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Logical Consquences - GD? or NOT GD? - Page 10

post #181 of 243
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly
So what's the problem with saying, "I'm cleaning now so I'm not able to make you any more food. You're welcome to grab an apple/yogurt/etc. out of the fridge for yourself.".
I did. That is the part where I re-offer food and he doesn't want to eat it - until I start to clean it up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly
I find that the easiest way to exit power struggles is not to get into them. And food should never be a power struggle.

Honestly, it seems to me as though you're determined that your child has foul intentions and you're going to teach him a lesson. There's a non-combative way to deal with this, though. Why not try it? .
That's what I get - you seem to think I have ill-will toward my child. I don't. I just have a normal little 3 yo who is dealing with control issues. To withdraw from the ask/give cycle was the only exit. He was not expressing hunger. He was trying to exert control.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly
And again, not giving a child food when he says he's hungry because he wouldn't eat the dinner you gave him is not a natural consequence. It just isn't. It's contrived.
And again, I gave him the food when he said he was hungry - he didn't eat it -- thus my conclusion, he is not hungry, he is interested in control. It wasn't a matter of "what" I gave him - that's a new little fact pattern addition from you. It had nothing to do with only offering him the dinner I made - I actually offered other choices.
post #182 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly
So what's the problem with saying, "I'm cleaning now so I'm not able to make you any more food. You're welcome to grab an apple/yogurt/etc. out of the fridge for yourself."

I find that the easiest way to exit power struggles is not to get into them. And food should never be a power struggle.
And again, not giving a child food when he says he's hungry because he wouldn't eat the dinner you gave him is not a natural consequence. It just isn't. It's contrived.
: ITA with the bolded part. Some things should never be a power struggle.
post #183 of 243
[HTML]I have six children. I still disagree with using hunger as a means of discipline or punishment.[/HTML]

I think I figured it out (quoting).

I think your children are beautiful, btw. I didn't see it as it even really being a hunger issue. I saw it as being what Tripmom said it was--a game. I think everyone sees it a different way. What really matters is that Tripmom does what she feels is best for her family.

I'll have to check back on this discussion later, but this has really been too much computer time today, lol. Off to crochet and maybe take down my Holiday tree finally.
post #184 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by TripMom
I just have a normal little 3 yo who is dealing with control issues. To withdraw from the ask/give cycle was the only exit. He was not expressing hunger. He was trying to exert control.

And again, I gave him the food when he said he was hungry - he didn't eat it -- thus my conclusion, he is not hungry, he is interested in control. It wasn't a matter of "what" I gave him - that's a new little fact pattern addition from you. It had nothing to do with only offering him the dinner I made - I actually offered other choices.
I am speechless. What do you think he was trying to control? Why does he feel the need to control?

I guess I have never felt that way with my children and I haven't a clue what to say.
post #185 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies
If there are no restrictions on access to food, I could see a child doing this, but when food is controlled then what? Do you punish the child for stealing food? Do you punish them for waking in the night because they are hungry?

I am sad to see ppl who think a child wants to be manipulative and controlling.
While I agree that controlling food and not allowing the child to have access to other food at bedtime when they say they are hungry is not a solution I would use, and not one that I consider to be particularly gentle, I also feel that emotional statements regarding people's parenting styles and techniques are not very productive either; perhaps better would be somethign like:
"I don't agree that children are manipulative and controlling; maybe if you think of it as them as testing their independence and individuality and trying to learn to negotiate and navigate through their world", and offering a alternative solution would be more helpful and less fuel for 'retaliation'....this is I think the reason that threads degrade sometimes, we sometimes become more concerned with stating our opinions than offering help and solutions. AND, I'm NOT singling you out MITB, because I have been guilty of this same thing myself - it's some thing I'm working on!!
post #186 of 243
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicky2
>It was like DS was testing boundaries and control with me -- and when he sensed he had no boundaries or that "he" was in control - it actually scared him.

