why is it my kids never behave but other kids do? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-18-2010, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post

I do appreciate the replies, but its sounds like the assumption is that i  just let my kids disrupt everyone. I am a polite person, so  i do not allow this, and i take them out. It is very very very very exhausting for me. I am trying to figure out why other parents just sit there, and so do their kids (most of them), while mine donT. Admittedly, my 5yo is usually ok, not always. He has matured a bit and maturity plays into this.  But he can still act goofy while his peers wouldnt dare.

As for keeping my 2yo near me, you havent seen my 2yo. He is not your average clingy toddler. He is fearless, and runs off. It wouldnt matter how many times i grabbed him and kept him by my side. He would go off again. As long as i think he's safe, i cut him some slack. When it came to the playground, he repeatedly snuck back out again.  He wouldnt take no for an answer. My 5yo was less interested, being 5, and found  a pillar he could run around (that he wasnt supposed to) He found another 5yo friend to do the same. I let him because i couldnt see the harm, and was busy with  2yo.

 

Other kids tho, just wouldnt do it. I watch in amazement as 2 year olds stick by their caregiver. Especially girls. Mine dont do that.

I haven't read all the posts, yet.

 

A lot of behaviors happen because of temperament. People can't help the temperament they have and there are strengths and weaknesses for every temperament trait. It's our job as parents to help our kids develop their personal strengths. Having a high energy and outgoing toddler can be exhausting for a young child's parents, but being high energy and outgoing can help a person be a socially successful and productive person.  Some of the other high energy outgoing preschoolers and toddlers just don't go to places where they can't behave appropriately. My 5 year old DD took a year long break from restaurants, indoor kids groups (like library story time) and most shopping when she was around two. She just was just too busy to be safe or behave appropriately at some places. We also started going to parks that had fences or were surrounded by very large fields. Sometimes one of us put her in the backpack when we went somewhere crowded. We still tried going to places but left at the first sign that she wasn't up for it. By the time she was 3, things were getting better and by 4 her self control and ability to listen was much more in place.  I also don't think leaving if a person isn't able to behave appropriately is punitive. It's stressful being somewhere that is too structured or quiet for your temperament. We'd just do things that suited her better, going to places where she could run, climb and be noisy.

 

We have boundaries and rules but we don't use punishment at all. Our rules are about safety and being respectful of other people and they're family rules for everyone to follow not just DD. We do talk about behaviors and why things are a good idea or a bad idea. But at age two we usually just left if DD couldn't behave. For example when at a restaurant, one parent would take DD for a walk outside while the other would pay and get the food to take it home. Actually DD didn't really mind leaving when she wasn't able to stay in her seat in the booth and play with whatever we brought. If leaving annoyed anyone it was annoying for DH and I, but we figured DD couldn't help her temperament and would grow out of it. It seems we were right.

 

Find some places you can take your DSs that fit their temperaments better so it isn't so exhausting.
 

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Old 11-18-2010, 11:22 PM
 
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a PP mentioned using the word "teaching" or "guidance" (i can't remember which it was) instead of discipline or punishment. which i think is truly what parenting is all about. we are here to guide and teach. it doesn't have to be done with fear and being mean or overpowering someone. but i can't see CL with a two year old really being effective because they have no life experience to take into account anyones needs but their own (because that is how it should be for them). it is our job to help them, you just can't expect that to happen. that isn't saying they need to be forced to do things they don't want to all the time, but sometimes every single person has to do something they don't really enjoy 100% of the time. and it shouldn't always be mama. 

if their behavior is upsetting to you and disruptive to a group maybe talking isn't the answer, maybe just not going to temple for awhile (not as punishment) will help out. they will get older, understand things a bit better, be able to exert some self control and the whole experience will be better for everyone, them included.

there have been times where i have just stopped doing an activity with the kids because it is just too stressful, they are wild and i am at my wits end and we just try again later. sometimes it is just a couple weeks or months other times (depending on the child and the situation) it could be a year. i never have it as some sort of punishment, it just is easier for everyone to not do that thing. and we exchange it for something everyone can enjoy better. maybe communing with nature on sunday going for a walk/hike with them maybe talking about god with in that context? maybe just seeing if they can be quiet enough to hear the birds or see if they can be still enough to have the chipmunk get close to them. looking for flowers or moss or whatever. helping them be in that moment. maybe after doing that for a bit they will be able to focus a bit more in other situations. even if it takes a bit. plus they can run and laugh and shout and climb because that is what outside is for.

just an idea anyway.

 

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Old 11-18-2010, 11:33 PM
 
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Nicely, because you are the parent and they are the kids, but you are expecting them to parent themselves. You know the statement "parenting is not for wimps?" Well, that is not just referring to dirty diapers. Children do not tend to become happy adults and their self esteem suffers when they do not have rules and boundaries. This includes consistent and reasonable consequences.

 

I hope I have helped. I know it is hard, but the best piece of advice I have ever been given is "if you cannot get control of your children now, what do you expect to happen when they are teens." This statement is so true.

 

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Old 11-18-2010, 11:40 PM
 
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I should add, I am  stay-at-home mom with no nanny. I do most of the parenting. I am trying to put this nicely, but parenting your children is not child abuse. You need to say no, you need to take away privileges. You need to set down rules and consequences. Taking a child out of the room is not a consequence. You are doing a serious disservice to your children and everyone else around them when you do not parent them. Being their friend is not the same as parenting. 

 

Attachment parenting still involves parenting. If your toddler wants to jump in a pool by himself but does not know how to swim, do you just let him and when he drowns, act confused because afterall, he wanted to jump in that pool? Probably not. Yet, you take your children in public when they don't know how to behave. You don't teach them how to behave, and now you are confused when they don't just parent themselves. They are "sinking" and you need to wake up to this now before it is too late and pull them out and start raising them.  There are many books on parenting that do not involve hitting children. You might want to start there.

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Old 11-18-2010, 11:56 PM
 
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My children are listened to and given a chance to express their opinions and feelings and such. But when it is time to sit and pay attention, they better do it. I tell them what is expected ahead of time. Then, if they do not do as expected, they get a stern look and stern voice bringing them back to where they belong. If I have to take them out, then they will get a lecture and a consequence, not a trip to a playground. 

