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#1 of 33 Old 09-10-2011, 10:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My DH & I believe in GD. No yelling, screaming, no physical "punishment". Natural consequences. 

 

So why can't we DO it? A few weeks ago was the worst, my DH was so far at the end of his rope he actually spanked my DS, to which I promptly kicked DH out of the house and told him to come back when he felt better (isn't that the same line I use with my 3 y/o.......)? Anyway, he felt REALLY really bad about it and I did too, especially since I often have the same impulse, though I have managed to avoid it.

 

We yell at him too much. We have days where we don't yell at all, but we also have days where we yell all day.

 

The awful part is that I feel like MOST of this is just out of everyone's control. Of course DS doesn't want to whine, fuss, throw fits, and be obnoxious about EVERYTHING but he's just really unwell. We're working with his pedi to figure out all his issues, but who knows. Chronic sleep deprivation, celiac disease, leaky gut? Nutritional deficencies due to leaky gut? I mean the poor kid is in serious pain most of the time, and he acts out because of it. 

 

I have pretty much the same - chronic sleep deprivation, celiac, leaky gut, I also have nutritional problems, thyroid problems. I can't remember a moment that I wasn't in pain. I'm working with my chiropractor and on healing leaky gut as well, and actually I feel I'm feeling a bit better and have done better with GD in the past few weeks. Maybe there's hope for me after all.

 

DH is chronically sleep deprived - bed doesn't come until 11, alarm goes at 4, and DD gets up about 3 times between that - and often DS in there several times too. He is also in law enforcement, so think STRESS. 

 

DD is a really calm easy baby. But when she gets upset, SHE GETS UPSET. This little girl cries in a way that makes me want to jump off the balcony. This makes ALL of our hearts race and makes us feel like punching things. And during the week, it's just me trying to calm DD and DS goes completely nuts, and then I'm too hard on him.

 

 

HOW do we step back and take it easy? Every sound in this tiny apartment makes me want to lose it. I feel like we don't have the mental capacity to handle normal child behavior... clearly our problem, not his, but we just can't seem to deal? My DH is constantly using threats - do this or no (toys, dinner?, whatever) which of course I never allow him to follow through on anyway. He seems to be using arbitrary timeouts when I'm not around  - time out for yelling out of frustration? And I keep saying things like, "You know better than that" - but does he? And even if he does, can he really control it?

 

 

Anyone BTDT - felt like you just don't know HOW to follow up on your beliefs? I feel like we need a very specific game plan! Any advice appreciated....

 

 

ETA: I read/research everyday. Very open to book suggestions here!


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#2 of 33 Old 09-10-2011, 11:33 AM
 
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Sounds like you have a very stressful household right now, with very young kids, and sleep deprived parents.  Of COURSE your fuses are short!   We have had our share of yelling in this house, and I've thought dh is too hard on the kids, etc.... but we have been working at it and things are getting better here. You can do it! If you two both really want to.

1)  Read up on age-appropriate expectations - the book Your Three Year Old (from the series by.. I forget the author's name) is a good place to start.  Your kids are so young! It's easy to expect too much too early from your oldest child.  3 is one of the hardest ages - they grow soooo much from 3 to 5 years.

2) Get everyone more sleep, however you can.  Get to bed earlier, separate bed for whoever is woken up by the other one, etc, darker rooms, noise machines, whatever else?

3)  Read more about the "why"s about gentle discipline.  It's great to want to do it - but if you give yourselves a whole different mindset, that is really key.   I haven't read many of the books on it (though I always plan to!), hopefully others will have specific recommendations.

Best of luck!

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#3 of 33 Old 09-10-2011, 01:32 PM
 
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You need some help.

 

What sort of support community do you have? Who can you reach out to and say "I really need you to come over for an hour and take the kids for a walk so I can take a nap."? If you belong to a religious organization -- start there. Our pastor recently helped me set up 1/2 dozen people to come walk with me and share my burden because I'm having a hard time with depression/anxiety. A couple of others have volunteered to help to dd on playdates. It was REALLY hard for me to reach out, but the support that I'm getting from having done that is making my life bearable. I know that I just need to get to X period of time and someone will be there for me to walk with or talk with. I'm frustrated and discourage because I'm not healing very fast.

 

If you don't have a religious community, what about family? What about friends? All it takes is one or two people to make a difference.

 

Is there any way you can have someone come stay over night? Then have your dh go stay in a motel or at a friend's house (who has NO children) and sleep until he's slept out. In a few weeks, if at all possible, you do the same thing.

 

You have a 3 year old (always a difficult age), who's in pain, and a baby. You're in pain. Your husband is in a high stress job. You shouldn't have to do this alone.


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#4 of 33 Old 09-10-2011, 01:48 PM
 
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This little girl cries in a way that makes me want to jump off the balcony. This makes ALL of our hearts race and makes us feel like punching things.

 

[...]

 

Every sound in this tiny apartment makes me want to lose it.


You know, this screams "sensory issues" to me. I don't suppose you've been evaluated for Sensory Processing Disorder, or read anything about it? Here's a symptom checklist. Of course, if you do have a lot of symptoms, I don't know where to tell you to go from there (except "get earplugs"), as I am still struggling with getting this diagnosed/treated. I don't dare have kids until then.

 

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#5 of 33 Old 09-10-2011, 01:49 PM
 
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Yes!  You need help.  You need support.

 

The more full our own cups are the more capable we are at dealing with all the parenting difficulties that arise. 

 

A big part of that cup can be filled with SLEEP.  Like a pp mentioned it's worth doing whatever it takes to make sure everyone gets more sleep.  For about a year my dh slept in the guest bed and I slept in the master bed with ds.  It wasn't ideal, but it was what it took *at that time* for us all to get more sleep (dh would toss and turn and snore ad wake up ds, and I started to get insomnia worrying that dh would wake up ds because it would take me forever to get him back to sleep!).  Also, take naps whenever you can.  Even if it means asking a friend to watch ds so you can sleep with dd.  Or whatever.  Just try different ideas to see if you all can start getting better sleep.

 

Another thing that fills the cup is getting time to ourselves ("me" time).  It's hard with a 3yo and a baby, but collectively do what you can to make time for dh to go out (or stay in!) and do his thing, and time for you to do your thing.  And of course, if someone can watch both kids and you and dh can get time together that's great too!  I find it amazing what having even a short amount of completely child-free time can do towards making my mental space much more positive.  I LOVE my kids, I ADORE my kids, but I need time away from them too: time to just be me, with no demands being made of me, yk?  Try to spell each other off, try to step in if the other parent is seeming pushed past their limits, and try to reach out to your family and friends for babysitting help, and just company during the times when you'd otherwise be alone with the kids (just having some adult company can also make a world of difference).

 

Another area in which getting some outside help might make everyone's stress level go down is if you are able to budget for cleaning help.  If you find yourselves staying up later than you'd like in order to take care of daily chores, then maybe hiring a cleaner once a week (or whatever) would eliminate some of that need (thus allowing you more precious sleep!).  I also find that if I'm stressed out about getting stuff done around the house I find it harder to be patient with the kids.  When we have days of just hanging out, going out to the park or whatever, etc things usually go a lot smoother.


