Help Me Punish My Daughter

United States
March 7, 2008 11:01am CST
No, I don't need you to hold her down while I flog her mercilessly with a wet noodle. I just need some suggestions. Normally I wouldn't have an issue with how to punish her but there are some underlying circumstances that may play a part in how severe her punishment is. So any real suggesting will be appreciated. No I will not be duct taping her to a ceiling fan. The CRIME: My daughter (who is almost 12) was on the honor roll last marking period with a 97% in language. Her mid marking period progress report that she showed me, showed that her 97% has dropped to a 57%. When asked how she went from an A to an E in 4 weeks she said that the teacher gave work that SHE WASN'T ALLOWED to make up because she was absent on the day it was graded. I questioned the truthfulness of that statement but I can't request a parent teacher conference unless her father is invited to attend and his "work schedule" takes precedence over his daughter so I had to take her word for what it was. I just received a phone call from her language teacher telling me that my brilliant, beautiful, intelligent, sneaky, conniving, weasel of a daughter forged her fathers signature on the progress report that was mailed to his residence and would have gotten away with it too if she didn't try to forge my initials after his signature. I make VERY distinctive A's so there was no question that I didn't sign this paper. It appears she got the mail that contained her progress report because dad and step mom are still at work for at least 2 hours after she gets off of the bus and forged his name and turned it in without him ever knowing he got any such piece of mail. The teacher also informed me that my daughter has the grade she has because the work that "she isn't allowed to make up" isn't even COMPLETE when the teacher accepts it from her LATE because she was absent. They are independent reading assignments. Every 2 weeks the students are given a new one along with a list of work to complete. At the end of the 2 weeks they turn them in to get their grade. My daughter has more than ample time to complete the work just chooses not to do it. Here is my problem with this. Yes she lied to me about how she got the grade but did show me her grade. I told her that as long as she brought it up to at least a C on her report card then it would be ok and I would forgo taking away one of any number of her prized possessions. So kudos for telling me the truth about the grade. But she lied about how she got the grade and she forged her dad's signature. Both VERY bad things. My daughter has been very depressed lately and overly stressed out because I am taking her father back to court for primary custody of her (we have 50/50 time now but I allowed him to keep the title of primary and he is just abusing the he11 out of it so that is why we are going back)in April and she is getting verbally abused by everyone on his side of the family for wanting to live with me more than with him. So she has A LOT on her plate right now. I have already decided that the friend she was supposed to have sleep over tonight NOW ISN'T. And the movie I was taking her to go see tomorrow, I'm NOT. Do you think that is enough, or should I add more onto this list to show her just how wrong what she did is? And BTW she is going to have to face the wrath of her father Sunday night when he comes to pick her up for his time with her, keep that in mind.
14 people like this
33 responses
@celia4evr (209)
• United States
7 Mar 08
I'm not that old so I can relate to how your daughter might be feeling. Don't just automatically start punishing her for the behavior she has displayed. I can remember how confused I felt when my parents seperated when I was 16 yrs old. It's really hard to deal with, especially on top of your custody issues. It's really hard to relate to your child at this point in time. Between puberty, family problems, and school drama. She might not have as much time as you think to be clearly focused on her education. I would suggest spending some personal time with her - "something special" just to talk about how she feels about everything that is going on in her life. Hopefully she will realize that her education is one of the most important things in her life.
6 people like this
• United States
8 Mar 08
I am my daughters best friend. Why do you think she was comfortable telling me about the grade she got but feared for her life of her dad finding out about it? My daughter has been living in a split household since she was 2. This isn't something NEW she has to deal with. She knows how important an education is. She was just lazy and didn't do the work. She spent her time playing Dance Dance Revolution and playing on the webkinz website. I think the punishment I have already set down is appropriate, but thank you for taking the time to comment.
1 person likes this
@olivemai (4738)
• United States
8 Mar 08
You can try taking away her webkinz and dance revolution until her grades go up again!
