How to deal

We had a playdate planned for this afternoon. I told the girls that before we could go they needed to do their chores. Rhayn hopped up and started unloading the dishwasher. Gwennie started throwing a fit. I said "Well if you don't then I will call A and ask her if we can bring Rhayn over for a playdate and you and I will come home."
She refused. So I told her to go upstairs for a while.
Then she screamed at me.
I called A and asked if she could pick up Rhayn (they were on their way home which meant driving by my house). Gwennie got more mad. More mad. More yelling/screaming/mean words.

Rhayn's friend called and asked if she could have a sleepover. I said yes.

Gwennie then told me "I'm going to kill myself if you aren't nice to me." (Or it may have been "if you aren't nice to me I'll kill myself" either way...)

I felt shocked.

I asked her to come close to me. Then I held her until she calmed down. I reminded her that it was not ok to say that, that she didn't really want to die. I held her while she screamed at me to let her go. I struggled with her until she stopped.

And we went on to have a very nice evening after Rhayn left. I am freaked out by what she said. There was a time when I picked up Rhayn from school and she told me that she wanted to die. (It was in 3rd grade? while Will was deployed.) I felt so lost then and I feel so lost now.

How do you deal with something like this? Because I could really use some help.


Amie said...

Yikes! Well hopefully, that's just something dramatic that kids say, maybe picked up from television...or friends... or *shrug*. I think you reacted appropriately, putting out the fire instead of letting it escalate beyond that point. It's so hard to be a parent and practice that Tough Love, right? We had to take something HUGE away from Cameron last year when he kept walking home from school without permission. 3, 4 times he did it, even after being punished. And finally he had to lose something big--which hurt him as well as me--but it taught him...I hope. As for the "wanna die" comments, I'm sure it was said for attention instead of something deep and dark, so I wouldn't dwell on it too much, but definitely watch for repeat comments in the future!

tif-do said...

That's a comment right up there with "I hate you!" They say it because they are mad and hope they will get what they want by saying it. Its the shock factor. You did the exact right thing by sticking with your punishment. She will always know you love her and that you stick by what you say. In the long run it will build her trust in you. Good job!

Mo said...

I think that often kids say things they don't really understand because they have heard them somewhere, especially when they are mad or upset. I feel sure that she didn't say that understanding what it means. Emily went through a stage of awful tantrums when she was three and I was at my wits end for a while. It passed though and I feel sure if you continue to be consistent and loving with her as you are being this will pass too.

Elise said...

i agree with the media thing. when collin gets overboard, the tv is turned off, and the computer. we either clean together, read, or do school work. no media for at least 24 hours and he seems to reboot himself. i also have been crazy with tv sensoring. nothing adult on (that includes PG) while he is in the room. i dont understand kids these days

Amanda said...

Yikes is right. I'd be interested to hear what that even means to her. I wonder if she understands what she is saying?

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