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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My DS will turn 3 in August.<br><br>
My DH & I are at odds as to how to deal with DS - who is as stubborn as a mule by nature!! I think DS's tantrums, although tedious, are kinda cute and very normal. My DH thinks DS is totally out of control, has no respect for our authority and is 'getting too big for his boots!' <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> I agree DS is ... a strong willed child that doesn't take 'no' for an answer. The problem is - WE BOTH don't know what to do about it!!! DH would happily CIO but, well, I wont have a barre of it!!! This leads to DH & I arguing ... he says my methods are too soft and obviously not working. He says whenever he tries to get firm - I undermine him by 'giving in' to 'crocodile tears'. DH is an awesome father that doesn't believe in spanking but he doesn't see anything wrong with ignoring DS when he is throwing a tantrum because he was told 'no'.<br><br>
Now ... the behaviour problems. We start the bed time routine at 7.30pm - DS resists and cries because he doesn't want to go to bed. Most toddlers will settle after and hour or so of this fussing. Not my DS. I put him down at mid night after he has fallen asleep on the couch on my lap - and I've HAD to sit there and read 100 story books over 2 hours. This happens EVERY night. Then DS is up and rearing to go by 6.30 am!!! (I'm 33 weeks pregnant and EXHAUSTED)<br><br>
DS will literally STARVE before eating good healthy food. He has always been a fussy eater and never eaten much ... but the fact meal times are a struggle in spite of many efforts to offer variety etc. is a problem. The kid lives on cordial and dry biscuits/toast/cheese sandwhiches as well as the odd bananna here and there. I've tried everything - but DS gets an idea stuck in his head that dinner is 'Yukky' and runs with it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"><br><br>
Also - I've officially given up on toilet training him. All I get are tantrums, tantrums and more tantrums. He yells 'NO!' at us and tells us to 'Go away!' and 'Stop it!' Even changing his poohy nappy is a struggle - I pulled a muscle in my neck just trying to get my squirming DS on the change table!!!<br><br>
BUT - DS is a really loving, clever, kind and happy child most of the time. So long as you are not telling him 'No!' anyway! He plays beautifully with other kids. He enjoys 'helping' around the house. He does not demand alot of attention ... and is absolutely the centre of my universe!<br><br>
What do I do, mamma's, about these so called 'behaviour problems' and my DH's idiology that we 'need to be firm and let him CIO from time to time'. I can't stand the idea of letting DS cry ... but I have no idea how to steer DS in the right diection without running into a solid wall of out right rebellion. Help!<br><br>
(And if you got to the end of this post - thankyou for your patience!)
 

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As for bed...<br>
Have you tried just letting him do his thing till he gets tried?<br>
Unfortunately for you, it sounds like he only needs 7 or so hours of sleep a night. That's very, very unusual, but not unheard of. Does he nap during the day? How much?<br>
If he's not napping at all and sleeping less than 7 hours at night, then that's truely odd...something to ask his doctor about, maybe. That would honestly sound like some kind of sleep disorder, almost.<br><br>
Dinner...<br>
I'd let him snack on healthy foods whenever he was hungry. If he isn't hungry at dinner, then, whatever.<br>
He doesn't have to eat. When he gets hungry, give him healthy choices. (Other posters might disagree with me on this. I think dinner is a stupid thing to fight over, though. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> )<br><br>
Take a breather on the potty training for a few weeks or so.<br>
Give him time to forget it was ever a battle. Maybe, in a couple of weeks, take him out to get a new potty he picks out.<br>
As for him struggling through diaper changes...I have no idea. Maybe someone else will know of a creative solution. It's just a part of life every once in a while over here.<br><br>
As for the dh...I have no ideas there, either. I'm trying to think of how to deal with a similar situation over here.<br>
Good luck! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mamakay</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">As for bed...<br>
Have you tried just letting him do his thing till he gets tried?<br>
Unfortunately for you, it sounds like he only needs 7 or so hours of sleep a night. That's very, very unusual, but not unheard of. Does he nap during the day? How much?<br>
If he's not napping at all and sleeping less than 7 hours at night, then that's truely odd...something to ask his doctor about, maybe. That would honestly sound like some kind of sleep disorder, almost.</div>
