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How do you 'expect' kids to do something, or 'not give them a choice'? - Page 5

post #81 of 116

"This advice doesn't seem relevant to what was asked in any way... ???"

 

 

You asked: how do I expect kids to do something and not give them a choice?

I answered: they know they have a choice if you give in to their tantrums.

 

I specifically addressed the situations mentioned in your posts: dressing up for school and who is dropping them off.

 

Were these not your posts???

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mambera View Post

I see many mamas on here say they 'just expect' that their children will do A, B, C, or that they 'don't give them a choice.' 

What are the logistics of this?

 

I have an almost-4 year-old who this morning did not want to get dressed for preschool.  ...

 

My question is, what are the nuts and bolts of 'setting an expectation' or 'not giving a choice' to a child that do not involve a wrestling match?

 

TIA

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mambera View Post

 

  I would say I do drop-off about once a week, DH the rest of the time and usually it is not a problem.  (We are both present for breakfast and preschool/daycare prep.)  We could work to minimize the times when I do drop-off but it would create a lot of scheduling difficulty for DH (i.e. he could never do morning meetings for work which would be problematic) for something that 90% of the time is not associated with any behavior issues.
post #82 of 116
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by transylvania_mom View Post

"This advice doesn't seem relevant to what was asked in any way... ???"

 

 

You asked: how do I expect kids to do something and not give them a choice?

I answered: they know they have a choice if you give in to their tantrums.

 

I specifically addressed the situations mentioned in your posts: dressing up for school and who is dropping them off.

 

Were these not your posts???

 

 

Sure but then you went off talking about parents who "bend over backwards to avoid tantrums," or "do anything to accommodate them," which doesn't in any way describe my approach or the situations I mentioned, so it just seemed like an irrelevant addition to the thread.  Cool if you want to drop it here for the record, it just didn't really seem too on topic to me. :shrug:

post #83 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by mambera View Post

 

She does have this total hypersensitivity to minor bumps in the road, and while I see the value in trying to forestall them with predictability and have been trying to stick to that, sometimes the things that set her off are so insanely miniscule that ironing them out of her life seems a gargantuan task that smacks of overparenting.

 

Eg today her dad picked up a new bike for her (old one getting too short) and he came home early and met us at the park after work with it.  She was excited etc,, tried it out but it was a little too big so she couldn't ride it yet (we just needed to lower the seat).  I was walking the bike back to the car and as a bit of a joke/timesaver I swung my leg over and rode it a couple of yards.  She went *ballistic* ("Don't ride my biiiiiiike..." etc).  I mean okay in retrospect I can see she was probably upset that she couldn't ride it so seeing me ride it was like salt in the wound, and I can file it as Thing 1,001 That Will Upset DD1 and try to avoid doing this or similar again, but isn't all this tiptoeing around her hair-trigger temper sort of excessive?  As some posters have pointed out, the rest of the world won't be bending over backwards to accommodate her sensitivities. 

 

I can see why this wasn't a "minor bump" to her. It wasn't "insanely miniscule" to her. She has a very different perspective than you, and you don't seem to see life from her PoV.

 

Helping our children deal with their difficult emotions is just parenting. Its not over parenting.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mambera View Post

 

Well, if she didn't want me touching her bike she should have walked it back herself (she didn't want to).  Given I had to do that job, in general I don't see why I shouldn't be allowed to do it in the most efficient way possible.  Would apply to an adult also (of course most adults would transport their own bikes in the first place - but if I had to transport someone else's bike I sure as shooting would expect to ride, not walk it).  All the customs in our house apply to all members equally.  I don't treat DD any way I wouldn't want to be treated.  If I ever hit her (I haven't) I would apologize and put myself in time out.

 

 

I think that it is completely unfair to a 3 year old to expect them to handle things the way an adult would.

 

The bike was too big for her. She couldn't ride it. You made a big joke out of you riding it. Of course she was upset, most kids would be.

 

(since the customs are the same for everyone, if your husband buys you a gorgeous  new ring for a gift and it is too small for you, does she get to wear it first and make a big joke of it?)

post #84 of 116

I havent had to deal with much of this yet with my own son since hes 1, but with my nephew often as i was his primary caretaker, I used what my mom did with me.... the unbending will.

She's one of those people who just naturally command attention even tho shes super tiny, but she was always very matter-of-fact with us. Things just werent presented as an option... 'i dont wanna take a bath' got 'well its bathtime so off you go'. there was a consequence for every bad behavior and for good behaviors as well. She never gave in to a tantrum even tho we all threw them at one point or another. We also all knew what the phrase ' that is unacceptable behavior' meant at a very very young age.

As for getting ready in the morning, if you're on a time constraint, can you have her pick her clothing every night for the next day so that she has free will in the choice and gets to be excited about wearing her specially picked clothing in the morning? It worked for us (that and color coded hangers ... white for everyday and colors for church/dress up).

My mom was a single parent with 3 girls and we all had a really good childhood! (and now shes a great role model for all our kids... and for us as parents!)

post #85 of 116
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

I can see why this wasn't a "minor bump" to her. It wasn't "insanely miniscule" to her. She has a very different perspective than you, and you don't seem to see life from her PoV.

