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#61 of 116 Old 03-14-2005, 11:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Denise K
That's funny. That was my question. Today DS knocked over or grabbed and shoved his best friend four or 5 times while they were playing. I am trying to figure out how to play with this--we do talk about it, and do conflict management at the time..... One thing I do remember from the book is that kids benefit from being able to act out that aggressive rough stuff with parents, that it helps them figure it out--like wrestling, etc. So I can keep that up. Maybe we should wrestle before his friends come over. But I am wanting ideas too....

This is an issue with us, too (ds is 3 1/2). He shouts and yells at anybody who comes near me to say hello or starts up a conversation with me. It is stressing me out, along with his myriad fears and his unhappiness at preschool.... Anyways, reading along here, I just realized that maybe one of his favorite games lately is actually helping him work out some of this stuff (but I don't understand how it could work it ALL out...):

He comes running toward me on the bed and I surprise him by pushing him backwards onto a stack of pillows. I shove him pretty hard, actually, and he goes "poof" onto the pillows, cracking up, I mean completely cracking up. I always surprise him with WHEN I do the shove, sometimes right away, sometimes I wait until right before he runs into me. He loves it.

Sigh...but I am just overwhelmed by his well of emotions lately...so much is going on in his life - new baby, preschool fears, monster fears, being-alone-in-a-room fears, my husband travels a lot, refusal to do anything himself or believe he can do anything himself - I just don't know where to begin helping him heal. He is getting more and more angry and isolated. I've got to get into the silly play again b/c it has worked before - thanks for the inspiration here.
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#62 of 116 Old 03-15-2005, 05:50 PM
 
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Hey everyone,
I love hearing all the questions and comments being passed around here. It helps give me ideas!

Thank you to both Denise K and Embee for responding to my bedtime/naptime challenges. My dd still loves to play that she's putting me to bed and she's so patient with me. As for our other "issue" I've pretty much decided to completely disengage from food struggles. I put food on her plate and she can eat or not. I don't say anything prompting her to eat. It just seemed to fuel her resistance. I am concerned about her vegetable intake though. But when we pretend to cook and eat she always suggests wonderful dinners. If I pretend not to like it she'll just keep making me something else.

When I play 1-1, I mostly just try to join her activities and usually don't try to work on anything. That alone is so helpful!
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#63 of 116 Old 03-15-2005, 11:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by charmarty
sooo i got a bit through the book and thought..gee? what is the big fuss about????? I am not seeing it here.

TEHN i realized it was the wrong Author!

I have the RIGHT book now and am slowly plowing throught it.
We are really facing some challenges here and I am looking forward to applying the info in the book to us.
I was curious about this "other" Playful Parenting and so ordered it for a few cents. Um, well... not really my bag baby. Two very different books, indeed. Glad you found the right one. Happy reading!

Em 43 - Wife to hubby Mom to DS born: Jan. '01
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#64 of 116 Old 03-16-2005, 12:00 AM
 
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Originally Posted by sphinx
Okay this is going to sound stupid, but I think i need help with this. I'm reading and absolutely loving this book, and want so much to implement it with my very angry and sad 5 1/2 year old... but it's not working! Maybe I don't take the play in the right direction, or something. I can't pinpoint exactly how/why I'm failing at it, but it's like, it's hard to think of what to say or do, and dd doesn't really laugh and get the energy out, she kind of just half smiles or goes along with it, but her anger still remains.

For instance: yesterday she got upset because her friend had to go home, and she blamed it on me and hit me and called me stupid. I told her she could pretend to hit and kick me, but not do it for real. I held my hands out so she could punch them and she did that for awhile but it didn't seem satisfying for her. So then I had her and her friend pretend to stomp my feet and I was dramatically screaming owww and pretending to cry. The friend laughed but my dd didn't - and she really wanted to stomp and hurt me. She was air-kicking me and I kept saying "thanks! I love you too!" (not being sarcastic - but maybe she thought I was being?) and trying to give her hugs which she vehemently rejected. Dd hits and kicks and screams horrible things at me on a daily basis and I've been trying to find some ground for negotiation for months now - i really think the playful concept could be the way out of this cycle we're in. After the friend left, I asked dd what would help her when she feels angry like that - her answer was "if you would let me hit, kick, pinch and punch you!" I said well you can't do it for real, but let's pretend. I said we can do the kicking dance, or I can hold a pillow right in front of me and you can punch & kick it. She screamed "No! That is not good enough! I want to really do it!" And walked away and sulked.

