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why is it my kids never behave but other kids do? - Page 2

post #21 of 146



 

Quote:

I really didn't like the tone of your OP actually, it sounds as though you think children only listen b/c of fear, and b/c parents are "big and mean and scary" - thats just not true.  Yes, some toddlers stick close to their parents b/c they're not very social, or for whatever reason, but thats not necessarily b/c they're scared of what mom and dad will do to them if they don't stick close by.  FWIW, my ex DOES believe in GD, and doesn't spank or use corporal punishment (he's much better at playful parenting than I am - its incredible actually).  I've NEVER seen my ex use the "testosterone" tactic to scare our ds into doing anything - he's very good at getting down on his level and playfully re-directing or getting him to clean up, or whatever. 

 

I felt similarly. I also objected to the idea that kids behave because they don't see their parents and have a strict nanny. As a WOHM, I don't think that my kids behave because they miss me so much. And I have been very careful about who cares for them and how when my dh and I were both working. Now that my dh is a SAHD, they are still well behaved and there isn't a chance that they are scared of my dh. He's a kitten.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cappuccinosmom View Post

The restrictions are primarily for their safety, and secondarily for them to practice functioning in a society where we can't always do what we feel like doing at the moment we feel like doing it.  I think if you want your children to behave differently, you will probably need to respond differently to their behavior.  But if you are not willing to lay down restrictions or institute consequences, then you will need to accept that this is going to be the norm for your kids, at least at their young ages.  If you believe that your parenting method is a good and healthy one, then it really doesn't matter what results everyone else is getting from different methods, does it?  Your parenting is for the benefit of your children, and if you believe that what you do is beneficial, and that their behavior is normal and healthy and acceptable, then comparing them to other children isn't going to help you or your children. 


Agreed. Safety first. Then functioning in society. It's easier now with my older dd to explain that when I want her to do something--like eat with a fork for example--my role is to guide her into being able to function out in the world in a way that's exceptable. I'm not trying to conform her in any way, just trying to lay the ground work about being polite. She doesn't always like it but I think she understands it.

 

I also think you probably need to cut yourself some slack. I do think that boys can be totally different creatures. It amazes me how much some boys are just wired to bounce off the walls. Others not so much but some of them, it's just in their genes! And although I think you can guide a two year old, I have yet to meet one that actually "behaves." I remember telling a friend once that they could avoid a lot of headaches if they just tried to avoid any situation with their little kids where there was an opportunity for "misbehaving." I think being near a playground and not being allowed to go on it is one of those times--especially for a rambunctious 2 year old boy. It's too much to expect that he wouldn't want to go there. So instead of putting him in a untenable situation and then getting frustrated when he isn't acting like you want him to, just avoid the situation in the first place. Another example: I remember someone complaining that every time that they folded the laundry, their two year old would pull over the pile. I just think putting a folded pile of laundry within the reach of a two year old is asking for trouble--setting them up to do something that is going to make you angry. So you might want to lower your expectations on what you can expect from YOUR two year old. Great that other people have ones that aren't as active as yours but you need to do what is right for you and your son.

 

Good luck. And I agree with what everyone said about having very consistent consequences if the behavior is unsafe or unacceptable. It sounds like you have tried that but if it's not working, then you need to rethink what you are expecting from them.


 

post #22 of 146


 

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Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post

 It goes without saying that i do pull them aside and explain they cannot do this or that.  But then they go back and do it. Consequences? Like what, timeout? withdrawl of privileges? spanking? I dont know....i always talk to them about the behaviour that bothers me,and explain why.

 

Of course i do not take them to adult services, my kids? No, we are talking about children's services, and 'child friendly' places.

 

One place that they were not allowed to go was a playground. for liability reasons. Of course 5yo listened, but it was hard to convince 2yo.

 

Terrapip, thanks for the commiseration.


