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Never mind - Page 6

post #101 of 285
Thread Starter 
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See...now where is she going to go? if you just repeat verbatim the same thing she will eventually run out of steam or get bored. If you change it,you feed into it.
She actually just continues.



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No need to escalate to time-outs (which don't seem to be working, eh?) because no matter what she comes back with you just say verbatum with a smle and innocent eyes
Time-outs are necessary to get her away from the stimulus as a short-term solution, though. That's the issue. They are not working long-term but for lack of a better word when I ask her to leave and stay somewhere she is not hurting / disturbing another person, sometimes they are necessary.

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Try just repeating the same phrase and be even more stubborn than she is. Wear her down.
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eah but then in those instances don't negotiate. Don't argue. Take away, restrain, and do. Just don't put them on the same plain as eating dinner, ya know?


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This is the story we are reading. If you don't like it, I won't read one.

I am going to brush your teeth now, get ready.

I am going to put your harness on now, get ready.
Right. I think we are finally seeing eye-to-eye because that was what I *was* doing before, and as I mentioned, I kind of stopped because my second daughter moved closer to this stage, so for some reason mentally I graduated DD1. But there's really no gentle way around it, yk? I mean, there may be non-violent and non-combative, but totally respectful?

I feel in that respect, she's got me cornered.

I mean, weren't you the one saying to answer her questions thoughtfully? We are not getting into battles about which puzzle to do, or other negotiable items. We are generally arguing over non-negotiables, and when it is negotiable, yes I disengage but that brings me back to the point of whether or not there is a better way.


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As for disrespecting the younger one's right to sleep, I don't know. It's enough to make me want to pull my hair out. I just thank god he's old enough it isn't every night of screaming. That would make me very frowny.
Yeah. It's the source of MANY of my problems, because I feel very helpless at that point. If you can imagine having an 18-month-old or an 11-month-old and a newborn... then maybe you can imagine what psychosis is like. (I haven't been there, but I know people who have. And I believe their descriptions of the baby stage range from "I don't want to think about it" to "traumatic" to "hell".)

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I am glad your dh has his own car now...I hope that helps you get a much needed rest from interrupting DDs and your days to play Girl Friday to your man. Goodness sake, you would think they could provide him a locker nearer to the training center, or at least a frequent shuttle service for the married staff to the family housing area. It's not that much to ask!
Now does not mean, when the next shuttle gets back. It means NOW. It's the army, after all. And they do have lockers. But they have to sign their weapons in to a sergeant and their sergeants have to break, too. Those sergeants work 24/7. Their job has got to be the poopiest in the world, I kid you not. I'd rather be a waitress than a sergeant.

The military is the military. If I could change anything about it, it would be paternity and maternity leave and treatment for PTSD soldiers, not the shuttle schedule. I mean I see your point, of course but hey, that is life.
post #102 of 285
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Originally Posted by laundrycrisis View Post
...IMO there is nothing wrong with deciding that toothbrushing is non-negotiable.
me either. Despite his dad and I both having very strong teeth, and his having brushed his teeth 3X daily and hardly ever having sweets, he has wound up with four pretty major cavaties. He gets his teeth brushed like or not. It is not a task I will entrust him with just yet, but he does get to do it on his own first and then I "finish" for him.
post #103 of 285
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Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
She actually just continues.
So...continue with her...be determined to have the last word, and remain calm.

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Time-outs are necessary to get her away from the stimulus as a short-term solution, though. That's the issue. They are not working long-term but for lack of a better word when I ask her to leave and stay somewhere she is not hurting / disturbing another person, sometimes they are necessary.

So this is not really a time-out per se. It's a need for removal to a new space. A neutral space where you can talk calmly...so maybe change the name to a "chill-out" and it won't feel so punitive to her...semantics can be EVERYTHING at that age.


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Right. I think we are finally seeing eye-to-eye because that was what I *was* doing before, and as I mentioned, I kind of stopped because my second daughter moved closer to this stage, so for some reason mentally I graduated DD1. But there's really no gentle way around it, yk? I mean, there may be non-violent and non-combative, but totally respectful?

I feel in that respect, she's got me cornered.
You are not be disrespectful by choosing not to engage and simply repeating the truth. You are just not engaging. Disrepsectful is telling her that she is being annoying, a jerk, a brat, deliberately defiant (not that you would do that, I'm just giving examples of disrespectful). I think you are taking the respectful thing too far. There also comes a time where you have to say as the mom "it is more respectful for me to force you into a car seat than allow you to die and since those are the only two options on our plate right now, I choose A." If that makes her angry or sad or frustrated she is perfectly allowed to feel and express that however she needs to, but it's happening (or not happening as the case may be)
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I mean, weren't you the one saying to answer her questions thoughtfully? We are not getting into battles about which puzzle to do, or other negotiable items. We are generally arguing over non-negotiables, and when it is negotiable, yes I disengage but that brings me back to the point of whether or not there is a better way.

I meant her silly questions that all kids ask (cause remember the example you gave was why does hot burn? or something like that), not in combative debate mode. Sorry if that wasn't clear. I mean the "why does the sun get hot?", questions, not the "why can't I let just let my teeth rot?" questions.

