alternatives to "time-out" - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 32 Old 02-12-2011, 01:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
mommatooth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Michigan- the upper pennisula
Posts: 50
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Hey there, I am a single momma of a VERY spirited 3.5.  Lately, I have been trying to use her bedroom as a sort of time-out recharge place and as a break for me when things get tough.  She will not stay in there voluntarily so I put  a hook and eye on the door and yes, I locked her in a few times,  for a few minutes.  I know this is not popular but I am single, stay at home, trying to work form home and sometimes things get really intense here, and going to out separate corners seems to be the only thing I can think of.

My daughter has completely destroyed her bedroom, she has torn down the wallpaper, smashed her lamp, upended the plants and gouged the door with a neat rock we found at the beach.  Not all in one setting of course.    The problem is, SOMETIMES, she goes to her room for a few minutes, calms down and we can regroup.  other times, she ruins something, and occasionally, she would go to her room herself and "take a little break".   That is why I let things go on... well that and I have no idea what else to do?  I am not into counting, spanking, threatening, bribing etc.... but I am also really not interested in many of her behaviours right now, hitting, screaming, smashing plates at mealtime, tormenting the dog, going off like a siren the minute I answer the phone...  I think I understand that because I work from home I am home all day but not really present all day, she is calling out for more attention.  Even if I didn't work from home, I couldn't be her nonstop entertainment, and that is what she seems to want.  

 

So my query is this, how can I help my daughter respect that I am not on this earth JUST to play with her- I have momma things to do too, and that doesn't mean I don't love her.

 

AND, what on earth can I do as a BOTTOM LINE with this child who runs my household?  I feel like I am a textbook example of an attachment seeking mom turned permissive parent.  I do negotiate many things with her and understand that at this age, if you negotiate, you will keep negotiating.... but I need a cut and dry bottom line for safety things and just plain unacceptable behaviour.

 

It is not ok to break dishes because you don't want lentils, it is not ok to hit your mom because you wanted another story etc...

 

It has been suggested that I take everything breakable out of her room and continue to use it as a safe place... I wish I could do this,  we live in a 120 year old house and under the beautiful wallpaper she had been stripping is layer upon layer of lead paint.  I have sealed it up and vacuumed/washed everything, but I am just not comfortable with this continuing.  I explained about the paper, but you know how that went over :)  there isn't any way to make that room safe for her type of tantrum, and there isn't another room that would work either.  I have tried putting my self in my room to get some space/clear my head...but then she feels wronged and has the run of the house- not good... she goes right for what she knows will bring me out of my room.  "moooooommma !  I am playing with your computer!, I am breaking things!!"  yep, the works.

 

I understand that her crying out for more attention and then getting me locked in my room or her locked in her room is not solving anything.  But seriously, I feel like I might really screw up sometimes if I allow myself near her.  I look at her destruction and often I am speechless because I am paralyzed by anger, but conflicted because although I want to kill her!  I really know I am not meeting her needs, and blame myself.  

 

mommatooth is offline  
#2 of 32 Old 02-12-2011, 02:58 AM
 
lexapurple's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 227
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Sounds like she might be bored and acting out as a way to get attention. At this age they are becoming very social and need somebody to spend considerable amount of time with them or have something to do along with the parent like chores.

Have you thought about a nanny or childcare for at least part of the day? It would keep her busy and occupied for at least part of the day so you can work and you could spend more one on one time when she is home.

lexapurple is offline  
#3 of 32 Old 02-12-2011, 11:52 AM
 
pianojazzgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Montreal
Posts: 4,335
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Like the pp the first thing that popped into my head was that having her attend some sort of preschool might work wonders for you guys, BUT I totally understand that that might not be economically feasible (it isn't for us!).  Thinking along those lines - do you know anyone who would be interested in exchanging childcare?  Or maybe would be able to take your dd for a few days/mornings/afternoons/whatever a week in exchange for some other service that you're able to provide?  Or do you have any relatives that would just help out for free?

 

How many hours a day do you need to work?  Are you able to have part of your work time be after she goes to bed (or during naptime if she still takes a nap), to give a larger portion of her waking day that you're able to spend one-on-one time with her?

 

You might have to spend x amount of time "filling her cup" in order to be able to buy y amount of work time.  If you can get yourself to dedicate that x amount of time truly *just for her* where you're focusing only on the activity/game/etc at hand, then maybe her cup will be full enough that you can get an hour of work time by then pulling out some special extra-interesting toys or activities that only come out during work time.  If you do screen-time in your house you could also have one sure-fire half hour of work time where she can watch one show or play starfall.com or whatever.

 

Since you two are both just always at home together you might benefit from imposing some sort of (somewhat more) formalized schedule.  Sometimes if kids know what's coming next they fight it less, yk?  Like if every single day after breakfast you spend x amount of time playing, then at z o'clock it's "quiet play time" (set her up with whatever "cool" activity) aka work time for you, then she would probably be more willing to just go along with "the way things are" as opposed to just trying to fit in work whenever it seems like you'll be able to.  You might already do this, but I thought I'd throw it out there just in case.

 

Know too that it is totally normal for 3.5yos to have a very limited ability to entertain themselves.  There was just a thread posted about this in childhood years.  From what the mamas were posting it seems like while some 3yos could play for an hour or two by themselves others wouldn't play independently for more than a few minutes at a time. 

 

Good luck mama!


Kate, mom to 7 year old Djuna and 4 yr old Alden. Missing our good friend Hal the cat who died June 2, 2010

pianojazzgirl is offline  
#4 of 32 Old 02-12-2011, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
mommatooth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Michigan- the upper pennisula
Posts: 50
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I agree she might be acting out because she wants attention.  She gets SO MUCH ATTENTION.  It confuses me to think that somehow she isn't getting enough, I cannot leave the room without her, I cannot use the bathroom by myself etc.  So it is only natural that I tune out sometimes, even a peer or lover would exhaust you if they needed you every minute of the day!  

 

She does nap sometimes, and I do work then.  Occasionally, I am able to work in the mornings when she is asleep.  Mostly, I don't work and feel frustrated and broke though, I know this doesn't help.  

 

She DOES attend preschool two mornings a week and that helps, but sometimes it makes it a lot worse...anyone else have this experience?  She comes home from school where things are very chaotic, and is just impossible to calm down, plus, I have a hard time with the transition too, especially if I don't finish what I am working on...it's like noon is "D day"  and I just dread when she will be home- I check the clock every minute!  Our school is back to back for two days and then not again for 5, it is a strange schedule to get on for both of us.  

