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  1. #11
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    I agree it's normal for a 7 year old to push boundaries. I am living with it right now, with my 7 year old DD. Though some things I would make very clear, i.e. calling you stupid or any name is absolutely not acceptable and I would make sure that this would result in consistent punishment (whether time out, removal of a privilege whatever works for your family). Any type of behaviour that actively disrespects others is, to my mind, much more serious than something like messy drawers/changing clothes (irritating as that is).

    Things that help with my DD's attitude are, having a routine/schedule so she knows what to expect every day, keeping her occupied with chores and schoolwork but also giving her time for free play and creative work. I find having her contribute to the house with authentic work really helps her self esteem and makes her feel needed. She empties the dishwasher once or twice a day and helps to set table, picks up after herself, though it all takes constant "encouraging".

  2. #12
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    My DS1 who is 6. He acts out but he knows that he doesn’t get anything until his room is clean, bed made, clothes in basket, that has always been the rule.
    He has attitude which with first year of school I expected him to push the boundaries. He tells me all the time he hates me - he says he wants his sister (half sister) the only problem isshe doesn’t want to see him - have contact with him, so this makes life somewhat difficult because he isn’t at the age where he can understand what is going on or why - so he gets frustrated hence why I took all photos down because it was making him more angry.
    Is there something that is upsetting her?

  3. #13
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    I feel for you. It’s tough to feel like the ‘bad cop’ all the time, if the other parent isn’t on board. It also sounds like your DD doesn’t really see you both pitching in around the house. To her, it possibly seems that it’s just your job to do everything. She may be wondering why she needs to help if her Dad and sister are not (or does your 4 year old comply with these things and help a lot??). I can’t help but wonder if you would be feeling differently about DD7’s behaviour if there was a more equal distribution of workload between you and your husband. You sound worn out. I wonder if it’s worth addressing this with husband first? If he helped more, you may not need to expect so much from DD around the house, which would take a lot of pressure off you both.

    Good on you for trying for some quality family time. I couldn’t help but notice that your DD’s escalation was triggered by not being able to have you on her team. And even though it seems fair to flip a coin, I wonder if your daughter possibly just wanted a turn to have you on her team, since you mention that your 4 year old usually gets to have you. (It also sounds like 4 year old gets you if she has a tantrum and refuses to play - but this didn’t work for DD7, from what you described, instead the game stopped and she was told that people didn’t want to play with her ... I wonder if she notices that the same behaviour from her and her sister gets completely opposite responses).

    What would happen if you had regular one-on-one quality time JUST with DD7? No flipping coins and not with her sister, just her being ‘chosen’ by you....? It’s so important for your relationship for her to have the experience of you enjoying being with her, with no conditions or demands. Remember how upset she got that you weren’t on her team? She wants to be close to you.

    Regarding household responsibilities (I would move away from the term ‘respect’), ... could you choose just one task around the house that you would like to work on (Better yet, let her CHOOSE the job) and use a sticker chart and LOTS of praise if she does it? She will still need reminding, as she is only 7, but it may help to start with a modest, clear goal to give you the chance to give her a positive experience of helping out, then build up slowly from there. I 100% agree that it’s important to help kids learn to contribute, but it takes time and work and patience, and it’s important that it’s done positively and/or playfully. Eg. Using a game (tonight I gave DD5 the challenge of finding three pairs of shoes to put in her shoe box - the exact number that she had left lying around the lounge room!). Rather than $, perhaps she could earn more time with you or get to choose a special family activity, eg a one-on-one board game with you or choosing a movie for family night etc.

    I can see you’re working really hard on this. I hope things improve!

  4. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to chooksmum For This Useful Post:

    Mod-DJ Nette (12-11-2018),Mod-Wise Enough (12-11-2018),tiddles01 (12-11-2018)

  5. #14
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    That's a good idea!
    We have previously used the threat of throwing out things that don't get picked up and that works with toys. She does pick up toys when asked, sometimes nicely and sometimes with a big tantrum. Especially if she has friends over and they all play, then the friend goes home and my kids have to pick up everything. They are tired from playing all day and it usually doesn't end well. I do remind them throughout the day that the mess they make needs to be cleaned up at the end of the day and occasionally I hear my daughter telling her friends they all need to clean up X before the start playing with Y. But there's usually still things to finish off at the end of the day. Same if both my kids have played with toys, they start blaming each other saying their sister took that specific thing out etc. Obviously I don't keep track of who moves each thing where so the only thing I can say is that both of them have to clean up everything. It's possible that's sometimes unfair on one or the other but there is no way I can sit and watch all day and keep track of who has moves each item where. Saying it will go in the bin usually gets it cleaned up (as we have occasionally put things in the bin), but it often doesn't stop the screaming.
    The other problem is things like clothes, towels, rubbish, half eaten food etc. Threatening to throw that out obviously doesn't work and neither would the Sunday box and it would be more inconvenient for me if she had a half used towel that she couldn't use for a week and I had to wash another one, or if she ran out of uniforms. But the Sunday box is probably a better idea than saying toys will get thrown out as I usually don't want to throw things out, especially the nicer/more expensive toys! Thanks for that suggestion!

