Gentle Dicipline for strong willed children - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 116 Old 03-18-2009, 09:51 PM
 
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...or take pictures of all of them and only keep the best ones....that's what I do with all of DS's school art, so that I don't have ot keep a kajillion pieces of construction paper...but I can still follow his progress.

Heather, WAHM to DS (01/04)DD (06/06). Wed to DH(09/97)
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#62 of 116 Old 03-19-2009, 12:18 AM
 
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ITA Color Wonder markers and coloring books and special paper works really well. I also buy the "paint with water" books, and have the Aqua Doodle mat (I need an extra Aqua pen though). The mat can also be used with water on paintbrushes. I bought a big bag of plastic handled paintbrushes from Oriental Trading because the paint kept peeling off the wooden paintbrushes. Our boys also like to paint the deck or fence with brushes dipped in water. And use sidewalk chalk on the driveway. Painting with water on construction paper works well too. We also have small chalkboards and a box of colored chalk, and the magnetic doodler things (doodlepro and other brands) all over the house.

As for real writing instruments, I have found that normal leaded pencils are the easiest thing to clean up when they go astray. Now that DS1 wants to practice writing and drawing all the time, and I want him to get more time working on paper, he has free access to all the pencils he wants. Once in a while DS2 starts working in pencil too, and sometimes the pencil goes astray. When that happens, I put his pencil away and give him a baby wipe and he helps clean up his "artwork", which in pencil, only takes a minute. I only get out the crayons and markers when I can directly supervise, or DS2 is napping. Also they paint with tempera paints a lot. Always directly supervised. With the paints, I let them paint until they are done, then put all the painting stuff away immediately, so it rarely goes anywhere it is not supposed to go.

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#63 of 116 Old 03-19-2009, 12:29 PM
 
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May I offer a suggestion from experience, having raised a very strong willed child to adulthood? Don't explain, don't reason. Just state what you want/expect in a calm, no nonsense, not open for debate voice, When they respond with "NO", simply repeat your previous statement. No arguing, no debate, no discussion. If they get you into a discussion, you have already lost. The trick is not to raise your voice and not to appear frustrated. If you do, you have lost. And pick your battles. Only engage in one when you are absolutely sure that you will "win".

For instance, my Erica absolutely refused to wear a bib while eating. Since the object was for her to eat, she didn't wear a bib. She ate in her diaper. Wearing he bib was negotiable. But she had to wear a hat outdoors for her own health. That wasn't negotiable. She had 2 choices: wear the hat and go outside, or not wear the hat and stay inside.

On things that you have no decided preference one way or the other, give them the choice. They will feel like they have control when in reality you have controlled what choice they do have. But only give 2 choices both of which you can live with.

Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
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#64 of 116 Old 03-19-2009, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
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May I offer a suggestion from experience, having raised a very strong willed child to adulthood? Don't explain, don't reason. Just state what you want/expect in a calm, no nonsense, not open for debate voice, When they respond with "NO", simply repeat your previous statement. No arguing, no debate, no discussion. If they get you into a discussion, you have already lost. The trick is not to raise your voice and not to appear frustrated. If you do, you have lost. And pick your battles. Only engage in one when you are absolutely sure that you will "win".

For instance, my Erica absolutely refused to wear a bib while eating. Since the object was for her to eat, she didn't wear a bib. She ate in her diaper. Wearing he bib was negotiable. But she had to wear a hat outdoors for her own health. That wasn't negotiable. She had 2 choices: wear the hat and go outside, or not wear the hat and stay inside.

On things that you have no decided preference one way or the other, give them the choice. They will feel like they have control when in reality you have controlled what choice they do have. But only give 2 choices both of which you can live with.
Yeah, that DOES NOT work with my kids. DOES NOT WORK. I give them two choices like that and they scream no at both of them, and I can say it until I'm out of breath, but they'll keep on insisting about whatever it is they want. Reasoning works better ime.
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#65 of 116 Old 03-19-2009, 12:33 PM
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when they don't make a choice you make it for them. in sewchris's excample you could say "you want to go outside, but you don't want to wear a hat. that wasn't an option. when you are ready to go outside with a hat on let me know. until they we will stay in"