 

Yes, I have tried a schedule for us, I even made a schedule board and I rarely try and work unless she is sleeping, it is just suicide and I always wind up redoing anything I attempted while she was around.  It isn't just the frustration of not being productive, it is the constant fighting.  CONSTANT.  I am really looking for an alternative to sending her to her room or threatening her with sending her to her room.  I have found myself close to spanking her out of sheer exasperation, and I KNOW that will not help anything, I am just at a loss.  

 

So I know more childcare will help, but does this help her respect out relationship?  Or will she learn that others have similar rules and see that it isn't me vs. her, just how the world works?  I know I could be a more creative parent if I wasn't so close to cooked all the time, maybe that is the first step and something else will fall into place.  I just keep getting well meaning advice from friends saying I have got to get a handle on it soon "before it is too late"  I guess I can't imagine it could get worse, but I am sure it's possible.  We are both pretty miserable, I am not a NO person by nature, but when I do say it, I mean it and can explain why, and then I expect some sort of compliance/understanding.  Is this too big for a 3.5?

 

So what do you do instead of sending them to their rooms for a little time out/regroup break?

mommatooth is offline  
#5 of 32 Old 02-12-2011, 04:46 PM
 
NellieKatz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 657
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I noticed this with my own son. The forced time-outs would take an angry child and turn him into a furious and destructive, red-faced screaming child. It's because he interpreted the time-outs as aggressive (because they were! I was forcing him to go there and when he would not go, I'd carry him there, and any door or baby-gate that kept him in there got pounded and nearly dented by the toys he'd hit them with.) Hardly gentle discipline!

 

I am in a very similar situation. Or I was, when he was younger. He wanted SO much attention and interaction with me, and I needed to work because we were dying financially. It didn't help that he is really empathetic and can pick up on my stress in this area.

 

The only thing I can think of is the whole concept, mentioned before, of "filling the well." We've noticed that when we met my son's needs FIRST, then he'd be more happy and fired up and tends to be able to go off and play alone longer. (by the way, he is almost 8 yrs old now and he plays for ages by himself. Age matters.) And by meeting his needs, I mean, in the way HE feels that they've been met. In other words, we might think that they are happy doing something with us, as long as we are doing something together. But that's not the case. It is not enough for us to play a game with him or read to him....that would not count. He had a CERTAIN thing (a kind of imaginative play) that meant more than the whole world to him, and if we didn't play THAT exact thing, nothing else mattered. But when we DID put in a half hour to an hour of this particular kind of imaginative play, it really helped him feel connected and more stable. To us, this kind of play was deathly boring and sheer torture, but it meant so much to him, it was worth it.

 

Now that I look back on it, I can't blame him for being furious beyond control when I put him in his room forcibly, behind a baby gate or behind a door. How would *I* like it!? I would probably react the same way! We don't do that any more. We focus first on hearing and acknowledging what he's feeling. And I am sure that this is hard when they are little, and gets easier, the older they get, because they can understand more.

 

The situation you're in is really REALLY tough, but you can take heart that it will pass. But the thing is to try and preserve the relationship as much as possible as you go through this hard phase, and realize that she can't possibly understand how much it means to you that your work gets done and a roof gets put over your heads and food on the table. She doesn't know about all your other stressors either. And that's a good thing! Adult-sized problems cause a kid real anxiety. But I do acknowledge that this makes it so much harder for you. Best of luck.

 

NellieKatz is offline  
#6 of 32 Old 02-13-2011, 09:32 AM
 
msmiranda's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Virginia
Posts: 419
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Well, I'm not glad that you are going through this, but I'm glad that you posted about it because I am going through a very similar time with my (also very spirited) 3.5 year old son.  We also use going to his room (which has a doorknob cover on the inside so he can't get out until we let him out) as a way to defuse situations, because so far it truly is the only thing that has seemed to work.  He gets so worked up when we are arguing over something that it just escalates uncontrollably, and having the separation is really necessary both for him and for DH and/or myself to get ourselves under control and not get to the point of doing or saying something we will regret later.  I don't particularly feel guilty about it or see it as non-GD because if we did not do this, things would be much worse -- he would stay angry longer, we would stay angry longer, we would both be yelling at each other, and hitting would probably occur eventually.  Putting him in his room is the least of evils in such a situation.  He does throw things at first, but after a period of time (sometimes 2 minutes, sometimes 10, depending) he does calm down, and when we hear him get quiet, we go back in there and ask if he is ready to follow the rules and try to talk about what happened before he went to his room and review what the rules are (no hitting your brother -- hands to yourself, no throwing toys when you are frustrated, etc.).  He generally does improve his behavior after these separations, and DH and I are much calmer and better able to deal with him afterward as well.

 

I totally hear what you are saying about attention -- this is the whole issue with my DS as well.  He does want constant attention, and it is maddening when we need to get things done and he is throwing up roadblocks in our path.  I am WOH temporarily for a few weeks, but most of the time I SAH and fortunately do not have to work also when I am home, I don't even know how I would manage that.  We have recently decided that we do need to be much more proactive about "filling his cup" as others have advised above, and I hope that will help.  As soon as my job ends, we are going to get on a daily schedule and I am going to plan activities to keep him stimulated.  I know that won't completely solve the problem but I hope it helps.  The other thing we are doing is really making an effort to stop yelling and keep a conversational tone of voice even when he is being unreasonable, as he often is.  It is SO HARD because as my grandfather used to say, "that child could try the patience of Job."  Of course when I was a kid I did not understand why I was so maddening to adults (I was demanding of attention as well, but was definitely much more compliant and got into way less trouble than my DS1 because there was the threat of being hit and I would do anything to avoid that.  And of course I cannot talk to my parents about my problems with DS1 because their pat answer would be that we need to hit him to get him to comply, which I will not do).   

 

Saying all that to say, I understand why you have chosen to enforce a mandatory separation/time out when you reach the end of your rope and don't think it's necessarily a bad thing ... other than the lead paint issue of course.  I wish I had another magic bullet to offer you ... being proactive about giving your DD attention first may help, but it probably won't completely eliminate conflict in your home.  I've come to accept that a certain amount of conflict, especially with spirited children, is inevitable, and the best we can do is to manage it in such a way that we preserve the relationship with our child and the sanity of the other members of the household until each stage passes (as they will).  It sounds like you are doing a great job, and your daughter is lucky to have you. 


SAHM to Bird (6/07) and Bear (7/09), and now enjoying our newest additionbabyboy.gif, born June 1, 2011!  bfinfant.giffamilybed1.gifsigncirc1.gifcd.gif

msmiranda is offline  
#7 of 32 Old 02-13-2011, 10:10 AM
 
BellinghamCrunchie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Alpha Centauri
Posts: 4,293
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

There are a couple of things you could try.

