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#1 of 8 Old 11-20-2004, 12:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I hope someone can explain this to me. DD is 19 months. DH and I are a couple of first-time parents, and you know, figuring it out as we go.

Today the thing that was driving me bonkers was dd would want to eat,we'd go into the kitchen and pick something out of the fridge together (like an orange, or some yogurt). Then she'd peel the orange, and open the yogurt, and then say "no"-- I'm not sure if she just wants to open/peel things, like playing, and she's not really hungry, or what. But then she'd want something else. So, I have to say no at this point, since we have a peeled orange and an open tub of yogurt already, and I'm getting really frustrated. "If you're hungry, you may have some yogurt or some of your orange; we're not getting anything else". Profuse tears and screaming, "no! no! no!" ensue.

This has been going on and getting worse for some time, as our natural inclination has been to get her what she wants to eat-- we're probably too obliging, it's true-- but it is becoming clear that we need to change something!! We've curtailed the problem at dinner by eating together at the table, with all the "available" food at the table in front of us. But during the day, unless we're at a restaurant or something, we go through this several times.

The part about needing to set consistent "limits", or be consistent about offering a limited number of things to eat, and sticking to it, anyway, has already become clear to me.
I guess since this testing limits thing is new, I am really asking how to handle the tantruming/upsetness on her part, because it is coming up frequently in other situations now, too-- like getting in the car, or going to bed, etc. etc. I've been reading in some books, but I'm not "getting it."

The confusing thing to me, is if I am going to put her in the carseat, and she wants to sit and read stories and nurse in the car first, I think "well, I don't need to get to the store in a particular hurry; I have no problem with that". So I do it. Is that giving in? Should I stick to the original plan and deal with her being really upset "just because"? This is my response to most everything. I just figure being a parent is inconvenient sometimes, and "it's my job". Am I a pushover?

It is going to be a complete disaster if we don't get clear about this now, I think, because a baby is coming in the spring, and I simply will not be able to be so accommodating anymore. I'm worried that we've already screwed everything up.

Ideas?
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#2 of 8 Old 11-20-2004, 01:19 AM
 
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I've been dealing with the same thing over here, Melissa!

Dd goes in front of the fridge, and then wants to "shop," so I started not allowing her to standin front of hte open fridge (she would do this all night if she could, and mostly just wants to look at everythign just to say no). We also go through the I-want-that-but-I-just-changed-my-mind-now-that-it's-ready phenomena.

About a month or so ago I put my foot down about it, and when she tantrumed, I supposed I just named her feelings. "You're really sad! You want to look in the fridge! You're angry! Wow! You're really frustrated!" and just waited it out. When she looked like she was ready to stop, I pulled out the boob and then she nursed to calm down. If I offered her teh breast before she was ready, she would refuse. She also doesn't want to be touched when she's tantruming, so for us, that means that I hang out about 6-8 feet away from her and just name her feelings until she's done. Then when she nurses I talk about how that was really frustrating, she was really sad, she was angry, she wanted X and couldn't have it, she was sad....etc. etc.

It took about 2 weeks for her to stop tantruming at the refridgerator door. And now, instead of about 1 or 2 a day, she tantrums about 1 or 2 a week. I think that's an improvement...I think her frustration level is going down because she has consistency and knows what to expect (even if it's not exactly how she would like things to be).

I also think that if there's free/spare time, there's no reason not to hang out let our kids take their time being ready and doing things in and around the car. We haven't had any problems with confusion over sometimes playing and sometimes going straight to the car. Maybe that's because she is able to get her play time around the car at least once a day.

My rambling thoughts, anyway.
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#3 of 8 Old 11-20-2004, 03:18 AM
 
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No advice, really, just joining you in being a bit confused about those things. Our ds is 15 mo. old, and goes through some of the same stuff. Aside from the carseat thing, a big one is ds wanting to go outside all the time. And we do, a lot, but sometimes it rains, or we just really don't feel like it, or we have to leave, and then we don't, or sometimes we go a little while after he asked. So, is that confusing / inconsistent? My guess is that it must be, to some extent, but then again, in real life things change all the time too, so he might as well get used to that. I don't know what the right answer is...

