Getting 9-Year Old to Stop Wasting Things!

Updated on February 06, 2011
N.S. asks from Buffalo Grove, IL
21 answers

My 9-year old has not grasped the concept of wasting versus conserving.

She will take a large portion of food and then eat two bites. I keep telling her to take smaller portions and I try to put the food on her plate when I can. I've taken to saving her leftovers but she won't eat them. She'll also take something like a banana and eat a few bites. Bananas don't save, they turn brown.

She leaves all the lights on, plus her music. She'll leave the water running and walk away.She flushes the toilet FOR FUN. Hello, are we three?

She has to change her clothes during the day (I tell her not to but she'll just appear with a different outfit on) and throw the one she wore for 10 minutes in the dirty clothes.

Yesterday she used a 1/2 bottle of her shampoo to play in the sink with. Shampoo is not cheap! She has thick, tangly hair so I have to buy her grown-up shampoo, not the cheap kid shampoo. I caught her in the bathroom playing with it. We couldn't save any of it.

We live on a budget. We can afford to do fun things, but only when we're careful with our money. How do we make the connection to her? It seems weird to tell her that we can't go to the movies because she takes 30 minute showers. However, our water bill was HUGE the last time! And we try to keep our electric bills and gas bills down when we can.

I try to help her remember everything, but I can't stand over her all day long! When she's taking a shower I will check in on her after 15 minutes and then find she was standing under the water doing nothing! I have to stand over her to get her to move in the shower (not to mention that she hates taking a shower or bath and it's a battle to get her in the shower).

We've talked about the Disney Channel "Make A Wave, Make A Change" about how it benefits the environment to conserve water and electricity. Still, she's hasn't made a connection and continues to waste, waste, waste whatever she can.

She even wastes her allowance on cheap toys she'll never play with and then gets upset when she can't save for the nice toys.

Also, when we're out and about, if there is something free she HAS to have it! For example, if there is a free menu or pamphlet she HAS to have one. I tell her that she doesn't need it and it's wasting paper, plus we need to leave them for people who actually need one (she'll take baseball schedules, restaurant menus, pamphlets on childcare--whatever is free!) Usually she'll get upset so I either have to let her take them or deal with an upset child. Normally they turn into clutter in her room, my car or she leaves them all over the house. My husband owns his own business and he pays for all his color pamphlets and they aren't cheap! I don't like to waste other business' property, and I don't like the clutter in my home.

Am I turning into a big No-Waste Monster?

Any ideas?

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So What Happened?

Thanks for the advice! She's actually my stepdaughter but she lives with us except every other weekend so I do most of the "raising."

I love the ideas of charging her for leaving the lights on and wasting things. I think that's perfect! If she's going to waste our electricity and water then she's going to have to help pay for it. I think that will definitely get the point across! I am going to make a "water bill" jar and an "electricity bill" jar. She's going to get charged 25 cents for going over 15 minutes in the shower (and I will set a timer!) and she'll get charged 10 cents every time she leaves a light on or the TV.

I'm going to charge her 25 cents for extra laundry.

I think it's a good lesson for when you get older. I remember being shocked when I went to college as to how much it cost to do laundry! You have to PAY to wash and dry?? I was so used to my mom's free laundry! When you have to pay to wash (and buy your own soap) it really changes how you wear your clothes!

She is also using her allowance to buy the next bottle of shampoo. It costs $4 or so for a bottle, and she only gets $5 a week so I think she will think twice about wasting a whole week's worth of allowance!

I don't let her take the pamphlets when I catch her, but she does sulk and sulk! My husband thinks its not worth fighting over and he tells me to leave her alone about it. When we all go out as a family then he wants everyone to be cheery-happy. I think she's being manipulative with the sulking. It doesn't work on me! But it works on daddy!

Thanks so much for the great ideas!

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answers from Dallas on

I have a 9 year old daughter as well. With the pamphlets and coupons (the ones along the aisles at the store) I tell her no. Plain and simple. I make her clean her own room, sort her trash into trash and pull out the recycling. If she tosses clean clothes in the laundry, I make her go through all of her clothes and pull them back out. If she puts a damp towel in the laundry, she does her own laundry. Set a timer for the shower and make her get out whether she's done or not. She'll learn really fast. Playing in the sink is something that she should know better about. Make her use her allowance to pay for what she wasted! This age is aggrivating, I know. I feel like I'm always trying to teach my dd a lesson, but she's not too far from being a teenager and I want her to know what is acceptable and what isn't.