and if they have a tantrum, that is when you handle the tantrum with empathy.
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#66 of 116 Old 03-19-2009, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
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when they don't make a choice you make it for them. in sewchris's excample you could say "you want to go outside, but you don't want to wear a hat. that wasn't an option. when you are ready to go outside with a hat on let me know. until they we will stay in"

and if they have a tantrum, that is when you handle the tantrum with empathy.
That is usually what I do. It's frustrating though. Some days, we have tantrums every time we leave the house, come back home, eat a meal....every. little. thing. I don't know what's up with my kids lately. It seems like all they do is scream, fight, and tantrum
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#67 of 116 Old 03-19-2009, 12:37 PM
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i know its hard. really all you can do then is see if there are some things you can let go of temporarily, and address later in life - even if its just 3 months from now. did you always have empathy with tantrums? if at one point you had a different approach, there may be a back log of emotions that need to be let out, then the tantrums will start to decrease in frequency. its hard in the short term! and can often require some faith and make you feel like you are failing somehow! try to focus on your actions, are you handling it a way you think is healthy. how you handle it and how they respond are separate... connected in a way in the long term of course, but what im saying is you can do everything right and they may still tantrum. but you still did everything YOU were supposed to do.
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#68 of 116 Old 03-19-2009, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Well that right there is my hardest point. Some moms are really good at handling tantrums, but it's not my strong suit to say the least. I was told that when you were raised not being allowed to tantrum like I was, you have trouble accepting that kids tantrum and it's ok and not your fault. It literally sends shivers up my spine, makes me sweat and shake, all my muscles clench...I have an actual physical reaction. My therapist suggested headphones for this time, and honestly, when things are really bad it's the only thing I can do so I don't lose my temper.
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#69 of 116 Old 03-19-2009, 12:52 PM
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i can understand. i have to walk away from tantrums sometimes and compose myself before I can rejoin them to help them through it (hugs)
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#70 of 116 Old 03-19-2009, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
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One of my kids likes contact when she tantrums, the other one needs to be left alone or I'll just make it worse. It took me over two years to figure that out about her! Luckily, she's the older one and doesn't tantrum as much as her sister....although her tantrums are worse when she does blow.
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#71 of 116 Old 03-19-2009, 12:59 PM
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yep, with my kids it can be either. sometimes they need me, sometimes they need space and just to know im available if they need me.
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#72 of 116 Old 03-19-2009, 01:36 PM
 
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I guess by "work", having me say "hitting hurts people, please do not hit your sister" not having them 1. laugh in my face 2. scream at me "no" or 3. keep right on hitting just seconds after saying this. That would be the biggest issue I am dealing with. I have tried separating them, distracting them with activities (coloring, tv sometimes, going outside to the park), explaining why we don't hit, quick time outs. And yet they do it. Daily. MULTIPLE times a day.

How can you gently discipline a child who yells or laughs in your face? I MEAN REALLY.
Here's an example of what to do in that situation: Genlely, phyically pick up the offending child, and remove from the situation. Then turn right around and do it again. And repeat 100 times within 5 minutes. Strong willed child require boundries but at the same time, they will constantly test those boundries. Raising strong willed children does come with rewards but those rewards come much later than with other children. Sometimes years later. They very seldom sub come to peer pressure as teens. In fact, they will do the very opposite of what the pressure is. They will make adults who think for themselves who aren't swayed by advertisers or political ads.

Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
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#73 of 116 Old 03-19-2009, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
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I think that part depends on the kid. I have a will of steel and I'm still swayed by advertising and I did things my friends were doing just to be cool, not because they pressured me but because I wanted to fit in and be liked.

And um, I'm already doing that when my kids hit. *sigh*
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#74 of 116 Old 03-19-2009, 02:07 PM
 
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May I offer a suggestion from experience, having raised a very strong willed child to adulthood? Don't explain, don't reason. Just state what you want/expect in a calm, no nonsense, not open for debate voice, When they respond with "NO", simply repeat your previous statement. No arguing, no debate, no discussion. If they get you into a discussion, you have already lost. The trick is not to raise your voice and not to appear frustrated. If you do, you have lost. And pick your battles. Only engage in one when you are absolutely sure that you will "win".
ITA with your approach...after trying many other kinds <insert sigh smiley here>.
so...how old is your dc now? did s/he turn out to be a normal, caring, not sociopathic human being? mine's only 8...i so want there to be hope

