Don’t get me wrong. I love the little trinkets my girls make at preschool + school. I love that my husband takes all 3 girls to the store to pick out flowers, plants or trees to add to our yard BUT (+ it’s a pretty big BUT here)…
What I really, really want for Mother’s Day is…
1. A Nap
Yup. I want to sleep. I want a good old-fashioned nap without any screaming, yelling or running in the background. Without anyone coming in one hundred million times to ask me a question.
I cannot remember the last time I had a nap–a real nap. That whole sleep when the baby sleeps crap never worked for me so I don’t think I’ve had a good nap in approximately 5.5 years.
2. A New Pair of Rothy’s
I L-O-V-E my Rothy’s. (BTW: You save $20 + so do I if you use my link). Since they are a little pricey, I won’t necessarily buy them for myself but I will totally let my family buy them for me as a gift! They’re comfy, adorable + washable. I mean, I’m not sure I could ask for anything more in a stylish flat.
My husband often takes me out with the kids for dinner on Mother’s Day, which is GREAT. For all of those dinners that I have to cook on all the other days, though, I love subscriptions like Hello Fresh.
All I have to do is pick my menu. Hello Fresh delivers all of the ingredients I need, along with the recipe, for whipping up delicious meals that make me look like a culinary genius.
Seriously, there is no thought process here.
4. A Weekend Away (Alone)
I love to travel with my family. I love to travel with my husband but what I really want is to lock myself in a hotel room or an Airbnb (BTW: save up to $40 off you first stay) condo (preferably on the beach) + well, do whatever the hell I want!
5. To Read
I LOVE to read + it’s a hobby that I lost shortly after my first daughter was born. I made myself get it back about 3 years ago (or so). I joined a book club for moms + we read a book a month + meet over dinner to “discuss” it.
(We discuss it for approximately 1 minute. It’s really all about eating + drinking.)
I read for anywhere from 10-60 minutes before I fall asleep at night but what I really want for Mother’s Day is to read in silence without 501 interruptions + at least one child popping into my bedroom every minute and a half.
My girls asked me the other day what my favorite thing to listen to is. I said silence. My 5-year-old did not know what to do with that information but I was dead serious.
Sometimes, when I drive in the car + I am by myself, I don’t even turn on the radio. I like to listen to the big fat NOTHING while I am going wherever I am going (usually Bunco or book club or some MoMs event if I am alone).
Can you believe I used to get my nails + feet done about once every two weeks? That’s twice a month. I know, that’s just crazy talk.
Seriously, though, a good couple of hours soaking my feet in a spa tub, getting the scary rough skin off my feet, flipping through a magazine…ahhhhhhh…it sounds like heaven to me.Let’s get social
Few things bring joy to parents like their child’s smile. In order to keep that smile glowing, you’ll need the professional advice of a qualified dentist. Pediatric dentists not only need to be adept with tooth care, but they should also know how to treat kiddos.
Keep these important factors in mind as you search for a pediatric dentist.
1. Updated Pediatric Dentistry Technology
Antiques can be charming in some settings, but they’re not appropriate in a dentist’s office. Technology has made it far easier for dentists to treat + examine patients.
Before you commit to a dentist, you should get confirmation that the practice has the right kind of gear in place. Equipment should be up to date, properly maintained + used by people who know exactly how to operate it.
Medical Futurist recommends that you should also keep tabs on developments in dental technology + inquire about when your child’s dentist will be implementing them.
2. Patient Education
Children have an innate sense of curiosity + visits to the dentist can be the perfect time to zero in on that. If they’re afraid of the dentist, it’s partly because they don’t know what to expect.
Your child’s dentist should be able to calm their fears through teaching. Bender Dental Care explains that thorough patient education leads to improved health + decreased anxiety.
In fact, the early trips to the dentists, starting anywhere from 12-18 months, is all about getting your child familiar with the dentist + the process. Children should to be guided through each step of the process + told why it’s occurring.
They should also be given tips they can bring home with them about dental hygiene + cavity prevention. This kind of transparency can make going to the dentist a much more enjoyable experience for your child.
