Follow through

mom2emallMay 14, 2009

I'm a little annoyed today. SD keeps not bringing home stuff from school. Every week on the same day all the kids in the school bring home graded papers and important paperwork. For some reason my son brings home all his stuff on time, but sd claims to not get things. Field day t-shirt forms came home with my son 3 weeks ago and were due last week. Asked sd where hers was and she said she did not get it. I told her if she wanted a shirt she needed to bring home a form. My son got a shirt and sd never brought her she got no shirt.

Hot lunch orders came home with my son, but not sd. He ordered hot lunch for the month. I told her if she wanted hot lunch she needed to bring home the form. She she is packing it this month too. (usually we let them order hot lunch every other month).

There was an all school field trip and guess who did not bring home the form. I ended up making a copy of my sons and filling it out for sd.

All of these forms were brought home today though. SD swears she just got them from her teacher today and that they were not sitting in a desk or folder somewhere that she forgot. I asked her why her teacher would wait until the forms are no good to send them home and sd says she has no clue. So I tell her I am going to call teacher about this and she says go ahead. So I left a voicemail for the teacher to find out what the deal is with all these late forms.

Now registration forms come home for next year. If filled out and returned by tomorrow you get a discount. All the other kids brought it home weeks ago, but guess who claims she did not get one?? So dh tells her the other day that if she did not bring it home today her cell phone is gone forever. He tells her to go to the school office and ask for an extra.

So she comes home and I ask her if she went to the office and got one. She says no and tells me that she thought her teacher would just put one in her folder!!! (Is her teacher supposed to be a mind reader?)

So I took her cell. Now I am wondering what dh will do. I know he is not going to keep her phone forever. We did get it for her as a convenience to us. So she can call us from bm's if needed (though that has not even been an issue in months). And it was for using to tell us when her activities change or get cancelled at school, etc.

So I am kinda irritated that he made such a statement because when we don't follow through it just makes her think there is no consequences.

How can we show her we are serious after my dh made such a statement?

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I dont think it is ever a good idea to compare kids, and when you compare stepchild with bio child, it comes off as mean. All children are different. Some are more organized than others. If this is how you feel in your heart, if it shows, SD must feel terrible.

You say "I took her phone" Did you consult Dad first? Did you two agree ho long it would be kept for?

What did you DH say? Is that on another thread?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 7:09AM
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"So I am kinda irritated that he made such a statement because when we don't follow through it just makes her think there is no consequences."

I totally understand your feelings here. My DH does and says similar things. My favorite *threat* of his is to say that one (or both)of the kids will be going to bed if they don't stop or do____. And he will say this at, like, 4 pm. Well DUH. We all know he is not really going to send them to bed at 4 in the afternoon---the problem is, the kids know this, too!

Using the word "forever" when talking about restricting the cell phone was probably just a poor choice of wording on your DH's part.

How much longer is school in session for? I'm thinking I would at least keep the cell phone off limits for the remainder of the school year. Does she really need the phone in the summertime? If not, then I wouldn't hesitate to have her lose the phone for the entire summer and start fresh with it in August when school starts back up again. BUT--that depends on how much of a *necessity* it is, both for her AND you guys.

I would get her teacher on board with these papers getting home. Is there any way she can shoot you an email when something important is coming home so you can stay on top of your SD about it, rather than finding out about stuff at the last minute?

How old is your SD?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 7:19AM
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The only reason I was comparing them is because they are in the same school and it is a school wide thing that all important papers are sent home on Thursdays. So when I was saying how my son brought it home I was using that as a reference point to show that teachers passed it out that day. My son has his moments of disorganization as well, he is not perfect and I was not trying to portray him as such. My older sd is in the high school and my ss is in the primary center in our district. So my ds and sd are both in the intermediate center together.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 2:43PM
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My sd is 13. She swears that her teacher is just not giving her these papers. So I left the teacher a message to call me so I can let her know what sd says and get confirmation on if these papers are being given to her. Maybe her teacher has noticed sd's copies sitting on her desk after leaving? Or maybe her teacher can peek in her locker to see if there is a stash somewhere!

Dh was the one who made the statement about taking away sd's phone if she did not bring home the papers. I was just following through with his punishment since he was at work.

My whole point was that I know DH is not taking her phone away forever and I hate when he uses empty threats like that!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 2:48PM
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I agree, he shouldn't have said forever. Maybe he needs a parenting class. To me, things like not having field day shirt are logical consequences -- and the best examples.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 3:07PM
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You are so right that if DH wasn't seriouse he shouldn't of said what he said. Follow through is so important where discipline is concerned. That is one of the main differences between punishment and discipline. Punishment is normally emotionally fueled where as discipline is a very mechanic reaction to actions. If there isn't proper follow through it loses it's meaning.

Empty threats are one of the worst mistakes in parenting IMHO. If you don't mean it then don't say it. I had the "We are going to leave the store if you don't behave" mom's in Wal-Mart. Those kids know damn well that heffer ain't going anywhere with a buggy full of unpaid for groceries. LOL. That mom looks like a ding bat to those kids.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 3:08PM
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Mom2emall: Occasionally, parents (and stepparents!) make mistakes and I recently found out that sometimes admitting to the child that "yes, I made a mistake, I said this in anger and I am wrong" can go a long way (yeah, it's VERY VERY humbling! Everyone makes mistakes (child and adult alike) but it's what you do after the mistake that matters - egads, I sound like a Hallmark card!). Telling a child that you made a mistake isn't horrible. It teaches them that everyone makes mistakes, parents (or stepparents!) are human and it's good to address the wrong you've done (take ownership of the oops and hopefully be an example to the children for when they make an oops). Talk with your husband. Tell him how completely unrealistic it is to threaten "forever" and then construct a crafty plan between the two of you. Can you think of a more suitable punishment?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 11:11PM
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I think a more suitable punishment would be to only give her the phone when we need her to have it with her. And have her only use it for us to get a hold of her. No more texting.

For talking to friends and family she will have to go back to using our home phone. DH agrees. So this is the plan for the time being until she proves to us she is more responsible.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 3:29PM
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