Sassy, rude 5.5 yr old, I'm afraid it will only get worse. - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-04-2006, 02:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My unmarried, Super-Nanny-watching sister called me up. She is horrified at how rude my 5.5 yr old son is to me sometimes. So I am.

Anyway, she related a story: They are vacationing in Florida right now. Her future SIL (a new mom to a beautiful 6 month old baby boy) saw the most horrible thing at the pool side. A mother brings an IPOD over to her 8, 9, 10 ? year old DD. Daughter says: "Mom, you are so stupid. I can't listen to this! You need to take it upstairs and charge it right now."

Everyone who can hear it is stunned. So the future-SIL says, "if that were MY kid, I would slap her across the face and take her upstairs and ground her for a week." My sister agrees.

"Tanibani, I know you parent differently and you won't listen to me, but you have to do something! You have to see an expert or I don't know.... I can't stand the way he talks to you."

"I know that! I can totally see him doing that in the future!!!! He calls me stupid under his breath. I am trying very hard to change things. I know I was waaaaaaaay too permissive/jellyfish parent. I didn't know how to set normal boundaries. Mom was very authoritarian with me and I went to the other extreme. That's why DS acts this way. None of my AP friends have this problem (they weren't permissive. So I KNOW GD can work.) He doesn't act this way with anybody else (not as bad at least). I can totally see him pulling this with me and I'm still self-doubting as to what to do!"

But now what? If I tried anything physically harsh with him, I know I would create an enemy and NOT cooperation. I am not even tempted to go there.

A) If your kid did the above, how would you handle it? And please don't bother saying "my kid would never do that." I already know that. Just answer the question if you can.

B) What would do about it now? Books?

The past 2 days he has been somewhat bratty:

1) I meet a friend with her twins at Chuckie Cheese (DH started taking him there ) and and we spend 3 hours there. Afterwards I say we are going to get a haircut. The place is closed. I am sitting with my mini-van running and waiting for my friend to get there.

DS (5.5) unbuckles himself and announces "I am getting out."
Me: "NO! Get back in the seat we are going home."
DS: (in sassy voice) I can do what I want. I am going in. (He would NEVER pull that with DH.)
Me: not in the mood to put up a big fight/expend all my anger "Fine let's go in (because I want to go to the store next door anyway."

Now, how would have any of you GD mamas handled that?

Backtalk/sassiness is a real problem lately. Telling him, "I don't like that" doesn't mean much to him.

And how would you handle it when he calls me stupid out of his breath, in frustration. I have heard you are supposed to "ignore" it, but I didn't, which of course made him want to do it more.

A friend said I have another 5 years to undo the mistakes (start at the beginning.) Sigh, OK.

So... on the one hand, things are much better from a few months ago (no more hitting, aggression with me and his sister) but now I have this.

I'm taking deep breaths and telling myself that this is a gift because it's forcing me to grow and change and be a better mother/human being. But I need help here. :

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Old 01-04-2006, 02:33 PM
 
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I read a great book: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/006...books&v=glance (hope that link works)

Doreen
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Old 01-04-2006, 02:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanibani
A mother brings an IPOD over to her 8, 9, 10 ? year old DD. Daughter says: "Mom, you are so stupid. I can't listen to this! You need to take it upstairs and charge it right now."

Everyone who can hear it is stunned. So the future-SIL says, "if that were MY kid, I would slap her across the face and take her upstairs and ground her for a week." My sister agrees.

"Tanibani, I know you parent differently and you won't listen to me, but you have to do something! You have to see an expert or I don't know.... I can't stand the way he talks to you."
A) If your kid did the above, how would you handle it? And please don't bother saying "my kid would never do that." I already know that. Just answer the question if you can.

B) What would do about it now? Books?

The past 2 days he has been somewhat bratty:

1) I meet a friend with her twins at Chuckie Cheese (DH started taking him there ) and and we spend 3 hours there. Afterwards I say we are going to get a haircut. The place is closed. I am sitting with my mini-van running and waiting for my friend to get there.

DS (5.5) unbuckles himself and announces "I am getting out."
Me: "NO! Get back in the seat we are going home."
DS: (in sassy voice) I can do what I want. I am going in. (He would NEVER pull that with DH.)
Me: not in the mood to put up a big fight/expend all my anger "Fine let's go in (because I want to go to the store next door anyway."

Now, how would have any of you GD mamas handled that?

Backtalk/sassiness is a real problem lately. Telling him, "I don't like that" doesn't mean much to him.

And how would you handle it when he calls me stupid out of his breath, in frustration. I have heard you are supposed to "ignore" it, but I didn't, which of course made him want to do it more.

A friend said I have another 5 years to undo the mistakes (start at the beginning.) Sigh, OK.

So... on the one hand, things are much better from a few months ago (no more hitting, aggression with me and his sister) but now I have this.

I'm taking deep breaths and telling myself that this is a gift because it's forcing me to grow and change and be a better mother/human being. But I need help here. :

As for the first question I would say in a quiet but VERY serious voice. "Do not talk to me like that. It is very rude. I am happy to charge the IPOD for you but I expect you to talk to me politely in the future."