A good bedside manner is something all doctors need to cultivate. No matter how much textbook knowledge they have, they won’t be as good as they should be unless they can relate to patients.
This is especially important when working with children because they can be easily frightened + frustrated by new situations. HealthyChildren.org explains that your child’s dentist should be able to gain your youngster’s trust + yours.
While your child might need some time to warm up to the dentist, you should be able to form an objective opinion rather quickly. Before scheduling an appointment, take the time to speak with the dentist one on one. Ask about the strategies employed for making patients comfortable + determine whether this environment the best fit for your child.
It can take time to find the right children’s dentist, but you won’t want to settle for someone who’s just good enough. You can do much better than that if you keep these requirements in mind as you research pediatric dental practices.
Here are some other great articles talking about healthy family meals + overall wellness!Let’s get social
Summer is the perfect time for families to try new kid-friendly outdoor activities. You can have fun + help develop your child’s mind, too. If you’re looking for creative activities that make the most of the warm weather, check out these 3 inspiring ideas.
#1 Dig for “Fossils”
Digging for “fossils” is the perfect activity for sunny days. Although it takes a bit of preparation on your part, your kids will long remember the fun they had with this activity.
Collect some plastic dinosaur toys + place them in shoe boxes filled with sand. Then, bury the shoe boxes in a sandbox or plastic swimming pool filled with sand. When the kids dig the “fossils” up, you can use it as an educational opportunity to teach them about different kinds of dinosaurs.
Alternatively, you could fill the boxes with other animal toys or treasures to delight your kids.
#2 Driveway Drive-In Movie
Watching a driveway drive-in movie is a memorable treat on a summer evening. Consider inviting other children in your neighborhood to attend + you may even want to build “cars” out of cardboard boxes for the children to use as movie seats.
In order to make sure things go smoothly, research what equipment you need ahead of time so that you can have everything ready. In particular, research the equipment you need to project the movie properly so that it can be seen easily.
You might need a screen + a special projector that could be purchased or rented from home-supply or electronics stores. To make the night truly festive, serve classic cinema treats, like pizza, popcorn, slushies or candy + include some healthy options, too.
#3 Scavenger Hunt
A summer scavenger hunt helps you + the kids get in more outdoor time in the backyard + it’s the type of activity that you can make as easy or as complex as you want. You can also adapt it to the amount of time you have available. Scavenger hunts have at least two teams; consider pairing up a parent with a child if you have young kids.
A scavenger hunt for children usually has a time limit of 15 or 20 minutes + teams are given a list of 10 to 15 items to find or things to do. To keep things simple, create the list from things that you already have in your backyard. For example, the team may need to find a smooth leaf or a pink flower. The team that finds the most items is declared the winner + awarded a small prize.
These easy activities can help you + your family have fun in your backyard this summer. Best of all, these ideas are mostly free + easy to set up. Have a wonderful summer!
Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean it’s not going to rain! If it does rain, check out these rainy day activities for your kiddos.Let’s get social
I normally plan our vacations about a year out but I didn’t do that for this year so we were pressed for choices for Spring Break. My procrastination led to a gem that is practically in our backyard, Fort Valley in Virginia, which sits on the northeastern perimeter of the Shenandoah Valley.
Where to Stay
I always jump on Airbnb (you can save up to $55 on your first stay) to check out houses in the area where we’re heading. This time it was no different. For us, we can find an entire house to rent for about the same price as a night at a hotel but we get, well, an entire house.
In this case, my search on Airbnb is what led me to find Fort Valley in the first place!
We found an amazingly charming, warm + welcoming secluded creek side farmhouse to stay right in Fort Valley. We were in the country but were a short drive to towns like Luray, Edinburgh + Woodstock. Just a few miles up the road is a horse farm, where you can horseback tours of the valley.
(Unfortunately, our kiddos were too young so we didn’t actually get to horseback ride but we did try.)
Where to Go
One of the first things my husband + kids did when we arrived was put their fishing lines in the creek. The fishing is plentiful there + in the surrounding areas. We stopped off at a fishing point on the Shenandoah River for a little bit one afternoon (river fishing to the left).
