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Old 08-27-2007, 05:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sigh. DS is going to be four next month. Often when he does something intentional (throws a toy right at his father, pushes his sister over), I'll say, "DS, we're kind in our house." or "It makes me sad when you hurt your sister." And he laughs and laughs. Which pushes my buttons and makes me crazy. What's an appropriate way for me to reframe this/deal with it? Or him? Last week I dragged him to his room and held the door shut for 30 seconds b/c I got so furious (and I don't normally have anger issues).

Any thoughts?

thanks,
Erin

Momma to 8 y.o. DS and 5 y.o. DD. Married to a Maker!

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Old 08-27-2007, 05:48 PM
 
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Do you mind if I analyze your statements? I do believe our speech has a lot to do with how children react.

DS, we're kind in our house.
No, we are not. You are. I just showed you! So there! I'm ME!

It makes me sad when you hurt your sister.
What does that have to do with me?

What about directly addressing the problem? "That hurts. You may not do that." Remove him from the situation. Second time, "I will not let you hurt her. You need to stop." Third time, remove and redirect in another room.

I know you probably do this, but there also has to be teaching inbetween or at the same time of the incident. "If you want her to play, you need to ask her." Reinforce his words and what he can do as you set the boundary.
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Old 08-27-2007, 05:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, LilyGrace, I think you raise some valid points. I'm running into trouble, though, because most of the time it's just DS, DD and me. So how do I remove him? He won't go by himself, and if he's just hurt DD, it seems wrong to leave her so I can attend to him. I often try to remove myself (and DD), but DS is after me like a moth to a flame, so it's not really that effective. I'll work on my language, though!
thanks,
Erin

p.s. I do often say, "that's not okay" which is what they use at his preschool, but again, if I'm not somehow "enforcing" it, does it mean anything? And how do you enforce with a high-energy, defiant almost four?

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Old 08-27-2007, 06:16 PM
 
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I'm not yet a mommy to a 4 year old, so take my advice with a grain of salt! You mentioned that he is high energy (which I'll imagine most 4 yo's are!) Is he getting LOTS of outside/physical playtime? That may help prevent some of the crazy behavior inside, yk? As far as dealing with the laughing, you know, sometimes kids laugh for other resons besides just trying to be aggravating. Once I lost it and spoke really firmly to dd, something I'd never done. And she laughed. Partly I think because it made her nervous and partly because she was trying to difuse the situation and 'make it feel better', at least the way she knew how. It worked because I immediately realized that I was wrong to have spoken to her that way and we both had a good laugh. Not saying that you should just laugh it up everytime he laughs at you, but just sharing how dd reacted to stress. With regard to the hurting, with dd I say "I will not let you hurt me/the cat/baby/ect. Here is how you can be gentle/play with the cat/baby/ect." I know she knows gentle touches, but I give her the benefit of the doubt and show her anyway. Sometimes it's to get my attention, and knowing that she can have my attention if she is just a bit more gentle is all she needs. If I feel that is what is going on (if she's also showing other seemingly aggravating behaviors like crawling on me, interupting, ect) I will say something like "Abby, do you need mama's attention? Just say, 'Mama, I need you', and I will certainly listen" Or sometimes, if I can't be interrupted (if I'm on the phone with someone important, not often, but rarely) I will scoop her up in a big bear hug or play a quick game of chase or tickle her. All these can be done with little to no talking. HTH
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Old 08-28-2007, 01:30 AM
 
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Ohhhh, the laughing makes me crazy, loony-tunes mama... I'm pretty patient but when my dc laugh at me, I see red!

I have 2 former 4 yr olds who've graduated to bigger and better mischief. When my dc would laugh at me, I would often just stop talking. Abruptly. Almost every time this stopped them in their tracks and got their attention-- enough so that I could collect myself and then move forward.

I also am a big believer in connection before direction -- getting down next to child, touching child, speaking in a quiet voice so that child has to listen -- and then talking to child about the incident.

I have had good luck with "what do you think should happen now..." One dc hits the other, and I ask the hitter, "I see someone who is very unhappy...what do you think should happen now?" DC: I can say I'm sorry, I can play by myself, I can go to my room until I am ready to play with him/her, etc. All valid ideas. If you haven't worked on brainstorming with your dc before, this does take some investment, time-wise, but it works in the end.

I also find that sometimes I need to wait until the moment is right -- if my dc is laughing at me or trying to run away from me rather than hear me, it's not the right time; my dc isn't receptive and I'm angry. Better for me to cool down for a few minutes and then try again. And when all else fails and I am not getting anywhere, I scoop up the offender in a big hug -- this forces me to change my attitude when I am angry and it takes my little rebel by surprise -- and THEN we can discuss.

Good luck -- the laughing stuff is SO hard...
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Old 08-28-2007, 02:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Purposefulmother, thanks for the good ideas. I think the brainstorming is interesting; not sure I could get DS to do it in the moment, but maybe after we've both cooled down. And I definitely need to write "connection before direction" on my hand with a sharpie! And I agree that often the moment isn't right. I'm feeling more pressure as DS gets older to "do" something when he misbehaves.

Drat -- the baby's awake after only an hour down. Must run,
-e

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Old 08-28-2007, 12:59 PM
 
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YOur son is 9 months older than my daughter. When she hurts her sister, she goes to her room and not for just 30 seconds. Usually 3-5 minutes, then a talk about why it's not nice to hurt people. My little one is too young to impose a natural consequence ("You're mean so I'm not going to play with you") so I do a logical consequence instead ("You're being mean, so you have to be by yourself til you can be nice"). Works for us.

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Old 08-28-2007, 02:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purposefulmother View Post
I also am a big believer in connection before direction -- getting down next to child, touching child, speaking in a quiet voice so that child has to listen -- and then talking to child about the incident.

I have had good luck with "what do you think should happen now..." One dc hits the other, and I ask the hitter, "I see someone who is very unhappy...what do you think should happen now?" DC: I can say I'm sorry, I can play by myself, I can go to my room until I am ready to play with him/her, etc. All valid ideas. If you haven't worked on brainstorming with your dc before, this does take some investment, time-wise, but it works in the end.
:

I do a version of that, which works better than "it makes me sad/angry"-- because it engages the child and focuses them on the consequences of their action.

"Do you see your sister crying? That hurt your sister. It's not OK to hurt your sister."

Then, depending on how serious it was (if it was just a rough push to get past her and she fell - I consider that minor), either I ask him to make amends "how can you help your sister feel better?" or I separate him for a bit. We have the 'moth after a flame' - and I've not got a great solution to that. Generally speaking, I'll walk away, take dd with me and sit in my room (which I can lock from the inside) until I cool down. We've put him in his room and held the door shut, but that goes against almost every grain in my body, and so I stopped.

I would also recommend "Playful Parenting" - which might help you see ways to defuse these situations or engage your son playfully without him descending into violence.

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