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#1 of 29 Old 08-09-2011, 11:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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How dose a grandmother deal with a strong willed grandson who in general is a good kid but if he dose not want to do something he will not what so ever. His mom is beside herself most of the time because he just gets out of control and constantly dose things he know he should not do. He is 3 years old and it scares me that they have always said that by a certain age they have created their own personality and if thats so I dont know how we will cope with him. I have tried to teach him manners by just saying please and thank you and excuse me. The worst problem we have is the excuse me, he will look me straight in the eyes and say excuse you. If I knew he didnt know how to say it it woukd be a different story but he dose know what it is and how to say excuse me. He said it one night with his mother in the room and I said thats not right, what do you say, and all I got was a really cold look and he turned away from me. t really took all I could do to control my temper. This is what happens all the time. I have 2 othe grandkids who have always been fine with the manners and they never had a problem with learning them. I know that all kids are different but this child really scares me. Please help me and get this grandma out of a depression when it comes to this child. I have always put my grandchildren first and love them all so very much but this one is a reall challenge.

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#2 of 29 Old 08-09-2011, 06:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by tgerk View PostThe worst problem we have is the excuse me, he will look me straight in the eyes and say excuse you. If I knew he didnt know how to say it it woukd be a different story but he dose know what it is and how to say excuse me. He said it one night with his mother in the room and I said thats not right, what do you say, and all I got was a really cold look and he turned away from me. It really took all I could do to control my temper.


It is NOT a behavior problem for a 3 yo boy to say "Excuse you" instead of "excuse me."  Give the poor kid a break and don't nit-pick him to death or you WILL have REAL behavior problems on your hands later.  If you have trouble not losing your temper over an issue like this, then the problem is with YOU, not your grandson.

 

As a mother of 2 strong willed young boys myself, I can tell you that you will never do anything except make everything worse if you try to get into power struggles with him, especially over matters as trifling as this.  Reading this forum will help you to learn more useful and successful strategies for directing his behavior.  One easy change that might help you a lot is to not tell him what he cannot do, but rather what he can.  For example, earlier when I was cooking, my 2 year old got into the pantry and was about to start going for the trash.  Instead of saying "NO NO don't mess with the trash," I said, "Hey, baby, can you close that door for me please?"  He did, and I was able to positively reinforce that with a "Great job, thank you."  If I had said "get out of that trash right now", he definitely would have defied me!  Redirection and distraction are the keywords here and always work better than coercion. 

 

Try changing your attitudes and responses to him, rather than forcefully trying to bend him to your will. Drop the power struggles and your relationship with him will improve dramatically.    Good luck to your family!

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#3 of 29 Old 08-09-2011, 09:20 PM
 
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It is not a grandmother's place to impose discipline on their grandchildren. If you are a regular caregiver of the child and you need strategies to deal with their behavior, then you should be having a conversation with the child's parents not asking advice online from strangers, because now the advice is twice removed from the child.

 

If my mother went to an online forum asking what she could do about my kids I would be absolutely mortified.

 

That being said, from your description there is no behavior that I would call inappropriate. It is all well within the range of normal for a child that age. The majority of kids this age parrot whatever manners they are exposed to, some choose to use no manners. Either is fine and has no bearing on what manners the child will use when they are an adult. What will matter, though, is that they are consistently treated with proper respect. 

 

Oh, and if someone openly criticized my manners with no respect for my feelings I'd probably just give them a cold look, too. Actually, that kid's pretty cool. Most people would never just turn the other cheek like that.


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#4 of 29 Old 08-09-2011, 09:45 PM
 
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First of all welcome to MDC!!

 

I agree with the other posters that he sounds very typical for a 3 yo.  Perhaps your memory is playing tricks on you, or perhaps your other Grandkids were just super easy going kids, but most 3yos experiment with their own will and sense of self, so rather than attempt (futilely) to squelch that it is far more effective to employ a little playful parenting, modelling and creativity to direct that powerful personality into something positive. 

 

I think it is important to remember that he is learning a language and all that that implies (the culture, the manners, the tone, etc).  When was the last time YOU learned a language to any real degree of fluency?  Did you always get the expressions of manners right?  Did you like it when people openly criticized your usage in front of others?  I know that I KNOW the way to be super polite in Spanish, but when I get distracted, stressed, hungry, tired, or just have a lazy day, I forget and I don't particularly like being corrected abruptly in front of others, especially when they know I know...cut me some slack, man.  It is always better to have someone model the corrected form for me, just as a gentle reminder than point out my flub for everyone to hear.

 

For example, would you like it if someone corrected your spelling and grammar, asking you to correct it before anyone would answer you or respond to your query?  I am sure you know how to spell the third person singular of the verb to do, but at times we all make mistakes. wink1.gif Everyone does.  Likewise, a child who makes a syntactical error in their manners would probably not like their efforts to be diminished by the demand to rephrase themselves.  Rather one might say "You mean Excuse ME." (he has probably after all heard "excuse you." from others on similar occassions and just not turned the pronoun around yet with 100% success, and pronouns are notoriously difficult for children under 5 to get a really firm and fluent grasp on.  It's rarely personal.

 

It is particularly important, in my experience to treat children with the same sort of respect you wish adults would give to you, and to try and have empathy for the fact that they are still small, and figuring this world out.

 

If you want to learn to cope with him for who he is, start by loving him for who he is, (rather than despite who he is) and see ways that this trait might be an asset and a gift.  Someday he might be a great leader with a refined sense of justice and social equality.  Why not foster those gifts, now? 


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#5 of 29 Old 08-10-2011, 09:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I understand what you are saying. I have tried all that you have and alot more, but there is a time when things get very bad and too hard to handle. The excuse me is just the tip of it. My daughter has found that no one will take care of this child cause he will not listen and is so uncontrolable that she has thrown her hands up too. I know he has said this at is fathers house and they laugh at him and he is not being taught anything about manners even at the age of 3. I do know he is just learning but for a child of the age of just 3 should not know how to do something wrong and then get in trouble for it and run to mom and act like nothing happened and give you a cold look like just try and punish me, and then tell you that its my moms house you can't, and then smile. So you tell me this is just a normal 3 year old, I don't think so. It scares the crap out of me of what this child will be like at 16. I'm not normally a high tempered person and I try and ee the best in everyone but it kills me that I see all this in my own grandchild so don't make me out to be a monster of  grandma because I'am hurting inside over this.

