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writing some wrongs
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What do you say to an 11 year old who says "OK, I know what I'm doing," everytime you want to teach or show her something?

She's been like this her whole life...I knew I couldn't homeschool because she wouldn't let me teach her anything, not even how to tie her shoes.

She "already knew how."

Trouble is, Miss Know It All then proceeds to totally screw up whatever she "already knows how to do" or else comes to ask me 5 minutes later how to do it -- usually when I'm heavily involved with something else.

Seriously. I'm a busy woman. If I could just show her how to do something and then let her do it, and go on to my next task, life would be sublime. But oh no, she has to make me leave then call me back. Then she only lets me halfway show her 'cause THEN she's "got it" but she doesn't really "got it", get it? So I have to come back again and show her again how to do it...

Either that or I have to just take over and do it for her because she can't do anything without tons of constant help. It doesn't make sense that she behaves both ways, but she does. It's because she already knows everything that she won't actually listen to instructions or guidance, therefore she cannot actually learn how to do anything, therefore she gets frustrated and decides she can't do it. :flame:

I might add this girl does not have any kind of learning disability beyond being really, really stubborn. Teachers in school seem to do the job just fine.

This kid is driving me crazy.
 

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Next time she says she knows how to do it, ask her to show you. Same with when you teach her how.

As soon as she says "I know what I'm doing!", immediately ask her to prove it to you by showing you what she knows or telling you step-by-step what comes next. Then, once she has actually done that, tell her "I assume you won't be asking my help since you know what you are doing. Right?"

Since I don't have kids though, you can take that advice with a grain of salt. :)

Pat
 

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I think Pat hit the nail on the head. Make her be specific, don't let her get away with a general announcement that she "knows" how to do something, make her prove it to you before you move on to the next project.
 

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Bitter Clinger
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I was one of those kids. I would get very upset with my father when he was hovering over me saying, "You know there's a better way to do that..."

I couldn't articulate it then, but I realize now that the problem was not my father being too controlling (that was an element, though) but that I learn better by doing. I understand enough to figure it out myself. And if I make mistakes, I learn from them. Being told how to do it just doesn't cut it for me.

People just have different ways of learning stuff. Let her make her own mistakes and make her clean up her own messes.
 

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Just one thing to add to Pat's excellent answer. If you are busy never, ever drop what you are doing right away unless the child is bleeding or unconscious.

Children don't quite get that busy means no interruptions until you show them that what you are doing is more important to you at that moment than whatever they feel you should be doing for them.

When the boys were small I would say "As soon as I have finished..." and then I would "finish" a few seconds later. As they got older I would stretch the time until I was actually able to finish what I was doing before attending to their whims. This didn't mean I never dropped what I was doing to take a dip or go see the latest bug, but it did mean that when I said I was busy they knew I meant it and let me get on with my work.
 

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1/2 bubble off plumb
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I agree, have her tell or show you haw she plans to do it. If it were my child I would say something along these lines," Honey, I need you to do XYZ, show me how you think it could best be done." Don't give her a chance to say "I know how", that way there is no challenge to you authority, no snippy tones, etc. That also allows her to think it through and realize she doesn't know how and can ask for help without having to put her tail between her legs. Many times I thought I knew how to do something I've seen done a 100 times, just to start and realize I wasn't so sure after all. It can be real difficult to ask for help when you already announced you know what your doing, at least it is for me.
 

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If it doesn't really matter *how* the task gets done, let her do it however she wants, and then afterwards you can offer to show her a better/easier way. If she doesn't want to hear it, let it go.

If she insists she knows what she's doing, then comes to ask for help, just tell her that your help was available the first time but not now. "You said you already knew, so YOU figure it out. Next time maybe you'll take the help when it's offered."

If the task really does have to be done in a certain way, well, you'll probably have some battles before it gets better, but I guess my only advice would be to be firm with her that you will stand there and dictate the process step by step, and if she jumps ahead or does it differently you'll make her start from step one again. It might be helpful to make up a task to try this out with, where (a) it won't matter if it doesn't get done right the first time (like folding sheets) and (b) it can be started over (i.e., don't try it with baking bread or shaving the dog!).
 

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First of all, while I do agree w/ not dropping what you are doing every time a child "needs" you, maybe you are TOO busy. If my kids got on my nerves, I would check my priorities.....and I mean no disrespect here b/c this happens to all moms..we just have to refocus.

Also, I would guess that your frustration really stems from your lack of authority and not your child's independent spirit. I have a 6 yo DS that is very independent and strongwilled (and he IS homeschooled, BTW), I just have to exercise more authority over him than my more passive DD10.

