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Ask Charlene Hertzberg Your Own Question

Charlene Hertzberg
Charlene Hertzberg, Child care provider, parent, teache
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 44
Experience:  22 years of experience working with children, formerly worked as a parental advisor
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lately my 10 year old daughter has started to do things ...

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lately my 10 year old daughter has started to do things behind our backs (sneaking sweets, watching DVD''s when told no more). She gets things out, then never puts anything away, leaves cupboards open ect. Also she tells blatent lies to my face and makes things up. It got to me so much today that I said something to hurt her, I regret it so much and do not want to scar her for life. Thinking that I don''t love her. How do I put things right and how do I deal with her actions lately?

First off, you'll need to apologize for what you said. Be honest, take the blame for what you said. Let her know that you are feeling very frustrated with her and why, and in that state you said somethings that you should not have. That there is no excuse for what you said, you are sorry, and that no matter what she does you will always love her.

Then, you need to have a heart to heart with her regarding her behavior, be specific, give examples of inappropriate behavior, and let her know how this is affecting you and anyone else who might be affected by the way she is acting.

Ask if there is anything she needs to tell you about. Let her know that you are concerned and that if she needs to talk that you are always there.

Let her know that her behavior can not continue the way it is, and because she is acting inappropriately, that you are going to have to put together consequences for inappropriate behavior. You can either choose to allow her to have a say in the consequences, or you can come with your own consequences ready (I'd be happy to help you figure out some appropriate ones if you need some help).


Charlene Hertzberg and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I don't know what consequences to give as nothing ever seemes to work. She doesn't get pocket money and all the things she likes to do eg dance, I pay for up front and I can't aford to stop her going. what would you surgest?
I wouldn't recommend taking physical activity away as that is important for her health and well being anyways. Does she go out with friends? Talk on the phone? Have any belongings that she wouldn't want to be without?

On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being a minor inconvenience and 10 being extreme, how severe would you rate the behavior problems.


What consequences have you already tried?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Rating of 5 I would say but this has been going on for some time. I think it just got to much today I don't like the lying. Consequences tried have been no telly and go to her room. In answer to your other reply she has friends for tea and sometimes sleepovers she also has a DS she can't put down should I use these as consequences do you think?

I understand that the lying can be very discouraging. Please realize that a lot of it is developmental. The best way to address lying really is to discuss with her what it does to your relationship when you can't trust her to tell you the truth, and that it makes it harder for you to give her the freedom that she is no doubt going to start wanting to have now that she is close to becoming a teenager. Lying is very hard to have a concrete consequence for because there is no way for you to always know when she is lying. Lying is part of getting her independence. Try not to invite her to lie. It is only human nature to try to get out of trouble. Try not to ask questions like "did you eat this candy" if you know she did (if you're unsure, then by all means ask, but if it is really more rhetorical, then there is no need to ask, just say I noticed you ______ when you were not supposed to, as I told you when ______ then (consequence) will happen.

That said, you can't just look the other way either. I would start by asking her straight out what she thinks you should do when she lies.

As for the other behaviors, I would suggest you try to make the consequence fit the action as much as possible. Going with some of the examples you gave...

Sneaking sweets - No sweets for a week, if she gets this remove the sweets and put them someplace you can lock them up. If she complains that it extreme, let her know that she's broken your trust and so you don't feel comfortable leaving them out available for her any longer.

Sneaking DVDs - Is she watching them on your family TV or does she have one in her room. If she has one in her room, take the TV away when she sneaks an extra DVD, if it is in the family room, remove the DVD player and put it away where she can not get it for a set period of time.

Taking things out and not putting them away - she can no longer use that item for a set period of time. Or, since you had to clean up after her, she can do an extra chore around the house to help you clean up.

I do think that it is okay to use the visits with friends and the DS as consequences also. Sometimes there is no clear cut natural consequence, those are the times that grounding her by cancelling a tea or sleepover and not allowing any friends over for a week might be appropriate. These could also be used for times when you know she's been lying. If you can't trust her to be honest with you, can you trust her with her friends in your house? If she is lying she loses a priviledge such as the DS.

Make sure you discuss new consequences with her BEFORE she does something wrong. Make it clear what you expect. You can even write up a contract with her (this is a good way to set everything down clearly and also to make her feel that you respect that she is getting older. If she makes a bad choice and earns a consequence, then that was her choice. She knew what would happen, and she decided it was worth it.


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you so much you have helped me immensely.
If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to hit reply. You can always ask for me too.