Gentle Dicipline for strong willed children - Page 4 - Mothering Forums

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#91 of 116 Old 03-21-2009, 02:57 PM
 
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i don't have any, tallulah, and i am sure the mamas on here will chime in with some good advice.
i just wanted to commend you for being so brave and reaching out for help. that's a difficult thing to do, and is for sure the first step towards healing.

good for you, mama

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#92 of 116 Old 03-21-2009, 05:47 PM
 
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I haven't read through the whole thread. So excuse me if I am redundant. First, before my suggestions I just want to commiserate. I was going to start my own thread. My daughter is 4 and I have a 7 month old VERY HIGH NEEDS boy. Lately every situation in our household is arguing. Arguing over the stupidest things. There were some tough moments at age 3 but nothing like what I've experienced over the last few weeks/months. What I have realized for me is that I am exhausted. My baby has sucked all my energy away (obviously, it's not his fault) and I have used up so much energy trying to *fix* his issues and I'm just left drained. My poor daughter has suffered and it wasn't until today until I was ready to remove the blame from her and accept that her attitude is a very direct result of my disconnection from her. Which makes me feel guilty but I just have to accept that I'm doing the best I can and now I just need to move on and try to repair the disconnect.

Anyway, I'd love suggestions on breaking the cycle we're all ready in. We use time-outs wayyyyyyy too much and I'd love to get to no time-outs. I'll look into the mentioned books but is there a book that is good at helping to repair the punitive cycles once they've all ready been established? Luckily my daughter is only 4 but I know I've set up some really unhealthy habits between how her and I are interacting (yelling battles).

Ok, here is my suggestion for everyone. Get the kids outside more. Crappy weather and all. I am working on taking myself up on this advice but really, everyones kids need this. There are hardly any kids that get enough of this. And not just in the back yard but outside in places to roam, the woods, the creek, etc. I'm almost finished with a really excellent book called "Last Child in the Woods". I think it is one of the best books I have ever read. Honestly. And I have read A LOT of books on child development/parenting. Just not lately because of the baby.
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#93 of 116 Old 03-21-2009, 06:04 PM
 
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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
I'm an abuse survivor too. It's hard huh? I know this will not be the same for everyone but honestly I think the key is to acknowlege, take accountabilty and make a plan.

Only we know what we went through. Only we know our greatest weaknesses. I think we are the experts on ourselves. I am finding for myself that I make the most headway and see the most growth in myself when I take the initiative to start dealing with whatever problem I'm having in a direct an upfront and accountable matter. I tell a few of my close friends what problem I'm having and what I'm going to do about it and I ask them to help keep me accountable if they see me straying from my goals.

You may find better help with some one-on-one therapy or maybe there is a book with a magic recipe. I dunno. But for me I think if you are on this site and able to articulate that you have an abusive past and that it's effecting your parenting then you'll be able to be observant enough to find your weak areas.

In general I've found books on healthy boundaries and relaxation techniques helpful.

For me my biggest challenge is dealing with impulse when I'm angry. When the blood boiling starts. If I don't get to blood boiling stage I am a pretty awesome parent, if I do say so myself. But once a button gets pushed it's like I become a completely different, awful parent. The parent I want to sob over and bang on the head. It's very embarrassing and I just want to kick myself sometimes. But I'm learning and growing and I've learned to be honest and apologize and I think that's all I can do. Keep trying, keep growing and admit mistakes and apologize.

Anyway, what I have gone through is my experience and so I hope nothing I've said is offensive to you. If so, please disregard and know that I'm certainly no expert.
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#94 of 116 Old 03-21-2009, 07:33 PM - Thread Starter
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"For me my biggest challenge is dealing with impulse when I'm angry. When the blood boiling starts. If I don't get to blood boiling stage I am a pretty awesome parent, if I do say so myself. But once a button gets pushed it's like I become a completely different, awful parent. The parent I want to sob over and bang on the head. It's very embarrassing and I just want to kick myself sometimes."

Yes, this is my problem. I also lose my temper faster than I can think most of the time, it's like I go from 0 to 100 in a split second. So I don't always have time to remove myself, calm down, and come back.

I'm already in one on one therapy.

