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    Aurora_Bell's Avatar
    Aurora_Bell Posts: 4,193, Reputation: 822
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    #1

    Oct 8, 2013, 08:29 AM
    Ungrateful six year old
    I am at my whits end. I don't know what to do to get through to my daughter.

    My daughter received a tablet (against my wishes) from my parents on her birthday. The rules were laid down that she plays it and bring it directly to me to put away. It wasn't supposed to be a free for all, she had to ask to use it, and there was supposed to be rules that went along with the privilege of having such an expensive item. Her birthday was in August, and since then she has already lost the charger to it! And here's where it is my fault, she has many expensive toys. She has a DS, Leap Pad, personal DVD players, and now this tablet. She's lost the charger to ALL of these items! I've grounded her from TV, from having friends over, from going out, not allowed to buy her lunch (I pack it), etc... She doesn't care!

    Last night she lost the tablet. She swears up and down it's in the house. I asked her to spend some time looking for it, and she nonchalantly goes into her room and starts playing with something else! I've explained over and over again that these items are expensive, that not all kids are as lucky as he,r blah blah blah, she just doesn't care. I've taken these items away, she doesn't care, I've made lists of chores for her to do to gain play time hours on her devices, she just doesn't do the chores and doesn't care if she gets to use the electronics or other toys.

    I've always tried to be the calm rational mom. I try to explain why I am mad, why she is being punished, but she just doesn't care. I'm getting to the point where all I feel I do is yell and scream at her to try and drive it into her head that these things are big deals!

    I'm turning into this horrible mom. I've even swore at her a few times and it's getting easier and easier to do. I feel like a complete @ss, and I hate myself for doing it, but I just can't get through to her. I'm SO frustrated I feel like I could break down and cry.

    I know it sounds easy, stop buying her all these things, right? Well she just doesn't care. She spent two weeks grounded from TV and all other fun things, and she just didn't care. It's not just about her losing these things, she's six, I get that it's going to happen, it's her reaction to it that really bothers me. She just doesn't care. Doesn't even seem to phase her when I yell at her. I mean aside from only giving her bread and water and giving her a chair to sit on in an empty room, I feel that I have tried everything.

    I need advice. I am turning into a horrible, angry mom, and I need to find a way to get through to her! I feel awful that I've sent her to school after acting like a total nut case, yelling at her, it effects me all day long! Being a single parents it's hard to turn off the good cop bad cop at the flip of a switch. I have no help from friends or family when it comes to her, not that it's their job, I just feel totally alone at times and I am so sick of being a crappy parent, I'm the only one she has, she needs me to be at the top of my game, and I feel like I am failing her!
    smoothy's Avatar
    smoothy Posts: 25,495, Reputation: 2853
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    #2

    Oct 8, 2013, 10:44 AM
    She's got way too much stuff for even a teenager much less a 6 year old... therefore she never learned to value things... but to take them for granted.

    If you only own 3 toys... you will appreciate those three toys a LOT more than if you have 300 toys.
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,846, Reputation: 5428
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    #3

    Oct 8, 2013, 11:13 AM
    My mom, who grew up in the wilds of Idaho back in the '20s, tells us her only toy was a tractor cog and whatever else her imagination could turn into a toy. I agree that kids today have far too many toys, and especially too many expensive toys. I tried to keep that from happening with my own young sons, but my husband's parents had lots of money and bought all sorts of things their grandchildren really didn't need -- and didn't appreciate and play with for long. Every time my kids saw Grandma (10 miles away), she had gifts for them. I finally told her, "No more gifts. I want them to be glad to see YOU, not look forward to the gifts you give them." I talked with my sons about this, and they seemed to "get" it. The next time she visited us, she didn't bring any gifts. My sons asked where were their presents, so she rooted in her purse for money to give them. I decided I was waging a losing battle.

    That's when we started writing thank-you cards for every gift of toys or money. And I allowed only so many toys to be played with at one time by rotating toys, hiding older ones until my sons had lost interest in the new ones. We also donated unplayed-with toys in good condition to charities or for Christmas baskets to needy families in the area -- with my sons cooperating in that effort.

    What bothers me about E is her lack of concern when a toy or part of a toy breaks or can't be used or disappears. Is it, "Oh well, I'll just be getting something else soon"?
    Aurora_Bell's Avatar
    Aurora_Bell Posts: 4,193, Reputation: 822
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    #4

    Oct 8, 2013, 01:08 PM
    I don't know what runs through her head. I don't think she would care one way or the other. She never asks for toys or anything.

    I get that she has too much, but this is 2013, times have changed and this is how it is now. Sad, but true.