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Yes. He fights sleep to the point of over tiredness, which of course worsens the original problem. Since he was new born - he would rather play than sleep and has a hard time 'shutting down'. He is not soothed easily; having said that though he could 'do his thing' till dawn!!! (And WE have to do HIS thing as well - or else!!!!!!) When we take this route - he has won the power struggle. This is a case of the tail wagging the dog. He does nap 1-2 hour during the day (one nap) and it's usually a late morning/noon affair. He sleeps like a log ... when he sleeps. I don't think he has a sleeping disorder - just doesn't want to go to bed.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mamakay</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Dinner...<br>
I'd let him snack on healthy foods whenever he was hungry. If he isn't hungry at dinner, then, whatever.<br>
He doesn't have to eat. When he gets hungry, give him healthy choices. (Other posters might disagree with me on this. I think dinner is a stupid thing to fight over, though. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> )</div>
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This has been my approach since solids were introduced - he's always served a family meal but I'm totally cool with it being more of a science experiment than a meal. I provide heaps of healthy snacks! He just wants his favorites ALL the time - and when he knows what he wants he'll scream the house down for it! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/help.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="help"> It's not so much fighting over meal times (I wont force feed or bribe - not good!) It's more of a concern that he's not getting enough nutrients because he will ONLY eat certain things.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mamakay</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Take a breather on the potty training for a few weeks or so.<br>
Give him time to forget it was ever a battle. Maybe, in a couple of weeks, take him out to get a new potty he picks out.<br>
As for him struggling through diaper changes...I have no idea. Maybe someone else will know of a creative solution. It's just a part of life every once in a while over here.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> That's the plan. I totally give up ... for now.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mamakay</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">As for the dh...I have no ideas there, either. I'm trying to think of how to deal with a similar situation over here.<br>
Good luck! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"></div>
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<br>
Thank you, you are very wise! The DH thing is probably worse than the toddler thing. We need to work together on these kind of parenting issues ... but our differences of opinions make us the 'good' cop and the 'bad' cop (alternately) to DS. That must confuse the little guy - and I have caught him using this to his own advantage once or twice <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mischievous.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="mischief"><br><br>
I sometimes wonder ... are we, as parents, as guilty of having 'behaviour problems' as our DS?
 

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I have to agree about getting on the same page with dh. More important even than how you discipline (barring corporal punishment kind of stuff) is whether you agree and there's consistency. If ds doesn't know what to expect or worse as he gets older learns how to get what he wants by pitting you against each other...I think I would find a time and sit down with dh, pick the behavior that is most difficult for both of you and brainstorm strategies on how to handle it. Rules are though that both have to listen to ALL possible solutions. Try to find a solution in the middle and go with it for a few weeks. That may mean having to give in and try dh's way or that he has to give in and try it your way. But that as far as ds is concerned it is a unified decision.<br><br>
I think when he is tantrumming over not getting something he wants, I would be empathetic, but not give it a ton of attention. When dd does this, I comment on how frustrated she is and how hard it is to not get what she wants. I ask if she wants a hug, which is usually a resounding NO! And then tell her I'm going to give her some space then. And do. When she's done I come back and ask if she would like a hug and it's 50/50 on whether she will or not. I just make sure to reconnect with her.
 

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I'm sorry I don't have all the answers for you, but I will tell you what I have done in similar situations, that seem to work for my ds.<br><br>
He doesn't have tantrums as much as he did, and now they are more just crying, but when he did, I would just sit next to him and maybe stroke his back, or just have my hand on him, so he knew I was there, and I would just wait for him to ride it out. I wouldn't give him what he wanted to get him to stop. (just for clarification, is that what your dh means by you 'giving in' to him?)<br><br><br>
For the meal times, I agree with mamakay, I don't think its worth fighting over. If it doesn't seem to be affecting him health/weight wise I wouldn't worry.<br>
Have you tried just not restocking his favorite things when they run out? then maybe showing him that there really isn't any in the cupboard, and offering an alternative.<br><br><br>