 

That being said, I just would not likely expect a 2 yr old to sit still long, but I also would not allow him to run the aisles or climb furniture. He would be in the nursery. I would also bring a "busy bag" that is special and only has things for that time period. 

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Old 11-19-2010, 12:41 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Lisa1970 View Post

I should add, I am  stay-at-home mom with no nanny. I do most of the parenting. I am trying to put this nicely, but parenting your children is not child abuse. You need to say no, you need to take away privileges. You need to set down rules and consequences. Taking a child out of the room is not a consequence. You are doing a serious disservice to your children and everyone else around them when you do not parent them. Being their friend is not the same as parenting.


I would respectfully disagree with this. I agree that children need discipline, but there are different types of consequences that work. For toddler who can't understand why their behavior is disruptive, taking the child out to run in a safe space is an appropriate 'consequence'. The consequences for the behavior should be related to the behavior and should help teach the child. If a child is removed every time they get too loud, they will eventually learn to be quieter. Time cures a lot of things as well. A lot gain be gained simply by waiting until a child is in the appropriate developmental stage to teach something. For toddlers, your primary mode is prevention. For preschoolers, it's teaching them to use their words and not their bodies. For older children it gets more sophisticated -- how to think of others, how to monitor and adjust your own behavior, the consequences of your behavior on others. I'm not saying that my children never have issues, but as they get older, I can see that they are gaining more and more competence and more and more control over their behavior. My job is to guide them -- sometimes that's a gentle nudge, sometimes that's a firm barrier.

 

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Originally Posted by Lisa1970 View Post

My children are listened to and given a chance to express their opinions and feelings and such. But when it is time to sit and pay attention, they better do it. I tell them what is expected ahead of time. Then, if they do not do as expected, they get a stern look and stern voice bringing them back to where they belong. If I have to take them out, then they will get a lecture and a consequence, not a trip to a playground. 

 

IME, lectures do very little good. When emotions run high, it is not a learning experience. Lectures may make me feel better, but they don't do much. In fact, it's worse than that for my kids, lecturing raises the tension and turns their brains off. Removing, calming down, and talking when necessary does work. Yes, we use consequences, but either they're usually immediate and very related (especially for much younger kids). The 'worst' that it's gotten lately is sending our kids to their room to cool off. You know what? It works.

 

I'm not sure why you wouldn't go to the park. Once the 'offense' has been dealt with, why withhold a trip to the park? I was ticked this evening because dd was whining through chores. I'd promised her earlier (before chore time) that I'd play a game with her. Now, I could have said "no, I don't feel like it, you've been a complete pill and I'm cranky." However, she did do her chores, and I had promised. We played Kids on Stage and both felt better afterward. She completed the bedtime routine without whining. She didn't need another consequence, she needed connection with me. You might like to read Unconditional Parenting. 

 

My basic parenting beliefs are that children want to please their parents and they want to find their place in society. They need to be socialized into how best to do that. That socialization should take the form of teaching. Children learn best when their emotional and physical needs have been met, and we understand where they are developmentally. How you go about doing that teaching depends on your temperament and theirs, in addition to their developmental stage. There are a lot of ways of doing it, but some children need more active teaching (rather than just modeling).

 


 


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Old 11-19-2010, 03:02 AM
 
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in this particular situation, i would like to be able to take my kids somewhere that is beneficial for them, without having to feel like im running a marathon and being judged by onlookers despite my best efforts...wondering what is the true cause behind this...the 'public' situation, 'crowd' situation seems to bring out ths behaviour...with rare exceptions, nobody here apparently ever experiences this...it would be nice to hear im not the only one but apparently i am...what  do i want?

 

Uh, I experience it all the time (with GIRLS!  OMG!  LOL).

 

I leave the area.

 

Yes it sucks.

 

Yes it is tiring.

 

Yes people stare.

 

Welcome to my world.  You can look at my past posts.  My kids are monkeys.  But that does not mean we have to impose on others.

 

FWIW, my kids know I'm serious when I tell them, "You may not do that here.  We will leave if you continue."  It took DD1 a few times to get it, but she got it (though I started with her younger).  DD2 is still not able to control herself, but she will get it.

 

 

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Sigh...i think i may be stuck with this behaviour until they grow out of it, because i do believe its more a personality issue.

 

All of us posted about our kids that are very exploratory and active, and how we deal with it (most of us have to leave the situation, for everyone's sake), and this does let them know what is and is not appropriate and where, and you think we are just... telling you "you better do something about those kids"? We've all been there. Believe me, I understand how hard it is to come up with alternatives when everyone else smacks. I am in that situation in this community. But while you can accept their behavior, others do not have to. Don't be surprised if someone, amazed at the fact that you haven't left already, asks you to leave somewhere.


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Old 11-19-2010, 04:14 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Lisa1970 View Post

I should add, I am  stay-at-home mom with no nanny. I do most of the parenting. I am trying to put this nicely, but parenting your children is not child abuse. You need to say no, you need to take away privileges. You need to set down rules and consequences. Taking a child out of the room is not a consequence. You are doing a serious disservice to your children and everyone else around them when you do not parent them. Being their friend is not the same as parenting. 

 

Attachment parenting still involves parenting. If your toddler wants to jump in a pool by himself but does not know how to swim, do you just let him and when he drowns, act confused because afterall, he wanted to jump in that pool? Probably not. Yet, you take your children in public when they don't know how to behave. You don't teach them how to behave, and now you are confused when they don't just parent themselves. They are "sinking" and you need to wake up to this now before it is too late and pull them out and start raising them.  There are many books on parenting that do not involve hitting children. You might want to start there.


Removing a child for a situation they are not emotionally or psychologically capable of handling is very much a consequence. It's a consequence that said child may even have to deal with as an adult if they aren't behaving properly in a public place. It's called "getting kicked out". What is a more natural consequence to acting up somewhere than leaving? If you can't behave you don't get to stay.

