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Responses to "treats"

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

My 5 yo DD has a really hard time with anything that could be considered a treat. This could mean edible treats (candy, cookies, etc), a television show/movie, specific play time plans, etc. Anything that is deemed special.


She does this with tv. She does it with one-on-one time with me-we have 15ish minutes of Mommy-Lorien time every day, and this is never enough and every time it ends it is awful. Crying, whining, screaming. She does this when playing and then leaving friends houses. She is still nursing, and she does it about that, too (which is one of the hardest ones to deal with because I don't want our nursing relationship to have any negativity associated with it- I want that to be a safe place for her). She does it if we have candy or other treat type things in the house.


I have tried cutting some of these things out all together (edible treats and tv) and that did seem to help. However, that is not really a plausible long-term solution, especially since many of the things that cause problems are not things I would WANT to take away. I also don't like that "I AM IN CONTROL OF YOU" attitude that seems to be taking over my body when I am frustrated that she is AGAIN throwing a FIT while leaving a friends house, or to nurse or...


We have tried setting reasonable limits:

"You can have ginky (what they call nursing) at home, as often as you like. However, my body is part of this equation and I need you to be able to respect my choice to say no sometimes." I rarely say I can't...but if I do- oh boy! She threw a fit at my dad's house in front of tons of people because she wanted to nurse.

"One TV show per day." As soon as that one is over, she cries. She begs for more. 

"Finish up your current activity, and then we have to head home for dinner." She agrees, finishes what she is doing, helps clean up and then LOSES it. 


I have thought about just letting her have as much as she wants (namely in regards to TV and edible treats) and let her make the decision and "burn out" on those things. BUT, I have a 2 year old as well who doesn't have this problem, and I just can't expose him to tons and tons of TV, etc. Plus, there are other people involved in some of these issues and I need to help her understand how to respect that. 



post #2 of 4

I think you'll have to treat each thing somewhat separately.  Perhaps there are some things you can give her complete control over, like making a snack drawer that has not-so-bad-for-you treats she can eat.  


Other things you can stand your ground on, like nursing and TV.  But perhaps with the TV, you can talk to her and come up with a solution, like 2 short shows or 1 long show.  She'll probably fuss about this, too, but at least this can set a precedent that you are considering her wants.  Perhaps you can follow up the TV show with a good, snuggly reading session, too.


I am no stranger to "If this causes fights like this I'm not bringing this into the house!"  I'm not advocating this approach, because I think it perpetuates the idea that, in the end, I have supreme control and that is often the whole point of the battles--control.  I really hate resorting to this tactic on one hand, but when things getting absurdly, out-of-control- emotional and intense, when they are not even hearing anything I say, I pull this out of the hat and tears come to a quick end.  We just had this argument over watching Fantasia, which we borrowed from the library.  My oldest hates Sorcerer's Apprentice and wants to want the Soundtrack, but she *never* picks it to watch on her day when she gets to pick and choose (we alternate video days).  Well, I am hating Fantasia now because of the tears and the fighting *every time*.  


You know this is her way of feeling a bit more in-control about what happens, but for some kids it's not easy to give them a sense of control no matter how many decisions they are able make for themselves.  Still, it's the same thing, only far more intense.  Think about this if she were 2 or even 3.  This kind of intensity is more age appropriate for this age.  To see it at 5yo can add to your frustration, because we expect more maturity from them (even though it *is* still perfectly normal for 5yos).  I know I am dealing with issues with my almost-8yo that I feel like I should have been mostly resolved 2 or 3 years ago.  


Good luck.  More than anything, you need some extra patience to get through this.

post #3 of 4

Wow, your post could have been about my 5 year old daughter. She no longer nurses, but everything else, including the 2-year-old sibling, spot on. She has a twin brother, and it almost makes it more difficult when he reacts in a way I think is "appropriate". I know what some of her triggers are, they watch dinosaur train on my computer and ALWAYS want to watch more than one episode. When time is tight, we talk before I turn it on, and all agree that they will just watch one episode. Once it's over, my daughter melts down, e v e r y time. Sweet treats are the same, she melts down because she gobbles her treat up and then gets screaming mad that her brother won't share his with her! I like the idea of a treat (wink wink) drawer.


Sorry I don't have any words of wisdom. It is definitely reassuring to me that I'm not the only one with a fiery daughter:)

post #4 of 4

one of the best things i have discovered that helps older kids out a lot (by older i mean 5 years old and older) is to give them more and more responsibilities.


not chores - like clean your room, but actual responsibilities. like setting the table, putting dishes away. making sure the toilet paper is allways filled.


it gives them some autonomy and a feeling of contributions towards the family.


has she always been like this, or is this something new. if it is something new then its really normal and its a phase she is going through.


doesnt mean you give in to her - but be more compassionate towards her and empathise with her.


5 to 7 is a hard age for kids. at some point in that time they will hit the first preteen behaviour which even they cant understand themselves.

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