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#31 of 50 Old 10-19-2012, 01:52 PM
 
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I think it would help you to try to see the situation from his perspective.  Being told that you can't do something that you really, really, really want to do is very frustrating, especially when you can't understand WHY you can't do it.  He doesn't understand the concept of "messy" and doesn't have the reasoning or empathy capabilities to think though, "If I pour this milk on teh ground, it will make a mess and Mama will be upset, so I better not do it."  The screaming and tantrums come in when they lack the verbal skills and self control to express their emotions any other way.  

 

The bossiness and needing to be in charge is just a hallmark of toddlerhood.  Of course some kids exhibit it more than others, but they're experimenting with independence and authority.  Their control over their world is limited, with lots of big people telling them what to do, when to do it, and what NOT to do, that they seek control where they can get it.  

 

The first thing I do when DS wants to do something he can't do is try to honor his impulse.  No, obviously he can't pour milk out on the floor, but I can give him a little bit in a cup, and a second cup to pour back and forth.  I use this tactic A LOT and with my very spirited almost 2yo it works very well.  He got a hold of DH's hammer today, but rather than immediately taking it away, I quickly swept him outside and gave him a rock to hit (closely supervised, obviously).  This, combined with being very selective about which battles to fight (as in, if he's wanting to do something that is simply annoying to me, or is going to create more mess than I'd like to clean up, I try to roll with it, and stick to only intervening when his chosen activity is either costly (like pouring out milk, or chipping our tile with a hammer) or unsafe), works well for us.

 

When it doesn't work, empathize, empathize, empathize, and TEACH.  Being shown empathy is how they will eventually learn it.  "You really wanted to pour out the milk. You're very angry/frustrated that I said no.  I'm sorry."  Then just be a calm presence, maybe repeating something like, "I see that you are angry" until the storm passes. Let him have his emotions.  Then, if you feel like it's something he can understand, talk about what to do next time.  Talk about how he was feeling in that moment, and teach him an alternative behavior.  2.5 is too young for a prolonged conversation, but I think it's a good practice to start now because eventually it will sink in.  

 

"You were very mad, weren't you?  I could see that.  Next time you start to feel that way, you can stomp your feet/beat your chest like Tarzan instead of throwing something (or yell into a pillow instead of screaming, etc).  I'll help you remember."  

 

Also something I've learned with my DS - simply being told no is enough to trigger a tantrum, even if I follow it up with an acceptable alternative.  An example - we have a pet chicken and a dog.  Last week DS was hitting the dog, thinking it was hilarious.  I said, "You may not hit her, that hurts her," and he yelled, "NOOO" and kept doing it.  I came over and said, "Pet her gently, like this," and he hit her again, looking right at me.  Infuriating!  We'd done this before - the second he realizes that I'm trying ot make him stop, he rebels and does it more, whatever it is.  I decided that next time I would skip the step of telling him no, and jump straight to showing him what he should do instead.

 

Later that afternoon, he was doing the same thing to the chicken, but even more because every time he hit the chicken she fluffed up and ran away while he laughed maniacally and chased her to do it again.  My instinct was to yell at him to stop, but without saying anything at all, I walked over to them, started petting the chicken, and said, "Oh look, she likes it when we pet her," and he joined right in.  Fifteen minutes later we had to repeat the whole routine, but that's par for the course with a 2 year old.

 

If you're into reading parenting books, I'd recommend The Emotional Life of a Toddler and Unconditional Parenting.  Happy parenting!




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#32 of 50 Old 10-22-2012, 04:27 PM
 
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I don't give much thought to those that see time out as a punishment.  If they do, then they are using it all wrong.  It does, as I think I explained above, have to be accompanied by loving words and hugs.  Time out is simply a method to calm or to show a child without physical punishment that their behavior is wrong.  This does not make the kid think they are a bad person any more than any type of discipline would.  And a child must be disciplined... not punished, disciplined.  Time out is a safe way to do that as long as it is handled properly, calmly, and with lots of love after the brief time.

Lots of children have benefited from time out if it's handled properly.  And without any negative self-esteem.

