Let’s Make It Two

posted by Momo Fali on September 30, 2008

My daughter, who will be 10 years old in December, is becoming quite sassy. That’s a nice way of saying that she’s starting to talk back. A lot.

Her attitude lately reminds me of when she was three and she began to use the word “no” in every sentence. Except now it is accompanied with enormous sighs and eye rolling.

At her school’s open house a few weeks ago, her teacher stressed the importance of responsibility to the 4th grade parents. She instructed us not to help the kids remember their homework, or help them pack their backpack, or lay their clothes out. She told us that it’s time they start doing those things on their own. I agree.

So part of the problem is that we are trying to get her to be more independent and she’s not quite sure what to make of it.

Last night, when we couldn’t find her gym uniform anywhere, she realized she had left it crumpled in the bottom of her backpack. I have told her, somewhere around a thousand times, that she must empty her book bag when she gets home from school. Mostly it’s to force her to put her ice pack back in the freezer so she doesn’t have to eat warm tuna for lunch the next day.

Since I have repeated this rule over and over again, and because I had just done all the laundry only to find she had been holding onto one, wrinkled, dirty shirt, I decided punishment was in order. Something had to be done to make her get into the habit of taking care of her stuff.

I said, “Because you didn’t empty your backpack again, and because you’re not taking care of your gym uniform like you’re supposed to, then you’re not allowed to watch TV for three days.”

And Miss Sassy replied, “Instead of three days, can you make it a week?”

Oh Sweetie, you bet I can.


  • Xbox4NappyRash

    She’s just making sure she doesn’t have to endure the VP candidates debate…

  • Mama Dawg

    Oh, man…..I actually started implementing the whole independence thing last year. Not cause I’m a good mama, but because I’m lazy!

    Good for you, though, for going through with the punishment. I don’t know how many times I hear of parents “laying down the law” and then not following up.

  • Ed (zoesdad)

    Thank you, sir. May I have another?

  • Dawn

    I was surprised to find out that the back-talking starts pre-teen not teen like I expected!! Noah swerves from loving, adoring son to smart-mouthed hoodlum in mere seconds!!

  • Natalie

    i know. i get some of the same stuff from my 9 year old. my only issue with grounding her from the tv is that i have to hear the words “i’m bored” way too much!

  • McShowoff

    Layin’ down the law!!!

  • Kat

    Mmmmm…this is about the age my mom started coming up with inventive punishments. I remember once doing the neighbors dishes then returning to my house to do our dishes because I had made a comment about how I was not going to do the dishes. Good times. Good times.

  • wheremytruthlives

    metimes the School Of Hard Knocks is the only way to learn when sarcasm is appropriate. She’ll get the hang of it.

    I am a big proponent of making the punishment match the crime. For the forgotten uniform I would have made her wear it dirty for a couple weeks (to appreciate making sure it is clean and put away). For the bag unloading (a common problem with my 10yo too) I would make her take her things to school for a day or two without the bag and see if she appreciates the rules a little more.

    I’m probably a meaner mom than most 😛

  • Lisa@verybusymomwith4

    I have a ten year old girl–I feel your pain 😉

  • A Buns Life

    Who made up the saying “This hurts me more than it hurts you?” Let the hurting begin!

  • Kori

    hahahahhahahhaha, you poor thing! I can say that because I have a 9 year old boy-some things are NOt gender specific!

  • Philly

    Oh my this is only the beginning my dear, only the beginning.
    Oh a brighter note, at least she brings home her gym uniform, I don’t see my son’s till the end of the school year,,,LOL


  • Mrs. Schmitty

    Silly, silly girl. I have a 10 year old boy…I so know your pain. He is so into blaming others for things he does. Yesterday he forgot his reading book in school. He needed this for a paper he was suppose to make up a week ago. I told the teacher that I did not want him to get credit for it but he would still do it. He still forgot the book and said it was his teacher’s fault for not reminding him to bring it home. Responsibility is so hard to teach them!

  • the planet of janet

    oh ho ho, she knows not what she has done.

    however, i will point out that this sass (and its accompanying eyeroll and heavy sighing) only worsens with age. so stick to your guns.

    as for the “i’m bored” with no tv comment? i have a highly effective answer for anyone in my house who is bored.

    there are toilets to scrub, floors to wash, dishes to do, laundry to fold.

    i rarely hear the “i’m bored” comment anymore.

  • Twenty Four At Heart

    Good for you! My daughter is now 19 and I have to say 10-13 was way worse as far as attitude than anything we experienced after. Have fun with it! Ha! Sorry for laughing, I can’t help it!!

  • nola

    She shoots, she scores! You, I mean, of course! I fear these days in my future.

