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it's official.. Gentle Discipline is not possible with my child :( - Page 9

post #161 of 260
Thread Starter 
clothcrazymom- just wanted to say.. I know why you are so wise! you could be my mom! :LOL I was born in '84! and my little sister was born in '88 just like your oldest!

's

thanks everyone for your advice! things have definetely changed in my house, we're all about healthy snacks now, although dd is allowed popcycles after her meal about once a day and I don't really have a problem with that. right now she is finger painting (we went to TRU yesterday and bought her a lot of paints, crayons and new stuff so she would feel motivated to keep the TV off) and it's worked ok. she still asks for TV and I do put it on when she asks. I have a feeling she is used to having it on in the background, and my question to you all is, what can really happen if TV is on "in the background" while she is playing? I am used to it too, I must say and even enjoy the noise. what do you guys feel about this? how about the mamas that said that I should let her watch TV as much as she wants? do you believe there is no harm in watching too much TV? thanks again for your responses, you guys are the best!
post #162 of 260
CB, thanks for the slinging idea. I'd love to do that with Julia as she lived in her sling as an infant/toddler, but now she is about 42 lbs and it just isn't comfortable for me (I'm only 5'2" and she is very tall for her age, so again it just doesn't work well). Plus my 2-yr-old would freak! She things the sling is HERS and hers alone!!!!

I thought of this thread yesterday as I ate lunch with my parents, sister, her 6-yr-old and her 12-yr-old. The 6-yr-old is a challenge to feed. He would eat fruit and peanut butter (not the good kind unfortunately but the sugar-laden junk that is served as school : ) Yesterday I watched as my mom and dad tried to force him to eat meat and potatoes. First they commented to my sister about how they don't know how she deals with him, how he would make them crazy were he their child. Then they tried to threaten him, telling him he won't get X if he doesn't eat Y. My dad can have a very menacing tone, which is quite unpleasant. I remember how scared I was of it when I was that age. So basically the entire meal we had to listen to my nephew be cajoled, prodded, discussed and threatened about eating. Only once did my sister try to make them stop, trying to point out that making food a control issue isn't the way "they" say it should be done.

I almost launched into a soap box moment about food/kids, but decided I just didn't have the energy. I did intervene once just to get my mom to be quiet by mentioning how much easier it is just to not have junk around and let a kid choose something else to eat if the meal isn't what they want.

The whole ugly scene did make me realize once again where my authoritarian tendencies (ie control freak tendencies!) come from. And it strengthened my resolve about not getting caught up in food battles.

My 2-yr-old had cereal, brown rice, broccoli and vanilla ice cream for breakfast! And I had the ultimate test when Julia chose not to eat anything this morning before heading off to school. Like me, she hates to eat right after she gets up. I offered several choices which she declined. She said she would eat at lunch (which is early) so I bit my tongue, gave her a water bottle and a snack in her bookbag, and sent her to school. I didn't nag because I've seen my mom do it enough to know just how freaking annoying that truly is.
post #163 of 260
I don't have an answer for your question about TV, LMB (we struggle with it, too, here). But have you thought about radio in the background? Maybe some favorite music? The thing I worry about with TV is that the images and noise are still affecting the brain, impacting the type of play.

I'd like to hear what others have to say.

So glad to hear things are better!
post #164 of 260
Thread Starter 
Fianna- Yay for you! doesn't it feel great to know you're improving? I feel the same way! 's
post #165 of 260
Thread Starter 
dragonfly- I fear the same thing about TV.. can't wait to read what others have to say!
post #166 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by loving-my-babies
I have a feeling she is used to having it on in the background, and my question to you all is, what can really happen if TV is on "in the background" while she is playing? I am used to it too, I must say and even enjoy the noise. what do you guys feel about this? how about the mamas that said that I should let her watch TV as much as she wants? do you believe there is no harm in watching too much TV? thanks again for your responses, you guys are the best!
LMB, congrats on making some great changes so quickly!

