How do I deal with the defiance?? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 43 Old 03-06-2014, 03:53 PM
 
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What if the child didn't get in the shower?
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#32 of 43 Old 03-06-2014, 05:54 PM
 
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I have not experience a situation like that before so I am reflecting through my eyes based on the person I am. I would have let him get to bed without the shower and have a consequence for that choice he made. My job as a parent is to instill in him that every bad choice he makes there is some sort of consequence to pay. Just like adults, if we choose not to pay a bill we are responsible for, the consequence for that is a late fee or a negative report to the credit bureau, or if we choose to drive 45 when the speed limit if 25, a ticket or sometimes worse happens.

As parents we make the mistake of addressing the child instead of the behavior, if we stick to the making the behavior the priority, we will get the results we need. It's hard to not revert to old ways of doing things for instance using some of the disciplinary approach our parents used with us, and we fail to realize that every child has his/her own unique personality and what may work for Dick will not work for Jane. This is what I mean by addressing the behavior not the child.

I am a member of a site called Empowering Parents and I must say, it's really been a rock when I felt I was walking on quick sand with my boys. I have been a single Mom for little over 11 years and having to play the roles of mother and father got the best of me at times.

I have screamed, I have kicked at things, I pulled apart toys and even broke a plate or two and I am not ashamed to say it. The only thing I am ashamed of was being a disappointment to myself, thinking that I could have parent my children the way my parents parented me.

My children had to teach me that is doesn't work that way: I read and read and research and practice until I started getting results. It was so brutal to keep my calm at times and hard to accept that I have to choose which behavior is more important to address than the other because all seemed disrespectful to me. But we can't address them all at once, we have to do them one at a time.

We also can't really think that grounding a child for a week is really a practical punishment- how many of us have given in and let them get their privilege back way before the punishment period is up. I was guilty of that over and over and over. I guess it's logical to say that we can't expect them to learn from their mistakes if we can't follow through with our promise of a punishment.

Check out Empowering Parents.com, you wouldn't regret it.

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#33 of 43 Old 03-06-2014, 05:57 PM
 
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I read the title and then opened to see if the child in question was 3...sure enough!  I think 3-5 is the hardest age. My advice (w/o reading the other great suggestions) is to try to look at their defiance as them trying to learn something - even if it's about your reaction.  Model what you'd like them to do in YOUR situation if you guys are in a tiff. More later time permitting... 


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#34 of 43 Old 03-06-2014, 09:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post

I read the title and then opened to see if the child in question was 3...sure enough!  I think 3-5 is the hardest age. My advice (w/o reading the other great suggestions) is to try to look at their defiance as them trying to learn something - even if it's about your reaction.  Model what you'd like them to do in YOUR situation if you guys are in a tiff. More later
Quote:

Thanks, that sounds like great advice. Looking forward to hearing more.

Things are much better. I have really been focusing on loving her a lot and respectful communication (me to her mostly). I've also been trying to pay attention to her as a unique person and what her personality traits are. She really is a nice person. She has so many really lovely qualities.


One thing I'm still struggling with. Sometimes she gets too rough physically when she's playing and she seems to have trouble stopping once she's entered that mode. I've tried asking her to stop and physically moving away from her but she will keep following and persisting in the jumping or the head-butting or whatever. Even if I put her in her room she just keeps laughing and coming out and jumping on me. Or if I leave the room she will just follow. How do I refocus her in situations like this?

Mother of two spectacular girls, born mid-2010 and late 2012  mdcblog5.gif

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#35 of 43 Old 03-06-2014, 09:38 PM
 
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Dont move away from her. Say, if you want to play with me you can do x, but not y. She does y, you put her on the other side of the room and do it again. Until she plays respectfully, you do it again and again and again.

If you don't repeat the scenerio to your liking, she simply traded whatever unpleasant thing you did to her for a few minutes of annoying/hurting/controlling you. For a kid who is trying to figure out her relationship with you, being sent to her room is probably a pretty small price to pay for her chance to be passive aggressive.