 

Obviously it was quite a big deal to her (things are a big deal to her very often), and yes I agree that she has a totally different perspective and I don't see life from her PoV. 

I am generally pretty calm, it takes a lot to upset or offend me, my relationships are stable with no drama.  DD2 is like this as well.  DD1 is totally different in a way that makes no sense to me, and I therefore am unable to predict the triggers for her behavior with any accuracy.

 

The question is, how far do I go in trying to arrange things around her PoV, versus letting her know that while she may have this PoV, she still has to get dressed for school in the morning, etc.

 

Quote:
I think that it is completely unfair to a 3 year old to expect them to handle things the way an adult would.

 

I agree, but a previous poster suggested that the problem was that I was not giving DD1 the respect I would give an adult, which was not the case.  It may be that this situation in fact required more/different consideration than if she had been an adult, but certainly there was not less-than.

 

I do think there is value in letting children see that the same rules apply to everyone (insofar as that is practical and reasonable given our different levels of development and roles in the household).  Eg when I tell DD1 not to hit, I am able to say 'I don't hit you, you don't hit me: Nobody hits in this house."  It's important to young children that things be 'fair' and I do think that having similar behavioral expectations for everyone is useful.  That's not to say that I expect DD1 to act like an adult, but that the general rules of respect for others apply to everyone.

 

Quote:

 

The bike was too big for her. She couldn't ride it. You made a big joke out of you riding it. Of course she was upset, most kids would be.

 

I wouldn't call it a big joke.  I certainly didn't call attention to it.  I just swung my leg over and scooted it a few yards to the car.  There was a parents-riding-bikes joke vibe in the park because of the other dad riding the trike, who was attracting attention (it was quite funny-looking and his kid obviously didn't mind).  But the joke aspect didn't originate with me.

 

Quote:

 

(since the customs are the same for everyone, if your husband buys you a gorgeous  new ring for a gift and it is too small for you, does she get to wear it first and make a big joke of it?)

 

Well, that's sort of an unfruitful comparison because I don't have much interest in jewelry or in 'stuff' in general, my DH knows that and therefore doesn't buy me jewelry, and jewelry that does get bought for me (my MIL keeps bringing me gold) does seem to often end up as children's toys.  My general lack of interest in stuff does make it hard for me to relate to others who really care about stuff, both adults and children.  I have to remind myself that other people really care about things that I don't care about at all. 

post #86 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by mambera View Post

 

Obviously it was quite a big deal to her (things are a big deal to her very often), and yes I agree that she has a totally different perspective and I don't see life from her PoV. 

I am generally pretty calm, it takes a lot to upset or offend me, my relationships are stable with no drama.  DD2 is like this as well.  DD1 is totally different in a way that makes no sense to me, and I therefore am unable to predict the triggers for her behavior with any accuracy.

 

The question is, how far do I go in trying to arrange things around her PoV, versus letting her know that while she may have this PoV, she still has to get dressed for school in the morning, etc.

 

 

 

 

I have a kid like this, and I'll give you the same advice I repeat to myself: "get to know them, figure them out--childhood is a short time" Spend time doing whatever it is they like to do and just listen when they talk--laundry be damned :-)  Sleep in their bed every few weeks and chat during the night if that's all the time you can manage. This is a member of your family, so G-d willing you will be in a relationship with them for a good long time. It's worth it now to try to understand their innate personalities and motivations and build a solid relationship. This "not understanding" a persons character or personality will not magically disappear when they get older, and you may miss out on a relationship with your adult child.

 

If you can get a handle on what makes this kid tick, simple routines or habits will do wonders for your transitions. If not, you are always going to be flummoxed by something that went wrong unexpectedly.

 

**About five years ago, I started having each child do a different job with me. So not a chore that I nagged them to do, something I would do alone usually. My eldest helps fold and put away clothes, second kiddo helps me clean the bathrooms, third helps load/unload the dishes, number four does very little at this point, etc. We do "our job" at least once a week (together) so it's not a fight and we get to talk without tv, toys, siblings, etc. They open up a lot when they are distracted with a job they know how to do. Start small, you'll figure some way to connect with your kiddo. They have actual jobs to do also, this is just a good way to connect without feeling forced--as long as you can make it a habit.

post #87 of 116

This once came up on another online forum (not UP, btw).

I kept pressing pressing pressing, but What would you do if your child defied you?

And they all had consequences in mind after all.  So to say they parented without needing consequences was untrue, they just did not have to resort to them very often.

 

I think some people have considerable powers of persuasion.  I have none and am generally immune to them too, so I am late to find out this exists or how this works.

 

Also, some people are easily bullied (I was). Others are merely compliant by nature (DS3 & DD).  I can usually get cooperation out of them just by asking nicely, occasionally resort to glowering.

 

But DS1, omg.  And DS2 (SHUDDER).  DS2 is breath-takingly defiant.  He goes thru life arguing with everyone and everything.

 

They are all changing as they get older, though.  DD has turned horribly defiant but only just occasionally (now 11).  DS3 can get hysterical during his rare disagreements.