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#6 of 29 Old 08-10-2011, 09:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm very sorry that you feel that way. I guess some people can feel they can go on line and give advise and think that is fine and then they think other people are wrong for what they ask. Well not all people live in a perfect world and there are children out there that are out of control. If you feel that a kid is cool for just turning his head and disrespecting a person and not care that the things he dose is wrong well then that is the reason there is so many things wrong with kids these days. I just hope and pray that my grandchild dose not grow up like so many of these kids these days. When a 3 year old looks at you and gives you the look of you can't touch me, well thats what most of the kids go by anymore and thats why alot of them end up in trouble. I know I asked for answer's but I feel that I've been wronged by this website and I hope all you young mothers that are on this sight all have their kids grow up great but not everything works for all kids. So good luck.

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#7 of 29 Old 08-10-2011, 09:44 PM
 
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#8 of 29 Old 08-10-2011, 10:17 PM
 
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Well, I want to apologize to you, please, ma'am.  I DO NOT think you are wrong for asking a question; I think that it is admirable that you asked for help and shows that you are a loving person in that you know something is not right and that you are trying to fix it.  My message to you came across harshly and, as i said, I want to apologize for that.  In fact, I came here to post this before reading your reply; I have been feeling sorry for the tone that I took in response to your question for much of this day!

 

And NO, I do not judge you.  I have lost my own temper with my own children many times!  But I know that this is not right and I work hard to exercise patience and loving-kindness with my children and I do believe that everyone deserves this kind of respect.  You felt wronged by what you felt as my judgement of you, for that I am sorry and I was wrong to (accidentally) send out that tone.  But I hope that you can look at this and realize that this may be exactly how this boy may be feeling when he perceives that you are judging him. 

 

I have a lot of respect for someone who is working to make life better, and it is particularly nice to see in an older person.  I imagine it must be harder to change when you have had longer to get set in your ways!  But of course the older you are the more apparent it must be that you cannot change other people, only yourself.  I am not that young ;) and I have experienced a lot of life and I have learned that I can only work on myself.  No amount of getting angry or demanding from me will make my children behave any better, of course.  And when they see that kind of disrespect modeled, then that is what they give in return.  If I am peaceful and patient and understanding and respectful, then naturally my children reflect these qualities instead.  Sometimes it is hard and sometimes I fail.  But if I can break down into a "temper tantrum" as a grown adult who works hard to "act right," then I cannot blame my kids if they are sometimes unable to control themselves!

 

Another thing I have learned in my many years, is that worrying never helps.  I do understand having worries and fears about your kid (grandkid) getting into trouble or not growing up right, but I also understand that this focus is wrong.  I say, don't worry about what you don't want to happen, but rather envision the strong, happy, successful person that you do want him to be and help him to naturally blossom into that by modeling those positive qualities that you would like to see him develop.

 

You asked for advice.  I am sorry that you felt battered by the replies, but again, use that to see how hurtful adults can be when correcting children sometimes.  I really do think it will help you to not worry about when he is 16, and instead see him as the VERY VERY young 3 year old who is learning about the world.  Show him love and acceptance and warmth and he will grow up as well as he can, while kids who don't feel loved and accepted at home go out looking for attention from peers in all kind of misguided ways that can cause plenty of trouble. 

 

Please forgive us if you felt beaten up by our words to you!  I pray that you and yours will be blessed. 


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#9 of 29 Old 08-11-2011, 12:33 AM
 
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Yeah, that was a bit harsh. Toddlers think that they're the center of the universe, so this is not that odd of a behavior. I agree with redirection instead of criticizing. Maybe the kid finds you overly critical of his actions or he just doesn't like you. :( Kids can't hide what they feel.

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#10 of 29 Old 08-11-2011, 05:01 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgerk View Post

I understand what you are saying. I have tried all that you have and alot more, but there is a time when things get very bad and too hard to handle. The excuse me is just the tip of it. My daughter has found that no one will take care of this child cause he will not listen and is so uncontrolable that she has thrown her hands up too. I know he has said this at is fathers house and they laugh at him and he is not being taught anything about manners even at the age of 3. I do know he is just learning but for a child of the age of just 3 should not know how to do something wrong and then get in trouble for it and run to mom and act like nothing happened and give you a cold look like just try and punish me, and then tell you that its my moms house you can't, and then smile. So you tell me this is just a normal 3 year old, I don't think so. It scares the crap out of me of what this child will be like at 16. I'm not normally a high tempered person and I try and ee the best in everyone but it kills me that I see all this in my own grandchild so don't make me out to be a monster of  grandma because I'am hurting inside over this.



Hi again Tgerk, I think this forum is a good place for you to seek better tools (you admit the tools you have tried are doing nothing) for dealing with your grandson.  Many children have grown up in non-punitive homes  and turned out to be exactly the sort of people I want my children to be.  They are inquisitive, knowledgable, considerate, respectful, communicative, reflexive, passionate, balanced and commited people.  I believe the word discipline to be at the root a form of teaching and as a teacher if I have to resort to violence (physical or verbal) to teach my pupils I do not think I could call myself a teacher. 

 

I am not a young mother.  I am in my mid-thirties.  I waited until my 30's to have kids because I wanted to have some real life experience before having kids.  I have been literally around the world, and back again, and I can assure you that there are all kinds of people and the meanest and cruelest and most sociopathic of them all tend to come from families who humiliate and use violence to coerce certain kinds of behavior.  Those who grew up in homes that were non-punitive were by and large nicer, more tolerant and thougthful people.  No doubt their parents had a rough time of it in the toddler years,  but by the teenage years those same kids were closer to and more open with their parents reducing much of the friction in the home.  Those are the sort of kids I want to have.  So if it means a little frustration for the first 5 years, I'll take it.

 

This forum should give you lots of great advice, so please stick around, lurk and wander and see what you can find. Sometimes we think we see defiance, and what we really see is a child's desire to be respected and loved.  Please stick around and encourage your daughter to come too. 

 


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#11 of 29 Old 08-11-2011, 06:48 AM
 
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Well I, for one, am not sorry for what I said. If I was harsh and blunt it's because I meant to be. I think it is way beyond disrespectful to go online and post about other people's children no matter how much you care about them (unless, of course, they are in a dire circumstance in which case you should probably involve authorities instead).

