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#61 of 164 Old 05-28-2010, 03:02 AM
 
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Consequences are a part of life. Your child can be inside a bubble in your own little world but when they go out into the real world there will be consequences for their behaviour. I personally think anyone who leads their child to believe that they can have/do whatever they want is doing their child a huge disservice.
That doesnt make sense at all. Every where you go there are different rules so why not at home? as long as a child realises that there are reasons for rules at different places you are not doing them any disservice. Like my kids can swim naked at home but the pool requires them to wear a swimsuit. they can climb on the table at home but not at their friends house. my house is as much the real world as any other place and just like any other place my requirements of my children are different than the next place.

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#62 of 164 Old 05-28-2010, 07:06 AM
 
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No it is artificial created to be a punishment. a natural consequence is your knee is hurt if you fall on it. taking away a treat is a punishment.
I just don't agree, ok? She didn't take the treat away. It was not ABLE to be purchased because they couldn't leave the house because the child was not going to get clean. Which was the stipulation for leaving the house.

I am thrilled that your parenting style works for you. I have a friend who parents similarly to you, and her child owns her. She does whatever that child wants-she drops everything to do what she wants. She is completely taken advantage of. That's my experience with a child led house.
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#63 of 164 Old 05-28-2010, 07:48 AM
 
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I didn't have any tone-sorry you took it one way over another. I just said I didn't agree with you.

I also never said I punish my daughters. Nor did I say you advocate taking advantage. I was stating simply that I'm glad it works for you-but it went horribly wrong for my friend and now her child has complete control over her.
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#64 of 164 Old 05-28-2010, 08:17 AM
 
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I didn't have any tone-sorry you took it one way over another. I just said I didn't agree with you.

I also never said I punish my daughters. Nor did I say you advocate taking advantage. I was stating simply that I'm glad it works for you-but it went horribly wrong for my friend and now her child has complete control over her.
Right so who should have control? why should one person ( and I don't care if its the adult or the child) have control over another? and why is this such an issue for so many parents who has control in a situation. I'm not talking about something like leaving a child to play on a busy road that woul be a stupid example (Thats the one most people will throw at me) If safety is involved I step in. but if it isn't a safety issue why should a parent be "allowed" to coerce/manipulate whatever you want to call it a child to do something.
And where do you draw the line? if a parent is allowed to do it are grandparents? what about a teacher? boss? where in society do we draw the line and start treating all individuals with respect? It is not child centered or child led or child whatever it is simply treating a person with respect.
I can't comment on you friend other than that she has a choice.

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#65 of 164 Old 05-28-2010, 08:48 AM
 
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Right. Everyone has a choice. And I would love to live in a world where I did not have to guide and direct my children and help them realize what good choices are.
At work, my boss DOES have authority over me. I can choose not to listen to his directives, but what happens? I lose my job. At school, my kids can choose not to listen to their teacher, but (again) what happens? And, I'm not saying blindly follow everything that is said. I wholeheartedly agree with questioning authority. If my child's teacher tells her that she can't go to the bathroom, I fully expect her to get up and walk out of class.
The line is different for everyone. I expect my children to respect the family. I'm not spending all day barking orders, but I do tell them to help with dishes, keep their rooms clean, wash themselves on a regular basis, etc. I don't think that's being disrespectful to them. It's teaching them. I do not coerce them. I'm straight forward. My kids don't fear me, or feel as if I'm controlling them. They know that they are a part of the family and act that way.
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#66 of 164 Old 05-28-2010, 09:00 AM
 
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thank you for writing this. I tried to write a post like this last week and it came out all wrong. Your situation is like mine. I am going to read the responses now. One thing I want to mention is that I believe 90% of behavior is directly related to the foods we are ingesting. It is a chemical reaction in definition. We are GFCFSF now and I am still trying to work out all my dd1's food triggers. I do believe it can be done. She is almost 7, btw and sounds exactly like your daughter from this post.