 

1. You could try getting her a ton of exercise in the morning. After breakfast, etc first thing you do is go to the park (walk to the park if possible) and let her run, run, run. Or something that is very active.

 

2. You could try increasing her preschool to five days a week. I don't know if this is possible for you financially, but maybe there are some free programs you might qualify for such as Headstart. Its hard to do 2 days a week: its not often enough to get used to it, and that makes the transitions chronically challenging.

 

3. You could continue the time out procedure, making her room as safe as possible for her, and meanwhile implement a heavy duty program of positive behavior. Identify those things which are particularly challenging and come up with a replacement behavior that you can reinforce. So, for example, if its fighting with you that is the biggest problem, you could put up a chart on the wall or frig and every hour that the two of you don't fight (e.g. work cooperatively together), you get to share a small treat, or she gets to choose a short activity one on one with you. Once she gets the idea of working cooperatively together for each hour, change the hourly reinforcement to a check (instead of a treat) and then every four hours or so, she chooses things based on the number of checks she has, then as that goes well, extend to once a day. Anytime you two fight or argue inappropriately, the timer resets to zero, so that you both have to go one hour cooperatively to get the check or reinforcer. I chose one hour as a starting point but you could adjust that depending on how often you are actually fighting; you might need to start out with something like five minutes.

 

4. Look at her diet. Sometimes it can be a big help to eliminate gluten and casein. You might try that for 3 weeks or so and see if it has any impact.

 

Being an attached parent didn't create the issues you are having. Some children inflexible, intolerant of change, demanding... "spirited." They just are. And need some environmental modifications, firm expectations and boundaries, frequent opportunities for success, and sensitivity to what may be bothering them sensorily in order to maintain their equilibrium and feel peaceful.

BellinghamCrunchie is offline  
#8 of 32 Old 02-13-2011, 10:33 AM
 
pianojazzgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Montreal
Posts: 4,335
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

The idea to look at her diet is a good one (besides gluten and casein I'd also look at artificial dyes), and reminded me to also suggest considering if there's a chance that she's not getting enough sleep. 

 

I also think the idea of preschool more than 2 days a week is a good one.  I've read in a few places that most preschool teachers suggest a minimum of 3 days a week or else there's just too much time between school days and the transitions can be really difficult.

 

Another thought - try to make your whole house as "preschooler-proof" as possible.  If throwing dishes is a real possibility then only serve food to her on metal or plastic dishes.  Do your best to put important things up and out of the way.  Basically I'd be babyproofing like she was a baby (no plants within reach, nothing breakable, etc) for now, while she is going through this phase.

 

Good luck mama - keep us posted!

 


Kate, mom to 7 year old Djuna and 4 yr old Alden. Missing our good friend Hal the cat who died June 2, 2010

pianojazzgirl is offline  
#9 of 32 Old 02-15-2011, 10:23 AM
 
madskye's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,219
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Try reading The Explosive Child.  It really helped me a lot.  I did time outs with my DD, and I had to concede at 5.5 that they just don't work with her personality.  It just turns into another battle and even if we talked about it after,behavior wise things were not getting any better.  Explosive Child basically recommends giving your child more credit and responsibility.  Talk to them before they melt down, teach them how to compromise.  Encourage her to come up with the solution--you need to work, she wants to play. Can she get paper and crayons and play near you but still respect your need to get things done?   The book is basically about teaching the art of the graceful compromise--to you and your child.  It's really helped us a lot.  It doesn't mean you're a pushover--it means you are teaching them how to listen and problem solve. 

madskye is offline  
#10 of 32 Old 02-15-2011, 12:28 PM
 
hakeber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Bogota, Colombia
Posts: 3,817
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

My DS lost his right to use "real dishes" at the age of 3 when he started tanruming, and he still hasn't fully earned it back (though now out of clumsiness rather than anger issues)

 

3.5 is SOOOO hard.  They have so many perceptions of the world, and everyday their sense of logic is reordered with new information...it's like just as soon as you think you have a system sussed it up and changes.  It's enough to drive anyone bonkers.

 

To stop the fighting you really have to start with you.

 

One:  you need to have your needs met, and that's not happening, so find a solution that work for you to get some much need alone time.  A day care, a friend's house, whatever you can...Do you have a soft play area where you can sit with a cup of coffee and your work and she can run amock in the climbing frames?  Maybe a Wendys or Burger King that has a soft play area?  I used to get an hour of work done while DS played with other kids (of other haggard moms) in the climbing frames.  This will increase your patience and allow you to meet her needs without feeling exhausted, sapped, and unfairly put-upon.

 

Two:  you need to identify her real needs.  Have you read CNVC.org or any lit by Rosenburg...really good stuff.  Worked MIRACLES for DH and DS who were struggling to communicate (we still need to go back to this when DH loses his temper with DS)  For me I realize that 90% of the tantrums were due to a lack of protein packed snacks.  because he was high energy he CRAVED fruit and carbs, but because he was high energy he NEEDED protein.  Now he is not allowed to leave the house without some protein, a penut butter sandwich, a big slice of cheese, a boiled egg...especially if he STARTS the day this way he is SO much chiller.  I used to start him cereal and toast.  Now we start with scrambled eggs and ham with peanut butter toast and he is a different kid I swear!

 

Whenever we leave the house for more than an hour I have peanutbutter crackers, cheese, or whole wheat crackers or something to feed him and his patience levels and CONCENTRATION levels are amazing.  That's why (I think) he gets so scattered at school because he has to go three hours between feedings.

 

Then the rest were growing pains stuff...he was frustrated with his inability to do XYZ, or because he was mad at Gravity for ruining his block building, or he was mad at the world for being so big.  Stuff I couldn't control but all he really needed was empathy and to feel understood.

 

It felt ridiculous to be screaming at a child in the middle of an argument over not being allowed to draw on the walls "Sit down and eat a a hot dog, because it's either the hot dog or you're going to to your room for the REST OF THE NIGHT!!!!!"  But I swear, almost always he would A) choose the hot dog and calm down and apologize, or B) go to his room and have a good scream and shout and then I'd go in to check on him and we'd talk it out.

 

I do not tolerate smashing, breaking or ripping.  Smashing would have resulted in physical restraint on my part, and removal of all possible smashable things for a long time.  The one time he threw something at the door, I went in and held him in a bear hug until he stopped squirming and was willing to talk calmly.  One other time (at about 4 and a half) he ripped a book and I made him pay for it in chores and grandma's money.  It took him about 6 weeks to earn the money back and he was very sad (he only paid for 20% but it was a lot to him, especially since he usually was allowed to use that money for the pool vending machine.).