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Yeah. It's the source of MANY of my problems, because I feel very helpless at that point. If you can imagine having an 18-month-old or an 11-month-old and a newborn... then maybe you can imagine what psychosis is like. (I haven't been there, but I know people who have. And I believe their descriptions of the baby stage range from "I don't want to think about it" to "traumatic" to "hell".)
My friend just had her second when her first was only 13 months old. Some people say it is better because then you get through the craziness and come out the otherside with two or six or eight or however many gorgeous healthy KIDS. I could never. I wasn't even willing to entertain the possibility of pregnancy until DS was a little over four and even then I was hoping for about six more months to be really really sure...we make plans and god laughs, eh? That really sucks.

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Now does not mean, when the next shuttle gets back. It means NOW. It's the army, after all. And they do have lockers. But they have to sign their weapons in to a sergeant and their sergeants have to break, too. Those sergeants work 24/7. Their job has got to be the poopiest in the world, I kid you not. I'd rather be a waitress than a sergeant.
I don't really follow what this means. But I will take your word for it that a shuttle system and storage of their supplies on hand would not work...too bad they can't come up with a better system than disrupting the lives of the spouses and families of the soldiers.


but hey, the new car should help, right?

ETA: I just re-read this part
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We are generally arguing over non-negotiables, and when it is negotiable, yes I disengage but that brings me back to the point of whether or not there is a better way.
I am doing a here. When it IS negotiable you DISENGAGE? I don't follow. Wouldn't those be the moments to engage and have a fun debate and see where it takes her brain? I am confused. Can you explain?
post #104 of 285
Have you tried sending your dd outside when she is being disruptive to the baby? We were living with my parents for a while and my mom was working from home so I had to have dd leave the house when she was having a fit because leaving her inside to scream about not getting her way meant that we risked being kicked out of the house and homeless. I was shocked by how quickly she pulled herself under control and decided that she was fine with what I told her to stop or start doing. Even if it turns out that she does like that option it is good that she can find a place to be loud or play on her own while the baby is outside.

If you haven't looked into bribery or snacking on something in the car then I think you should do that at least for the short term. I pack cold fruit loops, apples, crackers, etc... into a ziplock baggy and let have them once she is buckled in her carseat. I also talk up where we are going and what we are going to do there, even if it isn't all that fun and I find that this often helps. Having one or two days where we don't leave the house at all to do anything also helps when dd is in a stage of resisting leaving the house. A stern NOW also works often because dd knows that when I get stern I am no longer in the messing around mood (I rarely get stern though so that may be why).

Have you thought about putting the baby in car one or two days a week, or every two weeks, and pulling her out a little early to do something with just her. As a single mom I need some time once in a while to do things on my own without the pressure of work or my child so a day with a break for just me is really nice. I don't think that breaks are a horrible thing though, which it seems like you might from your previous post. I get overwhelmed with things from time to time and really need time to decompress and be myself (not my mama or work self but my actual self). My dd loved it when she was in preschool and we did a mama date, they brought us closer together and helped us keep the connection up even when things were difficult. I realize that you are shying away from taking her out of daycare at all, but giving up that half day really helped me and my dd and it may help you too.
post #105 of 285
If I may just jump in here-
My daughter just turned 4 last sunday. If I wasn't pregnant- I would have downed a bottle of champagne to celebrate the end of her 3s. It was HELL. ON her birthday she turned into a demon child. Most days I would just look at her in bewilderment cause I didn't know where my kid was. We were living in a foreign country where I didn't speak the language. My dh was away 2/3 weeks a month, and when at home was still working. We have literally moved 6 times in the past 18 months. And I still don't think most of it was the real cause of my dd's *cough* challenges. She is high maintenance, and very verbal. And I am a no-nonsense, hardly compassionate, raised in a spanking environment by a single (read amazingly controlling, beyond her limits) mom, so I never learned any kind of coping mechanisms.

Some of the things I learned in this past year have been, my child will mirror behaviors that I have. She's demanding? I'M demanding. She's wants it all her way? I want it all MY way. She won't let it go? I expect perfectionism (food, sleep, bodily habits, ways of respecting). You get my drift. She's intense? I'm intense. She needs to negotiate everything? I am always right. She once said to me after a particularly hairy struggle to use the pot "If you are right all the time, then I don't get to be right ever" and it's true. If I know what's best for her then I am teaching her that she doesn't know anything and that is def NOT what I want her to think!

Another thing is that because she is so smart, I expect her to be at a higher level of functioning. "what do you mean you won't put your shoes on? You must be purposely disobeying me! punish, punish, punsih!!!" She was a baby. She still is little child despite the many "I'm a BIG girl Momma! I can do it by MYSELF! NO!!! I BUCKLE THEN YOU DO YOUR PART WAAAAHAHAHAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!"

A personal lesson that I learned is that there is a HUGE difference between punishment and discipline. AND that there is NO SUCH THING AS IT NEVER HAPPENING AGAIN. Whew! that was a BIG revelation! (what do you mean that when I told my dd at 10 months not to touch something, she wouldn't and now she will at 3???) No such thing as it miraculously never being a problem. I try to keep in perspective that the thousand and one times I say something, I will not get the satisfaction of a lesson learned until she is 35. Really! I will not judge myself as a mother until she is old! cause in the big picture, that is when this hell will be justified!

