When natural consequenses have negative consequences for the rest of the family - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 85 Old 11-28-2006, 03:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm wondering how we could have handled a situation in our house differently. Please feel free to chime in with your ideas or how you might have handled it. I know we're not the most perfect GD family here at MDC, but we're trying. I'm a little scared to post here and be honest for fear of being flamed for doing something wrong, but here goes...

It's Saturday morning. I'm making breakfast. DD1 (4.5) has asked for cinnamon toast. DD2 (20 mos) wants the same. I make the toast. I cut DD2's into quarters and leave DD1's whole. I put the plates down in front of them at the coffee table. We were having a low-key morning, relaxing, taking things slow, and watching cartoons, etc. My first mistake was not feeding them at the dinner table.

DD2 picks up DD1's toast and takes a bite. I notice this, show DD2 her toast, and tell DD1 it's OK to eat that toast because DD2 only bit off some crust which DD1 doesn't eat anyway. Well, DD1 won't have any of it because now the toast has "germs" on it. She has a friend who's obsessed with germs and it's rubbing off on her now. :

She asks me to make her more toast. I try to convince her to eat the one I already made (I was willing to make another one, I just would have preferred she eat it since there really wasn't anything wrong with it). Things escalate rapidly. DD1 flips out, picks up her plate, runs screaming into the kitchen to throw away the toast. DH and I both tell her not to throw away the toast. DH says he'll eat it. But she continues running and screaming. I'm sure she heard us tell her not to throw it away, though, because she was able to repeat that we'd told her to not throw it in the trash.

Natural consequense is that she doesn't get more cinnamon toast since she didn't listen to us telling her not to throw it away. Here's the rub -- she hadn't eaten anything for breakfast yet. Like most kids, no food = horrible grumpy miserable behavior. We told her she didn't get more toast because she hadn't listened to us and stopped when we told her not to throw it away. I offered to make her whatever else she wanted, but no cinnamon toast. She refused to eat anything else.

I had no idea what to do. I couldn't let her go hungry because the day would just continue to deteriorate. I couldn't force her to eat something. We don't force our kids to eat anything. I just didn't know what to do. So I offered her a choice. I wanted to give her an out, but I didn't want to just back down and make the toast. Either she could have a time out for not listening and then I'd make her some cinnamon toast, or she could go w/o toast and eat something else. She argued a bit, but chose the time out. Then she ate the toast, and we had a great rest of our day.

I feel bad about using the time out because it felt so arbitrary. I use time outs only when someone is out of control as a way to diffuse the situation and start over. But she really needed to eat or else things would have been really bad the rest of the day. Past experience has taught me that I don't care if they skip eating the rest of the day so long as they eat breakfast.

Maybe I should have just waited and let some time go by. She would have eaten something else when she was hungry. I was just concerened about more tantrums happening if she was hungry. At the same time I felt like there had to be some consequense to her flipping out and not listening to us. She heard us, she just chose to do what she wanted to do.
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#2 of 85 Old 11-28-2006, 03:12 PM
 
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Well, donning my flame retardant jacket, I will say that I think you mostly did ok.

I like to remind my kids of when they are flipping out, or whining, and I make it known that I will not respond to it, but will respond when they ask in a nice way. I think a caring, gentle time out where the parents are right there, but it is made known that "we do not need to act out like this", is ok. I think it can help calm them down. But I don't do "alone" time outs.

I think maybe it turned into a control thing with the toast.My dd is 4, and everything sems to be a control issue lately. If I say, it's good for you, we're eating this for dinner", then she decides she wants something entirely different. So, I think we should just think very carefully before we ban or limit things.

Due with number 5 in August. We do all that crunchy stuff.
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#3 of 85 Old 11-28-2006, 03:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by aprildawn View Post
I'm wondering how we could have handled a situation in our house differently. Please feel free to chime in with your ideas or how you might have handled it. I know we're not the most perfect GD family here at MDC, but we're trying. I'm a little scared to post here and be honest for fear of being flamed for doing something wrong, but here goes...