What would you do?

Dr. Cohen would say that these kinds of things are a simple (or not so simple) lack of connection between parents and child. Indeed, you're right on to understand that your DD needs an outlet, but she may be too young to be able to grasp such an outright question. I'm not sure how this might work for you, but my only advice is to simply sit down and play... stop everything, focus on her, play what she wants to play and play it up as best you can. Follow her lead, see where she takes you. If it's into the world of pretend, pretend along with her, be what she wants you to be... kids are amazing at knowing where they need to go to work something through. They need us to be tuned in to now only see it, but to play along.

I wonder rather than asking her point blank what she needs (she may not be able to articulate it and the question alone could be confusing and scary), make a point to join her in play after her friend goes home. She won't be as sad for her friend leaving if she knows mom is ready to play for a spell afterward... a transition if you will. My DS often times seeks out recconection with me after a friend leaves.

I wish I had more time. Perhaps if you could give me some hints as to the kind of play your DD likes, I can help you find ways to join in with her. And don't worry! This does get easier once you get the hang of how to join in. It's not easy at first, and even now I've been doing this awhile and I have awful days where I can't find the formula... chances are I'd just do better to let him boss me around *KINGLY STYLE* as we call it. Whenever DS needs some power in his life, this is the game we play. It's OH SO HELPFUL!

The best,
Em

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#65 of 116 Old 03-16-2005, 02:41 AM
 
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My Dd loves physical, rough play and it's not my thing. Through Playful Parenting, we found "The Unmoveable Wall". It's saved my butt many times since the baby was born. It works for us!

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#66 of 116 Old 03-16-2005, 07:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Embee
Dr. Cohen would say that these kinds of things are a simple (or not so simple) lack of connection between parents and child.
thank you for your views on this - well at the risk of getting verrrry long winded here, i'll just outline my dd's past year - moved to a different country, to a big city to a flat on a busy dirty street - complete opposite to the old house with yard in small town, got a new baby brother, parents relationship stressed, just now starting to make friends after a year here - etc etc. She went from being a happy bright eyed fairy to a very somber and sad 5 year old in this year of so may transitions. So yes, I think there are definitely some attachment issues going on, which I have been trying to deal with by keeping her home (preschool is free here and everyone thinks I'm crazy to send her just 2x a week instead of 5x) and really trying to focus on her. We dance and read a lot, which we both enjoy, but her real passion is playing barbies which i hate and it's probably quite obvious, but i do it. She's also into role playing and I always submit to whatever she wants to play, as Cohen instructs. In a lot of her solitary play there is a great deal of anger and violence. But when I join her in play she tends to make it G-rated for me. I'm having a hard time trying to find the door to get into the depths with her. Not to mention I'm really exhausted with a baby who cries a lot and naps very sparingly, etc. Dd and I are still very attached but this gap in connection is definitely palpable.

My dh was asking me, why does dd freak out with me (like, all day long) but not him? I thought maybe it was because she trusts me more than him and is able to share her emotions better. [This is definitely partly true, esp as he has problems accepting her displays of emotion, so she is much more guarded.] But another reason, I just recently realized, is that he PLAYS with her and gets really goofy. They can play for hours. I think she can let out her frustration in this way with him and it doesn't build up as it does with me. I am always stuck being "mama" and I don't get this outlet. I have to create it and it's been very challenging.

