it's official.. Gentle Discipline is not possible with my child :( - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 260 Old 08-04-2004, 07:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by veganmamma
...How would you feel if your husband took the remote away from you and told you no, he didn't want to watch another channel, or he didn't want you to experiment with the buttons?...
It would make no sense. I'm a person who has demonstrated through the years that I will not destroy the remote. My two year old did not have that ability (nor did he want the old remote he was allowed to have.) I see a difference between two year olds and thirty year olds. Not in their need for respect but in their need for guidance and limits.

I am an authority figure to my child, I'm not afraid or ashamed of that. I think he counts on me for that. Not through corporal punishment, not through yelling, not through manipulation, but through consistancy and reasonable rules that reflect my families values and the needs of my child, not his desires but his needs.

But, and this is so important, how I handled things like access to the remote with my son would not be appropriate with every child. I think the path for GD is long (18+ years) and wide. Its one thing to say "Breastfeeding is best", it's quite another to say "If you don't hand over the remote control to your crying child, you are not respecting your child's personhood." I can see drawing those firm lines if we were talking about TCS, but with GD? No, I don't see GD that way.
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#62 of 260 Old 08-04-2004, 07:23 PM
 
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I have to disagree with the notion that not "giving in" is not gentle discipline. You don't have to "give in" to your child's tantrums in order to show them love and respect. These are two separate issues. My mother gave in to me every time I threw a tantrum. She also disrespected me by not listening to me and not taking my feelings seriously. The reason she gave in to me was because she didn't care enough to take the time or make the effort to help me. My father, otoh, was very strict but he always took the time to listen to me and talk to me and treated me like the intelligent, capable person that I was. Although I think he was too strict and would not want to follow all of his parenting methods, I respect and love him more today than I do my mother. I also feel more love and respect from him than from my mother.

You could give your children everything they want without dealing with tantrums. You can also treat your children with respect without giving them everything they want. Not everything that I want is good for me and not everything my dh wants is good for him or maybe not good for the whole family. We sometimes have to give each other a reality check. As a family, we have the responsibility of doing the same for our children.

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#63 of 260 Old 08-04-2004, 07:46 PM
 
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This is a great thread, I am glad to have read it.

Some things that have worked for us:

I absolutely cannot have junk food in the house. When we want a treat, we get single servings or use it all at once. This way we have eliminated the struggle and whining for said treat. It makes my life alot easier.

The same approach has worked for us with the TV. When it is in the closet, noone asks to watch it. When it is in the family room, it's hard to keep it off. TV has a bad effect on my kids. It makes them grouchy and irritable and bored. I think this is because they aren't really DOING anything, when they are watching TV. We use it sparingly. You'd be surprised how unimportant it becomes if you have to drag it out of the closet.

If my dd's(almost 5) throw a temper tantrum, there is usually an underlying reason (fatigue, hunger, sadness, etc). They may be throwing a fit about not wanting to pick up their toys, but when I think about it usually I can find the underlying reason. It helps me to be more understanding. That said, I don't give in, because I don't make a lot of arbitrary rules. So if dd is crying, I will hold her and try to make her laugh,etc. If I feel like I might be losing my temper I will tell her that I need to go check something in the kitchen and I will be right back. This way she has time to think and relax, but I'm not "abandoning" her. I will come back and leave until we've resolved the issue. 9 times out of 10 getting them to laugh diffuses the situation.

DS is 2 and more stubborn than the twins. Distraction is my best trick with him, esp since I am trying to reduce his nursing a bit (preg with #4).

Also, if dd says,"Mommy get me some grapes now!" I will tell her to say, "Mommy may I have some grapes, please"so that she will know the best way to ask.

