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#1 of 134 Old 08-31-2010, 03:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Last night I went out to eat- we were sitting outside and a mom came out with her daughter.

The girl was crying ( I didn't see her but I think she was probably around 8) and the mom said "you decided to leave your dolly in the car, remember?" the girl said "Thats because I didn't want to lose her, I didn't know this place would be so boring!" and the mom repeated that she had chosen to leave her doll in the car, and that when you make a choice you have to live with it. The girl said "I didn't know there wouldn't be coloring stuff here! I'm so bored, I just want something to play with! You are talking with your friend and no one is talking to me and I'm bored!" and the mom said "Thats what happens when you go to adult restaurants. They don't always have coloring things. When you stop crying we can go back inside."

I didn't hear any more of the conversation and I don't know what they ended up doing, but I was interested in this because my LO is still so little, so I haven't really had to deal with a situation like that.

I think I would have let her get her doll from the car once I realized that there wasn't anything to color or anything for her to keep occupied. I think the argument that "thats what happens when you go to adult places" stinks because I doubt the little girl chose the place..
I'm not sure that the lesson of "you have to stick to your choices" is something I value. I think teaching problem solving skills is a better lesson.

So would you have gone to get the doll from the car? (I have no idea where the car was parked, if that makes a difference) or at least somehow brainstormed with her things to do until the food came?
Or do you think that kids should stick to the choices they make?

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#2 of 134 Old 08-31-2010, 03:33 PM
 
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Yeah, I would have gotten the doll.

I've uttered the "you made this choice" line myself, but nothing like the situation you described.

I'm impressed with the child's cognitive and verbal abilities (unless she was like 8 - I was picturing age 3-5 maybe).

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#3 of 134 Old 08-31-2010, 03:33 PM
 
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I would get it, but that's just me. My dd is only 2.5, but I always make sure we have at least something ( a book, toy, crayons etc.) to bring with when we go out to eat. If it had been a case of the mom insisting that the girl bring her doll in and the girl refusing and the mother warning her she might get bored, I can see why she's saying the little girl has to live with the choice.

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#4 of 134 Old 08-31-2010, 03:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was also impressed with her abilities- thats why I imagined that she must have been around 8. her voice didn't sound like a really little kid either. but thats just a guess.

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#5 of 134 Old 08-31-2010, 03:38 PM
 
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I'd guess the girl was quite a bit younger, 8 seems quite a way above the crying for your doll because there are no crayons type of thing.

If she was younger, I'd probably get the doll, but if she really was around 8, no, I wouldn't.
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#6 of 134 Old 08-31-2010, 03:39 PM
 
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no i wouldn't have gotten the doll, especially if this girl was 8.

you don't know the backstory. this girl could have been told that it woudl be boring, that it was not a kids restaurant, etc.

An 8yo is more than old enough to sit in a restaurant without having to have something to do/play with until food comes.
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#7 of 134 Old 08-31-2010, 03:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MadiMamacita View Post
Last night I went out to eat- we were sitting outside and a mom came out with her daughter.

The girl was crying ( I didn't see her but I think she was probably around 8) and the mom said "you decided to leave your dolly in the car, remember?" the girl said "Thats because I didn't want to lose her, I didn't know this place would be so boring!" and the mom repeated that she had chosen to leave her doll in the car, and that when you make a choice you have to live with it. The girl said "I didn't know there wouldn't be coloring stuff here! I'm so bored, I just want something to play with! You are talking with your friend and no one is talking to me and I'm bored!" and the mom said "Thats what happens when you go to adult restaurants. They don't always have coloring things. When you stop crying we can go back inside."

I didn't hear any more of the conversation and I don't know what they ended up doing, but I was interested in this because my LO is still so little, so I haven't really had to deal with a situation like that.

I think I would have let her get her doll from the car once I realized that there wasn't anything to color or anything for her to keep occupied. I think the argument that "thats what happens when you go to adult places" stinks because I doubt the little girl chose the place..
I'm not sure that the lesson of "you have to stick to your choices" is something I value. I think teaching problem solving skills is a better lesson.

