if you had a little girl, who despite all your best efforts and intellectual strain, waited till you walked out the door and then turned around and started giving her oldest brother as much grief as she could -
-because she is angry that you, her only (current) mother figure has left her - and she would like to take that anger out on the brother who is her designated caregiver because that is better than being sad....
...even though you have talked it all out before hand, shown her the cel phone you carry at all times and agreed that she can call you at least 3x if she needs to be reassured that you have not disappeared into the ether never to return....
....and when you phone home to tell the kids that you are returning, just like you said you would and you find all this out:
-would you agree with your son to stay out for another hour so as not to reward her poor behaviour choices with your coming back?
-when you get home, would you have her stay in her room, come out just for a snack and send her back up to her room?
-even after your oldest son tells you he feels bad for her having to do that because she is only 8 years old and has had a lot to deal with in her life?
-would you say to him, in tones loud enough for the little girl to hear, that it doesn't matter what she has had to deal with - she still has to learn to not mess with other people just because she is unhappy?
-if you did all of that above, would you be torn about sitting her down and talking it all out with her AGAIN or would you be worried that you are simply feeding into her behaviour by giving her undivided attention and that is all she cares about?
-so other than lunch, do you leave her in her room (albeit one that is well furnished with books and toys and creature comforts) other than for mealtime and when you must go out to take her other brother out to hockey and so you will be taking her with you?
-and would you feel conflicted and guilty about it all, like I do know?
All of the above is not hypothetical and for the moment I am stumped.