It's Saturday morning. I'm making breakfast. DD1 (4.5) has asked for cinnamon toast. DD2 (20 mos) wants the same. I make the toast. I cut DD2's into quarters and leave DD1's whole. I put the plates down in front of them at the coffee table. We were having a low-key morning, relaxing, taking things slow, and watching cartoons, etc. My first mistake was not feeding them at the dinner table.

DD2 picks up DD1's toast and takes a bite. I notice this, show DD2 her toast, and tell DD1 it's OK to eat that toast because DD2 only bit off some crust which DD1 doesn't eat anyway. Well, DD1 won't have any of it because now the toast has "germs" on it. She has a friend who's obsessed with germs and it's rubbing off on her now.

She asks me to make her more toast.
I would have stopped right here and made her another toast. Then had a talk with her about germs, not waisting food, whatever was appropriate. Her fears are real for her, but in her mind "nobody cared", which led to her flipping out.

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I wanted to give her an out, but I didn't want to just back down and make the toast.
Why?

I still remember my mother's sayng (I am the older sister) - "When two people engage in power struggle, the one who is smarter is the one who is wrong"

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She heard us, she just chose to do what she wanted to do.
I also see nothing wrong with that. I also often hear people, but still choose to do what I want... I also might realize later (sometime 1min later) that it was not a right choice, but we have to learn to make wrong choices as well as right ones.
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#4 of 85 Old 11-28-2006, 03:57 PM
 
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Yeah, I would have made her more toast when she asked me to. It just would have been my natural reaction since her toast was "invaded" and if she asked nicely.
Then I would have eaten the toast. MMMmmm cinnamon toast.

I can't wait until I have two kids and have to deal with these kinds of situations. Won't be long now!

Wife to French hubby (8/02), Mama to DD (3/05) and DS (02/07) and (3/10)
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#5 of 85 Old 11-28-2006, 04:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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[QUOTE=irinam;6640229]
Why?
I still remember my mother's sayng (I am the older sister) - "When two people engage in power struggle, the one who is smarter is the one who is wrong"
QUOTE]

Because she threw away the food even though we told her not to. Consequenses do exist. And we don't always get our way. If I get caught speeding I get a ticket. The natural consequenses of my mistakes and behavior was her tantrum. The natural consequense for her not listening to me and DH was that she didn't get cinnamon toast because hers was in the trash where she chose to put it.

After the tantrum, I felt bad for her and really wanted to make her more toast. But I feel like making more toast w/o any other consequence would have validated her behavior. In my opinion validating that behavior would have taught her that it's ok to flip out and have a tantrum when you don't get your way because having a tantrum will make the other person give you what you wanted.

Like I said, mistake #1 was feeding them in the living room in front of the TV instead of in the dining room. Mistake #2 was in how I communicated to her about trying to convince her to eat the toast her sister had taken a bite of. She obviously thought I was going to force her to eat that piece. I could have been more clear. But I couldn't change either of those, and it led to her tantrum. However she was responsible for choosing to have a tantrum and not listen to me or her dad.

Somehow there's a gentle way to teach children consequenses for their behavior. I'm just trying to see how the natural consequenses work when ultimately those consequenses will lead to worse behavior.
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#6 of 85 Old 11-28-2006, 04:17 PM
 
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The natural consequenses of my mistakes and behavior was her tantrum. The natural consequense for her not listening to me and DH was that she didn't get cinnamon toast because hers was in the trash where she chose to put it.
Exactly.

So both of you made mistakes. You got "your" natural consequence, she got "hers". Then how come she gets punished on top of that and... well, *you* don't?

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I'm just trying to see how the natural consequenses work when ultimately those consequenses will lead to worse behavior.
Honestly? I would not concentrate on consequences. I would concentrate on everybody's well being. And if that well being means to "let one slip by", so be it.

