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Old 01-28-2009, 02:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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i've been thinking about this a LOT lately. DD is just getting to that age (she's 20 months) where it seems like she does everything she possibly can to test limits. (e.g. oh, you said no wearing shoes on the bed? well, what if i bring a pair over and put them on the bed. is that taboo too? you said no markers on the couch? not even one? what about if i bring it close to the couch and pretend to draw on it? you said not to hit you, but what about biting? what about just hitting the bill of your hat? what about hitting the cat on the head instead?)

and i know that this is normal and natural. but it seems like she REALLY wants to know where the limits are, almost like she's demanding for us to really insist on them and almost feels relieved when we do. i've been warning her if she's using a toy inappropriately (like banging a wooden mallet on the door instead of on the toys it's for, or throwing hard objects or books on the floor), then putting it up--and she seems to actually LIKE that i put it away and move on to something else.

tonight she was hitting us, hitting us, hitting us, over and over. i could tell DH was on the verge of screaming at her. i told her, as i have many times, that hitting hurts our feelings and our bodies and makes us not want to be with her because it is not fun to be hit.

so she kept hitting, then she bit me while nursing, then bit me again on the hand when i said no bites, then hit me when i put her down. so i finally just took her and placed her on the futon in the dining room, not saying anything. when she got down, i put her back. i stood in the doorway so she could see me but faced away from her, and i only told her *once* "mommy wants you to sit there for 1 minute because i am tired of being hit"--then i just kept putting her back, not saying a word, supernanny style. it only took about 5 times before she sat for a full minute. she cried a little but not much, kind of accepted it.

then when i went to get her, i told her "mommy asked you to sit here because it is NOT okay to hit mommy and daddy. it hurts us and makes us not enjoy our time with you. we want to enjoy being with you and playing with you, but we cannot play with you if you're hurting us." then i told her "we love you very much and we want to enjoy our time with you" and i hugged her, and we went to play with her trains.

she was MUCH, MUCH better after this. she only hit like maybe once after this, when she'd been hitting us ALL. NIGHT. LONG.

it was our first "time-out" of any kind. i never necessarily planned on time-outs; it just kind of happened that i reached my limit and felt it was right in the situation. and it was pretty much time-out lite considering she could see me the whole time, she wasn't truly confined just gently placed back in the same place. it really seemed to calm her down and make her realize there IS a limit, and if you hit me over and over, you are going to come up against that limit. and somehow knowing that, she seemed to relax and we enjoyed playing after that.

it almost made me feel like she NEEDS time-out on things like this (the big stuff--hitting and repeated violent "infractions"*), in order to feel secure. does this sound crazy? i mean, maybe when she's older, we can talk through things without time-outs. it would certainly help if i could ask her, "why are you hitting mommy?" and she could tell me "because i'm mad you won't read this book to me" or "because my teeth hurt," and then we could talk through other options for conveying her wishes and feelings besides hitting--but she's just not that verbal yet.

anyway, is it insane to think i have the kind of child who "needs" time-outs??? help! i don't want to fall off the GD wagon, but i know there are others who do this around here.

*wanted to add that i've also been thinking that i definitely believe in logical or natural consequences--if you repeatedly throw your books, i'm going to put them on a high shelf and have you play with something else. if you draw on the couch, the markers go away. but when the action is hitting, what is the logical consequence? the closest thing i can think is to withdraw my presence so she CAN'T continue the behavior, and time-out does that.

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Old 01-28-2009, 02:13 AM
 
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My little guy is 21 months, and I honestly can't imagine doing something like this with him. I understand what you mean about the "demanding what the limits are" part, but when Daniel gets like that, and is all out of control, I can also sense how bewildered he is by the whole thing. You can almost see his little mind going "Dang! I've got POWER!!! I don't want it!"

But where you lose me is in describing a time-out that's basically withdrawing affection by turning your back on her and essentially saying "Your behavior right now is so bad, I want nothing to do with you." That seems really heavy for a 1-year-old.

I really think distraction and redirection are the best methods of "discipline" for this age, along with a time-in. Instead of pushing them away, hold them closer. Show them how to use their lips to give kisses and their hands to touch gently. If they have to bite, get them a teething ring or peel an apple. If they have to hit, bat at handkerchiefs or playsilks or balls.

I don't think any child, especially a one-year-old, needs Supernanny-style discipline. I hope you'll reconsider that just because this seemed to work, it doesn't mean it's the best thing for building trust and relationships.