I have to tell her at least once a week that I am the boss, not she. And that I say what I mean, and I mean what I say! Even if it doesn't influence her at all, it helps me to reinforce my stance as a mother. I try to remember and say out loud that at 13 I WANT her to question, and to be strong, and even demanding. I want her to be master of her body, and mind and spirit. And that is how I am trying to look at things. And it helps when I am conscious.

The thing is is that your dd is not separate from you. She IS trying to stay close. She is still trying to have her place despite her younger sibling, and your challenging dh, and your list of priorities. And I have a feeling that she is very much like you. Strong willed, independent, success no matter how hard the struggle is. I deeply feel that by struggling in front of our children we teach them how to struggle. For me it's my rage. For you, something else. But the importance is not to give up, not on them, or yourself. (dhs are a diff matter LOL Mine makes an excellent scapegoat!)

It's so hard momma! Even in best circumstances (I'm still waiting to test out having a maid ). I felt like a failure more in the past year then anytime of my life. And I think that is the crux of it. But however much I wanted to make her responsible for my life and misery, I couldn't. Parenting from the Inside Out was a helpful book. As well as http://www.amazon.com/Mother-Daughte.../dp/0553105736.
post #106 of 285
Thread Starter 
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Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post
Have you tried sending your dd outside when she is being disruptive to the baby?
Yes, but then I was afraid child protection would pick her up since after all she's only three and we live on the third floor in a neighborhood full of apartment blocks, so I secretly followed her to see where she went.

My words were, "If you can't respect your family, you need to leave."
She replied, "Okay!" and left...



She went and played with the neighbors (this was at eight p.m., I had to say forget bedtime, it's all part of my experiment to see what works with her) who have an 11 p.m. bedtime and wake later.

So that was a lesson learned. :P

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So this is not really a time-out per se. It's a need for removal to a new space. A neutral space where you can talk calmly...so maybe change the name to a "chill-out" and it won't feel so punitive to her...semantics can be EVERYTHING at that age.
That's what a time-out is, though. Time-out is punishment to the child who doesn't like it, relaxation for the child who does. It's that simple.

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So...continue with her...be determined to have the last word, and remain calm.
Again... we are going in circles. Can I do that? Yes. Does it suck the life out of my days sometimes? Yes. Is that a neural pattern I want her to get into? No. Is it gentle? Not particularly.

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I am doing a here. When it IS negotiable you DISENGAGE? I don't follow. Wouldn't those be the moments to engage and have a fun debate and see where it takes her brain? I am confused. Can you explain?
I just let her win and focus on doing what needs to be done, such as, oh, showering. Talking to baby. I'm not going to debate the way the peanut-butter is spread. No. Just... no. She wants to but sorry. If you want to paint, if you want to speak politely, if you want to discuss, yes. Argue? No, I do that enough already in a day.

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She still is little child despite the many "I'm a BIG girl Momma! I can do it by MYSELF! NO!!! I BUCKLE THEN YOU DO YOUR PART WAAAAHAHAHAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!"
This is true, but if you want to buckle, then freaking buckle, you know? Don't tell me you'll buckle then don't buckle then tell me no no you will, then you need help, then not that way.

I mean... I'm sorry, but as long as you think you are the center of the universe, disappointment is bound to follow, you know?

I understand your point, that they just aren't ready yet, and I appreciate that, and it is hard to remember (she is in 4t-5t clothes and looks like a four or five year old). I wouldn't say she's remarkably verbal or anything, though her pronunciation is above average for sure. She is far from the only three-year-old I know at her level.

I think for me, it's easy to deal with if I can reason with it or physically make it happen.

With her, it's neither and that is what makes three difficult. I have no desire to control her play, or every move, but there are times when I need to get stuff done for our family, even things that she wants, and then I get frustrated.

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Some people say it is better because then you get through the craziness and come out the otherside with two or six or eight or however many gorgeous healthy KIDS.
Sure, when they're older, which is why we had hoped to have our third closer to these two. If I am pregnant, these will be exactly two years apart, so it will be 4.5, 2, and newborn, or in high-school (because DD1 is October), Senior, Sophomore, 8th grade, then again Junior-Freshman, Senior-Sophomore. Which I think is great.

Doesn't mean it's not pure hell in the early years.

Oh, I know, some people STTN co-sleeping with their children who just calmly listen to them when they ask them to go to their quiet spot then they go and they just love the baby.

That is not us, and I can't even think about making it happen because it will just depress me.
post #107 of 285
Thread Starter 
We are on day two of don't put her in time out where she can't come out and extra involvement from me.

Results: She's started hitting at least twice an hour and is now running around spitting at me. This may, however, be the result of the fact that I have no way to enforce bedtime so she's going on five hours' sleep. I suppose they are interconnected.

Either gentle discipline is a load of crap or I should just take them to CPS and quit. I'm so tired of failing at this.

Oh, and no lunch. Of course, because I spent my 30 minutes of lunch prep time (normally I have more but I decided to be involved with my kids... priority fail) putting her back in time out... and back... and back... and back... and back... and back...

