am i being a pushover? - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 8 Old 11-16-2003, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My ds is 27 mos and we use GD. Lately we've started questioning whether it's too gentle, if that's possible. I keep getting myself in the same situation with ds and I don't know the solution. I'm not keen on the idea of time outs, although I guess I use a form of them sometimes. I'm starting to feel like he's running the show.

This morning I was loading the dishwasher. This is always a challenge because ds wants to get his hands into dirty dishes, climb inside the dishwasher, etc. My "rule" is that he cannot play near the dishwasher when I'm using it. But he is determined. After I ask him several times to stop, he continues. I've even raised my voice (yelled really, which I do not like to do), which makes him laugh. THere are a hundred similar situations that end the same, with me not knowing what to do.

What am I doing wrong? What is the GD way to teach a child there are consequences for his actions? I don't want to "punish" him but I want him to know there are rules that must be followed.

Thanks!
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#2 of 8 Old 11-16-2003, 02:09 PM
 
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I don't think you're necessarily being too soft, I think that some things are just best given up on until the child is older! I don't attempt the dishwasher when dd#2 is around, it's impossible, and she is unable to resist getting in it.

I find the best way to discipline half the time is to adapt your routine to remove the issue. That way, life isn't a continual confrontaition. I keep the firmness for things that are really important, eg plug sockets, and avoid the things that are just a pain. Otherwise 'no' is used too much and becomes a joke.

HTH
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#3 of 8 Old 11-16-2003, 02:42 PM
 
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can you let him help you with the dishes? maybe he can put some spoons in or some plastic dishes? they don't have to be in the right place, you can rearrange later, but if he gets to help a little bit then he might feel validated and not feel like the "stay away from the dishwasher" rule is arbitrary. i don't know if this would work for him or not. it works great for my dd who's a little bit older than your ds. (she'll be 3 in feb.) she's been helping on occasion probably since she was your ds's age. she usually gets bored and moves on to something else, but if she wants to help i'm happy to let her and hope i'm planting some seeds for her to continue to want to help when she's older and can really clean up after herself.

i think explaining why is very important, too. it is for us at least. if there's something i don't want her to do i'm always sure to say why, i.e.: "because if you drop a glass it breaks and makes sharp pieces we could get cut on and we have to clean it up." we've dropped a few glasses in dd's short lifetime so she's pretty familiar with it and is sad to be missing some of her faves and also hates the vacuum when we clean up. (we usually sweep except for broken glass or other really big messes.)

so, if you don't want to go the route of letting him help you, then i'd be sure to explain why you don't want him to -- "i don't want you to get hurt on the sharp knives. i don't want you to climb in the dishwasher -- that might break it," etc. and i think britishmum's advice is right on the money, too, if neither of the above work for you. just do it when daddy is around to entertain ds or after ds is napping or asleep for the night.

as far as other situations, i have to stop and ask myself, is this something that i'm making an arbitrary rule about or is this something that dd really needs to understand not to do? i think when i set up too many arbitrary rules without good reasons behind them then dd can sense that and doesn't listen when i really need her to like in issues of safety like britishmum mentioned. some things aren't really issues of safety -- like we don't draw with crayons on the wall, but i explain that it's hard to clean it off and that seems to satisfy her and, of course, i tell her that paper is the appropriate place to draw and offer her some. i guess we don't really have too many "rules" in our house, but take each situation as it comes up. sometimes that results in messes if dd is helping me in the kitchen for example, but she's washable!!

hth

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#4 of 8 Old 11-16-2003, 05:47 PM
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You've gotten some really good ideas already I just want to add that it really *does* change as they get older. When Rain was a toddler, I somewhere in the back of my mind had this idea that I would always be rearranging life to avoid situation where she would wreak havoc in some way. It really was a comparatively short time period, though. And the bonus of parenting like that - by setting up situations where your child succeeeds - is that later, they see you as an ally, as someone who will help them. And they also copy the behavior that you modeled, they try to help create situations where you'll succeed, too.

Yesterday I put in a load of laundry and then Rain and I walked the dogs, and then she dog the dogs in while I fed and watered the chickens, and gathered eggs. When I got home I saw that the washer had totally flooded, the whole room was a swamp. Rain had moved the boxes I had stored there to higher ground and was sweeping the water out the door - ten, she's ten! I was so impressed...

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#5 of 8 Old 11-16-2003, 06:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, you've all given me great advice. I have tried many of the techniques in one form or another, but probably not consistently or routinely. One issue I keep having is that, probably due to the way I was brought up, my initial reaction is not the reaction I'd like to have. So this seems to be a learning process for me as well, so that ultimitely the "right" reaction comes out without thinking. But sometimes I feel like I'm just too tired to work so hard to get it right, I know that sounds terrible. Maybe one day when I'm feeling motivated I'll generate a list of reactions to his common behaviors that I want him to change, then post them on the refrigerator so I'll use them and remember them.

Dar, it's great to hear stories of older children that have benefited from these approaches. Thanks for sharing, sounds like you'v'e got a gem!

Thanks!!
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#6 of 8 Old 11-17-2003, 01:24 AM
 
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tracy, definitely the way we were brought up affects us HUGELY!!

Even though I am committed to GD and age-appropriate rules, etc...I find myself trying to enforce a "rule" that I realize, when I stop and think about it, is stupid.

DD insists on walking up to the TV and turning it off. It drives us nuts. I decided one day it was time to teach her "no". : I was going to be patient, I was aware it would take many repititions. Well, it's been two weeks and I'm already sick of it. Saying no just makes her laugh, and she does it anyways.

And really, what is so horrible about it? We probably watch too much TV anyways, lol.

And when I think to myself "she's obviously not ready for this - just block the TV off so she can't reach the buttons" then I hear my mother's voice saying "she has to learn no! who rules the roost here? where's the discipline?"

And Dar is so right of course that this phase lasts such a short time and then I can explain to her not to do things and hopefully she'll be trusting enough of me to listen!


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#7 of 8 Old 11-17-2003, 02:06 PM
 
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I stopped loading the dishwasher for a period of time in each of my son's toddlerhood. LOL! At least, when they were around. I either did it during a short video when they were distracted, or I did when DH was home to distract them. But it was a *short* period of time in their lives... at some point the issue just dissapeared. As soon as possible I incorporated their "help" with loading the dishwasher regularly -- which is where I am at with my 3 yo. My 7 year old can do it independently, which is *wondeful.*
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#8 of 8 Old 11-20-2003, 01:45 AM
 
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I agree with the other lady's you are not being too gentle. Just you now have a 27mth old and need a few more tricks.
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