Unconditional Parenting support thread - Page 7 - Mothering Forums

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#181 of 367 Old 08-15-2009, 08:20 AM
 
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I also struggle to not worry about 'spoiling', but I find it helpful to examine my thoughts and where they come from - they usually aren't MY real concerns, but old tapes playing from my parents and other members of society. When I come back to the genuine joy of my relat with my son, and remember the long-term project of helping him stay authentic in himself, that stuff seems less important.

Joanna, have you read 'Raising our children, raising ourselves' by Naomi ALdort? For me, this really helped to make UP more practical, and give me solid ideas on how to apply it. I love Kohn's book, but I think the two books complement each other and provide for different levels of understanding (as has been mentioned on this thread a page or two ago).
(my bolding)

Those old tapes are hard to get past. When that's all we've known, it's very difficult to come up with different ways of doing things. I second the recommendation for Naomi Aldort's book. I read that one before I read UP and I really liked it. It has a lot of practical examples of ways of handling situations. It felt very unnatural to me at first but after a while I started to get the hang of it. Sometimes I still forget and revert back to my old ways but I'm able to recognize that a lot more quickly and correct myself.

I do a lot of things that even my mother, who was very permissive (not the same as UP, imo), thinks are spoiling. I've seen, though, that how that's not the case. I get a lot of comments from people about how well-behaved my children are. My children get a lot of compliments (and very surprised looks) from adults because they are so well-behaved and polite and caring and compassionate. I get asked all the time what I do to make them that way. One woman (who gives her children lots of medications for behavior) asked me what kind of pill I was doling out to them. They don't know how to respond when I say that I pretty much let my children do whatever they want.

It helps me to keep in mind that children want to be healthy, feel good, do the right thing. They just need to be given the chance to do it. With a lot of things that many conventional parents would call spoiling or bending over backward to please the child, it's because the child is pretty much at the mercy of the adults around him. Going back to the missing dinner example, if an adult gets home late and misses dinner, she has the full capability of getting herself something to eat. Children do not. They need adults to do some of those things for them. So, while mom or dad may not go about preparing another full dinner for the child who has missed the family dinner, s/he can lovingly provide food for that child to eat.

I really like the part I bolded about joy. That's what's important to me these days. I want joy in my life and in my relationships today. I spent a lot of years parenting my oldest ds the conventional way. It was a constant struggle. I was always trying to teach him how to behave so he wouldn't be a horrible person when he grew up. A lot of my difficulty comes from fear of the future. Because of my fear of the future, I missed the chance to enjoy the present with him. There's no way I can predict what will happen at some future time. I don't even know if any of us will have a future time. So, I want to enjoy my life and my children at this moment.
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#182 of 367 Old 08-15-2009, 10:43 AM
 
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thank you all, this discussion is wonderful, how I wish I knew someone who thinks alike in the real world...

I will definitely read Naomi Aldort's book, already ordered from amazon

Joanna WAHM to DS 10/2007
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#183 of 367 Old 08-15-2009, 05:38 PM
 
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MarineWife, that is so reassuring to hear that your children have responded so well to this kind of parenting. Because I don't know anyone who parents like this IRL, I need that kind of information to help 'keep the faith'. What you said about how we can operate out of fear of the future, or be in the present with our children, also reminded me of another point related to my recent post (and the resulting discussion) about whether children need to know what's next, i.e. have a lot of routine: I think children are more 'in the moment' than us, and that it can be a bit of a projection to think they need that absolute certainty of what exactly 's happening next - I think WE sometimes need that, and feel anxious if we don't, and that's why parenting can be such a challenge to our notions of control. But actually, as another poster pointed out, there is a continuum along which children are placed in terms of how much routine they need, and it's all about finding out what the individual needs, rather than making blanket statements.

And thanks, everyone, for your useful responses to my question about the need for routine. A lot of food for thought there. I do appreciate that a childcare provider needs more structure than a mom at home b/c she has to manage the needs of a lot of kids, and get some things done, but it was the statements about 'what kids need in general' that this woman made, that worried me....instead of just admitting, hey, this makes it easier and more manageable for me. Like you, Marine Wife, I don't want DS in that kind of 'stifling' environment. JMHO. I also remembered that my son has been described as 'such an ecstatic child', amongst other things, and people are often amazed at how happy, gregarious and confident he is. I don't want him to lose that just in an effort to get him to fit in in some way, and kill his spirit. But he is definitely more of 'everything' than a lot of kids I see, and reading the book 'Raising your spirited child' has helped to validate that for me, although unfortunately it's also got some ideas that aren't very UP at all.

I was talking a lot about UP today with two friends who I don't see often, but am close to - one is 3 mo pregnant and the other has a 21 month old. They're very open to new ideas. I was explaining about my approach (because they asked), and my friend (mother of the other toddler) said that she's very interested in my approach, but she also wants her child to be able to socialise and be socially acceptable - i.e. not be 'a brat' in public, and she described how her niece can't be taken to a restaurant b/c she behaves so 'badly' (from what she's said before, her niece is definitely not raised UP).

