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it's official.. Gentle Discipline is not possible with my child :( - Page 2

post #21 of 260
You know, loving-my-babies, I have to hand it to you: This is the first time in a long time that I have seen someone take advice so gracefully - and implement it so quickly. (must delete phrase because of something I forgot). That's a very nice trait to have.

I have a list of activities that I have compiled here and there on MDC. There is also a thread that I started called activities for 4 year-olds or something like that. If you want the list just PM me with your email address.
post #22 of 260
Just quickly, if you wind up in battles about the TV staying off, consider just removing it for a while. This is how we have had to handle tv with DS. DD would accept limits on viewing, but DS begs and begs and begs and drives me nuts! Taking it down has worked wonders as far as stopping the battle completely -- out of sight, out of mind! We still pull it out now and then for a treat. Both kids are playing much more creatively now.

As for the ice cream and other "junk" she knows is there -- how about removing it from the house for a while? You and dh will have to practice what you preach, which can be a good lesson in itself! I'm no saint on this one -- I often pull out the chips and salsa after the kids go to bed. But if it were becoming a daily battle with the kiddos refusing to eat other food and begging for the chips, I'd go without for a while. Your dd won't refuse to eat good food if it's the only stuff available! An occasional treat is fine, but for a while you may want to limit it to outside the house, until a better pattern is established at home. A good tip I learned to compromise between making a separate meal for a picky eater and forcing them to eat only what you cooked: Always have something on the table that you know the child likes. If that's all they eat, fine, but you don't get yourself into the bind of having to be a short-order cook! So if you might serve tuna casserole with cherry tomatoes, cheese and bread. If she eats some of each, great. If she only eats bread, cheese and one tomato, fine. It's worked pretty well for us.
post #23 of 260
Well, I disagree with Charles Bauledaire, but I often do. :LOL No offense, CB. My child can choose what she wants to eat just as I choose what I want to eat. If I don't like what everyone is having, I'll make myself something else. Often the person cooking makes something too spicy for me (and dd for that matter) or they make something I just don't feel I can eat. Doesn't matter why, hydrogenated oils, animal products, food dyes, I plain don't like it, whatever. Just because dd doesn't have the skills to make her own food or the money to buy her own food, doesn't mean she shouldn't be afforded this respect. Forcing kids to eat food they don't like or not to eat any food at all is continuing the food battle and is an ultimatum I personally find very, very offensive. I wonder how one of us adults might feel if our meals were limited to things we didn't like. If eery toddler goes through a phase where they choose to only have a few things in their diet, then it must be a normal and necessary phase, no? My went through a time when she only ate noodles. For breakfast, lunch and dinner, she ONLY ate noodles and drank milk. She didn't die.

And no child will want to live on an ice cream diet. I choose not to keep it in my house all the time. When I want ice cream, even if it's breakfast time, I eat some. And guess what- I still have pretty good eating habits. So if there is ice cream and dd wants some at a time deemed innappropriate for ice cream, who am I do tell her no? Even if she were to decide all should would eat is ice cream, I know it wouldn't last long.

I teach her to tell me what she wants and that I will respect it. BEFORE she has to start screaming about it. If she does scream about the rare no she is given, I re-evealuate why I set the boundary. She is a human, she has every right to argue with me. Just because she doesn't ahve the verbal skills to do so, doesn't mean she is somehow not entitled to voice her displeasure. We discourage screaming by listening to her requests and asking her to voice them calmly and respectfully as we try to voice all our requests.

Allowing a child to scream for hours and hours is not gentle discipline. Well, truthfully, I feel like a lot of things that are not gentle pass for gentle discipline around here anymore. My eyes were bugging out when I read that though.

There will ultimately be limits for all of us and also for our children. Why must we impose extra limits on our children? So they grow up knowing how hard life is? What are some realistic limits? 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. The limit set is moot. The best way to teach good eating habits is by modeling good eating behavior. When I realized my dd wanted to eat french fries, I stopped ordering them for myself. When I realized my dd wanted to eat ice cream for breakfast, I quit eating it for breakfast. When I realized she was wondering what the heck a soda was and why people were always drinking them, I stopped drinking them myself.

