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Please tell me what I'm doing wrong?? Is it me? - Page 7

post #121 of 164
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by triscuitsmom View Post
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.
Holy cow, do you think I don't know my own child? Trust me on this...I've lived with her for 7 years. She wasn't sincerely trying to apologize. I've even had teachers mention that she can be a bit "sneaky" at times and I knew exactly what they meant. I love her to death, but people have different personalities, you know?

I think in all honesty that my personality just clashes with DD's personality. It always has been this way. It makes me really sad and I'm sure a lot of times I really suck as a parent. I'm trying to work on it. I don't think I'm manipulative in these situations as much as I'm at the END OF MY ROPE when it comes to patience with her at times. That's all. Thanks.
post #122 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by brokenheart View Post
I think in all honesty that my personality just clashes with DD's personality. It always has been this way. It makes me really sad and I'm sure a lot of times I really suck as a parent. I'm trying to work on it. I don't think I'm manipulative in these situations as much as I'm at the END OF MY ROPE when it comes to patience with her at times. That's all. Thanks.
I'm pretty sure this is something we all have in common
post #123 of 164
You don't suck as a parent! You wouldn't be asking for suggestions if you didn't care. I think you did fine and I wouldn't be so hard on yourself. I think parents over-analyze things way too much and really I don't think parenting has to be that difficult!!! Sure there's always room to do things better but kids are resilient and she isn't going to hate you forever because you made her take a bath! I make my kids take a bath too. Do they always like it? Nope! And sure if my dd is screaming about having her hair washed we'll try to figure out creative ways of getting it washed but I've got 3 kids to bathe and there's no way I'll spend an hour doing everything creative possible to get her to wash her hair. At some point I'll just do it for her if she's not cooperating.

You're doing fine!
post #124 of 164
I don't have time to read through all the posts but I wanted to drop a line...so if someone else has already said this, my apologies!

One thing that came to my mind is...why are you locking yourself away to cry? I know June Cleaver leads us to believe that good moms always look put together and have everything under control, but in reality that's almost never true and it sets a standard for our daughters especially that they can never live up to when we try to be that perfect, idea mom. It may help if you do just cry, or if you let her hear the anger in your voice and see your face turn red and understand that her behavior impacts you in a genuine way.

I am currently raising my own 22 month odl son and my 16 year old sister and I have been pleasantly surprised to see this work on both of them. Obviously you don't want to take this to an extreme where you're actually yelling at your kid, but from what you said in your original post you don't sound like the type who would be prone to that kind of behavior. A little feedback can be helpful for a kid. For example, with the refusing to wash hair situation, it's possible that it could help if you literally throw your towel down and say in a clear, angry tone, "It makes me angry when you refuse to be a team player!" and leave the room for a minute to take a few deep breaths and calm down. When you return and she (hopefully!) allows you to wash your hair, you can follow up by saying, "This is much better. It makes me feel like the luckiest mama in the world when I know that my girl is my friend and she's on my team!" Again though, the focus here is on being a genuine parent, not a perfect parent...and you're not just giving up all self-control and letting your emotions run wild, either. This is just showing your daughter in a more visible way that her behavior is unacceptable because it truly upsets/hurts you.

I can't promise that this will work wonders...but I hope it does, or that something else comes along soon that works for you family! We all get there at some point or another with a behavior that won't go away and can't be tolerated. Don't beat yourself up over this....she will not be stuck in this phase forever!
post #125 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
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.
I'm sorry, but I don't agree. If a child is stinky, he has the choice...bathe or stay at home. It would be hurtful if it were something they had no control over. I wouldn't feel embarrassed if a child had a disability! But if they make the choice NOT to bathe, than that choice has consequences.

If my child is older there will be boundaries as well. If my daughter wants to dress like a hooker, and she has worked to buy those clothes for herself, more power to her. But I won't be going out in public with her. If my son wants to wear his pants with his butt sticking out the back, yay for him. I won't be seen with him dressed like that though.

I really don't understand why our children should have different rules as anyone else we allow in our lives. What I mean is, if my friend hadn't bathed in days and expected to go with me out in public, I would tell them no way! It's almost like you're saying we shouldn't hold our kids to any kind of standard and just allow them to do whatever they want, and we as parents just have to go along with it.
post #126 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by brokenheart View Post
Holy cow, do you think I don't know my own child? Trust me on this...I've lived with her for 7 years. She wasn't sincerely trying to apologize. I've even had teachers mention that she can be a bit "sneaky" at times and I knew exactly what they meant. I love her to death, but people have different personalities, you know?