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#67 of 164 Old 05-28-2010, 09:32 AM
 
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I have a very spirited 8-year-old, and she has certainly been mouthy. I think the first and most important thing is to not get dragged into the emotions. If your dd gets mouthy, say in a pretty unemotional way that you won't respond to being talked to like that. Don't escalate things by getting more emotional and don't get dragged into it. With my spirited and very emotional dd, getting into the emotional thing with her makes her insecure. The insecurity leads to more emotional unbalance. I'm her rock, and when she's all emotional like that she needs me to be more even tempered. It isn't easy for me as I am not naturally even tempered, you know the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, but it really makes a huge difference in her behavior.

I personally would have still gotten the treat, but I don't think that's such a huge deal. I just don't think she's probably connecting those two things as much as you're hoping she is. And following through with the treat would have been a nice message that your love and affection are constant despite the big eruption, which might have made her more secure as well. As a highly emotional person, I know the insecurity involved in that temperament. But like I said, I don't think that's a big deal. The bigger deal is simply not getting dragged into the emotions.

I also would have let her take a bath at some other point, like maybe after you went out. Autonomy is a huge deal for an older child, and presenting it like, "You really need a bath. I'd like it if you took one before we went out, but it's OK if you would rather wait until after" might have given her that autonomy and still gotten her clean before school the next day.

Another thing is that it might help you to change your perspective on the rudeness from "she's being rude." to "she still needs to learn to be polite." It's basically the same thing, but I find I respond differently when I think about it that way. Instead of taking it personally, I go into more of a teaching mode. "I'm not sure if you're aware how that sounds to me." And then I explain what she said and how I respond. That has also made a big difference.

Finally, children are not always going to be happy. They will get angry, upset, and will have tantrums. People of all ages have tantrums, they just change in form as they get older, and it sounds like your dd had an older child tantrum. I would treat all tantrums of all children of all ages the same way I treat tantrums in toddlers. Empathize, don't get dragged into the emotions of it, and be there for her when she's over. Children are not always going to be happy, and that's OK.
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#68 of 164 Old 05-28-2010, 09:55 AM
 
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Mum21-each child is different and needs different direction. Each family dynamic is different.
I honestly am thrilled that you found a way that works well for your family.
My way works well for my family as well. FWIW, I don't do punitive consequences. No time outs, I don't take things away from my kids. I do have expectations. And there is nothing wrong with having expectations.
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#69 of 164 Old 05-28-2010, 11:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I just don't get why the majority of parents gives their own children so little credit and assumes punishemnts (even in the form of items taken away time out or whatever) are neccesary to ensure the child behaves the correct way.
I suppose for me it is because if I gave her more credit and assumed she will behave a certain way, she just won't (sometimes). At times, that is ok. Other times it is NOT ok, and she just has.to.do.something.

I have to admit I'm curious about this concept however, mum21andtwins. I'm wondering how you would react in different scenarios. I find I can understand better when I hear about concrete examples.

Such as: the family is getting ready to go to an important event (whatever that may be...perhaps a grandparent's birthday dinner). The child decides they don't really feel like going. And asking them what would make them happy to go (ex: offering to bring along a game etc) isn't changing their mind. At all. They are just plain out saying no. There isn't anyone they can stay with (since the whole family is going), and it would be hurtful and rude for them to not attend (we aren't talking about a toddler here). Plus, everyone is busy trying to get ready and they are slowing people down and causing stress by refusing to get dressed or cooperate.

What would you do? What do you feel is respectful to the child?

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With my spirited and very emotional dd, getting into the emotional thing with her makes her insecure. The insecurity leads to more emotional unbalance. I'm her rock, and when she's all emotional like that she needs me to be more even tempered.
Hmmm, very interesting!!

Also, I have to remind everyone that I'm not being unreasonable....again, if she could have taken a bath at any other time it would have been fine (remember, I'm pretty laid back in general). The water was being turned off after dinner and she had to have her bath at that moment.
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#70 of 164 Old 05-28-2010, 12:40 PM
 
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If my husband told me he would pick me up a treat but then I started being horrible to him I can guarantee you that when he came back he would not have gotten me a treat! And why would he? I was being rude and mean and who cares if he offered the treat before if I was subsequently rude to him. Seems logical to me.
I don't mean to sound disrespectful, but I guess I just don't have a point of reference for this...I realize it's a hypothetical example, and I'm not sure that my husband and I are ever "horrible" to each other, but if I told my husband I was, say, stopping for ice cream on the way home, and then we were less than nice to each other for whatever reason, I would STILL stop to get ice cream. Not doing so seems...childish? Petty? Vindictive? I'm not sure...