So would you have gone to get the doll from the car? (I have no idea where the car was parked, if that makes a difference) or at least somehow brainstormed with her things to do until the food came?
Or do you think that kids should stick to the choices they make?
Well, by the tone of the conversation, I am assuming Mom asked her more then once if she was sure she didn't want to bring her dolly in so she wouldn't be bored and even made her aware that it would not be fun. I am pretty sure I have had almost the same conversation with my son. Is it a big deal to get the doll? Probably not, but if she gave the child a choice several times before leaving the car, yeah I would make my kids deal with the choice made. If you give in to one request such as this, then the next time the child expects you to as well until it REALLY gets to be a pain in the butt. I actually agree with the mother completely and seems like she handled it pretty well. Sometimes children have to deal with adult situations and if mom gave her the choice to make it a little less boring before going in and the child chose to disregard that, then the consequences (being bored) should be learned... but that's just my opinion. I think it's okay for kids to be bored sometimes if they've been warned. (Heck, her mom may have even tried to talk her out of going to the restaurant all together. We don't know what the conversations were BEFOREHAND.)

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#8 of 134 Old 08-31-2010, 03:40 PM
 
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with only such a small piece it is hard to Judge. Judgment is something I try to avoid, though I also fall into it still I am sure. Something you may not have considered. Perhaps the small child was given an option to stay home with dad or another caregiver and said they wanted to go to the adult place. Perhaps mother really didn't want her to make that choice again so she was purposely hoping the child would find it unpleasant so she could go to lunch with only adults next time. Perhaps they are really working on choices in their personal journey and the mother is using this as a valuable lesson about choices and life. Again, with only 1% of the information, we cannot know and judgment is useless IMO.

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#9 of 134 Old 08-31-2010, 03:41 PM
 
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I think we all of us have to learn to cope. Eight years old is old enough to learn how to cope with an uncomfortable, boring situation without crying.

Though I handle that same situation differently with my son. I would have asked the server if there was any blank paper to be had, pulled a pen from my purse, and played hangman while chatting with my friends. Voila, everyone's happy!

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#10 of 134 Old 08-31-2010, 03:42 PM
 
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I'd guess the girl was quite a bit younger, 8 seems quite a way above the crying for your doll because there are no crayons type of thing.

If she was younger, I'd probably get the doll, but if she really was around 8, no, I wouldn't.
I don't know... my almost 7 year old "spirited" son throws fits more akin to a 2 year old over stuff like this so 8 is definitely possible.

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#11 of 134 Old 08-31-2010, 03:46 PM
 
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IMO being 'bored' isnt a punishment. It sounds like the child was already given the opportunity to bring her toy with her and she chose to leave it in the car. As a mom I've made this decision with my son many times. Im sorry but Im not going back, and I've also made the decision that if you bring something you are responsible for it. Really at 8 yrs old dinner w.o crayons isn't that big of a deal, she was probably 5 or under and just had good verbal skills.

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#12 of 134 Old 08-31-2010, 03:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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with only such a small piece it is hard to Judge. Judgment is something I try to avoid, though I also fall into it still I am sure. Something you may not have considered. Perhaps the small child was given an option to stay home with dad or another caregiver and said they wanted to go to the adult place. Perhaps mother really didn't want her to make that choice again so she was purposely hoping the child would find it unpleasant so she could go to lunch with only adults next time. Perhaps they are really working on choices in their personal journey and the mother is using this as a valuable lesson about choices and life. Again, with only 1% of the information, we cannot know and judgment is useless IMO.
Thats why I didn't get involved or say something or some other busy-body type activity. I wasn't trying to be judgmental, I was just thinking about the situation and wondering how I would deal with it if it were me, since I only have a little guy and haven't approached that type of situation yet.

FWIW, the mom said "remeber when So-and-SO asked you if you wanted to bring your doll and you said no?"
so it didn't sound like she had asked her repeatedly and reminded her that she would be bored otherwise. but like you say, I was only privvy to a few seconds of conversation so who knows.