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That is usually what I do. It's frustrating though. Some days, we have tantrums every time we leave the house, come back home, eat a meal....every. little. thing. I don't know what's up with my kids lately. It seems like all they do is scream, fight, and tantrum
yes, it is frustrating! parenting is one long frustration, IME, for the first 5 years. i mean, for me, there were moments...but the frustrating moments were lots and lots more than the rewarding ones. good for me (and ds) that i love him so much! he was SO hard to parent, as a littler kid. he's been in therapy since he was 3 and boy oh boy have we come a long way since then! <need a WHEW smiley, too> he's a pretty awesome kid, all in all. still have a huge problem with lying and with sass, but other than that, he has compassion, he's a good kid, and i'm not worried about them taking him away in a happy suit anymore

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Here's an example of what to do in that situation: Genlely, phyically pick up the offending child, and remove from the situation. Then turn right around and do it again. And repeat 100 times within 5 minutes. Strong willed child require boundries but at the same time, they will constantly test those boundries. Raising strong willed children does come with rewards but those rewards come much later than with other children. Sometimes years later. They very seldom sub come to peer pressure as teens. In fact, they will do the very opposite of what the pressure is. They will make adults who think for themselves who aren't swayed by advertisers or political ads.
you think? really? omg there is hope after all. i SO hope you are right! my ds has two alcoholic parents (one sober, that would be me, and one deceased, but we still have the genes) and i can only hope he doesn't turn out to be addicted. i guess i will cross that bridge when we come to it. he does know about me and his dad and he goes to AA meetings with me so he knows where to turn when/if the time comes.
but the peer pressure-- man i hope you are right about the bucking being an asset!

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#75 of 116 Old 03-19-2009, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
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I remember once, I was talking to a Lactation Consultant about the personality of my then newborn baby. I was telling her now even in the NICU, we could tell she had strong opinions about things. I remember a nurse saying to me, "Well it's a good thing you're breastfeeding becuase when this one wants to eat, she really lets you know!" Apparently she'd been keeping them all busy during the five minutes it took me to walk down the hall. Anyway, my LC said, "Good! The world needs more strong women." That comment always amused me. I know when they get older it will be a big bonus to them...it just makes parenting in the meantime...uh, challenging.
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#76 of 116 Old 03-19-2009, 02:23 PM
 
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it just makes parenting in the meantime...uh, challenging.
That's one word for it... I can come up with some pretty colorful alternatives.

Heather, WAHM to DS (01/04)DD (06/06). Wed to DH(09/97)
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#77 of 116 Old 03-19-2009, 02:26 PM - Thread Starter
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That's one word for it... I can come up with some pretty colorful alternatives.
me too
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#78 of 116 Old 03-19-2009, 02:46 PM
 
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Don't explain, don't reason. Just state what you want/expect in a calm, no nonsense, not open for debate voice, When they respond with "NO", simply repeat your previous statement. No arguing, no debate, no discussion. If they get you into a discussion, you have already lost. The trick is not to raise your voice and not to appear frustrated. If you do, you have lost. And pick your battles. Only engage in one when you are absolutely sure that you will "win".
Yes. This.

Honestly, I used to get the screaming of "NO!!!" in response, too. But we have a rule in our house that centres on the fact that we all respect each other. If my strong willed daughter screams at me or anyone else, she has to face a consequence. It comes in a variety of forms but usually the consequence is immeidate removal to a quiet room where we sit together and I say, calmly, "We do not scream at each other." That is ALL I say. Yes, at first, she'd jump up and holler. Then I'd calmly sit her down again and repeat, "We do not scream at each other." The first few days I did this, it took me about an hour each time of sitting her down, repeating the phrase, etc., to get her to understand my point. It was HARD at first but that's the way it is with young kids and strong-willed kids. They know that by screaming they can get their way. They've figured this out. Now we as parents have to educate them otherwise.

I've tried all kinds of things on my daughter including reasoning and time outs. Those didn't work at all. This seems to have done it, though. But the real trick is keeping your temper and not falling into the trap of reacting to your child's anger/frustration.