DS1 goes dead calm nowadays, 80% of the time, when he wants to stand his ground.  Ultra reasonable.  And DS2... well, still a nightmare.  Best way to get cooperation out of DS2 is to make him think it was his idea to do what I wanted in the first place (I think this is one of those secrets of persuasion things).

post #88 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by starling&diesel View Post

  

 

 

When I was first parenting a toddler, I applied my years of dog training (stay with me, here) to the experience.

 

*Never ask them to do something you know they won't do, always use gentle touch, positive reinforcement and no treats or rewards.*  

 

This works for kids too.  As in, only require things of them that you know that they're capable and willing to do.  That way you're always celebrating success!  People always thought that my dog was the most well-behaved dog at the dog park, because she always came when called.  The secret was that I only *called* for her when she was already enroute and there were no distractions between her and I (ie. squirrels, etc).  With children, again, I try to ask only when I know there will be compliance.  This is good for small children, so they get used to complying willingly and then it can be phased out with older kids, who have more nuanced reactions and opinions.  

 

Now at the playground, people think I have the most well-behaved children because they don't fight me when it's time to leave and on the rare occasion that I ask them to do something, they do it.   But again, the secret is that I've set up the expectation of cooperation over the years (with my older one) and am doing it again with my younger one.  How does this work, when it comes down to nuts and bolts?

ie.  We're leaving in ten minutes, so finish up what you're doing and say goodbye to your friends.

     We're leaving in five minutes.

      We're leaving in two minutes.

      It's time to go.

      Older child comes willingly (now).  The younger one is lifted out of the sandbox/play area/wherever and secured into the carrier.

      Off we go.  Every time.  No exceptions.  So there is an expectation that we're going, period.  There's never been a time that we didn't go, so it's like the waiting for the bus idea, or as predictable as bedtime, say.

This works for leaving the house too.  "Jackets and boots on, we're leaving in ten minutes." Or with age-appropriate chores.  "Clean up your blocks and then choose two books for bedtime." And so on.

 

This also works for throwing sand, hitting, etc.  I see the hurtful action, and say, "Gentle touch,  Hands are not for hitting."  or "Sand stays on the ground, no throwing sand." They get a second chance to make the right choice, and if they do it again a third time, we leave.  So no punishment or time out, but no more enjoying the company of their friends or hanging out in the playground.  When they're still young, I remove them, and by the time they're old enough (time will tell if this pans out with her brother) they come, knowing that there is no other option.

 

Also helpful in our family:

 

Never use "Okay" ...

 

I never say "Okay," as in "Time to get ready to go, okay?" or "Time to put on your pajamas, okay?"  It invites negotiation where there is none.   John Holt's writing taught me that one, and it's been immensely helpful.  My older child knows that there is room for discussion if I use "okay" and no room for discussion when I don't. 

Barbara Colorosso is big on that too.  "We will go to the park after you've cleaned your room."  Protest ensues, parent calmly restates: "We will go to the park after you've cleaned your room."  More gnashing of teeth, flinging self to the ground, pounding fists.  Parent calmly restates: "We will go to the park after you've cleaned your room."  And so on.  Key being, don't engage in the drama, and don't invite negotiation by saying, "We'll go to the park after you've cleaned your room, okay?" 

 

Give yourself double the time you think you'll need.

Transitions with children are often difficult.  They're busy doing their 'work'  (play) and we want them to stop because of something on our agenda.  

I find my patience is thinnest when time is of the essence, so I try never to let it be.  We have very few obligations, but we do have a class that starts across the city at 0900 on Monday mornings.  I let them sleep in clothes that are comfy and presentable, so that I don't have to get them dressed.  I make breakfast ahead of time, and we leave the house at 0820, on the dot.   We get up at 0700.  That's a LOT of time.  

 

Pick your hills

I don't like the phrase "Choose your battles," but I get it.  Like choosing the proverbial "hill to die on," and so on.

I don't care what my kids wear.  I don't care if they have a jacket on in the cold.  I don't care if they get dirty.  I don't care if they don't want to learn to climb the jungle gym.  I don't care if they want to ride their bike or walk.  I don't care if they want to fill their backpack with blocks and carry it around for the day.  I don't care if they want their sandwich cut in strips or squares.

I do care about a few choice things;  they are not permitted to do anything harmful to themselves or others, or anything that is simply unkind. 

 

That's a lot of blathering on to essential say that I think consistency is the key here.  That's how expectations become intrinsic and unfaltering.  If children know what to expect, it's easier to let it happen without protest.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


