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#61 of 285 Old 07-22-2010, 05:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
It does count. You don't know her. She remembers. SHe brings things up from months, even YEARS ago. "Remember that one time when we went to the zoo and you said I could have popcorn?" That was 15 months ago. FIFTEEN MONTHS. One popcorn decision and I'll suffer for years until I feel comfortable with popcorn with a baby.
I hate to burst your bubble, but that's not unique to your child. not by any means. I have yet to meet a child of average or greater intelligence who doesn't do that to their parents. It's infuriating, but totally normal. My son brings up things from THREE YEARS AGO! It's exasperating.

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And... I'm sorry, but is there a kid missing in your signature? I see two kids, one six and one around 6 mo?

Was there ever a time you had a newborn babe and a toddler at one time?
It must be very overwhelming. I absolutely cannot imagine the stress. It must be heart wrenching to feel torn between the two like that.
My eldest is 5 (last march) and my other is just just six months. I have no idea what it is like to have two so close together. I can see how it must change everything for you, and fill you up with dread and frustration. I am sorry you are facing this alone. It's not f-ing fair!
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I don't have a decade to get her to bed. I don't have a year to get her to get in the carseat and put on her harness, or at least let me do it. I don't have a week to get her to obey the command, "Put her down!" (regarding toddler sister).

I have to be successful at these things or it's considered neglect.

And htat's why she challenges them. Amazingly, "Please and thank you" are easier. Why? Because it's not a big deal.

But if I let seat-buckles and sleep and food not be a big deal, it's neglect.

I lose. I try, she challenges. I don't try, she pushes the limit to the limit to the limit and she's not healthy or safe. No matter what, I lose.

She might grow out of it. She might not. Her dad never did!
It's not neglect. You are giving yourself too hard a job. It's NOT neglect. It's PARENTING. Siblings get hurt by siblings. Children go on food strikes and sleep strikes. s long as you are monitoring and taking her to the doctors when you feel it is time, and you are using your momma instincts to protect your girls it is NOT neglect! You have to lighten up on yourself. Give yourself more credit. You are doing an amazing job. It sounds to me like all the other adults in your DD's life think you're doing an awesome job! Why are you giving yourself such a hard time and making your job so HARD?

Rest assured no matter what techniques you employ it WILL take decades to teach her. There is NO parenting technique, not even spanking and screaming, that will speed that process up by much.

Going to bed in under ten minutes? I do not know a child under six who does this regularly. Listening to the inner conscience versus the impulse? Not a child under 25 has that one down pat (but their impulses DO get better).

I know it is scary and overwhelming, but you CAN do this. and you ARE doing a great job. I wish you had more support and help close to you so you can keep doing it. It's so totally unfair that you have to face this alone.

Rebekah - mom to Ben 03/05 and Emily 01/10, a peace educator, and a veg*n and wife to Jamie.
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#62 of 285 Old 07-22-2010, 08:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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When it is time for bed, and DS does not want to go to bed, I say "Well Benjamin it is time for bed, you do not have to sleep, but you have to be in your room and I am going to mine. I will see you in the morning. If you have a bad dream or you need me, let me know, but I'm going to my room. Goodnight." I turn off the TV and the house lights, and I go to bed. Everytime without fail he calls me for a story.
He... doesn't... come out of the room. ??? He doesn't start yelling loudly (to wake up sibling)? He doesn't start jumping on the bed?


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He is usually very sad about his poor choices and I let him know that it is okay to cry and be sad, but we can't take back the things we did, we can only choose better choices tomorrow.
Mine tells me I'm mean, a horrible person, and rude and disgusting, and she wants to throw me in the trash.


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1) My DS dropped his nap at about 18 months, much to the chagrin of his daycare providers. So we started putting him to bed at 6pm and lo and behold he would STILL sleep until 8am. EIGHT am.
Mine wakes and falls asleep around the same time every day. She will fall asleep at five unless I am stimulating her with intensive activities (hard as that's dinner prep time) from five to seven, if she has no nap.

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I made the connection about a year too late and had a serious talk with DH who still does it from time to time but I have also given DS the way to politely ask his dad to back off (though he does forget and it can spiral into a HUGE blow out.) "Daddy, can I try to do it on my own please?"
My husband doesn't listen. Oh, sure, sometimes, not generally... no. Meh.


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B) maybe it is time to consider having DD2 sleep in your room. at least while DH is away?
Yeah, I could transition her into my room and then re-transition her. We could just do gentle sleep training for the next two years, but i"m not really up for that.

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C)I am confused by this...if she loves school so much why does she fight having to ride in a car seat?
We walk to school.

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Has she not made the connection that school cannot happen without the car seat?
She doesn't mind the car-seat. She doesn't want to get buckled herself. She wants me to buckle her and argue about it. "Do it the wrong way." "No, not like THAT."

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If she is extroverted, as I suspect she is, watching a video and playing a game on the computer might really help her to direct all that built up energy of her day amongst so many people into something educational and challenging. Screen time is not terrible if it helps to meet BOTH your needs. Don't dismiss it because you feel like a bad mom letting the computer entertain your kid. You shoudn't have to serve as friend, counselor, nurse, personal chef, teacher, walking encyclopedia, AND clown parade to your kids. Three out of seven on any given day is perfectly respectable.
This is a good point. We should do more screen time, actually. I was raised without TV and videos and I just never see them as a real option.


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Are you getting a divorce? Wow. That can be awfully traumatic for a child. Perhaps she is testing you so much to make sure you aren't going to leave her. Fairly typical for kids dealing with separation anxiety. Otherwise...can you explain why a house with a 3 yo and 1.5 yo is not a kid-targeted environment or at the very least does not contain a kid-targeted SPACE? That seems rather hostile for a child to always have to exist in the world of untouchable grown up stuff. If it's their home, shouldn't they have a space to call theirs? Or am I misunderstanding completely?
They have a playroom. Our lifestyle, the military life, is not kid-friendly. Because when they say move, you move. I don't mean, move house. I mean, do this, do that. If you don't it counts against the soldier's career points. He can't be late, etc. He finally has his own car which should help. I was driving him everywhere for awhile.

My husband is constantly threatening divorce when he doesn't get his way. Yes, it's abusive, I know. But he's leaving for deployment soon so I can't think of re-settling now when we worked so hard to settle here.

We were thinking of number three. I'm okay with two, okay with three. I'd rather not have three as a single mom, but then, it wouldn't be the end of the world. After this I'm getting an IUD. I'm considering getting one now if I'm not already pregnant. We went on a great vacation and had a great three months or so running, so I really was beginning to think it could work.

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Can you find a way to maybe share a home with another mom or a sister, or your mom or SOMETHING?!
Ugh, no, not my mom, been there, done that, LOL! I mean, I'm thankful for the help but discipline wise, what a disaster.

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Whatever works. Do not give yourself a hard time. BUT...why the "I make you." I am not sure what you mean by this. I do not see myself being able to force my kids to do something.

I guess my thinking is, apart from health and safety stuff like car seats and teeth brushing...let the rest go. Give yourself a break.
We don't have battles over non-health and safety issues. "I make you" means "I will make you have it done to you." I suppose it's not phrased very accurately.

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I hate to burst your bubble, but that's not unique to your child. not by any means. I have yet to meet a child of average or greater intelligence who doesn't do that to their parents. It's infuriating, but totally normal. My son brings up things from THREE YEARS AGO! It's exasperating.
But you yourself said that I could make exceptions. But how can I make exceptions if she's going to bring them up against me in arguments?!?

?!?!? I know many other kids that do that but you are suggesting I can go easy.

NO exceptions, NO quarter. It's why we NEVER get ice-cream from the ice-cream truck (ruin the park experience forever), why we NEVER get treats at the grocery store (I don't feel like whining about it the whole darn time I go shopping for the next six years, thanks), why we NEVER get up more than one time after bedtime without sitting alone in the other room for three minutes until calm enough for bed, NEVER get special food for dinner, NEVER eat in front of the TV. It has to be 100% perfect otherwise she will think,

"Mommy cracked. She said we didn't do that, but then we did. I can crack her again. Let's try."

And that is when I start looking up the number for local pharmacists.

I finally understand why parents get on automatic "no" mode. Because you can only think about about five questions a second, maximum, and if you mess up and say "yes" when you should have said "no" you are screwed for a minimum of one or two days. "You said! You said! You promised!"

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t's not neglect. You are giving yourself too hard a job. It's NOT neglect. It's PARENTING. Siblings get hurt by siblings. Children go on food strikes and sleep strikes. s long as you are monitoring and taking her to the doctors when you feel it is time, and you are using your momma instincts to protect your girls it is NOT neglect! You have to lighten up on yourself.
See, I do count it as neglect when a child is not eating regular meals, sleeping, having basic hygiene needs met (thank GOD she likes the bath...), or using a buckled car-seat. I'm sorry, but that's the whole reason it's hard. It wouldn't be hard if I could just let it go. It would be simple!

Oh, and I don't expect it to be easy.

I do expect to be able to not be told I'm disgusting and to be put in the trash every other day. To be able to have a bedtime routine. To be a SAHM and not live in squalor. To sleep four-five hours a night. To eat real food that is occasionally cooked (not re-heated). To be able to go shopping without having a tantrum.

It would be hard even if she were having one tantrum a day, napping half the time without getting up, and arguing with me about two or three things a day. That would be hard. Every day is hard.

Some days are impossible for me, though. And it is me, it is my fault. I just do not have the energy I need, and I do suspect it's PMS or pregnancy. You can see from the other threads I've posted on lately... I should just stop but it's a stress-valve for me to get the words out and I don't want to suck the time out of my friends' days, because they are in the same situation, stressed husbands away all the time, kids living with constant disruption, etc. etc.