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Old 01-28-2009, 02:29 AM
 
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so she kept hitting, then she bit me while nursing, then bit me again on the hand when i said no bites, then hit me when i put her down. so i finally just took her and placed her on the futon in the dining room, not saying anything. when she got down, i put her back. i stood in the doorway so she could see me but faced away from her, and i only told her *once* "mommy wants you to sit there for 1 minute because i am tired of being hit"--then i just kept putting her back, not saying a word, supernanny style. it only took about 5 times before she sat for a full minute. she cried a little but not much, kind of accepted it.
FWIW remember even super nanny says to inform the child why you've put them in time out.. I'm personally not totally against them though I;d suggest looking at a comfort corner a special spot she can go (possibly with your hel) to regain compoure and calm down rather than a place of issolation where she is sent to feel "bad" about her action.

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Old 01-28-2009, 02:30 AM
 
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I use time outs. My ds is 2.5 and we have been using them for a while. Our problem is his aggression. I do home daycare and he literally tackles and sits on top of two 4 year old boys. Until they cry. And then he laughs. So our newest rule is no wrestling of ANY kind. From ANyone. If you wrestle, you have to sit on the couch... because if you can't play nice, then you can't play. It seems logical to me.

Thats about the only thing I use it for though. ANything else I just help him work through it. I am totally at a loss for this agression stuff.... and mostly his reaction to the other kids yelling and screaming for help.
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Old 01-28-2009, 02:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post

I really think distraction and redirection are the best methods of "discipline" for this age, along with a time-in. Instead of pushing them away, hold them closer. Show them how to use their lips to give kisses and their hands to touch gently. If they have to bite, get them a teething ring or peel an apple. If they have to hit, bat at handkerchiefs or playsilks or balls.
i get what you're saying, i really do, but i've tried this kind of thing for MONTHS and it has not worked in a LONG time. at all.

i keep reading that kids this age need to learn "gentle," and show them gentle, and all that--this worked when she was about a year old. for the last few months, i know she definitely knows the concept of gentle, knows what is gentle and what isn't, and she is refusing to be gentle. on purpose. to get a reaction. to see where the limits are.

i don't think turning my back on her is "withdrawing" affection any more than turning my back on my DH when he outrageously hurts my feelings is. when someone hurts you, you show it! i don't see why that's bad to do; i really don't

now if she hurt me and i turned my back for an extreme period of time or had a reaction far out of proportion, then yes, that's not good. but if i am right there, just not interacting with her for 1 minute, then coming over and explaining and going back to "life as normal," then i don't see that as withdrawal of affection. do you? honestly?

and for the other poster, i fear i wasn't clear. yes, i told her i was going to put her down because she had hit me. and then i did it. and then i did remind her one time why; otherwise i didn't talk to her. i hope that makes sense now.

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Old 01-28-2009, 02:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I use time outs. My ds is 2.5 and we have been using them for a while. Our problem is his aggression. I do home daycare and he literally tackles and sits on top of two 4 year old boys. Until they cry. And then he laughs. So our newest rule is no wrestling of ANY kind. From ANyone. If you wrestle, you have to sit on the couch... because if you can't play nice, then you can't play. It seems logical to me.

Thats about the only thing I use it for though. ANything else I just help him work through it. I am totally at a loss for this agression stuff.... and mostly his reaction to the other kids yelling and screaming for help.
yeah, no, i hear you. this is very similar. the more she hurts us, the more we resist it, the funnier it is. same thing with the cats. it's just not okay. sometimes i worry she's going to be a sociopath

it makes sense to me that if someone isn't playing nice, you don't play with them, right? otherwise aren't you teaching your kid to be a doormat?? :

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Old 01-28-2009, 02:42 AM
 
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i don't think turning my back on her is "withdrawing" affection any more than turning my back on my DH when he outrageously hurts my feelings is. when someone hurts you, you show it! i don't see why that's bad to do; i really don't
Well, because you're the grown-up and she's a baby. She isn't trying to hurt your feelings, and I think ascribing adult motives to her actions is setting yourself up for power struggles.

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now if she hurt me and i turned my back for an extreme period of time or had a reaction far out of proportion, then yes, that's not good. but if i am right there, just not interacting with her for 1 minute, then coming over and explaining and going back to "life as normal," then i don't see that as withdrawal of affection. do you? honestly?
Honestly? Yes. I see a "supernanny-style" procedure where you wordlessly lead her back to a futon and then turn your back on her as a withdrawal of affection. You know it's done in a minute, but she doesn't have a pocket watch. She doesn't understand that you're going to be back to loving on her and talking to her soon.

