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Discussion Starter #1
And if so, is that as bad as it sounds? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"><br><br>
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.<br><br>
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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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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Discussion Starter #3
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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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.
 

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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.<br><br>
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!<br><br>
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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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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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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There's quite a bit about GD that I worry is manipulative. I'll give this one some thought.<br><br>
My very first thought is that if you feel there is a problem than there very well may be. If not, probably not.<br><br>
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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Discussion Starter #10
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.<br><br>
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?<br><br>
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. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>IdentityCrisisMama</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">There's quite a bit about GD that I worry is manipulative.</div>
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ICM, like what?
 

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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.<br><br>
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.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">There's quite a bit about GD that I worry is manipulative.</td>
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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. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/headscratch.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headscratch"> Maybe I misunderstood?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>NatureMamaOR</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">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.<br><br>
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.</div>
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I agree, they learn best by example. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nod.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nod"> I do try to model empathy, and not just to teach DS a lesson! heh<br><br>
Am I really violating his boundaries? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/crap.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crap"> 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. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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Honestly? yea. that's how a LOT of molesters worm their way into children's lives. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shake.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shake"> 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).<br><br><br>
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. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Naw...I don't think that's manipulative.<br>
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?"<br>
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...<br>
As for child molesters...that's the character fault of the child molester...not the child that's been manipulated into being "too nice"!<br>
A child can be positively reinforced into likeing sharing, and still know and respect their own, and others, boundaries, IMO...<br>
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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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>famousmockngbrd</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">ICM, like what?</div>
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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...<br><br>
-Changing the subject/distraction<br><br>
-Giving choices when it gives the illusion of total control<br><br>
-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<br><br>
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.<br><br>
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.<br><br>
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?<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>famousmockngbrd</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">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?<br></div>
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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.<br><br>
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.<br><br>
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.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>famousmockngbrd</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">And if so, is that as bad as it sounds?</div>
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So, I guess my final answer is...*maybe*...but no, it's not as bad as it sounds. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br><br><br>
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.<br><br><br><br>
Oh, my this is long...sorry! Have a good day, H.
 

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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, <span>hint hint hint</span>. Some times we mom's can be wrong (Not very often though <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> ) 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.<br><br>
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.<br><br>
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.<br><br>
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.<br><br>
My ex-husband was a only and could share (he was a jerk but that is another story).
 

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Discussion Starter #18
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. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">If he feels strong enough to mention something about something that is relitively small repect it.</td>
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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.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">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.</td>
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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.<br><br><br>
I don't think he has more of a problem sharing than any other 2 year old. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> 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. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I don't think there are any underlying problems to be solved, it is really a little thing, as MarsupialMom said.<br><br>
I'm trying to imagine this as an adult scenario:<br>
Me: Can I have a sip of your drink?<br>
Friend: No.<br>
Me: But I'm really thirsty.<br>
Friend: I said no.<br>
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? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
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.<br><br>
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. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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oh I definitely agree that children aren't to blame for it at all!<br><br>
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.<br><br>
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.<br><br>
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. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>NatureMamaOR</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">oh I definitely agree that children aren't to blame for it at all!<br><br>
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.</div>
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Ok...I see where you're coming from...if anyone were to tell my son something like that, I think I might flip...<br>
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.<br>
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...<br>
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...<br>
Hmmm...food for though...lol...
 
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