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post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 

Today was yet another outing with a crappy ending.  We struggled through the summer with this.  My 2 older kids just turned 8 and will be 6 in January.  Older one is a boy, 2nd a girl if that makes much difference.

 

This is not the first time I've dealt with this situation, and both of the older ones have done similar things.  I don't have issues if the ending isn't sudden and it's just us, we do have issues if I need to have them be not the last ones to leave somewhere.

 

Today, we were at a park.  The older 2 kids started an argument.  There was screaming and name-calling going on.  I had just started nursing their brother on a park bench.  I called the kids over.  Initially, neither one responded.  After about a minute, my daughter came over.  (What was being screamed was that she'd pulled down her brother's pants.  I did not see it and did not get to hear from them, but what I guess happened is she didn't want him to take a turn on the sliding thing they hang from (no idea what it's called, it slides across, they hang from it and wiggle to move it.)  and she must have tried to grab it or grabbed onto him and accidentally caused his pants to fall down.

 

My daughter said "What, Mom?" because I called her to me.  I thanked her for coming to me when she was called.

 

Before I could say anything else, my son started screaming about how his sister is lying, don't listen to anything she says...

Remember, he is refusing to come close enough for me to *talk* rather than scream.

 

This is not the first outing where something like this has happened.  We have talked about appropriate behavior before we go out.  I say that I need them to come so I can talk and not yell.  They at least *claim* to understand that what is going on with us needs to not cause a scene in a public place--screaming, name-calling, tantrum behavior, not allowed.

 

So, since I can't listen to my daughter through my son's screaming, and he is refusing to come and talk to me so that we can handle this without everyone at the park hearing it, I decided it was time to go home.

 

My little boys, ages almost 4 and 22 months, got into the van.  My daughter took a minute or so, but she got in.  My son yelled that he was not leaving and ran to the equipment. 

 

I tried to follow and even tried to grab for a carry to the van.  Missed. He ran.  I opted to stop following him farther from the van. 

 

When I went back to his siblings, he chose to hide.  I opted for a trick that worked a couple of years ago--I actually drove away. (Away in this case being still in the same lot, in view of the playground the entire time.)  Not proud of this move, but I had 3 other kids who so far were being patient and wonderful.  And I haven't used this move for probably 3 years--when the 2 older ones ran different directions and I had the baby too.  It involved starting to move the car a few feet, then they'd run and get in. 

Well, today, it just ticked him off that much more.

 

Long story---stopped here---about 10 more minutes or so of sitting and pouting and finally a truce that involved letting him sit in the front seat so he didn't have to sit by his sister and we're finally driving home.

 

WHY?!  We had this problem this summer.  Also, we have a friend where a couple of times, we've gotten ready to leave, with plenty of warning but maybe the visit was shorter than he would've liked, and he pulled hiding in her house or in the playground across the street to stay.  It was to the point that the friend and I agreed that maybe I should come next time with the other kids and not him--and this is another very MDC kind of mom.  It just seemed like a natural consequence.

 

Seems like 7 closer to 8 than 6 should be old enough to realize that time to leave is time to leave.  Should be old enough to realize you are coming to a park again.  Should be old enough to realize--especially since we've talked about it because it's a recurring (but not CONSTANT) problem that invitations to someone's house are for the time they say they are and if you do not leave when they need your visit to be over, you might not be invited back.

 

 

Today was a Wed.  They get out of school 2 hours earlier on Wed.  We usually do a special outing.  Today, I told them if they want that to continue rather than sitting quietly at home because Dad (who works overnights) is still asleep, then they HAVE TO come and listen when I say.  They do not have to be happy about leaving, but they need to come to the van and buckle up.  I told the 2 bigger ones if they can't listen and come with me when I say let's go, then we will have to save outings for when their dad or another adult wants to come along.  I explained that I might need them to do this for an emergency reason, that I'll tell them when they get to the van, but their job is to DO IT.

 

I don't want to take away Wed. outings.  I love it as a time to connect and do something special with them.  And I think they NEED that.  I think that's part of oldest DS's issue--there's also some stuff I posted on the Learning at School board.