Anyway, better get off and try to sleep.

It's not that the stay-at-home-parent gets to stay home with the kids. The kids get to stay home with a parent. Lucky Mom to DD1 (4 y) and DD2 (18 mo), Wife to Mercenary Dad
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#63 of 285 Old 07-22-2010, 01:04 PM
 
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I just lost a HUGE long reply with a lot of details, but in a nutshell:

Your expectations are TOO high, and it's not your fault. But you can change it...I will come to answer your queries in more detail this evening.

Rebekah - mom to Ben 03/05 and Emily 01/10, a peace educator, and a veg*n and wife to Jamie.
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#64 of 285 Old 07-22-2010, 02:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
He... doesn't... come out of the room. ??? He doesn't start yelling loudly (to wake up sibling)? He doesn't start jumping on the bed?
Yes, he did. I just kept replacing and repeating the words "I love you, good night." we still have bad night once in a while but it has tapered off dramatically in the last few months.
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Mine tells me I'm mean, a horrible person, and rude and disgusting, and she wants to throw me in the trash.
Typical lashing out in anger. It's not personal. She just has a feeling that is bigger than her and she wants you to hear it. Keep on giving her the words she needs and eventually she will start using them. DS still needs reminding, but there are glimmers of hope now and then that are keeping me going. This is three years into the process. It takes time, and an ego of steel to get through it.


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Mine wakes and falls asleep around the same time every day. She will fall asleep at five unless I am stimulating her with intensive activities (hard as that's dinner prep time) from five to seven, if she has no nap.
Why not move dinner for the kids to 4pm, put dd1 to bed at 5pm, then have a nice hot dinner with your dd1 and have your quiet time? I found DS would eat more the earlier dinner was. We now eat no later than 5pm and if he doesn't get to sleep after that he can snack through the evening on fruits and sandwiches. Dinner is just a word. There is no clock for dinner that everyone must abide by.

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My husband doesn't listen. Oh, sure, sometimes, not generally... no. Meh.
hmmmm. That's not good.

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Yeah, I could transition her into my room and then re-transition her. We could just do gentle sleep training for the next two years, but i"m not really up for that.
Or...just lt her fall asleep in your bed until dd1 falls asleep and pick her up and move her back to her own bed. Try to think outside the box.

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She doesn't mind the car-seat. She doesn't want to get buckled herself. She wants me to buckle her and argue about it. "Do it the wrong way." "No, not like THAT."
Sounds like maybe your dh does a lot of know-it-all correcting. Do you think she may see this game as a way to express love if she sees/hears you and DH doing it?
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This is a good point. We should do more screen time, actually. I was raised without TV and videos and I just never see them as a real option.
TV does not make you a bad mom. It's okay.
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They have a playroom. Our lifestyle, the military life, is not kid-friendly. Because when they say move, you move. I don't mean, move house. I mean, do this, do that. If you don't it counts against the soldier's career points. He can't be late, etc. He finally has his own car which should help. I was driving him everywhere for awhile.
Something needs to change. They need to feel safe in their home.
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My husband is constantly threatening divorce when he doesn't get his way. Yes, it's abusive, I know. But he's leaving for deployment soon so I can't think of re-settling now when we worked so hard to settle here.
that''s not cool. He needs to cut it out.
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We were thinking of number three. I'm okay with two, okay with three. I'd rather not have three as a single mom, but then, it wouldn't be the end of the world. After this I'm getting an IUD. I'm considering getting one now if I'm not already pregnant. We went on a great vacation and had a great three months or so running, so I really was beginning to think it could work.
That doesn't sound like a good idea for your sanity. Be good to yourself.
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Ugh, no, not my mom, been there, done that, LOL! I mean, I'm thankful for the help but discipline wise, what a disaster.
Okay then, your sister, MIL, A mom figure in your life?
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We don't have battles over non-health and safety issues. "I make you" means "I will make you have it done to you." I suppose it's not phrased very accurately.
uhhh either you do more of it than you think or you are dangerously preoccupied about health and safety. Popcorn in the same room as a baby is not a choking hazard. Bare feet and dirty hair is not a health and safety issue. Bedtimes and meal times are not health and safety issues. They just aren't. If you put all those things in the same category as a car seats and teeth brushing, and not touching electric wires, and stranger danger it is no wonder she argues against EVERYTHING. You have to let her have control over some of the less important stuff.
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But you yourself said that I could make exceptions. But how can I make exceptions if she's going to bring them up against me in arguments?!?

?!?!? I know many other kids that do that but you are suggesting I can go easy.

NO exceptions, NO quarter. It's why we NEVER get ice-cream from the ice-cream truck (ruin the park experience forever), why we NEVER get treats at the grocery store (I don't feel like whining about it the whole darn time I go shopping for the next six years, thanks), why we NEVER get up more than one time after bedtime without sitting alone in the other room for three minutes until calm enough for bed, NEVER get special food for dinner, NEVER eat in front of the TV. It has to be 100% perfect otherwise she will think,



"Mommy cracked. She said we didn't do that, but then we did. I can crack her again. Let's try."
Why can't you just roll your eyes and get over it if she questions you or brings it up? Why in the WORLD would you ascribe totally malicious intent to a THREE year old? Seriously. Think about it. She is THREE. Is she really such a mastermind, evil genius that she is plotting to confuse you and use your moments of weakness against you?

C'mon. Does that sound reasonable? Doesn't that sound just the weensiest bit paranoid?

She is looking to make SENSE of the world and the rules. Help her. Instead of resorting to absolutes that are unrealistic and unnatural, help her see that while it is disappointing that life is not ALWAYS a day the fair it is exciting that we never know when those days may come. Instead you are teaching her that those days NEVER come, and that's not true, nor is it a fun way to live life. It will make you a bitter person before your time. You are allowed to be fun mommy now and then and still be the authority figure in the house at the end of the day. Life is not so black and white, why should your house be? So she's angry and disappointed and calling names and having a fit...so what? If she were a teenager this would be disturbing, but at 3 it's perfectly normal and nothing to get upset about.

You have to kind of grow up a little bit and rise above her childish attacks and outbursts. It's not personal. She doesn't hate you. She doesn't want to throw you in the trash. She is three. She has no other way to communicate her anger and frustration than what she has seen and heard other gropwn ups do when they are angry and frustrated. It's HARD to find the nice words when you feel like a hornets nest in your head.

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And that is when I start looking up the number for local pharmacists.
For her or you?

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I finally understand why parents get on automatic "no" mode. Because you can only think about about five questions a second, maximum, and if you mess up and say "yes" when you should have said "no" you are screwed for a minimum of one or two days. "You said! You said! You promised!"
But this is defeatist and counter productive. Eventually the children will find a way to meet their need for autonomy, and sure as the day is long it won't be in a safe manner when they do.
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See, I do count it as neglect when a child is not eating regular meals, sleeping, having basic hygiene needs met (thank GOD she likes the bath...), or using a buckled car-seat. I'm sorry, but that's the whole reason it's hard. It wouldn't be hard if I could just let it go. It would be simple!
Car seat yes. Teeth brushing, yes. Eating what you want her to eat WHEN you want her to eat, forcing baths (not that long ago people only bathed once a week and that was the very wealthy...this is NOT a health issue, it's a modern convenience), using sleep schedules that don't work...Those are just NOT on the same playing feild. the more you insist they are the more she is going to question every rule. It's like when a country has absurd laws like going 30 MPH on a busy highway...if you make all the rules of equal importance, then even when it is important all the laws will be argued and eventually when she is big enough totally ignored.

There HAS to be a priority system, triage, especially at this age. Some lessons she has to learn alone.
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Oh, and I don't expect it to be easy.
That's good...but also don't expect it to be fast.
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I do expect to be able to not be told I'm disgusting and to be put in the trash every other day. To be able to have a bedtime routine. To be a SAHM and not live in squalor. To sleep four-five hours a night. To eat real food that is occasionally cooked (not re-heated). To be able to go shopping without having a tantrum.
Setting boundaries takes time and patience. The other things, bedtimes, a messy house, a full nights sleep, real hot food, stress free shopping...those things are about five years away at the minimum. I am sorry to tell you that, but it is the truth. It comes with the package of having kids. If you fight this reality you will only make yourself, and your children utterly miserable and prolong the torture. Ease up a bit and in fact you will see you didn't need to hold the reigns so tightly.
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It would be hard even if she were having one tantrum a day, napping half the time without getting up, and arguing with me about two or three things a day. That would be hard. Every day is hard.

Some days are impossible for me, though. And it is me, it is my fault. I just do not have the energy I need, and I do suspect it's PMS or pregnancy. You can see from the other threads I've posted on lately... I should just stop but it's a stress-valve for me to get the words out and I don't want to suck the time out of my friends' days, because they are in the same situation, stressed husbands away all the time, kids living with constant disruption, etc. etc.
It IS impossible. That's why 90% of the people I know are in counselling or on drugs or self-medicating. A parent's job is hard and it never ever ends. It's a crappy reality but there it is. You are not alone and it is NOT your fault, but you can start to change things if you choose a new perspective and change your paradigm.

I am going to recommend a book that I think will help you a lot. It's called Monster Lies (monsterlies.com). My mom co-authored it. It is really a good book to start recognizing the lies we tell ourselves that limit our ability to be the people we want to be.

Your DH sounds like he needs counselling, too. Would he be willing to go with you? I hope so. If nothing else so he can hear how lonely and unsupported you feel and the incredibly unrealistic expectations you have for yourself that he is helping to push on you. Not cool, man!