HTH

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#64 of 260 Old 08-04-2004, 07:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by loving-my-babies
clothcrazymom- thanks for your kind words and very wise post.

ok, so about an hour ago, all the TV's are OFF! NO TV IN OUR HOUSE! the radio is on, and dd is playing with paints in the livingroom, listening to some music. wow, I feel good about turning the TV off. I will take her to ger gymboree class later on today, so that will give us something to do. I need to find more activities to do at home, I am buying her more finger paints and some more paper (she has a lot but if it's new it'll motivate her and she'll be happy playing)
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#65 of 260 Old 08-04-2004, 07:57 PM
 
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pugmadmama- I understand your point, but I disagree that children have a "need" for limits. I'm not saying that if you don't hand over the remote you don't respect your child's personhood, either. What I mean is that snatching it away is disrespectful. Right now I am discussing a bar of soap with my dd. It is mine. I don't want it open and chewed on. Instead of taking it away I explained that I don't care if she holds it, but please don't chew it or open it. She wants her own to open and mess with so since we're going to the store anyway, we'll look for a soap of her own to mess with. She is excited about going to the store and i'm excited that she isn't eating soap or ruining a special gift, and I haven't taken something away while she screamed in protest. I think I handled the situation in a way that respected her without creating a power struggle.

Maybe I do just disagree with gentle discipline. I still have a MAJOR beef with this "giving in" and letting your child scream and cry crap. It isn't gentle. How is a child supposed to reconcile have all their cries attended to since birth and then once they reach a certain age their mom decides all of a sudden not to.

I just read some more of the posts and remembered why I've stayed out of here for a long time. The GD forum is moving in a direction I can't respect I think.
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#66 of 260 Old 08-04-2004, 07:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MarineWife
I have to disagree with the notion that not "giving in" is not gentle discipline. You don't have to "give in" to your child's tantrums in order to show them love and respect. These are two separate issues. My mother gave in to me every time I threw a tantrum. She also disrespected me by not listening to me and not taking my feelings seriously. The reason she gave in to me was because she didn't care enough to take the time or make the effort to help me. My father, otoh, was very strict but he always took the time to listen to me and talk to me and treated me like the intelligent, capable person that I was. Although I think he was too strict and would not want to follow all of his parenting methods, I respect and love him more today than I do my mother. I also feel more love and respect from him than from my mother.

You could give your children everything they want without dealing with tantrums. You can also treat your children with respect without giving them everything they want. Not everything that I want is good for me and not everything my dh wants is good for him or maybe not good for the whole family. We sometimes have to give each other a reality check. As a family, we have the responsibility of doing the same for our children.
I really appreciate this post, thank you.
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#67 of 260 Old 08-04-2004, 08:00 PM
 
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This thread is so awesome. I love seeing such passionate responses with so much good philosophy, suggestions, hands on advice, good debates and everything.

My 2 cents worth is about the hair thing. I've found that if I get her hair brushed out right after a bath with lots of conditioner it's easier to comb. I keep it in a ponytail or braid most all the time so that it doesn't get food/sticky stuff in it. She sleeps with a braid most nights and that keeps the tangles at bay too. It's less of a battle for us because it doesn't hurt as much to brush.
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#68 of 260 Old 08-04-2004, 08:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by veganmamma
Well, I disagree with Charles Bauledaire, but I often do. :LOL No offense, CB.
None taken. Everyone to her own tastes.

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My child can choose what she wants to eat just as I choose what I want to eat. If I don't like what everyone is having, I'll make myself something else. ...Just because dd doesn't have the skills to make her own food or the money to buy her own food, doesn't mean she shouldn't be afforded this respect. Forcing kids to eat food they don't like or not to eat any food at all is continuing the food battle and is an ultimatum I personally find very, very offensive.
***The reason I gave that advice is because it sounds not like an issue of, "I don't like what's being served to me," but rather, "I will not eat because it pi***es you off." Hey, if I had Lil' Veganchild over to dinner, I wouldn't serve her ham with a side of sausage. I'd cook things I thought she'd like (tofu with a side of sugar peas?), but no mom should have to be a short-order cook.

In other words, it's not about tastes. It's about control.

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Allowing a child to scream for hours and hours is not gentle discipline. Well, truthfully, I feel like a lot of things that are not gentle pass for gentle discipline around here anymore. My eyes were bugging out when I read that though.
Again, my point was to take away what the child is using as a very effective and inappropriate tool of manipulation. Not allowing it to affect you renders that tool powerless. I would absolutely *not* give in to screaming...and the thing is, VM, it sounds like you've been more in control of the situation than LMB -- whose intentions were kind and good, seriously! -- so it never needed to get to that point of escalation because you'd set up the situation to avoid that.

However, different situations call for different actions. This is a more seriously out-of-control situation than a child's reasonable request or reasonable frustration.

