Hard times/parenting style hasn’t got solutions - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-13-2003, 03:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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When I have spent the night sleeping with my 21 month old child, then read books for an hour in morning followed by makingand eating breakfast, then prepared an activity for her, what should I do if she still won’t let me have a half and hour to straighten up the house? We have this issue throughout the day where I have given her all the time I can give at that moment and must do other things besides focusing 100% of my attention on her. What then? All my books say that I should stop what I’m doing and focus on her because that’s what she must need. Sometimes I suspect they are intentionally dodging this issue! What do you do when you have given all you can give in a particular moment?

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Old 06-13-2003, 06:44 PM
 
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Can she still go with you in the sling. My DD is really too big for me to pick up around the house with her 30 pounds in the sling, but maybe you don't have the incredible hulk
Or let her watch ashort video. I know a lot of people here are very opposed to TV so I understand this may not be the solution, but sometimes it is just what I need to get a moment to myself.
Also, my DD LOVES this terrible piano toy that is loud and plays songs. I will give her that if I need her occupied on special occasions. If I gave it to her all the time it would lose it's magic I presume.
Can you give her a "task" like dusting while you pick up. With her own mini duster or broom or whatever?
Is there another time of day that she is more up to being on her own?

I don't know if these help much, but I can't think of anything better.
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Old 06-13-2003, 06:55 PM
 
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mini broom etc
Kids love to imitate and she can help you "sweep" while still feeling you are being attentive
Also can you break the hour and half into 15 minutes here and 15 minutes there to give you both some breathing room??
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Old 06-13-2003, 07:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the help but the issue is more of a demand for 100%. I try to give here an activity (helping, exciting new stuff and etc.). The problem is when these things don’t work. Or, there are even times when I give here my full attention and she is still discontent. My question is more about how to deal with the situation where the child must just deal with what is being offered. How do you do it? Do you sit in the room and talk about how they are “feeling” while they cry? Do you ignore them? Do you leave the room? Time out? What to you do when your child can’t deal with not having what they want?

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Old 06-13-2003, 07:24 PM
 
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Ah. Well, I give her feelings a name. I tell her that she has to wait and that mommy has to do blah now and we will do something together later and I give her her options. I don't leave the room if she is upset (unless she pushes me out in her tantrum) and I definately don't punish her. I never punish her but that is another story.
And it is OK to be upset. People are sometimes upset and that is just life. We can't fix everything as parents. Of course I feel like a bit of a hypocrite doling out this advice when the clash of needs drives me up the wall sometimes. But in general, if there really is a clash of needs -I need to make dinner and DD wants to play outside and won't be distracted- well, I tell her it is OK to be upset and she feels frustrated that she can't go outside by herself but mommy has to make dinner and here is what she can do instead. If she decides to spend it screaming on the doormat, well that is her choice. It is not my job to make her ahppy 100% of the time.
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Old 06-13-2003, 07:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey, thanks. This is the kind of situation where I'm having problems finding my way. It is just so hard for me to be there when she is on the floor crying. It's not that I want to leave, on the contrary, I want to give in to what she wants. I think she is getting - dare I day- spoiled. I think I’ve started a pattern with giving in (even when it’s not good for her) and I want to change that. Something happened in the last few months where I’m no longer “just” giving her everything she needs. Now I’m giving her everything she wants! I guess she’s out of the stage where her needs ARE her wants. I think I will go slow and gradually let her deal with upsetting things. Question: When your daughter, for example, decides to sit at the doorstep being upset, how does it end?

I may start a new thread "When their wants are no longer JUST their needs"...

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Old 06-13-2003, 08:58 PM
 
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This is a hard parenting transition to make, because for the first part of their lives, we as parents gave them everything they wanted because their wants were their needs. We are now programmed to respond when they cry, and that is a good thing. But at 21 months, sure you still need to respond in some way, but not always by giving in to what she wants. No you don't need to drop everything to read "Goodnight Gorilla" for the fortieth time in two hours if you have spent good quality time with her. I think naming her feelings is excellent advice. It validates her feelings, but at the same time she can start learning that Mommy has needs (and wants!) too. Also breaking up your daily tasks into smaller chunks is great advice too. I used to just let the house go to sh*t because I would think, "Well, she's playing independantly now, but in ten minutes she'll be whining again, so I might as well not even start." But I learned that a whole sink full of dishes can be washed in ten minutes. Then we can read some books. I can vacuum the floor in another ten minutes. Then we can go outside for a while. Etc, you get the picture. It also allows you to go slowly and gently get her used to not having you jump to do what she wants when she wants.