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#6 of 33 Old 09-10-2011, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You know, this screams "sensory issues" to me. I don't suppose you've been evaluated for Sensory Processing Disorder, or read anything about it? Here's a symptom checklist. Of course, if you do have a lot of symptoms, I don't know where to tell you to go from there (except "get earplugs"), as I am still struggling with getting this diagnosed/treated. I don't dare have kids until then.

 

 Wow how bizarre. I've never heard of it. Read through both the adult and child versions... fits me and my DS both to a T. I have always wondered if I'm insanely OCD and passed it on to him too... but it didn't make sense since we don't really have a need for "routine" we just like things a very certain way - no mess, no tags on shirts, nobody touching us (imagine my issues breastfeeding...) , etc etc etc. Will have to read into this some more and mention it to our HCP. 
 

 


 

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You need some help.

 

What sort of support community do you have? Who can you reach out to and say "I really need you to come over for an hour and take the kids for a walk so I can take a nap."? If you belong to a religious organization -- start there. Our pastor recently helped me set up 1/2 dozen people to come walk with me and share my burden because I'm having a hard time with depression/anxiety. A couple of others have volunteered to help to dd on playdates. It was REALLY hard for me to reach out, but the support that I'm getting from having done that is making my life bearable. I know that I just need to get to X period of time and someone will be there for me to walk with or talk with. I'm frustrated and discourage because I'm not healing very fast.

 

If you don't have a religious community, what about family? What about friends? All it takes is one or two people to make a difference.

 

Is there any way you can have someone come stay over night? Then have your dh go stay in a motel or at a friend's house (who has NO children) and sleep until he's slept out. In a few weeks, if at all possible, you do the same thing.

 

You have a 3 year old (always a difficult age), who's in pain, and a baby. You're in pain. Your husband is in a high stress job. You shouldn't have to do this alone.



*Sigh* ... yes, I realize this must be part of the problem. No, we don't have anyone. We moved here 4 months ago for DH's previous mentioned job and we are just so not settled yet. We haven't even visited churches yet. In fact, I'm typing this in the middle of unpacking/organizing the last bedroom. We don't have friends or family here, although I really am working on the friends thing. I have had a few play dates in the last 3 or 4 weeks, and like I said, I feel like *I* am doing a little bit better. But our family as a whole is struggling.

 

I see those issues, really,  I know we have a ton, ton, ton to work on  - it feels like my list NEVER ends. I recently started a regimen for anxiety which is helping some. It's just that I feel - actually, I KNOW, my DS doesn't deserve to take the "brunt" of everything that we're all going through, kwim? But it feels like that's what's happening because well, he's 3. He's loud, and whiny,  and it just happens. We're working on getting better in general overall, but I also really want to know what we can do to improve our interactions with DS RIGHT NOW.. to not let him suffer psychologically from all of it, if that makes sense.

 

 

Thanks for responses... got my brain working.... notes2.gif


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#7 of 33 Old 09-10-2011, 02:36 PM
 
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You can't be a good parent if you don't know how to parent. You need to build a repertoir of parenting skills. You may have little or no experience of watching people parents well. You may have little or no formal education about parenting. I think of effective (gentle) parenting as this tool box full of tools that you pull out and use when the time seems appropriate. You wouldn't use a saw for a situation that calls for a screwdriver. You need to aquire the tools (parenting skilla), learn to use them (evaluating the situation from different perspectives), and learn about the appropriate situations to use them (child development).

 

A good book is Without Spanking or Spoiling. It is about much more than the title says. The book changed my like when it first came out around 1980 when my oldest was a toddler. There are activities that have you evaluate your values and is important to you about how your children behave and how your children grow up. There are parenting tools. The author is Elizabeth Crary and she has a website. She has many other books. Love and Limits is another good one.

 

With some kids you don't need that many tools. Change the situation is probably one of the best. If you don't like how things are going, change the situation. If you make a huge unexpected change a couple of times it can have a big impact. The kids can realized that all of a sudden you mean what you say and say what you mean.

 

First, then is great with young kids. First we pick up the toys and then we will read books. You could start a notebook or a list on the computer of parenting tools so you remember them and keep using them until they become natural.

 

Natural consequences situations don't happen often and when they do it may involve the child getting hurt. It's not something parents do. It may be a situation a parent doesn't stop. You may have told a toddler not to climb on a chair and you see them climbing on the chair and don't do anything. The toddler falls. That is a natural consequence.

 

Logical consequence would be taking your child's trike away because they rode it in the street. Logical consequences are punishments. We know that punishments don't teach good behavior, at best they stop bad behavior. The child might learn not to go in the street because the trike will be taken away. But that's not what you want the child to learn. You want the child to learn how to safely ride the trike and not to go into the street because it is unsafe. You don't want them riding in the street when you aren't around because the fear of you taking the trike away is gone. The kids whose parents used punishment get into trouble as they get older because the parent isn't there to punish. The do risky behavior because they didn't learn to internalize safe behavior. They only avoided unsafe behavior because they would be punished. They also resent their parents who have been punishing them for years. Not all kids are this way but many are.

 


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#8 of 33 Old 09-10-2011, 04:58 PM
 
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Re. looking for new "tools" for the "box", I was thinking it might help us brainstorm if you give us some more specific instances of behaviours that you're having trouble dealing with.  You mentioned being loud and whining.  Can you be more specific?  Are there certain things that set him off?  How exactly are you responding right now?  How does he respond to the way you currently discipline?

 

A tool that I find helps with whining/rudeness is modeling and rephrasing.  This has worked well regarding whining in our house.  I deal with it from my 3yo, and even still from my almost-7yo.  For the younger one I often give him a better way of asking (rephrase) and ask him to repeat.  The older one I can just ask to please ask nicely, or ask again calmly or whatever applies.  I also tell them both that I respond well to a conversation, but not to yelling (whining, etc).  Or I can listen better if I hear a calm voice.  Etc.  And I make sure that I actually do stop and listen to what they're saying if they talk to me nicely.  Sometimes that means I do say "yes" to what they are asking for.  Sometimes I still need to say "no", but I tell them that I appreciate that they asked nicely.  Very often we are able to find a mutually agreeable compromise if we can calm down and have a conversation, but not if they are just yelling, talking rudely, etc.

 

ETA - a couple of book recs if you haven't checked them out already: How to Talk so Kids will listen and listen so kids will talk, and Playful Parenting.

 

 


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#9 of 33 Old 09-10-2011, 05:05 PM
 
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Op - another question: think about the days when everything seems to go better.  What's different about those days than other days?  Is it that you have fewer tasks to accomplish?  That you got more outside time?  That you had lots of snacks throughout the day?  Etc?  See if you can pinpoint any positive influences and think about how you can bring them about more regularly. 


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#10 of 33 Old 09-10-2011, 05:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by foreverinbluejeans View Post

You can't be a good parent if you don't know how to parent. You need to build a repertoir of parenting skills. You may have little or no experience of watching people parents well. You may have little or no formal education about parenting. I think of effective (gentle) parenting as this tool box full of tools that you pull out and use when the time seems appropriate. You wouldn't use a saw for a situation that calls for a screwdriver. You need to aquire the tools (parenting skilla), learn to use them (evaluating the situation from different perspectives), and learn about the appropriate situations to use them (child development).

 

A good book is Without Spanking or Spoiling. It is about much more than the title says. The book changed my like when it first came out around 1980 when my oldest was a toddler. There are activities that have you evaluate your values and is important to you about how your children behave and how your children grow up. There are parenting tools. The author is Elizabeth Crary and she has a website. She has many other books. Love and Limits is another good one.

