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Another mama's gentle discipline is affecting my kiddo--WWYD - Page 8

post #141 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by rzberrymom View Post
She's 33 months, if that matters at all. I've lost track of whether it does.
it doesn't really matter much basically you've just got two toddlers who are just trying to figure out how to interact with each other and one mom who isn't really interested in helping anyone but her own child (i'm talking about the other mom, not you rzberrymom, just in case that wasn't clear)
post #142 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by junipermuse View Post
On the other hand I think with regards to the incident with the toy the situation was almost completely reversed. He very innocently began playing with a toy that was left in the common playarea and was expected to give it back because your daughter threw a fit. In some ways you could say by insisting he return the toy immediately you are teaching your daughter to throw a fit to get what she wants.
Having had a child who would be very emotionally upset when other people played with her toys, my reaction was to try and calm her down and defuse the emotions, assure her she would get the toy back, make sure that we had the toy back when we left, and then try and prevent future situations like that from arising. But I think part of this is that my own personal policy is that while it is understandable that children will want to play with other kids' toys, and while I've even explained to my child ahead of time that other children will want her to share her toy, I don't see this as some sort of finders keepers free-for-all. A child brings a toy to the park, the child lays down or drops the toy, it doesn't mean my child gets to have a significant amount of playing time with it. It's not her toy, and if the other child doesn't want to share, I don't feel that we can force that.

I guess if the ground rules were laid out where we all agreed that anyone could have a turn, then I'd have a different feeling, or else I'd have to be more careful if I felt like my child couldn't handle that.

Quote:
Well, I think part of the problem is the other mom explained to the OP's dd quite clearly that someone can leave their toy, but if it is theirs and they need it then they can have it back.
Yes, that does seem to be the case.
post #143 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by junipermuse View Post
Also I wanted to point out that often it takes a very young child much longer than we expect to process a request. Especially when there is a lot of distraction like a child nearby in hysterics and his Mama talking on and on. Sometimes it seems as if a child is standing there looking defiant, when in reality they are still processing the situation. I mean really imagine you're walking along and you find this interesting thing, you become totally focused on this thing when out of nowhere another child starts screaming and crying at you. You haven't even had time to figure out what's happening when the child's mom starts telling you to give the toy back. You are trying to process the words in your little 2.5 year old brain, but before your brain can finish processing the words, your mom jumps in with more words. You then have to begin processing the words all over again. A speech and language therapist once explained to me that its really important to wait a good amount of time before repeating an instruction to a young child because if they are in the middle of processing what you've said and you interrupt them to repeat the instruction, they have to start processing all over again. Most people assume the child is being defiant, but really they just need more time to process.
I think this is a very good point and wanted to emphasize this again. I've just been reading along and enjoying the conversation. Clearly there is a "gradient" of understanding for children, however, he refused multiple times to give up the toy, so he probably had understood the message. (I'm glad you made the point though, because I think it's a good thing to consider.)

Clearly the mother is not effectively disciplining her child, and I hope for everyone's sake that you guys can discuss it and work it out. She may feel very overwhelmed with the situation and not know what to do as well! I would think that any reasonable person would accept their own inconsistencies. I would just gently tell her my concerns about the message her inconsistencies are sending.

It's interesting how my opinions on the subject have changed after reading all these posts! I learn so much here sometimes!

I think taking by force should be used as a last resort...but a very serious face with an assertive statement like, "she's very upset. give the toy right away," with hand out might have been in order. And honestly, I don't think it would have been inappropriate for the OP to say something like that to the little boy - in fact, it might have been more effective coming from you. But I guess that all depends on the dynamic you have.