Orthodoxmom, I think that what you are referring to is what might be called a "time in" as opposed to a time out.  In a time in, the parent is there with the child, just removing them from a situation and offering love and support while they calm down.  In a "time out" a parent removes the child and essentially says "You were bad.  Sit here and think about it."  Big difference.


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#33 of 50 Old 10-23-2012, 06:06 AM
 
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Timeouts saved my sanity!!!  For a short period between 22-24MO my DS's temper tantrums escalated.  The screaming, whining, hitting, throwing and I love how everyone is quick to say find the trigger!  Yeah good luck with that one when one second a perfectly content angel that a split second later turns into a nightmarish storm!  When it's over not getting their way, tiredness, or hunger they do it to be brats!  The most important thing to do is correct the behavior.  This morning for example: DS wanted to watch trains but he kept on saying George.  So stupid me turns on curious george and he has a meltdown.  What I do is turn the tv off and immediately put him in time out.  He can't hear me over his screaming but for the sake of my sanity.  I will say intill you calm down and behave like a good little boy you are in timeout.   I don't time it forget it!  My timing is the minute he calms down whether that be a minute or 10 he stays there.  The second he stops I immediatley say "I put you in time out because you were misbehaving and are you sorry."  He will hug me and give me a kiss.  You have to set some rules they need structure. 

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#34 of 50 Old 10-23-2012, 08:19 AM
 
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Timeouts saved my sanity!!!  For a short period between 22-24MO my DS's temper tantrums escalated.  The screaming, whining, hitting, throwing and I love how everyone is quick to say find the trigger!  Yeah good luck with that one when one second a perfectly content angel that a split second later turns into a nightmarish storm!  When it's over not getting their way, tiredness, or hunger they do it to be brats!  The most important thing to do is correct the behavior.  This morning for example: DS wanted to watch trains but he kept on saying George.  So stupid me turns on curious george and he has a meltdown.  What I do is turn the tv off and immediately put him in time out.  He can't hear me over his screaming but for the sake of my sanity.  I will say intill you calm down and behave like a good little boy you are in timeout.   I don't time it forget it!  My timing is the minute he calms down whether that be a minute or 10 he stays there.  The second he stops I immediatley say "I put you in time out because you were misbehaving and are you sorry."  He will hug me and give me a kiss.  You have to set some rules they need structure. 

If you understood brain development at all you would know that they are not doing it to be brats.  When a toddler has a melt down they are completely out of control, from a pure chemical/brain perspective not because they are trying to be bad, be a brat, manipulate you or otherwise.  So you are punishing your DS for something he can't control.  I'm not talking about 4 or 5 year olds, but young toddlers.


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#35 of 50 Old 10-23-2012, 11:43 AM
 
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We only use time outs at our house when a child physically hurts someone.  It's not really an official time out either.  We say, "We don't hit.  I can not allow you to hit xyz...I'm putting you in a safe place until I know you have calmed down and won't hit xyz". 

 

If a child is screaming/whining/begging for something, we say in a very calm quiet voice, "I can't understand what you want, can you please ask me with nice words?"  If the screaming continues, I say, "you seem very upset, do you need a hug?"  If the screaming still continues, I say "I'm right here if you need me.  Let me know when you're ready to tell me what you need."  I stay close, but I don't engage.  I let him come to me.

 

I didn't read all of the replies, so if this is a repeat of something someone already said, I apologize!
 

 

I forgot to add that if one of my kids wants to do something that they just cannot do because of safety, huge mess, what have you...I try to find a good compromise.  For example, my 2yo loves to climb up to really high places, then jump off.  He's broken his arm and has had a concussion because of this love of his (kid is super fast!).  So instead of just telling him, "No!"  I say, "Remember when you had to ride in the ambulance to the hospital?  Jumping from there is not safe.  Let's put the couch cushions on the floor and you can jump onto them instead.


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#36 of 50 Old 10-23-2012, 03:42 PM
 
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If you understood brain development at all you would know that they are not doing it to be brats.  When a toddler has a melt down they are completely out of control, from a pure chemical/brain perspective not because they are trying to be bad, be a brat, manipulate you or otherwise.  So you are punishing your DS for something he can't control.  I'm not talking about 4 or 5 year olds, but young toddlers.


