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#1 of 37 Old 11-27-2004, 12:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It's starting to really drive me crazy. : I ask him repeatedly to get in his carseat, he just keeps moseying around the yard as though he hasn't heard me. I ask him if he wants an apple and I have to repeat it 5 times and even then sometimes I don't get an answer! I know he hears me, if he doesn't respond to the first couple of times I ask, I go over to him and get down next to him and touch his arm and he STILL ignores me. : I'm starting to lose my cool over it.

Actually I'm starting to lose it over a lot of things. It's like I just want to get from A to B, I don't want to spend a lot of time on it and I don't have the patience to defuse potential conflicts or find fun ways to do things. A lot of stressful sh*t has been going on - our new car died, my mom is in the hospital, etc. etc. - I won't turn this into a whine fest but I just do not have the patience I used to have. I am pregnant and hormonal and I just want him to get in the damn carseat so we can go visit my mom in the hospital, for pete's sake!! : I feel like I get mad at him a lot so not only am I stressed and impatient, but I feel guilty for snapping at him ten times a day.

I'm just losing my GD focus. I find myself wanting him to do things just because I said so. I find myself making threats. The other day I said to him, after telling him ten times to stand with both feet on the chair (as opposed to trying to climb up over the back and onto the windowsill) - "In a minute, you won't be allowed to stand on the chair at all!" OMG, it was like I was channelling my grandmother for a minute! I don't want him to feel like I am mad at him all the time, but I don't feel like I am able to control myself like I usually am. Ugh. This has just turned into a massive, unproductive vent. I am going to go read up on the latest threads here, I need a refresher course.

Thanks for listening.
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#2 of 37 Old 11-27-2004, 01:00 AM
 
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Please Please know that there is NOTHING gentle about PINCHING YOUR CHILD!
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#3 of 37 Old 11-27-2004, 01:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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mar4JC, I appreciate you trying to help but that is SO not what I needed to hear right now. My heart is racing, just reading your post and typing this response. Seriously, pounding. You say my son doesn't take me seriously? That I should *pinch* him to get him to listen to me? And you call that "GD with a spark?"

I'm sorry, I'm upset. I'm not able to be calm right now. This is what I'm talking about. I need to get a grip. Like I said, I appreciate you trying to help but I want to go in a different direction than what you are suggesting.
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#4 of 37 Old 11-27-2004, 01:15 AM
 
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Hey- can I suggest, no, I INSIST that you read the sticky on the top of this forum.
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#5 of 37 Old 11-27-2004, 01:18 AM
 
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sticky? where is it?
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#6 of 37 Old 11-27-2004, 01:22 AM
 
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Here, I added a link-
https://mothering.com/discussions/sho...d.php?t=113264

I understand that you are newer here, and reading your other posts, I can see that you are also learning about AP as well. I understand hat as I was once there too, but I really do suggest that before you try to give advice to another member, try to read all forum giudelines.
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#7 of 37 Old 11-27-2004, 01:22 AM
 
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Here's a quote from that sticky:

Quote:
Please appreciate that this forum is not a place to uphold or advocate physical punishment of children. Personal preferences for and encouragement of use of physical punishment are inappropriately posted here.
In other words, "judicious application of pain" is just not something we do here. I see that you are a newer member, mar4JC, and suggest you might learn some alternative methods of discipline on these boards. However, advocating physical punishment is just not appropriate here.

As for the OP, I feel you. My three-year-old has been VERY trying lately, esp. as I am now pregnant and my tether is even shorter than usual. I think it's a phase and my best advice is to choose your battles. I know it's hard though. We've been doing "If-then" stuff too -- "Yes, you can have a piece of pie after dinner since you ate your dinner. But IF you keep asking for pie over and over in the meantime, THEN you can't have it." He tends to me ignore me with this stuff too and I think I fell into the habit of making empty threats -- now that I'm following through it seems to be sinking in a little. Good luck.
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#8 of 37 Old 11-27-2004, 01:29 AM
 
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Eek. Pinching. Yikes.

