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#91 of 110 Old 03-04-2006, 03:15 PM
 
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Since I'm one of the people who said I wouldn't make a sandwich for somebody who just yelled at me, I want to clarify. I haven't really seen anyone advocating withholding the sandwich, although I may have missed it as I've skimmed parts of this thread.

I would ask for a more polite request before I made the sandwich...this always works for my three year old. If that didn't work, I would expect an eight year old child to make the sandwich herself. If the kid wasn't capable of making a sandwich, or was so hungry that she couldn't control her behavior, I would then make the sandwich and talk about it later. My point is that I wouldn't withhold the sandwich, but I also wouldn't make a sandwich and do nothing about the rude attitude. It's about my personal boundaries and not allowing people to treat me that way, as well as teaching my child how to control his behavior even when he doesn't feel like it.

Carrie
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#92 of 110 Old 03-04-2006, 05:16 PM
 
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I have experienced realities with ds which defy the idea that I, heartmama, will fulfill the need causing the behavior. I may never know his reasons, or I may know the reason, and discover it beyond my ability to influence. And yet we must live together, we must find a way to respectfulness.

I don't know whether this helps the discussion.

But I do want to validate the point here that each person, child included, is on their own path. There can be an issue that a child brings into the family which does not begin, and won't end, with the parents influence.

When *this* was the reason for a hurtful behavior, I was not a mother-therapist-healer to him, but more a mother-other-boundary for him. By defining the boundaries of my existence firmly, he was in a safe, predictable situation in which he could try and try again to do the same, to learn his boundaries, and to respect others. This was just....so important for him, so important for us, so essential to living respectfully and peacefully and in a democratic way with each other.

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#93 of 110 Old 03-04-2006, 05:19 PM
 
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Tripmom the thread has evolved since you asked for my advice. I will have to come back to it, but it seems you are saying 'baby time' is the main time your ds acts hurtful? Or is it anytime? Before the babies were born? I'm trying to understand the larger context.

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#94 of 110 Old 03-04-2006, 05:47 PM
 
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The solution, to me, isn't to withhold the sandwich (if I'm honest with myself, my urge to say 'no sandwich' is retaliation for being screamed at-it's not teaching). In my mind, the best way to help someone learn to be compassionate is to show them compassion.

Such a complicated point to make.

There is truth in your words.

And it is also true that for me, not making the sandwich, with an older child in particular, would be showing compassion to myself, to the way such screaming made me feel. Yes, definitely. It wouldn't be retaliation. It would be a compassionate honoring of my own boundaries.

And that can also teach compassion.

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#95 of 110 Old 03-04-2006, 10:20 PM
 
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I wasn't saying that I would not give the sandwich either. But by giving a sandwich right after the screaming without practicing what is a more appropriate way to say it is just reinforcing the screaming.

To be more specific, I might say something like "You must be really hungry to yell like that. But you need to tell me using a voice that I can understand. You can tell me "Mama, I'm so hungry that I have to eat right now" or "I am angry because I'm hungry and you aren't giving me the food I need" or "Hurry mama, my tummy hurts". Then I'll understand what you need and be able to give it to you. Let's practice." I wouldn't just ignore the screaming and walk away. I would talk to the child and get him/her to explain how they felt in non-screaming words, and then making the sandwich. I mostly work with kids younger than 8. By 8 years old, a child should know how to request things without screaming. And I've seen many children who don't and many times it is because their inappropriate behavior has been reinforced.

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#96 of 110 Old 03-04-2006, 10:22 PM
 
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But I personally don't like to get into power struggles. I guess Dharmama's gone, but it sounded to me like her dd was mad at her, not that she needed more consequences. Why else would a child seek out her mother to inform her that she was flauting her rules if she isn't chafing under the yoke of her control? And, simply from a practical point of view, that can't work well for long.

