DS not respecting other people's rules - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-24-2008, 02:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My 3 year old went for a playdate today at a neighbor's house. This is the first time he's ever gone to play at their house. When my neiighbor brought him back home to me I asked how the playdate went.
She said, "Oh, they had lots of fun. But when it came time to clean up and put the toys away, your son didn't want to help. He simply said, 'I don't want to'. I told him that if he didn't help clean up the mess he made he wouldn't be allowed to play at our house anymore, to which he replied, 'that's fine.'"
I said, "Yeah, he's like that. He's got a very strong personality. When he doesn't want to do something ,he just won't do it. Nothing will change his mind."
She said it was fine by her, but she was worried about me, thinking that I would have problems with this behavior later on and I should do something to fix it.
(She actually told me to watch 'Nanny 911' for tips....oh! if it were only that easy!)
My problem/question is that I dont' like this behaviour of my son. I wish he would respect other people's things and expecially listen to adults. I don't want him to end up as one of those kids who doesn't get invited over because he won't listen.
When DS and I were alone, I asked him why he didn't help clean up. He just shrugged his shoulders.
What can I do to get him to respect other people's rules? I'm having a hard time fighting with his strong character. For any next play date should I tell the mothers to send him home straight away if he doesn't listen?
please advise...thanks.
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Old 11-24-2008, 03:11 AM
 
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I'm not there yet, but it doesn't seem difficult to imagine a 3-yr old responding that way, just not wanting to. What do you do in your own home if that happens? If you've found a way to deal with it successfully at home, could you pass that technique on to your friend? "I've found that DS really responds well if I..." If she wasn't open to trying, then that would concern me - or at least make me think maybe this play date wouldn't work out right now. If you don't have a way to deal with it at home right now that you're happy with, maybe that's the first step?

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Old 11-24-2008, 05:00 AM
 
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Hi, I don't know if this will help you and your child, or not, but it did mine. My mom bought a book for me titled "Have a New Kid by Friday" by Dr. Kevin Leman. She read it first and started using the methods in it, then told me to read it. I have a 31/2 yr old boy and 20 mo old daughter. My little boy is responding to the methods.

The change in him has been remarkable!
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Old 11-24-2008, 11:12 AM
 
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What about consequences? At home, I mean?

Our children don't get their privileges if they don't clean up their toys. Computer game time, and TV time, both of which are very limited here, are like a type of currency.

Even the 3 yr old does not like if he doesn't get his computer game time, so he will clean up.

I am sorry, but I am not the maid. If a 3 yr old can make the mess, he can clean it up too.

Remember, that if other people don't want him to come over, because of his behavior, it is not anyone's fault, except for his own. Perhaps one day, he will realize this. (yes, I know he is a bit young)
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Old 11-24-2008, 12:37 PM
 
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I just want to reframe this quality of his. Barbara Coloroso says "God bless the strong willed child" in part because... when he's a teen he'll also be saying no and not "going along with the crowd to get along."

So this is not a negative personality trait.

In terms of not cleaning up, sure, it is a bit rude.

He's three. He'll learn that it's rude, and as his peers become more important to him - as long as you are guiding him - I'm sure he will figure it out. I think your friend did a pretty good job if that's truly her rule.

(However, I'm trying to imagine this rule applied to adults... if you, the guest, don't clean up your plate you won't be asked back. Hmm.)

For the playdates, three seems young to me to be there without a parent. Is it possible for you to arrive towards the end and work with him to tidy up, so that you are modelling that behaviour? Could you roleplay a bit at home?

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Old 11-24-2008, 01:32 PM
 
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I just want to reframe this quality of his. Barbara Coloroso says "God bless the strong willed child" in part because... when he's a teen he'll also be saying no and not "going along with the crowd to get along."

So this is not a negative personality trait.

In terms of not cleaning up, sure, it is a bit rude.

He's three. He'll learn that it's rude, and as his peers become more important to him - as long as you are guiding him - I'm sure he will figure it out. I think your friend did a pretty good job if that's truly her rule.

(However, I'm trying to imagine this rule applied to adults... if you, the guest, don't clean up your plate you won't be asked back. Hmm.)

