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Attitude issues in DD8


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3 minutes ago, sassenach said:

So here's the thing- you can't make her care about your carefully designed curriculum. Actually, the big lesson of parenting is you can't make them care about anything. You need to decide what is a reasonable amount of progress (and since you have a precocious child, be sure to double check whether it's reasonable against a typical 8yo), and let the rest go.

No, I can't make her care about MY desires, but I carefully design the curriculum so she does care 😉 . That's how it's chosen, and she's a relatively easy kid to please, anyway, as long as it's not boring. (Which is why she doesn't do copywork, or dictation, or pages and pages of arithmetic -- all boring.) 

 

3 minutes ago, sassenach said:

Maybe she's tired of the corona life? Does she have regular social activities anymore? Does she have things to look forward to in her week? At this age I had my kids in activities with other kids 5 days a week. My favorite was swim team because it physically exhausted them and had a strong social component. That's a tough one right now. 

She doesn't have in person social activities, but we've started a fun Zoom class with her friends without muting, and she plays well with her sister, and we go out for picnic lunches, and we're going to go pod with our in laws again in a bit 🙂 . She's generally a happy kid. The structure of our days works well for her. 

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Sorry this is stressful for you. It sounds like academically your dd is advanced. But keep in mind that maturity in academics does not translate to maturity in life. If she's doing 8th grade math, she

Her “not taking responsibility in a way that she ought to” sounds like the normal immaturity to be expected of an 8 year old.    It sounds like you want her to be immediately and cheerfully com

Ok, so help me out. Did I misread something? Wasn't one of your challenges with her that she isn't engaging with the curriculum the way you want? That she's getting sloppy and not trying (jam jar)? So

I've homeschooled three girls now. Youngest is 16 and the older two are college grads. All probably gifted, one highly gifted and always significantly advanced in academics.

IME, age 8 is when things start changing for girls in the brain in preparation for puberty. In all three of mine, there were definitely changes in attitude, though presented in various ways according to personality and other factors. I thought I was the most awesome mom up to that point, haha.

One thing with gifted kids...the rate of progression in academics can be significantly faster in the early years when they are more compliant and it's all a bit of a novelty. That does change with the brain taking on new tasks, and that's okay. If the kids are way ahead at this point, you've got some room to step back and relax and let other growing occur.

You sound like an awesome teacher. That said, it may play out that your daughter responds better to other input. Maybe not, but that's my experience, and I've learned not to take the rejection personally, because it's developmentally appropriate. An example from our life: I am a pro photographer. Yesterday, my daughter started a photography class with another local photographer. She will learn more from him because she will be more receptive, though I can reinforce lessons at home.

Good luck. I always say that by the time we figure all of this out, the kids are grown and gone and we have all this useless knowledge about child rearing.

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2 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

Yes, that's actually a discussion we keep having. DD8 has THICK hair, so if we don't brush it every day, it's ridiculous. And she's also a pain in the rear when I brush it. 

Is it reasonable to ask her to take care of her own hair or else cut it? Because that's kind of what we're coming to, but I don't know if that's expecting too much of her. But it's really hard to stay on top of her for stuff she doesn't want to do!! 

All the females here have long hair and DD 13 is exceptionally thick.  DD13 can brush her own hair but it's hard and really prefers help.  DD12 can't do her own yet.  That spot at the base of the neck is just so hard to get taken care of.  I currently have a frozen shoulder and I can't even take care of my own hair.  So yeah, we do a lot of brushing each other's hair.  None of my kids could have handled sole responsibility for hair at 8.  For DD12, we have solved her problems by keeping it braided.  A braid lasts her 2-3 days so she only needs someone to help on the days it needs to be redone.  We don't cut our hair for religious reasons but I do feel like it's too much to ask an 8 year to take care of thick hair on her own.  

I have my own profoundly gifted child as well as some above average kids.  What I learned is the farther from "normal", they were academically, the farther from "normal" they were emotionally as well and not in the same direction.  So my profoundly gifted child was 4-6 years ahead academically, but 3-4 years behind emotionally.  My advanced kids were ahead academically 1-2 years but we were only behind emotionally about a year.  Eventually it all evened out but their developing brain can only handle so much at one time and when its working so hard on academic skills it pretty normal for emotional/mental behavior to lag behind.  And even if you decide to lax on academic skills doesn't mean the brain will turn it's attention to emotional growth.  

So while it's frustrating as all get out, I really think you need to lower your expectations of what she can do herself. So don't make the expectation that she can remember to brush her hair everyday.  Simply state that hair needs to be brushed by a certain time, either she can do it or you will do it and than walk away until said time.  Gives her a chance to try and either succeed or fail. For mine it was math, he wanted to do the hard stuff but would get mad and throw books because he would get stuck.  But he didn't want me to help either.  Usually he'd get mad, I'd offer to help, that would make him madder, I would walk away, he'd struggle some more and sometimes get madder but he kept pushing because the alternative was admitting he needed help and he wasn't going to do that if there was any way around it.  Lots of moodiness, lots of frustration because he didn't do things the way "I" wanted but it came back to him being behind emotionally.  Once I could look at it a bit more objectively, it made it easier to reign in "my" response to the irritating behavior because I realized these things weren't intential on his part.