I said I think that only happens when a child has not been included in normal life (as a lot don't seem to be) and doesn't have opportunities to learn from watching what we do, and perhaps b/c some needs,e.g. attention or being included, aren't being met, meets those needs by acting out in some way. We were then in a cafe and the 2 toddlers were running around (in a contained fashion, near our table) and making at times a lot of exuberant noise, and we were getting dirty looks and sighs from nearby people, one of whom actually got up from her chair more than once and started coming towards us (obviously to complain), but then stopped when they quietened down again. I felt the pressure to 'sssh' my son and I must admit I did so, as gently as I could, but it occurred to me that so much of what we're trying to do in parenting this way, is made so hard by living in such a non-child-friendly society. My other friend lives in Italy now and described how all the children stay up as late as the grownups, and play and are loud and do whatever around them, in restaurants or whatever, and if someone was disapproving of it THEY'D be the one who got dirty looks - i.e. it's just so relaxed and children are completely integrated into the society. I feel sad that it's not like that in the UK and US (and loads of other places probably). Anyway, just a thought!
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#184 of 367 Old 08-15-2009, 07:03 PM
 
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I said I think that only happens when a child has not been included in normal life (as a lot don't seem to be) and doesn't have opportunities to learn from watching what we do, and perhaps b/c some needs,e.g. attention or being included, aren't being met, meets those needs by acting out in some way.
I really agree with the above, which is why I was so surprised just now when I was reading RAising OUr Children and Aldort has several paragraphs dedicated to suggesting that babies should not be brought along on various errands like grocery trips, etc. because it isn't meeting their needs. I feel like when I include dd in the various day-to-day outings she learns how to be in public through modeling and opportunity. This is the first point I've found myself disagreeing with in RoC, so I guess that is not a big deal.

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My other friend lives in Italy now and described how all the children stay up as late as the grownups, and play and are loud and do whatever around them, in restaurants or whatever, and if someone was disapproving of it THEY'D be the one who got dirty looks - i.e. it's just so relaxed and children are completely integrated into the society. I feel sad that it's not like that in the UK and US (and loads of other places probably). Anyway, just a thought!
I love this!

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I want joy in my life and in my relationships today. I spent a lot of years parenting my oldest ds the conventional way. It was a constant struggle. I was always trying to teach him how to behave so he wouldn't be a horrible person when he grew up. A lot of my difficulty comes from fear of the future. Because of my fear of the future, I missed the chance to enjoy the present with him. There's no way I can predict what will happen at some future time. I don't even know if any of us will have a future time. So, I want to enjoy my life and my children at this moment.
This is such a wonderful point. I even found myself quoting you (marinewife) today in a discussion with a friend. Fear of the future is a big one for me, on many levels, so I'm trying hard to keep this in mind.

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#185 of 367 Old 08-15-2009, 09:38 PM
 
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Wow! This really is a great discussion. I'm going to work my way backward.

I don't remember that part in ROC. I think it's important to include children in as much of our regular, daily lives as we can. They do learn from us and what we do. I homeschool as well and I get the socialization question a lot. I think my children learn all they need to know about how to be kind and considerate and compassionate and do things in a group and all that sort of stuff by just being included in the family life. I don't isolate them from others, either. They learn to stay in line and wait their turns when we go to the store or to a carnival. There are a lot of "socialization" behaviors that are exhibited in school environments that I do NOT want my children to learn, like teasing and constant competition and that sort of thing.

I think maybe what Aldort was getting at was taking a baby for a 3 hour shopping trip and expecting the baby (or even a child in this matter) to be quiet and calm and not any trouble the entire time. I also think a baby does not necessarily need to be included in those sorts of things so soon because they just aren't equiped to deal with it yet.

One thing about being socially acceptable is that, if children are treated with respect and kindness and consideration, that's how they will treat others, on an age-appropriate level. I agree that the US Western society does not accept this. Society thinks children should be seen and not heard. I think we need to do more to accommodate children rather than expecting children to accommodate us. The fact that conventionally parented children can't be taken out in public because they behave like "brats" is a great testament to the idea that that type of parenting does not get the results that are wanted. It does, however, give adults a feeling of power and control. Children who are controlled and intimidated tend to become out of control any chance they get. On the flip side, children who are allowed to have power and control over themselves don't need to try to grab power and control by any means necessary at any chance they get.

That makes me think back to the kids I had staying with us for a few days. They are extremely controlled and have absolutely no power over themselves or their lives. Their parents also complain continuously about how poorly behaved they are. The parents marveled over the fact that my 5 and 2yo sat at a table and ate all their food. They wanted to know how we got the kids to do that as their 4 kids were running around the room yelling and screaming and just being wild. Of course, my thinking on that is that since we don't force our children to sit down and eat everything on their plates when we decide they should, but rather allow them to eat when, what and however much they want, they sit and eat because they are genuinely hungry and want to eat what is on their plates.
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#186 of 367 Old 08-16-2009, 05:10 PM
 
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My other friend lives in Italy now and described how all the children stay up as late as the grownups, and play and are loud and do whatever around them, in restaurants or whatever, and if someone was disapproving of it THEY'D be the one who got dirty looks - i.e. it's just so relaxed and children are completely integrated into the society.
When DS was 13 months we took him to Europe, and it was really interesting to see how differently people there responded to him than Americans at home. I get dirty looks at home when DS makes a peep in a restaurant, or wants to walk around. The Italians were particularly fond of children. I remember seeing a large Italian family in a restaurant one night. There was a toddler asleep in a stroller, and when he woke up towards the end of the meal he was passed around and cooed over, then put in someone's lap to eat some leftover pasta. At one point he dropped his bottle and completely FREAKED out, screaming and crying hysterically. None of the adults at the table even blinked, and the only people in the restaurant who seemed disturbed were the obvious American tourists. The waiter retrieved the bottle, cooed at the toddler in Italian babyspeak while he cleaned it off (making a big show of pouring some bottled water over the nipple to rinse it off), and handed it back with a pat on the head. The attitude of everyone was that this is the way toddlers are, so why worry? It was really interesting.

At another point on that trip, we took DS to a winebar and let him wander about in a corner while we drank some wine. The other patrons smiled and waved at him, and gave friendly winks to us. The bartender picked DS up and took him behind the bar to show him all the shiny stuff. DS was carried back to us chewing on a wine glass! We were apologetic about causing any trouble by letting DS wander around, but the bartender said, "Oh, no, he's doing his job. This is what he is supposed to do!" Can you imagine getting that response in an American bar?