 

With some kids you don't need that many tools. Change the situation is probably one of the best. If you don't like how things are going, change the situation. If you make a huge unexpected change a couple of times it can have a big impact. The kids can realized that all of a sudden you mean what you say and say what you mean.

 

First, then is great with young kids. First we pick up the toys and then we will read books. You could start a notebook or a list on the computer of parenting tools so you remember them and keep using them until they become natural.

 

Natural consequences situations don't happen often and when they do it may involve the child getting hurt. It's not something parents do. It may be a situation a parent doesn't stop. You may have told a toddler not to climb on a chair and you see them climbing on the chair and don't do anything. The toddler falls. That is a natural consequence.

 

Logical consequence would be taking your child's trike away because they rode it in the street. Logical consequences are punishments. We know that punishments don't teach good behavior, at best they stop bad behavior. The child might learn not to go in the street because the trike will be taken away. But that's not what you want the child to learn. You want the child to learn how to safely ride the trike and not to go into the street because it is unsafe. You don't want them riding in the street when you aren't around because the fear of you taking the trike away is gone. The kids whose parents used punishment get into trouble as they get older because the parent isn't there to punish. The do risky behavior because they didn't learn to internalize safe behavior. They only avoided unsafe behavior because they would be punished. They also resent their parents who have been punishing them for years. Not all kids are this way but many are.

 



 

 

I think these are both true. We don't have any friends that became parents before us (we were 19 & 23 respectively when DS was born), so no modeling there. My mom didn't do anything I would choose for my own children, and my dad had great intentions but was often overruled by my Mom. Though I prioritize educating myself about parenting, I didn't have the opportunity to do it before he arrived. What I know is what I have read since becoming pregnant with him 4 years ago, and since spare time is so hard to come by, it's not enough. That's one of the reasons I'm on MDC - more knowledge more quickly. It definitely helps in a pinch while I'm working my way through books.

 

Also - this bolded seems to be where the disconnect is happening between my DH & myself. This is exactly how I feel - I don't want him to touch the stove because I don't want him to get burnt..... not because I want him to learn that children who go near the stove are never allowed in the kitchen irked.gif. Intrinsic learning and intrinsic motivation are huge focus points for me as a parent.... I waded through some ugly between ages 16-20 because all my life I'd done exactly.what.my.parents.said.exactly.when.they.said.it. I went to college but didn't attend class. I had sex but didn't think all the way through to birth control  (we used a condom - but clearly, not completely effective). I want my son to do things and learn things because that's who he is. Because that's what's practical, because that's what's safe, because that's what he enjoys. But it's so hard for me to teach... because it's not what I learned. And I just discovered that kind of life for myself in the last 2 years.  


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Originally Posted by pianojazzgirl View Post

Re. looking for new "tools" for the "box", I was thinking it might help us brainstorm if you give us some more specific instances of behaviours that you're having trouble dealing with.  You mentioned being loud and whining.  Can you be more specific?  Are there certain things that set him off?  How exactly are you responding right now?  How does he respond to the way you currently discipline?

 

A tool that I find helps with whining/rudeness is modeling and rephrasing.  This has worked well regarding whining in our house.  I deal with it from my 3yo, and even still from my almost-7yo.  For the younger one I often give him a better way of asking (rephrase) and ask him to repeat.  The older one I can just ask to please ask nicely, or ask again calmly or whatever applies.  I also tell them both that I respond well to a conversation, but not to yelling (whining, etc).  Or I can listen better if I hear a calm voice.  Etc.  And I make sure that I actually do stop and listen to what they're saying if they talk to me nicely.  Sometimes that means I do say "yes" to what they are asking for.  Sometimes I still need to say "no", but I tell them that I appreciate that they asked nicely.  Very often we are able to find a mutually agreeable compromise if we can calm down and have a conversation, but not if they are just yelling, talking rudely, etc.

 

ETA - a couple of book recs if you haven't checked them out already: How to Talk so Kids will listen and listen so kids will talk, and Playful Parenting.

 

 



Pretty much everything sets my DS off. Like I said, he is not really well and just the tiniest things make him breakdown. Like - he wants eggs and ham for breakfast. But on this particular day, I don't have any ham. So I make him eggs. He yells at me. I say something like, "I'm very sorry we don't have ham today, sweetie, I know that's what you wanted. You can help me pick some out at the market next time." Then he gets all red in the face, clenches his fists, and screams "NO! I want ham and eggs, mom, I do! PLEASE, mom!" And then begins crying... and not the fake stuff, he actually starts crying about things like this. He also really HATES when it's time for me to nurse DD or lay her down for a nap. As soon as he SENSES I'm going to begin doing one of those things, he starts spinning in circles, bumping into stuff, banging on walls, banging on anything he thinks will distract her, screaming "look at me Mom! look at me Jee Jee!" - which of course my DD cannot eat or sleep through. If she does manage to continue eating, then he tries to hit her.

 

My current discipline is mostly conversation and "still time". I stop him when he begins negative behavior, ask him if he can tell me what he's feeling (sometimes he doesn't know the words), and tell him I understand. I tell him it's still not okay to yell at people, hit people, treat people poorly because we feel upset/frustrated/sad. I offer alternatives - hit your pillow, the couch, your stuffed "guys". If he's physically hurt (or tried to hurt) DD, I place him on his bed and make him sit still. I stay there with him, but no books, toys, or talking. I remind him how awful he would feel if it was her hitting him.  There are days when this really improves his behavior for several hours (until he gets tired) and there are days when it does nothing. I also do silly stuff - turning bad situations into songs. I also so if, then quite a bit. This also works pretty often. I also deter whining and rudeness/loudness by asking for rephrasing. He'll say, "MOM! Get me a snack now!" & I'll say "I think you'll need to ask me differently" & then he'll say, "Mom, I'm hungry. Please, can I have snack?" And usually, I'll get him one. Truthfully, I don't find his rudeness to be that much of an issue in the long run - he's actually very polite and always expresses thanks for anything given to him and usually asks politely. But if he doesn't get what he wants - WATCH OUT. But when he is screaming incessantly when I am trying to help DD sleep (who usually begins to SCREAM HER HEAD OFF from being so tired) I do get really mad and yell at him.  I just can't seem to get him to respect any of her needs. By far the most yelling comes into play with safety -  he'll gladly walk into traffic, reach for a hot stove, jump on me when he knows I am drinking hot tea, etc. He is the child whose hand I cannot let go of because he will QUICKLY (goodness is he fast!) run for the first dangerous situation he can find. And I yell at him to get back here, and then I yell at him about what he did. And then we go home. And I hate it. 

 

Now that I'm typing this I realize that most of what I do during the day isn't so bad, aside from the yelling, obviously. We usually do alright, for the most part, between 6 am and 4 pm. When DH gets home, I think my discipline technique gets overruled and/or changed/tweaked some and DS responds very poorly to this. He acts much worse, and then DH yells more. In fact most of their time together is hostile time. 

 

 

Thanks for all the book recs too, definitely going to check those out...