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1 minute ago, Not_a_Number said:

No, we don't do that since they share a room. Maybe when she has her own bedroom 🙂 . 

Depending on the younger and the room set up, it might be possible with a clip-on light and/or some sort of partition. We've done that sort of thing with a room sharing situation, but I totally get that kids are different and sleep is precious! Could she read for a few minutes in your bed, then switch to hers for sleep? Just trying to think of something small but valuable to a kid.

I really understand trying hard not to repeat the problems of our parents. I had pretty good parents in many ways, but they were lousy at some things. There were no arguments in our house, just lots of anger, silence, and unrelated things being forbidden. I've had to work hard to talk things through with my husband, addressing small annoyances so they don't build into this huge elephant in the room. Since you are mindful of this and trying to address it, my hunch is you will do well, though it may remain an issue that comes back as you, your husband, and your children hit new life stages.

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Just now, GoodGrief3 said:

You sound like an awesome teacher. That said, it may play out that your daughter responds better to other input. Maybe not, but that's my experience, and I've learned not to take the rejection personally, because it's developmentally appropriate. An example from our life: I am a pro photographer. Yesterday, my daughter started a photography class with another local photographer. She will learn more from him because she will be more receptive, though I can reinforce lessons at home.

Yeah, this is honestly part of why I taught the outside math classes -- having her in MY class, even, was much better than having her at home!

I tend to be a pretty non-standard teacher, though, and I've generally been happy with the results. So I'm a little reluctant to outsource. I'm keeping it in my mind, though... 

 

Just now, GoodGrief3 said:

Good luck. I always say that by the time we figure all of this out, the kids are grown and gone and we have all this useless knowledge about child rearing.

Hah. I do feel that way sometimes!! 

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20 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Interesting point. Yes, that's true. So if one took that away, you'd still have DD4 do the cartoons for the day? 

Absolutely. 

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2 minutes ago, Xahm said:

Since you are mindful of this and trying to address it, my hunch is you will do well, though it may remain an issue that comes back as you, your husband, and your children hit new life stages.

Mindfulness of issues is definitely one of my talents, but it's not working nearly as well for this as it does for other things. Maybe because I really do feel defeated before I've started! At least... I do a good job restructuring things to be less frustrating. But I do a bad job controlling myself in the moment. 

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1 minute ago, EKS said:

Absolutely. 

Hmmmm. So perhaps worksheets during all the time that she was supposed to be working with me and watching cartoons? She would be SO sulky, though. Perhaps I'd have to send her to another room not to see the sulkiness. (And also, not to TEMPT the sulkiness. Does a child sulk in the woods if there's no one to hear her? No, no they don't. I saw that in my class.) 

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15 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Yes, this is certainly usually my model -- we WILL get through today's work in a way I find satisfactory, but I will also evaluate at the end of the day/week/month how well things are working for us. So I worry about what happens if I end things when there's lack of engagement. Will that just teach her that not engaging has positive consequences? Would she still feel that way if she had to do extra worksheets the rest of the day and then couldn't watch cartoons? 

I should point out that there were times when I stopped before we had finished what I had originally planned.  But never directly in response to bad behavior or someone asking if we could be done.  I would always have them do more and then stop.  But I also never used more schoolwork as a punishment.

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Just now, EKS said:

I should point out that there were times when I stopped before we had finished what I had originally planned.  But never directly in response to bad behavior or someone asking if we could be done.  I would always have them do more and then stop.  But I also never used more schoolwork as a punishment.

Well, my attempts to do so have definitely generally backfired. And I don't WANT her to think of schoolwork as punishment. 

Would you give her worksheets or something if you wanted to wind up a bad interaction, though? 

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3 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Hmmmm. So perhaps worksheets during all the time that she was supposed to be working with me and watching cartoons? She would be SO sulky, though. Perhaps I'd have to send her to another room not to see the sulkiness. (And also, not to TEMPT the sulkiness. Does a child sulk in the woods if there's no one to hear her? No, no they don't. I saw that in my class.) 

I wouldn't use schoolwork as a punishment.  But I would send her to a different room while the cartoons are on.

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2 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

No, I can't make her care about MY desires, but I carefully design the curriculum so she does care 😉 . That's how it's chosen, and she's a relatively easy kid to please, anyway, as long as it's not boring. (Which is why she doesn't do copywork, or dictation, or pages and pages of arithmetic -- all boring.) 

 

Ok, so help me out. Did I misread something? Wasn't one of your challenges with her that she isn't engaging with the curriculum the way you want? That she's getting sloppy and not trying (jam jar)? So what I'm saying is that you can't control her reaction to your curriculum, even if you have created it with her in mind. Even if it's custom to her likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, you cannot, and I would say SHOULD NOT, look to her reaction as something she owes you. If she's sloppy, it's not because she's willfully coming up against your carefully designed curriculum. It's because she's a human and sometimes we're just not feeling it. The more you personalize her engagement with the curriculum, the worse it will be for your relationship, and ultimately for her learning. Let her have a bad day (or week). Ask her what she needs. Do not make learning a battle ground. She's a bright kid, which means that you can take your foot off the gas a little in that area if it means that you're nourishing the relationship. 