I believe that she can learn even a more valuable lesson from that - the one of forgivness, compassion and flexibility (by you modeling those)

There is usually not much of lesson being learned by kids at the time of "flipping". Kids will submit to a punishment and even repeat what we want to hear by muttering "I know I was punished because I did XYZ"

They know they lost their "cool" (Haven't we all? Think PMS ) Just like all of us they don't need for it to be escalated, they usually need help to regain that control (Hugs work!)

And I totally see how making a toast *after a tantrum* would feel awkward. I would try to avoid the tantrum in the first place.





And... completely off topic - I am impressed by your level-headed and calm reply to my rather abrupt post Your DD is lucky to have you there to teach her this invaluable trait!
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#7 of 85 Old 11-28-2006, 04:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by aprildawn View Post
She asks me to make her more toast. I try to convince her to eat the one I already made (I was willing to make another one, I just would have preferred she eat it since there really wasn't anything wrong with it). Things escalate rapidly. DD1 flips out, picks up her plate, runs screaming into the kitchen to throw away the toast. DH and I both tell her not to throw away the toast. DH says he'll eat it. But she continues running and screaming. I'm sure she heard us tell her not to throw it away, though, because she was able to repeat that we'd told her to not throw it in the trash.

Natural consequense is that she doesn't get more cinnamon toast since she didn't listen to us telling her not to throw it away. Here's the rub -- she hadn't eaten anything for breakfast yet. Like most kids, no food = horrible grumpy miserable behavior. We told her she didn't get more toast because she hadn't listened to us and stopped when we told her not to throw it away. I offered to make her whatever else she wanted, but no cinnamon toast. She refused to eat anything else.

I had no idea what to do. I couldn't let her go hungry because the day would just continue to deteriorate. I couldn't force her to eat something. We don't force our kids to eat anything. I just didn't know what to do. So I offered her a choice. I wanted to give her an out, but I didn't want to just back down and make the toast. Either she could have a time out for not listening and then I'd make her some cinnamon toast, or she could go w/o toast and eat something else. She argued a bit, but chose the time out. Then she ate the toast, and we had a great rest of our day.

I feel bad about using the time out because it felt so arbitrary. I use time outs only when someone is out of control as a way to diffuse the situation and start over. But she really needed to eat or else things would have been really bad the rest of the day. Past experience has taught me that I don't care if they skip eating the rest of the day so long as they eat breakfast.

Maybe I should have just waited and let some time go by. She would have eaten something else when she was hungry. I was just concerened about more tantrums happening if she was hungry. At the same time I felt like there had to be some consequense to her flipping out and not listening to us. She heard us, she just chose to do what she wanted to do.
No flames here because I've been less than ideal GD myself in situations where I'm not thinking and DS escalates quickly - and he can escalate very quickly sometimes. As a Monday morning quarterback for you, though, since you asked....

Unless she is in the habit of throwing away and/or otherwise wasting food, I'd probably chalk this one up to her having a bad morning and a little bit of a flip out, and not done anything other than explain to her that throwing away food that someone else is willing to eat is not something you do in your family. And that you don't appreciate wasting food. Not making her another piece of toast is fine if you want to make that a logical consequence of her not eating the first one, and as you said if you waited a little while she probably would have just picked something else to eat. The time out is clearly not related to the meal, so I don't think that was effective and you've already realized that it was aribtrary, since you felt like you had to "do" something at that point.

I guess on a scale of things, a piece of wasted cinnamon toast doesn't register on my radar beyond a "Hey bud, not cool to waste food, I would have eaten that. Next time just leave it." *because* it's not a regular occurrence. If it is a regular occurrence, then the reason behind it needs to be figured out and looked into more deeply. But I suspect in this situation it was more what irinam wrote, that she wasn't feeling like her discomfort was being taken seriously. You've also recognized tht part of the issue was not eating at the table and thus giving DD2 access to the food. It probably would have helped initially if you would have validated that that was a mistake - not necessarily apologizing, but recognizing to your DD1 that that was a mistake on your part.