    We spend a lot of time outside, we camp every weekend, she just doesn't care about being punished or losing privileges etc.
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #5

    Oct 8, 2013, 01:28 PM
    I'd have put my foot down with the tablet before it even got into her hands. Take it away, put it on the top shelf of a closet, or lock it in a cabinet that has a lock on it.
    A 6 year old who has too many things isn't going to care, plain and simple. You might be expecting too much of someone who can't grasp costs yet.
    A 6 year old who doesn't, learns to, although it still takes some losses and breakages to realize it.

    If you sit down to pay bills once a month, ask her to come in during the last 5 minutes, to discuss what sorts of things can be bought that month after all bills are paid (and the savings account and Roth IRA blah blah), or should some be saved for something big a year from now, or how about something for someone else?
    A tiny lesson each month on money, on saving, on limits of money, and on giving to others.
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,846, Reputation: 5428
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    #6

    Oct 8, 2013, 01:41 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by joypulv View Post
    A tiny lesson each month on money, on saving, on limits of money, and on giving to others.
    Give her a piggy bank? I just sent one to a 10 y/o for a birthday gift. I have the same one but in a different color. Every evening we empty our pockets of change and put the coins in the bank.
    smoothy's Avatar
    smoothy Posts: 25,495, Reputation: 2853
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    #7

    Oct 8, 2013, 02:18 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Aurora_Bell View Post
    I dont know what runs through her head. I don't think she would care one way or the other. She never asks for toys or anything.

    I get that she has too much, but this is 2013, times have changed and this is how it is now. Sad, but true.

    We spend a lot of time outside, we camp every weekend, she just doesn't care about being punished or losing privileges etc.
    The same lessons hold true... and people really aren't better off than when we were kids. A lot of things have come down in real price (adjusted for inflation)

    Give a kid everything, even if they don't need it and they grow up believing they will always have everything... and they have the right to everything.

    As we adults know... you are only entitled to what you make enough to pay for.

    You may feel you deserve a Bentley, you might even ENTITLED to a Bentley, but if all you can afford is a 20 year old Ford Escort... that's all you are entitled to. And that's going to be a really harsh lesson to a kid that's raised to expect everything to learn when they have to start supporting themselves and living within their means.
    tickle's Avatar
    tickle Posts: 23,801, Reputation: 2674
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    #8

    Oct 8, 2013, 03:15 PM
    She has far too much for a six year old plain and simple. At six she can't GRASP the value of each.

    AB did you have stuff like this when you were six ?
    Cat1864's Avatar
    Cat1864 Posts: 8,007, Reputation: 3687
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    #9

    Oct 8, 2013, 04:41 PM
    Does she have a lot of stuff? Yes. Is that the problem? Only part of it. How you react is the main part. It does not matter how much a child has discipline is still a larger factor.

    What do you do when she doesn't do the chores or starts playing instead? Do you say 'oh, well' and let the behavior continue or do you stand over her watching her like a vulture watches a dying cow until she gets it done?

    Stop yelling and start enforcing your rules. Yes, it is hard and it takes up your time and energy, but if you are going to give consequences then you have to see them through. If she has a chore to do, you watch her do it. No discussion. No yelling. No commiserating. It is not a time to friendly.

    If something happens before school, let her know what she will be doing when she gets home. Write it down on a chalk/white board or post-it note where both of you can see it and remember.

    Remember that she is six, not sixteen. Losing things is part of childhood. Do not give her things that you can't afford to have lost. For example: She should not have the chargers to any devices.
    Aurora_Bell's Avatar
    Aurora_Bell Posts: 4,193, Reputation: 822
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    #10

    Oct 8, 2013, 04:57 PM
    I'm definitely the vulture. When she ignores me or goes off doing something else I can feel my blood pressure rise. O can feel the anger building, I ask her camly to get her arse in gear, and then by the third time I've asked nicely and she's sitting there saying " ok, just a minute, I've gotta finish this drawing, story, book etc... First", I'm full blown hulk. I yell, I'm telling her how mad I am and why and then she usually gets up and does a half a$$ed job of what ever the chore is.

    Then I start with bed time. I have to start by the latest 7, she's up about 30 times telling me something, her eye hurts, her hands are dry, she's thirsty and all the 100's of other excuses she's got, and by 10 I'm yelling again for her to get to bed!