 

You have to be super firm at this age, but reasonable, too and willing to bend when you realize you are not being reasonable, but just principled.  Kids do not get principles and sometimes we have to put our egos aside and do what's right in the MOMENT, damn the long term consequences.

 

 

 


Rebekah - mom to Ben 03/05 and Emily 01/10, a peace educator, and a veg*n and wife to Jamie.
hakeber is offline  
#11 of 32 Old 02-15-2011, 07:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
mommatooth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Michigan- the upper pennisula
Posts: 50
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:

 

You have to be super firm at this age, but reasonable, too and willing to bend when you realize you are not being reasonable, but just principled.  Kids do not get principles and sometimes we have to put our egos aside and do what's right in the MOMENT, damn the long term consequences.

 

 

 

So much good information here, thank you!  THIS really spoke to me, often I feel like our "fights" are just about something I feel like I started and need to finish, or I worry if I present a chink in the armor she will run all over me (which she does anyway, so why the fear?).  Conversely, I feel like she just needs to "have her way"  she just needs to be in control of something at that moment.  This morning she was rolling around on the floor refusing to put her socks on, after 20 minutes of crying and being generally ridiculous, she decided she could put her socks on but ONLY if she did it in the chair I was sitting in.  She could do it ONLY if by doing it, she made me get up.  I did not insist that she wear socks, only that she either ask me in a reasonable voice for help (instead of screaming), put them on herself, or go without.  This is a big theme here.... she pretends she can't do anything, and then screams and cries for help.  I am happy to help if I can do so without earplugs, I will always help if she can ask without freaking out.  Unfortunately, this is usually impossible and so the battle rages on.

 

Tonight our war is, she wants to sleep with the light on, it is on a timer and fades gradually.  So whenever it gets close to just "nightlight" strength, she screams at me to turn it back up.  she can reach it easily from her bed (whereas I have to get out of my sleeping bag on the floor) and knows exactly how it works.  She has been in bed, for an hour pulling this stunt.  She is BEYOND tired and likely going to miss school tomorrow because of it. I firmly believe that this is not about the light, but about her getting me to get up every ten minutes. I don't know why, but it seems she needs me to PROVE to her that I love her and will DO things for her.

 

 I have tried just giving her all these silly little things, and always putting her socks on and carrying her everywhere and spoon feeding her ... all of the power plays, I have tried just saying ok to everything because they are small requests and usually just to see how much control she has...but they don't slow down, and I don't feel like being her monkey is "filling her cup".

 

As someone else said, my needs aren't being met and I feel completely insulted when I am tired, I just want to read a bit and go to sleep, as soon as I get comfortable, she wants my attention again... the minute I am doing something not with her (if she wakes during her nap, she freaks out if I am not in the room, even though I explain to her exactly what I will be working on while she is sleeping).  Nights like tonight I would KILL to bathe her, brush teeth, potty, stories, talk about our day and then SLEEP.  we spend  more than an hour in our routine, it rarely changes and still isn't enough.  I feel like it is NEVER enough.

 

Finally, at 10pm, she is asleep.  We started getting ready for bed at 7:30.  Goodnight mommas!

 

 

mommatooth is offline  
#12 of 32 Old 02-16-2011, 10:08 AM
 
hakeber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Bogota, Colombia
Posts: 3,817
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Because it is just the two of you and you spend SO much time fulfilling HER needs you are sort of looking to her (this is what I get from your posts, not a judgement) to fulfill your needs and she can't.  She may never meet your needs.  That is the god awful truth about being a parent.  They are endless pits of take with only the occassional give to keep you just convinced enough that it is worth it (which it is, but mid toddler years mid-tantrum it sure as heck doesn't feel like it!)  You need to find a way to get your needs met elsewhere.  More pre-school?  A friend?  a Playgroup?  A softplay area? 

 

 

Quote:
 Conversely, I feel like she just needs to "have her way"  she just needs to be in control of something at that moment. 

 Well she does.  And if you were three and everything seemed just beyond your grasp of control, you'd want that, too.  Autonomy is a HUGE a need for that age group.  But ironically, so is the need to feel connected and attached to you and supported by you...it is a conflict of needs within themselves that causes so many meltdowns and leaves parents throwing their hands in the air saying "you don't know what you want!"  and that's true...which makes it all the more difficult for them to communicate. 

 

That being said you have every right to insist on being asked nicely, and every right to simply walk away and engage in something else until she is ready to do so.

 

 

Quote:
 

Tonight our war is, she wants to sleep with the light on, it is on a timer and fades gradually.  So whenever it gets close to just "nightlight" strength, she screams at me to turn it back up.  she can reach it easily from her bed (whereas I have to get out of my sleeping bag on the floor) and knows exactly how it works.  She has been in bed, for an hour pulling this stunt.  She is BEYOND tired and likely going to miss school tomorrow because of it. I firmly believe that this is not about the light, but about her getting me to get up every ten minutes. I don't know why, but it seems she needs me to PROVE to her that I love her and will DO things for her. 

 

 

Things are becoming more and more clear.

 

(A) no adult can sleep well in a sleeping bag on the floor.  No wonder you are exhausted.  She gets a bed and you get the floor?  What the!?  Why is that?  No wonder you feel so much frustration. 

 

(B) move your sleeping bag elsewhere.  Then she will have to turn the light on herself.  Go to the hall, to the bathroom, to the kitchen...anywhere, a floor is a floor.  Frankly, I'd tell her that if she doesn't want to take advantage of her proximity to the light, she will have to sleep on the floor and give me the bed where I can reach the light.  No way on God's green earth I'd put up with bullying at bedtime.

 

(C) with bath and brushing teeth and stories and songs I have never taken less than and hour and a half to put DS to bed and he is now almost 6.  That's how long it takes to get him to sleep, but if I tried sharing a bed or a room with him, forget it.  He'd be up all night.  I know because when we go on vacation that's how long it takes. 

 

(D) No being her Monkey is not good.  She is 3.5 she can and needs to feed herself.  She may not have the motor skills for sock putting on...I still help DS with that sometimes when we are in a rush.  But you need to introduce some guidelines.  That's what I mean  by identifying her true needs. She doesn't NEED to be spoon fed, she needs to know you would spoon feed her if she wasn't able to do it anymore...but she is, so stop and find another way to meet that need.  The need is probably reassurance or closeness, so have a talk (outside of the situation, very non-chalantly, while making dinner) about how much you love her, and then talk about how proud you are of her when she is independant and does things for herself.  Tell her how much fun you have watching her do things all by herself.  Really talk it up.  Gossip about it to her stuffed animals.  And the fill the cup with tickle fights and fun movies and games instead of chores and fetching stuff.