Anyway OP, in terms of children: I only have a 14 month, so what I do really know about the work a relationship with a 7 year old takes? But to address your question as to what do in the scenario you last posted. I would think you'd have to consider the reasons why the child didn't want to go to said grandmother's dinner. Is the dinner after a reasonable time when I can expect my child to be happy and cheerful? I know that with our baby, however important the event may be, if it takes place after his bedtime, we're not going unless we can get someone to watch him. If he's not feeling well, we're not going. If he's hungry, and we need to arrive late because he has to eat first, we'll be late. I would think this would still be the case with an older child, but again, I have no real experience with that yet. Maybe someone who does could comment on that.

Perhaps, would stopping for 10 or 20 minutes for playtime to get everyone on track before heading out help?
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#71 of 164 Old 05-28-2010, 01:25 PM
 
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No it is artificial created to be a punishment. a natural consequence is your knee is hurt if you fall on it. taking away a treat is a punishment.
She did not take away a treat. The treat was at the store, and this mother's rule was that she had to take a bath before she went to the store. The child refused to bath therefore the result was that they didn't go to the store, where the treat was. I have a feeling though that you believe even making a rule is "disrespectful" so just carry on.

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#72 of 164 Old 05-28-2010, 01:32 PM
 
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Right so who should have control? why should one person ( and I don't care if its the adult or the child) have control over another? and why is this such an issue for so many parents who has control in a situation. I'm not talking about something like leaving a child to play on a busy road that woul be a stupid example (Thats the one most people will throw at me) If safety is involved I step in. but if it isn't a safety issue why should a parent be "allowed" to coerce/manipulate whatever you want to call it a child to do something.
And where do you draw the line? if a parent is allowed to do it are grandparents? what about a teacher? boss? where in society do we draw the line and start treating all individuals with respect? It is not child centered or child led or child whatever it is simply treating a person with respect.
I can't comment on you friend other than that she has a choice.
The parent should have control because they are the parent. Because it is their to job to raise the child, not the other way around. Because they have been on this earth many more years than the child and they have life experience that the child does not yet understand. Because teaching the child that they don't have to answer to anybody is setting them up for major life problems. I am raising my children, they aren't raising me.

Answer to second bolded part - because I'm the parent. I'm the adult. I take my children's feelings into consideration but when it comes down to it I make the rules.

Answer to third bolded part - Nobody else has the same autority over my children because I am their parent. But yes, when they are in the care of their grandparents they are expected to follow the rules and respect their authority. The same goes with school. No, I do not just teach my children that they have to do whatever the teacher says but I do expect them to follow the rules of the classroom and to obey any reasonable request the teacher makes of them. And of course they are going to have to do what their boss tells them. If they don't they won't have a job for very long. And you are kind of proving my point. It sounds like you want your child to not have to answer to everybody but that is just not the way the world works. And they will recieve a rude awakening once they are out of your home.

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#73 of 164 Old 05-28-2010, 02:26 PM
 
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She did not take away a treat. The treat was at the store, and this mother's rule was that she had to take a bath before she went to the store. The child refused to bath therefore the result was that they didn't go to the store, where the treat was. I have a feeling though that you believe even making a rule is "disrespectful" so just carry on.
She did take away the treat, or the ability to get a treat anyway. And the girl did take a bath, but the mom forced it. And I think they did go to the store still? I think they went to the store but the child wasn't allowed to have a treat there, if I'm understanding the specifics right. Taking away the treat was a punishment, though it doesn't seem like an out of line punishment. I personally avoid punishments but I can see why she did that and I think it's as connected as any punishment.

