My ds's spit obsession - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-03-2010, 11:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It's making me crazy. He swishes spit between his teeth and sometimes spits on the floor. I don't know how to make him stop and the sound of his spit is making me ill not to mention the spit on the floor. I thought 5 was supposed to get easier. He's, and please don't flame me for this, really annoying. I love him but this spit thing and his inability to listen to anything I say is getting to me. I'm embarrassed in public and lately he's been getting "the look" from strangers. Patience is becoming so hard lately. Advice, encouragement needed.
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Old 11-04-2010, 05:21 AM
 
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I haven't BTDT yet but can you give him a *safe* place to spit (sink, toilet, grass, ect)? It is really gross and would proabably even make me a little nauseous but he'll probably get bored of it eventually and stop. In the meantime keeping the spit contained to easy-to-clean areas could help preserve your sanity while giving him an safe outlet to continue doing whatever developmental thing would compel him to want to spit...

This Mommy and Military Daddy are loving their son.
DS born Dec 2010 Pregnant with #2, having another !
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Old 11-04-2010, 06:17 AM
 
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Along with the first advice - giving him a place to spit - have you also tried giving him the responsibility of cleaning it up? If it happens in public, maybe you could take him up to a stranger (if it happens in a store, go to an attendant) and ask them what they think about it and letting him hear what they have to say? Then maybe he sees it's not "just mommy". Just suggestions, I honestly don't know if it'll work or not.

For public misbehaviour, having other people gently express their displeasure to my children helped to get them to curb it - in public. (Got lucky, because it has only been child-friendly people, so far, who understand that the child isn't just 'being bad' and knew HOW to talk to them.)

My own mother, when I was little, would bring me right up to a clerk and ask them straight out what they thought about my misbehaviour and encouraged them to talk to ME, directly, about it. Some times, they caught RIGHT on and went with it without mom needing to explain what her intentions were.

As for saliva swishing, are there any times when he doesn't do it?


Honestly, when it comes to a child refusing to listen to mom, I haven't figured out what to do, myself. (Particularly at home.)
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Old 11-04-2010, 02:06 PM
 
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Does your son have any kind of diagnosis? My ASD son had a thing with spitting for quite a while, and it drove us INSANE.

Because the reason he's spitting is most likely something sensory related, the best thing to try is to replace it with a socially acceptable behavior, like chewing on ice, sucking on a lollipop, or drinking something thick through a straw. You might also try chewelry.

We told him he could:

--spit in the sink, toilet or in a tissue
--spit outside
--ask for a lollipop or a piece of gum

Whenever we saw him spitting or about to spit, we'd say "oh, do you need a tissue?" or "Spit stays in your mouth." I wish I could tell you we had great success; the only thing that really worked was time.
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Old 11-04-2010, 10:11 PM
 
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We have a 4 yo dd who daddy taught to spit at 2 against my wishes...(lol) she now obsessively loves to spit. We have taught her to spit in the toliet or outside when it won't get on someone....and that we don't do it around other people because its gross and some people are offended by it.
My dd is 4 and is at a stage of awareness and can become easily humiliated so we don't make a big deal but will quietly lean down and speak with her about things. I would never publically embarass my child to get a point across. I want her to choose to act properly because she understands that its the right thing to do not because other people feel its right (peer pressure).There are generally good reasons behind my "rules" and limits. So spitting isn't allowed in the house/other indoor places because it has a place it can go thats not messy and require cleaning, just like boogers, in toliets/tissues etc. If she understands the reason behind things she generally will choose to behave properly, sometimes she forgets and well so do I! ( yes I have been known to speed...). Cleaning up after herself when she would spit in the house or ahem in the car a few times helped her understand its no fun to have to do that so she is really good about following the "spitting rules"
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Old 11-04-2010, 10:46 PM
 
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I assume that's meant at me and I have to ask: Why is it wrong to spit around other people/public places/in apartments or houses? Why?

Because of 'peer pressure' AKA society doesn't appreciate it, right?
(What animal mother has a problem with their babies spitting, hmm?)

It's not about humiliation, it's about SHOWING her (when reasoning won't work) that other people DON'T like it.

If, however, a child is super-sensitive, then care should be taken and humiliation ought to be avoided, if possible. Then a professional might need to be consulted.

I still don't see any humiliation in having a child clean up his own messes, when he is CAPABLE of doing so (my 3-year-old can wipe up his own spit if I just provide him with the tissue).

Today, my 4 year old daughter 'took a drink of water', then SPAT it on the floor (at least twice that I'm aware of). I turned to her when I caught the second incident and told her STRAIGHT out that SHE would now have to clean it up and explained to her what to use and where to put it afterwards - she was, actually, very proud to do the job (I hadn't expected this) and promised she would NOT do it again (I believe she MEANT it, but.... we'll see). Then, my son wanted to clean up too (I'm NOT at all for child-workers, but the kitchen floor was wiped 'clean' with papertowels! - A bit of an exaggeration since they weren't wet nor was there any soap of any kind, but... it was cute, nonetheless, how they were totally proud of themselves afterwards).

Just mean, I went through this... sorta... it was water, not saliva.. but....


Or.... maybe I'm wrong and should just keep my mouth.... hands? shut?
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Old 11-05-2010, 11:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for your replies mamas! I told him that he could spit in the toilet or the grass but everything else is off limits. We'll see how it goes. I appreciate your wisdom.
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