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1 minute ago, Not_a_Number said:

Mindfulness of issues is definitely one of my talents, but it's not working nearly as well for this as it does for other things. Maybe because I really do feel defeated before I've started! At least... I do a good job restructuring things to be less frustrating. But I do a bad job controlling myself in the moment. 

I would seriously give the kids a code sentence that means "back off, mom, and take time for yourself to calm down." I would take it very seriously, at least for a certain period of time, to show them that they can trust me to follow through. Like, we'd make a game of saying it to each other, then the person who gets it said to them needs to go into another room at least before coming back. All done with friendly smiles and giggles as much as possible. Later, if they used it when I didn't really need to calm down, I'd just close my eyes and take a deep breath, then continue. This would not only give you chance to calm down, it would help you know that you were breaking that cycle where you do what your parents did. Instead, you are actively teaching your children to handle things differently than their grandmother ever would have.

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Just now, Not_a_Number said:

Would you give her worksheets or something if you wanted to wind up a bad interaction, though? 

I'm not sure what you mean.

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13 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

To psychoanalyze myself a bit... I think part of the reason I'm having troubleshooting this issue (as opposed to any actual issues we've had with academics) is that I feel a bit defeated to start with. I was brought up in a high conflict home, and I don't tend to have conflict-free relationships. (And not having conflict with DH winds up with him walking all over me, anyway -- he's stubborn and not good at meeting people's needs if not reminded with some force.) So perhaps I don't really ultimately BELIEVE I can fix this. 

Sometimes when I yell, I feel like I sound like a (much fairer) version of my own mom, whose anger was a pretty big problem for me. Now, she's also very unaware of other people's needs and unfair, and I'm not that. But I did have to walk on eggshells around her, and sometimes I wonder if this kind of interaction is training DD8 in the same way 😕 

I also grew up in a very high conflict household.  One can change. You can change.  It takes work.  

When I stopped yelling, for a few days I whisper-yelled. I eventually got to the point where I could just stop and pause and begin again when I was calm.  When the other person tries to escalate, I just pause again.  

It is also possible to have boundaries that don't even yelling.....even if the other person is obtuse, stubborn, and generally unaware of others and their feelings.  

You might start a new thread asking about a book reading list of where to begin. I've found good books here over the years. 

 

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Just now, EKS said:

I'm not sure what you mean.

Sorry! I mean, if we're working and things are kind of spiraling out of control... what would you do? I do think the idea of taking away the fun parts of the day like Russian cartoons is a good idea, but what if it's not time for the fun thing yet? I'm pretty sure that once things get to the frustrating interaction, continuing goes badly. 

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1 minute ago, prairiewindmomma said:

I also grew up in a very high conflict household.  One can change. You can change.  It takes work.  

The sad thing is I'm pretty good about not yelling at the kids outside of teaching interactions. But teaching is just SO FRUSTRATING. 

 

1 minute ago, prairiewindmomma said:

When I stopped yelling, for a few days I whisper-yelled. I eventually got to the point where I could just stop and pause and begin again when I was calm.  When the other person tries to escalate, I just pause again.  

Thank you for the encouragement 🙂 . 

 

2 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

You might start a new thread asking about a book reading list of where to begin. I've found good books here over the years. 

That's a good idea. I probably will. 

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5 minutes ago, Xahm said:

I would seriously give the kids a code sentence that means "back off, mom, and take time for yourself to calm down." I would take it very seriously, at least for a certain period of time, to show them that they can trust me to follow through.

Does it actually help for it to be silly? Because I've asked them to say that to me before, but they don't always do it, and when they do, I'm afraid I do sometimes feel defensive and have a hard time doing it. 

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38 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Oh, geez, that's just great 😛 . Does it get easier in between as a break or does it just ramp up? 

It gets easier in between. This is to lull you into a false sense of security. 

34 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

OK, that is a VERY cool idea -- thank you for the creative suggestion. So perhaps we could a code word for "I'm having trouble focusing and realizing that what you're asking me is important" or for "you sound frustrated and that's making it hard for me to think" or for "you seem to need a minute to calm down"? 

Yes, try to offer breaks when you see the frustration or distraction rising, before things turn truly negative. 

"Would you like to take a break?" was probably the single most-used sentence in my household for years. Eventually, they took ownership and would themselves say, "I need a break." 

Some cousins were successfully winding up my explosive child on a visit, and I was a proud mama when she shouted, "I NEED A BREAK!" and stomped off to her room. There was silence for a moment, and then someone asked, "Did she just put herself in time-out?" lol 

 

24 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Now the problem is really just convincing myself IN THE MIDDLE OF IT to knock it off. That's the problem. I've made all sorts of rules for myself like "Don't ask her the same question more than 3 times!" and then I invariably break it. Like most people, I'm not always good at following my own rules. I tend to have to tinker with rules to make them stick... 

