"Mom, Jason's Breathing on Me" book - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 5 Old 06-18-2010, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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(there is another thread about the same author right now--funny!)

My kids have just started really fighting with each other this summer for the first time. They are 6 and 2. I already was sort of familiar with this technique, but just got the book and plan to apply it more uniformly now. Questions for those who use it:

1) Does it work?
2) Do you ever worry that the kids are bullying one another, or not learning to be "civilized"?
3) How do you handle it in public? My kids were starting to yell at each other in the grocery store yesterday, and of course I couldn't separate them. ??? How to handle that?
4) Do you ever experience disapproval from others about this method? My kids don't fight physically (yet?) but I can imagine that letting sibs go at each other while not intervening could get some major raised eyebrows. (Wolf suggests not intervening unless there is risk of harm.)

grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08

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#2 of 5 Old 06-18-2010, 11:27 AM
 
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For us, it depends on your definition of work. I have 4.5 yo twins and started using some of the techniques when they were 3.5-ish. The things that helped me were; consciously setting my threshold for what is too much for me/the house (because then I had to be more consistent about stepping in), when it got above the threshold stating what it looked like was going on to me (gave me something to do other than yell knock it off) and expressing confidence that they would be able to come up with a solution that would make them both happy (rather guess -likely incorrectly 50% of the time - what was the issue to stay our of the middle of it; though sometimes I do offer suggestions if they're in a state in which the suggestion will be well received), and then separating if they continue to be fight (diffuses the moment and they usually come back with the problem forgotten or ready to compromise). Fighting isn't eliminated, but my reaction to it is better and their ability to come up with solutions is getting better all the time. Also, I pretty much use the book's method about tattling, though I often ask in a tattle if what they're telling me is a report (something dangerous is happening) or a tattle (they want to get someone in trouble) before responding and I don't think that was one of the books suggests.

I don't worry about bullying because I have equal opportunity aggressors. If one was dominant, I probably would, but I don't remember how the book addresses that as it isn't an issue for us.

In public I have other rules that would kick in about yelling before it came down to that they were fighting. We don't behave disruptively in public (store, restaurants, concerts, etc) as a matter of manners, so I'd deal with yelling at each other in those terms rather than as fighting. If they started up on a playground though, I'd treat it as I do at home.

But see, maybe I'm remembering the book incorrectly because I don't remember the suggestion of leave it alone until someone's at the risk of harm. My threshold is lower and when meanness creeps into the argument is when I step in.

A problem we had that the book didn't address for me was the lashing out in anger. We had a problem with implusive hitting, pinching, etc, with no pre-emptive arguemnt or warning for me. In those cases I'd separate, but it didn't seem to lessen the occurrence at all and I used other methods to help with that.

I do wonder about a 6 yo and a 2 yo old though because they're in such different places. I read the book when my dds were in their 2's but it didn't really make sense to me for them then; re-reeading at 3-ish it made more sense.
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#3 of 5 Old 06-18-2010, 09:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, I have some reservations due to their ages, but DS is very verbal and pretty capable of holding his own--if anything, he tends to be the aggressor. The issue I see is that "fixing" the situation is usually on DD, but so far that seems to be okay.

Quote:
In public I have other rules that would kick in about yelling before it came down to that they were fighting. We don't behave disruptively in public (store, restaurants, concerts, etc) as a matter of manners, so I'd deal with yelling at each other in those terms rather than as fighting.
What I see as the issue is that it seems confusing, esp, to the 2yo, to let them yell at each other at home but not elsewhere. Obviously yelling in public is often not okay, so then I end up trying to defuse with the old methods and get sucked into the same "But he...but she...but it's not fair...."

Quote:
But see, maybe I'm remembering the book incorrectly because I don't remember the suggestion of leave it alone until someone's at the risk of harm. My threshold is lower and when meanness creeps into the argument is when I step in.
In the book the threshold is real physical harm, definitely not just meanness. He says you can offer sympathy to the wounded party, but do not mete out punishment, discipline, etc. to the meanie or take side.

grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08

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#4 of 5 Old 06-19-2010, 09:39 PM
 
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I'm probably mixing books -- I've read way too many. But I can see kids being able to make a distinction between yelling that is disruptive in public and yelling at home (not that I want them to be doing it anywhere), though a 2 yo might not get it right away. Just like at home when their play is too loud for me I tell them they can take it outside or to a farther away room if I am doing something, like making dinner, where I have to be in the room I'm in. Their volume is okay, just not around me. If I'm not doing something that I have to be in the room for, then I'll go somewhere quieter.

About when to intervene; maybe it is Siblings Without Rivalry that suggests setting a threshold, or maybe I made it up . But I also remember there isn't punishment when the threshold is exceeded; there's coach them to resolve it on their own and if not possible in the moment, separate for cooling off. But that is without taking sides or chastising who I perceive to be the aggressor. Physically dangerous things meant more direct action though.

We're having a rough afternoon here and at the moment everyone is cooling off. I do hear them talking through their wall though, so I think peace is at hand.
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#5 of 5 Old 06-19-2010, 11:25 PM
 
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I like the author and agree with the idea that children should not bring fights to parents to 'play judge and jury' too but I disagree that fighting should just go on unchecked, come what may. If one child is older/dominant, if the fighting is physical, or verbally abusive then I am going to intervene. Nobody in our house should have to feel unsafe or bullied.

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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