Another tactic I've incorporated that has helped is talking about feelings and emotions when my daughter is NOT in the middle of a fit of temper. Of course I can't reason with her when she's mad. She's MAD! But I can talk to her about mad and what it feels like when she's calm. I can point out characters in books and on her TV shows when they get mad and how they deal with it. I can give her tools to help her handle her anger and frustration. We sing songs about it together. And I encourage her to vent her anger and frustration in ways that are not destructive or self-destructive. Like stomping or jumping up and down or hitting her "Angry Pillow" or using her stuffies to role play it. She can do all these things. And it's often easier for her than me saying to her, "Can you tell me why you're _____?" or "Can you tell me what's going on?" She, at just over 3, has trouble articulating what has made her mad/frustrated when she's starting to lose her temper over something. What I say instead is something like, "It looks like you're getting mad/frustrated. Do you want to stomp a bit? Do you want to hit your pillow?" and she can deal with that.

I've learned recently that the mistakes I've made with her include not being consistent enough with her. We do have some rules in our house and set times when things happen (like meal times, nap times, bedtime, tooth brushing, etc.). I used to let her lead too much in some scenarios and that made it doubly hard to keep to the boundaries. Then I realized (and did some reading) that as a family we operate like a team and one member of our team was getting way too much power. That had to change for the health of both her and of the family. It's been a struggle, don't get me wrong. She really doesn't like limits and boundaries and doesn't like bedtime. But we do it at the same time each day, explain the process - I even drew up a picture chart of her jammies, her tooth brush, a few books and then her bed and this helped A TON because she could see and understand what was coming.

And, really, I'm not perfect. I lose my temper. I get tired. I get mad sometimes too. And when I do, I put my hand up in the "stop" gesture and say, "Mommy is feeling mad right now and I need to calm down. Then I count out loud to ten and take three loud and deep breaths. (I've taught her to take a few deep breaths when she starts feeling the angries inside, by the way. It seems to help a bit too). Then I say, "Ok. Now we can talk about this." Sometimes I have to apologize to her for losing my temper. I think it's okay to do that with our children. They see us as role models. If we act in ways we tell them not to, we're contradicting ourselves. They need to see that we are not perfect and that we have to obey our own rules.

Just my thoughts on this. I hope it helps you. Please understand that I really do sympathize with how overwhelmed and frustrated you are. You'll get through this, Mama. You will!

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#79 of 116 Old 03-19-2009, 03:47 PM
 
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Yes. This.

Honestly, I used to get the screaming of "NO!!!" in response, too. But we have a rule in our house that centres on the fact that we all respect each other. If my strong willed daughter screams at me or anyone else, she has to face a consequence. It comes in a variety of forms but usually the consequence is immeidate removal to a quiet room where we sit together and I say, calmly, "We do not scream at each other." That is ALL I say. Yes, at first, she'd jump up and holler. Then I'd calmly sit her down again and repeat, "We do not scream at each other." The first few days I did this, it took me about an hour each time of sitting her down, repeating the phrase, etc., to get her to understand my point. It was HARD at first but that's the way it is with young kids and strong-willed kids. They know that by screaming they can get their way. They've figured this out. Now we as parents have to educate them otherwise.

I've tried all kinds of things on my daughter including reasoning and time outs. Those didn't work at all. This seems to have done it, though. But the real trick is keeping your temper and not falling into the trap of reacting to your child's anger/frustration.

Another tactic I've incorporated that has helped is talking about feelings and emotions when my daughter is NOT in the middle of a fit of temper. Of course I can't reason with her when she's mad. She's MAD! But I can talk to her about mad and what it feels like when she's calm. I can point out characters in books and on her TV shows when they get mad and how they deal with it. I can give her tools to help her handle her anger and frustration. We sing songs about it together. And I encourage her to vent her anger and frustration in ways that are not destructive or self-destructive. Like stomping or jumping up and down or hitting her "Angry Pillow" or using her stuffies to role play it. She can do all these things. And it's often easier for her than me saying to her, "Can you tell me why you're _____?" or "Can you tell me what's going on?" She, at just over 3, has trouble articulating what has made her mad/frustrated when she's starting to lose her temper over something. What I say instead is something like, "It looks like you're getting mad/frustrated. Do you want to stomp a bit? Do you want to hit your pillow?" and she can deal with that.