As for the situation with your ds, I probably would not have gone in. I would have said again with a very quiet, very serious voice: We are going home. Get back into your seat right now.

I would not mention the rudeness etc at all right then.

If I really, really wanted to go in to the store I would say. "I do not like the way you are speaking with me. It is very rude. I do actually need to go to the store next door, so we will go in."

And then I would follow it up that night with a "Today when you wanted to go to the store, you were very rude. I expect politer behavior from you next time"

You are so certain he does not "care" about this. But you may be suprised that if you don't put forth other consequences this just might work.
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Old 01-04-2006, 03:15 PM
 
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It's so hard to hear stories like the one your SIL told you. I know sometimes I look at my 5yo and think 'OMG! He's a monster! I've totally failed him! He will alienate and annoy people everywhere he goes and forever! AAAAAGGGGHHH!' etc.

Perspective is key. What helps me is to first take a deep breath and look at how he is with other people. If he's disrespectful and arrogant to THEM (which he really isn't) then it's time to panic. Otherwise, it's just a matter of his and my relationship. That helps me focus on the real issue, without all the pressure of "fixing" him for all time. This is a relationship issue, just as it would be if your DH (or anyone else) were treating you badly.

In the specific examples, I think if you had not said, "No!" when he stated that he was getting out of the car, that you wouldn't have set up a power struggle. I can hear that you're not wanting to WIN power struggles in a "my way or the highway" kind of manner (which is fine), but if that's your goal then it's important (IMO) to AVOID them as much as possible, while still acheiving your ends when necessary. So when he said, "I'm going in", did it bug you because he stated it as a fact, rather than asking if he could go in? Or was the issue really with whether or not he went in at that moment? Either way, when he said he was going in, you could have stated your objection - "It's raining" "They aren't here yet" "You need to ask me first if you may get out of the car - it's not safe for you to make that decision on your own" - whatever the REAL REASON is. To me, this is key. I try to always tell my kids the REAL REASON why I want them to do/not do a certain thing. Then, if they have a counter REAL REASON why my real reason is full of it, then they are welcome to (respectfully) state it. Sometimes I change my mind, sometimes not, but either way they tend to follow my directives because we have been honest and authentic with each other. So I think just that simple "No!" is where that exchange went wrong, although hindsight is always 20/20, and I don't want you to think I'm judging!

I have to say that treating children as capable creatures who can be trusted to make their own decisions DOES produce kids who know their own minds and want what they want. That's a good thing, it really is. But you have to work extra hard to teach them how to balance that self-determination with polite behavior, consideration for others, kindness, etc. It's hard - I think it's the hardest part of GD. I can't stand rude kids! But sometimes I have to realize that kids who are respected are not going to "know their place" (and that's good!), and so they may sometimes come across as obnoxious.

Sorry for all the rambling - I hope you can get something out of it!
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Old 01-04-2006, 04:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanibani
A) If your kid did the above, how would you handle it?
"I am not stupid, and when people call me names it does not make me want to do things for them." Then I would put down the Ipod and walk away.

Quote:
DS (5.5) unbuckles himself and announces "I am getting out."
Me: Do you want to go in? Our friends aren't here yet. I would prefer to wait for them here, where they can see us.

Quote:
DS: (in sassy voice) I can do what I want. I am going in.
Me: It's not open yet, but if you want to stand on the sidewalk where I can see you, you may.

Quote:
Backtalk/sassiness is a real problem lately. Telling him, "I don't like that" doesn't mean much to him.
Whether it means much to him or not, he still needs to know that it means something to you. I have no problem letting my kids know that if they talk to me in a rude way, they are not going to get my cooperation. I say things like, "I don't like to listen to whiney voices. Can you ask me in a normal voice?" and "I don't like to be ordered around. I'm happy to help if I am asked politely." and "I feel angry when people say unkind things to me. It makes me want to leave the room and be by myself." And if the kids persist in being rude, demanding, or snotty, I either leave the room or ignore them. Sometimes I tell them to leave the room if I am doing something that can't be left alone, like cooking. They get one reminder when they are being inappropriate. If they don't pull it together, then they don't get my assistance. I don't want my kids to feel that they are at the mercy of their feelings. I want them to know that they can express their feelings, but not in a way that is hurtful to others. If a child is really struggling with emotions, I say something like, "I can see that you are very, very angry. I know how it feels to want to scream and yell. You are welcome to do that in another room if you need to, or we can work it out quietly and calmly here." I don't like strong emotions and screaming and yelling. Some parents have a higher tolerance for them than I do. I try to strike a balance between my kids' intense feelings and immature coping strategies and my tolerance levels. It doesn't always work, but learning to appropriately express and not be controlled by feelings is an ongoing process, so I don't expect overnight success.

Quote:
And how would you handle it when he calls me stupid out of his breath, in frustration. I have heard you are supposed to "ignore" it, but I didn't, which of course made him want to do it more.
You don't have to allow yourself to be called names. I would say, "I don't like to be called stupid. Until you can talk to me nicely, you can leave the room." If you don't feel comfortable with that, you could try, "I don't like to be called names. I am going into my room and shutting the door until I know that when I come out the name-calling will be done."

