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Old 03-02-2005, 04:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This problem is driving me crazy. My kids (dd 6 and ds 4) will not listen to me or do what I say. I need some advise on how to get them to do what I ask and what type of discipline would be appropriate when they don't. Let me give an example.

Today my ds was opening the refrigerator door and kicking it closed over and over again. I told him to stop kicking the door. He walked away and then came right back and opened the door. I said "don't kick the door" and he did it again. I made him sit for a time out, but I wonder if there is a better way to handle it. I am so tired of saying the same thing over and over again and being ignored. I don't feel like they respect me at all.
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Old 03-02-2005, 04:35 AM
 
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Old 03-02-2005, 02:29 PM
 
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AngieB, check out the sticky at the top of this forum that suggests some really great books.
I especially like How to Talk so Your Kids will Listen, and Listen so your Kids Will Talk (Adele Faber) and Both of the Mary Sheedy Kurchinka books listed there...

If the fridge incident you described happend in my house, I would
1. Ask what my 4 year old was looking for in the fridge, and help get it out.
2. If it turns out they were just having fun kicking the door, I would explain that kicking the refrigerator door will damage our fridge ,remind them that we don't kick stuff in our house and suggest another outlet for the kicking (a ball, dancing, air karate...)
3. If they turned around to do it again, just to get to me. I would scoop them up and redirect them to something else with me, because obviously they are wanting my attention ( this is just in keeping with the fact that they are 4...if they were older, I might have a sit down talk to find out what was bothering them)
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Old 03-02-2005, 02:46 PM
 
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I would avoid the power struggles with redirection. Instead of telling him what he can't do, I would say, "oh that looks like fun. Let's find some pillows to kick, do you want to kick them hard or kick them softly?" and whisk him away. I would also have him explain to you why you don't kick the refrigerator door instead of explaining it to him. I think he's old enough to know that it's not a good thing to do, he can probably tell you why not.

Also, remember to get to the root of the behavior. As I said before, he probably knows at this age that kicking the door is not a great thing to do so find out why he is doing it. He may not be able to verbalize his feelings so you'll have to ask yourself: are you not paying enough attention to him? Has something happened at school or with a playdate? Is he feeling like you are spending too much time with the baby?

I also urge you to check out the books. They will really help.
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Old 03-02-2005, 03:33 PM
 
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"I would avoid the power struggles with redirection. Instead of telling him what he can't do, I would say, "oh that looks like fun. Let's find some pillows to kick, do you want to kick them hard or kick them softly?" and whisk him away"

That IS redirection!

"I would also have him explain to you why you don't kick the refrigerator door instead of explaining it to him. I think he's old enough to know that it's not a good thing to do, he can probably tell you why not."

When MY son was 4, if he were in the kinda mood to stand in the kitchen kicking the fridge over and over...asking him to quote to me "why" we don't do that would definately NOT work!
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Old 03-02-2005, 04:25 PM
 
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The problem is that your children will not obey you. They listen to you, they have to if you are telling them not things over and over. They need to learn that you say what you mean and mean what you say. Distractions do not teach this. Time-outs (punishment) at best may stop bad behavior but do not teach good behavior.

Avoid telling your young children things more than once. If they don't do what you tell them to do then help them to do it - move them from the room, block the fridge door, feed them, ect. There are no warnings, no counting to 3. Avoid lectures and time outs. Make your voice appropriate to the situation.

You can teach your children to always respond to one word and a hand sign. When my youngest son was born I suffered nerve damage to my leg and couldn't walk. My husband left me and I had to learn how to single parent 3 boys from a wheelchair. I did learn to walk again but am very slow and sometimes have to use a wheelchair or walker.

The word I used was STOP and the hand signal like a traffic guard. When I used either, my children knew it was important and I expected compliance right away. I avoided overusing it and it evolved into the hand signal being more of a warning and a loud STOP along with the hand signal meaning the situation might be life threatening. Once your kids know you say what you mean, mean what you say, and will do something about it if they don't comply, you won't have to do anything more that give a hand signal or say something once and thy will do what you want.

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen is great but may be more appropriate for older kids. Your public library may have the audiotape parenting class set that goes with the book. Without Spanking or Spoiling or other books by Elizabeth Crary are aimed at toddlers and young children. Don't Shoot the Dog by Pryor is a great book for opening your mind to the many different ways you respond to behavior.

