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Old 03-14-2007, 01:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi. I am posting this here v. the Gentle Discipline forum as I think dealing with this issue would be sooo much simpler without the "multiples" issue -- so I am putting it to you wise MOMs. Please help. I am soo frustrated. Here goes . .

I have been wanting to buy the triplets (2 yo) kettler trikes. After much research, I found a used one and bought it to see if they like it before making any further investment. I bring it home. They get all excited. They love it. And in 30 sec they begin to fight for who gets to ride it. Then they fight over who gets to push it. This struggle goes on for awhile until I start a "take turns" rotation with a timer. Every time the beeper goes - the rider switches and we "take turns". 2 of the 3 get this after a rotation or 2. But one DS - does not, will not take turns. He screams the entire time its not his turn. I have to physically restrain him. Then when its his turn and its over - I have to wrestle him off the trike. Heavy sigh. Finally, I declare it bath time and we all take the trike to the garage to say "nigh nigh trike". 2 of the 3 do it fine. Angry DS continues to have a fit.

I finally tell DS that I am putting him in a time out chair until he calms down and stops crying. DS refuses to sit in chair. Stands at baby gate (this room is gated off) and cries and continues fit. I hold my ground (although I am now questioning myself). He begs to be picked up and removed from the gated room. I hold ground "DS. You need to calm down. Sit in chair. No more crying". DS is now totally defiant "NO NO NO" "CARRY CARRY CARRY". The other 2 look on in horror - this has not happened like this before. I usually do not engage DS in this conflict - I usually try to distract and redirect. I don't know why I handled this differently tonight - but I did.

Anyway . . . I finally said, "DS. Your choice is to sit in chair and calm down OR I will put you in your crib to calm down." You can guess what happened. DS goes is crib. Continues tantrum. I check on him after a few minutes and he has basically collapsed in exhaustion and is asleep.

So what was to be a big fun time with the kids giving them a new trike - was a complete flop. I am really upset about angry DS and how I should be handling him in these circs. Tonight has totally bummed me out. And I am feeling sorry for myself as I researched so much and was all psyched to find a used one, arranged to meet the buyer on my lunch brake, all excited to bring it home and show them . . . . . and fizzle.

OK - help me out?? What should I do with angry DS? What should I have done differently in this circ. Do I just keep redirecting and distracting? How do I get DS to develop emotional tools to help him in these circs?

Thanks in advance

TripMom . . . . . loving mom : to DS (7) and BBG (4.5)
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Old 03-14-2007, 02:24 AM
 
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First, . I know this is hard. My twins are too young for this yet but I have 2 older ones that make life very tricky. Anyway, ideally what I think you should do from a GD perspective is to - if possible - sit with him during the time out which you could rename a settling down period. If you're home alone with the kiddos then perhaps you cannot take time away leaving the rest of them to play but if possible, sit with your ds, hold him, love him, let him cry, and hopefully soon he'll settle down and be reassured of your unconditional love for him. Later, when all is said and done and he's in a more receptive mood, you can try to have a little talk with him about taking turns and what you expect. I know it's hard and I'm not in your shoes so I don't know if any of this will really work. Believe me, I've tried to get advice on the GD forum as well and the non-MOM's just didn't get how challenging it is with twins to deal with. I hope something I've said can help!

Mama to four remarkable kiddos, all born at home.
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Old 03-14-2007, 01:22 PM
 
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I don't have any real advice but wanted to let you know you are not alone. I had a VERY similar experience just yesterday -- I took my DS and the girls out to let the girls ride trikes for the first time. I felt so good -- like we were doing something normal families do. Found helmets. Got them fitted. Found the bikes and trikes. Watched as they ignored DS's old fabulous red trike and fought over pink and purple trike we got at a garage sale last summer for $5. Tried to get them to take turns. Watched as they tried to push each other off. K threw a true fit -- laid down in the driveway and kicked her feet and SCREAMED. At one point I put the pink trike up on the car and heard myself saying (loudly) NO ONE GETS TO RIDE UNTIL SOMEONE GETS ON THE RED TRIKE! Like this is something to get angry about? My poor son, too, kept saying "Girlies, this used to be MY trike. It's a GREAT trike! Why don't you ride it?" After both of them were screaming and kicking and fighting, I gave up, came inside, and turned on the TV.