I'm one of those who quickly gets used to background noise as well. One of the things my girls really enjoy is for music to be playing in the background. I put on a Kindermusik CD or a Mozart CD playing softly and they really enjoy that. It was a great way to wean from the tv background noise situation. I often put a CD on when I'm working on the computer now, whereas before I would quite often have a news channel on the tv.
post #167 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by loving-my-babies
clothcrazymom- just wanted to say.. I know why you are so wise! you could be my mom! :LOL I was born in '84! and my little sister was born in '88 just like your oldest!

's

thanks everyone for your advice! things have definetely changed in my house, we're all about healthy snacks now, although dd is allowed popcycles after her meal about once a day and I don't really have a problem with that. right now she is finger painting (we went to TRU yesterday and bought her a lot of paints, crayons and new stuff so she would feel motivated to keep the TV off) and it's worked ok. she still asks for TV and I do put it on when she asks. I have a feeling she is used to having it on in the background, and my question to you all is, what can really happen if TV is on "in the background" while she is playing? I am used to it too, I must say and even enjoy the noise. what do you guys feel about this? how about the mamas that said that I should let her watch TV as much as she wants? do you believe there is no harm in watching too much TV? thanks again for your responses, you guys are the best!
Yikes! Ok I'm feeling OLLLLLLLLLLLLLD today! y/k

Ah the whole TV conversation....well I think that opens a whole other discussion really. There are some excellent books out there "The Plug In Drug" is one (hope I got that right - it's been a long time since I've read all that stuff) and there are others out there if you do a search. I think it's a good idea to read the different things for yourself and come to your own conclusion about what works for you and your family.

I'm not one for tv for young children. But then I also think it's crazy to think that if your family is a big pro-tv family that you can have the young ones excluded from this. Again...it's a situation of modeling the behaviors. I think there are some really valid reasons for getting rid of the tv all together (we happen to have tv though) and it's not just a matter of content.

So rather than get into a big thing about it. I think it's best to go investigate and gather the information for yourself and figure out what you want to do about it.

As far as other things....hmm maybe we should start posting ideas for young children? Where would it be best to do that?
post #168 of 260
T.V.: We actually got rid of our TV (well, it was really old, was slowly dying and finally we couldn't turn it on at all. Decided that we couldn't really afford a new one right now, plus it's summer so we'd get one in the fall. Have spent 3 months without it, and LOVE it, so will probably not get a new one!) and life honestly is so much more pleasant! Before that, we had it out of the way, and a lot of the time it really worked like an out of sight out of mind tool. I do think you need to do a weaning process if you don't want it on all the time, it is quite addictive. We play lots of music. I try really hard to say yes whenever she asks me to read a book to her. We have an arts and crafts table, a big box of dress up clothes, a train set, a basket full of blocks, and a bunch of dolls that she'll happily play with for hours. Sometimes we'll set up our tent in the living room for a change. She asks to have the couch pulled forward so she can play behind it, and uses it as her cave. We built a little kitchen for her into our kitchen and she plays there lots. We bake together. She has elaborate tea parties on the front porch with water. I've gotten books on tape for her to have down time alone. She's hung out on the couch, singing her own songs and just staring at the ceiling - I really think boredom is incredible for kids, and that learning to deal with it is quickly becoming a lost art for this generation!

For public tantrums, learn the signs of your child losing it, and try to leave first. Try to avoid by keeping lots of snacks handy and avoiding cranky times to shop, etc. If it still happens, I would ignore everyone else and deal with your child. I have to deal with obnoxious adults in public all the time, I'm sure noone will suffer because they see a tantrum. And it's more important to deal with your child and his/her feelings than to worry about others, IMHO. Having said that, I think a lot can be avoid by being consistant and avoiding certain trigger situations.
post #169 of 260
Re: Public tantrums.

Thankfully, we've rarely had to deal with this. I learned very early on that if my child tantrums in public, she has been pushed way beyond her limits of either sleepiness or boredom. But if she did tantrum in public, I would treat it the same way as I do at home, however I would remove her to a quieter place to be less disturbing to others, and so I can focus on her and not what everybody else is thinking. But as someone else said, it really is part of life and I think every parent has been through it at least once.