: Grandmother , 3 Adult Sons

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Old 03-02-2005, 04:39 PM
 
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There's a part of me (and don't get me wrong, I believe in this whole GD business) that can't help but see this as rewarding bad behaviour.

If you have one child and limitless patience I'm sure that playing with, nurturing, etc. your child every minute of every day - that'll work.

What about in circumstances in which you have more than one child? Either you end up neglecting the one to constantly be on the other, the other will get the message that evil = attention, good = ignored and become just as evil, etc.

That's the ONLY drawback I see in this equation - and a very strong argument the wooden spoon brigade can make. I can't really discuss this with anyone not on here because the answer will be "after a few smacks the child WILL listen and settle down - rather than kill yourselves and neglect your other children, and not instilling discipline which isn't good for your child anyway."

So long as a child knows that bad behaviour will be rewarded with attention (and sometimes, with multiple kids, you can't just drop everything for that one child who needs "redirection") why listen? I'm asking for an honest answer to this - it's not a challenge. There's something to this gentle discipline I'm not getting. I see the "gentle" part but not the "discipline". Seems to me to be more about discipline avoidance.
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Old 03-02-2005, 04:48 PM
 
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I have had this problem for what seems like forever. I feel that I get no respect either. I try to start the day with redirecting, explaining,etc.. But by the end of the day "NO!" and "STOP!" seem to be all I have energy for. I agree with redirecting, explaining, etc. but I just don't have any control...any ground to start from. My 5 year old listens to his brother who is 3 more than me. I feel as though I am a joke to them. The more I lose the power struggle the more I find myself lecturing, getting extremely frustrated, etc. It seems to be an endless cycle. Things like "Please get in your car seat and buckle up!" should be no need for a power struggle. I don't know how the basics can become so difficult. I am really losing.
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Old 03-02-2005, 05:11 PM
 
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The problem with this appears to me that people being human, eventually you get to the point where even if you don't smack the bottom of the now-has-been-whining-and-hitting-and-biting-and-breaking-things-for-hours child you at the very least start talking harshly and simply turning it into a power struggle, which by definition YOU WILL LOSE

I really hope a GD guru can shed some light here. I really want to get this.
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Old 03-02-2005, 05:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burke-a-bee
It seems to be an endless cycle. Things like "Please get in your car seat and buckle up!" should be no need for a power struggle. I don't know how the basics can become so difficult. I am really losing.
I am in this boat with you. From DD's infancy (and before), I had it set in my head to never use corporal punishment and avoid unneccessary power struggles. My DD is 2.5 and I try to empower her with choices and negotiation. You should see some of the outfits we have gone out in public in! But I'm with you, getting into your carseat, changing a poopy diaper, putting the winter coat on because it is 30 below outside - sorry, these things have to be done. How does one avoid the power struggle? She has been able to negotiate 5 more minutes before the diaper gets changed and has picked out the coat herself - why isn't that working?!
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Old 03-02-2005, 05:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmb123
"I would avoid the power struggles with redirection. Instead of telling him what he can't do, I would say, "oh that looks like fun. Let's find some pillows to kick, do you want to kick them hard or kick them softly?" and whisk him away"

That IS redirection!
Didn't I say that? I was giving an example of redirection.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cmb123
"I would also have him explain to you why you don't kick the refrigerator door instead of explaining it to him. I think he's old enough to know that it's not a good thing to do, he can probably tell you why not."

When MY son was 4, if he were in the kinda mood to stand in the kitchen kicking the fridge over and over...asking him to quote to me "why" we don't do that would definately NOT work!
But it might work with her child. It works very well with my daughter - she is 4. When she is doing something that she knows she shouldn't, I can give her "the look" and say, "why are you not supposed to do ___________?" and she can answer. That usually stops the whole thing without having to do any type of redirection.