Must go to bed. Thanks again. I will keep trying!
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#67 of 116 Old 03-16-2005, 07:38 PM
 
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Dd is usually very articulate and can often pinpoint exactly what she needs. Though I agree that sometimes that question is not helpful and deeper observation is the only thing that can tell me. However her latest answer to everything is "i don't know" or "I won't tell you" and/or a frustrated sigh and eye-rolling...
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#68 of 116 Old 03-17-2005, 04:21 AM
 
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Hi! I'm on my second reading of PP and have been so stumped I actually emailed Larry Cohen for advice. He replied in such a kind, generous way that I'm even more a fan. My problem was that trying to be playful was making me literally shake in my boots. I figured that a big part of my anxiety was due to my own childhood at exactly my kids' age (almost 3 year old twins). When I was 2.5 my dad took me from my mom, sister, and brother and didn't let me see them again for almost 6 years; he stashed me away with some people he knew in town and saw me only on weekends while he worked 2 hours away. Several months later he married my step mom and I had a "new" family. My life was so upside down that I literally couldn't play. So today, I see my girls and am deeply, almost subconsciously, reminded of the turmoil ~ plus, and this is sad, I sometimes have the feeling they should thank me for giving them so much more playfulness and happiness in their childhood than I had. I felt like they didn't know how lucky they were. Thing is: they DESERVE a happy and playful childhood just as much as I did. DH and I are not as immature and clueless as my parents were. We are doing the best we can ~ just like my parents were. OK, that's my way of introduction...

Oh, one more thing. Dr. Cohen references Patty Wipfler several times in his book. I am fortunate enough to live near her and take advantage of her parenting support listening groups every other week, and her playmornings which teach a playful style including being the bumbling incompetent one, letting children win and be powerful, and role playing. It is from this learning that I want to address Sphinx:

Quote:
Originally Posted by sphinx
Okay this is going to sound stupid, but I think i need help with this. I'm reading and absolutely loving this book, and want so much to implement it with my very angry and sad 5 1/2 year old... but it's not working! Maybe I don't take the play in the right direction, or something. I can't pinpoint exactly how/why I'm failing at it, but it's like, it's hard to think of what to say or do, and dd doesn't really laugh and get the energy out, she kind of just half smiles or goes along with it, but her anger still remains.

For instance: yesterday she got upset because her friend had to go home, and she blamed it on me and hit me and called me stupid. I told her she could pretend to hit and kick me, but not do it for real. I held my hands out so she could punch them and she did that for awhile but it didn't seem satisfying for her. So then I had her and her friend pretend to stomp my feet and I was dramatically screaming owww and pretending to cry. The friend laughed but my dd didn't - and she really wanted to stomp and hurt me. She was air-kicking me and I kept saying "thanks! I love you too!" (not being sarcastic - but maybe she thought I was being?) and trying to give her hugs which she vehemently rejected. Dd hits and kicks and screams horrible things at me on a daily basis and I've been trying to find some ground for negotiation for months now - i really think the playful concept could be the way out of this cycle we're in. After the friend left, I asked dd what would help her when she feels angry like that - her answer was "if you would let me hit, kick, pinch and punch you!" I said well you can't do it for real, but let's pretend. I said we can do the kicking dance, or I can hold a pillow right in front of me and you can punch & kick it. She screamed "No! That is not good enough! I want to really do it!" And walked away and sulked.

What would you do?
Half of Patty's prescription (my word, not hers) for connecting with children is Special Time which is essentially the Playful Parenting approach with a few minor differences. The other half has to do with fear and healing it. Children have faced terrifying and helpless situations since before they were born. Birth itself is certainly often very terrifying for an infant, and from then on, no matter how responsive the parents are, times of helplessness and powerlessness are certain to occur. When a baby or child (or adult) is afraid, the natural healing process includes crying, trembling and perspiring, and struggling in the presence and warmth of someone who loves you. When this healing process is interrupted, it goes underground until some new situation restimulates the original fear and the tears and anger come up again. From what I've read, your DD seems to be in the throes of some big fears. What she may need is time to struggle in your arms to heal the fears. She has asked to literally hit and punch you. That would, in reality, not help anyone since she would feel badly for hurting her beloved mom and you would not be respecting your right to not being hurt.