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#11 of 33 Old 09-10-2011, 06:10 PM
 
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 Wow how bizarre. I've never heard of it. Read through both the adult and child versions... fits me and my DS both to a T. I have always wondered if I'm insanely OCD and passed it on to him too... but it didn't make sense since we don't really have a need for "routine" we just like things a very certain way - no mess, no tags on shirts, nobody touching us (imagine my issues breastfeeding...) , etc etc etc. Will have to read into this some more and mention it to our HCP. 
 


Our son has sensory processing disorder and so does my dh. Occupational therapy was, hands down, the absolute best thing we ever did for our son. He didn't start until he was 5, but then he went from 5-7. It turned him from a scared, anxious child whose issues were getting worse to a cautious, but self-confident child who learned to do a lot of things that I never thought he would. This summer he's 10, and he finally learned to put his head under water in the swimming pool. And he found he liked it. He also learned to dog paddle. Now, for most families, learning to dog paddle at 10 is 'slow'. But my brother NEVER learned to swim as a child (he has the same sensory issues -- poor ds got it from both sides).

 

I'd highly recommend the books: The Out of Sync Child and Sensational Kids. The Out of Sync Child Has Fun and Raising a Sensory Smart kid have good ideas about how to incorporate sensory activities into your daily lives. Even if you can't get into an OT right away, those activities might help you BOTH. And they'll be just what your son needs to reconnect with you.

 

 

Quote:

*Sigh* ... yes, I realize this must be part of the problem. No, we don't have anyone. We moved here 4 months ago for DH's previous mentioned job and we are just so not settled yet. We haven't even visited churches yet. In fact, I'm typing this in the middle of unpacking/organizing the last bedroom. We don't have friends or family here, although I really am working on the friends thing. I have had a few play dates in the last 3 or 4 weeks, and like I said, I feel like *I* am doing a little bit better. But our family as a whole is struggling.

 

I see those issues, really,  I know we have a ton, ton, ton to work on  - it feels like my list NEVER ends. I recently started a regimen for anxiety which is helping some. It's just that I feel - actually, I KNOW, my DS doesn't deserve to take the "brunt" of everything that we're all going through, kwim? But it feels like that's what's happening because well, he's 3. He's loud, and whiny,  and it just happens. We're working on getting better in general overall, but I also really want to know what we can do to improve our interactions with DS RIGHT NOW.. to not let him suffer psychologically from all of it, if that makes sense.

 

I'm sorry you don't have anyone. hug2.gif When I had PPD with my first child, I didn't really have anyone either. We were 1500 miles from family and had just joined a church.  I'm going through my 3rd bout of anxiety and depression, and I know how it sucks.

 

I hear from your posts that you're really overwhelmed and can't figure out how to work on it. I'm there, I know that feeling. So, I'll repeat for you the advice everyone I know has been giving me for the last 2-3 weeks since I had my mental health crash. Ask me in a couple weeks how well they work.

  1. Take it ONE day at a time. Or one morning. Or one hour. Or 10 minutes. Or 1 minute.
  2. Get out and WALK each day. I've been walking 2x a day. I can't say that it has cured me, but it has given me a way to decrease my stress levels. Being outside is also good for your children.
  3. If it's not something that you can fix right now, put it in a 'worry box' and take it out at another time.
  4. Choose ONE family thing to work on if you must. Maybe this is sleep. (Honestly, separate bedrooms might be the way to go. I suggested the motel thing because that's what a cousin of mine had to do when their special needs son was an infant.) Maybe this is finding a different response to the whines. But choose ONE and work on it for a couple of weeks. Let the other things go.
  5. Children are resilient. This is hard for me to hear, because the negative thoughts keep telling me that my children shouldn't have to deal with this. But as my sister pointed out to me on the phone yesterday, everyone has stuff that they need to deal with. Keep telling yourself that this is a short term thing. You won't always be like this. Your children are loved, and you're doing the best you can.

 

My parents went through some very very difficult years (my mother's major depression after death of a 4 family members in an accident, 3 miscarriages, having to take in my 2 teenage uncles, and financial worries because they suddenly increased from 4 to 6 children (and then 7 when I was born).) Things were not rosy. My parents yelled. They spanked my older sibs. (There is some benefit to being the youngest.) There was an incredible amount of stress around the house. They didn't communicate or fight well at times. And you know what? Despite that, we all have good relationships with my parents. Why? Because they did some fundamental things right. They loved us. More importantly, they respected us. We were given age-appropriate responsibilities and freedom. They never judged us based on others' values. They admitted to being human. And I believe they are now truly sorry that they spanked their children. I know from talking to my mom after I had children, the two things she regrets was spanking and letting us CIO.

 

Things that I'll add to my post from my experience: If you can tolerate them (and you may not be able to with your gut issues), don't be afraid of psychiatric meds. Are they 'natural family living'? No. However, as my sister sternly pointed out to me yesterday, they can be a tool for healing. It is not a sign of failure if you need some therapy with medication. Mental illness is an illness. If you had pneumonia, you'd be OK taking meds. You should give the same weight to your psychological pain. It's REAL pain. And that REAL PAIN can affect your children if it goes untreated for too long.

 

Second, don't be afraid to apologize to your children. When you screw up royally, tell them. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have yelled at you." "I'm sorry, I should never hit you." Yes, I've had to say both of those things to my children. I'm ashamed of it. Those have been the worst times in my parenting. But apologizing is the one thing my parents could never do. So, I'm modeling for my children what genuine apologies look like. If nothing else, I'm modeling that no human is perfect.

 

The most helpful thing I've ever learned as a parent (especially after my kids got to be 3 or 4) was to spend twenty to thirty minutes a day playing with my kids where THEY lead the play. That's advice that I got both from Playful Parenting (my all time favorite parenting book) and from the Challenging Child (I've got 2 of those, for different reasons). That time leads to connection. That connection helps you and your child weather other storms. So, for your son, how can you get 20 minutes a day where you sit on the floor and play with him. Note, it might be roughhousing, it might be changing activities every 3 minutes (3 year olds do that), it might be spending 20 minutes pretending to ride the city bus and getting on and off at different 'stops' (yes, I spent about a year doing this!). If both you and your husband could do this 5 days a week, your relationship with your son would be improved. If you can't do 20 then do 10.

 

Finally, make a list of things that you ARE doing right. When we're in such negative spots, it's hard to see the good. My list for today included some insanely simple things. I made the bed. I did a load of laundry. I made dinner. I went for a walk. I called my parents. It's not a huge project, but it's progress from where I was 2 weeks ago.

 

For you, I would include in that list: You defused the situation between your son and your husband. You modeled for your son that he does not deserve to be hit. You have made 3-4 playdates! I'm amazed by that. Maybe because I'm an introvert, but I think I made 3-4 playdates for my kids in their entire preschool years! You have breastfed your daughter for 6 months, despite some pretty major sensory issues (my dh can't stand to be touched much; my ds thinks that 'snuggling' involves lying 3 feet away from me on the bed!) You have unpacked all of your new place except one room, with an infant and a 3 year old!

 

I hope you can get the sleep and the pain figured out. I suspect that when those are more under control, you'll be able to focus on your relationship with your son. Hang in there momma, you're doing some good things!

 


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#12 of 33 Old 09-12-2011, 09:07 AM
 
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"I'm very sorry we don't have ham today, sweetie, I know that's what you wanted :".