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#13 of 134 Old 08-31-2010, 04:01 PM
 
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My first instinct is to say I would get the doll, however, the fact that the girl was crying in the restaurant (at an older age?) may be why the mom held her to her earlier decision. I mean, if my kid threw a fit inside while we were trying to have a pleasant meal, their reward shouldn't be getting their way and going to the car to grab the toy. The mom removed her, b/c she was causing a scene. Yeah, since they were already disturbed and probably halfway to where the doll was - it would a quick enough fix to go get it. But especially with an older child (like over 5), I wonder if the mom was trying to teach he she can't act up in public just to get her way (especially since she declined to bring it in the first place).

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#14 of 134 Old 08-31-2010, 04:04 PM
 
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I don't know about that specific situation as we're only hearing about a small part, but generally when my 8-year-old is bored and has something that will amuse her in the car, we run out and get it. No big deal.
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#15 of 134 Old 08-31-2010, 04:08 PM
 
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My first instinct was also to just go get the doll. The poor kid is bored. But I agree it's hard to say without more backstory. Maybe this is a constant problem, the girl is repeatedly asked if she wants to bring X toy to X place and she says no, and then when they get there she wants it, and mom has to go get it. Maybe she asked her several times before getting out of the car. And it sounds like it. So. I dunno. It really depends.

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#16 of 134 Old 08-31-2010, 04:14 PM
 
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So would you have gone to get the doll from the car?
It depends on the circumstance… My son is 8, which I must say is kind of a stubborn age. They say that 7 is the age of reason but I think that passes by 8 Anyway, there have been times where he's been in a mood and would choose to leave something behind in the car, or at home, or whatever, KNOWING that he might not be entertained otherwise. In those cases, he made his choice with the knowledge that he might be bored he if continued to be stubborn, so he has to deal with that.

If he didn’t know that there wouldn’t be something to color or whatnot, and I didn’t tell him of the possibility beforehand, I would definitely let him go back to the car to get something.

But that honestly doesn’t happen much. It’s usually the first situation where my son just wants to hold out and be stubborn (cut off his nose to spite his face) so I can easily see myself being “that mother” and telling him that he made his choice and now he needs to deal with it.

I can only speak for myself and my son though. I know how he is, and how he can be, and it isn't helpful to give in to him with things like this. It stinks when it happens, but it helps him to remember to make good decisions in the future.

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#17 of 134 Old 08-31-2010, 04:16 PM
 
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It doesn't matter to me how many times I ask my kid something. Getting a doll out the car is just not this big of a deal to me. I understand boredom very well and I really, really, really don't like being bored. If this had been me, I would have let the girl get her doll. It is just not that serious. I value my child and her feelings more than some arbitrary "you must learn to stick things out and learn to stick to your choices" thing. Even as adults, when we can remedy a situation and make it better for ourselves, we do. Why teach a child that it's not possible or ideal? Life is difficult enough without letting my kid cry over a doll. If the mother had been bored, would she have stayed there? Or would she have bought herself some alcohol to tame the boredom? Acting like a child has no options when adults have all the options is just unfair and unreasonable to me.

Okay, I'm getting into vent mode, so...blah.

Oh, and I was going to mention that if the girl was indeed 8 or so, she could go to the car herself and get the doll. Mom doesn't even need to be involved in that part.

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#18 of 134 Old 08-31-2010, 04:16 PM
 
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I probably would have planned better.

But, I'm guessing the little girl could have stayed home with Daddy, and that mommy really wanted some alone/grownup time. I think Mommy was just as disappointed as the daughter was. The next time she says "I want to go too", mommy can remind her how bored she was the last time.

I'm not condoning that... but, I've done it with my daughter. Or, I'd try to convince her to do something, and she'd make the wrong choice, so I'd say "Well, you have to stick with this then, are you sure?". And, if she said "Yes", we'd stick to it. Even if she changed her mind later on.

