What is it I am doing wrong? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-10-2008, 06:54 PM
 
Magella's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 2,445
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
Sorry for the mischaracterization. I'll have to read the Explosive Child -- maybe I'll find it useful even if my kids aren't really explosive. (Just like the only truly Spirited Child in our house is me!)
No need to be sorry! It's not like it was offensive. Just tickled my funny bone, mostly because I see the consensual living types as waaaaay more with it than I am most of the time.

I do find The Explosive Child to be rather helpful with my non-explosive kids, and extremely helpful in terms of my own temper (oddly, because before we tried it I thought the whole collaborative approach would be very frustrating).
Magella is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 01-10-2008, 11:31 PM
 
anne+arun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 198
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
wow... im jumping in late here, hope people dont mind a slightly different perspective on some of the issues raised...

reading your posts gaialice i can appreciate the challenge in trying to find gd and respectful paths with your children but feeling that to do so is at times exhausting/ time consuming and effectively not possible for you at times because of your circumstances. At the same time you are sounding very overwhelmed by what seems like a busy schedule. Im not sure if this is accurate?

i really feel for your situation & dilemma and am glad that you are feeling supported by this thread. I wanted to put some ideas out there also:

- i wonder how you would feel about brainstorming with dh around changing your context? Rather than focusing on the strain and time children are taking, i think its powerful to use such opportunities to review the 'big picture' and consider where your time & energy is going and whether that is what you want?

Such brainstorming might lead to a series of relatively simple strategies (eg. paying the 14yr old from up the road to help out for 2 hours around dinner / bed time) right through to major more long term strategies (changing work, downscaling, moving near family etc etc). The question i try to ask often is "how can we create an empowering and supportive context for what i value most"... it might not even lead to any external change but it can help align my mind with what is important.

its simple for me... basically i need a lot of help to do the sort of parenting i do (or at least aspire to do) so i am constantly trying to create environments & situations that support me.

- in terms of consequences... perhaps that could be turned on its head also? Rather than considering what the consequence is of someone hitting... why not ask what hitting is the consequence of and focus on that?

For example this morning dd (5yrs) pushed ds (21 months) and grabbed a book from him. Being into consequences my mind immediate started working out theories – I suspected that this action was a consequence of recent unfortunate (high sugar) food choices on dds part and a feeling that her space had been infringed upon before that. Basically the action was a consequence of frustration & disconnection.

My response was to ensure ds was ok, apologise to him on dds behalf and ensure he got his book back– then i was able to work with dd to see what was happening for her, to validate her feelings and let her know that i was ready to understand and help.

In the end we all got absorbed in another activity together and dd had some much needed protein...

the idea of consequences in the traditional parenting sense often gets immediate results behaviourally... but in my opinion misses an important opportunity to connect and support a child to be all they can be out of love, rather than out of fear of punishment.

arun
-------
http://www.theparentingpit.com
anne+arun is offline  
Old 01-11-2008, 02:08 AM
 
laoxinat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: a state of bliss
Posts: 1,052
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by gaialice View Post
I haven't read the book and it sounds interesting. It is totally true I was unprepared to be a parent. It is true also that we are surrounded by examples of bad parenting. I cannot agree more about the fact that I am finding this very unfulfilling. Yet, I wonder how much of that I can really change at a deep level.
The ONLY thing you can change at a deep level is you. Your beliefs, your paradigms, and most importantly your thoughts. It is the thoughts and judgements we have about situations that make them so difficult to cope with. When we can quiet our minds and cease our internal dialogue concerning others, we can then be free to act instead of react.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gaialice View Post
There are no true natural consequences -- none. Now, firing the babysitter and taking the job of cleaning on top of my two other jobs of going to work and caring for the kids would positively make me explode.
No, I am definitely not suggesting you fire the housekeeper. However, you could decline to have her cleaning rooms that are not reasonably picked up.

As Naomi points out, it is our thoughts about our childrens' behavior that are the problem. When we believe they shouldn't do something, we cannot meet them on their playng field. We need to devlop the ability to conceptualize that they, in their minds, shoould be doing what they are doing. Only then can we address the underlying need the child is expressing

Quote:
Originally Posted by gaialice View Post
I am really not following you. Can you explain to me? I understand about giving a good example, and I agree about cleaning happily, etc. But, I am not lying to my kids, yet they are lying, they are not keeping their word, etc. Should I not try to teach them lying is wrong? I am not sure what needs they are expressing, through lying, other than that they want to have all the freedom, not contribute anything at all, and let us be their slaves.
In your DDs' case, I wouldn't even characterize it as lying. First because at your dcs ages, truth and falsehood are not clearly defined as they are to adults. They literally cannot see the difference between what they want to be true and what IS true. When our attitude is that they are liars, dishonest and bad, kids feel defeated. They then have little incentive to cooperate with someone they feel doesn't trust them and seems not to like them very well. However, when we examine our beliefs (They will NEVER be truthful. They will ALWAYS lie to us.) we can begin to see the absurdity of this kind of thinking. Of course they will learn. You can't MAKE a child not learn.
As far as doing for them, what I mean is, you cannot gain cooperation through force. The two are mutually exclusive. The idea is to uphold your own value (of a clean living space) actively. This is one of the things we agree to when we have children, whether we like it or not. It's not slavery, it's service. Think back to your own childhood. Did you experience the trauma of being coerced, or the loneliness of silent submission? What were your feelings about the standards (or lack thereof) your parents set? Your answers will give you clues to your own discomfort in your relationship with our dds. It's all aboout belief. What we see really is what we get.