For the playdates, three seems young to me to be there without a parent. Is it possible for you to arrive towards the end and work with him to tidy up, so that you are modelling that behaviour? Could you roleplay a bit at home?

Bolding mine.

I don't see this as the same thing at all. Most polite people would not create a mess and then not clean it up. If you went around doing that, you would likely not be asked back, and rightfully so.

I do agree that perhaps this child needs Mama there with him at his playdates.
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Old 11-24-2008, 01:34 PM
 
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Yeah it sounds like he's a bit young to go on a playdate by himself yet is all. He's only 3. He's too young to have those kinds of social skills, but if you're there to model them he'll pick them up.
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Old 11-24-2008, 01:39 PM
 
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He will stopped being invited over.

But, if you either went over and stayed (which kinda defeats the whole purpose) or went over to pick him up a half hour early, and YOU help clean up the mess. If you are there the whole playdate, the other boy's mom can't get anything else done because she feels like she's entertaining you. It's nice to have a kid freind over so mom can get some other things done while her son is playing.

It's not just about being strong willed. It's about being lazy and not caring about other's feelings.

He can't learn about other's feeling though (he is only three years old) if he never sees it in action. So, if you are willing to go over and clean up his mess, he will see how it works. You can even make cleaning up fun. Even though I know it's actually boring.
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Old 11-24-2008, 03:12 PM
 
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Bolding mine.

I don't see this as the same thing at all. Most polite people would not create a mess and then not clean it up. If you went around doing that, you would likely not be asked back, and rightfully so.

I do agree that perhaps this child needs Mama there with him at his playdates.
I'm not sure. I was thinking of dishes in particular - at my home we don't let guests help with them all that often.

I do get your point, within reason - but I really don't think that at three years old this child is getting doomed for life.

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Old 11-24-2008, 05:16 PM
 
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While the other mom is free to make her own rules, I'm inclined to think her response in this situation was doomed to failure. He is three, and this was his first playdate on his own, and I would assume a three year old needs more practice with these rules before he will cooperate.

It *may* motivate him to follow this rule when he understand he cannot go back over unless he cooperates. My concern is that he is simply not 'getting it' because he is three and is very new to the whole idea of playdates. He may only feel frustrated by such a strong consequence. He may not have the skills he needs to follow this rule yet. I really like the idea of you going over half an hour early to help clean up so he can internalize the process. Is there a reason the other mom is unable to unwilling to do this herself? In her place I would have simply had a clean up time, and cleaned up with or without the other child's help, especially on the first playdate. If I saw it was a real problem (child not helping clean up) I would approach it with the other parent, and ask for suggestions. At that point it might be useful for you to go over there and help so there is another adult to keep the kids focused. You could start practicing clean up more at home. Eventually he would understand.

I think what is missing here is a time frame for teaching him these skills. It isn't enough to just say "clean up or else you can't go play again". He needs more practice. Any preschool teacher will tell you that three year olds don't walk in on the first day of school and follow the rules. Repetition is the key to children internalizing routines of this nature. It takes lots of practice for them to understand things like putting away toys, washing hands, putting plates in the sink, hanging up a coat etc.

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Old 11-24-2008, 05:41 PM
 
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I would ask the neighbor to send him back home or call you to come get him if he isn't following their rules. I think it would be better if you went along with him to enforce rules yourself though. I don't feel comfortable with most of my friends and neighbors enforcing rules with dd so we do a lot of playdates together as families and at our house for her friends with parents that don't mind their kids coming over alone. This way I get to talk to my friends while dd plays with her friends and I don't have to worry about what dd is doing and how she is being treated.
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Old 11-24-2008, 07:00 PM
 
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I like the idea of arriving early to help him pick up...now that you know that immediate picking up is important to her (it isn't to me; my kid's toys stay where he puts them most of the time, unless they're in somebody's way) and you know he's reluctant to cooperate.

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(However, I'm trying to imagine this rule applied to adults... if you, the guest, don't clean up your plate you won't be asked back. Hmm.)
If I had a guest for dinner, and after we were done eating I said, "Would you please help me clear the table?" and he said, "I don't want to." I certainly would think he was rude, and I might not ask him back. The difference between how I'd treat an adult and how I'd treat a child is that I wouldn't warn the adult that he'd better help me or he couldn't come back. Actually, I might not do that to a child, either--I'd just take his refusal to help into consideration when deciding whether to invite him again.