We had a picnic at a small pull-off park along the side of the road in Luray. It had a creek complete ducks + all. We picnicked at one of the creek-side tables + then in the water the fishing lines went. (Unfortunately, we didn’t catch anything but it was still a lot of fun for my husband + the girls.)
One of the charming perks of this area are the off-the-beaten path parks (mini-parks, really). It’s usually just a creek, a few picnic tables + ducks, really, but it’s so charming + green + natural.
My husband is also determined to learn how to fly fish so he stopped into Murray’s Fly Shop in Edinburg. My husband enjoyed a conversation with the owner, learned about his upcoming lessons + bought one of his books on fly fishing + 3 t-shirts.
We also spent half a day at Luray Caverns. Talk about nature’s beauty. This underground cavern is ah-mazing. It baffles me that nature can create something as breathtaking as the caverns are.
I have tons of photos but of course the photos do not do it justice–at all. Even the baby seemed to enjoy the hour long tour + stroll through the caverns. We bought our tickets ahead of time + the kids were free so we skipped the pretty lengthy line to buy tickets.
Your tickets also get you into the museums that surround Luray Caverns, so a toy museum, car museum + Luray Valley Museum. I took some photos of these fascinating Indian heads while in the Luray Valley Museum.
Edinburg Mill Museum
The Edinburg Mill Museum is three floors of history on the Shenandoah Valley. They have old telephones (that my girls kept calling old cell phones) that the girls were fascinated by.
They were also fascinated with a bee hive that was donated by a local couple from their property, all of the Red Cross uniforms + patches from throughout the years + the train village they have set up to help tell the story of the railroads in Shenandoah County.
(My girls LOVE trains!)
This doesn’t even begin to cover ALL of the wonderful items the museum has + all of the neat stories it all tells of Shenandoah County. On the bottom floor is a restaurant (see the Where to Eat section for more information).
This area is full of national forests + hiking trails, including a section of the Appalachian Trail. We did spend a little time on a family hike through the woods, baby stroller + all. Since we were there in April for Spring Break, the weather was perfect for all outdoor activities — not too hot + not too cold.
The Luray Zoo
We also enjoyed a trip to the Luray Zoo. The Luray Zoo is a rescue zoo so the animals are either surrendered by their owners, adopted from other zoos, or abused animals. It also has a petting zoo where the kids can pet + feed the animals.
We were able to see animals that I have honestly never seen in person before. We saw porcupines, a wallaby, an emu + a BENGAL TIGER! My favorite by far was Star (yes, that is her name) the Bengal Tiger. She was amazing. She was majestic. She was definitely a STAR!
Where to Eat
Sal’s Italian Bistro
We checked into our Airbnb after 3 pm. While I got us settled in, my husband picked up takeout from Sal’s, a delicious Italian restaurant in Edinburgh, just a short distance from the farmhouse.
Sal’s Italian Bistro offers genuine Italian cuisine made by Sal himself. I had a shrimp + veggie linguine. The kids had pizza + my husband had a grilled chicken salad. We also had homemade chicken soups + bread. It was delish!
Edinburg Mill Restaurant
I mentioned earlier that the Edinburg Mill Museum has a restaurant on the bottom floor. After our visit to the museum we stopped off at the restaurant for lunch. I had a delicious hot sandwich on a nice fresh roll + the service was amazing.
Woodstock Cafe + Shoppes
We had breakfast here one morning. My ham, egg + cheese croissant was delicious. So was my orange cranberry muffin. That is the extent of their breakfast menu — breakfast sandwiches + pastries — but it looked like they had a pretty extensive sandwich menu for lunch.
(The shoppes part is mostly wine + some other goodies.)
Southern Kitchen Restaurant
My husband has a knack for finding great little, out of the way places to eat whenever we travel or are on vacation. Southern Kitchen Restaurant wasn’t any different + did NOT disappoint. It’s in New Market.
They are known for their fried chicken + pie, which is indeed out of this world amazing. The ladies that work here are also amazing.
They also have a fun old soda fountain where you can order shakes + floats. My husband liked this place so much that we ate there for breakfast, lunch + dinner (not all in the same day).