 

We do that with DS and we did that with DD. Guess what, they both have a good idea of what is expected of them. The only thing that stops DS most of the time is he is still too young to have that much control over himself. DD has a very well developed sense of what is appropriate and what isn't, so much so that now at 12 if she finds her self in a state where she doesn't think she can behave appropriately she will extricate herself or ask for DH or I to take her elsewhere.


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Old 11-19-2010, 05:35 AM
 
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Haven't got time to read everything, sorry...

 

OP - when my DD1 was about 18months old i was in a park with MY dad and her (i was a single mum, and i am GD/AP, though not CL - i'll explain why as i go!).  She was running about and i was following her closely and reminding her constantly not to go too far.  My dad said "you hover, just let her go, she'll come back, you'll see".  Now, i had encountered that attitude a LOT from other parents whose kids, for whatever reason, were more inclined to stay close.  I had said to him before that she wouldn't come back but he clearly just believed i was too paranoid about it and if i let HER find her limits i would see that she would really come back and stick by me and behave well (as an aside, she looks VERY like i did at her age and i think my dad viewed her almost as a replica - i was bold, but DD is something else!).  So, i let her run.  When she got about a quarter of a mile from us (it's the city green, so plenty big enough to let her run) he began to twitch gently round the edges and i said "so, you see?" and he said "Oh my!" and i sprinted after her and brought her back.  My eldest was a very HN baby, and a is a very spirited child.  She is very intelligent and precocious.  About 80% of the time she really CAN work stuff out for herself, but she thinks it's 100% so fairly often i am having to force her to stop something or reconsider or whatever.  I use peaceful timeouts (she isn't ignored, she is encouraged to calm down, asked to sit on the stairs while she does so and offered the choice of company or not, i'm fairly sure she doesn't see it as punitive, as she will take HERSELF to time-out when things are getting out of hand) i don't spank, i try not to yell (but am human!) and i try to give logical consequences whenever possible.  When i was PG i was going to do CL.  It wasn't until i was faced with this child that i realised i wasn't.  Not that i think it can't work, only that i know it would be VERY VERY hard on me and my family trying to be CL with this child.  She doesn't have any C!  LOL.  It's her way all the way.  I now have a DH but TBH she behaves worse with him than me.  I use voice tone, "the look" and playful techniques in whatever ways seem best at the time to handle these things.

 

I like CL.  I think it's a beautiful philosophy and i know several families who do great with it.  BUT i also know a few like mine, who just can. not. do. it. with the kids they have.  I believe, if i parent successfully, DD1 will be ready to be more CL by the time she's in her mid-teens.  But i think if i try it now she will be out of control by then instead.  She NEEDS boundaries, and she NEEDS me to set them because she sets herself crazy ones (at 18months, when she ran in the park, she was already talking well enough to tell me she was "goin swimmins" when i caught up with her, that is, she was going, alone, to the pool 1mile away!).  The things she does many other kids wouldn't even consider (she once lifted a burning coal out of a lit fire!  She is FEARLESS and tough - she had such dry hands that day, she didn't burn a bit!  But the rug, where the coal got dropped, certainly did!).  It's much harder to be CL with a kid like this, and i wonder if you happened to get 2 very spirited boys and thus a) it's YOUR norm, and so you blame the parenting for the behaviour rather than seeing that the behaviour is inherent and the parenting circumstantial, and b) you don't get the chance to see another one of your own kids behaving "well" to show you that your parenting CAN work great, it just doesn't seem to for them.

 

Now, XP and i (dd1's parents) are both people who WILL flaunt social "rules" when we see fit - i will tell strangers they are beautiful, XP will make a fool of himself to make strangers laugh.  BUT we know those rules.  So when we break them we are able to do so in a way which isn't too painful for anyone (i.e. XP can heckle comedians in a way which is entertaining to everyone, including the comedian, i can intrude upon someone's sensibilities profoundly but gently so they aren't harmed in the process).  DD can't.  She's too young, she's ready to flaunt but she's not grasped the rules yet.  SO i have to teach her, and it's HARD.  I cannot imagine how much harder it'd be if i was trying to be CL too.

 

So my overall point is a) do you think it might just be that you don't have kids who naturally accept social limitations easily and b) maybe a different approach would be beneficial for them until they learn those limitations?

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Old 11-19-2010, 05:56 AM
 
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Removing a child for a situation they are not emotionally or psychologically capable of handling is very much a consequence.

 

Agreed.  Not only that, but it's the consequence most adults face when we do socially unacceptable or harmful things to others.  They don't go up to a loud drunk in a restaurant and smack him on the butt, do they?  Or take away his cell phone?  First, they would cut him off, then, if the behavior didn't improve, he'd be asked to leave.  If he refused, they would physically remove him.  And if he was belligerent and violent, he would be locked up somewhere (viz. jail).

 

So I think that asking a child to stop, removing and unnecessary stimuli, and then leaving for some fresh air or permanently if necessary, are quite fair consequences to expect children to deal with, not easy, and not harsh.  That is just what happens.  It saves others the trouble, it teaches the child what you can do where, and it is quite respectful and civilized for all involved.

 

Except possibly the parent, LOL.


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Old 11-19-2010, 07:23 AM
 
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Humans live in groups, and have since becoming human. 


Children are born with the instincts necessary to learn about those groups and become a part of the group they are born into.

 

Those instincts include seeking information about what is "appropriate behavior" for their group.  They WANT to know this.  They CRAVE this information.   They NEED it, developmentally, to grow up as a human being.

 

I'm not talking about "keeping them in their place," or "Showing them who's boss.'  But children need feedback -- repeated, clear, feedback -- about what is and is not okay to do to their fellow human beings, and how context affects that.

 

Running around like crazed weasels is developmentally appropriate on a number of levels -- they're exploring their physical world and the way it works, and they're also exploring their social world and the way IT works -- "What happens if I drop this?  Does it bounce?  Does it break?  What happens if I poke that girl with a stick?  Does she cry?  Does someone take the stick away?  What happens if I say this word in public? Do people laugh?  Do people frown?" 

