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#181 of 200 Old 01-04-2007, 07:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by folkypoet View Post
I'd have guessed the same thing before it happened to us. If you're familiar with rapid cycling bipolar, that will give you a good idea of what my son was like. He "cycled" several times a day, going from full-tilt violent rage to calm, sweet, gentle and loving (and vice versa) in a matter of seconds. The smallest things would set him off. When he was raging, there was no way to calm him down.

Even on a smaller scale, I know that most children save their worst moments for the people they feel closest to. Makes sense, really. I know I put on a happy face when I'm out in the world. I really only express my true feelings to close family and friends....
It is like she is two different kids. Sometimes she's calm and nice and then it's like a switch was flipped and she rages and starts screaming and even crawling on the floor. She sometimes reminds me of a wild animal. Really.

So I should be flattered that she misbehaves around me?!
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#182 of 200 Old 01-04-2007, 07:31 PM
 
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It might explain why she did such an amazing job of accepting your child rather than focusing on his behaviors. (I peeked at the other thread ) A couple of good reads would be Unconditional Parenting and the Out of Sync child.
This is my last post in this thread and it's just to explain my son's behavior struggles since you mentioned them over here.

Since my son has a mild autism spectrum disorder and the often co-occuring sensory integration issues, I've read the Out of Sync Child. It's a great book.

I think I'd have less of a problem with all this if my friend acknowledged the problem and was trying to do something about it. When I went through this when my son was 2-4, I was busting my butt to try to figure out what was going on and to get help. I didn't want people to avoid us. I was proactive in getting him help early. And it worked! He's a very well-behaved kid, and he's happier because he has more self-control and self-understanding.

I don't just let him be rude and out of control and expect the world to accept him no matter what. Unconditional acceptance from everyone is a great ideal, but it's not realistic. We, as mothers, should love and accept our kids no matter what. But that doesn't mean we don't guide them, correct them, or get them the help they need.
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#183 of 200 Old 01-04-2007, 09:58 PM
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Ideally, that would be the case. Sometimes parents don't allow their kids to experience natural consequences though.

We went to the mall a few weeks ago, and my friend's above mentioned daughter was acting up and refusing to get on the elevator. (She'd been misbehaving most of our time at the mall.) My friend's other daughter asked if they could come to our house to play. I seriously didn't want the oldest daughter to come over. I'd had enough of her. I thought I'd let her know that I didn't like her behavior-you know, natural consequences. I said to her mom, "Well, you can always have your husband come and pick up M and the rest of you can come over-since she's having a hard time." Apparently, M cried and my friend was mad at me. So I pretended I was just joking and apologized... I wimped out.

Later, I realized that her mom stopped her from experiencing the natural consequences of her behavior. I think her daughter needs some social disapproval when she acts like a 3 year old! This is such a big problem for me that I think I need my own thread on how to deal with it.
Well, hey -- you admitted you wimped out...obviously, the solution is not to. If anyone knows how to do that politely, um...would you let me know too??
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#184 of 200 Old 01-04-2007, 10:06 PM
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I think that it would not be rude if the person took responsibility for her own reactions. "I'm having a hard time with you not getting in the elevator.." or whatever. I guess I'm thinking that someone who says an 8 year old acts like a 3 year old and thinks of her as a brat may not have come at this "problem solving" with a kind and warm spirit.

But I'm willing to believe that I've misjudged the situation.
With all due respect, I have many objections -- ethical and practical both -- to this suggestion.

For one thing, the problem is definitely not with the adult in the case we're speaking about. The problem is not with the adult's reactions, which are normal and proportionate. The problem is with the child's behavior, and the far greater priority is for the child to take responsibility for his or her own actions.

Again with all due respect, I strongly believe that other people taking responsibility for a problem that is, in fact, caused by the child, is one strong reason why many children (and far too many adults) believe that nothing is their fault; they are never to blame; it's always someone else's problem.

I agree that it is more "polite," but I think there is a point at which politeness needs to be sacrificed in favor of honesty.

