"Daddy, we used to play together, and now you just hit me" - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 7 Old 06-04-2014, 03:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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"Daddy, we used to play together, and now you just hit me"

I come to you all, cap in hand, seeking guidance.

Those are the heartwrenching words of my daughter last night.

It was 8:30pm. It had been a long day, and I was very much looking forward to the highlight: some bedtime stories with my girls, and then turning in.

We had returned from the park, and they wanted to play more, but it was bedtime. I asked them to get ready. Younger daughter started to change into jammies, but older daughter sat on the side of her bed, and announced with a big smirk that "I'm not going to bed", and ran away.

I chased her, and attempted to reason with her. Told her she could stay up later when she was able to get up on her own in the morning. Told her that her bedtime was passed. No dice. She continued to run away, until I cornered here, and put her in an armlock, and marched her back to her room.

Resumed conversation there, and tried to rationalize. More overt defiance. She tried to run away again, and I twister her arm behind her back and manoevered her back to her bed.

She burst into tears : " We used to play together and now you just hit me"

WOW.

I was a stay at home dad for a spell, and me and her used to be quite tight. But then the girls went to school, and wife and I went back to work. I have a flexible working arrangement, but wife is a workaholic, and it puts a lot of pressure on the family. I look forward most of all to doing stories at the end of the day, and tucking my daughters in, and now this is lost to me.

I have a problem dealing with my daughter's defiance. Particularly when I'm tired. I never lose my temper, but if at a standoff, will resolve with strongarming my daughter into compliance.

Yes, it sucks.

How did I get here? I don't know. Never was that way for me at home. I guess it's just the fallback position when all else fails - As it so frequently done.

It's odd, as I've been exposed to a lot of mindful parenting practices via books Kohn, Markham, Coloroso. But still I end up in these situations... and according to my daughter, it's become the standard.

I need to find a better way to address/avoid these situations, so I don't end up reaching for the very blunt and ugly tool of violence.

Help.
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#2 of 7 Old 06-04-2014, 08:16 PM
 
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I suggest writing down the things the kids do that trigger you then planning what you will do. A reward chart may help set the stage for more cooperation. I found the Love and Logic books helped a lot when I was just reacting in the moment and I found getting counseling to help me deal with stress has also helped me stay calmer when triggered.

A lot of the books you listed are helpful but can also be damaging if you stop reacting until the situation is extreme and requires manhandling or caving completely. Getting rid of feeling guilty about imposing consequences when misbehavior starts helps me react effectively without losing it. If you are letting a lot of lilittle things go during the day only to find yourself acting too forcefully out of frustration in the evening I think you need to reevaluate your overall parenting style. I love Kohn's work but it is not useful as a style if following it makes you lose control in these harsh ways. I suggest blending it with Dr. Sears or something similar.
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#3 of 7 Old 06-05-2014, 05:11 AM
 
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Use the methods in Everyday Parenting Toolkit

This is how you got there.
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#4 of 7 Old 06-05-2014, 06:38 AM
 
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My biggest discipline challenges with my kids come when they have changed into a new developmental stages (new behaviors, new expectations, new abilities) and I have not adjusted my expectations. Another challenge is when they are on the cusp of a new ability but I have jumped ahead and have already starting expecting them to be able to do something.

Can you tell us what age your daughters are?

One of the many limitations of physical discipline are that they only work to the point that you can physically make your child do something, which we all know are limited both in subject and with time. We can not make our children sleep, or eat, or use the bathroom...or whatever.

The very first and most important think I think I do as a parent is avoid power struggles. Given a short temper and not enough good habits (I've been there!) I think I would have focused on getting the younger daughter in bed and told the older daughter that you know you can't make her sleep, remind her what time she has to get up, and requested that she not bother her younger sister.

My oldest is 12 and she still VERY much wants to be parented. Given the option to choose something that I do not think is a good choice, she will normally shift gears. But even if she doesn't, there is this great thing that comes from letting them have some space to choose -- LIFE! Your older daughter would have gotten tired. If she stayed up late she may have gotten tired at school and remembered how right you are. ;-) Or not...and in that case she may need a later bed time.

Tell us more -- you can totally break this habit!

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#5 of 7 Old 06-05-2014, 06:39 AM
 
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BTW, on the subject of books - my favorite is "Parent Effectiveness Training". It's been around a long time and is available used online for like 5 bucks.

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#6 of 7 Old 06-16-2014, 11:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post
A lot of the books you listed are helpful but can also be damaging if you stop reacting until the situation is extreme and requires manhandling or caving completely. Getting rid of feeling guilty about imposing consequences when misbehavior starts helps me react effectively without losing it. If you are letting a lot of lilittle things go during the day only to find yourself acting too forcefully out of frustration in the evening I think you need to reevaluate your overall parenting style. I love Kohn's work but it is not useful as a style if following it makes you lose control in these harsh ways. I suggest blending it with Dr. Sears or something similar.
Thank you to everyone who replied - I am working my way through the suggestions. This one was the most immediately helpful. If they aren't complying, I threaten "No tv", or some other small punishment.... it gets compliance.

I've always hated the approach of getting compliance through threats like that, but see now that it is the lesser of evils and does prevent bigger blowups.

Thanks everyone. My situation is slowly stabilizing here, and I just want to thank those who offered assistance in a time of great need and distress.
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#7 of 7 Old 06-18-2014, 05:57 AM
 
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yeah,It's been around a long time and is available used online for like 5 bucks.thanks
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