ETA One of the most core issues for me as a mama of younger kids was my own, deep ambivalence at being a mother. It turns out that being a mama was exactly and precisely what I needed to heal myself, but it sure was tough in the beginning. s
laoxinat is offline  
Old 01-11-2008, 04:56 AM
 
Natalya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Michigan!!
Posts: 925
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by laoxinat View Post
The ONLY thing you can change at a deep level is you. Your beliefs, your paradigms, and most importantly your thoughts. It is the thoughts and judgements we have about situations that make them so difficult to cope with. When we can quiet our minds and cease our internal dialogue concerning others, we can then be free to act instead of react.

As far as doing for them, what I mean is, you cannot gain cooperation through force. The two are mutually exclusive. The idea is to uphold your own value (of a clean living space) actively. This is one of the things we agree to when we have children, whether we like it or not. It's not slavery, it's service. Think back to your own childhood. Did you experience the trauma of being coerced, or the loneliness of silent submission? What were your feelings about the standards (or lack thereof) your parents set? Your answers will give you clues to your own discomfort in your relationship with our dds. It's all aboout belief. What we see really is what we get.

I've been lurking and am learning so much from this thread. Laoxinat, could you clarify what you mean here? I think I'm getting the gist, but want to hear more. Are you saying parenthood is service, not slavery? Are you saying that the things we hated most about our parents are the things we avoid in being parents? Do I just need to read Naomi Aldort?

                   
Dp, me dreads.gif  ds#1  goodvibes.gif, ds #2 jog.gif and ds#3 drool.gif

Natalya is offline  
Old 01-11-2008, 05:24 AM
 
ma_Donna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Alaska
Posts: 1,677
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I so appreciate all of the thoughtful posters on this board!!

My boys are younger, 4 and 17mo. I'm finding that my expectations for the 4yo are changing and we're getting into some new strategies.

Last week I totally lost my patience with picking up some things over and over that would make the house look trashed - lincoln logs, tinker toys, wooden puzzles - they were being played with by getting dumped. With some explanation, but gently (although with some frustration), I picked them up and put them away at the top of the boys closet. It wasn't a punishment, but a realization that these things are still a bit advanced for them and since they're not able to take responsibility of picking them up (after the joy of dumping them out), they are out of play for a while. I feel much better! ... and have some more to do. Mostly I think this has happened because there is just too much 'stuff' I try very hard to keep it pared down, and by many standards we do quite well, but I don't remember having near these many toys & books as a child.

I think maybe the girls are missing your DH as well. You'd said you think they're needing some more time with you, too. My DH was out of town in November for the first time since DS2 was born. It was a week and a half and hard for me. I was always 'on call' and putting 2 boys to bed was so hard. Normally we do some bedtime things together, teeth, diapers, pajamas, then I'm responsible for getting DS2 to sleep and DH is responsible for DS1.

As far as 'promises' ie I'll do this then you'll do that... sounds like while you're working these things out, it needs to go in the order of the girls do something, then you'll do something.

to you and your girls for finding your way to the next new normal.

Alaskan Mom to 2 boys
ma_Donna is offline  
Old 01-11-2008, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
gaialice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,221
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by anne+arun View Post
reading your posts gaialice i can appreciate the challenge in trying to find gd and respectful paths with your children but feeling that to do so is at times exhausting/ time consuming and effectively not possible for you at times because of your circumstances. At the same time you are sounding very overwhelmed by what seems like a busy schedule. Im not sure if this is accurate?
I am really touched by your words. You are describing my feelings with absolute accuracy. It is so sweet that you took the time to really, really understand what I'm going through.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anne+arun View Post
i wonder how you would feel about brainstorming with dh around changing your context?
There are no quick fixies that dh or I were able to see (like for example the idea of the 14 yo sounds good, but doesn't really exist here where I live where 14 yo are all very busy studying, seeing friends... )

