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Modified time-out (I think) - is this GD or not? - Page 4

post #61 of 131
I tend to "overthink" a lot of issues, not just GD But, it has been through the critical examination of common practices that I've discovered so much of what I once believed was "true" was actually completely opposed to what my heart was telling me once I became a parent.

I'm not quite sure "overthink" I would have chosen, but I think I know what thismommy was getting at For me, it's been the deeper examination and process that has brought me enormous growth as a person.

And sometimes not
post #62 of 131
Thread Starter 
Well, I don't think there is anything wrong with thinking about these issues.

But some of the responses here seem a little over the top to me, yk? Most of the alternatives suggested don't feel practical to me. They are interesting to think about, and I am certainly incorporating them where I can.

But a lot of this discussion IMO doesn't take into account that a) I believe she is challenging intentionally, not simply because she is developmentally incapable of stopping her behaviour, and b) I'm a person too.

Distraction isn't going to work. It is not that simple. She's not going to just forget about the dryer button. She is pressing the button BECAUSE it's a no no. Or running down the street because it's a no no, harassing the dog because it's a no no, unzipping the screen on the bike trailer after I've zipped it up and my hands are full, dunking her doll in puddles, twiddling my other nipple while she nurses, putting her feet in the apple sauce... BECAUSE she knows these things are not cool with me.

I don't always have time to stop everything and go play with her. And I don't know if that would be a great idea, even if I could. It might reinforce the notion that doing something wrong = attention from mama.

I am a person here too. Sometimes I don't want to put down everything I've just picked up to rezip the bloody screen on the bike trailer, I don't want to chase her down the street or around the grocery store, I don't want to deal with her screaming in the cart coz I won't let her down, or buy her Smarties, I don't want to pick the wet doll up out of the puddle after I've said all patiently, "Don't dunk the baby in the puddle, babies are too little for puddles, she will be wet and you won't be able to play with her" and she's done it anyway, smirking. I don't want to put her sandals on a million times, try to find a way to carry her inside along with everything else in my arms because she has just gone limp noodle in protest coz she wants to stay outside.

I DON'T WANT TO. It is not fun for me. I do not feel full of patience and love in response to these behaviours. I don't want to drop everything in response to them, and I don't want to create a bubble for her where no conflict will ever arise. It is impossible.

Do I not get to say no? Do I not get to have my no respected?

I really, really hate this stage.
post #63 of 131
It sounds like you and dd are pretty angry with each other .
post #64 of 131
Thread Starter 
No, it's not like that, at least I don't think it is.

I love my child, I thoroughly enjoy being a mama. I delight in her, and she is the main focus of my life, more important to me than anything else. I thank the Goddess regularly for her, I do not take this gift for granted. We love each other very much, and have lots of adventures and good times.

I know I sound hardcore here, but IRL most of my friends say that if anything I am too patient. These are not ppl who know about GD, not ppl who have kids, so of course it's to be taken with a grain of salt, but I'm saying it to explain that I am a loving mama, and our relationship overall is a positive, joyful one. She still nurses, we co-sleep, I am very emotionally available and attentive.

It's good, at least I think it's good.

I just don't like this stage. I do think she is testing, her behaviour is intentional. I don't see it as her being angry with me, I see it more as developmental, about her need to differentiate from me, to be her own person with her own agenda. And I think it's about her testing our relationship, my responses, what happens if she does xyz. I also think it's about her no longer blindly trusting me, she wants to see what happens for herself, yk?

Which I see as normal. I just don't know how to deal with it. I don't have tonnes of time or patience for it. I find it hard as a single mama, who just started going to school, to eek out time to just be, peacefully, yk? And I feel like what I do get, for example chilling in the pizza parlour while standing in line, or making supper being in my own head, is now intruded upon by having to chase after her, or by the constant buzzing of the dryer.

Does this make sense?