I've been trying to think of a response to this post for a few days, but I think that this ^^ is pretty much what I would say.  She did a great job of breaking it down.  I'm a kindergarten teacher and regularly wrangle 30 - 60 5 year-olds a day and rarely have any problems - and I don't yell, threaten, belittle, shame, or use sarcasm.  The kids WANT to do what I ask them to do.  An early poster (can't remember who, sorry) said that she thought some people just have a natural way of commanding respect or getting others to listen.  I would say that I do come by it naturally, which is why I spent so long figuring out what to post.  I wasn't even sure exactly WHY kids, and even adults, listen.  But, I do all of the things the above poster suggests, so I'm sure that is part of it.  My motto is: "Say what you mean and mean what you say."  I think a lot of times, adults aren't clear which leaves a lot of wriggle room.  For example, you might say, "I'll be in there in a minute" when you really mean 5 minutes.  Or you ask a child to put away their plate and then you walk away.  The plate stays out and it is too much trouble to go track down the kid, so you put it away yourself.  Little stuff like this ads up.  You have to be very clear and consistent.  That isn't to say you can't change your mind if you realize your expectations were off.   You just have to tell them that you changed your mind and why, so they understand - you don't want them to think they just wore you down.   And, most important: prevent problems before they start.  If the same problem keeps arising, you have to step back and figure out WHY it is happening.  If you don't know, ask the kid - he/she probably does know!  With discussion, you might be able to figure it out together.  Often times, kids can come up with great solutions to problems.  You might be able to talk it out right then - in the middle of the situation - but, more often, you need to wait until the child is calm and well-rested.  Sometimes, you need to bring it up more than once to give the child a lot of time to think about what is going on.  

 

Lastly, when I think about getting kids to do what I need them to do, I want to start with asking them to do something I know they can do successfully.  I'm very visual, so bare with me. . . I imagine a lasso, corral, or box or something - my visual for boundaries.  If I needed to "catch" that child, I'd want to start with a HUGE "lasso."  I set the boundaries, but I set them large enough that the child will be INSIDE of them.  If I start with the boundaries too, tight, the child will just jump right out.  Over time, I gradually tighten the boundaries to move them in the direction I'm trying to move the child.  I know if I'm moving too fast, because that is when the child goes outside of the boundaries I'm setting.  (I'm not sure if this will make sense to others and it sounds a bit manipulative, but there are times when I really need to modify behavior and this is far more gentle/respectful to what is generally practiced.)  Basic example:  if I walk into a room and there are kids running around wild and I need to get them calm, I'm not going to immediately expect them to be quiet (tight boundaries)- I would totally fail at that and then would lose their respect, which would make the next thing I try even harder to accomplish.  Instead, I might invite them all to hop in place, stomp their feet, or engage in a clapping game (loose boundaries.)  Then, I can gradually tone down the activity, like asking them to pat their thighs, touch their toes, sit down, whisper, etc.  In just a minute or two, they will all be calm.  This is a simple example how this works quickly with a large group of children, but it also works with individual kids on more challenging behaviors, though in these instances it might take many days, weeks, or even months.  Anyway, I hope that wasn't too confusing!

post #89 of 116
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonjagrabel View Post


I've been trying to think of a response to this post for a few days, but I think that this ^^ is pretty much what I would say.  She did a great job of breaking it down.  I'm a kindergarten teacher and regularly wrangle 30 - 60 5 year-olds a day and rarely have any problems - and I don't yell, threaten, belittle, shame, or use sarcasm.  The kids WANT to do what I ask them to do.  An early poster (can't remember who, sorry) said that she thought some people just have a natural way of commanding respect or getting others to listen.  I would say that I do come by it naturally, which is why I spent so long figuring out what to post.  I wasn't even sure exactly WHY kids, and even adults, listen.  But, I do all of the things the above poster suggests, so I'm sure that is part of it.  My motto is: "Say what you mean and mean what you say."  I think a lot of times, adults aren't clear which leaves a lot of wriggle room.  For example, you might say, "I'll be in there in a minute" when you really mean 5 minutes.  Or you ask a child to put away their plate and then you walk away.  The plate stays out and it is too much trouble to go track down the kid, so you put it away yourself.  Little stuff like this ads up.  You have to be very clear and consistent.  That isn't to say you can't change your mind if you realize your expectations were off.   You just have to tell them that you changed your mind and why, so they understand - you don't want them to think they just wore you down.   And, most important: prevent problems before they start.  If the same problem keeps arising, you have to step back and figure out WHY it is happening.  If you don't know, ask the kid - he/she probably does know!  With discussion, you might be able to figure it out together.  Often times, kids can come up with great solutions to problems.  You might be able to talk it out right then - in the middle of the situation - but, more often, you need to wait until the child is calm and well-rested.  Sometimes, you need to bring it up more than once to give the child a lot of time to think about what is going on.  

 

Lastly, when I think about getting kids to do what I need them to do, I want to start with asking them to do something I know they can do successfully.  I'm very visual, so bare with me. . . I imagine a lasso, corral, or box or something - my visual for boundaries.  If I needed to "catch" that child, I'd want to start with a HUGE "lasso."  I set the boundaries, but I set them large enough that the child will be INSIDE of them.  If I start with the boundaries too, tight, the child will just jump right out.  Over time, I gradually tighten the boundaries to move them in the direction I'm trying to move the child.  I know if I'm moving too fast, because that is when the child goes outside of the boundaries I'm setting.  (I'm not sure if this will make sense to others and it sounds a bit manipulative, but there are times when I really need to modify behavior and this is far more gentle/respectful to what is generally practiced.)  Basic example:  if I walk into a room and there are kids running around wild and I need to get them calm, I'm not going to immediately expect them to be quiet (tight boundaries)- I would totally fail at that and then would lose their respect, which would make the next thing I try even harder to accomplish.  Instead, I might invite them all to hop in place, stomp their feet, or engage in a clapping game (loose boundaries.)  Then, I can gradually tone down the activity, like asking them to pat their thighs, touch their toes, sit down, whisper, etc.  In just a minute or two, they will all be calm.  This is a simple example how this works quickly with a large group of children, but it also works with individual kids on more challenging behaviors, though in these instances it might take many days, weeks, or even months.  Anyway, I hope that wasn't too confusing!