She's not getting the message, people.
post #108 of 285
Results: She's started hitting at least twice an hour and is now running around spitting at me. This may, however, be the result of the fact that I have no way to enforce bedtime so she's going on five hours' sleep. I suppose they are interconnected.>>>>

Absolutely, 5 hrs of sleep is nothing for a 3 y/o. I like mamille's post also
post #109 of 285
Thread Starter 
I just feel so helpless, though. She sleeps well if I force her too, i.e. threaten a punitive time-out (NOT a time-out in the room with me, or one she can leave at her own free will, but in which she is either locked in a room or I am holding the door, i.e. true isolation).

I really, really want her to be able to go to sleep for ANY reason other than sheer fear of punishment (including loss of a bribe).

Talking it out does NOT put her to sleep, and with two sleeps in a 24/hr period, and about a three-hour talk-down-pat-down, that's six hours of our day gone.

Six hours. We could go to Paris, go shopping, and come back in six hours. Bake bread. Go to the park and paint pictures and take a bath. Play a game, take a nap, call her grandmothers, bake cookies. Feed the ducks, swim in the lake, buy ice-creams, cuddle.

I have TOLD her that. "You're losing time at the park." "Do you REALLY choose yelling at me instead of feeding the ducks? Seriously?" "We were going to paint! Come on, let's make it happen."

Of course, these would work if she were rational. She is not.

I think I will stop time-outs for hitting and altogether and just let her hit. :P Because obviously they are not stopping hitting. Nothing will stop her, as you all point out... she hits because she's three, because she's not sleeping (and nothing will make her sleep), or whatever.

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The thing is is that your dd is not separate from you. She IS trying to stay close. She is still trying to have her place despite her younger sibling, and your challenging dh, and your list of priorities. And I have a feeling that she is very much like you.
We have a lot in common, but she's much more like her dad. When I was a child, and even now, I was very sensitive to words. VERY sensitive to loud noises. My mom always bragged about how she never had to raise her voice. Now my husband complains that if he so much talks from the next room, my ears hurt. DD is like DH: She's nearly deaf to the world... unless it's what she wants. And today she said she wanted a different family, that she wouldn't hit if she were in a different family. I'm ready to let her try it out, seriously.

I feel like every day I get more and more permissive because gentle things don't really mean anything to her. So even though I *say* "That hurts. Please don't hit me," I might as well say, "Good job." Even though I walk away, I could just as well say, "Hit me again, please," or "Go on, continue your fascinating whine." She seems encouraged by EVERYTHING at this point. There's no "authoritative" with her. There's no "just don't let" with her. She must be physically restrained, or actively punished in a way that is socially or physically uncomfortable, the latter of which I'm trying to avoid, and the former of which would only be possible if she were an only child.

I feel so cheated by gentle discipline in this respect. The idea that kids care about other people so you can count on that to help guide them. Nobody says what to do if your kid does not care! How to teach them to care about others in the first place.
post #110 of 285
Thread Starter 
I do want to say that by "true isolation", that is relative to a three-year-old: it's three minutes, and I respond to what she is saying to some extent, by reminding her "three minutes... three minutes...". However to her at her age, that is real isolation and it is what I want to get away from.
post #111 of 285
It's just not easy. It's the hardest thing I have ever done. I really thought I was going to have to go on an extended break this winter from my family. I started smoking instead. I can finally understand why women walk out on their families forever. I yell, I swat, I get really intense. I am not perfect. But I'm the adult and I have to do a better job then her. The thing I kept on hearing was that 3 was like 13 except that they are bigger. That scared the living stuffing out of me. Here I was failing at keeping control and she was 35 lbs! And loved me more than anything! What the f was I going to do? So I tried to remember WHY I wanted to parent the way I did. WHY I wanted to cook every meal from scratch. WHY it was important to have routines and no media. WHY I didn't beat my child (though I thought about it everyday). I certainty couldn't see the results on a day to day basis. In fact it seemed to make things worse. BUT she was hell! and now, she's not. Remember when your dd was a baby and things would get so bad, no sleep, crying no matter what, and just as you were ready to commit hari kari she changed? Well- it is no different now that she can walk, talk, argue, hit, scream etc.

By changing how you deal with her then you will feel the backlash- less sleep, less structure, more unknown on her part,etc. Is it an experiment that you are willing to see through the end? I don't think I would. And I think that it goes against your nature. Can YOU be laid back, whatever goes kind of mom? Cause it's the energy that needs to change, not just the actions/ reactions. I used to scoff at therapist that said "pick your battles", because that was not how I was raised. Now- I'm not so sure. Do I want to spend all our time fighting over stupid shit? nope. Does she get three tries to buckle her buckle before I will do it? Yup. Does she react as if I have chopped her legs off if I do the buckle? Yup! Does she hate having her independence infringed on so much that next time when she is asked to buckle herself she does it? Yup. Is this 100% successful? Absolutely not. You are in the trenches and nothing is going to make her into a different person.

So if I'm understanding from your posts that you are tired of fighting the good fight then I'm sorry to tell you that you are s*&t out of luck. If you want to rant and rail about your life, then go for it. If you want some reminders and suggestions then I think you have had some good ones. I really don't think GD is the demon. I myself can only wish for the patience that I read on these boards. I can only say that I feel so much better when I get a real break from being mom and housewife. Like I can come back to myself instead of being torn into so many pieces. Sleep, water, food, time to breathe... these are essential to being able to live the life I want. And when in times of crisis or extreme stress, how I live my life makes or breaks me and my kid.

