Originally Posted by Abraisme
I think some kids take to deep breathing better than others. I was able to teach my DS this technique pretty early and he still uses it easily when prompted. I have tried to teach Olivine and she just yells NO at me. I think I might try the candle idea, she would probably like that. She does not get distracted from what she wants easily.
I have a sister that's 2 years younger than me and we also fought like crazy and were not particularly friends (although we played together a lot). While we now get along just fine, we are still very different people and are not super close. I think in retrospect a lot of our fighting was related to needing more attention. My mom was remarried, I have 4 siblings total, and my mother is terrible at following through. My sister was allowed to get away with way more because my mom considered her to have emotional issues (major tantrums). Being treated differently is difficult. However, we were always much better behaved at my dads house because he was calm, positive and VERY consistent. He did not put up with crap, period.
My 9yo is much better at her dad's. Well, so is my 7yo, but she doesn't like going there. They say it's because he is scary. When I asked if that is a good thing for a parent to be scary, 7yo said No!! but 9yo wasn't so sure. My 9yo needs a lot of structure and consistency. Well, all kids need consistency. I cannot parent with my ex's level of "scariness," nor do I want to... so that makes it a little tougher. But I definitely need to work on consistency.
What I've been working on, and I think this can help anyone, are ideas from Positive Parenting Solutions. Now, I'm not sure this lady claims to be especially AP, but I like it. Her philosophy is no yelling, no hitting, no belittling, no arguing, and no punishment. Consequences are fairly logical (IMO). She says the only time you can use consequences is when there are logical ones, which is about 15% of the time. What I am focusing on is meeting their needs for feeling like they belong and are significant. So, everyone has detailed chores created in a way to show that we all contribute to the household. They are really taking ownership for the things they are responsible for, and I don't have to do any reminding. I'm also trying to remember that they have a need for some personal power, and try to honor that as much as possible.
Also, I'm trying to spend a reasonable amount of one-on-one time with them each day doing something they want to do. This can be tough. It's easier with dd1 as our interests are similar. Also, she needs more one-on-one time than her sister. A lot of times I can accomplish this with her by cooking dinner together. Sometimes, it has to be something we all do together, but I try to give them as much control as possible. That's tough for me! On Sunday, I took dd1 with me to buy flowers and herbs. This was good for her because she needs more time with me. Then, dsd, dd1, dd2, and I did some planting. I tried my hardest to let them make all of the decisions. They all really enjoyed it.
I think dsd gets left out a lot, but she is so quiet... it's hard to tell what she is thinking. She'll be 15 next month... I'm pretty sure she's not yearning for more quality parent time, but I could be wrong. When I was working and had more money, I used to take her out to dinner, just us, once a week when I didn't have dd1 and dd2. Now, dh is here full time, plus we have Jasper and less money. So that's harder. I'm always pushing dh to spend more time with her, but he is so wrapped up in the baby. She will naturally be getting a lot more parent time starting next month when we have to start teaching her to drive. Eek!!
Anyway, enough of my novel. Kids are tough. Trying to meet their emotional needs before issues come up is (IMO) a good philosophy.