Good luck getting things straightened out.
post #144 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by junipermuse View Post
I would have stayed as close as possible to the little boy and insisted he return it and stay on his case until he handed it back to me. While at the same time letting my daughter know that I realized how important it is to her and that I am working on getting it back.
See, now this seems to me worse than gently prying the toy out of his hands while explaining the situation to him and empathizing with him. It seems like badgering and guilting him into it, and not modeling assertiveness to your own child..."OK, how about 3 minutes?" Then what happens in 3 minutes if he doesn't want to give it up? Another 3 minutes? This is where negotiations and finding mutual solutions loses it for me. IMHO, dragging out a situation to be sure everyone is satisfied is sometimes worse than just getting it over with and moving forward and processing some disappointment. There's kindness, and then there's enabling...and I know it sounds silly to use that word with toddlers, but it's part of teaching them socially acceptable behaviors. I am NOT advocating hostily ripping the toy from his screaming hands . I am advocating giving him just a couple minutes with an explanation (and recognition to him that it was a mistake to leave it out instead of taking with you to the potty - that will help him process), and then if he won't produce the toy to either my kid, his mom, or me, telling the mom 'we need to get the toy from him now, do you want to do it or should I?' and then making it happen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
But when he freaked out I explained to my child that it is his special toy, gently, as I pried it out of her hands. .
Exactly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Viola View Post
From what I have read here, it is clear the other mother did not want to have to deal with her own child's hard feelings

<snip>
I'd take the toy and return it to the little girl, then I would deal with my own child's sense of loss or painful feelings. Because even if I wish that my child wasn't getting hurt, my job as her mother would be to help her through that.
And exactly this, too.



OP, I think heartmama was spot on when she said you're going to have to have a conversation (albeit an uncomfortable one) with this mom, to try to get on a similar page regarding how to resolve conflicts between your children since it's a recurring issue. I don't envy you the task. Good luck talking to her!
post #145 of 228
Have you thought about what you would do if, say, the other mom wasn't around and you were babysitting for the boy? Your dd takes one of the boy's toys and the boy is upset. What would you tell your dd? That's probably what I would tell the boy and the mom.

"Oh, thanks! You found dd's toy. She dropped it when she went to the potty," holding out your hand to receive it back.

"Yeah, it is pretty cool, isn't it. It's really special to dd. Would you like to hold it a few more minutes? Tell you what, I'll sing the ABC song and when I'm done, let's trade and I'll give you this dump truck. A B C D... All right, I'm done. Time to trade." (I used the ABC song as a timing method a lot when my kids were little. They couldn't understand how long a minute was, but they understood when the ABC song would end. Was great for giving toys back, stopping nursing, getting ready to leave the park, etc.)

"Awwww...I'm sorry you don't want to, but it belongs to dd and see how upset she is? I can help you find another toy if you'd like, but we need to give this toy back to dd now."

Sympathetic, but firm.

As for the tricycle incident. I would have corrected the other child on that, too:

[He pushes her off. She's crying.] "Hey, [boy's name], it's okay if you want to ride the trike, but it's not okay to push dd off. The way to let her know nicely is to say, 'dd, that's my trike and I'd like to ride it now'. Do you understand? Now, let's stop and get off and check in with her and make sure she's okay and then you can have your ride."

I think it would be fine for you to talk to the other mom, but personally I think it would be fine to step in and take care of both kids if she's not doing it adequately. If you're gentle and yet take control of the situation she probably won't be upset and will pick up some ideas from you. I know that even though we rarely leave our kids with anyone there are plenty of times that other parents have the opportunity to say something to my kids about their behavior whether it's at a friend's house (let's not play in mom and dad's bedroom) or on the playground, (throwing sand is not a good idea, 'cause it might get in someone's eyes), etc, etc.

I think just extend that "it takes a village" concept and don't wait for mom to step in since she's having a hard time with it. I mean, you could give her one chance, but if you see she's having a hard time step in and support her by showing the kids what they need to know.
post #146 of 228
"Yeah that" to beanma's whole post.

I had a mom who was clearly uncomfortable with me saying something to her kids, but she would be chit-chatting until she heard the screaming--and only *then* would there be any, "Oh somethings going on w/ my child AGAIN," response. Which is OK, I suppose, but if you're not gonna be proactive when your kids got his fist in the air, then someone else is--and I don't really think you get too much room for pissiness if you're leaving it up to other's on a regular basis.

I dont' see anything wrong with, "Hey! Don't push her." "Please give that back, she's not done." "Excuse me, please stop." etc.
post #147 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by The4OfUs View Post
IMHO, dragging out a situation to be sure everyone is satisfied is sometimes worse than just getting it over with and moving forward and processing some disappointment.
Yes, this. More and more, I am believing this to be true. IMHO, not taking the toy from the child's hand (because of a "no taking things from other's hands" philosophy) is missing the forest for the trees. It draws out the pain for both parties unnecessarily. It allows more distress, and it is *not* always the most respectful action imo.