Namaste!
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Old 01-08-2006, 04:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Taz925 - Doreen, thanks for the KIDS ARE WORTH IT recommendation. I was skimming it a few nights ago (I own most all the great GD books, but never make the time to actually read and learn from them. )

and I found the answer to the question of the sassy, rude Ipod daughter at the pool.

Mom should have said told her to cut it out, not to speak to her rudely ever again AND to teach her daughter to be responsible for charging it. That teaches the child responsibility. If the DD wants the Ipod, if she is old enough to know how to use it, she is old enough to be responsible for remembering to bring it down herself, and it being charged. It's not mom's problem. It's hers. What? It's not charged or ready when and where you want it? Well, that is the "natural consequence."

Now I'll try to answer everyone else.

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Old 01-08-2006, 04:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maya44
You are so certain he does not "care" about this. But you may be suprised that if you don't put forth other consequences this just might work.
I have no idea what you mean here. Can you explain?

He acts like he doesn't care, in a sing-songy voice, he says "I can do whatever I want."

My SIL gave me a good tip today... to never respond (react) in an angry voice, because then he pulls me into a power struggle. I need to remain calm.

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Old 01-08-2006, 04:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by obiandelismom
In the specific examples, I think if you had not said, "No!" when he stated that he was getting out of the car, that you wouldn't have set up a power struggle. I can hear that you're not wanting to WIN power struggles in a "my way or the highway" kind of manner (which is fine), but if that's your goal then it's important (IMO) to AVOID them as much as possible, while still acheiving your ends when necessary.
Whoa. You are smart!

Quote:
Originally Posted by obiandelismom
So when he said, "I'm going in", did it bug you because he stated it as a fact, rather than asking if he could go in?
I was ticked off that he stated it as fact.

Quote:
Originally Posted by obiandelismom
Either way, when he said he was going in, you could have stated your objection - "It's raining" "They aren't here yet" "You need to ask me first if you may get out of the car - it's not safe for you to make that decision on your own" - whatever the REAL REASON is.
Brilliant. And once again, I'm a moron! And as my SIL reminded me today, I should say so in a calm, reasonable voice. Otherwise, he is just laughing at me as I "lose it." Nice huh?

Quote:
Originally Posted by obiandelismom
To me, this is key. I try to always tell my kids the REAL REASON why I want them to do/not do a certain thing. Then, if they have a counter REAL REASON why my real reason is full of it, then they are welcome to (respectfully) state it. Sometimes I change my mind, sometimes not, but either way they tend to follow my directives because we have been honest and authentic with each other. So I think just that simple "No!" is where that exchange went wrong, although hindsight is always 20/20, and I don't want you to think I'm judging!
I know you aren't judging. I really do appreciate the insight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by obiandelismom
I have to say that treating children as capable creatures who can be trusted to make their own decisions DOES produce kids who know their own minds and want what they want. That's a good thing, it really is. But you have to work extra hard to teach them how to balance that self-determination with polite behavior, consideration for others, kindness, etc. It's hard - I think it's the hardest part of GD. I can't stand rude kids! But sometimes I have to realize that kids who are respected are not going to "know their place" (and that's good!), and so they may sometimes come across as obnoxious.

Sorry for all the rambling - I hope you can get something out of it!
I did! yeah, and the PET - Parent Effectiveness Training book I'm trying to read/finish now is all about that, using reason (there are GREAT examples!) mutual respect, and that will create mutual respect (instead of defiance).

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Old 01-08-2006, 04:55 AM
 
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Tanya,
I think I should stalk you
We're going through some similar stuff here with our ds (just turned 5).
Already this thread has offered up some gems.
Dh was ready to inflict a consequence of a 1 min. time out for every "stupid", but I wasn't comfortable with that and promised to get back with him about why and with a suggestion. Now I have it!
Thanks dharma!
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Old 01-08-2006, 01:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanibani
I have no idea what you mean here. Can you explain?

He acts like he doesn't care, in a sing-songy voice, he says "I can do whatever I want."

My SIL gave me a good tip today... to never respond (react) in an angry voice, because then he pulls me into a power struggle. I need to remain calm.

Well of course he "acts" like he does not care. But all children who have any kind of normal attachment to their parents (and I mean EVERY child who is not truly abused) cares about what their parents think of them. They do not want their parents to be displeased with them. And if you let it, that alone, can be the strongest pull for a child, just like it is for an adult who does not want their loved ones displeased with them. It is when we feel the need to add "consequences" that children can deflect their bad feelings (in a good way the kind we have that acts as our conscience) onto the punishment.
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Old 01-08-2006, 02:15 PM
 
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I think that what honestly made GD work for us (so far...hold your breath) is that deep inside, I definitely am that authoritarian parent. Beneath the crunchy granola, the persona of my mother lurks just waiting to get out, and really, really PO'd about being smothered under Alfie Kohn like she has been.

That said, I cannot say this strongly enough: you cannot put up with this s***. Let me say it again: you cannot put up with this s***. If you put up with it at five, it will be geometrically worse at fifteen.