It doesn't sound like talking to them is working and if you allow them to go back to the behaviors again they are not learning any sort of limits. My daughter was well behaved in public and at home from a very young age (with some exceptions of course because all kids act out sometimes) and it wasn't because she was afraid of me. I think you may need to be open to new ways of thinking about how people get children to behave in public. If you consistently enforce limits in a gentle way (making them sit by you, removing them from the situation, etc) they will most likely start to figure out that you mean business. I am not saying this is easy to do, of course, but it can be done and it can be done in a gentle way.

post #23 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harper View Post

 

I felt similarly. I also objected to the idea that kids behave because they don't see their parents and have a strict nanny. As a WOHM, I don't think that my kids behave because they miss me so much. And I have been very careful about who cares for them and how when my dh and I were both working. Now that my dh is a SAHD, they are still well behaved and there isn't a chance that they are scared of my dh. He's a kitten.



 


Just to add to this - my ds is in daycare all day while I go to school.  He is very well behaved at "school", but acts up with me much more - I think he acts up b/c he wants my attention more than behaves b/c he wants my attention.  He's a very social child, and very well aware (for his age anyway) about how people react to him, so he's always pretty well behaved outside the house.  The exceptions are when he's tired, hungry, bored, or in a cranky mood for some reason.  With me he behaves much WORSE than he behaves for anyone else though.  It's insane.

post #24 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post

I have 2 boys 5 and 2.  I dont believe in punishments, timeouts etc.  I aspire to living consensually with my children, altho its not always possible. I look for their needs first to explain their behaviour when it irks me.


 


Honestly? That says it all. If you don't/won't impose limits, then the children will not learn them. And yes, there are situations that require some setting of limits - like going to Temple. If nothing else, such behavior is disruptive to the rest of the community. Those who are there for a specific purpose which your children are disturbing.

 

Being a single Mom is a cop-out. I'm sorry. Develop "the look" that many mothers have. It more than replaces the deep voice and testosterone.


Edited by mtiger - 11/17/10 at 9:31am
post #25 of 146


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post

I do appreciate the replies, but its sounds like the assumption is that i  just let my kids disrupt everyone. I am a polite person, so  i do not allow this, and i take them out. It is very very very very exhausting for me. I am trying to figure out why other parents just sit there, and so do their kids (most of them), while mine donT. Admittedly, my 5yo is usually ok, not always. He has matured a bit and maturity plays into this.  But he can still act goofy while his peers wouldnt dare.

As for keeping my 2yo near me, you havent seen my 2yo. He is not your average clingy toddler. He is fearless, and runs off. It wouldnt matter how many times i grabbed him and kept him by my side. He would go off again. As long as i think he's safe, i cut him some slack. When it came to the playground, he repeatedly snuck back out again.  He wouldnt take no for an answer. My 5yo was less interested, being 5, and found  a pillar he could run around (that he wasnt supposed to) He found another 5yo friend to do the same. I let him because i couldnt see the harm, and was busy with  2yo.

 

Other kids tho, just wouldnt do it. I watch in amazement as 2 year olds stick by their caregiver. Especially girls. Mine dont do that.


My kids stayed by me in Church because I made it clear to them that that was the expectation. They were not going to run around and disrupt everyone else. And if they wouldn't do so? We WOULD leave, but they wouldn't be having happy, happy fun time after. They would know I was disappointed in their behavior.

post #26 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post



 

Just to add to this - my ds is in daycare all day while I go to school.  He is very well behaved at "school", but acts up with me much more - I think he acts up b/c he wants my attention more than behaves b/c he wants my attention.  He's a very social child, and very well aware (for his age anyway) about how people react to him, so he's always pretty well behaved outside the house.  The exceptions are when he's tired, hungry, bored, or in a cranky mood for some reason.  With me he behaves much WORSE than he behaves for anyone else though.  It's insane.



It's also very likely that he needs to unleash his bad side.  He's been well behaved all day, and he's ready to cut loose a little, and it's usually the parents that they do this with.  I have some kids who go crazy as soon as mom walks in... others wait til Mom or dad is making dinner at home, and then get on a roll.  Sometimes we just need to get it out.  I have parents who are exhausted by morning with a misbehaving child, and the kids walk in and act like they are perfect angels.  So, I always get the good behavior, parents always get the bad behavior.... But, I didn't teach most of them limits or how to behave appropriately.  The parents teach it.  I just get to benefit from it.  