Here's the idea I have for you: wait for the next pretense your DD chooses to get angry or cry (for example, blaming you for her friend having to leave, needing to wear a dress that is in the laundry, wanting only her blue cup when you've offered her red one, etc) and then just get close to her. Physically sit next to her, take her into your lap if she'll let you - or follow her gently and sit by her again if she leaves you - listen to her cry. If at all possible, hold her gently and firmly in your arms and let her struggle without letting her hurt you. Tell her you want to be with her while she's feeling so (angry, sad, however it looks to you) and that you don't have any place you'd rather be than right there with her while she cries and rages. This can be physically challenging, and emotionally too especially if you were not allowed anger or crying as a child. Your goal is to give her a safe, warm, loving place to struggle against the fears she has internalized and which are keeping her from being a sunny, fun loving girl these days. Anger, according to Patty, is really fear and sadness packed in really hard. It takes physically struggling against something to release it. There was a time she was afraid and helpless and now she can be afraid and powerful in reliving the struggle there in your arms. This can go on for up to 45 minutes sometimes. One tell-tale sign that it's helping is if she is wailing and raging with very few if any tears. It can end with her falling asleep in the middle of it (it's exhausting work), with her calming and looking deeply into your eyes and slowly recognizing where she is again (not in the past with the fears), or even with her suddenly exclaiming that she feels better and hopping off to play.

This is a big topic and I know this post isn't complete. I've been a student of this kind of parenting since my girls were only 8 months old. Here's a success story: one of my DDs was stuck in the birth canal for 2 hours after her twin was born. As an infant she had trouble making eye contact for very long and would struggle to get away if I tried to hold her gaze. After multiple sessions of her crying and struggling in my arms, trembling against some (unknown to me) fear, she started to say, "I'm stuck! Let me out!!" while crying. We worked on this several more times. I'd remind her softly that she'll never be stuck in that way again; that she could get up now any time she wanted and that she was safe in my arms. Slowly, it transformed itself into play. Pretty soon she would say, "Hold me tight! I'm stuck!" with a glimmer in her eye. I'd hold her and she'd pretend struggle to get out, giggling as I held her and she slowly got free. She'd dance around, "I did it!" Nowadays she likes to get me stuck and say, "You're all tucked in!" and I pretend to cry and want out. She laughs until she lets me out and says, "It's ok, mama, it's just me!"

Please let me know if I can answer any questions. I want this to be helpful and I'm aware that I'm not an expert or a teacher so I may have been confusing.

All the best to all of you great moms. How lucky our kids really are to have such fun in their childhoods.

Warmly,
CurlyTop

p.s. see Parenting By Connection for more; it's Patty Wipfler's site.
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#69 of 116 Old 03-17-2005, 11:57 PM
 
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Sphinz Indeed, so many changed for your family. I can't begin to imagine how difficult a transition that must be and with a babe in arms too. I'm so glad CurlyTop joined the discussion. I can't give any better advice than that! Excellent. The best to you and hang in there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CurlyTop
plus, and this is sad, I sometimes have the feeling they should thank me for giving them so much more playfulness and happiness in their childhood than I had. I felt like they didn't know how lucky they were. Thing is: they DESERVE a happy and playful childhood just as much as I did. DH and I are not as immature and clueless as my parents were. We are doing the best we can ~ just like my parents were.
Thanks so much for joining this discussion. Your contribution above was wonderful. Wow! How I'd love to live close enough to join in Patty's discussion groups! Indeed, I'm going to visit her site. Just today I got "Raising Cain" from the library... a book mentioned in the chapter about connecting with boys/empowering girls. It's been so enlightening. I'm convinced that not only does Dr. Cohen know what he's talking about, he surrounds himself with so many other amazing mentors in this business of parenting. I feel so blessed to have read his book.

The best to you!
Em

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#70 of 116 Old 03-19-2005, 05:57 PM
 
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i was offline for a couple days. thank you SOOO much for your sensitive and kind replies. i will check out the website. I do try to hold her and let her let it out, but she is too angry. She really hurts me - i am 5 feet tall and i have a new baby i'm carrying, so practically speaking it's hard to be consistent. Actually my dd just went away with her dad for 2 weeks (first time every away from me longer than a weekend), so i think this is good time for a lot of reflection, consideration and planning on my part - how to provide her with more rhythm & stability, and brainstorming a consistent plan for how I am going to respond when she expresses herself in certain ways I think the break will be good for us both. thanks again and i will continue to follow this thread!
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#71 of 116 Old 03-31-2005, 11:03 AM
 
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I've put the book down for awhile and have just realized that I have not been doing as much pp. How is everyone else doing? How do you keep it in your daily life/schedule?
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#72 of 116 Old 03-31-2005, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We're starting on our 5th week of at least 2 people being sick in our household--and there are only 3 of us.... Stupid flu.