ETA - I mean to say that I can't find space for it. I can find space to go to school so I can do something I find meaningful and we won't always be broke her whole life. I can find space to buy and cook nutritious meals for both of us, I can chatter with her and make up funny games, I can take her on adventures in the bike trailer or to see our friends, I can nurse on demand, I can co-sleep even when that means she is literally laying across me half the night. I can do that. But this I feel like I cannot do. It's too much, these things come up constantly suddenly, at the most inconvenient times.

I need some breathing room, in the cracks, and this sudden change in her behaviour means I can't find any. And I don't like that.
post #65 of 131
I know what you mean by "being in my own head." I think for me that is the hardest part of being a parent. There's no time for me to just be in my own head. None. My mind/ears/thoughts are always having to check on what she is doing, or about to do, or has just done. I used to be able to be in my head a little bit during nice stroller walks in the evening now and then... not any more. Now its constant response to whatever she sees ("Dog? Where's a dog? Oh, THERE'S a dog! You're right! Woof woof. Flower? Yes, there's a flower! Bird? Where? Oh I see it! Cheep cheep! Yes, a bird! Cat? There's no cat that I can see. Oh wow, I guess there IS a kitty cat. How did you spot that cat way over there??? Meow! You have good eyes! Yes, there's a kitty cat! Car! Choo choo! Ball!")

And I have a partner! I can't imagine what its like to be a single mom. I think I would go a little crazy.

If you need someone to smash that damn dryer button with a sledgehammer, call me. We have the same kind of dryer. Whoever thought it was important to know when the clothes were done by signaling louder than the neighborhood emergency sirens warning of imminent nuclear attack should be stuffed into a dryer himself and spun on hot.
post #66 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama
..twiddling my other nipple while she nurses... I can nurse on demand, I can co-sleep even when that means she is literally laying across me half the night. I can do that. But this I feel like I cannot do.
I'll be assailed for this, I'm pretty sure. But I'll just toss it out there anyway.

I've been struck by how many mamas post about breastfeeding their older toddlers and how extremely irritated they are by it. Many have commented that they felt that it actually was causing them to feel a wedge between themselves and dc, instead of bringing them closer together, which is what they had hoped for with CLW. To a lesser extent I see this theme also referring to co-sleeping.

I think that you've hit the nail on the head here that the reality is that - as people - we have a limit to how much we are able to self sacrifice and give without starting to develop emotional exhaustion and resentment. Fortunately, that limit is pretty high when it comes to our kids.

I think that part of my inner resources that lets me smile and redirect when dd jumps on my laptop (again) or insists on playing in the car when I'd rather unload the groceries and get in out of the weather has to do with the fact that I'm not emotionally depleted by my other parenting activities.

I can't even imagine the constraints of nursing on demand (my dd is adopted). Just the aspect of the physical availability, and then the sense of being touched out or even violated in cases where dd is causing pain and discomfort... Tough gig! Honestly, I would not want to have that face that challenge in my efforts to keep our relationship kind, open and mutually respectful. When dd is irritable and demanding because she is hungry or looking for a treat, I'm glad that negative energy isn't directed at me. And I'm glad that I'm not placed in the situation of either holding out on her because it's a difficult time or place (maybe just emotionally), or else pushing down my bitterness and resentment and yielding to her demand. kwim?

I'm not at all trying to minimize the benefits - emotional and physical - of breastfeeding. But everything has the potential of being misapplied or overused. When reading these threads by angry, exhausted mamas, who complain of feeling manhandled and exploited by their toddlers nursing demands, I honestly have thought over and over that the continued nursing was hurting the relationship instead of strengthening it.

I'm not sure if this thought process even applies in your case, there really isn't enough background to tell exactly why you're feeling so drawn out with what are fairly typical toddler behaviors. I'm just musing out loud and seeing if this opens any doors. If I'm totally off base then, well, it won't be the first time. You can just say so and move on to other topics.
post #67 of 131
Ok, I haven't read all the responses here, but I wanted to say that my three year old does the same thing. I don't think you are doing anything wrong, but if the wording makes you feel "oogy" -try not making it an IF thing. Make it like a choice, yk?