Rebekah - mom to Ben 03/05 and Emily 01/10, a peace educator, and a veg*n and wife to Jamie.
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#65 of 285 Old 07-22-2010, 03:21 PM
 
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mama i have not read all your posts.

yes i have done it. as a single mom with no help when dd was young - i had no choice. it was either go stark raving crazy or completely lose it.

however that's when i learnt too.

i discovered my dd's sleep routine. that's when i discovered that if she went to bed when SHE was ready to she slept much better thru the night. i try to put her down earlier and she wakes up multiple times.

plus my dd is v. high energy. at 3 she could walk 4 miles no problem. if she hadnt gotten enough physical exercise she could not fall asleep.

HOWEVER, her arguing did not bother me. because of how i 'looked at' her arguing. it was a skill i wanted her to have when she was an adult. it was a new thing for her and i knew in the beginning it would be overwhelming because she herself was trying to figure it out.

i started calling her the lawyer in teh house. and i actually would argue back at the right time.

that's also when i changed my parenting. and instead of forcing my views on her i would allow her to make a logical argument. like why not have icecream for breakfast. she argued back well if she ate her oatmeal why couldnt she eat icecream. and i agreed provided she DID.

and guess what she DID!!!!

all that arguing has actually turned out to be a wonderful parenting tool. it is what supports the 'how to talk to your kids... book'. today that my dd is older that is how we talk.

it keeps our communication open, it gives my dd critical thinking skills and for me as a parent it forces me to walk the talk.

however yes mama its hard during those times. esp. when you are all used up.

that is why i shared with you what comes later hoping that when you are at your lowest you can just close your eyes and imagine an older child bowling an adult over with her thinking skills. this indeed has happened to my dd and i attribute it to the lawyer living in my house since she was very young.

my favourite was - my dd ALWAYS had to have the last word.
"ok DD you have 5 minutes before we have to leave." she was 2
"NO I WANT 2 minutes." ok YOU said it (of course that is before she could count)

--------------------------------------------------------------

EdnaMarie - i have read your whole thread.

and this is where i see lies the problem.

you are getting no BREAKS. the kind of breaks YOU need.

you are under a LOT of stress. i hope you understand how much stress you are under.

the problem is not your kids. its your attitude as you yourself have pointed it out.

the key doesnt lie with your children. it lies with you.

i have walked the talk so i know what i am talking about.

you have to find a way to get a break. a mental break - whether with your kids or not. you need to get in touch with yourself. there is an aweful lot of stuff going on in your life. who is taking care of "YOU"? with everythign else an toddler aND a 3 year old is HARD.

you HAVE TO figure something out mama. SOMETHING!!! only then you will get some peace from everywhere. and only THEN will life get a bit easy. and then you can be the parent you want to be.

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#66 of 285 Old 07-22-2010, 04:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by hakeber View Post
Yes, he did. I just kept replacing and repeating the words "I love you, good night." we still have bad night once in a while but it has tapered off dramatically in the last few months.
Who took care of the baby? I mean, that's what I do, but then my one-year-old wakes up. It's just not an OPTION for all of us to be sleep deprived all the time.

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Typical lashing out in anger. It's not personal. She just has a feeling that is bigger than her and she wants you to hear it. Keep on giving her the words she needs and eventually she will start using them. DS still needs reminding, but there are glimmers of hope now and then that are keeping me going. This is three years into the process. It takes time, and an ego of steel to get through it.
I know it's typical. How can I communicate to her that it's not acceptable, if I accept it?

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Why not move dinner for the kids to 4pm, put dd1 to bed at 5pm, then have a nice hot dinner with your dd1 and have your quiet time? I found DS would eat more the earlier dinner was. We now eat no later than 5pm and if he doesn't get to sleep after that he can snack through the evening on fruits and sandwiches. Dinner is just a word. There is no clock for dinner that everyone must abide by.
Because then we would never go out and it would be just me and the kids inside all day, aside from pre-school. Otherwise a very good idea.


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hmmmm. That's not good.
That's life.



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Or...just lt her fall asleep in your bed until dd1 falls asleep and pick her up and move her back to her own bed. Try to think outside the box.
We have been in the fall-asleep-in-my-bed-box. It was hellish. I am actively choosing this one over the whole "I fall asleep in mommy's bed" fiasco. Though, I am staggering bedtimes, started. Now if only I could start bedtime by 6:30 and still get my kids their necessary outdoors time... nap... three meals... ugh.


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Sounds like maybe your dh does a lot of know-it-all correcting. Do you think she may see this game as a way to express love if she sees/hears you and DH doing it?
DH more complains than corrects. I'm sure she's modeling some of it.

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TV does not make you a bad mom. It's okay.
It doesn't make me a bad mom but it's a massive waste of time!

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Something needs to change. They need to feel safe in their home.
Well, we could always try to get jobs in the for-profit world (we were non-profit staff before) after two years. That will be impossible if he goes AWOL- he'll be in prison. All military kids go through this. It may sound rough, but then, my friend is a single mom and a farmer and she has to ask her kids to do things with her all the time, and no, it's not always predictable. Poverty sucks!

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that''s not cool. He needs to cut it out.
Meh. He won't.

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Okay then, your sister, MIL, A mom figure in your life?
I live in another country (again, military, but we've lived overseas for some time). The military gives us respite care when they are deployed (a couple hours a week). Not any other time.


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uhhh either you do more of it than you think or you are dangerously preoccupied about health and safety. Popcorn in the same room as a baby is not a choking hazard. Bare feet and dirty hair is not a health and safety issue. Bedtimes and meal times are not health and safety issues. They just aren't. If you put all those things in the same category as a car seats and teeth brushing, and not touching electric wires, and stranger danger it is no wonder she argues against EVERYTHING. You have to let her have control over some of the less important stuff.
See for me, eating, sleeping, and exercising are health. You can only let them go for so long before it does affect development. Popcorn is just an example and it's not the safest thing for pre-schoolers, either.

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Why can't you just roll your eyes and get over it if she questions you or brings it up? Why in the WORLD would you ascribe totally malicious intent to a THREE year old? Seriously. Think about it. She is THREE. Is she really such a mastermind, evil genius that she is plotting to confuse you and use your moments of weakness against you?
I am not ascribing EVIL to her. She does it in a playful way, subconsciously. And she does. When I hug her, she asks for candy. Like, "Oh, she's feeling loving, I'll ask for something nice." I don't consider that evil. But it is certainly taking advantage, LOL!


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She is looking to make SENSE of the world and the rules. Help her. Instead of resorting to absolutes that are unrealistic and unnatural, help her see that while it is disappointing that life is not ALWAYS a day the fair it is exciting that we never know when those days may come. Instead you are teaching her that those days NEVER come, and that's not true, nor is it a fun way to live life.
It's not fun to spend every moment saying "no" either, and I say "no" way more often after a "yes" than when I say "no" definitively and give a rock-solid reason. Let me give you an example. Suppose she asks for a notebook, and I say, "Sure, because your old notebook is full."

I guarantee you, because I know her, that she will proceed to ask for everything else in the store that she wants, to argue, and cry, and whatnot and try to put it in the cart.

Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh.

Whereas if I just said, "No. It's not on the list." and repeated that two or three times, she'd be okay.


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You are allowed to be fun mommy now and then and still be the authority figure in the house at the end of the day.
You know what? I think I said the exact opposite to my sister the other day on the phone: "I just don't see why I can't be a fun mommy and still be the authority figure at the end of the day!" I swear it was very, very similar words. Because I hate being the hard-asterisk all the time, I do! But if I don't, suddenly life becomes 10x more difficult for all of us.

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Life is not so black and white, why should your house be? So she's angry and disappointed and calling names and having a fit...so what? If she were a teenager this would be disturbing, but at 3 it's perfectly normal and nothing to get upset about.
Sure, not if I can leave them with DH when I go shopping. But he's gone half the time and the stores here close at seven.

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You have to kind of grow up a little bit and rise above her childish attacks and outbursts. It's not personal.
I take offense at that. I'm not taking her anger personally. It is IRRITATING ME and I cannot take care of our other child, and we can't do the things I think they deserve to do, including eat decent meals! I know she's only three.

But I think asking a 3.5 year old not to say you are disgusting is reasonable. I really do.

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She has no other way to communicate her anger and frustration than what she has seen and heard other gropwn ups do when they are angry and frustrated.
But we don't say we are throwing someone in the trash can when we are angry or frustrated! We don't say, "You're disgusting!" We don't hit. She does all of these things. Again, I realize that they are common but they are also NOT ACCEPTABLE.


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For her or you?
Me first! Me first!


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But [no] is defeatist and counter productive. Eventually the children will find a way to meet their need for autonomy, and sure as the day is long it won't be in a safe manner when they do.
What do you suggest? Thoughtfully answering approximately, let's see, it's about ten questions a minute on average, sixty per hour (no she doesn't breathe, she's three), she talks with her mouth full though it does slow her down but about half of her speech is refusing or telling stories so I'm guessing with 12-13 waking hours, that's 360 questions a day?

About, for example, why heat burns our fingers?

And NO she does not wait to hear the real answer, either, but if I don't reply, she complains.

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Car seat yes. Teeth brushing, yes. Eating what you want her to eat WHEN you want her to eat,
We don't force food-she never has to eat anything. She eats what we eat, or plain bread (she can have condiments if she doesn't like something), or she doesn't eat.

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forcing baths (not that long ago people only bathed once a week and that was the very wealthy...this is NOT a health issue, it's a modern convenience),
Actually she loves the bath but it's only thrice-weekly.

