does CLW mean never saying no??? - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-27-2008, 12:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm sure this question has been asked before but I have a situation that is confusing me... I hope this is the right place to post it.
Often ds will test limits, then when there are consequences he gets really upset and wants to nurse to calms down. I'm talking about deliberate actions (like hitting the dog, I tell him he will need to play in his room away from the dogs until he is ready to be nice... crying/tantrum starts, we go to his room, nurse to calm down). I am starting to feel as if the nursing rewards the bad behavior. I would prefer to say no nursing, the nursing seems to often avoid any discipline.
However he's 2, we nurse to calm down/reset all the time. I don't want to encourage weaning so I don't want to eliminate all comfort nursing I just am feeling really confused in this situation.
So my question is... when you were disciplining your LO, and they became upset by the discipline and wanted to nurse for comfort how did you handle it? did you nurse immediately? and if so then did you discipline after? do you feel it's wrong to withhold nursing to an upset toddler?
thanks mamas!
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Old 11-27-2008, 12:31 AM
 
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When dd misbehaves (in her case, biting), she'll want to nurse. This is one instance in which I don't let her. I do NOT want her to think that by biting another child, she can get mommy's attention and get to nurse. I simply tell her that she cannot nurse right now, and I need to help the child who she bit (or hit or pushed), and that she can nurse later.

I would never withhold nursing from an infant, but a 2 year old can handle it. And I definately do not want to set up the connection between bad behavior and nursing. I nurse her lots of other times, and I'll nurse her when she's hurt. But not when she's misbehaved.
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Old 11-27-2008, 12:35 AM
 
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First off- you can definitely still CLW and say no. Right now dd and I are still on the CLW path (not sure if we'll stay there forever, but so far) and I tell her no ALL-THE-TIME.

No, you just nursed 2 minutes ago.
No, I'm up to my elbows in cooking dinner.
No, I'm in the bathtub.
No, we're at the grocery store.
No, mama's feeling touched out right now.

etc.

That said. At only 2 I would not personally be okay withholding nursing from a child in the situations you describe. Withholding love is not a gentle discipline tactic and it would feel too much like that for me to be comfortable with.

-Angela
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Old 11-27-2008, 01:46 AM
 
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If my son is upset, for whatever reason, nursing helps him calm down. I wouldn't say no. He's just figuring out the world, and he needs to know that I'll be there for him even if I can't always let him do what he wants to do.

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Old 11-27-2008, 01:59 AM
 
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my child is 2.5 and today, outside, 30 degrees, bundled up under layers of coats, etc., and talking with a neighbor down the street, she was running where she should have been walking, stumbled and fell on her hands (had refused gloves). she was not bleeding, just got a little dirt on her hands and the "trauma" of tripping and falling. she asked to nurse, but i told her to wait until when we get home. no way am i whipping it out and holding her in the cold, on the street, to give her a breast in that situation.

it's not exactly the situation you described, but perhaps goes to the question in the title of your thread.

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Old 11-28-2008, 09:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by alegna View Post
First off- you can definitely still CLW and say no. Right now dd and I are still on the CLW path (not sure if we'll stay there forever, but so far) and I tell her no ALL-THE-TIME.

No, you just nursed 2 minutes ago.
No, I'm up to my elbows in cooking dinner.
No, I'm in the bathtub.
No, we're at the grocery store.
No, mama's feeling touched out right now.

etc.

That said. At only 2 I would not personally be okay withholding nursing from a child in the situations you describe. Withholding love is not a gentle discipline tactic and it would feel too much like that for me to be comfortable with.

-Angela
I agree with Angela!

Especially b/c DS might have been acting out because he was already upset. So he was upset, he acted out, he's even more upset now b/c you are, and now he REALLY needs the comfort and milk he should have asked for before. But he's so busy doing other things, like a 2 year old is, that he forgot or didn't think to or was too busy to ask for it.