I know that the things that I suggested may not work for all kids but I'm just trying to help...
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Old 03-02-2005, 05:35 PM
 
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Well, I'm definately no guru of anything, but I have 3 kids ( 4 1/2, 6 1/2, and 8 1/2). GD has defenately worked for me. I've said this in other posts, but to me GD does NOT equal NO Discipline. We do have rules and limits in our house! I think a lot of people assume that GD means just let kids do whatever they want, don't punish them, don't ever tell them "No" etc.. I don't agree. I think there are kind and gentle ways to teach kids how be part of civilized society that don't require shaming, hitting, and screaming and the like. So far so good in my house. I often am complimented on what pleasant children I have. and we certainly are happy.
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Old 03-02-2005, 05:39 PM
 
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[QUOTE=LoveBeadsI know that the things that I suggested may not work for all kids but I'm just trying to help...[/QUOTE]


I didn't mean to come off like you weren't, sorry. I was actually chuckling to myself just imagining me saying that to MY son at the time! NOT a tactic that would have worked with him! :LOL
(my son at 4)

Different stuff works for different people, the more ideas the better!
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Old 03-02-2005, 05:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaednuSO
There's a part of me (and don't get me wrong, I believe in this whole GD business) that can't help but see this as rewarding bad behaviour.

If you have one child and limitless patience I'm sure that playing with, nurturing, etc. your child every minute of every day - that'll work.

What about in circumstances in which you have more than one child? Either you end up neglecting the one to constantly be on the other, the other will get the message that evil = attention, good = ignored and become just as evil, etc.

That's the ONLY drawback I see in this equation - and a very strong argument the wooden spoon brigade can make. I can't really discuss this with anyone not on here because the answer will be "after a few smacks the child WILL listen and settle down - rather than kill yourselves and neglect your other children, and not instilling discipline which isn't good for your child anyway."

So long as a child knows that bad behaviour will be rewarded with attention (and sometimes, with multiple kids, you can't just drop everything for that one child who needs "redirection") why listen? I'm asking for an honest answer to this - it's not a challenge. There's something to this gentle discipline I'm not getting. I see the "gentle" part but not the "discipline". Seems to me to be more about discipline avoidance.
I think you need to look at the big picture when you decide on a discipline technique. If you (and let me clarify that I don't mean "you" as in "you", I mean the universal "you") want to get through each day with as much obedience and as little work as possible, then smack your kids each time they disobey. It's fast, it's easy, it probably will stop the unruly behavior.

If you want to have a long-term, connected and loving relationship with your children, you will need to figure out ways to guide their behaviors, to teach them the right way to approach challenges, and to do so in a way that preserves their dignity. GD is a tremendous amount of work but you get back tenfold of what you put in. It teaches self-discipline instead of "I don't want to get caught".

Yes, it requires enormous patience and creativity and every single one of us loses it from time to time.

As for the wooden spoon brigade, if they feel that having one of their children witness another getting hit for misbehaving instead of watching a mother help her child work it out, then I would just have to say that we have different parenting goals. Parenting with fear is just out of the question in my household.

I also think that proper GD is not just about misbehavior = attention and good behavior = being ignored. GD is all about positive reinforcement when things are going well. If you are ignoring your well-behaved child, you're not practicing GD. (again, not saying "you" as in "you")
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Old 03-02-2005, 05:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LoveBeads
If you want to have a long-term, connected and loving relationship with your children, you will need to figure out ways to guide their behaviors, to teach them the right way to approach challenges, and to do so in a way that preserves their dignity. GD is a tremendous amount of work but you get back tenfold of what you put in. It teaches self-discipline instead of "I don't want to get caught".


Nicely said!
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Old 03-02-2005, 05:58 PM
 
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I totally get the philosophy and understand the long-term benefits, and am committed to raising my children with GD, but I guess I just need some concrete, day-to-day advice. How do you get your toddler to do the things that HAVE to be done (ie: get in the car seat , put on your coat, change the diaper) without turning them into a power struggle? Am I just expecting too much maybe? Do I need to adjust my expectations and learn to accept that at this age, she is going to throw a hissy and hit during certain activites and hope the stage will pass quickly?
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Old 03-02-2005, 06:11 PM
 
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At a risk of sounding simplistic, here I go from all the advice I've been reading for the past.. 18 months and experience:

-get in the carseat:
"would you like to hold my keys while I put you in the carseat?" or "as soon as you get in the carseat we'll drive to the park"

-put on coat:
"would you like me to put on your coat or would you like to do it yourself?" or "It's cold, you may want to wear your coat". If they don't want to wear it, let them experience a bit of cold. Don't rescue if it's not dangerous.