I know you know that, though. Okay, here's what I would have done. It's not precisely "gentle discipline," but it doesn't involve smacking.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanibani
A mother brings an IPOD over to her 8, 9, 10 ? year old DD. Daughter says: "Mom, you are so stupid. I can't listen to this! You need to take it upstairs and charge it right now."
If that had been my daughter, here is what I would have said and done after I'd picked my jaw up from the floor.

"You just lost this iPod. You apparently believe that I exist for little other purpose than to buy you material possessions you do not need and to service your whims as if I were a slave. This is an incorrect assumption. I realize now that my assumptions were also incorrect: I believed that by buying you things, I could buy your love. That was incorrect as well. Instead of being treated as a slave or buying your love, I will address the real problem: that I have raised you with no regard for other people.

"You and I are going to Street Teens [local shelter for teens] on the way home and we are going to give them this iPod. Those are people who have nothing and who would be grateful to have something like this.

"In the future, you and I are going to be doing many more things together, because I see there is a distance between us and a level of insensitivity and ingratitude in you that if left unchecked will cause not only your possible destruction, but have a decidedly negative effect on the society at large. The first thing is that we are going to unplug you from the television, from the cell, from the IM, from whatever cultural influence is convincing you that your treatment of me is in any way appropriate. We are going to reduce the focus in this house on material possessions and are going to focus on human needs: love, kindness, empathy. We are going to do a great deal of volunteering at places where people have nothing. It is my hope that you learn the difference not only between what you want and what you need, but learn the real value of life consists in kindness to others, not in treating them like dirt."

And I would do it. Period. No further debate, no further discussion. The iPod would be gone. The cell? Gone. The computer? Internet-disabled. The Xbox? Gone. The television? Off, to be watched by parents only. I honestly believe that the major sources of this girl's problem are in part her parents and in part the culture in which we live sending messages through constant influxes of sources -- tv, movies, etc., -- that parents are incompetent and stupid and teens are canny and hip and clever. GONE.

Quote:

1) I meet a friend with her twins at Chuckie Cheese (DH started taking him there ) and and we spend 3 hours there. Afterwards I say we are going to get a haircut. The place is closed. I am sitting with my mini-van running and waiting for my friend to get there.

DS (5.5) unbuckles himself and announces "I am getting out."
Me: "NO! Get back in the seat we are going home."
DS: (in sassy voice) I can do what I want. I am going in. (He would NEVER pull that with DH.)
Me: not in the mood to put up a big fight/expend all my anger "Fine let's go in (because I want to go to the store next door anyway."
You already knew that what you said was wrong and that you basically rewarded him for being incredibly rude and defiant.

Here's what I would have done: buckled him back in and driven home IMMEDIATELY. This is an issue of personal safety: not only is he unbuckling the seat while the car is running (a biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig problem!!!) but he is essentially threatening to leave the car (big problem #2), which is a serious safety risk. There is a zero tolerance policy here for serious safety risks.

The next day, I would be toting myself down to the store to buy him something like a Britax Marathon, which is good until the child is sixty pounds, and which he can NOT unbuckle. If he refuses to ride in it, fine...but then he stays at home.

Quote:



Backtalk/sassiness is a real problem lately. Telling him, "I don't like that" doesn't mean much to him.

And how would you handle it when he calls me stupid out of his breath, in frustration. I have heard you are supposed to "ignore" it, but I didn't, which of course made him want to do it more.
I would have gotten down on his level and said in a very firm voice, "In the Tanibani household, we do NOT call people 'stupid.' You never hear your father calling me stupid, you never hear me calling him stupid, and we do not call you stupid. That language is not acceptable under any circumstances."


I'm sorry if this isn't as gentle as it should be for this forum. I hope it helps, though. I sincerely feel as if there needs to be a very sharp distinction of what you will put up with first before there can be gentle discipline.
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Old 01-08-2006, 03:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
I think that what honestly made GD work for us (so far...hold your breath) is that deep inside, I definitely am that authoritarian parent.
I wish I were a little more authoritative! But that's not my nature and that's my problem. But according to Aletha Solter authoritarian/permissive are extremes and can cause their own set of problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
That said, I cannot say this strongly enough: you cannot put up with this s***. Let me say it again: you cannot put up with this s***. If you put up with it at five, it will be geometrically worse at fifteen.
You sound like DH and I know you are correct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
This is an issue of personal safety: not only is he unbuckling the seat while the car is running (a biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig problem!!!) but he is essentially threatening to leave the car (big problem #2), which is a serious safety risk.
FYI, the engine was on, in the Park position. So in his mind, it was "parked." But you are right, it IS a big safety issue, which is why I had a major freakout "NO!!!!" and unfortunately pulled me into a power struggle where my rational brain went out to lunch. :

Re: Your IPOD solution. Interesting. But I still like mine better. I would use your speech (without the punishment) and achieve a different effect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
The next day, I would be toting myself down to the store to buy him something like a Britax Marathon, which is good until the child is sixty pounds, and which he can NOT unbuckle. If he refuses to ride in it, fine...but then he stays at home.
: He IS in a Britax Marathon! He's been in one for a year (I like how safe it is) and he is perfectly capable at 5.5 to buckle himself in and out. (BTW, the laugh is not aimed at you. It's aimed at my ridiculous predicament. )