By redoing that playful rough interaction until she fits in your boundaries, you are showing that you mean what you say, and manipulation doesn't work. You will respect her need for rough play by giving her an outlet, but you will also be sure she never ever has the pleasure of doing it in a way that is disrespectful to you.
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#36 of 43 Old 03-06-2014, 09:54 PM
 
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My kids 9&11 have requested we not say, "please" because they feel that means they have a choice. It is rough having a child who needs/wants lots of autonomy. I have to remind myself that I am trying to raise children who think and don't blindly obey. If we want them to make their own choicesunder peer pressure we need to start by letting them do it under parental pressure.
I see lots of good ideas on this thread.
Other thoughts, pick your battles and offer choices.
e.g. Mommy is doing the dishes. Do you want to do the dishes or pick up towels tonight? Be prepared every once in a while they will take on a chore they normally hate! It'll be messy or you'll end up doing both when they need help but they'll learn a new skill.

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#37 of 43 Old 03-07-2014, 05:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by katelove View Post
 

One thing I'm still struggling with. Sometimes she gets too rough physically when she's playing and she seems to have trouble stopping once she's entered that mode. I've tried asking her to stop and physically moving away from her but she will keep following and persisting in the jumping or the head-butting or whatever. Even if I put her in her room she just keeps laughing and coming out and jumping on me. Or if I leave the room she will just follow. How do I refocus her in situations like this?

 

 

I'm so glad to here things a slightly better. I remember when my first was this age. I hypothesized that the reason this age is so challenging is because it's dotted with these really cool moments where we start to see our children as older, rational beings only to have them totally act out defiantly the next moment. With the roughhousing, I would try playing along until you are ready to stop without pushing your own boundaries or patience to continue. When you're ready to move on, just stop. Easier said than done, right?  In the case of trying to disengage with a super active young child, I feel like what works well to do some family chore. Maybe start making lunch and engage her to help. Or go get some firewood, or whatever. Something that's still active and doesn't leave you as a sitting target. ;-)  

 

I would say that this age is the time when parents should really try to focus on triggers for power struggles. Once a parent gets into a power struggle, they've lost, IMO (and I've BTDT).  In the case of the towel, maybe just clarifying to her what happened, "Ok, I have asked you to pick up the towel. Are you saying you are not willing to do that? Perhaps you can do that later and if not I will have to do it."  I think 3.75 is probably too young to get logical consequences but you could always try something along these lines. Perhaps if she would like a snack. You could remind her that the towel is still on the ground and nicely (and casually!) you could ask her to run up and pick up the towel while you prepare a yummy snack. If she won't you could tell her she will have to wait a minute for her snack while you get the towel. This is a fairly mild "punishment" (and think the way it is phrased makes a big difference). If you do something like this, be absolutely sure not to lecture of lay it on. That's a bad habit (BTDT). 

 

Another thing that I discovered at this age, which BTW, I am about to start all over again...I just realized!  Oh, my gosh!  Anyway...  :eyesroll  Another thing is this weird magic that I learned here at Mothering way back when my first was this age. It has to do with expectations. I'm not a spiritual person, I don't really believe in this on a metaphysical level even though it sounds like it. But, if you can get yourself to a place where you really, really believe your child will pick up the towel, they are far, far more likely to do it. This is the mantra that kids live up and down to our expectations And the really do. And this habit as a parent is one that is important for a long time to come so it's good practice even if it doesn't work especially well at this exact stage. 


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#38 of 43 Old 03-07-2014, 06:17 AM
 
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It was so brutal to keep my calm at times and hard to accept that I have to choose which behavior is more important to address than the other because all seemed disrespectful to me. But we can't address them all at once, we have to do them one at a time.

I agree with this. I think we generally reach a tipping point as a parent because a log of frustrating things are happening at once. And then we're tempted to make changes based on all these things. That doesn't work. Nikki, if you like to read, I suggest Parent Effectiveness Training. A great book! 