Although, I think focusing on the treat is a bit beside the point as I think the problem here is the child's emotional unbalance affecting the mom's emotions, and then the mom's emotions exacerbating the child's emotional unbalance, not whether the child was punished or should have gotten the treat. I don't think not getting the treat caused any particular problem that hadn't already existed before that issue (emotional unbalance), and I don't think it would have caused a problem if she had gotten the treat, nor would it have solved the problem if she'd gotten the treat, nor did taking away the treat solve the problem. I think the treat is a minor detail. Which is one of the reasons I don't use punishments - they seem to take most of the attention away from the core problem and put it on a side issue.
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#74 of 164 Old 05-28-2010, 02:27 PM
 
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I think there is a huge space between pretty much having no rules/expectations for children and being all about punitive consequences and authoritarian parenting. I have found that having basic rules and expectations for our DD (again, a few years younger than the OPs daughter, but she does display many of the same behaviors at times) have really helped us. She has the security of knowing expectations in the family for behavior- both hers and ours! and this allows her to NOT have to expend energy and anxiety on needing to create all of her own boundaries and rules. In addition, I think DH and I are way more able to use playful parenting, discussion, and creativity with her than we would be if everything felt like a free-for-all. The "rules" of respect that we have for her are also the ones we have for ourselves... not just how we treat her but how we treat eachother. I want DD to have had as much "say" in as many things in her life as possible to help her develop a sense of autonomy, independence, self-sufficiency, and self-efficacy. but that is NOT the same as having no idea of the importance of, when appropriate, conforming to societal/school expectations. In my mind, I am doing her a disservice if I don't give her the tools of self-control that she needs to succeed outside of our home.
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#75 of 164 Old 05-28-2010, 02:51 PM
 
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All this over not taking a bath? sheesh. I don't see what a treat has to do with being clean, and it wouldn't have killed anyone to go to the store dirty. Even if it meant she was itchy or got a rash or something. THAT would have been the natural consequence. And hey, I might not want to sit or stand real close to her, or hold her hand if she stunk. no, but seriously, I have a 9 yo DD that for whatever reason fights me on the shower issue. I don't mean I fight her and physically make her bathe, or punish her if she doesn't want to get in the shower... but that she will often go days without gettin clean, and I remind her (okay, sometimes even bug her about it), and she always seems to have something more important to do at the time, and says she'll take a shower later. Sometimes she does, and sometimes she doesn't (ie goes to bed w/o ever taking one, for yet another day).

Here's the thing - it's not something I feel the need to control and manipulate her with. This too shall pass. I have a feeling, that by, say, middle school - if not sooner - she is going to WANT to be clean and smell lovely. She already cares about her looks, and will change her outfit several times a day, spend forever curling and styling her hair, will even put on purple eye shadow while at home. She just happens to not care about being the most hygenic person, at the time. . You know, if she were to decide she smelled funky, or god-forbid some kid on the bus said something (really, she's not that gross, I'm just saying IF it came down to this), then that would he the natural consequence, and maybe then she would decide showering daily (or heck, even every other day would make me happy - but it's not about me!) is important to her. I guess I just can't see getting into a power struggle over another person (especially a child at that age where they are becoming so independant) over when they want to take a bath. I certainly wouldn't be holding something like a treat over their head.

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#76 of 164 Old 05-28-2010, 03:08 PM
 
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Not at all and you are being waaay more calm about it with her than I would be-but I guess I'm just more disrespectful than most.


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#77 of 164 Old 05-28-2010, 03:21 PM
 
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Brokenheart, count me as another mama who thinks you're doing fine.
I have an 8 yr old dd and she can be so moody that I sometimes wonder how we are going to survive the teenage years. Eh.

So the way I read it all is that you told her some things would happen before going to the store, they didn't all happen in a timely manner, and therefore, she didn't get a special treat for the next day's lunch.

I do think it's natural consequence if you frame it right. If you want to focus on natural consequences, it could go like this: "After we get home, we have time for X and Y. Then I need for you to take a bath so that we can leave by Zing O'clock." DD says, "Can I get a gooey-oh for lunch tomorrow?" Here, I think it is perfectly reasonable to make the stipulation ... "IF you are ready to leave at Zing O'clock, we will have time to stop to get a gooey-oh. If you aren't ready to go on time, we probably won't have time to get it." So she decides not to wash her hair, thereby making you late in running errands. A natural consequence of being behind schedule is that there isn't time to do everything that was initially planned.