The same goes for politeness. I often see parents force their children to apologize. On the off chance a young child actually understands an apology, if they are forced it is insincere, which is more offensive to the receiver than no apology at all. Instead, if you model good behavior, apologizing, being truly sorry, being truly thankful, etc, your child will learn in time what an apology means without being forced, and will apologize truthfully and sincerely. Most kids learn thank you through modeling too. My dd spent hours dropping toys when she was 9 months old so I could pick them up, hand them to her and she could say, "Gank goo." And please is easy too, without bribes and limits. "GIVE ME MY ICE REAM NOW!!! please. " "Does Sephie want her ice cream please?" "Uh-huh." "Can Sephie please remember to be calm when she asks for things so it feels good to Mamma to give those things?" "Uh-huh" "Can Sephie try some (insert 'real' food she enjoys eating here) and then have dessert afterwards?" Sometimes the answer is yes and sometimes it's no. And sometimes she will eat loads of broccoli AFTER she's eaten her ice cream. Or "Ah Peem" as the case may be.

About her clothes, I know it tought to go out in dirty clothes. Is it possible to have multiples of the same outfit? Ir if you are putting in a load of wash after she goes to bed, can you throw the day's outfit in so you can both agree that she can wear it tomorrow? IME a load of wash needs to be done once a day anyway, can you throw her stuff in each time? It is her body and she really deserves to wear what she wants. Someday she will have the social pressure to wear clean clothes and different outfits each day, but right now she doesn't and she doesn't need it projected on her.

The bottom line is that children deserve respect. No less than their moms deserve. Sometimes life deals us all a big, fat NO. Sometimes I can't say yes. Those times she is more likely to be calm about it because it's isn't just another resriction that doesn't make sense to her.

I better hit 'submit' before this gets deleted. ILs have used the computer twice since I started this post.
post #24 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by loving-my-babies
clothcrazymom- thanks for your kind words and very wise post.

ok, so about an hour ago, all the TV's are OFF! NO TV IN OUR HOUSE! the radio is on, and dd is playing with paints in the livingroom, listening to some music. wow, I feel good about turning the TV off. I will take her to ger gymboree class later on today, so that will give us something to do. I need to find more activities to do at home, I am buying her more finger paints and some more paper (she has a lot but if it's new it'll motivate her and she'll be happy playing)
YEA!! This is soooo great! Thanks so much for sharing this with us I think it will be really wonderful for all of you. It's so easy to get out of sinct and out of balance...it's wonderful that you are able to see that it wasn't working and to shift gears. I also have some great resources for all sorts of things for young children. If you are interested, feel free to PM me.
post #25 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by luv my 2 sweeties
I agree with everything Charles Baudelaire said. (I often do! )


Aw, thanks!!!
post #26 of 260
Thread Starter 
yes! i am welcome to all the activities and all the ideas about what to do with my child! my email is vargasreyes@comcast.net

thanks, guys!

right now, dd is eating mac and cheese and a side of VEGGIES!! :LOL
post #27 of 260
Wow, you've already gotten some great advice from Elly and Lauren and lots of moms...

You know, you didn't mention how old your child was in the first post, but I guessed 3 or 4. This is how a lot of 3 and 4 year olds are, and it is *hard*. Okay, maybe there are some mellow ones out there, but this is the age of Joe P refusing to wear anything but his power ranger suit for 9 months, and Rain eating nothing but noodles and cheese for an entire summer (except at preschool, where the cook was like a goddess to her and she ate *everything*, which did wonders for my self-esteem...).

The only way she would get into the car was if we did this elaborate game where we pretended to be stealing her friend Trevor's car. I know that sounds really deviant, but it started as a joke and she liked it... so I would be starting in the grocery store parking lot hot and sweaty and tired (single mama fulltime college student in Phoenix) and I would start loading bags into the trunk and she would start *screaming* about how this was the wrong car, we had to steal Trevor's car... and I would pack up the cart and loop around the lot and come back to our car and say "Hey, look, here's Trevor's car... let's *steal* it!" because it was just not worth pushing the issue. I think she was 4...

