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When is control too controlling - Page 2

post #21 of 105
Being someone who is in the middle on the control issue (at least with the parents on this thread) I have found some new ways to pass over control to my child. She's 3 and gradually learning to make choices for herself outside of instant gratification.

Something that's worked very well for us is me telling her that I don't want to make that choice for her. I'll often remind her of some factors she might consider or even give her my opinion of what she should do but I leave the final choice up to her. It's surprising how often she makes what I consider to be a reasonable choice.
post #22 of 105
He is afraid of them now and has decided that sewing is extremely dangerous.
Linda, that is too funny.
post #23 of 105
will be back to read more soon!
great new thread
unfortunately I am sick right now
I will adress the vegetarian issue since we are a veg. family
post #24 of 105
Originally Posted by LoveBeads
I limit snacking when I have to - DD has difficulty deciding when she has had enough and does sometimes eat until she throws up. This is due to her sensory issues. I hate that I have to limit at all but it is sometimes necessary in her case (although not frequently).
I also have a DD with Sensory issues and it does make the control issues different! My DD does not process tempertures the same way most of us do. What feels uncomfortably hot or cold to most of us, just feels interesting to her. When she was younger, this was huge. She once let the tap water get really hot and then held her hand under it until her hand was scolded because "it felt good." Her SI seems to be getting a little better as she gets older and she has learned that even if something doesn't feel bad to her, it can still hurt.

Another issue with control for our family has been sibling issues. My kids are closely spaced and as tots, I found that I had to control things between them that if I had only 1 child, or had a large age gap, would not have been an issue.
post #25 of 105
post #26 of 105
I have a dd with SID and I do have to exert a lot more control over her life than I do the other two (and she is the oldest). but I often have to cut her off before she is full. She just doesn't know when she is full. (really name one 7 year old who is healthy and eats 4 whole sandwhiches for lunch) So I usually do "you have to stop eating and take a break for a while. if you are still hungry in an hour you may come have a snack" she rarely comes since her focus has shifted elsewhere. We also have hot and cold issues. adnw e live in a climate with weather extremes where heat stroke or frost bite can overtake you in 5-10 minutes.

I htink coltrolling the environment of a child with SID is somewhat the same as controlling the environment of a child with allergies or diabetes. e there is a condition at work which most people don't understand you just have tostep in more and provide that protection and make the descisions to keep them healthy.
post #27 of 105
I've been thinking about the whole control issue more and more lately as my ds is becoming more independent (only 18 mo.s now)..........
I think there is a difference between controlling dc and protecting them.... in the case of my ds, I guess you could call it controlling him when I hold him from toddling into the street or do not allow him to dive into the deep lake, which has a verys teep dropoff, but i see this more as preotecting him. Obviously, he will become more expereinced and I will adjust. And already have done this. Like for example, he used need help and spotting when he would climb up to our big office chairs that spin, but now he has mastered them, so he can climb right up and I do not have to control that anymore. When I think of how we used to be one step behind him all the time too, we have eased up so he can walk and run through the entire house now. He is quite fearless and a daredevil , but he has gotten more in tuned with his body so I have more confidence in his abilities. We never used safety gates or anything.

I do not control things that I think his mind and body know intrinsically. Like, I do not control his "bedtime". Sometimes 10, or later..... He sleeps better when he is tired and chooses to go to sleep. I feel like he knows best.
I do not control how much or when he eats. when he wants to nurse, we nurse. when he needs a snack, I offer him choices. he can go to the fridge or the cupboards and pull out what he'd like. We keep healthy choices available. I guess we control that- we dont buy crap. I think this is just a parents resposibilty to raising a healthy child, but I trust that his body knows what and how much he needs.
I have been a vegetarian for a little over 17 years now, so ds is one, too. In a few years, he will be able to understand things like "an animal has to be killed so that you can eat it" but not now. When he is old enough to understand, he can choose to eat meat. But I think he is healthiest with a well balanced vegetarian diet, and I think parents who give their kids meat are choosing to control thier kids diet as much as choosing to not eat meat. I think every parent does control their kids diets when they are so young. Obviously, when they can't do it for themselves, you have the responsibilty to make their decisions for them.
He likes vegetables and a lot of foods availabel. Loves beans, salads, tofu, rice, pastas, etc. I do not control his diet by withholding the sweet things I eat. I do not buy processed sugary crap, or refined sugar, or sodas, but I like some good chocalate, or choc. ice cream, or sometimes bake a treat. I have never made a big deal out of these. He does not see them as special, so he'll take maybe one bite for a taste and be done. Or sometimes he like s to go up to the frezzer and get us to give him a little ice cream- which i give him about a teaspoon or two in a little bowl, and he barely eats much of it, but seems more intrigued by the melting of it and what it looks like when he plays with it! I think the quotes posted earlier by monkeys mom are right on. Because i do not make sweets any different from any other foods, he is in tuned with his body's desire for just a taste, he doesnt pig out at all. I think it is prejumptious to think that if we give kids control they will choose the least healthy options. I give him more respect than that.
post #28 of 105
It absolutely changes as the child gets older/understands more. When my son was a year old I needed to control his access to sharp things, for instance. He is 13 now and no such control is needed (hasn't been for awhile actually lol) In regard to food I have never seen the need to control that for the kids at any age.
post #29 of 105
But limiting exposure to some foods is something that most of you do, no? Our issue is that we're quite 'out there' with people. So, I don't control food now other than not having exposure to things for the daily diet but I know I did not let her sample coke at the cafe with a friend when she was 6 months, did not allow solids until later and etc.