For my own almost 3-year-old, I've found a simple, "I understand what you're saying" goes a long way in preventing freak outs, even if I'm not in agreement with what his idea is....we can discuss the disagreement from that point on. I also really feel for the screaming/running/disregarding, DS does that, too.

I don't think you really did anything *wrong*, but I think a way bigger deal was made out of toast than needed to be....and again, I'm right there with you, I know I've made bigger deals out of things than I've needed to...all we can do is analyze, regroup, and try to maintain our perspective a little more.

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#8 of 85 Old 11-28-2006, 04:23 PM
 
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I wouldn't make more cinnamon toast~my recipe for it is rather involved and once it's made I wouldn't go get everything out a second time--not even if it was my toast and it fell in the toilet It would be grab-and-go second choices here.

Honestly, she threw it out. That was her choice. She had her reasons. Making cinnamon toast is something nice you did for her, and you aren't obligated to a do-over on command. She is free to get something else. If she wants to skip breakfast, that is really her choice, right? I know she'll be grumpy, and that isn't fun, but she can't learn to make better choices if you spare her the very direct consequences of her decision.

I would express this in a kind of bored tone "I'm sorry your toast was messed up. I'm done making breakfast for the day, but there's cereal and fruit here if you feel hungry".

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#9 of 85 Old 11-28-2006, 04:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by aprildawn View Post
Like I said, mistake #1 was feeding them in the living room in front of the TV instead of in the dining room. Mistake #2 was in how I communicated to her about trying to convince her to eat the toast her sister had taken a bite of. She obviously thought I was going to force her to eat that piece. I could have been more clear. But I couldn't change either of those, and it led to her tantrum. However she was responsible for choosing to have a tantrum and not listen to me or her dad.
Bolding my emphasis....

weeeellllllllllll......I think the definition of a tantrum is having emotions that you can't handle, so I don't know that it was her *choice* to have the tantrum. It was her choice to throw out the toast despite you asking her not to, and your choice to not make more toast. I think it probably should have ended there, given a little time, and then regrouped for what else she might want to eat.

I don't think this is necessarily a big teaching moment here, beyond not wasting food. I think that her seeing you recognize the mistakes you made, and you letting her know it was a mistake for her to throw out the toast is really all that was needed there for her to learn something.

Heather, WAHM to DS (01/04)DD (06/06). Wed to DH(09/97)
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#10 of 85 Old 11-28-2006, 04:33 PM
 
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Me? I'd make a new piece of cinnamon toast.

First of all the natural consequence to her throwing away the cinnamon toast is NOT "making her anything else she wants for breakfast besides cinnamon toast". It's getting NOTHING for breakfast.

Since you don't want that and neither would I, I would go ahead and make another piece. Making her anything other than not cinnamon toast is punishemnt, pure and simple.

As for the consequence it would be as follows "I will make you another piece. However, I asked you not to throw your other piece away and you did and that was wasteful. Daddy would have eaten it. Next time I expect you not to be wasteful and do as we ask about not throwing it away."

Message given! Nuf said, Nuf done!
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#11 of 85 Old 11-28-2006, 04:44 PM
 
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I wouldn't make more cinnamon toast~my recipe for it is rather involved and once it's made I wouldn't go get everything out a second time--not even if it was my toast and it fell in the toilet It would be grab-and-go second choices here.

Honestly, she threw it out. That was her choice. She had her reasons. Making cinnamon toast is something nice you did for her, and you aren't obligated to a do-over on command. She is free to get something else. If she wants to skip breakfast, that is really her choice, right? I know she'll be grumpy, and that isn't fun, but she can't learn to make better choices if you spare her the very direct consequences of her decision.