I agree that power struggles are a road I never want to go down. But don't some kids just test anyway? Don't they all test their autonomy? And in some situations, don't some kids test if they are actually crying out for more boundaries? I think some will act out more if their parents are trying to control them, as you say. But I feel like my son has always been a tester, even when we compromise til the cows come home, he'll eat his crackers in the kitchen with one toe touching out into the hallway, looking at me, because we have a no-eating-outside-of-the-kitchen/dining room rule. We don't have a lot of petty rules, but this is important to me and is not enforced with actual force and he doesn't seem to mind. And yet. The toe.
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#97 of 110 Old 03-05-2006, 03:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, so many things I want to quote and comment on. I'll just start and see how far I get before someone wakes up!

Quote:
But I personally don't like to get into power struggles. I guess Dharmama's gone, but it sounded to me like her dd was mad at her, not that she needed more consequences. Why else would a child seek out her mother to inform her that she was flauting her rules if she isn't chafing under the yoke of her control? And, simply from a practical point of view, that can't work well for long. Something will have to give.
Ds1 will definitely seek me out to tell me he did something "wrong." I don't see myself as very controlling - in fact, most people in my life who have a criticism of my parenting/discipline would say that I am too lenient. But it's obvious when ds1 is having this difficult times that he is trying to do everything he can to make me angry, to engage in a battle. He will go through the little list of things he knows pisses me off, waiting for me to finally lose it, which for a long time would work - he always ended with a little swat at his brother since he knew that that was the hot button if nothing else was working, such as throwing trains or slamming doors. We have such a wonderful, close, loving relationship the other 23 hours of the day, that I don't see this as him being angry with me per se, but rather being angry and not knowing how to express it appropriately.


Quote:
have not fully understood the cause. For example, my child may in fact be seeking attention, but that's not a full understanding. My child is seeking attention because she is grieving the loss of the one-on-one relationship she had before her brother was born; my child is seeking connection because she feels stressed out about something I don't notice because it wouldn't stress me out or I take it for granted; my child is seeking connection because she is frightened about something or nervous after having developed into having a new sort of awareness of the world. Often the cause I identify isn't really an adequate understanding. And without adequate understanding of what's going on, I can't address it effectively.
I absolutely think ds's behavior falls under the "my child is seeking connection because she is frightened about something or nervous after having developed into having a new sort of awareness of the world" category. I was just telling dh that I feel like ds has jumped into this new realm of awareness about the world, has developed a deeper understanding of complex situations, and his angry behavior has increased at the same time. So while I am hard pressed to find even more ways to connect with him (we are pretty darn connected most of the day), I am keeping my eyes out for extra opportunities.

But I still have the same question that keeps getting asked here, I think by TripMom: While I am working on meeting this need of his, assuming of course I even know what it is, what do I do about the behavior in the meantime? What do I do when I have calmly told him that I undertstand he is frustrated that his train fell over, but that he may not scream at me, and he continues to? And if I do manage to go into another room, telling him that I am available to him whenever he can stop screaming at me, he then picks up the train and throws it (one of the few hard and fast rules we have in this house is no throwing trains). So then, I tell him that that I understand he is angry, but that he may not throw trains. He can hit the couch, he can tell me about how angry he is, but he cannot throw trains. But he interrupts me, screaming things like "you're not part of my family, get out of this house, you're stupid,". So how long do I continue to tell him what he may not do (i.e., set boundaries) while he just continues to do it anyway? And what specifically do I do about it? This is the part I don't understand.

And another question: What ARE some of the things you suggest to your child to do when they are angry?
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#98 of 110 Old 03-05-2006, 03:26 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Hazelnut
I agree that power struggles are a road I never want to go down. But don't some kids just test anyway? Don't they all test their autonomy? And in some situations, don't some kids test if they are actually crying out for more boundaries?
See, I just don't know about this. My child, no. As long as she feels understood and validated, she doesn't seem to want to push the limits. But she's naturally cautious, introverted, and thoughtful. So I guess I don't really have much insight on that. I hear people talking about their children testing way, way more than mine. And I think that some parents and some children will naturally just have more conflict, and it's unavoidable. We are who we are, and there may be times in our lives and relationships that we irritate each other more than others, IKWIM.

