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#1 of 28 Old 10-09-2004, 12:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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And if so, is that as bad as it sounds?

Occasionally, I ask DS for a sip of his drink, a bite of his cookie, etc. Sometimes he says "OK" and gives it to me, and sometimes he says "no". When he says no, I start acting like I am parched or starving, and I say "I am so thirsty, my throat feels so dry. Oh how I wish someone would just give me a tiny sip of water," etc. He usually says "OK" and gives me the drink, and if he doesn't I just drop it. He has never gotten upset about it.

DH said he thinks that is kind of manipulative. I feel like I am teaching him empathy. I don't try to guilt him into it, but I can see how it might be interpreted that way. What do you think?
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#2 of 28 Old 10-09-2004, 01:10 AM
 
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I dont think it is manipulative if its in "game form". I used to do this with my daughter... But it was always more of a game. I would throw myself on the floor... rolling around.. acting like I was "thirstating" (as we always called it). She would gigle uncontrolably and give me a drink...
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#3 of 28 Old 10-09-2004, 01:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, I'm not all slapstick about it, though there is a joking tone. I think that's why DH thinks it's manipulative.
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#4 of 28 Old 10-09-2004, 06:51 PM
 
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I have tried to teach my dd that her food and particularly her drinks are her own and she need not share those. When I was in high school, some cases of herpes went around due to sharing of food and drinks, so even though sharing is a wonderful thing, I don't share my food or drinks, so I don't really want my dd to. Hopefully when I do share my things with her and her with me, she will know that it is different with me than with others, and I am sure she knows there is a difference already, but just in case, I don't encourage sharing of food and drink.

Hunger is political.  Wherever there is widespread hunger, it is because people with guns are preventing other people from bringing in food.  
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#5 of 28 Old 10-09-2004, 07:02 PM
 
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I think as long as it is in good fun, and you are confident that *she* sees it as good fun... then I wouldn't be concerned.

However, I would actually use a method like this in order to teach empathy. That *is* manipulative. But just for fun is no big deal!

As far as Calm's concern, I've found it pretty easy to convince my kids that its okay for family to share food, but not people who are not family.
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#6 of 28 Old 10-09-2004, 07:38 PM
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May I ask, is there a reason or reasons why you do this, famousmockingbird?
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#7 of 28 Old 10-09-2004, 08:22 PM
 
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Actually, Mamaduck, you are right, in our case too. We don't have her in childcare, so it doesn't really come up very often. At children's parties, I have had to redirect a possible drink sharing moment, and I explained that mama, daddy and she can share, but better not to share with other friends. So, true, as long as I keep an eye on things for a little longer. Just wondering, did your kids grasp this early? mine is 2.5, and I think she gets it, but not sure.

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#8 of 28 Old 10-09-2004, 08:25 PM
 
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They were about the same age. 2.5. We talked about how people who live together for a long time get used to each other's germs and their bodies can handle it better.
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#9 of 28 Old 10-09-2004, 08:28 PM
 
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There's quite a bit about GD that I worry is manipulative. I'll give this one some thought.

My very first thought is that if you feel there is a problem than there very well may be. If not, probably not.

I thought empathy couldn't be taught, necessarily. Or, at least, not rushed. I remember reading that they needed to take a developmental shift from being egocentric.

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#10 of 28 Old 10-09-2004, 11:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hmm, I think I overstated it when I said I use it "to teach him empathy". You're right, it can't exactly be taught, but it can be encouraged, I think.

Basically, I ask him for a drink or a bite of his food when I am hungry or thirsty, so that is my primary motivation. Sometimes I don't have a drink and he has his sippy cup in his hand so I just ask him for a sip. But also, he is an only child and I want him to be used to sharing his stuff. I want him to see that relationships are give and take, not all me give and him take, yk?

I personally don't think it is manipulative, but DH does, though I don't think it's a big deal to him. I am just wondering what other people think. Thanks for the input so far.
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#11 of 28 Old 10-09-2004, 11:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama
There's quite a bit about GD that I worry is manipulative.
ICM, like what?
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#12 of 28 Old 10-10-2004, 02:10 AM
 
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IMO yes, that is manipulative. Teaching empathy comes from practicing it toward others. They learn by observing. You can't force an understanding of it.

It's VERY important, IMO, to respect your child's boundaries, even if it's "just" a drink or snack. It's VERY important that they learn as a base normal that boundaries are to be respected, that way when someone starts trying to infringe on their boundaries, they'll realize it and cut it off immediately. They shouldn't acquiese to boundary violation even to be empathetic or nice.