Anyway, I agree with much of what you said.
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#69 of 260 Old 08-04-2004, 08:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Peppermint
Above all- she is NOT spoiled brat and YOU ARE A WONDERFUL MAMA! I have also never seen someone take advice here so quickly and so gracefully, your dd is lucky, you are doing great! GD can work with your daughter, you just need to keep seeking help when needed, that's what the forum is here for, I have learned so much myself .

Oh, I would so like to second that! Ditto!!!! No one is perfect (DEFINITELY NOT ME!!!!) and boy, it takes real ovaries to admit it and ask for help, esp. where raising our kids comes into play.
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#70 of 260 Old 08-04-2004, 08:18 PM
 
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CB, I agree, no short order cooking here. I keep her favorites prepared and in the fridge. When it's about control I think the bigger issue is why the child thinks they need to manipulate the power structure, kwim?
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#71 of 260 Old 08-04-2004, 08:33 PM
 
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I think a false dichotomy has been set up. The choices are not "Give in to screaming" or "Ignore screaming child completely." Responding to a tantrum does not have to mean giving the child the exact thing he or she wanted.

You can show love and empathy.
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#72 of 260 Old 08-04-2004, 08:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MarineWife
You don't have to "give in" to your child's tantrums in order to show them love and respect. These are two separate issues.
I strongly believe this, too. But I am reading and considering the different pov's carefully....

Here is my strategy:
I am careful to avoid power struggles. Safety, respect, kindness--those are the basic rules. Other things can come up when we are out (wanting things that I will not buy--but there are LOTS of things that *I want that I do not buy--I try to curb our consumerism on all levels....), or when she is tired (struggling with bedtime routine, or preparing to go out in the morn).

When we are getting into a struggle (she is raising her voice, maybe crying, seeming panicky), I try to head it off before it becomes a tantrum: eye contact, physical contact, saying "I'm listening--tell me your pov....your idea (she often wants to suggest a compromise--and frequently they are brilliantly doable!). We try to "work it out". Usually, this
is the end of the episode.

If she continues in the direction of temper tantrum, then there is usually an aggravating factor (fatigue, overstimulation, hunger, etc). At that point, it is clear to me that she needs to get *out* of the situation. Giving in is not going to help! She will just be melting down about something else in 5 (1?!) minute. So then I move to empathising strongly, but remaining firm. Screaming is not reasonable behavior. Kicking and hitting (like my tantruming child) is not reasonable behavior. So we move from reasoning to damage control, and work on calming the tantrum. I do not leave her to cry alone, although she often tells me to "get away" from her--but I stay close for when she is calm enough to be comforted.

After she is calm, if she wants to "try again" or suggest a compromise, that is fine--I am flexible again. But screaming will not change my mind. I know that at times she does not have the patience/capacity to reason--goodness, she is only 3!--but I just don't think that "giving in" helps the situation. For us, it only delays the inevitable meltdown.

So, that is why I don't "give in" to tantrums. Does this make any sense? Does this seem respectful?
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#73 of 260 Old 08-04-2004, 09:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by loving-my-babies
OMG this is exactly my definition of gentle discipline. however, I keep hearing from a lot of people that TV is bad for their health, too much junk food is not good, etc.. the clothing thing is really my issue, so let's discuss the TV and junk food issue. it would be SO easy to just let her watch tv all day, or whenever she wants to.. but is it really in her best interest? I don't want her to grow up to be a stuck-on-a-tv-screen-all-day person, I want her to explore other things. I want her to read (she reads a lot but only when TV is off, if it's on she would much rather watch tv) then there's the ADHD thing, and studies that point towards TV being harmful not only mentally but physically as well. who wins here? help! I would feel uncomfortable letting her watch TV all day, to tell you the truth, it just doesnt feel right. about food, I think I need to start eating healthier foods If I'm going to ask her to eat healthy foods. It seems like torture to have a yummy box of ice cream in the freezer when she can't have any. it's like counting money in front of the poor. kwim?
Fantastic thread and responses. One of the best I've seen in GD in a long time!