Hey, mama to the monkey boy, I feel your pain - on the ignoring and the losing your gd focus. One thing that always helps me on the latter point is to pull out a favorite gd book and read a little. "Becoming the Parent You Want to Be" is the one I usually reach for first because it reminds me quickly of where my son is and what I'm striving for in this parenting journey.

As for the ignoring, I've found that it helps my patience infinitely if I just skip the initial addressing from afar and go straight to the "squat, touch, and talk." Sometimes he still doesn't listen and then I just have to help him to do what needs to be done or, if he's really focused on something, I can help him complete what he's doing (or just wait a moment) and then he's ready to go. It also helps to engage him in play a little bit, rather than just talking in a normal voice - sometimes sillily (is that a word?) singing out a request/point/whatever gets his attention more effectively and also helps to lighten my glowering mood.

Another thing good about getting out of the habit of addressing him from afar too much is that you set a precedent that's going to come in handy in another year or so when your hair is standing on end because his tone of preference is a shriek and he's using it to call you from the next room. It won't totally eliminate it, but at least you can honestly say, "Hey, man, we don't do that around here. When we want to talk to people, we come to them and speak in a gentle voice."
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#9 of 37 Old 11-27-2004, 01:30 AM
 
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Thank you for sharing the sticky. I obviously would have read it if I knew where to find it.

GD is wonderful. Just bear in mind that physical application of pain is only 1 form of abuse. Verbal abuse is just as bad. I know someone who does not hit her kids, but she yells at them all day. That's not gentle. Not in my book.
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#10 of 37 Old 11-27-2004, 01:32 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mar4JC
Thank you for sharing the sticky. I obviously would have read it if I knew where to find it.

GD is wonderful. Just bear in mind that physical application of pain is only 1 form of abuse. Verbal abuse is just as bad. I know someone who does not hit her kids, but she yells at them all day. That's not gentle. Not in my book.
Absolutely. Fortunately we don't have to choose one or the other.

Welcome to GD.
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#11 of 37 Old 11-27-2004, 01:34 AM
 
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Just a thought...after all were talking a 2 year old here. I have older kids but I think with a 2 year old what I would do(And I have a bad temper as well that needs controlling!). In the car seat example I would let him know we were leaving in 10mins 5 mins 2 mins...time to get in car! Time to get in car!! Then if still no go. Go over pick him up and calmly put him in car. The key here is CALM...you gave him warnings and asked him nice and now you will do it for him...done

Otherwise remember: he will respond better to positive than negative...when he listens quickly and is good say "Wow! You listened so well!! Good job! You made that so much easier for Mommy...what a good boy!" I have been trying to remeber to praise my children when they are being good, playing nice and listening and its paying off way quicker than I thought it would!! My son's JK teacher is also using positives at school and is getting reat results. he went from having a note sent home that he spit on the teacher to TWO days in a row of two thumbs up days!!! All from her taking notice and saying "You're doing great!" to him when he was being good. Its amazing.

Another suggestion: I have a friend with a 2 year old son and the problem with them is that she talks way too much and her son is tuning her out..she is now white noise. I keep telling her about being positive with him and relaxing a bit(she's stressy) and hope maybe she'll have it click but she's not getting the support she needs from her dh so it makes it hard.

I've been re-reading one part of one of my parenting books over and over that deals with guiding our children and that helps as well...constanly reminding myself that my anger is as much or more of a punishment to my children than the actual yelling thing. I need to put a big "Be CALM" sign up in every room somedays I think, but then I have really good days where when I do feel the temper redlining I clench my teeth and think it thru...and everyone ends up happier in the end...even me

HTH!!
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#12 of 37 Old 11-27-2004, 01:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Dragonfly, that's a good idea about going straight to the "squat - touch - talk" - I will start doing that. I used to be pretty good about using a silly voice or whatever to get my point across but lately I just haven't had the energy. But I think I do it as much to lighten my own mood as to gain his attention, just like you said, so I need to find the energy again! It's not DS's fault I don't have the energy to be a kind and patient mom, he shouldn't have to suffer for it. And what a sad commentary on myself that it takes such an effort for me to be kind and patient these days! I think what I really need is a little break, I have to let off some steam from this pressure cooker I have become.

