My 9 yo daughter was kicked out of the garden a few days ago due to disobedience. By 10:00 this morning, she had lost all of the blocks on her behavior chart and was sent to her room for the rest of the day. She has come out of her room at least 20 times in the last hour, crying and whining and begging for another chance. I told her that each time she comes out she will have another hour in her room tomorrow, but she just keeps coming out! My husband is out of town and my younger daughter is at my parents’ house for the day, so it’s just the two of us home. When she comes out I don’t respond to her and just point at her room, but she stands there screaming and crying and refuses to go back in her room. I locked myself in my bedroom, but she’s figured out that if she hits the door, the lock disengages and she walk right in. What do you do for an older child who refuses to stay in her room?
Thank you for your question.
It is very good to get control of this behavior as soon as possible. Disobedience has serious consequences and your daughter needs to feel them. You seem to be on the right track because she is not happy but she is still disobeying by coming out of her room. Be sure you have a firm understanding about what being kicked out of the garden means. She needs to have everything removed from her room expect essentials. Essentials being a bed, a few clothes and a book or two. This has to send a strong message that you say what you mean and mean what you say. Make things simple for now. Do away with the charts, and idle threats. She has already crossed the line. Tackle this one issue of disobedience. She should be in this room for the next month (any less time would be pointless) unless going with the family somewhere, eating a meal with the family, or using the bathroom . No exceptions, no deals, and no more chances. She has lost those by her actions. Tell her that her behavior during the next month will determine how long she will be in her room. If she has another problem it's two more months. Keep increasing the time until she fixes her problem. It may be a long time but stand your ground. You will be rewarded with a much happier child who obeys.
Also be sure you are speaking to her in a voice of authority. Be firm but calm when you speak to her. Stick to your message repeat it to her until she gets it Communicate in simple concise words. No lectures or explaining yourself. Don't run from her or hide in your room. This is your territory and she is invading it. Stand your ground and tell her to get in her room. You can get a hold of her shoulders and walk her to her room and say " You seem to have forgotten where you need to be." Then leave her there and shut her door. This may have to be repeated until the message gets through to her. If she hits the door add a month to her restriction.
You should soon be having a much calmer life with this child in her room and lots of time for her to think and adjust her attitude. Meanwhile you should be living your life happily outside of that room.
Certified Leadership Parent Coach
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