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There's quite a bit about GD that I worry is manipulative.
GD is manipulative? HUH? There's so many methods and forms of GD that I find it hard to classify as any ONE thing when describing, much less call it ALL manipulative. Maybe I misunderstood?
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#13 of 28 Old 10-10-2004, 02:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by NatureMamaOR
IMO yes, that is manipulative. Teaching empathy comes from practicing it toward others. They learn by observing. You can't force an understanding of it.

It's VERY important, IMO, to respect your child's boundaries, even if it's "just" a drink or snack. ... They shouldn't acquiese to boundary violation even to be empathetic or nice.


I agree, they learn best by example. I do try to model empathy, and not just to teach DS a lesson! heh

Am I really violating his boundaries? I don't force him to give me a drink, if he really doesn't want to I just drop it and get my own d**n drink.
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#14 of 28 Old 10-10-2004, 02:42 AM
 
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Honestly? yea. that's how a LOT of molesters worm their way into children's lives. They prey on children who want to be nice--to a fault. Children absolutely DO need to be empathetic, but trying to do that by the way you're describing only teaches them to allow their boundaries to be crossed for the sake of being nice (please don't think I'm on a high-horse, I used to do this too and didn't realize its effects at first).


Maybe look into some good ways of teaching empathy such as volunteering at a Humane Society, soup kitchen, etc. Kids learn SO well by watching, take advantage of that.
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#15 of 28 Old 10-10-2004, 06:06 AM
 
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Naw...I don't think that's manipulative.
I play that same game with my ds, and he's only one! He thinks it's so funny to shove his sippy cup in my mouth when I ask "Can I have some?"
It's a back and forth reciprocal thing, though...I take the sippy cup, express gratitude...he thinks it's unbelievably funny...has this "Mommy's don't drink sippy cups!" look on his face...confused and amused...and then he wants it back...so I return it to him, and say thanks...
As for child molesters...that's the character fault of the child molester...not the child that's been manipulated into being "too nice"!
A child can be positively reinforced into likeing sharing, and still know and respect their own, and others, boundaries, IMO...
And as far as germs go...once they're able to grasp such concepts, it's not hard to tear off a piece of pizza in a way that germs aren't spread, or pour half a drink into another cup...
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#16 of 28 Old 10-10-2004, 06:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by famousmockngbrd
ICM, like what?
Well, there are lots of things that *I*, personally, feel are manipulative. I don't, however, think GD is generally manipulative at all. But, I can answer the question with a few examples of things that I often see recommended that I feel are manipulative...

-Changing the subject/distraction

-Giving choices when it gives the illusion of total control

-I've seen bribery and praise being used or suggested quite often but I'm not entirely sure if this falls in the category of GD

BUT, I'm using the word manipulative but I think this word is a little more loaded than what I mean. In these cases I don't feel 'manipulation' is such a big deal but I, personally, feel better acknowledging *for myself* that these things are manipulative when I choose use them ~ that's all.

Just to be clear, my statement wasn't some loaded thing intended to make a big dig at GD. I think I just have rather strict ideas of what is coercive or manipulate when I relate to people.

Remember the logic thread...manipulation (false logic) is something that I sense we all do (myself included). I think it's really, really common...not always bad ~ but something that is probably best to be aware of, yk? Interesting that your DH is the logic guru ~ I'm curious if he thinks it's related?

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Originally Posted by famousmockngbrd
But also, he is an only child and I want him to be used to sharing his stuff. I want him to see that relationships are give and take, not all me give and him take, yk?
First, I want to ask if your son is having some problems with sharing or if you're just worried because of other things (only child)? I actually think this is a really important question.

I’m not sure about the drink. My feeling is that you should probably just ask him to share when you really want some. That way, there are some built in natural consequences, like you having to stop what you're doing with him to get another drink or make something to eat if he doesn't want to share.

You could play some sharing games, though. Tea parties are good as are serving foods that you can share together. I also modeled sharing with DC or friends. One time Aya and her friend were fighting over a toy and the other mother and I exaggeratedly shared stuff for a while...they loved this game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by famousmockngbrd
And if so, is that as bad as it sounds?
So, I guess my final answer is...*maybe*...but no, it's not as bad as it sounds.