I go thru this w/my teen, too. It does not stop as they get older, the scenarios just change. My teen is definitely old enough to know the rules, what is expected of her, how to do her chores, etc. But biologically speaking, she is suppose to try to get around her boundaries, testing them to make sure they are still there, still the same, is mom still watching? When she sees that yes, they are still there, still the same, and that of course I'm still watching, she is very, very relieved.

btw, someone want to tell me how to quote? LOL!
Chicky2 - nail on head. In these circs, the more I gave DS what he was asking for - the more panic'd and anxiety ridden he became. It was like he was saying "oh no - am I in control? I'm just a little DS? I need my mommy." Before I found a way to exit (which believe me is hard, if giving the child what he is asking for does not defuse, but accelerates the situation) - I had a few of these episodes that just escalated into a 3 yo complete meltdown. One time we were in a restaurant and DS said - I want to go potty. I took him to the potty and he said "no potty - I want to wash my hands" - I walked him over to wash his hands and he said "no - I want to go potty" - this cycle went around for a while and he got more and more upset each time he asked for the other thing and I gave it to him. I was starting to freak out - like how do I get this kid out of this bathroom in this crowded restroom? I had to go get DH to help - DS was starting to completely melt.

In retrospect - the bathroom scenario was born out of a tired DS out for sushi with mom and dad instead of going to bed on time - but rooted in the same type of control issues . . . .

anyway . . . thanks for your post
post #187 of 243
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies
I am speechless. What do you think he was trying to control? Why does he feel the need to control?

I guess I have never felt that way with my children and I haven't a clue what to say.
Ummm. Because he's three years old?
post #188 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by TripMom
And again, I gave him the food when he said he was hungry - he didn't eat it -- thus my conclusion, he is not hungry, he is interested in control. It wasn't a matter of "what" I gave him - that's a new little fact pattern addition from you. It had nothing to do with only offering him the dinner I made - I actually offered other choices.
Okay, so here's what I'm puzzled about. When he said later (after you had cleaned up) that he was hungry - after you had finished re-offering him food - was your response that he could get something for himself or that he couldn't eat until breakfast?

Btw, I completely agree that children are sometimes controlling and manipulative. It's part of who they are - they explore cause and effect and part of that is determining how they can affect the things and people in their universe with their actions. Where I'm uncomfortable being controlled, I let ds know. Where I'm not (like if we're playing a game and he wants to make up rules as he goes along), I let it slide. Except on my exceptionally impatient days, I do my best to see these things as natural, not negative, and address them in a way that doesn't create adversity in our relationship.
post #189 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by TripMom
I did. That is the part where I re-offer food and he doesn't want to eat it - until I start to clean it up.



That's what I get - you seem to think I have ill-will toward my child. I don't. I just have a normal little 3 yo who is dealing with control issues. To withdraw from the ask/give cycle was the only exit. He was not expressing hunger. He was trying to exert control.



And again, I gave him the food when he said he was hungry - he didn't eat it -- thus my conclusion, he is not hungry, he is interested in control. It wasn't a matter of "what" I gave him - that's a new little fact pattern addition from you. It had nothing to do with only offering him the dinner I made - I actually offered other choices.
I guess my only observation and question here then TripMom, and this is in a *genuine* spirit of helpfulness, is that if he did say he was hungry again at bedtime, and you said, "I'll go get you some cheese (or yogurt, or whatever small tidbit to tide him over)" that would literally take 2 minutes to run downstairs and do (so I am not suggesting preparing him a meal, just a ready to eat snack) - and I assume is something you would do for yourself, your husband, or a family member or friend visiting - and add in the 5 minutes it takes for him to eat it and then not be hungry, ends the power struggle and maybe makes food not a control issue for him and gets him to start eating dinner again. Woudl he eat the cheese, or whatever you offered or he asked for, or just keep asking for diferent things? I guess it comes down to trying to not make food a control or power issue for me, either, so I would probably find some way to diffuse it.

We have nipped the 'one more drink' thing at bedtime in the bud by ALWAYS supplying DS with a sports bottle full of cold water each night at his bedside - so there's no need to get up, he gets to drink when he's genuinely thirsty, and there is no "stalling" bedtime over it. It just automatically happens.

Maybe you could automatically bring up a plate of cheese and a couple crackers and say, I know you weren't hungry or couldn't decide what to eat at dinner - so I brought you this to tide you over until breakfast tomorrow - that way he has the opportunity to eat whatever it is if he really is hungry; if he then insists on other things, or doesn't like anything you siggest and cannot come up with his own solution, then I would wager that he really is in fact not hungry and by not engaging in it, you're doing the right thing.

That's the ONLY suggestion I would make. to automatically bring something healthy that he likes up to bedtime, and then it's his choice to eat it or not.

Actually, come to think of it, DS only had about 2 bites at dinner last night....so at bedtime, I brought a granola bar to bed in addition to his usual water, and told him, "since you hardly ate any dinner I thought you might be hungry now, you can have this to keep you until breakfast", and he ate it - so he was hungry. And he's not even 2 years old yet.