I've learned recently that the mistakes I've made with her include not being consistent enough with her. We do have some rules in our house and set times when things happen (like meal times, nap times, bedtime, tooth brushing, etc.). I used to let her lead too much in some scenarios and that made it doubly hard to keep to the boundaries. Then I realized (and did some reading) that as a family we operate like a team and one member of our team was getting way too much power. That had to change for the health of both her and of the family. It's been a struggle, don't get me wrong. She really doesn't like limits and boundaries and doesn't like bedtime. But we do it at the same time each day, explain the process - I even drew up a picture chart of her jammies, her tooth brush, a few books and then her bed and this helped A TON because she could see and understand what was coming.

And, really, I'm not perfect. I lose my temper. I get tired. I get mad sometimes too. And when I do, I put my hand up in the "stop" gesture and say, "Mommy is feeling mad right now and I need to calm down. Then I count out loud to ten and take three loud and deep breaths. (I've taught her to take a few deep breaths when she starts feeling the angries inside, by the way. It seems to help a bit too). Then I say, "Ok. Now we can talk about this." Sometimes I have to apologize to her for losing my temper. I think it's okay to do that with our children. They see us as role models. If we act in ways we tell them not to, we're contradicting ourselves. They need to see that we are not perfect and that we have to obey our own rules.

Just my thoughts on this. I hope it helps you. Please understand that I really do sympathize with how overwhelmed and frustrated you are. You'll get through this, Mama. You will!

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#80 of 116 Old 03-19-2009, 04:00 PM
 
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Not a GD technique, but I've had a lot of luck getting all sorts of coloring off of walls and furniture with the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. I have a two yo that will find that *one* Sharpie that I've left on the table that he can *just* reach. I can't attest to it being a natural cleaner, but I am in a rental, so the marks have to be cleaned off to save our security deposit.

I will say, the most recent time that my stepdaughter colored on her bed, I made her sand it off (the wood on the bed is unfinished). It took a while and was so boring that she hasn't colored on anything since. Natural consequences, right?

I've had the best results every time I have come up with a good natural consequence like that. She seems to remember what happened and think before she does it again.

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#81 of 116 Old 03-19-2009, 04:46 PM
 
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Yeah, that DOES NOT work with my kids. DOES NOT WORK. I give them two choices like that and they scream no at both of them, and I can say it until I'm out of breath, but they'll keep on insisting about whatever it is they want. Reasoning works better ime.
I didn't mean to sound like it worked every time with Erica. She'd spend more days standing rigid at the front door because she wanted to go outside without a hat. It was fun in a perverse kind of way to watch her try to work it out so she got what she wanted. She also would spend days just going up and down the stairs. She would be sent upstairs because of a tantrum. She would come down and announce that she was all done crying. Now can she have [whatever I said no to]. The answer would still be no and so back upstairs she would go. Man that girl was stuborn. She had some great temper tantrums. But I guess that I'm just one of those parents who don't take tantrums personally. They aren't about me but about the child. But I only had to deal with one strong willed child. And she did make life interesting.

Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
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#82 of 116 Old 03-19-2009, 04:48 PM
 
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Well that right there is my hardest point. Some moms are really good at handling tantrums, but it's not my strong suit to say the least. I was told that when you were raised not being allowed to tantrum like I was, you have trouble accepting that kids tantrum and it's ok and not your fault. It literally sends shivers up my spine, makes me sweat and shake, all my muscles clench...I have an actual physical reaction. My therapist suggested headphones for this time, and honestly, when things are really bad it's the only thing I can do so I don't lose my temper.
Yep. There were times when the only thing that kept Erica alive (I mean literally) was shuting myself in the bathroom.

Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
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#83 of 116 Old 03-19-2009, 05:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Maiasaura View Post
ITA with your approach...after trying many other kinds <insert sigh smiley here>.
so...how old is your dc now? did s/he turn out to be a normal, caring, not sociopathic human being? mine's only 8...i so want there to be hope :



you think? really? omg there is hope after all. i SO hope you are right! my ds has two alcoholic parents (one sober, that would be me, and one deceased, but we still have the genes) and i can only hope he doesn't turn out to be addicted. i guess i will cross that bridge when we come to it. he does know about me and his dad and he goes to AA meetings with me so he knows where to turn when/if the time comes.
but the peer pressure-- man i hope you are right about the bucking being an asset!
Erica is now 28, going on 29 with a 4 mo of her own. All the things that she hated me for growing up, she has all taken back. We have a great relationship now. But, to be honest, while I loved her from the minute she was born, I didn't like her for her first 5 years. She wasn't an easy child to like. When parenting a strong willed child, you must look very long term (years) for any kind of reward or results that you are doing it right. They don't do anything over night.