 

One of the thing I started doing with DS was having moments of reflection after meltdowns had turned into sniffle fests, we'd sit down and say, so...what was THAT all about?  and we'd discuss possible meanings behind the meltdown and possible solutions to make sure it didn't happen again (at least not in the same way).  So we discussed food options, or different methods of communication (can she draw her feelings down?  Maybe you could have a feelings gallery and then talk about the feelings in a distanced way...that worked with DS before he learned about letters and words...plus it kept him quiet and calm for 15-30 minutes while he drew.) or appropriate actions when we are frustrated and angry.

 

(E) I learned this here:  Kids learn to expect what they get.  They don't have the concept of taking advantage or not appreciating what they get because if you are giving it to them, they must deserve it...that's the ego that they are. It takes a long time for them to understand why some days mommy is willing and happy to sleep on the floor and other days she hates me for it.  So just keep communicating why that is.  Mommy can't do that for you.  Mommy is tired.  Mommy is going to sleep now.  I wish I could, but mommy needs a break, now, so I can't.  You cannot wait for her to "get it" and hope that she will willingly meet your need, you can only be firm about your needs and not give in when it is too important, like sleep.  Sleep is a physical need.  You can't forego sleep and hope things will be okay and she will see the sacrifice you made and let you rest later...that's not going to happen.   Just keep CALM as you can (I know that is HARD when you are drained...I really do) making non-judgement observations "You are shouting." and your need "I need my ears to be safe from loud noises" and a simple request that will fulfill your need in a calm gentle zen like voice "Use a softer voice when asking me, please." then walk away and protect your need for peace.  If she follows you, repeat the observation, need, request: " You are shouting.  Mommy's ears hurt. Please use softer voice."  each time more and more simple (because as she gets worked up her language ability will decrease) "Shout, OW (making sore face and motions) shhhhhh." smile and calmly walk away until the shouting stops.  The MINUTE the shouting stops give her credit... "THANK YOU!  You stopped shouting!  That's feel wonderful on my ears!  Thank you!  What can I do for you?" and while you are helping her let her know how proud you are of her for expressing her feelings and needs in a calm safe way "Mommy is so proud of you for using your soft voice to ask me for help.  What a good choice!  Thank you!"

 

Modelling, being firm, and appreciating it when they meet your request.

 

By the way, this works great on grown ups too.

 

(F)  You need a mommy break.  Isn't there anyone who can take her for a day or two so you can refresh?

rhianna813 likes this.

Rebekah - mom to Ben 03/05 and Emily 01/10, a peace educator, and a veg*n and wife to Jamie.
hakeber is offline  
#13 of 32 Old 02-16-2011, 12:37 PM
 
mamazee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: US midwest
Posts: 7,500
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

Well that is exactly why I didn't use time outs with my older one.  LOL.

 

My thoughts are:

 

1. diet - what other people said about food intoleances, but also the afore mentioned daughter does SO MUCH better if she has a protein-based breakfast (like eggs) instead of a grain-based breakfast (like cereal).  It improves her moods and behavior all day long through to bedtime.  I also make sure she has protein-based snacks during the day.

 

2.  I like the idea of more preschool or a mother's helper or something to give you more work time.  I think it's probably not just that you aren't giving her your attention every minute, but that your attention is so focused on something else.  It isn't like cleaning, where they can kind of "help" beside you, and you can keep a conversation going with them.

 

3.  She will have tantrums, and to some extent you'll have to ride them out before she stops having them.  Kids learn a lot through tantrums, including that the world won't always go the way they want, and that it's OK when the world doesn't always go how you want.  I would let her have her tantrums and try as much as possible to not get involved.  I don't mean to ignore them, but to not get emotionally involved.  Be her rock and model that it doesn't have to be such a big deal.  It will take a while but if she just goes through some big tantrums without getting her way start to finish with no great dramatics coming from it and the world being the same after as before, the tantrums will seem less scary and necessary.  Just let her know you're nearby, empathize briefly, let her have her tantrum, and then show her you still love her when she is ready for it.  Unconditional love is another thing I think they learn through tantrums - that they're able to keep loving people even when they have scary big negative feelings, and that you still keep loving them through it.  So I would model that- loving but without getting emotionally involved.  "Oh, it looks like you're having some trouble.  You wanted X and now you're angry that you don't have it.  I'll be here sweetie - let me know when you're done."  And then don't get involved - just wait it out.  It's her tantrum, so let her have it.

 

3.5 is a really really hard age, but it does get better.  Hold on!

hakeber likes this.
mamazee is offline  
#14 of 32 Old 02-16-2011, 01:03 PM
 
NellieKatz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 657
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Hakeber, what a thoughtful and helpful post!! 

NellieKatz is offline  
#15 of 32 Old 02-17-2011, 10:01 AM
 
TreeSong's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 27
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I'm going through this with my 4.5 yo. I'll just echo some of the other mamas and say that once I linked her physical needs with meltdowns, I was able to curb *some* of them. My DD needs many snacks throughout the day, so many of her tantrums stemmed from just needing a quick bite. Now before we leave the house, I make sure she eats and I bring water along with me. Hope things are going better for you!

 

Also - thanks to madskye for the book reference. Looking forward to reading that!

TreeSong is offline  
#16 of 32 Old 02-17-2011, 01:03 PM
 
averlee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,050
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Despite what supernanny may say, time out does not work for every child. Like you, I fear that time-outs can be dangerous for my child. And I have noticed that they make things a lot worse, not only for my daughter, but for me- every time I have to wrangle her back into her room, kicking and screaming, my anger level rises. We no longer do time outs, partially for her protection from her own destruction (broken lamps here too, mama) but also to protect her from getting her neck wrung. I know that's an awful thing to say but sometimes I'm so mad at her that the only thing I can think to do is not touch her at all, so I won't grab her too hard or shove at her or smack.

One little miracle I've discovered is whispering. Sometimes when I whisper to her, she listens, and obeys. It's like she feels she's in on a conspiracy, "go get your shoes" becomes a secret mission.

Basically I try to work on the other end of the discipline spectrum, and avoid consequences/punishments.