Interestingly, the only time we ever got strange looks in Europe was when we let DS (who was not yet walking) crawl around on the ground in public squares. People looked at us like we were insane, LOL. But then I looked around and realized children were kept in strollers until they were waling. No crawlers in sight. Even in the airport when we were headed home, Italian women came up to me to tell me how dirty the floor was, and that I shouldn't let my son crawl on it!
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#187 of 367 Old 08-16-2009, 07:38 PM
 
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I used to leave in Italy few years back, I didn't have children yet so I never paid attention to the way Italians treat children. They are very warm people so I'm not surprised to hear your stories.

Today was one of the hardest days since DS was born. Although he's already 22 mo he has only ten teeth and is teething now. I hardly got any sleep today. In addition DS didn't nap because he was so uncomfortable. The whole day was just a nightmare. He was throwing things, food, hitting the dog, crying for no reason. I just felt like such a failure because I didn't know how to handle DS today without telling him "we don't hit" "we don't throw food", in general without lots of "no's". I did hug him a lot, this helped him to calm down a little.
What else could I have done or say?

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#188 of 367 Old 08-16-2009, 08:32 PM
 
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2 words: baby motrin.

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#189 of 367 Old 08-16-2009, 10:07 PM
 
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Wouldn't it be so nice if the USA had that kind of attitude toward children. Like I have read about children in other societies that are treated with care and compassion and respect, there is a trickle down effect. Adults are nice to teenagers. Teenagers are nice to preteens. Preteens help take care of toddlers and babies. The USA society is to mean from the top down that there's a cascade of meanness. It's really sad.

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"we don't hit" "we don't throw food"
These statements are kind of funny because, obviously, we do hit and throw food. To a very young child they might seem like lies.

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What else could I have done or say?
I say things to my kids like, "be gentle", when petting the cat and demonstrate. I might explain in very short terms that it hurts the animal to be hit and show sympathy for the animal.

Food throwing is harder for me. I guess it would depend on why the child was throwing food and why you are upset about it. I think it can help if you explain, again in very short terms, that it makes a mess that you have to spend time cleaning up. Just make sure you don't say it in a mean or resentful way. Remove the food and say something like, "It looks to me like you are done eating." Give the child food that isn't a big problem if it gets thrown. If you are in the mood for being very accommodating, maybe you could find a place where he could throw food, outside maybe.

If you don't want to give your child medicine, you could try Hyland's teething tablets. They are homeopathic. I can find them in the Walgreen's drugstore. Some people say they didn't work for their child but they really seemed to help mine. I did resort to acetaminophen or ibuprofen if things were really bad. Ibuprofen was good for nights because it lasts longer.

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#190 of 367 Old 08-17-2009, 10:11 AM
 
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I started reading UP again last night. I skipped to the section on unconditional parenting. A few things I've made not of already. Kohn says that there are times when we, as parents, do have to put our foot down, which may make our children unhappy with us in the moment. The idea is to decide whether the issue at hand is worth the strain on the relationship at that time.

I've got 2 examples of that. The first is that my 5yo really, really wants a puppy. I love dogs and would also love to have a dog. However, from past experience, I know I'm not the greatest at taking care of dogs. I already feel like I have enough to do without adding one more thing to the mix. My 5yo, of course, says he will take care of the puppy but we all know he won't be able to do it all the time. I know I will be stuck feeding and walking the dog a lot. In addition, there is the added expense that we really can't afford right now. $200 vet bills every couple of months is just not doable. I have to get him the dog now, though, because I told him I would. I kind of wish I had just put my foot down about that one.

The second is bedtime. Like I said, we don't have a set bedtime but we do usually gravitate to the bedroom around 9 pm and we are off to sleep with the lights out by 11 pm. Many nights I get up after the boys are asleep to get some relaxing time to myself when I can knit and/or watch TV or read a book without interruption. That's really the only time I get it right now. The problem is that I am then up way too late and don't get enough sleep. This, in turn, makes me more irritable during the day and less able to handle situations with the kids.

I also get very annoyed with the bedtime routine. I don't mind sitting up in bed and watching TV for a bit but my kids continue to run and jump around making all kinds of noise while I'm trying to relax and settle in. I usually eventually get very annoyed and angry about this and then bedtimes aren't pleasant. I thought last night that I should try going to bed with the boys but not try to do anything else during that time. I usually take my knitting with me so I have something to do while they watch their TV shows, which bore me. I'm torn between leaving things the way they are because the kids are happy with it and just setting a rule that the lights go out and we go to sleep at 10 pm. My 5yo will fuss but he usually goes to sleep very quickly once I turn out the lights.

Oh, and I thought of something else. WRT the example of the toddler who kicks while being changed. When we change the way we approach situations, that doesn't mean the other person's response will change instantly. That other person is used to our old ways and will continue to expect and respond to those old ways. It will take some time for them to realize that we truly have changed and they don't need to continue what they've been doing.

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#191 of 367 Old 08-17-2009, 11:27 PM
 
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Today was much better, I think the worst is over, at least for now. I'm a big believer in homeopathy, DS got over flu and ear infections with just homeopathic remedies this past winter, same goes for me and my husband. I gave DS Chamomilla 30C, which usually works great for teething, not yesterday though, it was not the right remedy. Will buy Hyland's tablet and try them next time, thank you for the advice.

MarineWife, your kids are homeschooled, right? If the bedtime routine works fine for your kids why change it? They don't have to be up early... Unless it really annoys you than I would try, you can always go back to the old routine if it doesn't work out.
DS is usually in bed by 8 o'clock, we are up early. He'll be starting preschool soon so I try to keep it consistent, don't want to fight with him later, when I'll need him up early in the morning.

