Toddlers: 24 Months+

Discipline advice......5 yr old

I wasn't sure where else to turn - I'm pregnant with our first child but my husband has a 5 yr old from a previous marriage. i need some advice on some discipline strategies. I'll start off by saying - my relationship with my step-daughter is great. there's just a few things that are driving me crazy. my husband doesn't have any clue on how to discpline on some things. he thinks i should just let it go - but I don't think. he brushes as some of it off as she's only 5, but shes' going to kindergarten next year and i think it's our job to teach her. so here's a few things i just don't know how to handle and need advice on:

 1. standing in front of the TV. multiple times have told her to not stand in front of TB, does it anyway. i've turned the TV off and that just turns into a fight. any other suggetions?

2. Sometimes (increasinly so) she doesn't wipe herself after going to the bathroom. when i catch it, i make her go back in and wipe herself. the reason i catch it, she doesn't flush the toilet. how do i correct these issues? these are big ones for me before she goes to kindergarten.

3. this next one is hard to explain. she's constantly holding spit or food in her mouth and plays with it with her tongue. then she'll stick her tongue out and let it sit between her lips. it's disgusting!! so i'm constantly telling her to keep her spit in her mouth. what else can i do?

4. first thing she says when we pick her up from day care of she walks in the front door - asks what's for supper and immediately start complaining. all she wants is hotdogs or anything to be made in the microwave. i tell her she'll eat what we make and i don't want to hear it. i'm come to REALLY detest the questions - what's for supper? or the word I'm hungry.

 Overall - i'm basically tired of repeating myself on the same issues EVERY SINGLE DAY!!!!! Any advice?? please???

Re: Discipline advice......5 yr old

  • I don't have a 5yr old, but I'll suggest what I can.

    For the TV - just be consistent and firm. If she stands in front no one else can see so the TV gets turned off until she moves. She can't fight with you if you don't engage, take the remote/unplug the TV and walk away.

    I think it's common for kids to need reminders about wiping at age 5....maybe I'm wrong?

    For the food, I think reminding her of proper table manners and possibly just ignoring it if she seems to do it just to get a rise out of you. 

    And finally, it sounds like she's truly hungry. Do they feed them a snack after lunchtime, if so is it just junky like crackers? Perhaps she needs something more satiating to get through until supper time.  She may be asking for something microwaveable because she knows it's quick. Maybe it would work better to have a snack ready, like some cheese sticks or apple w/ peanut butter that she could have right away while dinner is being made.



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  • We had custody of our nieces for awhile and had some of these issues.  They were 4 and 5 yrs when they came to live with us.  The TV, have her eyes been checked lately?  Maybe she is having issues seeing?  Kids like to stand in front of the TV too.  Maybe designate a special kid's chair or put a line of tape on the floor that she can't cross or the TV will go off.

    The wiping we had HUGE issues with and they still have issues with. With the younger one, who had the biggest issue, I think it was part of her attachment disorder.  I could see with a divorce/living with a step-parent, there being some of that issue there too.  It was just something she had control over that no one else did.  Bodily functions aren't really something you can force on a kid, so that tends to be something they do, from not wiping to some kids smear feces or hold it and refuse to go or pee on the floor...etc.  It's a control thing.  I'd tell her you are worried she's going to get an infection and have to go to the doctor and that's why you keep reminding her, then ignore it.  Make her do her own underwear laundry in a load by itself.

    The spit/food.  Ignore it.  She's does it because it bugs you. :)

    Most kids need a snack right after school/daycare.  They love to eat.  I'd offer something that won't ruin dinner.  We give fruit as a snack.  It's like "pre-dinner", it's just the fruit we would have offered as a side dish at dinner a little earlier.  Or a cheese stick and a few crackers, etc.  Make sure she knows that it's a little snack while dinner is being prepared and she's not getting more than you offer.

    For other annoying behaviors, sticker charts (get so many = big reward) work great at that age.

     

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  • A lot of good advice here but the real problem I see is your DH.  In the end your SD is just 5 and still requires love and guidance.  Your DH is the adult and should be providing that.  It looks like she's not receiving the guidance that she should from her dad.  In the end, it's up to her dad (and mom if she's still in the picture.)  If he's not onboard to fix these behaviors it's not really going to happen. 