It's hard to keep that humor and energy going when you're sick. BUT it helps to know that if what I managed to do today was play with toy animals for a while and put food on the table, that was probably a good use of my resources.

(Ds's game with the animals went like this: Little Cheetah's mom is off talking to Elephant, and little Cheetah wants his mom, NOT his papa or the other animals, and he cries. Mama Cheetah says "little cheetah, it's just boring over here, we're only talking. I like to talk to elephant. You have papa, and I will come home when I'm done talking." Then little cheetah gets a new mom, the Mountain Horse, who doesn't like to talk so much. I was little cheetah--I complained about this, but ds said it was for the best. I was about to crack up--mama cheetah sounded pretty much like me.....)
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#73 of 116 Old 03-31-2005, 01:55 PM
 
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Hi...I too have put the book down and yesterday tried to playfully parent my 8 year old by spraying him with the hose when he said "Give it to me Mom" and he ended up in tears!!! Maybe he was tired, but I thought that would be playful and funny. He also had an annoying habbit of rolling his eyes, so when he does that, I do it all exaggerated at him when he asks me something in response or starts to argue...Like I answer but the whole time I'm rolling my eyes and head around. Its not working as well as I thought it would, though it is keeping me from making an annoyed response to him and neagging him about his "attitude"....

Susan
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#74 of 116 Old 03-31-2005, 07:21 PM
 
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I don't have a formal way of doing this...It would probably be helpful if I set aside time to have our playtime however i usually just wing it. My kids are young and I play a lot so there is ample opportunity. You know thinking about this though, it would really be nice to really set a time and tell my dd this is her time and she has my complete attention verses what I've been doing.

I just try to remember to be playful. The other night my dd was at the dinner table with the salad I made her (looking at it, not really eating it!) and she mentioned something about the Easter Bunny- I think she said she was the Easter Bunny- so I playful said, "Don't eat that salad bunny! Scram! Get off my garden!" and with each bite (now she's eating!) she said, "oh oh, the bunny's in your garden!" It was a fun game and it wasn't even actually doing a real totally attentive to her session I was still fixing dinner and tending to that. But is helped to be playful!

I lent my book to a friend and want to get it back so I can re-read it!
I still have a long way to go in remembering to be playful!!
~Mary-Beth
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#75 of 116 Old 03-31-2005, 10:53 PM
 
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Glad to see the thread revived. We've been battling the flu as well and I have indeed (as Denise mentioned), lost my sense of humor with all the hacking, fevers and general malaise. *sigh* I'm vowing to gear back up and into PP because it's clear DS needs me to, but I'm off my game a bit these days. Also, I haven't been picking up the book everyday as I had been doing and it makes a difference. This is the kind of information that I NEED to keep fresh or it can get lost in a see of colorful four year old behavior.

I vow to pick it up and read a little tomorrow am, start the day on an up note.

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#76 of 116 Old 04-01-2005, 06:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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And I am going to buy a copy! I can't memorize a whole book in the 3 weeks the library lets me keep it....

I think regular play times are a good idea, too. Not that we wouldn't play other times, but to make a commitment to do what HE wants for a certain amount of time, every week or more often. I just made a new schedule for myself, to make time for writing and meditation--not that I "made" any more time, but I committed to use those after-bedtime hours in this and tht way--and it has helped me a lot. I bet a regular playtime would help us both. So there's my goal.
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#77 of 116 Old 04-02-2005, 10:38 AM
 
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I'm not really one to be structured but I have noticed that setting a specific time has helped a lot. I noticed too that keeping to the duration I have alloted is so helpful becasue I used to kind of quit when I wasn't as interested thinking that the session was just naturally winding down and she was ready to play alone again. But now I'm starting to see that if I stay with her some really great stuff emerges- lastnight she started really telling me how she feels when she sees her sister eat something she cannot eat. (they have different allergies) and she wasn't whining or anything. It was really great to hear her express herself so clearly at just 2 years old!
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#78 of 116 Old 04-02-2005, 03:39 PM
 