I get that it's frustrating. Like I said, I have a little guy about her age, and he's doing the same thing. Testing limits is developmental. And showing little ones where the limits are is a good thing. But I'm not into punishing 1-year-olds. If Daniel is bent on beating the crap out of me, I play a game with him, I change the scene. I just don't understand why it has to be driven home with a punishment. She'll get it eventually. I promise.

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Old 01-28-2009, 03:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I get that it's frustrating. Like I said, I have a little guy about her age, and he's doing the same thing. Testing limits is developmental. And showing little ones where the limits are is a good thing. But I'm not into punishing 1-year-olds. If Daniel is bent on beating the crap out of me, I play a game with him, I change the scene. I just don't understand why it has to be driven home with a punishment. She'll get it eventually. I promise.
i hope you won't take this as snarky: how do you have the emotional reserves to ignore him beating you and play a game? really? i don't have that; i seriously do not. do you not reach a point where it's hit him back or put him down and walk away? because i reach that point!

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Old 01-28-2009, 03:18 AM
 
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you can and should establish a boundry and can establish personal space for your self. You shouldn't be the countinued subjected to being hit bit pinched ect.. however I'd encourage you to get out of the mindset that your child needs to feel bad to act good so to say. This for me doesn't mean never settinga child down and saying flat out enough I will NOT allow you to hurt me, actually I would/will and have done this.
Its this part that I feel crosses too much into the punitive mind set..
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i stood in the doorway so she could see me but faced away from her, and i only told her *once* "mommy wants you to sit there for 1 minute because i am tired of being hit"--then i just kept putting her back, not saying a word, supernanny style. it only took about 5 times before she sat for a full minute. she cried a little but not much, kind of accepted it.
by keeping your self in view but faces away that to HER might have seemed like you were delebrating with drawing affection. Instead I'd try changing your words. Biting hurts we don't bite you need to calm down I'm going to go (give her a tangible task say get the laundry from the dryer, brush my teeth ect) I want you to sit here and calm down (offer something to help a blanket favorite stuffed animal) I'll be back so we can cuddle nicely. Come back sit with her and talk (as best you can) and use the time to make ammends. Timeouts should be a time out of the hussle of life to re evulate a time to help teach calming and coping skills she can use not just today but in a year or 5 or 15 ect. HAving her sit for a minute then re joinging might defuse the situation for the day/moment but its really not teaching her much. Teaching her that when shes angry she can fiind a safe space to regain composure is something shes can take and use pretty much her whole life.

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Old 01-28-2009, 03:43 AM
 
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A baby is a baby. Yes, moms get frustrated. If you need to take a moment to regroup, then you need to take a moment. That's a whole different creature than planning to punish a baby who is too young to have the self control you're expecting.

There are lots of other options. Depending on the child, that is the time I might choose to use what my mom always called "the voice" Combined with "the look" it can often end a cycle like that. Not yelling, but absolutely no-nonsense- "hitting is not okay. It hurts people."

I even think it's perfectly fine to either remove yourself enough to not be hit or hold them in a way you won't be hit. It's a reasonable request to not be hit

For dd though, as hard as it was, it always worked better to make it into a playful situation of some sort.



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Old 01-28-2009, 04:34 AM
 
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ok my "baby" isn't a baby shes 4, but she is delayed and we just started doing time outs, I don't turn my back on her, I look at her, she can see me. I don't smile, I don't frown, i just have a blank face.

I think it works better then everything I have been trying for the last 4 years of her life, at the first time out she got.. she totally understood what was going on and she totally excepted what was happening. my daughter does not communicate like a 4 year old, she communicates like a 2 year old. so I understand the communication barrier very well.

Now she gets a time out, maybe once a week. before it was maybe twice a day.

She understands the limits now, and when she does do something she isn't suppose to she stops right away, and says "Im sorry" and we go do something else. I give her a big hug for knowing she crossed the line, and thats that. I find that I am way calmer now, I don't get so stressed that I feel like the big red vein in my head is going to pop. everything just flows so much nicer then when I tried redirection and time ins over and over and over for years.

So I think what your doing is totally fine as long as she gets it. I don't think time outs are right for every kid but sometimes you have to go with what works for everyone. what makes it less stressful for YOU to get through YOUR day, not what everyone else does or thinks you should do.. kwim?

If you would have told me 5 years ago that I would have a child and put her in a time out, I would have laughed and said no way, not my kid.

it works for her and me, and everyone breaths a little easier.

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Old 01-28-2009, 04:42 AM
 
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I do time-outs with my older kids, but not with the baby.