But, there's another issue here. If this is your *style* and something that you both enjoy...I can't see a big issue. Even if you did feel this was manipulative, you've got to be real with your child. I really don't see a big issue with this one thing and to sacrifice something that feels natural to you in favor of some 'strategy' is not a choice I would make.



Oh, my this is long...sorry! Have a good day, H.

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#17 of 28 Old 10-10-2004, 07:22 AM
 
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I can see this being done jokingly as a game but IMO if my husband made a statement like that I would really respect his opinion. He sees it as minipulating, hint hint hint. Some times we mom's can be wrong (Not very often though ) Wouldn't you want your husband to respect YOUR OPINION if you said something to him about his behavior? If he feels strong enough to mention something about something that is relitively small repect it.

As for your son learning to share there is many ways of doing this, other person posted tea party that is a good idea. Modeling the behavior: I have this sandwhich lets cut it in half and share.

There are times you don't share. My aunt gave me cold sores (which ever herpies it is) when I was two. When I have an out break I have to tell my kids NO, so there are times it is ok to say no.

Sharing is not just handing something over. It is splitting and making compromises. I have this toy you have this one. Dividing things up. Our saying you can have it after I am done with it.

My ex-husband was a only and could share (he was a jerk but that is another story).
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#18 of 28 Old 10-10-2004, 04:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree that tea parties (well, we make lunch with wooden food, etc.) and other games that inherently involve sharing are a really good idea. Just FTR, we do stuff like that. This isn't my only strategy for teaching him how to share.

Quote:
If he feels strong enough to mention something about something that is relitively small repect it.
Actually I asked him what he thought about it, he didn't bring it up on his own. It just occured to me as I was doing it that it might be considered manipulative, so I wanted his opinion on it. I don't think he had ever thought about it before then, but I could be wrong. That was the impression I got though.

Quote:
Sharing is not just handing something over. It is splitting and making compromises. I have this toy you have this one. Dividing things up. Our saying you can have it after I am done with it.
You don't consider this to fall in that latter category? I only take a sip or two and then I give it right back.


I don't think he has more of a problem sharing than any other 2 year old. Actually I think he's generally pretty good at it. I was an only child, maybe I have some issues with myself here? That's probably true but also beyond the scope of this thread. I don't think there are any underlying problems to be solved, it is really a little thing, as MarsupialMom said.

I'm trying to imagine this as an adult scenario:
Me: Can I have a sip of your drink?
Friend: No.
Me: But I'm really thirsty.
Friend: I said no.
That just wouldn't happen, am I right? I think it's just one of those toddler things they do, being contrary for the sake of contrariness. I don't think he has any great attachment to his water, he just wants to see what will happen if he says no. Will I get mad? Will I take the cup by force? Will I keep asking until he gives in? Will I actually shrivel up from dehydration? Will I just go get my own water, for crying out loud?

I am really intrigued by the whole child molester thing. On one hand, I (and surely everyone else here) believe the blame for child abuse rests solely upon the abuser. No child should have to ever feel guilty for not being able to aviod being abused. But, I do get what you are saying about children needing to be able to say no and stand up for themselves. Remember, I am talking about this one instance here, not my entire parenting style. I think there would have to be many other ways in which I squelch his will (if that is indeed what I am doing) for him to feel so disempowered as to not be able to say no to anyone.

I really hope I am not coming off as defensive. I don't feel attacked, I think this is an interesting discussion. I just wanted to give more information. It's so hard to convey tone sometimes so I am adding this disclaimer.
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#19 of 28 Old 10-10-2004, 04:41 PM
 
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oh I definitely agree that children aren't to blame for it at all!

What I'm thinking of is along the lines of "oh just give grandma a kiss" type guilt-trips or manipulation. I see it as an overall pattern which is VERY common and doesn't teach kids that they have control over their boundaries even if those boundaries are illogical to the rest of us.

As I said, I've definitely done some of this (and that) in the past but am learning to respect my own boundaries and those of my kids. I'm a survivor of molestation and recognizing how some of these things contributed to my being chosen as a target was a real awakening. I want to do whatever is possible to strengthen my kids so that they DON'T get targeted, KWIM? My family (while not molesters) was big into guilting and manipulating and I really feel that contributed to my not trusting or defending my own boundaries when it really counted.

Obviously this is just *one* instance, but undertsanding the implications that it can have on boundaries can be helpful. You're clearly a very aware parent wanting to do what is best, keep that up and you'll not go wrong.
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#20 of 28 Old 10-10-2004, 05:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NatureMamaOR
oh I definitely agree that children aren't to blame for it at all!

