Manipulation...am I missing something? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 10-02-2008, 07:50 PM
 
North_Of_60's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Beautiful British Columbia
Posts: 7,108
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by wallacesmum View Post
It is up to ds whether he ultimately prefers to be tidy
Sure.. when they move out. In the mean time, we share a common space, and it's really too darn bad if someone else doesn't want to clean up. At the very least, I expect everyone to respect each other as room mates, and that includes not subjecting those around you to your messes. Of course there will be different expectations for different age groups, but the general concept of letting kids who want to be messy be messy is totally foreign to me.

Frankenstein never scared me. Marsupials do. Because they're FAST.
North_Of_60 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 10-02-2008, 08:02 PM
 
North_Of_60's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Beautiful British Columbia
Posts: 7,108
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by stickywicket67 View Post
exactly! i feel like as long as i'm clear in the motivations of my request- or as clear as i can be then i'm not being manipulative. i don't think that's "head games" at all.
So, if expressing our desires, wants, and whims is Ok, why not just say "can you please help me pick up toys?". Someone said earlier that please was not an optimal choice because it expresses OUR want, as opposed to them doing it for their own reason. But, if expressing our wants is Ok, why just ask the question in the simplest, easiest to understand way? :

Frankenstein never scared me. Marsupials do. Because they're FAST.
North_Of_60 is offline  
Old 10-02-2008, 08:10 PM
 
wallacesmum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Southern Maine
Posts: 1,308
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If a person is okay with insisting that kids clean up because it is what mama wants, then that is that. If that person uses manipulation and is comfortable with it, then that is that.

I don't approach it that way. It is ds' house, as well as mine, as well as dh, and I guess we just focus a lot more on how to be positive and how to find solutions than on how to get one person to do something that someone else wants him to do. Period. Sometimes the house gets picked up, sometimes not. Sometimes that is okay, sometimes not. I guess it depends on what feels like a priority, what lesson I am modeling with my response to the situation. Modeling flexibility and mutual problem solving tends to be high on my list.

Every roommate I have ever had has agreed that household chores were a household responsibility; every roommate I have ever had has disagreed on what that entails, and when.

I don't feel that expressing my own desires is manipulative; I am surprised that others might feel that way. I don't think there is anything wrong with asking a child to participate in an activity that another family member wants, such as picking up the toys. I don't see that as manipulative. Maybe others do; I guess it's an intuitive thing.
wallacesmum is offline  
Old 10-02-2008, 09:14 PM
 
meemee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Norther California
Posts: 12,623
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by heather8 View Post
Yes, someone please answer this for me! I'm reading every post in this thread at least twice, and although they all make sense to me, I just don't see how it works long-term.
it cant work long term. because you have to consider your child's personal choice in this matter too. just because you are making him do it - doesnt mean 20 years down the line he will continue doing it. all you can do is try your best with love and respect from your end. but will it continue as they get older. you cant tell. it might happen. it might not. and it doesnt always work that way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by heather8 View Post
Yes, I can pick up the toys because it's MY need to have the floor clear. Or yes, I can leave the toys out because I recognize that it's not the end of the world to have toys on the floor and/or my DD has a need/desire to have them all out where she can see them. But eventually DD is going to trip on them and hurt herself, the cat will eat one and necessitate a pricey vet visit, or DH will get annoyed and vacuum them up. I guess I just don't see how cleaning them up myself or leaving them on the floor is helping anyone in the family. Can someone help me out?
see the toy isnt the real issue here. you can replace that example with another example. its still the same thing. - how do i get my child to do something - expectations. for some reason after i had my dd calling myself a mom or calling her my dd felt more like a label. that i as a mom had an assumption of power and that she as a child - i was expecting or not expecting.

so for me the point became not to pick up the blocks. meaning she could say yes or no. i was willing to hear the no. for me what was most important was to connect with this little person in my life. find out why she is saying no. most importantly let her figure out what she wanted to do. give her the option to choose. find out what is going on with her at the moment. now i have been talking to my dd since she was an infant. repeat, repeat, repeat.

the key for me was the energy. words and body language are just extra. the moment there is manipulation in that energy whether your child is one or six they will pick it up. to me that is the most important language of connection.

so if i hear my dd say no i would really discuss with her - explore what she wants to do and then i would lay my cards on teh table and say with utmost love and respect why i wanted her to pick them up. and then i would hear her with my ears as well with my energy. somedays she REALLY didnt want to pick up those blocks. and so i would do it.

another day. same situation. we go thru those steps all over again.

another day same thing. we talk. discuss and she goes off to play and i end up picking up the blocks.

then on another day. a miracle. i dont even have to say anything to her. she picks it up by herself. not one word out of me. as she grows older and has more words she tells me - mom will you please pick up the legos for me. suddenly i am feeling v. tired and i need some rest.

i have had this situation played out in my house so so so many times. (of course one key factor - if my dd was tired, hungry or hadnt let out excess energy - then there is no point in asking her anything, she cant do it. she is going thru so much within herself that she cant listen).

to really connect from the heart. to really know our needs and allow our children to experience their needs - is the best gift i can give my dd for now.


Quote:
Originally Posted by heather8 View Post
And then I'm confused by all the talk about rules and boundaries... if I like a clean floor and tell my DD to pick up her toys before going outside, then I'm being manipulative to make her meet my need; but if it's a "rule" of the house that is "understood", then I'm giving a reminder instead? Is that right?
but what about ur dd's needs. just because she is a child and wants to maybe play is her need less important than yours. i am not being snarky here. i am just asking. giving u some food for thought. just because you have a need for say safety - that makes your need more important than hers? by insisting she do as you are told (hypothetical here, not saying htat is what u r doing) is actually indirectly telling her 'i dont care about ur needs. my needs are more important than yours'. get what i am trying to say? this works even with a two year old. and practically they are. but on a purely humane level is that really true? so by picking it up urself you are showing her that both ur needs matter. that she gets to play and u clean. i think i went thru this maybe a million time where mostly i heard no and sometimes yes.

the result today at 6 my dd and i can mostly come to an amicable solution as long as she has had enough rest, food in belly and got some exercise. we talk a lot. what has completely blown me away was that at her school they sat thru an enacted talk about what to do during bullying. all the points given were to avoid the one bullying at all costs. and my dd questioned - but what about the bully. everyone was concerned about 'saving' themselves from further pain. did anyone try to understand why the bully was behaving that way (she said it to me later on not in front of all the kids). she then spoke about the bully in the bridge to terabithia and how the girl was not really a bully but a v. v. hurt little girl.

on another note since this has been brought up let me say we are all selfish creatures. we are all doing things to fulfill certain needs we have. whether it is a need to help others or whatever it is. even mother teresa is selfish. she took care of all those people because she met her need for helping others and totally enjoyed the feeling of connection and joy she got. the same reason i am changing my profession now. because of the fulfillment i get even though it means going down a few notches than the previous job.

anything, ANYTHING that is said with the intent of getting things done no matter how the other party feels - be they a child or adult - to me that is a manipulation.

and yet where safety was an issue there was no choice. it was dangerous and there was no conversation. the end. that is only if she was in imminent danger. but those ocassions were few and far between. because even as a toddler i showed her why the knife was dangerous by poking her coz she wouldnt understand what danger meant and i couldnt describe it to her.

fascinating thread. lots of food for thought.

 treehugger.gif Co-parent, joy.gifcold.gifbrand new homeschooling middle schoolerjoy.gif, and an attackcat.gif 
meemee is offline  
Old 10-02-2008, 11:34 PM
 
GuildJenn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 4,517
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shami View Post
I don't just want the blocks picked up because I like things tidy. I want dd to learn to clean up after herself because it is good for her to learn such a thing. It is good for her to learn that things have a place, things have order. Our brains like order, not chaos. I want to teach/discipline and if necessary *manipulate* (in the best sense of the word, not the dishonest sense) in order for her to learn how to take care of her/our things. When she grows up and goes to school/gets a job, I want to be sure she will have these skills.