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using sleep schedules that don't work...Those are just NOT on the same playing feild.
But NO sleep schedule works. She complains no matter when we put her to bed. She can be yawning and her eyes batting and she still desperately tries to stay awake. If we let her, she's up until midnight or later and then up in the morning and a mess.


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There HAS to be a priority system, triage, especially at this age. Some lessons she has to learn alone.
She learns a lot alone, I think. All I'm asking is that she does not treat me like a dog or something. No yelling, no name-calling, none of that stuff. And that she respects the fact that sometimes our family has to do what she doesn't want to do. I don't think that's such a big deal. She has lots of free time, art time, play time, play breaks, park time...


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Setting boundaries takes time and patience. The other things, bedtimes, a messy house, a full nights sleep, real hot food, stress free shopping...those things are about five years away at the minimum. I am sorry to tell you that, but it is the truth. It comes with the package of having kids. If you fight this reality you will only make yourself, and your children utterly miserable and prolong the torture. Ease up a bit and in fact you will see you didn't need to hold the reigns so tightly.
Yeah, I'm going to eat meat. Sorry. I know PLENTY of people who eat meat, who make casseroles, who have a normal (not perfect, of course! but also not appalling) house, and who sleep more than four hours a night. And they also have two small kids, or even three.

I simply don't believe we have to be anemic and live in squalor, which would happen if I didn't clean or cook, just so that my 3.5 year old can have the luxury of questioning everything and being rude. I mean, does that make sense?

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It IS impossible. That's why 90% of the people I know are in counselling or on drugs or self-medicating. A parent's job is hard and it never ever ends. It's a crappy reality but there it is. You are not alone and it is NOT your fault, but you can start to change things if you choose a new perspective and change your paradigm.
I dunno, I feel like you think I'm asking for sympathy or complaining. HOnestly, I did not expect it to be easier. I want to do something so that she does not get the idea that it's okay to argue with everything. I'm not sure if that's getting across. It is just NOT okay to tell someone else they're wrong all the time. It's rude, it's a time-waster, it's irritating, and thoughtless contradiction is also just silly.

Yes, she is learning but there must be a way to say, "This is an emergency. We are not arguing any more."

Five times a day. That's all I'm asking. Two sleeps, two car trips, one other emergency, let's just say. Without screaming, without negotiating, without bargaining. I've seen people do it. Their kids just follow them out of the store. Like that. Like magic.

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Your DH sounds like he needs counselling, too. Would he be willing to go with you? I hope so. If nothing else so he can hear how lonely and unsupported you feel and the incredibly unrealistic expectations you have for yourself that he is helping to push on you. Not cool, man!
Ohhh, don't even read the thread about my husband. Honestly, he's beyond hope.

I see what you're saying, but I guess I'm not willing to give up on the fact that there are certain things we do, and certain things we don't do, even if we are three. I wouldn't let a two-year-old call me garbage, either.

It's not that the stay-at-home-parent gets to stay home with the kids. The kids get to stay home with a parent. Lucky Mom to DD1 (4 y) and DD2 (18 mo), Wife to Mercenary Dad
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#67 of 285 Old 07-22-2010, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Incidentally, I like the questions. My only issue is when they involve "can I have" and she's already eaten. She loves sweets and I get soooo sick of being a broken record.

It's not that the stay-at-home-parent gets to stay home with the kids. The kids get to stay home with a parent. Lucky Mom to DD1 (4 y) and DD2 (18 mo), Wife to Mercenary Dad
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#68 of 285 Old 07-22-2010, 05:41 PM
 
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EdnaMarie, I don't have any advice, but I've been following this thread and it just breaks my heart. Many hugs and prayers for you.......I am so sorry your kiddo is so overwhelmingly complicated!
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#69 of 285 Old 07-22-2010, 07:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
Who took care of the baby? I mean, that's what I do, but then my one-year-old wakes up. It's just not an OPTION for all of us to be sleep deprived all the time.
I did. I just keep her with me, or put her down in my room on the bed when she is sleeping. It's not that big a deal. I get cross and irritatble when she wakes because of his yelling, but because I get breaks I get perspective and can breathe. I bet if you got a nice break you could face it with more light and peace, too.



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I know it's typical. How can I communicate to her that it's not acceptable, if I accept it?
But why is it accepting the behavior or condoning the behavior to say gently "We don't use those words in our family. Please use these words instead."

I don't ACCEPT bad behavior from DS, but neither do I ascribe blame or manipulative intent when he chooses bad behavior and punish him based on that assumption. I ascibe it to his immature development. Do you see the difference?

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Because then we would never go out and it would be just me and the kids inside all day, aside from pre-school. Otherwise a very good idea.
Sooo you can only go out between 4 and 7pm???? Really? Do you live somewhere where they have Siesta between 11am and 4pm? Can't you go out while DD1 is at pre-school? I am willing to bet that pre-school is plenty of stimulation for her for a 24 hour period (especially for a true extrovert who will actually get MORE wound up the more social she is). I am totally confused by this assertion. Why can't you go out while she is at pre-school and in the mornings and early afternoons on the weekends?


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That's life.
Not for everyone. For a lot of people that is not life at all. I wish you had someone near you to tell you how much you deserve and that you deserve much more than that for your life.

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We have been in the fall-asleep-in-my-bed-box. It was hellish. I am actively choosing this one over the whole "I fall asleep in mommy's bed" fiasco. Though, I am staggering bedtimes, started. Now if only I could start bedtime by 6:30 and still get my kids their necessary outdoors time... nap... three meals... ugh.
Why can't you make bedtime at 6:30? And I do not think DD1 should sleep in your bed. Put DD2 in your bed while DD1 watches a video or has her supper, and then move her AFTER DD1 has fallen asleep. By the time DD1 is able to go to bed on her own (around 6 or 7 on average) you can start helping DD2 to make the transition.

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DH more complains than corrects. I'm sure she's modeling some of it.
That sucks. Can you record her while he is gone so he can get that more concretely.

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It doesn't make me a bad mom but it's a massive waste of time!
First of all, so what? Second of all, it's totally NOT a waste of time if it quiets her mind and affords you the peace you need to function. Not at ALL a waste of time.

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Well, we could always try to get jobs in the for-profit world (we were non-profit staff before) after two years. That will be impossible if he goes AWOL- he'll be in prison. All military kids go through this. It may sound rough, but then, my friend is a single mom and a farmer and she has to ask her kids to do things with her all the time, and no, it's not always predictable. Poverty sucks!
Two years feels like a LONG time in the middle of Two years. Wokring on two contracts in my field I totally understand that...how much longer do you have? Can you see the light at the end of the tunnel?

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Meh. He won't.
Why?


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I live in another country (again, military, but we've lived overseas for some time). The military gives us respite care when they are deployed (a couple hours a week). Not any other time.
Me too. Is it a cheap country? Can you get help or trade help locally? Your LO hates the babysitter you said...so what? You need a break and you will be a better mama for it if you get one. I guarantee it. She might even learn to like it eventually.


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See for me, eating, sleeping, and exercising are health. You can only let them go for so long before it does affect development. Popcorn is just an example and it's not the safest thing for pre-schoolers, either.
Yes and when it gets to the point that it is not safe you take them to the doctors as a natural consequence of their choice and find out what is wrong because amazingly those three issues in particular are hard wired to our survival and if the child after working through their issues of resistance and will power still does not fall into their own healthy sleeping eating and exercise/play routine after a week or two left completely to their own accord, it is very possibly due to a medical or psychological issue that needs to be sorted out, but while you are in control and making demands you will never really know.

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I am not ascribing EVIL to her. She does it in a playful way, subconsciously. And she does. When I hug her, she asks for candy. Like, "Oh, she's feeling loving, I'll ask for something nice." I don't consider that evil. But it is certainly taking advantage, LOL!
You said you believe she thinks: "Mommy cracked. She said we didn't do that, but then we did. I can crack her again. Let's try."

If that's not ascribing malice and assuming an underlying personal attack and coniving manipulation, I do not know what is and I do not believe one could come up with that assumption if one did not feel persoanlly affronted by the behavior in question.


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It's not fun to spend every moment saying "no" either, and I say "no" way more often after a "yes" than when I say "no" definitively and give a rock-solid reason. Let me give you an example. Suppose she asks for a notebook, and I say, "Sure, because your old notebook is full."

I guarantee you, because I know her, that she will proceed to ask for everything else in the store that she wants, to argue, and cry, and whatnot and try to put it in the cart.

Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh.
so what?

It's not a big deal. It's normal. And why spend your whole life saying no because you are afraid of the conflict if you say yes now and then...the conflict will pass eventually and you will be a happier person if you get to be fun mommy now and then.



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Whereas if I just said, "No. It's not on the list." and repeated that two or three times, she'd be okay.
Yeah, but you feel like a bad guy because you know she needs and could make good use of a new notebook...so where's the fun for YOU, and taking care of YOUR need to be the fun mom?

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You know what? I think I said the exact opposite to my sister the other day on the phone: "I just don't see why I can't be a fun mommy and still be the authority figure at the end of the day!" I swear it was very, very similar words. Because I hate being the hard-asterisk all the time, I do! But if I don't, suddenly life becomes 10x more difficult for all of us.
Well, that is only because, with all due respect, you expect her to behave and process information like a grown up. She doesn't, and you have to face it with firm guidelines, and LOVE.

