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When is "unmet needs" no longer an excuse? - Page 2

post #21 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by natensarah View Post
Well, me too. I lose my temper when I've just had too much time alone with the kids and haven't had a chance to eat, and then I yell at them and even occasionally get so upset that I hit them. I HATE that about myself. I guess that's what bothers me most about her behavior. I'd really love it if she didn't have to struggle with anger like I do.
Quote:
Originally Posted by natensarah View Post
Anyway, there are lots of good suggestions here for helping her manage her behavior. But I've already tried most of them. I guess this is why I'm thinking about resorting to punishment. Because we have talked a lot about alternatives to hitting, and yet she still uses it as her first resort. She won't even be particularly mad, she'll just go ahead and hit her brother to get her way. We've talked about not insulting people, about how it can make her feel anxious when her daddy comes home, and how she can run and hide, or not talk to him, or work out a deal where he doesn't talk to her until she's ready, and yet she still says, "Stupid Daddy!" when he comes in hot and tired from working all day. She does the same thing when her brother gets up in the morning. I guess I'm starting to doubt that suggesting appropriate alternatives is enough incentive for her to change her behavior. And I think she's getting in the habit of being rude and bossy, and I want to protect her from the fallout of acting like that with her friends.
I am going to lovingly call you on your own modeling. And inquire how could "resorting to punishment" help you to stop hitting when you are upset? We, on GD, have talked exhaustively about not hitting people and how it can make children feel, just like you have talked exhaustively with your daughter about not hitting and how it feels. I believe the path to teaching her not to force her way needs to be by example. If you default to hitting/"punishing", why shouldn't she?

I understand that you want her not to have to struggle with her anger. Continuously, modeling self-calming, listening and alternative tools of conflict resolution when you are upset, will help her to learn them.

Meeting my extroversion needs is critical to my self-care. Just as meeting ds and dh's introversion needs is critical. If you need more help with finding ways to get your self-care/self-calming needs met, that is something which you can focus on and we can help with suggestions. Then you can show your daughter how, when you learn to do it yourself. Getting other people to change because I am upset is not an effective tool of coping with stress, ime. Expecting a child to have the self-control that an adult doesn't have, is setting you both up for more frustration. Punishment doesn't work for the reasons you desire it to. It uses fear to induce compliance. It only works when observed, or under threats of getting caught. And resentment and distancing are counter-effective to her *choosing* a compassionate response.

Finding ways to meet your underlying needs will enable you to have the energy, reserves, and patience to facilitate her to find ways to meet her needs. Consider where you spend your energy. We can only change ourselves.


Respectfully,
Pat
post #22 of 63
At 4 she is old enough for an eye mask to help her sleep. I realize most 4-year-olds wouldn't go for that, but who knows, you could ask.

Also some blackout shades are darker than others-- maybe you need a different kind. And do you use white noise to help her nap? DH can't even sleep at night without a fan.
post #23 of 63
I went and got some cheap black sheets and put them in the windows, b/c my girls will NOT sleep unless it's dark. CHeap and easy. I looked at blackout shades and blinds and WHEW! PRicey. White noise is great too.
post #24 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by natensarah View Post
We've talked about not insulting people, about how it can make her feel anxious when her daddy comes home, and how she can run and hide, or not talk to him, or work out a deal where he doesn't talk to her until she's ready, and yet she still says, "Stupid Daddy!" when he comes in hot and tired from working all day. She does the same thing when her brother gets up in the morning. I guess I'm starting to doubt that suggesting appropriate alternatives is enough incentive for her to change her behavior. And I think she's getting in the habit of being rude and bossy, and I want to protect her from the fallout of acting like that with her friends.
I read this part and had to comment because it sounded so familiar. My son had a real problem with running and hiding from his daddy when he got home from work, refusing to go to him, tantruming if daddy tried to talk to him or give him a hug. It was really sad for DH, and confusing because they often have fun together. We thought for a long time that it was just post-nap grumpiness, because his nap ends around the same time. I'm sure that was part of the problem, but we also noticed that it was worst on Mondays and got better toward the end of the week. I had a hunch that he was confused about where daddy went and why, and that the weekends were throwing him off because he had daddy attention then and so much less so on weekdays. So I started talking about his dad all day while he was gone and reminding him of the time when he would be home, what they could do, etc. I made sure to be realistic in creating expectations - DH has a hot and tiring job too so isn't going to come home and have super active play right away. That helped a little. Then we went for a lunch date and met DH at work so that DS could see what he does all day. That combined with letting him wake up slowly from nap has made a huge difference. He hardly ever greets DH that way anymore.