 

Again, my only advice is to talk to the parents of this child and if that is not satisfactory for you then that is too bad. I don't really trust your communication of the experience you've had with this child anyway, as he sounds like a completely normal three year old and yet you are very distressed. Something is missing. Also, the posts are very difficult for me to read.

 

I don't know what you expected coming on this message board, and if you want commiseration or validation maybe you should talk to other grandparents.


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#12 of 29 Old 08-11-2011, 05:25 PM
 
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That being said, from your description there is no behavior that I would call inappropriate. It is all well within the range of normal for a child that age. The majority of kids this age parrot whatever manners they are exposed to, some choose to use no manners. Either is fine and has no bearing on what manners the child will use when they are an adult. What will matter, though, is that they are consistently treated with proper respect. 

 


I don't mean to offend, Nik, but your siggy indicates that your children are almost-3 and nearly 1.  I think it is possible that an older woman who has raised her children and who comes from an era that had higher expectations for childhood manners may have seen some things you haven't.  Additionally, setting aside what a 3yo may or may not be capable of, I completely disagree that childhood manners have no bearing on adult manners.  As Charolotte Mason once said, "the habits of the child produce the character of the man."  As a mother of children ranging from 1 to 22 I can vouch for the truth of this statement.

 

That said, Tgerk, I totally agree with Ms. Shell that you don't want to get into a power struggle with a 3yo.  Definitely not productive.  However, in your home, you have your rules.  Were I in your shoes and chose to do battle over this, I would ignore the "excuse you" comment - but Jr. wouldn't get what he wanted.  A child as bright as what you indicate will figure out quite quickly what behavior produces the results he wants.  As my hubby, a horse trainer, tells folks, "make the right thing easy and the wrong thing hard."   If his attitude is, "this is my mom's house and you can't do anything about my behavior" then stop going to his mom's house.  You cannot change Jr.'s behavior.  However, you can change your interaction with him in such a way that he may desire to change his behavior.   I would work on my relationship with this little fella.  The closer he feels to you the more he will want to keep from disappointing you.  Praise, praise, praise the good stuff.  Good luck - and keep your eyes on the long haul.  YES, you want a young man with a manners down the road - but you also want a young man who likes being with grandma!

 

 


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#13 of 29 Old 08-11-2011, 05:28 PM
 
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It's interesting that you are criticizing a three-year-old child's grammar when you yourself are inconveniencing people who might help you by making poorly written requests for advice. As holothoroidea said, your posts are quite difficult to read. I can't fault a person for having less-than-stellar skills at anything, including the English language, but shouldn't that make you more sympathetic to your grandson?

 

I've been hanging around on this forum long enough to see that a lot of great advice is given out here. Even the poster who didn't think you should be asking for advice about your grandchild gave you good information. You said the "excuse you" incident was "just the tip of it," but how can it be the tip of a problem when it's not a problem? If the child has actual problems as you say, post about those instead of his developmentally appropriate grammar difficulties!

 

(You may also get more advice if you aren't spewing ageist hate speech.)

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#14 of 29 Old 08-11-2011, 06:55 PM
 
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Hey just wanted to offer an idea. If the child is, as you said more, difficult than most, perhaps they are simply spirited. Which is a difference personality type that may be difficult at times to get along with. I say this knowing I am spirited and so is my DS1.

 

There is an awesome book Raising your spirited child. http://www.amazon.com/Raising-Your-Spirited-Child-Perceptive/dp/0060923288 I got if from my library and I thought it was wonderful, though admittedly I spent most of the time think That's ME! rather than about DS and then thinking wow I never noticed DS was like me..he very very much is.

 

Anyway its something to think about, or to offer to your daughter. It explains how spirited kids/people think and perceive the world and how they are different people and sometimes you have to change to meet their needs because of who they are when they are kids since they can't change/ adapt yet. Like for my son he needs lots and lost of forewarning for every change (like getting out of car in to shopping car and out of shopping cart into car) Before I kept this in mind we had lots of tantrums, now almost none (well about that anyway) I think a key thing about gentle discipline is that there is nothing 'wrong' with the child, instead its about finding ways to communicate clearly and kindly correct behavior.


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#15 of 29 Old 08-11-2011, 07:09 PM
 
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I have a three year old who is an expert at giving looks just like you describe.  At heart, he's a really good kid, but he is (in a developmentally appropriate manner) testing boundaries.  He also has a language delay- excuse you or excuse me would be cause for celebration! Actually, all attempts at verbal communication are cause for celebration.  In general- kids who are exposed to proper language use will pick it up.  If they happen to be the 'testing boundaries' sort, you just create a power battle by trying to force them to say what you want when you want them to say it.  It's far better to simply respond to an errant pronoun by demonstrating the appropriate use in a casual setting- when you need to reach past him you have a great chance to model, "Excuse me." 

 

As for the rest, you are setting up a pretty scary dynamic by vilifying a very young child. 

 

I grew up in a very proper home, and simply because the expectations were that we would treat everyone well- as well as being treated with respect ourselves, we were polite and respectful. 

 

My children also grow up in that sort of an environment- and within reason, they are great kids.  That doesn't mean that they are blindly obedient or that they will tolerate disrespect from anyone- even a parent or grandparent.  In the same way I, at age three, said no one had the right to hit me (and that was the last time I was ever spanked) my children are very clear about the fact that just because someone is bigger or older, it does not mean they have a right to order them around.   I would never tell another adult to say thank you or excuse me, and I won't force my children to do so either.  I model it, and I expect it, but I have too much respect for them as people to try to script their conversations for them as a general rule.

 

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#16 of 29 Old 08-11-2011, 09:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MrsSurplus View Post

 

I don't mean to offend, Nik, but your siggy indicates that your children are almost-3 and nearly 1.  I think it is possible that an older woman who has raised her children and who comes from an era that had higher expectations for childhood manners may have seen some things you haven't.  Additionally, setting aside what a 3yo may or may not be capable of, I completely disagree that childhood manners have no bearing on adult manners.  As Charolotte Mason once said, "the habits of the child produce the character of the man."  As a mother of children ranging from 1 to 22 I can vouch for the truth of this statement.