 

A few, I have to work much harder with... but, not very often.

post #27 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post
When it came to the playground, he repeatedly snuck back out again.  He wouldnt take no for an answer.


Then, it was time to leave. He was getting a clear message that he could play in the playground, as long as he snuck out.

post #28 of 146
There are a couple of kids similar to what you describe at our synagogue. Let me tell you what it looks like from the perspective of one of those "other parents."

What I see is children acting out constantly. Interrupting, running around, shouting. The typical parental reaction is to say nicely, "Oh honey, please don't do that. Sweetie? Can you be a little quieter, please? Baby, I need you to stop that." All said in a very ineffectual, half-hearted tone. Meanwhile, the kid, who knows full well that what his mother is saying translates to "lalalalalala" simply carries on climbing the Sukkah pole, swinging from the stair rail, or whatever. The mother eventually gives up and lets him be, with a helpless, exhausted look around at the other parents.

Not once have I seen her say firmly to one of these children: "Kid, stop right now. If you can't stop, we're leaving." And then leave. Or physically remove him from whatever he's doing. These actions don't have to be done punitively or cruelly. But kids need limits. If they don't have them, they're going to keep on testing just how far they can go.

The other kids are fully aware of the situation and talk about these kids. "How come their mother lets them do that?" they ask. Because they understand that neither their father nor I would allow that sort of behavior in public, even though our boys are as rambunctious as any. They have been taught what's appropriate and what isn't. It doesn't sound, OP, as if you have done this. Not in a way your children have understood. Which, in my mind, has done them a major disservice.
post #29 of 146

i don't think posting some sort of limit/expectation on a child is unfair. i mean even adults have things they can and can not do. it wouldn't be fair or nice of me to show up at church and run around and be loud. i would be asked to leave. or i can't just go into some building or on to someones land just because i want too. i mean heck i could be shot if i went messing around on someone's land. lol 

so even if you do consensual living there are boundaries that all people must respect and live with in. so what is wrong with teaching that to your kids? even if it means you leave the place because they can't seem to get it under control.

i don't think expecting a 2 and 5 year old to have the life experience and knowledge to deal with the big world is always the right thing to do. you have, i am gonna guess, decades on them of how to behave socially and what is expected of you in certian situations. it is your job to help guide them (not beat them, not shame them, scare them etc... but GUIDE them) in how to be around others and how to be in a community. that is why we have parents otherwise we could just pop the baby out and let them at it. even animals spend time rearing their children. showing them how to be in the society they live in. 

BUT if you want to continue on the path you are on, then you must except that different children act different ways and different families raise children differently. i am a SAHM and i try to be very gentle and loving with my children. so does my DH. he isn't some big scary guy that does around swinging a belt and yelling. depending on which child it is (i have 5) some have been more out going and others have been more clingy and close at younger ages. it just depends. and i have one dd and 4 boys. go figure. 

if you want to see some changes then maybe you will have to do more then talk. i mean 2 is more of an action age, talking is boring and they don't focus well, you gotta expect that he MIGHT get 2 minutes of what you are saying, probably less. so if you don't want him doing something you gotta get up and stop it and then if it continues you might have to leave the situation.

i don't have alot of issues with kids being all over the place (as i do have 5) but if i say "this space is off limits" i do expect them to respect that. just as we practice respecting their space. it is ok to expect that.

 

h

post #30 of 146

I don't do punishments, so I wouldn't do time outs, but I don't do CL either.  If a kid of mine is disturbing people, I make that kid sit next to me, or we go outside or to the lobby until they're able to handle sitting still.  Toddlers who run around places where running can't happen are carried.  Older children who run around places where they can't hold my hand.  You just have to physically make what needs to happen happen.  You don't have to punish over it.  "It looks like you're having trouble being quiet.  Let's go outside for a minute so we don't disturb people."  "This isn't a place we can run around.  Let's hold hands."  Being quiet and sitting still takes practice, and they might need to hold your hand and sit quietly or be held for a while before they can do it on their own.

post #31 of 146

We have four children (3, 5, 7, 10) who are exceptionally well-behaved. Often, when we take them out in public, people stop us to comment on how polite they are.