Anyway, hope this helps. Sorry it has gotten out of control.
post #190 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by donosmommy04
I guess my only observation and question here then TripMom, and this is in a *genuine* spirit of helpfulness, is that if he did say he was hungry again at bedtime, and you said, "I'll go get you some cheese (or yogurt, or whatever small tidbit to tide him over)" that would literally take 2 minutes to run downstairs and do (so I am not suggesting preparing him a meal, just a ready to eat snack) - and I assume is something you would do for yourself, your husband, or a family member or friend visiting - and add in the 5 minutes it takes for him to eat it and then not be hungry, ends the power struggle and maybe makes food not a control issue for him and gets him to start eating dinner again. Woudl he eat the cheese, or whatever you offered or he asked for, or just keep asking for diferent things? I guess it comes down to trying to not make food a control or power issue for me, either, so I would probably find some way to diffuse it.

We have nipped the 'one more drink' thing at bedtime in the bud by ALWAYS supplying DS with a sports bottle full of cold water each night at his bedside - so there's no need to get up, he gets to drink when he's genuinely thirsty, and there is no "stalling" bedtime over it. It just automatically happens.

Maybe you could automatically bring up a plate of cheese and a couple crackers and say, I know you weren't hungry or couldn't decide what to eat at dinner - so I brought you this to tide you over until breakfast tomorrow - that way he has the opportunity to eat whatever it is if he really is hungry; if he then insists on other things, or doesn't like anything you siggest and cannot come up with his own solution, then I would wager that he really is in fact not hungry and by not engaging in it, you're doing the right thing.

That's the ONLY suggestion I would make. to automatically bring something healthy that he likes up to bedtime, and then it's his choice to eat it or not.

Actually, come to think of it, DS only had about 2 bites at dinner last night....so at bedtime, I brought a granola bar to bed in addition to his usual water, and told him, "since you hardly ate any dinner I thought you might be hungry now, you can have this to keep you until breakfast", and he ate it - so he was hungry. And he's not even 2 years old yet.

Anyway, hope this helps. Sorry it has gotten out of control.

Now this was a thoughtful considerate and informative post. It shared concern, asked questions, showed a pretty accurate understanding of what she was saying and offered an alternative which had the actual events in mind.
I think the crackers by the bedside is an ok solution if you arent overly concerned about cavities. Of course if it is about the power and not about the food, my guess is it would just turn into another power struggle "but I dont WANT crackers!!!!"
In the end if crackers are the final offer, it really isnt any different than any of the other final offers. Because the end result is not offering anything else and the child chooses to accept or decline.
I for one cant imagine going through several episodes of offering my child one thing after another and having those things rejected, then having something else asked for ad nauseum.
I think it shows exemplary patience to even try the give him what he is asking for and hope the struggle ends there approach so many times before deciding "no more".
post #191 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by TripMom
Ummm. Because he's three years old?
Sometimes kids do use food to control or game playing for whatever reason. My dh went through this with my step dd before we were married. I watched a scene one day where she asked him for soup, he made the soup. As soon as it was finished she told him she didn't want soup, she wanted eggs and toast. He made eggs and toast. She took one look at it and said she didn't want it, but wanted a grilled cheese sandwich. He made her the sandwich. She said I don't want that I want cereal. He made the cereal. SHe said I don't want that I want........

This is where I stepped in. I asked him if he was out of his @&*!#@$ mind. The child now had four different lunches sitting on the kitchen counter. I gently told her she had four foods to choose from and we would leave them on the table. She could eat them or not eat them it was up to her. We went in the living room and sat down. After a while passed, I peeked into the kitchen and she was eating.

I don't know why she did this. My MIL would jump at every command and so would dh, so I don't know. She and her mother had attachment issues and still do at 19 years old. But, she did seem to think it was very funny.
post #192 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by johub
I for one cant imagine going through several episodes of offering my child one thing after another and having those things rejected, then having something else asked for ad nauseum.
Me neither. After mealtime, if my kids say they are hungry, I remind them that the cupboard has plenty of food to choose from.