Tantruming to get what you want (goes back to Lilyka's post): I decided to go into parenting expecting the best from my children. I do not believe that kids tantrum to get what they want UNLESS somebody showed them once that it worked. This is why I think parents need to be very consistent about not giving in to the demand, while still feeling free to comfort the child and embrace their emotions. Kids make connections instantly (that's what they are programmed to do), so I don't think it takes more than one or two occasions for them to put it together that tantrum=getting what you want. But again, I don't think that is an inherent goal of the child, I think they get taught that. So, I do think it happens, probably alot, I just consider it a learned behaviour.

Who had the 5 year old who comes home overexcited, etc? I read a book that talked about how all of us have different outward persona's when we are in the comforts of home versus around non-family members, and that it was not at all unusual for a child to be rated "well behaved" at school, but a terror at home. It has to do with the child feeling safe enough to release emotions. Anyways, I think it was Anthony Wolf's book "The Secret of Parenting".

LMB: glad to hear things are improving. you made me feel old, too. I was in grade 11 in 1984, lol.
post #170 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly
Why can't they eat something else? Yogurt, for example, or a handful of nuts, a piece of fruit - something that they can get for themselves that is still healthy but doesn't mean mom or dad getting up?
That's a very reasonable compromise -- not only because it involves no extra work for a parent, but also because it places responsibility on the child and takes the "fun" out of complaining about dinner *if* it is a control issue.

I respectfully disagree with the idea that we shouldn't see the OP's child's actions as a control issue. If it were strictly a "food" issue, like what you discussed in your post (e.g., you just don't feel like it), then I don't see a problem with getting alternative food oneself.

The big objection I had was in yanking a parent's strings with irresolvable and continual complaints until they become their kid's personal chef, KWIM?
post #171 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly
I don't have an answer for your question about TV, LMB (we struggle with it, too, here). But have you thought about radio in the background? Maybe some favorite music? The thing I worry about with TV is that the images and noise are still affecting the brain, impacting the type of play.

I'd like to hear what others have to say.

So glad to hear things are better!
Me too. Rats, DF said what I was going to say.

Well, I agree!
post #172 of 260
I was thinking about the choice issue that Savethewild and CB were addressing, and I have something I'd like to add. While I think parents can overdo it as far as offering "unbalanced" choices, I don't think that this tactic is always wrongheaded. As CB pointed out, it *is* a choice, and perhaps a realistic one. As adults, we face these kind of choices daily, although we tend not to think of them as such because we have already made them once and for all, in a way.

Example: If I have a job upon which I rely for income, I have several choices:
1) Show up for work consistantly, and do the job I agreed to do to the boss's or client's satisfaction.
2) Show up for work only when I feel like it, and do only the tasks I feel like doing.
3) Quit in a huff the moment I get ticked off about something.
4) Quit after securing alternative income or deciding to take a certain opportunity.

Are choices 2 and 3 "real" choices? Sure. Lots of people make them every day and find themselves in problematic circumstances as a result. Most adults do not choose those courses of action -- indeed we don't even seriously consider them -- because we have the ability to think long term and estimate what the eventual outcome of our choices will be. Kids (especially little ones) don't have that ability, so they can't always be trusted to make "real" decisions about their lives. Sometimes parents have to "stage" an unbalanced choice because the consequences of the "real" choice are beyond the child's comprehension. (Being late for an appointment would be an example of this, or needing to dress appropriately for a wedding.) A consciencious parent will guide her children into more and more "real" choices as they grow, allowing the children to experience the consequences (from life if possible, from parents if not) in order to help them gradually learn to make smart choices in the adult world. (Where the consequences can often be life-altering.)

Again, it can be overdone -- issues such as everyday hair styling and clothing, what book to read first, whether or not to participate in storytime, etc. These are all areas where children *can* make the "real" decisions without dangerous or overly negative consequences, and they should. These are the first steps along the road to responsible and smart adulthood.
post #173 of 260
Some interesting thoughts on the whole issue of choices.... the other example that pops into my mind is the issue around teeth brushing - by not brushing your teeth you could have long-term impacts that I don't think a 3 year old is capable of understanding when he/she decides not to brush their teeth ever. HOwever, in my mind there are gentler ways of dealing with this, giving them at least some control. In our house, Kea HAS to brush her teeth at least once a day. We try to make it just something we all do while we're getting ready for bed so it's not a big struggle, but some days she decides she doesn't want to brush her teeth. She can chose which toothbrush she wants, she can insist on doing it herself (though every few days I try to get a good brushing in myself), and we have lots of discussions about her friends who've had major dental work already, and about sugar foods and how it's important to brush if we want to enjoy sugar, etc. Ultimately, though, there is no choice about whether or not she's going to brush her teeth, until she's old enough to interact with the dentist herself and make decisions factoring in everything. I'll cross that bridge when I get to it - I find in the younger years, I do control a lot more, and then as she gets older, I let go and let her explore.

