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Needing some ideas

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
My husband and I have been trying to do GD, but we haven't been very successful and have mostly ended up doing what we know, yelling way too much.

We're now trying, again, to be more gentle but we're having problems. So much of it feels...hokey and fake. And we don't really know what we're doing, just fumbling around a lot.

Our main problem at the moment is the running and jumping in the house. Honestly, I wouldn't care, but the neighbours have complained and we've gotten a complaint notice from the landlord. Dh is so stressed over this that he freaks out whenever ds makes any sound at all. I figure he can do whatever running he wants in the daytime, that way we only have to try to stop it in the evening.

We keep saying "walk" or "walk, please" and he sometimes stops for a minute, but then he starts again. He just gets so excited and I know he can't control himself, but I don't know what to do. It doesn't help that he's extremely energetic and it seems like the more he moves, the more hyper he gets.

Another problem, though it doesn't happen very often, is that he chokes me. He jams one or both hands into the front of my neck as hard as he can. I've told him not to, I've taken his hands off me, I've put him down on the floor and I have seriously yelled at him for it, but he still does it.

The other thing at the moment is the tv and the computer, especially the tv. He keeps touching the screen and hitting it with things. A couple of times it been obvious that he was trying to help by "dusting" it for me, so I've given him a cloth to do it, but mostly he just seems to want to touch it. We can't move it up, we have no money to get a decent cabinet so he can't touch it, and I'm worried he's going to wreak it. He's already put a gouge in the computer monitor with one of his toys.

Can anyone give me some specific ideas for dealing with these situations? Maybe if we can get a good start with some of the biggest things, we can have a better idea how to deal with other stuff.

post #2 of 14
Could you have him just jump on the bed or the couch?
Provide some other things for him to "drum" on that have different sounds.
I find it helps when I show my kids what TO do instead of what NOT to do.
As for the choking : maybe the rough treatment of things is a cue to show him gentle touch? Maybe you could practice "gentle touch" "scratchy touch" "tickly touch" etc. and make it a fun part of your day-then when he is too rough have him practice his nicer touches. HTH
post #3 of 14
What, specifically, feels hokey and fake? I'm curious.

Your child is 3? That is tough age no matter what. Its a shame that he can't run and jump in the house. I hate the thought of restricting his freedom to move, but I an understand why you have to. I have a child who walks like a baby elephant even when he's just walking through the house! He'd have such a hard time with that.

If he can't run and jump in the house when neighbors are home, then he probably shouldn't be allowed to at all, not even during the day. Its just a bit too complicated to expect him to realize that sometimes he can, and other times its a big "no-no." I think a better approach would be to make it a habit to walk gently in the house all the time. You could practise with him the difference between "inside feet" and "outside feet."

Also -- I'd get him outside to use those outside feet as often as you can manage!Bundle him up and get him outdoors everyday -- maybe more than once. When the weather won't permit it at all, then try to get him somewhere that he can be active.

I think you are handling the other 2 issues pretty well, from what you have said. Will just require consistancy. But I think that getting enough exersize and activity in his day could cut down on those other behaviors as well.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions.

He already knows "gentle". We used to have cat and started teaching him that at about 8 months, he's usually really good about remembering, but it doesn't work for the choking thing. I have no idea why. He's usually an incredibly gentle child.

He's 2 1/2. I knew it was going to be harder once he stopped being a baby, since I have no clue what to do with a child this age. Older kids are easy and babies are too. A lot of work, but pretty easy to figure out what needs to be done.

I know some of the problem is that I don't take him out anywhere near as much as I should. It's really hard where we're living now, but we're going to be moving (yay!!!!) at the end of March, so hopefully it will be easier there.

Even taking him out and letting him walk his legs off doesn't seem to completely help, though. He's definitely been much better tonight after having a really long day out that I let him walk for most of.

The hokey and fake thing, I was referring to something I read a few days ago that I've been trying. I think it was on The Natural Child Project site. Anyway, it said about instead of telling your child it's ok when they're upset, to just empathize with them. It's so awkward and I'm sure anyone who heard me would think I sounded like one of those women whose kids walk all over them.

And I guess I am. When I'm not yelling, I'm really not sure what to do most of the time. I feel like I'm not doing anything.

