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post #81 of 285
Sorry! I wasn't trying to be rude or make you feel bad. I guess I just don't understand...if the kid isn't going to do x, and the parent stops making it a requirement or even asking, how is there still "a fight?"

I think the example of your son not dressing himself until age 7 is the perfect example. It's just not something he was going to do before he was ready--I think that's how most kids are. I think we can beat our heads against that wall over and over again--coercing, controlling, threatening, forcing, whatever it takes to make the kid comply b/c the alternative is worse. Or we can let it go, accept that the kid isn't ready/willing/etc. and take all the adversarial stuff out of the equation.

I mean, really, you can't "make" anyone do anything. Either the kid wants to do it or she doesn't.

We can often make them get to the point where doing the thing is easier than how sorry we make them for not doing it, but with persistent, tenacious personalities I think it gets that much harder.

So, yeah, I think if the kid isn't ready to do x, damaging the attachment with fighting and resentment and the outcome is gonna be same, letting go of the fighting seems like a good place to start.
post #82 of 285
I haven't read the whole thread so I apologize if this doesn't help but I'll throw it out just in case. I have a spirited kid who fights stuff . . . unless I let her do it her way. Which might not be relevant in your case. Do you give her the toothbrush and toothpaste and let her do it without overseeing it or telling her how? At first I'd try to teach dd to brush her teeth and then try to get her to do it my way, and there were lots of fights. But when I backed off and said, "Here's the toothbrush, here's the toothpaste, go for it." And she seemed young to do it herself her own way, and I have no idea how specifically she does it except that the dentist gave her a little timer to show her how long to do it, but I backed off and she hasn't had any cavities or anything. I don't know if it would help for any specific issue, but I find giving my dd autonomy helps a lot in these situations, because this kind of power struggle is often a cry for autonomy.

The second thing is that my dd argues and negotiates about every single thing too. We have changed the way we look at this from "arguing" to "problem solving." My dh said to her one time, "My but you're the problem solver" and she changed from trying to get her way to trying to solve the problem, ie find a solution we were all happy with. So that is how we approach it now. Instead of saying "No you can't do that" we say, "What we need is for X to happen and for Y to happen. I don't know how those things will happen if you do that. Do you have any ideas?" And then she tries to find a way to do what she wants and accomplish X and Y. If she finds a way to get her needs met and ours, then great. It's not a huge shift if you can get your dd to do it.

Finally, as for begging for stuff at the store, we handled that by giving dd an allowance. A small allowance, but then she could bring her money to the store and buy something if she had money for it. If she asked for something, I'd ask her how much money she had, and if she had enough she'd buy it, and if not I'd say, "Well maybe you can get that after you get your allowance." Also, suggesting she keep a list of things she wants, so instead of continually telling her she can't have things, I can say, "We'll have to put that on the list of things you want." And then if she had allowance money, she could look at that list, and we'd look at it before her birthday as well and passed info off if relatives asked what she wanted for Christmas.

There are specific things for just part of your problem, but my older dd is spirited and a real handful and we had a lot of these exact problems when she was your dd's age. I'm hoping that maybe at least a couple of things that worked for her might work for your dd. She's 8 now and, while still a handful, much easier to work with. She just understands things better. My younger one is really easy going comparatively.
post #83 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
...

I think the example of your son not dressing himself until age 7 is the perfect example. It's just not something he was going to do before he was ready--I think that's how most kids are. I think we can beat our heads against that wall over and over again--coercing, controlling, threatening, forcing, whatever it takes to make the kid comply b/c the alternative is worse. Or we can let it go, accept that the kid isn't ready/willing/etc. and take all the adversarial stuff out of the equation.

I mean, really, you can't "make" anyone do anything. Either the kid wants to do it or she doesn't.

...
Not to take the thread off-course, but I think this is a very important point to remember as our kids get older. I was raised in a "do-it-or-else" type of environment. Not abusive, but very strict. As a result, I have very high and sometimes unreasonable expectations of my toddler and if not for reading this forum would not really have had this concept in my head as we went through eating issues with solid foods, potty training, bathing, toothbrushing, sleep issues, etc. I would have been INSANE when he didn't eat solids at 15 months. When he still wasn't walking at his first birthday. When he wasn't holding his own bottle/using a sippy cup at 12 months. When he couldn't identify colors or count or sing the alphabet.... Whatever.