And she had gorgeous long blonde hair, thick and wavy and down to her butt. This was totally my thing, because when I was little my mom never let me have long hair and cut in like a boy's (think Opie) because I had the same thick fine hair. So we'd wash it once a week or so and spend an hour snuggling and watching videos while I brushed it and french braided it, and it usually stayed in the braid for a few days, then it would come out and get messier and messier until I'd finally start the process again. Sometimes I'd get my neighbor to braid it, because she was better at it and Rain was better about letting her do it, because she loved Pola and having Pola do her hair was special.

Ramble, ramble... but the point is, this all passed. I met her needs then, and modeled and low-key-discussed and didn't punish, and instead of ending up with a child who thought everything should be her way, I ended up with a person who thought meeting everyone's needs in a situation was important.

Dar
post #28 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar
Ramble, ramble... but the point is, this all passed. I met her needs then, and modeled and low-key-discussed and didn't punish, and instead of ending up with a child who thought everything should be her way, I ended up with a person who thought meeting everyone's needs in a situation was important.
: :
post #29 of 260
yes, i agree with almost everything parismaman and others said. i struggle with similar problems right now.

one thing bugs me: letting them scream and not giving in to what they want is cio. HULLOOOOO...? aren't there other ways to reason with your child?
post #30 of 260
Thread Starter 
Dar.. my daughter, Valentina is 3. she turned 3 in april.
post #31 of 260
I wanted to add my affirmation of most of the other posts. Giving in to a screaming child is NOT GD. Actually, it is neither gentle nor discipline. But not giving in is very, very hard. I have a "screamer" too at the moment and I'm working very hard not to give in. So I totally sympathize. I just keep reminding myself that some limits are necessary and I'm not doing anyone any favors by giving in--I'm only making it worse for everyone for the next time.

For me, GD is several things, one of which is finding ways to enforce necessary limits without violence. While you are working on ignoring screaming so your limits are respected, you might start thinking about what is, in fact, necessary. Hair, for example. If its a real issue, why not cut it short? If the salon is a nightmare, can you find a children's specialty salon in your area? Ours is a godsend for my son. Or, make a nighttime braid part of the routine. That way, it doesn't get tangled as much and is easier to manage. And if you can't get to it in the morning, it looks better than a rat's nest.

I think others have addressed food pretty well. Our rule is that we prepare food that balances health and taste and both children sit down to the family meals. For breakfast and lunch they get a lot of say in what is prepared. Less so dinner, though we do make an effort to include their favorites in the dinner rotations. They eat as much of what is served as they want or don't want. If they don't like it, they can have yogurt or cheese (if the protein was the problem) or fruit (in place of veggies). This means that I don't have to cook an alternative meal (an activity I strongly disagree with) but they don't have to choke down food they dislike. And even my 17 mo. old can get her own yogurt, cheese or fruit. I buy only snacks I will allow them to eat, and they are kept in an accessible place for them. They can have a snack whenever they want/need and I don't get involved beyond opening a package or something for the toddler. Yes, sometimes they eat crackers right before dinner. So what? It means they eat less dinner, maybe. But they get what they need over time and I don't stress about it.

For me, letting go of the small stuff that really isn't worth the stress means that I have the energy and perseverance to work with the big stuff.
post #32 of 260
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ParisMaman
You know, loving-my-babies, I have to hand it to you: This is the first time in a long time that I have seen someone take advice so gracefully - and implement it so quickly. I've seen you take questioning well elsewhere too. That's a very nice trait to have.
thank you!

I am critical, sometimes, of things I don't aprove, but when I need help, and I see it, and when I am doing something I know is wrong, I get help and I implement it as fast as possible.