I would have gotten down on his level and said in a very firm voice, "In the Tanibani household, we do NOT call people 'stupid.' You never hear your father calling me stupid, you never hear me calling him stupid, and we do not call you stupid. That language is not acceptable under any circumstances."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
I'm sorry if this isn't as gentle as it should be for this forum. I hope it helps, though. I sincerely feel as if there needs to be a very sharp distinction of what you will put up with first before there can be gentle discipline.
While I don't agree with the sharp tone, I see your POV and appreciate your perspective. Aletha Solter

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Old 01-08-2006, 03:15 PM
 
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Well spotted, CB!

Namaste!
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Old 01-08-2006, 03:19 PM
 
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obiandelismom, excellent post!

Quote:
If he's disrespectful and arrogant to THEM (which he really isn't) then it's time to panic. Otherwise, it's just a matter of his and my relationship. That helps me focus on the real issue, without all the pressure of "fixing" him for all time.
One of my favorite parts of Anthony Wolf's book "Secret of Parenting", is where he explains why kids tend to "lose it" with their parents, while remaining polite little angels at school or with the sitter, etc. It made immediate sense to me when I read it, but it's one of those things that I had never thought of: the fact that your child is rude to YOU, but not others, speaks to his comfort and security in his relationship with you that he can "let loose" and express his negativity to you. Which isn't to say it's okay for him to speak to you like that, but as obiandelismom says, you need to put this in perspective.

I also totally agree that it's vitally important to refrain from power struggles. Using the word "NO" is guaranteed to start one. Think ahead of time of phrases you can use. Again, great suggestions from obiandelismom.

I agree with dharmasmom that it's important that you tell your child how it makes you feel when he talks to you that way. DON"T have that conversation right after he's "sassed" you. Wait until you two are playing together happily, then bring it up.

But make sure that when you express your feelings you are modelling the kind of respsectful language and tone you want from your child. My problem with this:

Quote:
You just lost this iPod. You apparently believe that I exist for little other purpose than to buy you material possessions you do not need and to service your whims as if I were a slave. This is an incorrect assumption. I realize now that my assumptions were also incorrect: I believed that by buying you things, I could buy your love. That was incorrect as well. Instead of being treated as a slave or buying your love, I will address the real problem: that I have raised you with no regard for other people.
...is that it is rude, snarky, and hurtful. Why is the parent allowed to speak to the child in that manner, but the child is not allowed to speak to the parent that way? With all due respect, CB, I can't see the difference between what you are saying to your child (and the words you are using to say it), and the snarky words the child said that evoked this response, though maybe I'm reading the tone of your post wrong.

I won't go into the punishment aspect, that's been dealt with before. I think it's ineffective and counterproductive. 'Nuff said.

Oh, and one thing I have learned from experience, is that ignoring "back talk" is the fastest way to get rid of it. I don't mean you ignore the child, nor do you withdraw your attention or your affections. You simply DON'T REACT to the backtalk. As soon as I did this, I saw a dramatic improvement, and within a week or so it was over with.

Hang in there, tanibani - your instincts are steering you the right way.

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Old 01-08-2006, 06:43 PM
 
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obiandelismom, excellent post!



One of my favorite parts of Anthony Wolf's book "Secret of Parenting", is where he explains why kids tend to "lose it" with their parents, while remaining polite little angels at school or with the sitter, etc. It made immediate sense to me when I read it, but it's one of those things that I had never thought of: the fact that your child is rude to YOU, but not others, speaks to his comfort and security in his relationship with you that he can "let loose" and express his negativity to you. Which isn't to say it's okay for him to speak to you like that, but as obiandelismom says, you need to put this in perspective.

I also totally agree that it's vitally important to refrain from power struggles. Using the word "NO" is guaranteed to start one. Think ahead of time of phrases you can use. Again, great suggestions from obiandelismom.

I agree with dharmasmom that it's important that you tell your child how it makes you feel when he talks to you that way. DON"T have that conversation right after he's "sassed" you. Wait until you two are playing together happily, then bring it up.

But make sure that when you express your feelings you are modelling the kind of respsectful language and tone you want from your child. My problem with this:



...is that it is rude, snarky, and hurtful. Why is the parent allowed to speak to the child in that manner, but the child is not allowed to speak to the parent that way? With all due respect, CB, I can't see the difference between what you are saying to your child (and the words you are using to say it), and the snarky words the child said that evoked this response, though maybe I'm reading the tone of your post wrong.

I won't go into the punishment aspect, that's been dealt with before. I think it's ineffective and counterproductive. 'Nuff said.

Oh, and one thing I have learned from experience, is that ignoring "back talk" is the fastest way to get rid of it. I don't mean you ignore the child, nor do you withdraw your attention or your affections. You simply DON'T REACT to the backtalk. As soon as I did this, I saw a dramatic improvement, and within a week or so it was over with.