As for the sleeping. You could try doing the settling and book routine where he sleeps (his own bed, your bed). Maybe say "I'm reading you five books tonight, and then its time to try and go to sleep" then lay next to him until he is asleep. (it would be a good rest for you too!)<br><br><br>
I'm basically just throwing ideas out, I hope you can get it sorted. Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>loveharps</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm sorry I don't have all the answers for you, but I will tell you what I have done in similar situations, that seem to work for my ds.<br><br>
He doesn't have tantrums as much as he did, and now they are more just crying, but when he did, I would just sit next to him and maybe stroke his back, or just have my hand on him, so he knew I was there, and I would just wait for him to ride it out. I wouldn't give him what he wanted to get him to stop. (just for clarification, is that what your dh means by you 'giving in' to him?)</div>
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Yes ... especially at bedtimes. I give in to him and 'let him do his thing' rather than listen to him crying. DH says he's perfectly happy when he gets bedtime his way (which is demanding on us 'till he drops!) DH says that CIO is not emotional neglect in cases like this, because the ONLY reason DS is crying is because it's bed time. I really can't let DS go to bed on these terms ... it's unacceptable. I would've liked to have spent at least an hour alone with DH after DS is asleep and be in bed ourselves by 10PM. Turns out that to stop him screaming and crying blue murder - I'm up until 12PM (Sometimes later) just trying to get him to quite down on the couch with me, stop playing, and generally get to sleep.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>loveharps</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">For the meal times, I agree with mamakay, I don't think its worth fighting over. If it doesn't seem to be affecting him health/weight wise I wouldn't worry.<br>
Have you tried just not restocking his favorite things when they run out? then maybe showing him that there really isn't any in the cupboard, and offering an alternative.</div>
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I agree, too. We DON'T fight over it at all - that's not the problem. It's just a struggle to throw out good food that he's maybe taken a bite or two out of. We have tried many times to not stock his favorites. He lost weight while still more good food got thrown out. The health nurse said; "A healthy child will not starve themselves and he'll eat when he's really hungry." but my DS is so stubborn he weighed in a kilo lighter to prove that theory wrong. After the health nurse realised he HAD lost weight refusing to eat a VARIETY of reasonable foods - she advised me to just let him have his cheese sandwhiches etc. and hopefully it would just be a passing phase. Well - the phase hasn't past and DS is getting worse with his fussing over food. For the record - he seems to be healthy. What isn't healthy is DS getting his head stuck on dictating the menu or hunger striking!!!<br><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>loveharps</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">As for the sleeping. You could try doing the settling and book routine where he sleeps (his own bed, your bed). Maybe say "I'm reading you five books tonight, and then its time to try and go to sleep" then lay next to him until he is asleep. (it would be a good rest for you too!)</div>
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I've tried sleep clinics ... I've read countless books and tried a variety of AP methods of settling DS. Physical contact just makes him cry even harder ... like because we are sitting/laying down with him riding out the storm he has a captive audience. The sleep clinic tried a controlled crying method; basically soothing for 10mins. then leaving for 4minutes. Coming back for another 10 minutes of comforting/soothing then leaving for 6minutes. You add 2 minutes every time you leave the bedside but only ever settle/soothe for 10. What a crock!! DS would reach a crying peak then start to cry gently - as soon as we went in to soothe him he'd be stirred up into a full blown howling frenzy again. I try laying with him ... but he gets up and starts playing or trying to interact with me. NOTHING IS WORKING ... unless you count DS having me serve him till dawn as a workable solution. I don't!!!<br><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>loveharps</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm basically just throwing ideas out, I hope you can get it sorted. Good Luck.</div>
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I appreciate them so much ... while all these idea's are fantastic - they have not worked thus far with DS & bedtime etc. Should I take him to some behavioural therapist? Is this ADD, stubborness, a rather long winded phase or what??? Is this all somehow my fault for taking the line of least resistance with DS (I've honestly tried to avoid power struggles or battles of the will)? I hope I can get it all sorted, too, because I feel really lost and helpless. I honestly feel like unless I am DS' humble servant - he will view me as the big, bad mean mamma. Even worse is that DS carries grudges for days at a time ... he thinks too much, I rekon.