I would express this in a kind of bored tone "I'm sorry your toast was messed up. I'm done making breakfast for the day, but there's cereal and fruit here if you feel hungry".

I agree with everything heartmama said.

I think you handled it pretty well.

The only suggestion I could come up with, was to offer to cut off the piece that her sister took a bite out of. Dont know if it would have worked, but its worth a shot.

I know my son freaks out if his food is touching, so we usually have to scrape or cut pieces off of things.

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#12 of 85 Old 11-28-2006, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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And I totally see how making a toast *after a tantrum* would feel awkward. I would try to avoid the tantrum in the first place.

And... completely off topic - I am impressed by your level-headed and calm reply to my rather abrupt post Your DD is lucky to have you there to teach her this invaluable trait!
Amen to the first, and thanks for the second.

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Unless she is in the habit of throwing away and/or otherwise wasting food, I'd probably chalk this one up to her having a bad morning and a little bit of a flip out, and not done anything other than explain to her that throwing away food that someone else is willing to eat is not something you do in your family.
She is in the habit of wasting food. She does it a lot. She asks for something, and then doesn't eat it. Having processed it with you mamas helps me see the real issue wasn't the tantrum or the throwing away of a single piece of toast, but a habit of wasting food.

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I wouldn't make more cinnamon toast~my recipe for it is rather involved and once it's made I wouldn't go get everything out a second time--not even if it was my toast and it fell in the toilet It would be grab-and-go second choices here.
Mine's complicated too! I'm also seeing that part of it was that I just didn't feel like making more because it's time consuming. I just didn't feel like it! DH offered to make it but DD1 didn't want him to because "he puts too much cinnamon on it." So, it was all on me. Sometimes I just want to sip my coffee and be left alone!



Thanks for your gentle and honest responses. It's helped me process the situation. Being a mommy is so flipping hard sometimes. I often feel stuck between a rock and a hard place.
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#13 of 85 Old 11-28-2006, 04:49 PM
 
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Prevention: In the moment after DD2 had taken a bite of DD1's toast, and the toast intended for DD2 was still untouched, I would have said, "Whoops! I guess THIS one is yours!" and switched the plates. Unless, that is, DD1 thinks it's very important to have her toast whole instead of cut in quarters.

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After the tantrum, I felt bad for her and really wanted to make her more toast. But I feel like making more toast w/o any other consequence would have validated her behavior. In my opinion validating that behavior would have taught her that it's ok to flip out and have a tantrum when you don't get your way because having a tantrum will make the other person give you what you wanted.
I know just what you mean! I struggle with this too. What I am noticing is that it is very different to give a tantruming child whatever she's asking for, than to give a child who has recovered from a tantrum something that she wants. As Irina said, think about times YOU've flipped out: When you are still upset, if somebody gives you what you're demanding, you'll take it grudgingly and not feel very happy, or maybe you'll even feel like it's just not good enough to satisfy you now that you're so upset. But after you've calmed down, being given that nice thing you wanted can really help you regain your equilibrium and remember that the other person is actually very kind to you.

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Either she could have a time out for not listening and then I'd make her some cinnamon toast, or she could go w/o toast and eat something else.
That's a pretty good solution, IMO. I disagree that the time out was "clearly not related to the meal"--the natural consequence of her misuse of the cinnamon toast was that you felt hurt and were not in the mood to make more cinnamon toast until you'd had a chance to recover; also, she needed to calm down to be ready for appropriate toast-related behavior.

I think you did pretty well, really. It's never easy to handle another person's freakout over something that seems to you like no big deal.

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#14 of 85 Old 11-28-2006, 05:01 PM
 
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Making her anything other than not cinnamon toast is punishemnt, pure and simple.
That's interesting.

I just cannot see myself going back into the kitchen and getting out all the ingredients to make another batch of cinnamon toast. I just wouldn't choose to do that under most circumstances. I'd be sorry about the toast, and happy to point ds towards remaining foods he could eat. But failing to replacing the toast would not be something extra I did to punish ds.