 

Thank you, I like both these posts.  The only thing is, I actually feel like I already do most of this.  Maybe I am wrong.  But most of the specific stuff starling&diesel listed, that describes very well how I operate.  The procedure for leaving the park, tailoring requests to things the child is primed to do, the picking-battles (I also have a very small set of essential things I need my kids to do, I certainly am not picking battles over type of clothing, backpack full of blocks, sandwich shape etc.).  I do use the time-out for hitting, I'd be open to alternatives but I have yet to hear a good one (leaving the park doesn't work when you're at home already).  The timeout really works, DD1 is almost never physically violent in any way, actually she is incredibly tolerant of DD2 who will just walk up to her and pull her hair or scratch or bite her.  (I am implementing short timeouts for DD2 to work on this problem, and also to show DD1 that DD2 does not get away with hurting people either.)

 

In terms of the same problem arising, actually I would say that is part of why this is tough to figure out - because it isn't the same problem all the time, actually I can't think of a single situation that is a problem all the time.  The problem is that every day there is a different problem.  She may brush her teeth without complaint for nine days in a row, and then on the tenth day suddenly it's a huge issue that blows up into a battle before I can even see it coming. 

 

(Although again I would say things have gotten much much better over time, and are much better now than they were when I started this thread.  When DD1 was around two she had multiple screaming fits every day over minor issues, now maybe it's once a day and they don't last nearly as long as they did.)

 

I like the idea of a gradation of boundaries, that is really interesting and sounds potentially useful.  I'm not really sure how it works with a temper tantrum though.  Like what is the smallest step down from a temper tantrum other than stop-crying?  She's not too bad at stop-crying if she has a reason to - e.g. if the reason for the tantrum is something I can actually fix and I tell her 'I can't understand you when you scream, so tell me calmly and I will help you out," she can pretty much control herself, but if the thing she is tantruming about is not something I can fix there doesn't seem to be any way to get her to calm down.  I just let her know I'm sorry she's angry, I can't give her what she wants, and then let her get over it in her own time.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on stepping her down from a tantrum.

 

Also sometimes when she is upset and I try to move her from angry to silly, then the silly just gets out of control and that's not something I want either.  Then when I try to tone down the silly she goes right back to angry.  Eg she is flipping out about getting the wrong cup or whatever, I try to redirect to silly ('We hate the monkey cup!" make silly monkey face etc.) then she might start laughing but also jumping on me making loud monkey noises in my face, grabbing my hair etc.  Then if I try to calm that down at all (quiet monkey?  no dice) she gets upset and returns to her tantrum.

 

I also think the people who pointed out the predictability/routine issues may be on to something, because obviously there are things that I don't think of as major areas of unpredictability (eg park some days and not others) that may seem like mountains of random unfairness to DD1.  I'm still thinking about ways to enhance routine without taking away the fun little extras.

post #90 of 116
OP -- you posted for advice, and have been given some good advice, in my opinion. I disagree with some of what I've read, but some has been spot on!

The theme I've seen is you being argumentative with the posters. You say you already do what's been advised, or it wouldn't work with your child, etc. Based on that, I'm inclined to believe things are not going to improve with your daughter until you are open to making a change. I fully expect you to disagree with this. Still, if you can open yourself to the idea that you and your daughter are different people, with different points of view, AND NEITHER IS RIGHT OR WRONG, then, I predict, you will see improvement.
post #91 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

OP -- you posted for advice, and have been given some good advice, in my opinion. I disagree with some of what I've read, but some has been spot on!

The theme I've seen is you being argumentative with the posters. You say you already do what's been advised, or it wouldn't work with your child, etc. Based on that, I'm inclined to believe things are not going to improve with your daughter until you are open to making a change. I fully expect you to disagree with this. Still, if you can open yourself to the idea that you and your daughter are different people, with different points of view, AND NEITHER IS RIGHT OR WRONG, then, I predict, you will see improvement.


yeahthat.gif

post #92 of 116
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

OP -- you posted for advice, and have been given some good advice, in my opinion. I disagree with some of what I've read, but some has been spot on!

 

I completely agree.  Some of it has been implemented, to good effect (eg the routine/pre-warning stuff).  Some of it has not been implemented, either because it is already in use or doesn't seem to apply to our situation.

 

Quote:


The theme I've seen is you being argumentative with the posters. You say you already do what's been advised, or it wouldn't work with your child, etc.

 

Any set of advice on the internet is going to contain some items that are useful, some that are already being implemented, and some that don't work for the particular situation.  It seems you and I disagree about which category each of the pieces offered here fall into.  You are of course entitled to your opinion, but I'll keep mine as well, thanks.

 

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Based on that, I'm inclined to believe things are not going to improve with your daughter until you are open to making a change. I fully expect you to disagree with this.

 

Well, it is hard to take you seriously when your dire predictions are in direct contradiction to the reality that things have already improved, and continue to do so.