 

I don't really have anything else to contribute to this conversation but I wanted to reply to your post because it was partially directed at me.

 

I don't know why you would think it's offensive to disagree with me. You're not the first, you know. thumb.gif Having raised one's own kids does not give one authority to impose discipline on others. My own grandmother (who has 9 kids, and over 20 grandchildren) taught me this. Also, we all have incomplete pictures of one another and you don't know what I've seen in my lifetime. Obviously, I've never been the mother of anyone over 3 but you don't really know what I have and have not been exposed to. So, I think your reasoning is specious. 

 

I didn't say that childhood manners have no bearing on adult manners, I said that they are not determinant of them. I mean, I had great manners as a kid and look at me now! wink1.gifPeople are not inflexible robots who only do what they were trained to do in childhood. Obviously, the things they are trained in childhood carry over, but we are all capable of making decisions about our behavior and we are not locked into the mould we were poured in. I don't know who Charolotte Mason is but my guess is that we wouldn't get along very well. 

 

 

 

 


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#17 of 29 Old 08-12-2011, 04:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I can see what you are saying and I hope and pray that it dose all work out good. But I must say that I do not throw temper tantrums and I don't feel that when I get upset I'am wronge for getting upset. Like I said all kids are different and there are kids out there that just are a total trial and things just do not work for them that works for others. I sat all day today at our fair and I watched all kinds of kids his age and older and I watched all kinds and ages of parents and how they handled their kids and grandkids and most of the time I just sat there and didn't know what to think at times. You know when we were being raised we were taught to respect our parents and any older person and we were taught at a very young age. Kids knew back then that there were consequences for your actions and we lived through it and grew up better because of it. I watched young parents with these small kids throwing fits and kicking and screaming cause they were told something and they put them in time out and the kids sat there and got back up and the story all started over again. By the end these young parents were so wore out and frazzled that I thought boy what now. The only thing that did for me was to show me that we didn't have the only terrible 3 year old. Back in our day a time out meant a whole different thing and I don't mean a total beating but we knew that we were going to know not to do that ever again and when they say jump you jump. And there was nothing wrong with that at all. The parent all they had to do was look at that child and they knew to straighten up. Yes these kids all have to learn alot of things in life and its not any different then these kids having to know so much more by the time they go to school then we ever had to know before we went. This puts alot of pressure on the parents and I don't think thats right cause thats what teachers are payed for. I feel these little ones are too pressured to learn at a young age. So if they should have to learn all these things  before school why is it so wrong for them to know what the true meaning of ood manners is. I feel they shouldbe able to control theirselves too before they can handle life outside the home. This new generation of parents are too soft on these kids and the kids know it. We need to love our kids with all we have and teach them to be good people and this means you need to start early. Children do watch everything us adults do and they mimick us, and yes if we throw temper tantrums they will do so too, they also will watch and listen to how we act towards people and they will follow, normally I should say but then yhou have a child this strong willed and you sometimes have to use a different approach and somtimes that dose mean you have to be stern with them. Some people go by a textbook and think all will work, those books need to be thrwn out and start over. I will let you knowthat I spent the whole day with my grandson alone at the fair today at most the time he was a good kid and had fun but then mom came and he started back to his old self. My daughter goes by the means of what you have been saying to do and she knows they do not work but too dose not know what to do. He has no respect for her or what she has to say to him. He walks all over her. He knows better cause he will look up at me at that point and stops for a moment or so and then goes on with his little game of torment on his mother. So I can honestly say that those time outs and calm easy talks do not work on some of these kids. I don't push for a person to beat the crap out of a child NOT, but he needs to know that what he dose or how he acts there will be consequences. Again I see what you are saying and I doagree with alot of it but I do still say that there are kids that they do not work for and those are the parents or grandparents who are in real turmoil over what to do. So please to anyone who responds to anuyone else with this kind of problem and you know they are in real distress please feel for them. Thank you

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#18 of 29 Old 08-12-2011, 05:52 PM
 
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Paragraphs!  Paragraphs are your friend.  It's hard to follow your train of through when you have simply a huge block of text. I don't mean to dissect, but this is so jumbled together that I'm breaking it apart so I can respond logically.  
 

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Originally Posted by tgerk View Post

I can see what you are saying and I hope and pray that it dose all work out good. But I must say that I do not throw temper tantrums and I don't feel that when I get upset I'am wronge for getting upset.

 

You are getting upset about a very developmentally appropriate response from a very young child.  That, in and of itself, should tell you that you are escalating over something that really shouldn't bother you so much. 

 

Like I said all kids are different and there are kids out there that just are a total trial and things just do not work for them that works for others.

 

I disagree vehemently that ANY child is 'just a total trial.'  That view does nothing more than set up an adversarial approach to interactions with these children.  I will agree, however, that what works for one child may not work for another- the main question a parent or grandparent might ask themselves in that situation is, "Why? Is there something I need to do differently to help this child feel successful and comfortable?"

 

I sat all day today at our fair and I watched all kinds of kids his age and older and I watched all kinds and ages of parents and how they handled their kids and grandkids and most of the time I just sat there and didn't know what to think at times.

 

And you can't know what to think based on a snapshot.  I'm sure when I went to the fair last week people saw my three year old fall down on the ground having a tantrum because it was time to walk away from the petting zoo.  I'm sure many of them thought I needed to teeach him to do what I said when I said it, and I needed to correct that behavior.  None of those assumptions would have been correct because they don't know my son or why he might have behaved that way. 

 

You know when we were being raised we were taught to respect our parents and any older person and we were taught at a very young age. Kids knew back then that there were consequences for your actions and we lived through it and grew up better because of it.

 

So, what do you think an appropriate consequence for the behavior you spoke of originally?

 

I watched young parents with these small kids throwing fits and kicking and screaming cause they were told something and they put them in time out and the kids sat there and got back up and the story all started over again. By the end these young parents were so wore out and frazzled that I thought boy what now.

 

Exactly what is a 'young parent' in our opinion.  You've made mention of age-related bias a couple times, and I am very curious.  It sounds to me like the parents were being consistent, and the kids were testing boundaries, I'm not sure what you would have liked the parents to do differently... what would you suggest as an alternative to a time out in this situation?

 

The only thing that did for me was to show me that we didn't have the only terrible 3 year old.