I noticed that for some reason throwing things drives me crazy, I always try to stop DS when he does it. Today for example he started throwing shoes when it was time to get ready and leave. He usually just takes his shoes from the closet and sits on the bench ready to put them on. Not today. I stopped him saying that we don't have time for that. Tomorrow I'll let him do it if he wants, I'll see how it ends,maybe he'll get bored after a while.
I think DS knows I don't like it when he throws things, maybe this is the reason why he is doing it a lot lately. I should probably join in sometimes and throw things with him :

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#192 of 367 Old 08-18-2009, 11:31 AM
 
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Today was much better, I think the worst is over, at least for now. I'm a big believer in homeopathy, DS got over flu and ear infections with just homeopathic remedies this past winter, same goes for me and my husband. I gave DS Chamomilla 30C, which usually works great for teething, not yesterday though, it was not the right remedy. Will buy Hyland's tablet and try them next time, thank you for the advice.

MarineWife, your kids are homeschooled, right? If the bedtime routine works fine for your kids why change it? They don't have to be up early... Unless it really annoys you than I would try, you can always go back to the old routine if it doesn't work out.
DS is usually in bed by 8 o'clock, we are up early. He'll be starting preschool soon so I try to keep it consistent, don't want to fight with him later, when I'll need him up early in the morning.

I noticed that for some reason throwing things drives me crazy, I always try to stop DS when he does it. Today for example he started throwing shoes when it was time to get ready and leave. He usually just takes his shoes from the closet and sits on the bench ready to put them on. Not today. I stopped him saying that we don't have time for that. Tomorrow I'll let him do it if he wants, I'll see how it ends,maybe he'll get bored after a while.

I think DS knows I don't like it when he throws things, maybe this is the reason why he is doing it a lot lately. I should probably join in sometimes and throw things with him :
Hyland's might just be chamomilla. I can't remember. Since you are into homeopathy, I have an off-topic question. My allergies are killing. I'm allergic to grass and I guess the count is really high right now. I haven't checked lately. Anyway, my right ear is so clogged (been like this for over 2 years now) that I can't hear. It hurts and makes a scraping sound when I open my jaw. My eyes are watery and goopy and itchy. I do use Similisan allergy eye drops and they help but I don't know what to take for the sinus congestion. I've tried bee pollen but that didn't help. I tried some herbal tinctures that an acupuncturist gave me but they didn't help. That might be because I am supposed to take them 3 times a day and I'm likely if I remember to take them once. I'm terrible about taking stuff regularly. I've been the to some docs but all they do is prescribe things like Clarinex or Zyrtec and sudaphed. The pharmacist said all of those are contraindicated while breastfeeding. Do you have any ideas?

Ok, back to the topic. The time that we go to sleep isn't what bothers me. You're right that since we homeschool we don't have to be up at any particular time and we can sleep pretty much whenever we want during the day so there are no worries about them being sleep-deprived. The thing that bothers me is that when we go to bed I want to be able to sit and relax and have some quiet but they are still jumping all over the place. That wouldn't even be so bad if they didn't fight constantly. My 5yo likes to do things by himself and, of course, his little brother wants to do everything he does with him. I tried not taking my knitting with me to bed last night so I was totally focused on the boys and things were a lot nicer. There wasn't all the yelling and fighting so maybe they just needed my attention.

Maybe you could examine why you dislike your ds throwing things so much. Is there a fear behind that dislike? Were you harshly reprimanded or punished for throwing things as a child? Was there an incident when someone got hurt or something important got broken from something being thrown? Is the fear reasonable and justified?

I was just reading in UP about using, "No," too much. One of the things it says is that a lot of the safety issues that parents come up with for saying no are not really justified. Children would be better served if we trusted them enough to give them the room to explore these supposedly dangerous things in a safe way and place. It sounds like you're figuring out ways to do that with your ds.

I learned about that a while ago when getting into radical unschooling. If anyone is interested, John Holt's books are great for that. I think they can be applied to how we treat our children whether they are unschooled or not. The one I've read so far is, Teach Your Own. Holt talks in there about allowing very young children to play with sharp knives. Someone (maybe it was him) was into throwing knives as an art (or whatever it is) and allowed his children to do it from the time they became interested. Because they were shown how to handle knives safely and allowed to explore it in a safe environment they were very careful with them. I've had people give me big eyed stares when I allowed my 4-5yo ds to handle the steak knives at restaurants. I knew he'd be careful and safe with them and he was.

Did you all see that story in the news a while ago about the mother her allowed her 10yo ds to ride the New York subway by himself? People were up in arms about it. How could she let him do that? It was too dangerous. He did it, though, safely and got home without incident. I think that sort of thing teaches all of us a very valuable lesson. We can either treat our children in a way that makes them fear the world and, therefore, become victims, or we can treat our children in a way that conveys that they have the power within themselves to protect and care for themselves so that they will not allow themselves to be victims. Does that make sense?

I've written too much, again. Sorry, everyone, for always posting novels for you to try to get through. I tend to be a bit long-winded.

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#193 of 367 Old 08-18-2009, 03:08 PM
 
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Hi everyone,

I just recieved UP and will start reading...

I already read Sears, Adventures in tandem and Gentle DIsp, Mothering your nursing toddler and How children learn, from Holt.

My ds1 is 3.5 y and ds2 is 9 mo.

I am so rigid, this last half year ( :-( ) with ds1, I was not so before ds2!
I want compliance all the time :-( , fight with him (.....) he disobies a lot...
(sorry, am Dutch, and NAK, so typos!)
I want to be unconditional!