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answers from Rochester on

When my kids were growing up we were on a very strict budget. My husband was trying to get a new business started and sometimes we made money and sometimes it costs us money. Anyway, things were tight for several years so we all had to conserve where ever we could. It was hard to teach the kids this though.

One day I was paying the bills and I decided to have the kids help me. My son was 8 years old and my daughter was 9 years old. We all sat down with the check book and bills. I showed them how much money was in the account. To them we were rich. Then I started paying the bills one at a time. The kids were in charge of subtracting the figures. I would say, "This is the power bill, it's $320 this month. Please subtract it.". Then I would write the check for it. This went on till all the bills we could afford to pay were paid. Then I showed them the ones we could not afford to pay at that time and explained how they would have to be paid when we got our next check. In the end they saw how fast the money was spent. And that we were not rich. In fact we were just above the poverty level but holding our own only because we worked very hard to conserve when and where we could. Some would say they were too young to understand all this, but I don't think so. I can't tell you how many times I would hear one of them say things like, "I turned off the light because electricity is expensive.". I think it was a very good lesson for both of them.

The kids are grown now and have families of their own and are very good at budgeting their money. Both of them are also very good about saving and not wasting their money.

Maybe you could do the same thing with her. If nothing else it would show her how fast money is spent and what it is spent on.

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answers from Johnstown on

OH WOW!!!! You're just going to have to limit her with everything. YOU dish out her plate, you keep the soaps and shampoos up and under lock & key, you give her a cup with so much in it to drink and when that's finished, she gets allowance, etc. If she wants to act like she's 2, start treating her like it. If she asks why you're doing it, tell her that as soon as she starts growing up a teeny bit, you'll start treating her like the 9 yr old she is.

My older one tried to pull the fit-throwing thing in the middle of the store once & even though there was an audience there, I gave her a good single swat on the behind anyway. I actually had a couple people walk up and commend me for doing it too.

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answers from Minneapolis on

Ok, these may be the unpopular answers, but here goes. Shes 9....parent up!

If you think 10 minutes is enough for a shower, after 5 minutes (use the timer as others suggested if you want), go in, sternly as needed, warn her that she has 5 more minutes and the water goes matter what. I have a now 16 year old who abused shower/hot water time in the past. Not only too expensive..but the water heater only holds so much heated water! And I HATE cold showers! When Momma is angry so early in the out household around here!! LOL We turned the water off and my DD sat with soap in her hair all night long ONE time (she showered at night). Once isb all it took. She learned to be more efficient by getting in there, shampooing and conditioning, body washing and any shaving she had to do (she would even say, can I have a few extra minutes to shave?)...then use any few precious minutes to stand under the hot spray.

The pamplets..just Nix the whole thing. Say NO. Don't let her have any. If she does, make a consequence. I think someone else said something about a jar? We had a sort of "demerit" jar.....It just got called the "Nammy" jar (NAM it said on it..Negative Action Money...not very creative I am afraid!). Her allowance came in 3 parts BTW....she has gotten $10 a week forever (she helps me with daycare children alot in addition to trash and dishes and other duties). But half went into her account for later saved up use (like "nicer" toys or items), $4 in ones and a $1 in quarters in case she needed it for the Nammy jar for "violations.

Then decide on what is a violation...get caught with a pamplet...quarter each. Go over alloted shower time..quarter, etc. USe daily lists of chores if needed to keep routine if thats an issue at all.

Don't let her serve any of her own food. If she,doens't like being treated "like a baby", then politely tell her to stop acting like one and wasting food that costs money. Give her small portions at a time.

I am a firm believer in kids and control issues in most things parents have issues with. Kids of all ages feel like they have no control, and unless there truly is an issue in place (like autism and the like), you can modify the behavior by altering the control. Give where you can and chose the battles, and depending on the age and level of manipulation (such as in an older child), take it away and strip them of some choices and make them earn it back.

Just my opinion....but I have an extremely well liked and loving 16 year old daughter of my own who always gets compliments and have "churned out" dozens of young children thru my childcare in the past 12+ years using these similar ideals who are similarly complimented!

I wish you luck!