 

Again- you have set up a terrible dynamic here.  How can this child ever succeed when the people who love him view him as 'terrible'?

 

Back in our day a time out meant a whole different thing and I don't mean a total beating but we knew that we were going to know not to do that ever again and when they say jump you jump. And there was nothing wrong with that at all.

 

But there is something wrong with that.  Children are human beings, not circus performers.  In the long run, they need to learn to make choices and think, not simply respond with blind obedience.  Children behaving because they fear their parents and caregivers is a terrible and terrifying concept. 

 

The parent all they had to do was look at that child and they knew to straighten up.

 

For some kids this works well.  For others, a look alone can't do it.  A three year old child should have impulse control MAYBE 30% of the time.  Even if they know something is wrong, they can't always stop themselves from doing it.  

 

Yes these kids all have to learn alot of things in life and its not any different then these kids having to know so much more by the time they go to school then we ever had to know before we went.

 

I don't know about this- I know that when I went to school, I already knew how to read, write, count etc.  There were children in my daughter's class who still hadn't mastered these things.  I think the basics are still the same. 

 

This puts alot of pressure on the parents and I don't think thats right cause thats what teachers are payed for. I feel these little ones are too pressured to learn at a young age.

 

Actually, the only unreasonable expectations I see are coming from you- you seem to expect a three year old to behave like a miniature adult.  As for teachers being paid- eh- there are many examples of times that outside instruction are not successful.  All one has to do is to look at most freshman term papers to see a distinct lack of ability to spell, form a coherent thought, and employ appropriate punctuation.  I'd be wary of any argument that suggests children in the US are expected to have mastered an excessive amount of material in their formative years. 

 

So if they should have to learn all these things  before school why is it so wrong for them to know what the true meaning of ood manners is. I feel they shouldbe able to control theirselves too before they can handle life outside the home.

 

They will learn social interaction through social interaction.  for example, a child who is repeatedly corrected for improper use of language will either learn to shut down, or they will learn to correct other people.  Neither approach is what most of us would consider polite. 

 

This new generation of parents are too soft on these kids and the kids know it.

 

I ask again, what it is specifically you would like to see done differently?  A child has no concept of discipline- and they certainly don't know that in the 'good 'ol days' someone would have pulled out the belt. 

 

We need to love our kids with all we have and teach them to be good people and this means you need to start early. Children do watch everything us adults do and they mimick us, and yes if we throw temper tantrums they will do so too, they also will watch and listen to how we act towards people and they will follow, normally I should say but then yhou have a child this strong willed and you sometimes have to use a different approach and somtimes that dose mean you have to be stern with them.

 

I disagree that any child needs adults to be stern.  They need consistency and they need boundaries, but I don't need to raise my voice, let alone my hand, to create those things. 

 

Some people go by a textbook and think all will work, those books need to be thrwn out and start over.

 

As do outdated ideas.  We've come a long way in the past century in terms of understanding the harm caused by threatening and scaring children into submission.  Perhaps it is time to take all of that research and apply it to a different approach. 

 

I will let you knowthat I spent the whole day with my grandson alone at the fair today at most the time he was a good kid and had fun but then mom came and he started back to his old self. My daughter goes by the means of what you have been saying to do and she knows they do not work but too dose not know what to do. He has no respect for her or what she has to say to him. He walks all over her. He knows better cause he will look up at me at that point and stops for a moment or so and then goes on with his little game of torment on his mother.

 

It is very normal for a child to test limits most with the person he trusts the most.  Many children will behave perfectly with most people, and will reserve outrageous behavior for their parents.  It's actually a good thing- as it demonstrates that the child trusts hat the parent will love them even when they are pushing the limits. 

 

So I can honestly say that those time outs and calm easy talks do not work on some of these kids. I don't push for a person to beat the crap out of a child NOT, but he needs to know that what he dose or how he acts there will be consequences. Again I see what you are saying and I doagree with alot of it but I do still say that there are kids that they do not work for and those are the parents or grandparents who are in real turmoil over what to do. So please to anyone who responds to anuyone else with this kind of problem and you know they are in real distress please feel for them. Thank you

 

You are suggesting things you feel don't work- and have done so repeatedly.  I think that what you might want to start with is what you think should be done differently.  Should we yell at children?  Hang a belt on the wall with which to beat them?  What are the appropriate responses, in your opinion, to a child who doesn't always respond to a quiet time out or a 'calm easy talk'?  

 

 

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#19 of 29 Old 08-12-2011, 06:19 PM
 
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Your logic makes about as much sense as your grammar.

 

You are completely within your rights to gripe and complain about "kids these days" and "young parents" but do it with other grandparents. This is not the forum for it. 


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#20 of 29 Old 08-13-2011, 04:18 AM
 
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I don't mean to offend, Nik, but your siggy indicates that your children are almost-3 and nearly 1.  I think it is possible that an older woman who has raised her children and who comes from an era that had higher expectations for childhood manners may have seen some things you haven't.  Additionally, setting aside what a 3yo may or may not be capable of, I completely disagree that childhood manners have no bearing on adult manners.  As Charolotte Mason once said, "the habits of the child produce the character of the man."  As a mother of children ranging from 1 to 22 I can vouch for the truth of this statement.>>>>>>>

 

You know I think every "older" generation says that the "younger" generation is worse than theirs somehow.  That kids are less respectful, parents are too lenient, etc. etc.  I think part of that comes from just forgetting how stressful taking out young children can be(thinking under 5 here).  My kids are 7, 10 and 12 now and it's so wonderful to go to the zoo(or wherever) and not have to worry about diapers, feeding babies and naptimes.  But I remember feeling stressed about going anywhere for more than a couple hours when they were young.  So perhaps it's not that "young" parents are not doing the raising right but that the "older" parents expect too much of younger children:)

 

And I completely disagree with the statement above about manners, I mean seriously is a 3 y/o happens to be impolite(according to who knows) than as an adult they will be the same?  Uh, no lol.


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#21 of 29 Old 08-13-2011, 05:20 AM
 
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Originally Posted by tgerk View Post

 Back in our day a time out meant a whole different thing and I don't mean a total beating but we knew that we were going to know not to do that ever again and when they say jump you jump. And there was nothing wrong with that at all. The parent all they had to do was look at that child and they knew to straighten up.