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Old 01-28-2009, 04:49 AM
 
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it sounds like youre just at the end of your rope and dont know what else to do but time out. maybe if you read more on the subject and found some alternatives you wouldnt have to resort to punishing your baby.

here are some links i think would benefit you

http://www.awareparenting.com/timeout.htm

http://www.awareparenting.com/twenty.htm

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Old 01-28-2009, 04:50 AM
 
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I do time outs. sorta

Ok, I put her in a chair and sit in front of her and talk with her about why she is sitting there.

Only for things that have exhausted all other creative ideas. Not as my main source of "discipline". And also only for things that have no logical concequince. yk?

I don't feel bad, I don't feel like its punishment, I don't feel like I'm abandoning her or isolating her or that she feels abandoned and sad, theres no crying involved. Its simply that we have to discuss the situation and come to a conclusion and we need a safe place to do it. Sometimes the solution is that if she keeps doing X we keep coming back to the chair and stopping the fun thing we were doing. Sometimes its something else.

The reason I say its "time out" is because it is timed. my explanation takes no longer than 20 seconds. And we sit there for a minute.

Yes, she's only 16 months. But, she understands.

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Old 01-28-2009, 05:11 AM
 
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Personally, I believe there's no such thing as one parenting approach that works with every (or even most) children. I know I've had to adjust my techniques for each child. What Beth responded to didn't work for Cali, what Cali responded to didn't work for her twin, and so on. Time outs worked great for three of my six children. For Jesse and Davin, the separation and withdrawal of affection was traumatizing, and a more AP/GD approach is much better. I trust myself to be able to tell when my child is being hurt by my methods, and to adjust accordingly. I don't think there's anything wrong with what the OP did, since it seemed to have worked well for her child.

Of course, that's just my opinion, which is probably worth what you paid for it.

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Old 01-28-2009, 05:36 AM
 
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Several thoughts:

"Time outs" as such aren't recommended by anyone for kids under 3, because they can't link the "crime" with the "time" very well. So, you have to sit here for one minute per year as punishment is the kind of time out I mean.

That being said, we did a "time out" or cooling off period when our kids hit. It worked one of two ways. Either I got up and walked away briefly saying "Ouch that hurts" or they got plopped in their room for a minute while I cooled off. While I'm sensitive to the "love withdrawal" argument, I'm also sensitive to the fact that walking away is probably less damaging to my kids than mom screaming like a maniac, or worse, mom hitting back because that's what my reflexes want to do.

We've done a few typical time outs when our kids were in the 3-4 range, needed to cool off and it wasn't happening without us removing them from the environment. We'd exhausted options of giving a hug or redirecting or trying something else.

Even then, it wasn't a "sit here for X minutes" kind of thing (well, I think we tried that ONCE and both dh and I agreed it was a stupid thing to do). Instead it was a "you're welcome to join us when you've calmed down". For our ds especially, he needed to be physically separated from us to achieve that. He's easily overstimulated, and being near the 'source' of the problem kept him revved up. Alone, he'd storm for a bit, and then let us comfort him. With us, he'd keep going.

Our kids are older now (4 1/2 and 7 1/2) and will now storm off to their room when they need to. So, I don't think we scarred them unduly.

Other ideas:
For a toddler (well actually for anyone, from toddler on through grown-ups), it's much more effective to tell them what TO do, than what not to do. Not only does this teach them what's appropriate, it gets their minds off the undesirable activity. So, "markers stay at the table" is better than "no markers on the couch". Notice the difference between: "Shoes on the floor" vs. "no shoes on the bed".

At 21 months it does take time to learn things. Lots of time. Lots of repetition. Especially for things that provoke a reaction. It's really interesting to see what mom and dad do when they're frustrated!

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Old 01-28-2009, 01:10 PM
 
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i hope you won't take this as snarky: how do you have the emotional reserves to ignore him beating you and play a game? really? i don't have that; i seriously do not. do you not reach a point where it's hit him back or put him down and walk away? because i reach that point!
I'm unsure where you got the idea that I sit around and let my kids beat me up. As I said, I redirect, I use the opportunity to teach, I try to meet a need, I distract. And yes, I even put him down and walk away. But that's a world apart from putting him on a chair, refusing to let him up, and refusing to speak to him until some arbitrary time limit is over. That's punishment.

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Old 01-28-2009, 01:13 PM
 
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I do time-outs with my older kids, but not with the baby.
It's not that I'm against the concept when it's used it a "Whoa, Nelly, you're a little out of control. Let's take a moment to collect ourselves, shall we?" kind of way. But a baby? They don't get it. It's not discipline, which means to teach, but punishment, which, IMHO, is not something you do to a baby or even a toddler.