@p1kef1sh (45647)
7 Mar 08
I don't know how well behaved your daughter is normally but I shall assume that she is like most 12 year olds and has her moments but is generally OK. I think that your punishments seem fine. When my daughter stepped out of line I used to use the "D" word. As in "disappointed in you". For some completely unknown reason that had an incredible effect. I also used to ask her what punishment she should receive. Contrary to all expectations, she would usually come up with something much more draconian than I or her mother could dream up. In fact we used to only ground her for the week rather than the month she would suggest. You have made your displeasure clear, and know doubt her father will as well. One more thing, I would endure that she apologizes to her teacher too. In the meantime, if you need to mercilessly flog someone. You know where I am.
6 people like this
• United States
8 Mar 08
Oh I like it. Punish her and flog you. That sounds like a GREAT idea! She is normally very well behaved. And I have already used the dreaded D word on her and it seems to work wonders. I have to give her credit for telling me about her grade and I understand the fear of telling her father so I think the punishment fits the crime, at least here. She knows she is really in for it tomorrow.
@skinnychick (6937)
• United States
7 Mar 08
Both of these are very bad things. You were right to take away what you did. I would also make sure that assignment gets hashed out if it can be still done or hasn't. Maybe she can use the time that she would have spent with her friend to do that on a Friday night. I think for now because of the circumstances this is enough. The thing is the nastiness of the current living situation and her verbal abuse.She is only 11. She is a baby still even though kids seemingly grow up so fast these days and people may think she is older if she looks or acts it. In her head, she is still a very young girl dealing with some very adult issues. She is smart so she may also internalize things deeper as most smart people do. They don't even know they are doing it half the time because they aren't mature enough to realize it. I think maybe you guys should (if you haven't already) sit down and calmly talk about this situation at her dad's house. Let her know that it is not ok to be treated this way and you are doing something about it by taking her back. MAKE her hang in there and let her know how important it is for you to get her out of that he11 hole she is in right now. She needs some attention whether it's negative or not. Maybe she is hoping that if she is bad enough her dad will throw her out which would leave you free to "rescue" her. She is dealing with too much right now. Hope my two cents helped at least a little. Give her a big old hug because I have a feeling she may have an emotional breakdown soon with a lot of crying- she needs her momma. Hang in there, my dear...
3 people like this
• United States
8 Mar 08
I talked to her father last night. It was the first time we had a civil conversation in almost 5 years. Thank heavens for small miracles. I was angry after I got off the phone with him but it just further agreed with what she told me her problem is over there. He spent the whole conversation with me playing a game on his Wii. I had to repeat myself 20 times and he is leaving the punishment up to me but adding that she has to do the dishes for the rest of the month and she won't be spending Easter with his mother. (She wouldn't be spending easter with his mother anyway, it is my year for that holiday) So my girl is pretty much ok now. She is glaring at me now while she is writing her letters of apology to everyone but other than that I think this is something that can now be put behind us.
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Mar 08
I'm glad it worked out for you. Those darn tween's can be a big pain in the ars..along with their miserable dad's- LOL! Have a great one!
@carolscash (9503)
• United States
7 Mar 08
Aren't kids just wonderful? I have two girls and so I perfectly understand how things are with them. I would say that your daughter for sure owes the teacher an apology and I believe that she needs to understand that what she done is completely wrong, but I think that as far as punishment goes, you have done about all you can do. She did show you the grade and maybe she just doesn't want to accept the fact that there are other things going on in her life that doesn't allow her to feel that she doesn't have the time to do the work.
@CanadaGal (4307)
• Canada
7 Mar 08
I think you have handled the situation as best you can with your daughter. Lying gets me the most too. And I'm so happy to see that you've rewarded the good behaviour, well, allowed for her to make up for her mistake (I think that is so important for some things when disciplining children). I think your issue should be more with the school than with your daughter. For such important papers such as the one your daughter forged signatures on, considering the circumstances of living arrangements, they should have TWO sent out at all times. One to you, and one to him. That would keep at least one of you on top of things at any given time (because she can't be in two places at once lol). Granted, I doubt she'll try this one again... not until high school when she'll forge signatures by writing sick notes to get out of class (come on.. we all did that!). Unfortunately, you also have no say in what will happen for your daughter's punishment on her father's end. I am making the assumption that you and him are unable to come to certain agreements on how to parent her (the fact that he's too busy working to deal with his child ticks me off to no end! Grrr!!). That's one thing that is so difficult in shared parenting situations unless the parents are able to work on things together. I don't know how any of you do it. It's for times like this that you're experiencing, that I am very happy to be a single mum with my boys having a deadbeat dad. I don't have to deal with him on anything, because he's simply not around. So based on the information you've given in your original post, I think you are being more than fair, and doling out ample punishment on your end. I am going to read the other replies now and see what others have to say :).