For the times when grumpy wakeups are directed at me I've found that the best cure is to be happy to see DS, and to show it. This is hard, obviously if you're entering a situation where you anticipate conflict it is easier to go in on the defensive. (And end of nap often means end of that time we had to "get things done"...) Fake happiness doesn't work with kids either, it has to be genuine. So all these moms are right on with advice about meeting your needs so you have the inner balance to approach your DD without exhaustion weighing you down. I guess this second bit might not sound too practical; I'm just figuring it out myself.
post #25 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mountainborn View Post
I read this part and had to comment because it sounded so familiar. My son had a real problem with running and hiding from his daddy when he got home from work, refusing to go to him, tantruming if daddy tried to talk to him or give him a hug. It was really sad for DH, and confusing because they often have fun together. We thought for a long time that it was just post-nap grumpiness, because his nap ends around the same time. I'm sure that was part of the problem, but we also noticed that it was worst on Mondays and got better toward the end of the week. I had a hunch that he was confused about where daddy went and why, and that the weekends were throwing him off because he had daddy attention then and so much less so on weekdays. So I started talking about his dad all day while he was gone and reminding him of the time when he would be home, what they could do, etc. I made sure to be realistic in creating expectations - DH has a hot and tiring job too so isn't going to come home and have super active play right away. That helped a little. Then we went for a lunch date and met DH at work so that DS could see what he does all day. That combined with letting him wake up slowly from nap has made a huge difference. He hardly ever greets DH that way anymore.

For the times when grumpy wakeups are directed at me I've found that the best cure is to be happy to see DS, and to show it. This is hard, obviously if you're entering a situation where you anticipate conflict it is easier to go in on the defensive. (And end of nap often means end of that time we had to "get things done"...) Fake happiness doesn't work with kids either, it has to be genuine. So all these moms are right on with advice about meeting your needs so you have the inner balance to approach your DD without exhaustion weighing you down. I guess this second bit might not sound too practical; I'm just figuring it out myself.
Thank you, those are good ideas for the daddy coming home transition. And I think that's mostly what it is, is transition difficulty, since she has the same reaction when her brother gets up in the morning or from his nap. Today she did better, and said to me, as little brother woke up, "I wish L wasn't waking up now!" I know it was because we were having fun together, she was in the mommy/dd groove, and she didn't want to share her attention. Anyway, I was pleased with what she said instead of "Stupid L!" like she usually says.
post #26 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WuWei View Post
I am going to lovingly call you on your own modeling. And inquire how could "resorting to punishment" help you to stop hitting when you are upset? We, on GD, have talked exhaustively about not hitting people and how it can make children feel, just like you have talked exhaustively with your daughter about not hitting and how it feels. I believe the path to teaching her not to force her way needs to be by example. If you default to hitting/"punishing", why shouldn't she?

I understand that you want her not to have to struggle with her anger. Continuously, modeling self-calming, listening and alternative tools of conflict resolution when you are upset, will help her to learn them.

Meeting my extroversion needs is critical to my self-care. Just as meeting ds and dh's introversion needs is critical. If you need more help with finding ways to get your self-care/self-calming needs met, that is something which you can focus on and we can help with suggestions. Then you can show your daughter how, when you learn to do it yourself. Getting other people to change because I am upset is not an effective tool of coping with stress, ime. Expecting a child to have the self-control that an adult doesn't have, is setting you both up for more frustration. Punishment doesn't work for the reasons you desire it to. It uses fear to induce compliance. It only works when observed, or under threats of getting caught. And resentment and distancing are counter-effective to her *choosing* a compassionate response.

