Natural consequences for rules - 3.5 year old - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 01-17-2014, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi folks,

 

 

Our DD is nearly 3.5. We sort of got through the monster-three-year old phase alive (kind of) - but there are some lingering bad habits that we helped to facilitate that I'd like to address.

 

We'd like to create some family 'rules' with her - I think she would respond to it, in theory anyway, but I'm struggling with what could be the consequences of NOT doing them. We're slightly considering reward charts...though I'm not really a believer, just because I think she responds much better to praise than to anything even slightly negative (at the merest hint of parental objection, she'll shout and argue until the cows come home, which is how I guess we've let her get away with some of these things so far)...but we're still debating the chart idea. The following are the types of things we want to try and put boundaries on: I also need some help with how to phrase these things as positive statements???

 

-- No throwing food on the floor (food goes in mouth, into the rubbish, or on the kitchen bench)

-- Trying not to shout (using nice tone)

-- Not getting water on the floor (water stays in the sink, or for water play - outside or in the bath).

-- DD helps to pick up toys at the end of the day (seems impossible this one)

-- No hitting or poking (she gets a big kick out of trying to poke us in the eye when we're least expecting it, not sure what that is about) (gentle touching only)

 

There are a couple more, but my brain has farted momentarily.

We also have another issue causing us big probs, but will save that one for now.

 

Anyway - what would be the natural consequences for the above....? Cleaning up food she's deliberately thrown on the floor herself? Take her food away? (trouble with the latter is often the food thrown is at the end of the meal, or a banana skin or whatever).

 

Hmm.

 

Thanks for any thoughts.

 

G

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#2 of 4 Old 01-19-2014, 06:34 PM
 
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My child is the same age so I'm not sure how much help I can be. But I think some natural consequences are possible. I do expect our ds to wipe up water if he spills it. He loves to have water flying everywhere when he's in the bath. I matter of factly explain that we can't have water in the floor as someone could slip and hurt themselves. I give his a towel and he wipes it up. Same with food on the floor - it's not where it belongs and needs to be picked up. At first, I would agree to help him clean up and we would do it together. But often now he does it without much argument. We had a lot of power struggles at first over cleaning up. Doing it together initially helped somewhat, and I just didn't give in. We didn't play or do anything until the mess got cleaned up. Maybe others wouldn't agree with this, but he quickly realized there was no point in dragging it out. Also, my ds likes to help clean if it involves a spray bottle. Making one up with vinegar and water could help make it fun initially, hopefully decreasing power struggles.
As for the yelling and the poking, I wish I had a suggestion...we still struggle with our ds doing similar things. Not giving the behaviour as much attention helps sometimes. Our ds likes to lick us instead of kissing at bedtime. It settled eventually, crops up sometimes, but it's largely gone away.
I would also mention if it were me, I would tackle one thing at a time. All at once could be overwhelming for you and her.
Good luck! Let us know how you make out.

married to DH, mother to two amazing little boys born May 18/2010 and May 20/2013!

Infertility has been part of this journey - no more littles for us, but so grateful we have two happy healthy boys and we can now begin to heal from that experience

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#3 of 4 Old 01-19-2014, 10:20 PM
 
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Hi Grover, we were in the August 2010 DDC together, nice to see you. hola.gif

 

We struggle with many of the same things.  Here is how we are dealing with it.

 

-- No throwing food on the floor (food goes in mouth, into the rubbish, or on the kitchen bench)

First time he does this at a meal, he has to help clean it up.  If he ignores our request to clean it up, or he keeps throwing the food, then the meal is over for him.  Clearly he is not hungry if he thinks the food can be thrown.  We also tell him where the food can go (in his mouth, back on the plate, on a napkin on the table, or in the trash).

 

-- Trying not to shout (using nice tone)

We ask for "indoor voice".  When we're outside we let him shout.  Inside it is not allowed.  We usually tell him it hurts our ears, if he keeps doing it then I remove my attention (i.e. I walk away telling him I can't stay close because he is hurting my ears).

 

-- Not getting water on the floor (water stays in the sink, or for water play - outside or in the bath).

I turn off the faucet and ask him to wipe up the water with a towel or rag.

 

-- DD helps to pick up toys at the end of the day (seems impossible this one)

I think this is asking too much, it's a big job at the end of the day when everyone is tired.  Sometimes (if the mess is getting out of control) I will ask him to help clean up the last set of toys before getting out a new set of toys (e.g. put the puzzle back in the box before getting blocks out).

 

-- No hitting or poking (she gets a big kick out of trying to poke us in the eye when we're least expecting it, not sure what that is about) (gentle touching only)

I tell him I'm upset or sad, that hurt.  I remove my attention, tell him I don't want to spend time with someone who is hitting me.  If he apologizes then he gets my attention back.  Sometimes I ask him if he would like it if someone hit him.