Sigh.

Someday it will get easier, right? Why couldn't it have been fun, though?

Wish I could offer you some advice. But at least you can know you aren't alone.

edited to add (because a toddler came in and threatened to delete the whole message): I know your original post is about more than fighting over a trike -- you have some important GD questions and I wish I had some good answers. But the title of your thread really spoke to me too, and that feeling of frustration after attempting something that should be fun that ends up with people fighting/pushing/and-or crying... I mean, the effort it takes to just get everyone ready at the same time to go outside and do something like ride a trike... and then to fight-fight-fight. Sigh. It's something those without multiples just don't understand. Even if your babes were just a year apart, the objects they would find fabulous would probably be different from time to time, right? But with two (or more) at the same developmental stage... it's not easy. Hang in there, and I'll be watching this thread for good ideas from BTDT mamas...
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Old 03-14-2007, 02:01 PM
 
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Sigh, I know just how you feel. My parents had 5 kids (1 at a time) and thought they understood what I was going through. . . .until we spent 3 weeks at their house!! They have stopped giving me advice, ha ha.

My oldest has moments of jealousy and tons of tantrums. The twins fight all out, biting, kicking, head-butting, etc. We have our good days and bad days, for sure.

First, they are too young to really understand sharing (or at least for them to be happy about it). I don't bring home just 1 cool new toy. I bring home 2 or 3. They are usually not the same, but they are all "new". Sometimes that isn't possible, but perhaps wait until you have another adult around to help organize the sharing? Or use divide and conquer? Get out the bubbles or chalk for the child who isn't able to play with the bike?

Second, if someone is tired, they just don't handle stress well. I think you did fine with the time-out and crib-time. You do what you have to. Next time, perhaps just put a time limit (set your timer) on it, not require an action. Then you can go in and comfort when the time is up. Or as others have said, just be there and talk him through the fit, "I know you are so disapointed. It is so hard to share. It made you very angry and frustrated. I can see how upset you are. Next time will be easier. it is hard to share with your siblings. etc." You can be empathetic without giving in.

At least it was only one child having a tantrum, not 4!! I have had all 3 going at once. . . wow!! That was loud and difficult.

You are doing fine Mamma!!

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They're not typos. . . I can't spell!
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Old 03-14-2007, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you soo much for the support replies. It is so helpful to know at least that others have the same struggles! Why is that? Ugh.

As for angry DS - this is very common behavior for him. I always address it by distraction or redirection - a lot of "special service" - i.e. holding, carrying, hugging, etc. as I am often physically removing him from the conflict. But I am beginning to wonder if at 27 months old I should be doing more?? It feels somehow "indulgent" of angry DS who is constantly toy stealing, hitting to get what he wants, not taking turns, not playing nice with sibs, etc. etc. etc. The other 2 have their moments for sure - but they have begun to "respond to reason" in these circumstances -- i.e. like, "take turns", or "trade toy", etc. Angry DS has NOT at all begun to respond to reason. WDYT? Keep on keeping on? Or is there more I should be doing for him??

TripMom . . . . . loving mom : to DS (7) and BBG (4.5)
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Old 03-14-2007, 06:47 PM
 
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I don't have any advice but I just wanted to offer a hug! I, too, don't post discipine questions on the GD forum anymore.

Blessed mama of four
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Old 03-14-2007, 07:00 PM
 
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I'm going to try and come back later to offer more, but you're problem was that you were TOO successful with the bike They all LOVED it! I think it's great you put so much time and effort into finding something they could all enjoy.

I think it's safe to say that all of us MOMs have had an experience (or many!) just like this one. Hang in there!
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Old 03-14-2007, 07:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by TripMom View Post
Thank you soo much for the support replies. It is so helpful to know at least that others have the same struggles! Why is that? Ugh.