cassblonde, I like your "positive reinforcement" approach but I am concerned about giving too much praise for things that he really should be doing anyway, KWIM? But I get what you are saying about noticing the good behavior, not just the bad.
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#13 of 37 Old 11-27-2004, 01:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cassblonde
I've been re-reading one part of one of my parenting books over and over that deals with guiding our children and that helps as well...constanly reminding myself that my anger is as much or more of a punishment to my children than the actual yelling thing.
I know. I really don't want him to feel like I am on edge all the time. But I AM on edge all the time, so it's really hard. I know I am making myself sound like a crazy person here, I know this will get better but right now I am under a lot of stress. I just feel like I am stuffing my frustration down most of the time. And this ignoring thing is new, he just started doing it. I wonder if it's a coincidence with really bad timing or if it's directly related to how stressed I've been. I don't know.
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#14 of 37 Old 11-27-2004, 03:35 AM
 
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I agree with cassblond that at this age, too much talking is not the answer.

If they don't do as asked, then gently help them do it. Calm is the only emotion that needs to be shown.

And as for pinching, I really thought your were kidding. I mean, UGH, this is just never necessary (nor is verbal abuse)
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#15 of 37 Old 11-27-2004, 04:02 AM
 
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I am new to this thread, and was going to start a new one, I will if this is inapproprate here...but here goes...
I feel so yukky because lately I have been slipping into my mothers way of parenting... yelling and even spanking are becoming norn for me agian, : and I swore I would not be this way with my kids after all we have been through. I can't use my past abuse as an excuse, though we have just this year left a really bad marriage... and I can see how it affects them even if I just raise my voice because I am at the end of my rope and can't think of anything positive to do or find the energy to go there...

when I am being good, I sing-song requests, praise and place them where they need to be or redirect calmly...
but the last month or two we have been battling chickenpox and other nasty viruses, and I am SO lo on sleep and just at my wits end...I haven't felt this angry at my kids for just being kids since I was Post partum and insane with my ex...

I want to cry when I see that so many other mommas seem to do it so easily. I feel like I am tainted somehow and that I will never be a non-yelling momma or a non-angry mommy...

have to stop, tears are blurring the keys...........
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#16 of 37 Old 11-27-2004, 04:08 AM
 
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Have you done something relaxing with him? It sounds like you have lots of stress. I can totally relate and, infact could have written your post (although it is a dear friend and she's dying in hospice ) among other day-to-day stresses.

Reading your post kinda gave me a more objective look on the situation. It reminded me that I need to make room to do some outings that are completely on the kids schedule. And let them know it. I've done it in the past and it works wonders.
Tell him "ok, we're doing things on child's name time now." We'll stop and examine this rock on the way to the car, doddle and hum our way to the carseat. Wait patiently to get in the carseat the slowest way possible and maybe enjoy the Zen-like quality of it all. We'll go for a walk in the park and dilly-dally along the path. It gives us mama's a chance to pause and reflect on the wonders of the simple things. Breathe. And remember the beauty of our kids. And see the world at child-speed for a little while. It can only be good for our own stress levels. Be silent and let the child guide the conversation, ask him what he thinks. Tell him you love him. It can only help for us to fit this in.
Then when you are having struggles with time constraints you can gently remind him that you have to be on Mama's time for a while and you can be on his time again when you go on your next outing.
Maybe making a point to take the time to really listen to the things he has to say, will help to remind him to listen to the things you have to say.
I have to practice this too.
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#17 of 37 Old 11-27-2004, 04:14 AM
 
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Another quick thought. I have noticed that in situations when we have developed a bit of a power struggle, I try to with-hold both the praise and the complaints for a little while. If I praise my little one for listening to me where this has been an issue, he will look at me like this and proceed to ignore me at his first chance. I believe that he will learn that things go much more smoothly when he does listen. Then I remember to add praise when the issue is gone.
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#18 of 37 Old 11-27-2004, 04:15 AM
 
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...so much of this is just remembering to be in the moment and ZEN about it all...the Tao of Pooh is something I should read again...