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answers from Chicago on

Kids are wasteful unless they get trained not to be, I think. It sounds like just talking to your daughter isn't going to do the trick. Here's what I would do:

1)For food- you portion it out. If she asks for a snack, give her a very small amount in a little cup or plate. If she complains tell her " You are wasting food that we cannot afford to just throw out.Since you are not being mature enough to only take what you can eat, I will give you portions. You can come back and ask for more when you finish what I gave you." She won't like it- but stick to it. Hopefully after a while it will become habit or she will just be embarrassed about having you hand all her food to her and do better.

2)For things like the water or leaving the lights on. Sit down with her and show her the water bill and the electric bill. If she gets an allowance, tell her you are going to start taking 50 cents off each time you catch her leaving something on! If she doesn't get an allowance, make the consequence something else. If she leaves the lights on- that's 10 minutes less of tv or game time. If she leaves the water running- that's another 10 minutes cut off from her fun time. Dumping out the shampoo? Make her buy her own out of her own money - or take away tv for the whole night. The consequence needs to be something immediate so she makes the connection and remembers.

3)For taking flyers and things like that- just STOP her. When she goes to take a baseball schedule, stop in the middle of the street or whatever. Say to her " I want you to read me what you just took. Is this really something you need or are interested in or is it just something you are going to waste by throwing away?" Make her take it BACK to the person handing it out and give it back to them.

If she throws a fit or talks back or acts up- take away tv time or some other,immediate treat. Tell her that she is too old to throw a tantrum like a toddler and it is just not acceptable behavior, period. If she wants to do fun, big kid things, she needs to act like a big kid.

This is a pain- but it will get the lesson through.

I know it seems like these things are 'mean' or 'strict' but you are teaching a really valuable lesson that will stay with her for her entire life.

on the flip side- always REWARD good behavior. If she turns out a light or off the faucet- praise her! Say " Wow, I'm so glad you're remembering to turn that off! You're helping save energy and helping us save money for other things." Make it clear that the less money goes to the electric bill, the more money you might have to go to the movies, etc. She is old enough to understand how the family budget works. Give her a goal or reward to work towards and keep track of her positive choices- this combination approach can work wonders, IME!

Sometimes teaching our kids seems like just a lot of work for US, lol. But in the end, your child will be better for it and you and she will understand each other better. Good luck!

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answers from Denver on

My first idea is to stop the allowance until she gets a grip. She is being very irresponsible and it sounds like you just need to stand your ground. For example, I have a 10 year old that used to love the pamphlets and I would let him take them on occasion but ultimately I would stand for an upset child before letting him waste them. My son also LOVES long showers and indeed likes to just stand in there and soak. I have let him do this before but only once or twice. If he chooses to waste water, time and energy and not listen when I ask him to get out, I go to the basement and turn off the hot water. He gets out immediately.

Basically, it sounds like you need to have a consequence every time she is wasteful and follow through. Like money for example, we have our children break their money into three groups; fun money, donate money (tithing), and save money. If they want to waste their fun money then so be it, but I will not buy the big stuff if they do not have the ambition to save for it and get it themselves. The save money goes into a bank and the tithing goes to church. If they do not follow the simple money management rules than we do not give the "fun money" allowance but still give the tithing and saving allowance. make sense?

If she doesn't care about the shampoo, keep it where she cannot get it and bring it out when she needs to use it only. It really sounds to me like she is acting out for whatever reason. This does not seem like typical behavior of a 9 year old to me. What I do know is you want to get this under control before the teen years hit or you will have an even bigger problem on your hands.

Good luck!

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answers from Seattle on

Hi - just saw your "So What Happened" response and it reminded me of my uncle and his son (teenager who would stand in the shower until he ran out of hot water - and three other people needed to shower, too). My uncle figured out how to turn off the hot water value in the water heater - so as soon as Jeff hit the shower my uncle would go to the water heater and crank it down. Jeff would have just a few minutes of hot water before it started to turn cold. As soon as he turned off the shower and my uncle heard the towel coming off the towel rack, he'd turn it back on. Jeff never figured it out - but he learned to shower quickly!

I know it's been several months since your post - i hope things are going more smoothly at your house!

