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Unconditional Parenting support thread - Page 18

post #341 of 367
Originally Posted by Harmony08 View Post
After a lot of research, talking with others, and some experience, I sort of realized that sometimes they just have to get frustrated, have tantrums, etc. ... My understanding from UP is that we don't have to eliminate all struggles but honor their feelings about them.
Yes, this. My son just turned 2, and I feel like I'm finally at a place where I can see his tantrums for what they are, a normal part of his emotional development. If I follow Naomi Aldort's advice (the SALVE method) to first Stop myself from responding and let go of my initial reaction, and then turn my Attention to my son and try to see things from his point of view, it really, really helps. Perhaps half the time, the tantrum is over something different than what I would have initially thought, and so my initial reaction ould have only made the situation worse.

I come from a family of "fixers", people who hate to see other folks upset, and who do everything they can to "fix" it. What that really means is that as a child I was immediately distracted from anything that upset or frustrated me, and so I unfortunately earned that it's not okay to struggle with something difficult, nor is it okay to show your true emotions. I was told, "It's okay" when it wasn't, and "You're all right" when I wasn't. To this day, I cannot turn to my own mother when I have a problem I need to vent about. She wants to "fix" it rather than listen to what I'm really saying, and it's incredibly frustrating.

I have had to really work on myself in the last year to avoid doing that to my son, but the results have been good. He is able to work through his own frustrations in ways that I would not have thought possible, all because I sit back and let him. I stay close and tell him I will help him if he asks me to, and sometimes he will look up at me and say, "Mommy help?", but most of the time he will ignore me and plow on through until he makes it work on his own. What a great skill he is learning for life!

I think that is something UP has taught me, and it's made me a better parent, friend, and partner. :-)
post #342 of 367
So I am finallly reading Raising Our Children Raising Ourselves. I love this SALVE method. I have been using it with my husband
post #343 of 367
Hello Everyone,

Talk to me about how you share all of this with your DP. Does he get it like you do? Is he on board? etc.

I am reading ROC and it is just really opening up so much to me. It really is much more helpful in a practical sense than UP. Anyway, DH and I had a long discussion about it. We talked about our parents and had so aha moments and what not. We talked about what happens when you punish, criticize, ignore, threaten, demean, etc a child who shows strong emotion...and you all know what happens so I'll skip the whole explanantion because nak. Anyway, later that night Dh was holding ds back from the bookshelf so ds bit his arm and what does dh do??? He says "Hey, Knock it off" and so then he doesn't see how it has anything to do with what we were talking about.
post #344 of 367
I know, personally, I always feel as if I am a better parent if I am actively striving to imporving myself - by reading books, thinking, discussing with other parents who have similar beliefs, etc. Would anyone be interested in a UP/CL blog carnival type event so that we could share our thoughts in another format?
post #345 of 367
Originally Posted by L'lee View Post
I'm interested, too! I really enjoyed this book and found that it really spoke to me and justified a lot of my feelings about parenting.

Here is some more info that I put together when we had a discussion in my local natural families group:
ok i know this is from last year... but can i say WOW! that was amazing and i printed it out to share with dh. thank you so much!
post #346 of 367
Originally Posted by boheime View Post
I know, personally, I always feel as if I am a better parent if I am actively striving to imporving myself - by reading books, thinking, discussing with other parents who have similar beliefs, etc. Would anyone be interested in a UP/CL blog carnival type event so that we could share our thoughts in another format?
Yes, I'd be interested. I definitely need to hash out some thoughts/ideas about this stuff with other people. I have no idea what a carnival type event is though!
post #347 of 367
Originally Posted by mamaluvs View Post
Yes, I'd be interested. I definitely need to hash out some thoughts/ideas about this stuff with other people. I have no idea what a carnival type event is though!
I'd have to check into exactly how to do it, but there would be a link to everyone's blogs on a specific day(s). We could have specific topics or just consensual living in general.