I call it exactly like I see it.  When a child exhibits "brat" like behavior he is therefore being a brat.  I'm not going to sugar coat it.  I'm not one to just let my kid scream his head off for hours because he's having a "chemical/brain reaction!"  Seriously who says that!   They have no grasp of their emotions but they understand a lot more then you can imagine.  They are not as helpless/innocent as you are perceiving them to be.  

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#37 of 50 Old 10-23-2012, 03:49 PM
 
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I call it exactly like I see it.  When a child exhibits "brat" like behavior he is therefore being a brat.  I'm not going to sugar coat it.  I'm not one to just let my kid scream his head off for hours because he's having a "chemical/brain reaction!"  Seriously who says that!   They have no grasp of their emotions but they understand a lot more then you can imagine.  They are not as helpless/innocent as you are perceiving them to be.  

I don't let my DS be a "brat" or scream for hours either.  I don't let him do what he wants.  I discipline him, but this is not synonymous with punishment. I distract him, remove him from the situation, ask him to use his words because I don't understand him...There are a lot of options and they have been outlined pretty well here.

 

Who says that?  Someone who's done their research.  Go ahead, do some yourself. 

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#38 of 50 Old 10-23-2012, 04:56 PM
 
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I don't let my DS be a "brat" or scream for hours either.  I don't let him do what he wants.  I discipline him, but this is not synonymous with punishment. I distract him, remove him from the situation, ask him to use his words because I don't understand him...There are a lot of options and they have been outlined pretty well here.

 

Who says that?  Someone who's done their research.  Go ahead, do some yourself. 


Yet again contradiction!  "I don't let him do what he wants" ok but in your term it's a brain/chemical thing if he reacts!  If you really did your research and fully grasp just how the brain operates.  It may surprise you to learn that there is such thing as Cognition

 

The definition in case you haven't done your research:

cog·ni·tion  (kobreve.gifg-nibreve.gifshprime.gifschwa.gifn)

n.
1. The mental process of knowing, including aspects such as awareness, perception, reasoning, and judgment.
2. That which comes to be known, as through perception, reasoning, or intuition; knowledge.
 
So apart of growing up in this big big word is learning from your environment.  How does a little toddler learn from his/her
environment.  Testing boundaries! exploring!  OMG if I throw a temper tantrum mom or dad will give me what I want---->Imagine that! But
in your terms they are just these little fragile innocent don't know any better beings.  Toddlers and children know a lot more than people
like you give them credit for.  Also just an FYI think of the brain as a whole and not limited to "the chemical process."  GL! 
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#39 of 50 Old 10-23-2012, 05:13 PM
 
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Including a definition of "cognition" does nothing to aid your argument, seeing as you've provided no evidence that tantrums aren't developmentally appropriate for toddlers or evidence of what toddlers are actually supposed to be cognitive of. I find it sad that adults call small children brats - it's insulting their own child. Tantrums are how toddlers release emotion and express frustration, especially if they haven't developed a large enough vocabulary to be able to express their emotions using words.

 

Accepting tantrums are part of normal toddler behaviour doesn't mean a parent sets no limits. But there is a difference between setting limits and gentle guidance (for example, explaining why he/she cannot have what they want at that time) and punishments like time out.


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#40 of 50 Old 10-23-2012, 05:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, the more I think about how time outs work the more it seems to send the underlying pinishment method. Tat is just one way of parenting- and I can see how it can work to help keep kids in line. Another method is trying not to use punishments but instead teaching the child about appropriate behavior without punishments. I guess that was the original question I had been thinking about- when my 2.5 yr old was being a brat for a few days in a row, I was wondering if I should be instilling some kind of consequence for that to try to get him to be more polite! But after reading this thread ad thinking about time outs I know that is not right for us- as that  just doesn't feel right to how I want to raise my child.

But when the previous poster described how she uses time outs and they help her, I can understand that from her perspective. I think it is just two very different styles of parenting.