But I do think some people do more to avoid this than others. For example, you can "compromise till the cows come home", thus avoiding most conflict and keeping the testing to the minimum, hopefully. Or, you can choose to "break a child's spirit", and set yourself and your child up for a world of hurt. Anyway, I guess most people here are in the former camp. Just thinking out loud, I guess.

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#99 of 110 Old 03-05-2006, 12:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Nurturing Mama
Since I'm one of the people who said I wouldn't make a sandwich for somebody who just yelled at me, I want to clarify. I haven't really seen anyone advocating withholding the sandwich, although I may have missed it as I've skimmed parts of this thread.

I would ask for a more polite request before I made the sandwich...this always works for my three year old. If that didn't work, I would expect an eight year old child to make the sandwich herself. If the kid wasn't capable of making a sandwich, or was so hungry that she couldn't control her behavior, I would then make the sandwich and talk about it later. My point is that I wouldn't withhold the sandwich, but I also wouldn't make a sandwich and do nothing about the rude attitude. It's about my personal boundaries and not allowing people to treat me that way, as well as teaching my child how to control his behavior even when he doesn't feel like it.

Carrie


I totally agree with you. We mamas have rights and feelings too.
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#100 of 110 Old 03-05-2006, 12:16 PM
 
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I definitely don't think all kids, even when heard, are similar in the acting out department. I see certain siblings, parented the same way, either gentle or not gentle, and some are naturally compliant and others seem compelled to make their own way. But of course parents can just make it more difficult if they are insisting on compliance. It definitely is tougher around here if I step back and see that maybe he needs more than I've been giving. I guess I was wondering more about whether such an egregious form of "look what I'm doing wrong!" was along those lines or more because they're angry at feeling disrespected or controlled too much. Probably the latter I guess.
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#101 of 110 Old 03-06-2006, 11:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by heartmama
Such a complicated point to make.

There is truth in your words.

And it is also true that for me, not making the sandwich, with an older child in particular, would be showing compassion to myself, to the way such screaming made me feel. Yes, definitely. It wouldn't be retaliation. It would be a compassionate honoring of my own boundaries.

And that can also teach compassion.
You know, I agree with this completely. The worst thing about talking about parenting is that relationships (and parenting is a relationship) are complex. There are no simple statements that sum it all up. I was actually thinking about this last night, and thinking that with an older child I would probably not make the sandwich-at least not until we had talked and I had been asked politely. I was thinking, in my earlier post, of younger children and of the few times I have examined my resistance to doing something like making the sandwich and found a desire for retaliation (ETA that of course, this desire to retaliate is due to my ignoring my own need to be treated with respect and asked nicely-the need to be respected and spoken to politely is valid and must be addressed). I should have been more clear, it sounds like a terrible blanket statement-and blanket statements just aren't accurate. I agree that we teach compassion not only by extending compassion to others, but by extending compassion to ourselves. It is so important to extend compasssion to ourselves. And once again it comes back to clear and honest communication, to effective communication. To being aware of my internal experience, and being able to communicate with my children in awareness of that internal experience-to communicate to my children how I feel when I see them do things and what I would like for them to do instead, and to listening to them and helping them learn how to communicate their thoughts and feelings in effective ways (which they seem to learn mostly through watching me communicate, rather than through me telling them how to do it, yk?).

This has been such a fascinating thread.

I also totally agree with the point you made about how sometimes the underlying need seems to be one that cannot necessarily be met completely by the parent. I think sometimes we parents can help and see to it that the need is met, but that sometimes it must take time and occur within the child, with our support. Does that make any sense? For example, the grief that comes with the birth of a new sibling. It is grief, though each child experiences it to a different degree and it is accompanied also by the pleasure of having a sibling. And grief takes time to heal, it can't be made to go away by something the parent does. The child needs to feel it and be supported through it, the child doesn't need someone to fix it for her. I can think of other adjustments my children have had to make that are similar in that all they needed was time and for me to support them through it. I can't fix my kids, and they don't need fixing. I can't fix every difficulty they face, and that wouldn't serve them well even if it were possible. They have to grow and learn and live their lives. It's hard to accept that and remember that, I have this terrible urge to fix. But I do know deep down that I can trust them to learn, I can support them and be a role model and communicate clearly with them and they will learn-I don't have to always be trying to fix.