Here's an example of how it would go with my son.

Mom: Please stop pressing the dryer button, it might brake if you do that.
DS: I will press the dryer button
Mom: You can stop pressing the dryer button, or you can go sit on the couch (or find whatever else to do).
DS: presses button
Mom: Ok, I see that you would like to go sit on the couch. ---at this point I would probably give him something to do while he was on the couch, like read a book or something.

I know its a forced choice, and some ppl don't agree with that....but I think it works well in a lot of situations. In my OP its the whole "IF you do this....x will happen"...that makes things sound threatening.

I think a better example would be with the bunny.

Mom: Ds, you can be gentle with the bunny, or I can help you put him away so he will be safe.
Ds: I will pinch the bunny.
Mom: Ok, let's put him away together.

Like I have reiterated above, it's totally a forced choice, some ppl make think that sucks, but you know what my son usually knows what clear consequences he will have, and he usually goes along with whatever choices I give him. Like with the bunny, usually he would say --"ok, me put bunny away" and we would put the bunny away.

Just my .02 cents. I wish that I could explain what I'm trying to say in a more articulate way, cuz I don't think I'm really putting it out there in the best way....maybe the examples aren't the best, I dunno.... I'm not a super GD mom or anything, so take what I say with a grain of salt,lol. I think you are doing a great job, btw.
post #68 of 131
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BellinghamCrunchie
I know what you mean by "being in my own head." I think for me that is the hardest part of being a parent. There's no time for me to just be in my own head. None. My mind/ears/thoughts are always having to check on what she is doing, or about to do, or has just done. I used to be able to be in my head a little bit during nice stroller walks in the evening now and then... not any more. Now its constant response to whatever she sees ("Dog? Where's a dog? Oh, THERE'S a dog! You're right! Woof woof. Flower? Yes, there's a flower! Bird? Where? Oh I see it! Cheep cheep! Yes, a bird! Cat? There's no cat that I can see. Oh wow, I guess there IS a kitty cat. How did you spot that cat way over there??? Meow! You have good eyes! Yes, there's a kitty cat! Car! Choo choo! Ball!")
Yeah, I totally know what you mean. It's like at this age everything gets invaded, because they are talking all the time! People warned me about this, now that I think about it. It's fun, but it's not fun, kwim?


Quote:
If you need someone to smash that damn dryer button with a sledgehammer, call me. We have the same kind of dryer. Whoever thought it was important to know when the clothes were done by signaling louder than the neighborhood emergency sirens warning of imminent nuclear attack should be stuffed into a dryer himself and spun on hot.
ITA! I could put tape over it I guess, but she actually hasn't touched it in a few days now. There is no way to put up a gate as it's in the kitchen, and I can't gate the kitchen either because the entry way is really wide.
post #69 of 131
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessed

I've been struck by how many mamas post about breastfeeding their older toddlers and how extremely irritated they are by it. Many have commented that they felt that it actually was causing them to feel a wedge between themselves and dc, instead of bringing them closer together, which is what they had hoped for with CLW. To a lesser extent I see this theme also referring to co-sleeping.

I think that you've hit the nail on the head here that the reality is that - as people - we have a limit to how much we are able to self sacrifice and give without starting to develop emotional exhaustion and resentment. Fortunately, that limit is pretty high when it comes to our kids.
I see what you are saying, but truly for us the nursing has been really, really good. We went thru a big nipple twiddling stage when she was about 16 mos, but nothing since then until the last week or so. And like the bunny, I maintain that it's not about the nipple twiddling, it's about testing, doing something she knows I don't want her to do.

It's true I would have more space if we didn't co-sleep, that is provided she slept thru the night on her own, which I can't imagine, really. She has her own bed, but no interest in sleeping in it at night. And really I don't want to give up the things that foster our attachment, particularly at this time.

I just want the little bugger to listen to me!