I think you've hit on something very important in your last post, LMB. And I think it is something that truly a lot of people who come to MDC struggle with. It's the conflict between what we hear or feel or know is truly best for our children and what is reality in our homes. If tv is a problem for a child, then it is a family problem. It means the entire family needs to make a change, IMO. For instance, if a dad can come home after work, turn on the tv, and watch whatever he wants for as long as he wants, then he is role modeling that behavior for the child. It then makes absolutely no sense to a child why he or she can't do the same thing! Same with the eating. It doesn't make much sense to buy food that children aren't allowed to eat. If junk is the problem, then in all fairness to everyone, it should stay out of the house.

After I finished reading some really poignant posts in this thread, with several sticking in my head like Lauren's and VM's, my 2-yr-old came up and asked for something to eat. Instead of listing the options for her, which I am prone to do, I simply said ok and asked her to pick out what she wanted. She asked to open the "freeza" which means the fridge, so we did and I started naming off items that were in there since she could only see one shelf. What did she pick? Cauliflower. She could have chosen the pudding, the chocolate milk, some other "healthy" choices as well. And if she had, I would have given it to her. Some nights I serve desert with their meal and if they eat it first, fine. They have never eaten the desert first and not eaten the meal. I have gone through phases where I allowed food to become a control issue, where I did the threatening or the bribing, and it was horrible. It's such an easy trap to fall into. And so destructive.
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#74 of 260 Old 08-04-2004, 09:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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wow, so many interesting posts.. ok I'm going to give my kids their bath and I'll be back in a bit... (tonight)
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#75 of 260 Old 08-04-2004, 09:59 PM
 
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You don't have to "give in" to your child's tantrums in order to show them love and respect
I agree with this.

Lauren, what is wrong with setting boundries? How is not giving in wrong to you? I read your last post about the issue with the soap. Why must everything be a dissertation? Cant no mean no?

I should add that i refuse to make food a battle, yet it was going to become one if i kept the ice cream soda in the house. So i called a moratorium, because it was evident to me, that Nicholas could not deal with this in a productive way. How is that not cuing into my child? He just couldnt, or wouldnt understand that you cant have ice cream at 7am.

And should a child get his way everytime? Because he wants the remote, or to watch spongebob, or to stay outside, climb on the counter, why is it not gentle to set limits?

My child is not the "boss" in this house. Bedtime is a certain time during the school year, we have to hold hands in the parking lot, and no soda. I made these rules for their wellbeing. I love them enough to say no.
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#76 of 260 Old 08-04-2004, 10:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by veganmamma
pugmadmama- I understand your point, but I disagree that children have a "need" for limits. I'm not saying that if you don't hand over the remote you don't respect your child's personhood, either. What I mean is that snatching it away is disrespectful...
Who said to "snatch it away?" I think you're introducing a strawman arguement.


Quote:
Originally Posted by veganmamma
... Maybe I do just disagree with gentle discipline. I still have a MAJOR beef with this "giving in" and letting your child scream and cry crap. It isn't gentle. How is a child supposed to reconcile have all their cries attended to since birth and then once they reach a certain age their mom decides all of a sudden not to...
Toddlers are different from infants. Young children are different than toddlers. Pre-teens are different from young children. And so on. Call it "cry crap" if you must, but I think the physical and psychological differences between an infant and a toddler are very real.

For me, that you meet all your infants needs when they cry does not translate into giving in/negotiations with toddlers/young children everytime they cry. Back to the remote, my son wanted to fling/stomp on the remote. I wasn't going to go out and buy him a new one (he rejected the old one that was for him anyway.) I didn't snatch it out of his hands, I refused to give it to him in the first place or if he did get it, I'd gently remove it from his hands, even if it made him cry. I'd offer to read him a book or direct him to his train set. But sometimes he just had to cry because he didn't get what he wanted (the remote.) And I think that's okay and perfectly in-line with GD.

I'm not afraid of my child's tears or of my own. I think crying can be a healthy part of life, even when it's from hearing a difficult "no." I think learning to deal with the frustration of not always getting what you want (and/or an acceptable substitute) is an essential part of childhood and it's a skill you need your entire adult life. Life isn't fair, everything is not negotiable, I don't think teaching my son otherwise is what I'm supposed to be doing as his mother.
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#77 of 260 Old 08-04-2004, 10:31 PM
 
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Well said, Pugmadmama.
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#78 of 260 Old 08-04-2004, 10:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by loving-my-babies
I think I need to start eating healthier foods If I'm going to ask her to eat healthy foods.
Definitely. It also helps if you make a point of sitting down together and eating the healthy food. Make it a fun experience. Ds just the other day started eating salad (WOOHOO!) and I'm convinced it's because we sat down and ate together (we haven't been doing that so much lately. ).