 

You are being too nice and setting yourself up to be treated badly by your son. First of all eliminate all words like sweetie. He is not behaving like a sweetie. You are not teaching him to handle the disapointments of life. Instead say. "There is no ham so today you are just having eggs and toast." If he is nasty take the food away. If he continues to make a fuss take him and put him in a boring room like the laundry room and tell him that you don't like the way he is talking and behaving. The laundry room now the room for angry behavior. He can come out when he is done with his angry talk. Don't make him apologize. Forced apologies are a really bad idea. Tell him when he comes out he can eat breakfast or he can go hungry. When he comes out do not talk about what has happened at all. Don't try to lecture.

 

This is not a time out. Do not call it a time out. Do not count. Do not put him in his room.

 

After you do this a few times he will start to understand that you aren't going to put up with his crap and that you expect him to behave himself. Eliminate all the sweetie words and that kind of talk. Talk to him more like you would talk to an adult. Say what you mean and mean what you say (follow through). Gentle parenting doesn't mean you are a wimp. You have to be strong to be a gentle parent.

 

I live with my very strong willed 3 year old grandson and my son and dil. My dil has very poor parenting skills and it is confusing to my grandson that he is being parented two different ways. I am his primary caretaker. She works, travels for work, and doesn't want to be around him much when she is off work (that is her me time). Anyway, he started trying screaming and crying to get what he wanted with me. All I had to do was put him in the doorway of my room (I told him it was the crying room) twice and he hasn't tried it with me again. It only took two times because I've done this with other behaviors I have wanted to extinguish like tantrums. His mother thinks he behaves so well for me because I give him what he wants. My son tries to tell her it's because I help him how to behave and she doesn't believe it. She lives in her own world. It is hard when other family members don't support what you are doing.

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#13 of 33 Old 09-12-2011, 10:40 AM
 
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foreverinbluejeans -- I have great respect that you are helping raise your grandson. However, I find your techniques/advice a harsher than I would call Gentle Discipline. What the OP is doing is straight from "How to Talk So Your Children Will Listen..and Listen So Your Children Will Talk". There is nothing wrong with acknowledging the child's feelings. Children should be allowed to have negative feelings and to express them. If they aren't, then you risk ending up with adults with either anger issues or depression (anger turned inward). Not all do, obviously, but those of us who are at risk do. By saying "I know you wanted ham" you're acknowledging his disappointment so he feels heard. Now, after the first time, I'm done acknowledging.

 

I've chosen a different route for my children for 2 reasons:

One -- given the mental illness history in my family -- I NEED my children to be able to express their negative emotions appropriately. I can't have them stuffing them. Now, it's a really really hard job to do this, partly because I'm feeling my way in the dark. I don't know what appropriate expression of these feelings looks like. (Wanna guess why?)

 

Two -- the techniques you describe don't work with every child. They would have worked beautifully with our son. He's not given to many tantrums. He reasons things out. He NEEDS to be alone when he's upset. The threat of being separated from us put the fear of God into the child when he was 3, and would have made him the world's most compliant child.  These same techniques would blow up completely with my daughter. When she's angry or upset, she needs to vent, but then she NEEDS to cuddle and reconnect. Now, she does go to her room when she's screaming and having a fit because it's not fair to the rest of the family that she make our space uninhabitable. But she's not sent to a dull boring room. She's sent to her bedroom (or she often chooses ours). Very very often after she's gotten her frustrations out, she picks up a book and starts to read. Or she picks up some pens and starts to draw. THIS is a good thing for her to be able to calm herself. She's learning good skills that she'd never learn in the bathroom (our only really boring room).

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#14 of 33 Old 09-12-2011, 01:09 PM
 
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Have you tried simply letting him be upset and not trying to "fix" it? And do you allow yourself to be mildly annoyed with behavior like the ham thing? I'm not saying to ignore his needs, but it really is okay to ignore minor 3-year-old freakouts and say "well, that's how it is, here are your eggs". You don't need to validate his emotions every time.

 

I also suggest that you reflect on the fact that you are repeating the same pattern with your husband that your mother had with your father. He is your child's father, and you should not be putting yourself in the position of not "allowing" him to parent. If he feels like consequences such as time-outs or removing a toy are appropriate, I highly suggest that you do not interfere and, if necessary, talk to him about the situation later. Constantly undermining him will lead to increased frustration for him and serious mixed signals for your son.

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#15 of 33 Old 09-12-2011, 01:17 PM
 
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Also, I didn't realize that he was hitting your daughter and interfering with her ability to sleep and eat. That is bound to cause an intense emotional reaction from you and your husband because you are naturally protective of your vulnerable infant. I don't think many people could consistently react calmly and gently to their baby getting hit.

 

I am not saying that your son is horrible, he is behaving in a totally normal 3-year-old way. However, even if you know this intellectually, it is very hard to suppress that protective instinct. 

 

Please don't be too hard on yourself. This will get better.

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#16 of 33 Old 09-12-2011, 02:07 PM
 
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Haven't read all the posts, but see if your local school district has ECFE classes (early childhood family education) usually a once a week thing, sometimes they even have evening or saturday options. My hubby also works an odd shift, so we take turns going to class on Wed mornings, he goes one week I go the other. I'm thinking it will still work once the new babe is here. Then, at least every couple weeks, we have some time for ourselves, even if we use it to make a dr or chiro appointment, or shower alone, or do the bills/paperwork w/o a kid around. Well, I suppose once the new babe is here, it will be time for our son and daddy to have time alone together, and hopefully for me and the new baby to get an extra nap in once in a while :)

 

And with the food issues, you are still working it out, and I'm sure the stress isn't helping your healing much. Have you done food sensativity testing yet? (ALCAT and ELISA are two that I know of, I personally took the ALCAT) Found I was sensative to much more than I initially suspected, due to the leaky gut. After about a 4-6 mo elimination diet of those foods, and my gut was healed, I was able to reintoroduce most of the sensative foods just fine, save gluten (the biggie I suspected as my sister is Celiac) and a fair amount of addatives (like food dyes, etc) My isses were chronic fatigue for the most part, and it did improve over time. Some supplements recommended by my nutritionist were L-Glutamine, probiotics, iron, magnesium....definately ask about L-glutamine for you and your son though, it helps with cell turnover, thus enhancing healing of the gut.

 

It may be hard to do an elimination diet at first, but it is worth a go, with nutritional guidance of course. I found allergy cookbooks from the library to be quite helpful in meal planning/shopping.

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#17 of 33 Old 09-12-2011, 03:22 PM
 
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I think your biggest issue is lack of sleep for everyone, it sounds like your whole family is overtired. Remember, sleep deprivation is a torture method (yes, i'm serious).  Whether you or DS has SPD, I don't know. But I do know that lack of sleep will exacerbate any problems. 

 

Also, while you are tackling your sleep situation (with things like a consistent bedtime routine at an age appropriate time) you *need* to address your social network. We all need people to interact with (in real life, not just online).  You've talked about finding a church (great idea), please also consider checking out a local meetup.com group.  There are groups for every conceivable common ground, and gentle parenting is definitely one of those.  

 

Along the discipline lines, consistency is KEY.  We like and use techniques from the Dr Sears discipline book, Happiest Toddler/Kid, 123 Magic    (By consistency I mean between threat & follow through, moms & dads styles, etc not that you have to follow just one book's theories)

 

Also I will say that we as a family are happier and function better when everyone gets their needs met (needs for sleep, decompression time/activities, social interaction, and food). 