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Old 01-28-2009, 01:33 PM
 
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We do time outs. Sort of. It is reserved for hurting people or things. Obviously, we try other things first. We redirect, offer alternatives, put the toy away, etc. Usually, I pick them up and we go to another room and try to actively get involved in something. I'll say something like, I need help mixing up cookies. Can you get the mixing spoons please?
I really try to get them INVOLVED in something else.

As for how we actually DO the time outs. We've created a cuddle corner. When all else fails. I sit the child in the spot and sit in front of them facing them. If the child wants to hold hands, I will; but I don't force it. I tell them that their behaviour is dangerous, and they can't play with us while they are doing that. I use as few words as possible in as calm and sweet a voice as I can muster. I tell them that we can sit here together like this until they feel like they can play better, or I offer other things. Would you like to sit here and read a book? Would you like a stuffed animal or blanket to snuggle? Are you hungry? etc. There is no "time limit" we just sit there until the child is ready to play without hitting, biting, throwing blocks, etc.

I think annettemarie's point that we can't assign adult motives to children is a good and valid one. Even though hitting hurts, she may or may not be meaning to hurt you. At this age, they are starting to do so many things for themselves it is hard to remember that they are still babies. I hope my post helps some. If you find something that works for you and your child, I think that is important. They only thing in your post that made me uncomfortable was the removal of your presence. Perhaps you can find a way to still "be there" with here.

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Old 01-28-2009, 01:37 PM
 
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The Five Steps are a technique developed by Lisa Kuzara-Seibold, Minister of Early Childhood Education at Word of Grace Church in Mesa, Arizona. I had the amazing opportunity to mentor under her while employed by the Department of Early Childhood Education as a Sunday School Teacher. This example of The Five Steps is an adaptation of what is taught in her training manual.

Step 1: State your request and offer a reason.

Example: “You need to stop yourself from playing and clean up. It is time to leave.”

Step 2: Restate your request.

Example: “You need to stop yourself from playing and clean up.”

It is helpful to get down on the child’s level and touch your child while looking in his eyes to make sure you have his attention.

Step 3: Offer help.

Example: “You are having a hard time stopping your play. Can you stop playing and clean up or do you need my help?”

Whether your child requests help or not respect their wishes. Help is not a punishment, it is help.

Step 4: Help.

Example: “You are not stopping your play. Here, let me help you.”




Again, help is not a punishment. It is an acknowledgment that your child is unable to stop on their own. This may be due to a lack of maturity, being tired or hungry, or simply not wanting to stop.

Step 5: The Bear Hug.

Stand behind your child and wrap your arms over her shoulders and across her chest. Hold her arms with your hands if you are concerned about her striking out. Squat down to her level and speak gently in her ear that you are helping her stop herself and that you will let her go when she can stop herself. Gentle pressure on her shoulders can keep her from kicking or attempting to run from you. This is not a punishment. It is providing outside boundaries for a child who lacks internal boundaries.

There are actually a few times when it’s appropriate.

First, it’s a great connecting tool when you’re not even using the other steps. Especially for children who love touch and contact. I often sweep into a room, scoop a child up into a bear hug, squeeze and cuddle and then move on. The thing about the positioning of the bear hug is that mom is non-threatening–behind, at child’s level, and able to speak calmly and quietly into child’s ear. The hug provides a sense of security to most children. I actually encourage doing this often so that when it’s done as the 5th step the child is comfortable with it and comforted BY it.

Second, it is a great tool for providing external boundaries when a child’s internal boundaries have broken down. Because the 4th step is *helping* that is where most interactions should end–parent helps child be successful and not cooperating is NOT an option. But if the child melts down or becomes violent then it’s important to keep them, yourself, and others safe and holding them not only does that but, with most children, helps them calm down. Because children push the boundaries when they don’t feel safe, providing kind and firm boundaries in a tangible way he’s them feel safe and calm down.

If a child is averse to the Bear Hug then I would only use it if the child was truly being violent and needed to be kept safe. In that case I’m not particularly concerned about them not liking it because safety comes first. Otherwise, if they are just *melting down* then I find a safe place for them to have their big feelings and I wait nearby.

During the Bear Hug I speak calmly into the child’s ears saying things that let them know I will release them as soon as they have their own self control, that I am bigger than their big feelings, that they are safe and I will keep them safe, that I hear them being very upset–reflecting, validating and affirming them while instructing them in what they need to do (get their self control back).

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Old 01-28-2009, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by TwinsTwicePlusTwo View Post
Personally, I believe there's no such thing as one parenting approach that works with every (or even most) children. I know I've had to adjust my techniques for each child. What Beth responded to didn't work for Cali, what Cali responded to didn't work for her twin, and so on. Time outs worked great for three of my six children. For Jesse and Davin, the separation and withdrawal of affection was traumatizing, and a more AP/GD approach is much better. I trust myself to be able to tell when my child is being hurt by my methods, and to adjust accordingly. I don't think there's anything wrong with what the OP did, since it seemed to have worked well for her child.