 

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For meals, I think if you want him to eventually eat with you, you want to limit snacking to make him hungry for meals. Personally I'm a big believer in family meal time. DD doesn't have to eat the whole time or even sit with us the whole time since she's only 20 months but she does have to spend at least part of the time at the table. As for what he eats, as long as it's not unhealthy, trust his tummy. I think when you're young you instinctively know what you need and maybe his needs mostly protein and grains right now. Keep offering a variety and don't turn it into a struggle. Are you eating the same things as him? I find for dd she'll often later eat something she originally turned her nose up at if she sees me eating it. If it is unhealthy stuff he wants, stop keeping it in the house. No toddler will actually starve themselves. Sorry a parenting pet peeve of mine are the parents who say, "They just won't eat anything but hamburgers and french fries." While they're eating a hamburger and french fries. My gut reaction is to say, "Well if that wasn't all you ate and you stopped offering them hamburgers and french fries, they might eat something else." If you're really worried about nutrition just get him a multivitamin.<br><br>
I agree with the other posters about tantrums. Be there, offer support in terms of hugs and agreeing that sometimes things are frustrating when we don't get what we want. But don't give him what he wants if you don't want him to have it. I just don't think you are doing him any favors if he learns that all he needs to do is throw a tantrum and he'll get what he wants. Tantrums are a healthy way to let off steam and emotion to be able to refocus on a task at hand. But they shouldn't be a means for asking for something. jmho.<br><br>
For bedtime, I can't be of much help. I have a co-worker who is going through something comparable with her 2 1/2 year old. They limit the amount of books, no toys, dim lights, keep things uninteresting basically, be patient through the tantrum that will probably happen and soothe as best they can. It takes about 90 minutes every night for their dd to go to sleep and she's up bright and early as well. They let her play one night to tire herself out finally at 2am they had to say enough is enough. So this is the compromise between letting her do what she wants and going the extreme CIO route b/c she'd scream until 2am as well. They're hoping eventually it will get better. Maybe 2 hours is too long of a nap for him?<br><br>
And most importantly as you know you and your dh need to be on the same page. Consistency is really the key I think for any discipline approach. You don't want him knowing that he can't get away with something with daddy but can get away with it with you and vice versa. It seems like the two of you are on either end of the spectrum, maybe finding a middle road for some of these things that you both compromise on will help everyone all around.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>starlite</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I try laying with him ... but he gets up and starts playing or trying to interact with me. NOTHING IS WORKING ... unless you count DS having me serve him till dawn as a workable solution. I don't!!!</div>
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Heheh I don't either!<br><br>
Gosh, I am so sorry you're having such a struggle with bedtime (can't help with the other issues -- my DS barely eats anything either, but maintains a reasonable weight because he eats A LOT of the things he actually WILL eat -- cheeseburgers and chicken nuggets. I know. Bad. But he's eating, so I don't care!). My DS hates going to bed too. He's a night owl like mommy and daddy, and RARELY does he go to bed before 10pm. Most of the time I just watch TV (I know a lot of people don't advise TV, but well, *I* want to watch it, and I am watching Food Network 9 times out of 10, so it's not anything majorly disturbing <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">), and he will get bored and go to sleep. Some nights I can't deal with it anymore (like if I am sick or something) and I just turn everything off and lay there in the dark. He will scream and cry for a few mins but TBH he falls asleep in about 2-5 minutes this way. I do *not* do this often -- only when I just have no other way out, and I MUST go to sleep very soon. I have also turned off the lights, etc, and when he started crying, try to distract him by talking quietly to him... singing songs, talking about his day, asking him questions, etc. I do not move or play with him, we just talk. He calms down, and after a while it takes him a bit longer to answer the questions and I stop asking them. He usually sleeps pretty short after.<br><br>
Books wind my son up for some reason. I save reading books for times other than bed. I know. Odd. But I never said *I* was normal either <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