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#41 of 50 Old 10-23-2012, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I wouldn't want to use a time out because it feels like it is alienating the child from me as a punishment and I would not want to set up that dynamic with my child. I want to be the support my child can run to even if they are not behaving right at that time. I want to be stern if I need to be in telling them no to behavior that I don't want them to do- but I don't think having them go away alone and calm themselves down is a healthy way to teach a child appropriate behavior. Better to just accept that often times they are learning things for the first time and I need to teach more than punish! thanks for helping me to clarify this in my process.

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#42 of 50 Old 10-23-2012, 08:16 PM
 
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Yet again contradiction!  "I don't let him do what he wants" ok but in your term it's a brain/chemical thing if he reacts!  If you really did your research and fully grasp just how the brain operates.  It may surprise you to learn that there is such thing as Cognition

 

The definition in case you haven't done your research:

cog·ni·tion  (kobreve.gifg-nibreve.gifshprime.gifschwa.gifn)

n.
1. The mental process of knowing, including aspects such as awareness, perception, reasoning, and judgment.
2. That which comes to be known, as through perception, reasoning, or intuition; knowledge.
 
So apart of growing up in this big big word is learning from your environment.  How does a little toddler learn from his/her
environment.  Testing boundaries! exploring!  OMG if I throw a temper tantrum mom or dad will give me what I want---->Imagine that! But
in your terms they are just these little fragile innocent don't know any better beings.  Toddlers and children know a lot more than people
like you give them credit for.  Also just an FYI think of the brain as a whole and not limited to "the chemical process."  GL! 

Where is the contradiction?  There is a difference between recognizing that a toddler cannot help but have a tantrum and allowing them to continue with a behavior that is not appropriate.  Just because he can't help the tantrum doesn't mean that I can't intervene in the behavior.  It's how I chose to react to the situatioin that is the difference. 

 

I do agree with you that toddlers and children know more than we give them credit for, and I do agree that they learn by testing boundaries and exploring.  Again, the difference is in my reaction to these learnings. 

 

I would invite you to read some articles on this subject rather than taking my word for it.  I recognize that these are not from academic journals, but don't have time to dredge that up right now (or the library access).  If you are interested I am sure you could find the studies behind these articles.

 

Here is an excerpt from the first article that explains what I was trying to explain much more eloquently:

 

"So what is happening with a 'toddler tantrum'?

Most toddler tantrums are triggered by anticipation of something: an anticipation that is denied.   The denial sets up feelings of 'loss' that upset the child's brain chemistry.

Babies have grown used to their 'needs' - hunger, cold etc, and have worked them down pat.  They know if they tell you they are hungry or whatever, you will attend to them.  These are direct physiological needs and they respond at the time of the need - I am hungry, feed me.

There comes a point, however, when their horizons and their expectations, and their sense of time, expands.  They see a red blob in the distance, and they are intrigued, and they reach up and their hand moves and it is in their fist!  Miracle!  they begin on the path of wants, not needs.  I want pretty thing, I want hug, I want dog tail.  I want candle flame.  

But the distinction between a want and a need, is not in them: that's quite high level functioning.  You can see they don'tneed the candle flame.  They can't.  They need candle flame.  Candle flame is fun, candle flame is nice candle flame is..... going away!  Mummy take candle flame away!  Mummy take away my need!  

When this happens, when toddler brain has built up an expectation of something, an antcipation of it, and it doesn't get it, the toddler is plunged into a world of loss and pain.  A huge chemical hormone wave pulses out of the immature brain and floods the toddler's body with distress hormones.  The toddler is powerless to control it - is at its mercy.  It cannot get the inbetween bits to intervene, it cannot reason, it cannot negotiate a safe space to be in in order to calm down.  Only one person can do that - the adult in charge of the toddler."

 

Please enjoy.

 

http://attachedparents.livejournal.com/648806.html

 

http://www.squidoo.com/tantrumschildren

 

http://www.drmomma.org/2010/01/tackling-distress-tantrums-with-brain.html


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#43 of 50 Old 10-24-2012, 04:36 AM
 
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Including a definition of "cognition" does nothing to aid your argument, seeing as you've provided no evidence that tantrums aren't developmentally appropriate for toddlers or evidence of what toddlers are actually supposed to be cognitive of. I find it sad that adults call small children brats - it's insulting their own child. Tantrums are how toddlers release emotion and express frustration, especially if they haven't developed a large enough vocabulary to be able to express their emotions using words.