So what if a 7-year-old wants help getting dressed? Yeah, it's not particularly common, as it would be for a 2-year-old to want/need help, but as we all read here daily, every kid develops at a different pace and hits different milestones in their own time. As long as it's not unhealthy or dangerous, and there aren't SO many out of the ordinary that they become red flags to a potential developmental issue, a few little quirks shouldn't be huge problems.

Thank you for the reminder that there will always be something like that, b/c the kids will always be developing, til they end up adults.
post #84 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
Sorry! I wasn't trying to be rude or make you feel bad. I guess I just don't understand...if the kid isn't going to do x, and the parent stops making it a requirement or even asking, how is there still "a fight?"
Because, in the OP's case, at least, she said everything HAS to be a fight. If she stops requiring it, her daughter will tell her to make her do it anyway!

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
...letting go of the fighting seems like a good place to start.
Again, for whatever reasons, the OP's daughter thrives on arguments. So she can't really let "go of the fighting", because it won't work. She's just said she'll find something else to argue about.
post #85 of 285
I can't imagine this child relishes the physical force the OP posted about and the locking in her bedroom for time-outs. I just can't believe that's what this kid wants.

Perhaps her adversarial nature is a result of her biology and/or environment. How much nicer, though, would it be for this mama and child to debate the merits of paper v. plastic at the grocery store or wind v. solar than to debate how, when, and where the child is going to eat, sleep, etc?

There's a great article on Natural Child about how children really react to control: http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/thomas_gordon.html. The strong-willed child seems to have a very different reaction to control. Believe me, I know I tried the "just walk away, they will eventually follow," method w/ my first and it reached the most frenzied, lengthy, nightmarish proportions imaginable. "Sticking with" controlling, coercive, punitive methods with strong-willed people does not usually go well. Partnering with these kids is going to have a much better long term result. And if the parent can't partner with the kid, how does the kid know how to be a partner to the parent?
post #86 of 285
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
I can't imagine this child relishes the physical force the OP posted about and the locking in her bedroom for time-outs. I just can't believe that's what this kid wants.

Perhaps her adversarial nature is a result of her biology and/or environment. How much nicer, though, would it be for this mama and child to debate the merits of paper v. plastic at the grocery store or wind v. solar than to debate how, when, and where the child is going to eat, sleep, etc?

There's a great article on Natural Child about how children really react to control: http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/thomas_gordon.html. The strong-willed child seems to have a very different reaction to control. Believe me, I know I tried the "just walk away, they will eventually follow," method w/ my first and it reached the most frenzied, lengthy, nightmarish proportions imaginable. "Sticking with" controlling, coercive, punitive methods with strong-willed people does not usually go well. Partnering with these kids is going to have a much better long term result. And if the parent can't partner with the kid, how does the kid know how to be a partner to the parent?
She obviously doesn't want to be in time-out! She does, however, enjoy playing time-out-not-in-time-out-time-out-not-in-time-out game if I ask her to stay somewhere but do not somehow physically hold her there or lock the door.

She does not stay in time out unless restrained. Every couple weeks I think I must not lock her in time out ever, and ask her to sit alone and she will because everyone else's child does it. Everyone. There is no other child on the planet that does not respond to time-ins, time-outs, compromise, or anything, so she cannot be that special.

Right? RIGHT? RIGHT? It has to work, right?

But then it doesn't. And again, I'm broken-hearted.

"unless I let her do it her way"

No, because she doesn't want to do it her way. She wants to argue with me. I can't emphasize this enough... it's the argument. I know you all think, "Well, your family must be seriously screwed up because there aren't people on this earth who like to pick fights."

Just makes me think this forum isn't for me. Because ever since she could talk, she showed signs of wanting me to refuse. "Say no!" It isn't just "no" though. Like, if I leave her alone, she will follow me, "Say you're gonna do it the hard way! Do it the silly way! Say you'll make me! Say this, say that, fight with me, fight, fight!"

I have tried to do pretend games ("Let's be mommy kitty and baby kitty and mommy kitty will...") thinking she just wanted creative engagement.

FAIL. ("Mommy kitty, tell me I'm doing it wrong." "But you're doing it right... just keep--" "NO! Tell me I'm wrong!" "Well do it wrong, then." "I *am* doing it wrong." "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Stay here, baby kitty, mommy kitty is getting her special grape juice.")

Nope. Really, the challenging is what she wants. She loves banging her head against the wall.

I'm the wall.