As for getting the kids out more, this doesn't and never has worked for me. The amount of effort it takes to get my kids up and going is too much to deal with, the tantrums, the screaming, ect. Then they scream some more when it's time to come home. It's gotten so I've just given up on a lot of outings lately. Not worth it.
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#95 of 116 Old 03-21-2009, 11:00 PM
 
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My DS is super strong willed and sensitive, too. I try to give him choices. Here's a little story to make you maybe feel a little less alone -- I took DS to the Dollar Store and he was looking at all kinds of things he wanted in the toy aisle. I told him he could pick three things (I was feeling generous that day ). He threw an all out fit in the middle of the store because he wanted five things. They were almost identical items and I just decided I wasn't going to cave, so I gave him the choice, "you can get three things or none." Well, stubborn DS chose none! I even asked him if he was sure and then he repeated that he wanted NONE and we marched out of the store hand-in-hand with him wailing at the top of his lungs, "I'm getting NOTHING!" It was awful. So, remember that sometimes when you offer options, you can offer the null option. If they choose it, they live with it. I felt SO bad that day, but I had to let him live with his decision. Giving your kids choices can work, you just have to find creative ways to do it!

As for the nap thing, we started having "quiet time" daily when DS didn't want to nap as much. I would set the timer for an hour and he could watch tv or play quietly, but I wouldn't play with him. I didn't make him play in his room, but that might be something you'd want to consider. Give your kids a choice of taking a nap or having quiet time. Explain what quiet time entails (maybe staying in their room and entertaining themselves quietly for an hour, possibly falling asleep) and let them choose. Either way, you win!
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#96 of 116 Old 03-22-2009, 12:08 AM - Thread Starter
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My DS is super strong willed and sensitive, too. I try to give him choices. Here's a little story to make you maybe feel a little less alone -- I took DS to the Dollar Store and he was looking at all kinds of things he wanted in the toy aisle. I told him he could pick three things (I was feeling generous that day ). He threw an all out fit in the middle of the store because he wanted five things. They were almost identical items and I just decided I wasn't going to cave, so I gave him the choice, "you can get three things or none." Well, stubborn DS chose none! I even asked him if he was sure and then he repeated that he wanted NONE and we marched out of the store hand-in-hand with him wailing at the top of his lungs, "I'm getting NOTHING!" It was awful. So, remember that sometimes when you offer options, you can offer the null option. If they choose it, they live with it. I felt SO bad that day, but I had to let him live with his decision. Giving your kids choices can work, you just have to find creative ways to do it!

As for the nap thing, we started having "quiet time" daily when DS didn't want to nap as much. I would set the timer for an hour and he could watch tv or play quietly, but I wouldn't play with him. I didn't make him play in his room, but that might be something you'd want to consider. Give your kids a choice of taking a nap or having quiet time. Explain what quiet time entails (maybe staying in their room and entertaining themselves quietly for an hour, possibly falling asleep) and let them choose. Either way, you win!
Um...yeah. My kids would have FLIPPED OUT in that situation, and screamed over me not getting them the five items. None would not have been an option they'd have taken. I'd have to deal with the hour long tantrum that occured after that.

And the second one? Quiet time? LOL! That would never happen here, not in a million years for a million different bribes. I've tried. Believe me, I have tried.

I sometimes wonder if my kids really are worse than other kids (they really seem to be from what I've heard from other parents and based on the suggestions I get for what to do), or if I am just not the greatest person at dealing with their antics.

They want what they want when they want it. There is no reasoning, there is no talking about it, there is no compromise. I just have to say no when the answer is no and deal with the resulting tantrum. Every day. Several times a day. *big sigh*
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#97 of 116 Old 03-22-2009, 02:14 AM
 
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Talulah, it seems to me like you're going through an awful lot yourself. If you're recovering from abuse that's a mountain of stuff to deal with and it sure does explain your hair-trigger temper. It's hard to take disrespect or just plain toddlerness when you're at your limits already.

I've been through a lot of therapy for verbal abuse and manipulation in my childhood and while I'm glad I was fortunate enough to get it all worked out before I had kids, there are things my daughter does that just SET ME OFF. Disrespect is a huge HUGE trigger for me. Especially when I'm tired. Which, as a full-time WOHM who is nearing 7 mos pregnant, is pretty near all the time.

This may sound odd but how are your hormone levels? Do you struggle with PMS a lot? Are you on The Pill, etc? Are you getting enough iron in your diet? All this stuff can work against your having a good psychological balance.

