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Appropriate consequence for taking Daddy's dessert? - Page 3

post #41 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbitmum View Post
Are you married to the cookie monster? Your husband sounds like he is far too attached to his cookies!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post
Honestly, I can't imagine a grown man freaking out so much about losing a cookie or about being spoken to while taking a nap. Being interrupted and inconvenienced is part of parenthood. Sure, it was wrong for the boy to eat his dad's dessert. He's four.

More freedom might lead to less of a need for "consequences," IMO.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krystyn33 View Post
This may sound judgmental, but I question your DH's expectations and am having a hard time understanding such strong reactions from him over what seems trivial--a cookie? a cupcake? Don't put them where the kid can take them or get another one. He is the grown up and needs to act like it, IMO. Not many 4 year olds are going to have the impulse control to refrain from eating a sweet set out right in front of them, even when he knows it isn't his. If I leave a piece of fish on the counter and walk away and come back to find my cat eating it, what good is it to be angry at the cat? It was my fault. Yes, a four year old is not the same, but that temptation might be too much even for an older child.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by webjefita View Post
The shoes at the park, for me would have been a quick connecting with the child through the game, and then, "You need to have your shoes on. Go get them now" and "I'll help you put them on" if needed. I wouldn't have left the park for it. There's a danger in starting to give the child too much negative attention or focusing too much on behavior problems... they get worse... in other words, "What you focus on, you get more of!" (From Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline, an excellent book). Children sense our expectations, even on a subconscious level, and they know if we expect them to be difficult or misbehave, and will act accordingly.
ITA.

If dd said "I want to take my shoes off", instead of simply saying "we don't run around with no shoes on" I would say "We can't play at the park without shoes. If you take your shoes off, we will have to leave." If she took her shoes off, then we would leave.

If I offered no consequence but told dd to leave her shoes on and she took them off, I would tell her "You need to put your shoes back on. If you want to be barefoot, we will have to go home. Your choice." That seems much more fair than what happened.

By not stating what the consequence is, I don't think it's fair to end playtime. We (adults) follow rules daily--at work, on the road, etc--but I think it's safe to assume that we know what the consequences are for breaking rules also. If I didn't know there were any consequences for stopping at a red light, I probably wouldn't because I don't like red lights.
post #42 of 92
Thread Starter 
TiredX2 wrote:
Quote:
As for the 2nd one. When we are out eating, I generally say no dessert for anyone until everyone has finished (or has decided they aren't going to finish/don't want dessert). I think it puts way too much pressure on young kids to eat quickly when they see what they assume is a limited item (dessert) and know they can't eat it until they are "done" with dinner. If DS was going to be allowed dessert after finishing the burrito (were you going to order another? or was he going to share with DH?) I would say specifically, "I will put this cupcake aside for you for AFTER you finish. No one will eat it so you can go ahead and eat up your dinner. It will be waiting for you." In the situation you describe, my kids would be looking at the rapidly disappearing cupcakes and thinking, "I'm never going to finish this burrito before mom & dad finish those cupcakes."
and Ramama wrote:
Quote:
What first struck me, is why are people eating dessert while DS is still eating dinner? Dude, if I'm not done with dinner and someone brings chocolate cupcakes to the table, I'll toss my dinner and grab a cupcake too!
I know it must be confusing with the two incidents and multiple locations--Incident #2 (no cupcake until you finish your burrito) was not in a restaurant; it was a party at a friend's house. We arrived a little late and couldn't start eating until we cleaned up EnviroKid's scrapes from falling down on the way there. We could hardly expect the other ~15 guests to wait until we'd eaten dinner before they got out dessert; in fact, I think some people already were eating desserts when we arrived. However, it was a huge batch of cupcakes, and there were at least 20 piled up on the plate when I got mine. I can understand that seeing his own parents eating cupcakes while he was supposed to finish dinner was more of a temptation than seeing other people eating cupcakes, so that was poor judgment on our part. But, as I said in my first post, EnviroKid at first said he didn't want anything to eat; by the time he decided he DID want a burrito, EnviroDaddy was completely finished eating his, and by the time EDad had EKid's burrito ready for him, I was done eating mine, and everyone else present was done with dinner if not dessert. Both parents could have sat around waiting for EKid to eat, and if he had a history of this being a big issue (we've been to a zillion potlucks and buffets, and it's never been a problem before) that's what we would have done. Note that I did let him have a substantial taste of my cupcake when he asked; I only resisted getting him HIS OWN cupcake because he had eaten an amount of real food less than the volume of the cupcake, and I did not want him to fill up on junk or to get hyper and then crash as he sometimes does if he eats lots of sugar on a too-empty stomach.

