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Please tell me what I'm doing wrong?? Is it me? - Page 6

post #101 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by brokenheart View Post
What about a smelly, sticky 2 year old who isn't in the mood to have a bath? Would you sit down and brainstorm a respectful alternative? I'd love to hear how that goes.
actually it goes really easy, he doesnt want a bath ok how about spalshing puddles I'd ask and they love that so I switch the shower on put the plug in and we splash each other snuggle and what not in the bath and without realising it he's clean he's happy and it wasn;t a struggle. many times I have put buckets in the kitchen with towels over the floor and joined them and they got clean without the stress of a bath.

and the pneumonia thing is different as I have sad in a pp there is a difference between a lifethreatening situation and a bath.
The respectful way works it takes patience but it works just fine if you want it to work.
post #102 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by mum21andtwins View Post
actually it goes really easy, he doesnt want a bath ok how about spalshing puddles I'd ask and they love that so I switch the shower on put the plug in and we splash each other snuggle and what not in the bath and without realising it he's clean he's happy and it wasn;t a struggle. many times I have put buckets in the kitchen with towels over the floor and joined them and they got clean without the stress of a bath.

and the pneumonia thing is different as I have sad in a pp there is a difference between a lifethreatening situation and a bath.
The respectful way works it takes patience but it works just fine if you want it to work.
How about when your hormonal teenager doesn't want to bathe? Keep in mind - you have set up a scenario where you don't encourage hygiene and your 15 year old is greasy, with lots of pimples because you allowed at 5 for the kid to make bathing choices?

Now you might be saying that splashing in the kitchen is encouraging hygiene - but I'm thinking that kid's butt isn't getting clean splashing in the kitchen......

I have three teenagers now and I have never had to demand they bathe. Know why? Because I encouraged them to bathe at 2, 3 and 4 when it wasn't a power struggle. Now, when my (now 16 and 14 year olds) kids were 12 and 13 and started needing a bath - I reminded them and they did. No biggie......
post #103 of 164
I do enforce bathing for my 3-year-old, but doesn't peer pressure do a lot of the enforcing at 15? I know I showered a lot more at 15 than my parents required me to, because of peer pressure.
post #104 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post
I do enforce bathing for my 3-year-old, but doesn't peer pressure do a lot of the enforcing at 15? I know I showered a lot more at 15 than my parents required me to, because of peer pressure.
yeah - at 15 they probably do want to impress the opposite sex so they would bathe more. But the peer pressure to bathe isn't really a big deal now. The scruffy dirty look isn't too bad. But at 12 and 13, kids are starting to have the problems hygiene wise that a 15 year old would have without the maturity to clue in. And they are lazy at 12 and 13 too. At 12 and 13 they need to be reminded to bathe sometimes.

My 16 year old NEVER needs to be told to bathe. But he's a boy and does spend a lot of time in the shower
post #105 of 164
I haven't read all the responses, but I do have some advice for the situation with the bathtub. OP, you said you calmly explained why you needed DD to wash her hair, and after she refused you said no special snack. In that particular situation instead of giving all the reasons to wash her hair (she probably KNOWS why she needs her hair washed and just doesn't want to) I would have said, "your hair will be washed today, and if it takes a long time because you are fussing we probably won't have time to get your special snack. I know you don't want to wash your hair, but it must be done so let's hurry so we can still get the snack!"

With me, I feel out of control when I have asked my kids (11 and 7) do something a million times and then I just think of a punishment on the fly because I'm so mad they haven't done it. I think my 7 year old especially doesn't "get" it when the punishment comes out of the blue like that. It amazes me how joyfully he'll do something he was just complaining about when he knows it's connected to something he likes to do or wants.
post #106 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by lab View Post
How about when your hormonal teenager doesn't want to bathe? Keep in mind - you have set up a scenario where you don't encourage hygiene and your 15 year old is greasy, with lots of pimples because you allowed at 5 for the kid to make bathing choices?

Now you might be saying that splashing in the kitchen is encouraging hygiene - but I'm thinking that kid's butt isn't getting clean splashing in the kitchen......

I have three teenagers now and I have never had to demand they bathe. Know why? Because I encouraged them to bathe at 2, 3 and 4 when it wasn't a power struggle. Now, when my (now 16 and 14 year olds) kids were 12 and 13 and started needing a bath - I reminded them and they did. No biggie......
Did you read my pp? because I never said I don't encourage or talk about hygiene or guide and direct.
People are throwing hypothetical scenarios at me where a child needs to be clean but for whatever reason doesn't want to I am coming up with hypothetical answers and things I have used to get my kids to get clean. and yes splashing in the kitchen does get two cranky tired two year old who have been in the mud all day clean because I am there splashing with them. I also have a nearly 6 year old who showers pretty much evey day because he enjoys it. I don't need to remind him to brush his teeth either.