Have you ever met a man whose mother never *made* or *manipulated* him into doing things around the house. I have met many men like this and they are not easy to live with. They may be the sweetest men ever, but they won't lift a finger around the house. ...

Oh and one last thing. I say please and thank you to model it for her. I don't think she will misunderstand me. She will know whether it is a request or a statement.
Actually (and I say this as the neater half in our home) there is a great book on mess and its benefits: http://www.amazon.ca/Perfect-Mess-Hi...2997292&sr=1-1

I don't disagree with you that it is worth leading/teaching our children about how to respect things, others, and create order. I just disagree that this is a battle EVERY time or that very young children will be ruined by not doing it from time to time when their little hearts rebel. And I disagree with the idea that it is more important than other things.

My husband has a hard time with chores, in part because they were battleground in his home (mine as well, so different reactions to similar situations.) But he's a wonderful human being.

For me and my son, generally, tidying up goes well. My theory actually is that if I make a stand the times that it don't, he'll come to associate chores and cleaning up with conflict and power struggles and unhappy times and it will actually get harder, not easier.

I am not opposed to some factual statements like "you have to wash your hands" or sequencing ("we can't leave until you have clothes on.") But I try to evaluate each situation for whether it's worth that or not, and tidying up just... isn't, to me.

~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
GuildJenn is offline  
Old 10-03-2008, 10:15 AM
 
jackson'smama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Virginia
Posts: 716
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
OK, how do you, the "non-manipulators" (for lack of a better word!) get your children to do something...anything? it's quite obvious (in my house and with my child at least) that young children do what they want to do. my ds doesn't give a hoot about what i want *in the moment*. now, when it's done, he may see my face and realize that no, i did not want him to paint an exterior cream-colored board on our house barn red with oil-based paint, but in the moment, it's EXACTLY what he wanted to do. how do you get a child with their own agenda, desires, wants, needs to do ANYTHING? should we expect this of our children or is that disrespecting them? seriously...how do you get a child to stop acting like a monkey at the dinner table if that's HOW THEY WANT TO ACT? I don't want my son to act like a monkey. He apparently does. If I try to do ANYTHING to curb that behavior, am I not manipulating him? Why is this wrong - society does not really like it when monkeys come into restaurants, right? How am I helping him by allowing him to go down a bad road?
now, to me i'm reading here that in order to respect him, honor his wishes, get him to respect me, and have him turn out to be an honest person, i have to model "good person behaviors" and trust that he'll adopt them when he's ready because if i were to either tell him or ask him to do something, i'd be manipulating him and he'll maybe grow up to resent me? So as long as i continue NOT acting like a monkey at the dinner table, some day, he'll copy me and stop it himself. but until then, it must be endured so as not to turn him into an adult who resents the fact that i dampened his primal desires? or he'll just act like a monkey at dinner when he's in his own home so as not to garner my disapproval?
i'm so confused here because i daily get asked or told to do something: someone rings their callbell for me at work (i'm a very part-time nurse), dh asks if i'd iron a shirt for him, ds says he's hungry and wants me to make him something. these are all very direct requests/demands made on me and i would not "resent" anyone for doing it. i mean, i guess if dh never lifted a finger to do a thing for me, i might resent it or as ds got older, if he never helped around the house but expected me to pick up after him i would. so, how do you teach a child the responsibilities of being a decent human being without having any expectations of them actually acting them out?
i said it earlier and i believe the OP and one other person have as well: there are people who go thru life happy as a clam to let others do things for them. like the people who leave mom's house not knowing how to wash clothes or cook a meal. mom always did it for them. so at what point do we stop relying on modeling and actually expect a child to either "listen to us" or just do it because they know it's the right thing or what the family does.
it seems wrong to have the following conversation with my 15 year old ds (fast forward 11 years!):

me: pick up your laundry and bring it to the laundry room because i'm washing the clothes now.

ds: not now, i'm having fun doing ______

me: i'll help you

ds: no, i'll do it later-OR-you can do it then (without regard for the fact that NOW is when i'm doing laundry or that it's HIS clothes that are being washed for him)

so, if this kind of dialogue is OK for toddlers, preschoolers, and whoever else- at what age (if ever) is it ok to expect more of our children? if we never make a request or demand or whatever on our own behalf - for our own benefit because WE are the one's doing the laundry or cleaning the bathroom or whatever, then how do we expect our children to learn it's ok to make requests or demands on their own behalf? to me, it seems we're wanting to make ourselves look selfless (i'll do it myself so as not to make a demand on you that you are not interested in having placed on you at this time) while wanting our children to take away from that that it's OK to assert their wants and desires at any given time - it's NOT ok to have someone tell you to do something and expect you to do it if you do not want to (unless it involves safety or a personal boundary?????).

i can't wrap my mind around it, so i'm not really seeing ds who is 4 do it either. please help me understand - i really really want to!
jackson'smama is offline  
Old 10-03-2008, 11:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
Shami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Fairborn, Ohio
Posts: 1,251
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
Actually (and I say this as the neater half in our home) there is a great book on mess and its benefits: http://www.amazon.ca/Perfect-Mess-Hi...2997292&sr=1-1

My husband has a hard time with chores, in part because they were battleground in his home (mine as well, so different reactions to similar situations.) But he's a wonderful human being.

For me and my son, generally, tidying up goes well. My theory actually is that if I make a stand the times that it don't, he'll come to associate chores and cleaning up with conflict and power struggles and unhappy times and it will actually get harder, not easier.

I am not opposed to some factual statements like "you have to wash your hands" or sequencing ("we can't leave until you have clothes on.") But I try to evaluate each situation for whether it's worth that or not, and tidying up just... isn't, to me.
This bold part is regarding sequencing. This is probably how I will handle things with my dd. If I understand correctly, some are saying that even sequencing is manipulation to get your child to do a certain thing. It seems we all have different views of what manipulation is...or maybe we can agree that it is manipulation, but some feel it is manipulation in the positive sense and some view it as negative. It's on a spectrum.

That book looks like a fun read and encouraging to those of us constantly battling the clutter!

DH, and Me plus baby girl (10/07)
Shami is offline  
Old 10-03-2008, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
Shami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Fairborn, Ohio
Posts: 1,251
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Meemee,
Thanks for all those specifics. I enjoyed reading about connecting and understanding your little one. I especially enjoyed the part about the bully. I am wondering how is your dd, who is now 6, doing? Does she do things when you ask her? Like what percentage of the time does she do things for you? I realize she is only six so I am not expecting much, nor am I meaning to put you on the spot. It's just that in order for me to have a complete shift in my thinking, I need to see a family who lives like this successfully. I know you said the goal isn't to get her to do things, so even my question is off the mark. Like Jackson's mama, I cannot get my brain around this and it goes against every fiber in my being. So why am I here asking? Because it sounds so lovely to live like this, but can it really work?
From other posts and on the cl yahoo group, I gather that in order for it to work you have to completely let go of any expectations of your child.

To Jackson's mama. From meemee's post she is saying she does explain why she wants her dd to pick up the blocks, over and over until it clicks and one day she does it with out any prompting. So, I guess in your monkey at the table issue you just explain that we are humans and humans don't act like monkey's at the table, over and over. But that would mean that you have to drop your expectations of your ds acting like a human!!! That sounds funny, huh?

DH, and Me plus baby girl (10/07)
Shami is offline  
Old 10-03-2008, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
Shami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Fairborn, Ohio
Posts: 1,251
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shami View Post
Actually I did just tell myself today that I have to get certain things done around the house before I could go shopping. If I finish my chores and still have energy left, I can go to Bed Bath and Beyond and the mall. This is my way of prioritizing things and I believe my mom taught me this.
I know adults don't treat each other this way, but adults' character is already formed. Children are still learning and forming their character. Their work ethic is not formed yet.