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Sure, not if I can leave them with DH when I go shopping. But he's gone half the time and the stores here close at seven.
huh? You do know that a child having a tantrum in a store or restaurant is not a big deal. It may give you a headache, but there is no shame in having a kid meltdown in public. Let them have at it. In fact the more public the better. Let everyone feel your pain. Pop an advil and let them scream their heads off. So what?! Every mom has had it happen and every parent in the store will comisserate with you. It's not a big deal. The others will get over it and the child will see it has ZERO affect on you. After a few years they will stop.

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I take offense at that. I'm not taking her anger personally. It is IRRITATING ME and I cannot take care of our other child, and we can't do the things I think they deserve to do, including eat decent meals! I know she's only three.

But I think asking a 3.5 year old not to say you are disgusting is reasonable. I really do.
I am sorry I offended you. It was not my intention, but you seem to take it personally when you say that she is TRYING to wind you up and is TRYING to get away with stuff.

If she is impeding you from caring for your other child or putting nutritious food on the table, you need help. It is absolutely NOT a reasonable request of a 3.5 year old to communicate respectfully and politely all the time. They do not have the language skills at the age to communicate in a non-violent way when they feel they are under attack, or angry or frustrated. They don't. It really is YOUR job to rise above it and say calmly and lovingly "I hear that you are very angry/sad/disappointed/frustrated, but your words are very hurtful right now. I will not sit here and be abused. When you are ready to apologize, let me know." give a hug and walk away.


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But we don't say we are throwing someone in the trash can when we are angry or frustrated! We don't say, "You're disgusting!" We don't hit. She does all of these things. Again, I realize that they are common but they are also NOT ACCEPTABLE.
One: she must be hearing something like that somewhere. This is not an innate concept. Maybe you don't say that in your house...well keep reminding her of that. Two: No one said you have to ACCEPT it, but you could try to be empathetic and understanding and not assume the worst of your child. THAT would be a self-fulfilling prophecy.


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Me first! Me first!
Have you spoken to your counselor about the possiblity of hormone treatment or psyhotropic drugs? Our bodies are drastically changed by pregnancy hormones and according to my midwife after each kid our hormones become more and more whacky and unpredictable and our mental chemistry is all askew. Maybe some chemical replacements might not be a bad idea for you. At least keep a handy stash of Advil and rescue remedy!


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What do you suggest? Thoughtfully answering approximately, let's see, it's about ten questions a minute on average, sixty per hour (no she doesn't breathe, she's three), she talks with her mouth full though it does slow her down but about half of her speech is refusing or telling stories so I'm guessing with 12-13 waking hours, that's 360 questions a day?

About, for example, why heat burns our fingers?

And NO she does not wait to hear the real answer, either, but if I don't reply, she complains.
ummmm, yes

Sorry but yeah. You can say periodically "Okay! That's enough Question shop is CLOSED!" or make a game of it by giving her a stack of playing cards and she is allowed to ask one question for every card and that's it for the day (good luck! Ha ha!) But mostly, yes...just answer as thoughtfully as you can.

The thing I found that really helped DS was when I would sit with him and we would google stuff. He'd say "Why does heat burn our fingers?" and we'd go look it up which would at least pause the questions for a little while...sometimes. not always. I went through a lot of Advil that year...should have bought stock in Bayer!

Mostly you just put up with it for the next year or so and if it doesn't calm down, she'll be able to start reading and can look the stuff up herself.
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We don't force food-she never has to eat anything. She eats what we eat, or plain bread (she can have condiments if she doesn't like something), or she doesn't eat.
Do you think it might be time to re-think that strategy? Do you think maybe a shelf of healthy foods might work well for her? Do you think an earlier dinner might suit her so you can have YOUR dinner hot and healthy and PEACEFUL? Just a thought.


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But NO sleep schedule works. She complains no matter when we put her to bed. She can be yawning and her eyes batting and she still desperately tries to stay awake. If we let her, she's up until midnight or later and then up in the morning and a mess.
I'm confused, upthread you said she sleeps and wakes at the same time everyday and if it were up to her she'd be asleep at 5pm....Isn't that a sleep schedule that could work for her? Sounds to me that by the time she gets to 7pm she is over stimulated again and cannot sleep.

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She learns a lot alone, I think. All I'm asking is that she does not treat me like a dog or something. No yelling, no name-calling, none of that stuff. And that she respects the fact that sometimes our family has to do what she doesn't want to do. I don't think that's such a big deal. She has lots of free time, art time, play time, play breaks, park time...
But to her it IS a big deal. Remember when you were a teenager and something REALLY small was like the END of the WORLD? It's like that EVERY DAY, EVEYRY MOMENT for toddlers. Every denial is the end of their life as they know it. Every disappointment is the pinnacle of defeat. They see the world in dramatic vignettes, and every moment is capable of providing total elation or total depression. So asking her to put it perspective and appreciate how much she does get is TOTALLY unreasonable. She doesn't get it. Even super smart genius babies don't get this stuff. She won't get it for a long time. Some kids don't get it until they have their own kids.

You don't need to accept the bad choices, but you will need to accept her feelings about her choices if you want a relationship with your child where she trusts you implicitly, and you will need to listen openly to the feelings that led to those choices. You will need to ask why she made those choices and listen with an open mind, even when she starts lying bald faced lies. You will need to guide her towards making better choices by giving her the freedom to make the choice when it isn't a life or death issue. Maybe that should be your health and safety water-mark. Is this life or death? If not, let it go.

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Yeah, I'm going to eat meat. Sorry. I know PLENTY of people who eat meat, who make casseroles, who have a normal (not perfect, of course! but also not appalling) house, and who sleep more than four hours a night. And they also have two small kids, or even three.

I simply don't believe we have to be anemic and live in squalor, which would happen if I didn't clean or cook, just so that my 3.5 year old can have the luxury of questioning everything and being rude. I mean, does that make sense?
I do not see the connection. Who said you have to give up meat? Who said you need to live in squalor (though I dare say your definition of squalor and mine may vary GREATLY.)? who said you need to cater to her whims? Will you need to reheat your dinner three times to eat it hot? Probably. Will you need to work harder to keep your house tidy? Definitely. Can you get more sleep? I think you can unless there are physical problems in question but not if you demand she shift to your schedule rather than the other way around.

Make casseroles on the weekends, and freeze them. Learn a few recipes for dinner that can go in a crockpot and get one at a garage sale. Do something to mitigate the circumstances rather than expecting a toddler/child to get with the proverbial program. Change the program.
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I dunno, I feel like you think I'm asking for sympathy or complaining. HOnestly, I did not expect it to be easier. I want to do something so that she does not get the idea that it's okay to argue with everything. I'm not sure if that's getting across. It is just NOT okay to tell someone else they're wrong all the time. It's rude, it's a time-waster, it's irritating, and thoughtless contradiction is also just silly.
You don't need to ask for sympathy. Your situation is impossible. I guess you have to ask yourself WHY it is not okay to argue with EVERYTHING and if that's even true. Maybe you CAN argue about everything. Maybe a truly intelligent person DOES argue and turn over the evidence of EVERYTHING and maybe you should try and enjoy the fact that you have a kid who will do that rather than just accept what they are told as fact and wind up in serious trouble following the advice of those who wish them harm.

There's the time waster comment again...what's the big deal with wasting time? You got somewhere to be? Are you dying in a few weeks or something? (god almighty please don't let that be true) Try to think of it as SPENDING time rather than wasting it. I am sure she sees it that way. I know the ethos of most western countries is that time is money, but that is a false paradigm. Time is not money. Time is time. Money is money. You can exchange your time for money, but you cannot exchange your money for time. You cannot buy back these days with your kids. They are gone and gone forever. If you can delight in her mental process or find SOME ounce of joy in her personality, maybe you can see it as a good value for your time, rather than a waste.

It's not universally rude to tell someone they are wrong all the time. It can be an important life skill. She may well grow up to be the top problem solver in the UN and tell everyone they are wrong all the time and wind up reaching world peace if she learns how to do it nicely.
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Yes, she is learning but there must be a way to say, "This is an emergency. We are not arguing any more."
That's it. That's how you say it. I would follow that up with "It's okay to be mad or sad about this, but it IS happening, so let's get on with it. I love you and will listen to you if you need to vent."

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Five times a day. That's all I'm asking. Two sleeps, two car trips, one other emergency, let's just say. Without screaming, without negotiating, without bargaining. I've seen people do it. Their kids just follow them out of the store. Like that. Like magic.
HA! What you don't see would amaze you. How about the fifty other times when they didn't do that. How about the YEARS and YEARS of cajoling and pleading and rationalizing and reasoning...oh god. It's not magic, it's just lucky timing that you saw those kids that day.

We see ourselves in measurement to others when we believe we have to live up to some impossible standard. Every parent has had their fair share of tantrums and screaming. EVERY parent. You see them for a glimpse and think they must be doing something different? If only the young human mind could be so predictable.

Take a break. Make less opportunities for the screaming matches (like if she dropped her nap and went to bed earlier when she is normally tired as you mentioned above, that would be two fewer screaming matches a day. ) and let the other wash over you as much as you can. "Just I am sorry you feel that way. I still love you."


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Ohhh, don't even read the thread about my husband. Honestly, he's beyond hope.
Not to get personal, but since I think that ship has more than set sail...why are you with him?

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I see what you're saying, but I guess I'm not willing to give up on the fact that there are certain things we do, and certain things we don't do, even if we are three. I wouldn't let a two-year-old call me garbage, either.
You don't need to let her call you garbage, I never said that. But neither do you need to take it to heart and hold a grudge when she does. You can choose any number of responses that do not exacerbate the situation and instead offer her empathy and safety and kindness to work through her anger and find the words more easily with every melt down.