ITA with your thoughts about needing to limit self-sacrifice. This is why this current stage feels so hard for me. Part of the difficulty is we have had a schedule change, and I now have only 8 hours once every two weeks where I am not either parenting or in school. And I don't see a way to change this.

I think it's really helpful for me to just vent about it and be heard. I had a good cry after I posted earlier, and when she woke up from her nap I felt full of love and patience, where two hours earlier I was just hoping she would fall asleep so I could have a break.
post #70 of 131
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3_opihi
haven't read all the responses here, but I wanted to say that my three year old does the same thing. I don't think you are doing anything wrong, but if the wording makes you feel "oogy" -try not making it an IF thing. Make it like a choice, yk?

Here's an example of how it would go with my son.

Mom: Please stop pressing the dryer button, it might brake if you do that.
DS: I will press the dryer button
Mom: You can stop pressing the dryer button, or you can go sit on the couch (or find whatever else to do).
DS: presses button
Mom: Ok, I see that you would like to go sit on the couch. ---at this point I would probably give him something to do while he was on the couch, like read a book or something.

I know its a forced choice, and some ppl don't agree with that....but I think it works well in a lot of situations. In my OP its the whole "IF you do this....x will happen"...that makes things sound threatening.

I think a better example would be with the bunny.

Mom: Ds, you can be gentle with the bunny, or I can help you put him away so he will be safe.
Ds: I will pinch the bunny.
Mom: Ok, let's put him away together.
This is great. I could totally do this. I've already moved from "if you, I will" to "if you, then you will have to," but this is even better.

Maybe the answer is that this is the area in which I will compromise my ideals somewhat. I won't give up nursing, co-sleeping, cooking nutritious (and somewhat time consuming) food, I'm not quitting school, I'm not putting her in full time daycare so I can have time to myself after school. These are things that take energy to do, but I don't want to change them.

I always thought I would not do any sort of time out with my child. I think what will work for me is to use the tools in this thread wherever I'm able, and I've already noticed areas where I actually could distract, ignore, play with her, talk about it later, whatever, something non-punitive. And then maybe sometimes, when I'm cooking supper and I've had a busy day and I don't have the energy or time, I'll say, "Do you want to stop pressing the button, or do you want to sit on sofa?" And see how that goes.

Thanks for all the help with this mamas. I have really been struggling here, and this discussion is really really helpful to me.
post #71 of 131
Well, the nipple twiddling is so common in nurslings of this age that I believe it is almost instinctual.

thismama, I can so relate to your feeling drained and not wanting to deal with certain behaviours. I do have a partner, and yet I still feel this way sometimes. And toddlers are a tough age (wait until 3, that is even tougher) in terms of how they play on your emotional energies. Babies just seem to require us to get less sleep and use more physical resources, but toddlers and older children need emotional resources, and those are tough for many of us to dole out, as many of us have not dealt with all our own issues, kwim?

Which leads me to saying that it's okay for you to feel this way, but I don't think you should use those feelings as a justification for a certain discipline technique. It's YOUR issue, kwim? And actually, you might find that the path to more patience and greater happiness with your parental approach lies not in how you deal with your DD, but how you deal with yourself. In this light, I would totally recommend Becky Bailey's book "Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline". It's a misleading title, I think, because really it's about what WE bring to parenting and how we can make changes to ourself that make parenting so much easier.

And let's face it, it's probably easier to change ourselves than to try to go against the nature of the child. Plus, the benefits extend to other relationships in our life as well...