 

This new generation of parents are too soft on these kids and the kids know it. We need to love our kids with all we have and teach them to be good people and this means you need to start early. Children do watch everything us adults do and they mimick us, and yes if we throw temper tantrums they will do so too, they also will watch and listen to how we act towards people and they will follow, normally I should say but then yhou have a child this strong willed and you sometimes have to use a different approach and somtimes that dose mean you have to be stern with them.

 

 So I can honestly say that those time outs and calm easy talks do not work on some of these kids. I don't push for a person to beat the crap out of a child NOT, but he needs to know that what he dose or how he acts there will be consequences. Again I see what you are saying and I doagree with alot of it but I do still say that there are kids that they do not work for and those are the parents or grandparents who are in real turmoil over what to do. So please to anyone who responds to anuyone else with this kind of problem and you know they are in real distress please feel for them. Thank you


so basically what you are saying you came here for is to get support for your idea that the kid's mom is not hitting him and you think the kid needs to be hit?  if so, i think it's a very very good thing your child doesn't listen to you about your ideas of discipline.

this is not the place to find advocacy for hitting.  there is an astronomical amount of research that shows that hitting or intimidating a child DOES NOT WORK nor does it do anything but negatively affect the child, even to the point of reducing IQ.  there is no reason to advocate hitting a child for any reason.  sorry.

 


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#22 of 29 Old 08-13-2011, 10:40 AM
 
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There is more to GD than time-outs and easy talking.  A LOT more. 

 

It's never too late to educate yourself, Tgerk.  Even Grandmas from the good ol' days can learn how to be respectful and nurturing to small children and let go of antiquated notions that a child should be a submissive empty box for the public school system to fill with indoctrinated propaganda of the state.

 

Most of the mothers here at MDC want more for their children than for them to become mindless bricks in the proverbial wall.

 

If that is not the life you envision for your grandson, if indeed you think he would be most happy spending his life going through the motions and toeing the line, then by all means find a support group to help you convince your daughter that despotic discipline is best.  I have an inkling you want more for that little boy and his mother, and that's why you came here. 

 

What I really sense is a feeling of distress for your Daughter who is working so hard to give that little boy love, who is probably burnt out as a single mom (BTW there is a single mom forum here, you may want to lurk there, or guide your DD there?), and who is running out of emotional energy, and you think this little boy is taking advantage and being disrespectful to your beloved baby girl.   Is that close?  I think that is a natural reaction and one of the reasons grandparents struggle to not get involved.  Even when your children are grown and in their own homes they are still your babies, and your mama bear instincts still rage at the thought of someone hurting or abusing your little angels.  Even if that someone is a grandchild and very much loved by you themselves.

 

I don't know what to say for you on that point, because it must be terribly hard, and I have no experience as my children are quite young (Is that perhaps what you mean by young mothers, as in their journey as a mother is still quite young?)  I think finding a group of other grandma's (grandmothering.com?) with whom you can commiserate is a good idea...my mom might join.  She is forever telling me how I spoil my kids and let them abuse me and use me...I just don't see it that way and it's my choice.  That is the mother *I CHOOSE*  to be.  Like letting go of your child when they are a teenager and they choose the wrong friends, bad music, crazy hairstyles and horrible boyfriends, you kind of have to let them take their own journey and yet still find it in your heart to hold them in your arms and take them back when everything goes awry resisting the irresistible urge to say "I told you so."

 

Your job as Grandma, as I see it, is primarily not to protect your daughter anymore, but rather to love that little boy rotten.  Sneak him gummy bears, kiss his forehead, and make the best danged chicken soup a boy ever had.  That's it.  You don't need to worry about rules and control (beyond protecting yourself and your belongings, of course).  You need to worry about all the fun parts of parenting and let your daughter take the role of disciplinarian.  Because it sounds like for her that means gentle guidance and trust.  It does sound though like she needs better tools and better books.  There are some great recs here on this forum, and some excellent mamas who have seen it all from docile to crazy strong willed, and made it out alive with perfectly lovely children.  You don't need to be bossy and aggressive to have well-behaved kids, even really strong willed ones.  I have two of them, and they are coming out pretty great, if I do say so myself.

 

To address the idea of making them know so much, I do not think we as parents make our kids know more.  Children are natural scientists and parents who foster that and provide space for creative exploration are allowing kids to be kids.  School's a great place to learn reading, and maths and how to wait in line, or wait to  be heard, but they are hardly a place to learn about how to think creatively or solve problems.  That comes from home.  Well at least that's the sort of home I try to create.

 

I empathize with you.  It must be heart wrenching to watch your daughter make parenting choices you think are too much for her to handle.  These are her choices.  Rather than struggle to find a way to change her bahvior, or control a small  child to be a "better kid", try to find another way to meet your need to know the person you love is okay (perfectly valid need).  Maybe you could write her a loving letter, take her for a spa day, treat her to a mani-pedi girl's day, or just share your feelings of fear with her over a cup of tea and sympathy.  You might find she is doing okay and likes the choices she has made and feels good about it.  You might find she just needs you to be her friend for a little while...at that point you have to just let go and let her follow her own journey as a mom.  That's just my 2 cents.  


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#23 of 29 Old 08-13-2011, 11:08 AM
 
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I second everything that hakeber said, who has all the same sentiments I do but is far nicer and more eloquent. 


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#24 of 29 Old 08-13-2011, 01:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mom2grrls View Post

 

 

You know I think every "older" generation says that the "younger" generation is worse than theirs somehow.  That kids are less respectful, parents are too lenient, etc. etc.  I think part of that comes from just forgetting how stressful taking out young children can be(thinking under 5 here).  My kids are 7, 10 and 12 now and it's so wonderful to go to the zoo(or wherever) and not have to worry about diapers, feeding babies and naptimes.  But I remember feeling stressed about going anywhere for more than a couple hours when they were young.  So perhaps it's not that "young" parents are not doing the raising right but that the "older" parents expect too much of younger children:)

 

And I completely disagree with the statement above about manners, I mean seriously is a 3 y/o happens to be impolite(according to who knows) than as an adult they will be the same?  Uh, no lol.

I completely agree that we all forget what it's like to have Littles when we outgrow that stage.  (I have an 11.5y gap between #3 and #4...I had forgotten a lot!)  However, it is also true that for the most part, earlier generations had higher standards for some issues and most of the children of those eras rose to the challenge.  I think it's a combination of those two things. 