There are certain things we do and don't do, but it takes a long time to learn what those are, not a year of repetition, YEARS and YEARS of repetition. Years and years.

I hope you find a way to get a break soon.

Rebekah - mom to Ben 03/05 and Emily 01/10, a peace educator, and a veg*n and wife to Jamie.
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#70 of 285 Old 07-22-2010, 08:47 PM
 
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I just felt the need to step in and comment on your post, hakeber. While I can understand where you are coming from in trying to help EdnaMarie, I don't get the whole "this is normal" thing you keep mentioning. In my experience, it's not. It's nowhere near the scope of normal. Not with my kids; not with my friends' kids.

When you say things like "these things take years to learn" or "you are probably another 5 years away from getting the behavior you want", I know you're trying to help her and give her a glimmer of hope, but *judging from my own experience* it seems to me like....I don't know....for whatever reasons I can't finish this thought.

Anyway, I can understand why Edna Marie is at the end of her rope. I would be too. I would be a wreck....I would cease enjoying my child, and it would spiral into resentment.

I don't know if it's her poor home life with her mommy & daddy's relationship or what, but I think this little girl has some deep anger issues for whatever reasons, and that she's also a highly intelligent little girl who has some need that, for whatever reason, Edna Marie cannot fulfill because she doesn't know what that need is. Yet.

So, not to pick on you, hakeber, but I just wanted to point out that *to me and every person I know* these behaviors aren't really "normal". Sure, the few times a day tantrums and things are, and the few times a day challenging authority or not listening or having meltdowns, but not an entire day (or an entire bedtime routine, or an entire shopping trip, etc) filled with contrariety.
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well, in my circle of friends and family this sort of precociousness is totally expected of the under fives. I said five more years because she has an 18 mo old as well. In Latin America it is practically encouraged. It's just not a big deal where we have had kids. I really think expecting three year olds to act like older kids is not fair.

DS at this moment is having a reasoned but heated argument with Gravity. He's trying to build a floating track....Darned Gravity!

I don't think my kid was in any way more difficult than any other kid his age. His cousins and peers have all been through similar phases of equal intensity, and EdnaMarie's experiences sound identical to what I went through with DS at that age.

I'm not just trying to make her feel better. That's my truth. I absolutely understand why she is at the end of her rope. Parenting is not meant to be a one man job.

Rebekah - mom to Ben 03/05 and Emily 01/10, a peace educator, and a veg*n and wife to Jamie.
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#72 of 285 Old 07-23-2010, 06:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, I posted a long reply but I guess it didn't post!
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His cousins and peers have all been through similar phases of equal intensity, and EdnaMarie's experiences sound identical to what I went through with DS at that age.
You said it would last years. Dude, no freaking way.

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why are you with him?
As much as I'd love to relocate across continents to live on public assistance (without health care, wheeeee!) while I MAYBE found a job that would barely pay for daycare and half our food needs, while my children sat in daycare a minimum of nine hours a day, and still have no support because my support lives hours from the nearest city with employment opportunities in my field... or any field... I dunno, I guess I'm just staying for the fun of it?

I mean, seriously?


Anyway- I will just say that I think you (hakeber) have seriously ascribed much different feelings and a level of anger to me that's not there. I'm frustrated and tired but not angry. My child has intentions but that doesn't mean I believe they're MALICIOUS intentions, as you seem to think. There's a huge difference.

I also don't appreciate the insinuation that somehow I need a break or a different marriage. There are about five billion people on this earth that have it worse off than me, and I think some of us can be good parents. It is insulting to suggest that a middle-class income or above is necessary for good parenting. There are plenty of single moms on here who have more on their plates than I do and they are doing it.

To everyone, we are doing better. I am making EVERYTHING a race, a game, a challenge, a graded task. If that doesn't work, it's the good ol' "you will do it in three or I do it for you" and if that doesn't work (i.e. she runs away or it's something like calling names), she just goes away, period.

My only issue is that she doesn't stay in time-out. So we are dealing with that. We're not allowed locks on doors, which is the gentlest way I can see to keep her in there without rewarding her by making it into a game (and ignoring my other child).

We'll see.

It's not that the stay-at-home-parent gets to stay home with the kids. The kids get to stay home with a parent. Lucky Mom to DD1 (4 y) and DD2 (18 mo), Wife to Mercenary Dad
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#73 of 285 Old 07-23-2010, 08:42 AM
 
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To everyone, we are doing better. I am making EVERYTHING a race, a game, a challenge, a graded task. If that doesn't work, it's the good ol' "you will do it in three or I do it for you" and if that doesn't work (i.e. she runs away or it's something like calling names), she just goes away, period.
.
It sounds like you have a plan

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and 3 , in our happy secular
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#74 of 285 Old 07-23-2010, 10:41 AM
 
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EdnaMarie, I am deeply sorry that you feel I was belittling your situation. That was nver my intention in the least. I do not believe you need a new marriage. We do what works for us, I only wanted to understand. You can't hear my tone through the internet, my question was open and honest. I was not judging, just trying to understand. I do think a break from your kids would give you time to recgarge. Yes single moms around the world do more, handle more, and never ask for help. That doesn't mean they have to, or that we have to measure up to them. And the single moms I know need breaks too. If I lived near you, I would do for you what I do for my 2 single mom girlfriends and and my partnered mom friend whose partner goes away for long periods of time and I'd watch your kids together with my kids for a few hours every couple of weekends. I wish I could do that for you. I do pray that you will be sent someone to relieve you.

You SEEM to feel so stuck. Maybe it is just not coming through right on the board. I can't read your tone of voice either. I only have your words to go by. It's a feeling that you are conveying with every denial, every can't, and every never you type for us to read. I just want to help you feel hope and possibility.

I am sorry I have misunderstood your posts. I genuinely was trying to help problem solve with you, not judge or belittle you. I am deeply sorry.

I am glad to hear you are feeling more confident and in charge of the situation and discovering a plan that works for you. Take good care of yourself. Even single moms need and get breaks from time to time.

PM me anytime if you need to vent. I promise I won't try to fix it, I'll just listen.

Rebekah - mom to Ben 03/05 and Emily 01/10, a peace educator, and a veg*n and wife to Jamie.
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#75 of 285 Old 07-23-2010, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I do feel stuck, but stuck on one or two or major issues, not like, on my whole life. I don't know how to remove her from the situation when she keeps coming back, and that will remain a source of eternal frustration for me. To keep her in one place requires at the very least a loud voice that is really not what is necessary.

Thanks for your post. I guess I felt that you were really not understanding the situation or my relationship with my daughter (which can be SO GOOD as she has such a generous heart) but also very tough. I think it's an oldest-daughter/mother thing as well.

It's not that the stay-at-home-parent gets to stay home with the kids. The kids get to stay home with a parent. Lucky Mom to DD1 (4 y) and DD2 (18 mo), Wife to Mercenary Dad
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#76 of 285 Old 07-23-2010, 05:40 PM
 
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But I think asking a 3.5 year old not to say you are disgusting is reasonable. I really do.>>>>

My only issue is that she doesn't stay in time-out. So we are dealing with that. We're not allowed locks on doors, which is the gentlest way I can see to keep her in there without rewarding her by making it into a game (and ignoring my other child).
>>>>>>>>

Making things into a game is not rewarding behavior you don't like. I think that might be part of the problem. Giving hugs, connecting with your child, etc. are not rewarding "bad" behavior either(even if you do it right after). Buying an occasional treat at the store(if you want) or being "fun" does not mean you have to do it every time. Yes she will bring it up, my kids often bring up the(one) time we had ice cream for dinner, I say "oh yes that was a fun treat"
I do agree with hakeber, some of these things just do take time. If your dd is in preschool go to the store while she's there. You better believe I grocery shop when my kids are in school during the day except for breaks. There was a time when I had 3 littles to take with me(5 y/o, almost 3 y/o and baby) and it sucked lol. But now my kids are 6,8 and 11 and it's a breeze compared to days past. So it will get better.

Cathy mom to 13 y/o DD, 10 y/o DD, 7 y/o DS

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#77 of 285 Old 07-23-2010, 06:46 PM
 
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And I'm effing TIRED of physically forcing her EVERY SINGLE TIME. It's been a darn year. A year. Of forcing most of the time. I mean, we're talking holding her down around 10 times a day, just because I refuse to argue. I started when she was two because I, too, thought it had to sink in. Right? Right? Eventually, they will stop fighting... right?

(Okay, not ten times a day. Teeth brushing = 2, naptime = 1, bedtime = 1, my chore for carseat = 2 (in and out of), for a total of six times, about five days a week. And of course not all of those were "holding down"--some were carrying out, etc.)

But she didn't. So I tried more emotional manipulation. Rewards. Punishments. Anything.
It sounds like there is combination of you having a very spirited child (strong-willed, tenacious, extroverted--all things I learned about my first from Raising Your Spirited Child) and many attempts to coerce her to do things that you want her to do and/or she doesn't want to do, and a very adversarial pattern has emerged.

I would not just "give up" but I can tell you what worked for me: switch to "yes." I started with the article, "Yes Days" from the Natural Child Project and just started saying yes wherever possible--even when I felt no, couldn't see how yes would or could happen--and worked to get on the same team as my kid.

I started this when he was a toddler and it was the best thing I have ever done as a parent. That strong-willed kid is now 8 and he is a DELIGHT! He knows that I go out of my way to make things happen for him and he gives back so much of that consideration.

We stopped making him brush his teeth...and he stopped for a long time when he was 3 or 4. Now he brushes and flosses on his own, his teeth have never had a cavity, he ADORES the dentist and she raves about how lovely his teeth are.

