Monday, February 14, 2011

Tell me no?

Okay, so, Sydney is 9, right?

She is young and impressionable, right?

Then, if she is so darn young and impressionable, why doesn't she just do everything I tell her to. It would really make life much more enjoyable for all parties involved.

Believe it or not. I think Sydney developed the habit of not doing what we tell her after watching Ainsley. Before that, I don't think she ever realized that she could just say "No." We had Sydney brainwashed perfectly. For the most part, she simply did what she was told. On occasion, she might try and hide the fact that she did not do something that she had been asked to but, she would never, ever have considered telling us "No" when asked to do something.

Now, she does.

And, frankly, (to quote Bill Cosby) we brought her in this world and we can take her out.

I am still in the fight but I must admit that I am pulling my hair out over this one.
Telling me no. I'll tell you who can tell me no. You &%*@# (*&^#@ little twerp. Certainly not a 9 year little *&^$@#. Telling me no. I'll tell you no.
I apologize for the rant, but that is the conversation that goes on in my head every time she tries it. I always said I would not become my mother in those situations but I sure can hear that old conversation going on in my head.

Well, regardless, this weekend we took a hard stand against little miss "no." After Tae Kwon Do when I asked her to change into the clothes we had brought for her so that we could go out afterwards she did it. She said no. I politely told her that she could either do it herself or we would be doing it for her. She said no, again. At that point, we cleared the way. Lynley got the top half. I got the bottom half and we changed her into the clothes we had brought.

As you might expect, she did not like it. She threw a fit of gargantuan proportions. She kicked and screamed and, in the end, earned a one way trip to her room for the weekend.

Now, it isn't that I really cared that she changed clothes. In fact, had she given me a reasonable and polite explanation of why she did not want to change, I probably would have let her stay in her uniform. However, since she rudely said "no", this seemed one of those occasions that she lost the option to choose.

She is nine!?!? Have a already lost my daughter to teenagerism?

Did we handle this right? Did we do it wrong?

I have to believe that there is a better way of dealing with this but for the life of me I don't know what it is. I can tell you that, so far in the short term, she has not even considered telling her mother or I "No." After all, that is what we were going for. I just wonder if the effect will last and what we can do the next time to handle it better. Oh, and you are not allowed to tell me to talk to her nicely and get to the root of the issue. I have tried that until the cows come home. While that sometimes works it always just spurs on more and more nos.

Once again, I find myself with a mountain of purpose but no clear path over it.


Anonymous said...

I think you were right on. At some point in the future, you may want to discuss what her other options might have been (a reasoned request to stay in tae kwondo clothes for X reason -- as you mentioned). But a flat, rude "no?" The ONLY way I ever figured out to deal with it was the "logical" response.

Mom of 3
She is such a great kid -- and you are such reasonable parents - it is hard for me to think there is not a conversation down the line on all this. But I am sure that she will -- based on this -- think twice before just blowing you off again. (and good for you for only THINKING the @#%$%^@ responses. In my power struggles with parents, the power struggle faded from memory -- but the hurtful (and I am sure not truly intended words) left lasting prints.)

Anonymous said...

You did the right thing. You have to nip that behavior in the bud! Those seemingly harmless "NO"s can turn into much worse as the teenage years start. Kids need to understand that they are not the boss, and they need to learn to respect parents and other adults. Good for you for teaching your children respect! So many don't these days, and we that work in schools see the results of that.

Gayle in AL

Debi Bowden said...

This is a fifty/fifty situation. No..she should have not disobeyed you but...why was she hell bent on not changing? Kids love to go out in their sports uniforms..they are proud of themselves and feel cool. My son loved to wear his soccer jersey out to eat after a game..he thought he was the next Beckham! Kids like to feel unique..and tae kwon do clothes would make her feel like she is different from the rest! I guess I would like to know why it was so important for her to be in different a parent I have made requests that were rather stupid "just because I said so". I think I wanted to let them know I was the boss. I should have realized that my kids know that I am the boss...and I should not make every indiscretion mean that they are going to end up in prison or on Teen Mom. I am very strict..nothing less than a inappropriate clothing..must participate in activites/ respectful to family and to others. those are the big ones in our house..Debi the Social Worker