This all started because a kid didnt want to bathe once so I gave suggestions for overcoming those situations we all encounter from time to time where for whatever reason a child chooses to say no, be it tired ness crankyness whatever. force manipulation coercion and punisment are not the only ways. I have plenty experience with teens I raised my now 23y/o brother and my 19 y/o sister troughout the teens and guess what they bathe and brush their teeth and spend way too much time in the bathroom doing their makeup and what not I didn't force them...

I will repeat this again as I have said it in several pp. I do not suggest you don't guide and direct. I suggest you stop forcing coercing and manipulating children.
post #107 of 164
I am going to close this pending moderator review. Thanks for your patience!
post #108 of 164
Okie dokie. I am going to move this to the Gentle Discipline forum. Please mamas, let's focus on having a conversation without resorting to snarking on one another.
post #109 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by mum21andtwins View Post
I will repeat this again as I have said it in several pp. I do not suggest you don't guide and direct. I suggest you stop forcing coercing and manipulating children.
I actually think that telling a child they won't get a treat unless they bathe is less manipulative then tricking them into washing themselves by splashing in buckets.

My mother is very interested in non-violent communication and such, and honestly, it has always seemed very, very manipulative to me. If someone wants something from me, I want them to say it outright, and if they don't accept my 'no' I want them to say that outright too, not try to trick me into doing what they wanted me to do.
post #110 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by lab View Post
How about when your hormonal teenager doesn't want to bathe? Keep in mind - you have set up a scenario where you don't encourage hygiene and your 15 year old is greasy, with lots of pimples because you allowed at 5 for the kid to make bathing choices?

Now you might be saying that splashing in the kitchen is encouraging hygiene - but I'm thinking that kid's butt isn't getting clean splashing in the kitchen......

I have three teenagers now and I have never had to demand they bathe. Know why? Because I encouraged them to bathe at 2, 3 and 4 when it wasn't a power struggle. Now, when my (now 16 and 14 year olds) kids were 12 and 13 and started needing a bath - I reminded them and they did. No biggie......
I don't think that is the reason, it could be but you may find that a family who doesn't force bathing and makes things respectful and fun also has the same experience. I didn't care to bathe when for a few years (about 7-10) and my mom didn't push it. When I became a teenager though I started caring about my experience and bathing two or three times a day, though I eventually moved down to just once a day like the rest of my family. Even if bathing is very important there is no reason why you can't miss a day here and there and still live. Though it disgusts me I let my dd miss a day once in a while because there are some battles that aren't worth it unless the kid is really filthy.

PMS throws totally different things into the mix though. I am never at my best during that week because I am in pain and there is almost no patience in me even with all the self-talk I do. I think you shouldn't beat yourself up, but do remember for next time that there are other ways to address things like this even when you are not feeling your best (maybe even especially then).
post #111 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by brokenheart View Post


She later was all nice to me (manipulative!), but once she asked me sweetly if she could please have the lunch treat and I said no, she went crazy. Crying, yelling, being very rude. She was ranting on and on.
I read only about 3 pages of this thread, so maybe this has been already addressed.

There's another way of looking at this situation. Maybe what you perceive as manipulation was something else entirely.

Imagine this: after the power struggle is over, your DD decides to do a "do over." She might not verbally apologize, but she is trying to make amends by behaving better. In my experience, strong willed individuals are better at apologizing via actions, and are not as good with vebal apologies. So she is making an effort, behaving better after what she probably perceived as injustice and coercion, and she is hoping for a reconciliation. She asks whether she will get the treat...When the answer is "no" her resolve is gone, and all the emotional effort she was putting into "behaving" is gone too. In her mind, her "apology" didn't work. Her efforts were futile. So what's the point?

There's an article some place, I can't find it now, about a "do over." When you mess up with your kid, you can start over. and when your kid is offering a do over, you should pick up the threads and play along. Things are easier this way. This is how bonding works too.

Imagine what would have happened if after she asked about the treat, you exhaled, hugged her, and said, "I was hurt by your behaviour, but I see you're making an effort to mend things. The treat was not contingent on your behaviour, of course it is still on. Let's get ready."
post #112 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelmendi View Post
I actually think that telling a child they won't get a treat unless they bathe is less manipulative then tricking them into washing themselves by splashing in buckets.

