hear hear@ rynna, i agree and applaud.
lying/telling stories, is basically a fancy dynamic, a variation on life that kids discover and try on us first cos we are so special. don't invite it. just state what you observe. haha!
: where do i get this advice i'm not doing??? really though, those are situations to not encourage if it really annoys you - that will just feed it. telling stories is just part of learning communication and having imagination - a necessary thing- just weird at first to figure how to live with. it also means they are possibly detecting our own lies.
but then, i am famous for noticing the kids are doing something they know they know shouldn't and backing away before they see me so that i don't have to add confrontation number 43 for the day. if they are capable, they take care of the problem without me muddling it by interfering.
my main problem is also the combo of children with these ages and the resulting intensity. jaz, i'm already looking at your post with fond memories. now i have some of the messes with kids that know better plus serious mindgames, much like what leah has described before.
i know some pretty great teenagers and tweens. i also know some great teens that are troubled with great parents. sometimes it is just the person they are born stuck with the kind of person their mamma is. for me, the personality challenge is unarguably clay - we are a bit too similar in the parts that make myself miserable. he is able to be the sweetest and softest, and when he is hard and mean, it is terrible. it is terrible for him even more i am sure. yesterday he was despondent that since i was the oldest one in the family i would die first. this kind of thinking is foreign to dh, reed, and ruby.
remember, "NO" doesn't always mean no. many times it means "i am screaming my existence to you".
have i lectured on giving them the words you want to hear? i actually correct and tell my kids what they are supposed to say. the rate of success depends on how it is applied and how ingrained a habit it is, and the kid of course. it makes me sound like the old fusty great aunt but i am now totally used to it. think of it as expanding vocabulary and social graces. what's really amazing to me is the habits of ruby, since i didn't really learn and do this when the other two were this age (no idea of they could have done it).
example: she'll be screaming her head off - "i want water now! with ice in my special cup" and half the time (when she is not actually tired or needing to pee or irritable) i can go over to her and say, "ruby, say 'mamma, please get me some water with ice cubes' and she will immediately emulate the loveliest speaking voice i can muster and then i can smile and tell her yes ruby and ask her to follow me in the kitchen and get her cup ready. in the ideal world she would do this naturally because i am so full of aplomb and behaving so perfectly already.....
so if you are having a problem with no for requests, it is possible to at least steer it to something else. the trick is finding what you can stand and what your child is capable of. and that leads to the question of what we ask that is being replied no - is it worth asking the question so that our kids practice saying no to us?
cymbeline, it is my experience that timeouts only work for one specific behaviour, immediately and with true interaction (can't just direct them verbally while doing something else - must jump up). i have never been a perfect enough place to master them effectively for more than spells at a time. generally if i am not able to deal (letsee, when reed was this age clay was one and i was pg and dh was flat on his back) it was best just to try eliminating possibilities of aggravation. in your case that would be lessening items that are throwable, or wearing earplugs. i know he seems so big now that you have a baby, but he does not have lots of impulse control yet. those fancy insulting words don't have much meaning to him except for the power you give them. i'm not saying it is okay for kids to say those things (i've heard it all), but it really sounds like you just need rest, vitamins, maybe a sling, and some regular alone time to fill his cup - i'm talking five minutes of pushing cars around with him in the morning and only paying attention to him. my transition to baby#2 was very rough - hugs to you.
sheez, i have lots of opinions on discipline, but am noticing i have written another novel already. apologies.