Saying one thing, but meaning another... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 5 Old 01-18-2011, 08:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, ladies, for the most part I feel as though I am pretty good at the whole gentle discipline thing, but this one thing has me at a loss... and I KNOW I am not responding properly.

 

Lately, my 3.5+ year old has been, when upset or angry, telling me one thing but wanting another.  So, for example:  last night, he didn't want to get out of the bath tub and go to bed.  He told me he was hungry because he had chosen not to eat dinner.  So, I gave him the option of going downstairs and having his dad reheat his dinner and then dad putting him to bed or he could finish the bedtime routine with his brother and I and go to bed.  Well, those two choices made him angry so he started screaming that he wanted dad to put him to bed... so I went to call my DH to go ahead and begin reheating dinner and DS freaks out and starts screaming that he doesn't want dad... so we go on with the bedtime routine.  Then, once we lay down, he didn't like the book that I picked out so he told me to go away,,, well, when I got up to go away he freaked out and told me not to go away.

 

Or, he'll beg for a hug when he knows he's done something that is not acceptable and when I try and give him a hug he runs away and says "too late" and then comes back and begs for a hug and the cycle goes on and on...

 

any suggestions for how to handle this behavior?  TIA!!!


Ashlie, mom to two little men and happily expecting my first homebirth baby in April 2011!
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#2 of 5 Old 01-18-2011, 01:01 PM
 
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Hi, can you name what it is that he is really asking for?  For example: You said that he didn't want to get out of the bathtub and go to bed; and so it sounds like the dinner thing was something he could think of that would not be going to bed.  So in that instance could you say something like " I am wondering if you are having such a good time in the tub; that you don't want to go to bed yet."  or just "It sounds like you are not wanting to go to bed yet."  Then you can see what he says and go from there.  ie) How about a few more minutes and then we can snuggle and read a book etc.  This doesn't mean that everything is going to be smoothly; but it may help to name what it is that he really wants; or at least find out what it is that he wants.

 

 

You mention that he begs for a hug when he knows he has done something unacceptable  - if you know this perhaps you can name it for him. ie) I see that you did bla.. bla.. bla.  Are you worried that I am going to be mad at you?  Come here, tell me what happened?"  You know something along those lines that  tries to make him feel safe in being able to express and learn how to express feelings that can be pretty hard to express/ let alone understand at his very young age. 

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#3 of 5 Old 01-18-2011, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I like the idea of trying to name what he really wants.  I hadn't really thought about doing that.  I obviously have a good idea of what it is, but I'm not sure he does... he just jumps to the first thing he can think of rather than really identifying what it is that he needs/wants (and I realize at 3.5 years old that's really all he can do on his own LOL). 

 

I do try and let him know that I'm not mad at hime for doing whatever it is, but he still begs for the hug and then runs away when I try to give him one. 


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#4 of 5 Old 01-18-2011, 01:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LifewithSage View Post


I do try and let him know that I'm not mad at hime for doing whatever it is, but he still begs for the hug and then runs away when I try to give him one. 


Maybe, re: the hug that is all he needs. Just to know that you are there, when he needs you.  If you have time but i see that you may not with having another little child and being pregnant; you could also make a game out of it. When he comes to hug you and then runs away you can say something like "Oooooh, I almost got you! Next time, I'll get you for sure!!"

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#5 of 5 Old 01-18-2011, 01:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LifewithSage View Post


I do try and let him know that I'm not mad at hime for doing whatever it is, but he still begs for the hug and then runs away when I try to give him one. 


Maybe, re: the hug that is all he needs. Just to know that you are there, when he needs you.  If you have time but i see that you may not with having another little child and being pregnant; you could also make a game out of it. When he comes to hug you and then runs away you can say something like "Oooooh, I almost got you! Next time, I'll get you for sure!!"


I like this idea... will try it for sure!  Thanks! 


Ashlie, mom to two little men and happily expecting my first homebirth baby in April 2011!
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