As some of my Facebook friends know, we took the door off of Keely’s bedroom last week. Thank you all for the encouragement and support, I loved reading all your comments.
My sweet little nine year old girl has a tendency to lose her temper, stomp down the hallway, and slam her door. If that wasn’t bad enough, she then locks it. If the reason for the stomp, slam and lock is because she has had an argument with a friend, it means her friends are left standing at her door saying “Keely let me in!” This in turn bugs the heck out of me and Steve if we are trying to watch TV, read, or have a conversation.
Even worse, if the stomp, slam and lock is because she is ticked off at her parents, then either Steve or I are the ones in the hallway saying “Keely, open the door!” There is a direct correlation to her locking that door and then getting “stuck to the refrigerator”.
Did I mention that my sweet little girl has a temper? She can be a wee bit strong willed. Perhaps she was a somewhat spoiled when we first made the move to Colorado…
She can be a little bit of a total shit in fact.
Steve came up with the brilliant idea of making Keely stand in front of the refrigerator whenever she would throw one of her hissy fits. I guess the refrigerator became our version of the time out chair. The time in front of the refrigerator gave her time to get control of herself, and then we could have a conversation with her about her transgression.
When my son David was here over Christmas a year ago, she told him that she liked living in Colorado, but she did not like being “stuck to the refrigerator”. David asked her what that was, and she informed him “I get stuck to the refrigerator whenever I do something I’m not supposed to do. And it’s NOT fun!”
Score one for the parents.
A month or so ago Keely did the stomp, slam and lock. Steve told her the next time that happened he was going to take the door off her room. (We had talked about it after the previous temper outburst) So last week, while a friend was over, Keely did it again. As I was chewing her out about it, Steve walked in from work. She and her friend went downstairs to play, blissfully unaware that her world was about to change.
An hour later, after dinner and more playing, she went down the hall to her room.
“Mom! Where is my door?!”
“It’s in the garage Keely. Steve took it off. You were warned.”
“Mom! Steve! I HAVE to have my door!”
“Sorry babe, not going to happen. We will let you know when you can have it back. Depends on how you act, starting now.”
“You are the WORST parents EVER!” Stomp, stomp, stomp downstairs. (No door slamming though)
The next morning as we were waiting for the bus we talked about it. I told her that she could depend on us, she could trust us. If we tell her we are going to do something we do it. Sometimes that means we go places, or do really fun activities. Sometimes it means we take the door off her room, because we told her we would. I pointed out that Steve had been gone for 12 hours when he came home that evening, and then took 30 minutes to take the door off. Not because it was fun, and certainly not something he wanted to do. But because he had told her he would do it the next time she did a stomp, slam and lock. And we keep our word.
She didn’t say much. But I could see the wheels turning in her little head.
Over the course of the next few days the door was not mentioned again. Keely was an angel. She did everything we asked the first time we asked. She fed the horses and the dogs, gave Brandi her pills. Did her laundry, folded our clothes and placed them neatly on the bed. Cleaned her room, loaded the dishwasher.
Friday we put the door back up. When she came home from school, she had a friend with her. Nothing was said, we didn’t make a big deal about it, and neither did she.
She knows that we love her. She knows that she can depend on us. She knows that we are going to do what we think is the right thing, even if it is difficult for us and for her.
My other kids are 33 and 28. I’ve taught martial arts to a lot of kids. I’ve heard and seen a lot.
I know that we still have puberty and teen age years to get through. It’s not going to be fun; it’s not going to be pretty. We will just do the best we can, be consistent, and love her. Pray. And keep our fingers crossed.