Thanks for that last post, it makes it seem so much easier to just remember how simple it can be to honor my kids and be in their shoes for a moment. *sigh*

now, i just have to deal with the guilt for being awful lately :
I guess I can remind myself about all the times I was really conscious of being good about discipline...
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#19 of 37 Old 11-27-2004, 04:46 AM
 
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I must say that being ignored sends me over the edge. It is something that I am working on right now actually. Ds does this weird little head shake/facial expression when he has heard me but is choosing to ignore me (it's hard to explain, but I see him do it and I want to scream). When I do yell out of frustration, he then says "Mommy, don't be so loud." Which sounds all cute and sweet, but at the moment just fuels the fire. Then I have heard myself actually say "Well, if you would listen to me the first 5 times I said something, I wouldn't have to yell!" Okay, like I mentioned, it's something I'm working on. Here are a few things that sometimes work for me:

Give him a choice as to HOW it's going to get done. For instance, a biggie around here is changing a poop diaper. After telling him it needs to get done, that he can bring his train, blah blah blah, I finally say "Do you want to walk, or do you want me to carry you?" If he ignores me totally, I say "Okay, since you don't want to walk, I will carry you." His hearing really perks up then, he wails that he wants to walk, so fine, we walk over to change the diaper.

If I can muster the creative thought and physical energy at the moment, offer a fun way to do it, like a piggy back ride or race to the carseat. I hear you on not always being able to be creative, but if I have the least bit of energy left in me, I give this a try when I can.

My ds is in the "why, why, why" stage. And while I am all into answering his questions and explaining whatever it is he is interested in, there are times when it is obvious that he is just saying "why" to prolong the insane conversation and avoid doing whatever it is we need to do. So I really don't think that there is anything so awful about the answer sometimes being "Because I said so." When I thought about it, I realized that I try to empower ds to be able to make his own decisions and have opinions and input without having to always have an explanation behind it, so why do I think it's required that I must explain myself ad nauseum for every little request? He knows it's time to go, he knows where we are going, he knows he has to be in his carseat, so I am not going to explain why each and every time. And sometimes I tell him exactly that.

If he's involved in playing with something in particular, I suggest that he bring it with him.

I don't offer bribes, but if something fun is being done afterwards, like going the park or the library, stopping to get smoothies, I remind him of this, and tell him that I hope we get going quickly so that we have enough time to still do it.

And while I don't threaten to leave him, there are times I have just gone ahead, gathered up my stuff, and walked downstairs to get in the car. I don't turn on the engine or anything, but I get my purse in there, get the keys ready, open the garage door, or whatever it is you do right before you leave. This often gets him moving, but if not, he is definitely paying attention when I come back in to get him.

But what often works the best is this:

Quote:
We'll stop and examine this rock on the way to the car, doddle and hum our way to the carseat. Wait patiently to get in the carseat the slowest way possible and maybe enjoy the Zen-like quality of it all. We'll go for a walk in the park and dilly-dally along the path. It gives us mama's a chance to pause and reflect on the wonders of the simple things. Breathe.
I have found that it actually gets us out the door quicker if I let him do the frustrating game of having to put the socks on his hands, and then play tug of war with them, before putting them on his feet, than if I had argued with him about just putting his darn socks on. But that's not exactly being ignored, so maybe not relevant here.

Sorry I'm rambling - it's late and I need to go to bed. I mainly wanted to empathize about the whole being ignored thing. It's the one that test me the most.
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#20 of 37 Old 11-27-2004, 06:00 AM
 
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Quote:
Otherwise remember: he will respond better to positive than negative...when he listens quickly and is good say "Wow! You listened so well!! Good job! You made that so much easier for Mommy...what a good boy!" I have been trying to remeber to praise my children when they are being good, playing nice and listening and its paying off way quicker than I thought it would!! My son's JK teacher is also using positives at school and is getting reat results. he went from having a note sent home that he spit on the teacher to TWO days in a row of two thumbs up days!!! All from her taking notice and saying "You're doing great!" to him when he was being good. Its amazing.