Yes, it is even more important to model taking a break! It can be in the middle of a math lesson or hair brushing session, that's fine. "I'm feeling really frustrated right now, so I'm going to take a short break" or simply "I need a break, I'm going to my room for a bit." 

I was not on the side of always ending a lesson by my decision, because the greater lesson to be had was managing their emotions and returning to the work. And really, how much are they learning if they're frustrated to tears, for whatever reason? The work is not going anywhere. If they abuse "I need a break" they quickly learn that, oh yeah, I still have to do it. I was okay with the occasional break for no reason, because they knew the work wasn't going anywhere. If it's not done in the morning, the afternoon goes a little later, or they have more to do the next day. We always had project and review days built into the schedule, so keeping on top of your work meant those days were easy and fun. 

No, they could not have done this at school, but they weren't at school. They were at home, and if I was going to do the work of homeschooling, I was sure going to enjoy the advantages of it as well. They had no problem realizing that this wouldn't fly in other settings. 

 

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I just don't argue about this stuff.  I literally ignore the yelling, whining, stomping, sulking about ridiculous things and just do what needs to be done. 

What would happen if you ignore her complaints and just brush her hair?

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1 minute ago, Not_a_Number said:

Sorry! I mean, if we're working and things are kind of spiraling out of control... what would you do? I do think the idea of taking away the fun parts of the day like Russian cartoons is a good idea, but what if it's not time for the fun thing yet? I'm pretty sure that once things get to the frustrating interaction, continuing goes badly. 

This is always the problem.  You can't keep threatening, and once the cartoons are gone for the day, you lose your leverage.  And you're right, the lack of immediacy is also a problem.

I remember spending a considerable amount of time trying to figure out how to make things go smoothly.  A lot of analyzing what exactly were the sticking points.  But it's so much easier to keep from getting to the point where you need to take privileges away or whatever.

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My girls, with thick long hair when they were little, weren't really capable of managing their own hair completely until they were in about 6th grade, age wise not academically. Until then it was either cooperate while I brush and style or get it cut where it needs minimal maintenance. One choose to get it cut (really cute angular bob with a stack on the back, it looked really good on her and she donated her pony tail to locks of love), the other didn't mind the brushing and styling most of the time. Braids and stacked ponytails are great for keeping long hair from getting tangled throughout the day. 

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Just now, Not_a_Number said:

Does it actually help for it to be silly? Because I've asked them to say that to me before, but they don't always do it, and when they do, I'm afraid I do sometimes feel defensive and have a hard time doing it. 

For us, yes. Silliness is key! My older two are both intense, fairly serious children, but silliness helps make things less personal. Another key is practicing it when stakes are low. Like, when I was trying to get my somewhat dishonest child to 'fess up, I actually encouraged telling untruths (jokes, we called them) quickly followed up with a purple elephant warning. Since they got used to doing it and not being punished or viewed badly or whatever it was they were scared would happen, they were comfortable doing it when it mattered. So if your code phrase was "Was that the doorbell?" to mean "Go take a moment and calm down, please!" explain its real purpose, but also allow it to be used as kind of a game, where they can say it and if you don't remember you are supposed to go look out the peephole (and calm down if needed) you "lose." In our house this would mean the grown up who lost would look cartoonishly dejected for a few seconds, then go on with their day. The whole thing hinges on you letting them get away with getting out of a few seconds of math or Russian practice or whatever. They will likely abuse it a few times at least, and you still have to get up and do your cool down routine of walking to the door and looking out the peephole. If it gets ridiculous, have a chat after the fact about how important it is for mom to learn to calm down and not yell, and if they abuse the system that makes it harder which hurts the whole family. If this were just a tiny problem, this solution would be way out of proportion, and it might only work in our family because we are weird, but it seems like this is a big enough deal to you that you want to try something.

 

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4 minutes ago, MissLemon said:

I just don't argue about this stuff.  I literally ignore the yelling, whining, stomping, sulking about ridiculous things and just do what needs to be done. 

What would happen if you ignore her complaints and just brush her hair?

I could. But she really does do better with things once she takes ownership. I know it sounds like I want too much out of her, but that's genuinely the ways things go most smoothly with her. 

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2 minutes ago, Xahm said:

If this were just a tiny problem, this solution would be way out of proportion, and it might only work in our family because we are weird, but it seems like this is a big enough deal to you that you want to try something.

It's the biggest problem with our homeschooling, so yes, I want ideas. And I love interesting ideas 🙂 . 

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4 minutes ago, MissLemon said:

I just don't argue about this stuff.  I literally ignore the yelling, whining, stomping, sulking about ridiculous things and just do what needs to be done. 

What would happen if you ignore her complaints and just brush her hair?

In my house that would have meant curling up into a ball with her arms over her head, then crying for ages in truly deep anguish if we had forced the comb through her hair anyway. It would have honestly hurt the relationship for at least a week. Ask me how I know and why we cut her hair!

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15 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Hmmmm. So perhaps worksheets during all the time that she was supposed to be working with me and watching cartoons? She would be SO sulky, though. Perhaps I'd have to send her to another room not to see the sulkiness. (And also, not to TEMPT the sulkiness. Does a child sulk in the woods if there's no one to hear her? No, no they don't. I saw that in my class.) 