I have also found that if I give him a choice about things, he responds better. "You can either lay quietly in your bed, or in the big bed, but you have to lay quietly either way." (his bed is 2 feet away from ours) "you can watch ONE of your movies, and then it is mommy and daddy's time to watch TV. Which movie do you want to watch?" (he'll watch his movie WIDE awake, but once Mommy and Daddy's "movie" comes on, he gets bored and falls asleep -- I guess kids don't get that excited about making food <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">).<br><br>
I don't know if ANY of this will help, and I sure had my nights of wanting to pull my hair out with him staying awake, but they seem to have gotten better over time...<br><br>
Oh, as an aside about watching Food Network -- my son likes to pretend to "cook" everything now. The other night he was "cooking" his animal crackers. He said he was Alton Brown (the host of Good Eats, which DH and I love), and when he was done "cooking", he "served" us our dinner of 2 animal crackers each. He warned us they were hot! :LOL
 

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Hmm... Seems like lots of different problems, all building together to make one uncomfortable mess!<br><br>
If it were me, I think I would try to prioritize a bit, because its almost impossible to deal with that many issues at once. In your shoes, I would think that might be 1. Dealing with DH, 2. Sleep, 3. Food, 4. tantrums in general.<br><br>
In terms of your DH, I do agree that being on the same page is important and sometimes that requires compromises from both sides. We finally did "time outs" in our household because it was the only thing we could come up with that met my DH's need to "do something" but didn't completely destroy me to implement. You may have to do the same. For what its worth, I think that letting a baby CIO is awful but I don't think the same applies to preschoolers who are crying only because they aren't getting what they WANT as opposed to NEED. Of course, you have to agree on where that line is and how to handle it. I would suggest coming up with a united strategy on one issue and giving it a try for 2-3 weeks to see what happens.<br><br>
Even if you child is one that only needs 7 hours of sleep, YOU need more than that right now and your DH might too. I don't know what you have tried, but what worked in our house was to pick a reasonable bedtime for DS and establish a good bedtime routine. We would read a set number of books (in our case 3) that he chose, and then turn the light out, but one of us stayed with him on his bed until he fell asleep. About your son's age, this could be 2-3 hours. And we frequently fell asleep and would wake up to realize he was playing in the dark. But that wasn't much fun so eventually he would come back to bed and go to sleep. Once he did, and once we woke up again, then we moved back to our beds. Yes, this meant totally messing up our evening routine for a while, but eventually he would go to sleep within 15 minutes or so and we could get up and on with our evening. We still do this, 2 years later, partly because it gives one of us (we rotate nights) some quiet time with him each night and a chance to rest sometimes. The one who isn't doing nighttime is responsible for the dishes and house straighening, so nightime is often the more restful choice!<br><br>
I choose not to fight food battles. I buy health-ish stuff, the kids have free snack reign, and I make one dinner. If they don't like it, they can get something for themselves to eat instead -- I don't cook anything else but I also don't force them to eat what I made. Even my 2 YO can open the fridge to get yogurt or cheese or fruit. It is just so not worth fighting about IMHO.<br><br>
Tantrums in general? After about age 2, I think that its OK to let them cry if they are angry. But I don't give in and I don't spend a lot of time and attention "comforting" the tantrumer either.<br><br>
So, that's what has worked for us so far. Maybe it will spur some ideas and thoughts for what might work in your house.
 

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We've never had bedtime problems -- it's the one thing ds (almost 4) seems to just accept. Dinner, bath, books and snack, bedtime at 7:15 (he doesn't nap). I'm generally a pushover, but we've always been firm about the bedtime routine, because it's necessary for all our sanity.<br>
But we've always had problems w/ dinner. Ds would also starve rather than give in. We've found compromises -- I don't push veggies if he takes a vitamin every other day. He eats healthy snacks, but not close to dinner. At dinner, he has to eat plain chicken or meat when we have it, or it's Cheerioes for the rest of the night. If we have something less child-friendly, he can have a peanut butter, cheese, or turkey sandwich, which are easy to make. I don't think it's worth fighting over, as long as he's getting everything he needs to stay healthy. He also likes looking at grocery ads and picking fruits that look good.<br>
He also refused potty training at first. I backed off and then started offering little bribes without making a big deal about it. Eventually, he got excited about it on his own. Over the year, he has become easier to reason with and less likely to be stubborn just to be stubborn. I tell myself his strong personality will make him a leader someday - it sounds like your ds is similar.v<br>
As for your disagreement w/ dh, we have a similar problem.