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#4 of 8 Old 11-23-2004, 07:14 AM
 
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I wish I had advice to give- and thank you for the help about naming feelings- MY dd is 14 months now and I am thinking that i am totally messing things up right now. I love being with her, and she is my best buddy, so when she wants something I give it to her happily, I usually just ask myself what it is hurting, and like mentioned I am usually not in too big a hurry, so no biggy to do things her way. I gave her the words 'no no no ' and 'all done ' and honestly I smile at how strong willed she is when she uses her own opinions. BUT I am terrified now becuase I have set NO limits at all. A friend of mine talked to me about making the house a 'yes' environment, so literally Katie really can do no wrong in the house becuase it is her world. BUT now l,ike mentioned, she wants to go outside all the time and it being Hawaii she would burn to a crisp if I let her be out so long. I am afraid I did her an injustice by not giving her any limits sooner. And sometimes I dont know if I am being reasonable with what I expect from her. For example we have a dog and a cat, and they have a water dish. Katie wanted to play in it over and over again, so instead of working with her ( ithough she could not control her impluses) I make the poor cat and dog drink water in the laundry room. I dont think I gave what my Katie could understand enough credit. I am thinking maybe I should set some limits 'just becuase' ???? So when I actually do have to do things a certain way (not her way) she can handle it maybe??? I dont know what to do!
Again sorry I could not help you, but I am in the same trouble!
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#5 of 8 Old 11-23-2004, 07:52 PM
 
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Well, I can tell you from experience that setting limits and sticking to them is very important. I don't think you need to set limits just for the sake of having them, but if something is important to you, you need to be consistent with it. DD will be 3 in Feb and the things we have set limits for consistently since she was born, we have no or very rare problems with (things like always riding in the carseat). However, the things we have waffled on, we have had major problems with until we started being "firmer" with our limits. For example if I tell DD that we need to get dressed so we can go to X. Well depending on my mood and how important it was for us to go to X, before I used to just let it go if DD didn't want to get dressed and we just didn't get to X or went much later when she decided to get dressed. Well, that waffling on our part started to cause problems, because sometimes we need to go places right away and we would just get frustrated that she didn't listen to us and want to get dressed right then. So, then a major fight would ensue and we would have tears and tantrums. So, what we started doing was just thinking before we said she needed to get dressed to go out that we were really ready to do that and once we decided that and we told her she needed to get dressed, we enforced that rule.
The same thing happens when it comes to coming inside. We live on the 3rd floor of an apt. and DD sometimes like to play outside before we come inside when we come back from being out. Well, sometimes I would be okay with that, but other times I would have to go to the bathroom or be hungry and we needed to eat or whatever. So, no matter how I felt, I started enforcing that when we get back we need to walk up the stairs and to our apt without playing right away. If we want to play, there are other times we go outside to play, but coming back from an outing is not a time to play. This has helped a ton recently since we just had a baby one month ago, and many times getting back the babe needs to nurse right away or we need to get inside out apt right away to change a diaper or something, so DD1 had to learn that when we get back we go inside quickly without fooling around or playing.

My advice is don't afraid of tears or tantrums. I help my dd work through them and emphasize with them, but when it comes down to it, I am the parent and if I decided that we need to come inside or get dressed to go out or whatever than we need to do it. So, if my dd wasn't willing to do it on her own I would "help" her do it. For example, physically carry her up the stairs to come inside. It is okay for you to decided what needs to be done and totally okay for them to resist and cry and tantrum. Your job as a parent is to love your kids and teach them to do what is right and good, not to make them happy all the time.

I definitely agree with making your home a "yes" home as much as possible, but there are some things you need to set limits for and those limits need to be enforced.

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#6 of 8 Old 11-23-2004, 08:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ubertulip
DH and I are a couple of first-time parents, and you know, figuring it out as we go.
Hey, we are all trying to figure this out as we go, so don't feel bad...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ubertulip
This has been going on and getting worse for some time, as our natural inclination has been to get her what she wants to eat-- we're probably too obliging, it's true-- but it is becoming clear that we need to change something!! We've curtailed the problem at dinner by eating together at the table, with all the "available" food at the table in front of us. But during the day, unless we're at a restaurant or something, we go through this several times.

