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Things we don't say to our children - Page 2

post #21 of 67
um, what precisely is wrong with encouraging a child to eat a few more bites?
My daughter, four, is NOT good at approximating how much food she requires some days and letting her simply get up from the table without eating more than three mouthfuls does NOT do anything except guarantee that she will be back in five minutes telling me she's hungry.

I also tell my children if their behaviour is naughty. I feel that it is much better than telling them they are bad. Tell me why defining behaviour as naughty is wrong?
I'm not saying they are naughty. I am not saying they are terrible, I'm identifiying their behaviour as naughty, which sometimes, frankly, it is.

We do not do 'because I said so' but occasionally I have been known to explain that sometimes mommys know better than children who are four about what is appropriate/polite/acceptable in certain situations (especially complicated social ones)

I would never say 'what's wrong with you?" but I would ask an intelligent child 'why aren't you listening to what mommy is saying today? Is there something we need to talk about?"
post #22 of 67
"I'll repeat it again for the dumb ones" (when explaining homework)

Care to guess where I got it from?
post #23 of 67
I never want to tell her she's a bad girl. That just drives me up the wall to hear people say "no no, bad girl" I react very severely when other people say that to my child.
I also don't want to say things just to prove I'm bigger and in control. I'd rather give her a valid reason.
post #24 of 67
"You'll be the death of me"
"Stop that crying or I'll give you something to cry about"
post #25 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndiG
um, what precisely is wrong with encouraging a child to eat a few more bites?
For me? I think it's wrong because it teaches children that they can't really know when to be done eating, and that they must rely on someone else to decide for them. Instead of them recognizing and understanding that feeling of "Okay, I've had enough and do not want to eat this anymore." they learn not to trust that feeling because someone is saying "One more bite" "Just two more bites and then you'll be done." It's just not kind, or useful IMO and can come back to bite someone in the booty later when an older child/teen/adult isn't sure if they are full or should eat "more bites" just because or if they should trust themselves about other things regarding their body and comfort. Food issues last a long time. It's just my opinion though, and I understand other people do what they feel is best.

Quote:
My daughter, four, is NOT good at approximating how much food she requires some days and letting her simply get up from the table without eating more than three mouthfuls does NOT do anything except guarantee that she will be back in five minutes telling me she's hungry.
In that case I would just make sure there was a plate of food/snack available for her as she needs and/or wants it. I would just say "Okay, well lets stick the rest of your lunch in a container in the fridge and you can help yourself to it later if you want it." Or "If you are done for now let's just leave the crackers and oranges on the table for a bit in case you get hungry again." Heck at 29 I am not always terrific at approximating how much of something I need either This way the child is still in control of when she is eating and when she is full, but the food remains available.

Quote:
I also tell my children if their behaviour is naughty. I feel that it is much better than telling them they are bad. Tell me why defining behaviour as naughty is wrong?

Again for me, because it's not helpful. If my child is having a problem we discuss it without the label. "I noticed you seem to be angry/upset/frustrated. Is that why you threw the book? Would you like to talk about it? Sometimes I feel like throwing things too." etc.
post #26 of 67
"Good girl!" "Bad girl!" (My parents said both of these to DD on a recent visit--sigh.)
"Give Relative X a kiss! Come on! Don't be shy!"
"You may not leave the table till you finish your _____."

Er, I think I swore I'd never tell a kid who was freaking out, "You're just tired," but uh, I'm pretty sure I've done that.
post #27 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa
For me? I think it's wrong because it teaches children that they can't really know when to be done eating, and that they must rely on someone else to decide for them. Instead of them recognizing and understanding that feeling of "Okay, I've had enough and do not want to eat this anymore." they learn not to trust that feeling because someone is saying "One more bite" "Just two more bites and then you'll be done." It's just not kind, or useful IMO and can come back to bite someone in the booty later when an older child/teen/adult isn't sure if they are full or should eat "more bites" just because or if they should trust themselves about other things regarding their body and comfort. Food issues last a long time. It's just my opinion though, and I understand other people do what they feel is best.


In that case I would just make sure there was a plate of food/snack available for her as she needs and/or wants it. I would just say "Okay, well lets stick the rest of your lunch in a container in the fridge and you can help yourself to it later if you want it." Or "If you are done for now let's just leave the crackers and oranges on the table for a bit in case you get hungry again." Heck at 29 I am not always terrific at approximating how much of something I need either This way the child is still in control of when she is eating and when she is full, but the food remains available.