And although TV isn't great for preschoolers, I have survived being a full-time mom with a lot of help from Barney. If I can get her settled with a video I can have a bit of peace. Sometimes when all seems especially crap I'll hold her on my lap and watch Strawberry Shortcake videos on youtube with her. If I open two browser windows, each half the screen, I can do something online at the same time.

lilith1 likes this.
averlee is offline  
#17 of 32 Old 02-17-2011, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
mommatooth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Michigan- the upper pennisula
Posts: 50
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by hakeber View Post

Because it is just the two of you and you spend SO much time fulfilling HER needs you are sort of looking to her (this is what I get from your posts, not a judgement) to fulfill your needs and she can't.  She may never meet your needs.  That is the god awful truth about being a parent.  They are endless pits of take with only the occassional give to keep you just convinced enough that it is worth it (which it is, but mid toddler years mid-tantrum it sure as heck doesn't feel like it!)  You need to find a way to get your needs met elsewhere.  More pre-school?  A friend?  a Playgroup?  A softplay area? 

 

oh this is so true!  I feel like you might have read my mind (or some of my other posts of late).  I feel like none of my needs are met and furthermore, I am disappointed in motherhood right now.  I am sure this isn't a popular thing to say, but I really hoped all the choices I made for the sake of our relationship, might have built something other than what we have.  That is a lot of words to say I am unhappy, I am disappointed in my daughter. She seems unhappy too, and unable to do things for herself. The fact that my whole life feels like this disappointment right now, does nothing to help us make positive changes.  

 

 

 Well she does.  And if you were three and everything seemed just beyond your grasp of control, you'd want that, too.  Autonomy is a HUGE a need for that age group.  But ironically, so is the need to feel connected and attached to you and supported by you...it is a conflict of needs within themselves that causes so many meltdowns and leaves parents throwing their hands in the air saying "you don't know what you want!"  and that's true...which makes it all the more difficult for them to communicate. 

 

That being said you have every right to insist on being asked nicely, and every right to simply walk away and engage in something else until she is ready to do so.

 

We are doing better with respectful communication (both ways), I am trying to not be emotionally attached to her tantrums, and be more open when she calms down.   

 

As far as our sleeping arrangement is concerned, we are working towards autonomy.  I am always pretty short by the time bed time rolls around, and think I could really be more forgiving if I thought that at the end of it all was a kiss goodnight and a click of the door to freedom.  

 

The few times I have been able to creep out in the morning and get a cup of coffee and an hour of work done before she starts screaming, I have a whole different way of handling life than the usual screaming wake up from a dead sleep morning.  

 

 

Man a momma break sounds amazing, just to be able to compete a thought, have my daughter take a tiny bit of initiative in any direction... theses are my dreams!  Unfortunately, I don't have any childcare options on that level.  I have looked...and looked. 

 

 

 

 

mommatooth is offline  
#18 of 32 Old 02-17-2011, 02:26 PM
 
hakeber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Bogota, Colombia
Posts: 3,817
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)



Quote:

Originally Posted by mommatooth View Post

We are doing better with respectful communication (both ways), I am trying to not be emotionally attached to her tantrums, and be more open when she calms down.   

 

As far as our sleeping arrangement is concerned, we are working towards autonomy.  I am always pretty short by the time bed time rolls around, and think I could really be more forgiving if I thought that at the end of it all was a kiss goodnight and a click of the door to freedom.  

 

The few times I have been able to creep out in the morning and get a cup of coffee and an hour of work done before she starts screaming, I have a whole different way of handling life than the usual screaming wake up from a dead sleep morning.  

 

 

Man a momma break sounds amazing, just to be able to compete a thought, have my daughter take a tiny bit of initiative in any direction... theses are my dreams!  Unfortunately, I don't have any childcare options on that level.  I have looked...and looked.  


I am going to add your name to my wish box and hope that someone sends you help, soon.  You need it.  Parenting is supposed to be a tag-team operation with a group of adults raising the children, not just one on one.  Honestly.  Even in the animal kingdom amongst species who raise their young to adulthood, there is a group effort when raising the young.   may s    Ma Ma  MM

 

May you find the help you need soon.  In the meantime, do you have a bed sleep in?  Until you do, I think the child needs to sleep on the floor, not the working single mom.  That's just my wholly unsolicited opinion of the matter. Three years olds do not and cannot appreciate the sacrifices we make for them.  I didn't really appreciate the sacrifices my mom made until I had my own children.  That is a long time to martyr yourself.  No wonder you are disappointed.

 

It's okay to feel that way, especially during the toddler years.  You will both get through it and she will, toohug2.gif.  Still, you need to find a way to save your sanity a little, or being patient, calm and firm will be impossible.


Rebekah - mom to Ben 03/05 and Emily 01/10, a peace educator, and a veg*n and wife to Jamie.
hakeber is offline  
#19 of 32 Old 02-22-2011, 12:05 PM
 
lightinmyhands's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 338
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I've got a daughter that will be turning 7 soon, and we've been through so much similar stuff since she was about 3. The time out thing just felt abusive with her because it made her so much more distraught.  And being angry (according to chinese medicine) is bad for your liver qi, and a liver qi imbalance in turn produces more anger and so just feeds the cycle.  I did not want to feed the cycle and so I stopped giving her time outs.  Instead I would give her time to have her explosion, making sure living beings and breakable objects in her path were safe, and when she simmered down I would talk to her calmly at whatever level of understanding she was at at the time, about how it wasn't good for our bodies to get so upset and I would give her feeling words to share with me instead.  It was a long time and a lot of heartache for both of us before she reached an age of any understanding.  I feel for you mama, it's been a hard road and we're still struggling (i think due to my adding to the power struggles trying to force her to stop expressing her feelings in a manner i wasn't comfortable with, ie tantrums).  It was also way too long before I considered diet, and being that I'm an alternative healer, that was really hard for me to forgive myself for ignoring for so long.  I have since realized that she is super sensitive to sugar, processed or otherwise and I even need to be mindful of the amount of fruit I let her consume and when.  I also realized that quickly processed carbohydrates were just as detrimental as sugar to her mood....and that she seems to be a bit hypoglycemic, so she needs to have a snack in her every couple of hours.  Raw almonds have become a household favorite.  Increasing niacin containing foods such as brown rice has also seemed to have a positive effect on her moods.  There is a psychiatrist named Dr.Abram Hoffer who treats patients with mega dose vitamin therapy and has specialized in treating kids with behavior and learning disorders.  The first place he starts is with mega doses of niacin.  He's got a book with diet recommendations and case studies in it if you're interested, I've only just started delving into it myself, called "healing children's attention and behavior disorders".  The most important thing for me to keep in mind on my journey with my daughter has been empathy-- if I can feel for her and how she must be feeling when she loses control, if I can sympathize with that level of frustration, and remain in the moment with her, respond from centeredness--- i am a much better mother.  I have made, and continue to make so many mistakes.... but I really believe I'm starting to get it figured out.  I was a single mom until she was 4 and am ever grateful to have my loving partner now who will step in with a fresh reserve of patience when I am running short.  Any outside help you can get in order to give yourself a break and a chance to refill your own cup, I'd say take it!  Hope this helps some....a final word... I created a lot of distance in our relationship trying to control her outbursts.  She didn't need to be controlled and stopped, she needed a safe space to express herself however she needed to do that.  Now when she rages I take a breath, give her some space, and approach her calmly when the moment is right.  We are getting closer, but my early attempts to control her behavior (mostly because of the glares I'd get from friends/family/strangers that left me feeling like a horrible mom) really have impeded our relationship quite a bit.  We're in the rebuilding phase now.  I wish that I could go back in time and learn earlier not to care what anyone thinks of my child or my parenting and act from my heart instead of out of fear that I had to "get control of this now" or things would get much worse.  It was exactly that effort to gain control that led to the worsening of the behaviors, when I let up and began with my new approach, I began to see immediate improvements.  Much luck and love to you on your journey!  