I don't think that there is anything wrong with your approach, and you've already said that you are working on not being passive-aggressive in the aftermath. Good deal! I would add that maybe, when she is in a good mood and things are cozy, you might want to bring up the incident; ask her why she was so resistant to getting clean, and ask her if she can think of a way that you could have helped her stay on schedule OTHER than what you did. I do that with my dc and sometimes I get blank stares and "I don't knows" but just as often I get some feedback; I'm perfectly willing to try things their way if they are willing to look at things afterward and discuss what actually works and doesn't. Sometimes they surprise me, sometimes I surprise them.

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#78 of 164 Old 05-28-2010, 03:29 PM
 
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You're doing fine. You handled it well. I think a lot of it is the age, they're going through hormonal fluctuations and such. So don't beat yourself up.
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#79 of 164 Old 05-28-2010, 04:38 PM
 
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subbing... can't press the sub button 'cause the ad is in the way

very interesting to hear several sides on this...

I only have a 15mo so I can't say what I would've done, probably just gone to the store dirty & did a super-quick sponge bath type thing when we got home.

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#80 of 164 Old 05-28-2010, 04:50 PM
 
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I just read through this, and can't really comment on your parenting, in general.

But, you really need to find a way to cope with your feelings when your dd is rude or whatever. This stuff happens and going into hiding is going to feel like the silent treatment. IME, nobody responds well to that. If you really, really need to leave, I think it would be a good idea to say something like, "I'm really upset right now, and I need a little while to calm down", so she knows it's not about you trying to punish her by withholding attention or affection.

Also, I'd have given her the treat. Unless you said upfront "you can have such-and-such treat if everything else goes smoothly", then you basically promised her something, then reneged, without her knowing that was on the table. Maybe you shouldn't have made the promise in the first place, but you did, and then you broke it. (As for the person who mentioned the thing with their dh...you can bet that if dh told me he was doing something, then I got snotty and he didn't do it, all hell would break loose...same thing if the roles were reversed. If I say something is going to be done, I do it...and I'm not in the habit of saying, "I'll pick you up your favourite chocolate bar while I'm shopping this afternoon if you behave according to my unspecified expectations in the meantime".)

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#81 of 164 Old 05-28-2010, 05:07 PM
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I haven't read the WHOLE thread but just throwing this out there-- I agree with Storm Bride about the withdrawing affection thing-- if you've read UP then you know it's a kind of punishment. I agree, tell her you need a time out to get calm, take that as a chance to express that you are an important person who deserves to be treated respectfully, let her see that her words hurt you. Taking a time out but not turning it into a punishment is something I've been working on myself, as my patience is very limited right now b/c of work and other stuff.

I also wanted to say-- maybe she'd respond to some of the ideas in Playful Parenting? He's got a lot in there about kids throwing out insults and him figuring out what they're really saying or how to turn it around. And games might help ease things when she's getting upset about not getting her way-- like pretend someone dumped [insert her least fav color or food etc here] all over her hair and you're going to save her by scrubbing it off as fast as you can! This kind of things works SOMEtimes and it helps me keep my energy/patience for when it doesn't.

I think you know your child best, and you are the only one who knows how challenging she may be right now. I have a fairly easy going 3yo so I'm just offering support. It sounds like you are doing a LOT really well. I hope you find some tools to help you ease things for you and DD a bit more, too. Good luck!
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#82 of 164 Old 05-28-2010, 09:35 PM
 
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I found it was easy to get triggered by my son's (age 7) nuttiness sometimes, like his angry lashing out, so I developed a phrase that I turn to when my brain is starting to ignite with passionate feelings & anger & stuff....I say out loud right in front of him and I cling to it like a life preserver: I say "I am going to resolve this peacefully if it's the last thing I do." If I need to keep repeating it, I do. That phrase works for me because it states it out loud, for me as well as for him, that I have a peaceful resolution as my end goal. Having a goal keeps me on track. You may have a different phrase, like "I'm sorry you are upset, but I am choosing to feel calm." WHATEVER works for you. But if it is something you can remember in the heat of the moment, to keep getting swept away by her emotions, that can be helpful. :-)
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#83 of 164 Old 05-28-2010, 09:48 PM
 