Of course, that's just my opinion, which is probably worth what you paid for it.
this is actually really helpful and kind of affirms what i've been thinking myself. i appreciate your saying that different things work with different kids. my hunch is my child (at least at this point in time) needs time-out. i guess this is probably not the place to post such a wild assertion, but there you have it

again, thanks for you kind words.

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Old 01-28-2009, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It's not that I'm against the concept when it's used it a "Whoa, Nelly, you're a little out of control. Let's take a moment to collect ourselves, shall we?" kind of way. But a baby? They don't get it. It's not discipline, which means to teach, but punishment, which, IMHO, is not something you do to a baby or even a toddler.
i'm interested in this idea that they don't get it. how can someone just uniformly assert that a 20 month old doesn't understand time-out and thus it's a punishment? from what went on last night, it seemed she perfectly understood it. i really don't think she felt abandoned; i think she felt "hey! i'm not getting to come over and hit you anymore. my action has an actual consequence. this is new and strange."

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Old 01-28-2009, 01:54 PM
 
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What she gets is that it's a punishment.

She doesn't get how it's helping her.

-Angela
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Old 01-28-2009, 02:01 PM
 
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While I'm sensitive to the "love withdrawal" argument, I'm also sensitive to the fact that walking away is probably less damaging to my kids than mom screaming like a maniac, or worse, mom hitting back because that's what my reflexes want to do.
I think this is a really important point, one that is not given enough airtime in most GD circles. GD is only possible if this aspect is dealt with. I see moms, over and over, trying so hard to do it right, and then losing it at the last minute. I have gone through many iterations of struggling with this as a mother. The "just do it" recommendation, as in "just redirect", "just be playful", "just remind yourself it's developmental" really doesn't give parents enough tools, imo.

The tools I would recommend are 1) EFT for the moments when you're backed in a corner and are on the edge of losing it, 2) making a plan ahead of time, which your child knows about, for you both to get a break from the hitting 3) making a plan for repairing breaks in the relationship, which will happen -- both you and your kids will make mistakes, act badly, and lose it sometimes. Meeting those times and coming back to center is a very useful tool to teach and learn. A great book for learning repair of relationship breaks is Parenting from the Inside Out.

I trust that you'll find your way through whether or not time-outs at this age are working for your dd. I do think she's a little young to get the logic you're using, and I wonder if the positive effect will wear off once she gets used to it. But I don't think it's wrong to experiment; I hear that you're at the end of your rope and feeling like this is better than the alternative, and wondering if it might actually be the solution. I suspect it's not the solution, but see that it's clearly important for you at this point to introduce some other options, and I see you exploring that. I say just keep gently exploring, taking into account lots of different sources of info and your daughter's reactions. You'll find a way through. And continue to respect your own needs and limits! That's very sensible, although sometimes not very easy.

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Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
Instead it was a "you're welcome to join us when you've calmed down". For our ds especially, he needed to be physically separated from us to achieve that. He's easily overstimulated, and being near the 'source' of the problem kept him revved up. Alone, he'd storm for a bit, and then let us comfort him. With us, he'd keep going.
This is true of my son as well, and those are words that we've used. He's like me in this way! I know exactly how it feels, at least my version of it. It's so helpful to have a way out of a situation sometimes, and then revisit it afterwards. I'm still not clear on the best way to do this -- we're still finding our way through. But I do know that it's one of his legitimate needs, to get some space when he's upset. And he can't always do it. It's an interesting issue.

Good luck, mama! Hope you get some interesting food for thought on here.

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Old 01-28-2009, 02:01 PM
 
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The Five Steps are a technique developed by Lisa Kuzara-Seibold, Minister of Early Childhood Education at Word of Grace Church in Mesa, Arizona. I had the amazing opportunity to mentor under her while employed by the Department of Early Childhood Education as a Sunday School Teacher. This example of The Five Steps is an adaptation of what is taught in her training manual.

Step 1: State your request and offer a reason.

Example: “You need to stop yourself from playing and clean up. It is time to leave.”

Step 2: Restate your request.

Example: “You need to stop yourself from playing and clean up.”

It is helpful to get down on the child’s level and touch your child while looking in his eyes to make sure you have his attention.

Step 3: Offer help.

Example: “You are having a hard time stopping your play. Can you stop playing and clean up or do you need my help?”