We stopped making him wash his hair and he went a loooong time w/out washing it. I was very uncomfortable, but stuck with it. Now he's happy to bath, wash, wear clean clothes, etc.

I would allow lots of extra time for him to do the carseat in the way he wanted, and, yes, it was a pain in the butt at the time, but it's a distant memory now. And he cheerfully rides in a booster seat (as does my 5 yr. old).

I can't imagine how totally enraged either of my kids would be if we put them in their rooms for punishment and would not let them out. Seriously, I can't even begin to imagine what that would do for our attachment. I wonder if you can consider time-ins vs. doing that?

I know coercion and punishments and consequences did not (and do not) work for my kids. It makes them dig in harder and I would have to go to some very extreme measures to basically break their will and have them comply. And it would destroy our relationship.

My (free ) advice is to shift your thinking from that of "making" her do to finding ways to model cooperation and "yes." It will come back around. And you may find yourself a lot less stressed out--god knows I have!

Best!
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#78 of 285 Old 07-23-2010, 07:11 PM
 
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First: Monkey`s mom: I am so happy this approach has worked so well for you and your child. I really am. But it doesn`t work for everyone. It doesn`t work for my son, and if I read EdnaMarie`s posts correctly, It might not work for her child either.

My son is 9 years old. For as long as he has had a voice, he has fought me on certaing things. Bathing, being clean, brushing hair, going to bed, getting dressed by himself are a few of them. Getting dressed by himself was a constant struggle for the age of 2 until 7. Yeah, constant for 5 years. Bathing, being clean, brushing hair and sleeping is still a constant struggle. ANd believe me, I have tried everything. Like you, I believed that saying yes, allowing him to make the descisions himself etc. would be the best way. But it wasn`t. Why? Because he doesn`t care. He doesn`t GET why this is important. Why being clean is important. He never has, and still doesn`t get it. So he fights me. Every time. These things are really awful for him. He is an extremely sensitive child in a lot of ways, and I think all these things are really hurting/scaring/bothering him. So he fights me.
(And I don`t push this every day. No way. Showering is like once a week now, because I finally after so many years understood that he will not change. Not because he finally understands or accepts that I decide this. Nope. So once a week it is.)

This was a longwinded way of saying that your way, lovely as it is , just doesn`t work for everyone. I`m not saying that OP`s daughter is just like my son. I have no way of knowing that. But, from her posts I can feel the same strong will that my son has. So maybe, just maybe, her child won`t become different when she can decide more for herself. Not everyone does.


EdnaMarie:

I would so, so love to give you a hug. You seem like you could need one. My son is older, but he shares a lot of the traits you talk about. Not the constant arguing over every thing, though. He needs me to interact with him absolutely every waking second of his day. Even when on the computer, he needs me to talk to him, watch what he does, be in HIS world. But he is never, ever interested in my world. Getting him to shop with me is a constant battle. I mean constant. SO where your daughter has turned to arguing, my son has turned to a more "basic" form of attentionseeking. But the need for constant interaction is there in them both, it seems like. Sorry if I am reading things into your post that isn`t there. I hope I am reading you right. I have been sooo exhausted soo many times I can`t tell you. And I have 1 child.

I think you have gotten a lot of wonderful advice. I really do. But I also see that some (many?) seem to say that everything you write about is normal. That everyone has kids like this. And I wonder if that might be untrue. Because I have a special kid. And he sounds a lot like your daughter. MAybe it`s hard for others to see the difference between "normal" kids-need-a-loong-time-to-learn-something, and the kind of behaviour some children have. Like my son, who has fought me for EVERY bath he has EVER taken , for the last 8 years. Literally.


I hope you can get some rest, and a break. Please be gentle with yourself. (And your daughter, but I absolutely believe you ARE gentle with her.)

*Single, attached Norwegian mama to my LoveBug, 2001*
 
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#79 of 285 Old 07-23-2010, 07:35 PM
 
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Maybe I should've defined "long" w/ regards to some of these issues.

I mean, seriously, my kid did not wash his hair but a couple of times over the course of a year. We didn't just say "yes" a day/week/month or two....we've done it for years--with both kids. And with stuff like the hair washing we totally stopped asking and making ANY kind of issue about it. (And, believe me, internally I was really trying to keep my "mama-ego" in check! )

So, I'm thinking that if you're talking about having struggles that lasted from age 2 to age 7 (and currently, if I'm reading correctly) that we're talking about different approaches. Especially if the child has felt coerced or controlled previously, I do believe it takes longer to see a "balancing."
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#80 of 285 Old 07-23-2010, 07:55 PM
 
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Maybe I should've defined "long" w/ regards to some of these issues.

I mean, seriously, my kid did not wash his hair but a couple of times over the course of a year. We didn't just say "yes" a day/week/month or two....we've done it for years--with both kids. And with stuff like the hair washing we totally stopped asking and making ANY kind of issue about it. (And, believe me, internally I was really trying to keep my "mama-ego" in check! )

So, I'm thinking that if you're talking about having struggles that lasted from age 2 to age 7 (and currently, if I'm reading correctly) that we're talking about different approaches. Especially if the child has felt coerced or controlled previously, I do believe it takes longer to see a "balancing."

I too stopped asking him for looooong periods of time. Long. For nearly 2 years (from around 3 until 5 YO) I stopped asking him to try to dress himself, and helped him every time he wanted/needed it. Did it make him dress himself? Nope. He didn`t start doing that until he was 7.
Same with several other things. (He had loooong hair from age 3 until age 8. He would. not. brush. it. Never. He cut his hair 6 months ago. I haven`t asked him to brush it once since he cut it. Not once. And he NEVER does. He hasn`t brushed his hair in six months. At all. And I can pretty much garantee you that if you ask me again in 12 months, he still hasn`t. He just won`t. To him, it`s like torture. He doesn`t fight me to be a pain, but because he would rather fight me every day of his life than have his hair brushed/take a bath/whatever.

I know people don`t mean to, but always hearing that "if your child didn`t respond to X approach, you must have done it too long, to short, not gentle enough, not the same way I did etc" gets kinda old. The reality is that some children really won`t budge on some things. Sometimes the thing they really, really won`t do, is so important to them that they WILL fight you every. single. time.

*Single, attached Norwegian mama to my LoveBug, 2001*
 
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#81 of 285 Old 07-23-2010, 08:35 PM
 
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Sorry! I wasn't trying to be rude or make you feel bad. I guess I just don't understand...if the kid isn't going to do x, and the parent stops making it a requirement or even asking, how is there still "a fight?"

I think the example of your son not dressing himself until age 7 is the perfect example. It's just not something he was going to do before he was ready--I think that's how most kids are. I think we can beat our heads against that wall over and over again--coercing, controlling, threatening, forcing, whatever it takes to make the kid comply b/c the alternative is worse. Or we can let it go, accept that the kid isn't ready/willing/etc. and take all the adversarial stuff out of the equation.

I mean, really, you can't "make" anyone do anything. Either the kid wants to do it or she doesn't.

We can often make them get to the point where doing the thing is easier than how sorry we make them for not doing it, but with persistent, tenacious personalities I think it gets that much harder.

So, yeah, I think if the kid isn't ready to do x, damaging the attachment with fighting and resentment and the outcome is gonna be same, letting go of the fighting seems like a good place to start.
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#82 of 285 Old 07-23-2010, 09:52 PM
 
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I haven't read the whole thread so I apologize if this doesn't help but I'll throw it out just in case. I have a spirited kid who fights stuff . . . unless I let her do it her way. Which might not be relevant in your case. Do you give her the toothbrush and toothpaste and let her do it without overseeing it or telling her how? At first I'd try to teach dd to brush her teeth and then try to get her to do it my way, and there were lots of fights. But when I backed off and said, "Here's the toothbrush, here's the toothpaste, go for it." And she seemed young to do it herself her own way, and I have no idea how specifically she does it except that the dentist gave her a little timer to show her how long to do it, but I backed off and she hasn't had any cavities or anything. I don't know if it would help for any specific issue, but I find giving my dd autonomy helps a lot in these situations, because this kind of power struggle is often a cry for autonomy.

The second thing is that my dd argues and negotiates about every single thing too. We have changed the way we look at this from "arguing" to "problem solving." My dh said to her one time, "My but you're the problem solver" and she changed from trying to get her way to trying to solve the problem, ie find a solution we were all happy with. So that is how we approach it now. Instead of saying "No you can't do that" we say, "What we need is for X to happen and for Y to happen. I don't know how those things will happen if you do that. Do you have any ideas?" And then she tries to find a way to do what she wants and accomplish X and Y. If she finds a way to get her needs met and ours, then great. It's not a huge shift if you can get your dd to do it.

Finally, as for begging for stuff at the store, we handled that by giving dd an allowance. A small allowance, but then she could bring her money to the store and buy something if she had money for it. If she asked for something, I'd ask her how much money she had, and if she had enough she'd buy it, and if not I'd say, "Well maybe you can get that after you get your allowance." Also, suggesting she keep a list of things she wants, so instead of continually telling her she can't have things, I can say, "We'll have to put that on the list of things you want." And then if she had allowance money, she could look at that list, and we'd look at it before her birthday as well and passed info off if relatives asked what she wanted for Christmas.

There are specific things for just part of your problem, but my older dd is spirited and a real handful and we had a lot of these exact problems when she was your dd's age. I'm hoping that maybe at least a couple of things that worked for her might work for your dd. She's 8 now and, while still a handful, much easier to work with. She just understands things better. My younger one is really easy going comparatively.
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#83 of 285 Old 07-23-2010, 09:57 PM
 
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...