 

Certainly a 3yo will not have perfect manners - which is why we train them.  Neither, however, do they "happen" to be impolite.  We are either teaching children that manners matter or we're teaching them that they don't. We don't expect our children to use the potty, wash their hands correctly, or even drive a car without direction but sometimes we seem to think that they'll learn appropriate social interaction by osmosis!

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by holothuroidea View Post

 

 

I don't know why you would think it's offensive to disagree with me. You're not the first, you know. thumb.gif Having raised one's own kids does not give one authority to impose discipline on others. My own grandmother (who has 9 kids, and over 20 grandchildren) taught me this. Also, we all have incomplete pictures of one another and you don't know what I've seen in my lifetime. Obviously, I've never been the mother of anyone over 3 but you don't really know what I have and have not been exposed to. So, I think your reasoning is specious. 

 

I didn't say that childhood manners have no bearing on adult manners, I said that they are not determinant of them. I mean, I had great manners as a kid and look at me now! wink1.gifPeople are not inflexible robots who only do what they were trained to do in childhood. Obviously, the things they are trained in childhood carry over, but we are all capable of making decisions about our behavior and we are not locked into the mould we were poured in. I don't know who Charolotte Mason is but my guess is that we wouldn't get along very well. 

 

 

 

 


 

LOL on my not being the first to disagree with you and on your good childhood manners not carrying over to adulthood!  My point (and the point on which I didn't wish to offend) was that you have been a mother for 3 years, and "Grandma" has been one for at least 20 I assume.  While I certainly don't know your history and what you may or may not have been exposed to, neither do you know that of the original poster.  In a case like that it seems reasonable to assume that she has seen more (in the way of parenting) than you have and has a greater experience-base to draw from.  That doesn't mean that her way is necessarily right or that your's is necessarily wrong, but it seems to me that this forum of "gentle discipline" is anything but "gentle" on those with whom the posters disagree.  We expect our children to be cut slack by anyone and everyone, and then pounce on the adults with whom we disagree.  I'm meandering here...my point was, just based on sheer years of experience parenting, perhaps the poster knows a few things you don't.  (And, vice versa...based on newer parenting theories and information that have come about over the years.) 

 

First, you actually *did* say that, "The majority of kids this age parrot whatever manners they are exposed to, some choose to use no manners. Either is fine and has no bearing on what manners the child will use when they are an adult."  Now, I understand that you are clarifying that you meant that childhood manners are not determinant of adulthood manners because we are not robots.  While I certainly agree with that, it is well understood (not to mention commonsensical) that it is very hard to break the mold into which we were poured.  Selfish young people do not miraculously become selfless adults.  Children raised without an appreciation for polite interpersonal relations do not magically adopt that as adults.  Yes, they can certainly make a conscious choice to rise above their upbringing, but how many friends and jobs will they lose in the interim?  And, if they never lose a friend or job due to a lack of good interpersonal skills, is it really my desire to intentionally "pour" my child into a "mold" that sets him at a disadvantage in life?  Of course, no parent is perfect and we all reach adulthood with baggage from our childhood.  It is my hope that I am intentional enough to reduce that baggage as much as possible - life is hard enough without my intentionally burdening my child with unnecessary baggage.

 

I actually think you would get along with Ms. Mason better than you'd guess.  She was a cutting edge educator in the late 1800s and many of the more "gentle-parenting" minded homeschoolers incorporate much of her approach into their schooling endeavors.  One of her (perhaps) more earth-shattering beliefs at the time was that children are "born persons" and should be respected as such.  (See, I bet you have that in common! smile.gif)
 

 


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#25 of 29 Old 08-13-2011, 02:14 PM
 
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@MrsSurplus: It doesn't seem to me though, that the child actually has such bad manners, he just got the pronoun wrong, really (I'd personally  be applauding the attempt at 3), and instead of kindly modelling the correct form and waiting for him to try it on, he was reprimanded aggressively and then called names behind his back in an online forum of strangers. 

 

Is a three year old who burps and finds it funny being "terrible" or are they being 3 and in need of gentle reminders that while the sound is funny, polite behavior requires we excuse ourselves?  Should a child who feels their relationship of love and trust with their mother is threatened by an outside force not react with challenging glares and defiance, or is that perhaps expecting just a little too much maturity from them?

 

I think the point is that 3 yo are notoriously poor at polite social conduct (hence why many mothers never take  their toddlers out at all, and in past generations they rarely did for a multitude of reasons) and assuming he will grow up  to be a monster because he is a challenging toddler is unfair to the child and the mother who is probably working very hard to raise her son in a loving way. 

 

I also think it is fair to assume that many of the mothers here have come face to face with this sort of aggressive judgement of their children by their mothers and other elders in their community and see this forum as a respite from those confrontations, so may be somewhat on the defense when coming across it here, no?

 

At the end of the day, online forum discussions can get aggressive, but I think it's fair to point out the hypocrisy and irony of this thread...the OP is complaining about the lack of good manners in her DGS,  but then she rudely corrects him in front of others, and to top it off she is trashing him and his mother's choices behind their backs in an online forum, while also not taking the time to communicate effectively and clearly with the community here.  She then implies  not too subtly that hitting might be a good alternative in some cases on a forum that is vehemently against such methods and makes no secret about that.  Then to top it all, she touts the public school system as the social program that can do no wrong while not being able to construct a coherent paragraph or spell basic verb forms correctly. 

 

I have to be able to address those glaring contradictions, to highlight those points for self-reflection, if I am going to give any meaningful advice. 


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#26 of 29 Old 08-14-2011, 07:05 AM
 
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"Excuse you" is a pretty classic way toddlers misspeak when they're trying to say "excuse me". They don't have pronouns down well yet. I'd assume he's trying to say "excuse me" unless he's still saying it at 5.

Anyway, i agree with Haekeber.
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#27 of 29 Old 08-14-2011, 07:19 AM
 
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However, it is also true that for the most part, earlier generations had higher standards for some issues and most of the children of those eras rose to the challenge.>>>>>>

 

Such as?  I'm honestly curious.  Was it higher standards or just a different way of life?  In the book Positive discipline Jane Nelsen challenges this belief that children get worse with every generation and thinks that models/examples/ways of life just get different with every generation.