-change the diaper:
"would you like to change your diaper on the bed or on the floor?" or " would you like to hold the wipe as I change your diaper?" or "as soon as we change your diaper we'll read a story" or "Let me teach you how to wipe yourself"..Validate feelings: "I know you don't like to change your diaper, but I'll do it quickly and soon you'll be dry."

Hope some of these work! I have had success with my toddler so far

Cheers,
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Old 03-02-2005, 06:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by addiesmom
How do you get your toddler to do the things that HAVE to be done (ie: get in the car seat , put on your coat, change the diaper) without turning them into a power struggle? Am I just expecting too much maybe? Do I need to adjust my expectations and learn to accept that at this age, she is going to throw a hissy and hit during certain activites and hope the stage will pass quickly?
Yes and no. In the beginning, GD takes a lot of thought but believe it or not (and I know you don't believe it!), it will come totally naturally before long. You will become the creative mama that you never thought you could become. Honestly!

Some of what you describe is just the age and will pass but there are ways to make it less painful.

Because my DD has SID, she was a horrible transitioner. I developed a ton of tricks to get her from A to B which DH had very little patience for in the beginning. He soon saw that my way, although it seemed complicated, was in fact much easier because I learned how to elicit cooperation from my DD instead of power struggle with her (which I would always lose, by the way).

To avoid the struggles, you run down your list of usual suspects: Tired? Hungry? Overstimulated? Wet? Poopy? You get the picture. First rule those out.

Now, to get DD into the carseat was very much of a struggle for me so I would do the following:

"Do you want to hop to the car or fly?"
"Do you want to unlock the car doors with this thing (car door thing)?"
"Will you carry this package to the car for me?"
"Can you look and see if there are any doggies on the way to the car?"
"Do you want to climb up yourself or do you want me to help you?"
"Can you help me buckle you in?"
"Are you going to have pretzels or water in the car?"
"Let's try to see how fast we can get buckled in - maybe we can do it before I get to 10"

etc.

The coat: "Will you help me zip up your coat?"
"Do you want to wear your blue coat or your red one?"
"Can you help me put my coat on and then I can help you put yours on?"
etc.

The diaper: "Can you pick out a diaper for me?"
"Do you want to run to the changing table or skip?"
"Can you hold lthe wipes for me while I change your diaper?"
"Let's change your diaper and then we can have a snack, play a game, etc."

By giving DD benign choices, she felt empowered. By empowering her, I got her to cooperate instead of fight me. Nobody would relish being stopped in the middle of something fun to change a poopy diaper - I had to make the diaper change as much fun as the activity we were doing beforehand.
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Old 03-02-2005, 06:45 PM
 
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One thing I find helpful with toddlers is to give them some advanced notice before transitions. Don't expect a toddler to just "switch gears" the way we Mom's can at the drop of a hat.
For instance...toddler is in the middle of playing and become aware there is a poopy diaper. Let them know that you would like to change the diaper, let them (or help them) finish what they are doing, then change the diaper.
Or..when mine is coloring a picture, and it's time to leave the house, if I "say lets to get in the car" (there has usually been at least one advanced notice) I know she NEEDS to finish what she's doing before she puts the crayon down, so she does, and then we go . I used to think she was ignoring me when she didn't just drop the crayon when I said to, it took me time to realize she WAS getting ready to stop, she just has to finish... honestly I do the same thing.
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Old 03-02-2005, 07:14 PM
 
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RE: The diaper: "Can you pick out a diaper for me?"

And then the child gets wise to this and basically says "No, I'd rather continue booting the cat."

And when you try and engage the child in a meaningful dialogue on not booting the cat, the child turns away from you, hits you, and refuses to pay attention.

Or, when you have another child in need of more immediate attention, the other one acts up, you cannot treat that one like the center of the universe.

I'm not discounting this per se - I'm just saying that "well, you simply redirect" doesn't work when you CAN'T. And "well, you engage the child in a dialog" doesn't work when the child WILL NOT LISTEN. And "well, you drop everything and play with the child" doesn't work when you're trying to feed the other one.

The point is, it seems to me GD works if and only if the child is into it, as well. If the child doesn't want to play along then you're stuck with an unruly, abusive, screaming drain on time, energy and patience.