But I think the most important thing you need to do right now is to cut yourself some slack. You're trying. You're asking for help, getting therapy, looking for other perspectives and advice. You're doing all the right things by your kids. Be proud of that. Don't expect perfection in yourself or in your kids and don't beat yourself up for being human. You'll get through this.

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#98 of 116 Old 03-22-2009, 03:46 AM
 
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Um...yeah. My kids would have FLIPPED OUT in that situation, and screamed over me not getting them the five items. None would not have been an option they'd have taken. I'd have to deal with the hour long tantrum that occured after that.

And the second one? Quiet time? LOL! That would never happen here, not in a million years for a million different bribes. I've tried. Believe me, I have tried.

I sometimes wonder if my kids really are worse than other kids (they really seem to be from what I've heard from other parents and based on the suggestions I get for what to do), or if I am just not the greatest person at dealing with their antics.

They want what they want when they want it. There is no reasoning, there is no talking about it, there is no compromise. I just have to say no when the answer is no and deal with the resulting tantrum. Every day. Several times a day. *big sigh*
I'm so sorry. Some days it is just overwhelming.

Just wanted to ask though, if your family consumes these things you should consider removing all artificial food dye, flavors, preservatives and such from your kiddos diets. We saw an amazing change in our daughters behavior by modifying what she was eating when she was a toddler. Some kids are also sensitive to something called salicylates which are in natural things like fruit.

Just thought I'd throw that out there in case...
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#99 of 116 Old 03-22-2009, 12:46 PM - Thread Starter
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This may sound odd but how are your hormone levels? Do you struggle with PMS a lot? Are you on The Pill, etc? Are you getting enough iron in your diet? All this stuff can work against your having a good psychological balance.
I'm five months pregnant so I'm sure my hormone levels are off the charts.

There's plenty of iron in my diet.

I do think I have PMDD, but that's not an issue at the moment, obviously. I was not on the pill.
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#100 of 116 Old 03-22-2009, 12:59 PM
 
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Um...yeah. My kids would have FLIPPED OUT in that situation, and screamed over me not getting them the five items. None would not have been an option they'd have taken. I'd have to deal with the hour long tantrum that occured after that.
That's pretty much what happened to me. He cried and wailed about it for about and hour, but he did know that he had made the choice. Sure the results were kind of the same -- 1 hour of screaming, but I think my son learned something from it. I still think offering your kids choices could help.
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#101 of 116 Old 03-22-2009, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
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That's pretty much what happened to me. He cried and wailed about it for about and hour, but he did know that he had made the choice. Sure the results were kind of the same -- 1 hour of screaming, but I think my son learned something from it. I still think offering your kids choices could help.
I still offer. They just don't like my choices
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#102 of 116 Old 03-23-2009, 11:55 AM
 
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I still offer. They just don't like my choices
Of course not. They're strong willed children. And they will still protest every time even long after they are secretly happy that you are setting boundries and giving clear, defined, limited choices. That's the way these children are wired. And you won't see results any time soon. It could take months, even a year before you look back and wonder when things got easier. And then they will find something else to make your life harder.

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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#103 of 116 Old 03-23-2009, 12:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Of course not. They're strong willed children. And they will still protest every time even long after they are secretly happy that you are setting boundries and giving clear, defined, limited choices. That's the way these children are wired. And you won't see results any time soon. It could take months, even a year before you look back and wonder when things got easier. And then they will find something else to make your life harder.
This is somehow reassuring to me. Like maybe all the work I am doing in working so hard on GD IS doing something (even though I feel like it's not most of the time).
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#104 of 116 Old 03-23-2009, 04:49 PM
 
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Of course not. They're strong willed children. And they will still protest every time even long after they are secretly happy that you are setting boundries and giving clear, defined, limited choices. That's the way these children are wired. And you won't see results any time soon. It could take months, even a year before you look back and wonder when things got easier. And then they will find something else to make your life harder.

This is totally what I would have said if I could think that coherently! That's why I told the Dollar Store story. That wasn't the only time that happened, it just was the most horrible one! All of a sudden, DS is a lot better about shopping. It seems like it took forever, but he's only 4, so I guess it wasn't really that long! Hang in there and eventually things will get better!
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#105 of 116 Old 03-23-2009, 09:10 PM
 
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This is somehow reassuring to me. Like maybe all the work I am doing in working so hard on GD IS doing something (even though I feel like it's not most of the time).
I've never found that much of anything had a short-term effect on my kids. My son went through a phase of hair pulling, biting, and hitting that was over a year long, and I eventually realized that there was absolutely nothing I could do to get him to stop his behavior. All I could do was to try to keep him from hurting people as much as possible and try to teach him alternative techniques for meeting his own needs so that eventually, he might be able to implement them.