 

Part of the reason for that is that we are clear with them on what our expectations are and we've always tried to be consistant about teaching and reinforcing what we want them to do.

 

 

Quote:
Develop "the look" that many mothers have. It more than replaces the deep voice and testosterone.
 

 

Yup. Because my children know what sort of behavior is socially acceptable, when they start to act up a little bit in public I can look at them the right way and it stops.

post #32 of 146
Quote:
it communicates to the child that this sequence is going to start (reminder, timeout, trip home) if the behavior doesn't immediately change.
FWIW, what I refer to as a timeout is not a punitive action. There's no "you're gonna sit there for five minutes Buddy and I'm going to ignore you" kind of timeouts in my family. What we call a timeout is a situation in which the children and I sit down together. The littlest ones often sit on my lap, even. If they're upset, I wait until they've calmed down, and then I ask them a series of questions: what happened? how do you feel about it? how did the other people feel, if other people were involved? what do you think we can do to put it right? And we talk about it until we achieve agreement about what the right course of action is. But nobody gets up until everybody involved agrees that the discussion is over.

To me, this is more about constructive talk-based problem-solving, and an education in how to consider other people as well as yourself, and practice in controlling impulses. Not punishment at all. I hate the idea that timeouts have to be a punishment.
post #33 of 146

I think what it boils down to is that your kids aren't behaving the way you want them to because you never taught them how to behave.  I have found that laying our clear expectations and talking beforehand helps a lot.   You need to set limits and boundries and then enforce them.

post #34 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by Llyra View Post

FWIW, what I refer to as a timeout is not a punitive action. There's no "you're gonna sit there for five minutes Buddy and I'm going to ignore you" kind of timeouts in my family. What we call a timeout is a situation in which the children and I sit down together. The littlest ones often sit on my lap, even. If they're upset, I wait until they've calmed down, and then I ask them a series of questions: what happened? how do you feel about it? how did the other people feel, if other people were involved? what do you think we can do to put it right? And we talk about it until we achieve agreement about what the right course of action is. But nobody gets up until everybody involved agrees that the discussion is over.

To me, this is more about constructive talk-based problem-solving, and an education in how to consider other people as well as yourself, and practice in controlling impulses. Not punishment at all. I hate the idea that timeouts have to be a punishment.

I refer to these as time ins, not timeouts.

 

We do sometimes "banish" a child, especially ds2, but it's not framed as a punishment. It's more of a "you need to calm down, and can't seem to do that here" or a "you're being very disruptive, and if you want to jump up and down and scream, you're going to have to do it somewhere else" thing.
 

post #35 of 146

My boys seem like the type yours are - always on the go, have to try out every corner of the room, trying sneak off and do the thing they're not allowed to do.  I believe some kids really just are more of a handful!  My younger is the mellower one, but the two of them together can be trying...   Like you, I have seen more self-control and awareness of the rules after ds turned 5 or so - now he just turned 6 and keeps being more grown-up about things.   And at 3.75 my younger son still tests a lot but is learning. 

 

I think it's necesssary to go through the rigamarole of actually leaving somewhere when he's acting up, or bringing a stroller to put him in at times, to show that you are serious about the rules. At 2yo I wouldn't expect much.  It's nice to give him the freedom at services to roam, but if he's disturbing people or repeating a behavior that's not ok, then it's time to scoop him up or hold his hand and lead him out.  Maybe when you get to the children's service, you should stay right with your 2yo, have him sit on your lap, or hold his hand, and be his buddy a little at first. Talk him through what he could do there (hm, we can't go out that door, since we're supposed to stay in this room, but let's try that book corner.... etc.)   And for the 2yo -  bring snacks, little activities to do, maybe even a quick opportunity to play at a playground before services? 

 

I do think there are many many grey areas between totally consensual living and scary authoritarian parenting.  And it's totally okay to decide that you need to move ever so slightly into taking on more authority.  Another thought - If your time at shul is one of the only times you get a "break" from kids, then they may be sensing that and you may be putting out a vibe that you hope they will just go off and be fine and leave you alone a bit.  Just a theory, and I don't necessarily know the remedy for that.  

post #36 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post

 

Other kids tho, just wouldnt do it. I watch in amazement as 2 year olds stick by their caregiver. Especially girls. Mine dont do that.



