"Are you happy, Mommy" - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 6 Old 07-31-2010, 11:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My DD is 28 months old. Recently her behaviour has become much more trying, including lots of hitting, kicking, throwing stuff, and not cooperating when things need to get done i.e. getting dressed, brushing hair, cleaning up. It's all a big battle. She has also become much more aggressive with other kids, which she was not before.

So now whenever she does something "bad", she says to me "Are you happy, Mommy?" Sometimes I say "No, I am not happy that you did that." Sometimes, I say "Yes I am happy, but I wish you wouldn't do X."

This might seem silly but I worry a bit that she's almost being manipulated by whether or not I'm happy. I revisited Unconditional Parenting recently and there was specific mention in there about not forcing children to do things in order to make us (parents) happy. I guess this feels a bit like that, even though she is the one instigating it. I have before told her "Mommy is not happy with X" and I guess she latched onto it and now she's constantly asking "Are you happy, Mommy" when she's done something "bad".

More recently, if she hits me or kicks me and I say "Ow, that really hurt Mommy" she will say "Sorry, Mommy" of her own accord and follow it up with "Are you happy now because I said sorry?". I have never forced her to apologize before so not sure where this is coming from.

Anyway, I'm wondering how those who practice UP would handle this. I don't have one specific philosophy around discipline, but it feels like the way this all plays out is kind of wrong.

Thanks for the thoughts!

DD born April 7/08 and expecting #2 October 2010!
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#2 of 6 Old 07-31-2010, 11:46 PM
 
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This sounds exactly like my dd. I don't think I really practice UP, but I don't think I did anything to start it. I think she just doesn't like it when I'm upset. : I try to be honest with her and I usually say, "No I'm not happy right now." Then she'll usually say, "Why aren't you happy?" And I say that it makes me sad when she (example: hurts her brother).

ETA: I also sometimes wish she didn't feel like she had to make me happy. But I also think that it's just her learning that her actions affect other people? I don't know...

Wife to J. Mama to DD(9yo) & DS(6yo).
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#3 of 6 Old 08-01-2010, 12:01 AM
 
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I do go for an UP goal, so I try to separate the issues. I kind of pretend that I don't know he thinks the behavior is related. He's 2.5 yo. It goes this way sometimes:
Hit, bite, giggle - "Are you happy mama?"
Reply - "In general, I'm pretty happy. I'm really happy that you and daddy are my family. Hey, did you notice that you just bit me? Please don't bite me, it really hurts."
He says "yeeeeah."
Did it work? No idea.

Mom of one child (2008), wife of one husband, tender of dogs, cats and chickens. Household interests: ocean life (kid), bitcoins (husband), simplifying (me).

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#4 of 6 Old 08-04-2010, 01:01 AM
 
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Sounds like my son too, 27-mo. When he's been pitching a fit or we're having some sort of difficulty, at the end of it he'll ask, "Are you happy Mommy?" Or the one that really sort of breaks my heart, when I'm obviously upset with him, he cries, "Be HAPPY Mommy!!"

I've been thinking it's kind of what makes things "right" in his world...like things are good and safe if Mommy's happy, that maybe it makes his world feel secure and stable and that even if his feelings feel out of control, at least Mommy's happy and stable. I don't know...on my best days, I try to say yes, I'm happy for x reasons and I love you.

Carey
Mama to Charlie (4/08) and Toby (2/10)
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#5 of 6 Old 08-04-2010, 01:11 AM
 
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I had to laugh a little when I saw your thread. I started a thread with the exact same title about a year ago! https://www.mothering.com/discussions...677&highlight= Maybe there will be some more good advice there!

My ds was 3 1/2 at the time and it really concerned me. Apparently it didn't last because we do not have any issues with it anymore. I would be honest about how you feel and make sure your dd knows you love her no matter what, even when you're angry or frustrated.

I hope it passes quickly for you too.

Heather-- I'm a <>< SAHM of two fabulous boys 8/05 and 2/07
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#6 of 6 Old 08-04-2010, 10:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, Grace and Granola! Just read your original posting and that is exactly what I'm talking about. Time to read through the responses!

DD born April 7/08 and expecting #2 October 2010!
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