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I don't know what to call this post. re: 3 yr old son - Page 2

post #21 of 35
I was pg. when my oldest son went through this stage, and looking back I feel badly because I just couldn't see that he was still just a small child. Almost a baby still. And my expectations were so high! The only advice I can give is to try to remember that he is still very little. Try not to see him as your "big kid."

It might also be good to try to spend time alone with him. Just like a "date" with my husband helps met to remember why I love him, and reconnect/ground our marriage -- time alone with one of my children helps me to remember the things I love about him. Sometimes I really need that sense of connection in order to discipline effectively, and in order to to keep from "shutting down" the way you describe. Even if its just an hour a week, it helps to be alone with and focused entirely on one child.

DH and I have also adopted a strategy of splitting up when we are both home from work. He takes one kid and I take the other. Even if it is just to run errands or play in the backyard. We try to alternate who has which kid so that we both stay connected to both kids. This 1:1 time always goes more smoothly than 2:2 time. I don't know why exactly -- the energy levels are lower I guess.

Anyway -- those are some quick thoughts.
post #22 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveBeads
It is about 100 times more work than "traditional" discipline methods and the rewards are beyond any description.
I think that a statement like this is misleading. Are you saying that because you work harder than another parent, you are doing a better job? Unlike Wilma, who is my SIL, btw, I do use Gentle Discipline as a parenting philosophy. But I don't think that I work any harder than anyone else, and I don't think that I parent my child better than anyone else. It's just what I do. I think that anyone who parents their child well, regardless of what style of discipline they use, reaps countless rewards.

I have five children, and all of them have responded well to different things. Because I don't know what you have been trying already with your son, I don't know what I could suggest as far as parenting strategies. However, I think it's extremely important for your own mental health that you get a break. As I'm sure you know, you need to be at your best to parent your child well. I would recommend finding a babysitter for a weekly break for yourself. You could ask your child's pediatrician if he/she knows of anyone who watches children, you could contact a local college or university to see whether there are students interested in babysitting (there always are), you could ask your LLL if she knows of anyone, you could join a parents' co-op, you could find a family in your neighborhood, etc. There are many possibilities for finding a way to get a break. Some people have suggested spending more time on your son, but I think that perhaps a better short-term solution is to spend more time on yourself, so that you can come back to your son refreshed and with a new perspective.

Good luck.
post #23 of 35
Anyone who thinks 2 is hard has NEVER had a 3 yr old.. I whole heartedly believe that.. The books LIE!! 2 isn't bad.. It's 3 that will kill you everytime!!!

My only question.. (I don't have any "try this" advice) Are you taking a B complex supplement.. The B vitamins are the ones your body burns when you are under stress.. They can help with depression..I suggest a B complex (lots of B's in 1 vit) and see if that helps you cope any better.

Warm Squishy Feelings..

Dyan
post #24 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by dandamomma
I think that a statement like this is misleading. Are you saying that because you work harder than another parent, you are doing a better job?
I didn't get that from her post at all.

What I read, and what is true, is that gentle discipline is not, as so many people think, the "easy way out". It's not about ignoring bad behaviour, it's not about being lazy as a parent. It's not about just sitting back and letting the kids do whatever they want. I think the statement you quoted was a response to that.

Why I say that GD is often much harder than punishment-based methods, or methods that are based solely on controlling a certain behaviour, is that for most people, our innate response to situations we find undesirable is to use our power as adults to stop it.

But..if you choose a path that means no yelling, no time-outs, no spankings, no punitive responses....well that is very hard work. NOT ONLY because you must actively research and think about what techniques are then available to you (much like a vegan must research how to replace meat with nutritionally complete substitutes) but also....well, GD requires that you as the parent look into YOUR self and grow as a person, too. It requires alot of self-introspection, self-awareness, and reprogramming of old habits and negative reflexes that were programmed into you as a child.

IMO, it is so much easier when you are at your wit's end and your kid is driving you crazy, to use your larger physical size and stronger will as a parent and just stick them in a time out, or say "that's it! we're not going to the park" or whatever. But to do GD, you must first figure out why this particular behaviour is driving you crazy (very telling how differently we all react to different "nuisances"), then you need to muster the self-control to get your own emotions in check while you are already at your rope's end, then you must take a deep breath and ensure that your negative issues are not transferred onto your child while you deal with the situation.

The rewards are immense. But yeah, it's very hard work. And no, that doesn't mean it is inherently "better" than any other method. I'm just saying, it is most definitely NOT the "lazy parent's way out".