What I'm thinking of is along the lines of "oh just give grandma a kiss" type guilt-trips or manipulation. I see it as an overall pattern which is VERY common and doesn't teach kids that they have control over their boundaries even if those boundaries are illogical to the rest of us.
Ok...I see where you're coming from...if anyone were to tell my son something like that, I think I might flip...
It is really important for kids to know that they set their own boundaries with personal space, and that they know it's ok to defend the boundaries they're comfortable with.
It's real important that if someone pulls the "Why won't you come and sit in my lap" thing, that even a small child will have no problem saying "Because I don't want to, and I'm not going to." without feeling guilty...
I'm not sure a sippy cup is exactly the same, but I can also see that as they get older, it's important that they know food is generally not for casually sharing...you don't just pick up any random half eaten sandwich and take a bite out of it if you feel like it...
Hmmm...food for though...lol...
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#21 of 28 Old 10-10-2004, 07:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kellyb
...you don't just pick up any random half eaten sandwich and take a bite out of it if you feel like it...
Hmmm...food for though...lol...
Clearly you didn't grow up in my family! :LOL

Seriously, the only food issue I have is the desire to eat anything good NOW because growing up, if you put a piece of food down , it wouldn't be there when you got back! Dad was from a BIG, poor family, and ate any leftovers on our plates!

And, to get back on topic:
Quote:
Originally Posted by marsupialmom
I'm trying to imagine this as an adult scenario:
Me: Can I have a sip of your drink?
Friend: No.
Me: But I'm really thirsty.
Friend: I said no.
That just wouldn't happen, am I right?
This conversation could, and does, take place between me, my DP, members of my family and good friends. We are all food lovers, and share things as a matter of course. I'd be shocked and upset if my DP or any of my foodie friends wouldn't give me a bite or sip of what they had! In fact, if it was my DP, it would probably preface a fight. You've seen us in restaurants--we're the ones eating off of each other's plates and passing forkfuls of things around. I can't really enjoy good food unless it's shared!

--Deirdre
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#22 of 28 Old 10-10-2004, 07:54 PM
 
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This is how I am with food as well, especially restaurant food. But, when we ask to 'try' something...it's not really a question in the way that I'm fully expecting to have some.

Occasionally, DC can tell the difference ~ if I can manage to ask her something in the way that I expect the cooperation similar to an adult. If I just say, "That looks good, can I try?" I'd get cooperation for sure. But, if I say it because I want to test if she'll share...well, that's a much different kind of question, yk?

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#23 of 28 Old 10-10-2004, 11:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama
But, if I say it because I want to test if she'll share...well, that's a much different kind of question, yk?
Ack! No, you most definitely do not want to do that! That sounds like something the Pearls would do!



I'm still thinking about redirecting being a kind of manipulation. That is a very interesting point. Is it manipulative to offer a choice that I think DS might prefer, in order to distract him from doing something else that I don't want him to do? That's a tough question for me to answer, because it doesn't feel manipulative but I can totally see how it might be. Maybe there's a non-manipulative way to do it? The only other alternatives I see are getting into a direct conflict with him about it, or just let him do it. Maybe there are other solutions?
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#24 of 28 Old 10-11-2004, 01:24 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mollykatsmom
This conversation could, and does, take place between me, my DP, members of my family and good friends. We are all food lovers, and share things as a matter of course. I'd be shocked and upset if my DP or any of my foodie friends wouldn't give me a bite or sip of what they had! In fact, if it was my DP, it would probably preface a fight. You've seen us in restaurants--we're the ones eating off of each other's plates and passing forkfuls of things around. I can't really enjoy good food unless it's shared!--Deirdre

Some of us find it offensive for you even to ask!! Now if I offer food off my plate I have no problem sharing but don't ask me for my food. You know your family and your friends but don't be offended if someone doesnt want to share food. I share with my children but would not ask another adult for food off their plate (it was the way I was raised).

I had a roommate that use to always ask me for my food. I felt bad for being put in a possition of saying NO. It makes you feel like a meany and like you are offencive but there are many reasons why I don't want to share my food 1. I am starving. 2. I get cold sores. 3. I worked darn hard to pay for that food and I had a limited amount (Now I have a new one. I am changing my food eating habits. I need my set portion size sharing food can mess my mental controls I am trying to set. I take care of elderly grandparents and have to watch the ammount they eat.) Then of course there is the germ issues.

