some of your day-to-day stress...

    As far as the cutting / choking and other dangerous things your girls are doing? Don't let that slide! If difficult child is hurting your easy child you need to call 911. If a child is hurting herself - make sure that her therapists are aware of it. If someone is threatening suicide? Call 911. THESE are the issues you need to be willing to "battle to the death".

    Everything else is just stuff...

    Many (((hugs)))

    Please take care of YOU.
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Ditto what the others said.

    I'm sending hugs.
  14. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys! I am learning to pick my fights. I took her clothes and hid them but in all honesty I doubt she will even notice it was just a bunch of whites that she rarely ever wears.
  15. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    That's fine. You just made life more simple for both of you. She has less to put away, and you don't have to trip over it.