Where we would tell people on Mothering about it? I'm sure there are rules about where we could post about that type of thing.
post #348 of 367
post #349 of 367
OK, I need some ideas about hitting. My daughters (4 years old, twins) get pretty physical with each other in general, and they hit or bite each other fairly often. But in the past month or two, one of them has really taken off with the hitting. She hits me constantly. I mean, multiple times per day, and for almost any perceived offense - saying no to a request for something, pulling her off of her sister (who she's hitting), and just now because I tickled her when she was apparently not interested.

It's really getting bad. And hard to control my own reaction. There are times I've just given in to my feelings and yelled, carried her up the stairs to her bed or mine and left her there (hysterically crying), telling her to come back down when she's not going to hit. There are times I've just broken down and cried, because I'm so frustrated and sad about it. Actually, those times, she's come over and apologized of her own accord and tried to kiss where she hit me. But I can't be bursting into tears all day long, ya know?

I feel like I've completely lost touch with how to respond to this kind of behavior. I can accept a lot from them, but the hitting just makes me crazy. And it hurts. I get pinched and bitten sometimes, too, but mostly it's just that instant slap the second she starts to get worked up and angry.

FWIW to the conversation, she is a terrible sleeper (both are) and we are doing a sleep study at the end of this week to find out if they are having apnea. I'm pretty convinced that a lot of the short temper is related to missing sleep, mostly because I know mine is.

We made a list a few months ago of a whole bunch of things you can do when you're angry that don't involve hitting. They offered ideas and so did I, and we wrote it in pretty colors and put it on the fridge. It didn't help one bit. Whenever I try to stop her and say "let's look at the list! remember the list!" or suggest an item on the list, it falls on utterly deaf ears. I think she's too out of control in that moment to hear me - it's such a knee-jerk reaction at this point.

So can anyone help me with how to respond when she hits me? Blowing up is clearly wrong, crying feels manipulative (except for when it's utterly genuine and I can't stop myself, and even then I don't want to be that girl). Once or twice I've managed to go playful on her when I see she's getting worked up, and said silly things like "Don't hit, don't spit, don't pit! Don't blit!" and that's gotten everyone saying nonsense words and laughing. But usually it's just too fast to even get a handle on.
post #350 of 367
Hi, I just found this thread ... I am so excited. I'm going to go to the front and read it from the beginning, but just wanted to say how thrilled I am to find other parents talking about this. I just finished this book over the weekend and it really made me think!

I know that one of the things the author says is that part of it is just starting to question yourself and what you do, but I really want to internalize the concepts and put them into practice - and this is SO far from parenting styles that everyone I know uses that I don't know anyone IRL to talk it over with.

Here I thought that the beneficial thing to do with my DS was to "good job" everything and to say "if you spill that water, I will take it away ... OK, you spilled it, now it is gone". I loved how he showed me that I wasn't really setting up choices and that praising is not a good thing for him, that shifting the emphasis from "me" to "others" is the way to really encourage moral growth. I also find that already I'm a more peaceful parent by being able to just assume the good in my child rather than having to think that he's manipulating, "bad", etc.

(and somehow I think this will spill over into adult relationships as well!)

Anyway, enough rambling - just wanted to share my excitement and now I really will go and read the rest of the thread so I can actually participate
post #351 of 367
Hi, I haven't been here in quite a long time, but I used to be a regular of the GD forum when my first child was just getting to the age when you start thinking about discipline. (I had a different username tho.) Anyway, that's when I read Kids Are Worth It and then UP (and then about 30 million other parenting books but UP is what started it all for me!)

There wasn't an Unconditional Parenting Support Thread back then (the book was still relatively new) but I think this is awesome!

I was wondering, did any of you ever do the blog carnival thing? I participated in an unschooling one a few months ago and it was great. I'd love to read some of your blogs if you did/do one for UP.
post #352 of 367
OGirlieMama: hitting is such a tough thing to cope with. Recently it was a hot topic of conversation on Scott Noelle's Enjoy Parenting forums (Scott is the author of the Daily Groove, you can sign up for his PATH program to read the forums.)