I'm really focused on avoiding food struggles, as food was one of the way my parents controlled me from the very beginning and I firmly believe it lead to my long battle with eating disorders. I found that it was hard, though, to get ds to eat healthy food when there was dessert waiting at the end. So, I abolished the idea of dessert altogether. Now, if he wants ice cream before dinner, he has ice cream before dinner. He has a really small amount, though, so he'll still be hungry and he's really okay with that very small amount. He just wants to be able to eat what he wants when he wants. And then he eats dinner just to eat dinner - not to get to dessert. Maybe something like that would work for you?
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#79 of 260 Old 08-04-2004, 10:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ok, I have questions for both trains of thought. veganmama, I think we are having a great discussion, I respect all your posts and like them all, you have given me wonderful advice, and I am sorry you feel GD has gone in the "wrong direction", but I think everyone has a different definition of what "gentle" is, and every child is different, even though I do agree with you and your posts inspire me, I think it's ok that everyone has different ideas. you guys are all here because you have such a big heart and want to help me. I thank you all for being so generous with your time.

Ok, so on to the questions. veganmama.. and all the mamas for VERY gentle parenting, how do you handle tantrums? what do you think I should do when Valentina is screaming and crying and if I approach her, she will try kicking me? I would love to find a more gentle alternative than screaming back "please stop" and hugs will NOT WORK. I have tried comforting her DURING a tantrum, but it only makes it worse. I admit, this interferes sometimes with what I am doing (pretty much all the time) anything that is not for her, I have to stop doing in that exact instant or she throws a fit. what about me needing 5 minutes to catch the end of a favorite TV show? if the TV is on, it has to be cartoons, or again, another fit. it's so hard! do you have any advice on how to approach this in a gentle way?

for the other train of thought.. the same questions. what would you guys do in this case? in the middle of a tantrum, do you use bribes ever? how do you feel about punishment? I don't like these but I do want to know what works for you and why.

thanks again, guys! they say it takes a village to raise a child.. you guys are my village
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#80 of 260 Old 08-04-2004, 10:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dechen
I think a false dichotomy has been set up. The choices are not "Give in to screaming" or "Ignore screaming child completely." Responding to a tantrum does not have to mean giving the child the exact thing he or she wanted.
Definitely.
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#81 of 260 Old 08-04-2004, 11:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by loving-my-babies
Ok, so on to the questions. veganmama.. and all the mamas for VERY gentle parenting, how do you handle tantrums? what do you think I should do when Valentina is screaming and crying and if I approach her, she will try kicking me? I would love to find a more gentle alternative than screaming back "please stop" and hugs will NOT WORK. I have tried comforting her DURING a tantrum, but it only makes it worse.
This is a perfect example of where one-size-fits-all parenting strategies fail. My son is the same way - he does not want to be comforted when he's having extremely strong feelings. He doesn't want me voicing his feelings for him ("You seems frustrated/angry/yadda yadda"), he doesn't want me touching him. I've found through a lot of trial and error, though, that he does want me to be "present" so he can have a great big hug and cuddle or a cleansing cry in mama's arms when he comes down.

What I've learned to do is to stay very near, maybe crouch on the perimeter or, if that's too close to him, to be away but still available. I say to him very clearly that I'm there for him when he's ready.

Occasionally, too, humor breaks through, but it has to be the exact right moment (just going on feeling) and I have to be super careful. It's pretty risky - sometimes it's exactly right and sometimes it couldn't be more wrong (which leads to more explosion).

Quote:
what about me needing 5 minutes to catch the end of a favorite TV show?
Tivo?

Seriously, I think this is one of those situations that just has to be avoided. It's apparently a trigger for both of you. You'll probably get to a point eventually where she'll be okay with giving you five minutes but it's probably not going to be for awhile.

Quote:
for the other train of thought.. the same questions. what would you guys do in this case? in the middle of a tantrum, do you use bribes ever? how do you feel about punishment? I don't like these but I do want to know what works for you and why.
No way. No bribes, no punishments. Neither are respectful. In both cases, you're discouraging the child from having her feelings.