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Old 11-24-2008, 07:18 PM
 
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I said, "Yeah, he's like that. He's got a very strong personality. When he doesn't want to do something ,he just won't do it. Nothing will change his mind."
This quote jumped out at me because it's such a strong statement of who your son is. I wonder if it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy - you see your son this way, you tell other people that he is this way, and then everyone (including himself) comes to expect him to be this way.

Have you read How to Talk So Kids Will Listen by Faber & Mazlish? They have a lot of good advice about avoiding labeling your child or sticking him into a specific personality role.

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Old 11-24-2008, 09:48 PM
 
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I like the idea of arriving early to help him pick up...now that you know that immediate picking up is important to her (it isn't to me; my kid's toys stay where he puts them most of the time, unless they're in somebody's way) and you know he's reluctant to cooperate.

If I had a guest for dinner, and after we were done eating I said, "Would you please help me clear the table?" and he said, "I don't want to." I certainly would think he was rude, and I might not ask him back. The difference between how I'd treat an adult and how I'd treat a child is that I wouldn't warn the adult that he'd better help me or he couldn't come back. Actually, I might not do that to a child, either--I'd just take his refusal to help into consideration when deciding whether to invite him again.
Well, obviously we have cultural differences here - I would consider it pretty rude to ask.

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Old 11-25-2008, 04:56 AM
 
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I think it was a little extreme of the other mom to say he potentially can't come back again over something like this. He's only three and it was his very first playdate there...it just seems a bit much.

My oldest would have done something like that at that age if he felt panicky over something - most likely not knowing how to do the task in a new environment. Not knowing what went were, thinking he'd do it wrong, etc. Your basic anxiety stuff, but he'd come off as detached or uncaring when in fact he was just sort of shutting down from anxiety.

It took a while for us to figure it out since he didn't even have the emotional vocabulary or ability to express it at the time (he'd have shrugged his shoulders too) but we're extremely glad we did.
And not being allowed back to someone's house wouldn't have helped improve his behavior at all. It helps to find out what is behind it.
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Old 11-26-2008, 03:57 AM
 
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I wouldn't let my DS play at that mom's house again without me. She sounds a little...cold...and confused about typical 3 yo development.

Ideally, a 3 yo old would help with cleaning up but if he didn't then the best sitch would be for the other mom and her DS to just clean up without him, make it fun and maybe he'd join in (or not), then move on if it wasn't going to happen. Soooo not a hill to die on, IMO.

There could have been a myriad of reasons why your DS wouldn't help clean up, including not being comfortable with the process at someone else's house, being insecure about where things went, not trusting the other mom to approve of how he did the job, just a general feeling of insecurity etc (and none of which have anything in particular to do with your DS's individual personality).

Can't come over to play again? Where's the love? kwim? But I'm really a "takes a villiage" kind of person and that doesn't mean forcing someone to clean up or they can't socialize at our house with us again. I'd only let DS play at someone's house that would understand that a 3 yo isn't always that great at helping clean up. And this is coming from someone whose DS is so anal retentive about cleaning up toys that I worry if he's going to freak at the mess during playtime when he starts preschool . Course, I'm also from the South and guests don't have to help clean up unless they want to so your DS could have sat back and chilled with a lemonade rather than clean up. So I guess "it takes a village" is second rule to "make sure a guest feels comfortable and happy so they want to come and visit again" .

Respecting the rules at someone else's house is pretty darned important, IMO, but the rules have to be developmentally appropriate.
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Old 11-26-2008, 04:18 AM
 
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My problem/question is that I dont' like this behaviour of my son. I wish he would respect other people's things and expecially listen to adults. I don't want him to end up as one of those kids who doesn't get invited over because he won't listen.
When DS and I were alone, I asked him why he didn't help clean up. He just shrugged his shoulders.
What can I do to get him to respect other people's rules? I'm having a hard time fighting with his strong character. For any next play date should I tell the mothers to send him home straight away if he doesn't listen?
please advise...thanks.
I wanted to add that what you're describing as potentially undesirable personality traits in a child (IYO) can be the very best qualities in a teen or adult (or even in a young child). Flip that coin over and look at the other side.