I seriously urge you to try taking a break, followed by at least some period of reduced expectations, before moving on to direct methods. Sometimes the break is all that is needed! And, if it's not, you can at least be confident that needing a break is not the reason for the behavior. Following it with easier work for a time is to allow for the synthesizing of all that she's learned before. There's a lot going on in that little brain, academically and emotionally. I always found it pretty easy to tell when my kids were ready to move forward again - they were more energetic and eager, more of that 'full speed ahead' attitude. 

10 minutes ago, Xahm said:

I would seriously give the kids a code sentence that means "back off, mom, and take time for yourself to calm down."  

I like this a lot. The code can be silly or serious, but your response should always be serious. And remember, as long as they know the work isn't going anywhere, they won't get anything out of taking advantage of it. The code sentence makes it easier for you to not take it personally, as opposed to their possibly not-so-tactful efforts at describing what you're doing wrong in the moment. 

This is probably frustrating you so much because, as Dr. Phil says, if you spot it, you got it. Your dd is struggling to control her reactions and it's particularly frustrating to you because . . . sometimes you struggle to control your reactions, lol. 

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5 minutes ago, EKS said:

I remember spending a considerable amount of time trying to figure out how to make things go smoothly.  A lot of analyzing what exactly were the sticking points.  But it's so much easier to keep from getting to the point where you need to take privileges away or whatever.

I would guess the sticking points for us are rather similar -- we both expect our kids to work near the edge of what they can do, and that's HARD for the kids, even though it can also be very rewarding for them. And it requires active coaching, which is innately frustrating even when it goes well. 

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2 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

I could. But she really does do better with things once she takes ownership. I know it sounds like I want too much out of her, but that's genuinely the ways things go most smoothly with her. 

Right, but it's not going smoothly. That's why you are here. 🙂 

There's no magic that will make things go smoothly 100% of the time.  

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1 minute ago, Xahm said:

In my house that would have meant curling up into a ball with her arms over her head, then crying for ages in truly deep anguish if we had forced the comb through her hair anyway. It would have honestly hurt the relationship for at least a week. Ask me how I know and why we cut her hair!

I'd like DD8 to brush her own hair because it just hurts her less!! I mean, I know how that goes. It hurts less when I brush my own hair. 

I like the idea of giving her a daily schedule with self-care tasks she checks off, actually. Would one make a schedule a few weeks ahead and let her check them off? 

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1 minute ago, MissLemon said:

Right, but it's not going smoothly. That's why you are here. 🙂 

There's no magic that will make things go smoothly 100% of the time.  

Drat. You're saying that elixir I bought from the nice man on the street whose eyes didn't point the same way isn't REALLY magic? 😛.  

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1 minute ago, Xahm said:

In my house that would have meant curling up into a ball with her arms over her head, then crying for ages in truly deep anguish if we had forced the comb through her hair anyway. It would have honestly hurt the relationship for at least a week. Ask me how I know and why we cut her hair!

Cutting hair then is the next logical step and also counts as "not arguing about this".  

Don't want to have your hair brushed? Ok, then we have to cut it. 

But there's no option for "Not brushing it and also not cutting it". 

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2 minutes ago, katilac said:

This is probably frustrating you so much because, as Dr. Phil says, if you spot it, you got it. Your dd is struggling to control her reactions and it's particularly frustrating to you because . . . sometimes you struggle to control your reactions, lol. 

Hmmm. Interesting point. So you're saying this bothers me because I have trouble with my runaway temper? And so seeing her struggle with that, too, is hard? 

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Right, but just because she wants to be independent and you want her to be independent doesn't mean that she's capable of being independent and performing those tasks well consistently.

My older dd is learning how to bake more complicated recipes right now.  She wants to manage a kitchen well. She loves it, she's motivated to work hard at doing it, and she's happy when she's successful.....but I don't expect her to nail it every day. She can pull off some magnificent things. And, occasionally she leaves the gas burner on (gas coming out, no flame), leaves a sticky mess on the countertops, and forgets important steps in her recipes.  Some days she can't even be bothered to warm up leftovers. Some days she won't attempt things she wants to do because she is afraid of failing. This is to be expected.  She is in the process of learning new skills and sometimes she will nail it and sometimes she won't...and she'll probably not have everything consistently together for the next few years. 

And you're reading this thinking, "Ok, Captain Obvious."

Sometimes your 8 year old will manage a thing, sometimes she won't. Sometimes she'll have partial success, and sometimes it will end in a flaming mess with tears and an epic mess.  

Ok, I'm off to wrangle my teen who is avoiding an essay.  Break time is over. (He is running steps and getting a snack.)

 

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5 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

 I like the idea of giving her a daily schedule with self-care tasks she checks off, actually. Would one make a schedule a few weeks ahead and let her check them off? 

If it's self-care, just make a permanent one. Laminated list or cards. She can move the cards from one hook to another (or magnets from one side of the fridge to another), or check off boxes. Permanent marker will come off with alcohol if dry erase is too annoying. 