Do you talk with her very much about feelings? Does she have a rudimentary understanding of her feelings? Maybe in a quiet time, while she's happily occupied, painting, etc., you all can discuss the feelings that she during those times. Put names to them... talk with her about ways to handle them. It's a big thing for these small people to have such HUGE wells of emotions and not have the tools to process them. It's our job to help them discover those tools... we can't expect them to just figure them out.
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#82 of 260 Old 08-04-2004, 11:13 PM
 
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I think a false dichotomy has been set up. The choices are not "Give in to screaming" or "Ignore screaming child completely."
ITA.

VM, thank you for defining "sass" for me, what you originally said about her being "sassy" makes much more sense to me now.

About kids "needing" limits. I am having a hard time imagining a world with no limits. Limits exist. Kids need to know how to cope with them. It's not even a matter of needing them, they are just there and kids have to learn to deal with that somehow. So, we help them by letting them know where those limits are and what happens when you cross them. You don't set up an overly strict environment with lots of arbitrary limits, and you don't create a bubble in which everything the child does is OK, either. These are extremes, of course, but I think most parents tend toward one side or the other, at least in their philosophies. This is what I think is so great aout GD, is it encourages parents to be real. What I mean is, both the "strict" parent and the "bubble" parent are trying to manipulate their child's world. In GD (as we all know) you try to let them experience the natural consequences of their actions, as dictated by real life. Not fake consequences imposed by us arbitrarily, as in "no ice cream for dinner because you hit your brother," and no real consequences taken away, as in "you poor dear, you seem upset, here is the remote you wanted even though it's the fifth one we've had to buy this month."

So, obviously sometimes we have to say no and we all want to do it as kindly and respectfully and humanely as possible. To me this includes comforting a crying child, no matter why they are crying. And to offer realistic choices. "Eat this broccoli or go hungry" is not a real choice, to me. It isn't fair to the child, it's saying "my way or the highway" and disguising it as a choice. Same with "I do your hair or we don't go out." I'm sure we can all come up with better choices than these if we think about it.
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#83 of 260 Old 08-04-2004, 11:14 PM
 
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: I am really enjoying this thread!

I am definalty in the setting boundries and approaching them in a firm but gentle manner......

Grace - photographer, wife and mom to 4 great kids (Ethan 5.00, Ainsley 4.02, Owen 12.04, and Ellis Ann 10.07) :
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#84 of 260 Old 08-04-2004, 11:19 PM
 
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for the other train of thought.. the same questions. what would you guys do in this case? in the middle of a tantrum, do you use bribes ever? how do you feel about punishment? I don't like these but I do want to know what works for you and why.
Before I give you my idea, I must give you the disclaimer that I have never dealt with tantrums of the intensity you are describing. It sounds like you have a serious power struggle on your hands and that each tantrum is another episode in the struggle, rather than a response to a specific frustrating incident. But here goes: In a calm moment, you could approach her openly and honestly about the problem you both have. Sympathize with how she must feel and tell her how you feel. Then ask her how she would like you to respond to her tantrums. You may be surprised at how reasonable her answer is! I did this with my dd when she was 3 about whining. She came up with a solution (ignore it!) and it worked great. I would simply remind her of her own advice and let her know I was taking it. Sounds simple -- maybe too simple for your situation, but maybe not!

Stephanie mom to Brianna (6/00) , Alexander (6/02) , and Ethan (9/07) .
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#85 of 260 Old 08-04-2004, 11:43 PM
 
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I just wanted to pipe in here and say that I know a couple of children my dd's age who are being raised without "limits". No one can stand being around them anymore.

I was babysitting my friend's four year old and she kept pushing my son down the slide, which was scaring him. I continually told her in a firm but gentle manner to stop, and explained why. She wouldn't stop. I told her that she needed to stay away from the slide and find something else to do. She literally screamed and cried like ppl were killing her for ten minutes. Her parents never tell her no; her entire world was ending because I actually told her she *could not* do something!

This 4 yo. went home and told her mom that I hit her. This is no joke. At one point, when she was completely out of control and I was afraid the neighbors were gonna call the police, I held one of her arms firmly to keep her from running into the street. But I "hit her"

Her mom could have written your posts, Veganmomma. Word for word. It sounds like everything you are doing is working GREAT for you guys AT THIS STAGE, but things can and do change. I actually could have written your post word for word, until dd got a little bit older and the techniques you describe ceased to work.

