Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Oy vey, can you believe the mouth on that one?

I have had it up to there with Mary Grace.

She is a smart mouthed little brat.

I can't even tell you how close I've come to smacking her in the face the last couple of days...

Example 1:

Me: Mary Grace, stop it.
(keeps doing it)
Me: Mary Grace, knock it off.
(keeps doing it)
Me: I said STOP!
MG: You don't tell me what to do! (in the huffiest, bossiest, little-shittiest tone of voice I have ever heard come out of a three year old!)

Example 2:

Me: (any request)
MG: Ugggggghhhhhh! (as she stomps away)

Example 3:

Me: Leave your sister alone.
MG: (doesn't leave her sister alone)
Me: If you don't leave her alone, you're going to have a time out.
MG: I don't care!

(These three exchanges, with slight variation, have happened approximately 10,248,345 times in the past 24 hours).

I have tried giving her time outs. I have tried taking away her favorite toys (but I got in trouble with BJ for taking away her Leapfrog Tag Pen - he said we shouldn't take away her books. I said I didn't take away her books, I took away the pen that reads the books, she's still perfectly capable of reading the Tag books without the pen...). I've taken away television.

I do not know what to do. Nothing works. Are we allowed to wash kids' mouths out with soap, still, or did that go the way of the spanking?

I want spanking back as an option, seriously, because I swear to God if 14-year-old words come out of her mouth one more time, I am going to put her on a bus to Grammaland.

My mom said, "Someday you'll have a daughter just like you."

I hope you're happy, mother!

(Photo caption, the royal treatment! Source Wikimedia Commons)


Anonymous said...

Question - were you or were you not spanked as a child? I was NOT beat. I was spanked. Huge difference. I'm not sure when it changed... when society decided spanking should be outlawed... probably after a few hysterical parents were horrified by the bad parenting of a couple who probably didn't know any better... or were insane. (also, probably around the time someone decided if you 'throw' a party you 'give' the guests gifts... who the hell thought that up for the Love of God, but I digress)... Sometimes, just because we don't do something any more or just because there is a little guilty feeling involved with the subject, doesn't necessarily mean it was ever a bad thing to begin with... in my humble opinion. I was blessed with a completely compliant child and people made fun that I didn't really know what it was like to parent but my sister was handed a defiant smart girlie who we love and adore but after she became out of hand and my sister was at wits end... I straight out asked her... why are you opposed to spanking my niece? We were spanked and survived, right? She agreed and proceeded to tell me that her daughter is so smart and knows just what to say... like 'mommy, you've hurt my heart'... I replied... I meant to hurt your behind... she laughed but the point is... she had no reallll answer and agreed she was letting her mind wander and that in reality, ... she wasn't disciplining her daughter the way she thought she would because of quilt and giving into the myth that children can be reasoned with.... when in reality, few can... the rest are comforted to know who is in control, what the rules are and where the lines are drawn. My sister then started the 'mason jar marble' trick. The child is rewarded with a marble into the empty jar when there is 'parental decided good behavior' and a marble is taken out for the bad behavior. When allll the marbles are in the 'good behavior jar' he/she is rewarded ... but not until then. Of course the rewards vary by age and parents but the 'visual' really seems to work for the child.

I truly feel for you... but sometimes going back to 'old school' is a good thing. You are a fine mom. If you're head is saying spanking is called for, then tell your heart to shut up for a minute.... in my humble opinion.
xo, Connie

Cathie said...

I fear that I may be in the minority of your readers, but that has never stopped me before. :)

I have done both the punishments you suggest and feel neither are overboard, cruel, or unusual.

Derek has received soap in the mouth during a time-out on two ocassions. Once was when he very defiantly told his teacher, "No!" When she requested he clean up the toys with which he was playing. The other was when he lied, repetitively, to Daddy and I about taking my Valentine's candy from my nightstand drawer. He would have just been told to refrain from being in my drawer had he told the truth, but the lying is something that will NOT be tolerated.

Spankings are also a form of punishment we use in our home. They do not occur often. They are reserved for severe or repeat offenses, so that they have an impact instead of seeming commonplace. They are not given in the heat of the moment. This is to avoid Daddy or I from hitting Derek out of anger.

Really it just depends on the kid. Some of them all you have to do is give them the look, and they comply instantly. Others will push and push and test and test. So, as you have always said, do what is right for your family. If Mary Grace needs a bit harsher of a reminder than a time-out to help her remember to have a polite mouth, then sobeit. Punish her with the intention of teaching her, and do it because you love her and want her to grow up and become a good person, then you'll be just fine. And so will she. Don't worry about what is PC. Just make sure you and BJ agree.