He and I are somewhat "lost", with each other, I want to regain his trust and that he knows, he is loved and that we will "come back"to the love from before.
I was so lost, when ds2 was born, that I lost ds1, that he was not my little boy anymore, I almost disliked ds2 for it! But I realized: I LOVED ds1, I KNEW him already almost 3 y and I was IN LOVE/Infactuation with ds2, and those 2 feelings were overwhelming me! :-(

Now, I just hope, ds1 and I will be okay again.... will we? If I work hard, will we find ourselves again? He does love me, I know, but he sometimes KNOWS I will say no, no no to something and he starts testing me, where as before, he almost could do anything always and he DID not test me!

Am I making myself clear? Are my fears weird? Will we get better??

TIA

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Tandemnursing, CD, delayed Vax, AP
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#194 of 367 Old 08-18-2009, 03:21 PM
 
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Oh, don't apologize, I love to read your novels Marine Wife

I think your allergies may require a constitutional remedy and this one must be prescribed by homeopth, it usually is given in very high potency, this isn't something I'm comfortable to experiment with since they can have some side effects. I usually use low potencies without consulting our homeopath, I don't always get it right though and need to call him from time to time.
I will check Materia Medica tonite when DS is asleep, maybe there is a remedy you could try before consulting a doctor.

Now about the knives, did you read "Continuum Concept" ? Liedloff writes about very small children playing with knives, they are shown how to handle sharp objects and never harm themselves.
DS strted eating with a fork when he was 10 mo, everyone was warning us that he'll poke his eyes out. Well, he never did and he's eating with a fork beautifuly now :

I never had any bad experiences with throwing, at least I don't remeber anything bad happening. I think I'm mostly worried DS will break something or hurt someone or scratch the wall and such. I'm not sure how to handle this when we are around kids. The other day he threw a stuffed animal into a small girls head, she was really scared. I tried to explain how scary it is for other children and it hurts and it makes them sad. He wasn't even paying attention to me

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#195 of 367 Old 08-18-2009, 05:32 PM
 
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Really interesting discussion - loving this thread! I felt quite annoyed about the way everyone was up in arms at that boy allowed to travel on his own - I thought, wow, his mom has trust in him, and that is something really lacking in our paranoic society.

Something that's really concerning me at the moment is this, and I don't know if I might get more responses elsewhere, but here goes: I have to (reluctantly) give up SAHM-hood and work part time due to being a newly single parent. I haven't time to find 'the perfect nanny' or anything like that right now, though in the long term I can certainly interview and look for her, and am starting that process. I don't want group care for my son, he's too young (IMO. he's 22 months), and after my recent day in the childminding scenario, that I posted about, I'm rather put off it anyway. So I've come up with a solution of sorts of doing a swop with another mom I know (not very well). She would be looking after my son 5 hours a week, and I'll look after hers for the same. We've had two 'trial runs' this week and the one at my house went fine - the one at her house yesterday, left me feeling very uncomfortable, and now I don't know what to do. It .

I wrote all about 'raising our children, raising ourselves' on my blog, that this mother reads, and she told me she read it and thought 'oh I do all of that instinctively without needing to read a book'. And I just thought...well, no, you don't. Basically, when we were at her house, there was a typical incident around sharing, and the way she handled it was rather OTT. She just wouldn't let it go. She really lectured my son , saying 'this is Bob's (her son) toy, and he's nicely let you play with it, and now it's time to give it back' and just kept laying on the guilt, IMO. She didn't try to redirect him or find an alternative, just kept insisting, and of course my DS, being a very 'spirited child', just dug his heels in deeper and got more and more upset. I felt under such pressure to do something to resolve the situation and not look like a permissive mom, (esp b.c I felt wrong-footed as I was in HER home), I still tried to hang back and let him resolve it himself, giving him verbal validation for how hard it was for him to share. I mean, as far as I understand it, it takes until 4 or 5 to even learn to share completely - and even then it can be a problem! So eventually I just took the toy off him, he then had a complete huge tantrum and I felt so embarrassed b/c this woman was just saying 'bye, bye now' to us all fake cheerful (we were about to leave - that's another thing DS struggles with - transitions), I had to carry him out the door rather than let him work through it there, and it just felt all wrong.

I also didn't like the way she said things like 'Ooh, you have a very loud voice, Mike,' to my little one when he'd be shouting exuberantly (not aggressively), a few times, and 'That's a very loud noise, Mike,' etc...I don't know, it just seemed disapproving, and I would pick that up if I was a kid. I think her child is not 'spirited' at all, he is very 'chilled' and my DS is very intense, strong-willed, very happy and gregarious but also very passionate in every way. I wonder if people who don't have a spirited kind of child (or high needs or whatever you call it) can really understand those who are - I think sometimes they just think the child is 'naughty', 'spoiled' or out of control. And all these thoughts are running thru my head.

I did say to the mom, before all this, that I don't do things like 'naughty step' (time out) and she knows my approach is attachment parenting, continuum concept, gentle discipline etc. I've been very clear about that. But sometimes I think people just don't really get it. She also 'good boys' a fair bit, but you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn't around here - even my most AP, wonderful parent friends do a LOT of praise.

Anyway, I hope this is all making sense...I might post something on the 'spirited kids tribe' over in 'parenting' forum as well...but I just know you guys understand about UP and thought I could get some insight into how much I can expect others to treat my child unconditionally, if at all. Am I making a big deal about 5 hours a week? I considered maybe chatting to her about it and just saying I felt uncomfortable, but I'm uneasy about doing so. I don't know her very well. I just remember, when I was in school, one or two teachers who gave me the feeling that the way I WAS, was 'wrong' somehow...well, it really stuck with me. And maybe as a result I'm a bit overprotective.
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#196 of 367 Old 08-18-2009, 05:48 PM
 
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moonchild77-
yes, you will reconnect. the fact that you are recognizing right now that things have gone off track shows that you will find your way back on to the track that you want to be on with your kids. it will take time, but that is what this journey is all about.

devaya-
i can totally relate to having issues with the way other people around you parent and to feeling "backed in to a corner" like that. i think UP and RoC would both say that you need to stick up for your son in that situation, so that he knows you have his back. In practice/reality though, that is a very tenuous thing as you don't want to insult this person nor burn the bridge of swapping childcare. There must be some sort of middle ground, but I don't know what it is. The only thing I can think of is to lead by example, and in that particular situation step in and do for your son whatever it is he needs at that moment (such as finding something else for him to play with maybe).