 

Accepting tantrums are part of normal toddler behaviour doesn't mean a parent sets no limits. But there is a difference between setting limits and gentle guidance (for example, explaining why he/she cannot have what they want at that time) and punishments like time out.

 

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#44 of 50 Old 10-24-2012, 02:52 PM
 
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Nstewart

 

My final bit of advice to you.  Read and re read this cause what you wrote is a bunch of hot air.  Of course you didn't really listen to me so here re-read this then just maybe you will get it.

 

When I wrote:

OMG if I throw a temper tantrum mom or dad will give me what I want---->Imagine that!

 

Really sit back and think about what those words mean.  It's obvious you just randomly googled things and taken lots of things out of context.   

 

Here I will leave you with one more definition to ponder:

 

con·tra·dic·tion  (kobreve.gifnlprime.giftrschwa.gif-dibreve.gifkprime.gifshschwa.gifn)

n.
1.
a. The act of contradicting.
b. The state of being contradicted.
2. A denial.
3. Inconsistency; discrepancy.
4. Something that contains contradictory elements.
 
Particularly pay close attention to number 3.  Good luck Dr google of medicine! :) 

 

Wow, defensive much!

 

It's also pretty obvious that you didn't read my response.  I pretty clearly stated that I don't give my DS what he wants when he throws a tantrum. Could you please be more specific about what part of my response is a bunch of hot air?  And what's taken out of context? 

 

It's also pretty clear that you haven't read through this entire thread.  I'm not the only person here to disagree with you.  Did you look at any of the articles?  I doubt it.

 

Could you also please provide some evidence to back up your "parenting advice"?  So far it's just your opinion which I don't feel is any more valid than mine, except that I am basing mine on parenting books and resources and you haven't made it clear that you're doing the same.  I am always happy to learn (which is why I love MDC) so if you have some up to date advice from someone who is AP friendly that says time outs are a great way to deal with toddler tantrums and why I will certainly read and consider the information (You might find google helpful). 

 

You are right, I did google "Toddler Tantrum Brain Chemistry".  What search terms do you recommend?  I did also find some articles linked through the Chicago Psychiatry Department if you are interested, you should be able to find those as well.  But they weren't academic journals (again, I don't have the library access for those), they were interviews/articles based on information from various researchers in that department (oh, and Yale and Harvard).  I recall one links to the NY Times.  Try checking there. 

 

If you'd like, pick up "The Discipline Book" by Dr. Sears.  The same information is there, and I'm pretty sure that Dr. Sears' degree isn't from google like mine is. winky.gif

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#45 of 50 Old 10-25-2012, 06:02 AM
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Lulu0910, please step back and reword your posts to avoid being adversarial in tone. This discussion can be had without the personally pointed words. Post about the topic, not the individual.


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#46 of 50 Old 10-25-2012, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Lulu:

I totally agree with you that it is our job as parents to set limits for our hcildren. And to teach them what the limits are and showing them when no means no. We do need to raise them to get along with other ppl and know societies ways of interacting and so forth.

 

I also am glad you have posted so clearly and openly about how time outs work for you. I can see how having a firm boundary can be good for a child.

 

I think the discrepinsie (spelling?!) is in the way it is taught- in time outs it seems like a punishment happens when a hcild is learning his or her boundaries- so if they throw the thing they should not throw they get "in troublr"- at least on a mental level made to feel that they have done something worng. But the thing is they are learning all these things for the first time- so there is no need to have anger/badness/pinishment all along the road of teaching them the rules, in my opinion.

 

Instead looking at it as all a learning process for the child- we can teach them what is right and wrong and say no and mean it- but maybe having gentle ways to enforce- not focusing on the punishment but rather teaching and then moving on to the next thing and leaving the punishment part out.

I think that is what ppl are advocating here.

Of course this is an attachment parenting focused group so most of us are on one side of the topic. It is good to have you here to help get the conversation moving.

I Am glad I opened up this topic as i think it is a gray area many of us are learning ow to rasie well behaved kids while leaving out the anger/punishment if we can.