Now, I'm not saying "I want to give in and smack the kid"

I'm saying "I've only ever heard how great GD is when the going is good." If the answer is basically "and if your child doesn't want to play ball, life is going to become a living hell and you'll be divorced within seven months cause you'll eventually start sniping at each other" then what good is GD. I know that's not the answer - what I'm getting at is, there are a lot of people saying there are times when they cannot pull the whole GD trip and/or times when the kid isn't into it. So what other tools are in the toolbox besides playing with the child and/or making its environment perfect?
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Old 03-02-2005, 07:18 PM
 
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Take the above as an over exaggeration to make a point. Obviously kids aren't abusive or drains on time. But you get my drift. Hour one, you can rationalize. Six days, no sleep and yet another screaming fit later....

It starts to get to the point where parenting isn't enjoyable, it becomes a burden, and it's no fun for the kids, either.
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Old 03-02-2005, 07:20 PM
 
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I was going to same almost the same as cmb123. I used to get so frustrated thinking my DS was ignoring me when I'd ask him to do something or state we gotta go. I was hung up on why he wasn't respecting me, without realizing I wasn't respecting him. My partner doesn't state "we gotta go" and then expect me to drop everything and rush out the door. It takes time. Something usually has to be finished or put down, then there's a quick mirror check, or a quick brush of the teeth, I have to grab my coat, mittens, get my boots on. Do I have my wallet? Keys? Never would my partner start on me about how it has to happen now, because that would be infuriating and demeaning. Same goes for my son when he's bossy or demanding - I don't jump to what he's asking.

It can take me a moment or two to switch gears. How many times a day do we ask our babes for patience as we finish what we're doing so we can do what they're asking? I know I use it more than once. So if I'm going to teach my son the concept of respect I need to show him what it is, what it feels like to be respected. I only ask once and then give some time. If it's dangerous I'll remove him from where he is or what he's doing, but most of the time it's not. After a few minutes if he's not ready I'll ask how I can help him get ready to switch what he's doing...does he need help cleaning up the crayons? Can I tie his boots? Etc..

I guess it comes down to what we're striving for...I'm not looking to raise an adult who obeys everytime he's spoken to. It sure would make my life easier if I was, but I don't see my son as someone who should be controlled - not by me or anyone. Obedience isn't worth fighting for for me.
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Old 03-02-2005, 07:22 PM
 
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I'm sorry..as I was reading the replies my 5yr old was pulling the cats tail ( a two year struggle with us) and when I asked him if that is how we treat the cat he just smiled ..jumped up and down and ran away..back to reading. I hope I learn something here.
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Old 03-02-2005, 07:36 PM
 
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DaednuSo,

I hear the frustration in your voice, I really do. And I don't think there's many here who haven't felt it, or feel it from time to time. I say this almost everytime I post so bear with me. And if you've read it before, sorry.

What really made and makes GD work for me is being realistic about what my child can and cannot do. To be honest with myself when it comes to whether or not I'm asking my DS to do something he can do. Am I expecting too much for his age? That doesn't mean I don't try to model it and talk about it, but it means that I realize whether a certain skill or behaviour is a short term or long term goal. We talk alot about compassion and respect in our house. We use those terms because they are important to us. We've used them since he was pre-verbal. But we haven't been expecting all along he can be those things; at one, or two, or three. It's something he's growing into.

Reading about what's age appropriate and responding to annoying stuff with that knowledge has made a big difference. It's let me drop a lot of power struggles. And I do still get frustrated but, because I know whether or not I'm expecting age appropraite behaviours, I can check myself and how I'm responding to my frustrations.

Someone mentioned GD not being an easy road, and it's not. It does require a lot from us, and it's a learning process. But so is what I'm expecting of my DS. He has a lot to learn as he grows and it's not always going to be done with ease for either of us. It's hard to say the same things over and over, but our kids haven't had (in my case) 31 years to learn that it's not OK to boot the cat. My son's only had 4. If saying something over and over isn't working I try to find another way to say the same thing. When I was teaching in a grade nine art class I learned that we don't all speak in the same metaphors, so it would sometimes take me explaining the same instructions four or five different ways before all students knew what they were supposed to do.

Hope something in this helps.