As for your DD "testing", well....I think you are on the right track, and you may think that what I'm about to say is too small a distinction, but I still sense an "adversarial" tone to your attitude about what your DD is doing. You state that you understand it's developmental and about her individualizing her sense of self, and yet you repeatedly stress the fact that she's doing these things "because she knows they are no-no's". Not only does this place an adversarial tone on the behaviours, but I think if you really thought about it, the distinction of being "no-no's" lies in your own perception. For example: does your DD like to play with toys? Does she enjoy repeating the same maneouver with toy, like pushing a button to make a sound or an object pop up? Does she repeat that again and again? And yet, that isn't a no-no. Watch her play - I'll bet you see the same exuberance for freedom, the same stubborn determinedness, the same emotions...but because they are taking place in the context of "acceptable" situations that don't impact what you are doing at the moment, you don't see them the same way. But turn that into pushing a dryer button over and over again or running out into the street...and suddenly you see it differently. What we perceive is very much "in the eye of the beholder". While I don't hear you directly ascribing sinister motives to your DD's behaviours, I do hear an interpretation of her behaviours that you are using to justify punitive/consequence driven parenting, when I think the distinction is artificial. Does that make sense?

You said that you think responding by playing with her might be reinforcing the behaviours, and yet there is evidence that such a behaviouralist view of children is flat out wrong from a biological and psychological perspective. Yet it's hard to get past behaviouralism because we, as a society, have swallowed that so deeply. Anyways, I urge you to read Alfie Kohn's Unconditional Parenting, as he addresses the history behind behaviourism and how much evidence there is that such interpretations are very misguided.

oh, and props to you for going to school and doin' the single parenting thing. i have much respect for mamas in your shoes.
post #72 of 131
I can definitely empathize with not wanting to constantly stop what you're doing and redirect, etc. But that's really where I found active teaching to be a benefit. *At first* you're reaching over and correcting them every 30 seconds, but once they get it, they get it. At least that was my experience. I think the active teaching "sticks" better than consequences, punitive or otherwise.

I guess I would ask, what are you trying to teach her? Are you trying to teach that there is a consequence to doing something, or are you trying to teach her not to do it? They both might stop the behavior, but I think it's a very different message.

Anyway, I know it can be frustrating. Good luck.
post #73 of 131
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piglet68
but toddlers and older children need emotional resources, and those are tough for many of us to dole out, as many of us have not dealt with all our own issues, kwim?
Yes, very true. And I have not dealt with all of my own issues, that is true. But I've been doing my personal work in a conscious way for years, and still I can't figure this out quickly enough to avoid doing the "sit on sofa" thing.

Quote:
Which leads me to saying that it's okay for you to feel this way, but I don't think you should use those feelings as a justification for a certain discipline technique. It's YOUR issue, kwim?
Well, it may be my issue, but I am a person in this relationship, and I am responsible to keep my child safe, keep her from harming others, and keep myself sane. I have been thinking about and considering this issue, and still I can't come up with anything better than what I already have.

Quote:
And actually, you might find that the path to more patience and greater happiness with your parental approach lies not in how you deal with your DD, but how you deal with yourself.
Can you expand?

Quote:
In this light, I would totally recommend Becky Bailey's book "Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline". It's a misleading title, I think, because really it's about what WE bring to parenting and how we can make changes to ourself that make parenting so much easier.
I've heard that title. I'll check it out, along with Unconditional Parenting, which I've read before but when my daughter was much younger and everything was more harmonious.


Quote:
As for your DD "testing", well....I think you are on the right track, and you may think that what I'm about to say is too small a distinction, but I still sense an "adversarial" tone to your attitude about what your DD is doing. You state that you understand it's developmental and about her individualizing her sense of self, and yet you repeatedly stress the fact that she's doing these things "because she knows they are no-no's". Not only does this place an adversarial tone on the behaviours, but I think if you really thought about it, the distinction of being "no-no's" lies in your own perception. For example: does your DD like to play with toys? Does she enjoy repeating the same maneouver with toy, like pushing a button to make a sound or an object pop up? Does she repeat that again and again? And yet, that isn't a no-no. Watch her play - I'll bet you see the same exuberance for freedom, the same stubborn determinedness, the same emotions...but because they are taking place in the context of "acceptable" situations that don't impact what you are doing at the moment, you don't see them the same way. But turn that into pushing a dryer button over and over again or running out into the street...and suddenly you see it differently. What we perceive is very much "in the eye of the beholder". While I don't hear you directly ascribing sinister motives to your DD's behaviours, I do hear an interpretation of her behaviours that you are using to justify punitive/consequence driven parenting, when I think the distinction is artificial. Does that make sense?
Well yes, it makes some sense, I think. There are ways for her to behave and express her toddler curiousity and exhuberance that are acceptable, and others that are not acceptable. Safety and sanity are the dividing lines, IMO.