 

What would you do?  (today the enticement of ice cream didn't even really work.  Not a bribe with food--it was about afternoon snacktime, and I agreed with one of the kids that they could have ice cream when we got home.)

post #2 of 33

Sounds like a tough situation. It sounds like you are giving your ds way too much power. He didn't want to come home, you had to wait in the car with three little ones and then he gets to negotiate sitting in the front seat??? That would be unacceptable for me!

 

Here is what I would do. His dad is home sleeping, right? Next time I would still go out with the youngest kids and leave ds home. At 8 y/o he should be capable to be home with a parent sleeping. I would not give in to tantrums, screaming, complaining, or justify my decision.

 

From your post it sounds like he gets too much of the positive stuff, rewards, enticement etc., it's time for some limits and consequences.
 

post #3 of 33
I would stop enticing with ice cream and the front seat when he has a tantrum. Deal with the tantrum but don't negotiate with him like that, even if it's painful and hard with other kids. He has to learn that he won't always get his way, and that the whole family doesn't turn around him, or he'll keep having those expectations. For now, I'd stop taking him to the park. He can't handle it, and it's causing arguments and issues. I know you said you don't want to take that away but it sounds like a horrible amount of stress and difficult for the other kids. You could try again the next week and see if he's up for it, but at this point he'll fight back and see if you mean it or if he still has the power to negotiate treats to keep him having a tantrum or to end a tantrum.

I think there's a lesson all kids need to learn, and that is that the world doesn't rotate around them and they don't always get what they want, even when they create a huge fuss and it feels horrible. And that even when they don't get what they want, everything ends up being OK and nothing changes. I would avoid situations that cause tantrums that are difficult to wait out (like the park) while he learns that, but I wouldn't punish him for having tantrums either. The ultimate lesson is that everything is the same after the fuss as before, so the fuss was a waste of time. If he gets punished then the fuss had a big effect. It has to be completely non-effective, and after the tantrum he should get a hug and then get on with life as it was. Most kids learn this lesson younger but with the other kids and having to negotiate them and a dad who needs the house quiet during the days, I'm guessing you haven't been able to prioritize that. But I really think in some way you have to so he can get through that lesson. It's a difficult lesson and the longer it drags out, the more difficult it is to go through, because he's learned that he can affect what he'll get by creating a fuss. Maybe get your husband some earplugs to wear while he sleeps during the day while your ds gets through this. I would try to keep him around the house because he's going to tantrum like crazy and you have to be able to let him do it without getting involved, and you have to just wait it out. That's nearly impossible at the park or grocery store, especially when there are other kids suffering through it who have to be tended to as well, and yes difficult while someone is sleeping in the house.

Also, empathizing language, like, "I understand you wish you could have ice cream. It sounds good to me too. But we can't have ice cream right now." And let him keep screaming for ice cream (or whatever he fusses over.) Empathize, but try not to comment or talk about it too much, or you can feed the drama and drag it out. It's better to remain very emotionally stable and relaxed, like an anchor for him. Don't worry about how upset he gets. He'll get through it.

That is my advice, through my experience with one child who liked to try to get her way with tantrums. The other one never had tantrums, oddly. God decided I needed a break with the second one, maybe. LOL.
post #4 of 33

The older boy has lost the priviledge of outings to the park for a while.

post #5 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by BellinghamCrunchie View Post

The older boy has lost the priviledge of outings to the park for a while.

 

 

This - and/or if I didn't have someone to watch him and didn't want to punish the other kids because he couldn't go, he could come, but he'd have to sit on the bench with me and read or draw/color instead of getting to play, the next few times we went.  He could prove to me he understood the impact of his actions by staying near me and responding when I called to him both at home and at other outings, and after a few days' worth of showing appropriate behavior there, then he could try the playground again. My kids are 8 and 6, too.

