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#1 of 6 Old 03-25-2006, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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For what it's worth, I just wanted to share a method of dealing with my at-times stubborn and uncooperative 4 year old DS that has really worked for us!!

We were having lots of problems with him cleaning up his toys and being cooperative with getting ready for bed. The toy issue was especially getting out of hand. In a campaign for attention, I am guessing, he would dump all his toys out on the floor and then steadfastly refuse to pick a single one up. This resulted in increasing battles whereby I would try playing games to clean-up, taking away privileges, positive reinforcement, time-out, packing toys up, anything really.....Not much was working--even when I was helping him to clean-up--and I was at my wit's end with the situation. Then one day, when he was refusing to clean up something and I simply held him on my lap, gently but firmly, and told him that he could get down from my lap once he was ready to cooperate with picking up...it worked! He squirmed and struggled for a few minutes, and then gave in, and has been really helpful ever since.

Now he is so cooperative, occassionally I have to hold him for a few minutes, and remind him that I need his help and he can get down when he is ready, but not very often. And I guess, its not just the lap-holding that worked, but being more attentive, positive, and lowering my expectations a bit of how and what he needs to pick up has helped too. But, for the most part, the simple act of holding him on my lap has managed to quell the battle.

Just wanted to share in case this is a dilemma at your house too.
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#2 of 6 Old 03-25-2006, 04:32 PM
 
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My post sounded too judgemental. I decided better to erase it.
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#3 of 6 Old 03-25-2006, 05:21 PM
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I'm not comfortable with child restraint as a discipline technique, whether it's in your lap or a carseat or elsewhere. I can see it for safety issues, but not for simple power struggles.

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#4 of 6 Old 03-25-2006, 06:06 PM
 
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I'm glad that you found something that works for you. This gives him attention, and time with you, and when he is done, he can take care of his mess.
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#5 of 6 Old 03-25-2006, 06:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Dar, I appreciate your point of view. I obviously didn't see it that way until you pointed that out. To me it seemed like a better and more loving solution to hold him gently on my lap (I don't mean that I am holding on so tight that he can't move) than other alternatives, and certainly one that he has responded to the most. As Hayes pointed out that he is getting attention from me, but not the negative attention (as I see it) that he might otherwise be getting.

I have to ask, how would you otherwise handle such a "power struggle" situation in your house?

Thanks for your comments,
Erin
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#6 of 6 Old 03-25-2006, 07:32 PM
 
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First I'll admit that I came to the exact same conclusion as Dar. I probably didn't say it quite as eloquently, though, which is why I deleted my post.

Trying to be diplomatic about this, I think the problem is simply this... you are seeing it as a power struggle. Children of this age may be trying to see what their boundaries are, but it's not a power struggle. That's an adult point of view. Instead of physically restraining, I believe children feel more comforted to have a parent to gently show the boundaries without involving anything physical. I guess that's what I was trying to say in my first post, but I didn't do it as well last time.
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