For what it's worth, I'm entirely confident that, short of terrorizing him by beating him within an inch of his life, there do not exist discipline techniques that would actually have gotten him to stop hurting people in the short term. It seems to me that GD techniques have the advantage in this type of situation that they do not damage the relationship between parent and child, and do not escalate -- you don't wind up punishing the child more and more for behavior that they really just need to grow out of.

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#106 of 116 Old 03-24-2009, 11:49 AM
 
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I've never found that much of anything had a short-term effect on my kids. My son went through a phase of hair pulling, biting, and hitting that was over a year long, and I eventually realized that there was absolutely nothing I could do to get him to stop his behavior. All I could do was to try to keep him from hurting people as much as possible and try to teach him alternative techniques for meeting his own needs so that eventually, he might be able to implement them.

For what it's worth, I'm entirely confident that, short of terrorizing him by beating him within an inch of his life, there do not exist discipline techniques that would actually have gotten him to stop hurting people in the short term. It seems to me that GD techniques have the advantage in this type of situation that they do not damage the relationship between parent and child, and do not escalate -- you don't wind up punishing the child more and more for behavior that they really just need to grow out of.
My goal with Erica was to teach her self-control so that eventually she would be able to control her own actions. I started with giving her the illusion of self-control by limiting her choices. Also time outs did work with Erica. By removing her from the out of control situation, she was able to feel in control and then eventually gain control of her own actions and feelings. And usually when she did lose control, the underlying cause was tiredness. So time out accomplished 2 things: it removed her from the situation and gave her an opportunity of a nap without my telling her she needed a nap. If I had done that, she would not have taken the nap she needed.

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#107 of 116 Old 03-26-2009, 11:41 PM
 
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sorry i don't have time to read all of the pages here in this thread...but i wanted to join the thread. i need help. i'm floundering more often than not the past 16 mos. since my ds was born...

its like 2 steps forward, 1 step backward for me...i'm hating myself and live w/ such remorse and sorrow. yet i love my true essence...i'm very loving and nurturing...i can be so fun and playful and patient...i was always so great w/ kids...they did not get on my nerves at all until i became a parent and had to deal w/ my dd's half sister when my dd was an infant...then this monster came out of me. now the monster has risen again since my ds was born last november. wth is happening to me!? maybe i just am overwhelmed when i have young babies??? and/or having a load on my shoulders w/ 2 young dc...just being overwhelmed w/ it, having a spirited child???

i am totally for GD...i'm all for unconditional parenting, connective parenting (GREAT books, btw)... but too often i'm horribly reactive...sometimes downright monstrous & i have such great remorse for all those times...my dd is now 6.5 & we are such a vicious cycle...i don't know how to remain calm yet firm and patient all the times she is pushing me way past my limit. i have never been a patient person myself...am working on it. so it makes this GDing all the more of a challenge for me.

i want sooo much to break this cycle but i keep slipping up. i NEVEr thought i'd even raise my voice to my dd and esp. spank her as i completely do NOT agree with it. it only makes things worse betw. us and for her heart.

people/books say just take a time out for myself even if she won't go cool down on her bed or whatever...even if she won't go run off her energy or bike or whatever and she's driving me nuts. : (sometimes she will refuse to go release that energy and be even more nasty/difficult). so the books say take a time out for myself...deep breathes...lock myself in the bathroom if i have to. but this is easier said than done for me. i keep on forgetting somehow in the moment of my anger/annoyance and lose it on her again.

i don't want to 'lose' my dd's trust although i know i've surely damaged it too many a time. so what to do...i'm going to take a DBT (dialectical behavior therapy) and hopefully i'll learn something beside breathe and take my own time out...(although often my dd won't let me be alone to even do this!!! she can be so rude!!!!!!!)

so how to break this vicious cycle?! its like i'm nice...she's nice...she's nasty...i'm calm/nice...she's nice...she's nasty...i'm nasty...she's nice...i'm nasty...she's nice, she's nasty... this is just horrible!!!!!!!!!!

