39 answers

Please Help, How Do I Discipline My 8 YO Daughter, Time Outs Don't Work Anymore!

*** OMG thanks everyone for all the sugestions! I can't believe for how long I let this situation go on. I keep getting answers cool! I'll keep reading I need all the help I can get. Ok just a little update, my daughter does great at school, she is an honor student and is a natural leader, she even created a club for her class where they get together and talk about helping the environment. So with that said I only have troubles with her at home, big sign that I'm doing something wrong, I guess a needed a virtual slap in the face for that ;o)
Whe she started talking back I made her write 50 times, I have to be respectful and not talk back; boy she hated that and she changed her attitude right after finishing (about two hours later since she would make time thinking I was going to budge). That was a great suggestion. Also I will be making a chore list and a good manners list so she can start pitching in with the house work.
after she did the sentences, she helped loading the dishwasher and the washing machine, we talked a lot during this and even my little toddler was trying to help (more mess than real cleaning but she looked so cute).
at the end of the day my daughter told me : Mommy I never knew doing chores would be fun! LOL!
thank you all again!!!

Ok mammas I don't know what to do with my 8 YO daughter and her constant talking back. Every little thing I ask of her is refuted with: "But I didn't do it" "But I don't want to go", "But I don't like chicken/fish/meat/etc etc etc".
OMG I'm at my wits end with her talking back, I put her in time out today after school because she threw her shoes and all of her clothes on the floor, she was just smirking away. she just doesn't care when I do time outs, please help, how do you discipline your older children???
I must mention that I also have trouble having her clean her room and help around the house (emptying dishwasher or cleaning the sinks, not much at all really) she does zero chores (I must admit I'm not consistent since it takes me forever to have her do it so I just do it myself) and she doesn't think she has to help at all, except when I start to lose it and raise my voice. She has a one yo sister who I'm hoping won't go in the same path.
thank you in advance!

2 moms found this helpful

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So What Happened?™

**To add a little bit more info to my update above: My husband works a 8-5 job but has a 3 hour commute everyday so he gets home when both of our girls are asleep or getting ready for bed. I'm on my own during the week, on weekends he is here and he helps out a lot, but he doesn't like to intervene when I'm disciplining the girls; I just think he doesn't want to be the bad guy and leaves the dirty work to me. uhmmm I'll try to talk to him about it so we can both guide and help our oldest so she can be the best she can be, I'm a little worried about the teen years ahead...
again thanks everyone for all your help! **

Featured Answers

My 8 year old daughter's attitude today works towards her next up coming function she wishes to do. She was a little bit mouthy the other day, she was
5 mins late to a birthday party. No big deal, except to her. If she had continued it would have been 10, 15, and 20 etc or not at all.

6 moms found this helpful

We used to give $20 credit, to be paid at the end of the week. Then name the price of each fine, which debits that account. When she learns she had $20 and now she has $2, it starts to make sense.

5 moms found this helpful

The key is to always be consistent. Some good punishments for older children are taking away a special toy for a set time, grounding. Those are the ones I have always used and they seem to work. If you don't punish consistantly, it most likely will get worse.

5 moms found this helpful

More Answers

Well, my son is only four so I don't have experience as a PARENT of an older child... but as a middle school teacher, I have years of experience of dealing with discipline in kids.

Remember, that time outs aren't a punishment. They don't have to BOTHER the kid to be effective... HOWEVER, they only work to interrupt an ongoing behavior. A timeout after the fact because you've broken a rule doesn't do anything at any age, really.

I'm a huge fan of natural, logical consequences. Rather than think about your response to her as "discipline" or "punishment" just respond to her the way the world responds to people who behave that way. For example:

"But I don't like chicken." Then she doesn't have to eat it. The end. But don't jump up and make her something else. You prepared dinner for her, she can choose to eat or not eat, but she can't ruin your meal by describing how terrible it is. I'd probably say "I'm sorry you don't like it, sweety. Just eat the things you like." Then immediately direct your attention to another family member so she knows the conversation is over. If she starts to throw a fit, just say something like "if you're finished with your dinner you may clear your plate and leave the table." Then, again, redirect your attention.

Same thing with throwing her belongings on the floor. I'd just walk over and say "Oh are these trash? If so, I'll throw them out. If not, come pick them up." (However, if you do throw away her stuff, be prepared NOT to replace it. If YOU can't live without her having something, don't toss it, but maybe say you'll be in charge of it or whatever and keep it in your room or something).

Ultimately your goal is for her to follow the rules, not to be punished for breaking them, so as much as possible find ways to correct her behavior gently and make her see following the rule as the most comfortable choice (i.e. it's bad manners to invite a guest into a messy house, so she may not invite a friend over if her room isn't clean... no need to do the "not until your room is clean" just remind her that it would be bad manners to have her over in a messy room. OR She wants a new toy, but her toy shelves are a mess, it's reasonable to say that you can't be sure she doesn't already have that toy because you can't see what's there).

Hope this helps. Good luck.


8 moms found this helpful

Jen said what I was going to say. Be sure to tell her how it will "go down" from now on when you ask her to do something. "When I ask you to clean your room, I want things put away where they are supposed to go. Clean clothes hanging or in your drawers. Shoes in the closet, books back on the shelves".whatever you want her to do. .. Then tell her you are going to "give a her a time limit, if she needs more time she needs to ask for it", but you get to decide if you are extending the time. Also if she does not do what you have asked, you will give her natural consequences. Clothes shoes, books.. will all be placed in a bag and taken away, she will have to earn them back.