I think in all honesty that my personality just clashes with DD's personality. It always has been this way. It makes me really sad and I'm sure a lot of times I really suck as a parent. I'm trying to work on it. I don't think I'm manipulative in these situations as much as I'm at the END OF MY ROPE when it comes to patience with her at times. That's all. Thanks.

I totally get you. And I think it's funny how some people are horrified by the idea that a child would be manipulative. Of course, they are manipulative! Everyone is to an extent, but children are trying to navigate in world with limited control. They will try anything to get what they want until they are taught differently.

In your DD's case with her good behavior followed by the tantrum when she saw it got her no where... a person who WASN'T trying to be manipulative would have behaved better, perhaps apologized, and accepted that even if they did those things they still may not get what they wanted. The fact that she tried to behave better and then had a fit when she didn't get what she wanted is evidence that she just wanted her treat.

Good for you for not giving in! The only way I would have is if I said no we're not getting the treat, and she accepted it calmly. In that case, I may have waited awhile and got her the treat ONLY because I know that she was actually trying to do better.
post #127 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by buttercup784ever View Post

I really don't understand why our children should have different rules as anyone else we allow in our lives. What I mean is, if my friend hadn't bathed in days and expected to go with me out in public, I would tell them no way! It's almost like you're saying we shouldn't hold our kids to any kind of standard and just allow them to do whatever they want, and we as parents just have to go along with it.

I can't imagine saying that to a friend. Not at all. There are, you know, some adults, even - who bath every few days or once a week. It's not for me, as I like clean hair daily, but I would never comment on how someone else smelled or if I thought they maybe looked a little dirty.
post #128 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post
I can't imagine saying that to a friend. Not at all. There are, you know, some adults, even - who bath every few days or once a week. It's not for me, as I like clean hair daily, but I would never comment on how someone else smelled or if I thought they maybe looked a little dirty.
I'm not saying a bath everyday is necessary. But if my friend and I were planning on going somewhere, and she came over after cutting the grass or working out and actually smelled? Yes, I would definitely say, "girl, go bathe and then we'll go!" Unless we were going to a nursery or gym. lol

Like I said, I think some people are more sensitive to this than others. My husband always bathes after working outside or on a project. My brother will work on his car all day in the hot sun and then have no problem going directly to a restaurant to eat! One of the many reasons I married my husband and not my brother.

I just don't understand how anyone would get their feelings hurt over something so easily remedied.
post #129 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by buttercup784ever View Post
I'm sorry, but I don't agree. If a child is stinky, he has the choice...bathe or stay at home. It would be hurtful if it were something they had no control over. I wouldn't feel embarrassed if a child had a disability! But if they make the choice NOT to bathe, than that choice has consequences.

If my child is older there will be boundaries as well. If my daughter wants to dress like a hooker, and she has worked to buy those clothes for herself, more power to her. But I won't be going out in public with her. If my son wants to wear his pants with his butt sticking out the back, yay for him. I won't be seen with him dressed like that though.

I really don't understand why our children should have different rules as anyone else we allow in our lives. What I mean is, if my friend hadn't bathed in days and expected to go with me out in public, I would tell them no way! It's almost like you're saying we shouldn't hold our kids to any kind of standard and just allow them to do whatever they want, and we as parents just have to go along with it.
A child isn't someone we allow into our lives. Our child is someone we are responsible for, both physically but emotionally as well. And the "you're saying we shouldn't hold our kids to any kind of standard" is a complete strawman as I never said that. I said that I respect my kids' bodily autonomy. There are tons of ways to work with a child to get a bath done, though it might not be at the exact moment we want. But I think our job as parents is to work with, not do to.