 

P.S.  energy work/balancing has been a helpful tool for the both of us as well.  I've taught her reiki and I do some balancing work on her a couple of times a week and she really respects the sacredness of it.  It's helped her grow emotionally, i think.

lightinmyhands is offline  
#20 of 32 Old 02-23-2011, 02:59 PM
 
moonjunio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 100
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

It sounds like she may be hooked on negative attention?  If she can't get positive attention from you, then she'll take whatever kind of attention she can get (i.e. from yelling and breaking things).  My idea is to do your best to dig in your heels on limits that you set, and try not to reveal how good she is at pressing your buttons!  I am dealing with this in my 2yo although happily in a much milder form (knock on wood).

 

You can give her a few chances first.  When you sense a tantrum trigger on the way, you could redirect her to some choices like "I can see that you really want me to (do X with you) right now.  I need a few more minutes, you can either do (X) by yourself for awhile or go get your legos out."  As she gets upset, you could reflect "It looks like you're very upset, but I am still too busy to play.  I need you to go...(repeat the two choices)."  If she just keeps asking, you could tell her that you're not going to answer her anymore, you already told her (X).  Then ignore for a little while.  Cue tantrum and provocative behavior.

 

It would be nice if you could really babyproof the whole place and give yourself a timeout like you already tried, but I'm guessing that's not feasible.  I suppose the wallpaper in the living room would then be vulnerable!  But you could stay in the room and sort of give her the cold shoulder, periodically (calmly) reminding her that you need her to calm down before you can help her. You can (pretend to) keep working, or busy yourself by putting away things you want to salvage from her rage, while remaining as non-reactive as possible to her provocative acts. It's okay to firmly tell her that's not safe and march her to her locked room if she's really going beyond the pale and fails to respect a verbal warning.

 

Have you gotten a quote on lead paint remediation?  Can the bedroom walls be painted with some sort of sealant?  Do your best to make a safe space, throw out anything she breaks... these are just some ideas.  There is only so much you can do, you work with what you have.

 

Basically she has made it her mission to find your limits.  Like only putting on socks if she can make you get up from your chair first.  I would just remind her of the acceptable choices you already gave her.  If she can't live with any of those in a reasonable time frame, just threaten to carry/drag her to the car barefoot.  Then DO IT and pack the socks in her bag if she really won't put them on.  She can have a second chance to put on socks when it's time to get out of the car.  I think it's very important that kids not get their way after all this drama, unfortunately....Drive home if she never cooperates.  It sounds extreme and is totally exhausting, but you have to absolutely mean it when you give her the acceptable choices. 

 

This doesn't mean "no compromise, ever".  If you want to build in a compromise, then anticipate it and just make it one of the ORIGINAL acceptable choices that you present to her.  Don't wait for her to negotiate for the compromise.  Or you could try a baby step like compromising ONLY if she remembers to ask really nicely.  There are a few different ways to work on balancing the power structure - the real key is to make your rules very clear and really REALLY stick to them.

 

You're doing awesome mama, just hold your ground as best you can.  She has found some great tools for driving you crazy, I sympathize!  I suppose sometimes it's a case of "the more you give, the more she needs."  That may be how it is for your daughter right now in regards to your attention, positive or negative.

moonjunio is offline  
#21 of 32 Old 02-26-2011, 05:07 AM
 
torena's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Manassas Park, VA
Posts: 26
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Not to hijack the OPs thread here, but what about when you can't get your kid to eat said protein?  We made scrambled eggs together this morning, but then she saw the box of cereal.  She later went to the kitchen and pulled the gallon of milk out of the fridge, thankfully brand new and sealed, and I had to put baby gates up to keep her out of the kitchen.  I asked her to please eat her eggs, and now she's doing this gag/spit it out thing.  She likes eggs.  I don't know why she's doing this now. :/  She has been eating a lot of carbs/fruit lately so I want to try making sure she eats more protein.  3.5 is a hard age, I see.  I thought it was just me.  As terrible as it is I'm glad y'all are posting about this.  I don't feel so alone about it now. :)

torena is offline  
#22 of 32 Old 02-26-2011, 06:15 AM
 
lightinmyhands's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 338
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

We had that egg spitting out problem when mine was about that age...even though I knew she liked them.  She wanted to eat what she wanted to eat for breakfast and that was that.  I figured she wouldn't starve herself and I just didn't give in.  I also wouldn't cook more eggs later and I wouldn't reheat the ones I'd saved.  It only took a few times of having to consume cold eggs out of hunger (closer to lunch time than breakfast, she is quite strong willed) to get her to eat what I served for breakfast.  She's nearly 7 now and has remained that way about food, to some degree.  What I've had to do was just eliminate food choices for her.  I cook, she eats.  That's how it works or else we're butting heads about food all day long.  I also let her eat the crap she's wanting to eat on occasion, and then make sure to later make the connection for her about her mood/energy/emotions and the food she consumed.  I didn't start doing this until she was about 5, but she seems to be making the connections herself sometimes now.  She'll start to throw a fit mid morning about something and then after it passes she'll sometimes come to me and say "oh, I had cereal for breakfast, maybe I should eat some almonds".  More often than not, it isn't like that... but I am so proud of her for the once in awhile deep understanding she has about food and how we feel/behave.  

lightinmyhands is offline  
#23 of 32 Old 02-26-2011, 12:19 PM
 
hakeber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Bogota, Colombia
Posts: 3,817
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I always offer a wide variety of protein packed foods for DS to choose from in the morning (because who feels like eggs every day).  He can have: eggs (scrambled boiled or fried), or natural peanut butter on whole wheat toast, or oatmeal with walnuts and raisins, or a handful of almonds and a some whole wheat toast cheese, or a yogurt smoothie with almond butter in it...I let him choose when he wakes up, but he has to have something with protein before he leaves the house.

