Using fear to control her isn't going to work, it may work for a little while but in the end she will quickly learn that A) You are bluffing and B) She will begin to resent you doing this to her. Not to mention the fact that it is not helpful for her to be afraid of you. You want her to learn that you are a team and that team must work together.
Keep in mind that she is 9 years old and is starting to feel her independence and wants to see who and what she is. Most parents assume this starts in the teenage years, but the reality is this starts around 9-10 years of age. A month of groundment is allot at this age......and you have to look at this for what it is. If you ground her for a month over this, what will the groundment be for something major? A Year? That's something you have to keep in mind, if she becomes more afraid of the punishment then she is going to become sneaky and hide things, and with a young girl that can be a VERY scary situation!
Punishments should be age appropriate. I am never a big fan of being grounded to begin with. If she refuses to do something you have asked, then consider making her do something instead. I like having the child do a extra chore each night. (If she is not doing a chore then this maybe something you should consider implementing) You may also want to consider having her write a essay on her behavior and why it is not acceptable. A punishment should be something she is doing.....not something she is not doing. What I would suggest is a week of a extra chore each night and maybe no TV or video games.
The key is to teach her that you are a team and though she should have some rights to make her own decisions she can not make them all.
One way to deal with this is to sit down and talk. Ask her what kinds of decisions she would like to make. The key is involving her in this, compromise....if she does not want her veggies then ask her what she would like. Give her the choice........is eating her veggies at lunch time the biggest battle you want with her? The key is compromise. Maybe she can pick out what she wants for lunch within reason......that way she is making the decision. Then use that as a opener for the more important stuff. such as:
Now sweetheart, I gave you the right to choose what you want for lunch, so I need you to respect my decision on homework. Sit down and look at the things she can make decisions on. Here are a few that are age appropriate.
Another thing you may want to consider is setting up goals for her. All children her age are looking for independence, so give it to her. Set up goals on where you want her to be in a month, 3 months, six months and a year. Then give her a reward for reaching those goals. For instance if you want her grades to get better, or her to clean her room more or her behavior to improve. Explain what it is you want and then ask her what she would like as a reward for that. Some good rewards include.
The key is to find a situation where there is something she can work for. Push her on the whole teamwork thing as well. If she feels like she is working with you......not for you she will find this more enjoyable. At her age she wants to be independent and by acknowledging what she wants, and picking your battles you will find things will go a lot smoother in the end. The last thing you want is to fight with her over everything. Learn to let go of the small stuff and she is more likely to respect the big stuff in the end.
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