and I also wanted to reply to the post that said this would be CIO. I don't agree with this, a 3 year old's cries are VERY different from a baby's cries, IMO, and my baby's cries are always attended to because he cries when he has needs, so it's my responsability to meet his needs. same with my daughter BUT if she cries everytime you don't give her what she wants, will you give her everything forever? here is where I was having trouble, I have learned now that no, I have to set boundaries because it's for my daughter's well-being. I do expect crying in the next couple weeks, because I need to break habits I have allowed to be established that were not right in the first place. but I will hold her, explain to her why I am doing what I'm doing and love her! and I will only say no or make her do something when it's absolutely critical.
post #33 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakobsmami
one thing bugs me: letting them scream and not giving in to what they want is cio.
I very strongly disagree with this. For an infant, any letting them cry is CIO, yes. For older toddlers and up, I disagree.
You CANNOT reason with a screaming, tantrumming child. Well, OK, to be fair, I cannot. We aren't talking about crying because they are scared, lonely, hungry, tired, hurt, needing comfort--those are all needs that should be addressed. This is having a temper tantrum because it may work to get mommy to do what they want. And giving in just means that it will continue to be the way that this child gets what they want (not need, want).
post #34 of 260
Thread Starter 
veganmama.. I absolutely LOVE your post above! (the really long one :LOL)
post #35 of 260
I think it was Parismaman that said kids aren't *born* this way, and I will have to respectfully disagree. I think until someone TRULY has a "spirited" child, it's easy to believe (I know I did! LOL).

My dd was born screaming. She screamed and cried constantly, for the first several months of her life. When other babies were kind of cooing and smiling and laughing at silly little things, she refused. She always had an intense look on her face; she rarely, if EVER!, smiled, and hardly EVER laughed. She excelled at screaming and crying constantly, though.

Her behavior, at the age of 4 1/2, really hasn't deviated from this very much. She screams and cries and TOTALLY freaks out over everything, all day long. I'm honestly starting to wonder if there isn't something wrong with her (bipolar runs on the female side of my family).

I am raising her 2 yo. brother pretty much the same way I raised her when she was a baby. He was born content and quiet, smiled and laughed a lot, rarely cried, slept for long stretches, etc. etc. He is totally easygoing. Same parents, same house, same parenting techniques.

Sorry, I just couldn't let that one slide by.
post #36 of 260
Again, I must first worship at the alter of Dar! Thank you for your post!

And WORD to veganmamma--this forum surprises me lately!

To the OP--TV is not the problem. Food is not the problem. Screaming for her wants is not the problem.

The problem is that you have gotten into an ADVERSARIAL relationship with your child.

You try to threaten and control her and she tries to threaten and control you. No surprises there--modeling really works!

So STOP. Just stop. It takes TWO people to engage in a power struggle. If you step out of it, the struggle ends. Why can't she eat what she wants? Why can't she watch TV? Why can't she wear what she wants? If what she wants is always the "wrong" choice (in your eyes), how will she ever learn to make the "right" choices. If you force her to make YOUR choices, how does she ever know what HER choices are?

If the goal is to have a harmonious relationship and to impart some guidance to your kid, then punishment and threats and emotional abandonment don't seem to fit in. Help her. Guide her. Figure out your buttons and don't make them her problem (like tantrums in public, what she wears/looks like, etc.).

Someone on a listserv I'm on said something very wise: Your kid is going to carry YOUR voice around in their head forever. Do you want it to be a nasty threatening voice that they seek to shut off? Or do you want it to be a loving, compassionate, reasonable voice that they use to guide them into and through adulthood?
post #37 of 260
Carmen, my hat is off to you. To see you implement some of the things suggested, so quickly is awesome. Oftentimes members will ask for advice, then get mad when they dont like what we say or the suggestions themselves. Parismaman said it best

Now, my little handful, went through poor eating issues, and tv issues as well. Both i feel were about control, and we were well on our way to a battleground. I literally turned the TV off, period for a few weeks, cold turkey. Nicholas was just not "getting" the boundries and limits i was setting, he really seemd to be struggling. so off it went, he had a meltdown, then came down from his room,went outside, rode his bike, and it was done. Same thing with food. If it were up to him, he would eat fruit rollups and icecream. so i put a moratorium for two weeks, then brought the items back into the house (it wasnt fair to everyone else, but seeing my struggle, the other kids and my dh were willing to support me on this one), with firm limits. He wants an icecream sandwich? fine, but only after lunch. no means no, and he finally "got it". no more battles. I have no problem with goodies like ice cream, or ice pops, as long as his diet was balanced. but he was alot like your daughter,. really leaning toward a diet of nothing! I also knew he wouldnt starve. Kids eat when they are hungry. And although we are not vegetarians, he is eating more chicken, meatballs, pastas, and tender bits of steak (no offense to vegetarians and vegans). If all he would eat were veggies, i'd be fine, but he was eating nothing! argggggg

I am glad there is a bit more peace in your home.