 

Good luck and know that there is no "right" way to parent and most importantly you need to do what works for you as a family, if it's not working for your family then it's not working and something needs to change. 

 

ETA: removed book title that was not the book I meant to suggest


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#18 of 33 Old 09-12-2011, 04:15 PM
 
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You know, this screams "sensory issues" to me. I don't suppose you've been evaluated for Sensory Processing Disorder, or read anything about it? Here's a symptom checklist. Of course, if you do have a lot of symptoms, I don't know where to tell you to go from there (except "get earplugs"), as I am still struggling with getting this diagnosed/treated. I don't dare have kids until then.

 

 

It definitely does not sound like a 'sensory issue'. They use tapes of crying babies and sleep deprivation to torture prisoners of war and to condition our military members. If it's a way to torture someone, I don't think that a mom who goes through this (and I'm sure almost every mom has with a screaming child/little sleep) is 'odd' for wanting to punch a wall when hearing someone scream/cry.

 

OP, you sound exhausted. Is there any way for you/your dh to arrange for a chunk of uninterrupted sleep at least once a week for each of you? It really helps to know that, for example, on Saturday morning I can sleep in. Even if I barely sleep until then, the 'hope' I have for Saturday gets me through and keeps me sane. Both of you need to catch some sleep--sleep helps increase patience, for one thing.

 

For your 3 year old, acting out is mostly normal. It's the age where he's realizing that he is a separate being from you, and is trying to assert it. However, in asserting it, he NEEDS you to give him boundaries. Once I set up a loose schedule (wake up time around 9-10, bedtime at 10pm, etc) ds relaxed a bit. He knew what was coming up ahead after a few days of this.

 

The second thing is that gentle discipline means that there is still some sort of discipline. Children need boundaries. Shoot, adults need them too. At 3 he needs to learn that other people have needs that will sometimes trump his, and that there is a difference between a need and a want. For example, after his brother was born, my oldest son wanted to be held all day long. That couldn't happen. However, his need for cuddles did get filled whenever my arms were empty like during his brother's naps. I also did things with him that only big boys could do, like help me 'wash' vegetables for dinner (aka splash with the water), that fulfilled his actual need for attention, which was under the 'want' of cuddling all day long.

 

Is there any way you and your dh can set up agreed upon boundaries for your children? For dh and I, we agreed that a timeout done in the same room as the parent is in was okay. After his timeout (which we do 1 min per year), we ask him why he thinks he is in there/talk about the situation. I find that this really helps him understand why mommy didn't want him to do something, which gives him a logical reason (if you jump on the couch you might fall down and break your arm/head/etc and it will really hurt and mommy will be sad) rather than a possible power struggle issue.

 

The one thing that helped me through all of this is that my children learn how to behave/expect through me. I don't want either of my boys to think it's okay to not have any time for themselves and to only care for others, not themselves. It's really hard to force myself to carve out some time to myself (oh, the guilt!) but I feel better afterwards, this helps fill my reserve, which helps me during stressful moments, and  the boys see that doing something for themselves is okay because mommy does it. I want them to be able to just do something for themselves when they become dads, so I need to model that.

 

(((hugs)))

 

Ami

 


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#19 of 33 Old 09-12-2011, 04:38 PM
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I agree that sleep is a HUGE need.  It's easy to get caught up in children's night-time needs and forget that, while sleep-deprived babies are cranky, sleep-deprived adults can be unsafe.  We have jobs.  We drive cars.  We are completely responsible for the health and safety of tiny people.  

 

I think it helps to take this on from multiple fronts.  You are already working with your pediatrician to find out what is causing your son's digestive issues.  That will help.  So will a lot of activity, frequent small snacks, and a rock solid bedtime/nap time routine.  

 

I would talk to your dh about his methods.  Acknowledge that he's frustrated, but some of his methods are undermining the strategy you're trying to implement in the long term in which your children sleep and so do you and everyone feels better.  Spanking is clearly unacceptable to you.  Your husband probably grew up with the understanding that spanking was how parents showed they really meant business.  Spanking needs to go, so your dh needs another way to show he means business that you can live with - it might be a method you aren't 100% happy with, like time out on the stairs for 1 minute per year of age, or something else punitive (but not physical), but if you can work together to agree to stop spanking, he can refine his methods as he becomes a more confident and empowered parent.  The other thing that needs to go is taking away dinner.  It messes with kids' sleep.  Your family's sleep is already messed up.  You have to break the cycle.     

 

It sounds to me like you also need to create a bedtime ritual.  A lot of kids find ritual soothing and reassuring.  It won't mean that they sleep through the night right away, but it will help them make distinctions between day time (in which parents play and are entertaining) and night time (in which parents meet needs and are utterly boring).  For a while, at least, it would probably also help if you go to bed when they do.  It would be great if your dh would too, but one step at a time.  

 

In your shoes, I would serve dinner (grain, protein, vegetable) at 5 on the dot every evening, and aim to have the kids in bed by 6:30.  I would get the kids up at 7 every morning, and try to put at least two active play times into our day by 4:30.  And maybe a nap, if they still do that.  

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#20 of 33 Old 09-12-2011, 06:02 PM
 
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In your shoes, I would serve dinner (grain, protein, vegetable) at 5 on the dot every evening, and aim to have the kids in bed by 6:30.  I would get the kids up at 7 every morning, and try to put at least two active play times into our day by 4:30.  And maybe a nap, if they still do that.  


This is our schedule, too and it works beautifully!  My 5 year old gets to stay up a little later but he is in his PJ's and unwound by 7.

 


DS (6.06), DD (10.08), DD (05.11).

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#21 of 33 Old 09-12-2011, 06:25 PM
 
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I haven't read the replies, so forgive me if I'm repeating anything!

 

I noticed that your kids are three years apart, and your son is three. I'm not sure why everyone talks about the terrible twos, because I found three to be SUCH a difficult age: they are so emotionally needy and figuring so many things out, and trying on so many different personalities and testing their limits (which IME, includes seeing if you respond the same way every time). Adding a newish sibling to the mix can be tricky too. In retrospect, I can see there was a lot of jealousy with my DD...she'd had us to herself for three years, and now there was a baby needing (especially) me ALL THE TIME. And we had a lot going on, and not enough sleep...so I feel for you.

 

I can't address your health issues, but I think a lot of what you're describing sounds pretty age appropriate. I think regular, ample sleep (for everyone), regular meals/snacks, and predicatable routines (including logical, always followed through consequences) can make a world of difference. I know it's not a popular sentiment here on MDC, and I would love to be a mom that never yells, that is always happy, and has a kid who is predictably good all the time b/c I feed him/her perfect meals, don't let them watch tv, etc, but it is EXHAUSTING to try and live up to this ideal. We do the best we can, as much as we can. Kids don't always live according to theories, and I've found that the more I parent, the more I have to check myself. Labelling myself as GD, or AP can make me feel really boxed in and frustrated, because I compare myself to a book or an ideal. No one needs a mom that feels crappy about themselves.

