Almost-4yo... What can I do instead of "time-outs"? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 20 Old 09-08-2008, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
reezley's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,124
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
In a nutshell (I'll type fast while 1.5yo little brother is sleeping)... DS1, who is 3.75, is constantly doing SOMETHING a bit dangerous, or pushy, or not gentle, or actually hitting, usually directed toward ds2. I know that sounds normal. I'm sure it is. But it's not okay! So what do we do?

I am constantly telling him he can't do whatever he's doing. For instance: just STAND on the learning tower - instead of jumping wildly on it. Hug ds2 around the SHOULDERS - not tightly around his neck! DON'T play the game where you put your legs under the area rug and say "OWWW!" to invite ds2 to come jump on your legs and fall and both of you end up hurt. Talk QUIETLY in ds2's ear, don't shout in it. And, plain old - no hitting! And - get up off your brother! It's something every 3 minutes.

I generally tell him the rule, or to stop what he's doing. If/when he doesn't listen and stop my first reaction is to tell him he can't play near people - and I send him to the couch to sit or to the other room to be separate for a minute. He obliges, but he's not stopping these behaviors.

This is long-winded, sorry. But what SHOULD I be doing instead of sending him to the other room to chill all the time?

And, another question - is there an age/size when ds2 is old enough to not need the special protection of these rules? Little brother is practically ds1's size, a strong kid. Am I supposed to just let them sit on each other and push each other over at some point???? I had sisters. I don't know this stuff!
reezley is offline  
#2 of 20 Old 09-08-2008, 05:48 PM
 
BonMaman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 413
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I need to find an effective way to deal with similar behavior here. :

love.gif my lads whistling.gif(6/2005) &kid.gif (3/2007) *and* lasses hearts.gif(1/2009) & flower.gif (7/2010)

BonMaman is offline  
#3 of 20 Old 09-08-2008, 11:00 PM
 
hilaryanne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am dealing with the same exact issues. We've tried talking through scenarios, "using our words," problem solving together, crazy coloring to let out frustration...and I'm plum out of ideas.

My older 3.5 year old is a girl and she has a 1.5 year old baby brother...don't know if the genders really matter...

I would love to see replies!!

Hilary:
hilaryanne is offline  
#4 of 20 Old 09-09-2008, 01:49 AM
 
riversong's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,783
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
reezley- When I read your post I noticed that you spend a lot of time telling your ds1 *not* to do things instead of helping him find things that he *can* do. If I had someone constantly telling me "don't" and "stop that" I would eventually tune it out.

Maybe he needs more attention? More connection with you? More large motor activity? There's some need behind his behaviors. Sending him to time out doesn't meet whatever the underlying need is, kwim? He still has the needs and he will try to meet them in whatever way his almost 4 yo brain can come up with.

What if you catch him in the act and get down on his level and ask him, "what do you need right now?" Maybe he can answer you, but if he can't you can state your observations about what he's doing, how it affects you or his brother and what you think he might be needing. Then you could try (together with him) to come up with something else for him to do.

I hope this doesn't sound preachy. I've been guilty of telling my kids "don't do that!" way too often. I'm working a lot on connection and building trust and coming up with mutually agreeable solutions with my dc. I'm a work in progress for sure, but I'm trying to apply what I've learned to your question.
riversong is offline  
#5 of 20 Old 09-09-2008, 02:29 AM
 
Aubergine68's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: in the soul's garden
Posts: 2,942
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I have 2 little boys about the same ages as yours, OP. I read somewhere that based on studies of human behavior that boys between the ages of 2 and 4 are the most naturally aggressive members of the human race, and I totally believe it.

I agree that it helps to make sure they have ways to do some of the wilder things their bodies are telling them to do in a reasonably safe way. Like, with my firstborn dd, I had a "no jumping on the couch, ever" rule. With the boys, I have a rule that "we can make a jumping place with the playroom couch and the large beanbag chairs and cushions, but no jumping unless mommy watches, and no jumping on any other furniture."