 

There's a great White Stripes song about a girl named Janet and she learns from a squirrel to break her problems up in little pieces. If you like rock music listen to White Stripes Little Acorns.  Or we could just play this really loud every time our family starts to drive us crazy. In time, my guess is that this would be the best family management technique ever invented. Kids & partners will hear this song and just get their stuff in order. :rotflmao 

 

If it catches on I would like it to be called the Identity Crisis Mama technique. 


Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#39 of 43 Old 03-07-2014, 04:53 PM
 
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Nikki, did you mean to quote yourself?  If not, I can remove that post. 

 

I was thinking about this thread. Like the Fisher Family, we do a lot of groundwork. Ours looks different but I can describe something that happened just today along similar lines. Our DC will be 3 in April. She's very much in the "I help" phase and of course we want to harness that. But it takes so much work. Just today she "helped" me with three loads of laundry, which took 10x longer with her help. Fortunately for me I have a 12 year old and I've seen the pay-off of this sort of foundation. And that kind of goes right back to the first example - the towel. My 12 year old has a few chores but we're so busy that I often end up doing her chores...but in return she's often helping me with things that would have some kids (and parents!) crying Cinderella. By 12 my DC wants to live in a nice home that's not constantly messy. She wants a mom who feels cared for and cherished because that makes life feel good and she also probably knows that when I have time to myself and I feel good that I'm more likely to come up for air and plan some fun  things for her. 

 

An interesting thing about our lives is that just a slight tweak can feel like punishment/rewards and with a slight tweak we could look very consensual. It feels more authentic to me to call it what it is -- and that's somewhere in between. And that's ok and has worked pretty well for us. 


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#40 of 43 Old 03-08-2014, 07:31 AM
 
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Hi Identity Crisis Mama,

 

Nope I did not mean to quote my own self. :duck I guess that's my blooper for being a newbie. You can remove,

thanks ;)

 

 

Nikki

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#41 of 43 Old 03-08-2014, 07:47 AM
 
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No problem, Nikki!  I'll remove and you can re-post if need be. Welcome, mama! 


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#42 of 43 Old 03-08-2014, 08:52 PM
 
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If we "make" things about power (in our heads) then we will get into lots more power struggles.

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#43 of 43 Old 03-08-2014, 09:31 PM
 
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I just wanted to share how helpful this thread has been. I am really trying to avoid the power struggles now. With my 2.5 yo, I don't make a big deal out of her 'no' to my request. She seems to be learning to exercise this right, and who I am to force my will upon her? Is that how I would care to be treated? Although I admit there is a flash of anger with each 'no', I try not to let her see that. I simply remind her of the consequences of her actions, and gently comfort her when she is angry. There are more fires to put out these days with her, but they fizzle more quickly when she feels not only heard but respected.

With my 3.5 yo, naps were becoming such a struggle. Finally, I told her that it was her choice. She could choose each day whether she felt tired enough for a nap, and I moved nap time back by an hour to accommodate her little sister better. This power of choice helped enormously. She now takes naps because she wants to versus because I told her to. Because I couched this 'deal' in a 'big girl' light, she now helps me with all kinds of daily tasks, like snapping asparagus, or winding balls of yarn, sorting laundry, or wiping down the dinner table. I particularly like to step in with these requests when an argument I cannot solve is brewing between her and her sister - like who was playing with the doll first. I know my older daughter often behaves like a bully with her younger sister, taking away toys and books and generally lording over her, even telling her how to feel (oh,if I had a dime for every time I heard "so and so told me to feel sad!" accompanied with lots of screaming and crying.). I feel like removing her from the situation and giving her some responsibility will help her craft gentleness and kindness toward her sister. (Please don't mistake this for not addressing the issue. We are a no hitting house, and hitting garners an immediate time out and an apology. Smaller offenses involve hearing all sides and issuing apologies.)

So overall, I have learned so much from this thread! So much to work on.
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