In my home, food is eaten at the table, so offering to let them eat in their room is not an option, as it is a sanitary and safety issue (the neighbors upstairs and downtsairs have roaches and I do not even want to see one, tyvm ). I have no problem with children getting up and getting something to eat or drink and then going back to bed.
And, we co-sleep, and I don't care for crumbs in the bed, kwim?
post #193 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by johub
I think the crackers by the bedside is an ok solution if you arent overly concerned about cavities. Of course if it is about the power and not about the food, my guess is it would just turn into another power struggle "but I dont WANT crackers!!!!"
In the end if crackers are the final offer, it really isnt any different than any of the other final offers. Because the end result is not offering anything else and the child chooses to accept or decline.
Right, but the difference to me would be that the offer "was" there at bedtime, one 'final chance' for the kid to eat if he was really hungry, as opposed to being told at bedtime if he said he was hungry - "I'm sorry, but since you didn't eat dinner, you have to wait until breakfast" (or however it is phrased). That last option of yes, being able to eat *something*, makes the difference to me. If the struggle engaged again, I wouldn't get involved, and at that point would let it go. This is where we each have to come up with what our own "limit" is. For me would be to offer the food one more time at dinner, then drop it. Then one time offer a food that I *know* he likes at bedtime if he says he's hungry, that I'm comfortable with him eating, and if he decided to not have that, then that was his choice. If he tried to ask for 7 other things and negotiate again, I'd tell him that this was already here and ready for him, and is just to tide him over so he's not hungry in the middle of the night, and it's his choice to eat it or not. If he was old enough to go downstairs and grab whatever for himself, I'd offer that to him as an alternative too, but as he's not 2 until the end of the month, that's not happening for us yet.

Anyway, just more of my random babblings....
post #194 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies
Me neither. After mealtime, if my kids say they are hungry, I remind them that the cupboard has plenty of food to choose from.

In my home, food is eaten at the table, so offering to let them eat in their room is not an option, as it is a sanitary and safety issue (the neighbors upstairs and downtsairs have roaches and I do not even want to see one, tyvm ). I have no problem with children getting up and getting something to eat or drink and then going back to bed.
And, we co-sleep, and I don't care for crumbs in the bed, kwim?
Even with full free access to food it does not prevent or stop the control cycle.
My dd had full access to food and did this anyway. She woudl get a granola bar, open it. Then discard it. Get an apple, take a bite, throw it away.
The exact same power struggle can exist regardless of how the child gets the food.
post #195 of 243
I guess I"m sucked in, lol....

The PP(by donosmommy) makes me think of something else. It is a good example of how everyone has different views about what is right and wrong for their own families. I personally would NEVER leave food by the bed and let them eat it anytime they wanted. I would be completely freaked out by the fact that all that food would just sit in their little mouths all night long, promoting cavities. That said, i don't think it's a 'wrong' solution, either. It is just not one I would consider for my family. If, after offering a snack (and a reminder that breakfast is a long ways away) my children still didn't want what was offered (they always have at least 3 choices--2 food choices and the 3rd choice is to not eat), I would tuck them in and that's just gotta be it. If, however, they woke up hours and hours later hungry and asking to eat, I would offer exactly one food item, and that's it. If that child isn't hungry enough for that (remember, it's during the night), then I would be justified in saying 'well, I'm sorry then, you really must not be that hungry afterall'. If it started happening over and over in the middle of the night, I would march the child back to bed, explain that no one is getting any sleep, and go back to bed, or if my child needs it/wants it, I'll lie down w/them, but I'm going back to sleep!. I would do that because it would show me that my child is simply trying to exert control over this. We would sit down and talk the next day about how they have lots of choices, and that if they need to have more control over an area, let's talk about it, and find an appropriate time for them to exert their control.