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answers from Dallas on

I love using the idea of logical consequences, and that is what we use at our home most of the time. If you jump on my furniture, it costs you $2 because I will need a fund to buy a new one. If you decide to wad up your clothes in the bottom of the closet, it costs you $2 per item for me to hang back up. If I have to tell you twice to do something, then there is a $2 fine. If you ask or reword a question that you already have the answer for (usually the answer was no!) then it costs you $5. When TVs, radios, closet lights are left on, we unplug or take out the bulb. If there is a wonderful toy or item that they just must have, they are welcome to use their own money to buy it. And yes, I have had to make the point that I'm so sorry you decided to spend your money on *piece of junk* when now we are all going to the American Girl store and you don't have that extra $20 to buy a doll. Those are just the realities of life. As an adult, if you spend all your money on new electronics, but don't have enough to pay for electricity, well, you have a problem. If you break a law, then a police officer will write you a ticket to pay a fine. There is nothing wrong with teaching children how to spend their money wisely and that money is not a never-ending supply. My kids take much better care of the toys they buy with their own money, are respectful of my furniture and at other's homes, and know that I mean business when I have asked them to do something and will respond the first time.
Oh, and in case you were wondering..all four are my biological children!

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answers from Portland on

What does she do to earn the allowance in the first place? I really hope you don't just give it to her. I have a clothes basket for my husband & my Daughter who is 9 years by the way, I just fold their clothes nicely & they have to put them away. Your husband needs to man up & get on board. If he won't help make it his problem pick up the pamphlets & put them on his work space chair or on his side of the bed.Time Tracker Visual Timer & Clock Is what I use for my daughter & her shower, three minutes green three minutes yellow & 4 minutes red. If she doesn't get out after the timer goes off, I shut off the hot water & she may finish in cold. I changed the knobs in the house, the bathroom & her bedroom don't lock at least not on the inside.
You give the food portions not her & on a smaller plate. stop all snacks if she is not hungry enough at dinner. Tell dad to grow backbone & be a parent, that is the decision he made when he had her. He needs to support you & when she skulks he needs to ignore her. You should have him read what you posted & the answers given to you.
As a mom who fights clutter constantly, I give the "junk" toys to a teacher at my daughter's school who uses them as a reward. I told relatives to stop buying presents & give gifts cards or money so she could buy what she really wanted. This year for Christmas my daughter wanted a Nintendo DS XL in blue. Her birthday is in January. She has gotten $100 in gifts card & money now all she has to do is earn the other $69 or have it gifted to her. I keep the running tally in my wallet & I keep the money. If she really wants to spend her money on something after I reminder of her goal, I let her & I keep track of it. She loses play/friend time to clean up after herself constantly. Electronics are limited to 1 hour a day & it has to be earned first. Work first play second. Remember you are raising her to eventually be a full grown independent human being. Rome wasn't built in a day & neither are people. We have a list of chores & responsibilities for each birthday that get added on to the ones she already has. She has a chore Monday-Friday that takes less than half hour. Sweeping, dusting, vacuuming, unloading the dishwasher & straightening up her room. Saturdays she has to poop scoop the back yard. She has to feed & water the cats daily before she eats breakfast. I use a foam dispenser for her shampoo, I do half shampoo & half very warm water & shake it, it works very well. I hope some of this helps you.
Don't forget to say thank you & tell her how much she helps you when she does what you want, heap on the praise.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Honestly? Parts of this sounds a little like hoarding to me. It's an anxiety disorder related to OCD. (As far as the having to take free stuff, and not wanting to get a bath or shower parts.) Is her room a mess?
I know you can buy timers fort he shower, so you could get O. and set it for 15 minutes.
Serve her her food when at all possible.
You could try a soap and shampoo dispenser for the shower, I guess. You can make access to food and clothes as restricted as you'd like.....

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answers from Phoenix on

I have to agree with the last couple of answers, I think there is more to this than just wasting "stuff". I see this same kind of stuff with a couple relatives that have the stepmom, hate to say it but she expects more from the stepkids than her biological children! Maybe you should try and build a better relationship with your stepdaughter and not look so much at the negatives! She's doing the only things she see's that realy irratate you and so she is going to run with them and it only gets worse as they get older and smarter!! Think about whats really important and work at making things better for the two of you it will be worth it in the long run! Good luck

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answers from Norfolk on

I heard somewhere that showers should take about 3 or so minutes. I can't get them done quite that fast myself. You can try setting a timer to a reasonable time, give her a few minutes heads up when the end time is approaching and the shower must be done by that time - otherwise turn off the hot water at the tank. A little cold water never hurt anyone.
She gets an allowance? Tell her it's up to her to buy her own shampoo. When she runs out (of money or shampoo) - tough.
If she's changing her clothes repeatedly for no reason (and then tossing in the laundry or on the floor), lock up her wardrobe. She can pick out her outfit for the next day the night before and then she has no more access to it.
Just say no to the free menu/pamphlet thing. Before you go out, explain that you/she will NOT be bringing any paper/junk home. If she takes anything then soon as you get home it goes in the outside trash can and never enters your house.
Serve her food yourself as much as you can and make sure she uses smaller baby sized plates/bowls so she can't put a lot of food on them at once.
You are going to have to upset her. You do not hand your wallet to a child and watch them flush your money down the toilet. Getting this under control now is going to be a lot easier than trying to do it when she's 16.