To clarify, when we WERE in a restaurant in Incident #1, by the time the dessert orders were being taken, EnviroDaddy and I agreed that EnviroKid had eaten enough dinner. What I was pondering was how he could have an appropriate portion of carrot cake (I wanted a whole piece for myself, but I knew he would not eat a whole piece even if I got him one), and EDad felt he should not get any dessert at all. But the timing of/amount of dinner was not a problem.

Quote:
Is it possible to pull DH aside when he's in the midst of throwing around empty threats and quickly decide what an appropriate consequence would be, and have your DH deliver it?
Yes, it would be much better for us (at least both parents, ideally the whole family) to discuss and agree on a solution, than for EDad to leap into punishment. I mean, at the party, Ekid's action AND EDad's decision about what action to take went down in literally one minute. That indicates a "snap" reaction from EDad, and IMO when you feel that happen, the best thing to do is to step back for a second and get your breath (while taking action to stop the immediate problem, such as putting your cupcake out of reach). Even a few seconds' pause gives you a chance to calm your snappiness and think of a better approach.

However, I can understand that because he feels I've been intervening in his discipline too much, he may have thought he had to choose and impose a consequence before I got back or he wouldn't have any authority at all.

Abimommy, you should be able to save your treat if you specifically set it aside! :

MayBaby2007 wrote:
Quote:
If I offered no consequence but told dd to leave her shoes on and she took them off, I would tell her "You need to put your shoes back on. If you want to be barefoot, we will have to go home. Your choice." That seems much more fair than what happened.
By not stating what the consequence is, I don't think it's fair to end playtime.
Different kids may vary on this, but what I've found with my son (and this tends to work with my Girl Scouts, too) is that warning of the consequence seems to give the impression that I EXPECT him to do it again. Just telling him to stop tends to be more effective than, "Stop that or else." Warning of a consequence also has a negative effect on my ability to be patient and kind about his behavior after the warning, whether or not he repeats what I told him not to do. (If he repeats it, I feel like, "That dang kid, doing what I told him to stop! I'll fix him!!" If he doesn't repeat it, for quite a while I'm on edge watching for it.) In fact, sometimes it's best if I don't even give a "stop that" warning but just move on with the consequence. Really, the consequence is supposed to be a consequence OF THE BEHAVIOR, not of continuing the behavior after multiple warnings, right?

As for "If you want to be barefoot, we will have to go home.": Going home means walking 7 blocks on gravelly sidewalks and crossing a busy street where we need to walk at full speed, not mincing on bare feet. My child weighs 42 pounds; I can't carry him that distance. If he won't put his shoes back on, we have to stay at the park! I could say, "If you want to be barefoot, you can do that at home--so put on your shoes and let's go!"

Quote:
We (adults) follow rules daily--at work, on the road, etc--but I think it's safe to assume that we know what the consequences are for breaking rules also. If I didn't know there were any consequences for stopping at a red light, I probably wouldn't because I don't like red lights.
Well, different people may vary on this, too, particularly people raised with different types of discipline. I was raised with GD and natural consequences, and the reason I follow rules usually is NOT fear of an imposed consequence such as a traffic ticket; it's that rule-following is a way of cooperating with my fellow citizens so we all know what to expect and, in some situations, safety. The reason I stop at red lights has absolutely no connection to having been warned that I'll get a ticket if I don't. It's because the other drivers and pedestrians are expecting me to stop, and if I don't there might be an accident. Sometimes I do drive through a light that has just turned red, if I can see that there's nobody else around to be endangered by it or if making my left turn now (before the light for the other street turns green) will prevent me from blocking traffic and inconveniencing a bunch of people in the next cycle of the light.

In fact, the only time I got a traffic ticket, it was for something I didn't know was illegal, and I certainly didn't know what the specific consequence was going to be. The highway split into two lanes each way, I realized I was going the wrong way, I drove across the striped wedge to get into the right lane, and then I saw a patrol car signalling me to pull over. While I waited for the ticket, I wondered what it would say--"driving in the stripey zone"? It said "illegal lane change" and the consequence was a $90 fine. I didn't argue that it was unfair because nobody warned me that if I drove across the stripes I'd have to pay $90, and I certainly didn't think he should've let me go without penalty and said, "If you do that again, you'll have to pay $90." I may have been unaware of that specific rule, but I know that the Highway Patrol officers know the rules and are there to keep us all safe and I need to do as they say.

