A couple of weeks ago, I posted I am Mom — I’m in Charge — Hear Me Roar. My decision to make her sit and read a book, with no privileges has had so-so- results. She is not taking it as punishment, not once has she asked for her electronics back, but she does ask how she is doing at the end of the day. It appears she is reveling in the idea that she is spending time with me, and surely that is not a punishment, although there are some people out there who might disagree .
The weekend after I wrote the previous post, I allowed her to spend Friday night with a friend. I was going to a Girl Scout training event early on Saturday morning and would be gone for most of the day. When I was returning home, I called my friend to tell her I wanted to stop at the grocery store and boy, did she have a story to tell.
Leah was a brat the entire time. She spilled chocolate Pediasure, …not once, …but TWICE. She got caught jumping on the bed. She wouldn’t go to sleep. She refused to pick up her toys that my friend asked her to pick up.. repeatedly. She kept going out the back door, leaving the door open, and letting the dogs in. She just completely shut down and refused to listen or talk to my friend. On Saturday, they had a birthday party to attend, and Leah refused to participate. She went in the birthday girl’s bedroom and refused to come out, not even to sing the birthday song. My friend was furious. Leah has never acted that way towards her before. All she did was whine the entire time too.
So I finished my shopping, growing more irritated as the minutes ticked by. When I picked her up, I marched in the bedroom and told her to get her things we are leaving now. She started to cry and asked what did I do? She only had her stuffed reindeer and spotted puppy with her, and a balloon tied to her wrist. I told her to get in the car and not say a word. When we got home, I told her she had to sit at the table and be quiet. It was taking everything I had to keep my voice from rising a couple of notches. I told her that my friend was very upset with her behavior and she was mad at me (not really MAD at me, but I told Leah that). But I told Leah that my friend said she was no longer allowed to spend the night unless she started acting right. Leah cried.
I told her she was going to sit at the table, on her bottom, with her feet on the floor, and she was going to write sentences until I told her to stop. The sentences are:
1. I will not talk back.
2. I will put trash away.
3. I will do as I am told.
4. I will do it the first time.
5. I will put my toys away.
6. I will speak when spoken to.
7. I will say ma’am or sir.
8. I will not whine.
9. I will go to bed when told to.
10. Mama will spank me if I don’t act right.
I told her she didn’t have to write #10, but she had to write the rest. I told her she was going to start going to bed at 9:00 again, no movies, no nintendo, no wii, no computer, no tv, no radio. Oh, the tears and the sniffling. For the most part, she has been sitting at the table reading books. I got out a Transition Workbook (from 1st grade to 2nd grade) that I had bought a few months ago, and she worked a few pages in it. Sometimes I would let her color or draw.
I haven’t spanked her with the belt, yet. That may still come. I am still having to repeat myself when I ask her to do something.
This morning when we were getting dressed for church, she was asking for something. I can’t remember what it was, but she said “I want…” I told her “No”, then she asked “why not?” I told her because she needed to ask it again. She did, again using the “I want” phrase. Again, I said “No”. She ran off wailing and crying. After a while, she came back and said “May I please…?” I considered that a very small step forward.
I am calling the entire ordeal a big #FAIL at this point in time, because I find myself distracted and I’m not enforcing the sitting at the table rule and I haven’t followed through on spanking her for not doing as I asked. I have allowed a little more free time to be creative with clay and designing a little snowman village. But that is going to stop tomorrow. She hasn’t talked back to me much, but she does ask “why” when I tell her to do something. Why can’t “because I said so” be sufficient? :(
School starts tomorrow and I am intending on turning this big #FAIL around and make it a success. The sitting at the table is going to be enforced with doing homework and reading books. Nothing else. No getting up from the table to play with the dog, or anything else for that matter, without asking for permission.
I made one more decision that I haven’t told her about yet. Her birthday is coming up in September, her 8th birthday. I was planning a big party at Johnny G’s, her favorite play place. A whopping $400 party for 10 kids. I have decided that that isn’t going to happen. We are going to have a quiet birthday dinner with my mother, my son and his girlfriend. That’s it. Maybe if her behavior improves, I might take her there by herself, but she isn’t going with friends. I’m dreading tell her because I know the drama of wailing and tears will prevail for a while. I had turning myself into a cold-hearted Mama.
The restrictions I had placed on her have been holding up… no play dates, no movies, no electronics (Nintendo, TV, Netflix, Wii, DVD player). I can enforce those. I just haven’t figured out how to make her sit still at the table and stop talking all the time, without having to go to drastic measures. I’m not ready to reward her yet for even having the tiniest bit of good behavior.
This coming weekend will be a challenge since I am going out of town to attend a retreat for moms of special needs children, a weekend of “inspiration, encouragement, worship, and pampering.” A time to “Refresh Restore Renew”, sponsored by Rising Above Ministries in Cookville TN. I will be going to Faith Baptist Church in Monroe, GA this coming weekend. I am so looking forward to it. My son and his girlfriend will be keeping Leah for me. This will be a first for my son, well, I take that back. He has taken her to the Aquarium in Atlanta, and to indoor playplaces, but he has never kept her overnight for me before. I have discussed all of our trials over the past couple of weeks with him and his girlfriend, and they are backing me up and supporting me 100%. It should be interesting to see how it all turns out.
I am still determined to break this dramatic behavior of hers, even though I know that it is part of being a girl, but the brat part of her has got to go away. I have been praying for God’s guidance and I think I am on the right path. I have been reading Bible stories to her to keep her mindful of being obedient, but I don’t think she the connection has dawned on her yet. Hmmm, that’s a thought track that I haven’t tried in discussion with her yet. I’ll have to remember that. :) See what blogging can do for you? LOL.
I am Mom, I’m in Charge, and I’m still Roaring.