I do think though that we will NEVER meet others who parent exactly the way we want to, (heck, WE don't even parent exactly the way we want to, right?) and for 5 hours a week on a semi-temporary basis...I don't think you should sweat it. You will continue to give your son unconditional parenting when he is with you, and that is the most important part.

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#197 of 367 Old 08-18-2009, 10:39 PM
 
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Devaya ~ I say go with your gut on the childcare thing. Although an irregular babysitter who behaves that way toward your child might not make much difference, I think a regular one who is put in more of a position of caregiver to your child could be harmful. In the short run, it's probably ok to stick with it in a pinch if you have no other options. But if you have time, I think it would be a good idea to look for someone else.

moonchild ~ You will reconnect with your child and get that love feeling back if you work at it. I went through a similar thing when my ds3 was born. DS2 was 3.5yo and it was very hard going from one LO (my ds1 was 16yo so he didn't require the same amount of attention) to 2. I still struggle with it sometimes and they are 2 and 5 now. It's hard to balance the needs of both children.

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#198 of 367 Old 08-19-2009, 03:55 AM
 
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Double post. Sorry, my PC is really playing up!
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#199 of 367 Old 08-19-2009, 04:17 AM
 
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Thanks, McKennasmomma and MarineWife. I am going to look for someone else. It's such a shame that the friends I have who are totally the way I like, with their children, or with my son, are not able to help because they're either heavily pregnant (with a toddler) or suffer from depression so can't be reliably available, or live somewhere else! It just seems cruel that the only person who's really up for helping (she's offered many times), is this person I just don't gel with. I mean, I had 'red flags' a few months ago when we got in a heated discussion about CIO and she'd decided to do it with her son (she was on the brink from sleep deprivation and felt she couldn't cope), I mean do I really want someone who does CIO looking after my son? How do I know she won't do that to him when it comes to nap time? ANyway thanks for listening to my long ramble!
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#200 of 367 Old 08-19-2009, 12:10 PM
 
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I mean do I really want someone who does CIO looking after my son? How do I know she won't do that to him when it comes to nap time?
That and, if she acted the way she did in front of you, I'd be worried about how she acts when no one else is there. Like a friend of mine said to me recently, if you yell at your kids in public, I wonder how you act at home with them behind closed to doors. That's not to say that we don't all have bad days when we don't act the way, publicly or privately, the way we want but I think you have to be extra cautious with other people.

That makes me think of the recent situation I was in. I took emergency kinship care of 4 children because their mom got arrested and their dad was deployed. For whatever reason, their mom asked me to take her kids. She was a very respected person in our community. She held a professional position of authority. Although she did not parent the way I do, she seemed to genuinely care about her kids, 3 of whom were adopted, and her family. I had enough red flags to know that she was not someone I would voluntarily leave my children with but I never thought she was doing anything abusive to her children. Her kids were taken away from her because she was sexually abusing her 9yo dd (from the age of 5-6yo) and physically abusing her 11yo ds (he showed me burns from matches on his body that he said his mother did). I am so glad I listened to my gut about her because when I was going through my miscarriage just a few weeks ago she offered to take my kids for a couple of hours or even overnight so I could get some rest to help with physical recovery.

It will probably be very difficult to find a regular childcare person who parents the way that you do following the recommendations in UP. Although I'm not a fan of institutionalized childcare, I always felt more comfortable leaving my oldest son in a daycare center with several adults rather than with a single person in her private home. I felt like that gave the other people more accountability. He always liked his daycare places. It wasn't until he started school that he began to have problems.

AFM, this has started out as one of those days when UP is difficult for me. My 2yo is being a holy terror. First, he dumped his cereal all over the carpeted floor. Then he dumped his yogurt all over the sofa. Next he shook chocolate milk out of a sippy cup onto the carpet, all in rapid succession. I also have difficulty with him when he wants to play with his older bro but big bro wants to be left alone. DS3 will not leave ds2 alone. He will not be distracted. I don't know what to do in those situations. It's not fair to make ds2 deal with it but neither of us seem to be able to get ds3 to stop. Eventually, ds2 gets so frustrated that he screams at and hits or pushes or kicks ds3. I can't really blame him. What do I do?

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#201 of 367 Old 08-19-2009, 03:52 PM
 
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AFM, this has started out as one of those days when UP is difficult for me. My 2yo is being a holy terror. First, he dumped his cereal all over the carpeted floor. Then he dumped his yogurt all over the sofa. Next he shook chocolate milk out of a sippy cup onto the carpet, all in rapid succession. I also have difficulty with him when he wants to play with his older bro but big bro wants to be left alone. DS3 will not leave ds2 alone. He will not be distracted. I don't know what to do in those situations. It's not fair to make ds2 deal with it but neither of us seem to be able to get ds3 to stop. Eventually, ds2 gets so frustrated that he screams at and hits or pushes or kicks ds3. I can't really blame him. What do I do?
I only have a second to write...but marinewife, could you think back and figure out what circumstances usually lead to ds3 pestering ds2 and try to find ways to avoid those circumstances? For example, maybe it is late in the day and everyone needs to get outside and play to burn off some energy?