 

And setting limits and having expectations of them is also developmentally appropriate.  Taking that stick so no one gets hurt?  That give the child information they need.  Taking that ball and showing them where it is okay to bounce it?  More information!   Frowning, shaking your head, telling them their words were hurtful when they say something cruel?  Even more information that they can use to put together a picture of what is and is not okay to do, both physically and socially.


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Old 11-19-2010, 07:28 AM
 
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 Its perpetually looking for solutions really, rather than laying down hard and fast rules.  
(i suppose thats a rambly definition)



Consider that the two are not mutually exclusive.

 

For me, it helped to grow confident defining and communicating a strong boundary (hard and fast rule), and then look for solutions within those boundaries. 

 

Think of a clearly stated rule as helping your child be successful in the situation, rather than frustrating or limiting you child.  If rules help your child manage the situation successfully, it will result in fewer limits and less frustration for both of you.

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Old 11-19-2010, 07:40 AM
 
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3rdly, testosterone factor-im glad to hear from other single moms, ok, so its not the testosterone factor. Yay! It was just an idea. I love being a single mom, and would not use  that as an excuse. Im just putting ideas out there. Btw, my dad was scary, because he was big. Men are really big to little kids. You can be scary without meaning to be.
 



I really don't like the tone of this.  My best friend is a big girl - tall, loud, muscularly built - she's FAR scarier than any other man I've ever met!  The dean of my law school (the DEAN!) is a woman, and she's at least 6ft.  Her husband is 5'5" - who do you think is "scarier" in their household?  I've been to their house, our children attend the same daycare - they are both wonderfully gentle parents, and their dd is a handful. 

 

I think you should drop the sexism - it's not going to benefit your children.

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Old 11-19-2010, 08:54 AM
 
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I understand not wanting to punish your kids for just acting like kids, and using consequences to teach is a form of punishment, though often very mild, and I can see wanting to avoid that.

 

But sometimes you have to act on something not to teach your kids or make them face consequences, but because you're living among other people and part of living among other people in a respectful way is making sure your children, who are your responsibility, aren't being disruptive.  It isn't about punishment, it's about having boundaries and being responsible and understanding that not everyone should have to deal with kids running around if it's a place where that is inappropriate.

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Old 11-19-2010, 10:36 AM
 
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there is some really great advice here. lol i think i will be taking some notes. 

the whole lecture/talk their ear off thing only works with some young children. my dd when she was little (2-3) seemed to grasp most of a lecture, but some of her brothers have not. my oldest son was pretty good at it but my now 6 year old can't sit thru one. lol i don't think a  consequence has to be a bad thing. if the child can't be still inside to me the "punishment" to them and everyone is to have to stay in there going nuts. which isn't fun for them or the group. taking them outside to run off that energy is good for them and the group. i just don't see why to teach a child there has to be some sort of constant unpleasantness for them. i tend to learn better when the situation is nice and friendly. so if the kids are being nutty and getting into stuff they shouldn't then take them someplace they can be nutty and get into stuff. like i said a walk in the woods or a trip to the park.

 

h


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Old 11-19-2010, 11:33 AM
 
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I think you're thinking too much!  I wouldn't get too tied up over what does or doesn't fit a philosophy and just go with what feels right. I adore my son and he is the centre of my life, but he does not consume every thought I have - nor does the way I do, or don't parent. I'm a better GD parent now than I was when I was obsessively reading and thinking about it, all the time bemoaning the fact that I was the only person who had 'seen the light'.

DS is a delightful child who is generally given positive feedback from strangers for his lovely, friendly personality, but equally he has behaved inappropriately and we have had to leave and I have to remind him of the way he is expected to conduct himself. Sometimes, this message has to be repeated many, many times, so I do just that. No biggie.

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Old 11-19-2010, 11:36 AM
 
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 Its perpetually looking for solutions really, rather than laying down hard and fast rules.  
(i suppose thats a rambly definition)



Consider that the two are not mutually exclusive.

 

For me, it helped to grow confident defining and communicating a strong boundary (hard and fast rule), and then look for solutions within those boundaries. 

 

Think of a clearly stated rule as helping your child be successful in the situation, rather than frustrating or limiting you child.  If rules help your child manage the situation successfully, it will result in fewer limits and less frustration for both of you.

Don't lay down rules then, but at least live by principles. At this point, the reigning principle should be respect for EVERYONE. Not just allowing one child to run, but to consistently remind him that there are other people in the world, some of whom didn't sign up for chaos. "People are trying to listen, we'll run outside" You're respecting your child's need, you're both respecting the needs of the other people. 
 

 



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3rdly, testosterone factor-im glad to hear from other single moms, ok, so its not the testosterone factor. Yay! It was just an idea. I love being a single mom, and would not use  that as an excuse. Im just putting ideas out there. Btw, my dad was scary, because he was big. Men are really big to little kids. You can be scary without meaning to be.
 



I really don't like the tone of this.  My best friend is a big girl - tall, loud, muscularly built - she's FAR scarier than any other man I've ever met!  The dean of my law school (the DEAN!) is a woman, and she's at least 6ft.  Her husband is 5'5" - who do you think is "scarier" in their household?  I've been to their house, our children attend the same daycare - they are both wonderfully gentle parents, and their dd is a handful. 

 

I think you should drop the sexism - it's not going to benefit your children.

and I'm going to :yeah 

 

Adults in general are big to small children. My mother, at a foot shorter than my dad, was much scarier to me as a child because she would yell, or throw clothes at us. My dad is very quiet spoken and gentle. 
 


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Old 11-19-2010, 08:11 PM
 
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Other kids tho, just wouldnt do it. I watch in amazement as 2 year olds stick by their caregiver. Especially girls. Mine dont do that.



My daughter is exactly like your son.  

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Old 11-20-2010, 09:18 PM
 
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(this turned out to be a horrifically long answer, but it's a story of how I dealt with this situation, with success. so if anyone's looking for ideas....)