    It literally feels like 95% of our time together is me yelling. And she can be very demanding as far as attention goes. It's like she's starved for it, which I can guarantee she is not. But she'll bother other kids, pick at them and annoy them to get their attention. It's like she has only child syndrome.
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,846, Reputation: 5428
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    #11

    Oct 8, 2013, 05:01 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Aurora_Bell View Post
    I'm definitely the vulture. When she ignores me or goes off doing something else I can feel my blood pressure rise. O can feel the anger building, I ask her camly to get her arse in gear, and then by the third time I've asked nicely and she's sitting there saying " ok, just a minute, I've gotta finish this drawing, story, book etc... First", I'm full blown hulk. I yell, I'm telling her how mad I am and why and then she usually gets up and does a half a$$ed job of what ever the chore is.
    I wouldn't have lasted until a third time. Why are you letting her push you off so she can continue to do whatever she is "busy" doing?
    Aurora_Bell's Avatar
    Aurora_Bell Posts: 4,193, Reputation: 822
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    #12

    Oct 8, 2013, 05:04 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by joypulv View Post
    I'd have put my foot down with the tablet before it even got into her hands. Take it away, put it on the top shelf of a closet, or lock it in a cabinet that has a lock on it.
    A 6 year old who has too many things isn't going to care, plain and simple. You might be expecting too much of someone who can't grasp costs yet.
    A 6 year old who doesn't, learns to, although it still takes some losses and breakages to realize it.

    If you sit down to pay bills once a month, ask her to come in during the last 5 minutes, to discuss what sorts of things can be bought that month after all bills are paid (and the savings account and Roth IRA blah blah), or should some be saved for something big a year from now, or how about something for someone else?
    A tiny lesson each month on money, on saving, on limits of money, and on giving to others.
    She has three piggy banks. One is for Disney Land, she already has close to $900 in that account, second is for her car, her idea, she started saving for a car last year. She has about $200, and the third is for her choosing. She used to get abouabout $5 a week in loonies, but then she started pocketing the money and losing it, so now I don't give her money either. A friend suggested I look up ways to teach her about the value of money, seems like a good idea

    I also think I am going to return the tablet to my parents. I amtired of the fights so, she can use it at their house with them, and I no longer have that as a fight in the home.
    Aurora_Bell's Avatar
    Aurora_Bell Posts: 4,193, Reputation: 822
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    #13

    Oct 8, 2013, 05:06 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Wondergirl View Post
    I wouldn't have lasted until a third time. Why are you letting her push you off so she can continue to do whatever she is "busy" doing??
    Unless I get up and physically move her, she just ignores me!
    smoothy's Avatar
    smoothy Posts: 25,495, Reputation: 2853
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    #14

    Oct 8, 2013, 05:09 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Aurora_Bell View Post
    Unless I get up and physically move her, she just ignores me!
    Oh.. if that happened in my parents house... I shudder to think of how well that would have gone down. We knew better than ever try that. My parents both were very kind and giving people... but that's one of the things they would have NEVER put up with.
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,846, Reputation: 5428
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    #15

    Oct 8, 2013, 05:10 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Aurora_Bell View Post
    Unless I get up and physically move her, she just ignores me!
    Um, that's what we do with children -- we move our bodies toward them and then move them. We do not get ignored.

    Do the two of you work together on things? For instance, if one of her chores is to put her toys away in a toy box or on shelves, do you help (to show her how you want it done) and even sing a toy-putting-away song or play march music -- i.e. make a game of it?
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,846, Reputation: 5428
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    #16

    Oct 8, 2013, 05:17 PM
    Putting toys away --

    Take her little hand in yours and tell you that you two are going to play a housekeeping game. Do we want to put Baby Snookums next to Fuzzy Bear tonight, or let her lie next to Dumbo? Hmmmm, how about these books? Let's put all the big ones together on the shelf and then all the small ones together here at the end of the big ones. Doesn't that look neat?

    In other words, make chores fun with making a game of them or doing them to music -- and of course, always compliment the good stuff before you ask her to redo anything that was done incorrectly. And keep your voice pleasant and musical and calm.

    You two are feeding off each other -- the more she doesn't do her chores, the more you yell, so she digs in her heels even more and that makes you even madder. She's learned to be "busy" with "important" activities rather than act out.
    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
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    #17

    Oct 8, 2013, 05:19 PM
    Bella, I'm going to start by telling you something you already know. She's six. At six most kids are like this.

    Here's the problem, as far as I see it. She gets a lot of stuff. Who cares if you lose it, mommy or grandma and grandpa will just buy her a new one, or something even cooler. She doesn't care about these items because she never had to earn them, they were just given to her.

    I learned this the hard way, and I went through the same thing with both of the kids. We bought them stuff, they never took care of it. They'd lose parts, or lose the item altogether.

    So I stopped buying them expensive things. If they want a new device, they have to pay for it. I do give them an allowance, but they have to work for it. Don't do the work, you don't get the money, just like in the real world I'm trying to prepare them for.