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answers from Peoria on

Ya know, have you thought about having a shut off timer for the shower where it will automatically shut the water off after so many minutes? You can put it somewhere out of reach to avoid being able to 'add' mins. Maybe that will help at least with the shower. If she's still soaped up at the 15 min mark & the water shuts off...oh well, she should've had it rinsed off already. I just happened to think about it & know there are some that rv parks or the like will use these to conserve water. I know they make similar timers for lights & tanning booths/salons. We even stopped in one rv park that charged you for the toilet! You had to put change in before you could open the door to the stall! Maybe also, have you thought about putting up a reward chart> Once she gets to where she's observing the rules on her own, she can work towards a small reward like picking the next place you go out to eat at or the next fun thing y'all do together or something like that. I think you're on the right track with what you've stated in your update. Good luck & be sure to let us know how it works out!!



answers from Houston on

Glad you aren't my mother. Or step mother.
Sounds like some of this is a control issue. You don't want her to do it, she does it. I don't think she is truly wasteful. I think she is wasteful to drive you crazy.
I realize I am in the minority here but I am guessing there are other dynamics going on.



answers from Chicago on

It looks like you've already received several suggestions that you can try. Have you talked with her Mom to see if she does these things during the time she spends with her? From your "what happened" post, it doesn't sound like your husband is on board. I'm not sure how well anything you try to do will work, if he doesn't support you. Could some of this be a "stepmom" issue; her thinking she doesn't need to listen to you, follow your rules, etc. because Dad doesn't agree with you and you aren't her biological parent? I hope, for your sake, that you can get this resolved soon because it may just get worse as she gets older. Good Luck!



answers from St. Cloud on

I read the "so what happened" and love the ideas you have come up with. An add to making her use her allowance- cut a $1 off coupon out of the newspaper to help her see how budgeting can be better!



answers from Seattle on

She is 9, and you are the mom. If she is not mature enough to understand that she is wasteful, you teach her by restricting her freedoms and increasing her responsibilities.

Food: portion it out for her and do not let her take any food/snack/fruit herself. She might eat more than two bites a meal, if she does not get to supply herself with two bite sncks of everything all day long. Institute firm meal/snack time, nothing in between.

Water/long showers: set a timer for her and yourself and when time is up, you go in and turn off the shower. If she usually gets to lock the door, I guess that priviledge is gone... until she can get with the program.

Laundry: a nine year old is old enough to do her own laundry with a little help. Make her help with laundry and fold ALL of her own clothes... that way if she keeps it up, at least it won't be your work.

Allowance: I guess if she can't be responsible with her allowance you need to help her. You can reduce her allowance and put the rest in savings or you can keep her allowance and she has to ask for everything she wants.

I guess my point is, that it's ok to put your foot down. Once you have done it for a while, she will adjust and form new, better habits. But you do have to establish firm boundaries and stick to them, instead of expecting her to comply with your expectations by her own. Kids don't work that way...
Good luck!



answers from St. Louis on

I dont think she is wasteful in the way you are talking about. She is only 9, just a child. I think maybe you are just too demanding of her, or jealous of her. You sound just like my step-mother. She despised me because I was here on earth and I lived with my dad and her all the time and she couldnt handle it. Sounds to me like you need an adjustment. If you dont want the child around maybe you should send her to live with her mother or another family member full time. It sounds like in the long run the child would be happier, safer, and you wouldnt have her underfoot "wasting" any of your precious commodities. The plain and simple truth is you do not want the child around and your making excuses. If you dont like my answer to your so called problem maybe you should not air your dirty laundry on this website.