Quote:
I mean, seriously, my kid did not wash his hair but a couple of times over the course of a year. We didn't just say "yes" a day/week/month or two....we've done it for years--with both kids. And with stuff like the hair washing we totally stopped asking and making ANY kind of issue about it. (And, believe me, internally I was really trying to keep my "mama-ego" in check! )
Wow. I think that's kind of gross (or perhaps he never smeared grease from his evening meal in it?), and I'm really concerned about the teeth in that situation. Losing rotting baby teeth is not a small issue.
post #87 of 285
Thread Starter 
Oh, and compromise... only if it's an argument.

I really think some of you are underestimating some people's need to argue for the sake of argument. LOL. It's not about the thing itself. She would argue about cake if she could. "Not THAT strawberry cake. Make the strawberries go the other way." Even if it's the first sweet in a month.

Yes. Yes she will.

DH does it too. And if I let it go, they keep going. On and on and on and on and on and on, desperately seeking the argument.
post #88 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
Wow. I think that's kind of gross (or perhaps he never smeared grease from his evening meal in it?), and I'm really concerned about the teeth in that situation. Losing rotting baby teeth is not a small issue.
Ouch.

No. He never smeared grease in his air.

Believe me, it wasn't my choice. But he didn't have to have someone overpower his body and his wishes, so that was far better than the "gross" for me.

He never had rotting baby teeth. He loves to go to the dentist where they oooh and ahhh over his cavity free baby and adult teeth.

Allowing kids to make their own choices does not necessarily result in a direct path to catastrophe.

Good luck with your situation.
post #89 of 285
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
Ouch.

No. He never smeared grease in his air.

Believe me, it wasn't my choice. But he didn't have to have someone overpower his body and his wishes, so that was far better than the "gross" for me.

He never had rotting baby teeth. He loves to go to the dentist where they oooh and ahhh over his cavity free baby and adult teeth.

Allowing kids to make their own choices does not necessarily result in a direct path to catastrophe.

Good luck with your situation.
I am really glad your child has good teeth. I had great teeth as a child, too. My children both, from an early age, enjoyed the whole "lets put dinner on my head" thing, and even at three, my daughter will all too often put her hand in her hair after eating something with meat. And it does go rancid if I leave it.

I don't believe in the individual's sacrosanct right over his or her body, not for adults or children (and I think it ends in philosophical dead ends too often), so I think we have fundamental differences of philosophy that would not really allow us to come to an agreement. I think individuals have to sometimes compromise for the group. That means me for my kids, and at times, my kids for me, and at times, all of us for everyone else (viz. eating bread for dinner because we just could not shop without ruining the experience for the rest of the shoppers... sucks, but that's life.)
post #90 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
Oh, and compromise... only if it's an argument.

I really think some of you are underestimating some people's need to argue for the sake of argument. LOL. It's not about the thing itself. She would argue about cake if she could. "Not THAT strawberry cake. Make the strawberries go the other way." Even if it's the first sweet in a month.

Yes. Yes she will.

DH does it too. And if I let it go, they keep going. On and on and on and on and on and on, desperately seeking the argument.
so then is your daughter simply modeling/ following/ copying/ trying to be like her dad? Is her dad exactly like this, does he engage with you in the same exact way- and this is how she thinks one should act?
post #91 of 285
I have a very argumentative kid, and the things that work are, as I said, to set her up to use her negotiation powers to solve problems, to give her autonomy wherever possible, and to DISENGAGE. She doesn't like the way the strawberries are on the pie? "This is what we have. Eat it or don't eat it, it's up to you." End of discussion. If she has a tantrum, that's fine, kids sometimes do. They learn this concept of "there are things I can't change in the world no matter how angry I get about it" through tantrums. No matter how much she goes on, don't engage her in her argument. I've said very specifically to my dd, "I am not going to argue with you." Then she tries to argue about whether I'll argue. And I don't get into it. I have said "I am not going to argue" 50 times in a row without changing the words I use. She will eventually give up if you consistently don't engage. But it takes a while.

The biggest problem you have is that it sounds like your dh is probably continually engaging her since he's the same way. It's hard to get past if it's always being fed.
post #92 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
(viz. eating bread for dinner because we just could not shop without ruining the experience for the rest of the shoppers... sucks, but that's life.)


Seriously? You would seriously do that? Please tell me you are being hyperbolic for the sake of good drama.

