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post #141 of 285
I don't know. My second baby is so much easier than my first. My theory is that someone has an easy kid, like my second, and thinks the child is easy because of their mad parenting skillz instead of the child's temperament, and then makes websites and writes books to share their knowledge with us all, thinking if we did what they did, our kids would also be quiet and sweet and sleep well and not fight.

And then maybe they have another child who is not so docile. LOL. I wonder if they ever update their info after the second child.
post #142 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
I don't know. My second baby is so much easier than my first. My theory is that someone has an easy kid, like my second, and thinks the child is easy because of their mad parenting skillz instead of the child's temperament, and then makes websites and writes books to share their knowledge with us all, thinking if we did what they did, our kids would also be quiet and sweet and sleep well and not fight.

And then maybe they have another child who is not so docile. LOL. I wonder if they ever update their info after the second child.
How true!
post #143 of 285
I have one like this who loves to argue. I would suggest The Secret of Parenting also. I find that roboparenting and not engaging are my best options, although they can be hard to do. Repeat the expectation over and over like a robot. Remain calm. "Wait for the bus." Be boring.

I don't agree that ignoring is not gentle. Probably it hurts some kids. It doesn't seem to hurt mine, and ignoring her is often the way to avoid my doing something worse (yelling, losing my temper).

BTW, empathizing does not work with my DD. Playful parenting stopped working in the 2s (she just ups the ante and gets wild). Some kids need more limits and harder walls than others. My younger child is completely different--cries if I speak firmly to him, accepts boundaries much more easily, and apologizes of his own accord.

I will add that I see some positive aspects to this personality type. DD never gives up, whether that is about learning to swim or arguing her point!
post #144 of 285
Also. Is she very bright? Is she an extrovert? Does she have a very long attention span, perhaps? (We have often joked that we wish DD had a shorter attention span.) Perhaps she needs more stimulation and more time with others. My DD is a huge extrovert and is smarter than we know what to do with. She desperately needs to have her mind engaged or she will create her own challenges and drama. Things have improved a lot since she learned to read. What does your DD like? Can you find something that will involve her deeply?
post #145 of 285
Also also. You do realize that you are rejecting every suggestion and idea, right? I have been in that place of despair (NO, YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND, I HAVE TRIED IT ALL AND NOTHING WORKS) and I get it, but I think maybe you just need to vent? I don't think you are ready to hear any of the ideas being given here, really. Like I say, I get it, I really do, but I want to make sure you see that.
post #146 of 285
So I read more posts in this thread, wondering how come it got so long. Here is my free short analysis of the issue.

Observations: It seems that the OP has a child whose mind thrives on arguments. the OP doesn't like when HER DD is argumentative. the OP is QUITE argumentative herself

Yet it seem that OP wants her DD to stop being argumentative (two similarly strong personalities often clash), but this is not going to happen. In the same way as the OP is not going to just stop being argumentative for the sake of others. (nothing wrong in this per se)

You can't change one's personality. The OP needs to start seeing this personality trait as something awesome, though currently very challenging in her kid. And needs to start seeing herself as quite similar to her kid, personality wise. This is a child who won't just succumb to peer pressure. This is a child who is a leader, not a follower. These are great traits. Very hard to nurture, often hard to be around for long periods of time, but great traits nevertheless.

Embrace your traits, and your DD's traits for what they are. Try not to out-argue her, as it is obvious dozens of parents here can't "out-argue" you
Being 3 is HARD. Being an argumentative 3 is even harder. Ride the wave, do your best, support her in WHO SHE IS, and it will be easier sooner than later.
post #147 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by loraxc View Post
I don't agree that ignoring is not gentle. Probably it hurts some kids. It doesn't seem to hurt mine, and ignoring her is often the way to avoid my doing something worse (yelling, losing my temper).


IMO ignoring is not "not gentle" when it is consciously used as a technique to deal with a child (or adult) who persists in pulling you into a pointless argument. A person, big or small, who succeeds in doing this (over and over again as a pattern) has got your number and is yanking your chain. When this is a pattern, it's not about the subject of the argument - it's about control of the situation. Deciding to actively disengage yourself from this type of game is a decision on your part to take control of your own actions. IMO it is gentler than being determined to out-argue a young child, or staying in an interaction until your temper explodes. It is you deciding to let go of your end of the rope and be in control of yourself. If the other person chooses to stand there and hold the limp rope and scream, fine - their choice. But it is not unkind to disengage, offer the child a way to save face (ie offering a change of subject after disengaging) and regardless of the child's decision on their own behavior, move on with your day.