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OK I am going to start trying to have a set time to do pp. Thanks for all the ideas.
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#79 of 116 Old 04-02-2005, 08:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SRHS
...yesterday tried to playfully parent my 8 year old by spraying him with the hose when he said "Give it to me Mom" and he ended up in tears!!! Maybe he was tired, but I thought that would be playful and funny. He also had an annoying habbit of rolling his eyes, so when he does that, I do it all exaggerated at him when he asks me something in response or starts to argue...Like I answer but the whole time I'm rolling my eyes and head around. Its not working as well as I thought it would, though it is keeping me from making an annoyed response to him and neagging him about his "attitude"....

Susan
I wanted to say yeah, I find it hard to predict the line between fun teasing and too much. I think I never have learned to do teasing play, from either end... And I do find that it's really hard for me to be any kind of playful about things that actually really bug me, or in conflict situations. Every once in a while I have a brilliant moment. But usually not.

I read a book (um....Your Child At Play, 2-3 years, I think) that talked about parental conflict styles. It was SO useful. Some parents (DH) are naturally prone to avoid or defuse conflict--often with redirection or humor. Others (me) are more about setting clear rules and then referring back to them. Sometimes this means I'm being clear about limits and helping DS learn, other times it means I'm stubborn and inflexible--depends on the day.

So anyway, my thought was that for some of us, using play in dealing with conflict or annoying behavior comes less easily. I do want to try it more, but I'm working on the easier stuff first, hoping that if we're all going around with "our cups full" maybe we won't need the conflict skills quite as often.
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#80 of 116 Old 04-03-2005, 09:40 AM
 
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I bet your 8 year old would really enjoy squirting you with a hose! Seriously. If the weather is warm enough where you are- or when it is- a water fight might be fun!

I was going to respond yesterday too about your post on sarcasm but a big thunder storm came and so I shut down my computer.
You might try games that give him control and help him feel strong since he seemed to want control (of the hose, in your example) You could play a game that he is better than you at for example. And, you could experiment with your response when he rolls his eyes...maybe you could say, "oh your sooo cute when you roll your eyes like that. Is that your way of asking for a kiss" and maybe playfully kiss or blow kisses. But again, make it playful not coming from a place of teasing. It's a fine line, one I'm learning how to master myself. Let us know how it goes!

~MB
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#81 of 116 Old 04-03-2005, 05:36 PM
 
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I read the book over the past week, and have been following this thread. I want to share an interesting playful parenting experience I had with my nephew last night.

My BIL and his 7yo son "H" had come over to my MIL & FIL's house and we were all supposed to have dinner together. There was quite a group of other extended family and some guests. Due to some family issues going on (long unimportant story) BIL was not really able to pay attention to H, and after a while H got a little uncomfortable and unhappy and started saying he wanted to go home. We were about to have dinner but he said he wasn't hungry, hates barbecue, etc. His dad kind of shrugged and said, "Okay, you can walk home if you want." (Their house is around the corner two blocks away and SIL was at home with their two smaller kids anyway.)

I was feeling bad for H. I didn't want to see him make the walk in the cold rain feeling kind of crummy. I tried to playfully block the front door and say, "You can't make me go out there, it's cold!" He just said, "I'll go out the side door then," and walked away. I thought about it for a minute and then got an umbrella and followed him. The umbrella was just kind of a pretext, it wasn't really raining that hard, but when I offered it to him he said, "YOU carry it." So we walked together and I decided I would just let him talk about whatever he wanted. He started telling me all about planes and we chatted about that a little. He said he was cold and he leaned into me so I put my arm around him as we walked. Then a car went by with only one headlight on and he started squinting one eye to be like the car. Then he closed both eyes and said, "Hey, what if I was blind?" He wrapped both arms around my waist and said, "You would have to lead me while I held on." Then he got really goofy and was pushing me in one direction for a few steps, then another, so we were zig-zagging all over the place. We were both really cracking up. I tried to turn up the walk of the house before his and pretend it was his house. He yelled, "No, this isn't my house!" and I was challenging him back, "How do you know? You're blind! Yeah, I can see your mom in there! This is totally your house!" He pushed me the other way and yelled, "No! I control you! Go the way I push you!" He was still laughing. I turned back and we went the rest of the way up to his house where he happily stopped the game to go in and say hello to his mom. He asked her, "What's for dinner? I'm hungry."