i'm working on this but i feel like such a failure than a success. i have turned out to be a sh*t mom to her. i'm beginning to think that i am still suffering from PPD since i have a young ds and when my dd was a baby her half-sis also drove me batty. PPD again then...it could be, i suppose. i also struggle w/ a mood disorder/possible bipolar...i'm on a mood stabilizer but i still struggle w/ patience...

anyway. i am so frustrated w/ my self. i want to stop getting so flustered w/ her when she is like that... replacing the labels w/ positive ones is not easy to honor when i feel that feeling. :any other suggestions??? (besides time out for myself or breathing or cold water poured on myself!?) guess i could go jump in a hot steamy shower and cry...punching pillows or screaming into them doesn't cut it for me. i need to throw a plate or something. i need some extreme anger management. anyway... help.

ps-i'm also a solo parenting mama. my mother isn't here often (she lives w/ us) and the kids' father's don't help/aren't involved. my dd is in school half a day and she takes art classes but still it isn't enough of a break for me. ugh. this is not easy being a parent!!! CAN PPD last this long (16 mos.) and IS it possible that the older sibling is the one who mama gets flustered by...not the babies??? cuz my babies don't get me in a huff and i don't feel overwhelmed/annoyed by them. even my little toddler boy. (you know how people say PPD symptoms are ie. thoughts of hurting your baby...etc. well i don't have that. not for the babies...)hmmm.

i want help from a therapist but i fear they'd take my kids. i know there are programs out there for parents who want to be gentler w/ their kids who have been awful w/ them at times...i know there are many more of us out there who believe in GD but resort to issues from our childhoods in reaction.

ok i'm babbling. i'm sorry. please don't flame me. i just wanted to join as i know i'm not alone and need support and any advice that may help me to remain cool and calm as lake placid when my dd tests the waters.
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#108 of 116 Old 03-26-2009, 11:54 PM
 
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oh noooooooooooo!!! so it is really and truly US that need to learn (and quick as we can) to keep our cool. oh man............ oh and i truly believe that part of my dd's 'tude has to do w/ this nasty cycle we are in...when i'm nicer for a few days, she softens...she still does the push/pull thing though. its so frustrating. i need to keep my cool for more than 3 days though...to really undo a lot of this rough edge going on. she punched me in the middle of my back yesterday...it hurt like a b*tch!!!

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Of course not. They're strong willed children. And they will still protest every time even long after they are secretly happy that you are setting boundries and giving clear, defined, limited choices. That's the way these children are wired. And you won't see results any time soon. It could take months, even a year before you look back and wonder when things got easier. And then they will find something else to make your life harder.
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#109 of 116 Old 03-27-2009, 12:21 AM
 
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I haven't made it through the whole thread yet but...

I wanted to give you a big because it sounds like you really have your hands full and being pregnant only makes it more exhausting!

I've got a 3 year old and a 3 month old an parenting really got difficult when I was pregnant and during the postpartum stage. Any patience I once had, or clarity of mind to figure out discipline issues was all used up. I hope you have someone supporting you and helping you through this intense time! If not IRL then here.



To everyone thanks for posting. I'm loving these ideas/suggestions for myself too. :

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#110 of 116 Old 03-27-2009, 02:23 AM
 
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I haven't read the replies, but I wanted to reassure you that you aren't "doing it wrong." With minor slips here and there, I have really tried hard to use GD with my kids. With ds1, it was really the way to go. He really responded to talking about an issue, and even as a young toddler he was pretty reasonable about what I was asking as long as he understood why and what was going on. Punishment with him just escalated things into a bad place, and taking the time to go through it with him was always the better option.

Then ds2 came along. Very mellow and easy baby and toddler. Once he hit about 4yo, OMG. He is so strong willed. I will try to talk to him and he makes faces at me or turns his head away. He knows when he's doing something he shouldn't be, and will completely ignore me, even as I am trying to make it so he can still get what he wants. It's not until I hit a wall and lose my freaking mind that he pays any attention whatsoever, but this is not the way I want to parent! I have gotten to the point with him where I have to say things like "You are cleaning this up, and you aren't leaving this room until you do." This is something I NEVER would have said to ds1. Ds2 will wail and scream and cry, and then after awhile, he'll clean it up. (God forbid we're on any sort of a schedule.) But again, I don't want things to be like this. I try to sit down and help him, I try to make it a game, but he's not having any of it. It's his way or the highway.