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#102 of 110 Old 03-08-2006, 01:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heartmama
Tripmom the thread has evolved since you asked for my advice. I will have to come back to it, but it seems you are saying 'baby time' is the main time your ds acts hurtful? Or is it anytime? Before the babies were born? I'm trying to understand the larger context.
I know. And I think I've contributed a bit as I realized in retrospect I've mixed topics on this thread somewhat.

But to answer you - most of our conflict with DS right now is rooted in baby-jealousy. Problems since the babies have been born. The "yelling" is a somewhat separate issue - but related - it occurs during conflict involving jealousy with babies - and at other times too. Hope that helps a little.

TripMom . . . . . loving mom : to DS (7) and BBG (4.5)
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#103 of 110 Old 03-09-2006, 11:44 PM
 
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I haven't been able to read all six pages of the thread yet, but here goes:

OceanBaby, how does your DS's behavior change if you spend lots of time with him during the day? Like if you take your kiddos on a three hour hike/walk where your goal is connecting with him in a positive way?

Have you read Neufeld's Hold On To Your Kids? A couple of things that come to mind are: aggression is the fruit of frustration. What is he frustrated about? He probably can't tell you, but is simply following his instincts. The other thing Neufeld said that I keep coming back to is that children misbehave either because they lack maturity, or because their attachments are in disorder. I find this insightful and challenging. I have been trying to comb through my relationship with my 3yo to see if there are any gaps in our attachment. I've been trying (as much as I really don't want to!) to nurse him more - even initiate it sometimes. I'm trying to make use of all our positive time together - cementing good relationship. Still, we had friends leave our house from a playdate today because of sharing issues. My son doesn't share well at all. I'm wondering if it is that he lacks the maturity to do it - and if that is the case, do we never see other children?

I'm trying my best with GD, but I am certainly not perfect, or 100% sold on it. My reaction to my son's meltdown in the wake of sharing incident today was to remove him from the scene (or follow him as he ran across the yard), sit down and tell him his behavior was not okay, try to communicate that while also communicating that he in his person is okay and that I love him, then had to leave his brother sitting in the yard so that I could carry him kicking and screaming into the house. I then went and got his brother. Then got a snack and water for the 3yo and took it and him up to his room. Told him that he needed to play by himself if he could not share with his friends (which is what I had said outside before the blow-up). The snack was in case hunger was adding to the problem.

I feel your frustration. The challenge is not coming up with a snappy solution to a specific situation, because the real challenge is that the behavior keeps popping up and up and up constantly. If you haven't read Hold On To Your Kids, I think it would be a helpful read. I also like PP's suggestions of trying to determine if allergies or some other issue behind the scene is causing frustration, and the article on being a Hard Ass mom.
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#104 of 110 Old 03-23-2006, 05:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by oceanbaby
But I still have the same question that keeps getting asked here, I think by TripMom: While I am working on meeting this need of his, assuming of course I even know what it is, what do I do about the behavior in the meantime? What do I do when I have calmly told him that I undertstand he is frustrated that his train fell over, but that he may not scream at me, and he continues to? And if I do manage to go into another room, telling him that I am available to him whenever he can stop screaming at me, he then picks up the train and throws it (one of the few hard and fast rules we have in this house is no throwing trains). So then, I tell him that that I understand he is angry, but that he may not throw trains. He can hit the couch, he can tell me about how angry he is, but he cannot throw trains. But he interrupts me, screaming things like "you're not part of my family, get out of this house, you're stupid,". So how long do I continue to tell him what he may not do (i.e., set boundaries) while he just continues to do it anyway? And what specifically do I do about it? This is the part I don't understand.
Well, I try to make those things he can't do, if they are truly things that I can not tolerate.