Kind of like~if ds breaks a toy, am I punishing him if I fail to replace the toy?

This is always an interesting issue to me, because my own view changes based on small differences in attitude and intention.

Which is straying I suppose from our piece of cinnamon toast....

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#15 of 85 Old 11-28-2006, 05:01 PM
 
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She is in the habit of wasting food. She does it a lot. She asks for something, and then doesn't eat it. Having processed it with you mamas helps me see the real issue wasn't the tantrum or the throwing away of a single piece of toast, but a habit of wasting food.

<snip>

Thanks for your gentle and honest responses. It's helped me process the situation. Being a mommy is so flipping hard sometimes. I often feel stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Heather, WAHM to DS (01/04)DD (06/06). Wed to DH(09/97)
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#16 of 85 Old 11-28-2006, 05:24 PM
 
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Mine's complicated too! I'm also seeing that part of it was that I just didn't feel like making more because it's time consuming. I just didn't feel like it! DH offered to make it but DD1 didn't want him to because "he puts too much cinnamon on it." So, it was all on me. Sometimes I just want to sip my coffee and be left alone!
Ahh, there it is!

I want to say how critical it has been for me as a parent to recognize and embrace this *very* dynamic in order to succeed without punishments.

You did something nice for dd. The effort was done, and you were embracing some much anticipated time alone. Now, suddenly dd is making choices that present the possibility of you giving up your alone time and devoting yourself to another effort on behalf of making her happy.

It's funny because when I read your original post this was the very feeling I wondered might be lurking under the surface. I think the impulse to somehow punish her sprang from this feeling that you were giving more than you really felt like giving~that she was taking time you really needed for yourself.

It is so important to recognize when we are in that moment. Because I find that failing to recognize and nurture our limits is often the source of anger and punitive decisions. The opposite is true~being ashamed that we have limits and believing we should ALWAYS put a child first is often the source of permissiveness, burn out, rage, and guilt.

When I hear that your dh was willing to make her toast and she still refused unless *you* made it~yeah, now i am totally getting where your feelings were on this.

Sometimes it's okay to just sit and drink your coffee, and I'm often amazed at how everything falls into place when I take this approach. If you just say "I'm having coffee now. I'm sorry to hear about the toast", and then give her a hug and go back to your book...see what happens. It probably won't be as dire as you imagine~and very often I find my level of empathy and genuine peacefulness towards my family goes up about 100% when I nurture my own limits.

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#17 of 85 Old 11-28-2006, 05:30 PM
 
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Since she is 4.5, I would have told her should could have more cin toast, if she made it herself (supervised, of course).

Or, right after her sis took a bite of her toast, I would have cut that crust off. Or I would have switched pieces of toast, since it sounds like her sis hadn't touched hers yet.

I do think it turned into power struggle. But, sometimes we go there without meaning to. I know I sure do. The best thing to do is to reflect after the fact, like you are doing and try to think of alternatives if similar situations come up again.
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#18 of 85 Old 11-28-2006, 05:40 PM
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This thread made me crave cinamon toast.

So I went and made it.

No I have nothing constructive to add....
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#19 of 85 Old 11-28-2006, 05:50 PM
 
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I just want to thank the OP for posting this situation and all the wise mamas who replied. A lot of what was said was just what I needed to be reminded of.

thanks bunches

and i find myself extremely curious as to what folks' cinnamon toast recipes are as mine is ridiculously simple. [buttered toast sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.]

