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okay, so ds just turned three and for the first time ever, he is going through this stage where he is doing things that he knows make me crazy for the reaction. ds has my full attention or availability all day long so it doesnt make sense that he would need more attention. so, everyone keeps telling me to do the ignore route, which goes against everything i have done with ds since day one of loving, hugging, kissing, singing during tantrums or difficult times. but i do not see many other alternatives. this has been often a problem between 1pm-5pm, it is a rough part of "no nap" days since ds has more or less stopped napping, about month and a half ago. since then he has seen me react by yelling out of exhaustion/frustration, and attempting the time out thing which he thinks is pretending of some sort. my concern is just that if i ignore ds and his attmepts to destry things for my reaction, first of all he does not learn anything and i am not parenting him. also, i do not want him to try to get attention in other ways or hurt his feelings or self esteem. i just feel like ds is playing a game, one that is NOT fun for mama!<br><br>
has anyone out there tried this? does it work? is it "gentle discipline"?<br><br>
jessie
 

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IMO, if he is acting out to gain your attention, then he needs your attention. Ignoring him will only dismiss his feelings and make him angrier.<br><br>
That does not mean you have to condone the way he is seeking your attention. Step in and stop the inappropriate behavior, explain (briefly) why it is unacceptable (it hurts, things could break, etc)--if he is really upset, I think it is ok to just stop the behavior and do this explaining later, when he is calm--and then label his emotion. "I think you need my attention." And, if at all possible, give it to him.<br><br>
When he is more calm, give him some appropriate ways to seek your attention when he is extra needy. Give him the words "I need a cuddle, mommy!" (that is what worked with my dd). Give him an object--a little sign that hangs in his room that says "I need attention, please" that he can bring to you and you will respect. Give him an action--ask that he simply take your hand when he needs your attention, and then respect that.
 

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Can you give some examples of things he does?<br><br>
When I'm at my best, reacting playfully works well with my 3 yo. when he seems to be trying to get my goat. Scooping him up and saying, <i>"What are you trying to do? You trying to make mommy crazy? What kind of silly game is this? Maybe you need some raspberries on your belly, huh? You are so goofy sometimes!"</i><br><br>
My son really likes to "play games" with me -- he knows which buttons to press to make me nuts, and it sometimes takes me a minute to catch that he is *flirting* with me! Once I catch it, I'm able to relax and share the joke.<br><br>
I don't know if that applies to your situation though.
 
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