One example, we used to hold hands crossing all busy streets. THen she decided she was a big girl (at about 3), and really didn't want to hold hands. I explained what I was worried about, she suggested that she could just make sure she stayed beside me, and we agreed that that would work. I think as they get older (3 and up) you can start to reason and negotiate more, and let go of some of your control. SHe told J. that she really wanted to go into the woman's bathroom by herself, he felt uncomfortable, but she pointed out that she's "going to be a woman one day so it's important for her to practice" and he accessed the situation and decided she was right, and this was a great place to do it. So in she went by herself. I think it's so much more about being respectful of each other, but also aware of the capabilities of certain ages. The tricky part is when to let go and when to hang on!!!
post #174 of 260
I wanted to say somethign about the logn hair....I braid dd's hair before bed at night, and voila...no tangles in the AM
post #175 of 260
: Excellent thread.
post #176 of 260

...reading...
post #177 of 260
OK, mommas, you have given me renewed inspiration with my kids. I am lucky. My kids are fairly easy going. But I have mood swings, and they do have their "spirited" moments, and everyone needs renewal to do better.

LMB, it may have been said already, but I'll repeat it:

* Age 3-4 is challenging. I don't know who decided the twos were "terrible". Just knowing this is a universal developmental phase helped me deal with my kids.

* My therapist said many times mothers struggle more with daughters. Especially first daughters. Everything is personal. Well, armed with that information you can try at least to step back and not take stuff personally.

* If, after you have done all these excellent things to bring about peace in your home, and dd is still tantruming, then call the ped and have her evaluated. Maybe there's something causing this that is beyond her control.

* Keep the unconditional love coming!
post #178 of 260
I've only read the first two pages of this very long thread, but already I have run up against a number of things that have made me have to bite my tongue. Let it be known that I am not a GDer. I have had 21 children in my house at various times (foster and adopted kids) and I have not used GD. Nonetheless, I think I have been a very sucessful parent with happy and well-behaved children.

So here's something I absolutely must comment on:

"When children have food limits placed on them, they respond by eating whatever they want when they are old enough or like me, with an eating disorder."

That is so completely *NOT TRUE!* You are stating that like it is a fact that happens every time, and that's just not true. I don't think it even happens most of the time, or most of us would have eating disorders. I was raised in a family in which you ate eveything on your plate when it was served to you. When we had cauliflower (which I despise), I was given one tiny piece and expected to eat it. I did. It didn't kill me. It didn't create an eating disorder, and it didn't cause me to grow up to be a human food processor, shoving any junky old thing in my mouth. (And I was not allowed to eat candy as a child, either ... ice cream was a few-times-a-year treat. Other than that, it was home-grown vegetables, homemade breads and pastas, and home-raised meat ... nothing else.) I was raised to respect the value of food and the value of the work that went into creating it. I was raised with the idea that food nourishes our bodies and souls and that we eat in a way that accomplishes this. I was raised with the idea that food is a blessing and (for many) a luxury and that it is eaten gratefully and never wasted. I grew up to have very good eating habits and no weight problems. I have a great relationship with food.

I don't force my kids to eat if they don't want to, but they know that I will not humor their food whims. All of my children eat well and have healthy eating habits. We adopted a child from a country in which thousands of people are literally starving to death every single day. For that reason, if for no other, I would never allow my children to be frivolous with food. Part of the reason other countries can't feed their people is because of the way Americans eat. That's a whole other issue, and I won't go off on that tangent now, but I raise my kids to regard food as a tool for properly nourishing their bodies and a blessing not to be squandered.