 

I used to ask the OP's question all the time. My DS, now 7 (will be 8 in a few months) has always been "different." (We are eclectic homeschoolers tending toward unschooling). He is creative, very physical, amazingly verbal, easily "set off" by loud sounds, chaotic settings, certain music, or physical "attacks" (i.e. aggressive play or behaviors) from other kids. Needless to say we've had our times where I thought "wow, I really wish I could get my kid to be 'well behaved' like other people's kids". He doesn't fear authority in the least. (frankly, I think this will serve him well if anyone tries to manipulate or harm him in the coming years)


We aren't exactly consensual living, but we do a lot of that, only I came to realize that part of the chaos in the behavior department was that I had not set firm limits about appropriate behaviors when we were out in different settings. I had TOLD him what not to do, but I don't think I had much credibility. Or something. I realized this a few months ago when we were in our favorite store, where we are well-known by all the employees because of my son's precociousness and usual adorableness (they've told me this). Well THIS time, he was off by himself and I was shopping, and first he came around the corner looking really aggravated and complained to me "an employee here was REALLY bossy" followed by the employee herself coming around the corner and informing me FIVE customers complained about my son's behavior, running around, etc. FIVE! One would have been bad enough. I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me. What really tipped me off that I had some serious attitudinal correction to do was that my SON was mad because of the employee! HE was indignant about what SHE had done! Not one bit of remorse. He was ticked off at her. Good heavens. I realized that I had really failed. First, we left the store, and second, I set about realizing that I had a lot of work to do.


When we got home, I told him to first write a note of apology to the store. I NEVER demand apologies, thinking instead that apologies should be sincere and heartfelt, and that forced apologies were meaningless. Too bad. I plunked a blank notecard down in front of him and said "What would you like your apology note to say?" He replied sullenly, one word: "Sorry". I said "That's not good enough. Here is what you will write. I want you to copy this: "I am sorry for running around and being rude." (I was mad...can you tell?) So he did. (And he decorated the front of the card quite nicely without any prompting from me.)

Secondly, I told him that I clearly needed to teach him what was the appropriate behavior in the store and elsewhere, so he would know. First, we were not going to go into any stores together that we didn't absolutely HAVE to, and that included toy stores and libraries. Secondly, I started including "behavior lessons" as part of the minimal morning study that we do (we usually just do a little math and reading or writing practice, being mostly unschoolers but not 100%). I designed little multiple-choice questions for him regarding behavior. He LOVED these things! He always knew the right answers, which I never doubted. It was his WILL to adhere to the correct behaviors in public that was in question. Anyway, we did about a week of lessons like this.

Then we started practicing. I said "OK, I think we're ready to try going into stores. I know you want to go to Target and buy the toy you've been saving up for, but I am not taking you into a store until I can ABSOLUTELY COUNT on you to do the right thing. We are going into this small grocery store right now to practice. I want you to shadow me. Do you know what that is? I want you to be close like you're my shadow. I want to be able to reach out and touch you. Do you understand? (Yes) OK. So we did a test run at the tiny store. He did EXCELLENT. And we had fun. Usually, he would run off and strike up conversations with employees or other customers, and I had to shop alone. But this time he stayed with me. (He had a goal. He desperately wanted that toy from Target.) And it was fun having him close by because we could talk and I could show him things, talk about products, etc. I told him how much I enjoyed having him with me. When we got out to the car, I did what had been unthinkable to us, the nearly-unschoolers: I took out my little pad of paper, wrote down the store name and the date, and I gave him a grade: A+  (First I had to explain what grades were! ha ha)  Later that day, in a "big box" store, he got tempted to run off, and he even started to leave me and looked back over his shoulder like "are you gonna stop me?" and took off. I calmly finished my shopping, taking care to remove the cookies from the cart and put them back on the shelf, headed to the register, and was this close to having him paged when he showed up. He got an F for that trip. Pretty soon he started to enjoy racking up the good grades on the little pad of paper (he never got another F). He would aim for them and ask to see the list. To this day he stays with me in a store. He knows I mean business.

I think the fact that he is 7 really makes a difference. He is able to see that not only do I mean business--that I will NOT tolerate inappropriate behavior--but I think it's a little easier for him to control himself now as he is getting older. But it's still important that I spell out in advance what the appropriate actions are for each setting. I will say "Ok, we are going into the robotics presentation. We need to be quiet because the person is telling about the robots and we must be polite." or "We're going into the church now, where you'll need to sit quietly. Would you like a small pad of paper so you can draw?" "We can't stay in the library if you run. Please use your slow speed."  It's amazing how he has come around since the horrid 5-complaints incident! He asks me "Mama can I go over there?" and sometimes I say No and he gets mad but he listens. It's truly a transformation.

 

It was essential that I get into the driver's seat as parent. We are very democratic and consensual and all that when in a setting where we CAN. Which is most of the time. But in areas where I need to be the parent to guide him and teach him, he needs to know I'm going to give him the tools he needs to succeed. I mean, it does him no favors if I let him be a wild man wherever we go. Then I'd be too nervous to sign him up for programs and activities because I can't count on him to behave appropriately. He would  end up missing out. I need to equip him so he can fit in and succeed wherever he may go. Not like a doormat or a sheep, but with appropriate respect for the people he's with.

 

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Old 11-20-2010, 10:48 PM
 
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Haven't read the whole thread yet but...
 

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Develop "the look" that many mothers have. It more than replaces the deep voice and testosterone.


This!!

It works on partners, too (okay, just kidding.. kind of.. whistling.gif).

 

Not a single mom, more GD than CL here, but like others have said, it's not the testosterone around here. I'm a SAHM and definitely do more of the discipline stuff -- not that we do much of it at all, really -- than my DH does. "The look" is key, not only to making sure my own children behave reasonably well but in making sure OTHER kids behave. (Yep, I use it on other peoples' kids when they're being unkind to DD with great success.) We do kind of have CL leanings... we're kinda-sorta radical unschoolers (more radical than unschooly but that's a long story).

 

In any case, our reaction to public misbehavior/wildness when DD was younger went like this:

First couple of times it happens in a given situation -- administer "the look" and insist on a quick chat with DD to make sure she understands we're not okay with how she's acting.

After that, we leave but try again at a (soon -- within a week or so) later date.

If it continues, we mark that particular public situation as one that needs to be delayed until she's older and try again in a few months.