It isn't the same as not hitting a child, or not biting a child. Hitting and biting are assaults in the adult world. Taking an object back that is rightfully yours, after repeated requests to have it handed back, is not an assault. It isn't even inappropriate.

One more thing, about being vigilant about the object left on the ground:

Kids are way smarter than we sometimes give them credit for. If she carries that toy around all the time....or if she is even just carrying it around that day....the other child knows it is her toy. And he should (imo) "know" (although need guidance and reminders) that he must return it if she requests he do so. The biggest problem I am having with this scenario (and projecting myself into it at some point in the future) is the attitude that he has a "right" to play with a found toy, and can return it when willing. That is not at all true imo, whether it were a lovey or not. And I believe that is a problematic lesson to teach a child.
post #148 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by junipermuse View Post
I'm sorry, but I disagree. It's wrong to take something from a child to show that taking other people's things is wrong, in the same way that it is wrong to bite a child to show them that biting is wrong, or two spank them to teach them that hitting is wrong. Children learn to treat others the way they are treated. If you treat them with respect, patience, and empathy they in turn will learn to treat people that way. Both children can be treated this way at the same time. The little girl can be treated respectfully without requiring you to pry the toy out of the other child's hands.

I completely disagree. Taking something and giving it back to its owner is reinforcing that taking something that doesn't belong to you is bad.

It also has nothing to do with being bigger or an abuse of power. If someone I know took my book or my ipod or something and wouldn't give it back, of course I would take it back.

The little girl was not being treated respectfully. the little girl was in hysterics.

I cannot understand why people on this thread are so concerned with the feelings of this little boy and not the little girl. Giving the girl back her toy will not damage this boy.
post #149 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by junipermuse View Post
I'm sorry, but I disagree. It's wrong to take something from a child to show that taking other people's things is wrong,
No, it is not. It's not the same thing. This is not the child's toy for one thing, so you are not removing his toy to show that taking another toy is wrong. Also, you are the MOTHER. In my world, that means something. This is not a roommate situation here.

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in the same way that it is wrong to bite a child to show them that biting is wrong, or two spank them to teach them that hitting is wrong.
This is hardly comparable to physically assaulting a child.

Quote:
Children learn to treat others the way they are treated. If you treat them with respect, patience, and empathy they in turn will learn to treat people that way.
Not if you teach them that the world revolves around them, and that they will be treated with extreme gentleness as though they are made of glass, but they are not required to treat others the same way. That is how you get a narcissistic and selfish child. I see 'modelling' here used to the exclusion of directly teaching a child that another person's feelings matter in the situation, right now, and it has to be corrected.
post #150 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by heartmama View Post
I agree with this too....all gentle and no discipline isn't Gentle Discipline....
: So nice to read those words here...
post #151 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_lissa View Post
I completely disagree. Taking something and giving it back to its owner is reinforcing that taking something that doesn't belong to you is bad.

It also has nothing to do with being bigger or an abuse of power. If someone I know took my book or my ipod or something and wouldn't give it back, of course I would take it back.
:
post #152 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post



Not if you teach them that the world revolves around them, and that they will be treated with extreme gentleness as though they are made of glass, but they are not required to treat others the same way. That is how you get a narcissistic and selfish child. I see 'modelling' here used to the exclusion of directly teaching a child that another person's feelings matter in the situation, right now, and it has to be corrected.
Yep and what is it teaching the girl? That people can take her stuff and walk all over her?
post #153 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_lissa View Post
Yep and what is it teaching the girl? That people can take her stuff and walk all over her?
Yep, especially if they are bigger. And the boy is learning that he can take what he wants and refuse to give it back, even if it does not actually belong to him. That's a pretty dangerous lesson.
post #154 of 228
I've been reading with great fascination...and I think I've figured out my puzzlement.

Humans have the capacity for aggression as well as bonding and empathy. Little people experiment with all sorts of ways to get their needs and desires met--including aggression.

This leads to problem #1: It seems that this little boy is learning that aggression is a great way to get what he wants. If he gets to play on the trike after pushing your daughter off...!!! At my house, I would give him a chance to give the (shared) trike back (while holding it still for him) and if he couldn't do that, I would gently pick him up and sit down with him to help him wait for his turn. I would encourage the other child to finish her turn and then let him have his turn. If she was unable to share then the tables would be turned and we'd have to repeat in the opposite direction.