And it would be very hurtful for a child to have their parents say they are embarrassed to go out with them. I can't imagine how you think it wouldn't be hurtful.
post #130 of 164
Long time lurker to this thread, just jumping in for a sec...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
And it would be very hurtful for a child to have their parents say they are embarrassed to go out with them. I can't imagine how you think it wouldn't be hurtful.
I don't think this is quite fair because the OP said that the "being embarassed" thing was conditional on the being dirty and refusing to bathe. That is just real life. People who are dirty or don't bathe enough have issues in society and the workforce and with relationships, and IMO it's part of a parent's job to teach a child how to function in civilized society. This includes teaching them about good grooming. The embarassment is about the daughter being willfully unwashed, and it can be remedied immediately with a bath. It's not in any way personal, it's just real life. And it's sort of a teaching moment. I don't think it would be great for the child to grow up thinking, for example, that they can bathe as little as they want to and that's perfectly fine and nobody will ever have a problem with it.
post #131 of 164
I don't understand why it being conditional upon that would make it less hurtful for a child to hear he/she was embarassing to his/her parent.
post #132 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
I don't understand why it being conditional upon that would make it less hurtful for a child to hear he/she was embarassing to his/her parent.
Because it's not personal, I would think. Because she's talking about not being clean or properly groomed, not about her daughter, herself, being embarassing. I don't know if that would still be hurtful to the child or not.
I guess depends on the child and how sensitive they are, and the whole mother/child relationship.

If it came down to it, as long as it's done as gently as possible I think I'd rather the child suffer hurt feelings for a moment as long as the message about grooming hit home, than NOT have the hurt feelings and go forward thinking that good grooming and regular bathing, etc., are just optional things that she can do if she feels like it, without any social consequences. That'd be negligent parenting IMO.
post #133 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeegirl View Post
Because it's not personal, I would think. Because she's talking about not being clean or properly groomed, not about her daughter, herself, being embarassing. I don't know if that would still be hurtful to the child or not.
I guess depends on the child and how sensitive they are, and the whole mother/child relationship.

If it came down to it, as long as it's done as gently as possible I think I'd rather the child suffer hurt feelings for a moment as long as the message about grooming hit home, than NOT have the hurt feelings and go forward thinking that good grooming and regular bathing, etc., are just optional things that she can do if she feels like it, without any social consequences. That'd be negligent parenting IMO.
Like you said, though, social consequences will play a part in a child wanting to be groomed. A child whose parents don't force him/her to bathe at 5 is likely to want to start bathing at some time due to social consequences or just peer and parent role-modelling.

Anyways, how do you force a child to take a bath? I am assuming most people don't mean holding a kid down while they kick and scream but this is the image that comes into my head as my 4 yr old would not be having a bath except if we held him down. And that's not going to happen.
post #134 of 164
^^ No I don't mean physically force. But there would be consequences for not bathing... like not going out in public with mom.

And honestly, I WOULD tell my child if they embarrassed me in certain situations. If they were misbehaving in public I would definitely tell them that their behavior was not only unacceptable, but also embarrassing for me. Why should I hide that feeling from my child? So they can grow up and think that the feelings of the people they are with don't matter?

IMO, if a child hurts your feelings or embarrasses someone, they SHOULD feel bad whether it's a parent or friend or whomever. In the case of the bath, I would tell the child straight up, you are too dirty to go to such-and-such a place, it would embarrass me to take you there in this condition so either bathe or don't go. I have 2 kids. I can't imagine either one of them being hurt by this comment, but even if they were, it's their choice to bathe or not.

And the problem with always "working with" a child is that when something really important needs to be "done to" them, they will not understand why all of a sudden they can't have a say. I allow my children a choice, but it is on my terms until they are mature enough to make well thought out decisions. As someone who does medical testing on children, believe me when I say it is very difficult for some kids who have never been made to do anything to, well, HAVE to do something.

If you think I inflict emotional damage to my child by telling her I'm embarrassed to be seen with her when she's dirty, I could easily say that you are inflicting emotional damage to yours by allowing her to make decisions she may not be mature enough to make. But more likely we'll just agree to disagree and both of our kids will grow up to be A-OK.
post #135 of 164
Oh, I wanted to add that on the flip side of this conversation, I promise to not get MY feelings hurt when my children are teenagers, and they constantly tell me that I embarrass THEM.
post #136 of 164
I already posted for the OP, up thread. But regarding the tangent this has taken, about whether you force a child to bathe or not, I tend to agree with a previous poster who said that ultimately, we're still responsible for our children--that struck a chord with me.

I have a lfriend who is now in her 30's and has mentioned several times that she has a lot of anger towards her parents for letting her be "the smelly girl" in school. They would have been happy if she bathed herself, but if she didn't take the initiative it didn't happen. And under 12, until that peer pressure kicked in, she didn't take the initiative. And now she's angry that she had to be picked on because here parents didn't live up to what she views as their responsibility to care for her as a child.

Not anything I have to deal with yet, as I have a 5 year old who loves her baths still, but food for though for what's to come...
post #137 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by madskye View Post
I already posted for the OP, up thread. But regarding the tangent this has taken, about whether you force a child to bathe or not, I tend to agree with a previous poster who said that ultimately, we're still responsible for our children--that struck a chord with me.