I came back to add...disengaging is not refusing to hear the child. You can acknowledge what they said, that you heard them, and what you are deciding. You can acknowledge their feelings about it. You can show that you hear and empathize with the child without opening negotiations.

Also regarding bedtime....the book I read (Setting Limits With Your Strong Willed Child) stressed the importance of observing what kind of dance you and your child do in your difficult areas...and then, learn to skip the dance entirely and go straight to action. We have almost no bedtime routine in our house. They have a snack, put on jammies, and brush teeth all in the kitchen, followed by a quick trip to the potty. Once they go upstairs it is straight to bed. No hugs, games, stories, etc. We do all of that way before bedtime and we do it downstairs. Once they are in their bedrooms, they get into their beds and that is it - just "goodnight". No games to play. If they get up to use the bathroom after that, it's just a functional bathroom trip and nothing else.
post #148 of 285
Quote:
The OP needs to start seeing this personality trait as something awesome, though currently very challenging in her kid. And needs to start seeing herself as quite similar to her kid, personality wise. This is a child who won't just succumb to peer pressure. This is a child who is a leader, not a follower. These are great traits. Very hard to nurture, often hard to be around for long periods of time, but great traits nevertheless.
ITA. I remind myself often of the above when it comes to dealing with my own hard-headed, tenacious, stubborn, independent little person. I was a bit shy to be the first to say that the OP is pretty argumentative too, but OP, you are. I am too, by the way! It's part of why my DD and I clash so much.

Another suggestion, FWIW: can you give her more independence and responsibilities? This helps with my DD.
post #149 of 285
My dd used be so hard to put to sleep, and then I read ~somewhere~ that when a child has trouble going to bed, it's because it's a seperation issue. That put a new spin on it for me and helped me figure out a new way of dealing with it- one where I didn't engage, but kept it matter of fact, and *tried* to not get angry when she pulled and pushed so hard. She was just having trouble letting me go. And it was up to me to teach her to feel safe by herself and how to disengage with me.
post #150 of 285
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Also also. You do realize that you are rejecting every suggestion and idea, right? I have been in that place of despair (NO, YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND, I HAVE TRIED IT ALL AND NOTHING WORKS) and I get it, but I think maybe you just need to vent? I don't think you are ready to hear any of the ideas being given here, really. Like I say, I get it, I really do, but I want to make sure you see that.
This is not true. I've posted twice about ideas that I have taken up and that are working well: making everything into a challenge (which is still working and which she loves), and... okay, that is the only idea that has worked. LOL. But it has really worked well! Because it's an action that redirects her that she can't refuse because she loves it SO MUCH.

Because other ideas really are not working! I can't emphasize enough how words just don't do it. I really cannot. I keep getting posts that begin with "I say..."

I don't need any words. I need actions. She is not hearing the words, or she argues with them. Repetition does not have an effect on her because she just hears "no" and as I mentioned... that's a challenge for her.

Also, there are some things that I'm already doing, and I don't think mentioning that is rejection. Sorry, I was very hormonal so it definitely came off badly but I do model, I do allow for play time, we do have choices, I do try to keep her to a sleep routine, and so on.

But I came here because I was at the end of my rope, and that means I really, really have tried a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minxie View Post
Well, that's the thing; I am NOT prolonging the argument. I am ending it. The choices are his if he is willing to choose; when he becomes unwilling to choose, I choose for him. That is the natural consequence. I am not emotionally invested in it either way and I am not going to engage in an argument with him over it.
If you do something, you end it. If you talk, you prolong it. So my question is, when you end it, what do you do to make him stop talking?

Do you see what I'm asking? So, "choosing for him" is an example of that. Giving a false choice is not, in my experience.

Quote:
The OP needs to start seeing this personality trait as something awesome, though currently very challenging in her kid.
I know she's awesome! She's mine! Doesn't change the fact that I have to deal with it, though. It's fine to say, "Wow, you're really persistent. That will help you later in life!" again and again, and another thing to explain to your husband why you're sorry, but he'll just have to wait in the rain because DD wants to wear shoes that are too small and in the closet and you cannot physically fit them on her feet, so here we are... you know?

I'm not saying, she's bad.

I'm saying, help me deal with this in a way that does not damage her psychologically or cause me to end up in a looney bin.