Well his mom was not that receptive--she said to him, "I'm not making dinner! There was dinner over at grandmom and granddad's! You can go back over there if you want dinner!" He turned to me and asked, "Can we go back?" So we went back and he ate barbecue and was totally happy and had a good time.

I felt that the whole experience really validated for me everything I had read in the PP book. H really needed to have his emotional cup filled. Even with both his mom and dad being kind of dismissive of him right then, it took only ten minutes from another caring adult for him to feel connected and loved and want to participate in dinner with everybody. H *needed* to feel physical affection. He *needed* to feel like he had some control, because he was having some feelings that were very confusing. He needed to feel loved, and he needed to laugh. He got all those needs met and he was back to being a happy kid, getting his dinner, playing with his younger cousins, just being in a good place. I hate to think that otherwise he would have gone home alone in the cold, his mom would have groused at him, he probably would have gone off to his room to sulk, etc. I was also struck by how *easy* H made it for me. He came up with the whole playing blind and hanging on to me part. I just played along.

(Just to be clear, I am not dissing BIL & SIL. They have three high-energy kids and get really worn out...and they have totally come through for me when I was at the end of my rope with my own son!)
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#82 of 116 Old 04-03-2005, 08:47 PM
 
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WakeUpMama- thanks for sharing your experience! That is just awsome that you both had this experience together. You really followed his lead, literally! I bet this will be with him forever.
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#83 of 116 Old 04-03-2005, 10:06 PM
 
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wakeupmama!

Thank you so much for sharing that story and for joining in on this thread. It really made my day to read that. Oh, how kids go exactly where they need to and if we take the time listen in, be there and let them lead the way... *sigh*

Life has been sort of tough around these parts lately. I haven't been my most PP self and your story here really inspired me to get back to work (er, uh PLAY ). Thanks. I needed that!

The best,
Em

Em 43 - Wife to hubby Mom to DS born: Jan. '01
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#84 of 116 Old 04-04-2005, 01:42 PM
 
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I'm so glad you appreciated my story! I think the experience clarified for me the worry I'm sure a lot of us have--that it might be a bad idea to give attention when a child "asks" for it (by withdrawing or acting up) because of a risk that we are reinforcing undesirable behavior. So it was interesting to me that after we got back to grandmom and granddad's, H was totally independent from that point. He sat at the other end of the table to eat dinner. He helped his grandmom serve dessert. He played with his younger cousins in another room for a while. I don't think he and I even said anything more to each other the rest of the evening, other than "bye" when he and his dad left.

I've also been trying to be "playful" with my 18-month-old. It's a little harder because he's not very verbal yet and he mainly wants to "play" with things I just can't let him (like opening and shutting the front door which isn't ideal when it's really cold out). I have been trying to spend the time between when I get home from work, and when dinner is on the table (about an hour), just giving him 100% devoted attention. I'll try to play whatever he wants within limits of what I can allow. I've figured out a new game that is good for distracting him from the door/phone/dancing on tabletops, which is the "you can't get me" game. I pretend to run away from him and say, "You can't get me! You'll never catch me!" but I go really slow and then when he's close I kind of fall down on the floor and pull him on top so it's like he is knocking me down, and we have hugs and kisses. I say, "Oh no! You got me!" He LOVES this game. I think it combines the ideas about giving him control, letting him feel powerful, and enjoying physical closeness. Taking time to be goofy with him seems to really be paying off in terms of less general crankiness in the evenings. Being a WOHM it is especially heartbreaking for me if the 2-3 hours we have at night are a cry-fest, you know?

