|Going about our business (rather than just no speaking to her) would upset her just as much, I am certain.
I agree. Mine is the same way. I am just saying, I don't think that "talking at" is any less cruel than not responding, unless of course the child is worried that her parents are not there at all. But it doesn't sound like that would be the case.
|I work on this a lot. When I find myself yelling, "SETTLE down and stop freaking out", it really sinks home that I'm being completely ridiculous, yk?
Haha, when I get into a yelling rut of a few days it always ends with words like that. Duh, mom. (<-- That is to me, not to you!)
|Originally Posted by treeoflife3 View Post
Enough is definitely enough, but sometimes kids need help getting away from what can't and won't be changed. It can be hard to shift gears when the emotions are big.
|I am/was a very senitive person/child (and honestly I think high needs) and my mom gave me the silent treatment sometimes. I was a big talker and EVERYTHING was always exciting or horrible to me and I loved sharing everything I knew. She would just stop listening because she was too tired to listen anymore. It really hurt my feelings that she couldn't even conjure up a 'that is very nice sweetie' for me because I never really needed her to be engaged... I just needed to know she was listening (and even if she wasn't REALLY listening, something that makes it seem like it was nice)
I think there is a big difference between letting a child get out what she needs and saying 'honey I love you and I know you are ___ but I've explained why ___ so how about we ___' and giving the child the chance to be done while changing topics/distracting/whatever and just plain down right IGNORING and not having any sort of communication with the child.
I agree that not engaging in something that won't change is good. Children need to know boundries and they can't always have what they want. But I also think it is very important to meet their emotional NEEDS and help them come down from whatever is going on by leading them away from the topic by a gentle means. Asking them about something else that will make them happy or whatever is a much better option than ignoring cries of 'mommy! I'm trying to talk to you!'
I'm still hurt today by my mom ignoring me. Especially because she has actually told me that she definitely did ignore me. It wasn't just a feeling I got, but something she did. I understand I was exhausting, but I still needed something from her. One time won't destroy a child (I definitely don't remember the first time or most of the times!) but if it is your go to way for dealing with situations your child has a hard time with but you simply can't change, eventually I think it might affect her in a negative way.
I have a chatty child. She needs and wants an audience all day long. Before she could talk or when she just kind of jabbered words here and there, people would say things like, "Just wait, you will be wanting quiet soon enough" and I'd think, oh just tune it out, you big wimp. How hard can it be.
Now I have a child who talks endlessly all day long. Everything is dramatic, everything is a story, there are songs and characters and it JUST NEVER ENDS. I'm EXHAUSTED by the middle of the morning just from all the talking at me. I do the best I can and I don't want to hurt her feelings. I love that she has this BIG imagination (and will be SO relieved when she can write some of it down instead of vomiting words at me all day long - can you tell she's been talking since 5.45 am and I am WORN OUT?) but sometimes I have to tune her out or send her on her way or I will just explode. I think endless kid jabber could be a form of torture, I really do. I love her, she is often very funny and always very inventive and creative but the endless talking is needy and it wears on a person.
Sometimes the help they need "getting away" from something they can't change is a firm line in the sand that says I WILL NOT ENGAGE WITH YOU ON THIS ANYMORE. Sometimes that is the only thing that will help them shift gears. When you've given a warning that something is going to happen, it happens, and then you've spent a reasonable amount of time being sympathetic and reflecting their feelings, you can either stay with them and help them be muddled and stuck in that moment or you can refuse to entertain it any longer so they will move on. I am sure if the OP's daughter had decided to talk about anything else at all they would have been more than happy to listen. Sometimes continuing to engage the misery makes things WORSE, not better.
I think this is an interesting interaction.
I am glad to hear from someone who was "that" child.
To treeoflife, have you considered that she might have actually done that and you did not hear her at all because you were talking? I know that there have been times that I've gotten down at my DD's level (not sure if she saw for all the bouncing), explained two or three times that we need to move on, we are going to do a quiet game now because sister has to calm down and go to sleep, and I'm not sure she heard.
At all.I truly believe that she will remember only the moment that I picked up her sister and left the room to put sister down for a nap.
That was the ONLY thing that mattered to her. I didn't want to leave without her! But she didn't hear me asking her to calm down and come for a story.
So consider that you might not have heard the gentle things your mom was saying, really, truly not heard. You might also not have accepted her faux-listening. If I say, "mmmm, really?" to my daughter after I have processed my maximum number of Dora stories for the day, she starts complaining. "You're not really listening! Really listen!"
I mean, sorry. My brain just shorts out at that point. I can't listen any more, any more than I can keep running up stairs all day. I eat a lot of fish and flax and leafy greens and drink coffee but apparently, my gray matter just has room for patience for about six kabillion Dora stories, and that's it.
OTOH, as the mom of a kid like this and at this age, my plan was to start giving myself time-outs. Because if there was ANY word I could use to get through to her, any gentle touch, I would use it. There is not.
What this says to me, though, is that I need to explain to her beforehand (at a time when she can really, really listen) that when she doesn't hear me or listen and does something mean it makes me so angry that I need to leave or I will yell. And that as soon as she's ready to speak like a person (instead of trying to engage me in a directed dialogue), she can tell me it's safe to come out.
She might prefer yelling, but guess what? I'm not here to give her positive feedback for being rude. I'm here to keep it together, and it's darn hard to do.
I do think "silent treatment" needs to be defined, though. Not continuing a conversation is one thing. Asking someone to leave to calm down is one thing. Not listening for 20 minutes so you can concentrate on not messing up the dal is one thing. Telling a child that you won't talk to them for x minutes or hours or whatever because you are angry and then blatantly and demonstratively ignoring them, which is what I consider the silent treatment to be, is immature and if not cruel, at the very least rude.