I have not experienced hitting (yet?) so take this with a grain of salt. But here is what I *think* I would hopefully do:
-begin by centering myself. Make sure I am in a loving and peaceful place before proceeding.
-make sure everyone is safe. If that means lovingly but physically restraining, then that is what needs to be done.
-remain centered. See if my centered-ness would help bring my child back in to her own center.
-Try to figure out what the "need" is behind the behavior. Remember that the behavior is neither bad nor good, it just IS, without judgment. From that place, what need is she trying to express?

Hopefully from there you and she will find a way together to move forward. She may need more sleep (like you suggested), food, more connection, more space, more empowerment, more of a sense that you and she are centered, more.... you get the idea!

Please keep us posted on how it is going!
post #353 of 367
Originally Posted by apple_juice View Post
 I find I am so much more relaxed when I don't sweat the small stuff and try to look trhough his eyes and meet his needs.
This really spoke to me. Thank you.
post #354 of 367

I just want to say that anything I ever thought or said earlier in this thread was before I had a 2.75 year old! Things are different now and I am so clueless. Would love to hear more from mamas with older, more challenging kids. I'm too frustrated to even try to put a post together myself at the moment, just thrilled that son and husband left the house and I can restart my own morning.

post #355 of 367
Originally Posted by LCBMAX View Post

I just want to say that anything I ever thought or said earlier in this thread was before I had a 2.75 year old! Things are different now and I am so clueless. Would love to hear more from mamas with older, more challenging kids. I'm too frustrated to even try to put a post together myself at the moment, just thrilled that son and husband left the house and I can restart my own morning.

 Same here. I was even a little smug as in 'I dont need to do time outs, my son and I have this great communication and relationship etc' until just before he turned 3. Then everything went up a level. I feel at a loss too! Some days it's absolutely fine, like when we are out and about doing stuff, but at home...it's hard work, and lots of things have become a battle, like getting dressed etc. I find myself sometimes having to physically force him to get dressed b/c there is a non-negotiable time I have to be out the door, e.g. if I'm not on time I will miss a train and have to fork out lots of money to get another ticket, etc.... it's frustrating and I feel like I'm not being the best parent I can be.


Hoosgirl, you mentioned the importance of trying to see the good in your child and how that prevents problems cropping up in your approach as a parent. I think this is waht I'm fundamentally struggling with right now as DS often appears to me to be bossy, demanding etc, and I need to find better words and self talk to use in my head! I was brought up in the typical way of, any backtalk would get a smack, so it triggers really old beliefs about how children 'should be' ...it's like I find myself thinking, God, I wouuld NEVER have been allowed to speak to my parents like that/ argue with them like that/ etc. The other day I even found myself saying, when he was being really pedantic and argumentative about something food-related (food is a big problem latelY): "Look, do you realise I am actually the grown up here? And I have said no!" Sigh.... SO not UP!!!

post #356 of 367

I learned about The Daily Groove/Scott Noelle from this thread, and eventually went on to join his parenting program as well as periodically get phone coaching from him.  (As a side note, I highly recommend him!  He and his forums have helped me in countless ways.)


In one phone consult, we talked about a couple things that Devaya brought up.  I'll try to be concise here...so hard to talk about this stuff briefly though.


1-Times when I feel dd is being bossy to me: he reminded me to not take this personally.  She is not trying to control me.  It is simply a trigger from my past (just like you said Devaya) that brings up feelings in *me*.  Find what is behind the message: she is saying NO to something, so what is she saying YES to? (Truthfully, changing your reactions is a big part of Scott's work.)