Hang in there, tanibani - your instincts are steering you the right way.

Piglet I could not agree with you more!

As another "Secret of Parenting" practionrer. I think CB's attitude torwards the "backtalK' is way overblown and will not lead to anywhere productive.

Buying your child an IPOD does not mean taht you are attempting to buy their love. All three of mine have an IPOD. None of mine have ever talked to me like that child at the pool. But if they did the solution is not to speak to them in an obnoxious manner and punish them.

Like I said before my solution to rude behaior is to express that I don't like it, it is rude and express my expectation that it not happen.

But its just not that big a deal. I did not dwell on it at 5, I like Piglet really just expressed my disaproval and moved on. And if it occured as a result of a time I was setting some othe limit, I totally ignnored it.


And guess what? It HAS NOT grown exponetially. Quite the contrary! At 12, my older dd is probably politer to us in her interactions than any 12 y.o. around. Sure we get some sighing and eye rolling but it never escalates because we don't make a big deal out of it.
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Old 01-08-2006, 07:44 PM
 
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My problem with this:



...is that it is rude, snarky, and hurtful. Why is the parent allowed to speak to the child in that manner, but the child is not allowed to speak to the parent that way? With all due respect, CB, I can't see the difference between what you are saying to your child (and the words you are using to say it), and the snarky words the child said that evoked this response, though maybe I'm reading the tone of your post wrong.
Well, I don't want to threadjack, but I would like to assert that there's a distinct difference between saying, "Mom, you are so stupid..." which is certainly insulting, and being direct about the nature of the problem. Breaking it down...

"You apparently believe that I exist for little other purpose than to buy you material possessions you do not need and to service your whims as if I were a slave. "

This I judge to be true based on the child's statement, "...Mom, you are so stupid. I can't listen to this! You need to take it upstairs and charge it right now." I also deliberately worded it as "You apparently believe," rather than "You (do) believe." It is apparent. Appearances, however (hopefully, in this case) may deceive.

This is an incorrect assumption. I realize now that my assumptions were also incorrect: I believed that by buying you things, I could buy your love.

This, I admit, was kind've a long shot based on the fact that this child had both an iPod and a deliberately dismissive and disrespectful attitude toward her parent. However, I was here also assigning blame to the parent's (presumed) behavior.

That was incorrect as well. Instead of being treated as a slave or buying your love, I will address the real problem: that I have raised you with no regard for other people.

To me, this is putting the blame on the parent. In none of the statements I made do I see anything "rude" or "hurtful," though I might cop to "snarky."

I understand that some may not agree or think it is overreacting, but I take children's statements very seriously and would be genuinely concerned that this treatment of others would only get worse over time. I'm delighted to know that that doesn't happen every time, mind you, but I wonder if that's not an exception more than the rule. I teach teenagers, and whereas the vast, vast majority are well-behaved, funny, kind, and cool, others believe that there are no consequences to saying, well, basically whatever they want. I would be concerned that this outlook would be the result of ignoring deliberately disrespectful and hurtful comments like "you're stupid." That's all.
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Old 01-08-2006, 10:12 PM
 
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Well, I don't want to threadjack, but I would like to assert that there's a distinct difference between saying, "Mom, you are so stupid..." which is certainly insulting, and being direct about the nature of the problem.
Well, I guess that's where I'm getting lost. Because I don't see your words as being direct at all.

Quote:
"You apparently believe that I exist for little other purpose than to buy you material possessions you do not need and to service your whims as if I were a slave. "

This I judge to be true based on the child's statement....
You don't really believe that the child honestly looks at the parent as a source of material posessions only, right? So how are you being direct? Is the issue here REALLY that the child sees you as ONLY a source of material posessions? I don't think so, otherwise you'd have a real psychopath on your hands. Seems to me, the issue is the child's poor use of words and phrasing to convey her own negative emotions. So this isn't being "direct" as you said.

Quote:
This is an incorrect assumption. I realize now that my assumptions were also incorrect: I believed that by buying you things, I could buy your love.

This, I admit, was kind've a long shot based on the fact that this child had both an iPod and a deliberately dismissive and disrespectful attitude toward her parent. However, I was here also assigning blame to the parent's (presumed) behavior.
Assuming you truly are trying to address the parent's presumed behaviour, why is this a matter to direct to the child? Why is such an issue even being shared with the child? Again, how is this "directly" addressing the issue of the child's rudeness.

Quote:
That was incorrect as well. Instead of being treated as a slave or buying your love, I will address the real problem: that I have raised you with no regard for other people.
AGain, if you truly felt that this was a parental issue, then it is not something to put on the child. In fact, I don't see how a child could hear this and not get the message that "you have no regard for other people". That's insulting and hurtful.

Quote:
In none of the statements I made do I see anything "rude" or "hurtful," though I might cop to "snarky."
I think all you have to do is imagine your spouse saying those words to you and I think you'd agree it is hurtful.

Quote:
...I take children's statements very seriously and would be genuinely concerned that this treatment of others would only get worse over time.
Maybe that's the issue. Maybe you are taking the words TOO seriously, and focussing on the words rather than the real issue, which is that the child is experiencing some negative feelings and can only seem to express them in ways that are rude and hurtful. Focusing on the words, rather than the problem, is sort of treating the symptom and not the root cause.