DS isn't clingy, but I manage to keep him near. As a PP mentioned, he has options, stay close on his own, wear the harness or sit on my lap/in a stroller. I can't afford to have him off and running no matter how fearless he is, because once he's more than 4 feet or so away from I literally cannot see him. He doesn't have to stay that close, but he does have to stay where I can pick his voice out of the crowd easily and tell when another adult approaches him for no reason.

post #37 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Llyra View Post

FWIW, what I refer to as a timeout is not a punitive action. There's no "you're gonna sit there for five minutes Buddy and I'm going to ignore you" kind of timeouts in my family. What we call a timeout is a situation in which the children and I sit down together. The littlest ones often sit on my lap, even. If they're upset, I wait until they've calmed down, and then I ask them a series of questions: what happened? how do you feel about it? how did the other people feel, if other people were involved? what do you think we can do to put it right? And we talk about it until we achieve agreement about what the right course of action is. But nobody gets up until everybody involved agrees that the discussion is over.

To me, this is more about constructive talk-based problem-solving, and an education in how to consider other people as well as yourself, and practice in controlling impulses. Not punishment at all. I hate the idea that timeouts have to be a punishment.

I refer to these as time ins, not timeouts.

 

We do sometimes "banish" a child, especially ds2, but it's not framed as a punishment. It's more of a "you need to calm down, and can't seem to do that here" or a "you're being very disruptive, and if you want to jump up and down and scream, you're going to have to do it somewhere else" thing.
 


Oh, we do that too, sometimes. Somehow it doesn't come off as punishment, though. It just doesn't feel that way. I've tried punitive timeouts, a few times, rather unsuccessfully, since they didn't work at all, and they just felt different-- more like a power struggle, ya know? When we "banish," it's usually because it's clear that everybody involved has had enough of the situation, and needs a break, and there's not this feeling of resentment that comes with punishment. I'm regularly saying to them, "if you can't stop running and shouting, then GET OUT OF MY KITCHEN." I say it sharply, even, and they take it with good humor-- they know they're driving me nuts, and they know they've pushed me too far, and they say okay and get out of the kitchen pretty readily.
post #38 of 146

Can someone explain to me what consensual living actually is?  I have heard it often on here and don't quite have a grasp on the philosophy. 

post #39 of 146

The idea of consensual living is that you don't do anything to your children that they don't consent to, so you wouldn't simply stop them from running because obviously they want to run.  You'd try to find a mutually agreeable solution, so something that made you happy and the child happy.  I find the philosophy interesting, but I don't find it to be practical.  For instance, in this situation, there are some places where it's simply inappropriate to run and disturb others, such as during a religious service, and it's my job as the mom to stop it.  I don't have to then punish for it, but I do feel it is my job to simply respect other people and make something inappropriate and disruptive stop.

post #40 of 146

Just wanted to put in again, esp. for the OP, that having to set a few more parent guidelines now does NOT mean that you have ruined your chances for a CL environment in other areas or in time!  I think, barring major problems like substance abuse or criminal activity, CL is ideal for older kids through the teen years.  The kids have more of a foundation to understand the multiple consequences of any given action--they have more things in their toolkit (hopefully taught by you as well as experience) to figure out compromises they can be happy with, ect.

 

So please don't think, if you occasionally remove your kids even though they say they don't want you do, or if you enforce the rules about where they can go at your place of worship, that you have ruined them forever as far as CL--that's simply not true.  I have seen it stated elsewhere and here before that some people think that if you don't do 100 percent CL right from the start, it's like you've ruined your chances.  That is simply not so.  With kids with certain personalities, modifying in the early years to something that is more safe and instructive for the kids can give you energy and a framework where you have a better chance of success with CL in the long run.  If I had stuck to my original must-do plan with DD, we'd have never gotten there and I'd have done her a major disservice.  I clung to it a little too long, which meant a huge amout of work later--but even after that, we are able to move back towards it and I'm very much enjoying it years later.

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