(personally I have realized that I myself am easily stuck in a 3 year old mindset. That I tantrum, and get frustrated, angry, impatient just like my dd. When I was three my life changed so drastically and painfully that I think having my dd at the same age triggered many unconscious things that caused me to have a harder time coping with what she was going through; that I couldn't get perspective or be objective. It's impossible to have a demanding narcissistic kid when truthfully I am that way myself. There was not enough room for the both of us.)
post #112 of 285
I haven't read the entire thread but...when my son is arguing with me, I reply:

"I love you too much to argue."

I keep repeating it over and over until we dissolve until giggles.
post #113 of 285
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Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post


That's what a time-out is, though. Time-out is punishment to the child who doesn't like it, relaxation for the child who does. It's that simple.
I disagree. Many people use them as a way to shame and isolate the child and especially if they use it in her preschool like they do in my son's she may very much have a preconception of the "time-out" like the dunces hat in the corner. Being locked in your room or sat on a chair and told to sit there for an arbitrary period of time is WAY different than being told to come over here and calm down and when you are ready to calm down and be human and apologize you may come back to the group. Especially if they use it in her school, you may want a different name at home.

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Again... we are going in circles. Can I do that? Yes. Does it suck the life out of my days sometimes? Yes. Is that a neural pattern I want her to get into? No. Is it gentle? Not particularly.
Yes it sucks the life out of you, but it will fade evenutally and in the meantime it is by FAR the most gentle route available to face a combative natured person. It is used by UN peace negotiators. It is taught by the NVC organization as a tactic for disengaging. It is used at Peace University for reaching through the combative nature of some and finding the real need being communicated.

The first few dozen times it will take you fifty or a hundred repetitions. But little by little it will get less and less and less because eventually they cotton on to the futility of it.

Not gentle? It's a LOT more gentle than "No" "Because we can't" "Just stop" "Leave me alone" "I don't want to talk about it" "Stop talking" "Go away now" A LOT more gentle because it is not denying them the right to talk through their emotions and feelings and arguments, it is simply not responding to them sending the message "it does not matter what you say about this, there is no way for this to change." and allows you to have a sort of mantra so that you do not lose your cool.

I am also not sure what you mean by a neural pattern you don't want her getting into? What pattern specifically are you concerned about? Can you clarify what you mean?
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I just let her win and focus on doing what needs to be done, such as, oh, showering. Talking to baby. I'm not going to debate the way the peanut-butter is spread. No. Just... no. She wants to but sorry. If you want to paint, if you want to speak politely, if you want to discuss, yes. Argue? No, I do that enough already in a day.
ahhhh. Okay. Now I get what you mean. Yeah. I would do the same. I use "whatever" with DS a lot. And I play "I don't care" from Really Rosie. I spend a lot of time using music to tease him from his stroppy arguments with me, like when he is begging and begging for something he wants I start singing "You Can't always get what you want" he had to be the only 2 year old who could sing a Rolling Stones song in his pre-school.

It's okay to use humor to turn a case of the whines into a case of the giggles, even if YOU are the only one laughing. You do what you can to get through these years without killing them.

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This is true, but if you want to buckle, then freaking buckle, you know? Don't tell me you'll buckle then don't buckle then tell me no no you will, then you need help, then not that way.

Just to throw this out there. Benjamin was not allowed to buckle his own seat belt or car seat until he was 5 years and 2 months...like a few weeks ago. It wasn't even a discussion I thought about entertaining. It was gonna be me or his dad. A) I wasn't all that keen on having him figure out how to undo it (which his brain could figure out pretty easily if he was shown how to put it on) and battle him undoing it every three blocks. B) I never felt all that secure he was doing right and it was just that important to me. I put Car Seat safety up on a priority level with not drinking poison and not playing with fire. Just absolutely NO. I listened to a LOT of crying and wailing and arguments. I tried explaining my point of view but at some point I was done explaining. This is the way it is. If you have a complaint I can fix, let me know. Is it the fabric? It is the buckles? Does it hurt? I will make sure you are comfortable and listen to complaints or concerns openly, but its me or daddy who'se buckling the damn thing. GET. OVER. IT! Took him about a year and half to get over it. I just kept repeating for a year and half "I am sorry you don't like it this is the way it has to be." I didn't answer why, I didn't respond to abusive name calling. I didn't react to pleas of maturity and I'm a big boy just: "I am sorry you don't like it this is the way it has to be.""I am sorry you don't like it this is the way it has to be.""I am sorry you don't like it this is the way it has to be.""I am sorry you don't like it this is the way it has to be.""I am sorry you don't like it this is the way it has to be.""I am sorry you don't like it this is the way it has to be.""I am sorry you don't like it this is the way it has to be.""I am sorry you don't like it this is the way it has to be.""I am sorry you don't like it this is the way it has to be."...

So what? It is a battle I am willing to face again if DD turns out to feel the need to assert her independence over car seat buckling. ABSOLUTELY! No way. No how is it a choice. Being gentle sometimes means doing what is best for them and letting go of the need for them to like it. He is now the seat belt police in the car, and if we are in a mini van with a tour group or a taxi, he makes sure everyone has their belts on before we are allowed to go.
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I mean... I'm sorry, but as long as you think you are the center of the universe, disappointment is bound to follow, you know?
Yes, but how do we handle that disappointment as parents? I think in order for them to move on to the next phase of development I believe they need to face that disappointment with as much empathy as you can muster but where it counts (and that's different for every family and every child) not giving in.