I don't think I am ascribing "sinister motives" when I say she really latches on to doing things that are no-no's. I think it is factual to state that when she figures out something is not cool with me, she makes a more pointed effort to do that thing. Which is not sinister, in fact I stated that I believe it is normal. But it is adversarial, and I don't know how to get out of/avoid creating that dynamic to some degree.

I am not using my interpretation of her behaviour as adversarial to justify punitive/consequence driven parenting. The argument I am using to justify it is that I don't know of a better way that is practical, effective, and does not take so much effort that I feel resentful.

What I find is that when I don't feel like I have tools to stop her from behaving in ways that are dangerous or harmful to others, I tend to feel helpless and out of control, and I find I lose my temper easily. Which is not where I want to be in my parenting dynamic with my child. From my perspective, gently explaining, and then picking her up and putting her on the sofa is a far better option.
post #74 of 131
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brigianna

I guess I would ask, what are you trying to teach her? Are you trying to teach that there is a consequence to doing something, or are you trying to teach her not to do it? They both might stop the behavior, but I think it's a very different message.
Yeah, it can be a very different message, and obviously I am trying to teach the former. It used to be that an explanation would accomplish that. But now I find she doesn't care, and/or the consequences of whatever she is doing would obviously be too great to allow her to find out for herself.

So again, I am left not knowing what to do to keep her safe, keep others safe, and keep some peace for myself. And the sofa thing is attractive because it accomplishes those goals. Kwim?
post #75 of 131
I'm not picking on you, really, but have you tried the repetitive active teaching (moving the hand away while saying "please don't") and it didn't work? I've just never had a situation where repetitive active teaching didn't work *eventually* if I did it consistently. I would expect it to be at least as effective as punishment. But of course I don't know your dd or your specific situation. And I do understand the frustration, especially at that age...
post #76 of 131
Thread Starter 
No, it's okay, I don't feel like you're picking on me. I could have posted this on any message board, but I know the GD hardcores are here and y'all will give it to me straight. I do feel a little slow for not getting it.

I have not tried repetitive active teaching. I have tried saying "Please don't do that because xyz." What's repetitive active teaching? What do you do? Is that it, just keep moving the hand away while saying please don't? Can you give me the lowdown on it? Thanks.
post #77 of 131
Active teaching is physical redirection in conjunction with verbal request/instruction. This is really the only form of formal discipline I've ever used with my kids, starting when they were about 5 months old (or thereabouts--whenever they started reaching for stuff). Explain what you want her to do or not do (e.g. "please don't push the dryer button, because the dryer could break, and we need it to dry our clothes"). Then, when she reaches for it, pull her hand back while calmly saying "please don't push the dryer button." And do this consistently every time she reaches for it--the trick is to be consistent and to stay calm (don't get visibly frustrated even if you're doing this every 10 seconds). Eventually it will take. And eventually it won't be necessary anymore and a verbal request and explanation will be enough.

At least that's how it's worked for us. It might not work for everyone, but I really would recommend at least trying it as an alternative to punishment. Some gd people don't like it because it's thwarting a child's will, but sometimes you *have* to thwart their will when they're that little, you know?