Cave to peer pressure to engage in harmful drugs, crime, etc?...forget it, your child thinks for himself and peer pressure doesn't affect him at all, he thinks for himself and goes his own way because of his "strong character".

Boss asks him to cover up misdoings at work for monetary gain....not going to happen, DS does what he knows is right rather than doing as he's told, as his "superior" tells him he should, all because of his "strong character".

Sick pervert stranger (or relative or a friend's parent ) approaches him and DS doesn't listen to an adult and disobeys and runs and tells you that some pervert is bothering him etc etc due to his "strong character".

Strong character rocks.

You get my point. Read Unconditional Parenting if you haven't already. Clearly, you want DS to develop good manners but not at the expense of his inner character.
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Old 11-27-2008, 04:00 PM
 
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I have to say I do think it's a bit early to decide he just wont do what he's told. I think the other mom was a bit harsh with the whole empty threat thing, I've always hated that. She probably doesn't mean it, and what does that tell a kiddo when empty threats are made? Ugh. Anyways...I think it's more likely that your son was having fun and didn't want to clean up. Nothing deep or underlying there! ALSO...and this is a big one in my eyes, I think 3 is too young to be expected to clean up on their own, but plenty old enough to be expected to participate in cleaning up their mess. If your son is used to cleaning up WITH an adult (totally acceptable at this age) and this mom expected him to just Voila! Clean everything! Then he might have been overwhelmed and not known where to start/what to do, so he just didn't! When my kids are that age we always do it together, it never crosses their mind not to...and I can assure you all four of my kids are strong willed LOLOL! But they know there's a time for playing and a time for cleaning up.

What happens at home when he refuses to clean up? Or refuses to do something that needs to be done? I'm a huge proponent of gentle, respectful parenting which certainly doesn't preclude providing much needed structure, expectations, and limits.

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Old 11-28-2008, 01:13 AM
 
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I agree with maybe going over early and helping clean up or something like that. My almost two year old usually helps me clean up, but not always.

Frankly, I would not expect my friend's three year old to clean up after himself. I am sure that he does sometimes and he is able to, but I wouldn't threaten to not let him come over anymore. I don't think that is fair to a child that young.

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Old 11-29-2008, 11:04 PM
 
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To me it sounds as if your friend was helping the children cleaning up? Like she was giving direction? In our house we usually don't ask our guest to help us clean up as we like our things properly sorted :-) BUT I encourage (actually it is pretty much expected) that we tidy when we visit someone else and we have help create a mess (unless they tell us not to worry).

I think she was maybe a bit over the top with her threat, but she was probably also at a loss of what to say!

BUT I also think it is a GREAT idea if you could be there to help your son tidy after play time. I don't think at 3 they are really ready to do it without some input from mama!
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Old 11-30-2008, 07:32 PM
 
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As a mom of a child with a "strong personality" (I like to use the term spirited) I get so peeved when parents of less spirited children start pointing fingers and assume that my child's bouts of stubbornness are a result of my parenting.

A completely agree with the pp's that point out that at 3, being strong willed seems like a negative trait that needs to be disciplined, but when the child grows up it will serve the child well.

I have grown to dread hanging out with my in-laws and a few of my DD's friend's parents because they feel the need to tell me what I should be doing to change my child's personality when she is in a bit of a stubborn mood.

I'm thinking of the lecturing my husband received on the Halloween when DD was 3 and had a bit of a freak out about DH going trick-or-treating with her. She wanted to trick-or-treat with her Opa and did not what DH to come along. Sometimes she just wants to bask in the full attention of a favorite adult and when DH or I are there she gets a bit ignored since the adult often ends up talking to us instead of her. Opa made a big deal of her freak out and told her he would not trick-or-treat with her unless DH came too which of course made everything worse. In the end DH did stay home with his Mom while DD, Opa and I went out. But DH had to hear about what crap parents we were because we "give in" to DD. She insisted that we need to teach DD that she can't get what she wants all the time. I think my in-laws missed the point that trick-or-treating WAS about DD in the first place. Respecting her wishes in this situation was completely appropriate.(Sorry about the hijack)

I think the suggestion about arriving at the play date a little early and being there to help your child clean up is an excellent one. It meets your child's needs for the play time and gives you the opportunity to model/reinforce polite behavior and meets the needs of the other Mom to have everything cleaned up before your child leaves.