Yes, children absolutely do feel the need to have control. This is a normal human feeling. I will give my children plenty of choices when it is appropriate to do so. They will respect my decisions more in the long run because of it too. There are simply some times when children have to understand that when mom or dad says x, y, or z, that that is just the way it needs to be. I'm also one of those parents who doesn't feel that I owe my children an explanation for every single parenting decision that is made. Sometimes it is appropriate to say that it is so 'because it is the decision mom and dad feel is best'. Does that mean I don't practice GD? I don't believe so. I'm sure some of you see it differently, and that is ok too.
post #196 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by johub
Even with full free access to food it does not prevent or stop the control cycle.
My dd had full access to food and did this anyway. She woudl get a granola bar, open it. Then discard it. Get an apple, take a bite, throw it away.
The exact same power struggle can exist regardless of how the child gets the food.
Exactly, and it doesn't even have to be about food! That's why I can't understand why the food issue was made such a big deal in the first place??? The food just wasn't the point!
post #197 of 243
I wanted to add that food is often an area where control issues come up with children. Even when parents try not to let food be an issue, kids can make it an issue because eating is almost always a hot button in almost any family. Moms care a lot whether children eat or not. what they eat, how much, what the nutrient values are, how often they eat. ETC. Even if we offer food and try to make it a non issue, many children do pick up on food as the issue to challenge and control.
As mentioned before, the real purpose of the child was to delay going to bed. It is no accident that he chose dinner time to meet this end.
Parents are usualyl pretty willing to not worry about a missed book or if teeth arent brushed or if a bath never happens. But not eating dinner causes anxiety. We want our children to go to bed with a nice full belly.
WE might try to act neutral about food but it is a bigger challenge to actually be neutral. And kids pick up on this.
We feel that this is one area in our kids lives that we cannot or should not set limits. We must feed them if they say they are hungry. (bathroom is the other, we must take them to teh bathroom when they say they have to go) Kids are super smart. And they know that while "I want to play a game" might not always get a response "I'm hungry" almost always does. Mom's anxiety about food coupled with a child's desire to exert control can create power struggles over food even in homes where every attempt is made to avoid power struggles over food.
It isnt always about hunger. And there is no shame in taking a stand and saying enough is enough.
post #198 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by johub
Even with full free access to food it does not prevent or stop the control cycle.
My dd had full access to food and did this anyway. She woudl get a granola bar, open it. Then discard it. Get an apple, take a bite, throw it away.
The exact same power struggle can exist regardless of how the child gets the food.
I am sorry, but I am just not 'getting' it. The above sounds like the child is wasting food. It does not sound like a power struggle.

Okay, if my child does not want to go to bed, then I realize that and solve that issue. I do not turn it into a food issue.
post #199 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies
I am sorry, but I am just not 'getting' it. The above sounds like the child is wasting food. It does not sound like a power struggle.

Okay, if my child does not want to go to bed, then I realize that and solve that issue. I do not turn it into a food issue.
YEs the child is wasting food. WHich is why it is appropriate for parents to draw a boundary. It isnt a power struggle if the parents are ok with this much food being wasted.
And it is the CHILD who chooses if it is a food issue by choosing that situation to exercise control. Not the parents.
post #200 of 243
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by donosmommy04
I guess my only observation and question here then TripMom, and this is in a *genuine* spirit of helpfulness, is that if he did say he was hungry again at bedtime, and you said, "I'll go get you some cheese (or yogurt, or whatever small tidbit to tide him over)" that would literally take 2 minutes to run downstairs and do (so I am not suggesting preparing him a meal, just a ready to eat snack) - and I assume is something you would do for yourself, your husband, or a family member or friend visiting - and add in the 5 minutes it takes for him to eat it and then not be hungry, ends the power struggle and maybe makes food not a control issue for him and gets him to start eating dinner again. Woudl he eat the cheese, or whatever you offered or he asked for, or just keep asking for diferent things? I guess it comes down to trying to not make food a control or power issue for me, either, so I would probably find some way to diffuse it.

We have nipped the 'one more drink' thing at bedtime in the bud by ALWAYS supplying DS with a sports bottle full of cold water each night at his bedside - so there's no need to get up, he gets to drink when he's genuinely thirsty, and there is no "stalling" bedtime over it. It just automatically happens.

Maybe you could automatically bring up a plate of cheese and a couple crackers and say, I know you weren't hungry or couldn't decide what to eat at dinner - so I brought you this to tide you over until breakfast tomorrow - that way he has the opportunity to eat whatever it is if he really is hungry; if he then insists on other things, or doesn't like anything you siggest and cannot come up with his own solution, then I would wager that he really is in fact not hungry and by not engaging in it, you're doing the right thing.

That's the ONLY suggestion I would make. to automatically bring something healthy that he likes up to bedtime, and then it's his choice to eat it or not.

Actually, come to think of it, DS only had about 2 bites at dinner last night....so at bedtime, I brought a granola bar to bed in addition to his usual water, and told him, "since you hardly ate any dinner I thought you might be hungry now, you can have this to keep you until breakfast", and he ate it - so he was hungry. And he's not even 2 years old yet.

Anyway, hope this helps. Sorry it has gotten out of control.
Hey thanks - even though I wasn't really soliciting a suggestion on what I was doing - I like your idea. I already bring a water bottle up with us so he has something to drink if he's thirsty - I could also bring up a cheese stick or something. But honestly - the power struggle usually ends in the kitchen when I withdraw from the cycle. I don't recall DS ever asking me for food during the bath/bedtime part of the night. Its usually just at the dinner table that this happened - as part of the effort to delay bath/bedtime. Once we've actually started bath/bedtime - he lets this topic go.
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