4 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Drat. You're saying that elixir I bought from the nice man on the street whose eyes didn't point the same way isn't REALLY magic? 😛.  

Did you swallow it while standing on one foot under the light of the full moon? Because that's the only way it works. 

2 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Hmmm. Interesting point. So you're saying this bothers me because I have trouble with my runaway temper? And so seeing her struggle with that, too, is hard? 

Yes. It's hard because it reminds you of your own shortcomings, and it's hard because two runaway tempers don't mesh well (just like two people who both have a hard time starting hard conversations may not mesh well).  With friends and spouses, we usually gravitate toward a natural balance and complement each other overall. With kids, we get what we get, and we often get exactly what our parents wished for us all those years: a kid just like us 😂

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Just now, prairiewindmomma said:

Sometimes your 8 year old will manage a thing, sometimes she won't. Sometimes she'll have partial success, and sometimes it will end in a flaming mess with tears and an epic mess.  

That's a good reminder -- thank you. I tend to prize consistency a tad too much. 

 

Just now, prairiewindmomma said:

Ok, I'm off to wrangle my teen who is avoiding an essay.  Break time is over. (He is running steps and getting a snack.)

Good luck!! 

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1 minute ago, katilac said:

If it's self-care, just make a permanent one. Laminated list or cards. She can move the cards from one hook to another (or magnets from one side of the fridge to another), or check off boxes. Permanent marker will come off with alcohol if dry erase is too annoying. 

Oooh, I could make a fridge magnet list! We bought all these cute pawn-shaped fridge magnets recently. They'd work well on a list. Great idea. 

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1 minute ago, Not_a_Number said:

That's a good reminder -- thank you. I tend to prize consistency a tad too much. 

 

Kids are very inconsistent.  Past performance is no guarantee of future results. 🙂 

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4 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Oooh, I could make a fridge magnet list! We bought all these cute pawn-shaped fridge magnets recently. They'd work well on a list. Great idea. 

Like chess pieces? If so, you could have the destination side spell out "Checkmate!" and she moves one pawn next to each letter as she finishes the task. 

((sometimes I miss making cute things for no reason and it shows)) 

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Okay, I've just read the original post and skimmed a few answers but I'm going to jump in without reading the entire thread...

NaN - your oldest girl and my middle boy are so very similar. We also have trouble here with what can be called attitude issues. We butted heads just this afternoon over an oral narration and spelling! It's not that he isn't capable or didn't understand what I was asking him, it was that he just *wouldn't* do it.

After many months of serious thinking and talking about these issues (with my DH, my BFF, and my mother), I've come to realize that it has to do *exactly* with the intersection of his maturity (or lack thereof), his being an autodidact/gifted, and my own control issues.

It took along time to see the pattern, but when DS8 is going through a period of intense THINKING, he just won't/can't do the stuff I want him to do (brush his teeth himself, care for his belongings, do the schoolwork I have assigned, etc). The past few weeks have been rough around here for that kind of stuff, and I only just put two and two together and realized that, in the last three weeks, DS8 had gone through an explosion of math concepts (he taught himself about trig functions, then factoring quadratic equations, then two days ago he wrote a visual proof for finding the length of the hypotenuse of any right isosceles triangle). His brain is just so damn BUSY, that he doesn't have the brain space left for any of the other stuff! We used to have these issues before he was school-aged as well, but they manifested them as tantrums and heightened sensory processing issues. I hope that, as he gets older and continues to mature, the negative aspects will lesson or at least be more manageable.

What I have to work on is my own response to his behavior, and that is the hard part. I grew up with an emotionally abusive father, and when I get tired/angry/frustrated, I open my mouth and my father comes out. I hate it. My kids hate it. Being able to finally recognize that what is causing the issues (his giftedness and his age), and that it is not willful disobedience, is making it *slightly* easier for me to keep my patience and try to find better solutions.

I can't offer any better advice than others already have, but I can offer you solidarity. (((NaN)))

 

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OP, I don't know much to say about what you wrote mostly as I do not know.  But about hair, I do know  a bit.

I have long hair, thick and waist length. It is an absolute pain to maintain, I have never cut it off, only trimmed and I do so mostly because of memories of my grandmother and mother attached to it.

Every Saturday, we oiled the hair with coconut oil and massaged it fully back home. I do so now with the whole family because I was told it was "good for us". Something to do with cooling. 

Every six weeks trim hair. Use a detangler on dry hair, just spray it, easy to detangle. Use what is called a wet brush. Do not use a lot of heat unless necessary. Use leave in conditioner and apply some type of oil at night twice a week before a shower the next day. I also use egg white on my hair and DD's once a month, again old grandma trick, never questioned.

Braid hair at night and sleep on silk pillowcases. Forms less knots. Always 100 brush strokes at night. I do this mostly.

I have so many memories of my mom and grandma braiding my hair, brushing it, we used to make jasmine flower chains and wear it in our hair. When I was all alone here , I would take care of my hair when I could have cut it off because it was such a pain, but those memories were so strong, it literally sustained me. I still have them like a nurturing, loving part of my childhood. DD4 and I bond a lot over hair care. 