BTW I think that the other's mom's expectations are a bit to high. I do not think a 3 year old should be held to the same polite/rude rules like an adult. Sometimes kids just don't have the ability to remember to do the right thing. It does not make them forever rude. It takes time and practice to learn this stuff and some kids need longer than others to be able to follow the rules all the time. 3 is just to young to be expected to not make social mistakes.

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Old 11-30-2008, 09:37 PM
 
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Guest or not, strong personality or not, at 3 yrs old he's more then old enough to have some basic manners and help in cleaning up after a play date. I'm with the mama's who would not ask him back if he had been brought up to think its ok with trash my house with toys and not clean up. Its one thing to not ask guest to not help do the dishes but any guest who makes a huge mess such as children tend to create is going to be asked to help me clean it up no matter there age. Even an 18 month old can help clean up and understands picking up toys and putting them in a bin or basket. I would give the child another chance but would explain that he has to help clean up and remind him of it and if he refuses at clean up time again he would not be asked back. I would also want the mom there to help in directing her child in helping. I also disagree with the moms who think a strong personality is a good thing in children, it does not mean they won't try drugs to hide important info from you. I have a very strong willed child and I really do worry whats going to happen when she becomes a hormonal teenager and an adult, people who can't follow rules tend to have a lot of problems in life and lead a life I don't want her having so I am doing my best to teach her things like manners and how to follow rules. Yes there are times to break rules but early childhood is not imo the time to be teaching them basically how to disrespect people and be a rule breaker.

Seriously?
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Old 12-01-2008, 11:26 AM
 
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Guest or not, strong personality or not, at 3 yrs old he's more then old enough to have some basic manners and help in cleaning up after a play date. I'm with the mama's who would not ask him back if he had been brought up to think its ok with trash my house with toys and not clean up. Its one thing to not ask guest to not help do the dishes but any guest who makes a huge mess such as children tend to create is going to be asked to help me clean it up no matter there age. Even an 18 month old can help clean up and understands picking up toys and putting them in a bin or basket. I would give the child another chance but would explain that he has to help clean up and remind him of it and if he refuses at clean up time again he would not be asked back. I would also want the mom there to help in directing her child in helping. I also disagree with the moms who think a strong personality is a good thing in children, it does not mean they won't try drugs to hide important info from you. I have a very strong willed child and I really do worry whats going to happen when she becomes a hormonal teenager and an adult, people who can't follow rules tend to have a lot of problems in life and lead a life I don't want her having so I am doing my best to teach her things like manners and how to follow rules. Yes there are times to break rules but early childhood is not imo the time to be teaching them basically how to disrespect people and be a rule breaker.
It's funny; I didn't see anywhere in this thread anyone suggesting that the child be told to say "no way! I'm not cleaning up!" I really don't think anyone was suggesting teaching them how to disrespect people and break 'rules.'

I do think there is also a cultural thing here... I'm fine to invite kids to help clean up, but I also see the act of inviting them over as accepting that there might be mess or inconvenience. In my micro/family culture, that's sort of the expectation on the host.

I also keep wondering if there's just such a huge difference between newly-3 and almost-4 or something, because although my son helps to clean up all the time at home and at school, I can totally see him being completely overwhelmed at someone else's house with new toys, etc. This actually hasn't happened, but it is so within the realm of possibility - especially if it were towards the end of the day and he were hungry or tired.

If you didn't want to invite him back because of it, hey, that would be your business.