There is a book about using this kind of active teaching from birth, and how it's so much better than punishment, but I don't remember the title. I'll try to look it up tomorrow.
post #78 of 131
Thread Starter 
Huh. Well I'm going to try that. Thanks.
post #79 of 131
blessed, sorry to be OT to the OP but...just wanted to comment on your previous post:

Quote:
I've been struck by how many mamas post about breastfeeding their older toddlers and how extremely irritated they are by it. Many have commented that they felt that it actually was causing them to feel a wedge between themselves and dc, instead of bringing them closer together, which is what they had hoped for with CLW. To a lesser extent I see this theme also referring to co-sleeping.
Since as you've mentioned you've not ever breastfed a toddler, I can see how reading threads about the challenges of nursing an older child can be disconcerting and construed by someone not comfortable w/or in the relationship as "violating." I would venture to guess that in many instances, a good number of posters who are reaching out for help don't have many other venues to vent their frustrations about CLW...but, for virtually every mother I know IRL, the joys and tremendous importance of CLW and nursing an older child FAR outweigh the negatives.

I would be devasted for anyone to come away from MDC thinking that most mothers CLWing are "irritated" by it or that if you chose to go this route, all you've got to look forward to is being "manhandled and exploited." Those are fairly dramatic terms. Yes, some days toddlers nursing can be irritating at times. Heck, toddlers can be irritating at times, nursing or not

It's always easy to target breastfeeding as the cause of many ills, and in many cases, it's the last thing a nursing mother wants to hear.

Okee dokee, off my soap box for the night :

Thanks for allowing me to go OT everyone
post #80 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama
I am not using my interpretation of her behaviour as adversarial to justify punitive/consequence driven parenting. The argument I am using to justify it is that I don't know of a better way that is practical, effective, and does not take so much effort that I feel resentful...What I find is that when I don't feel like I have tools to stop her from behaving in ways that are dangerous or harmful to others, I tend to feel helpless and out of control, and I find I lose my temper easily....
This is SO important what you've written here. I really think it sums up parenting to a Tee. All of us know what it's like to get to that place where your sanity and patience are in danger of being blown. We all know what it's like to get resentful, etc. And you are EXACTLY right that these feelings occur when we lack the tools to effectively deal with thing in a way that is consistent with our parenting goals.

A famous horse trainer once said "Violence begins where knowledge ends". He was referring to training methods that involve causing the horse pain - he argued there was always a non-violent way to achieve one's training goals, by working within the nature of the horse, and that people who claimed harsh methods were the "only way" were simply running up against the wall of their own ignorance, as if the extent of their knowledge defined what was possible and what wasn't. As a parent, I know how it feels to be in that place where you run out of ideas. I know that feeling of wanting and needing to "put a stop to this" and when I'm left with no ideas I resort to punitive and coercive methods. What I have done is simply denied myself that as a possibility. It's like deciding to become a vegetarian - you don't resort to a hamburger every time you run out of recipe ideas.

You can find the solutions, you really can. So many times I've been "stuck" in a situation and being "this close" to making a threat or imposing a consequence...and I've said to myself "no, that's not an option" and eventually I figure it out. But so long as you leave timeouts etc as an option (even if, for now, it's a rarely used one) you will find that when you get into that place of not knowing what to do, you'll resort to the timeout. And then when those start to lose their effectiveness, you'll find yourself trying to up the ante again....the solution is to search further for an answer and then the best part is you put more tools in your toolbox until you're at the stage I'm at where I feel I can handle pretty much anything DD throws at me these days because I have a good toolkit (and that will change about every six months or so, lol).

So, for your dryer example, here are the solutions I would present to myself. 1) block off access. you've already said that's impossible due to dryer location. 2) let DD go crazy with the button and not react positively or negatively, until she has it out of her system. if I felt this really would result in a broken dryer, I would not do this. otherwise, it really is the fastest resolution. 3) unplug the dryer whenever it's not in use so that when she pushes the button, nothing happens. 4) brace myself for a couple weeks of vigilance and every time I see her getting near the dryer, distract her with something else (IME, this doesn't work too well. toddlers are incredibly determined kids), 5) do as the previous poster said and gently and patiently remind her not to push the button every time she tries to do it. comfort the child and empathize with her as she naturally expresses frustration...

So there you have 5 off the top of my head, none of which involve punishment or consequences. HTH!
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