Anyhow, my point is that kids really are different, and while I think being respectful and kind and compassionate is important with every child, some of the typical GD "techniques" are not at all effective with every personality.

And yes, I do admit to having an "agenda" when it comes to parenting my kids. I do want them to be polite, I do want them to clean up their messes, and I do want them to be respectful. For ds1, this meant having a heart to heart with him about how I feel when he is disrespectful. For ds2, it seems to be letting him scream and cry until he abruptly stops and is all of a sudden ready to be reasonable again.
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#111 of 116 Old 03-27-2009, 12:19 PM
 
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oh noooooooooooo!!! so it is really and truly US that need to learn (and quick as we can) to keep our cool. oh man............ oh and i truly believe that part of my dd's 'tude has to do w/ this nasty cycle we are in...when i'm nicer for a few days, she softens...she still does the push/pull thing though. its so frustrating. i need to keep my cool for more than 3 days though...to really undo a lot of this rough edge going on. she punched me in the middle of my back yesterday...it hurt like a b*tch!!!
It's all on us because we are the only ones that we can change. You can't change another person. We can only change our actions. Some children just seem to bring out the worst in ourselves, usually because we see our worse traits mirrored in them. And then we react in the heat of the moment. Practice, practice, practice and roll play outside of those moments so you don't react in the same old way in the future. But like everything else in life, it takes lots of practice and lots of time. Don't beat yourself up in the mean time. Appologize when needed.

Joy wife to DH, mom to DS1 (4/2005): DD (5/2007) : : DS2 (1/2009 :
I do what works and when it stops working, then I do something else.
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#112 of 116 Old 03-27-2009, 06:51 PM
 
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exactamundo. thank you for your support. : sometimes giant steps...sometimes baby steps...but i'm getting there. i'm going to start a new thread on non-compliance and maybe another thread on triggers and calming techniques for us.

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It's all on us because we are the only ones that we can change. You can't change another person. We can only change our actions. Some children just seem to bring out the worst in ourselves, usually because we see our worse traits mirrored in them. And then we react in the heat of the moment. Practice, practice, practice and roll play outside of those moments so you don't react in the same old way in the future. But like everything else in life, it takes lots of practice and lots of time. Don't beat yourself up in the mean time. Appologize when needed.
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#113 of 116 Old 03-27-2009, 10:30 PM
 
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It's all on us because we are the only ones that we can change. You can't change another person. We can only change our actions. Some children just seem to bring out the worst in ourselves, usually because we see our worse traits mirrored in them. And then we react in the heat of the moment. Practice, practice, practice and roll play outside of those moments so you don't react in the same old way in the future. But like everything else in life, it takes lots of practice and lots of time. Don't beat yourself up in the mean time. Appologize when needed.
This post isn't from Funkymamajoy but from Sewchris2642. Joy is my dd and I'm using her computer because mine is infected with a malware. Probably is toast. Sorry for the confusion.

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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#114 of 116 Old 03-27-2009, 10:34 PM - Thread Starter
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I made a post updating you all about my GD efforts.

http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=1062196

I can sum it up with one sentance:

Darned if it doesn't work!
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#115 of 116 Old 03-27-2009, 10:41 PM
 
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I can sum it up with one sentance:

Darned if it doesn't work!

Heather, WAHM to DS (01/04)DD (06/06). Wed to DH(09/97)
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#116 of 116 Old 03-27-2009, 11:04 PM
 
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oh noooooooooooo!!! so it is really and truly US that need to learn (and quick as we can) to keep our cool. oh man............ oh and i truly believe that part of my dd's 'tude has to do w/ this nasty cycle we are in...when i'm nicer for a few days, she softens...she still does the push/pull thing though. its so frustrating. i need to keep my cool for more than 3 days though...to really undo a lot of this rough edge going on. she punched me in the middle of my back yesterday...it hurt like a b*tch!!!

Have you read "How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids Will talk" yet? That book is fantastic. I also like Scream-Free Parenting. To answer your question from your other post, I'm no psychiatrist, but I would think that PPD could last 16 months and more. Just because your babies aren't driving you crazy doesn't mean you don't have PPD, or just some form of depression or anxiety in general. I'd just go talk to your Primary Care doctor about your stress levels. They can help. You don't have to go to a therapist to get meds for anxiety or depression.
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