Quote:
They have a snack, put on jammies, and brush teeth all in the kitchen, followed by a quick trip to the potty. Once they go upstairs it is straight to bed. No hugs, games, stories, etc. We do all of that way before bedtime and we do it downstairs. Once they are in their bedrooms, they get into their beds and that is it - just "goodnight". No games to play. If they get up to use the bathroom after that, it's just a functional bathroom trip and nothing else.
So, let's supposed you did this with them for a year, and a la Supernanny, kept bringing them back to bed, without a word except "good night", back to bed, back to bed, back to bed.

Right?

And it just doesn't end. And for two hours, every night, after the routine, whatever it may be, you have a child that doesn't get it. Even though the child is yawning and struggling and falling asleep on car trips and showing every sign of being tired, the child doesn't want to go to bed.

Right?

See where I'm going?

You do the "perfect" routine and it just... doesn't work. Not the first night. Not the second. Not the third. It just... doesn't.

That is where we are.

We do not have a song and dance. We have exactly your routine, except yes I read the stories with them sitting in their beds.

I did try a week of stories on the couch. I will just say... wow, that was a bad idea for our family, LOL! They stayed up longer, even baby was wound up (even on day seven).

What I'm trying to say is not, that's not a good routine. What I'm saying is, when the routine doesn't work, long or short... It's not the routine.

The separation thing is interesting, because I do go back and check on her every three minutes until she's asleep and that USED to work. Stopped working. Perhaps it was our vacation, how could I not have seen that? We all slept in one tent and I know she liked it although she did say she wanted to go back to her own comfortable bed.

Hm. We will talk about that with her today.

Quote:
You can show that you hear and empathize with the child without opening negotiations.
I'd love to hear the mechanics of this. Like, a sample conversation of what makes the child stop pushing the limit. Ultimately, I suspect it ends in walking away from or not responding to a talking, crying, or arguing child.

Remember the Far Side cartoon with the dog? (Sorry to compare my child to a dog.) And the owner is saying, "Fetch, Spot! Go fetch the stick, Spot! Fetch it now, Spot!" And so on, and the dog hears: "Blah blah, Spot! Blah blah blah blah, Spot! Blah blah blah, Spot!"

I suspect a similar thing is happening with my child.

"You feel upset you can't have Nutella. I hear you. What a disappointment. But we need to go. Dad needs us. This is not negotiable."

=

"Attention! Keep talking! You have my attention! Go ahead and keep talking! Hi! I'm looking at you! You have my attention and therefore you still have a chance! Here's your chance! Keep talking!"

"I'm done." = "Here's one more chance to respond!"

"I'm going to leave the room to get stuff done." = "Go on, here's another challenge! Go for it! Go for it! Tantrum, FTW!"

"I'm sorry, discussion is over." = "Here's more attention! One more chance! Let's see if you can disagree with this one, woohoo!"

"I'm serious." = "Game on!"



Yes, I validate. That is not where our problem is. Our problem is, after validation, we need to MOVE ON.

It is the MOVE ON part that we have issues with.

And yes, we are a talkative, argumentative family. It is not that that I don't like. It is argumentative minus logic and empathy that is difficult to deal with, haha. And that is where we are.

However, I will repeat that challenges have helped immensely, and also I decided to give myself time-outs. I know it is to some extent isolating for her and I am sorry for that but she needs to calm down and not to have my face in front of her so that she can do that. So, I won't keep her in time-out, but I will keep myself away from her with shut doors that she cannot open, for three minutes or less while I breathe deeply.

I don't think we can do the hitting any other way.
post #151 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
If you do something, you end it. If you talk, you prolong it. So my question is, when you end it, what do you do to make him stop talking?

Do you see what I'm asking? So, "choosing for him" is an example of that. Giving a false choice is not, in my experience.
I think you may misunderstand. I don't give my son false choices; I give my son choices with which I can live. The choice is for HIM; the disengagement is that I don't care which choice he makes. He is welcome to offer a third alternative so long as that works for all parties concerned. If he will not choose or offer an alternative to the choices within a reasonable amount of time, I choose for him. Period.

Your continued description of choices as "false choices" is kind of starting to irk me so I hope that clarifies it. If not, please explain why you feel offering him a choice is a "false choice".

There aren't any "false choices" and I don't care whether he stops talking or not. His continuing to talk is not going to dissuade me from the path we're taking. I listen to him, I empathize with him but ultimately I am his mother and he is my child.