We have MANY situations in which he will tell me "I know how to do it" (in a respectful tone or punishment follows!). Sometimes this will be followed by "...remember you showed me last week" or "dad showed me how". Then, I will let him try while I observe. If he does it correctly I praise him and move on. If not, I will ask if he is sure he was shown, and inform him that he must not have fully understood, and tell him to pay close attention as I show him how. If he resists, he is punished. If he pays attention, he is able to try again on his own, receiving glowing praise from me (which he loves and is the key factor in his patience!).
For FEW things, I will allow him to make the mistake....IF I feel there is a lesson in it for him. Usually the greater lesson is in not only learning to do something correctly, but in the assurance that someone doesn't mind taking the time to TRAIN him to do it correctly. And the parent has learned to encourage that independent spirit in a positive manner. Of course, to do this, it takes a smile and patience on your part(which at the end of a long day can be tough for ANY mom!)...but it pays off tenfold. Next time, he will be able to do it on his own, and I won't be disturbed...all for the 10-15 minutes it took me to teach my child a new skill! When you boil it all down, that IS our charge as parents.

Rachael
 

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..where do YOU look?
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to add to Mistletoad's advice... they would have to be bleeding profusely, with no sign of stopping soon.

Seriously... let her fail. In fact, let her fail and live with the consequences... a lot. If she doesn't do this now, it will happen in the future and it will be something that she's totally unprepared to deal with.

Remember that your end goal is to raise a child that can function in the world "out there". Your goal is NOT to "get this one thing done"... which is the way you act each time you help her.
 

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Oh, my daughter said, " I know" to EVERYTHING. Before I was done speaking. I could be saying, "Your hair is.... "I know" ...... ON FIRE."

She said it to everything so often that I think it was a habit. Just like when they are toddlers and say no to everything before they think it through. Remember that phase??
We teased her about saying it so often. I finally started saying, "I know you probably know this already but, ......"
I watched my daughter do this to other adults, and it was embarassing because it is so rude. You mentioned that teachers don't seem to have this problem with her, but think about how a teacher gives instructions to a group. Everyone must be quiet so that each person can hear. She doesn't have the time to deal with each kiddo needing individual directions. If you already know what the teacher is going to say, you don't smart off by interrupting her and saying, "I know", you have to be quiet and wait.

Now, if I was you I'll tell you what I would do because this irritated me to death and I would not live through it again. Don't let her say that. Just tell her that she is 11, can't know everything and she has to be quiet and take instruction from you. You are a busy woman and you can't be telling her things a million times. Even if it is a simple task, she must be quiet and listen.

The next time she interrupts you with "I know how to do it", punish her in whatever way is approriate to you.

I believe in freedom of expression from kids, but she is being disrespectful to you, by saying, " be quiet, I don't want to listen to you now." It is a bad habit and I would nip it in the bud.

Good Luck, Kimberly
 

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I had one who wanted to do everything herself! and I appreciated the fact that she was independant BUT when I was showing her how to do something and she started the "I know, I know, I can do it." She had to show me how to do it...if it was not correct then I would show her or "talk" her through it (having her actually do it while I gave instructions and watched). IF during this 'lesson' she again said 'ok, I know how now'. I would explain that "NO, I am sorry. I am not sure you do and I will show you".. At four or five yrs. old this was sometimes a battle and would try to get me to stop but I would stop what I was doing at look at her, until she stopped her protest and then continue to show/teach her--no matter how many times she protested. At the age of 7 or 8 --she KNEW better and would watch the entire lesson. I agree, you must teach her now or what will it be like to try to hold down a job as a teenager or adult?? How many employers will put up with such behavior?? She is learning life skills NOW and you must teach her the proper way to do a job... Good luck.. QB
 

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Queen Bee said:
...I would stop what I was doing at look at her, until she stopped her protest and then continue to show/teach her--no matter how many times she protested.
I've done this. When he starts babbling on, totally unfocused, I'll wait for him to realize I've stopped what I'm doing to stare at him. Then he gets all quiet & sheepish, and I can say, "okay, now that you have that out of your system, are you ready to listen?" I've never had to stop more than twice in any given project.
 

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Much as it goes against the grain, I think I would set her up to fail. I seem to remember your kids like the things money has to offer them so - offer to pay her to do a job, a reasonable sum of money for the job in hand. The rules are - if she listens to your instructions and does it properly, she gets paid. If she says "I know" and has to come back to have the advice repeated she loses some of her money. Say you say you will pay her $5 for the job done prperly. Everytime she hs to come back for a repeat she loses a dollar. She will soon cotton on that there is a benefit to buttoning her lip

hoggie
 

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I'd just tell the kd that I offered to help ONCE and now I'm busy and, since she knows how already, to go do it!

That 11-year-old is going to be a handful at 17 unless she learns to be respectful to her mom!
 

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My youngest was like that and I found it so much easier if I gave him his assigned task and asked him how he would approach it. I found that if I asked him that, it forced him to break it down and think about the steps involved. In his case, I think he really did know how to execute the task but wanted reasurrance that he was doing it correctly. The good news is that they do honestly grow out of it and become fairly productive.
 
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