Do you think people care that much about a screaming kid that it ruins their experience at the supermarket? Grocery shopping just ain't that sacrosanct. A movie? Yes. A play? Yes. A day at the spa? Definitely. A gym workout? Maybe (for me absolutely, but that's MY hang up!). Grocery shopping? not so much.

I definitely think you are right. I think many of us have NO clue what it must be like to be in the military circle, because I have no concept of how it makes life more difficult for a child to just be a child or for a mom to let her kids be kids. I really do want to understand though. Really really. That's why I keep asking clarifying questions and I can't stop thinking of you, like where are you? Maybe I have friends there who would reach out and help you? Maybe I could hook you up with a moms group there? I'm trying to wrap my head around it because your words are so powerful.

It must be so frustrating, but I really can't understand why you feel so worried about upsetting other people with the tantrums. It's not your fault she's three and half and if you try to control the tantrums and arguments rather than allow them to happen and face them with empathy and hugs but remain firm in your principles, I am sure they will fade by the time she's 5. If you face them with resistance and avoidance at all costs (even to the extent of eating bread for dinner) they will never have a chance to run their course and you may wind up with a very combative child and teen. Is there some sanction you and/or your husband will be given for bringing your imperfectly (yet age appropriate) behaved toddler out in public? Is there a set of behavioral codes for adults that even the under fives must adhere to that if you can't MAKE your kids follow your husband will be penalized?

Because if that is the case I think it's time for me to start a letter writing campaign to have that changed. No mother should have to live with the pressure of feeling that the safety and well being of her family is in danger due to the normal antics of a toddler. That is unfair on both mother and child. Is that what you are saying? Or am I not reading it right? I mean you military families have enough stress to deal with what with the thought of your sole source of income going off to dangerous places and having to live apart for months and years at a time. You should at the very least be entitled to raise your children in a way that allows them to be children. If I understand you correctly (and my track record has not been very good so far ) I seethe on your behalf and will begin to immediately ask for change, and get people writing and talking.

As for the "tell me I'm doing it wrong." I am stumped. I have to admit that's unusual. I hope that as she grows older and more cognizant she will out grow that. I think if my kid were doing that I would meet every request for being told he was doing it wrong with a big hug and reaffirming statement. "I can't do that for you, because you are doing it right and even if you weren't I love you too much to not let you try to do it your way." and as he continued just keep hugging and saying "I love you too much for that." And if it went into meltdown maybe try reflecting "Benjamin mad mad mad, Benjamin really mad, Benjamin really want mommy to tell him wrong/bad. Benjamin want be wrong, Benjamin want fight. Mommy no want fight. Mommy love Benjamin. Mommy no think Benjamin wrong. Mommy think Benjamin wonderful. Mommy think Benjamin smart." And keep hugging.

And then just hope he out grew it? That's just my totally shot in the dark Hail Mary suggestion for you.

(ETA: have you tried toddlerese with her?)

I hope she does soon. FWIW, from Four to Five they really become so much more human. They still have meltdowns but they can tell you so much more about what drives them that it becomes easier and easier to manage the meltdowns.

Last night for the second night in a month DS went to bed (not just crashed from exhaustion), without any cries for more stories and more silliness. Just two stories and a big kiss and and an I love you...and that was it. It's starting to get better.
post #93 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
I have a very argumentative kid, and the things that work are, as I said, to set her up to use her negotiation powers to solve problems, to give her autonomy wherever possible, and to DISENGAGE. She doesn't like the way the strawberries are on the pie? "This is what we have. Eat it or don't eat it, it's up to you." End of discussion. If she has a tantrum, that's fine, kids sometimes do. They learn this concept of "there are things I can't change in the world no matter how angry I get about it" through tantrums. No matter how much she goes on, don't engage her in her argument. I've said very specifically to my dd, "I am not going to argue with you." Then she tries to argue about whether I'll argue. And I don't get into it. I have said "I am not going to argue" 50 times in a row without changing the words I use. She will eventually give up if you consistently don't engage. But it takes a while.

The biggest problem you have is that it sounds like your dh is probably continually engaging her since he's the same way. It's hard to get past if it's always being fed.
Especially the bolded parts.
post #94 of 285
Thread Starter 
Okay, mystery solved.

I may be pregnant. Last time I was pregnant I got separated from my husband.