Plus, if one of your disciplines is to play away from the dogs, or play in his room, etc, you nursing him accomplishes that!
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Old 11-28-2008, 10:15 PM
 
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Which end of two is he on? With my kids, if he was a young two, I'd go ahead and nurse him. If he's closer to three and hitting the cat or other people, I wouldn't nurse him because he's upset about having to leave the room.

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Old 11-28-2008, 10:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He's 28 months.

so for those of you who wouldn't withhold comfort nursing... would you offer the discipline after the nursing is over? Please let me be clear that I am not talking about situations that are easily avoided or seem to occur when tired/hungry ect. I know this is probably (hopefully?) a phase but it's deliberatly doing something because he's been told not to. The dog scenario goes like this.
"mama, we hit doggies?"
"no, hands aren't for hitting."
"I hit doggies!"
then seeks out dogs or if they're not in the room then 15 or 20 minutes later when they come in he runs up hits them and says "mama, I hit dog!"

then as soon as consequence comes up he starts to cry/get upset and asks to nurse... and usually will repeat the scenario within an hour of finishing nursing.... which is why I feel that the nursing is rewarding the situation, that the acting out is a way to nurse instead of just asking to nurse. I feel like the nursing is reinforcing the situation.
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Old 11-28-2008, 11:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by chi_mama View Post
The dog scenario goes like this.
"mama, we hit doggies?"
"no, hands aren't for hitting."
"I hit doggies!"
then seeks out dogs or if they're not in the room then 15 or 20 minutes later when they come in he runs up hits them and says "mama, I hit dog!"
This isn't the answer to your question, but do you always phrase it this way "hands aren't for hitting" ?

I've had better luck with DD (30mos) when I give her something good to do with her hands. So our conversation might go like this:

"mama, we hit doggies?"
"oh no, we love doggies gently"- and then a 'petting' demonstration.
She then usually will play gentle. (caveat- we don't have a dog, so they are a bit of a novelty when we're around them...)

The phrasing works for other 'please don't/please do" situations as well.

As for your first question, I will sit face to face with DD and talk about what she did and why it is wrong (or whatever). Then, "I love you" and if she still asks to nurse, we do.

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Old 11-29-2008, 01:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by chi_mama View Post
He's 28 months.

so for those of you who wouldn't withhold comfort nursing... would you offer the discipline after the nursing is over? Please let me be clear that I am not talking about situations that are easily avoided or seem to occur when tired/hungry ect. I know this is probably (hopefully?) a phase but it's deliberatly doing something because he's been told not to. The dog scenario goes like this.
"mama, we hit doggies?"
"no, hands aren't for hitting."
"I hit doggies!"
then seeks out dogs or if they're not in the room then 15 or 20 minutes later when they come in he runs up hits them and says "mama, I hit dog!"

then as soon as consequence comes up he starts to cry/get upset and asks to nurse... and usually will repeat the scenario within an hour of finishing nursing.... which is why I feel that the nursing is rewarding the situation, that the acting out is a way to nurse instead of just asking to nurse. I feel like the nursing is reinforcing the situation.
I don't punish.

In the situation you describe I would consider it my job to keep the baby away from the dogs. He has demonstrated that he's not ready to be safe and responsible around them so I would honor that and not allow him in a situation where he could hit them.

-Angela
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Old 11-29-2008, 02:18 AM
 
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I say no to my 2.5 year old from time to time (especially when's she's in boobie marathon mode). She doesn't usually accept it and fusses. It gets a little frustrating I must admit.

She is very *nursey* after she's been with her dad and needs to reconnect with me so it's understandable.
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Old 12-01-2008, 02:19 AM
 
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Hey there. I think I lean toward Angela's take... my gut tells me there's a way to work on the behaviors you want to see, rather than focusing on what you don't want to see, and still have full availability to nurse. If one is saying no for a non-punative reason, such as others listed, then that feels to me to be well within mutually agreeable territory... but to withold nursing in a time of conflict doesn't feel like it honors what CLW is about, in my view.