The part about needing to set consistent "limits", or be consistent about offering a limited number of things to eat, and sticking to it, anyway, has already become clear to me.
I guess since this testing limits thing is new, I am really asking how to handle the tantruming/upsetness on her part, because it is coming up frequently in other situations now, too-- like getting in the car, or going to bed, etc. etc. I've been reading in some books, but I'm not "getting it."
ok- If I am reading this right, you want to know when to set the limits and how to deal with her reactions. Well, you need to first decide what is important. Those are the things you limit. Examples? Holding hands while crossing the parking lot! Not putting feet up on the table (big one in my house).
Things that don't matter: Dinner as long as it is healthy (no ice cream and Ding dongs for dinner unless mommy is PSMY)
What shoes she is wearing.
Etc

The tantrums are another thing altogether. At this age, the tantrums are because she is learning to be her own person. She can't express her emotions yet, but she knows she wants things and she understands enough that you are a separate person from her. You can get her the things she wants. I have spent many a time sitting on the floor next to my sobbing and kicking girl telling her that I was there and she needs to get her energy out. Once she was done, we discussed how she felt "goo, I know you were frustrated when mommy wouldn't let you touch the hot oven" Or "Goo, mommy gets angry when you pull her hair. That is why I stopped you."

Slowly, Slowly, she has and is learning her emotions. When she was 15 months, she couldn't express them except to scream. Imagine how you would feel if you couldn't understand WHY you couldn't have this that or the other thing... You want it and you don't understand why... Wouldn't you get mad?


Quote:
The confusing thing to me, is if I am going to put her in the carseat, and she wants to sit and read stories and nurse in the car first, I think "well, I don't need to get to the store in a particular hurry; I have no problem with that". So I do it. Is that giving in? Should I stick to the original plan and deal with her being really upset "just because"? This is my response to most everything. I just figure being a parent is inconvenient sometimes, and "it's my job". Am I a pushover? [/Qoute]

No- evaluate each situation as it comes up. For example, you could say "ok, let';s read stories, but we have to do that in the house". You are acting on her needs and teaching her that the car is not the place for this (setting a limit). You are not a pushover, you are helping her with her wants and needs. The trick (to me) is to do that in a way that she understands that everything has a place and time.

I often find myself saying "eh, I don't NEED to get xy AND z done. Let's do x and y and play in the mall"


Quote:
It is going to be a complete disaster if we don't get clear about this now, I think, because a baby is coming in the spring, and I simply will not be able to be so accommodating anymore. I'm worried that we've already screwed everything up.
Nothing is screwed up. Now is the time to set limits as needed. Tell your daughter what you are doing. At 15 months (or was it 19 you wrote?) she UNDERSTANDS what you tell her.
"dd, when you want a snack, you can choose either an orange or yogurt." "No, you chose an orange. I can't get tofu out right now, that isn't a choice. I am sorry, but we can't have everything open right now." Expect some challenges at first, but allow her some choices.
An example in our house is we list 5-6 items for dinner and Goo picks 2-3. We give them to her. Then, she asks for what we are eating (on the original list). We say ok, but she also needs to have some of her food that we gave her.

HUGS, you have NOT screwed her up and tantrums are a NORMAL PART of development. Don't feel that because you have tantrums that you have failed...





Ideas?
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#7 of 8 Old 11-24-2004, 04:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks folks! Things are already going much better. Since I wrote this, we have been sticking to going to sleep when the light goes out, and not telling stories in the dark (we read them before lights out), and the first couple times she carried on and wailed and yelled, but for the last several nights it has been SO EASY! She just seems to have come to expect it, and she seems to have needed to know what to expect, too.

Same thing with the snacking thing-- offering up to three choices and sticking to them. It's working! I am learning not to be afraid of her upset emotions, and we are figuring it out.
Hooray!
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#8 of 8 Old 11-25-2004, 11:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foobar
Things that don't matter: Dinner as long as it is healthy (no ice cream and Ding dongs for dinner unless mommy is PSMY)
LMAO!!!!!!

Back to the OP, I agree with the others that you need to decide what's important and what isn't. Getting a diaper change when you're poopy is non-negotiable, but I can let ds pick out which diaper and which cover he wants.

I had a really hard time with this when my oldest was a toddler- AP with an infant means saying "yes" all the time- their needs and their wants are the same thing. Suddenly, they're toddlers and they NEED to hear "no" to their "wants" while still hearing "yes" to their needs. I also had a very tough time with "never let the baby cry." It simply isn't possible to stop all toddler tantrums.It took me a while to accept the fact that I couldn't make them happy all the time- nor should I try. My job is to keep them safe and healthy. Sometimes that means they get unhappy (such as screaming while I change a diaper to avoid diaper rash.)

If you haven't set consistent limits up until now, it's not too late to start. Trust me- I've "started over" many times in the past 10 years (in 2 weeks) that I've been a Mommy!!

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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