Jen said...

We spank - and after a "real" one, the next is a long way down the road. Works for us, especially with Jade.

Have the T-shirt said...

I'm not so big on the spanking, but that doesn't mean I didn't occasionally employ it. I just never felt very good about it afterwards.

I will say this, throw that bar away....liquid soap...a tiny bit rubbed between your fingers than rubbed on their teeth does the trick. They taste it a while.

Mostly I found that diligence was important. Tell them once, make them look at you...repeat your request...and if ignored, immediately to the chair or whatever punishment you've decided on. The making them look at you was REALLY important with my oldest. It's labor intensive...sometimes you have to go to them, take ahold of their little chin and turn their face to you...but in really quick order, they learn you mean business.

What you are dealing with is Mommy youngest is 19, still at home and I still suffer from it.


Erin said...

Yep. We spank too. If Katelynn's being really irrational, out of control, totally not listening to anything we say, what have you, we give her one warning and get down on her level and try to make eye contact so she knows we mean business. Then we tell her if she does it again, she will be put in time out. We usually put her in time out because she's done the offense again. We explain to her why she's in time out and try to get her to tell us what she did wrong and tell her if she does the offense a 3rd time, she will be spanked. Sometimes the threat of it is enough to turn her behavior around. Sometimes not and we give her one swat on the behind. Nine times out of ten, that does the trick and her behavior turns around. Always, always, always we give her lots of love and hugs & kisses afterwards and we tell her that its the behavior we don't like. That she needs to be obedient and listen to Mommy & Daddy and we will always love her.

And you know, most of the time, it's really working. She usually goes to just time outs with me. She'll push Matt farther to spankings. But what we've learned is that the consequences have to get her attention and they have to be immediate. By the way, I hate spanking. I totally get it now when my parents said, "This hurts me more than it hurts you." It's hard to do, but I'd rather do the hard stuff now than try to clamp down on her when she's a teenager. That doesn't really work anyway.

cobb's said...

Totally agree with the other ladies on spanking. Sometimes there is a need for it and it should be done NOT in the heat of the moment and the sweet child should be told again why she is getting it. My almost 3 year old is at times this same way. I've found that consistency is the key. They are testing us to find out where are breaking point is so we have to continue repeating the rules and consequences over and over and over. She's old enough to understand so don't think she doesn't get it. I find that it helps if I take a deep breath (or ten) and then address the issue for the hundredth time. Once it's solved, I go get myself a diet soda and try to relax a bit before the next round because as you know, there will always be a next round. Great comments here. Hope they help and encourage you! PS - I agree that taking even a book or 10 away at this point is important. If those mean something to her, then DEFINITELY they should be taken away and then she should have to earn them back with good behavior.

Adelas said...

I am one of those not opposed to spanking. When I was a kid, we were spanked on the offending body part, or on the butt for general naughtiness/disobedience.

Simple sass, when I was a kid, got a swat (lighter than a slap, harder than a tap) on the mouth. Putting your hand/finger on something you were told to avoid got a slap on the hand. Etc.

I have two older stepdaughters in addition to my toddler son, so I've had opportunities to exercise discipline. Spanking was apparently standard practice by both parents until my husband and I got married, and then the girls' mom suddenly decided it was not acceptable, and we have had to find other means of discipline in the past 3 years.

My opinion on soap - we have saved it for VERY special word occasions (essentially, cussing, or horrifying insults). One insight my husband came up with which I thought was BRILLIANT:
Rather than fight to get a tiny sliver of soap in there and wonder how long is enough and hope you don't accidentally choke them or can't even get the soap to their mouth because they're too darn successfully wiggly....
Put the soap on a toothbrush to apply it (not their regular one, that would be mean).

Also, having a one-strike rule might make a difference?

"Mary Grace, stop it." (keeps doing it) - then is immediately removed from the item/activity/location/person without another warning.

one example of this at our house is the toddler's refusing to come on command (although since he's a toddler he gets two strikes). He gets one pleasant "Come here." If no response, the parent orders "Come here NOW." (and possibly stands up/moves into better line of sight to add to the threat level). If no response, he is fetched by the parent and physically escorted to the place that he was told to come to.

Some actions you can't MAKE her do or "perform" with her puppet-style like that, but many, you can.

Just a thought!