I don't mean to toot my own horn, but I wouldn't classify myself as a selfish person. I am reasonably generous and like to do things for others. However, I was raised like this: As long as I did what was asked of me and followed the rules, I got privileges. If I misbehaved I got grounded or things taken away for a period of time. This didn't make me selfish as a previous poster said. And I never wondered how the punishment fit the crime, so to speak.

Sorry if I am all over the place. Many times I post late at night and half my brain is gone! I guess I am still not convinced that this style of parenting is going to create a selfish person who only does good to avoid bad things happening to themselves.

After all, I do good because it makes me feel good. I am honest because it makes me feel good. I don't want to have a guilty conscience, therefore I do my best to avoid doing wrong things.
Thanks to all of you for the input. It is helping me to formulate my thoughts a little.
The bold part: I want to take that back. I am selfish and I believe all people are by nature selfish. Doing good things because it makes ME feel good IS selfish. I guess I should say that on the outside I appear to be generous because i do things for people. But my whole point was related to a pp (can't remember who) said something about people turning out selfish due to a particular style of parenting. I think it was related to reward/punishment stuff---can't find the post that I am referring to, sorry. This is probably an insignificant post, but it was bothering me.

DH, and Me plus baby girl (10/07)
Shami is offline  
Old 10-03-2008, 11:43 AM
 
popsicle sticks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 45
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by heather8 View Post
And then I'm confused by all the talk about rules and boundaries... if I like a clean floor and tell my DD to pick up her toys before going outside, then I'm being manipulative to make her meet my need; but if it's a "rule" of the house that is "understood", then I'm giving a reminder instead? Is that right?
I think those are ideas from two different schools of thought so they can't really be compared. The second is more my style, so I would not recognize the first as 'change by unfair means for my own selfish gain.' We just do things in the way that makes the most sense for the family as a whole. A clean floor, for us, benefits the household for a number of reasons.

The word manipulation has a negative connotation built into the definition because part of the definition itself is about intent. My intent is not selfish, in fact it would be easier and less time consuming for me to just clean up myself! But I suppose one could say I'm coercive to an extent because when it comes down to it I do recognize myself as an authority. My role as an authority is primarily to put the needs of others above my own and to empower my children. It's service, not domination, and that is how I view teaching these skills. My methods are more playful and we don't use punishment, I don't use force or "threats", but when a direction is given it is given with the expectation that it will be completed (using whatever playful or creative methods are required to get the job done ).
popsicle sticks is offline  
Old 10-03-2008, 11:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
Shami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Fairborn, Ohio
Posts: 1,251
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by popsicle sticks View Post
I think those are ideas from two different schools of thought so they can't really be compared. The second is more my style, so I would not recognize the first as 'change by unfair means for my own selfish gain.' We just do things in the way that makes the most sense for the family as a whole. A clean floor, for us, benefits the household for a number of reasons.

The word manipulation has a negative connotation built into the definition because part of the definition itself is about intent. My intent is not selfish, in fact it would be easier and less time consuming for me to just clean up myself! But I suppose one could say I'm coercive to an extent because when it comes down to it I do recognize myself as an authority. My role as an authority is primarily to put the needs of others above my own and to empower my children. It's service, not domination, and that is how I view teaching these skills. My methods are more playful and we don't use punishment, I don't use force or "threats", but when a direction is given it is given with the expectation that it will be completed (using whatever playful or creative methods are required to get the job done ).


Wow, well put. This I can understand and hope to become.

DH, and Me plus baby girl (10/07)
Shami is offline  
Old 10-03-2008, 12:17 PM
 
Mosaic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: La vida loca
Posts: 3,953
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thank you all so much for continuing this discussion, especially Meemee and popsicle sticks for spelling it out for me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shami View Post
Does she do things when you ask her? Like what percentage of the time does she do things for you? I realize she is only six so I am not expecting much, nor am I meaning to put you on the spot. It's just that in order for me to have a complete shift in my thinking, I need to see a family who lives like this successfully. I know you said the goal isn't to get her to do things, so even my question is off the mark. Like Jackson's mama, I cannot get my brain around this and it goes against every fiber in my being. So why am I here asking? Because it sounds so lovely to live like this, but can it really work?
From other posts and on the cl yahoo group, I gather that in order for it to work you have to completely let go of any expectations of your child.
Ditto those questions. Do we have to give up all expectations we have of other people? I just envision this turning into the stereotypical "mom does everything and nobody does anything to help" situation. In fact, it seems like everyone eventually needs "help" from someone else to meet all of their needs, so I'm wondering how compromise enters into the picture.

My head is spinning, but in a good way!

Mi vida loca: full-time WOHM, frugalista, foodie wannabe, 10+ years of TCOYF 

 

R-E-S-P-E-C-T spells BRAND NEW User Agreement!!

Mosaic is offline  
Old 10-03-2008, 12:27 PM
 
GuildJenn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 4,517
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackson'smama View Post
OK, how do you, the "non-manipulators" (for lack of a better word!) get your children to do something...anything? it's quite obvious (in my house and with my child at least) that young children do what they want to do. my ds doesn't give a hoot about what i want *in the moment*. now, when it's done, he may see my face and realize that no, i did not want him to paint an exterior cream-colored board on our house barn red with oil-based paint, but in the moment, it's EXACTLY what he wanted to do. how do you get a child with their own agenda, desires, wants, needs to do ANYTHING? should we expect this of our children or is that disrespecting them? seriously...how do you get a child to stop acting like a monkey at the dinner table if that's HOW THEY WANT TO ACT? I don't want my son to act like a monkey. He apparently does. If I try to do ANYTHING to curb that behavior, am I not manipulating him? Why is this wrong - society does not really like it when monkeys come into restaurants, right? How am I helping him by allowing him to go down a bad road?
I don't really know if I qualify as a non-manipulator. (There are so many definitions of that in this thread.) But I do try to approach things from as non-coercive a mode as possible.

First, I disagree that kids inherently want to do their own thing. In my experience kids do want to do their own thing – SOME of the time. At other points in time they desperately WANT to do what's "right" or what mummy and daddy do. I believe there is a whole learning process where at times kids act positively to test what happens and at times negatively to test what happens.

I believe this is biologically wired into human beings, because that is how kids would learn to hunt, gather, etc., plus live in tribes, for survival purposes.

I actually believe that sometimes – cleaning is my big example – we disrupt the process either by trying to enforce age-inappropriate things which just creates a sense of frustration and unhappiness, or by at times not hearing what's really going on underneath.

Taking the restaurant as an example:

I haven't really seen that many adults get up from the table and try to run their toy trains across the rug in a restaurant, so I'm not at all concerned that this is a lifelong habit. I truly believe I could do nothing for at least 6 years (probably much longer) and my child could still turn out fine where restaurant behaviour is concerned. Peer pressure at 15, for example.

But I do agree it's not okay – it's not safe, primarily, and it's not respectful, secondarily. (Both are important.)

However I don't say "behave at the restaurant and you'll get a toy on the way home." To me that's manipulation. It's artificially engaging something I know is motivating for my child (at least for ten minutes) in order to create behaviour I want, without actually tying it in to the reality of the situation.

We behave at the restaurant to behave at the restaurant. If we can't behave at the restaurant, then we might have to leave so as not to ruin the night for other people.

But I don't make behaviour at the restaurant relate to anything else. Even if I have to leave the restaurant, we can go to the park afterwards. I am not willing to withhold other things to ensure good behaviour at the restaurant. I AM willing to leave the restaurant if it's not working.

~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
GuildJenn is offline  
Old 10-03-2008, 12:32 PM
 
GuildJenn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 4,517
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by heather8 View Post
Thank you all so much for continuing this discussion, especially Meemee and popsicle sticks for spelling it out for me. Ditto those questions. Do we have to give up all expectations we have of other people? I just envision this turning into the stereotypical "mom does everything and nobody does anything to help" situation. In fact, it seems like everyone eventually needs "help" from someone else to meet all of their needs, so I'm wondering how compromise enters into the picture.