Lisa
post #38 of 260
OK, I can't resist throwing my 2 cents in, lol.

CIO - I have the same outlook on toddlers crying that I do for infants, it doesn't change as they get older. Are they crying because they are hungry, tired, or uncomfortable? If they are, give them what they need. Or, are they crying because they are sad or frustrated or angry? Well, again, give them what they need - in this case, hugs, understanding, a soft shoulder. Don't give them the candy bar they are screaming for, but do give them sympathy for the feelings they are experiencing. If you need to walk away because they want to be left alone, or because you are getting angry or whatever, go ahead but just like with a baby, you need to go back in a few minutes and deal with them again. Leaving a toddler to cry uncomforted sends the same message it does to a baby - I don't care how you feel, I don't want to be around you when you feel like this, I'm not going to help you, etc.

Food - I think the "eat what I give you or go hungry" approach is unfair and can easily set the stage for power struggles over food, which is NOT a direction you want to go. If DS doesn't like what I made for dinner, he can have a piece of fruit or something. I'm not a short order cook, I don't make anything else but he can have cheese and crackers or something that doesn't require preparation, yk?

Veganmamma, you said something that stuck in my head about your DD sassing you and that being OK becase you want her to be who she is. This doesn't sit well with me - I know you care, lol - because I don't tolerate sass well. I don't want to silence anyone, you can say what you have to say but you have to say it in a way that respects me. I don't sass DS, I try to respect him and be kind, and I expect the same treatment back, yk? I am wondering what your definition of "sass" is. Is it in the tone of voice or the disagreeing or what? I ask respectfully, not to be a jerkwad.
post #39 of 260
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom
Again, I must first worship at the alter of Dar! Thank you for your post!

And WORD to veganmamma--this forum surprises me lately!

To the OP--TV is not the problem. Food is not the problem. Screaming for her wants is not the problem.

The problem is that you have gotten into an ADVERSARIAL relationship with your child.

You try to threaten and control her and she tries to threaten and control you. No surprises there--modeling really works!

So STOP. Just stop. It takes TWO people to engage in a power struggle. If you step out of it, the struggle ends. Why can't she eat what she wants? Why can't she watch TV? Why can't she wear what she wants? If what she wants is always the "wrong" choice (in your eyes), how will she ever learn to make the "right" choices. If you force her to make YOUR choices, how does she ever know what HER choices are?

If the goal is to have a harmonious relationship and to impart some guidance to your kid, then punishment and threats and emotional abandonment don't seem to fit in. Help her. Guide her. Figure out your buttons and don't make them her problem (like tantrums in public, what she wears/looks like, etc.).

Someone on a listserv I'm on said something very wise: Your kid is going to carry YOUR voice around in their head forever. Do you want it to be a nasty threatening voice that they seek to shut off? Or do you want it to be a loving, compassionate, reasonable voice that they use to guide them into and through adulthood?
OMG this is exactly my definition of gentle discipline. however, I keep hearing from a lot of people that TV is bad for their health, too much junk food is not good, etc.. the clothing thing is really my issue, so let's discuss the TV and junk food issue. it would be SO easy to just let her watch tv all day, or whenever she wants to.. but is it really in her best interest? I don't want her to grow up to be a stuck-on-a-tv-screen-all-day person, I want her to explore other things. I want her to read (she reads a lot but only when TV is off, if it's on she would much rather watch tv) then there's the ADHD thing, and studies that point towards TV being harmful not only mentally but physically as well. who wins here? help! I would feel uncomfortable letting her watch TV all day, to tell you the truth, it just doesnt feel right. about food, I think I need to start eating healthier foods If I'm going to ask her to eat healthy foods. It seems like torture to have a yummy box of ice cream in the freezer when she can't have any. it's like counting money in front of the poor. kwim?
post #40 of 260
LMB, I have very little time but I think it would be a good idea for you to sit down and figure out what issues you feel are non-negotiable and which ones you are willing to give to your daughter. For instance, she needs to eat good food - she can pick what she wants to eat herself from this group of food that you provide.

OK, DS is crying, must run - but one thing - is it a health or safety issue? If not, then consider her side fairly and try to say "yes" whenever possible - good luck -
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