But aggression isn't only a negative thing. Yes, we can use aggression to be selfish, mean, hateful...but we can also use aggression to stand up for our kids, insist on justice, demand our public officials do what is in the best interests of the constituents...these all use our inherent aggression, but in service of love and justice. This leads to problem #2 (imho): in this situation neither child is learning that aggression can be used for justice.

This is why I don't have a problem with, gently, as a last resort, taking a toy away from a child. The children learn that there is justice in this world and that appropriate use of authority maintains justice. imho, without this demonstration, children are much more likely grow up self-centered and looking out for themselves. Without some justice in the world, they've got to!

If I accidentally leave my wallet visible in my car and someone takes it--yup, my mistake--but, if there are police there I expect them to help retrieve my wallet. If the person who took it says, "no" to their initial polite request, some force may be required (I do expect them to be respectful in their force, not to use derogatory words or excessive violence!). I would be appalled if the police said, "well, he doesn't want to give it back. sorry!"

I am similar disturbed by the other mother's response to her little boy not wanting to give the toy back! Sure, take a minute to play with it, finish your turn, but keep it all afternoon?!?
post #155 of 228
I replied earlier, but I just wanted to say this is one of the best threads I've read in the GD forum. Usually I come away from here thinking I'm doing every damn thing wrong, and I don't understand anything. It's nice for once to see mamas I deeply respect (especially thismama, heartmama, and abimommy) discussing something that I have definitely encountered before in my parenting - and I don't feel completely out of the loop! I've definitely learned a few things here...
post #156 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by beanma View Post
Have you thought about what you would do if, say, the other mom wasn't around and you were babysitting for the boy? Your dd takes one of the boy's toys and the boy is upset. What would you tell your dd? That's probably what I would tell the boy and the mom.

"Oh, thanks! You found dd's toy. She dropped it when she went to the potty," holding out your hand to receive it back.

"Yeah, it is pretty cool, isn't it. It's really special to dd. Would you like to hold it a few more minutes? Tell you what, I'll sing the ABC song and when I'm done, let's trade and I'll give you this dump truck. A B C D... All right, I'm done. Time to trade." (I used the ABC song as a timing method a lot when my kids were little. They couldn't understand how long a minute was, but they understood when the ABC song would end. Was great for giving toys back, stopping nursing, getting ready to leave the park, etc.)

"Awwww...I'm sorry you don't want to, but it belongs to dd and see how upset she is? I can help you find another toy if you'd like, but we need to give this toy back to dd now."

Sympathetic, but firm.

As for the tricycle incident. I would have corrected the other child on that, too:

[He pushes her off. She's crying.] "Hey, [boy's name], it's okay if you want to ride the trike, but it's not okay to push dd off. The way to let her know nicely is to say, 'dd, that's my trike and I'd like to ride it now'. Do you understand? Now, let's stop and get off and check in with her and make sure she's okay and then you can have your ride."

I think it would be fine for you to talk to the other mom, but personally I think it would be fine to step in and take care of both kids if she's not doing it adequately. If you're gentle and yet take control of the situation she probably won't be upset and will pick up some ideas from you. I know that even though we rarely leave our kids with anyone there are plenty of times that other parents have the opportunity to say something to my kids about their behavior whether it's at a friend's house (let's not play in mom and dad's bedroom) or on the playground, (throwing sand is not a good idea, 'cause it might get in someone's eyes), etc, etc.

I think just extend that "it takes a village" concept and don't wait for mom to step in since she's having a hard time with it. I mean, you could give her one chance, but if you see she's having a hard time step in and support her by showing the kids what they need to know.
These are all great suggestions. I totally agree.
post #157 of 228
I added comments in bold

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenfish View Post
I've been reading with great fascination...and I think I've figured out my puzzlement.

Humans have the capacity for aggression as well as bonding and empathy. Little people experiment with all sorts of ways to get their needs and desires met--including aggression.