Anyways, I'm not trying to bash you or anything. I hope I'm not coming across that way. I'm saying this in the spirit of discussion and point/counterpoint. Many others are reading this thread, and I think such discussions, even if they are a bit of a sidetrack (sorry, Tanibani) can be useful.

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Old 01-08-2006, 10:27 PM
 
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when i my son is whinny or rude i usually say "i'm sorry i can't understand what you are saying... can you say that in a regular voice please?"

i think sometimes we are stunned with the way our kids are. a few days ago i asked my son to stop pushing thing off my desk and he screamed bloody hell like someone was killing him. right in my face! i was so stunned i just sat there with my mouth gapping for a minute. then i hugged him because he was really upset (for some reason).

other times i will say "just use your words, i don't understand what you want when you scream or whine." i guess being 3 my son struggles more with words then the OP's child. i will also tell him "it's polite to say please, or it's polite to ask nicely if you want smething." or "it makes people feel bad if you _____ when you wan them to do something." i think it takes a long time (like years for that stuff to sink in and you should give up too soon or expect instant results. if someone tells you to slap your kids over some rude behavior just say "i like to be able to sleep at night thank you, or something like that. never defend yourself. kids are just conans, it's why they aren't legally adults until they are 18

i think 1.) kids have no idea sometimes they are being rude or sassy. 2.) even more than adults they don't think before they talk (and we all know how often adults do that) 3.) rude/sassy/naughty/wild/crazy etc. behavior gets them attention and so giving them attendtion in other areas may frequently decrease behavior that fills a need for more attention.

i'm sure your child won't be so rude by the time college comes around.

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Old 01-08-2006, 10:33 PM
 
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I'm just checking in on this post because this child sounds EXACTLY like my 5.5year old, Madyson. Tanibani, you are not alone! We are right there in the trenches with you. She knows just how to test me to my limits and draw me into a power struggle daily.


Meg

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Old 01-08-2006, 10:36 PM
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If one is prefacing their responses to their children (or on websites) with "this probably isn't gentle but at least it isn't smacking them"... I don't see where it fits into the gentle discipline forum. There is a lot more to gentle discipline (I think even the more authoritative parents will even agree with this) than not smacking your child.

I really am charged by the slave comment. (African American) Slaves were raped. Slaves were beaten. Slaves were kept against their will to work to make white people money, and not given anything as payment. Slaves were treated by society and the Government as not even equal to a whole person.Slaves fought hard to be free. Please, for the love of God don't compare a rude pre-teen calling their mom stupid to the plight of slaves...or compare yourself sitting on a lounge chair soaking up the sun to a slave. (I know it wasn't you, but you "put yourself in the situation" to show how you would respond)

That having been said, I would not let a 11 year old or a 5 year old dictate my action or reaction (in the context of rudeness etc).... I would have calmly said that I don't like being called stupid and feel less than eager to help someone who is referring to me as such. I would have suggested that my daughter go cool off for a few minutes (or I would have) and wold inform her that I would appreciate helping her if she was willing to think of a more respectful way of asking me for my help.....
...besides, only one side of the conversation was overheard, no? how does anyone know these parents haven't been punishing, spanking, shaming, and otherwise disregarding their daughter from day one like many parents who may "look" real nice and like they have it all.... so no one can get a pure read on it...

As for the OP's situation, perhaps you could talk to your son when you are both calm and happy about the under-the-breath-stupid issue. Your son has a right to his emotions and opinions but I agree that stupid is not a very conductive word for anyone. It doesn't do anything but upset you... I would talk to him and say that you understand that when he is muttering that you are stupid under his breath that he is upset or angry or frustrated about something and simply calling you stupid does nothing to help you both get to the bottom of why he is feeling the way he is, and you can't help rectify the situation. Also, I would add that I don't like being called stupid and that my feelings get hurt when people I love say mean words about me. Maybe you can come up with another word he can say... even make one up... when he gets really super frustrated, why don't you ask him to say floogle moogle boogle wooober.... or something equally as silly you can come up with together as his "special sign" to you that he is feeling angry or frustrated or upset about something, then you can talk about it together etc...
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Old 01-08-2006, 10:53 PM
 
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Many others are reading this thread, and I think such discussions, even if they are a bit of a sidetrack (sorry, Tanibani) can be useful.
Overall, I do too, but because I am fearful of threadjacking, I PMd you. Hey, feel free to share anything I pm you with Tanibani if you think it will help.
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Old 01-08-2006, 11:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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FYI I do not mind "thread-jacking." No need to apologize. Just use the icon if you want. (Or don't, it's OK) It's all part of the conversation. (and besides, the more this thread gets bumped, better for me and my problems! ) And I do think if it, whatever "it" is, helps someone, then I'm all for it.

I'll read the other responses when I have a chance!