I think what was worse for me was that Joy was the perfect child that every parent fantasizes over. She nursed every 3 hours, was content in every situation, slept whenever she was tired even in the middle of all the Christmas wrappings. When told no and redirected, that was ok with her. I could wake her from a nap and just up and run errands if I felt like it. Then along came Erica who when told the sky was blue would look you right in the eye and with great conviction tell you "No, the sky is orange." Who only slept in her own bed and was not to be wakened under any circumstances. Errands had to be run not only just when she was awake but in the exact same order that I said them.

Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
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#84 of 116 Old 03-19-2009, 05:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sewchris2642 View Post
Erica is now 28, going on 29 with a 4 mo of her own. All the things that she hated me for growing up, she has all taken back. We have a great relationship now. But, to be honest, while I loved her from the minute she was born, I didn't like her for her first 5 years. She wasn't an easy child to like. When parenting a strong willed child, you must look very long term (years) for any kind of reward or results that you are doing it right. They don't do anything over night.

I think what was worse for me was that Joy was the perfect child that every parent fantasizes over. She nursed every 3 hours, was content in every situation, slept whenever she was tired even in the middle of all the Christmas wrappings. When told no and redirected, that was ok with her. I could wake her from a nap and just up and run errands if I felt like it. Then along came Erica who when told the sky was blue would look you right in the eye and with great conviction tell you "No, the sky is orange." Who only slept in her own bed and was not to be wakened under any circumstances. Errands had to be run not only just when she was awake but in the exact same order that I said them.
That is like a dead ringer for how my kids are.

I'm relieved to hear I am not the only person that, while they love their kids dearly, don't really LIKE them sometimes.
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#85 of 116 Old 03-19-2009, 05:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by beachcomber View Post
Yes. This.

Honestly, I used to get the screaming of "NO!!!" in response, too. But we have a rule in our house that centres on the fact that we all respect each other. If my strong willed daughter screams at me or anyone else, she has to face a consequence. It comes in a variety of forms but usually the consequence is immeidate removal to a quiet room where we sit together and I say, calmly, "We do not scream at each other." That is ALL I say. Yes, at first, she'd jump up and holler. Then I'd calmly sit her down again and repeat, "We do not scream at each other." The first few days I did this, it took me about an hour each time of sitting her down, repeating the phrase, etc., to get her to understand my point. It was HARD at first but that's the way it is with young kids and strong-willed kids. They know that by screaming they can get their way. They've figured this out. Now we as parents have to educate them otherwise.

I've tried all kinds of things on my daughter including reasoning and time outs. Those didn't work at all. This seems to have done it, though. But the real trick is keeping your temper and not falling into the trap of reacting to your child's anger/frustration.

Another tactic I've incorporated that has helped is talking about feelings and emotions when my daughter is NOT in the middle of a fit of temper. Of course I can't reason with her when she's mad. She's MAD! But I can talk to her about mad and what it feels like when she's calm. I can point out characters in books and on her TV shows when they get mad and how they deal with it. I can give her tools to help her handle her anger and frustration. We sing songs about it together. And I encourage her to vent her anger and frustration in ways that are not destructive or self-destructive. Like stomping or jumping up and down or hitting her "Angry Pillow" or using her stuffies to role play it. She can do all these things. And it's often easier for her than me saying to her, "Can you tell me why you're _____?" or "Can you tell me what's going on?" She, at just over 3, has trouble articulating what has made her mad/frustrated when she's starting to lose her temper over something. What I say instead is something like, "It looks like you're getting mad/frustrated. Do you want to stomp a bit? Do you want to hit your pillow?" and she can deal with that.