    Here's my idea for you, and it may not work because you are dealing with a 6 year old. But, in the same token, you can never start teaching responsibility too young.

    She needs to learn that tablets, and other things, aren't cheap, and money doesn't grow on trees. So, since she lost it, she has to pay to replace it, even if she doesn't care about it at all. You have dogs. Let her pick up dog poop. Get a huge bucket for the poop. She gets $5 a bucket. She can unload the dishwasher, or wash dishes, she's old enough, $1 for each time she does this. She can fold laundry, she can vacuum, she can dust. She may not do a perfect job, but she can do these things.

    Sit her down and tell her that she has to pay back the money for this tablet and the charger. You don't care if she doesn't want it, or doesn't care that it's gone. She has a list of chores, no playing until she's done them. If she doesn't listen, calmly go into her room with a garbage bag, and clear out all of her toys. She gets a bed, a mattress, sheets, a blanket, a pillow, and that's it. She has to earn back her toys by listening.

    It seems mean, but that's probably going to be what it takes.

    Last but not least, you're not a bad mom. If you were a bad mom you wouldn't care about this. You're just the mom of a 6 year old, and really, 6 year olds often make you understand why some animals eat their young. ;)

    ((hugs))
    Aurora_Bell's Avatar
    Aurora_Bell Posts: 4,193, Reputation: 822
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    #18

    Oct 8, 2013, 05:27 PM
    About a month ago I went into her room and it was just a disaster. I was shocked! I ended up cleaning the entire room. Took me a week. I did have her help me, but I spent more time reminding her why we were in there then she did cleaning. I donated 4 garbage bags of toys and clothes and not to mention the 2 bags of garbage we took out of the room too.

    I try to have music playing, but will make more of an attempt to use better tones, because most times I am so annoyed I'd rather just get it done.

    Now since the room has been cleaned, I have had to loose my cool at least twice, taking her TV away for three days and making her go in the room and clean it. Which is never done how I like it.

    Makes sense about her important activities,she is smart as a whip, I am constantly shocked at how smart she actually is.
    Aurora_Bell's Avatar
    Aurora_Bell Posts: 4,193, Reputation: 822
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    #19

    Oct 8, 2013, 05:31 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Alty View Post
    Bella, I'm going to start by telling you something you already know. She's six. At six most kids are like this.

    Here's the problem, as far as I see it. She gets a lot of stuff. Who cares if you lose it, mommy or grandma and grandpa will just buy her a new one, or something even cooler. She doesn't care about these items because she never had to earn them, they were just given to her.

    I learned this the hard way, and I went through the same thing with both of the kids. We bought them stuff, they never took care of it. They'd lose parts, or lose the item altogether.

    So I stopped buying them expensive things. If they want a new device, they have to pay for it. I do give them an allowance, but they have to work for it. Don't do the work, you don't get the money, just like in the real world I'm trying to prepare them for.

    Here's my idea for you, and it may not work because you are dealing with a 6 year old. But, in the same token, you can never start teaching responsibility too young.

    She needs to learn that tablets, and other things, aren't cheap, and money doesn't grow on trees. So, since she lost it, she has to pay to replace it, even if she doesn't care about it at all. You have dogs. Let her pick up dog poop. Get a huge bucket for the poop. She gets $5 a bucket. She can unload the dishwasher, or wash dishes, she's old enough, $1 for each time she does this. She can fold laundry, she can vacuum, she can dust. She may not do a perfect job, but she can do these things.

    Sit her down and tell her that she has to pay back the money for this tablet and the charger. You don't care if she doesn't want it, or doesn't care that it's gone. She has a list of chores, no playing until she's done them. If she doesn't listen, calmly go into her room with a garbage bag, and clear out all of her toys. She gets a bed, a mattress, sheets, a blanket, a pillow, and that's it. She has to earn back her toys by listening.

    It seems mean, but that's probably going to be what it takes.

    Last but not least, you're not a bad mom. If you were a bad mom you wouldn't care about this. You're just the mom of a 6 year old, and really, 6 year olds often make you understand why some animals eat their young. ;)

    ((hugs))


    That's a good idea. As of now she lost all electronics, having people over etc... for two weeks. This is going to be a long two weeks for me, because she is going to be stuck to my side like glue. She never could just go into her room and play with her toys or what ever, she's always needed to be right beside me. At all times.
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,846, Reputation: 5428
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    #20

    Oct 8, 2013, 05:36 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Aurora_Bell View Post
    Makes sense about her important activities,she is smart as a whip, I am constantly shocked at how smart she actually is.
    I think she has YOU bamboozled!

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