We also have a Rody horse http://www.rodytoy.com/ in our living room, which is the BEST for getting some of those bounces out. Our sit'n spin also gets lots of use. So much of parenting little boys for me seems to be about finding good large motor toys and ways that are acceptable to me for them to get exercise inside the house. Anyone have other suggestions for toys like this, btw?

Mostly, the most important thing imo is to take the edge off all that little-boy energy and noisiness by getting outside and getting LOTS of exercise. And having a time and place to actually get some of those little-boy roars and yells out without being told to stop might help.

I was raised with only sisters. Boys were alien creatures to me -- I mean, I thought my dd was active, and then the boys came along and taught me I didn't know what "active" meant !

My dh has 3 brothers. I defer to his belief that it is right and appropriate for brothers at that age to spend a certain amount of time rolling around on the floor like puppies. Mine, like yours, are close in size and my younger one is old enough to communicate when he's had enough. If one is complaining or getting hurt, and the other is not listening, well, then, time to stop that kind of play.

My most common strategies when the play gets too rough are to either take the boys outside or to call "Table time!" which means, time to get a magnadoodle , notebook and crayons, or small motor toy (we have a collection handy) and bring it to the kitchen table while I cook/clean and we listen to a story or music cd.

ETA -- that game where your oldest puts his legs under the rug and younger jumps on him? What if you looked at it that the feeling of muffled pressure might be a sensory kind of thing that your oldest is craving? Kind of like how many newborns need to be swaddled? I've seen kids take turns having the other put a couch cushion on top of him and sit on it. Freaked me out at first, but then I figured out a way for them to do it in a safe, supervised way. Maybe you could figure out an alternative game that would give them something of the same kind of feeling with less of the getting hurt?
Aubergine68 is offline  
#6 of 20 Old 09-09-2008, 09:12 AM
 
umsami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Capital City
Posts: 10,401
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have two boys who are 23 months apart... so I know this behavior well. To some degree, it is normal. I had to stop defending DS2 and just let them rough house and "be boys". And they honestly love it.

BUT, hurting/hitting is not OK. In our house, hitting is an automatic time out (sorry no idea what else to do). If they're hitting over a toy, then the person who was hit gets automatic possession. We work a lot on sharing.... and sometimes, if it's particularly coveted, I'll use a timer to be fair. So DS1 will get the firetruck for 5 minutes... and then DS2 will get it. It actually works really well.

We also model behavior... and try and teach them the "nice" way to do something. So, say DS1 hits DS2 over something. We'll talk about why he did it? (Usually frustration with DS1)... and then talk about different ways to handle one's frustration (including saying "I'm so frustrated....") and then to ask nicely. I may have them repeat this a few times... giving different examples (role playing)... which they actually find fun.

Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1).  "Kids do as well as they can."

umsami is offline  
#7 of 20 Old 09-09-2008, 10:34 AM
 
Aubergine68's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: in the soul's garden
Posts: 2,942
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by umsami View Post

BUT, hurting/hitting is not OK. In our house, hitting is an automatic time out (sorry no idea what else to do). If they're hitting over a toy, then the person who was hit gets automatic possession. We work a lot on sharing.... and sometimes, if it's particularly coveted, I'll use a timer to be fair. So DS1 will get the firetruck for 5 minutes... and then DS2 will get it. It actually works really well.

We also model behavior... and try and teach them the "nice" way to do something. So, say DS1 hits DS2 over something. We'll talk about why he did it? (Usually frustration with DS1)... and then talk about different ways to handle one's frustration (including saying "I'm so frustrated....") and then to ask nicely. I may have them repeat this a few times... giving different examples (role playing)... which they actually find fun.
Agreeing with this. Hitting or hurting doesn't get you what you want at our house either. Don't often do time out as such, but will physically separate the children if necessary (scoop one up onto nearby couch or chair) and then focus hard on the needs of the one who was hurt. I send the hurter to the freezer (freezer on bottom) to get an ice pack for the injury or to do something else to help the child who was hurt.