Edited to add: OBVIOUSLY, before anyone bothers to break out their portable flamethrower, the same standard of behavior one would expect of an 8-year-old is not the same as the standard of behavior one would expect of a much younger child. I do believe, however, that 8 years old is abundantly old enough to demonstrate enough empathy and self-control to refrain from a meltdown during her sister's birthday because she's not the center of attention. For what it's worth, I think dietary causes are worth looking into and trying, but bottom line, the child also needs to be given responsibility for her own choices rather than having every one of her destructive, disruptive, and ultimately self-centered behaviors chalked up to too much soy, too much sugar, or even lack of sympathy. I notice that even when the mother demonstrated sympathy, this gesture did nothing to ameliorate the behavior.

Could it be that she's just indulged to the point of believing that she is the only one who matters? In other words, could it be that she is spoiled? Can we float this idea for even one second without verbally eviscerating me for even daring to suggest this as an option?
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#185 of 200 Old 01-04-2007, 10:44 PM
 
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Can we float this idea for even one second without verbally eviscerating me for even daring to suggest this as an option?
My intent in answering the previous poster was to be of help. She has moved her discussion off this forum to the special needs forum to get more ideas. I hope that she gets some great ones to build her friendship.

I'm not in the habit of verbally eviscerating people. I don't feel like I have any helpful answer to your post, so I wish you peace.
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#186 of 200 Old 01-04-2007, 10:50 PM
 
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--(and far too many adults) believe that nothing is their fault; they are never to blame; it's always someone else's problem.--


Please. Do not get me started. I am as open and accepting as they come, but I can't believe how many people in my real life explain away horrible behaviors..."He's so tired. I am so sorry he threw that big rock at the dog's head! He didn't get any protein today!"

Even a child murder can can be explained away these days. "She was sooooooooo tired".
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#187 of 200 Old 01-04-2007, 11:01 PM
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--(and far too many adults) believe that nothing is their fault; they are never to blame; it's always someone else's problem.--


Please. Do not get me started. I am as open and accepting as they come, but I can't believe how many people in my real life explain away horrible behaviors..."He's so tired. I am so sorry he threw that big rock at the dog's head! He didn't get any protein today!"

Even a child murder can can be explained away these days. "She was sooooooooo tired".
I know this dates me big-time, but I'm reminded of the famous "Twinkie defense."
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#188 of 200 Old 01-04-2007, 11:22 PM
 
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....8 years old is abundantly old enough to demonstrate enough empathy and self-control to refrain from a meltdown during her sister's birthday because she's not the center of attention. For what it's worth, I think dietary causes are worth looking into and trying, but bottom line, the child also needs to be given responsibility for her own choices rather than having every one of her destructive, disruptive, and ultimately self-centered behaviors chalked up to too much soy, too much sugar, or even lack of sympathy.
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#189 of 200 Old 01-04-2007, 11:32 PM
 
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Meg Murray. I just realized you used a semicolon correctly. : So few, so few...
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#190 of 200 Old 01-04-2007, 11:38 PM
 
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#191 of 200 Old 01-05-2007, 12:03 AM
 
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Is this thread still about how horribly rude radically unschooled children are, or has it just become a festival to discuss child rearing practices in general of which we don't approve?

We seemed to have moved onto child murder and the twinkie defense (which was, by the way, a defense introduced and accepted by the California courts for killing a gay San Francisco city supervisor, Harvey Milk.)
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#192 of 200 Old 01-05-2007, 12:10 AM
 
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Word association does have it's problems.

I often chuckle at how divergent threads can get at times.

Btw, not a single soul said that 'all unschooled children are horrible and rude'. I think it kind of went towards parents not parenting. Consensual or not.

And. Child -murder is not the same as child murder-er...in case anyone was confusion on that particular set of words.

What are we talking about again?
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#193 of 200 Old 01-05-2007, 12:43 AM
 
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Man, y'all are a lot more patient than me! I'm more like, "Get in the carseat now! We're in a hurry!"
-me too.
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#195 of 200 Old 01-05-2007, 10:06 AM
 
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For one thing, the problem is definitely not with the adult in the case we're speaking about. The problem is not with the adult's reactions, which are normal and proportionate. The problem is with the child's behavior, and the far greater priority is for the child to take responsibility for his or her own actions.