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Sure, when they're older, which is why we had hoped to have our third closer to these two. If I am pregnant, these will be exactly two years apart, so it will be 4.5, 2, and newborn, or in high-school (because DD1 is October), Senior, Sophomore, 8th grade, then again Junior-Freshman, Senior-Sophomore. Which I think is great.

Doesn't mean it's not pure hell in the early years.
Too true. My hats go off to you mamas who face the gauntlet like that. I could never.


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Oh, I know, some people STTN co-sleeping with their children who just calmly listen to them when they ask them to go to their quiet spot then they go and they just love the baby.

That is not us, and I can't even think about making it happen because it will just depress me.
IMO/E, extroverts do not co-sleep well. They get energized by the presence of others, especially introverts from whom they can more readily leech energy (making your nights less restful and therefor less productive). DS was/is motivated by people in his sleeping space. If a friend or cousins sleeps over guarenteed he will be up and ready to bounce at the crack of dawn and have a very hard time sleeping in the first place. He gets active and more alert the more people are around him. This is perhaps another reason to consider finding another sleeping arrangement for your younger one. (I know that may not be possible, but maybe that's one of the reasons DD1 is having a hard time settling down?)

The fastest sleep I get out of him requires that after school and a bit of playground time on the way home, he has an hour of computer time either before or after dinner (which works really well for me to have time with the baby or to make dinner), a warm shower, an hour of a video while I put baby to sleep or before that did some grading/preparation for my classes, one bedtime story (for a while right aorund your DDs age I would read a few pages from Sinbad the Sailor, read in a soft lilting voice) and if he makes it through the story, a song.

For computer game sites for tots, we really like Starfall.com and Boowakwala.com and now that he is older and starting to read more he likes Poptropica which is a pretty fun puzzle game...but really for the six and up crowd. We started with Starfall when he was right around your DD's age. SO educational and so not a waste of time. By the time he was four he knew that the silent e at the end of the word makes the I say "Ahy" and the A say "Ehy" and makes the E say "ee" and makes the O say "Oh" and Make the U say "you". He could recognize phonemes like OO OU EA and IGH and TH and CH and knew the individual sounds of all the letters. Boowkwala is more silly stuff but there are some great puzzles for him and logic puzzle stuff and he could start to do them at 3.5 yrs old. He loved it and I got some much needed down time from the barrage of questions and inqueries and can-I-haves and I-wannas. Introverts tend to get energized by screen time. It makes them hyper, ready to be social, which is why many reclusive introverts can stay up for days and days on the computer "chatting" and blogging etc. Extroverts get drained by such isolated interaction and find themselve sleepy and ready to rest their eyes.

He loves the games and I have to limit the time, but the fight he puts up is pretty pathetic compared to if I say "we need to leave the park now." or worse still if we are at a play date with friends and it's time for either group to leave...forget it. We are talking tears and abuse for the next two hours.

This doesn't mean you will see immediate results, but you may at least get a bit of down time to re-energize you.

When DS is hyper I let him play for a half hour or so and usually he calms down after that and is ready to eat or even just talk at a normal intelligible speed.

FWIW, hitting is a non-negotiable with me. But yes, therein lies the rub, how do you physically stop it if you also have a younger toddler to protect? I don't know. My niece is like that. You give her a telling off or a time-out, first she curls up in a ball of what appears very much to me to be pure rage, then she goes mental and hits and spits and just loses it. I have found that using toddler-ese (here's a blog about it: http://www.babble.com/CS/blogs/babys...the-block.aspx) with her in these moments helps to calm her down somewhat. If you can catch her in her ball of rage stage and toddler-ese her down out of the rage into just angry and bitter but trusting you, you may have averted disaster, but better still is to use it BEFORE she needs telling off or a time out. TBH, prevention of bad behavior by managing her constantly is the only method that seems to work against her violent tendencies. When she has been left with me for long periods, despite having her sisters, my son and my baby in my charge, she had to take focus priority, not preference, she didn't get her way, but I had to keep a keen eye on her and watch for any signs of hunger, exhaustion boredom etc. If I could manage to distract the others with a video or a coloring project or a computer game I could take her aside and read a story with the baby, I offered her and DS snacks almost all day, just had a buffet of things like apple slices, granola bars, sandwiches, the more frequently they ate, the better both of them behaved. I had to just keep switching activities and offering new games.

That could be why your DD loves pre-school. I think pre-school teachers are trained to switch activities every 20-30 minutes or something like that.

When meltdowns happen with Ruthie, we all have to just wait it out until she decides to be calm again, but the only way to get through them is to remain calm and determined and keep placing her back in the safe place, and keep telling her "I love you, but hitting is not okay." placing her back on the chair "When you are ready to be nice you can come back" and stand there over her until she either gives in, or says she is ready, but to be honest this could take up to two hours of an afternoon. Not fun for anyone.

Conversely Ruthie, who lives primarily in a spanking household and who is frequently told to stop, be quiet, leave people alone and then is swatted or locked in her room if she doesn't, is still having tantrums at 4.5 yo as frequently and as violently as she did two years ago...but her sweet moments are extra sweet now which at least makes her tolerable.
post #114 of 285
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Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post

But you yourself said that I could make exceptions. But how can I make exceptions if she's going to bring them up against me in arguments?!?