Like today, we were out and we had to go to the pharmacy and wait for a prescription. First, as we were walking to the counter, he touched everything on the shelves and shoved them back. Then, he ran down the aisle a couple of times. Then he kept climbing under the counter and getting into the back part where the pharmacist is. I kept telling him to stay out, and he'd come back for a minute, then go back under again.

I just feel like, no matter what I do it's wrong.
post #5 of 14
No Lisa, your doing fine. You are just getting your sea legs, thats all!

I understand how trying to show empathy to a 2.5 yo might feel "hokey." Its certainly a habit that needs to be formed, KWIM? We aren't trained to interact with small children in that way. Its not permissive either neccessarily, because you can empathize but refuse to give in to the tantrum at the same time. Does that makes sense?

He's at a difficult age for trips to the pharamacy, or just about anywhere! It helps to think in terms of "setting him up to succeed." Think ahead to the fact that you will be waiting at the pharmacy and that there won't be much for him to do. Come prepared for that! Bring some story books, some cheerios, and teach him to play "I spy with my little eye." When he is set up to suceed in those situations, then behaving himself becomes a habit.

When he shoves something on a shelf, scoop him up immedediately and whisper to him "No shoving the stuff on the shelves." Help him put the item back. You might have to do it 500 times in a day, but your consistancy and vigilance will pay off. Sometimes if I know I will be walking past a place where ds tends to make trouble, then I stop ahead of time and offer to give him a piggy back ride. Then we can sort of bypass the whole problem.

It will get easier. Age 2 and 3 is the hardest time!
post #6 of 14
As far as touching things he's not supposed to, you may try teaching how you want him to touch it. Be consistent with it every time. For instance, when you go in a store, BEFORE he gets a chance to touch anything, take him right to a shelf and explain how you want him to touch things. Tell him matter of factly, "This is how we touch things on the shelf" with as few words as possible. Then go on to something else. Like, look at those boxes, do you see a blue one? I let ds throw everything into the grocery cart (except the eggs!!). I find myself babbling throughout our grocery store trips and errands but during it all, ds is learning and keeps interested. It does take a lot of energy and I don't always have it, I must admit. But it's like exercise, if you work hard, you feel better afterward!!

As far as the TV, computer, etc, try to be as real as possible. For example, when you use the computer, ask ds to turn it on. Teach him all the parts of the computer. Look up an animal site. Get him involved in it. When he goes for the TV, say, "Oh, we're not watching TV right now". And quickly offer to read him a story or something else. If you want to watch tv, have him turn on the button or go get the remote for you.

When you go to the pharmacy, have him hand the clerk the prescription note. Tell him before hand how you will need him to help. And of course throughout all of this, praise praise praise.

The biggest thing that helps me with my 2 year old is keeping an even tone when he does something he's not supposed to. Keep an even tone, say "Oh, we DRINK water, not dump it in mama's purse" and go on quickly to something else". Don't leave room for discussion, don't make a big deal. Save the big deals for when he does something great! I know it can be SO hard!!

And remember, it's his job to do all this testing.

I hope within all this jibber jabber something will help you.

Good luck, Mary
post #7 of 14
Can you talk to whomever lives below you and ask what rooms they jumping wouldn't be bothersome in? We owned a home that was a 2 family, and we lived downstairs, I told the tenants what rooms I expected quite in (ie- bedroom above ours, etc.) I told them to make all the noise they wanted in the kitchen, no one ever slept there That way, maybe your ds could have one room that he IS allowed to jump in

The rest sounds like you are doing well, it is a tough age, and it DOES get easier
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions.

The empathy thing may actually have worked last night. He was crying because he got his arm stuck in the back of the chair. Only took a second to get him out, but he was really upset. Instead of saying "It's ok" like I usually do, I said something like "Getting stuck in the chair scared you, didn't it?". He nodded, cried for about 10 seconds , and went off and played. It still feels weird though.

He actually does really well getting groceries. I let him hold stuff. Yesterday he was really happy because he got to hold daddy's birthday cake (mix) and icing.

I did actually have a toy for him, we always take one of his little cars out with us when we go, but he put it away after just a minute. I tried to get him to sit on my lap when he was being really obnoxious, but he didn't want to and I didn't think it was worth having a screaming child.