2-getting dressed/out the door: at first I was worried about using this technique because it sounded manipulative to me, but it has turned out to be really effective in empowering her to make decisions for herself, which of course is not manipulative!  Basically, anytime she doesn't want to get ready to go somewhere (and I'm sure you start the getting ready process with gobs of extra time so you are not under time pressure), I get all her clothes ready and by the door, then I say to her, "I am going to xxx.  I really hope you will come with me, but it is your decision to make." Then I start to leave.  The first few times I got most of the way out the door before she decided to come with me.  Now it happens much more easily.  I would suggest doing this first when getting somewhere is not vital, so you can see how it goes.  It is important to do this with your whole heart believing that she truly has the power to make her own decisions, rather than trying to "bluff" her.  Of course you won't be leaving her at home alone, but helping her get to the point where she sees that she is empowered in the decision process is a good thing. 



post #357 of 367

If you desperately need to go someplace, the I don't think dressing your child to get there is anti-UP, unless you're punishing over it or something.  But what I do is to try to make dd have the ability to help decide how we handle things.  "I really need to go to the grocery store.  You don't want to get dressed yet.  We have to get there and back before the baby goes down for her nap.  How can we solve this?"  Sometimes she'll get dressed, sometimes she'll say she wants to finish one more thing and then she'll get dressed, but explaining to her where I'm coming from makes a huge difference to my dd anyway.  Though personality makes a big difference in how kids react to things.  But my dd likes to think of herself as a problem solver, so if I present her with a problem she likes to be the one to find a solution.

post #358 of 367

Thanks for the helpful suggestions. We are much more harmonious today since there were no particular times we had to go anywhere. In fact really e njoying my son's company. Sigh...if only life could be arranged to not be so time-dependent! McKennasmomma, I love Scott Noelle too, money permitting I would do his coaching programme too (at the moment just get the 'daily groove' emails). I don't think I'd feel comfortable doing the almost-walking-out-the-door thing, b/c I've tried similar things when really desperate and he does respond like a shot, but I fear the effect would wear off and leave me back to square one. To me it feels too much like those moms in the park you see saying 'Right that's it, Im going, bye!' and walking away to a wailing child. Thanks for the reminder to not take the bossiness personally :)


ANd yes, remembering to use problem solving language is really helpful, mamazee. I have found that to be successful sometimes but seem to forget to use it in rushed situations!

post #359 of 367

I understand how at first the "walking out the door" thing sounds like like "those moms in the park you see saying 'Right that's it, Im going, bye!' and walking away to a wailing child."  I was afraid of that too.  But I think the difference lies in your motivation and what is in your heart.  I think that in the "moms at the park" example they really are a) trying to be manipulative of the behavior, and b) are doing it in a state of irritation.  When I do it with my daughter, I make sure that I am centered, not in a state of irritation, and am being honest with my intention that I truly want her to be making the choice to come with me, because in the end that is what *feels good* to her.  Rather than the effect wearing off, we are now at a point where I actually don't have to do that anymore.  Now all I have to do (if she seems to be reluctant to get ready to go) is say, "Well, I'm going to move all your clothes to the door.  I really hope you'll decide to come with me, and I'll meet you at the door when you are ready."  She usually thinks about it for a moment or two, then comes to the door quite happily wanting to go with me. 


Any UP suggestions for a toddler who still wakes many times a night, and is extremely demanding about nursing at those times?  I so badly want her to naturally reach sleep maturation, and I'm not only not into night weaning but I also don't believe it would really work for her.  Ideally we would just have a natural progression, of reducing wakings, gently going back to sleep with nursing, until she was just doing it on her own.  I thought that would happen after her last 2-year molar came in, but it is in and she still wakes 3-10 x per night, and like I said is really demanding with the nursing back to sleep.

post #360 of 367

This morning, a simple thing happened that to me is similar in nature to the philosophy behind the "I'm hoping you'll come with me/ empowered to make their own decisions" idea.  DD was eating breakfast and I put her vitamin down just like I do every day.  She loves her vitamins...but today she said she didn' want to eat it.  I left it there for a while, then eventually said, Ok, I'll just put it away if you don't want it (and I meant this honestly...I really don't care that much if she doesn't have it).  But as soon as she saw that I was willing to put it away, she changed her mind and said she wanted it.  The two ideas are similar because when I can truly let go of my "need" for her to do something (anything: brush teeth, get dressed, eat vitamin, whatever) it opens the door for her to truly choose to do it.  So, when "needing" to leave the house, I shift internally from needing her to comply to opening the door for her to choose to come with me.


Does that make better sense?




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