I've learned recently that the mistakes I've made with her include not being consistent enough with her. We do have some rules in our house and set times when things happen (like meal times, nap times, bedtime, tooth brushing, etc.). I used to let her lead too much in some scenarios and that made it doubly hard to keep to the boundaries. Then I realized (and did some reading) that as a family we operate like a team and one member of our team was getting way too much power. That had to change for the health of both her and of the family. It's been a struggle, don't get me wrong. She really doesn't like limits and boundaries and doesn't like bedtime. But we do it at the same time each day, explain the process - I even drew up a picture chart of her jammies, her tooth brush, a few books and then her bed and this helped A TON because she could see and understand what was coming.

And, really, I'm not perfect. I lose my temper. I get tired. I get mad sometimes too. And when I do, I put my hand up in the "stop" gesture and say, "Mommy is feeling mad right now and I need to calm down. Then I count out loud to ten and take three loud and deep breaths. (I've taught her to take a few deep breaths when she starts feeling the angries inside, by the way. It seems to help a bit too). Then I say, "Ok. Now we can talk about this." Sometimes I have to apologize to her for losing my temper. I think it's okay to do that with our children. They see us as role models. If we act in ways we tell them not to, we're contradicting ourselves. They need to see that we are not perfect and that we have to obey our own rules.

Just my thoughts on this. I hope it helps you. Please understand that I really do sympathize with how overwhelmed and frustrated you are. You'll get through this, Mama. You will!
You just posted every thing I've been trying to say.

Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
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#86 of 116 Old 03-19-2009, 05:18 PM
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i dont like my kids sometimes either, even though I love them. you are NOT alone in that. and I too have to lock myself in the bathroom sometimes. now my kids do this and come out and tell me they are all better now haha
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Originally Posted by beachcomber View Post
Yes. This.

Honestly, I used to get the screaming of "NO!!!" in response, too. But we have a rule in our house that centres on the fact that we all respect each other. If my strong willed daughter screams at me or anyone else, she has to face a consequence. It comes in a variety of forms but usually the consequence is immeidate removal to a quiet room where we sit together and I say, calmly, "We do not scream at each other." That is ALL I say. Yes, at first, she'd jump up and holler. Then I'd calmly sit her down again and repeat, "We do not scream at each other." The first few days I did this, it took me about an hour each time of sitting her down, repeating the phrase, etc., to get her to understand my point. It was HARD at first but that's the way it is with young kids and strong-willed kids. They know that by screaming they can get their way. They've figured this out. Now we as parents have to educate them otherwise.

I've tried all kinds of things on my daughter including reasoning and time outs. Those didn't work at all. This seems to have done it, though. But the real trick is keeping your temper and not falling into the trap of reacting to your child's anger/frustration.

Another tactic I've incorporated that has helped is talking about feelings and emotions when my daughter is NOT in the middle of a fit of temper. Of course I can't reason with her when she's mad. She's MAD! But I can talk to her about mad and what it feels like when she's calm. I can point out characters in books and on her TV shows when they get mad and how they deal with it. I can give her tools to help her handle her anger and frustration. We sing songs about it together. And I encourage her to vent her anger and frustration in ways that are not destructive or self-destructive. Like stomping or jumping up and down or hitting her "Angry Pillow" or using her stuffies to role play it. She can do all these things. And it's often easier for her than me saying to her, "Can you tell me why you're _____?" or "Can you tell me what's going on?" She, at just over 3, has trouble articulating what has made her mad/frustrated when she's starting to lose her temper over something. What I say instead is something like, "It looks like you're getting mad/frustrated. Do you want to stomp a bit? Do you want to hit your pillow?" and she can deal with that.

I've learned recently that the mistakes I've made with her include not being consistent enough with her. We do have some rules in our house and set times when things happen (like meal times, nap times, bedtime, tooth brushing, etc.). I used to let her lead too much in some scenarios and that made it doubly hard to keep to the boundaries. Then I realized (and did some reading) that as a family we operate like a team and one member of our team was getting way too much power. That had to change for the health of both her and of the family. It's been a struggle, don't get me wrong. She really doesn't like limits and boundaries and doesn't like bedtime. But we do it at the same time each day, explain the process - I even drew up a picture chart of her jammies, her tooth brush, a few books and then her bed and this helped A TON because she could see and understand what was coming.