 

Can you call in some help? Get some time for you? Even if it's just a bit of time to yourself once a week, it can make a big difference. You and DH need to sit down and make a game plan. We fell into the empty threats/bribes hole around that age too, and it only makes it worse in the long run. Come up with a list of natural consequences for actions, and talk it over with your son, and make sure you BOTH follow the same plan...consistency is key. Find some strategies for you and your DH to get more sleep (alternate sleep ins on the weekend, force yourself to go to bed early a couple of night a week, take turns attending to kids at night). You are totally in the trenches right now, in terms of meeting everyone's needs and it is so easy to put your own needs last...but you have to take care of yourself, or you get too tired to parent the way you want to parent. I totally relate to the feelings you're having.

 

IMO, kids thrive on rhythm and routine. This does not mean a set-in-stone, follow the clock schedule, but creating natural points on the day that are structured for loud, quiet, restful or playful activities. Right now is a natural time to build some routines that work for you and your family.

 

Good luck, and I hope you find a good starting point!


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#22 of 33 Old 09-13-2011, 12:39 AM
 
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OP, my heart goes out to you.  

 

My first thought when I read your post was, "This family needs more sleep!"  ALL of you!  As others have pointed out, sleep deprivation has been used as a form of torture, and for good reason!  When people are tired, parents or children, their behavior changes and their health deterioriates.

 

If I were you, rather than spending time and energy on reading dozens of parenting books or researching possible medical diagnoses, I would focus on findings ways to get everyone more sleep.  You can be the most educated, well-intentioned, prepared parent who's read all the "right" books, but if you're exhausted, you're going to have a much harder time reacting in the way you'd like.

 

 

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#23 of 33 Old 09-13-2011, 06:17 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kathrineg View Post

Have you tried simply letting him be upset and not trying to "fix" it? And do you allow yourself to be mildly annoyed with behavior like the ham thing? I'm not saying to ignore his needs, but it really is okay to ignore minor 3-year-old freakouts and say "well, that's how it is, here are your eggs". You don't need to validate his emotions every time.

 

I also suggest that you reflect on the fact that you are repeating the same pattern with your husband that your mother had with your father. He is your child's father, and you should not be putting yourself in the position of not "allowing" him to parent. If he feels like consequences such as time-outs or removing a toy are appropriate, I highly suggest that you do not interfere and, if necessary, talk to him about the situation later. Constantly undermining him will lead to increased frustration for him and serious mixed signals for your son.


didn't the OP say that her dh spanked the kid out of frustration?  i think frankly this is pretty bad advice.  she's gotten much better ideas from other posters.  though i do agree that both parents need to be on the same page or not disagree in front of the kid.

 


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#24 of 33 Old 09-13-2011, 06:44 AM
 
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The reason you can't do "GD" is because you are both exhausted and frustrated with your DS, DD, and most importantly-each other.

 

The very first thing I would do in your shoes is work out a sleep and nap schedule and STICK TO IT. You will not solve any problems while the entire family is laboring under the heavy burden of sleep deprevation. Like others have mentioned it is torture to go without adequate sleep.

 

Once you get a sleep routine down then I would address discipline with your DH. It helps to meet people where they are to help them come to where you are. While spanking would be unacceptable in my house as well, I would allow DH to do timeouts to allow both parties to calm down. I would ALWAYS chose a timeout for my son over someone spanking him. Once you have more sleep and a better routine than you and DH can find time to discuss discipline and what you will do as certain situations come up-it is always better to be as proactive as possible. This helps avoid lashing out in anger.

 

Finally, don't get so caught up in what works for others. No one discipline works for all families. Things change from day to day and even hour to hour. You need to be flexible.

 

And you need sleep.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by hildare View Post




didn't the OP say that her dh spanked the kid out of frustration?  i think frankly this is pretty bad advice.  she's gotten much better ideas from other posters.  though i do agree that both parents need to be on the same page or not disagree in front of the kid.

 


 

I'm not talking about spanking, which he did once (which does not make him a bad person or an incapable parent.) I am talking about the overall pattern of not allowing him to set consequences and keeping him from following through on what he tells their son. 

 

If parents who did things out of frustration were barred from parenting their own children, then OP would be barred as well (as would everyone on this board.) Everyone loses their patience and messes up.

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#26 of 33 Old 09-13-2011, 04:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OP here. 

 

Haven't been around for a few days, since (as a few posters mentioned) I figured out that a lot of the problem was between my DH & I. I took the kids on a 2 day trip to visit our family so I could sleep (and DH could sleep and be without us). DH & I have had several heart-to-heart conversations about getting more sleep and lowering our expectations - of everybody and everything.

 

My DS was absolutely excellent on our trip, as I knew he would be. He really thrives in environments where he can move inside/outside (we live in a 3rd floor apt) and has some freedom. I'm pretty sure the only boundary I had to set for him while we were gone was no bikes in the street. He also plays so hard when we visit that he totally crashes at 7 and sleeps through the night. It was great.

 

Today was our first day everybody back home together and I think we're moving in the right direction. All the everybody's-about-to-snap tension is out of the air and DS seems like he can actually hear me now. 

 

Considering  a lot of the responses about eat and sleep routines which sound excellent.... will be setting up a loose structure for us. 

 

The fact that I call DS "sweetie" is my personality - that's also what I call my DH. And my sister. And  I call my mom "Mama" and I call my friends "darlin" - you get what I'm saying. I talk to my friends and family that way because I like them, not because my DS acts like a "sweetie" at every moment of every day. 

 

As for the threat-and-follow-through (I see there's some mixed response things  here) and bribery, my issue isn't with that it's not acceptable for my DH to do - just that it doesn't work. My DS is very verbal and manipulative. My DH acknowledged this in our talks and we've both agreed alone time to unwind is best for DS when he's really upset. He also likes explanation  (valid  reasons why things aren't okay) because of how verbal he is. Seems to have a greater effect.

 

Lots of thanks  for lots of great advice..... now I'm going to bed... winky.gif


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#27 of 33 Old 09-13-2011, 05:20 PM
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From time to time, my dh has threatened my kids with consequences that I think are stupid.  For example, once he told our three-year-old that she wasn't allowed to leave the table until she ate three bites of dinner.  I would never say that, or try to make a child do that, but he did say it.  There was a pretty powerful natural consequence, though - he had to hang out with her in the kitchen and make her do it.  It was frustrating for both of them.  Eventually, they found a way out of the power struggle.  He told me later that he knew it was a stupid thing to say the second the words were out of his mouth, but by then it was too late.  And to be honest, while I wouldn't do that particular stupid thing, I've done other stupid things.  Once, I told my younger dd that she couldn't play outside or watch TV because she was acting too wild.  The second I said it I knew it was a mistake, but I said it and I had to sit inside with her and corral her wild crazy need-to-run-around-ness for a whole beautiful day that really could have gone much better (and then handle the consequent lousy bed-time with a kid who wasn't tired because she hadn't gotten any exercise).  

 

So what I'm getting at here is that I think, as parents, sometimes we try things that don't work, and that's OK.  My kids are fine - so confident and happy that they astound me on a daily basis.  I think that once you define the boundary that's really important for your family (like no spanking), you and your dh both have to feel your way to approaches that work for you.  It's OK for your dh to try some things that don't work, even if you know that there's no way that approach will work.  It might work better for him than it does for you.  If not, he'll try something else next time.   

 

I would add, however, that in my house the parent who imposes the consequence gets to enforce it.  I don't get to announce that the kids can't go outside and then make my dh handle the resulting chaos.  We're a team, so he will support me emotionally and logistically while I try to carry through on what I said, but if I hand the kids over to him, I'm giving up and he gets to choose the new approach.  