Again for me, because it's not helpful. If my child is having a problem we discuss it without the label. "I noticed you seem to be angry/upset/frustrated. Is that why you threw the book? Would you like to talk about it? Sometimes I feel like throwing things too." etc.




I completely agree unschoolma...

To agree with a pp too, I REALLY don't like the whole "good girl/bad girl" thing too...it is so annoying to me -- as well as labeling behavior as bad or good. I am more likely to ask whether or not something was a wise choice, or beneficial, or an appropriate reaction....something like:

"I see you are angry and that is why you kicked me. Do you think that is the best way you could have expressed your anger? Maybe if we talk about it we can come to some better solutions on how to express ourselves without hurting eachother" (or however you want to say it depending on age or whatever)

...rather than.... "kicking is BAD!!" (or naughty or whatever)
post #28 of 67
UnschoolnMa: thanks for that explanation, I am occasionally guilty of saying "one more spoon" to dd and didn't really think it was so bad if it wasn't creating conflict (I had big conflicts with my mother about eating).

No wonder you are senior member of the week
post #29 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by fizzymom
Have to add:

"What's wrong with you?"
"How many times do I have to tell you...?"
"Why can't you...?"

Hearing stuff like this just makes growing up SO much fun.
I almost cried when I read this because I have said these things to ds. I have been conscious to stop the "what's wrong with you" thing, because I realized quickly that that is not what I wanted to be saying to him. The other two just kind of pop out of my mouth during moments of total frustration.

I don't say anything else that's been mentioned on this thread, and the eating one drives me crazy. Now, I have on occassion been known to tell ds that he can't have more sugary whatever it is until he eats some good food. But that's because he can get quite crazy if he has too much sugar and not much else. Overall he's pretty good at rationing himself, so I often let him have a cookie or some ice cream before dinner. But if it's too much (like around the holidays right now), I have been known to insist that some other food be eaten before more sugar is ingested. But overall I'm a big believer in what UnschoolinMa described. We pretty much have a plate of something sitting out where ds can reach it at all times.

I sat through a brunch yesterday with my SIL bragging about how she bribes her dd to eat. SIL was lamenting that once Christmas is over she won't be able to bribe her to eat by using Santa Claus, and will have to find something else. She told her dd that she couldn't go outside and play with my ds until she finished eating, shoving forkful after forkful into the poor girls mouth. The topper for me was that the food she was insisting she eat was chicken fingers and french fries.
post #30 of 67
To answer the OP, things I have heard but will never say to my children:

"Do that one more time and you're getting a time out."
"Keep crying and I'll give you something to cry about" (Ugh, my dad used to always say that.)
"Why can't you eat/act nice/blah blah blah like little Johnny?"
"Be nice and give Uncle John a kiss."
post #31 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndiG
Tell me why defining behaviour as naughty is wrong?
I'm not saying they are naughty.
We don't use the word "naughty" because there's heaps of alternatives. The word "naughty" literally means "worth naught" ie worth nothing. And I got called "worthless" a lot when I was a kid, and during the early (domestic violence affected) years of my marriage. So I would much rather explain exactly what the child did wrong, than to just give them the label of "naughty".
Each to their own! Let's not start attacking each others parenting!
post #32 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by luckylady
I hate you.
You're bugging me.
Why did I ever HAVE kids?
clean your plate or you will sit here until midnight.
because I said so.
Are you stupid or something?

You can't...

Agree with all of these EXCEPT the last one. "You can't hit other people" Perfectly accpetable to me!
post #33 of 67
"Good job!"
post #34 of 67
You know I never bought that bit where you say that the kid's behavior is bad, stupid, naughty, etc. and they will know the difference between Them and Their Behavior.

I was a teacher for 18 years and this was often advice given in workshops for classroom management, to criticize the behavior, not the child.

I don't know, I am an adult and I still cannot make that distinction--if someone tells me "That was a really stupid thing to do" I feel stupid. If my boss says, "That could have been handled more sensitively" I hear "You are insensitive" Maybe it's me and all my hangups, but I want err on the side of caution in trying not to use these words in relationship to children and their behavior.

Yet I have caught myself saying to students "That wasn't a very friendly thing to do"--and I'm sure that's not much better.

These are hard habits to break!
post #35 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2jasper
"Stop that crying or I'll give you something to cry about"
Ugh! That was my mom's favorite.
post #36 of 67
: I have said "Because I said so" to ds, but only after explaining for the 5000th time *why* he must brush his teeth before he goes to bed, and have helped him do it at least as many times and every.single.night.....it's the same old thing.