My mother is very interested in non-violent communication and such, and honestly, it has always seemed very, very manipulative to me. If someone wants something from me, I want them to say it outright, and if they don't accept my 'no' I want them to say that outright too, not try to trick me into doing what they wanted me to do.

Thank you! This is where I am coming from!

And I wasn't suggesting to you mum21andtwins that you don't talk about hygiene. I was giving my take on parenting. As someone who had three kids in three years - things could be hectic and scary at times. And it has worked VERY successfully for me. And it sounds like yours is working great for you too. That's all that matters.
post #113 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by brokenheart View Post
I really appreciate everyone's suggestions/comments. I honestly feel a lot better now. I was PMSy when this happened, and I've also realized I'm probaby a bit of a "push over" when it comes to DD. Only because I just love her and want her to be happy. But honestly, after 7 years of parenting her I guess I can say that an overly gentle, permissive style doesn't work well on her. She's "bold" (for lack of a better word). I certainly don't want to squash her spirit (that boldness may serve her well as an adult), but I want to maintain some sense of order in my home, and I don't want her viewing me as a marshmallow. I am the adult, and I have her very best interests at heart...I cannot allow her to lead the way.

So anyway, all this leads me to realize I have to try to be firmer (yet still loving and respectful). She has plenty of choice, but when I tell her something needs to be done a certain way, she must listen. It would be different if she were 11/12/13. But she's 7 (and a rather young 7). I'm still in control.

I know she's still love me, and perhaps even respect me more. Her dad is much firmer than I am (he does not put up with any nonsense). He also isn't always concerned about her emotions (ex: if we have to go somewhere and she's not happy about it, it doesn't bother him...he allows her to feel annoyed as long as she isn't being rude or disruptive). This is all opposite of how I behave. And the bottom line? She ADORES her dad (and I know she adores me too). She isn't the least bit resentful of his parenting style. And when he's looking after her, there is never EVER any drama. Because she respects him and listens to him.

Now....I just need to figure out how to put all this into practice. LOL
After reading this thread and another of yours, I wonder if we're the same person!

I haven't read through all the replies, but have you used her outbursts as opportunities to tell her how it makes YOU feel? After she goes off on a tirade do you tell her that she hurt your feelings?

My ds1 is almost 5, but he is getting into that mouthy, grouchy stage and I am really trying to nip it in the bud now. In my adult life I am not good at telling people how I feel. I tend to let people do what they will and not say boo about it and sometimes that makes me feel like a pushover. But with my kids, I'm really trying to teach them to be different, and it's helping me to grow. I try to apologize right when I hurt them and that teaches them to do the same. I am trying to tell them when they've hurt ME, to teach them that their actions not only affects them (by consequences), but they can affect others. I think it's helping. My ds1 is starting to apologize to me spontaneously after he throws a fit or says hurtful words....not every time, but sometimes! We are all a work in progress!
post #114 of 164
OK, after reading this thread I see that my advice above has been discarded earlier as manipulative! lol

I've seen the results of the "mutual respect" households. I feel like it sounds good in theory, but in all honesty I know by being a parent that it's much easier to add more and more freedom than it is to take freedom away. My 2 year old should not be able to decide whether or not they bathe, brush their teeth, take medicine, pick out their own clothes, or go outside and play. A 2 year old has no concept of time, consequences, or other people's feelings. As they grow and have a better understanding of the world around them then they have more choices.

My 4 or 5 year old could pick out his own clothes or go outside in the backyard without asking because by that time I know he has learned what's appropriate to wear (no underoo's in public), and that he can safely play in the background without leaving it.

I think the whole term mutual respect household is a misnomer anyway. I can acknowledge and respect my child's feelings and still do what I think is best for them. The argument about the bath is more about what certain people are comfortable with. I don't like to be out in public with dirty people, period. A natural consequence of being dirty would be you don't get to go out in public with me. Some people think a dirty kid is no big deal. It embarrasses me, and I don't like it. How is the kid not bathing and then wanting to go with me respecting MY feelings? How is that mutually respectful?
post #115 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by buttercup784ever View Post
I think the whole term mutual respect household is a misnomer anyway. I can acknowledge and respect my child's feelings and still do what I think is best for them. The argument about the bath is more about what certain people are comfortable with. I don't like to be out in public with dirty people, period. A natural consequence of being dirty would be you don't get to go out in public with me. Some people think a dirty kid is no big deal. It embarrasses me, and I don't like it. How is the kid not bathing and then wanting to go with me respecting MY feelings? How is that mutually respectful?
I think the issue about respect is about respecting people's bodily autonomy. And I personally do think that one person's bodily autonomy, even that of a child, is more important than another's feelings of embarrassment. What happens when your child is older and starts making hair or clothing choices that you find embarrassing and you don't want to be seen with them? And I think telling a child you don't want to be seen in public with them for any reason would be very hurtful when coming from a parent.
post #116 of 164
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
And I personally do think that one person's bodily autonomy, even that of a child, is more important than another's feelings of embarrassment. What happens when your child is older and starts making hair or clothing choices that you find embarrassing and you don't want to be seen with them?
I do agree with you to a point. You should see how my DD often chooses to go out. And I don't say ANYTHING negative...she can wear pretty much whatever she wants. Anything she feels pretty or happy in is fine with me. I don't care if it doesn't match. I never bat an eye when she wants to wear a tiara when we go grocery shopping, or if she wants to wear a pink boa with her winter jacket. I respect the fact that her body runs hotter than the average person and I actually hemmed the sleeves on all her long-sleeved tops so they are now short-sleeved so she'll feel more comfortable. I routinely will let her choose a ponytail over a good hair brushing.