: Mountain biking mama to one beautiful baby girl, born happily at home 8/26/2008.
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#202 of 367 Old 08-19-2009, 07:55 PM
 
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I only have a second to write...but marinewife, could you think back and figure out what circumstances usually lead to ds3 pestering ds2 and try to find ways to avoid those circumstances? For example, maybe it is late in the day and everyone needs to get outside and play to burn off some energy?
The circumstances are that ds3 wants to play with ds2 but ds2 needs a lot of alone time. ds3 is only 2 so he doesn't understand when he needs to stop. he's just infatuated with big bro and wants to do everything big bro does. DS2 refuses to go to another room if he wants to be alone. I don't think it's fair to always expect him to do that, either.

I wanted to come back on after I posted that but didn't have time until now. I know that ds3 does not have bad intentions when he does these things. He's just trying to find his way. I need to pay more attention and make sure I take care of things before I change my focus to something else but I sometimes forget. For example, putting the yogurt up before I went to the bathroom and making sure that ds2's cup of chocolate milk was up where ds3 couldn't get to it would've avoided those problems. I can't always think of everything for everyone.

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#203 of 367 Old 08-19-2009, 09:20 PM
 
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I'm going back a ways because I've been on vacation and not reading this thread...

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Me again. Here's the title of that book I mentioned. "Backtalk: 4 Steps to Ending Rude Behavior in Your Kids," by Audrey Ricker and Carolyn Crowder. The ideas and theories in this book seem ok but the example maybe aren't that great. That may be because they are coming from a mainstream perspective, assuming that all parents consider themselves in charge. I think that maybe it's a "take what you need and leave the rest" sort of thing.

Here's another example that might be more pertinent. A child is spending the night at a friend's. She's spent the entire time listening to her friend talk in nasty way to her parents. At one point the friend tells the child to call her parents and tell them to bring their VCR over because her's is broken. The child calls her parents and demands that they bring the VCR. They say they were going to use it later. She says that too bad because she and her friend want it so they have to bring it to her now. The parents tell the girl to get her stuff packed because they are coming to get her and they do. That seems like a reasonable and logical consequence. They do not punish the child anymore once they are home.
That example, to me, doesn't sound UP or reasonable at all, to me. And I don't think it would have the desired result: making the daughter ask politely next time she wants a favor. I think it would just have the result of making her angry and embarrassed and think her parents are mean. Her perception becomes her reality.

And semi-related, I think the biggest hurdle for me is remembering that UP isn't going to get me "quick results." A UP approach isn't going to get my kids to never act out or to immediately change their behavior. What I hope it will do is instill in them the knowledge of what is an appropriate and respectful way to treat other people, and let them know that they are loved and respected even when they are angry, obnoxious, and inappropriate. It's a marathon, not a sprint. It's really hard to remember that on days when the 50-yard dash involves screaming, whining, kicking, and hitting!

On another front, sometimes it all feels hopeless because there is so much outside influence. We were at the library today, and a 5-6-year-old boy was taking all the legos off the lego table in the play area and throwing them all over the place. Katie (3.5) was sitting next to me on the sofa, looked aghast (oh yeah, Miss Innocent ) and said "That is not a good boy!" I was pretty mortified, and he turned around and said "I am, too!" at which point his mother realized what he was doing and made him put it all back. I quietly told Katie that he wasn't a bad boy, he was just doing something that's not appropriate (they are *really* into that word), and we don't call people "good" or "bad" because it's not very kind. I hope I didn't confuse her. And man, talk about awkward moments!
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#204 of 367 Old 08-19-2009, 09:40 PM
 
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That example, to me, doesn't sound UP or reasonable at all, to me. And I don't think it would have the desired result: making the daughter ask politely next time she wants a favor. I think it would just have the result of making her angry and embarrassed and think her parents are mean. Her perception becomes her reality.
Yeah, after getting not too much further into that book I put it down. It is not UP at all and I do not recommend it.

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On another front, sometimes it all feels hopeless because there is so much outside influence. We were at the library today, and a 5-6-year-old boy was taking all the legos off the lego table in the play area and throwing them all over the place. Katie (3.5) was sitting next to me on the sofa, looked aghast (oh yeah, Miss Innocent ) and said "That is not a good boy!" I was pretty mortified, and he turned around and said "I am, too!" at which point his mother realized what he was doing and made him put it all back. I quietly told Katie that he wasn't a bad boy, he was just doing something that's not appropriate (they are *really* into that word), and we don't call people "good" or "bad" because it's not very kind. I hope I didn't confuse her. And man, talk about awkward moments!
We have to deal with that a lot, too. I've just been reading again the section in UP that covers praise. I don't use the good and bad labels but I do find myself telling ds when he does something nice or helpful. I say thank you to him a lot. I do genuinely mean it. I also point out why whatever it is is appreciated or that someone he did something for (he likes to hold doors for people, for example) seemed to really appreciate it. Maybe I should stop doing that?

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#205 of 367 Old 08-19-2009, 10:24 PM
 
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Yeah, after getting not too much further into that book I put it down. It is not UP at all and I do not recommend it.
Good to know!

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We have to deal with that a lot, too. I've just been reading again the section in UP that covers praise. I don't use the good and bad labels but I do find myself telling ds when he does something nice or helpful. I say thank you to him a lot. I do genuinely mean it. I also point out why whatever it is is appreciated or that someone he did something for (he likes to hold doors for people, for example) seemed to really appreciate it. Maybe I should stop doing that?
I think it's not just OK but essential to say thank you when they do something nice for you. You're modeling! And I think (and I'm sure someone will tell me if they disagree!) it's UP to point out why something is appreciated. I think you can mix it up with being manipulative, but if it's coming from a place of true gratitude and pleasure, I don't see it as such. How will he ever know that people appreciate someone holding the door for them if you don't thank him? Similarly, how will he learn to thank other people for holding the door otherwise?