Finding ways to meet your underlying needs will enable you to have the energy, reserves, and patience to facilitate her to find ways to meet her needs. Consider where you spend your energy. We can only change ourselves.


Respectfully,
Pat
Thank you for your respectful post. I take absolutely no offense at you calling me on my modeling, and I think you're absolutely right. I've been thinking about your post all evening, in fact, and I think that you're actually arguing my point.

Here's the thing. If you have a job at McDonald's, and you need a car, say, you don't go down to the BMW dealership and start test-driving the latest models. So, maybe, if you have three children under the age of five, a carpenter's income for a family of five, and some issues with anger/patience, a discipline system with no punishment may not be the way to go.

I'm not talking at all about spanking or using physical punishment. I know that would never work. But I am thinking maybe I should give up the ideal of no punishment, and use some punitive time-outs or privelege removals for hitting. Like Lynn said, at this point, a punishment might be better than yelling and losing it. And while I would love to be able to meet all of my dd's needs for attention and all of my needs for self-care, it ain't gonna happen! There just aren't enough hours in the day, and not enough of me to go around. So I guess I am thinking I'm going to have to start making some compromises. I'm going to talk to dh about it now!
post #27 of 63
I'm in a similar situation. Dd doesn't hit, but she can be really really rude. It's not a "stage" she is going through, she's been like this all her life so I can only assume it is her personality. She is not naturally empathetic to others, so she has less internal motivation to care about other's feelings as much as her own.

This personality type has it's advantages. Since she doesn't care that much about other people, she makes her own choices. She is a natural-born leader, very creative and other kids just follow her. She is going to be a strong, strong woman when she grows up. I could be naive (she's only 7) but I just don't see her as being the type of teen that will follow the crowd and get in trouble. I love that about her.

But her lack of concern for others' feelings is a problem. I want to teach her empathy. I feel like I've tried everything. Modeling, talking ad nauseum, snapping, punishment and bribing (not in anger, but a framework usually involving points that she gains or loses over a week with a loss of priveleges or rewards at the end of the week, discussed with her beforehand and implemented calmly and lovingly). The punishment does work while we do it, she totally straightens up her behavior. But then when I abandon the plan (I'm not consistent enough to keep up counting points indefinitely) she goes back to being rude.

So I'm really divided over this. I agree with you that punishment (non-physical, and implemented calmly not out of anger) is sometimes necessary for some kids, especially if they are picking on other kids in the family. I support you in doing that. It might give her the motivation to control her behavior and help the family be more peaceful. But it has to be recognized that these methods are only short-term solutions, not long-term solutions.

The long-term solution is to teach empathy, and I don't know how to do that. Is it possible? We talk about others' feelings. She acknowledges that she wouldn't like it if others treated her the way she treats others. It doesn't make a difference.

The one thing I've been doing that I think might be really useful is taking her to a meditation class. I want to teach her to be more self-reflective, to examine her actions. I also want to get her involved in some volunteer work but right now we are in a foreign country and I haven't found a good opportuntiy. But these long-term solutions take time. In the meantime I do occasionally use the punishments as short-term solutions for family harmony.

My belief and my hope is that the two strategies can be used to reinforce each other. Mostly what I read on this board is that they will cancel each other out, that a child who learns through external punishment will never learn to be motivated internally. I'm sure this is true for some kids (in particular really reactive, stubborn children) but probably not true for all. When I look at my own thought processes, I can see that I operate on both levels. Like, I know how important it is for safety reasons to drive the speed limit, but often that is not enough motivation for me when I am in a hurry. The fear of a fine is added motivation to follow the speed limit. It doesn't cancel out my inner motivation, merely reinforces it when I'm inclined to ignore that inner motivation.

Of course the important thing is to never let the short-term solution replace the long-term solution. Like families that just punish but never explain or help their children learn alternative coping skills. But we know you aren't talking about doing that!
post #28 of 63
I haven't read all of the responses, but thought I'd comment on her age. I read the book "When Anger Hurts Your Kids" and it had a page detailing what is most frustrating about kids broken down by ages, for 4 year olds it described them as larger than life, violent if provoked, emotionally volatile. Which frightens me, because I thought 3 was hard, my 3 yr old turns 4 in a month : Anyways, at least she's developmentally on track
post #29 of 63
Sarah, I used the "you hit, you sit" type of time-out for my kids for a bit when they were younger. I thinks its fine to separate a hitter from potential victims for a bit -- probably appropriate. I always gave the choice to rejoing the family to them -- for when they feel ready to stop hitting. I also gave the choice that I would sit with them.

