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Hi, I have a 9 year old daughter who is the most stubborn little

treasure you could ever meet...
Hi, I have a 9 year old daughter who is the most stubborn little treasure you could ever meet. She does not like to have her teeth fall out and in fact will do just about anything to keep them in. We have never pulled teeth and so do not know where this fear has come from. when it comes time to clean her teeth, she screams and wails, will refuse to do it or let anyone else do it. She reacts the same way to having water on her face whether in the pool or bath. I do not know how to help her to understand why it is important clean and, when necessary, lose teeth.
All of this creates a massive problem for me as I find it exceptionally hard to deal with her in these situations. I have been teaching for 20 years and none of my experience helps me with this little treasure of mine.
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Answered in 4 minutes by:
7/19/2012
TherapistJen
TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 3,703
Experience: Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
Verified

CoachJenK :

Hi. Welcome. I am a Licensed Master Social Worker with more than 20 years experience working with individuals and families. I am also a mom of Twins.

CoachJenK :

She has a wonderful spirit for sure and the last thing we want to do is take it from her.

Customer:

some days less so than others.

CoachJenK :

Even if you have all the expereince in the world when it comes to our own things are always harder because of the deep emotional involvement.

CoachJenK :

does she exhibit any other ways that could be indicative of a fear of growing up since the teeth falling out signify this.

Customer:

Not that I can think of.

Customer:

She is incredibly shy and does not talk a great deal in company however, when confronted by teeth or water on the head, she will scream the place down regardless of who happens to be present

CoachJenK :

ok because the first thing that comes to mind for me around this is a fear of growing up, gaining more independence...most kids go through this and hers can just be coming out in this way. I think that the extra focus on it can only lead to more anxiety around this.

CoachJenK :

I know you dont want her to have dirty teeth but how would you feel about completely ignoring it for a bit. You have a calm and clear conversation with her about what you expect and that is to brush her teeth and then leave it at that.

Customer:

really?

CoachJenK :

somehow the focus is creating some anxiety and also giving her attention in this way and it seems that if she is shy this may be the only way she can assert herself.

Customer:

I am concerned that if I just ignore it then she will continue to scream and carry on in other ways-if it worked for the teeth she may well think it could work for other things?

CoachJenK :

yes be very clear on what you expect...and let her know what privileges will be lost and then it is up to her. I know you have done this already but not to the point where you have stepped out of the dynamic.

Customer:

There you have it then!

CoachJenK :

you could also look at it the other way...the more she screams the more attention she gets.

Customer:

guess I need to back out

CoachJenK :

be very clear on what you expect and what will be lost and then that is it...no big screaming matched and no wiggle room on your part.

Customer:

what kind of age do kids normally get over this kind of behaviour? my other two have not exhibited behaviour anything like this

CoachJenK :

so hard to really know as we dont have an understanding as to why...the youngest wanting attention, fear of becoming a big girl and wanting her mommy, etc.

CoachJenK :

these dynamics continue when all parties engage and when you dont engage anymore the chance that it decreases is higher.

Customer:

ok, so to recap so that I am sure that I understand: I need to talk with her calmly and explain the importance of cleaning teeth etc. I then need to give her the news of what things she may be missing out on as a result of not cleaning her teeth and ensure that she has a choice thus giving her the chance to assert herself. Then I back right out of the equation and monitor her cleaning habits, or lack thereof. Did I get everything or miss anything?

CoachJenK :

Yes I think I would keep it light about the importance of teeth cleaning. She already knows. What I might say is:

CoachJenK :

"Honey, I love you and there are some things you need to take care of such as brushing your teeth. we have been battling over this and it shouldnt be that way. So, her is how it is going to go. I want you to brush your teeth in the morning and in the evening (and more if you desire) and we will not fight about this. If I see that you have not done it these are the privileges that you will lose. Each time you dont brush then I will remove one thing or one event. Are you clear about it all?"

CoachJenK :

once she is clear you have set up the rule, the boundary and the consequence.

Customer:

okey dokey. I shall give that a whirl on the morrow.

CoachJenK :

it will take some time, practice and patience...just know that going in and let things get better over time.

CoachJenK :

no wiggle room

Customer:

thanks for your help. do you know where i might be able to pick up some patience? I am just about out!

CoachJenK :

lol. me too. I have 3 year old twins! hysterical!

CoachJenK :

we all need it dont we?!!!

CoachJenK :

so I know a thing or two about rules, consequences and boundaries...no wiggle room.

CoachJenK :

please take a moment to click on the rating tab to rate my work. My goal is EXCELLENT.

Customer:

okey dokey. i may just become a frequent flyer...a soon to be teenage girl, miss stubborn bum and youngest master who is an emotional terrorist. This parenting stuff should come with a guidebook for each individual! lol good luck with your twins!

CoachJenK :

I agree. we all need to support each other. you are doing great!

TherapistJen
TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 3,703
Experience: Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
Verified
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TherapistJen
TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 3,703
3,703 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.

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