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I found it was easy to get triggered by my son's (age 7) nuttiness sometimes, like his angry lashing out, so I developed a phrase that I turn to when my brain is starting to ignite with passionate feelings & anger & stuff....I say out loud right in front of him and I cling to it like a life preserver: I say "I am going to resolve this peacefully if it's the last thing I do." If I need to keep repeating it, I do. That phrase works for me because it states it out loud, for me as well as for him, that I have a peaceful resolution as my end goal. Having a goal keeps me on track. You may have a different phrase, like "I'm sorry you are upset, but I am choosing to feel calm." WHATEVER works for you. But if it is something you can remember in the heat of the moment, to keep getting swept away by her emotions, that can be helpful. :-)
I'm going to try to come up with something like this. I'm having a lot of trouble staying calm with ds2 right now (esp. when he bites his baby sister). I need something to keep me from blowing my top.

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#84 of 164 Old 05-28-2010, 10:52 PM
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I actually say "I'm feeling really angry and feel like screaming so loud all the windows break. I don't want to do that we'd both get more upset". Then we usually go do something else entirely. Yard-work, baking stuff and showers are really good tasks for defusing intense emotions. Just identifying the situation by saying "I'm angry" seems to help I or my DD react to our individual anger in a calmer manner. The silliness of the idea of breaking all the windows with my voice kind of makes my anger seem less serious, at least to me.
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#85 of 164 Old 05-28-2010, 11:01 PM
 
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I actually say "I'm feeling really angry and feel like screaming so loud all the windows break. I don't want to do that we'd both get more upset". Then we usually go do something else entirely. Yard-work, baking stuff and showers are really good tasks for defusing intense emotions. Just identifying the situation by saying "I'm angry" seems to help I or my DD react to our individual anger in a calmer manner. The silliness of the idea of breaking all the windows with my voice kind of makes my anger seem less serious, at least to me.
I think that's a good idea. Giving names and words to strong emotions makes them seem less foreboding and mysterious, and therefore less scary. And it gives her permission to also have strong emotions and an example of how to handle them.
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#86 of 164 Old 05-28-2010, 11:10 PM
 
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Okay thank you so much! I guess I really just need to work on my "passive aggressive" behavior. When she is really rude to me, I withdraw from her. I tell her to go watch a movie and I just kind of ignore her for the rest of the night. The reason is that I'm so hurt over how she acted and how mean she is at times. This isn't mature behavior (I know), so I need to work on getting a grip. I should not be thrown in a tizzy by a 7 year old's words/actions.

And yes, I too get way too wrapped up in her emotions. I want her to be happy. I feel her emotions (which is horrible considering she isn't exactly emotionally stable most of the time).
I recently read "Hold On to Your Kids" - the last section of the book deals with discipline and connections/relationships. He says that withdrawing is not the thing to do. I have been trying to really focus on connections with our (7yrs in 3 weeks) DD and it is really helping. (He calls it collecting our children and says to do this before asking them to do things or expecting cooperation.)

I am going to ask my DH to read that section of the book because I think it will help him. He is having some of the same issues with DD as you are having with your DD. He also tends to get ticked off about her behavior and then withdraws from her, which only escalates the problem. Then I end up having to go in and do damage control - this is usually at night around bedtime when we are all tired.

I didn't have time to read the whole thread. I hope this helps some and that things are going better now.

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#87 of 164 Old 05-29-2010, 01:38 AM
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Consequences are a part of life. Your child can be inside a bubble in your own little world but when they go out into the real world there will be consequences for their behaviour. I personally think anyone who leads their child to believe that they can have/do whatever they want is doing their child a huge disservice.
I said that using a natural consequence to make a point is usually punishment. Saying a child "needs" a consequence and then arbitrarily doing something they don't like is punishment. I don't try to protect my DD, 4.5 years old, from the consequences that occur in the world. I do talk about possible consequences of different choices and behaviors so she can make better choices. For example several months ago we were dealing with DD being loud indoors so I would say calmly "Shouting hurts my ears and can hurt peoples feelings. Please use a friendly voice." I didn't get angry, punish her or yell back, I just calmly reminded her every single time that it wasn't a good idea. We even talked about how her friends may might have hurt feelings when she shouted and be afraid to play with her. Just because one isn't using punishment and rewards to manipulate their childs behavior doesn't mean they are leading their child to believe they can do anything they want. Calm verbal guidance, modeling appropriate behavior, role playing about situations that involve rudeness are all valid ways to help a child learn how to be socially successful. If some one is upset, like a tantruming child, they respond better to a calm response. I can demand respect and still be respectful and nonpunitive at the same time.