~ 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 12-01-2008, 12:56 PM
 
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Guest or not, strong personality or not, at 3 yrs old he's more then old enough to have some basic manners and help in cleaning up after a play date. I'm with the mama's who would not ask him back if he had been brought up to think its ok with trash my house with toys and not clean up. Its one thing to not ask guest to not help do the dishes but any guest who makes a huge mess such as children tend to create is going to be asked to help me clean it up no matter there age. Even an 18 month old can help clean up and understands picking up toys and putting them in a bin or basket. I would give the child another chance but would explain that he has to help clean up and remind him of it and if he refuses at clean up time again he would not be asked back. I would also want the mom there to help in directing her child in helping. I also disagree with the moms who think a strong personality is a good thing in children, it does not mean they won't try drugs to hide important info from you. I have a very strong willed child and I really do worry whats going to happen when she becomes a hormonal teenager and an adult, people who can't follow rules tend to have a lot of problems in life and lead a life I don't want her having so I am doing my best to teach her things like manners and how to follow rules. Yes there are times to break rules but early childhood is not imo the time to be teaching them basically how to disrespect people and be a rule breaker.
Obviously you are not a parent of a spirited child.

So should I try to break her will?

I can not help the way my child is wired. She is the way she is and it is not my parenting that made her this way.

I do not think anyone here is saying that being spirited is a free pass to be rude. Spirited kids might need a little more guidance than your average kid in some situations. Spirited kids follow rules too, it's just a little bit harder for them to manage with there inner wants sometimes.

Transitions are sooooooooooo hard for my DD. If someone was demanding that she clean up right now without giving her a few minutes to shift from play mode to clean up mode a simple "No, I'm not going to help." would be a mild response. Will she be this way always? No. She just needs time to mature and learn to handle her strong reactions to things. A 3 year old is far from done growing and learning.

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Old 12-01-2008, 01:08 PM
 
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The kid is 3 years old and in a new environment. He's a little boy, not an adult invited over for dinner.
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Old 12-01-2008, 01:19 PM
 
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Obviously you are not a parent of a spirited child.

So should I try to break her will?

I can not help the way my child is wired. She is the way she is and it is not my parenting that made her this way.

I do not think anyone here is saying that being spirited is a free pass to be rude. Spirited kids might need a little more guidance than your average kid in some situations. Spirited kids follow rules too, it's just a little bit harder for them to manage with there inner wants sometimes.

Transitions are sooooooooooo hard for my DD. If someone was demanding that she clean up right now without giving her a few minutes to shift from play mode to clean up mode a simple "No, I'm not going to help." would be a mild response. Will she be this way always? No. She just needs time to mature and learn to handle her strong reactions to things. A 3 year old is far from done growing and learning.

She said that her child was strong-willed.

I have two very strong-willed children. One of whom has Autism. That being said, I don't just throw up my hands and say, "Ah, they are spirited", and let it go.

I am not saying that you do. I don't know you.

But, it seems that some people use their child's spirited nature as an excuse to allow them to do whatever they want and to heck with everyone else, because, that child is spirited, ya know.

If I were the host mom, I would give the child a couple of chances. After all, the child is only 3. However, perhaps facing real consequences for unacceptable behavior might help.
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Old 12-01-2008, 01:36 PM
 
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i think three years old on a first playdate is pretty darn young, and i think you being there to help him follow the rules the first few times is a great idea. the flat out "no" is something that will have to be worked with until he understand actions have consequences. and as soon as he does, im sure he will change.

i dont subscribe to the idea that strong willed kids make more healthy independent teens. will has NOTHING to do with good decision making, which is what this thread is about. they may well turn into strong willed teens who INSIST on doing drugs, going along with the crowd, or whatever. thats just a bogus line of reasoning. serial killers are willful people too.

and the dinner guest analogy is equally silly, no? dinner guests in my house are here soley to be fed, pampered, entertained and taken care of. its a special case.
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Old 12-01-2008, 01:42 PM
 
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i think three years old on a first playdate is pretty darn young, and i think you being there to help him follow the rules the first few times is a great idea. the flat out "no" is something that will have to be worked with until he understand actions have consequences. and as soon as he does, im sure he will change.

i dont subscribe to the idea that strong willed kids make more healthy independent teens. will has NOTHING to do with good decision making, which is what this thread is about. they may well turn into strong willed teens who INSIST on doing drugs, going along with the crowd, or whatever. thats just a bogus line of reasoning. serial killers are willful people too.
I recommend reading "Guyland" on this one. Sure, strong wills can lead in poor directions, but peer pressure is huge and it can be good to have a child who resists it.