My head is spinning, but in a good way!
My son's 3 and he clears the table every night. I've never asked him to.

But in all seriousness I have two nephews and a niece who used to help their mum out all the time. Then they got a stepparent who demanded that they do the dishes (the kids) EVERY night. Suddenly, their willingness to participate in the chores vanished and now every night is an argument over whose turn it is, etc.

I think there is a necessity that everyone pitch in. But I think how that is achieved has a LOT to do with the relationships between everyone.

~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
GuildJenn is offline  
Old 10-03-2008, 12:48 PM
 
CarsonBookworm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Somewhere
Posts: 693
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post

I think there is a necessity that everyone pitch in. But I think how that is achieved has a LOT to do with the relationships between everyone.
Completely agree with you there!

Working jammin.gif Student Mama to a energy.gif4 y/o.

CarsonBookworm is offline  
Old 10-03-2008, 02:39 PM
 
meemee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Norther California
Posts: 12,623
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
hey shami - no you are not putting me on the spot at all. you are just asking how i parent works or not.

here is first of all why i do what i do. i am a square in a hole. i have never fit in anywhere. i was too much of a rebel with too much out of the box thinking. i was raised where i didnt matter. what mattered was what my parents thought. i tried to stay an individual but it wasnt 'safe'. too much emotional torture (not saying my parents were bad but they were just doing what they had been taught to do). it was safer to deny myself and do what others said. so i am assuming from when i was a baby i gave up the battle. today i still struggle to figure out what my needs are. i am still afraid to spend time with myself doing deeper into what my opinions are what matters to me. i am afraid of meeting my true self. i struggle to keep a uncluttered house. i struggle to do housework. for instance my mom insisted i do the dishes right after dinner. i prefered to do it early in the morning and put them away before anyone got up (we did them by hand). i still remember the boiling rage.

my dd is also a square peg in a round hole. she is also v. independent. and i didnt want her to suffer my pain. even though i always knew my parents loved me - even with love i didnt want to be the authoratative figure. i did not want my daugh to do things because i said so. i wanted her to do things because she felt she needed to do it.

here is what i say to her everytime i ask her to do something - every single time (it is borrowed from another parent):

"please grant my request only if u can do it with a feeling of joy and only if it will make ur world more wonderful.

please do not grant my request if you have any sense of duty or obligation.

please do not grant my request if you would be doing so out of a fear of punishment or hope of reward."

i have been using this v. recently and now she parrots it with me - but u should see the look of sheer delight on her face.

does she do everything - no. do i expect her to do everything - no. do i have a problem with her saying no - no. because i find out the reason behind her no. what is she feelign and needing. and i understand and do it myself. it is a partnership. many times i dont even have to ask her anything. she does it herself. or she will herself volunteer mama my tummy hurts (i trust and believe her). can u do this for me or can i do this later. or mama i dont really feel like doing it now. the outdoors are calling me. (how do u say no to the call of the outdoors LOL). so i say oooh i like that. now the outdoors are calling me too. lets go out and play right now and then we'll come back and you can quickly finish it before we start dinner because i have to do a lot.

but the v. key is make sure you are truly giving them a choice. to take all manipulation out of your voice. they pick up on it.

when i do want something to be done i dont ask her. i explain to her why it has to be done. u drop juice on the carpet - there is no waiting. the panic in my voice sets her off to get the kitchen towel. no explanation needed.

i feel we truly are a team. i am also a single mom with just her and me in the house. she hates going to school but she says herself 'i understand i have to. neither you nor me have a choice in this.' and yet on her really low days i have let her play hookey. and she herself told me at the end of the day - i know mama i cant do this every day but it has been such a fun day. i really loved having a break from school.

and yet last week - she completely lost it and threw a huge tantrum kicking and hitting me. and i just lay on the bed quietly and held her. she fell asleep. she had been up late the night before and after school she was dead tired.

so shami in a sense i really welcome her no. it gives me a perspective to her world. sometimes she offers the no before even i ask her.

in my perspective we work as a team. i really really enjoy how we work together.

anything more i say would be i feel the words of a biased mom. but all my friends and her school teachers have always commented on how well behaved she is and how she always asks them and lets them know when she is having a problem with something. both her k and grade 1 teacher have told me when they talk to her they have to remind themselves they are talking to a child and not a grown up.

also one thing i have found helpful to both of us is me talking and explaining the why and using all those words. for me it helps me not to make it a demand. i did it from when she was a baby. she would go everywhere with me as i did my chores and i would explain why i was doing it. everytime i made just a one sentence request i noticed it came out as a demand. that was a quick check for me to realise i was taking out my frustration on my dd and just that realisation would calm me down.

3s and 4s were terrible for my dd. poor child she really struggled. i noticed the basis of her struggle was to figure out if she wanted to be babied or be a big girl. heck i made mistakes trying to figure out which ones she wanted to be at the moment and it would make her sooo mad. the way the struggle came out was thru her need for autonomy. sometimes she needed help with her shoes. sometimes she didnt. even as a 4 year old she has hours after the tantrum was over (i had forced something on her when it was a safety issue. i dont remember now what it was), after blaming me for doing something she didnt like, hitting me with hurtful words; screaming and crying and throwing up - much later she told me how i was right. how she knew at that time i was right but she didnt like she didnt get her own way and that the monster in her had to come out and she wanted to stop it but she couldnt. to me that was sooooo huge. and that moment so precious.

i dont know how much of who my dd is i can claim she is because of the way i raised her. she herself is a v. sensitive nurturing person always wanting to connect with people.

i carry a lot of pain from my childhood blaming others. i dont want her to do that. i want her to understand no one causes her pain except herself. and the way i parent is a tool by which she is responsible for her own feelings. by really connecting to the other people trying to figure out why they said what they did she recognises how much in pain they themselves are in and so not take it personally.

YIKES!!! this has become longer than i expected.

 treehugger.gif Co-parent, joy.gifcold.gifbrand new homeschooling middle schoolerjoy.gif, and an attackcat.gif 
meemee is offline  
Old 10-03-2008, 02:44 PM
 
DevaMajka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Burnaby, BC
Posts: 10,344
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The last two days with my ds is probably a good example of the different ways that being non-manipulative can go (because I try not to punish/reward/manipulate but I am quite fine with coercing and being "in charge").
Ds helped me clean the bathroom. Not just a little bit of wiping, he helped me with the tub, the counter, the sink, the mirror, the toilet, and the floor. And he really did help- he was really scrubbing and wiping, and doing his best to clean. He helped from 1 minute after I started, until the entire thing was totally clean. I didn't ask him to help, and didn't say anything to encourage him to stay longer than he wanted.
He also helped me with laundry, and actually folded a half a load all by himself (me just giving instructions).

Otoh, I asked him to pick up his toys yesterday and he didn't. And I got a tiny bit :. (I cleaned the whole floor the day before, and really was hoping it would stay nice for more than half a day). I told him that everything that I had to do myself was going "up high." He still chose not to help .
I was ok because instead of putting everything where it belongs, I put it all in a tote and put it away. Not my finest parenting moment, eh?

But I've been thinking recently that maybe it's just hard for him to pick up his toys (I always help). So we made a chore list for him, and he picked the chores. So if my need is to have help around the house, that would meet my need for help just as well as picking up toys, and it would be something that ds will be happier doing. maybe...we'll see...

Becky, partner to Teague, SAHM to Keagan (7yo), Jonah (2yo)
 

DevaMajka is offline  
Old 10-03-2008, 03:54 PM
 
heartmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: In the bat cave with Irishmommy
Posts: 5,986
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
To the OP:

Regarding the examples in your second post--it is important to me that ds grow up to be the kind of young adult who has internalized specific habits, such as money management, basic home organization, self care, and pet care (to name a few).

I agree with you that these skills require active teaching. These are skills which many young people lack and I agree that is a problem.