Also adding to the modeling that we work really hard on modeling/encouraging empathy. Modeling apologies, modeling that if someone cries out the first question/concern is "Are you ok? Can I help you?" not "What did you do to X?" or "How can I cover my butt?"

We made simple kid-safe ice packs together by scooping rice into odd socks that were folded over drinking cups and then tying off the ends tightly. We talked about first aid and that applying cold to an owie can help it to not bruise. So now, boy A hits boy B with a toy car, boy A is sent to get an ice pack (and cool off a bit himself) while I tend to boy B. I get a moment to cool off and think about how to handle it too!

I also recommend the children's book Hands are not for Hitting. I think we have it memorized over here!
Aubergine68 is offline  
#8 of 20 Old 09-09-2008, 12:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
reezley's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,124
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aubergine68 View Post
I have 2 little boys about the same ages as yours, OP. I read somewhere that based on studies of human behavior that boys between the ages of 2 and 4 are the most naturally aggressive members of the human race, and I totally believe it.

...We also have a Rody horse http://www.rodytoy.com/ in our living room, which is the BEST for getting some of those bounces out. Our sit'n spin also gets lots of use. So much of parenting little boys for me seems to be about finding good large motor toys and ways that are acceptable to me for them to get exercise inside the house. Anyone have other suggestions for toys like this, btw?

ETA -- that game where your oldest puts his legs under the rug and younger jumps on him? What if you looked at it that the feeling of muffled pressure might be a sensory kind of thing that your oldest is craving? Kind of like how many newborns need to be swaddled? I've seen kids take turns having the other put a couch cushion on top of him and sit on it. Freaked me out at first, but then I figured out a way for them to do it in a safe, supervised way. Maybe you could figure out an alternative game that would give them something of the same kind of feeling with less of the getting hurt?
Thank you so much for your responses. I think I've been overlooking his need for the loud, fast, rough-housey stuff. We have no gross-motor toys inside the house, except the couch, which we do let him jump on (and off to the rug). I'll look into that bouncer and the sit-n-spin.

He seems to always want to touch and hold and hug his little brother - nice. But then he has him on his lap in a hug and proceeds to pull him over backwards so ds2 falls - not nice. But maybe he's just trying to play in that boyish way. That boys do. Which is foreign to me. It's really hard for me to see how that could be done safely, unless there are gym mats and padded walls! And ds2 is too young to understand where and when it might be okay to run up to ds1 and push him (which he is starting to do) and when it's not okay. How can pushing someone over ever be okay? I can see a mutual "rolling around on each other like puppies" to be fine. I'll have to think about this stuff...

The "sensory" thing: I have heard a lot on these boards about that, but I don't quite understand about it. Is it just needing to feel things on your body? Maybe that's part of what he seeks with that game. I could use more ideas on how to this safely.
reezley is offline  
#9 of 20 Old 09-09-2008, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
reezley's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,124
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by riversong View Post
reezley- When I read your post I noticed that you spend a lot of time telling your ds1 *not* to do things instead of helping him find things that he *can* do. If I had someone constantly telling me "don't" and "stop that" I would eventually tune it out.

Maybe he needs more attention? More connection with you? More large motor activity? There's some need behind his behaviors. Sending him to time out doesn't meet whatever the underlying need is, kwim? He still has the needs and he will try to meet them in whatever way his almost 4 yo brain can come up with.