And, really, I'm not perfect. I lose my temper. I get tired. I get mad sometimes too. And when I do, I put my hand up in the "stop" gesture and say, "Mommy is feeling mad right now and I need to calm down. Then I count out loud to ten and take three loud and deep breaths. (I've taught her to take a few deep breaths when she starts feeling the angries inside, by the way. It seems to help a bit too). Then I say, "Ok. Now we can talk about this." Sometimes I have to apologize to her for losing my temper. I think it's okay to do that with our children. They see us as role models. If we act in ways we tell them not to, we're contradicting ourselves. They need to see that we are not perfect and that we have to obey our own rules.

Just my thoughts on this. I hope it helps you. Please understand that I really do sympathize with how overwhelmed and frustrated you are. You'll get through this, Mama. You will!
I honestly, honestly do not know if I am capable of that level of patience and calm. I'm certainly trying, but My temper is on a hairtrigger and my kids really know how to push my buttons. I'm trying lots and lots of therapy, meds, everything I can think of. I am getting better of course but it doesn't happen out of the blue.

I do always apologize for losing my temper. But it doesn't take away the guilt.
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#88 of 116 Old 03-20-2009, 06:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by The4OfUs View Post
That's one word for it... I can come up with some pretty colorful alternatives.
oh, no teasing, no fair...let's hear them!

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Originally Posted by pinksprklybarefoot View Post
I've had the best results every time I have come up with a good natural consequence like that. She seems to remember what happened and think before she does it again.
that's a logical consequence...not to get picky or anything

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Originally Posted by sewchris2642 View Post
Erica is now 28, going on 29 with a 4 mo of her own. All the things that she hated me for growing up, she has all taken back. We have a great relationship now. But, to be honest, while I loved her from the minute she was born, I didn't like her for her first 5 years. She wasn't an easy child to like. When parenting a strong willed child, you must look very long term (years) for any kind of reward or results that you are doing it right. They don't do anything over night.

I think what was worse for me was that Joy was the perfect child that every parent fantasizes over. She nursed every 3 hours, was content in every situation, slept whenever she was tired even in the middle of all the Christmas wrappings. When told no and redirected, that was ok with her. I could wake her from a nap and just up and run errands if I felt like it. Then along came Erica who when told the sky was blue would look you right in the eye and with great conviction tell you "No, the sky is orange." Who only slept in her own bed and was not to be wakened under any circumstances. Errands had to be run not only just when she was awake but in the exact same order that I said them.
was Joy the 2nd child? i met a mama once who i got along with famously, because her 1st child was slightly older than mine and so, so high-need/spirited. we commiserated
but she told me that she was sure God gave her the 2nd child (who was typical and easy) to show her that it wasn't her fault about the 1st one's behavior. until then she carried a lot of guilt over what was she doing wrong and etc. that has stuck with me over the years. i never did have a 2nd child, but it eased my mind, too.
mine will also look at you with great conviction and tell me the sky is orange. only in my house it's i tell him to make his bed, which is a rumpled mess with the covers half on the floor, and he will tell me it is made. then get really, really angry and pitch a tantrum when i tell him he's full of baloney and make the bed :

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#89 of 116 Old 03-21-2009, 11:46 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Maiasaura View Post
was Joy the 2nd child? i met a mama once who i got along with famously, because her 1st child was slightly older than mine and so, so high-need/spirited. we commiserated
but she told me that she was sure God gave her the 2nd child (who was typical and easy) to show her that it wasn't her fault about the 1st one's behavior. until then she carried a lot of guilt over what was she doing wrong and etc. that has stuck with me over the years. i never did have a 2nd child, but it eased my mind, too.
mine will also look at you with great conviction and tell me the sky is orange. only in my house it's i tell him to make his bed, which is a rumpled mess with the covers half on the floor, and he will tell me it is made. then get really, really angry and pitch a tantrum when i tell him he's full of baloney and make the bed :
No such luck. Joy was my first. I had no clue when Erica was born. I was still basking in the mistaken delusion that raising babies was as piece of cake. Then Erica was born. There's a reason why there is a 4 year gap between Erica and Angela.

Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
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#90 of 116 Old 03-21-2009, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Does anyone have any thoughts or book recommendations anger issues, esp geared towards abuse survivors? I've been having a really hard time with my temper lately. TIA
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