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How much is to much?

Left out mama's picture

Ok so I need parenting advice...

my Sd11 was an absolute monster this morning.

She was at the child care place her grandmother owns. This is where she catches the bus every morning. She was telling the staff that she can do whatever she wants because her grandmother owns the place, trying to physically intimidate one memeber of the staff, lying, throwing a fit while waiting for the bus, to the point that her grandmother physically control her because she was so out of control.

this is totally unlike her. She has given sass before and some attitude, but nothing like this.

DH is not happy, And there will be consequences.

The consequences he wants to do is she losses the special outing she was going to get to have this weekend, and loss of her phone for a week or more.

I was thinking it should be all of the above, plus loss of tv.
He is worried that over punishing her will just cause her to rebel later or act out even more... he thinks she will focus more on being angry at us for losing all her privlages or look at it through  the "I have nothing else to lose" mentality and continue the behavior. He says that's basically how he reacted as kid and he ended up rebelling hard as a teenager. 
I don't understand it because I was never really relabelous. 


do you think he's being to soft or am I being to harsh?

her behavior is totally unacceptable, but I know and understand that she is dealing with a lot. Hormones have hit, she found out her biomom is back to her old ways (drugs, arrrests, jail, lying to her). So has a valid reason to be angry so there is that... but that does not give her a free pass to act like such a jerk.

I suggested that as a compromise the phone is revoked, the outing is canceled and no tv privileges until she writes a letter of apology to her grandmother and the staff. 

I would love to hear some feedback.

what do you think is an appropriate consequence?





stepmomnorth's picture

I would keep the consequences for a time being, keep the outing cancelled permanently, and have her do the apology also. I  don't agree with your partners perspective and logic. I think the harsher consequences are needed with the idea that she feels the consequences of her action. She is forced to go without things she likes and in the future she remembers this.. And hopefully makes a better choice next time.

I don't agree with his "nothing left to lose" mentality. I think, that she'll want to "gain" those priveleges back. And she won't until some progress is made. These things are just that, they are privileges. Kids tend to forget this fact of life and sometimes need a reminder.

Left out mama's picture

Thank you. I was thinking the same thing... she will totally substitute her tv for the loss of her phone. So it won't have much of an effect. 
after the way she treated people.... I'd have no problem letting her sleep suffer severe consequences 
this is where being a step parent sucks. We can have an opinio but are not allowed to make a decision.


Rags's picture

Future time based consequences IMHO are nearly entirely ineffective.  Kids are instant gratification creatures and as such need immediate consequences applied.  Taking her phone, etc... will evolve in importance over the next few years. At 11, immediate unpleasant consequence including the humiliation of having to hold the corner together with her nose while everyone goes about their business around her is a far more effective discipline than the loss of a future outing, her phone, etc....

So, swat her on the ass, plant her nose in a corner for her to stand in for a few hours, then have the nose to nose conversation that it will never happen again without her living a life of abject misery for an extended period of time.

Lather............rinse............. repeat.

One thing that was a learning moment for my DW and I when parenting was that loss of events tend to also punnish everyone else in the family along with the miscreant.  So, we adopted sentences as a key consequence for poor behavioral or performance choices.  A kid too young to be left home alone represents a loss of event for everyone else. 

Even after a behavioral event, SS did what we did when we did it, then when we arrived home he immediatley went to an isolated room and started writing sentences.  As he got older, the sentence assignment numbers grew into the thousands.

e.g. "I will behave appropriately at all times and treat adults and everyone else with respect while doing what I am told when I am told to do it.". 

For an 11yo, I would make the sentense assignment in the 2000-3000 range. All in perfect hand writing with perfect grammar and spelling at a minimum pace of 180-ish per hour.  The quality element eleminates the ability of a kid to sit for the majority of an hour then crank out the hour's quota in 15-20 mins.  

Make the sentenses fit the "crime".  Any missed quotas for an hour erases that entire hours production. The same applies for hand writing, grammar, and spelling deviations.   This leaves sentences looming when the family is out for a trip to the part, dinner, etc..

While everyone else is enjoying themselves and each other, watching TV, reading, playing games, etc... the ill behaved 11yo is writing. Alone. Hearing everyone else having fun and doing their thing.

Left out mama's picture

The special outing was really just for her... her father and I are not missing out on anything if it's cancled. She's the only one losing something with that

Tried out's picture

from both your viewpoints.

My take is if having tv privileges means she substitutes tv for the things she loses and watches tv nonstop, then no. If she has limits on tv time, like an hour or two a day, then I wouldn't see that as so bad.

The letters are a really good idea.

This is not a criticism but just a question. Looking back over your previous posts it sounds like she really, really has a super high energy level.

My son was/is like that. If he was cooped up too long he could be as annoying as h&ll to be around. As long as he had plenty of vigorous outdoor play/activities he was fine. Swim team was fantastic because it wore him out. When he was 14 he broke his arm and we bought him an exercise bike to keep him occupied and save our sanity. And screen time had to be limited because it exacerbated everything.

Is she getting a lot of physical activity?

Left out mama's picture

She does get some physical activity. 
after schools she goes to her grandmothers child care center. With the warmer weather, she spend at least an hour and half running around outside.

Survivingstephell's picture

What does Grandma have to say about this, I mean  it is her employee she got sassy with. Is Grandma going to give her consequences too? ( I vote for cleaning the toddler bathrooms).  She need to know it won't be tolerated from her parents but Grandma should make it clear that being sassy to her employees is unacceptable too.  IMO 

hregal2011's picture

Punishments should fit the crime and should not  be prolonged. I agree with losing the putting and APOLOGIZE to the staff and grandmother.  Making her be accountable is essential. When calmer, discuss why she did this and coping strategies for difficult emotions.

Mamabearof3's picture

I would personally look to fixing the root. She needs therapy to address her moms issues and how that's affecting her. She needs to apologize to her grandma and the employee and anyone else she disrespected. And she needs to understand that if she allows this hurt to grow anger in her heart she's likely to struggle with the same sins her mom is struggling with and since she knows how much that hurts the loved ones of the addicts she shouldn't want to do this to her own children or family one day. Explain her mom has unhealed trauma and she herself needs to heal from this to not have the same struggles . Be strict but in love.