It is often hard to parent her. If she does not want to do something, even routine things like taking a bath or doing homework, you can be sure that she will throw a fit until she is exhausted which is quite some time for a strong, determined girl like her. If I've said no I don't change my mind and if I've threatened a punishment I always follow through. I would think that she would realize by now that it's a terrible waste of time and energy to throw such big fits but that's a lesson she has failed to learn. Something about my parenting is not effective.
Yesterday, we went to a gathering at the school to celebrate our village. It was a school night and the event didn't start until 7 which is bedtime. I agreed to go for only a short time. Sophia quickly tired of the scheduled program and she wanted to run around outside with her friend with whom she had already spent the entire afternoon. I told her she could sit and listen to the program or we could go home. Well, we had to go home and she screamed and cried (in English in our small German village) and hit and kicked all the way home. It was behavior that you would expect from a two year old, except for when she was two I could carry her home. Now she's too big.
When we did finally get home I was absolutely exasperated, embarrassed, and exhausted. But I followed through on the threat I had made. I removed everything from her room except for books, her bed, her alarm clock, and one ugly outfit. She will have to earn everything else back by being cooperative with her responsibilities and by helping around the house, things that I expect from her that we often have to fight about.
My dad will say that I should have been able to outsmart her because I am older and more experienced but I didn't have any smarts left when I was embarrassed out in the neighborhood. In the end I think this will be an effective punishment with several side benefits.
Experts disagree on how long it takes to form a habit, but 21 days is thrown out a lot. If it takes at least 21 days for Sophia to earn her stuff back then perhaps she will be in the habit of being a helpful, cooperative girl and maybe things will be better going forward.
We were able to really clean her room this afternoon since it was empty.
I'll be able to easily purge clothing that is too small since we'll be looking at it piece by piece.
She was sweet as pie this afternoon and it was wonderful. Can it last for three weeks? I hope so!
Every child is different so it's hard to share parenting strategies but if you've discovered something that is particularly effective for your child I'd love to hear it. You too dad!