Heavenly: first, you need some breaks to regroup and recenter yourself and restore some energy. then you need to start looking at your son's behaviour from a totally different perspective. i can't write all about that in a single post....but i do encourage you to lurk over at the GD board, and also pick up some of the books on the reading list from your library.
post #25 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piglet68
But..if you choose a path that means no yelling, no time-outs, no spankings, no punitive responses....well that is very hard work.

IMO, it is so much easier when you are at your wit's end and your kid is driving you crazy, to use your larger physical size and stronger will as a parent and just stick them in a time out, or say "that's it! we're not going to the park" or whatever.
It's interesting that you think that. I don't think that at all. I think it's a whole lot easier to tune into your child and approach them from an empathetic viewpoint than it is to try to dominate them. I started out as a real "I'm the parent and that's why!" kind of mother. When I had two preschool-aged kids and another on the way, I realized that that type of approach wasted too much physical and emotional energy and that I had to try something else if I was going to survive three kids. GD has really made life a lot easier for me. Easier enough that I went on to have even more kids. I find that being in tune with my kids elminates so many problems that everything about being a mother is much easier (not easy, because parenting is never easy, but easier than non-GD discipline). Maybe it just depends on your personality.

But I have gotten the feeling that a lot of GD parents feel that their way is both harder and better, which I think is an unfair judgement of other people's discipline styles. I know a lot of people who parent very differently from me who also have fabulous, fulfilling relationships with their kids and who are extremely good parents. I don't see discipline styles as stand-alones. They have to be considered in light of an entire constellation of facets of the family. GD works for my husband and I because of who we are, and my friend down the street's style of discipline works for her and her husband because of who they are.
post #26 of 35
a) heavenly, three is *rough*. i have certainly had days when i am wishing four would hurry up. (four is *such* a good age, imho.) the first part of bunny's post re: some preschool, well...

i am an unschooler, but having a 'break' (yes, *gasp!* i am one of those monstrous mothers who needs an occasional break) has helped me chill, & helped my ds chill, & given the baby some valuable time alone with me (which he had not had since birth.) i'm talking, like, mother's day out, twice a week, a few hours each time. i was afraid he would freak out & cry, but from the first day it was, 'bye, mom' & onto fun, friends, crafts, etc. he likes to be able to color without the baby eating his crayons!

and b), wilma, i got the point from the first you meant tcs & were not indicting all the gently disciplining mamas at mdc. (and no doubt were hesitant to mention it so blatantly lest you offend any lurky tcs'ers, & instead offended piglet <g>)

suse
post #27 of 35
suseyblue: i'm good! me and bunnysmama exchanged some nice PM's and all is well.

dandamama: I'm laughing because I agree with everything you wrote. :LOL without going into detail, lest I derail this thread even further, ITA with you. It is harder in some ways, but alot easier in others.
post #28 of 35
Why is it that it is so much easier to see ways to help others than ourselves? I feel like a total hypocrite writing this, having just written an "I've had it and I want out" message in the Gentle Discipline area. Anyway...

First, 3 is hard. So be sure to cut yourself some slack if you don't think you are doing a perfect job.

Second, there is NOTHING wrong with needing a break and finding a way to get it. Part-time preschool isn't a failure on your part, assuming you take the time to find a good program, it coule be salvation for your entire family. That is OK. Really, truly. We all need different things at different times. This, by the way, includes your son. So if you feel like this might be an answer in the long-term, then go for it!

Third, it sounds very much like you need a break NOW to think about the future. I know you said its impossible, but can we explore that for a moment? Now, I don't know what sort of community you live in or what your resources are. So here are some suggestions that might be worth exploring. But first, you have to admit that a break for a while (say an afternoon, or maybe a couple of morings next week) is a good thing. I suggest thinking about it this way. There are options out there (I know you don't think so, but I bet there are). But maybe they aren't as perfect as you would like. Is it better to use a less-than-perfect option for a short while or to completely lose it? Better for your son to sit in front of a TV for a morning, or to have you yelling at him because YOU need a break? Better to have him play by himself in a busy babysitting center with little adult interaction other than basic safety supervision or to interact with you in a totally negative manner? See where I'm going? Sometimes less-than-perfect is still better than the alternative.

OK, so lets see what might be avaible for a couple of hours. Can your partner have a Daddy day on the weekend and leave you free to go out by yourself? Do you have any friends you can ask for a few hours from? Remember, they aren't raising him for good, just for an afternoon, its OK if they don't make the same decisions you would. A relative maybe? None of those? Then can you afford some paid care? A babysitting agency? A drop-in childcare center? A church "Parent's night out" program (you don't have to belong to the church to do these sorts of things)? Swim lessons at the community pool? What would you do if a Dr. said you had to have a day off to have emergency surgery? Gtreat -- now realize this could be just as important and make it happen!