  • Misty

    we are very big, around here, on when Gen back talks some response like that- accepting her over dramatic “counter offer” as you’ve done. I think this one- the teaching of responsibility, is the hardest parenting lesson yet.

  • georgie

    Oh no she didddn’t goodness i think it is the age mine just turned 11 and is very sassy and just so ya know i also got an almost 15 yr old and well she is just as sassy as the younger one….when does it end???

    thankd Goodness for bud light with lime

  • Jo Beaufoix

    Oh she’s good, but I bet you win.

  • holly

    um….we have the same daughter….?

    she’s just one ‘(h)as if!’ away from a lifetime grounding.

    tonight she said she thought she didn’t have any chores to do tonight. i said ‘friday is the only night without a chore at the minute.’ she said “well i want it to stay that way!” i said “excuse me? i’ll be finding something for friday now.”

    you know, when i type it out like that, i look like a real beotch.

    perhaps i’ll leave friday alone.

    but i’m not telling *her* that.

  • Angie

    OH MY GOODNESS, I am there too! My son will be 10 on the 13th and he is acting the same way. I am dreading the teen years!

  • Jaina

    She seriously asked that? Good grief.

  • Smart A$$ Mom

    and wear a dirty shirt, say you did! say you did! I love strict parenting. I tell my kids I follow through because I love them more than the parents that don’t follow through.

  • Rachel

    Bwaahaahaahaahaa 🙂

    Love it. Freaking love it. 🙂

    good for you for being a strict parent. More kids should be held responsible for their actions.

  • DysFUNctional Mom

    OMG, that’s one of those moments where you can just feel the blood rushing in your ears….deep breaths, deep breaths, I will not rip this child apart limb from limb…..or is that just me? ;o)

  • Aunt Debbi/kurts mom

    very funny. stick to your guns or she might try to take over the world.

  • O My Blog!

    I get sass back too but mines only 6 1/2 years old.

    This is what I got from reading the other comments:Blood, Guns, Limbs, Shoots, Dirty Shirt, Bud Light, Friday, Let the hurting begin, Punishment, Good For You.

    I am going to take this advice to heart-but maybe just the Bud Light, wish I could stomach beer…lol

  • Heather

    Mine started when she was in third grade and still going strong in the tenth. Good luck!!!

  • jillprovost

    I can’t imagine where she gets her attitude from.

  • Slick

    LOL….brave little girl.

    Sassiness don’t pay.

    I had a similar situation with my 14 yr old boy. Needless to say, he’s been calling me “Sir” lately. 🙂

  • meleah rebeccah

    ah.yes. welcome to my world.

    my son started this very same attitude at the very same age of 10. He’s 12 now…and ‘The Tude’ is even more fierce.

    Ive done my share of handing out punishments. But, I’m running out of ideas!

  • Tenakim

    4th grade girls must be made from the same mold- I have the exact same problem (plus she’s lazy so the ” independent study and responsibility” thing is not going well!

  • Heather

    i remember when i was that age.
    god, i was such an asshole.

    good luck! ha ha ha.

  • Tara R.

    And you were more than willing to oblige.

  • Tara R.

    And you were more than willing to oblige.

  • Birdie

    Mwahahaha!! You go Mom!

  • A Shade Of Scorpio

    Oh no she DIDN’T! LOL ~ OH Momo ~ are we in the same house??? Mine is going to be 10 in January….is it just the girls? Do boys do this too? I hear that they don’t…

  • LiteralDan

    Oh man oh man oh man

    Isn’t stuff like that why they invented beatin’ sticks??

    She’s trying to wrest control of the situation from you, but you’re there hanging on like she’s a bucking bronco!

    Don’t worry, you only have to stay on for 8 years and then the clowns will rush in to distract her so you can get free.

  • MammaDawg

    Oh my – LOL – I think that’s another reason why God didn’t give me girls.

    I wish you love and patience, and some decent vodka.

  • Dapoppins

    Are you trying to frighten me? I have outlawed all sassy in my home. Except for me. Only I am allowed.

    Yeah. That should work.

    I think I am going to need medication.

  • loveyh

    Crap. Miss ‘Roo is only 3 and she’s already doing THAT eyeroll thing.


  • Missives From Suburbia

    Oh. My. GOSH! I don’t know whether I would have been mad or had a hard time hiding my laughter!

  • Kimmylyn

    I giggled because I SOOO remember being so sassy with my mom.. and ALWAYS losing..hahahaha

  • Mrs4444

    Better get ready….you’re going to need to graduate to “no screens” before too long… (Better you than me.)

  • Pinky

    Oh yeah. Mine has done the same to me. We’re doing exercise as punishment. Good, huh? 😉
    Drop and give me 10.
    How about 20?
    Make it 30!

    Needless to say, my eight year old has really nice arms.


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