 

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I just had a thought, would he drink healthy drinks? eg. a fruit smoothie or something like that. You could add spirulina powder to make it extra healthy. (tell him its 'monster slime' or something :LOL )
 

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Hi, Starlite.<br>
On the food issue, for now, I'd actually, if I were you, *give* him control over this issue. Small children have so little control over their lives. I don't think it's that he's trying to control you, so much as it is his trying to control something that he sees as his.<br>
I'm not entirely sure of this, of course. Only you know your child.<br>
But from what I've read, it seems like this would be a reasonable area to accomodate him in, providing he is willing to "help" make the meal. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br>
Perhaps you could put it like:<br>
"So Lasagna sounds yucky? Ok. What do you want?<br>
Peanut butter and crackers?<br>
Ok. But will you pull that stool up and open the jar for me?"<br>
...or whatever...<br><br>
I know that I have this weird fear that if I compromise with my child too often, he'll get the impression that he "rools the roost", so to speak.<br>
I tend to think too quickly, a lot of times, that he's trying to manipulate me, when really, upon closer inspection, he's only wanting the right to have some input in our day-to-day lives.<br>
He screams "Nooo" and freaks out when we're putting on his shoes.<br>
But when I ask if he'd rather wear his sandels, he might say "Ok."<br>
So I'll ask him to go get his sandels so we can go to the park, and he'll happily bring them to me, and even partially put them on himself.<br>
Now, I don't think it was really about the sandals to begin with, but he feels like he has a say, you know?<br>
I just feel like there are so many power/dominance struggles that are unavoidable...carseats, playing with broken glass, running with sizzors, etc.<br>
There are lots of "no's" in life that one has to come to terms with.<br>
But when you can avoid them, it's best.<br>
I know kids can be manipulative, but it seems to me, that often it's not really you they want to control, but rather their own lives. And that, to me, is usually ok. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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i know i've mentioned this again and again but have u checked for any medical issues/allergies? specifically iron-deficiency...<br><br>
dd was severely iron-deficient (anemia) and because of this her sleep was almost nonexistent. she displayed the same behaviours you are talking about. crying, fighting the sleep, refusing, she just did not want to sleep. ever. even though seh was tired...in her case she was so irritable with teh anemia (which we didnt know was the issue) she couldnt get settled.<br><br>
once we got her on her iron supplements (a high dose for 3 months to build up her iron stores) it was almost instant (literally 2 days) and she was actually napping and going to sleep at night (though still getting up to nurse,but that wasnt the problem, it was getting her to sleep in teh first place)<br><br>
also just from reading here, lots of moms say they found out their picky eater was actually so picky because of underlying food allergies--could that be an issue?<br><br>
i know this is more physical but with dd if i want to figure out what's goin on with her behaviour i really gotta check for illness, hunger, thirst, diaper, boredom and *then* if those are all taken care of we can look for other possibilities<br><br>
edited to add:<br>
what does he eat in his cheese sandwhich? just cheese and lettuce? if so can u replace the lettuce with a leaf of spinach?<br>
my dd LOVES taking vitamins...she asks me for her "vitamin C" as she calls it, every single day... i got her the kids chewable..one day i just said to her i have a surprise for u! and gave her one and now whenever i say i have a surprise she yells "vitamin C!!" LOL.<br>
maybe try getting him to think they are the greatest thing ever <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br>
what about "popsicles"? can u make fruit smoothie popsicles and sneak in some ingredients he otherwise wouldnt eat?<br><br>
maybe it's the presentation he doesnt like? my dd wont eat cream cheese (not that she has to but she LOVES IT) if it's on bread. so i scoop out spoonfuls in a plate and let her eat it with her fingers or a spoon <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"><br><br>
HTH
 

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Firstly, you should read "Raising your Spirited Child" if you haven't already. It's a great book and can give you a lot of different insight into what feels like "stubbornness." It would also help dh to better understand your child.<br><br>
As for food, my dd is very picky and has crazy food jags where she'll only eat one thing (snacking on others, but mainly one.) She would just cry and starve if forced to eat foods she doesn't like. I saw her do it the days she went to daycare when they had beans and rice for lunch and fruit salad for snack. She would just cry, not eat.<br><br>
BTW- my dd is almost three and doesn't really understand very well when she's hungry. She senses that something is amiss and she feels lousy, but she doesn't usually "get" that eating would releive her discomfort. (The way an adult would.) In fact, I think picky kids like ours become MORE picky as they are more and more hungry, not less.<br><br>
-Discomfort leads to digging in heels in Spirited kids.<br><br>
On that note- after checking out iron deficiency and maybe trying calcium/megnesium supplements, you could approach sleep by wating till ds seems honestly tired, then lie in the dark with him till he falls asleep. That's the modified version of CIO I've used and it works pretty well without me feeling like I'm abandoning dd. If you've tried this- no big deal.<br><br><br>
I don't think your ds has any behavior issues at all. He sounds like a child who feels cornered and is grasping at straws. He sounds like a child who desperately wants to feel in control of himself, and to feel "right", but who constantly feels pressured. And from what you're saying it sounds like he is being pressured.<br><br>
You have set ideas about what you want him to do about potty, food, and sleep- oh, and crying. These are the EXACT areas where we absolutely cannot control our kids. It's just not possible to force a person to eat, sleep, pee or poop, or stop crying.<br><br>
