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Destructive Children

CrystalRE's picture

I am wondering if anyone has any experience with intentionally destructive/defiant children. I ask this because my SD (almost 7) is driving me to my wits end! Let me give you some examples of her recent behavior:

Caught her slamming the door of my new car into the cement wall along side my driveway (taking the paint off the door).

Fakes illness/cough and when/if we dont give her medicine for it she will sneak into the medicine cabinet and attempt to steal it (nothing deadly but vitamins, cough drops, etc.)

Has ZERO manners (talks with mouth full, eats with her hands, wont use napkin, chews on things, etc.)

Talks/fidgets NON STOP...SERIOUSLY never shuts up, cant keep her hands off anything, baby talks, talks back to adults, picks at her clothes until they are ruined, etc.

Just for some qucik background DH and I have 50/50 custody with BM. He and I are very strict with the kids and have a lot of structure in our home but NOTHING seems to work with her. We will punish her or talk to her about her behavior only to have the same thing happen OVER AND OVER again. She understands what she is doing is wrong and she is not ADHD nor does she require behavior meds. Any discipline ideas?


CrystalRE's picture

DH doesnt complain about his kids at all. Its almost as if he expects them to act this way?!?!? We tried taking her to court for custody but DH backed out and settled with her two days before court.

stepmasochist's picture

"children should be seen and not heard."

My skids are constantly making noise. Not even talking necessarily. The hum, they make weird noises, sing, whistle, whatever. The singing isn't so much a problem as long as they keep it to themselves like when doing chores or something and the whistling not so bad if it's actually a song while they're doing something else.

I know it's attention seeking behavior. I drop hints that I often don't enjoy the sound of their voice as much as they apparently do. We drove by a church sign that changes pretty often that said "Silence is golden. Don't break it unless you can improve it." I made sure and pointed it out to them and explained it thoroughly.

I also told them back in the day it was believed children should be seen and not heard and I would love to see that become popular again. SD11 said, "That's not always true."

My reply, "No, it's not ALWAYS true. But there are very few instances when it's not like, your brother or sister is bleeding to death. Then you should say something. But if one gets trapped in a well, send the dog." LOL!

CrystalRE's picture

I appreciate all of the advice. I do have a child of my own and never experienced anything like this with her or my nieces/nephews/friends children. I have literally NEVER seen a kid like this. We have tried everything from time outs to written punishments to taking things away, putting her to bed early, yelling, spanking...EVERYTHING and nothing works with her. It almost like she forgets the minute the punishment is over. AND its totally disgusting how she tries to manipulate her way out of getting in to trouble. Ive never met a bigger liar! Her behavior is that of a two year old but her manipulation skills are better than most adults!

I am getting to the point where Im starting to think that its time to take care of me and me alone. I have given up so much and my mental health is at stake...seriously. I cant have any peace in my own home, she drives my bio-daughter (15) to avoid being home as well. Its a nightmare and I have lived with it long enough.

stepmasochist's picture

I like the suggestion that she pay for the damage. She may not have the money to get your car door painted, but there are plenty of chores a six year old can do to make up for that damage. You'll have to watch her like a hawk though and it will be a huge PITA for you or better yet, DH but it has to be worth it this may be the difference between a sociopath and raising a decent member of society.

Chores appropriate for a six year old - taking out trash, mopping, sweeping, raking leaves, pulling weeds, cleaning the bathroom, folding laundry, sorting laundry, washing laundry (if you set the washer and dryer and put the soap in) dusting (with close supervision if she likes to break things) scrubbing anything, wiping down walls and cabinets, picking up trash in the neighborhood. Hell, have her dig a hole for no reason then fill it back up, it works in the military - my SS6 would like that too much though. Sometimes we even make the skids run laps around the house.

There's got to be some form of punishment that will work.

jojo68's picture

Crystalre...I know exactly what you mean...I am a BM too and have nieces, nephews, friends kids..and I have never seen anything like my BF daughter. I thought that kids like her (and parents like my BF and her BM) only existed on movies, TV...not in real life. It is crazy. She is absolutely the most spoiled, annoying, self centered little manipulator I have ever seen and my BF does nothing about it.

Bettina's picture

You Hit the Nail on the Head with this One!!!

I agree 100%

What happened to the good old days!

Mich811's picture

It sounds a lot like our issues w SS -- also 7. I don't have my own children, but I keep hearing that 7 is a particularly bad age...

stepsoftly's picture

My SD was never quite this bad although 7 was a very rough year. She did not seem to understand the damage she would do to things like clothing, toys, knick-knacks, the car... But she does deeply care about her own money. If she has to buy something with her own savings or allowance she will be as cheap as possible about it. It's just when it's not her money that she gets wasteful and destructive.

So when she would ruin an item of clothing, toy, blanket, container, utensil, whatever, through willful behavior (not accidents usually, unless the circumstances were questionable) we would tell her what it cost, and say she needed to give us the money, or else we would cut her allowance down by that amount. She is much more careful with things now. That may work with some of the destructiveness to property, if she cares about money?

The other things... I just don't know. It sounds like you have a really hard time of it with SD and I am so sorry to hear it.
Maybe a lock on the medicine cabinet? Cause that can't be good for her to be taking meds she doesn't need. Outside of that, maybe she needs to talk to the school counselor or something -- that thing about your car door is really aggressive. She's clearly choosing to fight you guys for some reason, and can't express it right.

stepmasochist's picture

I have the skids bring me a quarter every time I have to remind them to turn the light off in their room. If they ever run out of money (it gets pretty close sometimes) I'll have them do a chore to earn the quarter.

steptwins's picture

I was told by a child pyschologist to critize a bad child the same as you would a two year old. So, with all the patience you can muster explain to your SD what's happening in a way a 2 year old would understand. Then keep an eye out & be ready to review your wishes to your SD. She may just want the attention. Ask her the 2nd time what should be her consequence for not doing what you asked? I personnally like writing tasks but 5 minute time-out or taking a prized possession is good discipline.

Pantera's picture

I have lots of experience. DH won't do anything about it so the 10 year old continues to act that way. Good Luck.

herewegoagain's picture

My kiddo is both autistic & ADHD and our neighbors have noticed he pays no attention to DH and does to me. DH can ignore him if he's too busy watching TV and I don't. I understand his condition but I do not let him get away with bad behavior.

Haasity's picture

Holy crap do you live with me? Everything everyone has written describes my SS7. We have gotten to the point where because of the 50/50, he stays mostly at his home. WHen he is here it is a nightmare.

Yesterday he's walking through the house I told him to be quiet that BS1 is taking a nap. Didn't think a thing about it till he's getting ready to walk out there door and he tells me "BS1 isn't sleeping he's just laying down." I said did you open his door? OF COURSE HE DID. No explaination as to why...
I totally also agree with the glare you used to get as a kid! What about the way they grabbed your arm? If I do this to SS7 now he falls on the floor, screams, and acts like I freaking ripped his arm off at the shoulder.

CrystalRE's picture

LOL, Haasity! So does my SD! And then she proceeds to cry for several minutes after that because "that really hurt". Suck it up!