If your daughter doesn't want to eat, you don't have to force her. Just take her plate away. But I would never cook a separate meal for a child (except in cases of allergy or illness).

Wilma
post #179 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by luv my 2 sweeties
I was thinking about the choice issue that Savethewild and CB were addressing, and I have something I'd like to add. While I think parents can overdo it as far as offering "unbalanced" choices, I don't think that this tactic is always wrongheaded. As CB pointed out, it *is* a choice, and perhaps a realistic one. As adults, we face these kind of choices daily, although we tend not to think of them as such because we have already made them once and for all, in a way.

Example: If I have a job upon which I rely for income, I have several choices:
1) Show up for work consistantly, and do the job I agreed to do to the boss's or client's satisfaction.
2) Show up for work only when I feel like it, and do only the tasks I feel like doing.
3) Quit in a huff the moment I get ticked off about something.
4) Quit after securing alternative income or deciding to take a certain opportunity.

Are choices 2 and 3 "real" choices? Sure. Lots of people make them every day and find themselves in problematic circumstances as a result. Most adults do not choose those courses of action -- indeed we don't even seriously consider them -- because we have the ability to think long term and estimate what the eventual outcome of our choices will be. Kids (especially little ones) don't have that ability, so they can't always be trusted to make "real" decisions about their lives.
***Sure. This happens all the time. I teach high school and I have students who come in unprepared or only when they feel like it, and get Fs.

Surprisingly -- or maybe not, given the context of this conversation -- many of them decide to place blame for this F everywhere but where it belongs. It's MY fault for being one of those mean-shrew F-givin' teachers. It's their parents' fault for not waking them up in the morning. Yadda. Yadda. Sigh.

I stress from day 1 that the responsibility (AND the blame, if necessary) for the grade is *theirs.*

Some of them get it and understand that the grade was a result of a series of choices they made. What many of them simply do not seem to comprehend in the slightest is that almost all the time, if they fail, they chose to fail.

They think it wasn't a choice because they didn't like all of the choice options.

In a nutshell, that's why I get my panties in a big, red knot over this choice thing.

Thanks -- I'll step off the soapbox now...
post #180 of 260
CB: people like that get MY panties in a wad, too! I absolutely cannot stand people who blame everybody else in the world for their failures.

While I have not taught high school, I seem to have made a brief career in my twenties of dating men just like that. If they got fired, it wasn't their fault. If the collection agencies were after them, it wasn't their fault. Blah, blah, blah!

AND...this raises a good point about the tactic of involving your children in problem solving. Say your kid is constantly leaving their toys lying around and you are tired of tripping over them. So sit down with your kid and say "we have a problem". Then work with the child to figure out some solutions, taking all her suggestions as seriously as your own, writing them down, then the two of you go over them one-by-one and rule out why that would or would not be a possibility. Settle on a plan of action, and sign the agreement of the plan.

I think this tactic, which I've read about in numerous GD books, is an excellent way to start teaching children at a young age that THEY are responsible for their problems. I wonder if some of those kids who blame everybody else are lacking, deep down inside, the confidence in themselves to believe they CAN solve their problems?

Bunnysmama: I appreciate what you are saying. But eating disorders DO seem to be epidemic in this country...perhaps that is why many of us are sensitive about using food as a control issue, or making an issue out of it to any extreme?

My take on the food issue: as an adult, I refuse to eat stuff that makes me gag, and I have vivid memories of being forced to do so as a child in the name of "waste not, want not" (my mother experience starvation as a child, so was very sensitive to this issue). I will never force my DD to eat or finish her plate, recalling so well what a horrible experience it was to be literally gagging food down, and to be forced to stay at the table long after everybody else had up and left it.

My DH makes dinner most nights, and is considerate enough not to serve me things he knows I don't like. If DH decides he has a craving for stir-fried turkey giblets, he'll make it for himself, and make me something more palatable. Thus, I do the same with my DD if I'm craving a dinner I know she won't eat, I'll make her something she does eat. If she doesn't want to eat her dinner, that's okay it goes into the fridge for leftovers. And she is free to eat basically whatever she asks for (yogurt, peanut-butter toast) etc. so long as it's not cookies/desert (which we rarely have in the house anyways).
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