As a teen, if she wants to dye her hair black or purple or pierce her eyebrow, etc, she certainly won't get an argument from me. I'm very laid back.

BUT. Can you imagine this....when she is grown up and looknig back at childhood photos, she will stumble upon a picture of a very special day at school. She'll see a little 7 year old with messy, tangled, dirty hair, all dressed up in a pretty dress. I can imagine her turning to me and asking: HOW could you allow your little child to go to a ceremony like that?! What on earth would I tell her? "Oh, sorry DD, you in your 7 year old wisdom decided not to wash your hair, and because I respect you I didn't insist."



Anyway, yes in this particular case she needed a bath. And she didn't want a shower. It wasn't like this was a one-time weird blow-up. The real issue is that she often thinks that she can be really rude to me and doesn't have to listen to me. I disagree. I'll put some of these ideas into place.
post #117 of 164
What an interesting thread! I have read most of it and love to see the continuum of styles represented within GD!

OP - I totally get what you are going through - my dd (6.5) is SO MUCH like this and VINDICTIVE is the adj that comes to mind when things are not going her way - she can manage to say the MOST HURTFUL thing she can think of, especially with dh (who is far more authoritarian then I would like, but he's a work in progress too)

For my dd, and to my own line of thinking, this pp put it very well:

Quote:
Emotionally, they simply are not ready to have that much control over so much of their lives. It's very, very stressful. I believe it's my job as a parent to bare the brunt of that stress and gradually give more control as he learns how to handle situations over time.
This is not to criticize others who take a different approach but b/w my dh style, my own needs, and the reduced anxiety that results when dd has those predictable boundaries this is what works for us.


One thing that REALLY helps her is, as others have said, is laying out the expectation and the consequence. In your bath scenario I would have given her so many minutes (we have a visual timer that works really well for this)
and let her know she needs to be done when that goes off or we will not have time for xy or z... we use this alot to help her in the mornings and evenings getting ready for school/bed - the key is I leave her to finish the bath alone - she's perfectly capable and just removing my presence removes the attention or power she's usually seeking at that moment (not in a withdrawal of love kind of way - I just go read in the evenings or get myself ready in the am)

another thing w/my dd is she really hates to be 'wrong' or caught making a mistake of anykind - walking away in the above scenario gives her chance to 're-set' herself - and shows her I have the confidence in her to do what needs to be done. And as another pp mentioned? when things are spiraling downward I find it enormously helpful to start over- hasn't happened in a while but there were times where I would take her to our open living room and spin her around and around (I had a silly name for it - the vortex? to go back in time and start over) She would literally become a different kid instantly and our day would move forward more positively....

It's like once they start down that road they have a hard time stepping back even if they want to???

good luck and HTH
post #118 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by brokenheart View Post
The real issue is that she often thinks that she can be really rude to me and doesn't have to listen to me. I disagree
The thing is your DD can be rude to you and not listen to you. She did both according to your account. You should admit to yourself and her that she can do exactly what she wants, but so can everyone else. She's in control of her actions and you're in control of your actions and reactions. Then you can guide her to choose actions that will make her life more pleasant instead of less pleasant. If you admit to yourself that you can't control your DD or anyone else but yourself, your life will be easier.

The problem with forcibly washing someones hair against their will, is that you are telling them, with your actions, that it is ok for some one to physically do things to their body against their will. That is not a message I can in good conscious give my DD. Now if a person is injured or is very ill that's different, even with adults. But it's the only exception for us as a family. I want my DD to expect people to respect her right to say 'No!' or 'Stop!'. I think respecting a child personal autonomy helps protect them from future abuse and abusive relationships. When your relationship with your DC is not coercive and not controlling there's less conflicts, so less anger. People are more cooperative when they aren't in conflict, upset or angry.