It's when you start getting into the "Good job holding that door!" and "Good job not biting your sister when she took your toy!" area that I think it's manipulative and not UP. And I've certainly occasionally been guilty of that, but I try really hard to catch myself. Which sometimes ends up in some really really awkward praise-ish-non-praise-ish statements.
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#206 of 367 Old 08-20-2009, 04:28 AM
 
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I'm new to the thread and I just wanted some feedback on something:

My DD is almost 11-months-old so "discipline" really hasn't been an issue yet. I read UP and ADORED it, and thankfully DH is also on board with it, but I'm concerned about my family. My mother and aunt are both very involved with DD, but they're pretty "old-school" in their dealings with children. While I trust both of them not to spank DD if I make it clear that I'm not okay with that...I don't know how I'm going to get them to understand my UP stance. How do you deal with family in this situation? My mother in particular often babysits DD so I'm concerned about what will happen when DD starts "misbehaving".

I'm also getting frustrated with all the praise that is already being thrown around by friends, family, even complete strangers. These people are going to think I'm nuts! Which if fine, I don't care what they think of me...but I do care if they ignore me and treat my child in a way that I don't think is appropriate.
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#207 of 367 Old 08-20-2009, 11:13 AM
 
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I'm new to the thread and I just wanted some feedback on something:

My DD is almost 11-months-old so "discipline" really hasn't been an issue yet. I read UP and ADORED it, and thankfully DH is also on board with it, but I'm concerned about my family. My mother and aunt are both very involved with DD, but they're pretty "old-school" in their dealings with children. While I trust both of them not to spank DD if I make it clear that I'm not okay with that...I don't know how I'm going to get them to understand my UP stance. How do you deal with family in this situation? My mother in particular often babysits DD so I'm concerned about what will happen when DD starts "misbehaving".

I'm also getting frustrated with all the praise that is already being thrown around by friends, family, even complete strangers. These people are going to think I'm nuts! Which if fine, I don't care what they think of me...but I do care if they ignore me and treat my child in a way that I don't think is appropriate.
I would start a discussion about UP and offer the book for them to read. Give them specific things to do or say instead of punishments, rewards and praise. If they refuse to respect how you want your own child to be treated, you may have to not let them care for her. I had to do that with my mother and oldest ds for a while because she told me flat out that she would not do the things I asked her to do (or not do) if she disagreed with me. With family, friends and strangers who don't have much contact with her, I wouldn't worry about.

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#208 of 367 Old 08-20-2009, 11:56 AM
 
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I'm also getting frustrated with all the praise that is already being thrown around by friends, family, even complete strangers. These people are going to think I'm nuts! Which if fine, I don't care what they think of me...but I do care if they ignore me and treat my child in a way that I don't think is appropriate.
I can totally commiserate. DS is 19 months, and it seems like everywhere we go, positive reinforcement abounds. We go to Gymboree and to a weekly Waterbabies swim lesson, both of which are mom-and-baby type things, so I'm always there to intervene. But still, the amount of "good job!"s that get thrown around is crazy. At Gymboree, I've even heard the music teacher tell my son "good steal!" when he swiped a musical instrument away from another toddler. I was a little o_0 at that one.

I love the swim school we go to, but it disturbs me that even the babies are given rewards for doing things they don't want to do. It's standard practice to give them gummy bears for going underwater for several seconds, for example. On days when DS has let me know in no uncertain terms that he does NOT want to go underwater, the teacher's response has been to say to him, "If you go underwater you can have a gummy bear!" *insert horrified expression here* So far I've been able to avoid the bribery by just saying no and sticking to my guns, but I'm the only parent in that class who does. At some point, is DS going to realize this and want a gummy bear for going underwater too? I'm struggling with how to handle this, because when he turns 2, I'm not going to be in the water with him any more. The goal is for him to learn to swim and enjoy it, and I'm uncomfortable that there seems to be so much bribery involved.

I know at some point I will have to make a decision about whether or not to say something, and so far I've been able to avoid it. But then I realize that when he goes to preschool in a couple of years this could be a huge issue, and then elementary school, and so on. I'm starting to realize what an uphill battle this could be. Kohn addresses this in UP and says that sometimes your child just has to learn to be conditionally accepted at school, sadly.

I work part-time and we have a wonderful nanny who has been with us for a year. She and I are completely on the same page with AP and UP parenting philosophies, and I guess I'm really lucky in that regard. but when I start to think about how most of the world operates, I can only hope that loving my son unconditionally at home will provide him with the support he needs to cope with the conditional stuff elsewhere.
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#209 of 367 Old 08-22-2009, 11:48 PM
 
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One of my friends takes her DD to her room when she's having a tantrum and stays there with her until the girl calms down. She never leaves her alone. Do you think that it is OK to do this?
I did read somewhere that we can have our kids pick the place where they would like to go to calm dawn, where they can keep their toys, pillows, things that make them feel secure. I'm not sure what to think about it, is it OK to move tantruming children to a different spot even if they object? On the other hand tantruming child objects to everything

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#210 of 367 Old 08-25-2009, 11:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by joanna0707 View Post
One of my friends takes her DD to her room when she's having a tantrum and stays there with her until the girl calms down. She never leaves her alone. Do you think that it is OK to do this?
I did read somewhere that we can have our kids pick the place where they would like to go to calm dawn, where they can keep their toys, pillows, things that make them feel secure. I'm not sure what to think about it, is it OK to move tantruming children to a different spot even if they object? On the other hand tantruming child objects to everything
If the child is disturbing others, I think it's ok to take the child to another room. I wish I could do this with my 5yo but I can't leave my 2yo alone. I don't see any reason to move the child to another place if she's not disturbing others, though. You can ask the child to sit with you on the couch or sit down with the child in the middle of the floor or on the stairs or wherever she is. The idea is to not isolate the child while she's expressing disturbing emotions or expressing her emotions in a disturbing way.

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