Again with all due respect, I strongly believe that other people taking responsibility for a problem that is, in fact, caused by the child, is one strong reason why many children (and far too many adults) believe that nothing is their fault; they are never to blame; it's always someone else's problem.

I agree that it is more "polite," but I think there is a point at which politeness needs to be sacrificed in favor of honesty.

Could it be that she's just indulged to the point of believing that she is the only one who matters? In other words, could it be that she is spoiled?

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#196 of 200 Old 01-05-2007, 03:24 PM
 
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Meg Murry, I won't dwell on the comment scoffing food allergies, as I'm sure you haven't lived through the same circumstances I have. In my son's case, however, the difficulties he experienced COULD all be written off to soy. He had no desire to act that way. Raging made him feel awful and sick - and guilty afterwards. Cycling several times each day took a lot out of him. I understand that it's hard for outsiders to grasp without seeing it, but the change was so obvious, so night-and-day, so spectacular, that I will never discount the power that a food allergy/aversion can have over a person.

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Could it be that she's just indulged to the point of believing that she is the only one who matters? In other words, could it be that she is spoiled? Can we float this idea for even one second without verbally eviscerating me for even daring to suggest this as an option?
Oompa Loompa doompety doo
I've got another puzzle for you
Oompa Loompa doompety dee
If you are wise you'll listen to me

Who do you blame when your kid is a brat,
Pampered and spoiled like a Siamese cat?
Blaming the kids is a lie and a shame.
You know exactly who's to blame:
The mother and the father.

Even if "spoiling" was the case (and I'm not certain that my definition of the word lines up with the mainstream definition, at all), it's still something that, I believe, the friend should have taken up with the mother - if indeed she felt she had to address the issue, at all (I'm not sure I would have).

And, the girl was still an upset little kiddo, whether her reasons were justified in an adult's eyes, or not. She was still struggling, and at the age of eight, little ones often need help getting through the rough spots and figuring out the appropriate ways to express what they're going through. Again, I'm not saying she wasn't difficult to be around, and I'm sure she made those near her want to tear their hair out, but blame and shame, "natural consequences" (thought out and imposed as "natural consequences" by an adult with an agenda), exclusion and being ignored aren't going to help any child one bit.

Maybe such tactics make sense logically, but they certainly don't emotionally. They're just going to make a struggling little girl feel alone and unloved. Instead, doing something like the following would have made a lot more sense:

1. Sitting down with the child, away from the other children, and talking through what she was feeling
2. Letting her know she understood that watching another child get presents, go on outings and have a party can be difficult
3. Suggesting something that she would enjoy, like getting ice cream at her favorite place on the way home or planning a night out with mom later in the week
4. Discussing her actions - how they made others feel, how the mother understood why she was having a tough time, but that it wasn't appropriate to have a meltdown in the mall....

These are all things that get to the heart of the problem and let the child know there's someone who loves and understands her and who wants the best for her. Ignoring or excluding her is just going to make things worse.

My understanding is that the mother perhaps didn't do this? And has a history of ignoring the girl's problems and feelings - at least in the presence of the friend? If I were the friend, and I felt the urge to bring up the situation, this is most likely the point on which I would focus.

-Shana
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#197 of 200 Old 01-05-2007, 07:36 PM
 
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I said to her mom, "Well, you can always have your husband come and pick up M and the rest of you can come over-since she's having a hard time."
Just a clarification-I did address the mom (in hearing distance of the daughter.)