Not to oversimplify the issue, but -- throwing trains apparently is a big issue here, since it's one of a few hard and fast rules. If this is something he's really struggling with, if it's something he can't (or won't, which in a small child I'm not sure is all that different) control -- why not put the trains somewhere he can't get them? And I dont' mean in a punishing "now you can't play with trains way" but more in a "the place trains go when they aren't being played with is up very far away, and they don't come down very often and only during very stable times." Sure, sometimes it's going to slip through that he gets mad while playing with trains and throws one, but then "Oh, I see we're through with trains, up they go again."

When my little sister was going through a god-awful-horrible-throwing-things-slamming-doors-raging time in her life, my parents went to some pretty extreme measures -- even to the point of taking doors off of hinges so they couldn't be slammed. She ould throw and break "trinkets" -- so literally ALL our trinkets went away.

Basically -- they knew she was at a stage where she was going through some BIG things and that until she worked through them, they could either fight against her acting out at the same time as trying to work through the issues, or they could prevent the acting out. Does that make sense? And I hope I'm not stating anything completely obvious that you've tried 100-fold before, but it's what occurs to me. If I know there's a big issue with my kid, I'm going to try my best to prevent any little thing -- like slamming doors -- from becoming an issue.

As far as yelling -- no, you can't take away his voice. And yelling sucks and feels bad. But you can remove yourself, and you can tell him again and again that "this is not acceptable and not how I expect to be spoken to." And you refuse to engage and you ignore (even though I know it's very, very hard). By trying to do that talking when you're in the middle of it, all you're doing is engaging.

I'm not sure I'm explaining very well what's in my head, and as I only have one child who's younger, I may not be able to fully appreciate the situation. But these are the thoughts I had reading this post.

Quote:
And another question: What ARE some of the things you suggest to your child to do when they are angry?
My child is only three, but we suggest:

-- get a pen and paper and scribble to get out some of the "big feelings" (anger/frustration -- this is his favorite; he will often cry and scribble for up to ten minutes and then seek out one of us to "talk about it")
-- step out on the back porch and yell as loud as he can
-- get on the floor and stomp his feet or jump up and down
-- if someone is able to go outside with him, go outside and run around the yard to "run out" the big feelings
-- go in his room and lay on his bed and try to breathe out the big feelings so he can be calm
-- tell us what he would like to do, or what will make him feel better, or ask for help figuring out what he's feeling (he often does this one after doing one of the others)

Carrie
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#105 of 110 Old 03-23-2006, 08:36 AM
 
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PaganScribe, I your post!!!

Heather, WAHM to DS (01/04)DD (06/06). Wed to DH(09/97)
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#106 of 110 Old 03-23-2006, 09:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by annabanana
this sounds condescending, while 'try again' can be said with a very compassionate, accepting attitude.

a
i think its all in the tone. I dont say it with attitude, I say it kindly.
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#107 of 110 Old 03-23-2006, 02:20 PM
 
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It is so nice to come here and see so much help for something many of us on the GD path go through.

I can not count how often I have heard something like the first post, someone crying out for help, expressing the pain and anger and fears. At frist it seems clear that the person just wants support doing what many think of as the easy thing rather then the right thing. They want to hear it is ok to hit and do what their parents did because they are not terrible people. True many of us make it our of childhood ok, dispite the harsh punishment. Far too many do not though. My brother, like so many other people in jail, was one of the wounded by such parental acts. I on the other hand am ok.

We found GD when DD was 3. I remember posting much the same thing after a few months. I was at wits end. And then all of a sudden, it all changed. life was nothing like it had been before. I loved spending time with her and we thrived. Now she is 6 years old, we had a new baby, moved across country, and with so much change, came a change in her as well. Not for the better. Now I am back here, trying to find my footing again as I really am not enjoying a lot of the time we spend together these days. I am drained trying to keep up with baby, the house, the pets, hubby being away (Military) and homeschooling her. I know her issues have a lot to do with how she sees her mommy and her worry is acted out as well.

In short, thank you for starting this thread and thank the ladies who can respond in kindness and offer hugs and help. It reminds me of the house. What ever happens, I wish you peace.

Blessings,
Kontessa

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#108 of 110 Old 03-23-2006, 05:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Yoshua
to me GD is not physically hurting your child or giving them over the top punishments.