What would happen if when he first mentions hitting the dog, or is headed in that direction, you redirect with some appropriate play... like throwing a ball, or building, something gross-motor? I wonder what would happen if you redirected with nursing?

And separately, you could work on How We Handle Animals.
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Old 12-01-2008, 11:42 AM
 
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Originally Posted by sweetpeppers View Post
If my son is upset, for whatever reason, nursing helps him calm down. I wouldn't say no. He's just figuring out the world, and he needs to know that I'll be there for him even if I can't always let him do what he wants to do.
exactly.
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Old 12-03-2008, 01:03 AM
 
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If my son is upset, for whatever reason, nursing helps him calm down. I wouldn't say no. He's just figuring out the world, and he needs to know that I'll be there for him even if I can't always let him do what he wants to do.
This is what I aspire to. I have been struggling so hard with my son over the past few days with this exact issue of never saying no/sometimes having to say no. He has been nursing for literally hours at night, and is getting to be impossible to put down at night, no matter how exhausted he is, or how late it is. I have been having to say no, and I swore I never would. He is only 20 months old, and I feel like such a bad mama. I wish I had your endurance and commitment sweetpeppers. I don't know how you do it, but I wish I could.

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Old 12-03-2008, 01:16 AM
 
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I don't think she's saying she never says no. rather that if the issue is the nursling needing it to calm down, saying no isn't the best answer. I don't think many if any CLWs never say no for any reason.

that said, at 20 months you're probably dealing with molars and those are a very rough time for all. hang in there. s: the nursing needs do go down when they're in fully.
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Old 12-03-2008, 01:50 PM
 
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I haven't read many of the other replies but here is my 2 cents....

No matter how long your child nurses or how dedicated you are to CLW, it still is a relationship. Which means boundaries, and which means both partners must be content with the situation. It is not about sacrificing your own comfort and well being to the point of resentment and frustration .

I taught dd to sign to nurse at like 15 months old, because i loved nursing her SO much, but didn't need her dragging my boob out of my bra in the middle of a crowded fellowship hall at church . I really think that gentle boundaries kept our nursing relationship positive and lovely more than anything else would have, and we both remember that time together with joy.
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Old 12-03-2008, 02:32 PM
 
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my DD is younger (19 months almost) but this is beginning to be relevant as she is hitting/tantruming more.

personally at this point i feel that if she's upset, even by being disciplined/corrected, and wants to nurse, i should nurse her. i feel like she is asking to nurse as a way to calm herself down, not as a reward for "bad" behavior, and i should honor that so that i can help her learn to manage her emotions. really, at her age, asking to nurse as a way to self-soothe is a perfectly appropriate thing. if she's just hit me or something, and i've told her no hitting, hitting hurts mama, and then she asks for milkies, i just do it. i don't worry about rewarding "bad" behavior or anything--i figure the behavior came from a place of needing something, and maybe nursing will meet that need and eliminate the behavior issue, kwim? and i think this is working okay because she is never hitting me as a WAY to get milkies

i have no idea if this is the "right" way to do things, but it just doesn't feel right to me at this point to withhold nursing as a consequence. i would prefer our nursing relationship to ALWAYS be only about what each of us needs and not a discipline tool. so i will say "no, wait" or something if *i* need to do something else or just *really* need NOT to nurse at this moment due to feeling completely touched out (which doesn't happen very often). but i do not connect that refusal to any element of her behavior; for me nursing or not nursing at that moment is just a matter of weighing our respective needs. and to me, her having just acted out is indicative of needing something. i hope this makes sense.

ETA: i just read through the replies and i agree, i would just try to take nursing out of the discipine equation. think of other ways to deal with the dog situation, and let nursing be totally separate. also, are you making sure to nurse him at other times besides when he is upset? that might help break some association between hitting the dog and nursing, if you think he has formed that kind of association.

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Old 12-03-2008, 05:31 PM
 
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Oh there were so many I wanted to quote!!