I have a lfriend who is now in her 30's and has mentioned several times that she has a lot of anger towards her parents for letting her be "the smelly girl" in school. They would have been happy if she bathed herself, but if she didn't take the initiative it didn't happen. And under 12, until that peer pressure kicked in, she didn't take the initiative. And now she's angry that she had to be picked on because here parents didn't live up to what she views as their responsibility to care for her as a child.

Not anything I have to deal with yet, as I have a 5 year old who loves her baths still, but food for though for what's to come...
The whole time I was reading about the bath, I was thinking something similar. A few months ago my sister was up visiting and we were goofing around on facebook. She found "the smelly kid" from our school. The really odd thing was, I had mentioned to my 9 year old many times, that he better shower, because no one ever forgets the stinky kid. That moment, it hit home to him. If his aunt remembered the smelly kid, well then maybe mom is right.

To the OP, I think you did fine. You laid out the plan for the rest of the day, she failed to follow through on that plan and didn't get her treat. It doesn't matter why she had to take a bath then, that was the plan and when that plan went awry, so did the rest of the day. Too bad.
post #138 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by Girlprof View Post
You know, it actually sounds to me like you're doing fine. You made a reasonable request. She refused. You told her what the consequence would be and she still refused. You didn't give in on the treat, right? Sure, she's mad. She needs to be upset about it or the idea of a consequence won't work.
I read this whole thread and I agree with this most.

Your child is upset and says hurtful things. You have the right to ask her to leave if she can't be polite. My three-year-old, when a consequence is implemented, often says things like, "You don't have love in your heart. You're a mean mother. I don't want you to be my mother." Etc.

I just tell her to please leave, as I don't let people speak to me like that. If she doesn't leave, I lead her out of the room into her own room. I just don't take that from anyone.

I wonder if your going and crying gives your daughter the response she wants--"Now she's sorry she didn't give me what I wanted!" I understand that you are sensitive. My mom used to do that (go and hide) when I was upset. She expected me to interpret her feelings and change. I was incapable of empathising to that degree and felt sad that she could not express clearly what she wanted and stand up for herself when I was asking if something was definite. I wanted the following conversation:

"Now we're going to wash your hair."
"I don't want to."
"Well, you have to because of X, Y, and Z."
"I don't agree with or care about those reasons. I feel angry at you." <--said in a whiny or tantrumy manner, using the rudest, most over-the-top language I could because I was a child.
"Well, society does, and like it or not, you are part of society. So you have to. When you are old enough you can go live in the forest and eat twigs. For now you do what I say. If you do not, I will find a way to make it happen. Sorry but that's life." (My mom NEVER said that to me--I had to figure it out myself, and when I did, I can tell you how resentful I was...)
[I scream.]
[Mother, not personally insulted, but standing firm, puts me in the bath kicking and screaming, gets it over with, and moves on.]

FTR, I think a seven-year-old who is not capable of making a plan to trigger an emotional response in an adult is developmentally behind. Suggesting a child of this age can be manipulative is normal. People can be manipulative, and that includes children.

I am sure some people would say this is not gentle. But gentle does not mean that you never impose a firm limit when the child disagrees. I mean if you've tried compromise etc. etc. and this is simply an area where you cannot agree, the gentlest thing is to enforce the limit without anger.

" I am assuming most people don't mean holding a kid down while they kick and scream but this is the image that comes into my head as my 4 yr old would not be having a bath except if we held him down. And that's not going to happen."

Yes, I mean physically holding her kicking and screaming. Bathing was not an issue for us, but carseats were, as was holding my hand as we crossed the street, and not running off. And at the age of two and three, yes, I have held my child kicking and screaming to cross a street or parking lot, and held her kicking and screaming into a carseat. Bathing is a matter of personal hygiene, a health matter, and I will hold a child kicking and screaming as long as it takes. I have done the hair thing kicking and screaming, too. I'm not going to force my child to get her head shaved simply because that is the natural consequence of not combing.

It is way more gentle to do that than passive-aggressively (as you point out) trying to communicate our frustration at our children's personalities.

My mother was very gentle. She did not like to express clearly and verbally what she wanted and she did not like to stand her ground. Her feeling was that I, the child, should sense how she felt and never argue, and that if I argued, it was a personal insult. I can't tell you how many times I cried at being misunderstood about that, and how bad I felt about myself because of that. I felt that my testing limits was bad, that my mom didn't understand me.