Paula, mama to DS M (7/2010) sleepytime.gif and Watson (1998) dog2.gif and welcoming baby Penny (8/1/2013) babyf.gif

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#4 of 4 Old 01-21-2014, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks fullofhope - what I find interesting about your reply is the you 'never giving in' bit. I/we have a problem with that I think...which is how we find ourselves in a position where some of these 'bad' habits have become a bit entrenched.
 
Somegirl99...
 
Thanks for reply!
So you've got a little August bundle of sunshine too - ahem. ;)
Feels SOOOOOOO long ago the DDC now - like a different universe. I feel I've aged a thousand years....and I'm sure that's probably not a good thing.
Just going to respond to your great points (thanks for taking the time!)
 
Quote:

-- No throwing food on the floor (food goes in mouth, into the rubbish, or on the kitchen bench)

First time he does this at a meal, he has to help clean it up.  If he ignores our request to clean it up, or he keeps throwing the food, then the meal is over for him.  Clearly he is not hungry if he thinks the food can be thrown.  We also tell him where the food can go (in his mouth, back on the plate, on a napkin on the table, or in the trash).

 

Well - we have missed the boat entirely I'm now thinking...as she has been doing this for quite a while now, without us intervening. It's not at all meals - just dinner. Not only has she gone from being a good eater a couple of months ago, to a fussy eater...but also not eating terribly much at all. There is ALWAYS some playing with food - and eventually some kind of mess, on the table or on the floor. I know what you say is true - but if I got her down straight away to pick stuff up....that would be the end of the dinner.

We've tried taking it away...but somehow we always cave and give her, her 'pudding' - which is always yoghurt...I guess I'm still harbouring fears from two years ago...i.e. that she might starve. I do tell her all the time where food is allowed to go - but, amongst other things she is doing, she takes a certain amount of glee from it all. I'm not sure how to get past this point where it's still a game, and funny to her. She is cunning though, often thrown things happen at the END of eating/drinking. E.g. The banana skin will get thrown around after she's already had the yummy banana. Or her milk bottle gets thrown...after she's finished the milk etc. I've tried to say she will not have milk since she throws the bottle....she promises she won't (obviously doesn't understand the concept) - has the milk. Does it anyway. 

 

Quote:

-- Trying not to shout (using nice tone)

We ask for "indoor voice".  When we're outside we let him shout.  Inside it is not allowed.  We usually tell him it hurts our ears, if he keeps doing it then I remove my attention (i.e. I walk away telling him I can't stay close because he is hurting my ears).

 

I have realised in the last couple of days that she is shouting because I sometimes shout. I think I need to work on not shouting myself (I even thought it might be funny to do a reward chart - just for MYSELF!) and see if she will copying my more appropriate behaviour. I tried yesterday....got through the whole day without shouting....and she did shout less, only when she was upset - not in a bossy/infuriating kind of way. Worth trying anyway.

 

Quote:

-- Not getting water on the floor (water stays in the sink, or for water play - outside or in the bath).

I turn off the faucet and ask him to wipe up the water with a towel or rag.

 

Now that I've written about this one, it has been less of a problem the last few days. Timing is a problem, as per dinner - as she is tired...in the bath...am dying to get her out and off to bed...and she'll quickly make a huge splashing mess just before she gets out. Like a last rebellion type of thing. Am reluctant to delay PJ's and bedtime so she can learn to clean it up herself. During the day....not a problem, will try getting her to help clean it up more.

 

Quote:

-- DD helps to pick up toys at the end of the day (seems impossible this one)

I think this is asking too much, it's a big job at the end of the day when everyone is tired.  Sometimes (if the mess is getting out of control) I will ask him to help clean up the last set of toys before getting out a new set of toys (e.g. put the puzzle back in the box before getting blocks out).

 

Yes. I used to do this - insist on packing up a few things before more things came out. I need to get back to it....before she's been up even an hour, the lounge is covered with toys, things from the kitchen....stuff and stuff and STUFF. By the end of the day, it's ridiculous!

 

Quote:

-- No hitting or poking (she gets a big kick out of trying to poke us in the eye when we're least expecting it, not sure what that is about) (gentle touching only)

I tell him I'm upset or sad, that hurt.  I remove my attention, tell him I don't want to spend time with someone who is hitting me.  If he apologizes then he gets my attention back.  Sometimes I ask him if he would like it if someone hit him.

 

I will try doing this each time. At the moment I try to explain and try to get an apology (which she is beginning to understand) - but I don't often move away. I'll try that.

 

 

Thanks again. Really appreciate it.

I thought we were over a hump with her, and her age and stage (see my other thread)....but I'm not so sure now....

One thing we are concluding is that she is mirroring us quite a lot...and neither of us are very relaxed as parents (understatement!) - so we are going to work on ourselves too....see if we can't dial the whole intensity back a few notches. See if that helps with the behavioural stuff at all too.

 

G

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