My aunt had custody of her grand kids. When Amber was about seven, we went to a mall, where Amber demanded to carry her purse into the mall. My aunt said "OK, but you have to carry it, because I'm not going to carry it". Before we were even across the parking lot, Amber shoved it at my aunt and said "You carry it". So, My aunt carried it. I made a decision that day (and I was only about 15 yrs old) to always make my kids pick, and stick with it. I compromised on that when I had kids, but I do believe in that... to a point. I would have tried to plan the restaurant trip better, but if my child decided to leave her toys in the car, we'd live with that. She wont die of boredom.
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#19 of 134 Old 08-31-2010, 04:22 PM
 
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It sounds like the child was already given the opportunity to bring her toy with her and she chose to leave it in the car. As a mom I've made this decision with my son many times. Im sorry but Im not going back, and I've also made the decision that if you bring something you are responsible for it. Really at 8 yrs old dinner w.o crayons isn't that big of a deal, she was probably 5 or under and just had good verbal skills.
That's what I was thinking as well. This sounds like a conversation I would be having with my 4 year old.

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#20 of 134 Old 08-31-2010, 04:22 PM
 
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My dd is 8.

If we went somewhere that there unexpectedly was nothing for her to do... and I was visiting with a friend so she had NOBODY to interact with... then yes, we'd go back and get it.

If we went somewhere that we knew would not be anything and I warned her, then no.

If the friend was not there, then we'd find something to do to occupy each other and not go back for it.

My dd has never been a crier, though, so the crying would not be a situation I would be familiar with handling (even at 4 or 5) so I can't comment on that part of it. If she were crying, I'd immediately think she was getting sick and we'd get our food to go and leave. We've never had to do that, but, that's what I think I would probably do.

So... I guess without additional info, it's impossible to say.
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#21 of 134 Old 08-31-2010, 04:23 PM
 
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In my life as the mother of an 8yo, if "you decided to leave the doll" comes out of my mouth, it means that we've already discussed the situation and she had several chances to decide to bring her toy into the restaurant, and if "that's what adult restaurants are like" comes out of my mouth, it means that we've already discussed the situation and she was warned it would be boring and she had several chances to decide to stay home or go to a friend's.

So yeah, I'm projecting, but under the circumstances I would not have a whole lot of sympathy for her and would not be going to fetch the desired toy. I would have sympathy for other restaurant-goers and would give her a pencil and paper from my purse.

If we truly hadn't realized it would be so boring -- no kids' menus with crayons, long wait for food -- or the doll had been forgotten, I would go get it long before a meltdown.

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#22 of 134 Old 08-31-2010, 05:25 PM
 
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It sounds like the child was already given the opportunity to bring her toy with her and she chose to leave it in the car. As a mom I've made this decision with my son many times. Im sorry but Im not going back, and I've also made the decision that if you bring something you are responsible for it. Really at 8 yrs old dinner w.o crayons isn't that big of a deal, she was probably 5 or under and just had good verbal skills.
I agree.

Maybe I'm a horrible mom. But my youngest went through a stage where he would change his mind about something 20 times in as many minutes, and if I let him get going on that route it would be a sure tantrum (and a mental breakdown for me). So the rule is, we talk about it, I give you the options, and you pick one. Period. The end. I'm not playing that game.

Could be the mom in the situation really is uncaring and mean. However, knowing that someone might overhear me saying something similiar, and not knowing any background on that family, I'd say it's best to reserve judgement.
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#23 of 134 Old 08-31-2010, 05:34 PM
 
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I wouldn't have gotten the doll to reinforce that she made a decision to leave the doll in the car, however, with her verbal abilities, I sure as heck would be talking to her to entertain her and see what is going on with her. I mean school either just started or is starting... I can't imagine you can't come up with stuff to talk about.
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#24 of 134 Old 08-31-2010, 05:36 PM
 
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In my life as the mother of an 8yo, if "you decided to leave the doll" comes out of my mouth, it means that we've already discussed the situation and she had several chances to decide to bring her toy into the restaurant, and if "that's what adult restaurants are like" comes out of my mouth, it means that we've already discussed the situation and she was warned it would be boring and she had several chances to decide to stay home or go to a friend's.

So yeah, I'm projecting, but under the circumstances I would not have a whole lot of sympathy for her and would not be going to fetch the desired toy. I would have sympathy for other restaurant-goers and would give her a pencil and paper from my purse.