Cass, there was just an article in Mothering magazine about this very issue.
(The Craze For Endless Praise
By Jane Lebak
It is possible to say "Good Job" too many times.)
Or do a search on "good job" in the parenting forums.
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#21 of 37 Old 11-27-2004, 03:28 PM
 
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Just a note re: reaching the end of your rope -- it's possible to put yourself in time-out for awhile and cool out! Both dh and I do this on occasion when we are losing our tempers and can't handle situations rationally.
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#22 of 37 Old 11-28-2004, 05:32 PM
 
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I'm certainly not the "perfect GD Mom" but here's how I would/do handle some of these situations:

Getting in the car: "You have a choice, you can climb into the carseat yourself or I can put you in your carseat." (if there's still no response after a minute or so) "OK, it looks like you're choosing to have Mommy put you in the carseat" (and then I start to put him in the seat Sometimes he lets me and sometimes he then insists on doing it himself, which I allow him to do.) We also do a lot of "Is the toy going to stay in the house or is it coming in the car with us?"- giving him control over SOMETHING while still insisting that it's time for us to go. I've also found that giving him too many choices usualy backfires- if he's overwhelmed with the number of choices, I'll reduce it to two choices or just pick him up and put him in the car, and try for a more gentle approach next time.

Eating an apple: I don't ask him 5 times. If he doesn't respond by the second request, I assume the answer is "no thanks Mom." If he asks me later, I'll consider his request then (and if I don't get an answer as to whether he wants it peeled or cut, then I make a decision for him.)

Standing on the chair: "You have a choice, you can stand on the chair properly or you can get off the chair."- making the same "threat" but saying it more "gently."

I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with "Because I'm the Mommy and I said so" being the answer sometimes- kids do feel more secure when they know Mommy's in charge, even if they rebel at the time the rules are laid down.

Don't be too hard on yourself for being short-tempered during a stressful time. You're human.

Ruth, single mommy to 3 quasi-adults
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#23 of 37 Old 11-28-2004, 06:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your responses, everyone.

The past few days have been better. I have stopped repeating myself over and over again, which I'm sure is a relief to both of us. I talked it over with DH and we decided here is the way we'll handle it: ask once. If no answer, go over to him, touch him, and ask again. If no answer, tell him he can either do it himself (choose a shirt, walk to the changing table, get in the carseat, leave the store, etc.) or we will do it for him. Then follow through. It has worked OK so far. I think we were both reluctant to engage in the battles that might result from us picking him up physically and putting him in the carseat, etc. The way we have dealt with that is to build in more "dawdling time" - give him a few minutes to examine the bushes in the front yard, the rocks in the parking lot, etc. before we tell him to come along, get in the seat, whatever. That way by the time we tell him to do something, we really mean it and it doesn't turn into "Well, I told him to come along but he's really engrossed in that bug so I'll give him another minute." I think that's part of what has led us into this situation in the first place, he figures we don't always really mean it. So now we are trying to not say anything until we DO really mean it, then follow through right away. I am rambling - does all this make sense? LOL I hope so.

Something funny happened this AM that almost was something really bad. I was trying to get DS dressed to go to the hospital to visit my mom. I grabbed a shirt and tried to put it on him - he said he didn't want to wear it. OK, so come here and pick out a shirt. (I know I'm supposed to give him a choice between 2 shirts but he does well with just picking his own shirt out of the drawer.) No answer. I go over to him, touch his arm and ask him again to come pick out a shirt. He ignores me. : "COLTRANE!" I yell. "I AM TIRED OF ASKING YOU THIS QUESTION!" Suddenly I hear myself and realize how ridiculous I am being. Cole is looking at me somewhat warily. I change my tone to a kind of banter. "DO YOU WANT ME TO YELL EVERYTHING LIKE THIS SO YOU CAN HEAR ME BETTER?" He smiles and yells back, "NO!" I yell, "OK THEN, COME GET A SHIRT PLEASE! THANK YOU!" And he did.