Also keep in mind telling a child to clean their room may be too big of a request.. Instead tell her, "go to your room and put away everything on the floor". "I will give you 10 minutes". Go to the room if stuff is still on the floor, get a trash bag and take it away.

Then tell her, "clean and organize your desk, do you think you can do that in 10 minutes? OR 15 minutes?"

Let her know if she talks back there will be consequences and she will loose privileges.
Let her know "you have 15 more minutes of TV then you need to take your bath". If she talks back turn off the TV and tell her "go take a bath. And tomorrow night no TV". Then write yourself a note to remind yourself.

Same with loading the dishwasher. "Tonight after dinner, you need to load the dishwasher". If she talks back, tell her "You decide, load the dishwasher or no TV for 2 nights."

The dinner and food is a different situation. In our family if anyone does not want what is served. They are allowed to eat a bowl of non sugar cereal. They serve it themselves.No one says anything. When they are served a plate all of the food is served in very small portions. If she eats that serving, she may serve herself some more. If she tries something new or something she has not liked in the past and does not make faces or make ugly comments, she is allowed a sticker.. After a certain amount of stickers, she gets to pick the menu one night..

Your job is to be consistent. I know it is hard, takes too much time is easier if you do it yourself, but you are not helping her to grow into a responsible member of the family. You are also not helping yourself, because right now you are stressed, frustrated and ending up doing everything yourself. You deserve better.

7 moms found this helpful

As so many have said, consistancy is the key. Who decides what she has to do? You or her? If its you, then demand obedience.

How? Privledges are based on obedience. What's a privledge? What ever she wants or likes to do except breathe. TV. Computer. Phone. Video games. Etc. Hot sauce was suggested for talking back. I used hot sauce to stop the bad language. I'd get a teaspoon out and fill it full of tobasco sauce. They had to keep it in their mouth for 60 seconds. Then they could either swallow or spit it out. They always chose to spit it out. Now, as adults, none of them use profanity or vulgarities. I'd always tell them I had to burn the garbage out of their mouths.

If you can't get control of an 8 year old she will make your life absolutely miserable as a teenager.

Be prepared with the answers for some of her statements. When my teenager told me (screamed!!) he hated me I told him, "I'm sorry you feel like you hate me. I love you. I'm your dad. I'll always do my best to help you." They will be surprised and that will help you.

Good luck.

6 moms found this helpful

It's time to get tough - on yourself!!

First, you need to sit down and figure out what it is you want from her. How is she supposed to know if you dont? Once you figure it out, sit her down and have a good old fashion talk with her. Things have got to change. If you don't get a hold of this situation now when she is 8, what do you think you will go through when she is 13, 16??

Post a list of chores for her on the fridge so she can refere to it all the time! The tv doesnt go on, there is no computer privildge, no video games and no telephone until the chores are done. Turn it over to her. She can choose to do chores and have priveledges or she can choose to not do chores and have nothing! There should be NO yelling on your part. Why should you have to? IT obviously doesn't work, so why continue it?

Lack of respect is a BIG NO NO!!!! 1 warning and then if she does it again she needs to finish her chores and go to bed! Who cares if it is 5:00pm ! A few days of going to bed should wake her up!

You need to stay consistant or nothing you do is going to work!!!

6 moms found this helpful

I have a 7 yo boy and time outs are nothing but a joke to him. You've gotta hit 'em where it hurts--you know, what is her "big" thing? Is it the computer, Wii, DS, mall? Take that away for a day for each infraction of the clearly explained and posted rules. It certainly gets my son's attention! Good luck!

6 moms found this helpful

My 8 year old daughter's attitude today works towards her next up coming function she wishes to do. She was a little bit mouthy the other day, she was
5 mins late to a birthday party. No big deal, except to her. If she had continued it would have been 10, 15, and 20 etc or not at all.

6 moms found this helpful

My daughter was exactly the same way with timeouts. I started grounding her from things she enjoys doing. I have grounded her from phone time with friends, the computer, tv, and even her DS that she bought. She is learning that if she does not follow my rules she does not get to do things she enjoys. I also started a chore chart and that helps tremendously! She is a visual child and once she saw what was expected of her it was not such a fight anymore. We do pay her commission for doing her chores, but there are things she is to do around the house because she is part of the family; she does not get paid for these chores. As for the talking back; we used hot sauce in her mouth. Just a dab and she learned that we would not put up with her talking to us that way.

5 moms found this helpful

The change has to start with you - not her. You indicate that you are not consistent. That is the solution. You can have any punishment in the world, but every child believes they can wear their parent down. It's practically in their job description. And guess what? They can. If you have already established that if she just throws a fit and doesn't do it, that eventually YOU will, then why wouldn't she throw a fit to get out of doing stuff?

To start with I would pick 1 or 2 things that are not negotiable. Her excuses don't matter. Don't get emotional, Don't get off track. Simply keep repeating the task. "DD, please clean your room.... (whatever direction you give her - individual tasks or whatever)". Then 10 min later go back and check the progress. Then 10 minutes after that. Then 10 minutes after that. Simply keep repeating what she needs to finish etc etc until it's done. Do that EVERY TIME until you don't have to go back.

her fits and attitude will ESCALATE at first because she knows it has worked in the past. DON'T LET IT. BE STRONG!!!! YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!

The trick is to start with 1 or 2 things and sort of let everything else slide for a couple weeks. Once she knows you mean business and YOU can wear HER down she will figure out it's easier to do it right the first time.

Then you can add additional tasks/responsibilities.

5 moms found this helpful

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