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Old 11-14-2012, 07:44 AM   #1
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Mommy Mistake - How To Fix? Took Away 5yo's Birthday Party

The amount of parenting mistakes I make never ceases to amaze me. This one takes the cake, though....

In anger, I threatened to take away my child's birthday party & presents if she wouldn't stop with her tantrum. First of all, she's a freight train and I know full well she won't be stopping, no matter what threat I've made. Secondly, I always follow through with my threats, no matter how big or small.

So of course she lost her birthday party. I regret doing this deeply. I want her to understand that her aggresive behavior and tantrums are unacceptable, but I think I went too far this time.

I've given her a few changes to "earn" it back, but she's not biting what I'm serving, if you know what I mean. She clearly is upset about not having a birthday party, but is completely incapable of showing me respect and controlling her aggression.

I've always thought something is a little bit wrong with her, emotionally speaking, but that's another story.

I guess I'm wondering if anyone has been in a similar situation and how did you fix the giant mess?

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Old 11-14-2012, 07:53 AM   #2
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Re: Mommy Mistake - How To Fix? Took Away 5yo's Birthday Party

My son is still too young for this, so I haven't been in this situation, so feel free to disregard my advice. I think though, that kids need to also learn that Mom and Dad are human. I think that you should sit her down (when she is in a good mood) and tell her that you made a mistake. That you do not think her behavior was acceptable, but that taking away her birthday party wasn't the appropriate response either. Ask her what she thinks an appropriate consequence for the tantrum should be and then agree to "swap" consequences.
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:11 AM   #3
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Re: Mommy Mistake - How To Fix? Took Away 5yo's Birthday Party

I agree with the pp and would definatly do that if this wasn't a ongoing issue. I also like your idea of earning it back. But TBH, you make it sound like this *is* an ongoing issue, and that she hasn't been willing to do anything/change her attitude to earn it back, so I would probably make it stick. It would be dreadful, but if she's not willing to do what you have asked, then that is her choice.
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:13 AM   #4
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Re: Mommy Mistake - How To Fix? Took Away 5yo's Birthday Party

I think I'd be more concerned about the underlying emotional issues and seek counseling for her.

I agree with pp about swapping consequences but I wouldn't offer an all out party. I'd offer a scaled back version-- 1 friend and cake or something.
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:15 AM   #5
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Re: Mommy Mistake - How To Fix? Took Away 5yo's Birthday Party

I don't know if you should go back or not, but I just want to say that I was just like your daughter as a child. Probably there was something "off" with me...I was very angry/ had tantrums all the time, was destructive, rude, etc. I know, looking back, that if my parents had followed through better with their threats, I would have controlled myself better. For example, although I spoke rudely/lost my temper with my father, I never had a full out tantrum with him because he was the punishment enforcer and I "feared" that. I did have control, I just didn't choose to use it when I was mad or frustrated.

I think you could either do the above, or try to make your punishment quasi-positive. For example, have a nice family birthday instead, do something fun at home, and maybe encourage her instead of receiving gifts to give (donate) something to someone who never gets birthday gifts in order to put gift-getting, etc., in perspective.

ps - also usually when I was having a full out tantrum, I pretended to be mad and not want love and hugs, but I really wanted them a lot. If my mom had just caught me and resisted my struggles and bear hugged me/tickled me/laughed with me, I would have snapped out of it 9 times out of 10.

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Old 11-14-2012, 08:21 AM   #6
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Re: Mommy Mistake - How To Fix? Took Away 5yo's Birthday Party

ps again, even though maybe I wasn't fully "normal," my parents treated me and held me accountable as though I was. They did not diagnose me, or send me to counseling. My worst fear was that something was wrong with me, even at a young age. I wanted to be good, I was sorry, I just couldn't do it when it came down to it. I think the label that counseling would have brought would have been terrible for me. Eventually, I outgrew my tantrums, and though sometimes my anger flares, I'm an adult, and I know how to control myself. I think your daughter will be just fine.
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:50 AM   #7
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Re: Mommy Mistake - How To Fix? Took Away 5yo's Birthday Party

Yes, this is an ongoing issue. We handled her tantrum very, very poorly last night. I just don't learn. We are so flustered with it that we try everything to calm her and do dumb things in the process that don't work and never will work. We are both tired, our kids are sick and tired. It was a setup for failure.

I'm tired of failing, so I jotted down a list Do's and Don't's in relation to her tantrums that I can hopefully reference when I'm not thinking clearly.

I like the idea of the punishment swap. I might try it if I can get her in a good mood. She will turn on a dime, plug her ears, scream at me, and much more if the subject material isn't to her liking. We are going to talk (privately) with her ped at a well appt in a couple of weeks. He can set up a referal that we can use if we need to, but I don't want to put her in therapy if it's my shortcomings as a parent that make her the way she is.

I had also thought perhaps just a party on the night of her birthday with just us might be ok. As in, no grandparents or cousins. We don't do friend parties yet. Maybe just a cupcake and the birthday song instead of the princess cake she requested. MAYBE a small present, maybe not. I really should have chosen something else instead of her birthday. I am so dumb.

And then.....stay with me, I promise I'm almost done.....after DD finally fell asleep, I was so aggitated that I decided to pick a fight with my husband, too. I'm just so burnt out on being a constant caregiver to 3 kids and one adult without so much as a thanks. so yeah, I'm feeling like a rock star this morning.
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:53 AM   #8
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Re: Mommy Mistake - How To Fix? Took Away 5yo's Birthday Party

ETA: I'm also going to find some parenting books. I said I'd never use them, I had it all figured out, but in all of 5 years I still have no idea what to do sometimes. I'm going to look at Playful Parenting, Love & Logic, 1 2 3 Magic (please tell me this isn't about counting to 3 to get obedience), and I'm not remembering the other title but it was something like parenting a difficult child.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:03 AM   #9
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My DD sounds a lot like your DD. She's 10 now, and we still struggle with her attitude. I wish I had advice to give, but we are still trying to figure her out! Unlike you, though, I am terrible about carrying out any punishments, and maybe that's why we are still having problems with her behavior.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:05 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badmisterkitty
ETA: I'm also going to find some parenting books. I said I'd never use them, I had it all figured out, but in all of 5 years I still have no idea what to do sometimes. I'm going to look at Playful Parenting, Love & Logic, 1 2 3 Magic (please tell me this isn't about counting to 3 to get obedience), and I'm not remembering the other title but it was something like parenting a difficult child.
And I can't tell you how many books I've read and therapists we've seen. Some kids are just HARD!
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