Also I don't entertain rudeness in any form, be it hitting, screaming, biting or arguing. If he can speak to me politely and wants to discuss something, sure. If he is being rude, he is welcome to be elsewhere. If he doesn't want to be elsewhere, I can remove myself. If none of that works, then yes, I will ignore him until he is ready to be polite. He's four; he knows better.
post #152 of 285
EdnaMarie, I am offering these responses hoping that you will take them in a positive way, because I am really trying to offer you help. You sound mentally very stuck in a groove that you are frustrated with being in, but have a hard time seeing a way out of. I know how frustrating that can be. I also know that when you don't have a way to get any distance from your own situation, to get a more detached look at it, it can appear so overwhelming. Our little ones can seem like hugely overwhelming and powerful people who have near complete control of us. Sometimes we do not see our own part in the situation, or we don't realize that we have built ourselves into a puzzle of conditions that cannot possibly all be met. I am not responding to be argumentative. I want to clear up the parts of my previous post that you have asked questions about.

I have been in a situation very similar to the one you are in now. Our kids are 2.5 yrs apart. I was home with a baby and a very spirited, intense, persistent, defiant 3 yo. I reached the point of dreading when he would get up each day (at 6 am or before), not enjoying our time together, being completely exhausted past tears most of many days, and very much resenting him for ruining the time when I just wanted to enjoy my new (much easier) baby. It was awful. I am offering what I can from my own experience because I read one book that completely changed my perspective and when I put it into action and really meant it and followed it through, it changed our lives.

I had to be at the end of my rope in order to do it, and I was. It was not easy. It did permanently alter the texture of our relationship and that is hard when patterns that have been there since toddlerhood are so ingrained. But it has been all positive. The new dynamic was a much better solution for all of us. We are all happy with each other. We enjoy our time together. I am not exhausted by constant struggles and living at the edge of my temper all day every day. In some ways it felt like I got to know our DS1 for the first time, because I was finally able to experience a more pleasant part of his personality. We were locked into a negative, exhausting, pointless dynamic of intense struggle. Breaking out of it was life changing. That is why I am responding in your thread. You can choose to do whatever you want. I am hoping to describe an alternative that might be a way through this for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
I don't need any words. I need actions. She is not hearing the words, or she argues with them.
She may choose to not hear your words, or to argue more. You choose whether or not to pick that rope back up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
If you do something, you end it. If you talk, you prolong it. So my question is, when you end it, what do you do to make him stop talking?
You cannot make another person stop talking. You are in control of how you respond to the talking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
I'm saying, help me deal with this in a way that does not damage her psychologically or cause me to end up in a looney bin.
IMO disengaging from a pointless argument after you have let her know you heard her and acknowledged her feelings is not going to damage her psychologically. Upset her, perhaps. Damage, no.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
So, let's supposed you did this with them for a year, and a la Supernanny, kept bringing them back to bed, without a word except "good night", back to bed, back to bed, back to bed.

Right?

And it just doesn't end. And for two hours, every night, after the routine, whatever it may be, you have a child that doesn't get it. Even though the child is yawning and struggling and falling asleep on car trips and showing every sign of being tired, the child doesn't want to go to bed.

Right?

See where I'm going?

You do the "perfect" routine and it just... doesn't work. Not the first night. Not the second. Not the third. It just... doesn't.
Perhaps it's how you define "work". At our house the point is not that he wants to. We don't need him to want to. Yes, we have walked a kid back to bed over and over again for over two hours, night after night. After a while (yes, perhaps a year) it stuck. And he never needed to want to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
We do not have a song and dance.
You do have a dance. She talks. You respond. Repeat.

I believe she knows that if she talks, you feel obligated to say something in return. So it's pretty easy for her to keep you going.


Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
I'd love to hear the mechanics of this. Like, a sample conversation of what makes the child stop pushing the limit. Ultimately, I suspect it ends in walking away from or not responding to a talking, crying, or arguing child.
Yes, it does end this way ! It ends in me disengaging after I have said and done all I feel obligated to say or do. And until you can take on the responsibility of doing that, frankly, I think you will be stuck. I cannot make him stop pushing the limit. I cannot make him agree and like it. Those are in his control, not mine. He can push all day long if he wants to. I can't stop that. But I do not have to wear myself out trying to get him to happily agree to the limit, or change the limit, or continue to respond to his pushing in a way that feels like there is a possibility for negotiation.