At 4 though, I think you have to combine an approach like that with some problem solving and processing. She needs to practice what she CAN do instead of hitting.
post #30 of 63
yk, we've used "you hit, you sit" also-a child who hits takes a break from the others, a break to calm down. When we do this, we say it's time for a break to calm down. I think it's appropriate, I think learning to take a break to calm down is a good thing. I also try to model that by taking a break when I'm angry and feeling an urge to yell, and try to openly talk about how I need a break and can continue whatever it is when I'm calm enough.

Also, I try to separate the kids the moment it seems like things are going downhill and there might be hitting. I'm not always good about it, but it helps when I do this.

And, we have a new game going on here where the kids earn points and level up doing chores (just for fun, we do chores anyway, might as well make a role-playing game out of it-found the link on another thread). So what we've done is add the opportunity to earn points (no real-life reward, just a game) for solving problems peacefully and working together. This has helped with some of the sibling bickering lately, giving them a jump-start-yk, something positive to focus on to change the focus away from the negative.

I think sometimes kids, like adults, get "stuck." They've got the file in their brains for "what to do when my brother doesn't give me what I want," and somehow the first thing in there is "hit him." And maybe there's other stuff in there, but hitting is the default first option and that's what they immediately do when the situation appears. Does this mean they're consciously, deliberately choosing this option and have little empathy? It could, but I don't really think so. I think what they need is some help reprogramming, and for some kids it takes a long time to program a new response. For some kids, it takes some time to find an approach to help and to figure out what they need in order to choose another response.

I very highly recommend reading The Explosive Child, even if your child isn't "easily frustrated and chronically inflexible." I find it helpful with all of my kids, not just my easily frustrated, chronically inflexible child.

Also, I really love the book Raising A Thinking Child which is all about helping kids learn conflict-resolution skills. Geared for young children and preschoolers.
post #31 of 63
Thread Starter 
I wanted to post an update, even though it's a pretty depressing one. Dh and I talked about it, and we decided that if she hit (or kicked, pinched, or scratched) she would have to go to her room. We were also going to do this if she called anyone stupid or bad. So then Saturday was a great day, but Sunday she was pretty tired, since she couldn't go to sleep very easily on Saturday night. But she kept it together until Sunday afternoon, when we had to do some shopping. This proved too much for her, and in the car on the way home, her daddy asked her for some Goldfish, and she started calling him "Stupid Daddy!" over and over. So I told her she would have to go in her room when we got home and stay there until dinner if she called him stupid again. Of course, she called him stupid again.

So we get home, I take her in her room and am lecturing her about how I don't want her calling people stupid and bad because her little brothers don't understand that they aren't really stupid and bad, yada, yada, yada, and she says, "Ok, Mommy, may I please have my pacis? And my blankie?" And she was probably asleep before I even left.

And then today, she's been a little bear, yelling at everyone and trying to get ds1 to hit ds2. And now, of course, she isn't sleeping! Aaarrgghh!
post #32 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thao View Post
I'm in a similar situation. Dd doesn't hit, but she can be really really rude. It's not a "stage" she is going through, she's been like this all her life so I can only assume it is her personality. She is not naturally empathetic to others, so she has less internal motivation to care about other's feelings as much as her own.

This personality type has it's advantages. Since she doesn't care that much about other people, she makes her own choices. She is a natural-born leader, very creative and other kids just follow her. She is going to be a strong, strong woman when she grows up. I could be naive (she's only 7) but I just don't see her as being the type of teen that will follow the crowd and get in trouble. I love that about her.