Whether your child requests help or not respect their wishes. Help is not a punishment, it is help.

Step 4: Help.

Example: “You are not stopping your play. Here, let me help you.”

Again, help is not a punishment. It is an acknowledgment that your child is unable to stop on their own. This may be due to a lack of maturity, being tired or hungry, or simply not wanting to stop.

Step 5: The Bear Hug.

Stand behind your child and wrap your arms over her shoulders and across her chest. Hold her arms with your hands if you are concerned about her striking out. Squat down to her level and speak gently in her ear that you are helping her stop herself and that you will let her go when she can stop herself. Gentle pressure on her shoulders can keep her from kicking or attempting to run from you. This is not a punishment. It is providing outside boundaries for a child who lacks internal boundaries.

There are actually a few times when it’s appropriate.

First, it’s a great connecting tool when you’re not even using the other steps. Especially for children who love touch and contact. I often sweep into a room, scoop a child up into a bear hug, squeeze and cuddle and then move on. The thing about the positioning of the bear hug is that mom is non-threatening–behind, at child’s level, and able to speak calmly and quietly into child’s ear. The hug provides a sense of security to most children. I actually encourage doing this often so that when it’s done as the 5th step the child is comfortable with it and comforted BY it.

Second, it is a great tool for providing external boundaries when a child’s internal boundaries have broken down. Because the 4th step is *helping* that is where most interactions should end–parent helps child be successful and not cooperating is NOT an option. But if the child melts down or becomes violent then it’s important to keep them, yourself, and others safe and holding them not only does that but, with most children, helps them calm down. Because children push the boundaries when they don’t feel safe, providing kind and firm boundaries in a tangible way he’s them feel safe and calm down.

If a child is averse to the Bear Hug then I would only use it if the child was truly being violent and needed to be kept safe. In that case I’m not particularly concerned about them not liking it because safety comes first. Otherwise, if they are just *melting down* then I find a safe place for them to have their big feelings and I wait nearby.

During the Bear Hug I speak calmly into the child’s ears saying things that let them know I will release them as soon as they have their own self control, that I am bigger than their big feelings, that they are safe and I will keep them safe, that I hear them being very upset–reflecting, validating and affirming them while instructing them in what they need to do (get their self control back).
My bold.

I have to say I have a real problem with this. First of all, the OP is talking about a ONE YEAR OLD. Second...Why is help offered as 'step three'? Why not offer to help the first time? ESPECIALLY with a really young kiddo. Doing things 'side by side' is the best way for them to be independent later anyways. And the 'bear hug' idea is physical restraint, no matter how cuddly you make it out to be. It's worded very similarly to 'holding therapy', and it seems out of place entirely for use with an average child with normal levels of aggressive outbursts (not that it works for severely disturbed children either, but it is uses). How is an adult using their body to physically restrain a child any LESS a show of arbitrary dominance and power than an adult hitting/spanking a child?

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Old 01-28-2009, 02:09 PM
 
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i'm interested in this idea that they don't get it. how can someone just uniformly assert that a 20 month old doesn't understand time-out and thus it's a punishment? from what went on last night, it seemed she perfectly understood it. i really don't think she felt abandoned; i think she felt "hey! i'm not getting to come over and hit you anymore. my action has an actual consequence. this is new and strange."
I can uniformly assert this because I did graduate work in early childhood education and understand cognitive and emotional and moral development.

Your daughter does not make those connections. If she does, it's in a Pavlovian "crime and punishment" kind of way. "If I do this, mama makes something unpleasant happen to me." Which is fine I guess, if that's the kind of relationship you want to have. I personally don't see that fitting into an attachment parenting paradigm at all. Throw in the timed aspect (as I said before, your daughter can't tell time and has no concept of a minute. For all she knows, you're going to keep parking her back on that futon until the end of time) and the withdrawal of affection (blank face, turning the back on her, no speaking), and it seems even more inappropriate.

It's a punishment whether she understands it or not. She did something you didn't like, so you're doing something she won't like--something which goes against the very nature of a toddler--to "teach her a lesson". You're not walking away, you're forcing her to sit. You're not showing her anything, you're forcing her to sit. You're not channeling her energy into something acceptable, you're forcing her to sit. That's what makes it punitive and not discipline.

You seem pretty convinced that this is the way to go, and that it "works". You've only responded positively to people who have given you permission to do this to your daughter. I'm not exactly sure what you're looking for, since in your OP you seemed to want to opinions on how GD it is. My opinion is that it's not gentle, it's not discipline, and it doesn't promote attachment.