?!?!? I know many other kids that do that but you are suggesting I can go easy.

NO exceptions, NO quarter. It's why we NEVER get ice-cream from the ice-cream truck (ruin the park experience forever), why we NEVER get treats at the grocery store (I don't feel like whining about it the whole darn time I go shopping for the next six years, thanks), why we NEVER get up more than one time after bedtime without sitting alone in the other room for three minutes until calm enough for bed, NEVER get special food for dinner, NEVER eat in front of the TV. It has to be 100% perfect otherwise she will think,

"Mommy cracked. She said we didn't do that, but then we did. I can crack her again. Let's try."
Again, haven't read to the end but...I respond to requests in a number of different ways.

"No."

"I buy treats for children who are polite and helpful."

"Sure, we can!"


When my son starts to whine, he gets:

"I will be glad to listen when your voice is calm like mine." Said, of course, in a calm tone.


When he says, "Bailey's mom buys him (lets him, etc.)..."

he gets, "I am not Bailey's mom; I am YOUR mom."


I don't entertain arguments. I use a variety of responses:

"No, thanks."

"I'm sorry; I can't hear people who argue with me."

"I love you too much to argue!"

"Wow, you must be tired; let's get you ready for nap!"


I also usually give him a choice; sometimes fun things, sometimes not.

"Would you like lunch before or after nap?"

"Would you like to take a nap or watch TV?"

"Would you like to go outside or play nicely with me?"


When he stops being nice (admittedly pretty rare), I stop playing with him.
post #115 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamamille View Post
...Does she get three tries to buckle her buckle before I will do it? Yup. Does she react as if I have chopped her legs off if I do the buckle? Yup! Does she hate having her independence infringed on so much that next time when she is asked to buckle herself she does it? Yup. Is this 100% successful? Absolutely not. You are in the trenches and nothing is going to make her into a different person.
This seems like a good solutiuon/compromise.

Also: here is a link (http://www.happiestbaby.com/learn-ab...-on-the-block/) to the book that introduced me to Toddler-ese and helped me a LOT in wrapping my head around my toddler, now little kid's brain. It helped me have patience when patience was running thin on the ground, or at least helped me to apologize later when I lost my patience and went ballistic.
post #116 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by hakeber View Post
She is looking to make SENSE of the world and the rules.
This little bit reminded me of something else I did with my son around that age. We established Rules for each situation; we did this together and discussed why the Rules were important. I kept them in my phone memo pad so I had a handy reference and we recited them as we moved into each new situation.

For example:

Road Rules:
1) Always buckle up
2) Always stop at stop signs
3) Use our turn signals
4) Always yield to traffic

People Rules:
1) No hitting
2) No whining
3) Use our words
4) Use our manners
5) Respect people's personal space

Sea Rules:
1) Don't go in the water when there are giant squids in there.
2) Ditto for octopus
3) Always get away from the octopuses and the sea monsters
4) Always stay in the water when there are no monsters, no sea monsters, and no ghosts

These were Rules we developed together that gave him a FRAMEWORK for each situation. From there, he could suss out the fine points but he needed a basic understanding of what was acceptable. I liken it to being dropped on an alien planet with no idea of the social mores or even language yet being expected to conduct yourself accordingly.
post #117 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minxie View Post
Sea Rules:
1) Don't go in the water when there are giant squids in there.
2) Ditto for octopus
3) Always get away from the octopuses and the sea monsters
4) Always stay in the water when there are no monsters, no sea monsters, and no ghosts
Very sensible rules indeed.

DS and I did this last summer but it is not so specific.

Rule number one: Listen to Mommy and Daddy

Rule Number two: Always watch out for the Palm Trees

(I said, why? He says "Look at them, they are so pinchy looking and they are way too tall!") Sound advice. Sound advice.
post #118 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by hakeber View Post
Very sensible rules indeed.

DS and I did this last summer but it is not so specific.

Rule number one: Listen to Mommy and Daddy

Rule Number two: Always watch out for the Palm Trees

(I said, why? He says "Look at them, they are so pinchy looking and they are way too tall!") Sound advice. Sound advice.
Very good advice, indeed! We have situation specific Rules because he asked for them once I established the first set of Rules. He loved the idea. Now that he is four, we don't actively use the Rules but they sure did help get us through age 3.
post #119 of 285
Thread Starter 
Cannot respond in depth Hakeber, but there are no time-outs in pre-school. It's a short session and even if a child is hitting a teacher the teacher may not use anything but a gentle, positive touch with the child (i.e. teacher may not use a firm grip to remove the child from her area). The only exception is if the child is a danger to other children, but that is also grounds to call the parents, obviously, so that would be exceptional.

I do think it's easier because children simply don't test the limits with other adults like they do with their parents. Period.

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I stop playing with him.
This kind of thing seems soooo simple in principle. I used to imagine I would do just that as a parent. Cooly, calmly walk away.

In reality, when they follow you around, you must ignore them, even when they hit and pinch or whatever to get your attention, because they must engage you.

And then you've really just escalated the situation. I don't feel it is useful to have that in-between escalation that will lead to some kind of worse situation.