Please do it for your little girl. Few things make me feel pampered like someone tending to my hair.

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Dreamergal, I’m so glad I read your post. I have 4 daughters who have all had waist length hair. I tease that if I could get back all of the hours I spend washing, conditioning, brushing, braiding hair, I’d live an extra 10 years. 
 

We usually put on a movie that would take their mind off of the brushing when we were detangling. Sometimes they would pick an older sister to help do their hair. They are sweet memories now. 
 

OP, I grew up in a home full of conflict, and I said,”I’m not living this way when I grow up.”  I just refuse to. 
 

I made it a point to never punish my kids.  I didn’t have to. We are on the same team. So if something in the home isn’t working, we brainstorm. I talk about what my goal is. I check in. Is that their goal too? Where are we going wrong? What could we try as a remedy? How long will we try before checking in again ? 
 

It is modeling how to be team. And how to problem solve too. 
 

If your daughter truly enjoys learning, like I’m sure she does, that can be it’s own motivation. If a lesson isn’t working, you can say, “Let’s pick this back up again tomorrow.” And she will probably be ready then. I would not want to turn something you two enjoy doing together into a power struggle. 
 

 

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1 hour ago, Not_a_Number said:

Thank you for understanding. It really does feel like that -- like a massive amount of "argument inertia." So I can make rules that I'm supposed to follow, but then I just break those rules and feel even worse. 

This is really, REALLY hard.  

For what it's worth, most of my regrets about my kids' childhoods are the power struggles I got into, and honestly some of the times that I was so convinced I had to win that I took away privileges.  Like, it seems stupid, but I'm pretty sure my kids would have outgrown the behavior at the same time anyway, and all I did was make our relationship more contentious.  

But yeah, that "I have to win" thing is just so, so hard to fight or stop.  It all feels so important in the moment, and it's just....not.

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6 minutes ago, Amy Gen said:

We usually put on a movie that would take their mind off of the brushing when we were detangling. Sometimes they would pick an older sister to help do their hair. They are sweet memories now. 

I forgot about all the time I spent doing dd19's hair when she was really little while she was watching Dora the Explorer lol. That was practically the only way I could get her hair done for years it seemed.

We also had a routine of using a beach comb with conditioner to fight tangles before she got out of the shower. Always braiding her hair before bed to fight night time tangles. Looking up new and creative ways to do her hair to keep the tangles away... but I enjoyed it and so did my girls, one more than the other but they did enjoy getting compliments on their hair and doing "crazy hair day" type styles and the like. When it lead to more head butting than not with dd19 when she was little, that's when it was time to cut her hair into something she could manage on her own. She was in 4th or 5th grade when she got it cut in the angular bob. 

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1 hour ago, Noreen Claire said:

Okay, I've just read the original post and skimmed a few answers but I'm going to jump in without reading the entire thread...

NaN - your oldest girl and my middle boy are so very similar. We also have trouble here with what can be called attitude issues. We butted heads just this afternoon over an oral narration and spelling! It's not that he isn't capable or didn't understand what I was asking him, it was that he just *wouldn't* do it.

After many months of serious thinking and talking about these issues (with my DH, my BFF, and my mother), I've come to realize that it has to do *exactly* with the intersection of his maturity (or lack thereof), his being an autodidact/gifted, and my own control issues.

It took along time to see the pattern, but when DS8 is going through a period of intense THINKING, he just won't/can't do the stuff I want him to do (brush his teeth himself, care for his belongings, do the schoolwork I have assigned, etc). The past few weeks have been rough around here for that kind of stuff, and I only just put two and two together and realized that, in the last three weeks, DS8 had gone through an explosion of math concepts (he taught himself about trig functions, then factoring quadratic equations, then two days ago he wrote a visual proof for finding the length of the hypotenuse of any right isosceles triangle). His brain is just so damn BUSY, that he doesn't have the brain space left for any of the other stuff! We used to have these issues before he was school-aged as well, but they manifested them as tantrums and heightened sensory processing issues. I hope that, as he gets older and continues to mature, the negative aspects will lesson or at least be more manageable.

What I have to work on is my own response to his behavior, and that is the hard part. I grew up with an emotionally abusive father, and when I get tired/angry/frustrated, I open my mouth and my father comes out. I hate it. My kids hate it. Being able to finally recognize that what is causing the issues (his giftedness and his age), and that it is not willful disobedience, is making it *slightly* easier for me to keep my patience and try to find better solutions.

I can't offer any better advice than others already have, but I can offer you solidarity. (((NaN)))

Thank you! That's really helpful. 

I do think your son is more autodidactic than DD8, who likes her own independence, but doesn't take charge of her own learning in the same way. But she also has some sensory issues ( a VERY picky eater) and reads, reads, reads all day, and has started practicing Russian speaking and reading on her own... hmmm. I see your point. 