@dtroas (481)
• United States
7 Mar 08
At this age I believe that they have so much of their own emotions going on. Was it right what she did ..NO, what you have decided to do, Not going to here friends, and NO movie is a good thing. But you do have to remember that she has alot going on in her life to, The problems you and dad have. Alot of times kids think that they are the reason for this. She has or will be hitting that part in her life where she will hit "WOMAN HOOD"! I think that is scary for them as well. Give it time, but do let her no that she is not going to get away with the lies. And if there is anything on her mind that she wants to talk about you are there for her. As for the family member on her dads side of the family I think I would be having a talk with. No one should give a child HeLL 0 , for those reasons. GOOD LUCK, it will all work out.
2 people like this
@bellaofchaos (11553)
• United States
8 Mar 08
ok I know we talked about this on the phone and since I have much more insight to the situation I'll again put it in type. Good points to focus on ...She told you her grade was a 57% she didn't hide that Kudos for her. bad point. She forged her dad's signature your initials and lied about how her grade got that low. factors in the decision. This is the only grade that dropped, her dad is a major ( )( ) and doesn't really pay attention to her and makes her do everything thta he as a father should. the step mom constantly bashed you to her and makes more problems and everyone less happy. Right now you are getting ready to take her dad to court and his family is pressuring her into thinking that if she goes with you it's some sort of betrayl and they won't get to see her as often. I could make longer list but you know what I don't have to I know you and your daughter who is usually a wonderful kid. Set her down at the table let her know that you are disappointed in how she handle it since you knew her grade. Tell her she should have come to you and told you about the progress report that was sent home to be signed wether it would have been sent to you in a text message or by her calling on you while the idiots are at work . Remind her you would have talked to Dan with her and not let her face him alone ( we both know he just doesn't pay attention to her and even when there are pyschologists telling him too) Now for as punishment tell her that her friend can't stay which you have and no movie. And don't let her make it you being the bad person. Have her take responsiblilty like I know she can and tell her friend that she can't stay wether she tells the reason or not is up to her but encourage her to be honest to her friend about why. My next thing would be to call the father and make arrangements to talk about it.. If he refuses try and get an emergency order for full custody.. This isn't anything different than what I said on the phone. She is going through a lot and needs guidance and support and you have been doing that. But just because she has all this on her plate doesn't mean she should have a free pass.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Mar 08
You cheat. You get to hear about my insanity first hand and you love my kids like they are your own :P Dad and I had the talk and you already know how that turned out. I shouldn't have expected anything more from him.
• United States
9 Mar 08
Yep I cheat and love your kids like they are my own..Guilty as charged..LOL!!! I wish he would have been a little more of a parent and a Little less of a kid himself. GRRRRRR.
@IddiKlu (176)
• United States
8 Mar 08
Has it occurred to you, that your daughter has a lot of psychological pressure on her, based on her dysfunctional family, which probably makes her incapable to concentrate on her own life (school) as she did before? So now you'll load extra strain and punishment on her because her family on both sides can't manage to do things in an equitable fashion? What kind of punishment will you and your ex endure for your contribution to her unsolicited pain from all this? This may sound harsh, but think about it. The suddenness of her drop off should be a real warning to you. She may do something a lot more drastic than she has done thus far, unless you (AND your ex) wake up. What his side of the family is doing amounts to psychological torture. Don't you add to that!
• United States
8 Mar 08
Thank you for your less than stunning opinion of how dysfunctional my family is. I know I didn't feel the need to fill every reader in on the past 10 years my daughter has been PERFECTLY fine with having a split household. Since she was 2 her father and I have had joint physical custody of her. AND she has been in therapy for the past 2 years when she started verbalizing her desire to live with me more than with her father. The suddenness in the drop of ONE of her grades tells me that she just DIDN'T do the work. That she was LAZY. None of her other grades are suffering. Just the one that she has to do independent work on that she CHOSE not to do. I suppose you think I should take her out for ice cream and buy her a pony to show her how much I love her. Any pressure my daughter has on her at this point in her life isn't caused by me. She wanted me to take her father back to court BECAUSE of the psychological torture she has to endure while in his house. I filed the paperwork. I'm waiting for the hearing. I have done my part to make her happy. She still needs to be taught a lesson so she doesn't get the idea that what she did is acceptable. Allowing this to go without punishment will teach her that there are never any consequences for her actions. That is surely a lesson I NEVER want her to learn.