 

We had a lot of trouble with store trips in particular and there was one point where DD pretty much didn't get to go to the store for almost a year. She was 2 y/o at the time. It sucked because we really like to do our grocery shopping as a family, but it was just way too stressful for everyone.

 

In many ways, I let DD "run wild" and always have, but we do have to have consequences for behaviors that are harmful or disruptive to others.

 

Some kids are just more laid back than others, though. My first DD was easy as pie, my second not so much... she's very physically active, highly social, and has some mild issues that when put together with her urge to be around other kids and run around, led to a lot of wild and crazy behavior in public. It got better with age, mostly because she could eventually understand the idea of social rules. Before that, we did have to limit where we went and how often.

 

--K

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Old 11-20-2010, 10:51 PM
 
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Other kids tho, just wouldnt do it. I watch in amazement as 2 year olds stick by their caregiver. Especially girls. Mine dont do that.


Careful with the gender stereo-types. My ds is very very cautious. He always stuck by me. Heck, he's 9 and he still freaks out a bit when I go around into a different aisle in a store and he can't see me. As a 1-2 year old, dd was much more fearless. Ditto for whether fathers or mothers are 'scarier'. It all depends on the situation. Yes, men can in general be scarier, but I suspect my kids are more scared by me when I'm angry than they are by dh when he's angry. I blow up more.

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It was essential that I get into the driver's seat as parent. We are very democratic and consensual and all that when in a setting where we CAN. Which is most of the time. But in areas where I need to be the parent to guide him and teach him, he needs to know I'm going to give him the tools he needs to succeed. I mean, it does him no favors if I let him be a wild man wherever we go. Then I'd be too nervous to sign him up for programs and activities because I can't count on him to behave appropriately. He would  end up missing out. I need to equip him so he can fit in and succeed wherever he may go. Not like a doormat or a sheep, but with appropriate respect for the people he's with.


Very interesting post -- what strikes me about your experience was that you eventually had to make behavior expectations overt and discuss them. Talking about what he should do, practicing it and  then giving feedback (however you chose to do it) was a very effective teaching strategy. My older child needs that kind of teaching. My younger one doesn't. What you found out was that your son needed the direct teaching, and you implemented in it a way that worked for both of you. That's a good example of realizing that your child has needs that were different from what your expectations were, and rising to meet them.


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Old 11-21-2010, 05:21 AM
 
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I havent read all  of the responses-i gleaned a little bit of 'well if mothers like you would actually teach their kids some manners...' kind of attitude, so wasnt inpsired to read further. I could be mistaken, and i want to thank everyone for offering their wisdom and  especially those with experience of consesual living.

 

My kids probably are a little  more daring than others, because they havent learned fear. This isnt a criticism of other people, or of anyone on this board, so please dont take it as such. On top of that, they probably have personality types that make  disruptive bahviour more likely, but they are great in a playground. Being boys, also makes this more likely. (girls can be like this too, but from what i have observed, its less common)

 

I also think there is the fact that i dont have an overpowering personality. Some people are just more commanding, and it takes less effort for them to make others do what they want. Those people as parents, will experience less of what i am experiencing...thats just a theory, i dont know.

In some situations, its hugely impractical to 'leave'.  But I  certainly take any child of mine out of the room if they are disruptive. Its not like it just sit there and let them do what they are doing.I also get close to them and explain that behaviour is not ok, and that its important to be considerate of others.

 

But...that isnt really enough.

 

At home, my kids are great. We never have bedtime issues, we eat at the table together. They are considerate within the expectations of their age, because i emphasise consideration of others in their upbringing. Compassion and sensitivity rate very highly on my list of values. That is why, i detest engaging power struggles that involve physical force, and bossy or even manipulative behaviour. (That doesnt mean i dont see it as necessary sometimes.)

 

I also think that some of these 'child friendly' places are not as child friendly  they say. I did go to one place where there was total acceptance of child like behaviour. Toys were strewn at the feet of worshippers, and children played with them in the crowd as people prayed.  There was a general din, but it didnt bother those worshippers. If a child was really over the top-yes, take them out, But guess what, it  didnt happen. Not even my boys. It was nice to let them be themselves in a place of prayer.

 

Ive talked about this with friends IRL as well. Ive received advice that i should 'discipline' these kids, with a spank on the bottom (which they claimed wasnt hitting).

Ive received other advice, which i found more helpful-to read up on personality differences in children, and to speak in greater detail *before* the event about my expectations. Some people on this board have suggested this too, and i have done it, but maybe i will do it more.

 

Sigh...i think i may be stuck with this behaviour until they grow out of it, because i do believe its more a personality issue.

 

Just my thoughts for now....

 

You have to know that my 5yo is actually a very considerate kid, and ive always considered him to be nicer than his peers. 2yo is a 2yo....

 

I like my style parenting.

 

What would naomi aldort say about this do you think, anyone?

 

Naomi Aldort would probably ask you to pay for a consultation, based on the  Q& A  she had posted on the old site.

 

I liked the advice upthread about actively caring for your 2 year old at the gathering, sharing snacks and toys with him.  Perhaps you could even enlist his older brother into helping with that and by giving the 5 year old more responsibility it would help settle them both down.

 

I also think it's interesting that you say they are very good at home.  It makes me wonder if they really just need more clear instructions as to what's expected at temple or the park or the library?  I don't think you have to yell and be a different parent, but perhaps clarify what you need to have a good day out?  You could make up a list of expectations for going out: I use inside voice, I am respectful of others property, I stay within Mommy's eyesight (or whatever is important to you) and then read it to them each day before you go out.  I do that with my five year old and she actually really likes it.

 

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Old 11-21-2010, 05:51 AM
 
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I think the fact that he is 7 really makes a difference. He is able to see that not only do I mean business--that I will NOT tolerate inappropriate behavior--but I think it's a little easier for him to control himself now as he is getting older. But it's still important that I spell out in advance what the appropriate actions are for each setting. I will say "Ok, we are going into the robotics presentation. We need to be quiet because the person is telling about the robots and we must be polite." or "We're going into the church now, where you'll need to sit quietly. Would you like a small pad of paper so you can draw?" "We can't stay in the library if you run. Please use your slow speed."  It's amazing how he has come around since the horrid 5-complaints incident! He asks me "Mama can I go over there?" and sometimes I say No and he gets mad but he listens. It's truly a transformation.