What if you catch him in the act and get down on his level and ask him, "what do you need right now?" .
I don't like saying "don't" all day to him either! That's why I'm asking the question here. That's a good idea - I'll try asking him what he needs when he's starting to act out. He is a kid who wants/needs constant interaction, always has. So when I'm in the kitchen doing a few things that need doing he immediately does something to ds2 - probably to get me back into that room with them (living room is right there). I do invite him to be in the kitchen doing an activity, but he wants to play with ds2 usually. So - probably he does need attention, connection. I wonder what he'll say when I ask. And then what - is he supposed to then learn that he needs something *before* he hits, so he'll just recognize that feeling and come to me first?? Does that ever happen?
reezley is offline  
#10 of 20 Old 09-09-2008, 12:38 PM
 
wallacesmum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Southern Maine
Posts: 1,362
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
can you try to make sure you have some solid connection time with him right before you go to do a chore for a little while? How would that work>?
wallacesmum is offline  
#11 of 20 Old 09-09-2008, 04:49 PM
 
Aubergine68's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: in the soul's garden
Posts: 2,942
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by reezley View Post
How can pushing someone over ever be okay? I can see a mutual "rolling around on each other like puppies" to be fine. I'll have to think about this stuff....
Like a roughhousing game we play where dh or I chase the boys and tickle them or blow raspberries on their tummies, and sometimes our 4 yr old does that game with his 2 yr old brother now -- if it is fun for everyone and the time and place is ok for roughhousing, pushing someone over can be ok if it is initiating that kind of play and the play is *consensual*. Doesn't mean that it doesn't need to be supervised, especially when neither child is old enough to really know their strength or limits.


There is a lot that one could say about sensory issues! I can't bear the texture of tapioca pudding, for example. I'm trying to declutter my playroom because I think having too many toys available and too many posters on the walls overstimulates the children and makes them more hyper than they need to be. My dsage4 asks for lots of cuddles and that means that to reconnect with me, he needs me to wrap him up in my arms and hold him securely and look at him and talk to him. A little hug or my arm loosely around him while we read a story won't do: he seems to need pressure of my arms around him, like swaddling.

One can have an aversion to a kind of sensory stimulus or a sensitivity to too much stimulus, or a need for a kind of stimulus that one isn't getting enough of. This kind of need/aversion/sensitivity might affect a child's behavior in a negative way. Just something to keep in mind.


I found the following books useful when I was trying to learn about why and how raising little boys is different than raising little girls. THey are both science based, giving info like the fact that boys don't hear as well as girls to explain that boys might need louder voices and might not effectively hear quieter female teacher/mother voices the way we think they should.

Leonard Sax, Why Gender Matters http://www.whygendermatters.com/

And Michael Gurian, The Minds of Boys, also like Nurture the Nature by him

http://www.michaelgurian.com/
Aubergine68 is offline  
#12 of 20 Old 09-09-2008, 08:47 PM
 
Robinna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 820
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Another "boy" book, I started reading but didn't have time and had to return to the library, but I liked how it started "The Wonder of Boys".
Robinna is offline  
#13 of 20 Old 09-09-2008, 09:45 PM
Banned
 
recycledbook's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: vermont
Posts: 56
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
try less no and more redirecting it really helps ive been doing it with my almost 4 year old he is the same way as yours. also try to limit the no word o really really dangerous things such as running on a pool deck or grabbing a knife that way they know that NO is powerful and it means damger

also redirecting is a way of giving them ideas on better ways to do things which is a good skill in life as well.

even when i tell you this my son drives me crazy most days but he just started preschool thank goodness i need the break
recycledbook is offline  
#14 of 20 Old 09-10-2008, 03:46 AM
 
elvenom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 30
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have a similar problem--among others. I am constantly telling my 4 year old not to do this and that. Its all day! Hes hugging the baby too tight, hes jumping on the bed when I am changing her...i give him a warning and he ignores me and I send him out of the room or take away a privilege and hes remorseful and says I M SORRY MOMMY. Then he is back at it again! I am beyond frustrated. It seems all I do all day is discipline and I do not enjoy it and I go to bed exhausted and sad that I cant inspire the behavior I want.
elvenom is offline  
#15 of 20 Old 09-10-2008, 10:47 AM
 
Susan Kunkel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 185
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have two boys age 4 and 6.5. I find that they need both time to get energy out and time to be quiet. We do playgrounds in the middle of winter and we have times with play do.
Susan
Susan Kunkel is offline  
#16 of 20 Old 09-10-2008, 02:59 PM
 
RollerCoasterMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: the burbs
Posts: 5,331
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 40 Post(s)
One more boy book I saw recommended on another thread and just finished reading: Raising a Son. LOVE IT! It embraces the biological and emotional gender differences and gives good advice on how to channel that energy in safe ways (including advice for people without a prominant father-figure).