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#28 of 29 Old 08-15-2011, 06:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hakeber View Post

@MrsSurplus: It doesn't seem to me though, that the child actually has such bad manners, he just got the pronoun wrong, really (I'd personally  be applauding the attempt at 3), and instead of kindly modelling the correct form and waiting for him to try it on, he was reprimanded aggressively and then called names behind his back in an online forum of strangers. 

 

I didn't get the impression from the Grandma that this was a grammatical error but, rather, a power struggle with Grandma (and, apparently, other authority figures).

 

Should a child who feels their relationship of love and trust with their mother is threatened by an outside force not react with challenging glares and defiance, or is that perhaps expecting just a little too much maturity from them?

 

That is certainly one possibility.  Another is as the OP described wherein the child knows very well that his behavior is unacceptable to his grandmother but that his mother has a hard time with boundaries.

 

 

 assuming he will grow up  to be a monster because he is a challenging toddler is unfair to the child and the mother who is probably working very hard to raise her son in a loving way. 

 

Agreed.

 

 

I also think it is fair to assume that many of the mothers here have come face to face with this sort of aggressive judgement of their children by their mothers and other elders in their community and see this forum as a respite from those confrontations, so may be somewhat on the defense when coming across it here, no?

 

If that is the case then it seems that they would be quicker to be less-judgmental (given their experiences) and less confrontational in their responses, right?  Being the change they want to see?

 

 

I have to be able to address those glaring contradictions, to highlight those points for self-reflection, if I am going to give any meaningful advice. 

 

And, while I believe your earlier post was to Grandma was quite gracious, I was referring to some of the less gracious posts.



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

"Excuse you" is a pretty classic way toddlers misspeak when they're trying to say "excuse me". They don't have pronouns down well yet. I'd assume he's trying to say "excuse me" unless he's still saying it at 5.
 
I have 6 children and I have taught day care.  My personal experience doesn't support this stand (I currently have a 3yo who is not terribly verbal and she's been saying "excuse me" since she was 2.5).  That's not to say that I think it's not possible, but I do think that the OP probably had a pretty good understanding of whether or not her grandson knew what he was saying.  The indication was that he was responding that way to either be funny (his father's family thinks it's funny), ornery (a notorious 3yo trait in this home) or defiant (not unlike a 3yo on occasion as well).
 


 



Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2grrls View Post

However, it is also true that for the most part, earlier generations had higher standards for some issues and most of the children of those eras rose to the challenge.>>>>>>

 

Such as?  I'm honestly curious.  Was it higher standards or just a different way of life?  In the book Positive discipline Jane Nelsen challenges this belief that children get worse with every generation and thinks that models/examples/ways of life just get different with every generation.

 

I absolutely do not believe that "children get worse with every generation."  I don't think children change from generation to generation, but parenting often does.  I think lifestyle and expectations go hand in hand.  When one's life does not depend on a child learning obedience at an early age, there's less of a feeling of necessity on Mom & Dad's part to instill obedience in their child.  Due to lifestyles in previous generations (farming lifestyles and other lifestyles that were more "dangerous" than those of today), there was a greater need to have higher expectations of your children.  Additionally, children were often needed to work - either on the farm, or perhaps it was believed that their wages were needed in the home. I don't believe that children have changed - but our expectations have.  Sometimes the expectations were probably too high.  But I think, for the most part, today they are too low.  One need only read biographies of people raised in different eras to see that more was expected of children at earlier ages than is true today (generally speaking).  The Little House on the Prarie series and the books by Ralph Moody (most notably, Little Britches) are fabulous examples.  Obviously, children raised with these realities have parents with different expectations with regard to maturity, obedience, and responsibility. 

 

We live on a farm and I am AMAZED at how little is expected of my children't peers who live in town.  It's not that the children are incapable - it's that they've never been taught and it's not expected of them.  Truly, my 5yo is expected to do FAR more than many of the 16yos I know.  Again, this isn't the young person's fault.  To a degree it's almost not the parent's fault; we live in such an indulged society that there really is less need for children to pull together and help the family that there was in years gone by.  But because my 5yo has more expectations put on him than the average 5yo we find him to be (generally) more mature, more aware, and more respectful than many 5yos.  He is still 5 - he isn't a robot and he still needs his parents' guidance, correction, love and direction - but he has really been blessed to be expected to do so much.  And he is so proud of that.  My 3yo dd and 5yo ds are SOOOOOOO proud of the fact that they are Mom & Dad's helpers (as all children are when given that opportunity).  They LOVE that they have their own shovels to help irrigate with, that they are "allowed" to help in the garden because they are careful around the plants and can identify weeds (most of the time!).  They love to help cook, set the table, round up goats, help butcher chickens, and clean corrals.  It's just natural that children raised with more responsibilities (particularly those necessary to the family's successful functioning) also are raised with higher expectations for obedience, respect, awareness...maturity in general.  After all, we mature, in large part, through our experiences. 

 

As a final example, we have friends who have exceptionally bright children.  Unfortunately, while Mom has high expectations for them academically (to which they have lived up), she has very low standards for them behaviorally.  My 18mo can be routinely expected to behave better than her children did at 3 - when she lamented to some friends that he was "just a baby - people need to not expect so much of him."  (He was very disruptive in church and was asked to take him out of the auditorium when he acted up like that.)  It is not that her children are not as bright or as capable as my children.  It's not that I'm a mean belt-wielding mother either.  Her children were all reading well before they entered Kindergarten.  Not mine - although they could have had I put my efforts more toward that.  It's that we have different expectations and goals with regard to child behavior.  All of that to say (sorry for the meandering) - that, yes, for the most part, expectations for children were higher in previous generations and children lived up to those.  When we have high expectations for our children today (within reason, of course), they will live up to those as well - and be quite proud of themselves for it as well.



 


Mrs. S - Crunchy child of The King, Wife to my best friend, and Mama to my many blessings.

 
 
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#29 of 29 Old 08-16-2011, 07:36 AM
 
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From what I've read, mixing up pronouns in a way like "excuse you" instead of "excuse me" is more common for kids with autism, but is common enough for kids that age regardless. I think sometimes parents assume the worst possible reason for a child's behavior, and it can help to think of other possible reasons for something. Pronoun reversal is common enough that it could easily be the reason.
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