@catjane (1036)
• United States
8 Mar 08
Iddiklu, I agree she is going through alot and has some psychological pressures on her but to call her family dysfunctional, I think, is pretty much uncalled for! You know nothing of her family situation other than her parents are divorced, that is not dysfuctional, in fact, it's pretty common today. Someone needs to apologize, don't you think!
1 person likes this
@Sissygrl (10999)
• Canada
7 Mar 08
I dont have a real suggestion, cause my child(ren - almost) are not that old to be that sneaky yet. lol.. i have no idea what i would do.. But whatever it is, i hope its good. lol. If you are on okay terms with the dad i would suggest the two of you work together on the punishment for this one, but it sounds like maybe your not so much on good terms what with the court appearences..
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Mar 08
It was the funniest thing. We sat down and he asked me what I was doing for her punishment and I told him and he said, "Sounds good to me, that and she will have to do dishes every night for the rest of the month on top of what you have already done" Great job there dad. So now when she whines and complains he can turn to her and say, "hey it was your mothers idea"
• United States
8 Mar 08
I think that what you have done is more than enough punishment. She is acting out because she is in pain. This must be a confusing and painful process for all of you involved. I would highly suggest finding a therapist to work with her, a child/adolescent psychologist with experience in dealing with adolescents facing similar circumstances as your daughter. She may very well be depressed, but you need to get a professional opinion on that. Do it as soon as possible because your daughter sounds like a bright girl who has alot going for her. If her head gets messed up now, it could be all downhill for her and really end up totally changing her life. Keep us posted. Good Luck!
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Mar 08
Well in my opinion is that what you are doing is enough with everything else she has been going through and what she will be going through I would think that she has been punished enough.good luck in the future for I know that she has a lot on her plate as it is
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Mar 08
It's sounds like this is a really delicate time for your daughter.I can't tell you what to do ,for each child reacts differently.But how you handle this at this age is crucial.This is the age when a good kid can get on the wrong track.Kids this age need as much supervision as a younger child,because of all the things out there.Too many kids are left alone at this age,for hours on end without supervision,and they "get into stuff".When you do disapline her,not going to a friends house,or a movie,is usually useless.For a girl that age,take her phone,or computer away for a few days.If thats not enough make it a week.I have two grown daughters and communication with their friends is the main thing in their life.They feel it when the phone is taken away.Make sure you know where she is and who she is with.I use to call over and check on my daughter when she went to her friends house to stay all night.They were good people,but very naive.And really good honest kids,at that age can pull the wool over your eyes,especially under peer pressure.Or get two friends together and the things they can think up is scary.They have no sense of danger at that age,and what they think of ashaving fun,we would panic at.Just keep a very close eye on her and do what you can to help her thru this time.Don't under estimate these warning signs,because thats what they are "warning signs".
1 person likes this
@Thoroughrob (11771)
• United States
8 Mar 08
You say she is going through alot. The first thing I would do is start spending more quality time with her. I would also try to find someone for her to talk to, besides you and your family. She may not feel that she can say anything she is feeling, because you will either get mad or upset. Maybe a counseler at the school or something. I would definitely make sure that I talked to her about her lieing and sneakiness. Kids are dealing with more stressful things than when we were kids, and they are still kids. I think that she really needs some intervention before it goes too far and you cannot get a grip on it.
1 person likes this
@Hatley (157431)
• Garden Grove, California
7 Mar 08
I am no expert but it sounds to me like your daughter is so upset emotionally over whats going on in all your lives it is affecting her school work and her own self worth. I think you are pretty much doing the right thing but I would look into some counseling for her.if you are going through a bad time emotionally with your ex then you must see its even worse for her because she is only twelve and probably does not quite understand all that is going on . and what she does understand is really eating at her. I think you have punished her enough specially since as you say she still has to face an angry father too.I am not dismissing what she did. it was very bad but she is one terribly mixed up little girl at twelve she is part grown up and still part child thats a difficult age as she will soon be a teen. It might be good to get some counseling for her also.just might be very helpful.