As for angry DS - this is very common behavior for him. I always address it by distraction or redirection - a lot of "special service" - i.e. holding, carrying, hugging, etc. as I am often physically removing him from the conflict. But I am beginning to wonder if at 27 months old I should be doing more?? It feels somehow "indulgent" of angry DS who is constantly toy stealing, hitting to get what he wants, not taking turns, not playing nice with sibs, etc. etc. etc. The other 2 have their moments for sure - but they have begun to "respond to reason" in these circumstances -- i.e. like, "take turns", or "trade toy", etc. Angry DS has NOT at all begun to respond to reason. WDYT? Keep on keeping on? Or is there more I should be doing for him??
I don't know how you feel about what some people call labels but you could consider reading some books on raising the spirited child. From what I understand some of them are really good and can give you some ideas of other things to do. I am not trying to start a debate. Some children, due to different temperments or other things, can be more demanding on us as mothers. I haven't read the books personally but I have heard from some propnets of GD that they are helpful.
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Old 03-14-2007, 07:25 PM
 
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Old 03-15-2007, 02:11 PM
 
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First, you're not a bad mom, they're not bad kids, this is all normal! And, nice as it would be to have a quick fix, personally, I wouldn't want one. As much as there are days when I look at other peoples' kids (or hear about them) who ALWAYS do exactly what they're told, when I remove myself from the hard moment & really think about it, I don't want kids who don't think for themselves. I don't want kid who just sit & take whatever life hands them. Their spirit is good & will serve them well in life, it just makes life abit more challenging for me right now

I'd recommend reading (in your spare time, I know, but seriously, I found it to be a quick/easy read that I could read as I had time, a few minutes before bed each night or whatever) "Raising Your Spirited Child" I didn't read it until this year (my girls are almost 4) and I SO wish I'd read it sooner, it went SO FAR in explaining to me WHY my kids act the way they do. That their super intense tantrums are NOT just because they're trying to make my life hard, etc. I'd recommend it for how far it went to change my attitude even if that's all it did, but it does also offer helpful suggestions for how to help spirited kids deal w/ their intenseness.

Another suggestion that might be worth a try, since you have one child who is consistently the "spirited one" (both of mine are, you should see the fights they can get into in about 2 seconds flat!) I would try, whenever he's doing things that aren't ok (hitting & such) and seems to be spiraling out of control, try popping him into a carrier & giving him some intense snuggle time. For my kids, a front carry in a wrap would be their first choice, but I'd probably opt for a back carry (wrap or mei tai) just because that leaves hands free to continue helping other kids. Now, the reason this wouldn't work for me is, the second I popped one kid up, the other one would want up too, so I might as well just sit & cuddle them both on my lap or whatever. But since you have 3 & it sounds like the other 2 will continue playing, the carrier option might work for you.

I find that, when the kids act out the most is when they're needing to re-connect with me, and this would accomplish that, get him out of reach of hurting other kids (or stealing their toys), AND leave your hands free to help the other 2 continue w/ their game as needed.

If the other 2 can play independently, you might also consider removing him & having him "help you" w/ dishes or cooking or cleaning the bathroom (gotta love natural cleaners that let the little kids "help" w/o concern) or whatever.
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Old 03-15-2007, 04:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Another suggestion that might be worth a try, since you have one child who is consistently the "spirited one" (both of mine are, you should see the fights they can get into in about 2 seconds flat!) I would try, whenever he's doing things that aren't ok (hitting & such) and seems to be spiraling out of control, try popping him into a carrier & giving him some intense snuggle time. For my kids, a front carry in a wrap would be their first choice, but I'd probably opt for a back carry (wrap or mei tai) just because that leaves hands free to continue helping other kids. Now, the reason this wouldn't work for me is, the second I popped one kid up, the other one would want up too, so I might as well just sit & cuddle them both on my lap or whatever. But since you have 3 & it sounds like the other 2 will continue playing, the carrier option might work for you.
Thanks for the response -- and I am smiling to myself at this suggestion -- because that IS exactly what I do with him pretty often. I pop him in my mei tai sling on my back and he calms back there over time. Works great! Great minds must think alike, huh!

I guess I didn't do the mei tai in this instance as I was trying to get him to integrate into the take-turns process . .. . .which turned into this power-struggle b/t him and I . . .

I've gotten a few "spirited child" book recommends now . . I will look in to that. Can someone respond with a little laundry list of common "spirited child" traits? I'd be interested to see where DS sits.

TripMom . . . . . loving mom : to DS (7) and BBG (4.5)
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