Originally Posted by Piglet68
"Violence begins where knowledge ends".
Yup, that is very true for me. When I don't know what to do, I get angry. I yelled at her one day about two weeks ago over her not listening about something important, and locked myself in the bathroom to calm down. It was a bad scene, I made her cry, and I felt really really bad about it. And several other times I have felt angry like that, altho I've been able to manage it better.
I've been really excited about the sofa thing coz by doing that at least I have something, and I have been able to avoid escalating to that angry place. But yeah, it's far from ideal.
|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.
Huh. Yeah, I can see doing this.
I was also thinking about it last night and this morning, and I'm noticing that altho I denied it yesterday, it is true that many of the things she does *are* simply about miscommunication, or about her not having the same perception as I do, and not necessarily about "testing" or deliberately doing something because I've said no. And then I am misinterpreting, and believing she is doing something with intent, or believing just one verbal "no" from me should stop the behaviour, and I see her as "testing" me when that doesn't work. Which is unrealistic.
For example, yesterday I zipped up the bike trailer, grabbed up all our stuff, turned around and there she was unzipping it. I took that personally and felt rather irritated by it, but reflecting, she really enjoys unzipping the bike trailer and had no way of knowing that wasn't the time to do it as far as I was concerned.
|You can find the solutions, you really can.
Thanks. Today I am actually believing that. We'll see.
|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.
That is really really good. I am so bad at this that I might need to write those down and put them on the fridge, and follow the sequence for each individual thing in my head.
I've been really resisting the alternatives suggested because the picture I've had in my head is that I will have to drop everything every time she is doing something I don't want her to do. Which felt/feels overwhelming. But I can see reminding myself to check whether I am ascribing motives that are not there. And I can go through the checklist.
And I can totally see myself doing as Brigianna suggested, I can't remember what it's called this minute, active redirecting? I can see myself going over and saying "Please don't chase the dog" and moving her away, and going back again when she does it again. And if I'm really in a pinch and can't do that, I can put the dog in my roomie's bedroom for awhile, she likes to sleep on the bed in there. Before I was imagining locking the dog in the bedroom for long periods and I was resistant to that, but I am fine with putting her away for short periods where my attention really does need to be diverted. Or locking the bunny away, or taping over the freaking dryer, or whatever.
I think a lot of it is it's just going to take more planning. Which isn't hard, but it's a readjustment in my head. Like when we go outside to the car the new thing the past few days is she tries to take off running down the street, which drives me nuts. But maybe I just need to accept that this is going to happen, not personalize it as her creating conflict with me but recognize that she doesn't have impulse control and likes to run down the street. Then I will just know I have to hold her hand, so I'll leave a hand free to do that.
Um yeah, you did. Thanks a lot.
I'm not sure yet, but I am feeling really relieved this morning reading this discussion. Today I have the whole day with her again, and I'm just going to focus on reframing this whole thing in my head, and responding with patience and a desire to seek resolution of whatever the issue is, not getting offended about the power struggle that I imagine she is trying to initiate.