 

 

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#28 of 33 Old 09-13-2011, 10:41 PM
 
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I strongly believe that children that are way out of line require immediate reaction that stops the out of control behavior (moving them to a boring place) and makes the child aware that you will not tollerate that behavior (no discussion of feelings or lectures with a 3 year old). It is wonderful to acknowledge feelings when the child expresses them in an acceptable way. If the child is upset about no ham but not out of control you can say, "you really with there was ham", "I wish I had a magic wand to make you ham", "I'm sorry there isn't ham but we will go to the store and you can have ham for afternoon snack", ect. As you have experienced trying to talk to an out of control child doesn't work. You will have plenty of times in the next 15 years to acknowledge feelings. If you stop the out of  the behavior by taking action just a few times in the child's life you will then have a well behaved child that you won't want to yell at or spank and you can take the child anywhere. This is an investment in the rest of their lives. You aren't doing anything bad to the child.  It is not out of line with gentle discipline.

 

You seem to be worried too much about psychological issues and making excuses for poor behavior. People have to behave well even if they don't feel well or if they don't get enough sleep. Some people never feel well and never get enough sleep. It's normal for families with a 3 year old and a baby to not get enough sleep. Scheduals don't work for all families.  

 

I became very ill while pregnant with my third son and my leg was paralyzed when he was born (I learned to walk in about a year). I was diagnosed with a rare genetic immune disorder that was adult onset for me and cancer. My 2 sons had unusual infections, asthma, skin problems, and other health issues and all 3 boys (my 8 year old, 5 year old, and the newborn) were tested for the genetic disorder. The all have it. When they were young we had to go to 3 different hospitals for treatment and many different doctors. I had home IV therapy with antibiotics and gamma globulin every 3 weeks and the kids were hospitalized several times and had to have IV therapy every 3 weeks as out-patients at the childrens hospital. They had to have their blood taken every week. The baby had to have IVs in his head. We all had arthritis and eczema. They had ear infections often and diarrhea all the time. The baby had FTT. My asthma was difficult to control and I was on high dose steroids and I became physically addicted. It took months to get off of them. No one slept through the night. Our priorities were making it to appointments, eating, everyone getting their meds, and getting enough laundry done so people had clothes to wear and there were sheets on the beds.  

 

Talk about STRESS. My husband left during one of my hospitalizations while I was pregnant. He filed for divorce the day after my son was born. I never saw him again except in divorce court. I could have made excuses for my children behaving badly. The first year when the baby was born and we were all sick was hell but my kids were well behaved and I was well behaved. There was no yelling, punishment or hitting. If you teach kids that they can't have out of control behavior when they are 2 and 3 it can last a lifetime.


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#29 of 33 Old 09-14-2011, 03:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It's clearly not nearly as important to me as it was to you that my child be a perfectly behaved 3 year old. And I don't think my having empathy (and sympathy, since I have the same problems) for my DS because he doesn't feel well is a problem. I'm all he has the vast majority of the time, and DH the rest. Someone has to care about the way he's feeling.

 

This all sounds very personal and you're obviously a wonderful success story for overcoming the obstacles laid in front of you over your life, I just don't think any of it applies to my family.

 

FWIW  - my son is RARELY out of control. We're talking about 30 second episodes a few times a day... There is rarely a time I can't talk him down with words alone. If I can't, he  is told to go somewhere to calm down and come back when he feels better. And he does. IMO, that's decent self control for a newly 3-year-old.

 

Mostly the problem is the way my DH and I tend to react - not the way my DS is a 3 year old.

Quote:

 

Originally Posted by foreverinbluejeans View Post

I strongly believe that children that are way out of line require immediate reaction that stops the out of control behavior (moving them to a boring place) and makes the child aware that you will not tollerate that behavior (no discussion of feelings or lectures with a 3 year old). It is wonderful to acknowledge feelings when the child expresses them in an acceptable way. If the child is upset about no ham but not out of control you can say, "you really with there was ham", "I wish I had a magic wand to make you ham", "I'm sorry there isn't ham but we will go to the store and you can have ham for afternoon snack", ect. As you have experienced trying to talk to an out of control child doesn't work. You will have plenty of times in the next 15 years to acknowledge feelings. If you stop the out of  the behavior by taking action just a few times in the child's life you will then have a well behaved child that you won't want to yell at or spank and you can take the child anywhere. This is an investment in the rest of their lives. You aren't doing anything bad to the child.  It is not out of line with gentle discipline.

 

You seem to be worried too much about psychological issues and making excuses for poor behavior. People have to behave well even if they don't feel well or if they don't get enough sleep. Some people never feel well and never get enough sleep. It's normal for families with a 3 year old and a baby to not get enough sleep. Scheduals don't work for all families.  

 

I became very ill while pregnant with my third son and my leg was paralyzed when he was born (I learned to walk in about a year). I was diagnosed with a rare genetic immune disorder that was adult onset for me and cancer. My 2 sons had unusual infections, asthma, skin problems, and other health issues and all 3 boys (my 8 year old, 5 year old, and the newborn) were tested for the genetic disorder. The all have it. When they were young we had to go to 3 different hospitals for treatment and many different doctors. I had home IV therapy with antibiotics and gamma globulin every 3 weeks and the kids were hospitalized several times and had to have IV therapy every 3 weeks as out-patients at the childrens hospital. They had to have their blood taken every week. The baby had to have IVs in his head. We all had arthritis and eczema. They had ear infections often and diarrhea all the time. The baby had FTT. My asthma was difficult to control and I was on high dose steroids and I became physically addicted. It took months to get off of them. No one slept through the night. Our priorities were making it to appointments, eating, everyone getting their meds, and getting enough laundry done so people had clothes to wear and there were sheets on the beds.  

 

Talk about STRESS. My husband left during one of my hospitalizations while I was pregnant. He filed for divorce the day after my son was born. I never saw him again except in divorce court. I could have made excuses for my children behaving badly. The first year when the baby was born and we were all sick was hell but my kids were well behaved and I was well behaved. There was no yelling, punishment or hitting. If you teach kids that they can't have out of control behavior when they are 2 and 3 it can last a lifetime.



 

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#30 of 33 Old 09-14-2011, 12:34 PM
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Anjsmama, I agree with you.  Sometimes a kid throws a tantrum and it's just because they're a kid.  I don't think empathy for their issues is ever inappropriate.  My kids have really firm boundaries on their behavior, but none on their feelings.  And, as long as I can step around and do what I need to do, I don't think it's major misbehavior for a three-year-old to throw a fit on the kitchen floor.  I think it's evidence that the child hasn't yet learned that the appropriate venue for that fit is their private bedroom.  But, like an earlier poster, I don't think it's a punishment to be taken to a room that is decorated and furnished for your personal amusement and comfort.  When I take my kids to their room, it's because it's the correct place for their current activity, not because it's boring.  

 

I'm not sure why the ham has become such a contentious topic.  When my older dd was four, she had frequent meltdowns because, as she put it, "I just want what I want when I want it."  She's ten now, and she doesn't do that anymore.  I could attribute this change in behavior to my awe-inspiring parenting skills, but I'm 98% certain that she just outgrew it.  I imagine that my refusal/inability to bow to her whims helped, but mostly I just waited.

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