Quote:
She doesn't like the way the strawberries are on the pie? "This is what we have. Eat it or don't eat it, it's up to you." End of discussion.
We do that. My issue is that some things cannot be "disengaged". As in:

"You don't like being relatively quiet while your sister is napping? Um... um... okay. Uh..."

"You don't want to put on your harness while we drive to pick up your dad from a month at training at a minute's notice? Uh. You can stay, well, no you can't, uh, you can, uh..."

"You don't want to brush your teeth even though your dad's family has bad teeth and that lady gave you a lollypop at the park? Um. Okay. Your teeth will rot in your head, but whatever."

"You don't want to put the glass jar that you swiped from the shelf that we passed too close to down? Fine, you can pay for... er, I guess that would be me."

You know?

As you can see I also like to argue but my point is, I'm talking non-negotiables here.

Not about the dress she wears.

And as for the cake, yes, I can disengage but she will follow me with it: "No, I do want cake." "Fine, eat this one." "Not this one." "We don't have another one." "Get another one." "No." "Why?" "This is not up for discussion." "Why?" "I'm tired." "Why?" "I don't want to answer that question." "ANSWER IT! Please! I said please!" "I'm sorry, I said I wasn't discussing it, and you didn't respect that. If you can't respect that, you need to leave."

"No! Why? Where? In time out?"

"Just... please stop."

"Stop what."

"Please stop talking."

"Talking about what?"

Oh my God. Tell me your kids do this every other day. Tell me. She is just inexhaustible!

See... I don't know how to explain because she's just three and like that. Really. I try to avoid the argument but she follows me with it!

It seems SOOOO simple to say, tell her the answer, if she doesn't agree, make her do it, and if she hurts someone, ask her to sit alone or stay with me (but use no physical force).

In reality, those are not options for us.

She doesn't want an answer and she won't stay without physical restraint.

Quote:
so then is your daughter simply modeling/ following/ copying/ trying to be like her dad? Is her dad exactly like this, does he engage with you in the same exact way- and this is how she thinks one should act?
She imitates both of us but this started when he'd been away for a year. I think part of it is modeling but a large degree is inborn. They just get a high from it. Half his brothers and sisters are like that, half are not.

Quote:
Seriously? You would seriously do that? Please tell me you are being hyperbolic for the sake of good drama.
Not only that, but a lot of people on MDC recommend leaving the supermarket due to tantrums.

Of course, they also recommend going back in. But that's not always an option, is it?

Everyone I know says you leave the supermarket during a tantrum like that. I don't know a single person IRL who thinks it's acceptable to shop with a toddler screaming at the top of her lungs. Oh, it happens, but if it doesn't end? Yeah, you leave.

(Oh, and we're trying time-outs in a chair that is not isolated and that she stays on herself. It's been five returns to the chair and since it's bedtime, now she says she doesn't want to leave the chair since she doesn't want to go to bed. She's in time-out because she didn't stop singing to let her sister at least fall asleep, even though I tried to do it the gentle way. I met a woman today whose child just stays in the chair. "She likes time out," she said. "It helps her calm down.")

Quote:
The biggest problem you have is that it sounds like your dh is probably continually engaging her since he's the same way. It's hard to get past if it's always being fed.
Well, no, with him and me, I tell him to stop or I'm leaving. With him and her, he's not around that much, but when he is, he is a taskmaster and very good at involving her in his tasks, distracting her. For some reason she doesn't like to do that with me, probably because it's not as novel. In terms of arguments, I don't let them get into escalating arguments (they both go into time-out! LOL!) and I take care of it often before it gets to that because he does feed it and I don't want that.
Quote:
Is there a set of behavioral codes for adults that even the under fives must adhere to that if you can't MAKE your kids follow your husband will be penalized?
The problem is this. Most families share a car. That is the beginning of many, many issues with kids. You see, the husband cannot take the car unless his wife doesn't need it until he comes back (it can be one or two or more miles away--walkable in the summer, but tough). So, in reality, the wife needs to drive him. She can't leave the kids, and then when he needs to come home to get something, he has no car.

Can he take a taxi? Yes, but these are military salaries and if he'd taken taxis last month, it would have eaten up about half our food budget.

So I drive him.

Luckily we just got our second car which he fixed up himself. I'm so proud of him. We have high, high hopes for that car, LOL! He will be MUCH more independent.

Even so, if for any reason he can't leave and he needs something (which happens after they get their weapons), I need to get it for him. Single soldiers live right next to their work so they can go home to get stuff with their weapons. Not married ones.