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Old 01-16-2006, 11:13 PM
 
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Okay, I have no experience here, because my kid is way too little, but I have heard of parents saying something like "Would you like to re-phrase that?" accompanied by the appropriate facial expression (shocked, hurt, serious, pissed, lifted eyebrow, studiedly neutral, emphatic, whatever). Does anyone have any behind-the-wheel experience with this type of response?

I have no idea what I'll when the time comes, because
1) if Bleuet is anything like his mommy, he will be very sarcastic, anti-authoritarian and posess a working command of four-letter words. Which I don't necessarily disapprove of (especially when it's coming from me!) and
2) I don't want to get into that heavy, punitive stuff or show that is gets me in a flap, but
3) secretly I worry that it might piss me off. Which is as much *my* issue as it is a parenting issue, kwim? As sassy as I am, I really disapprove of teens speaking disrespectfully to their parents or adults in general. Hell, I disapprove of women my owns age speaking disrespectfully to their parents, and I am well into my thirties! I'm just going to try not to worry in advance, since I prefer to maintain my stomach lining and not wear my teeth down to little nubs. *sigh*
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Old 01-16-2006, 11:42 PM
 
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My ds is just a baby, but I *know* how much it's going to piss me off when he defies me, and how it will make me feel violently inclined as my inner chimpanzee screams at me to assert my dominnance over my young.

I was a sassy kid and so was dh, and we both had loving and attentive parents who dealt with sassiness in less-than-perfect ways. I got screamed at and called names. My dh got hit. We love our parents, but we'd like to do better.

OP, I am thinking that *calmly* administered consequences for things like getting out of the car wuthout permission are a good idea. My car doors can be locked and released by me, do yours work that way? Then it wouldn't be a pressing safety issue, you could turn around and deal with ds and get him back into his seat while playing the role of Calmly Disappointed Mama. And whatever you were planning to do next, it definitely needs to be skipped.

That "stupid" thing would drive me INSANE. Some of the PPs have great suggestions for what to say in response, all I have to add is that I think you should stop ANYTHING that you are doing for your ds (making him a snack, taking him somewhere he wants to go, playing with him) immediately when he calls you names. When a person (of any age) emotionally attacks another person (of any age) and their victim still gives them what they wanted, I think it sets up a really bad dynamic.
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Old 01-17-2006, 10:08 AM
 
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In the specific examples, I think if you had not said, "No!" when he stated that he was getting out of the car, that you wouldn't have set up a power struggle. I can hear that you're not wanting to WIN power struggles in a "my way or the highway" kind of manner (which is fine), but if that's your goal then it's important (IMO) to AVOID them as much as possible, while still acheiving your ends when necessary. So when he said, "I'm going in", did it bug you because he stated it as a fact, rather than asking if he could go in? Or was the issue really with whether or not he went in at that moment? Either way, when he said he was going in, you could have stated your objection - "It's raining" "They aren't here yet" "You need to ask me first if you may get out of the car - it's not safe for you to make that decision on your own" - whatever the REAL REASON is. To me, this is key. I try to always tell my kids the REAL REASON why I want them to do/not do a certain thing. Then, if they have a counter REAL REASON why my real reason is full of it, then they are welcome to (respectfully) state it. Sometimes I change my mind, sometimes not, but either way they tend to follow my directives because we have been honest and authentic with each other. So I think just that simple "No!" is where that exchange went wrong, although hindsight is always 20/20, and I don't want you to think I'm judging!

I have to say that treating children as capable creatures who can be trusted to make their own decisions DOES produce kids who know their own minds and want what they want. That's a good thing, it really is. But you have to work extra hard to teach them how to balance that self-determination with polite behavior, consideration for others, kindness, etc. It's hard - I think it's the hardest part of GD. I can't stand rude kids! But sometimes I have to realize that kids who are respected are not going to "know their place" (and that's good!), and so they may sometimes come across as obnoxious.

Sorry for all the rambling - I hope you can get something out of it!

Excellent post
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Old 01-17-2006, 10:50 AM
 
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"Would you like to re-phrase that?"
I tell my kids, "Try again." Sometimes it takes them two or three tries before they have spoken in an acceptable manner, but eventually they get around to it.

Namaste!
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Old 01-17-2006, 01:08 PM
 
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I tell my kids, "Try again." Sometimes it takes them two or three tries before they have spoken in an acceptable manner, but eventually they get around to it.

Namaste!
I say "Excuse me?" with a deadpan expression and a raised eyebrow. It usually results in re-phrasing, generally because it's recognized as a signal that the first approach will not achieve the desired result.

Re the IPod example, I'd probably just say "Excuse me? You can't seriously expect someone to want to do something for you if that's the tone you're using." Later, I'd point out that their tunes seem really important to them, and help brainstorm them taking responsibility for charging it themselves (e.g. reminder systems).

CB's sample response, to me, while maybe useful as a thinking process for the parent trying to figure out what happened after the fact, would probably come across rant-y, and therefore go in one ear and out the other, leaving behind only the adversarial, lasting resentment from the loss of stuff that's important to the kid. So they hear "BLAH BLAH BLAH I'm taking away your stuff BLAH BLAH BLAH I don't understand you BLAH BLAH BLAH I'm the reason your life sucks YADA YADA"...
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