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    Chippa (13-11-2018)

  7. #15
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    Thanks for that.
    I am definitely happy to explain to her why I need her to do things. I'm not one of those "because I said so" parents. I swore never to use that phrase and I don't think I ever have. If I can't explain why I want it done, how can I expect her to do it?
    I probably over explain sometimes instead. I try to explain the same thing over and over in different ways so she will understand and by my reasoning, then do it. But she already knows all the reasons, she just doesn't want to do it because it is boring. Hopefully it's a phase and she is learning something...

  8. #16
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    I almost prefer being called names over having her undo the work I have just done actually. Mess up clothes I have just folded, throw things on the floor that I've just cleaned, not eat the food I have made her after she asked for it etc is much more annoying to me. She can change her clothes all she wants if she hangs them up again. She can throw out all the food she wants once she is buying it and making it herself. She just seems to think it's a bottomless pit and that it doesn't take any effort from me to earn the money, go to she shop and prepare the food, it's ok to just throw it out if she doesn't feel like eating it. That's disrespectful to me.
    We very much have a schedule. She has a good balance of scheduled activities and free play. I can't think of any housework that she would help with without it being another thing for me to nag her about. Same as with my husband, it's easier to just do it myself than ask him 10 times to do it.

  9. #17
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    If my kids leave food wrappers or similar around I say “guess we can’t have them anymore as you didn’t clean up after yourself”. It works quickly and without complaints however I do have yo say it nearly every time 🤷‍♀️.
    @chooksmum I loved your reply. Advice in there for me too!

  10. #18
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    If my kids leave food wrappers or similar around I say “guess we can’t have them anymore as you didn’t clean up after yourself”. It works quickly and without complaints however I do have yo say it nearly every time 🤷‍♀️.
    @chooksmum I loved your reply. Advice in there for me too!

  11. #19
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    My 4yo is pretty good at helping out. For a 4yo she is amazing. Occasionally she will "pretend" to pick up when they are both picking up after both playing but if I catch her doing this, she doesn't get away with it, and I also tell my 7yo to just pick up the things that she has played with and leave the things that her little sister has played with. But of course the 7yo will then start yelling at the 4yo to pick up her things no matter how much I tell her to just don't worry about her sister and I will deal with her.
    I have tried to address is with my husband for years but nothing is changing. I have given up. Sometimes he is great but it's when he chooses to be, not when it's needed. It would make it easier to manage if he helped out more I guess, but it still wouldn't teach my DD that it's her job. I think I am more annoyed that I am being taken advantage of than actually worn out. I can do it all, I just don't want to, and I don't think it's the right thing to do to bring up respectful, capable, responsible kids.
    I'm sure my DD just wanted a turn to have me on her team. And if she had said that and not agreed to flip a coin, I would have probably supported her. Although it is tricky because my 4yo really doesn't care if we play, so she will just say she's not playing if she's not on my team. And if we try to play anyway, she will just sit there and not do anything, and this is the sort of game where we are teams of 2 and guess our team members descriptions, so if one person doesn't participate, we can't play. This is why my 4yo always ends up on my team, she is smarter about it, doesn't have a tantrum and (at least pretends) she doesn't care if we play or not.
    I do go on movie dates with my eldest a few times a year. It used to be more often when my youngest was too young to sit through a movie, but now it seems a bit mean not to take her so sometimes we all go. We also have so much going on in our lives and my husband gets only 1 day notice for his work shifts so we can never plan that we are going on a date on X day because my husband may not be home. So it's always a last minute thing and then many other things often get in the way. DD also stopped wanting to go for a while, she doesn't enjoy movies that much, or shopping. I try to take one day off work each school holidays and spend a day with her while my 4yo is at daycare. But it's hard finding something she wants to do and sometimes I can see all the emails and phone calls coming in and I find it hard to enjoy the time with her as I know I'm falling behind on work. I only have 2 days a week to work so skipping one of them is really tough.
    Lately all DD wants to do is spend time with her friends. But I do realise how important it is that I don't lose the connection with her, so I will persevere.
    I could try a reward chart. Maybe I expect too much but I really can't accept that she leaves her expects me to pick up her personal mess. She doesn't have any chores as such which is for the whole family, i.e. setting table, taking out bins etc, but I do expect that she picks up all her personal things and don't waste my time asking for food then not eating it etc. Even going to the toilet when she needs to and flushing it and washing her hands with soap is something she needs to be reminded of multiple times. She's just too busy playing and doesn't want to do it and she doesn't care if there is a little wee in her pants or she spreads germs around. That to me is unacceptable. I don't really want to have to use a reward charts to get her to do these basic things, but I will try anything!

  12. #20
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    So do you actually not have it anymore if they haven't picked up?
    Or only if they don't pick up when you ask them to?
    What happens if they do pick up but yell at you for asking them to and "bossing them around"?
    Or if there are 4 things there and they pick up one and you have to point to the next thing and the next thing and the next thing and argue over each one? My kids also do pick up eventually, it's all the arguing that gets to me. And how long do you not have X for if they haven't picked up nicely? And what if it's a mango flavour wrapper they didn't pick up, can they still have the strawberry flavour? Or a different lolly altogether? Or chocolate instead? Any snacks at all? These are all the questions that would get fired at me if I tried such an approach.


 

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