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Parenting Issues This forum is for discussing any of the parenting issues involved in your divorce, including parenting of step-children.

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Old 07-25-2010, 03:38 PM
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Default Disciplining a five year old or something worse?

i Just received a call from my five year old. She has been with her father for a week and informed me that "Daddy had made her cry" because "he hit me."

He then got the phone and told me she had kicked him and said some bad words to him. He then had a go at me for not telling her off.

I suspect that he probably tried to discipline her by smacking her on the bottom and probably yelled at her aswell. But don't know for sure.

The thing is I am now very worried about my little girl. What do I do? He is supposed to return her back tomorrow morning at the daycare. Do I wait until then.

Nadia
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Old 07-25-2010, 06:57 PM
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well she may be streching the truth a bit and making it out worse then it is. I can understand what he is saying about how you should have backed him up that it isn't nice to kick dad or anyone and that her language wasn't nice either.

I would not worry too much about this.
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Old 07-25-2010, 07:20 PM
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Thanks for the response.
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Old 07-25-2010, 08:08 PM
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I have always been against any form of corporal punishment with my kids, although I understand how other parents can have different ideas and attitudes about it. I would say to be concerned if there is a pattern of behaviour on his part, not a single incident. If you two can have a frank discussion about backing each other up on discipline, what types are appropriate and when and how to communicate about behaviour this is even better. Your child will also suffer in the long run if the rules are dramaticly different in each house, the punishments from each parent are not consistent, or if she learns she can play one parent against the other.
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Old 07-31-2010, 12:10 AM
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Thanks mess for the feedback.

Like you, I am not a great supporter of corporal punishment. I rather spend the time dealing with the cause of the behavior.

It turns out (according to ex) my daughter who relies on an afternoon nap had not taken hers for the past week of vacation she was with him. We are of different opinions on whether it is necessary.

Our daughter as you might have read in my earlier posts is profoundly deaf in one ear and has a progressive hearing loss in the other ear. Listening and engaging in verbal communication for her requires some effort and can get exhausting without a break. When she is with me, we pretty much stick to a strict routine of going to bed between 8 and 8.30pm and she gets an hour afternoon nap and I have found that there are few instances of bad behavior when she gets the rest.

But she doesn't always get this rest at Dad's house. What is more, it turns out he had her at a late night reception (as part of a wedding) the night before and she didn't go to bed until past 11pm. She is woken up at 8.00am the next morning, no nap during the day but has another wedding event to attend during the following day, and so she is exhausted by late afternoon and by the sounds of it couldn't take it anymore and lashed out.

I am not making excuses for her behavior but trying to understand what led to it.

She was returned on the Monday morning at 9.00am and I had to pick up from the daycare in the afternoon for a medical appointment. Pediatrician noticed that she looked exhausted. She took a three hour nap in the afternoon and went to bed early that night.

I understand it is none of my business what dad does with her when she is with him. But when there is an obvious correlation between communication fatigue and exhaustion and bad behavior/distress then why not support her by putting preventative measures in place like making sure she gets enough sleep or plenty of rest.

She currently attends daycare at the moment, and has the privilge of an afternoon nap. Come September she will attend Grade One and I am just worried to death about how she will cope after a weekend attending wedding/partying functions with her dad. (He has regular weddings and late night parties that he likes to attend with the kids, our other child is three years old).

It is a difficult situation to neghotiate. I was thinking about sharing with ex, 1) all the research I have found in respect to communication fatigue and deaf children, 2) how I have found certainly in my experience with our daughter that there is a direct correlation between bad behavior and physical exhaustion and finally, 3) how I have found that ensuring that she has regular breaks, a nap in the afternoon if possible and a reasonable bed time routine really helps.

What do you think? Does this sound reasonable? Of course he may just ignore what I share with him? In which case, our daughter will need to have to figure out a way to advocate for herself. But she is only five years old.
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Old 07-31-2010, 07:21 AM
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so when she is with her father does she try to nap and he wakes her??
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Old 07-31-2010, 08:24 AM
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No, she isn't allowed to take a nap, because her father is of the opinion she shouldn't be napping anymore.

Nadia
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Old 07-31-2010, 03:17 PM
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While I think your intentions are good in providing him the research and information that would likely help out your child I can see there being some issues with it.

She still naps now however will be going into full days at school in September. She will have to give up her naps anyways so the fight you're embarking on to maintain her naps for the next month before school starts will be a moot point anyways. Given that she spends time with you as well, the occassional busy weekend or staying up late isn't going to cause her any long term harm and many MANY people allow their kids up late here and there, especially on the weekend.

You may want to consider having the information relayed through a knowledgable third party, like a pediatrician or councellor to BOTH of you rather than you giving it to him or having someone tell him. Situations like that tend to go badly when someone thinks their parenting style is being criticized, especially by an ex, and they're being painted as a bad parent for their choices.

Telling him how to be a better parent IS going to get his hackles up, but perhaps sitting down with him and a councellor and developing a parenting plan you BOTH agree with might be a workable option?
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Old 07-31-2010, 05:27 PM
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I agree about using a third party to share information to both parties. But if the situation was reversed I would welcome advice on what works with the other parent.

Yes, a lot of parents have busy weekends with their children where children are kept up late etc.

But the child in question has a disability and special needs. She is profoundly deaf and going deaf in her other ear. She is more likely to be unable to cope with the late nights. The first thing that goes out the window for deaf children that commmunicate orally when they are exhausted are their verbal skills. They just don't bother because it takes so much effort in the first place to put sentences together. For my daughter in addition to the unwillingness to communicate verbally, one of two things happen. She either curls up in a ball crying or she exhibits bad behavior.

Yes, the school will not be able to accomodate naps in the afternoon. But there is little point in her arriving on Monday morning physically exhausted and unable to get through her day. Not to mention having the child out late on mid week visits and for the child having to pay the price for it the following day at school.

We are not talking about an occasional late night here. We are talking about a parent who doesn't believe children need to be in bed before 10pm, can stay out visiting relatives or attending events until much later and expects the child to then wake up by 6am the next morning so that he can transport them to their school that is an hour away.

Nadia

Last edited by Nadia; 07-31-2010 at 05:35 PM.
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Old 07-31-2010, 08:31 PM
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I grew up in a deaf household so I'm well aware of how deaf people are different then others. I can tell you, they're not all that different unless you tell them they are. We all stayed up late sometimes, we all got overtired sometimes and we all got cranky because of it sometimes, regardless if we could hear or not.

The behaviour you describe re: crying and acting out is the same behaviour MOST kids have when they're tired whether they're verbal or not. I know a lot of adults who are the same way too!

I don't dismiss that your daughter has special needs around learning and stuff but I wouldn't necessarily chalk up everything to her deafness, she is a child like any other after all and she will behave as such.

You can't dictate how he will spend his time with her, even though you feel you may know better. Perhaps he feels the same way that HE knows better, would you accept that if you heard it either from him or through a third party?

Eventually you will have to accept that you can't control what happens with the kids in every situation, we all do. They spend time with their other parents, go off to school and sleepovers and summer camp where things will be done differently than you do at home. And it's ok. That's what being a kid is about.

Unless her doctor dictates she requires a nap everyday and to be in bed at a certain time everyday for medical reasons, you really have no recourse in trying to make him do it your way.
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