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Benjamin was not allowed to buckle his own seat belt or car seat until he was 5 years and 2 months...like a few weeks ago. It wasn't even a discussion I thought about entertaining.
Too late!

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also usually give him a choice; sometimes fun things, sometimes not.

"Would you like lunch before or after nap?"

"Would you like to take a nap or watch TV?"

"Would you like to go outside or play nicely with me?"
My child's typical answers (she has refined her debate technique):

"Neither."
"The park!"
"I *am* playing nice!"

(Note that repetition will not work with any of these... the child recognizes other alternatives / interpretations of reality and demands you recognize them. In other words, she is changing the subject. You can call her on that but you're still arguing. You still lose.)

Oh, the false-dichotomy. It worked for about six months in our house and I think that was a pretty good run, personally. Let me know when it stops working in your house.

I think ultimately, she is just too hard for me to trick. I can't trick her. I can force her, I can bribe her, I can threaten her, I can ignore her, but I can't trick her into doing something that she doesn't want to do. Doesn't help that I'm not a good liar. I think she can see in my eyes that I know it's a false dichotomy! Her dad is way better at that kind of thing, not with me (because I hate false dichotomies, haha) but with her, I mean.

Incidentally I have even tried this with my next one and she's worse. She will knock you down if you present her with two choices that she didn't have in mind. I swear she has the funniest look on her face. "WTF are you thinking? I pointed at the YOGHURT!" I mean at 15 months it's funny, it is such a cute expression with that button nose. I'm sure you all have seen it on your own.

I read and tried all of HTOTB.

I will not tell you which review is mine but it's SCATHING. I HATE that book. I mean I HATE it.

Anyone who tells you something will work like magic, and that if it doesn't, you are just not empathetic enough, should be drug out into the street and chained to my child. Seriously. What a UAV. How dare he say it works like magic on every kid.

Toddlerese. More like... I shall not go on but suffice it to say after a week of looking like an idiot in public and even more so at home, I failed to hit her "sweet spot".

It doesn't help that she doesn't talk at ALL like that, so I had to kind of modify it so it sounded more like pre-school-ese, but a the same time all angry... she thought I was making fun of her although I was dead serious and honestly, genuinely trying to empathize. I tried to tone it down a bit, and she just actually got worse. It was the worst of all the dismal discipline failures over the past year I've seen. I actually recycled the book, so traumatized was I. It's the first book I've ever recycled, but I hate so much the idea that he suggests something will work for everybody, like magic, that I would never give it to my worst enemy.

Reverse psychology? Clapping loudly in their face to get their attention?

Dude, I could have thought of that. I mean seriously. Who is this guy? My child is not an inarticulate caveman (and I don't even believe in the caveman myth...even monkeys don't alway s"talk" like that). She's a pre-schooler with erratic emotional regulation, under-developed logical function, who has a lot of words for different emotions that she uses with finesse.

I should have known it wouldn't work when I read it but I was desperate.

So yeah, HTOTB? I hear HBOTB is really good but I haven't read it.

I like the idea of rules. We may go over some tomorrow and put them up on the wall. I think that will support predictability.

(However, posters in the past have not had much success in our house. The "no monsters" sign that was supposed to keep monsters out? "They don't see it." I show them. "But they can't READ." Okay, next night I'm ready- there's a picture on it. "They STILL can't see it." "Monsters, see?" "They say they aren't paying attention." Oh. My. God.)
post #120 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
My child's typical answers (she has refined her debate technique):

"Neither."
"The park!"
"I *am* playing nice!"

(Note that repetition will not work with any of these... the child recognizes other alternatives / interpretations of reality and demands you recognize them. In other words, she is changing the subject. You can call her on that but you're still arguing. You still lose.)
I disagree. You can choose not to meet that demand and just keep repeating the choice. There is no question she can ask to which I would not repeat the choice/statement of fact, until she acknowledges MY demand which is her accpetance of my statement. Until she either answers appropriately or backs down there is NOT ONE thing I would change. Not one.

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(However, posters in the past have not had much success in our house. The "no monsters" sign that was supposed to keep monsters out? "They don't see it." I show them. "But they can't READ." Okay, next night I'm ready- there's a picture on it. "They STILL can't see it." "Monsters, see?" "They say they aren't paying attention." Oh. My. God.)
We used Monster repellent (I got a spray bottle from the drug store and made a label with pictures of all his dark phobias, sharks, crabs, ghosts, monsters, spiders, scorpions, snakes, whales, etc with a red x over them all) I filled it with just touch of my perfume and some rubbing alcohol to make the sprayer make a sound and each night before bed we "sprayed" the whole room down. I haven't used it in about three months now, but for a while (from 3-4.5) it was every night.

So...tell me how you really feel about Dr karp.

Okay okay. I never really noticed all that judgy stuff you mentioned. I just loved the concept of evolving linguistic skills. Really helped me (as a hobby socio-linguist) relate and motify my language when he was/is in meltdown phase. But I can see how it might not work and that is really crappy if it made you feel guilty. I tend to extract what I like from books and ignore the rest. I am a skimmer and I tend to ignore absolute statements from authors because afterall if they don't say it it means they haven't got absolute confidence in what they are saying, so why bother saying it at all, let alone selling it for $19.95 a pop, eh?
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