Added bonus---I understand DH better now...but don't tell him that!
RollerCoasterMama is online now  
#17 of 20 Old 09-10-2008, 05:34 PM
 
Aubergine68's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: in the soul's garden
Posts: 2,942
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3901sca View Post
One more boy book I saw recommended on another thread and just finished reading: Raising a Son. LOVE IT!

I actually have Raising a Daughter on my bedside table right now. Looking forward to Raising a Son coming in on interlibrary loan for me....

We were probably reading the same thread, lol!
Aubergine68 is offline  
#18 of 20 Old 09-10-2008, 05:39 PM
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,670
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by riversong View Post
reezley- When I read your post I noticed that you spend a lot of time telling your ds1 *not* to do things instead of helping him find things that he *can* do. If I had someone constantly telling me "don't" and "stop that" I would eventually tune it out.

Maybe he needs more attention? More connection with you? More large motor activity? There's some need behind his behaviors. Sending him to time out doesn't meet whatever the underlying need is, kwim? He still has the needs and he will try to meet them in whatever way his almost 4 yo brain can come up with.

What if you catch him in the act and get down on his level and ask him, "what do you need right now?" Maybe he can answer you, but if he can't you can state your observations about what he's doing, how it affects you or his brother and what you think he might be needing. Then you could try (together with him) to come up with something else for him to do.

I hope this doesn't sound preachy. I've been guilty of telling my kids "don't do that!" way too often. I'm working a lot on connection and building trust and coming up with mutually agreeable solutions with my dc. I'm a work in progress for sure, but I'm trying to apply what I've learned to your question.
I like this advice a lot. I have a 4 y/o boy and a 1 year old boy and similar situations. I notice that the more I say "don't" and "stop" or even just keep asking him to be gentle/soft the more frustrated "I" get. I know that when I am having a great day its really about redirecting energy and finding my center which helps 4 y/o find his. He's bugging his bro all afternoon....sometimes I get all frustrated and sometimes I just sit with him and read books and teh problem disappears. I am aiming for the latter resolution more often.
flowers is offline  
#19 of 20 Old 09-11-2008, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
reezley's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,124
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Great book suggestions! Thank you!
And I'm glad to know others have the same dynamic going on at home bewteen the siblings that age. I mean, I'm glad to know I'm not alone with that!
reezley is offline  
#20 of 20 Old 09-12-2008, 10:46 PM
 
riversong's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,783
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by reezley View Post
I don't like saying "don't" all day to him either! That's why I'm asking the question here. That's a good idea - I'll try asking him what he needs when he's starting to act out. He is a kid who wants/needs constant interaction, always has. So when I'm in the kitchen doing a few things that need doing he immediately does something to ds2 - probably to get me back into that room with them (living room is right there). I do invite him to be in the kitchen doing an activity, but he wants to play with ds2 usually. So - probably he does need attention, connection. I wonder what he'll say when I ask. And then what - is he supposed to then learn that he needs something *before* he hits, so he'll just recognize that feeling and come to me first?? Does that ever happen?
Sorry to be so late in responding, but yeah, the idea is that the extra connection with you helps him to feel more grounded and eventually he learns to express his needs in words instead of hitting his brother. This is a long process, but when the kids are older you have a more solid respectful relationship with them because of it. Or so I hear from parents of older kids.

I see you've gotten lots of book recommendations already, but have you ever read Connection Parenting? It's super easy to read and to the point, but very helpful and enlightening.
riversong is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may 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