I know that doesnt go with alot of the bored users, but if a child throws food and he is of an age to understand that normal people do not throw food, i do not think it is unacceptable to expect that child to pick the food up after himself.

I am not a 'big' believer in time outs, but when someone is causing physical harm to others and refuses to curb the behavior (this includes animals) I have no problem putting said child on a time out, 1 minute per year of life.

You may ask why? well, I believe in real world consequences and I also expect my children to obey and respect the law.... if you hurt someone in real life, you get put on a time out for alot longer than 20 minutes if you are 20 years old.



You can adjust yoru GD thinking, you don't NEED to be ok with allowing a child the run of the house/farm/garage/pets/siblings. There are limits in life, and to me, a child without limits won't understand that later.

I give respect to everyones own personal way of parenting, which includes HARDCORE GD that alot of the moms around here use, it is awesome when it works. But everyone is different, children included, and some children require more structure than others.


Modify, you don't have to do what doesn't work for ya.

/support


I don't spank. I don't send them to bed without dinner. I don't make them take cold showers. But there are consequences for crappy behavior.

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14yo ds   11yo dd  9yo ds and 7yo ds and 2yo ds  
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#109 of 110 Old 03-23-2006, 10:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mizelenius
Oh, geeze. I know where you are coming from. I SO know where you are coming from.

My BIL/SIL reprimand their children constantly. 95% of the time, I am not even sure why. It's just . . ."Mary. Mary! MARY!" But, guess what? "Mary" is one of the sweetest children I've ever met. So kind to my DD, so smart, so funny. And polite!

I keep asking DH where we went wrong. We do not seek a complacent, obedient child, but I can do without the screaming and demandingness from her.
Elaina,
we so need to catch up. It sounds like our oldest daughters both have a case of the "scream and demand" bug right now.
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#110 of 110 Old 03-24-2006, 02:32 AM
 
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I too struggled with GD. My son started crawling at 3 1/2 months, and was running full force by 9 months (walking at 8 1/2). When he was 6 months old, he was into everything!! I had no idea I was going to have to start implementing "no" at 6 months old!! I went to a GD board and asked advice.....how do I discipline a 6 month old, how do I get him to understand what "no" means? I was told "you don't"...he's only 6 months old. I believe you need to nip the behavior in the butt...don't wait for it to escalate. I was too frustrated to remain a member of that board.
I decided that I needed to find my comfort zone in regards to GD. I totally embrace the ideas of respect, choices, discussion and all that jazz. I also believe in teaching humility (not humiliation), establishing firm boundaries, and providing consequences for ill actions.
I do NOT allow my son to talk disrespectfully to me, or anybody for that matter. When he does, I remind him that I don't talk to him like that, therefore he is not allowed to talk to me like that. If he continues, he recieves a time out....and he stays there until he can talk nicely. I teach him to treat others as he wants to be treated. I expect him to appologize when it's appropriate.
As for choices...he is given choices that are simple....would you like juice or water? Cereal or oatmeal...blue park or orange park. However, we have non-negotiables. He gets overwhelmed with too many choices.
Sometimes I feel like I'm too hard on him.....but I *know* I'm doing the best I can, I know what he needs. He such a well behaved child....gentle, comapssionate, understnding and he's SUCH a lover!! *Often* I have complete strangers approach me and tell me what a pleasant and well behaved child he is....in restaurants, at the market, in the mall. I can't take full credit....he naturally has a great disposition...but he is a wild child, a free spirit!
Hang in there....find your comfort zone and start asserting yourself with your son. He is in complete control at the moment...YOU are the parent...it's YOUR job...not his! His feelings are going to be hurt, you remind him that you love him. He's going to get mad at you, you remind him that you love him. Be firm, be consistent...you need to draw boundaries and you need to establish your role as the mother/parent, and your husband needs to establish his role as father/parent.
I hope that my response isn't off putting...just my .02...take it or leave it
Just know that you are a *wonderful* mom, you are not a failure. It's not too late to help your son change his behavior.
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