You sound like a great, sensitive mom but you have a tough cookie on your hands. Good luck.

(Oh yeah, and if you haven't read _Adventures in Gentle Discipline_, I cannot recommend that book enough. It's gentle on both parent and child, it's realistic, it has tons of real-life examples, and most importantly, it avoids the worst of all self-help traps: the lie that life, or parenting, or a child, can somehow be "perfect" or conflict-free. I've read all the books you have and more and AGD is pretty much the only one that doesn't make me want to scream. LOL. It makes me feel like a good mom who CAN DO IT.)
post #139 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by buttercup784ever View Post
^^ No I don't mean physically force. But there would be consequences for not bathing... like not going out in public with mom.

And honestly, I WOULD tell my child if they embarrassed me in certain situations. If they were misbehaving in public I would definitely tell them that their behavior was not only unacceptable, but also embarrassing for me. Why should I hide that feeling from my child? So they can grow up and think that the feelings of the people they are with don't matter?

IMO, if a child hurts your feelings or embarrasses someone, they SHOULD feel bad whether it's a parent or friend or whomever. In the case of the bath, I would tell the child straight up, you are too dirty to go to such-and-such a place, it would embarrass me to take you there in this condition so either bathe or don't go. I have 2 kids. I can't imagine either one of them being hurt by this comment, but even if they were, it's their choice to bathe or not.
Yeah, this.

To the people who are saying that peer pressure will naturally help the kid want to bathe regularly when the time comes....Do you really think that it's a good thing to set your child up for that? When the alternative is so, sooo easy: just be a parent, act like a parent and teach them to bathe themselves! If need be, exert your authority and make them take that bath. Which is the more compassionate action, in the long run? Forcing a child to bathe or setting the kid up to be mocked and bullied by the other kids at school, who are apt to call her "dirty" or worse? You wanna talk about "hurt feelings"? I've seen it, I've experienced it when I was in school and that's the kind of hurt and shame that can still sting years and years later. I'd want to spare my child any needless embarassment or social difficulties.

And, again....I believe it's a parents JOB (part of it anyhow) to teach our kids how to bathe and groom themselves.

It's no different, in my eyes, then "forcing" a diaper change on a baby who just hates to have his diaper changed. (Like my nephew, for instance.) Yes, I care about the baby's feelings, but that diaper has got to be changed, you know? Whether he feels I am violating his personal autonomy or not.
post #140 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by madskye View Post
I already posted for the OP, up thread. But regarding the tangent this has taken, about whether you force a child to bathe or not, I tend to agree with a previous poster who said that ultimately, we're still responsible for our children--that struck a chord with me.

I have a lfriend who is now in her 30's and has mentioned several times that she has a lot of anger towards her parents for letting her be "the smelly girl" in school. They would have been happy if she bathed herself, but if she didn't take the initiative it didn't happen. And under 12, until that peer pressure kicked in, she didn't take the initiative. And now she's angry that she had to be picked on because here parents didn't live up to what she views as their responsibility to care for her as a child.

Not anything I have to deal with yet, as I have a 5 year old who loves her baths still, but food for though for what's to come...
Your friend could be me. I was never told I needed to bathe when I was a child-- my mom ran me a bath maybe 2x per week. I was an active, ourdoorsy kid who could have used baths waaay more often than once or twice a week.

I went through puberty relatively early and though I never really "stunk," I was always running aroung with long, tangled, and dirty hair and grungy skin. By the time I was in 5th, 6th grade, my mom was exasperated with me because I kept the laissez faire grooming/hygeine habits of my childhood. I think she thought I would just magically "pick up" on the expectation that I needed to bathe daily and "do" my hair every morning, etc. when I reached ten/eleven/twelve or whatever age. In fifth and sixth grade I was ostracized by my peers because of my grooming. By seventh grade I had figured out I needed to bathe regularly, but by then the social damage had been done.

I expect my 11-year-old son to shower each day, and I help my young daughters bathe as needed (generally not daily, yet). For them, I insist on regular handwashing, hairbrushing, and freshening up with a damp wash cloth each morning and evening. This has nothing to do with wanting to "control" my children. Rather it has to do with teaching them habits that my experience tells me will serve them well as teens/adults. Believe me, it's easier for a child to hear "Time for a shower" from mom or dad than it is to hear "You're a dirtball" from a classmate, or "We've had complaints about your hygiene" from a boss.
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