 

It was essential that I get into the driver's seat as parent. We are very democratic and consensual and all that when in a setting where we CAN. Which is most of the time. But in areas where I need to be the parent to guide him and teach him, he needs to know I'm going to give him the tools he needs to succeed. I mean, it does him no favors if I let him be a wild man wherever we go. Then I'd be too nervous to sign him up for programs and activities because I can't count on him to behave appropriately. He would  end up missing out. I need to equip him so he can fit in and succeed wherever he may go. Not like a doormat or a sheep, but with appropriate respect for the people he's with.

 


Can I just say I really love how you handled this, especially the little quizzes on what would be appropriate? I know it may not be the way to go with younger kids but I think it was brilliant.


~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
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Old 11-21-2010, 08:40 AM
 
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I have to say that I found it somewhat offensive to have responses characterized in a certain way, while admitting to not reading most of them. And the gender sterotypes? Throw those out the window. My daughter is much more aggressive and active than my son has ever been.

 

Being a single parent is not an excuse for poorly behaved children. And yes, children who disrupt an entire congregation are poorly behaved. But... they don't know better if they aren't taught how to behave in a non-disruptive manner.

 

I started taking my kids to Church with me when they were infants. We do not have a nursery, children's room, or anything like that. There is one Liturgy, and everyone attends - infants, toddlers, adolescents, adults, elderly. And - no pews. I started by taking them for short stints, covering the most important parts of the service. As they got older and understood more, we stayed longer. They knew each time we went how long we were staying - and how I expected them to behave for that period of time. Afterwards, we'd do something special, whether it was out to lunch, home to watch a movie, run around like maniacs, etc.

 

And... The Look. It doesn't have to imply a threat of punishment to come. My kids understood that it meant "that's not okay - please stop." and the likelihood of no special fun after. My SIL used to marvel that they'd beacting up and then stop, and I never had to say or do a thing. LOL Of course I did. I gave them the look.

 

Life is MUCH more pleasant when you can take your kids places and not have to ride herd. I know parents who are very strict with their kids, and they are terrors in public. I know others who do nothing... same thing. Then I know the complete opposites. If what you're doing isn't working? Time to try something else! We don't get instruction manuals, so it's trial by error. But... in order for that to be effective, one has to be willing to try alternative methods.

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Old 11-21-2010, 10:22 AM
 
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Life is MUCH more pleasant when you can take your kids places and not have to ride herd. I know parents who are very strict with their kids, and they are terrors in public. 

 

This is a really good point which should be considered at length. I was raised by extremely strict father, and after the divorce, by my completely negligent mother. (both ends of the extreme). When I left home at 17 to go to college, I completely rebelled and did everything that I was forbidden to do before. "A hah!" I thought. They can't see me!!

 

This is, I imagine, not that uncommon. I saw a cartoon movie the other day (Jimmy Neutron) where the parents in town were all suddenly abducted by aliens, and the first thing the kids did was celebrate. Woo hoo! The parents were gone!! And they immediately started to misbehave and do all the forbidden things. The town was trashed. I know it is a cartoon but it resonated with how I grew up. Contrast that to my son's friends. We are in an unschooling/freeschooling/eclectic schooling community....decidedly NOT "top-down strict authority"...more toward democratic settings, consensus based for the most part. If these kids were left alone I cannot see them saying "woo hoo, let's do something rotten now that no one is looking" I can imagine them just still being themselves, because in their daily lives they are not under constant scrutiny, micromanaged, punished etc. Instead, for the most part, the parents in our circle focus  more on the relationship with the child over the long term versus short term compliance with the externals. In this type of setting you are less likely to have a kid that views the parent as taskmaster or enemy, someone to be outsmarted or escaped. 

 

I don't have time to fully flesh out this idea at the moment, but it's worth considering. HOW we achieve a child who knows how to behave appropriately to a setting is very important. I bristled when I heard previous posters talk about being "scary" or using a scary voice. I remember when I used to parent that way. I had a very angry child most of the time and I was on this board reading how to deal with a biting, hitting child. Those days are gone. They left when I changed MY methods.
 

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Old 11-21-2010, 11:59 AM
 
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Quote:
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Life is MUCH more pleasant when you can take your kids places and not have to ride herd. I know parents who are very strict with their kids, and they are terrors in public. 

 

This is a really good point which should be considered at length. I was raised by extremely strict father, and after the divorce, by my completely negligent mother. (both ends of the extreme). When I left home at 17 to go to college, I completely rebelled and did everything that I was forbidden to do before. "A hah!" I thought. They can't see me!!

 

This is, I imagine, not that uncommon. I saw a cartoon movie the other day (Jimmy Neutron) where the parents in town were all suddenly abducted by aliens, and the first thing the kids did was celebrate. Woo hoo! The parents were gone!! And they immediately started to misbehave and do all the forbidden things. The town was trashed. I know it is a cartoon but it resonated with how I grew up. Contrast that to my son's friends. We are in an unschooling/freeschooling/eclectic schooling community....decidedly NOT "top-down strict authority"...more toward democratic settings, consensus based for the most part. If these kids were left alone I cannot see them saying "woo hoo, let's do something rotten now that no one is looking" I can imagine them just still being themselves, because in their daily lives they are not under constant scrutiny, micromanaged, punished etc. Instead, for the most part, the parents in our circle focus  more on the relationship with the child over the long term versus short term compliance with the externals. In this type of setting you are less likely to have a kid that views the parent as taskmaster or enemy, someone to be outsmarted or escaped. 

 

I don't have time to fully flesh out this idea at the moment, but it's worth considering. HOW we achieve a child who knows how to behave appropriately to a setting is very important. I bristled when I heard previous posters talk about being "scary" or using a scary voice. I remember when I used to parent that way. I had a very angry child most of the time and I was on this board reading how to deal with a biting, hitting child. Those days are gone. They left when I changed MY methods.
 