Here is a sample:
DS2: "I want a cone !"
ME: "We don't have any cones. I can put it in a bowl."
DS2: "I want a cone ! Bowls are stupid !"
ME: "Here is your ice cream."
DS2: "It's stupid !"
ME: "You are mad because you wanted a cone and we are out. I will buy some next time I get groceries."
DS2: "This is stupid ! I don't want it !"
ME: "That is your dessert - nothing else. Eat it or don't."

Then, regardless of what he says next on the subject, we are done, because I am done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
"You feel upset you can't have Nutella. I hear you. What a disappointment. But we need to go. Dad needs us. This is not negotiable."
=
"Attention! Keep talking! You have my attention! Go ahead and keep talking! Hi! I'm looking at you! You have my attention and therefore you still have a chance! Here's your chance! Keep talking!"

"I'm done." = "Here's one more chance to respond!"

"I'm going to leave the room to get stuff done." = "Go on, here's another challenge! Go for it! Go for it! Tantrum, FTW!"

"I'm sorry, discussion is over." = "Here's more attention! One more chance! Let's see if you can disagree with this one, woohoo!"

"I'm serious." = "Game on!"
I don't understand what you are waiting for...silence ? Agreement ?
It is done when you stop. No matter what she does or says.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
Yes, I validate. That is not where our problem is. Our problem is, after validation, we need to MOVE ON.

It is the MOVE ON part that we have issues with.
It's clear that you do have a problem with the "move on" step. You appear to be waiting for her to move on. You seem to think that your objective is to get her to agree to move on. This will only exhaust you. As the adult, you are the one who initiates moving on, whether she agrees to it or not, and sticks to it. That doesn't mean you say you are moving on but then keep the verbal volleys going back and forth. It means you are done. Really done, and no longer responding to the topic, and going on with your day. That is action.

There is another book I read that had one thing in it that has stuck with me. The book is Negotiation Generation: Take Back Your Parental Authority Without Punishment by Lynne Griffin. The one thing in it that made an impression on me was that with persistent kids, if you keep talking, they see the topic as still on the table. If it's not open to negotiation, don't negotiate it. Take the topic off the table...and when it's off the table, you stop talking about it. Period.
post #153 of 285
When I want to move on and my dd doesn't, and she has pushed x 1000, *and* I still have control over my temper, then I will tell her very directly, in her face, without menace "enough" "I'm done" "I'm not going to talk anymore" "I had it- enough!" and I am. I turn away and either she changes her approach, or she has a tantrum in which I can walk away, or carry her to her room. Now this is not something that happens often and I think that is why it is still valid for her. It's not for the stupid stuff. It's for those times where she has run, and run, and run me ragged by her demands and complaints like a bulldog. Don't know how GD that is, but I feel like it's an important lesson to learn that there are other people in the universe, not just her, and though it's her inclination/ age, being able to let things go, and defer to someone else is important.
(side note- with your example of too small shoes- I would never had indulged her... I would have picked her up and forced her in the car At times they are just not the priority of our lives... That would be a battle I would have won- though I would have had to listen to her, and run the risk of upsetting the baby, but I sometimes drive with the window all the way down when my dd has a fit in the car. That's the life with a 3 year old- it sucks but it is what it is)
post #154 of 285
Laundry, what book?
post #155 of 285
The book that was the "big one" for me is called Setting Limits with Your Strong-Willed Child : Eliminating Conflict by Establishing Clear, Firm, and Respectful Boundaries by Robert J. Mac Kenzie.

Before that one, I had read at least twenty other discipline books - all of them highly recommended GD books. Some of them were helpful with certain situations and I still have many of them and do recommend reading them, but overall they were never enough to make a major change in our dominant pattern of interaction with each other. ( I think some kids just need more firmly set limits, but it is always useful to have the background of positive-intent type thinking.) I had tried thinking in a Continuum Concept kind of way...and I had tried going more toward the non-coercive/consensual end of the spectrum...and finally tried 1-2-3 Magic, which was more like 1-2-3 Comedy, because it was a big joke to DS1. He was like hey, I can get away with something three whole times before she does anything about it, woo hoo ! The Setting Limits book method was the one that finally gave our son the firm structure he required to give up on his attempts to take control all the time. Then he relaxed and enjoyed being a fun little kid, and I really began to enjoy being his mom.