 

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you and your daughter are different people, with different points of view,

 

This is a truism, but it's fine if you would like to restate it for the record

 

 

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AND NEITHER IS RIGHT OR WRONG,

 

I would say that anyone who is viewing interactions between people through a lens of 'right and wrong' is in trouble to begin with. 

 

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then, I predict, you will see improvement.

 

Indeed!  Thank you for your contribution to the thread. ;)

post #93 of 116
If you are truly already being consistent then this is probably a testing phase and it should end as soon as your DD realizes that you and your Dh are not going to change your mind just because a tantrum happens.

You mentioned that your DD gets too silly then mad again when you try the playful approach. I suggest allowing her to be mad and not trying to change that. Let her know that it is OK to be mad and you are there for her if she wants a hug then let her feel her emotion without trying to stop her. Being mad or sad about not getting your way is normal and she will manage these emotions without crying as she gets older. If distraction isn't working empathize briefly and move on to allowing her to express herself. As long as she isn't hurting something her emotional expressions should be allowed.

It also sounds like her being mad is how she is interacting with you because you try to stop it. Changing your reaction to quietly staying in the room and seeking out other opportunities to interact may help decrease how often she flies off the handle over little things.
post #94 of 116

Because this is a long thread, I haven't taken the time to read through every post - just glanced at the first few pages.

 

I teach Positive Discipline workshops.  Here's a list of tools to prevent power struggles over clothes in the mornings.

 

1. Create a visual routine chart. Let the child help create the chart. Ask, "What's next on your chart?" so the child is the "boss" of the routine. Here's an article I wrote on this.

 

2. Spend special time with each child each week (30 minutes to an hour) to build your relationship. During special time, focus on enjoying each other's company and building up your child. This really cuts down on many power struggles after special time is a routine thing.

 

3. Find time in the morning routine to do something with your daughter - either brush your teeth together or get dressed together or eat breakfast together. Again, the intent is to build the relationship, something that will help prevent power struggles and indirectly invite cooperation.

 

4. Ask your child's help. Hugs, then ask, "Hey, I really need your help in getting to work on time (or getting you to school on time.) What are your ideas?

 

5. Find out feelings and validate her feelings: "So, you're not really wanting to get dressed this morning, love. What's going on?" Often this was enough to dissolve any resistance.

 

I'm suggesting that the long range goal is to diffuse the power struggle and if she starts a power struggle to not engage in it because like a tug of war, she's going to most likely pull harder once you start engaging in the power struggle.

 

I think there was one time where I put some clothes in a bag and told my son we had to leave. He decided to get dressed in the car in the preschool parking lot. He could have gotten dressed in the school bathroom as well, but he didn't want his friends to see. I didn't blame or shame him for this and tried to say as little as possible to let him learn from the experience. I didn't have this particular power struggle often with either of my kids so my son's example was a one time event.

post #95 of 116

I don't want to sound like I'm arguing every point, I'm trying to understand how things like this can work.

Quote:

Originally Posted by KellyGlenn View Post

Because this is a long thread, I haven't taken the time to read through every post - just glanced at the first few pages.

 

I teach Positive Discipline workshops.  Here's a list of tools to prevent power struggles over clothes in the mornings.

 

1. Create a visual routine chart. Let the child help create the chart. Ask, "What's next on your chart?" so the child is the "boss" of the routine. Here's an article I wrote on this.

 

How does this work if it is not possible to always have the same routine? What about children who simply choose not to do anything?

 

2. Spend special time with each child each week (30 minutes to an hour) to build your relationship. During special time, focus on enjoying each other's company and building up your child. This really cuts down on many power struggles after special time is a routine thing.

 

This isn't always possible for everyone. How could this be used in families where there is no way to be alone with any of the children? What is a special time for one child might annoy another and cause arguments during one child's time if there is no one to watch the other kids.

 

3. Find time in the morning routine to do something with your daughter - either brush your teeth together or get dressed together or eat breakfast together. Again, the intent is to build the relationship, something that will help prevent power struggles and indirectly invite cooperation.

 

This would be great with one child or maybe two, how would it work when all the kids won't fit in the bathroom together to brush teeth or breakfast can't be at one time because kids refuse to follow their routine and do things on time?

 

4. Ask your child's help. Hugs, then ask, "Hey, I really need your help in getting to work on time (or getting you to school on time.) What are your ideas?

 

There isn't always (or often) time for many parents to stop and talk about things or listen to ideas. A family could come up with ideas together at a more convenient time but kids might decide in the moment they don't feel like doing what they agreed to anymore.

 

5. Find out feelings and validate her feelings: "So, you're not really wanting to get dressed this morning, love. What's going on?" Often this was enough to dissolve any resistance.

 

Same as #4.

 

I'm suggesting that the long range goal is to diffuse the power struggle and if she starts a power struggle to not engage in it because like a tug of war, she's going to most likely pull harder once you start engaging in the power struggle.

 

I think there was one time where I put some clothes in a bag and told my son we had to leave. He decided to get dressed in the car in the preschool parking lot. He could have gotten dressed in the school bathroom as well, but he didn't want his friends to see. I didn't blame or shame him for this and tried to say as little as possible to let him learn from the experience. I didn't have this particular power struggle often with either of my kids so my son's example was a one time event.