I don't think anyone on this thread is advocating strict, top-down authority through the teen years, or constant scrutiny and micromanagment of children at any age.

 

Appropriate control changes with the age and development of the child.  My 3 yo needs a LOT more active communication about, and enforcement of rules than my 9 yo.  I worried about doing things "just right" and avoiding punishment when dd was 3....but now that ds is 3, I can see the bigger picture and see how much happier and successful he is when there are very clear boundaries.  He'll have less need for it when he matures, and we'll be happy to grant him more autonomy when he is ready.

 

I don't think I have a scary voice....but I definitely have a serious voice, and a serious look.  I can call out ds's name from across the playground, make eye contact, hold out my palm in a "Stop." gesture, and he will generally stop doing the thing he knows I want him to stop (he already knows the rules).  He knows the potential consequence is that I will bring him to sit on the bench with me for a few minutes until he can agree to play safely  (not timed...just until he is calm and says "Ok, mommy.  I won't throw mulch and the girls anymore"mischievous.gif)  If I have to bring him to the bench more than 2x (rare), he is obviously having a bad day at the park and we go home.

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Old 11-21-2010, 12:18 PM
 
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Didn't read everything yet. Our kids are 5 and 3 (+ a 6 month old baby). When our kids are loud and wild in public, it is usually because they are tired or hungry.

I try to only go to public places with them when they are not close to naptime, bedtime or without food. Esp. when they get tired they cannot listen to me anymore, when that does happen I leave right away.

Kids these ages need to eat often. And my 3 year old needs to nap.

 

Carma

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Old 11-21-2010, 12:40 PM
 
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Careful with the gender stereo-types. My ds is very very cautious.

 

I agree.  I was at a playland today and I was chuckling because it was all the little boys clinging to mama... there were probably 20 kids there, 10 under five, and of those, maybe four or five were boys.  There were four boys who kept hanging on mom, who was inevitably, "Look, Connor, look at the other kids, up there, on top of the slide... doesn't that look FUN?"

 

Connor:  "Mama, is it scary?"

 

While my little girl, 19 months, is screaming bloody murder at me to get up on top of the big-kids toy.  Naturally she hasn't hit fear yet (she might never) but all the boys that age were shying away.

 

I really wanted to say, "Tsk tsk, boys will be boys, won't they?"

 

But I didn't want to start a debate in the playland, LOL!

 

If we kept notebooks of boys and girls raised in modern society, of concrete indicators--hits, kicks, wrestling, head-butts, hanging from places, climbing on appropriate places, climbing in INappropriate places, running off, shrieking, shouting, playing shooting with a finger, etc. etc. I'm willing to bet they would be VERY close in children up to age seven, if not much older.

 

Instead, we all just see what we want to see and reinforce our own stereotypes.

 

Oh, and YES to "the look".  My kids know when I'm serious.  They also have an uncanny sense of when I don't want to leave... if I have a cup of coffee, watch out, world.  "She's going to want to finish that coffee... we'll have at least four warnings before she sets it down... let's TRY!"

 

I am constitutionally unable to give a sincere Look when my coffee is in my hand.  When I set that coffee down, it's my kids, not the world, that better watch out because they're going to be in the carseats and on the way home in no time.  (And "no you may not play on my computer when we get home, I don't think you've been acting very respectful of other people and their things today, and I don't want to risk it!")  They may, however, build a jungle gym out of their playroom furniture.


It's not that the stay-at-home-parent gets to stay home with the kids. The kids get to stay home with a parent. Lucky Mom to DD1 (4 y) and DD2 (18 mo), Wife to Mercenary Dad
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Old 11-21-2010, 12:57 PM
 
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If we kept notebooks of boys and girls raised in modern society, of concrete indicators--hits, kicks, wrestling, head-butts, hanging from places, climbing on appropriate places, climbing in INappropriate places, running off, shrieking, shouting, playing shooting with a finger, etc. etc. I'm willing to bet they would be VERY close in children up to age seven, if not much older.

 

Instead, we all just see what we want to see and reinforce our own stereotypes.

 


I agree. There are always exceptions, of course, but I haven't really noticed any major differences, overall, between girls and boys in these areas. As a toddler, dd1 was by far the most aggressive and demanding of my four. DS2 was the least so - and the "clingiest" (I don't like that term). That's just their temperaments.

 

Actually, overall, my experience has been that boys tend to be slightly more cuddly/clingy in some ways when they're very little. I'm not sure if that holds true in the general populace, though...and there's so much social pressure for boys to be "real boys" (aka miniature versions of some wonky masculine ideal) that we may never know.


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Old 11-21-2010, 01:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post

 

If we kept notebooks of boys and girls raised in modern society, of concrete indicators--hits, kicks, wrestling, head-butts, hanging from places, climbing on appropriate places, climbing in INappropriate places, running off, shrieking, shouting, playing shooting with a finger, etc. etc. I'm willing to bet they would be VERY close in children up to age seven, if not much older.

 

Instead, we all just see what we want to see and reinforce our own stereotypes.

 


I agree. There are always exceptions, of course, but I haven't really noticed any major differences, overall, between girls and boys in these areas. As a toddler, dd1 was by far the most aggressive and demanding of my four. DS2 was the least so - and the "clingiest" (I don't like that term). That's just their temperaments.

 

Actually, overall, my experience has been that boys tend to be slightly more cuddly/clingy in some ways when they're very little. I'm not sure if that holds true in the general populace, though...and there's so much social pressure for boys to be "real boys" (aka miniature versions of some wonky masculine ideal) that we may never know.


Wish I could find the article I read once that said exactly this:  From birth to about 3 (IIRC), boys and girls commit "aggressive" acts at the same rates.  After that, girls begin to channel their aggression into social aggression ("We wont' play with you," "You can't be her friend,' "You're a poopyhead and I'm going to tell all your friends you suck your thumb." ).   Boys continue to hit and kick each other.   So we think "Boys are aggressive, girls aren't" when we've socialized the girls to act out their aggression socially and verbally.   


savithny, 42 year old moderate mom to DS Primo (age 12) and DD Secunda (age 9).

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