We picked Springhouse Tavern for our last dinner on our vacation + I for one am so glad we did. The food was the absolute best I had during our entire vacation.
I had the sunburnt chicken pasta. OMG…It was so delicious. They give you a heaping portion so I was able to enjoy an encore for lunch the following day 🙂Let’s get social
Get your green on this Earth Month + get 3 FREE STEAM boxes (a $60 value!) on any Green Kid Crafts subscription!
Act fast to lock in savings on a longer term subscription + get Discovery Boxes year-round for less than $15/month.
Use offer code PLANET12 at checkout to get $60 off any 12-month subscription.
Green Kid Crafts’ award-winning Discovery Boxes pack a lot of fun + learning into affordable + convenient packages. Each box contains up to 6 STEAM science + craft kits, extension activities + a free STEAM magazine.
Junior boxes are designed for ages 2-4 and Discovery boxes are great for ages 5-10+. Offer excludes sibling add-on options.Let’s get social
A trip to Disney World is a rite of passage for many families. The scope of a Disney vacation necessitates some advanced planning + preparation. To fully grasp the magic of Disney, here are 4 tips to keep you from going insane (in the membrane).
#1 Prepare Your Kids in Case They Get Lost
Disney is the happiest place on Earth + it’s all fun + games until someone ends up missing. A trip to Disney World can be overwhelming for young kids. The throngs of people increase the risk that your child may get lost.
It is a good idea to talk to your kids before the trip to equip them with the knowledge + tools that will help them stay safe if they become separated from you. Instruct them to find a Disney cast member if they get lost.
If your kids are older, you can find a landmark in each park to meet in the event that members of your party become separated.
#2 Choose Rides and Attractions Before Getting There
Disney World has four theme parks + two water parks. It’s a very large place + extremely easy to get overwhelmed. There are guides on the Internet to specific parks to check out that can help you devise a plan of attack.
Disney even has FastPass selections for rides + attractions ahead of time so you can skip ahead of the lines for your top ride selections.
#3 Make Advance Dining Reservations
Disney boasts a myriad of fun + unique dining experiences that you might not want to miss. From character dining to a host of ethnic foods, there is something for every taste + palette.
Many of the most popular restaurants book far in advance, which means you’re going to need to make your reservations ahead of your trip.
#4 Take Breaks
Taking afternoon breaks is an ideal way to beat the crowds + the heat. To get the most out of your park experience, head to the gates early in the morning when they open so that you can avoid the crowds that form later in the day.
Heading back to your hotel for an afternoon swim or nap can leave you feeling refreshed + ready to tackle an evening back at the parks.
With a little research + planning, you make the most out of your Disney adventure. A magical time awaits you if you follow these four pointers (but still leave room for spontaneity in your days)!
Don’t forget to visit the Girl Mom Chaos shop before heading out on your vacation so that you can have stylish + fun t-shirts for your trip!Let’s get social
You are a role model for your daughter. You are their first teacher. Your role is to provide them with the tools they need to deal with various situations at different ages + stages in their life.
You want to help them come up with appropriate responses to situations so that it leads to positive outcomes. Your role model status becomes even more important when you have a defiant daughter. Modeling appropriate behavior can make things easier on you + your child.
What Makes Defiant Daughters Different
A truly defiant daughter may suffer from a condition called Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). This is more complex than just being stubborn.
A daughter that suffers from ODD is disagreeable in the extreme + defiance is on a daily (or almost daily) basis rather than the occasional defiance some children exhibit. Defiant daughters tend to break the rules, talk disrespectfully + repeat annoying behaviors on a regular basis.
Traditional types of discipline often fuel the anger + irritability of a defiant daughter. Parents often find themselves on a perpetual search for new ways of handling the situation.
Here are three ways you can model appropriate behavior for your defiant daughter.
#1 Practice what you preach
To help the help the defiant daughter + her family, behavioral disorder professionals can offer effective methods to help parents problem-solve, decrease negativity, manage anger + increase social skills. There are also family sessions to discuss how the issues affect each household member.