But her lack of concern for others' feelings is a problem. I want to teach her empathy. I feel like I've tried everything. Modeling, talking ad nauseum, snapping, punishment and bribing (not in anger, but a framework usually involving points that she gains or loses over a week with a loss of priveleges or rewards at the end of the week, discussed with her beforehand and implemented calmly and lovingly). The punishment does work while we do it, she totally straightens up her behavior. But then when I abandon the plan (I'm not consistent enough to keep up counting points indefinitely) she goes back to being rude.

So I'm really divided over this. I agree with you that punishment (non-physical, and implemented calmly not out of anger) is sometimes necessary for some kids, especially if they are picking on other kids in the family. I support you in doing that. It might give her the motivation to control her behavior and help the family be more peaceful. But it has to be recognized that these methods are only short-term solutions, not long-term solutions.

The long-term solution is to teach empathy, and I don't know how to do that. Is it possible? We talk about others' feelings. She acknowledges that she wouldn't like it if others treated her the way she treats others. It doesn't make a difference.

The one thing I've been doing that I think might be really useful is taking her to a meditation class. I want to teach her to be more self-reflective, to examine her actions. I also want to get her involved in some volunteer work but right now we are in a foreign country and I haven't found a good opportuntiy. But these long-term solutions take time. In the meantime I do occasionally use the punishments as short-term solutions for family harmony.

My belief and my hope is that the two strategies can be used to reinforce each other. Mostly what I read on this board is that they will cancel each other out, that a child who learns through external punishment will never learn to be motivated internally. I'm sure this is true for some kids (in particular really reactive, stubborn children) but probably not true for all. When I look at my own thought processes, I can see that I operate on both levels. Like, I know how important it is for safety reasons to drive the speed limit, but often that is not enough motivation for me when I am in a hurry. The fear of a fine is added motivation to follow the speed limit. It doesn't cancel out my inner motivation, merely reinforces it when I'm inclined to ignore that inner motivation.

Of course the important thing is to never let the short-term solution replace the long-term solution. Like families that just punish but never explain or help their children learn alternative coping skills. But we know you aren't talking about doing that!
Thank you for your post. That was what we had originally thought, was that a punishment would get her out of the habit of going to the dark side. But I'm not sure it's going to work. She is a very persistant child.

Also, she is very empathetic and has a capacity for great kindness toward her brothers and parents. But, at the same time...she can be so hurtful to them!
post #33 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundhunter View Post
I haven't read all of the responses, but thought I'd comment on her age. I read the book "When Anger Hurts Your Kids" and it had a page detailing what is most frustrating about kids broken down by ages, for 4 year olds it described them as larger than life, violent if provoked, emotionally volatile. Which frightens me, because I thought 3 was hard, my 3 yr old turns 4 in a month : Anyways, at least she's developmentally on track

Well, it's nice to think it's just a phase, and that she'll grow out of it. But to be honest, even though I never thought I'd say this, I'm starting to dread her teen years!
post #34 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by natensarah View Post
But sometimes she comes right back out, hits ds1 again, and then says, "I'm hitting L because I'm tired!"
Little thing, but this jumped out at me because my 7yo has done the same. His teacher told me last year one day, "He told me, after the incident, 'I'm cranky because I need more protein!'" Teacher thought it was funny, and I did - to a point.

Because while DH and I have agreed that sometimes DS acts out for reasons like being overtired or not having eaten enough of the right sort of foods -=- the fact is that not all of his behavior is down to that. Some of it comes down to poor choices, and what his words told me is that *he* is listening to our discussions of his behavior for acceptable reasons to act in an unacceptable way.

She may be tired, yes. But I wouldn't put her "I'm hitting because I'm tired" down to her actually being self aware enough to know this. I think its equally likely that she's trying out the words that she thinks will give her a free pass to continuing to choose her own first choice of action, the one that to her is the easier road for whatever reason, over doing the work of living politely and getting along with her brother or others as equals.

I think unmet needs are only part of it. I think sometimes some behaviors are "the path of least resistance," or "what will be the least work." And kids whose least-work path is physical violence need to learn why it is worth it to choose the other path.

And maybe, for her, that reason will be the loss of friendships you're trying to protect her from?