 

My son did this to me exactly one time, when he was around...5?  kept moving farther away from me after throwing a fit over something his little sister did (same age spread) and just kept going, almost out of my sight and nearing a creek bed down a small ravine - NOT a good scene.  I know for sure we didn't go to a playground for a while, and I know that whatever it is I said (probably NOT very gentle or positive - it's been 3 years so I don't exactly remember though I do remember a SHRIEK coming out of me as he really neared the creek, which was genuine terror since I was way too far away to do anything) it impacted him enough that he's never done it again.  

post #6 of 33

I agree with the others.  He is being rewarded for bad behavior.  He doesn't come when called (and yes, 8 is old enough) then he gets to sit in the front?  I would have been furious if my child did that.  I was furious when my 4yo did that at a friends house.  He needs consequences and needs them every time he does something like that.  I wouldn't be bringing him to the park for a while.  The park is a privilege and if they abuse it they lose it.  I am a pretty laid back parent but I wouldn't be ok with my 8yo outright defying me like that.  

post #7 of 33

Oh, mama! It must be such a bummer to be a the park - meeting the needs of your children and your DP and have to deal with this. Sometimes we can't win for trying, right?  Now that my DC (who was an only for 10 years) is a bit older I find myself looking back on my GD journey with a bit of conflict because I think I held several parenting philosophies at once. I was a hodge podge between: 

 

  • Behaviorist (mainstream non-violent)
  • Unconditional (a la Alfie Kohn) 
  • Continuum Concept (trust) 
  • Consensual (TCS) 
  • Authentic (being true to myself - being "real") 

 

I find myself having trouble offering ideas on the GD forum because when I pick one of the philosophies above, I feel like I'm disregarding the other ideas that served me so well, yk? 

 

I think what I may do in your situation is prioritize a parenting goals/philosophy list. Certainly, behaviorist wouldn't be at the top - that was a last resort, normally. It seems like maybe a consensual approach may work - speak to them about meeting everyone's needs - not one where everyone compromises - one where everyone gets what they want. If that doesn't work, maybe a Continuum Concept idea may work....

 

Now, I may be totally misrepresenting what I remember from that book or it may be that I've just labeled this idea after the book when it really has nothing to do with it. eyesroll.gif  I'm nursing a toddler and my brain function is at an all time low. redface.gif  What I mean is that you clear your negative expectations. Clean slate. Have a nice talk (maybe a consensual one) and then expect good behavior. It sounds pretty woo-woo but it did work for me - often, very often. 

 

Or, maybe you take and authentic approach. To me that means just doing what I feel like in the moment. Honestly, sometimes that means offering a bribe or raising my voice. Sometimes it means just letting them stay at the park forever. Often it's a pretty lazy approach or it's a bit funny. It's a time to let myself off the hook for being perfect all the time. As if. ROTFLMAO.gif

 

How are you feeling today? 

post #8 of 33

And, may I just take moment to sympathize with being ready to go, having two young ones buckled in (my kids hate the carseat!) and waiting on an older child. OMG, that would really set me off. I admire you for not freaking out. hug2.gif

post #9 of 33

I think next time I would try to get everyone close to you on a positive note right before it's time to leave.  Maybe you could bring some cookies or something and call them over to get one when it's time to leave.  Then, before you announce that it's time to leave, make sure you have hold of your runner's hand. 

 

Seriously, I'm generally a non-punitive parent, but if my kid ran away like that I think she would be banished to her room when we got home.  That is a battle I would fight and win.

post #10 of 33

Moderator note: There were two posts on this topic so I merged them. Posts # 7-9 were from the other post. 

post #11 of 33

bigeyes.gif Things like this are where I fail at GD. My kids are a lot younger--I don't know for sure how I would deal with a kid that old behaving like that. Certainly he wouldn't get the front seat. Oh heck no. 

post #12 of 33

In response to the posts that address the issue of the front seat/ice cream...

 

I think there is a big difference between rewarding bad behavior and comforting a child who is suffering. We have all been in the place where our kids are testing limits and I agree that "giving in" isn't a great choice in those circumstances. But we don't know if this is what was going on with this child - I mean it may well have been but we don't know (the last child I saw go running into the woods was suffering to the point that I hope his family took him out for dinner and ice cream!). There have been times where it would appear that I rewarded DC for bad behavior when what was really going on is that I realized that she was hurting and tried to make it better in what little way I could. 