I was taught to always offer food and drink, though. LOL I grew up in a house that you didnot get out of our house without your own plate of food.

I was raised you never went into anothers home and asked for food you wait until it is offered. If you are thirsty it is ok to ask for water and nothing more but it is ok to accept other drink if OFFERED. If you were not invited to eat the polite thing to do is to leave.

********Mollykat I do have to agree with you about the half eaten sandwhich. That never happen in my home. But we were expected to offer the last piece to a guest first and in other homes ask if other people want it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by [COLOR=DarkRed
famousmockngbrd[/COLOR]]
I'm trying to imagine this as an adult scenario:
Me: Can I have a sip of your drink?
Friend: No.
Me: But I'm really thirsty.
Friend: I said no.
As I stated about sharing food and drink this situation does happen to me. I get cold sores. I got them from my aunt when I was about 2 (sharing drink and food). At times I think I might be getting one so I say no. I had a roommate that didn't get it. I have gotten dirty looks, assumptions, and rumors started about my cold sores there from kissing you know I MUST BE A SLUT. I am not trying to be rude, greedy, or offensive. I would also not just have said NO to you. I would be more inclined to say "No, but let me get you a drink/cup." I have had to be very insistant with people about not sharing my drinks and/or food. I shouldn't have to explain why I don't want to, but should have good enough manners to help you quinch your thirst some other way.
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#25 of 28 Old 10-11-2004, 04:54 AM
 
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This is an interesting thread, and at the very least a reminder to always be aware of our own motives and the manner in which we treat others. Specifically our young kiddo's.

FWIW, I have wanted to say "No" when dh has asked for a sip of my drink. He doesn't ask often (usually it would be the other way around) but there have been times when I have felt less than communal and would rather hog my water to myself.
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#26 of 28 Old 10-11-2004, 09:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by famousmockngbrd
Ack! No, you most definitely do not want to do that! That sounds like something the Pearls would do!


Oh, now that you repeat this back to me, I can see that what I said was a touch rude. The reason it came out that way is because I’m having a difficult time expressing what I mean here.

I'm basically saying that I think even young children react to, not only our words, but our motivation. I think they can *tell* when there's more going on. So, I believe that your child can sense that you're asking for more than a sip of his water in the times where you're also worrying that he won't be a person who shares down the road.

I also think that having some deeper concerns about this issue may put some negative expectations into the individual requests, which may cause a problem with him being willing to share in the first place.

I still think I'm not expressing myself very well here...I wish I could remember where I read this stuff because it *really* helped me wrap my mind around some feelings I was having about these issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by famousmockngbrd
Is it manipulative to offer a choice that I think DS might prefer, in order to distract him from doing something else that I don't want him to do?
I, personally, feel this *is* manipulation. I must say that I didn't start to see it this way until I realized that my daughter knew she was being manipulated (this was around 2.5 years).

But, I still do this with my child and would do it with my next children (although maybe to a lesser extent). Like I said, I don't think that manipulation is this terrible thing. It was just a big relief to me when I acknowledged that this is what I was doing.

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#27 of 28 Old 10-11-2004, 04:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ICM, I didn't think you were being rude. I was agreeing with you.

You've given me a lot to think about. My first reaction when I read your last post was, "But there isn't anything going on besides me wanting a drink, I don't set out to 'teach him a lesson'..." That is true, but if he says no, it does turn into something more. I guess that isn't really fair, since he has asked for my drink and I have said no, like if I'm drinking coffee or something. (I have given it to him, too. I just don't every time he asks.) So it seems reasonable for him to have that same option. It's not like he always says no.

Thanks, everyone - this has been enlightening in many ways -
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#28 of 28 Old 10-12-2004, 04:52 AM
 
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We offer things to dd and occassionally request things from her, and share with her when she asks. Recently were in a restaurant and she offered me some of her pancakes...I said, "No thanks, but thanks for offering." Later I offered her a bite of my dinner and she said, "No thanks, mommy, but thanks for offering." It was so sweet! If she asks me for a bite/sip I generally say yes. I don't usually ask for things from her but she will often offer...today she offered me a bite of her pumpkin cookie and I said, "No thanks, but thanks for offering," and then she asked my friend if she would like some. My friend did, so dd shared and seemed very pleased to be able to share. I think it's like people have pointed out, modelling is the best way to teach...it is great to be able to see her share and offer things.

Meghan, mom to 11yo, 8yo, and 3yo 

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