Nicole.
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Old 03-02-2005, 07:58 PM
 
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Okay I've read the responses. as far as switching gears...here's an example of why I get frustrated... I have told my kids from the moment that we've woken up in the morning the game plan of going to the grocery store. I gently remind them through out the morning. I ask them to get dressed so we can go..I do the whole "Ten minutes!" thing..."Five minutes!" As I am struggling to get out the door..they complain and ask "Where are we going?" I just feel like crying! There is no team effort. So it makes simple things become struggles. I feel that I have four people ( this includes my husband) working against me.
I have read some books on GD and it works sometimes. We have our good days. And believe me I think over every seconds of that day for possible clues on how to get other days to go better. But I have three kids...somethings work when you have one.....I can't redirect a dog hitting, peanut butter smearing, writing on the walls child while the other two are standing on the dining table, cleaning the inside of the fish tank with their hands, playing in the toilet,etc. All I'm saying is that some of these ideas are beyond my reach sometimes. These are the times when I stand in the grocery store and look at children calmly walking with their parents and think "What am I doing wrong?" "What are they doing that I'm not?" "Why are my kids wrestling in the aisle knocking over the soap and deodorant while their child is sitting in the cart not saying a word?"
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Old 03-02-2005, 09:12 PM
 
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i hope some of the GD gurus will respond to this, too. i think it helps if there are concrete scenarios to respond to.

burke-a-bee, in your example of the grocery store my first thought was some kids like to shop and some don't. i have a friend with just two, but her 21 mo old ds is a terror in the grocery store so she either goes alone or with her 3.5 yr old dd. this, of course, means enlisting dh's help or somebody else's (grandparent, neighbor, babysitter, friend).

your "no team effort" comment caught my eye. i just received the book "loving each one best" by nancy samalin and have only read the first 30 pages or so, but there was this passage i'll retype here in hopes that it'll offer commiseration if nothing else. (when i get further in the book maybe i'll find something more helpful :LOL.)

Quote:
Like many of today's mothers who have achieved success in the workplace, Jenny was frustrated because the skills she had mastered didn't work with her kids. But why would they? One reason you can't apply the same skills to child raising is because kids don't share your goals. When you need to get out the door to your office or her school, your child is suddenly transfixed by the dog scratching fleas. You can't "manage" him. Parents who view their children as "part of a team" are in for a rude awakening when they try to reach a consensus on anything at all. We need a different set of skills and expectations for this job!
hth a little

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Old 03-02-2005, 09:37 PM
 
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Oh, beanma, I LOVE that quote. It sounds like a great book. It's helpful to be reminded that kids and adults don't have the same goals.

And I am not at all a GD guru, but in the case of the grocery store I too would just not take the kids. Sometimes it's just not worth it, so it means I run my errands when my partner is home. That way I'm not assaulted by the constant asking for things. No fights that way.

Really listening to your kids when they're talking or showing you who or where they are keeps the power struggles and fights to a minimum. My DS could not sit through a play for the life of him, so when playgroup is going to a kids puppet show I decline that outing. He's repeatedly shown me that he isn't interested and I've started listening. Same goes for errands, shopping etc. Some kids can do it, some can't. Some things can't always be avoided so you take along a book, or some snacks, but the more you can elimiate the situations which cause power struggles the better for your sanity.

Instead of always needing redirection, can you start your day with direction? If you know DX likes to paint and DY likes to smear peanut butter can you start their day off paper and finger paints spread out on the floor while you, in the same room, help DZ get dressed and DU has a snack? For me, and I know we all work differently so this may not work for you, I think I would feel better being proactive and introducing something right off the bat to interest them instead of trying to get stuff done first thing and risk the chance my DS is in another room grating carrots and pouring water all over them to make soup, which happened today while I was getting laundry going. I should have made sure he was engaged in something holding his attention before I decided to head to the basement. That or asked him if he wanted to come along and load the machine, which he likes to do. If I ahve to get something done I try to involve him, and his friends if they're over, as much as possible. At 4 they love to help and it usually means I can get what I need done done.
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Old 03-02-2005, 10:06 PM
 
