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Discussion Starter #1
I have an almost 4 year old daughter. I've tried really hard to practice GD w/her. Lately, she's started this whole new thing where our exchanges go like this:<br><br>
Me, after telling her to do something close to 5 TIMES, I'll say:<br><br>
B, if you don't want do ____ then you can go to your room.<br><br>
B: If <span style="text-decoration:underline;">YOU</span> don't want to let me do _____ (what she was doing) then <span style="text-decoration:underline;">YOU</span> go to <span style="text-decoration:underline;">YOUR</span> room!<br><br>
I'm trying to accurately paint a portrait of one our exchanges but I can't right now. It's like she talks to me like a peer, not her mother. Like she doesn't get that I'm in charge. Basically, she will say things to me, that I say to her. Like "when you say that to me it makes ME MAD!!!!!" I don't yell it though. I will say something like, "B when you talk to me that way it hurts my feelings, or makes me sad" or "when you pull my hair it hurts and makes me angry".<br><br>
It feels like to me she is getting angry over me telling her what to do, when she doesn't want to do it. Then she yells, shoves me, tells me to go to my room. If she wants something that I have, for example, she'll say "give that to me!", and I"ll say "excuse me? is that how you ask for something?" and then she'll give some other smarta&^ comment.<br><br>
A friend has implied that this is because I'm not strict enough. That parents can't be both friends and parental figures. That my dd shouldn't talk to me that way (and I agree). I just don't know what to do about it, gently.
 

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I have a very vivacious 5 year old DD who wants what she wants when she wants it. We struggle similarly.<br><br>
One thing I know is that respect is a HUGE concept. It's easy to get your kids to do what you say if they're afraid of you, but that's not the relationship I want. Brattiness, to a certain extent, is something to work through and grow out of...<br><br>
I try to talk to DD at quiet times, about different things that happened through out the day. When we're both mellow and it's not charged, I'll try to explain to her why respect is important. And reiterate that Mommy is pretty reasonable--but if I ask her to do something there's a reason behind it and I need COOPERATION. Another big concept!
 

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I tend to see these exchanges as a positive sign that I am doing the right thing. It means they feel they can express themselves to me and they are mirroring my communication techniques.<br><br>
This means room for dialogue and it means you can examine what works and what doesn't.<br><br>
I found my kid did this at that age too, and he still does. It was when we REALLY began being able to talk about feelings and needs and boundaries in a very open and honest way. It is REALLY frustrating and now is when you might find yourself saying "Because I SAID SO!" but that's not really an answer, is it? It's just that you don't want to explain why...but the why is how they learn.<br><br>
It's frustrating, but I think you're doing the right thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks, intuitively I do feel like if she mirrors what I say then I am getting thru somewhat. She does always tell me what she's feeling, both good and bad feelings and I guess I should be happy and acknowledge that. I do want her to always be able to me anything. I do believe that I can be both her friend (she always calls me her best friend) and her mother as well. I do feel like I tell her all the time the "whys" but I'm not sure she's understanding me and like my friend says, "you can't reason with a 3 year old". But she's almost 4, and she's bright. So, idk...
 

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I don't know if this is a good approach but I really try to avoid the power struggle scenarios because I can't think of a good way out of them and it's like this little trap right. So I tend towards a consequence I can easily enforce--like me walking away from them or not being able to proceed onto X activity until they do Y--because that is easier to enforce than the child having to go to their room or some other kind of active consequence.<br><br>
My kids talk to me the way I talk to them too. It makes sense to me--they are these little mimic-ers and copiers and that's how they learn how to navigate the world. I had an epiphany when they started ordering me around--I realized that's how I sound to them. So I very consciously changed my language to "please do X" and at the same time I started coaching them on how to ask me nicely to do something and I wouldn't do it until they asked the nice way. But for the example you gave where your DD was refusing to do something you asked, I guess for myself I would go back to the paragraph above where I try not to engage in a power struggle at all. If they don't do something within a few asks, I start to walk away and say "let me know when you're ready to get dressed and I'll come back to help you." I also do natural consequences like "you can't eat your lunch until after you wash your hands".<br><br>
The first few times I did this, they tested me. For example we were on vacation and my son refused to walk any more. He was crying and having a tantrum. I sat down and held him but kept firm to "I can't carry you, but I'll sit here with you until you're ready to walk again." After 20 minutes he stopped crying, got up and said "mommy let's go."<br><br>
Now they know I mean business and that we can't do the next thing until they do X first. So although sometimes they hem and haw (especially over handwashing for some reason) most of the time just me saying "OK you let me know when you're ready" works immediately for me.
 
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