 

A one time thing isn't really a big deal. For the OP this might be a daily problem. In other families it might not be possible to grab clothes and go anyway. A child might choose to have a fit and refuse to even get in the car. They might refuse to get dressed when there. The parent might need to be somewhere and the child won't get dressed or into the car and the parent might not be physically able to carry the child to the car. Besides creating a routine what are some ways to keep these struggles from starting instead of having to deal with them when they come up?

post #96 of 116

Using these tools definitely requires a shift in thinking from the way that traditional discipline "thinks."

 

My personal philosophy is that some behavior issues are completely due to typical development and the rest of behavior issues are about the parent-child relationship. I also believe that most children do want to cooperate when given the opportunity.

 

About the routine, I'm not sure how a morning routine might be different each morning. Most kids have to eat breakfast, get dressed, brush teeth and hair and get backpack. Creating an order for these to be done helps a child indirectly learn predictability and these types of daily routines are extremely healthy for social-emotional development.

 

I agree that spending special time with each child is challenging time wise for some families. I also believe that we work hard for those things we value. For example, I don't personally care for television, but many families put a high value on this and spend lots of time and energy around the television.

 

About talking about issues, yes family meetings are another good way to solve problems at times when the problem isn't happening. On another note, if there isn't much time to talk in the morning, then maybe more time needs to be allowed for the child to complete the routine.

 

I suggested lots of ideas because every family is different and some ideas won't work for every family.

 

I have used these types of tools for years and years and am so happy with the long term results. A mom asked for suggestions, so I offered some. These tools definitely aren't for everyone, but they definitely are gentle discipline tools.

post #97 of 116

We also have a concept in Positive Discipline called mistaken goals.

 

Which words describe YOUR feelings when your daughter is misbehaving?

 

annoyed, irritated

 

worried, guilty

 

challenge, threatened, provoked, defeated

 

hurt, disappointed, disbelieving, disgusted

post #98 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by mambera View Post

 


(Although again I would say things have gotten much much better over time, and are much better now than they were when I started this thread.  When DD1 was around two she had multiple screaming fits every day over minor issues, now maybe it's once a day and they don't last nearly as long as they did.)

 

I like the idea of a gradation of boundaries, that is really interesting and sounds potentially useful.  I'm not really sure how it works with a temper tantrum though.  Like what is the smallest step down from a temper tantrum other than stop-crying?  She's not too bad at stop-crying if she has a reason to - e.g. if the reason for the tantrum is something I can actually fix and I tell her 'I can't understand you when you scream, so tell me calmly and I will help you out," she can pretty much control herself, but if the thing she is tantruming about is not something I can fix there doesn't seem to be any way to get her to calm down.  I just let her know I'm sorry she's angry, I can't give her what she wants, and then let her get over it in her own time.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on stepping her down from a tantrum.

 

Also sometimes when she is upset and I try to move her from angry to silly, then the silly just gets out of control and that's not something I want either.  Then when I try to tone down the silly she goes right back to angry.  Eg she is flipping out about getting the wrong cup or whatever, I try to redirect to silly ('We hate the monkey cup!" make silly monkey face etc.) then she might start laughing but also jumping on me making loud monkey noises in my face, grabbing my hair etc.  Then if I try to calm that down at all (quiet monkey?  no dice) she gets upset and returns to her tantrum.

 

 

 

Graduated boundaries for this issue: I think it would be more long-term than something that would be implemented during a specific tantrum.  Once a child is in a tantrum, in my experience, you aren't going to get anywhere until the child has calmed down.  That would be the focus at that time.  The graduated boundary might be more of what you consider acceptable in the morning.  Now, it might be okay that teeth aren't brushed, clothes don't match, and mom gives more assistance with getting things together.  Over time, you will work to build independence. 

 

So, how to build independence and increase cooperation: I think it can be helpful to specifically practice what you want to happen.  (Not actually when you are trying to get ready in the morning, but on the weekend, in the evening, or some other time when everyone is relaxed.)  Make a game of it, maybe even use a timer - timers make everything fun!  And, it might be good to do it with all the kids, not just the one having trouble.  Practice what it "look like, "feels like," and "sounds like" to do the morning routine.  Have her practice it both the "right" way and the "wrong" way and talk about it afterwards.  (Usually kids really LOVE to practice it the wrong way!  Only do that a couple of times though.  Do it the "right" way many times to get in ingrained.)