I think the example of your son not dressing himself until age 7 is the perfect example. It's just not something he was going to do before he was ready--I think that's how most kids are. I think we can beat our heads against that wall over and over again--coercing, controlling, threatening, forcing, whatever it takes to make the kid comply b/c the alternative is worse. Or we can let it go, accept that the kid isn't ready/willing/etc. and take all the adversarial stuff out of the equation.

I mean, really, you can't "make" anyone do anything. Either the kid wants to do it or she doesn't.

...
Not to take the thread off-course, but I think this is a very important point to remember as our kids get older. I was raised in a "do-it-or-else" type of environment. Not abusive, but very strict. As a result, I have very high and sometimes unreasonable expectations of my toddler and if not for reading this forum would not really have had this concept in my head as we went through eating issues with solid foods, potty training, bathing, toothbrushing, sleep issues, etc. I would have been INSANE when he didn't eat solids at 15 months. When he still wasn't walking at his first birthday. When he wasn't holding his own bottle/using a sippy cup at 12 months. When he couldn't identify colors or count or sing the alphabet.... Whatever.

So what if a 7-year-old wants help getting dressed? Yeah, it's not particularly common, as it would be for a 2-year-old to want/need help, but as we all read here daily, every kid develops at a different pace and hits different milestones in their own time. As long as it's not unhealthy or dangerous, and there aren't SO many out of the ordinary that they become red flags to a potential developmental issue, a few little quirks shouldn't be huge problems.

Thank you for the reminder that there will always be something like that, b/c the kids will always be developing, til they end up adults.
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#84 of 285 Old 07-23-2010, 10:16 PM
 
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Sorry! I wasn't trying to be rude or make you feel bad. I guess I just don't understand...if the kid isn't going to do x, and the parent stops making it a requirement or even asking, how is there still "a fight?"
Because, in the OP's case, at least, she said everything HAS to be a fight. If she stops requiring it, her daughter will tell her to make her do it anyway!

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...letting go of the fighting seems like a good place to start.
Again, for whatever reasons, the OP's daughter thrives on arguments. So she can't really let "go of the fighting", because it won't work. She's just said she'll find something else to argue about.
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#85 of 285 Old 07-23-2010, 10:38 PM
 
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I can't imagine this child relishes the physical force the OP posted about and the locking in her bedroom for time-outs. I just can't believe that's what this kid wants.

Perhaps her adversarial nature is a result of her biology and/or environment. How much nicer, though, would it be for this mama and child to debate the merits of paper v. plastic at the grocery store or wind v. solar than to debate how, when, and where the child is going to eat, sleep, etc?

There's a great article on Natural Child about how children really react to control: http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/thomas_gordon.html. The strong-willed child seems to have a very different reaction to control. Believe me, I know I tried the "just walk away, they will eventually follow," method w/ my first and it reached the most frenzied, lengthy, nightmarish proportions imaginable. "Sticking with" controlling, coercive, punitive methods with strong-willed people does not usually go well. Partnering with these kids is going to have a much better long term result. And if the parent can't partner with the kid, how does the kid know how to be a partner to the parent?
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#86 of 285 Old 07-24-2010, 05:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I can't imagine this child relishes the physical force the OP posted about and the locking in her bedroom for time-outs. I just can't believe that's what this kid wants.

Perhaps her adversarial nature is a result of her biology and/or environment. How much nicer, though, would it be for this mama and child to debate the merits of paper v. plastic at the grocery store or wind v. solar than to debate how, when, and where the child is going to eat, sleep, etc?

There's a great article on Natural Child about how children really react to control: http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/thomas_gordon.html. The strong-willed child seems to have a very different reaction to control. Believe me, I know I tried the "just walk away, they will eventually follow," method w/ my first and it reached the most frenzied, lengthy, nightmarish proportions imaginable. "Sticking with" controlling, coercive, punitive methods with strong-willed people does not usually go well. Partnering with these kids is going to have a much better long term result. And if the parent can't partner with the kid, how does the kid know how to be a partner to the parent?
She obviously doesn't want to be in time-out! She does, however, enjoy playing time-out-not-in-time-out-time-out-not-in-time-out game if I ask her to stay somewhere but do not somehow physically hold her there or lock the door.

She does not stay in time out unless restrained. Every couple weeks I think I must not lock her in time out ever, and ask her to sit alone and she will because everyone else's child does it. Everyone. There is no other child on the planet that does not respond to time-ins, time-outs, compromise, or anything, so she cannot be that special.

Right? RIGHT? RIGHT? It has to work, right?

But then it doesn't. And again, I'm broken-hearted.

"unless I let her do it her way"

No, because she doesn't want to do it her way. She wants to argue with me. I can't emphasize this enough... it's the argument. I know you all think, "Well, your family must be seriously screwed up because there aren't people on this earth who like to pick fights."

Just makes me think this forum isn't for me. Because ever since she could talk, she showed signs of wanting me to refuse. "Say no!" It isn't just "no" though. Like, if I leave her alone, she will follow me, "Say you're gonna do it the hard way! Do it the silly way! Say you'll make me! Say this, say that, fight with me, fight, fight!"

I have tried to do pretend games ("Let's be mommy kitty and baby kitty and mommy kitty will...") thinking she just wanted creative engagement.

FAIL. ("Mommy kitty, tell me I'm doing it wrong." "But you're doing it right... just keep--" "NO! Tell me I'm wrong!" "Well do it wrong, then." "I *am* doing it wrong." "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Stay here, baby kitty, mommy kitty is getting her special grape juice.")

Nope. Really, the challenging is what she wants. She loves banging her head against the wall.

I'm the wall.

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I mean, seriously, my kid did not wash his hair but a couple of times over the course of a year. We didn't just say "yes" a day/week/month or two....we've done it for years--with both kids. And with stuff like the hair washing we totally stopped asking and making ANY kind of issue about it. (And, believe me, internally I was really trying to keep my "mama-ego" in check! )
Wow. I think that's kind of gross (or perhaps he never smeared grease from his evening meal in it?), and I'm really concerned about the teeth in that situation. Losing rotting baby teeth is not a small issue.

It's not that the stay-at-home-parent gets to stay home with the kids. The kids get to stay home with a parent. Lucky Mom to DD1 (4 y) and DD2 (18 mo), Wife to Mercenary Dad
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#87 of 285 Old 07-24-2010, 05:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, and compromise... only if it's an argument.

I really think some of you are underestimating some people's need to argue for the sake of argument. LOL. It's not about the thing itself. She would argue about cake if she could. "Not THAT strawberry cake. Make the strawberries go the other way." Even if it's the first sweet in a month.

Yes. Yes she will.

DH does it too. And if I let it go, they keep going. On and on and on and on and on and on, desperately seeking the argument.

It's not that the stay-at-home-parent gets to stay home with the kids. The kids get to stay home with a parent. Lucky Mom to DD1 (4 y) and DD2 (18 mo), Wife to Mercenary Dad
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#88 of 285 Old 07-24-2010, 09:18 AM
 
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Wow. I think that's kind of gross (or perhaps he never smeared grease from his evening meal in it?), and I'm really concerned about the teeth in that situation. Losing rotting baby teeth is not a small issue.
Ouch.

No. He never smeared grease in his air.

Believe me, it wasn't my choice. But he didn't have to have someone overpower his body and his wishes, so that was far better than the "gross" for me.

He never had rotting baby teeth. He loves to go to the dentist where they oooh and ahhh over his cavity free baby and adult teeth.

Allowing kids to make their own choices does not necessarily result in a direct path to catastrophe.

Good luck with your situation.
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#89 of 285 Old 07-24-2010, 09:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ouch.

No. He never smeared grease in his air.

Believe me, it wasn't my choice. But he didn't have to have someone overpower his body and his wishes, so that was far better than the "gross" for me.

He never had rotting baby teeth. He loves to go to the dentist where they oooh and ahhh over his cavity free baby and adult teeth.

Allowing kids to make their own choices does not necessarily result in a direct path to catastrophe.

Good luck with your situation.
I am really glad your child has good teeth. I had great teeth as a child, too. My children both, from an early age, enjoyed the whole "lets put dinner on my head" thing, and even at three, my daughter will all too often put her hand in her hair after eating something with meat. And it does go rancid if I leave it.

I don't believe in the individual's sacrosanct right over his or her body, not for adults or children (and I think it ends in philosophical dead ends too often), so I think we have fundamental differences of philosophy that would not really allow us to come to an agreement. I think individuals have to sometimes compromise for the group. That means me for my kids, and at times, my kids for me, and at times, all of us for everyone else (viz. eating bread for dinner because we just could not shop without ruining the experience for the rest of the shoppers... sucks, but that's life.)

It's not that the stay-at-home-parent gets to stay home with the kids. The kids get to stay home with a parent. Lucky Mom to DD1 (4 y) and DD2 (18 mo), Wife to Mercenary Dad
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#90 of 285 Old 07-24-2010, 11:01 AM
 
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Oh, and compromise... only if it's an argument.

I really think some of you are underestimating some people's need to argue for the sake of argument. LOL. It's not about the thing itself. She would argue about cake if she could. "Not THAT strawberry cake. Make the strawberries go the other way." Even if it's the first sweet in a month.

Yes. Yes she will.

DH does it too. And if I let it go, they keep going. On and on and on and on and on and on, desperately seeking the argument.
so then is your daughter simply modeling/ following/ copying/ trying to be like her dad? Is her dad exactly like this, does he engage with you in the same exact way- and this is how she thinks one should act?
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