When ds was very little, teaching him was very indirect. It was all about him just being witness to the way things were done. He was just watching, absorbing, processing what he saw around him. At that stage he was such a wild little guy, I often actually preferred that he didn't involve himself in what I was doing (dishes, laundry, whatever). In hindsight I should have done more to welcome and involve him in chores, but I was young and learning a lot for the first time myself.

Around age 6 or 7 we introduced more traditional chore learning. We focused on the fun, game playing quality to chores, we always did them together, and we focused on fairness and building a sense of comptency. To avoid resistance, dh and I had a "chore time" and during that time we only engaged with chores--if ds wanted to be with us he had to work with us. We made sure he felt included and welcomed and praised for his efforts.

At this age (12) I find it is more important than ever that I lead by example. Chores are never, ever connected to rewards or punishments. They are always put in a practical context. Always. The purpose of the chore is the whoe point of doing it. For example: Ds has pets. Let's say it is time to feed them dinner. Let's say he whines and says he is tired. I might respond with "Yes, it is late. You are tired. Although I know you wouldn't want to miss dinner because someone was too tired to feed you, right?". I will give him some dialogue to help him focus. If ds really were to resist, I would do the chore, saying something like "Well, I think we have a responsibility to make sure our pets are fed and comfortable. If you won't feed them, the job still has to be done. Pets won't stop needing food because we are tired. This is your chore, not mine. However, if you refuse to do it, someone else has to do it for you. That isn't fair to me, and definitely isn't fair to the animals". The most critical part of that is that I don't just huff and scowl and do it myself with a "FINE, I'll do it!!" resentful attitude...it is critical that you seize that teachable moment to verbally explain your thoughts and then clearly demonstrate your point. You are building up a world view for your child to carry with them through life. It doesn't matter if they 'get it' every second of every day. It matters that over time, you see they are 'getting it', gaining competency, gaining consistency, building up a mature, thoughtful attitude about why they engage in chores and other skills you help them learn. You should be gaining a sense that your children are engaged and learning. Then the bad days and mistakes won't feel important.

To teach ds money management, I asked if he wanted to learn the skill. I offered him a certain amount of money each month, not connected to any work, but given for the purpose of learning to manage money. Conditions were put on the money if he wanted to play this 'game'. He has a bill to pay once a month, for a set amount. He must set aside and save that amount to pay his bill on time. If he is late, the amount of the bill increases (like it would in real life). He is expected to save a certain amount each month, until he reaches a set goal. The rest of the money is his to spend any way he wants.

Ds does not HAVE to learn this. He was offered the choice, and to make it enticing I offered real money. He can get real money other ways. This was a separate offer. I waited until he was this age (12) to make sure he had the maturity to learn life long lessons from the experience.

Just a few examples from our life....

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
heartmama is offline  
Old 10-03-2008, 03:56 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: california
Posts: 1,089
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
Actually (and I say this as the neater half in our home) there is a great book on mess and its benefits: http://www.amazon.ca/Perfect-Mess-Hi...2997292&sr=1-1

I don't disagree with you that it is worth leading/teaching our children about how to respect things, others, and create order. I just disagree that this is a battle EVERY time or that very young children will be ruined by not doing it from time to time when their little hearts rebel. And I disagree with the idea that it is more important than other things.

My husband has a hard time with chores, in part because they were battleground in his home (mine as well, so different reactions to similar situations.) ]But he's a wonderful human being.

For me and my son, generally, tidying up goes well. My theory actually is that if I make a stand the times that it don't, he'll come to associate chores and cleaning up with conflict and power struggles and unhappy times and it will actually get harder, not easier.


I am not opposed to some factual statements like "you have to wash your hands" or sequencing ("we can't leave until you have clothes on.") But I try to evaluate each situation for whether it's worth that or not, and tidying up just... isn't, to me.

yes! to this especially with regard to how kids learn to clean up after themselves, chores etc. and about chores becoming power struggles or unhappy times.

i think that if kids see everyone in the family participating in the general operation of a home then they learn that it just "is".

all the little kids i know like to sweep or "fold laundry" or throw toys or clothes into a basket. if a kid doesn't want to help with laundry for example maybe it's just been a power struggle one too many times or maybe it's just boring and he's ready to move onto the next step. in that case i might say something like 'quick, grab your dirty clothes. today i'm going to show you how to run the washer' and then i would show him how to set the washer and how to pour the soap. i'd get a chair and let him do it. engage him in the next more interesting step.

like i've said i have a one year old so what do i know.. and admittedly i think doing laundry is a really fun thing to do!

when i was a kid we had a huge garden but all my dad would ever have us do was weed. he'd set us to a spot and get us weeding every single time we wanted to help. he weeded too but he also got to plant stuff and pick things. i think if he had let us plant and harvest and shared w/ us ALL the aspects of tending the garden it would have been a lot more enticing to be out there.


Quote:
Originally Posted by wallacesmum View Post
If a person is okay with insisting that kids clean up because it is what mama wants, then that is that. If that person uses manipulation and is comfortable with it, then that is that.

I don't approach it that way. It is ds' house, as well as mine, as well as dh, and I guess we just focus a lot more on how to be positive and how to find solutions than on how to get one person to do something that someone else wants him to do. Period. Sometimes the house gets picked up, sometimes not. Sometimes that is okay, sometimes not. I guess it depends on what feels like a priority, what lesson I am modeling with my response to the situation. Modeling flexibility and mutual problem solving tends to be high on my list.

Every roommate I have ever had has agreed that household chores were a household responsibility; every roommate I have ever had has disagreed on what that entails, and when.

I don't feel that expressing my own desires is manipulative; I am surprised that others might feel that way. I don't think there is anything wrong with asking a child to participate in an activity that another family member wants, such as picking up the toys. I don't see that as manipulative. Maybe others do; I guess it's an intuitive thing.
yes to this also. i don't view my word as the be all, end all. i think of myself more as a guide/teacher/leader. my job is to pass on my experience not to inflict my will. part of that job is maximizing the joy of cooperation.


Quote:
Originally Posted by wallacesmum View Post
I agree with you about modeling. That is where I focus my energy. In every aspect of my life. It is up to ds whether he ultimately prefers to be tidy - I know people who like tidiness and people who find it restrictive. I like to think I like a general level of tidiness in excess of the one that I usually live in! So picking up the blocks is modeling. I might even talk about why I like to pick up the blocks, unless it feels condescending.

FWIW, ds often doesn't want his toys picked up. Sometimes we have different needs in that area. He isn't resisting me, or not listening, or whatever. He likes having his toys out. I think he finds it comforting. In our family, as in most, we try to find a balance. My dh likes to have his feet sticking out of the bottom of the bed, I like the sheets tucked in. Etc.

Open communication is modeling, too. No one taught me that when I was a child - my parents were strict GD. I am still learning how to express my feelings, and respond to others.
totally agree.


Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Of_60 View Post
So, if expressing our desires, wants, and whims is Ok, why not just say "can you please help me pick up toys?". Someone said earlier that please was not an optimal choice because it expresses OUR want, as opposed to them doing it for their own reason. But, if expressing our wants is Ok, why just ask the question in the simplest, easiest to understand way? :
i was the one who said it wasn't necessary to say "please" and in thinking about what you wrote i see what you are saying. but sometimes to me it just sounds condescending.

i had a boss who was insistent that every time we sold a certain candle it was immediately replaced on the sales floor. meanwhile, there were a dozen others like it right there next to it so it was a personal whim not because she was worried about missing a sale on the item she just didn't like see the empty space. so, anytime she happened up to the sales floor and she saw an empty space she'd say "can someone PLEASE replace the candle that sold!?" it bugged the CRAP out of me. i would have had a ton more respect for her if she had simply stated "hey, would you grab a candle from the back for the front table." instead of this imperious patronizing "please" question which made it into almost a personal attack.

i guess i'm just projecting my own issues with that word onto my interactions w/ my child.

manipulation ISN"T expressing our wants in the simple most straightforward way. asking a question to get our needs met isn't straightforward. saying "we can't go to the park unless you pick up the toys" isn't straightforward.
stickywicket67 is offline  
Old 10-03-2008, 04:01 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: california
Posts: 1,089
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post
hey shami - no you are not putting me on the spot at all. you are just asking how i parent works or not.

here is first of all why i do what i do. i am a square in a hole. i have never fit in anywhere. i was too much of a rebel with too much out of the box thinking. i was raised where i didnt matter. what mattered was what my parents thought. i tried to stay an individual but it wasnt 'safe'. too much emotional torture (not saying my parents were bad but they were just doing what they had been taught to do). it was safer to deny myself and do what others said. so i am assuming from when i was a baby i gave up the battle. today i still struggle to figure out what my needs are. i am still afraid to spend time with myself doing deeper into what my opinions are what matters to me. i am afraid of meeting my true self. i struggle to keep a uncluttered house. i struggle to do housework. for instance my mom insisted i do the dishes right after dinner. i prefered to do it early in the morning and put them away before anyone got up (we did them by hand). i still remember the boiling rage.

my dd is also a square peg in a round hole. she is also v. independent. and i didnt want her to suffer my pain. even though i always knew my parents loved me - even with love i didnt want to be the authoratative figure. i did not want my daugh to do things because i said so. i wanted her to do things because she felt she needed to do it.

here is what i say to her everytime i ask her to do something - every single time (it is borrowed from another parent):

"please grant my request only if u can do it with a feeling of joy and only if it will make ur world more wonderful.

please do not grant my request if you have any sense of duty or obligation.

please do not grant my request if you would be doing so out of a fear of punishment or hope of reward."

i have been using this v. recently and now she parrots it with me - but u should see the look of sheer delight on her face.

does she do everything - no. do i expect her to do everything - no. do i have a problem with her saying no - no. because i find out the reason behind her no. what is she feelign and needing. and i understand and do it myself. it is a partnership. many times i dont even have to ask her anything. she does it herself. or she will herself volunteer mama my tummy hurts (i trust and believe her). can u do this for me or can i do this later. or mama i dont really feel like doing it now. the outdoors are calling me. (how do u say no to the call of the outdoors LOL). so i say oooh i like that. now the outdoors are calling me too. lets go out and play right now and then we'll come back and you can quickly finish it before we start dinner because i have to do a lot.

but the v. key is make sure you are truly giving them a choice. to take all manipulation out of your voice. they pick up on it.

when i do want something to be done i dont ask her. i explain to her why it has to be done. u drop juice on the carpet - there is no waiting. the panic in my voice sets her off to get the kitchen towel. no explanation needed.

i feel we truly are a team. i am also a single mom with just her and me in the house. she hates going to school but she says herself 'i understand i have to. neither you nor me have a choice in this.' and yet on her really low days i have let her play hookey. and she herself told me at the end of the day - i know mama i cant do this every day but it has been such a fun day. i really loved having a break from school.

and yet last week - she completely lost it and threw a huge tantrum kicking and hitting me. and i just lay on the bed quietly and held her. she fell asleep. she had been up late the night before and after school she was dead tired.

so shami in a sense i really welcome her no. it gives me a perspective to her world. sometimes she offers the no before even i ask her.

in my perspective we work as a team. i really really enjoy how we work together.

anything more i say would be i feel the words of a biased mom. but all my friends and her school teachers have always commented on how well behaved she is and how she always asks them and lets them know when she is having a problem with something. both her k and grade 1 teacher have told me when they talk to her they have to remind themselves they are talking to a child and not a grown up.

also one thing i have found helpful to both of us is me talking and explaining the why and using all those words. for me it helps me not to make it a demand. i did it from when she was a baby. she would go everywhere with me as i did my chores and i would explain why i was doing it. everytime i made just a one sentence request i noticed it came out as a demand. that was a quick check for me to realise i was taking out my frustration on my dd and just that realisation would calm me down.

3s and 4s were terrible for my dd. poor child she really struggled. i noticed the basis of her struggle was to figure out if she wanted to be babied or be a big girl. heck i made mistakes trying to figure out which ones she wanted to be at the moment and it would make her sooo mad. the way the struggle came out was thru her need for autonomy. sometimes she needed help with her shoes. sometimes she didnt. even as a 4 year old she has hours after the tantrum was over (i had forced something on her when it was a safety issue. i dont remember now what it was), after blaming me for doing something she didnt like, hitting me with hurtful words; screaming and crying and throwing up - much later she told me how i was right. how she knew at that time i was right but she didnt like she didnt get her own way and that the monster in her had to come out and she wanted to stop it but she couldnt. to me that was sooooo huge. and that moment so precious.

i dont know how much of who my dd is i can claim she is because of the way i raised her. she herself is a v. sensitive nurturing person always wanting to connect with people.

i carry a lot of pain from my childhood blaming others. i dont want her to do that. i want her to understand no one causes her pain except herself. and the way i parent is a tool by which she is responsible for her own feelings. by really connecting to the other people trying to figure out why they said what they did she recognises how much in pain they themselves are in and so not take it personally.

YIKES!!! this has become longer than i expected.
it sounds like a lovely relationship you have with your daughter. how wonderful!
stickywicket67 is offline  
Old 10-03-2008, 04:12 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: california
Posts: 1,089
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by DevaMajka View Post
The last two days with my ds is probably a good example of the different ways that being non-manipulative can go (because I try not to punish/reward/manipulate but I am quite fine with coercing and being "in charge").
Ds helped me clean the bathroom. Not just a little bit of wiping, he helped me with the tub, the counter, the sink, the mirror, the toilet, and the floor. And he really did help- he was really scrubbing and wiping, and doing his best to clean. He helped from 1 minute after I started, until the entire thing was totally clean. I didn't ask him to help, and didn't say anything to encourage him to stay longer than he wanted.
He also helped me with laundry, and actually folded a half a load all by himself (me just giving instructions).

Otoh, I asked him to pick up his toys yesterday and he didn't. And I got a tiny bit :. (I cleaned the whole floor the day before, and really was hoping it would stay nice for more than half a day). I told him that everything that I had to do myself was going "up high." He still chose not to help .
I was ok because instead of putting everything where it belongs, I put it all in a tote and put it away. Not my finest parenting moment, eh?

But I've been thinking recently that maybe it's just hard for him to pick up his toys (I always help). So we made a chore list for him, and he picked the chores. So if my need is to have help around the house, that would meet my need for help just as well as picking up toys, and it would be something that ds will be happier doing. maybe...we'll see...
right! i like this. i mean -you make compromises. i have a need for my house to be spotless but the reality is i also have a need and love for my husband and child so the house just won't be spotless. oh well. bin it all and move on.
my mom was pretty good about this kind of thing. she liked the living room tidy but we could pretty much have our own rooms as messy as we liked (no food). if jackets and books and toys were sitting around the living room for awhile she would get irritated with it but she'd simply say "hey kids, chuck you stuff in your room, would you?" we'd know that the living room was a mess and she was getting antsy with it. she was satisfied with the compromise and we didn't have power struggles over tidying up. i don't remember ever flat out saying "no" i mean, really, why would i?
stickywicket67 is offline  
Old 10-04-2008, 02:52 AM
 
Dandelionkid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,605
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post
hey shami - no you are not putting me on the spot at all. you are just asking how i parent works or not.

here is first of all why i do what i do. i am a square in a hole. i have never fit in anywhere. i was too much of a rebel with too much out of the box thinking. i was raised where i didnt matter. what mattered was what my parents thought. i tried to stay an individual but it wasnt 'safe'. too much emotional torture (not saying my parents were bad but they were just doing what they had been taught to do). it was safer to deny myself and do what others said. so i am assuming from when i was a baby i gave up the battle. today i still struggle to figure out what my needs are. i am still afraid to spend time with myself doing deeper into what my opinions are what matters to me. i am afraid of meeting my true self. i struggle to keep a uncluttered house. i struggle to do housework. for instance my mom insisted i do the dishes right after dinner. i prefered to do it early in the morning and put them away before anyone got up (we did them by hand). i still remember the boiling rage.