It is an approach that is perhaps more than most kids will need. But when I had a child who was still relentlessly searching for limits no matter how much time-in etc I gave him, all day every day, keeping us both in a state of locked-in negative misery, it was the next thing to do, and I'm so glad I did.
post #156 of 285
Thanks Laundry,
That might be the one book I havent read yet lol.


To the op,
After reading through all of this I think my dd (now 7) is similar to yours.
Having a baby and a toddler at the same time is hard, Ive been there.
Do you think its possible to just cut yourself a little slack and relax mentally?
I mean- not get so aggravated about her behavior?
I know on the days that I can remain calm and not let these things effect me, they are easier to deal with. I wake up and tell my self to chill out and stay calm today. Sometimes it works.

When you said that part about damaging her emotionally or you ending up in the looney bin I know you dont mean it literally, but please chill out. It gets easier, but it also gets harder. You seem very patient and want to always do the right thing. You are NOT going to damage her because you care so much about her.
Just think about the fact that she's only 3. The challenges change and can become even twistyer (I made up that word) as they get older and smarter. If you can work on becoming nonreactive (even internally) it will help you deal with whats to come, because there isnt really anything you can do to stop it. Ive tried and still do- duh.

My dd can be almost impossible. It seems like as soon as I figure out the strategy to deal with her at each age, she moves onto the next phase of behavior stuff.
post #157 of 285
I haven't read the whole thread so maybe this already was suggested, but two ideas based on myexperience with my super high-needs ds. (who has a vocabulary andfunctions about a year ahead of his actual age, so like a 3.5 year old)

1) Really intense, almost therapeutic one on one play for 15 minutes twice daily. No matter what you have to do. This is hard sometimes, because when the baby does finally take a nap, I want to sit down myself, or get some housework done, or something, but instead I force my self to act excited and "ask" ds to "please, please play with me." He, too, will argue with me, run away, snatch toys, etc but eventually he gives in and then we do what he wants to do for 15 minutes. Very intense, totally focused on him. no answering the phone, nothing. I will say to him, "the phone is ringing but I'm too busy playing with you to answer it. they'll just have to wait."

2)Say, "Arguing with you exhausts me, ad makes me grouchy. today, I'm not arguing with you. If you argue, you have to go be by yourself until you're done." And if it isn't a life or death thing, stick her in her room. I know how harda$$ this sounds, but if you have to lock her in there, lock her in. Just flip the doorknob around so the lock is on the outside. of course, she might turn this into a game as well. Yelling "I'm done arguing!" so you have to come back and let her out, just to repeat the game ad nauseum. If she does that, set a timer, and tell her you will let her out when the timer buzzes, but you won't turn the timer on until she is quiet. If it is essential that it happen now, like if you have to go somewhere, just prepare yourself for a fight, put the baby in the carseat, then go back and get her and drag her kicking and screaming to the car, bucke her in and go. It definitely sucks. I do it every.single.frickin.day. with my 2.5 year old. I actually have a pinched nerve or something in my shoulder from physically restraining him. But i tell myself that when you have kidsthis is what you sign up for. I absolutely do not allow my ds to talk disrepesctfully to me. Into his room he goes.
post #158 of 285
Quote:
I don't understand what you are waiting for...silence ? Agreement ?
It is done when you stop. No matter what she does or says.
So true.

Laundry, I thought that post was awesome. My child is not quite as challenging as the OPs, but of course she has her moments. I like the way you framed the problem and I'll be remembering your words for the next "moment."
post #159 of 285
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minxie View Post
I think you may misunderstand. I don't give my son false choices; I give my son choices with which I can live. The choice is for HIM; the disengagement is that I don't care which choice he makes. He is welcome to offer a third alternative so long as that works for all parties concerned. If he will not choose or offer an alternative to the choices within a reasonable amount of time, I choose for him. Period.

Your continued description of choices as "false choices" is kind of starting to irk me so I hope that clarifies it. If not, please explain why you feel offering him a choice is a "false choice".

There aren't any "false choices" and I don't care whether he stops talking or not. His continuing to talk is not going to dissuade me from the path we're taking. I listen to him, I empathize with him but ultimately I am his mother and he is my child.
Sorry if the term "false choice" is offensive.

I think when a child wants one thing, and then is offered a choice between two or three different other things, when the reality is that aside from the needs of the parent and the necessity of narrowing things down, many more choices would be available to him, then he is being given a false choice.