However what you say is right, the heartache does not come from the kids' behaviour but from a situation so different from what I'd like. Yet, it seems like so selfish to say so, when you look around so many people are happy with so much less than what I have. And Laoxinat is absolutely right "It is the thoughts and judgements we have about situations that make them so difficult to cope with. When we can quiet our minds and cease our internal dialogue concerning others, we can then be free to act instead of react. " If I could somehow see this situation as fulfilling, I would engage in this situation with full force, rather than remaining somewhat attached to a romantic vision that is not my true reality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anne+arun View Post
in terms of consequences... perhaps that could be turned on its head also? Rather than considering what the consequence is of someone hitting... why not ask what hitting is the consequence of and focus on that?
We've done this for a long time, but it seems we need some more structure right now, in terms of predictability of what follows some of the kids' behaviours. One of the pps suggested thinking of consequences as solutions and I agree: reminding dd1 to go to her room to meltdown (and I say remind her, because when she meltdowns she actually longs to be in her bedroom but she does not know anymore that that's what she needs) and letting dd storm and rage sitting from across the room are solutions - real solutions - to hitting during meltdowns. I do not want to change into a consequence-filled paradigm but we need to gradually move into real world scenarios, where my role to filter reality for my daughters gradually lessens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan&Anna's_Mom
I think there are several really important keys here:
* The rules apply to everyone (not just kids)
* Appropriate response to strong emotions are modeled by the adults
* Expectations are high and explicit. I am a really firm believer that people (including children) will live up to expectations, so if you expect them to have temper tantrums, then they will. If you expect them to control the expression of their anger, then they will (eventually) do that too.
Here, I think there is a lot of work to do by us adults. Dh has a short fuse and he tick off very easily. I am extremely patient but because I am exhausted I tend to explode in the evenings. So, we're both not doing very well in this area and you're right, they are learning what we teach.

Quote:
Originally Posted by laoxinat View Post
As far as doing for them, what I mean is, you cannot gain cooperation through force. The two are mutually exclusive. The idea is to uphold your own value (of a clean living space) actively. This is one of the things we agree to when we have children, whether we like it or not. It's not slavery, it's service. Think back to your own childhood. Did you experience the trauma of being coerced, or the loneliness of silent submission? What were your feelings about the standards (or lack thereof) your parents set? Your answers will give you clues to your own discomfort in your relationship with our dds. It's all aboout belief. What we see really is what we get.
I agree and don't. While I agree you will not gain cooperation through force, it is our responsibilty as adults to keep the canvas, to create an environment in which the kid can flourishm, and resist his/her force as she tries to break out of this nurtuting context. So, in my view there is a place for a respectful, non-punitive coercion, which should sound like "I will not let you hurt yourself, I will not let you hurt me". I agree also I need to create opportunities - through chores for example - for the kids to feel good about themselves. I felt from the very begining everyone thought I was extremely clumsy and they never challenged that in terms of making me try to go beyond my perceived limit.
gaialice is offline  
Old 01-11-2008, 04:59 PM
 
laoxinat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: a state of bliss
Posts: 1,052
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalya View Post
I've been lurking and am learning so much from this thread. Laoxinat, could you clarify what you mean here? I think I'm getting the gist, but want to hear more. Are you saying parenthood is service, not slavery? Are you saying that the things we hated most about our parents are the things we avoid in being parents? Do I just need to read Naomi Aldort?
Yes, in essence, I am saying that parenting involves a certain amount of service, but not in a negative sense. It is the recognition not only of our children's limitations in terms of understanding the necessity of chores and other ""tasks" but staying awake to the unfolding of their maturity. Watching and determining as dispassionately as possible what they can do for themselves and being strong in the face of their desire that we do for them what they can do for themselves, as that ability develops. I am referring here to things the child wants, not the things we want, like obedience and compliance. But we also must surrender to the reality that since a 3 year old is highly unlikely to share our desire for a clean house, attempts to force compliance invariably end in tears and frustration.
So so many problems arise because of misunderstanding or misrepresenting a child's motivation. Where conventional wisdom sees a 3 year old 'manipulating' mama into picking up after him, a gentler approach sees a little person who isn't yet capable of making the logical connection b/t making a mess and the responsibility to clean it up. So rather than get into an inevitable power struggle, instead we cheerfully and lovingly model our value by cleaning up. One thing we need also to recognize is who owns the problem. If I want the room clean, I own the problem. Now, if my teen gets in trouble with the law, for instance, we both own the problem; him because he made a mistake, me because until he is 18, I am legally responsible for him.
So when we can think carefully about who wants what, coupled with the needs the situation imposes, this can give clues to ownership of the problem. PET has a good chart for this as well, and I'll see if I can find it.
As for looking at what our parents did, it's really more a question of identifying the beliefs their behavior engendered. Certainly we don't want to repeat mistakes our parents made, yet it is equally important not to parent "at" our parents' inadequacies. KWIM? In other words, it is fairly common for us as parents to swing too far the other way in reaction to the way we were parented, because we react instead of examining our thoughts and feelings to determine their validity. This means that when we are confronted with a troubling situation, as Naomi says, our first task is to separate our own emotions and thoughts from our child's behavior. After all, as she says, they are OUR thoughts, and have nothing to do with our child in this moment. Internal dialogue is always about the past or future, never about right now. To be fully aware, we must stop talking to ourselves and be present. Otherwise, we risk reacting to an assumption or an attribution of intent that we cannot know is true, because we are not inside our child's mind.
HTH!!
ETA Yas, definitely read naomi's book, but also try Pam Leo. Naomi's book is not a how-to style book, but more of a philophical work, IMO. I havn't yet read Pam, but given the recommendations on MDC, and who gave them, I feel confident recommending her.
laoxinat is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off