In addition, parents can make things better by modeling the behaviors they want their daughter to emulate. Defiant daughters have a problem dealing with their emotions. Looking at their parents examples can assist them in making the best choices.
#2 Practice handling adult conflicts
You have many opportunities to practice conflict resolution with the adults around you as a way to model this behavior for your daughter. If your daughter hears you yelling at the customer service person when you have an issue, your daughter won’t think twice about yelling at you + others when an issue arises.
Instead of becoming loud or aggressive, learn to communicate with others calmly + quietly.
#3 Wait patiently + quietly
Have you waited in line for a long time because of a slow checkout person? Don’t mutter about them under your breath + then smile at them when you get to the head of the line. Resist giving people dirty looks as well. Waiting is a part of life.
Practice waiting patiently + quietly. You feel better in the end + you set the standard for your child when you model the behavior you expect to see in them.
The earlier your child learns + masters this skill, the better off she is going to be.Let’s get social
Pet owners have an obligation to control their pets so that they do not bite anyone. However, pet owners are sometimes negligent + accidents do happen. Here are some things that you can do if a dog bites your child.
Seek Medical Treatment
CureJoy suggests that while you may think that a dog bite can heal on its own, it is better to get help as soon as possible. In a worst-case scenario, your child may need rabies treatments.
While that is unlikely, it is better to know upfront what you are facing. Many bites can fester before becoming infected if they are not treated appropriately. It is better to be safe than sorry.
The worst that happens is that you are out the time + possibly some money. However, either your insurance or the dog’s owner may cover the cost of the medical treatment .
Call the Police
You can then use this documentation as the basis to file an insurance claim or a lawsuit. You may have no other way of knowing whether a dog has bitten before or even whether it has been vaccinated except if you file a police report.
Additionally, if the owner knows that law enforcement is involved, it just might be the motivating factor to take the highest possible safety measures to make sure that the dog does not bite anyone else in the future.
Consider Legal Action
Ahlander Injury Law recommends that you might be able to seek financial compensation for medical bills, lost wages + pain + suffering. The liability for a dog bite depends on the state in which the bite occurred.
In some jurisdictions, the dog’s owner will be liable for a dog bite no matter what. Other states assume that a dog is not dangerous until it bites a person once.
After that, the owner would be liable for any damages from pet bites. You should immediately consult a personal injury attorney to find out whether you would be entitled to compensation for the harm caused to your child.
While your child may be the victim of an aggressive dog, you can still take proactive steps to both protect your legal rights and ensure the safety of others in the future.
Safety first. Check out these articles about ways to keep your kiddos safe.Let’s get social
With three girls, I am sure you can imagine the quantity of clothing + shoes that we have in our house. Sure, the oldest had the most clothing + shoes + those items have trickled down to her two younger sisters (for the most part).
The challenge is that all of my girls were born in different seasons, which makes hand-me-downs sometimes difficult depending on sizing.
So what is a girl mom to do?
Well, I’ll tell you.
Kids on 45th
I adore Kids on 45th. It’s similar to a Stitch Fix for Kids, except the clothes are second-hand instead of brand new. Although, the boxes we have received often contain clothing + accessories that still have the tags on them. The clothing is so affordable. Most items range from $1 and some change to $3 and some change.
I can buy an entire box of clothes for all three girls + only spend about $100.
You can totally control your shipments so you can set up an account for each child. You can choose how many pants, shirts, jackets, etc. that you receive for each child + all of the kids clothes are shipped in the same box.
The only drawback is that if you receive something that doesn’t fit or your kids don’t like, you cannot return it. Honestly, though, the clothes are so cheap that it doesn’t really matter. I simply sold the items at a consignment sale or donated any items that my girls wouldn’t wear + it doesn’t hurt anywhere near as much when you drop bucu bucks (like the Crew Cuts jeans I bought brand new that they swore they’d wear, wore a grand total of one time + then refused to wear them again).
HINT: If you decide to give it a try, use my link. You get $10 off your order + I do too. Ten dollars is at least 3 pieces if clothing (if not more) depending on what you add to your box! That’s to say that $10 goes a long way.