Can you describe these issues in regards to control? I get the feeling this is a language issue.
post #30 of 105
The only foods my dd is not allowed to have are caffeinated drinks like Pepsi and coffee. And alcohol, of course, but we don't drink alcohol anyway.

If she started wanting to try coffee it would be a dilemma for me...I guess I'd have to give it up too. But I don't want to be "above her" in that area; if she can't have it I can't have it either...so I just hope she never asks.

I sometimes think I must be the only parent whose child has never tried to run into the street...but this running into the street issue is often the first thing a parent thinks of when they think it's OK to control a child. "Well, you have to control them when they try and run into the street!" Have I just missed out on something that is bound to happen someday?
post #31 of 105
I am less controlling than some, and more controlling than others. I think the balance is different for each parent and child, and if it feels right, then it probably is right for your family. If you are engaging in lots of power struggles, then it might be time to reassess the balance.

I also want to chime in about the SI issues, and how that impacts the need for control. If dd had her way, she would wear her shoes buckled so tightly that they leave deep, purple gouges on the tops of her feet So tightly that the strain actually rips the strap from the shoes! Sometimes we have to protect our children forcefully if their nervous system is not protecting them they way they should.
post #32 of 105
Originally Posted by Greaseball
If she started wanting to try coffee it would be a dilemma for me...I guess I'd have to give it up too.
A splash of decaf in a cup of milk (cow or soy)?
My mother also used to make us Postum, and call that "our coffee". Apparently, it is still available! (not sure how healthy it is, tho....)
post #33 of 105
Originally Posted by Greaseball

I sometimes think I must be the only parent whose child has never tried to run into the street...but this running into the street issue is often the first thing a parent thinks of when they think it's OK to control a child. "Well, you have to control them when they try and run into the street!" Have I just missed out on something that is bound to happen someday?

I can understand how some dc might not run into the street. And I read TCC and the part about how if you expect them to run into the street , and say things like "dont go out in the street!!" then inevitably they will go into the street.... makes sense, it is a natural instinct to want to do what is expected of us, very strong urge...... SO, tCC did make sense to me in lots of ways and It changed my perspective. so i never said dont go out in the street and if we are near a busy street ds is very aware of the cars and stays on the sidewalk, but we Ihave to hold him back is right in front of our house, our street doesnt ge a lot of traffic, esp. in the middle of the day when we are out mucking about, so he will be doing his normal toddler exploring and naturally wander into the street because he doesnt see the cars, he has been too young (18 mo.s ) to remember this is where dangerous cars drive, so I try to carry him across the street, or pick him up when a car is coming. But no, when he is next to a busy street, he does not run into it.
post #34 of 105
I have actually let DS have a sip of coffee now and then. I thought he would hate it and not want anymore but he actually seemed to like it. He doesn't usually ask for it, though.

I am laughing at the "running into the street" thing - it seems to be one of those archetypical scenarios people always bring up as a shorthand to illustrate their point, yk? I mean, I am sure it has happened but I don't think most kids are launching themselves into oncoming traffic on a daily basis, lol.