I understand why this method is used with young toddlers asserting their independence. They want to feel in control; the choice gives the illusion of control while letting the parent maintain control. It's the illusory nature of the control that leads me to call it a "false" choice. "Blue or red otter pop?" is just easier to deal with than "Orange juice? Milk? Sliced apples? Carrot sticks? Otter pops? Butter and bread? Yoghurt?" And of course a small child would be overwhelmed by those choices anyway.

With older toddlers and pre-schoolers, however, the illusion of control is lost because they know what they want. You might as well just say "no" and give them whatever is easiest. Because you've already eliminated like, 90% of the choices, why not the last one as well? They're not getting what they really want, anyway.

You see what I'm saying? I'm not saying there's no choice. I'm saying, it's not the choice that is relevant to the child's desire to control the situation.

I mean, imagine if you put in for a three-bedroom bungalow and someone came up to you and asked whether you'd like to live on the third floor in a one-bedroom apartment, or on the tenth floor in a two-bedroom apartment (no elevators). You'd be like, WTH? And they said, "Look, it's a great choice, you can choose EITHER the one or two bedroom! Which do you prefer?"

You're going to say, "Well, you may have missed it, but I ordered a three-bedroom."

"One bedroom or two bedroom. Your choice."
"I don't know what's wrong with you, but I ordered--"
"I said one bedroom or two bedroom."
"Are you kidding me?"
"If you don't want an apartment, you don't have to have one. This is your last chance. If you don't choose, I'll choose for you."
"I choose the bungalow!!!"
"Okay, I'll choose for you. The one-bedroom."

Would you not be driven to distraction?

Now, suppose a kid asks for a sandwich but that's not an option. Offering an apple OR an orange, in my opinion, is going to fool a small child but not an older one because it's going to be that same ridiculous "false choice". Oh, sure, there's not a choice because you're in control.

But in that case just set out the apples and be done with it. None of this passive-aggressive apples-or-oranges-aren't-you-lucky-you-get-to-choose nonsense. That's not fooling anybody past the age of three.

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You do have a dance. She talks. You respond. Repeat.

I believe she knows that if she talks, you feel obligated to say something in return. So it's pretty easy for her to keep you going.
Actually, this was not going on until I found out that I can't put her in her room, and I decided this was the time to really, really try gentle discipline. I am not sure if you've read the whole thread but my problem is that I have decided to give up on two or three things that I decided were not gentle:

Time-outs
Ignoring
Bribes / punishments (removal of bribes / privileges)

So in fact, I was able to get away from the arguing before because I didn't reply. However, I did not think this was very gentle. So I was asking for ALTERNATIVES.

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Also. Is she very bright? Is she an extrovert? Does she have a very long attention span, perhaps? (We have often joked that we wish DD had a shorter attention span.) Perhaps she needs more stimulation and more time with others.
She is of average intelligence, I suppose, certainly within the realm of normal, with her own talents and weaknesses. I don't know if she has a long attention span. Not freakishly so. She is an extrovert which is why we spend a minimum of two hours with other kids each day for her, in addition to three hours at pre-school.

I wish I could provide more stimulation at home, of course. I should try to work in more thoughtful, challenging critical thinking games and learning events into our day. It is hard, though, especially as I have the baby who is also learning now. I can't set up science experiments or anything.

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And if it isn't a life or death thing, stick her in her room. I know how harda$$ this sounds, but if you have to lock her in there, lock her in.
Haha, you missed where I said this is what I'm trying to avoid.

You see, I know I can walk away from her. I know I can stick her in her room and lock the door. I know I can bribe and threaten. That's easy.

I guess I figured, when the poop hit the fan so to speak, GD advocates would have something really novel to deal with this. Some way to placate these kids that don't stop talking, pushing.

OF COURSE I don't have to answer. I don't want to answer. I'm tired of answering. I'm tired of arguing.

But I don't want her to feel like I don't care, either.

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Perhaps it's how you define "work". At our house the point is not that he wants to. We don't need him to want to. Yes, we have walked a kid back to bed over and over again for over two hours, night after night. After a while (yes, perhaps a year) it stuck. And he never needed to want to.
I can make her do stuff she doesn't want to do, though two hours of bedtime is beyond my capacity, physically--I'm the only one who bathes them, makes all the meals, does all the shopping, and this is even when my husband is home because he works on the side as well. But yeah, I guess I AM looking for a way to make her want to.

I *am* looking for the root of the problem, why my kid isn't working like every kid does, in every book, on every website, when they say, just do x, y, and z.

And it works, your child WILL COMPLY with what you SAY.