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#20 of 85 Old 11-28-2006, 05:50 PM
 
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Heartmama wrote:
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I find that failing to recognize and nurture our limits is often the source of anger and punitive decisions. The opposite is true~being ashamed that we have limits and believing we should ALWAYS put a child first is often the source of permissiveness, burn out, rage, and guilt.
When trying to figure out the natural consequence for my child's behavior, I find it's very important to consider how that behavior affected the way I and/or other people feel. I was GD'd myself as a kid, and when I misbehave now (for example, when I speak rudely to someone) I find that the consequence that really affects me most is realizing that SOMEONE FEELS BAD BECAUSE OF ME. It really motivates me to make amends and to avoid repeating the misbehavior. Despite that, I find myself resisting showing my feelings to my child because "I should be stronger than to let a little baby hurt my feelings" or "He's just a baby and can't be held responsible for my feelings." But he's a PERSON. He depends on me to show him how to be a good person, not to shield him from the responsibilities of personhood until some arbitrary point in the future. Of course I should avoid holding grudges against him or laying on heavy guilt trips, because that's good practice anyway and a young child does deserve more leeway than an adult. But it is okay for a mama to stand up for her limits and her feelings.

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#21 of 85 Old 11-28-2006, 05:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Prevention: In the moment after DD2 had taken a bite of DD1's toast, and the toast intended for DD2 was still untouched, I would have said, "Whoops! I guess THIS one is yours!" and switched the plates. Unless, that is, DD1 thinks it's very important to have her toast whole instead of cut in quarters.
I tried that. She wouldn't eat the toast because it had been cut into quarters. I felt like that was legit which is why I didn't try to convince her to eat that piece. Why didn't I feel like her sister's touching her toast was a legit reason to not want to eat it? Dunno. In the moment I just didn't.

I find GD works in theory so great. Then you're in a situation where "logical consequenses" lead to even worse logical consequenses -- hungry, tantruming child leads to more tantrums! What's a mama to do?!?! Just realize my home is the real world, not a parenting book. And it's OK to make mistakes so long as apolgies and forgiveness are exchanged later. I'm a black and white thinker, though. Which leads me to want to translate book theory into the real world. There are just too many grey areas in parenting to do that, though. I think one of you mamas already gave me similar advice.

Can I also just say that tantrums suck? Esp now that she's getting older. My tolerance for them is waning. She's mature so much of the time. So when she does have a tantrum I'm caught off guard, and I expect her to behave like someone who is older than she actually is because she so often does!

Y'all rock. My fears of posting here now seem unfounded and have evaporated.
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#22 of 85 Old 11-28-2006, 06:16 PM
 
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Like I said, mistake #1 was feeding them in the living room in front of the TV instead of in the dining room. Mistake #2 was in how I communicated to her about trying to convince her to eat the toast her sister had taken a bite of. She obviously thought I was going to force her to eat that piece. I could have been more clear. But I couldn't change either of those, and it led to her tantrum. However she was responsible for choosing to have a tantrum and not listen to me or her dad.
When I have a situation like that (where it was my bad decision that lead to the meltdown/situation) I just do what I can to fix my mistake. ie. if my kid is having a tantrum in the store, when it's me who tried to sqeeze the trip in when it's really nap time- we leave the store and go home. In the case of the toast, I would have simply made another piece and sat the girls down at the kitchen table and sort of started over. I would probably talk to her about the screaming and throwing out the food a little later when the tension wasnt't so high, and she could really have a conversation. Trying to reason or impose consequences upon a child mid-tantrum doesn't usually go well
Of course there is the fact that much of the time I don't really realize how it all went down and the fact that it was really my fault until later in hindsight. In which case, I chalk it up to learning what to do next time.
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#23 of 85 Old 11-28-2006, 06:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just want to thank the OP for posting this situation and all the wise mamas who replied. A lot of what was said was just what I needed to be reminded of.

thanks bunches

and i find myself extremely curious as to what folks' cinnamon toast recipes are as mine is ridiculously simple. [buttered toast sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.]

You're welcome!

OK -- my "recipe" -- it's not all that complicated. Just you gotta toast the bread and wait for that to happen. Then you gotta butter the toast. And I use real butter so it doesn't spread easily so you gotta wait 4 seconds while it softens on the hot toast. Then I sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on it. I don't have mine pre-mixed so all that extra work of sprinkling on two whole ingredients. Plus, everything had already been put away and I just didn't want to get it back out. See, quite an ordeal, huh?