In this case, EnviroKid is well aware that we wear shoes in outdoor public places except for rare exceptions. We've talked before about how going barefoot in the dark is more risky because you might not see things on the ground. We've even had several previous conversations about how wearing shoes is a condition of staying at the playground, this same specific playground. So it's not like he's unaware of the rule and its consequence; I don't think it's "unfair" not to warn him every single time.
post #43 of 92
How to say this gently:

The degree of adult emotion, energy, and attention given to this issue is far and away the most urgent problem. I think it is extremely unhealthy for a small child to be exposed to this level of "drama" for being childish in the first instance and perhaps due to the way his father responded, tempted to deliberately engage in a power struggle in the second instance.

I would drop the entire issue, set up definite occassions when he can have treats, and put away foods he cannot have in a place where he cannot find them.

You are going to foster a very unhealthy emotionally attachment to sweets if this keeps up. One of my hard and fast rules with parenting is to never give attention to an issue you don't want to be a 'big deal' in the mind of a small child. Children are so easily influenced by parental emotions. If his father keeps making such a HUGE deal out of this, your child will naturally conclude that sweets are HUGE deal.
post #44 of 92
In the first scenario, I would have thought nothing about ds telling dp that dp could have the cookie, then (ds) actually eating it. If no one actually claimed the cookie, it seems totally fair game to me (even though Kid offered it to Dad- he's 4yo, kwim?). If there's something sweet that I want, I make it perfectly clear AND put it out of direct sight (not necessarily where he couldn't reach it, but where it won't be tempting him every time he walks through the room).
I *might* think more about the fact that you had told him not to eat any more of the cookie, but, let's face it, he had ONE bite, then was left alone with the rest of the cookie. Many (most?) adults I know wouldn't have the impulse control to refrain from "just another bite...or two..."
My reaction would have been along the lines of "Hey! Didn't I say no more cookie? Next time, we'll do x instead" (and I'd probably mention something about me putting it up or something, and telling him what HE could do to try to control his impulse).

The second scenario would depend a lot on what else is going on in the relationship. With MY ds, it would have been a "hey! That is NOT cool" end of story. He was specifically told not to, and did so anyway. But that would have been out of character for ds, so if it were something of an ongoing thing, I may talk to him more about it.
I think that consequences, especially in this situation, will do nothing to improve things (except perhaps on the surface, maybe), and may well make things worse.
post #45 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by heartmama View Post
The degree of adult emotion, energy, and attention given to this issue is far and away the most urgent problem. I think it is extremely unhealthy for a small child to be exposed to this level of "drama" for being childish in the first instance .
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I gave a quick synopsis to my dh--up to the point of boy informing dad about the cookie, and dad continuing to sleep--and dh said, "and the kid ate the cookie, right?" Right.

It's normal and expected. It's funny! And it is no big deal.
post #46 of 92
Thread Starter 
Thanks, everybody. I am appreciating so much validation of my impression that these were pretty normal, minor things for a 4-year-old to do and that his father was overreacting. It appears that the appropriate consequence for taking Daddy's dessert is to hear Daddy say, in a startled but not yelling way, "Hey, that was mine, and you ate it! I'm sad that it's gone." and to be encouraged but not forced to apologize or make amends.

The bigger issue is that EnviroDaddy needs to improve on a bunch of things. Honestly, most of the time he is much more mature and reasonable. It's just once in a while he gets unhinged over something, and then it can take a long time for him to get re-hinged.
post #47 of 92
Yes it's perfectly fine to express surprise and disappointment, I can be quite grumpy if someone snags the last piece I wanted for myself. I guess I consider that as outside the realm of discipline. It's not bad that your dh was disappointed. That is human nature. He has a right to say 'Oh no, I wanted that cookie'. He can't control whether your ds concludes from that statement 'Oh no, daddy wanted the cookie, I will be sure to never eat any dessert of daddy's again'. You can't make a little child reach that conclusion. It's just beyond the pale that he went on and on about it later and wanted the child punished or what-have-you.

