I appreciate all of the comments and messages I received yesterday. Many of them were very helpful. And, since they are, I am back to ask for a little help. I have a problem.
Again, don't get me wrong. I absolutely love the little twerp. However, since day 1 there has been something different about her. Even if you don't know her, I am guessing that you could probably figure it out by the fact that, since birth, I have oft lamented the fact that she was going to be trouble. And, she is trouble - BIG trouble. But, I don't mean that in a bad way. She is a lovable little snot and, if I might add, cute as a button. The problem, though, is keeping her from growing up and being BAD trouble.
Since day 1 she was given the gift of the word "no" and she has used that as her mantra. She is relatively fearless when it comes to voicing her opinion and will stand toe to toe with anyone. The problem is she is stubborn and if you don't agree with her she will turn around and do what she wants anyway. As in:
"Ainsley, do not jump on the couch."
"But, I want to."
"Ainsley, do not jump on the couch. You can hurt yourself or damage the couch."
"No, I want to."
"Ainsley, do not jump on the couch!"
At this point it usually requires physical movement. If you do not physically remove her from the couch she will continue to jump. Threats of punishment will sometimes suffice. However, this is only one battle. If you leave the room and come back you will find her jumping on the couch again.
Then, she must be punished. Isolation works well. Typically 5 to 10 minutes in "time-out" induces enough heartache in her that one would assume it a sufficient deterrent of future activity. But, we have not stopped there. We have also punished by taking away her favorite toys and by denying her, her true love, candy. We have punished her by denying privileges. You name it and I am pretty sure that we have tried it.
Regardless, 10 minutes later...
She is jumping on the dang couch.
Now, I want to be clear. We are consistent with punishment and I always follow through. There are no empty threats. Additionally, I have tried the gamut. Yes, for those against physical punishment - hate me now - I have even resorted to spanking on occasion. I can also tell you this, spanking does work in the immediate term, but the effect is not long lasting. The behavior always returns and, who knows what other side effects the spanking will cause.
Regardless, I have no solution. I am not even close with her. What do I do to "handle" Ainsley?
She is 5 years old, absolutely adorable, and, perhaps, the funniest of the twerp gaggle. She can also be the sweetest and most loving.
However, she is also the most obstinate and mischievous.
What do I do with Ainsley? How do I train her?
How do I grow a good human being?
I have purpose but no answers.