I would not recommend this approach, BTW. :LOL

ETA: "Because I'm the Mommy and I said so" - I do kind of have a problem with this. Maybe because I got a lot of that when I was a kid, I was expected to comply with all kinds of rules that seemed silly to me and that were never explained, I was just supposed to accept them because an adult made them. It is frustrating to have to do something that you don't see the value in doing, and even more so when the person who is insisting you do it won't even give you the reasons why THEY think it's important.

This is not to say you should give long winded explainations all day until the cows come home, or engage in lengthy arguments about everything. But I think we should give our children the courtesy of a short, to the point explaination if at all possible. They don't have to agree or even understand, but I do think they should at least hear the reason why.
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#24 of 37 Old 11-28-2004, 06:32 PM
 
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OT,but is his name really Coltrane? that is super cool!!!
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#25 of 37 Old 11-28-2004, 06:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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:LOL Yes, his name is really Coltrane. Thanks!
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#26 of 37 Old 11-28-2004, 06:44 PM
 
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:devil: I might have to steal that one if I ever have another boy....

btw, I know a baby named Mayfield (after Curtis)

sorry, waaay OT!
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#27 of 37 Old 11-28-2004, 06:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That's a good name. Is Mayfield a girl or a boy?

If this second baby is a girl we're thinking of naming her Holiday, after Billie. But A) it might be cheesy to name our kids on a theme and B) I'm not crazy about the nickname Holli. It's on the table, though.
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#28 of 37 Old 11-28-2004, 06:50 PM
 
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Mayfield is a boy but would've had the same name if he'd been a girl.

If my ds had been a girl he would've been Simone (after Nina, my fave singer of all time).
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#29 of 37 Old 11-28-2004, 10:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by famousmockngbrd
I go over to him, touch his arm and ask him again to come pick out a shirt. He ignores me. : "COLTRANE!" I yell. "I AM TIRED OF ASKING YOU THIS QUESTION!" Suddenly I hear myself and realize how ridiculous I am being. Cole is looking at me somewhat warily. I change my tone to a kind of banter. "DO YOU WANT ME TO YELL EVERYTHING LIKE THIS SO YOU CAN HEAR ME BETTER?" He smiles and yells back, "NO!" I yell, "OK THEN, COME GET A SHIRT PLEASE! THANK YOU!" And he did.
:LOL I love this! Way to turn it around! I'm going to remember this for the next time I start to lose my cool. (Probably tomorrow. )
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#30 of 37 Old 11-28-2004, 10:55 PM
 
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Hey, FMB

Hugs, mama. This thread had an odd start so I’ll just respond as I go, okay?

First, I know the feeling of being stressed and feeling like more solutions for how you should do better or find more energy seems like an insulting suggestion. When a parent comes on here saying they’ve reached an end of sorts ~ it’s hard to hear that they should just find more…as if it grows on trees. My opinion of this advice is that it comes from a good place but a place of no advice left to give…at which point commiseration seems like a better approach. I’ve been there! It’s hard.

~Moving on…I agree that ‘too much talking’ is a trap I find myself in as a parent ~ and the solution ~ not explaining as much is a hard solution to find.

~In regards to falling into our caregiver’s mistakes…I know this is a problem for most of us. I feel the urge to do what my parents did ~ the good and the bad.

~Honesty is something I’ve been struggling with. I can ‘do’ the whole calm/rational-well worded parenting thing very well but I’ve found some new comfort in just being real with my child. I’ve been letting her see some of my anger and frustration. We’ve joked with emotions that are more ‘negative’ and things are much better. I give my *own* emotions names and express them to her…it really helps. I’d be happy to tell you more of how this looks if you’re interested.

~With listening, have you thought of not repeating yourself? Oh, I see your last post…yea, it works, ha?

Yea, cute name, btw.

Good to hear that things are going better. Sometimes, posting in GD just gives me the incentive to really address a problem.

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