There is really not a lot that can be done. When he signed up we signed a form saying we as the family accepted the hardship. It's not legal so much as informational. And we knew it. In this economy, for us non-profit social workers to be living in a three-bedroom apartment overseas with health and life insurance, enough to live on, two weeks of vacation a year, plus education benefits that extend to our kids, frankly, we aren't complaining, not one bit.

I think that I have presented an overly negative picture thanks to undetected pregnancy hormones... she really does argue like that but it is in a genuinely playful way. And it's not all day. That WAS an exaggeration. Sorry. It's more like... two or three key times.

But as I said the games and 1, 2, 3 that I'd moved to use with her sissy and have now re-employed with her are definitely helping.

If we can get the time-outs on, we will be really there.

Thanks again.
post #95 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
Okay, mystery solved.

I may be pregnant.
When I am pregnant, like now, my kids always overwhelm me. I just told my husband last night that I no longer enjoy being around them, they tire me, they bore me, they depress me and they can even sometimes make me feel selfish and resentful. His response was that "I'll pass; it always does."

It's the hormones, I guess. Mingled with complete exhaustion and a feeling of sickness all day long.

Many hugs to you, EM.
post #96 of 285
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anastasiya View Post
When I am pregnant, like now, my kids always overwhelm me. I just told my husband last night that I no longer enjoy being around them, they tire me, they bore me, they depress me and they can even sometimes make me feel selfish and resentful. His response was that "I'll pass; it always does."

It's the hormones, I guess. Mingled with complete exhaustion and a feeling of sickness all day long.

Many hugs to you, EM.
I also posted about divorcing my husband on another thread.

Only to realize three weeks later that actually... he didn't say divorce... I read it into his mail...



Even if baby is not sticky, at least I know where this is all coming from.
post #97 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
My issue is that some things cannot be "disengaged". As in:

"You don't want to put on your harness while we drive to pick up your dad from a month at training at a minute's notice? Uh. You can stay, well, no you can't, uh, you can, uh..."
This type of verbal back and forth can be disengaged. I just announce that I am done, put on the stone face and stop responding. If it's non-negotiable, then I don't negotiate it. And I don't get drawn into an argument about not negotiating it. I just do it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
I have a very argumentative kid, and the things that work are, as I said, to set her up to use her negotiation powers to solve problems, to give her autonomy wherever possible, and to DISENGAGE.
ITA the disengaging is absolutely the most important part.

I find that humor helps too...and also really having made up your mind down to your core that you will not take the arguing/remarks personally so they really can just bounce off you.

Our DS2 is 4.5. He is very argumentative and stubborn. So was DS1. I learned how not to get mentally sucked into it by my experiences with DS1. I remember when DS1 was three, he seemed like this huge overwhelming person, because we were head to head all day long, ever day and it wore me out. After I changed my approach (thanks to that book ) it didn't get to me anymore and it stopped working for him...so with DS2, I have never been sucked into it. But it is in his nature to want a combative argument over almost anything he can find to argue about. On a regular basis this child gets mad at me and tries to argue over the weather. Seriously ! I chuckle and say that I'm still waiting, but nobody has put me in charge of the weather yet.

BTW he also tells me when he's mad that he wants to put me in the garbage and throw me away. But hey, he also calls his brother a poop head. How seriously can I really take it ? He is four. He will grow out of it. He will give it up sooner if he can't get a response from me over it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
Not only that, but a lot of people on MDC recommend leaving the supermarket due to tantrums.

Of course, they also recommend going back in. But that's not always an option, is it?

Everyone I know says you leave the supermarket during a tantrum like that. I don't know a single person IRL who thinks it's acceptable to shop with a toddler screaming at the top of her lungs. Oh, it happens, but if it doesn't end? Yeah, you leave.
Well, I am one person who does not leave. I have never left a store with my shopping unfinished due to a tantrum. (please be aware I am not talking about an unhappy infant, but an older child.) When I know it is just a tantrum (not something actually wrong, and yes, I can tell) I will finish my shopping if both kids scream until they pass out and everyone's ears are bleeding. Why ? Because I made up my mind I would never, never allow a child to be successful in getting me off course in getting groceries with a tantrum. A restaurant, a movie, a party, yes, I would be out of there. But not groceries ... ever. I do take steps to minimize the chance of a big tantrum - try to keep the list short by going more frequently, not go for groceries after a long day or three other errands or during his afternoon grumpy time - but there is only so much I can do to prevent them, and if they happen anyway, it's very important to me that a tantrum is not a method that works for him to get us out of the store.