The other thing i'd wonder is if her pickiing up on the "I need to give a reason" might be a sign that *For her* what you've been doing has included too much talking about it all? My DS (same one mentioned above) does not respond well at all to long discussions of reasons and feelings. It makes him intensely uncomfortable when we go into too much detail about whys and wherefores and "if thens," and we've learned to phrase things carefully and succinctly. Some days we just need to stick to "Its not okay to hit. It is never okay to harm another living being." rather than "Now remember that when Bobby hit you it hurt and you cried and now you've made Timmy feel that way and do you think Timmy feels the same way about you that you felt about Bobby and how does it make you feel that Timmy feels that?" He needs it short, and simple. Later, we can talk about it more, but *in the moment* it is too much for him to handle, and talking too much makes things worse.

I'm not nearly as well-read on discipline tactics as a lot of posters here, but these are a few thoughts just from my own experience.
post #35 of 63
LOL at the "exuses."

I've been known to respond to, "He MADE me hit him when he XYZ'd" with "No, you hit him because you didn't control your body. It's annoying when people XYZ at you, but it's still not okay to hit. What can we plan for next time you're feeling annoyed?"
post #36 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by savithny View Post
Little thing, but this jumped out at me because my 7yo has done the same. His teacher told me last year one day, "He told me, after the incident, 'I'm cranky because I need more protein!'" Teacher thought it was funny, and I did - to a point.

Because while DH and I have agreed that sometimes DS acts out for reasons like being overtired or not having eaten enough of the right sort of foods -=- the fact is that not all of his behavior is down to that. Some of it comes down to poor choices, and what his words told me is that *he* is listening to our discussions of his behavior for acceptable reasons to act in an unacceptable way.

She may be tired, yes. But I wouldn't put her "I'm hitting because I'm tired" down to her actually being self aware enough to know this. I think its equally likely that she's trying out the words that she thinks will give her a free pass to continuing to choose her own first choice of action, the one that to her is the easier road for whatever reason, over doing the work of living politely and getting along with her brother or others as equals.
ITA. That was the feeling I had, too. I like your idea for saying that it was because she didn't control her body. I'm going to try that. I know she got the idea of being too tired from me, because I sometimes say, "Oh, you must be tired, because that's not like you to hit!" Though more and more it is getting to be a defining characteristic!


Quote:
Originally Posted by savithny View Post
And maybe, for her, that reason will be the loss of friendships you're trying to protect her from?
Yes, I'm thinking about letting that happen. My SIL actually told me yesterday that my nephew said my dd had told him, "You get way more time-outs than I do!" The way SIL told it, it was in a mean, teasing manner, though if I don't know if this is true, especially since we haven't really used time-out. I also don't know what my nephew's reaction was, or how my dd responded, but I was kind of hoping it was negative so she'd get that she can't treat everyone like that. Lots of times ds1 will stop playing with her when she acts like that, but sometimes he just doesn't want to play even when she's being nice and since his language skills aren't yet advanced to tell her he doesn't want to play with her because she's treating him like sh*t, I'm not sure she gets it. Actually, I should give her more credit, because I have noticed her occasionally changing her tactics and trying to butter him up or let him have a turn being in charge when he starts to get sour on the bossing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by savithny View Post
The other thing i'd wonder is if her pickiing up on the "I need to give a reason" might be a sign that *For her* what you've been doing has included too much talking about it all? My DS (same one mentioned above) does not respond well at all to long discussions of reasons and feelings. It makes him intensely uncomfortable when we go into too much detail about whys and wherefores and "if thens," and we've learned to phrase things carefully and succinctly. Some days we just need to stick to "Its not okay to hit. It is never okay to harm another living being." rather than "Now remember that when Bobby hit you it hurt and you cried and now you've made Timmy feel that way and do you think Timmy feels the same way about you that you felt about Bobby and how does it make you feel that Timmy feels that?" He needs it short, and simple. Later, we can talk about it more, but *in the moment* it is too much for him to handle, and talking too much makes things worse.