my dd is also a square peg in a round hole. she is also v. independent. and i didnt want her to suffer my pain. even though i always knew my parents loved me - even with love i didnt want to be the authoratative figure. i did not want my daugh to do things because i said so. i wanted her to do things because she felt she needed to do it.

here is what i say to her everytime i ask her to do something - every single time (it is borrowed from another parent):

"please grant my request only if u can do it with a feeling of joy and only if it will make ur world more wonderful.

please do not grant my request if you have any sense of duty or obligation.

please do not grant my request if you would be doing so out of a fear of punishment or hope of reward."

i have been using this v. recently and now she parrots it with me - but u should see the look of sheer delight on her face.

does she do everything - no. do i expect her to do everything - no. do i have a problem with her saying no - no. because i find out the reason behind her no. what is she feelign and needing. and i understand and do it myself. it is a partnership. many times i dont even have to ask her anything. she does it herself. or she will herself volunteer mama my tummy hurts (i trust and believe her). can u do this for me or can i do this later. or mama i dont really feel like doing it now. the outdoors are calling me. (how do u say no to the call of the outdoors LOL). so i say oooh i like that. now the outdoors are calling me too. lets go out and play right now and then we'll come back and you can quickly finish it before we start dinner because i have to do a lot.

but the v. key is make sure you are truly giving them a choice. to take all manipulation out of your voice. they pick up on it.

when i do want something to be done i dont ask her. i explain to her why it has to be done. u drop juice on the carpet - there is no waiting. the panic in my voice sets her off to get the kitchen towel. no explanation needed.

i feel we truly are a team. i am also a single mom with just her and me in the house. she hates going to school but she says herself 'i understand i have to. neither you nor me have a choice in this.' and yet on her really low days i have let her play hookey. and she herself told me at the end of the day - i know mama i cant do this every day but it has been such a fun day. i really loved having a break from school.

and yet last week - she completely lost it and threw a huge tantrum kicking and hitting me. and i just lay on the bed quietly and held her. she fell asleep. she had been up late the night before and after school she was dead tired.

so shami in a sense i really welcome her no. it gives me a perspective to her world. sometimes she offers the no before even i ask her.

in my perspective we work as a team. i really really enjoy how we work together.

anything more i say would be i feel the words of a biased mom. but all my friends and her school teachers have always commented on how well behaved she is and how she always asks them and lets them know when she is having a problem with something. both her k and grade 1 teacher have told me when they talk to her they have to remind themselves they are talking to a child and not a grown up.

also one thing i have found helpful to both of us is me talking and explaining the why and using all those words. for me it helps me not to make it a demand. i did it from when she was a baby. she would go everywhere with me as i did my chores and i would explain why i was doing it. everytime i made just a one sentence request i noticed it came out as a demand. that was a quick check for me to realise i was taking out my frustration on my dd and just that realisation would calm me down.

3s and 4s were terrible for my dd. poor child she really struggled. i noticed the basis of her struggle was to figure out if she wanted to be babied or be a big girl. heck i made mistakes trying to figure out which ones she wanted to be at the moment and it would make her sooo mad. the way the struggle came out was thru her need for autonomy. sometimes she needed help with her shoes. sometimes she didnt. even as a 4 year old she has hours after the tantrum was over (i had forced something on her when it was a safety issue. i dont remember now what it was), after blaming me for doing something she didnt like, hitting me with hurtful words; screaming and crying and throwing up - much later she told me how i was right. how she knew at that time i was right but she didnt like she didnt get her own way and that the monster in her had to come out and she wanted to stop it but she couldnt. to me that was sooooo huge. and that moment so precious.

i dont know how much of who my dd is i can claim she is because of the way i raised her. she herself is a v. sensitive nurturing person always wanting to connect with people.

i carry a lot of pain from my childhood blaming others. i dont want her to do that. i want her to understand no one causes her pain except herself. and the way i parent is a tool by which she is responsible for her own feelings. by really connecting to the other people trying to figure out why they said what they did she recognises how much in pain they themselves are in and so not take it personally.

YIKES!!! this has become longer than i expected.
I really like the way you and your dd relate. It had me thinking about the ways I use manipulation with my own 4 yr old dd and how I could stop doing this. My dd could handle all the words and explanations used in this approach. My 2 yr old ds, however, is not a word person and would not to well with long explanations. When I am being a "good" mom I usually use long explanations with dd and playful parenting with ds.
Disrespect is big to me though. I HATE making something for dd only to have her complain that it is not "big enough, small enough etc" In those moments I sometimes yell "I am so frustrated and resentful right now, I don't like doing things for you when all I hear are complaints!" Then sometimes I add "please stop complaining and tell me what you want a different way" Actually, I yell "Im getting frustrated, angry..." a lot when i need to blow off steam. I guess it does imply that she is the cause of my negative feelings and she needs to do something about them.
How do I express my anger honestly with no strings attached?
How did you handle the whining and complaining of the early years?
Dandelionkid is offline  
Old 10-05-2008, 02:04 AM
 
meemee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Norther California
Posts: 12,623
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dandelionkid View Post
How do I express my anger honestly with no strings attached?
How did you handle the whining and complaining of the early years?
with me its hitting. and turns me into a yeller. so i make mistakes a lot.

here is what i did when hitting was becoming too much for me. (she had stopped and it started again when she started K - and there was a lot of challenging stuff happening in our personal life - so i could understand where her frustration was coming from). the first thing i did was take a timeout myself. i would tell her i need to put some distance between us otherwise i would start yelling. and i would go into the bathroom and crib to myself. just talk in my head of all the frustration. and spending that energy i was able to come back - by which time my dd had lost her steam too.

one time i yelled at her telling her 'you make me so mad and frustrated. you are just not listening to me.' and she told me - mom why dont u first see what is going on in ur life that is making you angry. are u truly angry with me. and whooosh all my anger just fizzled out. she was right. her friend had given her the talk on we being responsible for our emotions and no one else.

but still the hitting didnt stop. till one day i sat with her after she had cried and we were cuddling and i told her how much her hitting and kickign brought up the nightmare i went thru when i was slapped by my dad. i told her he didnt really beat me up but once in a rare while he would slap me (esp. when he quit ciggarettes cold turkey) that hurt more emotionally rather than physically. and slowly the hitting stopped.

the thing again is not the words that you use but the energy that u use. the intonation in the voice. when you see the anger rising just tell her you need some space to let the anger out. she will recognise that hey mommy feels the same way - and a good way of handling it. i have never hidden my emotions from my dd - anger, sadness or frustration or even tears.

aaaaah the whining. warning. i might not have any good suggestions because i have a high tolerance of whining and complaining. plus i noticed it was her way of asserting autonomy. perhaps she wasnt getting enough recognition that she plays a part in the family too. so i would suggest chores she could do. even if she wasnt confident i would encourage her to do it saying if she failed i would help her clean up or take care of the result.

but most of the 'bad' behaviour i notice always happen around 4 things. growth spurt. not enough food in the belly. not enough sleep. or not enough running around. even at 6 those are still v. v. important. whenever she threw a huge tantrum - a major one - from 18 months to now - one of those factors was responsible.

plus my motivation itself. i have mental illness on both sides of her family. my dd is v. independent and v. sensitive and a true free spirit. having lost my only sibling to suicide my key aim from when i was pregnant was to make sure emotionally i was there for my dd. so my tolerance level was v. v. high. plus i have noticed how exh's childhood totally messed up his life.

gotta run. put child to bed. hope this helps.

 treehugger.gif Co-parent, joy.gifcold.gifbrand new homeschooling middle schoolerjoy.gif, and an attackcat.gif 
meemee is offline  
Old 10-05-2008, 02:16 AM
 