I feel like maybe there needs to be a happy medium. Anyone who says they never so no is not telling the truth. Sometimes you are going to the bathroom. Sometimes your driving the car. Sometimes you are in the shower. Sometimes you just CANT DO IT.

Also, saying "we'll nurse when Mommy is done ___________" is not saying "NO YOU CANT NURSE EVER" and is perfectly ok, and still falls under CLW. You can set boundaries, just keep them adjustable, as a 2 year old is rarely consistent.

But in answer to your question:

I'll start with this. When he asks "We hit doggies?" instead of responding that hands are not for hitting, you can say "we pet doggies, gentle" and smile and say home much fun it is to pet them. If when they do come in the room he hits them, he needs a discipline (whether it's a firm "NO", or saying "you may NOT hit the doggies, and we will leave the room. You can come back when you will pet them nicely." and then follow through and leave the room. I agree that you need to adress hitting the dogs, because for 1 - we need to be nice and respect animals and people. and 2 - maybe YOUR dog wont bite, but the neighbor's might. He needs to respect animals for his own safety.
He may be needing a more direct answer so he knows what to expect when he hits the dog. by saying "hands arent for hitting", at 2 he might just not get it. Instead you can look scared, and say "Oh no! We dont hit the doggies because that will hurt them! we pet them and use our hands gently" and then smile and look loving while you demonstrate. That usually works well for my daughter.

Adressing the nursing aspect...
There are a few ways you can handle it, it depends which you are comfortable with. Withholding the nursing all together most likely will escalate the situation so I dont recommend it. You can try:

1. Going into another room (he is probably crying at this point, and asking to nurse? Let him nurse and say "I know you are upset, but you may not hit the doggies. When you calm down and can be gentle, we will go back." Completely ignore the nursing and dont make any connection to the discipline at all. They are seperate things. The punishment for hitting is leaving the room in a sort of "time out" to calm himself down and allow him to think about why we don't hit dogs. Even if you nurse, you are still away from the dogs and as long as you reiterate that, you're good.

2. Take him in the other room and when he asks to nurse say "You may nurse AFTER you calm down. When you calm down we can talk." Show him how to take a deep breath and then let him nurse. Still make a point of explaining right away why we don't hit the doggies.

3. Take him int he other room, show him how to take a deep breath and say "When you calm down we will talk, because I am not sure what you want when you are crying, you need to tell me." (He'll probably then tell you he wants to nurse) and you can say "You may nurse, but first you need to show me your gentle hands. We do not hit the doggies." That way, you dont feel like you nursed as a reward for hitting the dogs, and you've made the line clear that he can't nurse his way out of a discipline, so to speak.
It is OKAY for children to get upset at times, especially over a discipline, however gentle or harsh it may be. This is how children learn to explore and eventually deal with their own emotions. Of course, you dont want to create a situation where the initial problem is lost because he's so upset about nursing, so see which approach works best for you.

By making him leave the room you are not in anyway being harsh. I am all for gentle parenting, and practice it with my daughter. But like every parenting style, there isnt one right way to do it and you have to find what works for you. My daughter has at times walked up, screamed at my niece, and socked her in the face. NOT OK. And she has had to have a "time out".
A TIME OUT doesnt mean you have to sit them in a corner by themselves. It can be leaving the room, it can be finding a different activity... it just means take some TIME OUT from what they are doing, because they cant handle it right then. Sometimes I will say "You may NOT hit Lina, that hurts. Let's go pick out a book to read and calm down for a few minutes." At almost 2, thats enough to let her know that what she did isnt ok, and that we can't do it.