I am uncomfortable with the word "control". I don't like the thought of "controlling" children. I prefer to think of them being guided, or protected. For instance, we have a regular bedtime at our house. DS goes to bed willingly at this time every night. We did not pick this bedtime arbitrarily, it is based on his natural rhythms and he is usually sleepy at this time. We sometimes adjust it based on other things that are going on. But in our family, we all do better with some structure. The trick is to build the structure to suit the family, not mold the family to the structure, KWIM? So it works for us. But DS is the kind of kid who will just stay up until he passes out on the floor from exhaustion unless you create an opportunity for sleep for him. Other kids might not need this.

When I am making a "rule" or whatever, a "way we do things", I try very hard to examine my motivation for doing it. Is it truly a safety issue? A health issue? A moral issue? Maybe I just don't want to clean up a mess, or I want to hurry up and get something done, or I am just losing my patience and want things my way. Then I try to stop and figure out if there is a compromise, or a solution that will satisy everyone. Sometimes there isn't, and then I just have to prioritize which need or want is more important, and it can't just automatically be me, lol. Anyway, I find that if I try to remain mindful of *why* I do things, I am much less likely to fall into the trap of wanting to "control" things or micromanage them, which is a problem I have. I have had to learn to let a lot of things go, and examine what is really important to me and why. Plus, I think when you try to be fair and your rules make logical sense, kids are much more likely to cooperate with you willingly. Nobody wants to follow a rule that makes no sense to them.
post #35 of 105
yeah, i dont think kids are launching themselves into traffic, either!
But when we were little, my stepsister got hit by a car, broken arm ,etc. not because she launched herself into traffic, but because of a very reckless driver going too fast ... so i do not trust people driving all the time, KWIM?
post #36 of 105
My dd launched herself toward cars more than once Usually in a parking lot, when she was melting down. Yes, she knew that cars were dangerous, and respected the danger when she was "together". But when she melted down (often), she would dash. We had to set rules: toddler leash, stroller, or be carried. No walking in the parking lot (transition was hard for her--still is!--and she would very commonly meltdown when leaving anyplace in her twos...)
post #37 of 105
We have a "hold hands in parking lots" rule which fortunately has never been an issue.

About coffee - I agree that children may not like coffee if they try it, and there can't be much harm in that; I just want to stay away from the kind of "aversion therapy" where parents make their kid smoke a pack of cigarettes and the like. Good thing we don't smoke either...
post #38 of 105
We have a "hold hands in the parking lot" rule too. A few times DS didn't want to hold my hand and he ended up being carried, which he didn't like very much so now he always holds hands. In fact when we get out of the car in a parking lot he automatically reaches for my hand, and if I am taking a few seconds to get my act together before I take his hand he kind of gropes around in the air for it, it's very cute.

I can not imagine why anybody would deliberately force their child to drink a whole cup of coffee. I think that would be worse for the parent than the child - the kid would be bouncing off the walls! I shudder to think what DS would be like on that much caffeine!
post #39 of 105
One more thing - DH drinks soda, so DS asks DH for sips of his drink a lot. I have issues with this because *I* only drink water. If it wasn't for DH and his damn soda habit DS would never even see the stuff. But, he sees Daddy drinking it so of course he wants it. DH is aware of the situation but still drinks the soda. I don't make an issue out of it, but it is hard, lol. Anyway - I don't want to tell DS he can't have any when DH is slugging it down, so he gets about a 5 sip limit then he is shut off. It still seems a little unfair, when DH drinks 3 glasses of it with dinner but I have to set a limit on the amount of soda he can drink, for obvious reasons. I have told him that he is still growing, and soda isn't good for a growing body, but Daddy is done growing so it isn't as bad for him. I am not entirely happy with this reasoning because I don't want him yearning for the day when he is grown and can guzzle all the soda he wants, but I am hoping that by the time he is old enough to make those decisions he will be better informed about nutrition, yk? I don't want to drill "soda is bad" into him and then have him worry that Daddy is doing something "bad".

Am I making too much of this? :LOL I tend to overanalyze.
post #40 of 105
The parking lot/traffic stuff is where I first starting seeing how shifing from rules to principles helped us. We now have a principle of keeping safe in the parking lot--so that can mean Sam and I hold hands, Sam holds onto my clothes or bag, or Sam walks very close to me and I put my hand on his head or shoulder. It keeps it flexible, gives him some power to choose, and I'm not worried about him getting hurt. He is extraordinarily mindful of not running into the street or parking lot--will stop on a dime when he gets to the curb--we have talked about car/traffic safety a lot.
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