Dandelionkid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,605
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post
with me its hitting. and turns me into a yeller. so i make mistakes a lot.

here is what i did when hitting was becoming too much for me. (she had stopped and it started again when she started K - and there was a lot of challenging stuff happening in our personal life - so i could understand where her frustration was coming from). the first thing i did was take a timeout myself. i would tell her i need to put some distance between us otherwise i would start yelling. and i would go into the bathroom and crib to myself. just talk in my head of all the frustration. and spending that energy i was able to come back - by which time my dd had lost her steam too.

one time i yelled at her telling her 'you make me so mad and frustrated. you are just not listening to me.' and she told me - mom why dont u first see what is going on in ur life that is making you angry. are u truly angry with me. and whooosh all my anger just fizzled out. she was right. her friend had given her the talk on we being responsible for our emotions and no one else.

but still the hitting didnt stop. till one day i sat with her after she had cried and we were cuddling and i told her how much her hitting and kickign brought up the nightmare i went thru when i was slapped by my dad. i told her he didnt really beat me up but once in a rare while he would slap me (esp. when he quit ciggarettes cold turkey) that hurt more emotionally rather than physically. and slowly the hitting stopped.

the thing again is not the words that you use but the energy that u use. the intonation in the voice. when you see the anger rising just tell her you need some space to let the anger out. she will recognise that hey mommy feels the same way - and a good way of handling it. i have never hidden my emotions from my dd - anger, sadness or frustration or even tears.

aaaaah the whining. warning. i might not have any good suggestions because i have a high tolerance of whining and complaining. plus i noticed it was her way of asserting autonomy. perhaps she wasnt getting enough recognition that she plays a part in the family too. so i would suggest chores she could do. even if she wasnt confident i would encourage her to do it saying if she failed i would help her clean up or take care of the result.

but most of the 'bad' behaviour i notice always happen around 4 things. growth spurt. not enough food in the belly. not enough sleep. or not enough running around. even at 6 those are still v. v. important. whenever she threw a huge tantrum - a major one - from 18 months to now - one of those factors was responsible.

plus my motivation itself. i have mental illness on both sides of her family. my dd is v. independent and v. sensitive and a true free spirit. having lost my only sibling to suicide my key aim from when i was pregnant was to make sure emotionally i was there for my dd. so my tolerance level was v. v. high. plus i have noticed how exh's childhood totally messed up his life.

gotta run. put child to bed. hope this helps.
Thanks, You've given me some good things to think about- I really appreciate the response.
Dandelionkid is offline  
Old 10-05-2008, 01:04 PM
 
North_Of_60's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Beautiful British Columbia
Posts: 7,108
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

"please grant my request only if u can do it with a feeling of joy and only if it will make ur world more wonderful.

please do not grant my request if you have any sense of duty or obligation.

please do not grant my request if you would be doing so out of a fear of punishment or hope of reward."
And to me, that is the epitome of passive aggressive manipulation. I cannot ever imagine saying that to anyone. Child or adult. If an adult said that to me I'd probably stop dead in my tracks out of confusion. First, I'd have to interpret it. It's clear that someone wants me to do something, but whether they truly mean I do it for my own reasons, or whether they're using that as a leveraging tool is unclear. I'd take it as passive aggression, which is not something that gets me to do stuff.

I know modeling behavior is a big thing here, and I'm curious to know what you think you're modeling by talking like that? To me it models indecisiveness - you want help but you're too afraid to just ask for it. Fear of rejection - it seems like a buffer because asking a question and having "no" be the response seems undesirable so the question is phrased in a convoluted way.

And the general message it sends is one of self absorption. The only reason one should ever help others is because it gives themselves a sense of joy? I don't understand the merits of such self serving motives. There's really only two reasons that people help others - because they know it will be appreciated, which is a selfless motive. Or because they receive internal gratification, with is a self serving motive. Both are totally fine, but I think the key is striking a balance between the two. I would not want my child to do things ONLY to serve others any more than I want her to do things ONLY to serve herself.

Frankenstein never scared me. Marsupials do. Because they're FAST.
North_Of_60 is offline  
Old 10-05-2008, 04:24 PM
 
lasciate's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,085
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Of_60 View Post
And to me, that is the epitome of passive aggressive manipulation. I cannot ever imagine saying that to anyone. Child or adult. If an adult said that to me I'd probably stop dead in my tracks out of confusion. First, I'd have to interpret it. It's clear that someone wants me to do something, but whether they truly mean I do it for my own reasons, or whether they're using that as a leveraging tool is unclear. I'd take it as passive aggression, which is not something that gets me to do stuff.

I know modeling behavior is a big thing here, and I'm curious to know what you think you're modeling by talking like that? To me it models indecisiveness - you want help but you're too afraid to just ask for it. Fear of rejection - it seems like a buffer because asking a question and having "no" be the response seems undesirable so the question is phrased in a convoluted way.

And the general message it sends is one of self absorption. The only reason one should ever help others is because it gives themselves a sense of joy? I don't understand the merits of such self serving motives. There's really only two reasons that people help others - because they know it will be appreciated, which is a selfless motive. Or because they receive internal gratification, with is a self serving motive. Both are totally fine, but I think the key is striking a balance between the two. I would not want my child to do things ONLY to serve others any more than I want her to do things ONLY to serve herself.
:
lasciate is offline  
Old 10-05-2008, 04:55 PM
 
DevaMajka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Burnaby, BC
Posts: 10,344
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I actually do that with my dp. I ask him if doing x for me would bring him "great joy" (ok, I say it that way because it's funny to me). But I really mean it- I only want him to do something for me because he wants to, not because he feels like he "has" to because I asked.
If he says "not really" that's totally fine with me (maybe that's the biggest point of it- that there really is no fear of unhappiness in any way as a result of not doing it). But sometimes he says it would, and he does it. I think that doing something nice for others does sometimes bring people joy.

Becky, partner to Teague, SAHM to Keagan (7yo), Jonah (2yo)
 

DevaMajka is offline  
Old 10-05-2008, 06:01 PM
 
popsicle sticks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 45
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm fine with my kids doing something just because I told them it needs to be done. The short term goal, the practical priority, is the task at hand. I don't think too much about their motives, because how can I really know them for sure? I'm happy to explain why they're told to do it, I can help make it more fun, and they don't have to pretend they are happy to do it or even hide that they don't want to.

Quote:
How do I express my anger honestly with no strings attached?
How did you handle the whining and complaining of the early years?
I'm careful to be honest about how I feel, but I try not to word anything or act in a way that would imply that my feelings are someone else's fault. Let's say my child breaks something. The object is now broken and that is his doing, not that I'm upset about it. He can focus on cleaning up, trying to fix the item, or whatever the situation calls for because that is what you do when you break something...he doesn't need to try to manage or fix my emotions for me.

As for whining and complaining, I might help the child express how he's feeling instead or say yes I understand you're feeling ____. That seems to have helped in the long term. Sometimes it seems like they just have to complain...I guess I do that too sometimes.
popsicle sticks is offline  
Old 10-05-2008, 06:20 PM
 
North_Of_60's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Beautiful British Columbia
Posts: 7,108
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by DevaMajka View Post
I think that doing something nice for others does sometimes bring people joy.
Sure it does. But is that really the only reason you should help others? To me that implies that a sense of obligation is a bad thing. I think learning about obligations is important.

Frankenstein never scared me. Marsupials do. Because they're FAST.
North_Of_60 is offline  
Old 10-05-2008, 06:52 PM
 
DevaMajka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Burnaby, BC
Posts: 10,344
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Oh, yeah. I was just saying that saying something like that doesn't automatically make it manipulative.
I do insist that ds do certain things, so I'm not arguing against that.

Becky, partner to Teague, SAHM to Keagan (7yo), Jonah (2yo)
 

DevaMajka 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