 

I have even offered left overs of dinner from the night before for breakfast if it was a favorite meal.  We do not limit breakfast to "breakfast foods"  except for junk foods and sweets of course.  


Rebekah - mom to Ben 03/05 and Emily 01/10, a peace educator, and a veg*n and wife to Jamie.
hakeber is offline  
#24 of 32 Old 02-26-2011, 01:03 PM
 
pianojazzgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Montreal
Posts: 4,335
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by hakeber View Post

I always offer a wide variety of protein packed foods for DS to choose from in the morning (because who feels like eggs every day).  He can have: eggs (scrambled boiled or fried), or natural peanut butter on whole wheat toast, or oatmeal with walnuts and raisins, or a handful of almonds and a some whole wheat toast cheese, or a yogurt smoothie with almond butter in it...I let him choose when he wakes up, but he has to have something with protein before he leaves the house.

 

I have even offered left overs of dinner from the night before for breakfast if it was a favorite meal.  We do not limit breakfast to "breakfast foods"  except for junk foods and sweets of course.  


We do this too - make sure everything offered for breakfast includes protein in some form or other.  There are lots of options if you get creative!


Kate, mom to 7 year old Djuna and 4 yr old Alden. Missing our good friend Hal the cat who died June 2, 2010

pianojazzgirl is offline  
#25 of 32 Old 02-26-2011, 07:20 PM
 
teale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Alberta
Posts: 441
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I have no advice for you Mama, but I wanted to thank you for posting. We're dealing with the same, almost down to identical situations with our DS. They are about the same age. I keep wondering if we're doing something wrong, or if it's a stage, and from the sounds of it, there is help solutions out there, but it is somewhat normal for this age too.

 

Thanks to all you Mama's for posting information! I surely appreciate it as well!

teale is offline  
#26 of 32 Old 03-01-2011, 11:11 AM
 
Subhuti's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Jeta Grove
Posts: 1,517
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
When my kids take a break, usually for fighting with one another, I find giving them paper and crayons plus either music or an audiobook works well.

Locking a child in their room feels fundamentally wrong to me. My husband tried it in desperation, too, but I found the being trapped somewhere worsened my kids' movement towards calm. It sounds that it really undermines your daughter Rather, we firmly remind wanderers they must stay in their room and if they do the door can stay open.

I think tho perhaps, because you are a single mom you may have to have more tools in your toolbag ... For your sanity. But really see, is it making your dd and you calmer?

Good luck. We found when we had to tighten up some limits, we always got a big push back until the routine was established. Hold on tight!

Kids. I got two of 'em.
Subhuti is offline  
#27 of 32 Old 03-02-2011, 10:52 AM
 
treehugz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 376
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

My dd is a high-spirited 3yo and is in this phase too.  I'm SAHM, so dd gets lots of attention, but some days not much of it is focused.  Likewise, I have lots of time at home, but not a lot of focused time for work or me time.  Locking dd in her room seems counterproductive to me... and like a pp said it does seem like she's learned that negative attention is still attention.  I really like the concept of "time in" instead of "time out".  Since hitting this tantrum phase, it's been helpful for me to think of the amount of *focused* attention that dd needs as a well... not a bottomless one, lol, though sometimes it may seem that way.  When the well is full, her needs are satisfied and she is manageable.  When the well isn't full, she is demanding and can get out-of-control when it runs too low.  So when I am really busy and dd gets really needy, here's where I start:

 

1. FILL THE WELL!  Put everything else on hold (within reason), including guilt about not getting anything done, for a day or more if it's gotten really, really bad.  Give myself a much needed break, and just have some fun with dd.  Do this until SHE gets tired of ME.  It never fails that we both will feel recharged, and when she gets involved with something else, I'm the one who wishes we could keep playing and that I didn't have to get back to work.

 

2. Once the well is full, KEEP IT FULL!  Or at least refill it regularly enough so that it never goes empty and dd can TRUST that it will get filled regularly... let it get too low and I lose the trust and have to start back over.  Alternate focused work/chores/me time with focused interaction with dd.  Sometimes if dd is having a really good time with me or if I have a really important job (ex. phone call) or one that makes me lose track of time (i.e. internet), I set our kitchen timer.  I find something dd sometimes plays well with alone and then say: I'm going to do some work for 30 minutes while you play with your playdough/peg people/puzzle/blocks, then I want to read some books to you... when the timer dings, we can pick out three books.  When we started trying this, I would only set the timer for 2 minutes and then increased it from there... I can usually get 30 minutes of work to 30 minutes of play (sometimes less, sometimes more) with this strategy now.  And of course, I have to stop what I'm doing the second the timer dings or dd starts to distrust this strategy.  

 

Anyway this is what has kept our tantrums/neediness at bay right now and has let me get some CRUCIAL work done.  Not sure if it will get us all the way through the 3 1/2 stage though.  Fingers crossed.  Good luck, mama!

 

p.s. I've noticed too, that we have a lot of tantrums before dd has to potty.  It seems to be helping to ask her afterwards if her full bladder was making her uncomfortable, and remind her that I get cranky when I'm uncomfortable too.

treehugz is offline  
#28 of 32 Old 04-15-2011, 02:24 PM
 
lorrielink's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Portland OR
Posts: 911
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by treehugz View Post

 

 

 

 

2.   Sometimes if dd is having a really good time with me or if I have a really important job (ex. phone call) or one that makes me lose track of time (i.e. internet), I set our kitchen timer.  I find something dd sometimes plays well with alone and then say: I'm going to do some work for 30 minutes while you play with your playdough/peg people/puzzle/blocks, then I want to read some books to you... when the timer dings, we can pick out three books.  When we started trying this, I would only set the timer for 2 minutes and then increased it from there... I can usually get 30 minutes of work to 30 minutes of play (sometimes less, sometimes more) with this strategy now.  And of course, I have to stop what I'm doing the second the timer dings or dd starts to distrust this strategy.  

 

 



I have to say this is brilliant! Off to buy a timer, thanks!

lorrielink is offline  
#29 of 32 Old 05-18-2011, 01:10 AM
 
justthe5ofus's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Iowa
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Do you have a MOPS group in your area? Any sort of AP support group? I'd search high and low on Facebook, CL, etc.

justthe5ofus is offline  
#30 of 32 Old 05-18-2011, 03:54 PM
 
janneyk's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think she is bored. At that age they need friends and a large amount of attention. She may be acting out for this reason. Maybe have her help you with everday things...if you have time. Just have her help with laundry or errands. I bet she would love to spend more time with her momma :)
janneyk is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off