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2 hours ago, sassenach said:

Ok, so help me out. Did I misread something? Wasn't one of your challenges with her that she isn't engaging with the curriculum the way you want? That she's getting sloppy and not trying (jam jar)? So what I'm saying is that you can't control her reaction to your curriculum, even if you have created it with her in mind. Even if it's custom to her likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, you cannot, and I would say SHOULD NOT, look to her reaction as something she owes you. If she's sloppy, it's not because she's willfully coming up against your carefully designed curriculum. It's because she's a human and sometimes we're just not feeling it. The more you personalize her engagement with the curriculum, the worse it will be for your relationship, and ultimately for her learning. Let her have a bad day (or week). Ask her what she needs. Do not make learning a battle ground. She's a bright kid, which means that you can take your foot off the gas a little in that area if it means that you're nourishing the relationship. 

This is a lesson I had to learn the hard way. Our children know when we've created for them that we think they should like. Either because we tell them outright of they detect it by themselves. It creates pressure for the child to like it which they resent. 

I'm a hard-core curriculum tweaker who is always trying to make things better and to fit my child's interests but there is a time when I had to back off for the sake of our relationship. I resented her when she did not respond positively to what I so very carefully designed for her. And the more I resented it, the more entrenched she became. It was bad. It did not matter that she would have actually enjoyed what I designed for her. 

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1 hour ago, Amy Gen said:

I made it a point to never punish my kids.  I didn’t have to. 

Hmmm. That's a good point. We rarely punish, come to think of it... sometimes, they need time outs just to get a grip (especially DD4, who's at the tantrum age.) But that's not a punishment, just a break from whatever is causing the intense feelings. (I've tried giving hugs instead of a break instead, and it emphatically doesn't work. She needs a break from me.) 

 

1 hour ago, Amy Gen said:

We are on the same team. So if something in the home isn’t working, we brainstorm. I talk about what my goal is. I check in. Is that their goal too? Where are we going wrong? What could we try as a remedy? How long will we try before checking in again ? 

It is modeling how to be team. And how to problem solve too. 

We absolutely do this. But we've been stuck on this one. We got some good ideas (like, she feels rushed when I get frustrated with her, and that makes it harder for her to think), but ultimately, it's not obvious what to do. I think we will try the code word idea for breaks 🙂 . 

 

1 hour ago, Amy Gen said:

If your daughter truly enjoys learning, like I’m sure she does, that can be it’s own motivation. If a lesson isn’t working, you can say, “Les pick this back up again tomorrow.” And she will probably be ready then. I would not want to turn something you two enjoy doing together into a power struggle. 

That's an interesting point. She does enjoy learning. I shouldn't assume she's being contrary. 

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1 hour ago, Dreamergal said:

OP, I don't know much to say about what you wrote mostly as I do not know.  But about hair, I do know  a bit.

I have long hair, thick and waist length. It is an absolute pain to maintain, I have never cut it off, only trimmed and I do so mostly because of memories of my grandmother and mother attached to it.

Every Saturday, we oiled the hair with coconut oil and massaged it fully back home. I do so now with the whole family because I was told it was "good for us". Something to do with cooling. 

Every six weeks trim hair. Use a detangler on dry hair, just spray it, easy to detangle. Use what is called a wet brush. Do not use a lot of heat unless necessary. Use leave in conditioner and apply some type of oil at nigh

Please do it for your little girl. Few things make me feel pampered like someone tending to my hair.

That's lovely. Thank you for sharing. And it's also a great thought, because that's a time that DD4 is asleep, which means I really could brush her hair carefully and get the tangles out nicely, even if she brushes it herself in the morning (which I still think she should.) 

We already use a wet brush and detangle 🙂 . I love the idea of braiding before bed, though. What a practical suggestion. 

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2 hours ago, sassenach said:

Ok, so help me out. Did I misread something? Wasn't one of your challenges with her that she isn't engaging with the curriculum the way you want? That she's getting sloppy and not trying (jam jar)? So what I'm saying is that you can't control her reaction to your curriculum, even if you have created it with her in mind. Even if it's custom to her likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, you cannot, and I would say SHOULD NOT, look to her reaction as something she owes you. If she's sloppy, it's not because she's willfully coming up against your carefully designed curriculum. It's because she's a human and sometimes we're just not feeling it. The more you personalize her engagement with the curriculum, the worse it will be for your relationship, and ultimately for her learning. Let her have a bad day (or week). Ask her what she needs. Do not make learning a battle ground. She's a bright kid, which means that you can take your foot off the gas a little in that area if it means that you're nourishing the relationship. 

Well... it's a little random. She generally DOES engage the way I want, or I'd change it. It's always a bit surprising when she gets "stuck" about something I want her to work on. But it's, like, a tenth of the time. If it's more systematic, we tweak. 

I spend a lot of time asking her what she needs 🙂 . With the jam jar example, it actually occurred to me that she was resentful that I was translating for her little sister (who can't quite deal with full immersion) during cartoons, so I stopped doing immersion-style conversation with her during cartoons and we've moved purely Russian conversation to when DD4 isn't around.

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We already use a wet brush and detangle 🙂 . I love the idea of braiding before bed, though. What a practical suggestion. 

 

Also, if you can get her to wear a sleep cap or a do-rag, especially one made of some nice silk or at least something with a very high thread count, that'll help as well. Keeps everything from getting frizzed while she tosses and turns.

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