I think you and your dh have to learn to let things go a bit more. This does not mean being a punching bag or not having boundaries. I just mean you need to let go of the constant effort to make ds do something other than what he's doing. If he tantrums- you don't have to be mean and ignore it, and you don't have to stop him from crying. Offer consolation and move on. He can cry if he wants to, and be upset if he wants to- it's not up to you and dh to control.<br><br>
Another example- Just let the kid have his cheese sandwiches! Who cares if he eats a cheese sandwich three times a day- in addition to whatever else is being served? I never saw my brother eat a single fruit or veggie (well, maybe peas) the first ten years of his life and he turned out just fine. The fact that you even worry about throwing out food because a three year old won;'t eat it is kinda ridiculous. Kids often don't eat food we serve. All we can do is try. Sais la vie!<br><br>
I'm not trying to sound critical, I just think we need to laugh at ourselves sometimes over the stuff we get worked up about. The sleep thing sounds like an issue- but the other stuff just sounds like pointless butting of heads.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>loveharps</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I just had a thought, would he drink healthy drinks? eg. a fruit smoothie or something like that. You could add spirulina powder to make it extra healthy. (tell him its 'monster slime' or something :LOL )</div>
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I have the perfect "monster slime" which my son loves. I started giving it to him when he refused to eat green veggies (after happily consuming them for nearly 2 years <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: ). <a href="http://www.nakedjuice.com/" target="_blank">Green Machine</a>
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>fyoosh</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Oh, as an aside about watching Food Network -- my son likes to pretend to "cook" everything now. The other night he was "cooking" his animal crackers. He said he was Alton Brown (the host of Good Eats, which DH and I love), and when he was done "cooking", he "served" us our dinner of 2 animal crackers each. He warned us they were hot! :LOL</div>
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<br>
Hee Hee-We watch a lot of Iron Chef. A while back, my son was asking me if I was almost finished doing something. I told him that I *was* almost finished. He said,"So it's sort of like to the Tasting part?" <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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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mommyofshmoo</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I don't think your ds has any behavior issues at all. He sounds like a child who feels cornered and is grasping at straws. He sounds like a child who desperately wants to feel in control of himself, and to feel "right", but who constantly feels pressured. And from what you're saying it sounds like he is being pressured.<br><br>
You have set ideas about what you want him to do about potty, food, and sleep- oh, and crying. These are the EXACT areas where we absolutely cannot control our kids. It's just not possible to force a person to eat, sleep, pee or poop, or stop crying.<br><br>
I think you and your dh have to learn to let things go a bit more. This does not mean being a punching bag or not having boundaries. I just mean you need to let go of the constant effort to make ds do something other than what he's doing.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
My kids are younger than yours, but I just wanted to say I really agree w/this.<br><br>
It's interesting because having two at once means there's no way I can fight a lot of battles. So I don't.<br><br>
And I really disagree w/not letting your kid be upset. I try to make certain that I understand what's wrong (in case there is something that actually does need to be addressed) & let them know that I hear & understand them -- but NO WAY do I expect them to be happy all the time. They can be unhappy, that's fine.<br><br>
My parents fought huge battles w/my sister & she has terrible food phobias. So I don't fight over food at all. I offer a couple of different things, including at least one favorite, & that's it, the rest is up to them.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>starlite</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I sometimes wonder ... are we, as parents, as guilty of having 'behaviour problems' as our DS?</div>
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I'm beginning to think that's the biggest challenge of parenthood, for ALL of us. I was just reading <i>Miss Manners' Guide to Rearing Perfect Children</i> and she had this wonderful observation:<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Miss Manners</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Parent-teacher conferences are enormously educational, teachers of Miss Manners' aquaintance have confided to her. What the children haven't already volunteered about the parents' shortcomings, the parents will usually demonstrate themselves...Many parents who have a tough time getting through school would find that if they could only master Basic Deportment, the rest would be a breeze...Take the mater of reciting, which is the name given to discussing new subject matter until one's ignorance is apparent to all. Most parents, when their children report having learned something at school, feel as if they have been called upon in class. Instead of listening to the children's newly acquired knowledge, as politeness demands, they take the mention of the topic as a direction to tell everything they know about the subject, thus not only squelching the child's pride, but eventually often getting themselves into that awful situation when the child reports that the teacher's version differs convincingly from theirs.</div>
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(personally, I sense a lot of mistakes in my future)
 

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Hey, is my child living at your house? lol. *hugs* mama, I'm there too with my 26 month old. Luckily (I think...) he nurses to sleep every night... but cannot sleep without nursing. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll">
 

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Read <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Raising Your Spirited Child</span>. It's a great book and has helped me many times. I check it out every so often as Abi grows and I can apply new age-appropriate advice to her.
 
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