Hope that got your creative mind going. Good luck.
post #29 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by dandamomma
I think that a statement like this is misleading. Are you saying that because you work harder than another parent, you are doing a better job?
No, I'm not saying that. I'm saying exactly what I wrote, that it is very hard work to GD but the rewards are enormous. I never said anything about who is doing a better job.

"But I have gotten the feeling that a lot of GD parents feel that their way is both harder and better, which I think is an unfair judgement of other people's discipline styles."

I agree with part of this. If I didn't feel GD was "better", I wouldn't parent that way so yes, I do feel it is better. I disagree with the second part, that this is an unfair judgment of other people's styles. Just because I prefer pasta to meat does not mean I think people are "wrong" for eating meat.

I think that you are feeling defensive because you think I'm being judgmental, there is nothing that I wrote which suggests that. I can be positive about something without feeling negatively about people who don't practice it. And I don't think that I wrote anything that would suggest otherwise!

I agree with most everything else that you wrote. I'm just very confused as to why you took such offense to my post when we are (ostensibly) very much in agreement
post #30 of 35
Oh deary me...age three..... I'll repeat it too, it's a tough, tough age......

Pre-school/kindy/daycare, even for a short time, can provide a lot of relief. It may just be that your DS is ready to socialise with the world more- he's ready to hang out with othr kids his own age in a social setting. You know him best, of course, so have a think about whether or not it would work. You can always stop attending, too, if it's not helping...

mamaduck, DH & I split duties too, if the kids are a bit out of control together, & it really, really helps. For example, our two may not go to the shops together with us for a long time yet...... but we do get a lot more shopping done with a lot less stress. The kids have to take turns going shopping with either DH or myself. The social embarrassment factor of shopping has virtually disappeared, & DD & DS are learning how to shop for fresh veggies (now that they are no longer busy wreaking havoc together)

There are a lot of good suggestions here, but the important thing is to do what feels right to you & your family. You won't be doing yourself any favours if you get really burned out on parenting, KWIM? I think I'll also back up just about ever thing E&A's mama suggested. If one tactic doesn't work, try something else... you'll get there.
post #31 of 35
Just adhere to your basic principals and be flexible with the rest.

My dd was a reeeeeeaal challenge as an infant and there were many days I wanted to run away from it all. I wondered why I had chosen this life. I missed adult company, I felt used and abused by this little person...

She eventually taught me how to raise her effectively, and I have to agree with everybody here who has said that GD is easier. OMG no comparison! I was in a power struggle with an iron-willed child and it was hurting us both.
She showed me what she needs, and your son will, too. You'll find what works and it'll be second nature and you'll barely remember this time in his life!

In the meanwhile, don't pay any attention to any of those annoying moms who behave as if there's something wrong with not finding motherhood, in and of itself, 100% rewarding. You were on this earth a long time before you had babies,and you'll always be much more than your childrens mother. There's NOTHING wrong with needing a break, NOTHING wrong with having needs of your own, and NOTHING wrong with having days where you want to go on a mommy-strike... just as long as you know you have to go back after you calm your nerves, and find a real solution. Your kids are not going to grow up unstable because you weren't a perfect mom, even when they were throwing stuff at you, so let yourself crack up every once in a while. Is it ideal? Of course not. I'm not selling it as a good idea, but when it happens, forgive yourself and move on, and redefine what works and what doesn't as time goes by.
It's a whole lot worse to stick to a rigid standard when it isn't working... and to make yourself nutso, to boot, right? As long as compassion is your cornerstone, you can afford to try whatever you need to try to save your sanity and your family's peace. Just don't forget what a big part of the equation you are! If you're not rested and feeling well emotionally, you can't expect yourself to help your ds grow. And if you need a break from him sometimes, give yourself that break. No, nursery school isn't going to solve whatever issues ds is having, but it may give you time to refuel so that you have the energy and DESIRE to figure it out.
Take care of yourself, Mommy!
post #32 of 35
BTW~
when I said "those annoying moms" I didn't mean anybody here! Just to be clear!
post #33 of 35
No advice, just sympathy (as well as sheer terror since my son is 2 1/2. 2 has been great fun to me, so I had hoped he was just a miracle child without some behaviors to make a mom crazy...now I fear 3!)
post #34 of 35
Melaniee.....I agree!

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post #35 of 35
Ohh, hugs to you!
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