It's all about balance, I think. Good luck!
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Old 06-13-2003, 09:11 PM
 
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Also I wanted to add that when you do say, "I know you are sad/frustrated because we are not going outside, but when Mommy is finished with X we will" make sure you stick to what you said, even if she is distracted and into something else when you are finished with whatever you were doing. That way she learns that "later" means just that, and that you mean what you say. She will eventually learn that it's okay to wait sometimes.
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Old 06-14-2003, 12:15 AM
 
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Must be the age. My dd was also born Sept. 01 and we have been having similar issues.

In fact, I was thinking of declaring next week "Mommy can make dinner (or pee or sweep or anything productive) without dd becoming a weepy mess" bootcamp.

The lack of productivity is really starting to bug me.
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Old 06-14-2003, 08:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks to you all for helping and, especially, commiserating! I was really peeved when, in desperation, I got out my books (Positive Discipline, Dr. Sears, Penelope Leach, – to name a few) and they totally avoided the issue of what to do when their other solutions didn’t work. It’s like they were telling me that either I wasn’t doing it right or I was an incompetent mother, or –worse- that my kid was just a brat.
On the positive side, I tried to talk to my daughter this morning about why I wouldn’t stop what I was doing to read to her (Goodnight Gorilla is one of her favorites too). I told her what we would to together when I was finished. I pointed out some activities she could do while she waited and I told her what it seemed like she was frustrated because she wanted me to be with her that instant and that I was sure it was hard for her…etc.
Well, she fussed for less than 5 minutes and gradually began to look around for something to do while she waited. When I was finished we made some lunch and all was well.

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Old 06-14-2003, 01:57 PM
 
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Books have a way of doing that to you. They never really adress the nitty gritty. You know, what to do once you have lost control of the situation and the tantrum is happening, thechild has pulled away in the parking lot or they want your attention and you can't give it to her.
I reccomend looking up the articles on the continuum concept website. THere is one about who is in charge or something. I am not a complete follower of CC but I think she has some interesting points.
I have to say that DD is pretty independant but we still have trouble at dinnertime evry day. She is hungry and wants my undivided attention. It is her own needs that are in conflict there because I have to make dinner. It is easier if DH is home and actually gets it that he needs to really pay attention to her.
Anyway, if he is not home yet and I don't want to snack her full before dinner I am the horror who turns on the TV for 20 minutes.
Also the rest of the day if I am at home there really are times when she is unhappy and whining because I am not paying 100% attention to her. I really don't like to listen to her whine, but I don't feel like a bad mommy. I mean, 50 % needs to be good enough sometimes.
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Old 06-15-2003, 04:47 AM
 
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I wanted to really add to the "validate their feelings" suggestions. My DD isn't at the age yours is, but I'm already telling her that it's okay for her to be upset/frustrated when things don't go her way. I think when kids can understand you verbally it's even more important. After all, your child is not deliberately trying to prevent you from doing your thing, they just would rather you didn't, and so when you do it stirs up emotions in them that we as adults just take for granted (IMO) but kids need help dealing with these new feelings.

I plan to use validation alot as my DD gets older. Even if they can't get their way, I think knowing that you understand and empathize with their feelings is hugely powerful for them.

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Old 06-15-2003, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The suggestion about breaking up chores and etc. has been helpful. I was reluctant to listen to this good advice because I really wanted this to be about changing my daughter’s behavior. It was, after all, bugging me! I also was reluctant to resume doing chores while Aya was in the sling because it’s really hot here and she’s getting big but I tried that also and it’s helping.
Some other things came up today that will help illustrate what these tiffs are about. Aya wanted a second yogurt opened before she had finished the first – wastefulness is happening enough with food in our house and I don’t want to allow more. In the past, I had given in (thankfully, she usually ate both - but still). Then, she didn’t want to wear shoes in our garden full of stinging nettle and thistle.
I’m finding slowly that short conversations about not having something that she wants are working better than long, deep, “meaningful” – talks about her feelings. This type of talking is not really my style and it makes me feel fake, which is the last thing I want to be with my child.
I say something like, “Oh, I hear you saying you don’t want to go to Ella’s house and would rather go to the playground because you really like going to the playground.” This is helping because she thinks that if I don’t give her what she wants than I must not understand what she wants – This is also helping with whining. I then say that we are going to Ella’s even though she doesn’t want to and if that makes her sad or angry than that’s okay but we’re still going and that we will go to the playground another time. Then I drop it, if she will.
How does this sound? Any additions?
P.s. TV is not an option for us. I would love to be able to use it in moderation but moderation does not work for her so we don’t use it.

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