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  • imagesecondtry30:

    1. standing in front of the TV. multiple times have told her to not stand in front of TB, does it anyway. i've turned the TV off and that just turns into a fight. any other suggetions?

    What is there to fight about?  You say don't stand in front of it, she does, you turn it off.  End of story.  Sure, she can whine and complain and even scream, but you're not turning it back on, and you can tell her, "I know you are upset that you can't watch TV, but you know the rules - you can watch it if you do not stand in front of it.  We can discuss this when you have calmed down."  But also do talk to her about it - maybe she doesn't like to sit, so she wants to stand, but there isn't a good spot for her to stand in and you can create such a spot? 

    2. Sometimes (increasinly so) she doesn't wipe herself after going to the bathroom. when i catch it, i make her go back in and wipe herself. the reason i catch it, she doesn't flush the toilet. how do i correct these issues? these are big ones for me before she goes to kindergarten.

    I don't think this is unusual.  Just reminder her ever time.

    3. this next one is hard to explain. she's constantly holding spit or food in her mouth and plays with it with her tongue. then she'll stick her tongue out and let it sit between her lips. it's disgusting!! so i'm constantly telling her to keep her spit in her mouth. what else can i do?

    she's exploring these things, and probably enjoys that something so simple and natural can get such a rise out of you.  I really don't see why it's disgusting.  weird, pointless, bizarre, but not disgusting.  ignore her.  if she's putting her spit somewhere outside of her mouth, give her a designated area - "you can go spit in the sink or on the grass outside" is the rule in our house.  stop making it such a big deal and it will probably be less of a big deal.

    4. first thing she says when we pick her up from day care of she walks in the front door - asks what's for supper and immediately start complaining. all she wants is hotdogs or anything to be made in the microwave. i tell her she'll eat what we make and i don't want to hear it. i'm come to REALLY detest the questions - what's for supper? or the word I'm hungry.

    Have you gotten her involved in choosing dinner?  As in, give her two or three options (that you are willing to serve) and she can pick from those.  Giving her some power in the situation could be really helpful.  And have her help prepare it.  And if you don't want to listen to her whine, don't listen.  Well, listen for a minute - she's human, she's little, she's disappointed and unhappy.  Those are valid feelings.  But you can ignore her carrying on.  Getting upset about it is your choice.

    I don't know... I just feel like your expectations are for her to behave like this very polite adult.  And she's not.  She's very far from it.  I think lowering your expectations and respecting her feelings like she was a human like every other person but realizing her cognitive process is much younger would help. 

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  • Lurker here. I have a 7 yr old DD and a 22 month old DS. My DD used to stand in front of the TV and she started complaining about her vision and turns out she needed reading glasses for tv and school work. Not saying that the case for yours but maybe. She may just get consumed and needs a reminder. I'd say remind once then if she doesn't listen turn it off. She'll get the point eventually. The spit thing I would say ignore. Don't let her get a rise out of you. Dont even look at her when you notice. you will probably see out of the corner of your eye that shes trying harder for you to acknowledge her. If she doesn't stop after a week or so. I would say no manners no table. The wiping thing I would say reminders are normal. It's a habit they have to get used to. If she has to stop playing and go back to flush she will remember eventually. My DD doesn't wipe good enough sometime and she gets a rash from dampness so every time I say," we don't want a rash did you wipe enough" she gets annoyed at me asking so she makes a point to do it then answers before I ask now. I would have a snack ready for when she gets home to hold her over. I would also let her cook with me just bc I'm a fan of letting them help in the kitchen but I wouldn't let her choose dinner. That becomes a habit too at least with my DD then when she didn't get to bc you want to have something different that will be another whinefest. Also my husband is her stepdad and she pushes her limits and try's to play us against each other. I'm more relaxed and he's the tougher one. Like I don't care if she goes to the fridge and gets a drink. She's 7 yrs not 7 months. She knows what she can have and knows when she's thirsty. He on the other hand wants her to ask every time. So she plays that card and goes to the fridge while looking directly at him bc she knows. He and I have to be on the same page and we have to decide what the rules consistently are. If you are alone in this then you will be evil step mom and he will be fun dad with no rules.
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