"Come on Honey, it's time for bed, let's go brush your teeth"

<whine> "But I don't wannaaaa brush my teeth" (Ignored by me)

<whine more> Moooooommmmm, why do I have to brush my teeth?"

"because it's heathy, it protects your teeth. You dont' want to lose all your teeth at 30 because you didnt' take care of them, do you? It sure would be hard to eat corn on the cob with no teeth..." (trying to inject humor)

<as he stomps up the stairs> "I'm NOT brushing my teeth."

I should mention, that I have allowed him in the past to not brush his teeth, until the smell of his breath hit me as I opened the door to his room one morning, after his not brushing for FIVE DAYS! I put my foot down on that one.

"Yes, you are. Now, do you want to use your toothpaste or mine?"

"Neither, I'm not brushing my teeth and you can't make me"

"This is not optional. Your teeth are going to get brushed. Would you like to do it yourself, or do you want help?"

<yelling> "I am NOT BRUSHING MY TEETH>

(calmly, okay, mostly calmly ) "you *are* going to brush your teeth. I don't want to force you, but I will if I have to. This is a health issue adn I love you, so my first and most important job is to protect you....that includes your teeth."

"but why? You really can't make me"

"Let's go."

"NO! NO! No! No! No! No!"

"Your teeth are getting brushed."

"why? I hate brushing my teeth. I don't want to do it. Why are you so mean? You're just a big mean mommy head. I never really liked you."

"You are brushing your teeth adn that's final. Now. In the bathroom."

"but why"

"because I'm the mommy and I said so."

Ugh. Sometimes I really, really hate myself.
post #37 of 67
"Don't be ugly"
post #38 of 67
Thread Starter 
APMom98 Been there, done that. It gets better. A few things I tried: took my dd to the dentist and let them show her why it's so important. I had him pull out x-ray films of rotting teeth, and show her pictures from his dentistry books. It wasn't pretty, and he didn't scare her, just showed her what has happened to others. It WAS scary, imo, but it made a big impression for a while. I also remind her that EVERYONE brushes their teeth. Children in Sweden, Zimbabwe, Japan, Brazil, Canada all brush their teeth. That's an important part of being part of our society. Even people who do not have proper toothbrushes and toothpaste brush their teeth (and I show her pictures of villagers using neem tree parts). That helped too. I still have to remind her, and occasionally watch to be sure she's doing a reasonable job, but I have SO been there on the frustration thing. phew

One thing my mom said a lot that *sob* still hurts me when I think about it is "turn off the water works" when I would cry about something. Man, she was a bitch. Actually, she still is, but that's a different story I will NEVER tell my child to stop crying. Never. Ever. Amazing what those little hurts feel like, eh?
post #39 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AAK
I try this too, however lately dd (almost 6 now) will come back, "that isn't what I mean, I want a REASON". If there is a reason that I can articulate simply, I will tell her it. Sometimes that doesn't work and I have resorted to "I have tried my best to give you a reason, but really I am the mom and this is a decision I have made" which to me sounds a lot like "because I am the parent and I said so". I never wanted to let it go to that, but sometimes it really is just a decision. It is rare though.

Amy
My dd doesn't just accept the 'because I love you' reason either. I have prefaced it with a wide variety of beginnings... I'm not asking because I want to inconvenience/annoy/hurt or whatever you, but because I love you and want to protect you'... doesn't work. I have gotten it down to this: If all else fails, I tell her it's in my job description. Then I wrote myself a job description . It says

"I promise to love and protect this child, and do all I can to keep strong their health and well being. I will enrich, guide, mentor and nurture their spiritual, mental, physical selves. I promise to respect them and give them the best parts of my physical, creative, spiritual, and intellectual self for as long as we both shall live."

I figure - what the heck. I picked my dh and he and I don't NEED each other the way my dd needs me. Why don't parents have to promise to do the same kinds of things for their children that they have to do (by law in many places) for their dp?! So, when all else fails, I lean back on the ole job description. It does work...though I'm not sure if she'll hate me for it some day. I ONLY use it when all else fails, though.

And I gotta say, she is SO sick of hearing "it seems like you are X (aggravated, frustrated, angry, sad, etc.) - will you sit for a minute and think of some other ways you can tell me about your feelings" and all the variations of that... She actually cried a couple of weeks ago and then said "DON'T say it! I just feel sad and I want to cry." Although I had never said anything about crying being an inappropriate response! Just the kicking, throwing, pushing, that kind of stuff. They sure get smart quick...
post #40 of 67
I will never tell them they are BAD...misbehaving, yes, but children can't be BAD. (I have an ongoing "feud" with my aunt over this one.)
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