If we truly hadn't realized it would be so boring -- no kids' menus with crayons, long wait for food -- or the doll had been forgotten, I would go get it long before a meltdown.
This is exactly what I was thinking. Those two lines in particular make it seem to me that these things had been discussed prior to the trip and the child made a particular set of choices despite fair warning and being advised to the contrary.

The only thing that bugs me though is the girl's line "nobody is talking to me." I have a teen now, and when she was younger and I went out with my friends, we still included her as best we could. Or, I left her home regardless of whether she wanted to come or not. You don't bring a kid out to eat with you and totally ignore her.


One other thing though...I might have been inclined to just bring the doll in anyway. Just sneak it in my purse and then that way when the kid flips out it's already there.
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#25 of 134 Old 08-31-2010, 05:37 PM
 
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Is it a big deal for kids to change their minds? I saw someone said something about their kid changing his/her mind like 20 times over something, and I can definitely see getting irritated over something excessive like that, but my dd will sometimes say she wants to keep something in the car and then change her mind once, and I'll let her go back and get it. I sometimes change my mind about similar things and allow myself to get something I hadn't planned on bringing as well. Why is this a big deal?
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#26 of 134 Old 08-31-2010, 05:39 PM
 
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I would have brought stuff for my daughter to do, even if she did leave the dolly in the car. What kid wants to sit and listen to adults talking? The least the mother could do was plan a little something for her daughter to do while she went out with friends. I can remember going to the wallpaper store with my mom while she shopped for what seemed like HOURS. Good lord, I can still remember the sheer boredom.

On a related note, we went to a friend's place to swim on the weekend, and a 4-year-old in the pool was asking her mom--who was in the pool, too--to swim over and get her. The lifejacket she had on was too big and she was scared. And the mother said "ah, that's what you get in life. you have to figure this one out for yourself. people can't come and help you all the time." I mean, I get the lesson and all, but it seemed a bit harsh.

So I guess some mothers have different lesson barometres than others.

Woman, Wife, Mom to beautiful DD (10/14/09), Copywriter, occasionally tearing my hair out but usually pretty happy about it all
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#27 of 134 Old 08-31-2010, 06:00 PM
 
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DD is 8 and I can totally see this happening. DD is a very emotional child and I can picture me explaining to her that I was going out to eat with a friend and if she was going to come she needed to bring something to entertain herself. I can then totally see her deciding at the restaurant that she didn't want to take her item in because she wanted to talk with us adults. If the conversation was boring, she would then want to go get item and because of unmet expectations, she would start crying. We'd then go out to the parking lot until she calmed down.

I would probably let her get the doll after she calmed down and we discussed why next time she needed to be better prepared. I also now she would tell me she was being ignored just because to her the conversation was boring--even if we did include her.

If I walked by the mom and daughter, I would have let out a huge sigh of relief, knowing I wasn't the only one
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#28 of 134 Old 08-31-2010, 06:02 PM
 
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Well, if I had thought I wouldn't need something and left it in the car, and then decided I really needed it, I'd go out and get it. I wouldn't sit there telling myself, "I made the choice and now I have to live with it."

So I don't see why I wouldn't let an 8yo go get her doll from the car.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#29 of 134 Old 08-31-2010, 06:09 PM
 
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I'd have gotten the doll.
I honestly couldn't imagine standing outside a restaurant trying to teach my kid a valueable life lesson while my dinner's inside growing cold.
Life's too short.
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#30 of 134 Old 08-31-2010, 06:09 PM
 
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I always make sure dd has something to occupy her, or we'll make a dolly out of the napkins or play "I Spy" or something.

I have definitely had the "you make choices and have to deal with the consequences" discussion lots of times w/ dd (more in reference to helping her understand a negative consequence to a decision--like how you spoke to your friend hurt her feelings, and now she's not sure she wants to play with you, etc), and I do think that's important for them to eventually "get", but if my kid were expressing her needs (for stimulation and an appropriate activity in an adult environment) that clearly, I would definitely take the problem solving route with her.

This makes me sad for that little girl. Maybe I'm just extra sensitive today, but it seems kind of extreme to time out a kid over wanting an activity . . .

Happy and in love with my family!
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