I hope that is not offensive to you; I truly believe that at your dd's stage and age, you are a SHINING example of GD parenting. But some children - especially spirited/high needs children - push things to the absolute limit, regardless of *how* respectful you are of them. Does that make sense?
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#86 of 260 Old 08-04-2004, 11:45 PM
 
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One more thing I wanted to add -

I have noticed a lot of people talking about "control" and "power". Try not to think about it in those terms. Don't think, "I have to get control of her/the situation" or "We're really engaged in a power struggle here". This sets up a combative mindset where it's you vs. her in a battle of wills. Try to think about it in more neutral terms, like "She's upset because I didn't buy her the candy bar she wanted at the store." It sounds trite but it has really helped me.
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#87 of 260 Old 08-05-2004, 12:07 AM
 
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famousmockngbrd- I agree that life has limits. I don't sugar coat life's limits for dd, but I do look for ways we can all be happy. Also, re: power struggles, the term power struggle helps me realize that it isn't about engaging in a battle of wills, and if that's what I'm doing, it helps me back off. Just another perspective.

candiland- obviously your friend and I do not agree since I stress respect for other people's person and their property. I would encourage you to go back and read Dar's post, for the perspective of a mom with an older child. Your friend's idea of respecting her own child's personhood is not the same as mine. I think it's disrespectful to my child not to teach her to respect others. I just think that I can do that in a way that is not condescending or authoritarian. I'm not the only one. Many people here at MDC have older children who learned respect this way. IMO, being respected is a great way to start teaching repect of others.
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#88 of 260 Old 08-05-2004, 12:09 AM
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Sheesh! Go to sleep for 9 hours and look what happens!

"Do not give in" does not translate into "ignore!"

I have allowed my dd to destroy her room when she is particularly angry. You can bet this child will not have any repressed emotions. Do not be afraid of strong emotions. They are perfectly normal. These strong emotions frighten many of us. Let's examine why!

I have never punished my child. Bribery backfires. Every time.

BTW CharlesBaudelaire, you say you are giving your dd a choice. But when she makes the choice you withdraw something that she would love to do, therefore, in her mind, you withdraw your love for the choice she makes. That's how I see it anyway.

None of this has anything to do with "being raised without limits." Not setting limits does not cause problems; disrepectful parenting causes problems; wishy-washy parenting causes problems. You can find this in any good (written by an actual expert) basic child psychology book. If a child has not developed good self-esteem through respectful, empathetic parenting, limits or no limits will be a non-issue.

Candiland ~I do understand that there are highly spirited children. But I maintain that parents can find ways to be empathetic and understanding towards them too. Monkey'sMom example is great! And, with that I am in no way saying that you are doing something wrong. I just mean that I think there are ways of being disrepectful that are very subtle, that we don't always recognize in ourselves.

Dar ~

Veganmama ~Perhaps you'd like to join us in the TCS support thread in FYT? It may not be exactly what you are looking for - many of us are not die-hard, though - but come take a look.

LuvMy2Sweeties ~I definitely have dealt with tantrums of that magnitude. We've used your tactic too. It's a good one.
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#89 of 260 Old 08-05-2004, 12:23 AM
 
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CB, I agree, no short order cooking here. I keep her favorites prepared and in the fridge. When it's about control I think the bigger issue is why the child thinks they need to manipulate the power structure, kwim?

YES. Very true! My theory, mumbleheaded as it may be, is that she's trying to establish *some* form of control coming from her because she needs some more control coming from mom/dad and isn't getting it.

Being a strongwilled person myself, I always appreciated it a great deal when I knew exactly what the rules were. I am very, very uncomfortable with indecisiveness and ambiguity. My favorite boss was this guy who was an ex-cop who ran a bar. He had seven things he wanted you to do. They were on a poster on the office. He didn't give a rat's patoot about anything except those seven things. For me, that was an ideal situation. I realize that not everyone would feel the same, but this lil' cutie sounds familiarly tempered, if you KWIM.
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#90 of 260 Old 08-05-2004, 12:38 AM
 
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the term power struggle helps me realize that it isn't about engaging in a battle of wills, and if that's what I'm doing, it helps me back off.
Good point.
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