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Old 01-28-2009, 02:15 PM
 
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this is actually really helpful and kind of affirms what i've been thinking myself. i appreciate your saying that different things work with different kids. my hunch is my child (at least at this point in time) needs time-out. i guess this is probably not the place to post such a wild assertion, but there you have it

again, thanks for you kind words.
Well that is definitely the crux of any parenting conversation, isn't it? LOL That different thing work for different kids

Here's my suggestion, FWIW, feel free to offer change

I hear you that the hitting and the aggression are feeling intense. That she's hitting the cat AND the people she loves tells me that yes, she needs a boundary. And, you know her best, so if you believe she's asking for a boundary then by all means show her there is a boundary! I am of the camp that arbitrary time outs aren't always the most beneficial and should, ideally, be avoided if possible. In our house we do more of a cooling off where child can go do whatever to calm down. BUT, it IS a natural consequence for people/animals to not want to be with you when you hurt them. So, while I might adjust the method to work better for me, if my 1yo is hurting others it would be important for me to help the 1yo understand...when you hurt people they want to go away.

Have you tried the library for books you can read together? I can't think of any offhand. Maybe you could even do a photo book yourself that 'tells the story' of hitting = hurting etc.

Also, is there a way to have a little more super-active playtime with her 3-4 times a day? Like run around the house and tickle, wrestle, etc. as a positive outlet for this physical energy? Pillow fight, jump on the couch/beds, bang pots and pans etc? This could be in 15 minute spurts throughout the day, but I'd bet it makes a difference? If you already do this, do it more...LOL

I'll try and brainstorm some more, good luck mama!!

ETA: What about getting a soft bat and letting her hit the couch? Then if she hits someone you can swoop in and say Ohhhhh REMEMBER??? You can hit the couch with THIS (big dramatic silly flair while handing her the bat) but you can NOT hit Mama/Daddy/Kitty

Also, please know that if you need to walk away because you are at the end of your rope emotionally or patience wise, or whatever, there is NOTHING wrong with that. Make sure your bb is in a safe place and walk away, cool off, whatever you need to do to regroup and go back to tackling this. You can do it! This too shall pass!

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Old 01-28-2009, 02:15 PM
 
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It's not that I'm against the concept when it's used it a "Whoa, Nelly, you're a little out of control. Let's take a moment to collect ourselves, shall we?" kind of way..

I agree. I would also suggest the book "Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline" by Becky Bailey? She has many concrete GD type suggestions for different ages - but the biggest things I took away from the book were more to do with ME and dealing with my emotions before addressing situations as well as being assertive rather than passive or aggressive (in other relationships - not just with the kids.)

We offer positive choices as much as possible (Would you like to take your shoes off or would you like to get down from the bed? in the situation the OP mentioned) and remind them that hitting is not an option. I have also said at times when I feel like I need a minute "I love you and I need to go calm down for a minute before we talk about this." And if one of the kids is out of control tantruming/hitting/etc. I ask whether they would like to sit with me and calm down or calm down by themselves...because really - we all have times where we want to be consoled when we are upset and times when we want a few minutes alone.

With a 20 mth old it needs to be even more basic, but again, I would definitely recommend that book!
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Old 01-28-2009, 02:18 PM
 
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i'm interested in this idea that they don't get it. how can someone just uniformly assert that a 20 month old doesn't understand time-out and thus it's a punishment? from what went on last night, it seemed she perfectly understood it. i really don't think she felt abandoned; i think she felt "hey! i'm not getting to come over and hit you anymore. my action has an actual consequence. this is new and strange."
What a 20 mth old takes away from this is "If I don't do what she wants - the person I love is going to leave me." Is that really what you want to instill in your child? I know that sounds a bit extreme - but really, you are teaching her to rely completely on external motivation to do what you want rather than teaching her other ways of behaving appropriately.

The ideal would be to teach her APPROPRIATE ways of expressing herself (gentle touches, etc) rather than just punishing the negative behaviour.
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Old 01-28-2009, 02:20 PM
 
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One last thing.

The other thing that bothers me about it as that you're setting her up for failure. You're putting her on futon and turning your back. Of course she's going to get down. That's what toddlers do, they climb up and down stuff.

I would just really urge you to put yourself in her shoes. She's so little. She has this whole world in front of her, and all these limits she doesn't quite understand. Of course she's testing to see where they are! So when she hits, help her to be gentle. You don't need to tack a punishment on at the end to drive home the point. Keep the limits consistant and realistic, and she'll learn where they are. This is said with love by a mama who has gone through this 4 times now, each time with very different children, one of whom is your daughter's age and nursing right now because he pitched a fit at the "we don't throw kashi bars" limit.

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