 

In response to not coming to the park...

 

DC never responded well to logical consequences framed as punishments. It would not have helped her if I said something like, "You can't come to the park because you ran away last time."  For my DC it would need to be framed more like, "Last time we went to the park you and your sister didn't get along and you didn't seem to enjoy yourself. It was also really difficult for me to deal with you after you were upset. I've arranged a fun project for you to do quietly while dad sleeps and the rest of us go out so that the house is quiet" 

post #13 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post

In response to the posts that address the issue of the front seat/ice cream...

 

I think there is a big difference between rewarding bad behavior and comforting a child who is suffering. We have all been in the place where our kids are testing limits and I agree that "giving in" isn't a great choice in those circumstances. But we don't know if this is what was going on with this child - I mean it may well have been but we don't know (the last child I saw go running into the woods was suffering to the point that I hope his family took him out for dinner and ice cream!). There have been times where it would appear that I rewarded DC for bad behavior when what was really going on is that I realized that she was hurting and tried to make it better in what little way I could. 

 

In response to not coming to the park...

 

DC never responded well to logical consequences framed as punishments. It would not have helped her if I said something like, "You can't come to the park because you ran away last time."  For my DC it would need to be framed more like, "Last time we went to the park you and your sister didn't get along and you didn't seem to enjoy yourself. It was also really difficult for me to deal with you after you were upset. I've arranged a fun project for you to do quietly while dad sleeps and the rest of us go out so that the house is quiet" 


From OP's post:

 

 

 

Before I could say anything else, my son started screaming about how his sister is lying, don't listen to anything she says...

Remember, he is refusing to come close enough for me to *talk* rather than scream.

 

This is not the first outing where something like this has happened.  We have talked about appropriate behavior before we go out.  I say that I need them to come so I can talk and not yell.  They at least *claim* to understand that what is going on with us needs to not cause a scene in a public place--screaming, name-calling, tantrum behavior, not allowed.

 

So, since I can't listen to my daughter through my son's screaming, and he is refusing to come and talk to me so that we can handle this without everyone at the park hearing it, I decided it was time to go home.

 

My little boys, ages almost 4 and 22 months, got into the van.  My daughter took a minute or so, but she got in.  My son yelled that he was not leaving and ran to the equipment. 

 

I tried to follow and even tried to grab for a carry to the van.  Missed. He ran.  I opted to stop following him farther from the van. 

 

When I went back to his siblings, he chose to hide.  ...

 

Long story---stopped here---about 10 more minutes or so of sitting and pouting and finally a truce that involved letting him sit in the front seat so he didn't have to sit by his sister and we're finally driving home.

 

it doesn't seem like he's a child who's "suffering". Op seems to have given him plenty of gentle opportunities to behave appropriately. The consequence of not coming to the park it's just that, a consequence, not a punishment. It IS a punishment for OP and the other kids to keep putting up with this.

post #14 of 33

Yea, I read that too.  I guess the way I tend to look at kids is that an 8 year old acting out in that way IS a child suffering.

 

The advice to be careful to not give the message that DS will be rewarded for his behavior is good advice, I agree. But, I also think it's a pretty behaviorist approach and that there are other options if the OP is looking for something else. 

 

Way back in the day when DC was 3,4,5 I used to come to the GD forum and people would give me advice like, "Just expect him to come to the car," and I would be like, WTH..."What kind of crazy useless advice is that?" But, it works. I still do things like being aware of whether I'm subtly encouraging bad behavior - that has a role too. I just think there are several ways to look at this.  