I'm not nearly as well-read on discipline tactics as a lot of posters here, but these are a few thoughts just from my own experience.
I see your point about too much talking. Her most common response to "It's not okay to hit," (which I used to try to avoid using) is "Yes, it is." She's usually big on explanations and likes to know the ins and outs of everything, especially for safety rules. So I've really tried droning on and on. But maybe I should just keep it short and sweet and when she contradicts me, I will do my darndest to ignore it!
post #37 of 63
When my kids were that little I put them in bed when they showed me they were tired. We'd have an abreviated bedtime routine with a story and a snuggle. Then lights out.
post #38 of 63
We are not into TO over here either, but we use it for hitting. I do think it's a logical consequence. Unfortunately, with my DD, we have to send her to the room and hold or lock the door closed, as she will not stay in TO of her own volition. This is unpleasant for everyone, but it has been effective. She comes out when she's ready to stop hitting. If she hits again, she goes back in. I think this would only work on more extroverted kids, though.

In our case, DD was getting into trouble at daycare for occasional but persistent hitting and spitting, to the point where she was sent home from daycare (!), something we just can't have happening. Not only that, it was getting so bad that I finally lost it once and hit her back. (Something I have NEVER been allowed to forget, incidentally....very interesting.) I am really not pro-punishment, but I do think you may be at a point where you might at least try TO for this one behavior. If it doesn't work, stop it and try something else.
post #39 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by loraxc View Post
We are not into TO over here either, but we use it for hitting. I do think it's a logical consequence. Unfortunately, with my DD, we have to send her to the room and hold or lock the door closed, as she will not stay in TO of her own volition. This is unpleasant for everyone, but it has been effective. She comes out when she's ready to stop hitting. If she hits again, she goes back in. I think this would only work on more extroverted kids, though.
OK, loraxc, don't take this the wrong way, because I genuinely want to know and have had this same issue. Because you say, she can come out when she's ready to stop hitting, but then you also say you lock her in. I tell my dd she has to stay in until she's ready to stop hitting, and she follows me out. So I turn around and say, "Okay, if you're coming out, I'm assuming there will be no more hitting." Two minutes later, guess what!?! There she is hitting again. So I guess that's why I think that even my very mild and modified T/O is pretty pointless.
post #40 of 63
Sarah, I'm really hoping I'm not posting here in your thread to the point of obnoxiousness. I just wanted to share something with you about this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by natensarah View Post
I tell my dd she has to stay in until she's ready to stop hitting, and she follows me out. So I turn around and say, "Okay, if you're coming out, I'm assuming there will be no more hitting." Two minutes later, guess what!?! There she is hitting again. So I guess that's why I think that even my very mild and modified T/O is pretty pointless.
I tried time outs (punitive, with the idea that it would change behavior) for a very long time, and it was exactly the same as your experience or loraxc's experience (meaning, dd wouldn't stay in her room, sometimes we'd have to hold the door shut, and right away after t/o there'd be more hitting). I struggled with it for ages, then dropped time out altogether until dd got aggressive to the point of being dangerous, then went back to t/o but with a different goal. T/O became only a way to keep people safe, a separation that allowed us all to calm down in a safe place (so dd wasn't hurting people, and frankly so that I wasn't going to do something hurtful). Our version of t/o is telling the child to separate from siblings, and sit to calm down (we use this less often now, and we had to physically move dd to t/o often during a phase nearly a year ago). When we use t/o sometimes we sit with the child, or just stay nearby, there have been times when we've brought dd1 to her room and stood in the doorway to prevent her leaving or held the door shut (again, for safety, she was out of control aggressive-and she will not stay in her room if we walk away, though she's reached a point now where she will sometimes sit in a chair wherever we are). I do think that for us, t/o works very well for keeping people safe but not so much for modifying behavior. T/O as we do it is just part of it, it's the piece that says "we will keep everyone safe, we won't allow you to continue to hit, when we get angry we take a break to calm down, when you calm down then we can talk." And it is a strong message. I think somehow this is different from our earlier attempts at t/o with the goal of the t/o modifying her behavior. And this is what actually helps in our home (if only b/c I'm not frustrated, and the results of t/o now fit my expectations of t/o).

I'm sure that's clear as mud. Just wanted to share b/c it's a subtle distinction in words, but a huge and very helpful difference in our home in practice.
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