Stitch Fix for Kids
I use Stitch Fix for myself so it’s natural that I give it a whirl for my girls. My husband tried it but wasn’t impressed. I’ve been fortunate enough to like everything in all of my boxes (with the exception of my recent box, where I still bought two of the five or six items).
Stitch Fix allows you to set up an account for each of your kids. Like the world of online dating for adults, you can answer some style questions about each of your kids to give the stylist an idea of which clothing items to put in your child’s box.
When you receive the box, you can go through it with your child to try the clothes + shoes on to decide which items you want to keep + which items you want to exchange for another size or return. You have three days to make a decision.
Stitch Fix provides you with a paid return postage envelope bag to return items.
These clothes are pricier than items like Kids on 45th because these clothes + shoes are brand new. If you buy the entire box, you receive a 25% discount + if you buy at least one item, the styling fee is waived so it makes it economical + convenient (because you don’t have to drag one or more kids through a store, dressing room + checkout).
HINT: If you decide to use my link, we both get $25!
Where I live in Virginia (+ I’m sure all over the country) consignment season happens twice a year (around March + around September). Some of the consignment sales (which are all for kids clothing, shoes, toys, accessories + baby gear) are HUGE (+ i do mean HUGE).
I tend to go through the pre-sale (offered to consignors), which are items at full price. You can definitely pick up name-brand items at greatly reduced prices. Sometimes I also breeze through the half-off sale, which is typically the last one to hours of the sale.
It is well worth the effort it takes to go through racks, decide what you want to buy + stand in line to pay. I’ve picked up some great buys, such as a brand-new-with-tags London Fog winter jacket for my first born, Crew Cuts pants, sweaters + shirts in the area of $5 each, Hanna Andersson tops for a couple bucks + the list just goes on + on.
One of the huge producers of kids consignment sales in states around the country is Just Between Friends. Check it out to see if they host sales in your area.Let’s get social
It’s the same old conflict: Parent versus child. Throughout the ages, parents are at odds with their offspring at some point in the growing up process. You might even be getting a taste of some of that right now with your own daughter.
Toddlers + adolescents are usually the biggest perpetrators of “boundary testing.” If you can survive these years, most girls grow beyond the attitudes + adopt a more mature nature.
Unfortunately, for many parents, this “phase” is anything but. They grapple with real-life destructive behavior because they deal with a defiant daughter. If you are experiencing this, rest assured that there is help for your daughter + there is help for you.
Defiance can go beyond the age-appropriate outbursts. In these situations, other conditions may be present that exacerbate overly strong-willed attitudes in your daughter.
It could even stem from a chemical imbalance of some sort in the brain or a learning disability. The point is that there are solutions. Your daughter is not a “demon seed,” as some might like to label her, but someone you love who needs your assistance.
Hang in there, Mama! We’re going to learn how to get to know life through your daughter’s eyes + get into to her head to see what she’s thinking.
Hang in for a bumpy ride as we maneuver the “thinking errors” that young girls aren’t always able to turn off. Finally, we’re going to pave the way to steps for resolving conflict with your defiant daughter + find ways to better understand her.
How a Defiant Daughter Thinks
One common myth we have to overcome is that our daughter is a mini-version of us. In reality, her way of thinking is drastically different from ours.
Let’s face it. They don’t have the experience we have. Her brain isn’t fully developed so she doesn’t connect reasoning + analyzing + numerous other actions the way we do as adults.
As she learns to sit, stand, walk, talk, reason, share + understand, she also develops self-centered feelings that might make her act defiant — as in refusing to clean her room or throwing a tantrum because she doesn’t want to put on her shoes right now.
Until she develops + learns to be in control of her actions + that she can control her emotions, she doesn’t really know any other way to react other than what she’s feeling inside so it can come across as defiance.
A defiant child, on the other hand, sees things in their own way. What you view as reasonable requests are just reasons into an argument. Here are some snippets from the book “Day in the Life of a Defiant Child.”
“I don’t want to get out of bed. School is dumb. I’ll just lay here.”
“I don’t have enough time to get ready before the bus comes. This sucks. Why do I have to go to school?”
“Why should I do my homework? I’ll never use any of this stuff. My teacher hates me anyway.”