This leads to problem #1: It seems that this little boy is learning that aggression is a great way to get what he wants. If he gets to play on the trike after pushing your daughter off...!!! At my house, I would give him a chance to give the (shared) trike back (while holding it still for him) and if he couldn't do that, I would gently pick him up and sit down with him to help him wait for his turn. I would encourage the other child to finish her turn and then let him have his turn. If she was unable to share then the tables would be turned and we'd have to repeat in the opposite direction.

But aggression isn't only a negative thing. Yes, we can use aggression to be selfish, mean, hateful...but we can also use aggression to stand up for our kids, insist on justice, demand our public officials do what is in the best interests of the constituents...these all use our inherent aggression, but in service of love and justice. This leads to problem #2 (imho): in this situation neither child is learning that aggression can be used for justice.

In my experience Justice is not aggressive. Assertive Yes, but aggressive no. Justice in the original case is making sure the toy is returned to the little girl in a timely manner. Keeping in mind the little boy never used aggression to get a hold of the object in the first place. It doesn't seem absurd to me to give him some leeway in returning it.

This is why I don't have a problem with, gently, as a last resort, taking a toy away from a child. The children learn that there is justice in this world and that appropriate use of authority maintains justice. imho, without this demonstration, children are much more likely grow up self-centered and looking out for themselves. Without some justice in the world, they've got to!

You refer to taking the toy away as being a last resort action and I do agree, I feel in the situation described there were many possible solutions that were never tried that should have come before physically taking it away.

If I accidentally leave my wallet visible in my car and someone takes it--yup, my mistake--but, if there are police there I expect them to help retrieve my wallet. If the person who took it says, "no" to their initial polite request, some force may be required (I do expect them to be respectful in their force, not to use derogatory words or excessive violence!). I would be appalled if the police said, "well, he doesn't want to give it back. sorry!"

I do agree that in the adult world this is true an adult would be expected to give something back immediately. But in this hypothetical someone has gone into your private space and removed something he clearly knew was not his. In the case of the little boy, he found something laying on the floor in a public space he didn't have any reason to believe he shouldn't be playing with it. Of course it was later made clear that it didn't belong to him, but since toddlers don't understand ownership in the same way as adults I think we need to have some empathy for the little boy and his point of view. "Wow I found this great toy to play with and now, for reasons I can't understand, this other child is screaming and crying at me. And now they're taking the toy out of my hand and I don't understand because I thought we weren't supposed to grab things"

I am similar disturbed by the other mother's response to her little boy not wanting to give the toy back! Sure, take a minute to play with it, finish your turn, but keep it all afternoon?!?
I totally agree that the mother's response was inappropriate, obviously if the little girl was upset at the boy playing with the toy she isn't going to want him to borrow it for the afternoon. However most people on here don't even feel the boy should have been given the leeway of a minute or so to finish his turn. Most people felt that this toddler should have understood that it wasn't his toy and be immediately compliant and hand the toy back or it should have been removed. I think that's overly harsh toward a young child who frankly in this case was acting in a way that was completely developmentally appropriate.
post #158 of 228
I haven't seen anyone say that. The boy was giving more than a minute. He was given lots of opportunities and explanations.
post #159 of 228
I'm hearing many people say they would "just (gently) take it back." And dismissing other GD tactics (like playfullness, prevention, waiting, etc.) which are being suggested here.

I don't think anyone is supporting the tactics the actual mother used (suggesting that the hysterical child have empathy for her son, asking to keep the toy for the afternoon, etc).

But I see nothing wrong with offering a trade or trying any number of GD tactics suggested here. Lots of great ideas!! Thanks!
post #160 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by junipermuse View Post
Most people felt that this toddler should have understood that it wasn't his toy and be immediately compliant and hand the toy back or it should have been removed.
I don't think that's accurate.
I think the difference is, ultimately, many people don't feel like the most important thing at that moment is that the boy understands. If, after trying to explain it, he doesn't quite get it right away, that doesn't mean that resolving the situation needs to wait until he does. More explaination can be given AFTER the toy is returned.

Especially since, given the other examples of his interactions with her daughter (and his mother's responses), it doesn't seem likely that he would understand in any reasonably timely manner. How exactly is he supposed to "get" that he needs to give the toy back if he's taken things from her without being stopped before, and if his mother suggests that he get to keep it? Why on earth WOULD he voluntarily give it up when his mom is advocating that he get to keep it all day????
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