 

Since the situation that triggers the tantrum changes, you might have to actually have her practice what to do when she has a tantrum.  Even before that, though, you need to work with her on learning how to calm herself down.  I suspect that the tantrums actually scare her a little bit and she doesn't know how to calm herself down.  When she is calm and there is plenty of time, teach her some calming down strategies.  A few that I use:  Belly breathing (I find that the most tense kids have a very difficult time learning how to breathe in their belly.  I have some strategies for teaching this if you are interested.) Blowing up a pretend balloon, counting or singing a specific song, turning on a pretend faucet and letting the water (anger/stress) pour out, or doing some sort of task, like filling a bucket with blocks or squishing something  (I can explain any of these further, if needed.  The belly breathing is usually the best, but I teach kids several strategies and let them choose which one they want to use.  I even have a poster I made of the choices and I post it in the room if I have a student who needs it.  When you are teaching this, you need to talk about different scenarios where these strategies might be used and act them out.  Don't expect this to work perfectly the first time. She will need to try them out when a real tantrum hits.  After the tantrum, talk to her about which ones worked and which ones didn't   and how they made her feel.  Talk, talk, talk.  I keep saying that because, in the end, the solution will come from her.  She has to be the one to figure out what works for her, and you will only find that out by discussing it with her.  Encourage her and celebrate small successes, even if it is just a slightly shorter or less tantrum.

 

I'm glad to hear they are getting better.  Think on that and see if you can figure out WHY they are getting better. That will help you keep the momentum going.  I know that with a bunch of kids and lots of stress, sometimes it is easy to overlook successes, but it is important to reflect on them, to notice even the smallest improvement, so you can figure out what works.

 

I can't remember how old our daughter is and can't scroll back since I'm in the middle of this.  If she is old enough where you think she should be mostly over tantrums by this point, I would really start trying to find the root cause.  You said that it isn't at a consistent time of day or always about the same type of problem.  There still might be a common thread, though.  Seems like a control issue. . . If she is trying to assert control over these seemingly insignificant things, is it because she feels like she doesn't have control in other areas?  Is it overstimulation?  Is she seeking attention for some reason?  Maybe there is a food sensitivity - lots of foods can make children have difficulty controlling themselves - and parents are often really surprised at how much food can affect behavior.  (Common foods that can cause disruptive behavior: dairy, gluten, corn, soy, artificial flavors, artificial colors, artificial sweeteners, MSG, sugar, etc.)

 

 

Anyway, hope you are able to find something useful.  And remember, she isn't doing this to make your life difficult.  This is probably the best she can do right now.  But, with time, practice, and support, she will improve.
 

post #99 of 116

Once a kid hits tantrum stage, it's all over as far as learning goes. Routines are meant to be stuff that is a "given" and will lesson tantrums once the kid is used to, and agrees to the routine.

 

I don't understand the idea that it would be impossible to have a "schedule" even if you do different things on different days.

 

KISS (I say silly for the last)

 

Every Morning Routine: wake up, eat breakfast, bring in dishes, brush teeth, wash face, put on new clothes. Done--then leave for activity in 10 minutes, or four hours. No tv/playing until these things are done.

 

Leave the house Routine: go to the toilet, put on shoes, fill/grab water bottles or backpacks.

 

We tend to over think these things, and let kids drag them out if we are stressed about something "different" that we need to do.

 

There will always  be 30 minutes in the week that you can spend alone with a child, it's just a matter of doing it--shoot split it into 3 10 minute segments if you have to. We have 4 kiddos, and DH gets home about two hours before bedtime most days--we spend that time at dinner prep and homework. It doesn't have to be a fun "play date" if you really can't swing it--at this point I have a few chores that I do with the older two and we spend that time talking. Trust me, no one is mad that they don't get to rake leaves, or clean bathrooms, or fold laundry but it's still a special time to chat with the kid who is joining me in work at that moment. I learn a lot about their lives this way.

post #100 of 116

Regarding the bike incident and my previous suggestion of teaching her (and practicing) what you want her to do. . . I think the focus should be on how to handle when things don't go as expected or she doesn't like when something happens.

 

One thing I teach is that you can't solve your problem until you calm down.  I give examples when that is a problem for ME. My favorite is a time when I dropped my keys in the little area between my car seat and car door.  I was running late and couldn't get my fingers down in the crevice to reach them.  I tell them how I became angry and frustrated - and even act out how I acted.  "Nothing is working!  It isn't fair!  Why does everything go wrong for me?!" I explain how I kept doing the same thing over and over - trying to jam my fingers in the crevice.  I was so upset, I couldn't THINK.  I demonstrated self talk - I showed them how I talked myself down from a fit:  "Sonja, you are doing the same thing over and over again and it isn't working.  You need to calm down and think about it to solve your problem."  I explained that once I calmed down, I was able to realize I needed to get out of the car, shift the seat back, and grab my keys.  It was an easy problem to solve once I am calm.  I talk a lot with them about times they got frustrated and couldn't think.  We keep coming back to the theme that you need to calm down to solve your problems.  (That is when start practicing calming down techniques.)

 

So, anyway, I've already touched on this a bit. What I'm trying to point out here is that she wanted to tell you not to ride the bike.  She couldn't tell you that because she was not calm.  Try working with her to help her understand that when she throws a tantrum, no one knows what she needs.  Practice what she should have done in this situation:  "Mom, that is my bike. Don't ride it!"    If she would've said this, you would have known to stop.  She needs help understanding how to communicate her needs when she is upset.  This can be practiced - I've seen it work many times.  You also need to notice when she DOES stay calm and communicate her needs.  Point it out when it happens and say something like: Thank you for telling me!  It really helps when you tell me that. . . " 

 

You aren't going to be able to tiptoe around her "hair trigger" very successfully, but you can teach her how to tell you what her needs are so it isn't a guessing game for you. 

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