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Old 12-01-2008, 04:41 PM
 
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[QUOTE=GuildJenn;12709715]
Quote:
It's funny; I didn't see anywhere in this thread anyone suggesting that the child be told to say "no way! I'm not cleaning up!" I really don't think anyone was suggesting teaching them how to disrespect people and break 'rules.'
I see it in the very first post when she said She said,

Quote:
"Yeah, he's like that. He's got a very strong personality. When he doesn't want to do something ,he just won't do it. Nothing will change his mind."
That is excusing his behavior, personally I would have been horrified if it had been my child and would start intensively working with them on a better way to respond and I would apologize to the mother who hosted the playdate and offer to arrive early next time so that I can help clean up with my child to demonstrate that this is what what we do. I have done this many times and now at 8 my dd thinks cleaning up at other peoples house is fun (our house is a different story though!)


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Obviously you are not a parent of a spirited child.
Obviously you haven't read my posts over the years, my child is so spirited I have considered therapeutic foster care, we have spent a long time in therapy, done massive dietary intervention, and major behavior mod work.

Quote:
So should I try to break her will?
There is a difference between breaking someone and teaching them basic manners. Would you allow her to start dancing naked on the lunch table at school if she felt like it? What about if she decided she wanted to beat the tar out of the little girl down the street because she wouldn't share her candy? No? Why not? Making her get down and get dressed or stopping her from hitting another child would be akin to breaking her will according to your line of reasoning. To break someone's will is to destroy there spirit which can be pretty hard to do and takes pretty intense measures, teaching children how to be civil and have manners is NOT breaking there will/spirit. Its your duty as a parent to produce well adjusted adults capable of being successful in society and be able to do things like hold a job. If they never learned to follow rules at home how in the world are they going to be able to as an adult? How will they be able to hold down a job? I mean really, you can't just tell your boss "I don't feel like doing my job today, c ya!" and expect to keep your job.

Quote:
I can not help the way my child is wired. She is the way she is and it is not my parenting that made her this way.
That's a cop out, your abdicating parenting and allowing your child to raise themselves. Children NEED guideance. She can still be herself and have basic manners.

Quote:
I do not think anyone here is saying that being spirited is a free pass to be rude.
That's what I get from parents who say these things. That its ok to be rude and that the rules of society do not apply to there child becasue there "strong willed".

Quote:
Spirited kids might need a little more guidance than your average kid in some situations. Spirited kids follow rules too, it's just a little bit harder for them to manage with there inner wants sometimes.
They need a lot more of a parents energy and guidance. We have a lot of adults in my family who were all very very spirited children but they also had adults who held them to the same standards as other children and enforced the rules and they grew up to be happy respectable adults. The 3 that were not held to standards and allowed to run wild have all spent a fair amount of time in jail and are unable to hold down jobs and flat out tell you "the rules don't apply to me" becasue that's the message they were given at home in childhood.



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Originally Posted by TinkerBelle View Post
She said that her child was strong-willed.

I have two very strong-willed children. One of whom has Autism. That being said, I don't just throw up my hands and say, "Ah, they are spirited", and let it go.

I am not saying that you do. I don't know you.

But, it seems that some people use their child's spirited nature as an excuse to allow them to do whatever they want and to heck with everyone else, because, that child is spirited, ya know.

If I were the host mom, I would give the child a couple of chances. After all, the child is only 3. However, perhaps facing real consequences for unacceptable behavior might help.
I agree, it seems to be a free pass to unrulely and rude behavior.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hollycat View Post

i dont subscribe to the idea that strong willed kids make more healthy independent teens. will has NOTHING to do with good decision making, which is what this thread is about. they may well turn into strong willed teens who INSIST on doing drugs, going along with the crowd, or whatever. thats just a bogus line of reasoning. serial killers are willful people too.
Exactly

Seriously?
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Old 12-01-2008, 04:45 PM
 
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If a child's will/spirit can be broken by gentle guidance about behaviors did they have that much will/spirit in the first place?

I'd be more worried about breaking the spirit of a child who was obsessed with doing exactly what I asked.
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