“Can you take me to school? Otherwise I’ll be late since I missed the bus.”
“Stay off my back. I’m doing the best I can. Nothing I do is ever good enough for you guys.”
“There’s nothing wrong with watching this show. All my friends’ parents let them watch it. You just don’t want me to be cool.”
Does any of this sound familiar to you? You may have heard it so much that you just tune it out, roll your eyes + keep moving.
Or, your blood boils every time you hear it + the shouting commences.
These statements are inflammatory + meant to invoke these reactions from you. Defiant daughters have a goal + it’s to enrage you enough to give in to their demands so they can go on living as they always have.
The problem is these attitudes are not healthy + not productive for you, for your daughter or for your family as a whole. It can only lead to more trouble, as your daughter gets older.
A child who sees the world like this on a daily basis is not only defiant but might be suffering from some sort of disorder. What could be driving your child to exhibit such behavior?
- Peer pressure and/or rejection (bullying, teasing, drugs, sex, alcohol or other)
- Past traumatic experiences (physical or sexual abuse, for example, with or without the parent’s knowledge)
- Conflict with parents (parental expectations, separation, divorce, or remarriage)
- Body image issues (developing too fast or not as fast as their peers do)
- Sibling issues (dangerous sibling rivalry, bullying, etc.)
- Defiance is the thing that is “in” right now so it’s okay to do
This is by no means a comprehensive list.
It does bring many different kinds of situations to your attention, though. Children can set unrealistic expectations for themselves + feel too embarrassed to tell you when something is going on with them. As a result, they try to handle it themselves + it results in defiant behavior.
You’re not a mind reader as a parent (You probably already know this.) so you don’t make the connection all the time, which can further infuriate your daughter into thinking that you don’t care so they don’t tell you when they’re having problems.
Chemical imbalances + disabilities can also cause defiant behavior in girls. It is possible that she is suffering from:
- Anxiety disorders (ADD, ADHD, ODD, panic attacks or another)
- Depression (bipolar depression or clinical depression)
- Learning disabilities (dyslexia, autism spectrum disorder, or another)
It can create the perfect storm if your daughter is suffering from one of these disorders + has to deal with her emotions at the same time.
Whatever the reasons causing the defiance, you’re going to have to address the underlying issues to take the necessary steps to correct it.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder
Almost every child goes through a defiant period in their life–especially during the formative years. Sometimes, though, it’s to an extreme. Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is a medical condition that must be diagnosed by a professional clinician.
ODD is something different than typical acting out. It is not a phase but an ongoing set of behaviors that don’t resolve or get better, but progressively worsen, especially if not treated through training + behavior modification (for both parents + children).
A child may be suffering from ODD if they exhibit one or more of these chronic symptoms almost daily for at least six months.
Children with ODD:
- Are prone to using bad language
- Lose their temper easily + often
- Argue with adults including their parents (they believe that they are equal to adults)
- Refuse to comply with requests from their parents, teachers + other adults
- Annoy others on purpose
- Talk back to adults
- Blame others for their problems + accept no responsibility for their actions
- Are annoyed easily by other people including friends + family members
- Show vindictive behavior over perceived slights
- Angry all the time
- Resentful of other people
These children believe that it is their right to do as they please. If something displeases them, they rage against it until they get their way.
For them, defiant behavior is a norm instead of an exception. The danger is these patterns can carry over into adulthood where their behavior could turn violent + lead to problems at work + with the law.
Thinking Errors in Defiant Children + Teens
We all can exhibit “thinking errors” at times in our lives. This is not unique to young or teenage girls.
Consider the alcoholic who says that they can drink + function at the same time. Or the person who wants to lose weight but doesn’t see the harm in eating half a gallon of ice cream after dinner because they will “work it off” tomorrow. It’s called “justification.” These thought patterns are used every day by someone (mostly adults) to feel better about making poor choices.
As adults, we understand what we are doing but deceive ourselves so it will be alright. Children don’t have this knowledge. They act this way to gain the upper hand, or power, over others in their lives.
