Recently my 10 year old sister-in-law came to me and asked me to help her do cheerleading this year. She claimed neither her mother, nor her mother's partner could help her financially to accomplish her goal of cheerleading. Her brother and I decided to help her financially and he jumped through many hoops to help get the cheerleading coach at her school on board to allow her on the team, because she had missed tryouts. After several phone calls between her brother and the school, the school came back and allowed her on the team without trying out as long as she paid for her uniform the following school week, which her brother agreed to do.
When her brother talked to her mother (they have different mothers and we are approximately 17 years her senior) for her bank account information to put in the money for uniforms, she gave it to him and then asked her daughter "why did I just give him my account information?" Her daughter replied that it was for cheerleading...then all hell broke loose. Apparently she had already asked her mother if she could cheer this season but her mother had already said no, due to the fact that both her mother and her mother's partner had just gotten second shift jobs, and could not take her back and forth between practice in the evenings. Additionally they did not have the money. It was all together bad timing and they had told their daughter this, already. So all in all, she went behind their backs, got her extended family on board to help her finance it and then told her mother and partner about it after the fact.
Now that everyone has helped her accomplish cheering, from financially, to getting the school on board, to the tryout fiasco, we all have an emotional and financial investment in her cheerleading, and we now have her on the team and her uniform paid for. However, her mother and partner's reaction to this immediately following the bank conversation was that she could not do it. Her mother's partner, to our knowledge, was really the one who came up with the decision. That was her punishment.
My question to you is, what is the appropriate punishiment for a 10 year old lying? What is the appropriate punishment in this situation? I am not her parent but if I was I would be upset, too. She has gone behind everyone's backs to get what she wants. On the one hand, it seems like rewarding her if we let her do cheerleading. On the other hand, it would be ashame if she didn't do any sports. She has no other activities.
What should she do; cheer or not cheer??? Should I get involved with her parents and let them know how I feel? Should I ask them to reconsider?
Apologize to the mother- brother was out of line no matter how well intentioned- it really was sweet to help out. Gosh this will be an expensive lesson-
You know what I would do? I would go with my husband who needs to apologize, do it in front of the girl and tell her you were disappointed in the way everything played out but what is done- is done-
then I would if I were mom- sit the girl down on the living room couch and have her THINK about what she has done and have her come up with a way to make things right.
She basically created the mess, she shows she know how to manipulate- what you are doing is showing her she has to clean up her own messes, and that manipulating isn't as attractive as it seems. Meet back with her in an hour after a long silence for her to think it all thru-
when everything is cleared up- the whole discussion of what happens next is still up to mom- if she cheers- the child COULD actually work off the balance to you all but my first instinct of course is to not allow it. If mom does, she is teaching her that manipulation works if you twist it just right and get lots of emotions involved.
I actually think even 8 year olds are old enough to do this- it takes time and patience to have a child think thru things and examine their own consciences and it is a wonderful teaching tool for a child to brainstorm thru their own consequences. In the end, everyone should feel satisfied. If not- don't agree to her ideas- walk away and give her 20 more minutes to come up with something more acceptable.
sorry I thought it was your husband- your brother and you should feel comfortable with being honest with these folks- it also shows the girl honesty is always best even when it is hard......
BTW the biggest problem here and this is probably the way the school will view it is that she may have kicked someone else out of the spot of cheerleader or was there an elected substitute in case this happes- sometimes there is a backup substitute in case of the cheerleader failing a class or getting suspended. Maybe this other child will buy the uniform......
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