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I hear your point..but do I not take the kids grocery shopping because it is not fun for them? I disagree. We all enjoy the food. They should understand that if we want to eat we must go grocery shopping. How do they learn to be patient, respectful, etc in public if I don't take them places. It just seems unrealistic to me. As far as my hubby goes in helping out, he has been away on a job for a month at a time. I certainly can't go without food for a month because the kids can't contain themselves for thirty minutes in the grocery store. I have no friends , family , etc. in the area. No help there.
No we don't have the same goal but if we are going to be a family unit I feel then we need to work together. Sometimes I think that we have been too entertaining with our children. When the entertainment or attention is off of them everything starts to break down. Sometimes my husband and I can't even have a conversation without attention grabbing behavior. That is when I really notice the respect is just not there.
I really hope this doesn't come off as bitter. I am just frustrated with the whole thing.
Sorry if I got way off the subject.
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Old 03-02-2005, 10:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burke-a-bee
I hear your point..but do I not take the kids grocery shopping because it is not fun for them? I disagree. We all enjoy the food. They should understand that if we want to eat we must go grocery shopping. How do they learn to be patient, respectful, etc in public if I don't take them places. It just seems unrealistic to me.
I agree with nicole lisa. I think part of lessening your frustration is done by adjusting your expectations. Obviously your kids are not real cooperative in the grocery store (I have the same problem, I feel your pain!) so expecting them to behave is going to frustrate you. "They should understand" is something that comes in time but they will not learn that lesson by driving you crazy at the grocery store. I don't think you should never bring your kids out into public places but the grocery store is a tough one.

So what can you do about it? That's the question! First I would advise avoiding it: I know you said DH is away for a month at a time - do you have any friends you can do a co-op babysitting thing with? You'll do her grocery shopping if she takes your kids or vice versa? Do you have Peapod (grocery delivery service)? Can you hire a mother's helper for a few hours per month? If you are not getting one single break in a month's time it is no wonder that you aren't climbing the walls, I don't know how you do that!

Can you farm out one or two of the kids so that you only have to take one grocery shopping? It would be easier that way.

If you must take all three then you just need to be prepared that it's going to be unpleasant so give them jobs (you get the milk, you pick out the cucumbers, you get the sugar, etc.) I also let DD pick 1 (one!) thing that she wants that I would not normally buy for her. She always picks those Godawful fruit snacks but it really gives her a thrill because it's forbidden fruit. I find that if I give jobs and the treat of picking an item then it is a bit better.

But I want to get back to one other thing. I think you need to find some type of outlet if you are truly alone for a month at a time, some type of break. There is no way that you can do what you do and do it happily if you don't have any time to yourself (at least I wouldn't be able to). I hope you'll figure out some way to do that and I'd be happy to try to think of some things as well.
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Old 03-02-2005, 10:38 PM
 
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burke-a-bee,

Hopefully someone else will come along who is able to help you brainstorm. We all come at GD differently and for me inherent in the philosophy is listening to kids and being intuitive to their needs and abilities so that I can set up my house and day to minimize the chance of a struggle or tantrum. And that works for me and it means that I'm able to work on what I want to teach, gently, without getting distracted or drawn in to a frustrating situation.

I think part of the problem with deciding to GD and then implement it is for most of us, I would guess, we are all the first generation GDers. So when we find our babes being age appropriate and not listening or talking back, testing boundries etc we are at a loss because we didn't do those things to our own parents. But I don't know if I respected my parents as a young child - I don't think I knew what it was. But I did know that if I acted a certain way I would be grounded, or yelled at, or few and far between, spanked. So I think a lot of kids acted above what was age appropraite because of fear. And kids who are GD'd don't have that fear, which is an excellent thing. Growing wasn't a discussion, a negotiation, a process in my family and it wasn't mutual. It wasn't abusive at all, but it did adhere to a top down management structure. And with GD I'm taking a different path - it is more democratic and inclusive.

The thing is as adults we don't listen to everything we're told and often we don't do things we don't want to do. My GP's nurse practitiner told me I should read and practice 123Magic. I didn't listen. Every day I make decisions as to what I will and won't do, regardless of what, on a societal and employment level, I am told I need to. So it makes sense that kids will do the same. It would make sense that they don't always listen or do what they're told - that they would weigh whether or not what was being asked of them was worth doing or not. And that's where I come from when I parent. It's important to me that my son gorws up knowing he can weigh thoughts and requests and act from there. That doesn't mean there aren't consequences for decisions, but I'm not going to fight over whether he can or can't decide to listen or act.

For you, maybe GD looks differently. It is a process and we all come at it from different places.

It can be fun, really.
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