I also have a 24 year old DD too, and if I could go back and raise her all over again I would be calmer, not stress over little stuff, and be completely nonpunitive. You have a lot more drama when you use punishment or rewards and when you get caught up in their emotions of the moment instead of using calm guidance.
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#88 of 164 Old 05-29-2010, 02:03 AM
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And yes, I too get way too wrapped up in her emotions. I want her to be happy. I feel her emotions (which is horrible considering she isn't exactly emotionally stable most of the time).
You came here asking for advice. Giving your DD a strong emotional reaction is just going to cause more annoying behavior. Seeing you upset is probably scary and makes her feel she has too much 'power' over the situation all at the same time. Don't focus on wanting her to be happy all the time, focus on helping her learn how to make choices so she can make her self happy. She doesn't need you to feel her emotions she needs you to calmly guide her through them when they are too intense. Just always assume she loves you and don't take rude behavior personally because she's a child and she is still impulsive and reactive. You're letting her hurt your feelings like an adult friend or family member would. It hasn't been mentioned so have you heard of Kids Parents and Power Struggles, Winning For a Lifetime by Mary Kurcinka?
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#89 of 164 Old 05-29-2010, 12:48 PM
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Hey OP!

I am in the same boat as you except my child is a boy and just turned 16. Girl! You need to nip it now! Trust me!

What a I found out through LOTS of trial and error - is that my son is very boundary oriented and controlling. He needs to control his environment and when he is unable to control his environment, he literally comes unglued. Granted - he has a lot more maturity now than he did when he was younger - but it does take hard core boundaries and expectations to make our relationship work sometimes. Sometimes!

I have to say though that he did not act out like your dd at 7..... At this age, he was more in trouble at school with his peers.

I also found out that I was enabling A LOT of his behavior by not setting clear expectations. Like you - I really wanted to be able to explain and talk to him. Fast forward many years and heartaches later - he really just needed boundaries. And walk away. Don't try to talk through it or wait her out - walk away and leave her alone. She's a smart kid - she hears you. She also hears your conflict and unwillingness to come down hard on her.

One thing that I did wrong was to ground or take things to quickly and then keep them too long. Also, my ds needed more space to figure things out on his own. I sort of smothered him.

Now, I give clear consequences AHEAD of time. I never snatch something away from without it being his decision to lose it. Does that make sense? So in the bath tub situation - I wouldn't take away the treat without clearly explaining that if the behavior continues - the treat will be removed. I know some folks (and I haven't read the other responses yet) don't like to punish or give consequences - but I tell my kids that I will not continue to do things for them without their cooperation. So you might ask that your dd cooperate with you so that you can get the bath completed and then move on to the treat. "DD, I need your cooperation, please wash your hair so that we can (Whatever insert here)." DD shouts that she doesn't want to wash her hair. You tell her that if she choses not to wash her hair, then she cannot do XYZ later. Quick question - is she washing her hair or are you? That might be aggravating her - she might want the autonomy to wash her own hair. Leave the room - ask her to complete the task and call you when she's done. Staying in the room and arguing with her gives her the idea that she can continue to try and make you see it her way. If you leave - you are giving her choices.


Your description of your afternoon with the snack prepared, the long discussion on the way home etc.... that just reminds me of my son. It was so important to you that she understand exactly what was going on. You were working so hard to avoid conflict. You were walking on egg shells to keep her calm. And that is great! I've been there. But I had the same situation years ago where I was literally afraid to set my son off. And it had to stop. I was afraid to give him chores on Saturday because I didn't want to hear his mouth. How crazy is that!!!

I'm rambling! I'm so sorry. Good luck to you!

Trying to do the right thing with three kids and a hubby. 
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#90 of 164 Old 05-29-2010, 01:15 PM
 
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This is a totally wild guess, but if any custody issue were ever to come up, it would "look good" for the OP if her child doesn't go out in public looking unkempt.
Not to mention that a seven year old is not old enough or mature enough to always know what is best for them. That is why they have parents.
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