So even though I wouldn't make my 4.5 year old DD bathe, every time I tell her that I think she's too dirty or sandy to be in the house she does clean up or bathe. If I tell her that I think she needs to change or clean up before we go somewhere she does. Now she sometimes doesn't want her hair brushed, but not violating her personal autonomy is more important than occasional messy hair. I don't think my DD is abnormally compliant. On the contrary she has very intense, high energy temperament. I think our relationship fosters co-operation.
post #119 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
Also, I'd have given her the treat. Unless you said upfront "you can have such-and-such treat if everything else goes smoothly", then you basically promised her something, then reneged, without her knowing that was on the table. Maybe you shouldn't have made the promise in the first place, but you did, and then you broke it. (As for the person who mentioned the thing with their dh...you can bet that if dh told me he was doing something, then I got snotty and he didn't do it, all hell would break loose...same thing if the roles were reversed. If I say something is going to be done, I do it...and I'm not in the habit of saying, "I'll pick you up your favourite chocolate bar while I'm shopping this afternoon if you behave according to my unspecified expectations in the meantime".)
Thank you for saying this. I agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by midnightwriter View Post
There's another way of looking at this situation. Maybe what you perceive as manipulation was something else entirely.

Imagine this: after the power struggle is over, your DD decides to do a "do over." She might not verbally apologize, but she is trying to make amends by behaving better. In my experience, strong willed individuals are better at apologizing via actions, and are not as good with vebal apologies. So she is making an effort, behaving better after what she probably perceived as injustice and coercion, and she is hoping for a reconciliation. She asks whether she will get the treat...When the answer is "no" her resolve is gone, and all the emotional effort she was putting into "behaving" is gone too. In her mind, her "apology" didn't work. Her efforts were futile. So what's the point?

There's an article some place, I can't find it now, about a "do over." When you mess up with your kid, you can start over. and when your kid is offering a do over, you should pick up the threads and play along. Things are easier this way. This is how bonding works too.

Imagine what would have happened if after she asked about the treat, you exhaled, hugged her, and said, "I was hurt by your behaviour, but I see you're making an effort to mend things. The treat was not contingent on your behaviour, of course it is still on. Let's get ready."
I also agree with this. I think calling a seven year old manipulative when she could've been trying to apologize is way over the top especially considering the whole giving and then taking away of the treat seemed very manipulative in the first place.
post #120 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by brokenheart View Post
No there wasn't. Sorry, but no way is my 7 year old choosing not to bathe. Ain't happening on my watch. I don't insist on a bath every single day, but there are times when a bath is just plain necessary. When do you begin respecting a child's decision not to bathe? What about a smelly, sticky 2 year old who isn't in the mood to have a bath? Would you sit down and brainstorm a respectful alternative? I'd love to hear how that goes. What about a 5 year old who decides not to take medicine for pneumonia? It IS their body, after all. Sorry if I sound sarcastic, but I find it a bit hard to believe people who talk this way are 100% serious. I can't imagine what you would do in various scenarios.

Her entire body (including hair) was dirty (as in, actual dirt on it from playing in the woods). That isn't acceptable. If she wants to live like that when she grows up (and it out of the house), fine. Not now. If you allow your child not to bathe, that is your choice. I find it...."interesting"....but it doesn't affect me (unless I have to stand next to him/her).
Of course I wouldn't put a decision to bathe into the hands of a 2 yr old but you have a 7 yr old right?There are many, many ways of gaining the cooperation of a 7 yr old so that both of you feel somewhat ok with the decision- it teaches compromise. I'm not saying she didn't "have" to have a bath. I'm just saying that your post has a huge sense of power struggle, she was being "difficult" and "manipulative", you felt you couldn't let her get away with how she was acting. When it gets to that point with me and my kids, I need to take a breather and figure out a different approach to what is going on. I don't think anyone really won in your scenario. Your dd was angry and upset at being forced to do something with her body, you were hurt and upset about her reaction- the only thing accomplished was a bath. It is easy to get kids to do things to a certain age through force or coercion but what happens when they get old enough to push back harder? My goal, not always accomplished, is to build negotiation and compromising skills now and to give the kids as much control over their own bodies as is warranted for their age so that we keep our relationship connected and close and, from that closeness, I can effectively guide and discipline them.

"Hold on to you kids" is a great resource as it advocates against coercion and punishment.

In the case of the pneumonia- I have "red-light" rules that my kids know we don't negotiate on. They are few and far between but they usually respect these rules as they don't encounter "red-light" stuff very often.
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