Some parents prefer that you talk to them about their child's behavior. I do. Apparently, some parents prefer that you talk directly to their child. I talked to my friend today and she said she would have preferred that I'd told her daughter that when she's behaving like that, I don't want to be around her. In my opinion, that's even more blunt than what I said.
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#198 of 200 Old 01-05-2007, 08:36 PM
 
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Also, I may allow more to happen socially with my children than other parents are comfortable with. If the children are argueing, it's not my job to work out thier problems. I'll sit and watch. Then, sometimes, I'll see another adult come in to solve the problem and it really irks me. It's as if they can't let the kids work it out and they think that I'm not doing my job by letting them figure it out. Not only that, but now my child is being ganged up on by the child's caretaker as well as the child. Then, I come over to assure egality. I'd never allow hitting, but sharing problems, negotiating and arguing are ok. I do not want my children to be rude, but I want them to learn and practicing asserting themselves and standing up for themselves.
Hey Lisa,
Without knowing ages or an exact situation, it's going to be hard for me to get a handle on what exactly you're describing. I want to answer this post though, and play devil's advocate a little bit. It jumped out at me, because I was a timid, passive, scared kid who got bullied a lot. The school I went to had this sort of attitude, that kids should work out their own problems. I found that to be very damaging to me.

Here's my feeling: I know adults who are pretty much incapable of solving problems in nonviolent ways. I would go so far as to say that the majority of people I have met are terrible communicators, in the sense that they cannot have a disagreement without taking things personally, having their feelings hurt, attacking each other, refusing to listen to the other person, refusing to admit that the other person's position is valid, and so forth. Many of these adults could benefit from having a mediator help them through their conflicts.

As far as kids go, I feel that the best outcome I could imagine for my children would be that they enter adulthood knowing how to communicate and solve problems in positive, nonviolent ways. This is a skill which can be challenging to learn. I believe that the best way to learn this skill is through modeling. Therefore, when I see my children involved in a conflict, I might listen for a minute to see where it's going, but if I feel that they could benefit from some mediation, I'm going to jump in.

I will not jump in with a "good grief, where's this kid's parents??" sort of attitude, I'm going to treat all parties involved in as respectful a way as I can. I also will not jump in and say "you guys need to do x, y, z to solve this problem." Instead, I will help everyone say what they need to say and help them to articulate what is going on. Usually what happens is that all of a sudden they stop being angry, and think of their own solution. They are usually happier afterwards.
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#199 of 200 Old 01-05-2007, 08:42 PM
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Meg Murry, I won't dwell on the comment scoffing food allergies,
I was looking at food allergies with some degree of skepticism, I freely admit, but I also did say, if you'll look back, that I thought food allergies should be looked into as a cause. I'm not dismissing them out of hand; I do, however, think that they're overused as a reason for behavior -- often falsely. Your situation with your son is obviously different.
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Even if "spoiling" was the case (and I'm not certain that my definition of the word lines up with the mainstream definition, at all), it's still something that, I believe, the friend should have taken up with the mother - if indeed she felt she had to address the issue, at all (I'm not sure I would have).

And, the girl was still an upset little kiddo, whether her reasons were justified in an adult's eyes, or not. She was still struggling, and at the age of eight, little ones often need help getting through the rough spots and figuring out the appropriate ways to express what they're going through. Again, I'm not saying she wasn't difficult to be around, and I'm sure she made those near her want to tear their hair out, but blame and shame, "natural consequences" (thought out and imposed as "natural consequences" by an adult with an agenda), exclusion and being ignored aren't going to help any child one bit.
I'm not sure why thinking out a consequence somehow invalidates it as natural, and I'm not sure why coming from an adult makes it invalid either. I honestly do believe that the natural consequence for this girl's behavior would be exclusion -- it's far more appropriate and logical a response than, say, spanking her. Sorry you apparently don't agree, but I think this is a fairly realistic, real-world response to behavior of the type described by the OP.
[/quote]
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#200 of 200 Old 01-05-2007, 09:07 PM
 
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Just a clarification-I did address the mom (in hearing distance of the daughter.)

Some parents prefer that you talk to them about their child's behavior. I do. Apparently, some parents prefer that you talk directly to their child. I talked to my friend today and she said she would have preferred that I'd told her daughter that when she's behaving like that, I don't want to be around her. In my opinion, that's even more blunt than what I said.
I'm so glad you had a chance to talk to your friend about it!
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