ETA: DH makes dinner! He is home before me and it helps a lot!
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#85 of 116 Old 04-04-2005, 02:53 PM
 
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We play "coupon and sample detective" at the store. I tell Nate his job is to find all the coupons in the aisles and the ladies giving samples. I make him a hat out of a grocery flier. If there aren't any samples that day I give him a coupon and tell him its his job to find the product on it. Much less fighting in the store!

Yesterday we went to see Dora the Explorer at the mall. The line was 1 1/2 hrs long (they had an interactive Dora house set up and another exhibit - with a 2 1/2 hr line - to see Dora herself, all free) and I had my 4 y/o and my 4 y/o nephew with me. We did all sorts of goofy things in line. Simon Says, a bear hunt and "mother may I?" We took turns walking like our favorite animals and I gave them "jobs" to do (like: find a sign that has a word with 2 "o"s in it, run over to that sign with the Incredibles and point to your favorite character, etc). We had so much fun. All these other parents were staring at us and yelling at their kids. Yuck! I really don't care if folks at the mall think I'm lame. We had fun!

Tamara: hs'ing Christian mom of five here and five in Heaven. Joyfully awaiting Punkin, coming mid-Sept!
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#86 of 116 Old 04-04-2005, 10:10 PM
 
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thanks for that story wakeupmamma. It was really inspiring. Its given me motivation to keep the pp going. I returned the book to the library but have put it on hold again and when finances are better am going to to try and buy it. I want to keep reading it and following up with this thread because I see what an amazing way it is to connect with my dd and to do things on her terms and empower her. Its so great that I am a little sad in thinking that it might become just another dusty book on my shelf.
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#87 of 116 Old 04-04-2005, 10:12 PM
 
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Wonderful ideas. I'm thrilled this thread is still going!

wakeupmama - The only thing that makes me the least bit sad about PP is that I didn't read it when DS was younger (I read it when he had just turned 3). Many of it's principles I had already been practicing to a certain extend, but I would have loved to have the full range of information available, especially at that 18 month age--such a fun age!

Pfamilygal - Wow, the fact that you had the patience to stand in line with not one, but TWO four year olds to see DORA is amazing. The best part being that it sounds like standing in line was fun too. Kudos to you for having the patience and presence of mind to keep the play going. Loved your coupon idea too (the finding the product idea especially, DS would LOVE that).

Things are looking up around here. WAAAAY up. Flu over, mom feeling less cranky and kid easy going. I'm back to making a point of playing with DS first thing after breakfast. That's our specified playtime. It truly sets a great tone for the whole day. The rest of the day, I step in and out of playing with him as he needs and also get a bunch done here on the homefront.

The best to all!

Em

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#88 of 116 Old 04-05-2005, 08:21 AM
 
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MangoMamma, I bought my copy used on amazon marketplace. They have quite a few very inexpensive copies of the hardbound edition (link).

pfamilygal, I love the coupon detective idea! That is so clever! I can really see a preschooler getting into that.

Embee, I am so glad I found this book now. It has really made a difference for us already. I enjoy being playful and I love the results but before I read the book I really struggled with how to play with DS. I wanted to but it was like I didn't know how.
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#89 of 116 Old 04-06-2005, 12:46 AM
 
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Haven't read it yet . . .I just got it from the library today based on this thread, though! I read the intro and thought, OMG, are we (the author and me) the same person? The whole thing about playing when I just don't wanna and then falling asleep on the floor once I finally do . . .that's me!

Looking forward to learning here!

 2/02, 4/05, 2/07, 11/09, and EDD 12/25/11 wave.gif

 

 

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#90 of 116 Old 04-06-2005, 10:29 PM
 
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Mizelenius, Indeed I hear ya! Even having read the book (over and over), I still have many moments when I have to adjust my mindset and just sit down and play darnit! It sounds like the easiest thing in the world, but most of us realize that's it's truly not. The more I play, the better I get at it. The more I let DS lead, the more I learn, and the more he works through. I'm never disappointed in having made the effort, but I still have to actually talk myself into every now and again even with knowing how wonderfully it affects our whole relationship/family. Happy reading!

Em 43 - Wife to hubby Mom to DS born: Jan. '01
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