answers from Oklahoma City on

there's things called a time limit or miss out, when she goes in the shower, she has 30 min before you will come turn off the water and she is done as is, if she turns the water back on, turn the water off at the meter until she is out. for every bottle of shampoo she waste' much is coming out of her allowance to pay for it, or start buying the cheap suave for only her. the changing clothes issue i think all girls do that (i did and sometimes still do) but if it's a huge issue, when you know she only wore an outfit for so long..take it out of the dirty clothes and call her to put them up. is she tender headed? if so then tell her she's got so long to do her hair YOUR way or your coming in and brushing it YOUR way, and not be gentle about it. i had to do that with my yougest step daughter, she'd only brush the top to make it LOOK brushed, dad gave her a time limit, and we both went in a brushed her hair for her, and she's VERY tender headed, that's all it took for her to do it right, cause neither of us were "soft" with her, didn't put any oils in her hair to make it "easier". take the light bulb out of her light fixture so she CANT turn the lights on, and let her use a flash light that you give her and on a time limit on, and need permission for. on wasting food, give her no choice but to eat her left over's, make her plate for her and give her smaller portions. she's doing this because she CAN she has had no real punishment for it, and every thing she does is "testing YOUR waters" the minute you start cracking down...for ex, ok, ever time you leave the water running, it's 1.00 a minute from your allowance, when/if you reach 15 min, you are grounded or something of that nature. You're playing her game and she's winning

I LIKE TIFFANY'S IDEA give him cold water to finish shower!!! oooo, idea's ideas' ideas!!!


answers from Pittsburgh on

You're definitely not turning into a no-waste monster.

Your daughter sounds a little like my son, but he's only 4, so we're just working on this kind of stuff. He's a total sucker for the free stuff too. On our little mini vacation, EVERY TIME we passed the big pamphlet display in the hotel, he HAD to grab a few. By the time we went home, he had a ridiculous stack that he doesn't want thrown away. sigh... it's a work in progress. In his defense, I will say that he still does sit down and look through them on occasion, to see what he'd like to do when we go back next year... lol

I don't have much advice for you, but these couple things came to mind.
~Set an egg timer for, say 5 minutes... when it goes off, she has 5 more minutes to get washed and get out... set the timer for another 5 minutes. When it goes off the second time, go in and make sure she gets out.
~Being that she's 9, you could use signs as reminders for the more important things, like turning off the water or lights or music. And maybe even incorporate a sticker chart, or something age appropriate, that anytime she is caught leaving the water on, or the light on, or flushing for no reason, or whatever else you see as a problem, she gets a checkmark. And after so many checks, she gets a reduction in allowance. Or a reduction for each check. Better yet, put her allowance for the upcoming week in a jar - IN QUARTERS. Each time she violates a written rule that you both discuss and come up with together, SHE has to go get a quarter out of her allowance jar and place it in some other jar, that could perhaps be earned back with other special duties, that you'd also discuss and come up with together. For example, if she folds and puts away her laundry, she can earn 2 quarters back. It gives a good visual of how much of the allowance is being wasted by not following rules, and making HER take the quarter out, and place it in another jar that she doesn't get back without some extraordinary effort, will definitely send a message to her. She won't like doing it, but that's the point. She'll get the message.

That's all I have for now, but if I think of anything else, I'll update. :)


answers from Houston on

She's is old enough to earn an allowance and buy her own shampoo. She can take those paper pamphlets and menus, but then take her to the recycling center where she can dispose of them properly. She'll learn to get it when she see's the consequences. She can dispose of cheap toys she finds by recycling or donating.

Don't let her serve her own food, she can take huge portions, and if she doesn't eat them, then she has to eat them for dinner the next day.

She's also old enough to put her clothes away and do her own laundry. When she's sorting and washing and folding and hanging up clothes, she'll think twice about dumping clothes like that.

When our showers got to long, my dad would go turn the hot water off and we'd have to finish in the cold! It taught us to conserve water.

She can do math, let her see grocery bills and water bills, explain that she is wasting money and when that happens, the family doesn't have enough to do fun things. She can either contribute to the bill, or she can help conserve and be rewarded if the meter goes down so many points. If she can take 15 minute showers all week, and turn off the lights when she leaves the room for a weel, she can see a movie... if she can't do that, then no movie.

She needs consequences and to see how the savings and wasting actually effects not only the family budget, but HER life and budget too.

Learn to tell her "no", plain and simple about keeping her room clean, getting the food, taking paper pamplets, she's throwing tantrums because she gets what she wants. Don't give her what she wants and eventually she will stop the tantrums.

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