I mean, that is taking yourself too seriously. He didn't get his cookie. He doesn't have to force a smile and say 'I hope you enjoyed it, son!" but anything more than "hey, I thought you told me I could eat it!" or a simple "next time please save one for me" is enough. I bet your little one really wanted to be magnanimous and give daddy a cookie, and when daddy went back to sleep, he just moved on to the next moment and thought "Okay he doesn't seem to want it that bad, I guess I'll eat it".

I probably would have done the same thing, and gone back downstairs to get another cookie for dh from the front desk
post #48 of 92
i think EnviroDad was over reacting.. it's just a cookie and half of a cupcake, not the end of the world. yes, EnviroKid should have had permission first, but really... all that over a cookie and half a cupcake?
post #49 of 92
He did both of these things after being told not to, I think that is a concern especially if it is an ongoing thing with him. It may not have been the dessert eating that bothered your dh, it may have been that he has a tendency to not listen to your dh. I think you should ask him about this and address it from that angle rather than from a dessert punishment angle. I would leave and go home if dd was consistently getting into things she was told not to get into and I was tired of it. I think you should back up your husband and come up with consequences you are both comfortable with if your son is going through a stage where he makes up all the rules. I also think your husband's idea of making amends is a good one that you and he should develop further. Amends mean a lot more than an apology.

If this is just about a little food being eaten, then I think that he needs to let it go. It may be that he was cranky because of the headache the first time and then ticked off because he was being ignored the second time. I know that I would probably be very angry if someone drank my Dr. Pepper when I am having a migraine, he may have viewed the cookie as a balm to the pain and the two incidents may not have pushed his buttons for the same reason.
post #50 of 92
Quote:
Different kids may vary on this, but what I've found with my son (and this tends to work with my Girl Scouts, too) is that warning of the consequence seems to give the impression that I EXPECT him to do it again. Just telling him to stop tends to be more effective than, "Stop that or else." Warning of a consequence also has a negative effect on my ability to be patient and kind about his behavior after the warning, whether or not he repeats what I told him not to do. (If he repeats it, I feel like, "That dang kid, doing what I told him to stop! I'll fix him!!" If he doesn't repeat it, for quite a while I'm on edge watching for it.) In fact, sometimes it's best if I don't even give a "stop that" warning but just move on with the consequence. Really, the consequence is supposed to be a consequence OF THE BEHAVIOR, not of continuing the behavior after multiple warnings, right?
ITA with you on this. On all points. My DH and I have different discipline styles, and I cringe every time I hear him saying to one of them, "The next time you do that..." It's like, you just told him he was going to do it again! Self fulfilling prophecy! Sometimes I step in and say, "No, actually, there's not going to be a next time. You can't do that because..." Or "Do this, here."

I totally get the desire to step in and comfort the child or try to smooth over things between dad and child. I think I probably should not, but sometimes I just want to be on their side, and not have mommy and daddy ganging up on them together, I think that's the way Alfie Kohn put it. But I know I'm probably also intefering with the relationship.

I have been taking one boy (and the baby) out on alternating weekend days so that both DH and I can get some one-on-one bonding time with both of the older kids, and it is really helping. Misbehaviors are fewer and dad's reaction is more even tempered and helpful
post #51 of 92
am i missing something here? your DP got that upset over a cookie?
post #52 of 92
I don't think it is just the cookie/cupcake is the fact he did something he knew he shouldn't.

I honestly don't think either one of you handle it right.

BUT NOBODY IS PERFECT!!

In hind site coming up with a way to make it up to dad after the cookie or "correcting" his mistake would have been good. Save that for the next time he does it.

On the cupcake.....I wonder if your dh sees the situation different than you. He saw that he refuse to eat. Then he refuse to eat all his diner. Then asked for a cup cake. Then pulled the sneaking -- take a bit out of dad's cupcake. I think there might be room to say it was several things that added up to last situation. This doesn't mean I think dad handled it correctly. But at the same time I think YOU both need to work on IMPULSE control, stealing, and being direspectful to other peoples things -- in this case it happens to be food. But being respectful to other peoples things applies to allot of other areas.
post #53 of 92
Quote:
Eventually he said he is worried that EnviroKid will turn out like him--too focused on his own comfort to notice the feelings of others--and that's why he gets so freaked out when EnviroKid does something self-centered like this.
Holding a grudge against a four year old, for any reasons, is not productive.