Like someone suggested, I would have had her do it herself (supervised) but that would have taken even longer and made a mess which someone (ME!!) would have to clean up.

As I've realized here through my processing with you ladies, it all stemmed from me just not wanting to be bothered. I felt like, "I've made them food, they're watching TV, now I can sit and drink my coffee." But, Nooooooo, there had to be toast drama! I was disappointed and frustrated. But I'm the stinking grown up, so I'm stuck having to act like one. What a maturing process becoming a mama is.

Maybe I should make a poster for the house which says "It's not about the toast" as a reminder to chill out about stupid stuff.
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#24 of 85 Old 11-28-2006, 06:50 PM
 
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I offered to make her whatever else she wanted, but no cinnamon toast. She refused to eat anything else.
See, it is punishment because she is NOT saying I am not going to do anything complicated, its ANYTHING else.

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That's interesting.

I just cannot see myself going back into the kitchen and getting out all the ingredients to make another batch of cinnamon toast.
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#25 of 85 Old 11-28-2006, 06:56 PM
 
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Reading only the OP...

No idea how old your DDs are, but DD2 should be spoken to about respecting DD1's space, KWIM? I think you did ok for not knowing how best to handle it right then! But I probably would have had DD2 make DD1 more toast for "ruining" the first one and spoken to DD1 about how its ok for families to share germs with permission (if you so believe that), and not to waste food.

Amy ~ Web Designing Single Mom to 4: DD14, DS12, DS5, DS3
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#26 of 85 Old 11-28-2006, 07:03 PM
 
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Maybe I should make a poster for the house which says "It's not about the toast" as a reminder to chill out about stupid stuff.
I LOVE this!!!!!

Heather, WAHM to DS (01/04)DD (06/06). Wed to DH(09/97)
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#27 of 85 Old 11-28-2006, 07:04 PM
 
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That's interesting.

I just cannot see myself going back into the kitchen and getting out all the ingredients to make another batch of cinnamon toast. I just wouldn't choose to do that under most circumstances. I'd be sorry about the toast, and happy to point ds towards remaining foods he could eat. But failing to replacing the toast would not be something extra I did to punish ds.

Kind of like~if ds breaks a toy, am I punishing him if I fail to replace the toy?

This is always an interesting issue to me, because my own view changes based on small differences in attitude and intention.

Which is straying I suppose from our piece of cinnamon toast....
I agree, I think it was the right way to handle it....she threw the toast away......so no more toast. what if that had been the last peice of bread? she had the offer of any other food.
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#28 of 85 Old 11-28-2006, 07:07 PM
 
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I would have just made new toast since ds isn't really able to manage himself when hungry. BUT, I have been known to tell him that I will be happy to help him with whatever he is requesting after I am done my coffee . He is pretty understanding about that now. I get him set up with whatever he needs (as you did) first and will always let my coffee get cold for something important, but otherwise I gently remind him that I need to drink my coffee first. And if I made cinnamon toast more than once a year, I'd premix the cinnamon and sugar and put it in an shaker jar.

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#29 of 85 Old 11-28-2006, 07:09 PM
 
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I agree, I think it was the right way to handle it....she threw the toast away......so no more toast. what if that had been the last peice of bread? she had the offer of any other food.
Then she would understand that there was no more and it wasn't an option, not mom just being arbitrary.

I remember when one of my brothers spit in the other's cereal so I have sympathy for the feeling of having one's food invaded.

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#30 of 85 Old 11-28-2006, 07:12 PM
 
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when i was younger i had a thing about germs (but i also had and have ocd so it might be different) and if someone touched my food with their mouth and tried to get me to eat it even if it wasnt the part that was touched i probably would have been sent into a panic.
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