When they see it works, their behavior will continue along that vein whether the outcome is good or bad. For defiant children, the outcomes tend to be negative + that’s where their power lies. When we as parents give in to their demands, we are reinforcing negative behavior + showing that their tactics work.
Here are five thinking errors that a defiant daughter may exhibit.
Victim Stance: As a victim, everything is done “to” you so the responsibility for fixing a situation doesn’t fall on you but the person who is the aggressor.
Defiant daughters may play the “victim” role to get out of taking responsibility for situations where they are clearly at fault. There are times when our children or we may actually be a victim, but it is not healthy to live in that position in everyday life.
Blaming others seems to absolve them from trying a new task, making mistakes, or moving ahead in life when they are afraid or embarrassed. Instead of trying, they cry foul + become angry.
Uniqueness: This is when children feel that they are above everyone else. Pitfalls that would ensnare a lesser person don’t apply to them.
The alcoholic, mentioned above, is an example of this. He can drive unimpaired by a few drinks because he has a false sense of superiority + security. Clearly, alcohol compromises the system + his logic is faulty.
For kids, it could be the reason why they don’t study for a test. Hanging out with the wrong crowd won’t influence them because they are “different.”
Concrete Transactions: Defiant daughters use adults + others as a means to an end. You are only useful as long as you perform the job that they need you for. They may trade on their friendship with someone to get them to go along with something bad or illegal. Being nice to parents is only so they will do something for them even after the parent has put their foot down.
Turnaround: No matter what you say, your defiant child will turn the remark around on you. If you are not prepared for it, you’ll be caught off guard.
You end up annoyed because they are not cleaning their room. Your child retaliates by saying that you don’t love them or that you are too hard on them. They accuse you of all sorts of atrocities in order to change the subject + get out of punishment.
One-way Training: Instead of you getting your child to follow the rules, she is training you to follow her rules. When confronted with a task she doesn’t want to do or a skill that she doesn’t want to learn, she turns things around to focus on your behavior.
She may go through your belongings in your room but then bark at you when you come into her room. She may lie + say she has other things to do or too much on her plate to put off whatever you are asking her to do for later. Manipulation is not above her.
STEPS TO DEAL WITH A DEFIANT DAUGHTER
- Learn to understand your child – In the case of defiant children, this is almost as important as loving them. In fact, it is an expression of your love for them. Discover how she thinks + why she thinks the way does. If you need to employ the services of a psychologist or psychiatrist to assist your family with sorting through the mess + getting to the root of the issues so everyone can live a more productive life.
- Avoid yelling – This is hard but yelling is counterproductive. Instead, step away from the situation. Instead of giving in to what your daughter wants, leave the area. Return to the discussion when you can keep your emotions in check.
- Listen to your child – In between her shouting + double talk are clues to why she is acting the way she is. Actively listening is also the way to compartmentalize your emotions as you seek out the information you need to help your daughter.
- Positive reinforcement – Your child is looking for power + doesn’t care if the results are negative or positive. Ensure that the results are positive through positive reinforcement. Offer encouragement, praise, validation + even rewards for positive behaviors she exhibits. Reduce her negative power by refusing to give in to her demands + refusing to produce the desired negative results.
- Redirect her energies – Think about the last time you were mad. Your heart was racing, your muscles were tense + you had a lot of excess energy. The same goes for your child. Use productive ways to burn off that energy that doesn’t involve negative behaviors. Teach her to use exercise (playing basketball, running, biking, jumping jacks, etc.) as a stress reliever to calm down. Physical movement satisfies the urge to throw or hit something while allowing her to come back down to earth.
- Set boundaries + stick to them – Following through with consequences, no matter what sad story your child tells, lets her know how things work in real life.
Being defiant is a normal phase for most girls, but goes beyond normal for some. If your daughter is exhibiting defiant behavior (whether it escalates or not), nip it in the bud right now.
Understand your daughter’s way of thinking + then combat each behavior by hitting it head on. Follow through with firm consequences for negative behavior. Stress reinforcement of positive behaviors as a way to move away from those destructive patterns. Give your daughter the tools she needs to fuel her growth into adulthood + a successful life.Let’s get social