I have a 10 year old girl and I am a single parent. I would like some tips on how to tell her what to do so that she doesn’t get into a mood with me. I have a set time for her to go to bed which is 9pm. I go up with her to cuddle her and give her a kiss, sometimes she will go off to sleep with no problems and other times she is up and down. Also I sometimes have a problem when I ask her to do other things like tidy her room or help me clean up. Thank you. Love
CG: Hi Katie, my book Happy Kids (January 2010) will give lots of helpful tips for handling situations like the ones you describe – which are common to many parents. It sounds like you are doing a great job bringing up your daughter and I think the bedtime routine you have established is excellent. On the nights your daughter won’t settle, keep returning her to her room. On the first occasion say briefly that she needs to go to sleep now, kiss her and come out. On the second and subsequent times, return her with minimum fuss and no talking. You will find that after a few nights when she knows you mean what you say, she will not keep getting out of bed because there is no point. If she does persist then at her age you will need to impose a sanction – loss of television time or whatever sanction you use. Likewise, if your daughter refuses to do other things you have asked, as long as your request is reasonable (you can’t expect a ten year old to clean the whole house) then repeat your request and if she still refuses, warn her a sanction will be applied and then apply it. Good luck and well done. Cathy x