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#47 of 50 Old 10-25-2012, 01:03 PM
 
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I think time-outs can be an amazingly effective tool, when used correctly thumb.gif My DD is almost 3 and on the "spirited" side, so we've adopted time-outs for only the most extreme tantrums.

 

Situation: DD is freaking about something (the string cheese is all gone?? Horror!!). Tears are starting to flow and her protests are increasing in volume. Mama immediately applies hugs and "I understand you're upset, but the cheese is all gone. Would you like some carrots instead?" Of course, carrots are not a suitable replacement for string cheese! DD flings self on floor and starts shrieking.

 

At this point, no hug/redirection/empathy from mama will "break through" to her, so DD needs to reset and calm down. I pick up flailing child, bring her to her room, give her her blankie, put her on her bed, kiss her cheek and say "it's time to calm down now, I will be right back when you are all done crying". I leave the room and close the door only halfway, and wait outside in the hall. It usually takes less than 2 minutes for DD to realize that being in her room is boring and that carrots are pretty awesome after all. As soon as she's done crying, I go in and pick her up and administer lots of hugs and reassurance: "It's ok, we'll get cheese at the store tomorrow. Let's go get some carrots and we'll color, ok?"

 

I really don't think it's doing any damage or hurting DD's self-esteem to help her step back from a situation and reflect on it. Isn't that what we do as adults? If you're having a bad day, doesn't it help to just step outside or into a quiet room and breathe for a minute or two? Basically I'm just providing a change of scenery, taking her away from the situation and into a safe place so she can relax and reflect. Since we've starting doing this, her tantrums have decreased dramatically, maybe only once or twice a month now compared to several each day. I don't feel like I'm "withholding love" or anything like that, I'm just helping her learn to cope and center herself.


~ Sarah ~ Living the mountain life with DH Dan hug.gif & DD Lillian 1.6.10 energy.gifand DS Jack 10.22.11 babyboy.gif Trying to find time to sewmachine.gif!!

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#48 of 50 Old 10-25-2012, 02:36 PM
 
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I don't think small children being left alone when they're upset means they're reflecting on the situation. Yes, they'll eventually calm down - but the message is "I won't help you learn to deal with your emotions, if you have big feelings you're on your own."

 

Adults might choose to take time alone but their brains are very different to that of a toddler's or young child's. It can be quite frightening for a young child to be separated from their parent and unable to reach them.

 

I'm not especially convinced when people discuss the 'effectiveness' of different ways of punishing or training children. CIO may be 'effective' in stopping a child from trying to communicate at night, but it doesn't mean the child is actually sleeping and it's detrimental in various ways. Punishing children for tantrums (again - this is normal developmental behaviour for small children) may reduce incidence of tantrums, but it doesn't mean the child has learned to process their emotions or found better ways of expressing them. It may just mean they bottle up those emotions because of fear of punishment. I understand that this makes life easier on the parent, but it isn't in the best interests of the child. 


New Zealander in the Maldives. Mother to my lovely Mila Arden and due March 2014 with baby number two!
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#49 of 50 Old 10-25-2012, 06:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I agreee with lovemila. it just doesn't sit right with me to teach a very young child that when they are expressing unhappy emotions they need to go be alone and away from mom and dad until they can control themselves! That is sad in my opionion and does do some dammage to their sense of self.

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#50 of 50 Old 10-30-2012, 09:04 AM
 
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I will use time outs if ds is hitting or otherwise hurting people (he goes through hitting, biting, hair pulling stages, sigh) because I feel like that is a natural consequence-you hurt others, you don't get to play with them any more.  Also, I don't necessarily call them time-outs, I just say you have to go to your room to calm down until you can stop hurting me/your sister/etc. 

 

Otherwise, I generally redirect rather than sending to time out.  Ds loves to play in the fridge too, so I will sometimes have to physically stand in front of the fridge or hold the doors shut while he screams to get in there while explaning to him that we do not play in the fridge.  He is incredibly stubborn, so this will often repeat all day and can be very frustrating to me. 

 

Like a PP, I will occasionally take a time-out for myself if I feel like I am going to lose it by putting them in their room while I cool off. 


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