My father was a good parent but he also became "unhinged" and had a hard time getting back to normal. He never struck me and rarely yelled but his anger and grudges were nursed for far too long. Not often, but often enough. I learned to be hyper-aware of his moods in an attempt to not get taken by surprise when he became unhinged...not healthy for a child. It was a source of a lot of anxiety for me, inspite of my father's very good intentions.

My parents believed very much in a united front and not undermining each other infront of us. I grew up feeling like what my Dad did was okay and that my Mom approved. I don't do that with my kid, he's 17 now and has a good relationship with both of us but he knows we are two different people and not always of the same mind.
post #54 of 92
Thread Starter 
One Girl wrote:
Quote:
He did both of these things after being told not to, I think that is a concern especially if it is an ongoing thing with him. It may not have been the dessert eating that bothered your dh, it may have been that he has a tendency to not listen to your dh.
Yes, I think the root problem is feeling that EnviroKid doesn't listen to or care about him.

Quote:
I would leave and go home if dd was consistently getting into things she was told not to get into and I was tired of it.
I would, too! But in Incident #2 when EnviroDaddy said we/they had to leave, that was the FIRST time at the party (and first time since getting up from nap an hour before we left for the party) EnviroKid had misbehaved, he had NOT been told not to eat that particular cupcake--EDad thought (and I don't think this is all that unreasonable) that EKid should understand that the cupcake being on someone else's plate and having been told to eat burrito before cupcake meant that he could not eat the cupcake--and he was recovering from a frightening fall and painful scrapes. That's why I think leaping up to leave the party was too sudden and extreme a consequence.

Thisbirdwillfly wrote:
Quote:
My father was a good parent but he also became "unhinged" and had a hard time getting back to normal. He never struck me and rarely yelled but his anger and grudges were nursed for far too long. Not often, but often enough. I learned to be hyper-aware of his moods in an attempt to not get taken by surprise when he became unhinged...not healthy for a child.
This is exactly what I'm afraid will happen between my child and his father. In a way I think EDad would like it if everyone was hyper-aware of his moods and walked on eggshells around him...but the cost to us is too great. It's already a problem for me at times--I get to feeling like if I dare ask him to do anything for me or around the house, I'll be blamed for ruining his whole day; because of this, I wind up suppressing my needs and feelings until I am ragged and of course feel that it is HIS fault--and I don't want my vulnerable little child mixed up in that! I have discussed this with EDad many times and suggested that he try therapy. He doesn't want to go because a therapist will "waste time" delving into his childhood. (His father is a therapist! This attitude speaks volumes.) I say, if you won't seek help with this problem you are responsible for solving it on your own. Rinse and repeat. :
post #55 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by heartmama View Post
How to say this gently:

The degree of adult emotion, energy, and attention given to this issue is far and away the most urgent problem. I think it is extremely unhealthy for a small child to be exposed to this level of "drama" for being childish in the first instance and perhaps due to the way his father responded, tempted to deliberately engage in a power struggle in the second instance.

I would drop the entire issue, set up definite occassions when he can have treats, and put away foods he cannot have in a place where he cannot find them.

You are going to foster a very unhealthy emotionally attachment to sweets if this keeps up. One of my hard and fast rules with parenting is to never give attention to an issue you don't want to be a 'big deal' in the mind of a small child. Children are so easily influenced by parental emotions. If his father keeps making such a HUGE deal out of this, your child will naturally conclude that sweets are HUGE deal.
I agree with heartmama to the nth degree. This is something that I've struggled with because I've had some pretty serious food issues and, in my quest to not project those onto my kid, have managed to totally project them onto him. What I've come up with recently is that we don't do sweets/treats during the week and on the weekend, anything we have in the house is fair game. Sometimes we have ice cream for dinner and fish for dessert. Who cares, really? It seems to work and it takes all of the questioning/looking for direction about what's appropriate or not to eat out of the equation.

And those issues involving your husband that you've spoken about in your most recent post are so, so difficult to navigate. Honestly, it's one of the reasons I'm divorced (not that I'm recommending that - just stating a fact). Combine a father who makes everyone in the family responsible for his emotions with a child who is sensitive, compassionate, and tends to err on the side of being overly attentive to the feelings of others, and it can get quite ugly.