I felt so sorry for this little girl in there whose mom was effectively calling her names, and using my son to do it. If I'd been a bit closer or she'd done it again, I think I would have said something. Saw her again in another store and she was being decent, mostly.

I definitely have a problem with keeping an even tone. My parents were/are yellers and I know I do way too much of it. Both of us are trying to stop, but it's really hard.

He's allowed to play with the remotes for the tv, we've taught him a couple things that are ok for him to do, so he mostly just pushes those buttons. We locked out the front panel of the tv, though. He's also allowed to turn the monitor on for us and we've taken him to kids game sites. Dh lets B steer sometimes when playing driving games.

Our neighbours are actually on either side of us. They're friends and they've been double teaming us. There's apparently nowhere and no time B's allowed to be a kid with these idiots around. They pound on the walls even when it's no where near the time were legally you have to be quieter. The other night, B ran about 5 steps to me and the neighbours on one side pounded on the wall and scared him. Last night, he got a little bit excited going up and down the stairs a couple of times, and the neighbours on the other side (which isn't even NEAR the stairs) pounded on the wall.

I am so glad we're going to be out of here at the end of next month.
post #9 of 14
i don't really have any suggestions, but i'd like to empathize with you on several points.

my husband and i are both yellers, and it is really tough to overcome that, even when the best interests of our beloved littles are at hand. i think it takes a lot of focus and constant vigilance to keep from bursting into a shouting rant when really a much quieter (and gentler) reaction will do fine! we are still working hard at this, and not always succeeding.

also, the neighbor thing. i never in a million years would have thought that living in an apartment building would govern how i parent! it makes me so angry that it does, though. when my twins were 11 months old, the upstairs neighbors would pound onthe bedroom floor if they made a peep. it scared them half to death, and p?%$ed me off to no end! (but it was ok when they would have drunken, door-slamming fights in the middle of the night, right?!). i hated that those cigarette-smoking-around-their-kid, beer-guzzling, mean people had some say in how our kids were raised. how do you stop a kid from being a kid?

however, we were lucky to have an awesome landlord who eventually asked them to leave (they weren't exactly model tenants aside from their constant complaints about us). now we have friends above us, and they are super cool about noise...they even claim to not really hear anything at all.

good for you guys that you are getting out of there! best of luck with all of this!

post #10 of 14
How often do you two go to the park together? It sounds to me like he needs some one-on-one time with you, and a play place like a park might be ideal.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Not very often. It's too hard to do anything in the winter here. And the nearest park with equipment for little kids is quite a hike.

He loves swimming, but we can't really afford to go. I took him a couple of weeks ago when the pool had a sponsored swim, so it was free. Though about taking him to the sponsored skate, too, even though it's been 20 years since I skated, but we didn't have money for skates.

I'm really hoping that the new place will have something closer that I can take him to. And there should be a mom's and tots or something. The only things here are for children under 12 months, then preschool for children over 3 who are potty trained.
post #12 of 14
Do you go to church, Lisa? What about asking for a big room at church 2 or 3 times a week and inviting other little kids for some playtime?
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
We don't go to church.

I think I'm just going to have to keep reminding him to "walk", even though I feel like a drill sargeant (sp?) doing it, and take him out as often as I can between packing and trying to get at least one of my university courses done.

On a good note, we handed in our notice yesterday!
post #14 of 14
Your son sounds like mine. AJ is 3 1/2 and he has a LOT of energy! Tons, and our biggest "fight" every day is the running through the house, jumping on the couches and heeving himself over the couch. The biggest reason, is that he could hurt himself! But also, i don't want my couches getting wrecked! Anyhow, he goes to nursery school and on those days he is FAR better when he's home and i've decided that for one thing, his teacher is a GDer and is AWESOME with is behavioural issues and teaches me how to handle it. but also, because he's had a place to run around like crazy and get his energy in check.

I think that for my son, he NEEDS to be out running around EVERYDAY. Which for me with a newborn has been a difficult task, but I'm the one that pays for it if i don't. We have a place called Timbertown here and it is a place that sells swingsets, but you can bring your kids there (for $5) and let them play... it is like an indoor playground, so i take him there when it is too cold or muddy or raining.

Another place i've brought him to "run out his energy" is the Mall. I don't have any money to spend at the mall, but i put Chloe in the stroller and AJ runs all over the Mall and i follow him. He's TIRED after that!
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