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
We stopped making him brush his teeth...and he stopped for a long time when he was 3 or 4. Now he brushes and flosses on his own, his teeth have never had a cavity, he ADORES the dentist and she raves about how lovely his teeth are.
I personally could not and would not make this choice. If it works for someone else, great but IMO there is nothing wrong with deciding that toothbrushing is non-negotiable. Our DS1 needed three fillings and a crown at age 2, and by age 6 had four more fillings in spite of 3x daily brushing, xylitol, drinking only water between meals and no candy or starchy/sticky foods between meals. Our DS2 has had his teeth brushed at least 2x daily since the emergence of his first tooth, and still has had four fillings by age four. I am not willing to say "they are his teeth" and leave their care up to a child. They both had their teeth brushed by whatever method necessary until they quit fighting it. Their really are very few things I take this firm of a stance on but IMO it's not unreasonable. I also have spirited, headstrong kids. Our attachment is well enough established that it's not going to fall apart over me enforcing a small number of things that I decide are too important to let go.
post #98 of 285
huh. I may have a high tolerance for tantrums, but I do not leave. I find I get much better service and that people let me jump long lines when I have a screaming toddler in a store or a family-friendly restaurant. Let them screm, let the other adults roll their eyes. No way am I going to let my child's tantrums stop me from getting food for the family. I have no qualms with that.

Quote:
"You don't like being relatively quiet while your sister is napping? Um... um... okay. Uh..."

"You don't want to put on your harness while we drive to pick up your dad from a month at training at a minute's notice? Uh. You can stay, well, no you can't, uh, you can, uh..."

"You don't want to brush your teeth even though your dad's family has bad teeth and that lady gave you a lollypop at the park? Um. Okay. Your teeth will rot in your head, but whatever."

"You don't want to put the glass jar that you swiped from the shelf that we passed too close to down? Fine, you can pay for... er, I guess that would be me."

You know?

As you can see I also like to argue but my point is, I'm talking non-negotiables here.
Yeah 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?

Quote:
And as for the cake, yes, I can disengage but she will follow me with it: "No, I do want cake." "Fine, eat this one." "Not this one." "We don't have another one." "Get another one." "No." "Why?" "This is not up for discussion." "Why?" "I'm tired." "Why?" "I don't want to answer that question." "ANSWER IT! Please! I said please!" "I'm sorry, I said I wasn't discussing it, and you didn't respect that. If you can't respect that, you need to leave."

"No! Why? Where? In time out?"

"Just... please stop."

"Stop what."

"Please stop talking."

"Talking about what?"

Oh my God. Tell me your kids do this every other day. Tell me. She is just inexhaustible!
That's a perfect example of what I mean by engaging her. Where you said "no" you changed everything. You started answering why and opening the road to negotiation. So next time instead of changing the answer for each of her new tactics just repeat "I am sorry you feel that way, this is the cake we have, if you don't like it don't have any"



"No, I do want cake."

"I am sorry you feel that way, this is the cake we have, if you don't like it don't have any"

"Not this one."

"I am sorry you feel that way, this is the cake we have, if you don't like it don't have any"

"Get another one."

"This is the cake we have, if you don't like it don't have any"

Why?

"this is the cake we have, if you don't like it don't have any"

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.

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

"This is the cake we have, if you don't like it don't have any"

Try just repeating the same phrase and be even more stubborn than she is. Wear her down.

I do this with out of control teens and adults as well, and there is nothing like it to shut down a combative personality. They have nowhere to go. You cannot get anywhere with someone who refuses to hear you and refuses to engage.

This is the cake we have, if you don't like it don't have any.

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.

Matter of fact, never waivering never engaging never responding. Try it. What's the worst that could happen?

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.

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!
post #99 of 285
Oh and congrats on the pregnancy. Hopefully you will feel better in the next trimester? and I hope you don't feel too sick this time!
post #100 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by hakeber View Post
I do this with out of control teens and adults as well, and there is nothing like it to shut down a combative personality. They have nowhere to go. You cannot get anywhere with someone who refuses to hear you and refuses to engage.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hakeber View Post
Matter of fact, never waivering never engaging never responding. Try it. What's the worst that could happen?
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