 

As for consequences - I think they can be framed in several ways. This is a consequence imposed on by the parent as a result of behavior. This is a logical consequence, I believe it's often called. It does not take much of a stretch to frame that to look like a punishment. There are also ways to frame that so that it is the parent (and child if you want to include him in the process) trying to problem solve so that the family doesn't find themselves in that position again. 

post #15 of 33

Oh, I almost forgot another great tool for when my DC was older - especially around 8 where I felt some impulse control was still lacking but the desire to do really well was there. What about making amends?  The deal is done but perhaps mama is stressed and that stress could be alleviated if DC could entertain the young ones while mama takes a bath? Perhaps the next visit to the park (assuming DC is welcome to join and wants to go with) involves DS getting the young children buckled in the car seat while mama finishes her book? I'm pretty creative with options for making amends but I am always careful that it truly does make things better for me. Sometimes that COULD look like a very illogical punishment if that's how it was framed but DC doesn't see it that way - I think she respects that I'm willing to take care of ME when I've helped her though a tough patch. I think it also helps take some of the guilt and pressure off to know that there is something genuinely helpful she can do to make up for a crappy situation. Just a thought...

post #16 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post

 

The advice to be careful to not give the message that DS will be rewarded for his behavior is good advice, I agree. But, I also think it's a pretty behaviorist approach and that there are other options if the OP is looking for something else. 

 

 


The way I see it, imposing a consequence is not about being careful not to give a certain message to son. It's more than a method, technique and / or parenting philosophy, it's a way of affirming that as a human being and as his mother I deserve to be treated with respect.

post #17 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by transylvania_mom View Post

 


The way I see it, imposing a consequence is not about being careful not to give a certain message to son. It's more than a method, technique and / or parenting philosophy, it's a way of affirming that as a human being and as his mother I deserve to be treated with respect.

I'm not quite sure I understand the distinction and/or how this relates to what I was saying. I get the sense that maybe you feel like you and I disagree and I'm not sure that we do. Although do feel that the way the consequence is presented is important, I mainly meant that a consequence is not the only way to deal with this situation. I really don't think that it is. I don't think it's the only way to stop it from happening and I don't think it's the only way to show respect for the mother or child. I'm sorry if I'm not making myself clear. I REALLY don't disagree with anyone here -- OTHER than the fact that I think a consequence is just one of many ways to approach this. 

 

For instance -- if PM can get to a place...this magical place of just expecting cooperation...THAT is major respect. PM is conveying respect for herself by expecting that her kids will listen to her. She is commanding respect as she says it's time to go. Her kids feel the respect she is extending to them by her positive expectations. Her kids pick up on her confidence in herself and in them and they get in the car. 

 

I KNOW this sounds freaky. When my DC was a kid and I was posing to the GD forum and I I would hear this (it was a popular method back then) I was like -- WOW, you people are crazy. And I bucked it like crazy. Till I realized it works. Lots of the time. And, I got more consistently positive results than I ever did by imposing logical consequences. 

post #18 of 33
Thread Starter 
i understood that my ds was mad at his sister this time, and likely felt he was being punished for her actions. But he rest of it can't go on. W discussed and sup so far I have not had this again. I don't trust him alone in our area.
post #19 of 33
Thread Starter 
Really? Is this the same MDC I joined 8 years ago? Are you seriously advocating for leaving a 7 year old with a sleeping parent who would not be aware that the child has no other supervision win the house? I wouldn't do that no matter where I lived! And yes, I have napped as the sole adult home, but when you know you are alone, you have an ear open. And sleeping after a long night at work is different than a nap.
post #20 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by peaceful_mama View Post

Really? Is this the same MDC I joined 8 years ago? Are you seriously advocating for leaving a 7 year old with a sleeping parent who would not be aware that the child has no other supervision win the house? I wouldn't do that no matter where I lived! And yes, I have napped as the sole adult home, but when you know you are alone, you have an ear open. And sleeping after a long night at work is different than a nap.

I'm not sure who you're referring to but I put a lot of  thought into my posts and tried to be sensitive to the mission of GD. I do think many 7 year olds are ready to stay home with a sleeping parent and don't think that advice diverges from the mission of MDC. If it's not appropriate for your DH or DC, that's, of course, a case by case situation but I think there is a lot more advice and ideas in this thread that I may have focused my attention on. I hope things have improved. 

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