8 Mar 08
I'm quite willing to offer my services as a strict disciplinarian at the usual fee, my three daughters have turned into fine respectful and diligent young women under my regime.
• United States
14 Aug 08
I'm surprised that the poster of this discussion has not bothered to comment here, as you both seem to have much in common... namely a mile wide sadistic streak!
• United States
17 Mar 08
I would ask how well you and your ex communicate, but I take it is not well, if you are having to take him to court again. The best thing that could happen would be if the you of you could agree on what her punishment is. Some people don't believe the way I do, but I have raised 10 kid's and have pretty much seen it all. I have found that when a child's behavior changes drastically, just all of a sudden it is a cry for help, she wants to express her feelings and doesn't know how, so she gets your attention the only way she feels she can. Yes what she did was wrong, especially forging her dads signature, and she should defineatly be punished, but the problem comes into play that you still don't know what she is rebelling against. I know you suspect that she is unhappy about you taking her dad to court, but that is the thing, you do know she is unhappy about that, so that tells me she has another issue that has not been addressed yet, and until you can get to the root of this you will see more of this type behaviour. It would be ideal if you and the ex could talk, decide the punishment for this, then sit her down and say look, we may be apart but, you are still the most important thing to us, so please tell us what your problem really is, because we love you.
@Loen210 (1533)
• United States
16 Mar 08
Sorry to hear about what's going/gone on. I am only on for a split second, so can't take enough time. But my first thoughts are that I would be proud of you to follow this up, and praise the teacher for calling you. Just thoughts off top of head. I like somebody's posting about telling her face to facce that you are "disappointed" and "hurt that she kept the truth from you and her father." I think her father should also know about this, so if you give her any punishment, she won't go moping to him for comfort, which woudln't be good for relationships. - Perhaps less outings and of course earlier curfew for a week or two. - Let her know that you are keeping in contact with her teacher/s now, so she will be more careful. Good luck with this, and I am glad you are so close with your daughter. :o)
@MsEddie86 (236)
• United States
15 Mar 08
okay being a mother of a young child disciplining is hard, but honestly i think u have done enough by takin away the fun activities that u all were suppose to be doin and her friend comin over. but like my mother use to do me she would make me do school work regardless if i had any or not . so u could make her work on the reading assignments that she gets ahead of time so that way she has no excuse for gettin another bad grade and u should make copies of them jus in case she decides not to turn them in out of spite.
@mansha (6301)
• India
15 Mar 08
When I was a kid and in sixth standard, my father was ill and my mom was always out with him to the doctors. My grandparents were very verbally abusive towards me and I was always being compared with my younger brother as they thought he was the heir of the family name or whatever. They preferred him simply because he was a boy and still did when I grew up. Now when I look back, I realize how alone I must have felt in those days and how confusing it all was for me and how my mom knowing everything still could never help me due to just lack of time and simply because she was always too tired. Anyway thing is I flunked my monthly exams and fearing everyone's reaction did exactly what your girl did. I was found out too and apart from scolding I got the shame of being found out was enough a punishment for me. My mom had just looked at me and said, I am very disappointed in you. I have till date never forgotten her reaction. I do not remember the punishment but that moment has stayed with me and I had vowed no matter what happens I will never do so again. I think your daughters stress and mine is almost similar may be your telling her about your feelings and hurt would be more than enough for her than any amount of punishment.I would suggest have a heart to heart talk with her and make her your friend today and for ever.
• United States
13 Mar 08
First of all, I hate that you are going through this with your husband. Second of all, Your daughter does have a lot on her plate. I think, first of all, it would be a good idea to make sure that she gets her homework done(at my daughters school you can log in to her classes, and see what they are doing). When she is with you make sure she is doing what she suppose to be doing. it might be a good idea to take her to the movies,(just you and her), start if you do not communication with your daughter, I mean to talk to her, and talk with her and listen to what she has to say. She probably has a whole lot of things on her mind, that noone is answering. I have a 11yr old, and can tell that this is a time of their life, that they are changing, in body and mind.