Good luck Hope that helped a little...
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Old 12-04-2008, 12:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks mamas! This was just the advice I was looking for, a way to seperate nursing from discipline without denying his request to nurse when he needs to. It's not just the dogs right now, it's almost anything we've set limits on... he just seems to need to test them over and over to see if something changes... it's fine, I just don't want to compromise our nursing relationship over it.
Thanks again.
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Old 12-06-2008, 11:40 AM
 
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Originally Posted by chi_mama View Post
Thanks mamas! This was just the advice I was looking for, a way to seperate nursing from discipline without denying his request to nurse when he needs to. It's not just the dogs right now, it's almost anything we've set limits on... he just seems to need to test them over and over to see if something changes... it's fine, I just don't want to compromise our nursing relationship over it.
Thanks again.
why separate them? Discipline is teaching. I would take advantage of this time of you two together and getting his attention to reiterate how hitting hurts.
During the nursing/cuddling time in the evening I had a talk with my 3.5 y/o who got into the habit of saying poopoo all the time to discuss appropriate words. It really seemed to sink in, he was very receptive. We've seen some improvement; now he keeps saying: "see mama, I'm not saying poopoo anymore!"
HTH

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Old 12-07-2008, 01:36 PM
 
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my 3.5 y/o who got into the habit of saying poopoo all the time to discuss appropriate words. It really seemed to sink in, he was very receptive. We've seen some improvement; now he keeps saying: "see mama, I'm not saying poopoo anymore!"
HTH
My MIL (who I have many many issues with) watched my Daughter for 45 mins while I had to go somewhere. I came home and Annalise ran up to me and said "I kick Nanna's BOOBIES!!!" Apparently while on the potty, she got excited that she had pooped and started kicking her feet. Nanna was sitting on the floor in front of her so she accidently kicked her in the chest. And told her to tell Mommy that she kicked her in the boobies. WONDERFUL.

When Annalise told me I just said "thats not a nice word, we dont say that, please." and later had another talk about it once Nanna wasnt around. I just dont think it's appropriate to teach a less than 2 year old the word Boobies. She hasnt ever asked me what they are called, she always just said "I nurse". When she's older and asks I'll explain breasts. But I dont like "boobies" coming out of a 22 month old.
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Old 12-07-2008, 01:57 PM
 
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I've always called them boobies.... I'm sure dd said that well before 2....

-Angela
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Old 12-07-2008, 06:13 PM
 
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Another thought on the hitting the dog issue is that you can redirect in a "you can't hit the dog, but you CAN hit the sofa/chair/floor/ball etc" kind of a way. I use both that and the "You can't hit the dog, you can pet the dog gently" a LOT. And yeah, I would try to intervene as soon as he shows that he's about to test your limit...stand up and pick him up and redirect before he even gets to the dog. He'll "get" that you mean it. It's exhausting though...

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Old 12-07-2008, 07:10 PM
 
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Often ds will test limits, then when there are consequences he gets really upset and wants to nurse to calms down. I'm talking about deliberate actions (like hitting the dog, I tell him he will need to play in his room away from the dogs until he is ready to be nice... crying/tantrum starts, we go to his room, nurse to calm down). I am starting to feel as if the nursing rewards the bad behavior. I would prefer to say no nursing, the nursing seems to often avoid any discipline.
However he's 2, we nurse to calm down/reset all the time.
I am curious how you would deal with ds asking to do something else to calm down. After my ds was weaned, when he was very upset, he would sometimes ask to take a bath because it calmed him down. If that was what your ds was asking for, would you feel like his taking a bath to calm down was somehow interfering with his learning from the experience? If not, why should nursing be any different?

I would also recommend reading Connection Parenting by Pam Leo. Her book is wonderful and really looks at discipline from a different perspective that helps me to remember that the most important thing is the connection between me and my children. If your child is feeling upset and disconnected from you, how much can he be learning from the "discipline"?

My dd also hits the dog (and other kids). She is 20 months. I have found that if I just tell her not to hit (or hurt people/animals or whatever) that she keeps doing it over and over. But, if I give her a behavior to do instead of hitting, we have a much better outcome. So, usually, I tell her to kiss or hug her brother or the dog ("Oh, no, we don't hit the dog, give Max a kiss instead"). It seems to break her hitting thought process and she will kiss the dog and move on to doing something unrelated. Just an idea
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