NOWHERE do they say, "Now, if your kid doesn't do this, stick them in their room and lock the door."

Or to ignore them.

Or to walk away and (presumably) kick them off / pry them off your leg and run away. (Did I mention that she gloms onto my leg when I do that? And the baby has to do it too... LOL...).

Or lock yourself in the kitchen.

So... that is where my frustration is coming from.

None of this is mentioned in the gazillions of parenting books, ESPECIALLY not gentle parenting books. It's like I did something wrong at age two and I'm paying for it now and I want to know what it was, and how to fix it before it gets worse. They don't mention that you have to get down to their level, and on the contrary, you are supposed to take the high road.

I just don't see how putting someone in the bedroom or ignoring is the high road. I can see why it's done, naturally, but I don't see it as the adult thing to do.

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side note- with your example of too small shoes- I would never had indulged her... I would have picked her up and forced her in the car
Yeah. It was totally hypothetical, but I do that (force her). I was thinking two things about this. First, that with two kids, I can't do that for much longer and second, that there are mamas who don't have to do that with their kids.

They don't have that because they know the words to use, the way to be, to avoid this conflict. But I don't because I never stayed around anyone like my DD long enough to hone those skills! I don't because somewhere along the line I messed up and now I have to get her back in line so that I can say in a calm, gentle, loving voice, "Honey, you look tired. How about a nice warm bath with sissy and then a bedtime story? You can get some rest." And then we do the bedtime routine and it's done.

Or "Please leave the room if you're going to speak to me that way." And she LEAVES.

Or whatever. YK? I just don't believe that my kid can be the one child with whom gentle discipline doesn't work. I just can't believe it. It really hurts me to think that. She was so sweet at two and yes we've had a tough time in the past year but we've also worked really hard to make her life consistent as possible given the circumstances.

Laundry, we get FREE classes in 1-2-3 Magic here and it's the laughingstock of the entire post. Nobody attends them. So sad that the only gentle discipline they offer is something that teaches kids not to listen...

Sorry, yes I am venting to a large extent but I really, really want to set something up that I can follow. I'm looking at the Setting Limits book but it does have punishment and that's something I'm familiar with already. My problems start when we remove consequences and just try to somehow get through to her as a human being.

So I don't think I'll get that book at the moment, but I'll keep it in mind, thank you.

Everyone here says GD works even with strong-willed children. My child is far within the realm of normal, so why isn't it working? I can't punish for hitting, I can't accept it, I can't ignore her, so what can I do?

Does anyone else see what I am talking about?

Does it EVER talk about ignoring in GD books?

Ever? Anywhere? Time-outs without the parent?

Because what I'm hearing are two answers:

Accept the hitting, this too shall pass. Oh, you can talk about it, but don't expect it to change.

and

Go ahead and do what you were doing, give her a time-out even if you have to physically restrain her by locking the door (now of course in case someone only reads just this post, I will repeat that this is three minutes and that I'm in earshot).

But not much else you can do.
post #160 of 285
If you have a toddler you're trying to get dressed quickly and you want to make him feel like he's choosing his own clothes but you don't want to take that long, and you say "do you want to wear the red shirt or the blue shirt", then yes that is a false choice.

But if there are truly two choices you find acceptable and you tell her what they are, that is not a false choice. You as the parent get to decide what is acceptable, simply because you are the adult and in the position of authority. If you're making up something to try to distract her, sure it's a false choice, but if there are only two options you're willing to accept and you tell her what they are, then it isn't a false choice, it's you laying your cards on the table. Unless you're making up reasons that don't really matter. But I'm thinking of circumstances where there simply are limited options available.

If the only options to move into at that moment were the one-bedroom apartment or the two-bedroom apartment, and there truly weren't any bungalos available, it wouldn't be a false choice. Or even if there were a bungalo but you didn't meet some requirement for getting it, like if it were military housing and a bungalo was there but the military had requirements for who can get a bungalo and you didn't meet those requirements. In that case, you would truly get a one-bedroom apt or a two-bedroom apt, no matter how you felt about it, and no matter what you wanted. You could fuss and have a tantrum, but it wouldn't do any good. I think that's what your dd needs to learn. If the options are the only options available to her, and she doesn't like them, that's on her. She will get angry and have tantrums, but that's OK. The fact that we don't always get what we want is a very difficult lesson, but all children have to face that reality at some point, and no it isn't easy to be the parent as they learn that.
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