I don't know the dynamics of your relationship, but what has worked for us is a) speaking frankly to my (now-ex) husband - which I still do and b) being the processing person for my son when his dad starts weighing on him too heavily. He's 8 now and remarkably insightful about these things.
post #56 of 92
I think EnviroDaddy needs to pull on some big boy man-ties and not act like a 4yo about it. Sounds like a real prize.

As for the disobedience, I think that's within the norm for a 4yo, but obviously he's old enough to know better, so he should be given appropriate consequences. However, Daddy acting like a 4yo isn't one of them.

HTH!
post #57 of 92
becca, You've taken a big step in recognizing that it's a problem. Have you considered therapy for yourself? It's very frustrating to deal with someone who refuses to get help for themselves, you deserve support as you try to deal with this.
post #58 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by webjefita View Post
I also think it sounds like EKid might be reacting to feeling controlled or punished. It sounds like a highly emotionally charged situation or environment is developing.

Have you ever noticed that if you overreact to a child's misbehavior, it continues or gets worse? I definitely see this with my kids.

I think the natural consequence of stealing someone's dessert is that that someone is going to be sad... if it were my 3- or 4-year old I would look sad and say, "Hey, I really wanted that. Now I don't have anything, and I don't like you taking my food." Pause for child to express natural reaction... which I'm confident they will do if they don't fear punishment coming.

The shoes at the park, for me would have been a quick connecting with the child through the game, and then, "You need to have your shoes on. Go get them now" and "I'll help you put them on" if needed. I wouldn't have left the park for it. There's a danger in starting to give the child too much negative attention or focusing too much on behavior problems... they get worse... in other words, "What you focus on, you get more of!" (From Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline, an excellent book). Children sense our expectations, even on a subconscious level, and they know if we expect them to be difficult or misbehave, and will act accordingly.

Whether you want to use natural, or logical consequences, or problem solving, I think it works best when the attachment between child and parent is strong and the relationship is very secure. And you are very emotionally neutral about the rule, the consequence, or whatever... communicating disappointment if needed but also that "our relationship is not threatened by what just happened." I also think that for under 6-year-olds, communicating disappointment with behavior but not with the child is very tricky, and they don't get it sometimes. They just feel bad.

This sounds like it is about a lot more than dessert... Sounds like the child is being shamed and there is also a threat of abandonment, emotional withdrawal, etc.

I have just read a fantastic book called Hold On To Your Kids, and he has an excellent chapter on discipline, he talks about what makes kids easier to parent, how a strong attachment is necessary in order to have natural parenting power, and he also has a chapter on "counterwill" or defiance: the causes, the remedies. One of the great tips is: connection before direction, which means putting the relationship with the child first. he gives many examples and some specific ideas for how to do this. We are benefitting so much from working on the relationships in our family instead of the specific discipline "incidents." I highly recommend it for anyone who works with kids.

As a final note, I wouldn't ask or try to get your DH to read it. But whatever you decide to do, just do it with confidence and if it starts getting good results with your son, your DH will wonder what's up and he'll start asking you or copying what you do.
Thanks for this- I totally agree- esp. with the bolded. This is why "time-outs" don't make sense for me. Good reminder to seek connection when misbehavior occurs.
post #59 of 92
Eventually he said he is worried that EnviroKid will turn out like him--too focused on his own comfort to notice the feelings of others--and that's why he gets so freaked out when EnviroKid does something self-centered like this.


I agree with PP that your dh really overreacted to these situations. I wanted to focus on the quote above.

I firmly believe that children learn the most from the behavior that their parents model, not "teach." So, in the cookie situation, your DH has modeled self-centerness: "You woke ME up, took MY cookie and didn't make it up to ME", rather than empathy and compassion: "Wow, you must really have been hungry to eat my cookie. I appreciate and accept your apology."

You see what I'm saying? He's modeled the behavior he says he doesn't want the kid to learn!

I really like Elizabeth Pantley's book Hidden Messages: What our words and actions are really telling our children on this topic.

Lara

ETA: I also don't think "consequences" are necessary or helpful in any of the incidents you've described. This is normal 4 yo behavior. Explain what the problem is, be more vigilant next time, and move on!
post #60 of 92
would enviropapa be willing to read a book or do a workbook that deals with empathy? my dp and i have been talking a lot lately about the importance of empathy and how it might be good if we both work on having more empathy as a way to be good role models for our son.
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