Mothering Forum banner
1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,177 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for a book that's as detailed as possible on child development, and that is AP oriented. I'm a bit off Sears because of the homophobia (if he's rescinded his earlier position someone let me know and I'll give him a chance again). I mean detail - like when one of the DDs is doing something, I want to look it up in the book.

Current example so you can see the level of detail I'm looking for: one of the girls (both 2 yrs 10 mos) has a tendency to laugh hysterically when I'm telling her she may not throw shoes at sister, or whatever. I regard this as developmentally appropriate, a sign that she's overloaded and a signal to back off for the moment; DH regards it as a challenge to the discipline ("she KNOWS what she's doing").

But - neither of us has any formal training in child development, and the books we've looked at (How to Talk...; Giving the Love that Heals; and some articles from a twin-oriented magazine are examples) don't have anything very detailed.

Do you have a go-to book or source you recommend when you're wondering if this is normal or rebellious or whathaveyou? MDC would be an acceptable source for me but I need something else for DH's comfort level I think.

TIA!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,493 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by AmyY
Current example so you can see the level of detail I'm looking for: one of the girls (both 2 yrs 10 mos) has a tendency to laugh hysterically when I'm telling her she may not throw shoes at sister, or whatever. I regard this as developmentally appropriate, a sign that she's overloaded and a signal to back off for the moment; DH regards it as a challenge to the discipline ("she KNOWS what she's doing").

But - neither of us has any formal training in child development, and the books we've looked at (How to Talk...; Giving the Love that Heals; and some articles from a twin-oriented magazine are examples) don't have anything very detailed.

Do you have a go-to book or source you recommend when you're wondering if this is normal or rebellious or whathaveyou? MDC would be an acceptable source for me but I need something else for DH's comfort level I think.

TIA!
Hmmm, I am not sure about a book that gives this kind of detal except the Ames and Ilg books and they are not AP in how they suggest you deal with things (though give a lot of detail about age appropriate behavior).

BTY, though I don't think EITHER you or your husband is right! I don't necessarily thinks she's "overloaded" or that she's challenging "your discipline"

What I believe is that at this age kids laugh because they are taking a NATURAL AND NORMAL delight in the fact that they have realized that THEY NOT YOU control their actions and their bodies!

That's pretty amazing and funny!

Thus, for me I would not "back off" nor would I be angry or upset with them for laughing. I would simply IGNORE the reaction and focus only on what I wanted to be done or stopped being done.

It would go like this:

YOU: "DD you may not throw your shoes at your sister, they could hurt her."

DD: "Ha ha ha ha"

You: Pick up shoes and give them to her. "Do you want to put them on yourself or should I put them on you."

DD: Throws shoes and laughs

You: "I am going to put them on you now because they can't be thrown." And then as gently as possible do so.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,177 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
"What I believe is that at this age kids laugh because they are taking a NATURAL AND NORMAL delight in the fact that they have realized that THEY NOT YOU control their actions and their bodies!"

OK, that's what I'm talking about. How do you know why children do this at this age? How do you know what intervention to do? How do you give documented evidence to dissenting other adults in the child's life?

No seriously. Where do you get information like this? How do I find it? How do I get it? Who are Ames and whatever? What books are you talking about? How would/should I know about them?

Lifeline, please!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,493 Posts
Well Ames and Ilg wrote a series of books called 'Your ___ year old: ___ or ___"

They wrote one called 'Your two year old: Terrible or Tender" and one called "Your three year old: Friend or Enemy"

They are not AP or GD but do talk alot about developmental stages.

My comments though are from the books of Anthony Wolf who wrote "The Secret of Parenting"

He does not go into the details you were looking for but his approach, which I outlined makes mention of it.

This is a GD approach which especially appeals to DH's who are concerned about the leniency of a GD approach.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,611 Posts
From what I recall of the Ames and Ilg books, I don't think they'll answer most of your questions. I'm with Maya44 - I don't worry much about how my kid reacts to my requests, or about whether she's doing something I don't want her to because she's too young to control herself or because she just feels like it. I just focus on making sure that things that are unacceptable to me stop happening. If my DD was throwing shoes and laughed when I told her not to, I'd just recognize that I might need to use another approach to make the throwing stop, like taking the shoes away, or coming up with another activity for us all to do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,177 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by Daffodil
From what I recall of the Ames and Ilg books, I don't think they'll answer most of your questions. I'm with Maya44 - I don't worry much about how my kid reacts to my requests, or about whether she's doing something I don't want her to because she's too young to control herself or because she just feels like it. I just focus on making sure that things that are unacceptable to me stop happening. If my DD was throwing shoes and laughed when I told her not to, I'd just recognize that I might need to use another approach to make the throwing stop, like taking the shoes away, or coming up with another activity for us all to do.
Then what I need is something, in writing, published, preferably written by a man
: , that specifies that children at this age are not "escalating" to "get attention" and "they knooooooooowwwwwwwwwwww what they are doing" (sarcastic eye roll here), and the thing to do is be "firm" (grab child and yell, causing terrified tears) with them.

Otherwise I am going to scream.
:
:
:
: I DO NOT WANT TO FIGHT ABOUT THIS (not with you lovely folks, with the other adult in my home). I do not want this to be a raw issue. I want it SETTLED. I'm thinking (hoping, wishing?) an actual book will (might?) help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27,052 Posts
"Einstein Never Used Flashcards" talks about how children developmentally can not be malicious when very small. Like a three year old can't lie because they don't have a concept of the thoughts of people other than themselves (I'm summarizing badly). It's written by women, but at least one's a professor and they reference all kinds of studies in child development.

Also, the book isn't about GD and makes no mention of GD, it's about how children learn and the stuff about 3 year olds not being able to be "bad" as we think of the term is presented very matter of factly as a "hey, check out this other aspect of a child's development" so maybe that'd make it more appealing to him?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,072 Posts
I have been ruminating about this thread.
I believe an issue is thinking that there is an expert who knows what is "developmentally appropriate" for another individual. Frankly, I believe it IS "developmentally appropriate" for a parent who is hungry, exhausted, isn't receiving the emotional support that they desire, hasn't developed the coping skills, or hasn't discovered strategies other than those they have learned to use those skills that they know, no matter how "constructive" or "agreeable" they are (or aren't) to other people. Because they haven't *developed* (or can't access) different skills at that point in time!

Similarly, I believe it IS "developmentally appropriate" for a child who is hungry, exhausted, isn't receiving the emotional support that they desire, hasn't developed the coping skills, or hasn't discovered strategies other than those they have learned to use those skills that they know, no matter how "constructive" or "agreeable" they are (or aren't) to other people. Because they haven't *developed* (or can't access) different skills at that point in time!

This is basically saying 'you can't do what you don't know'. Or we all do the best that we can. So, to me whatever behavior they are choosing is "developmentally appropriate" (understandable) to the individual's developmental and situational ability. That does not mean that their skills are effective at meeting their needs or that their skills are agreeable to others.

So, I would caution about relying on an external measure of "appropriate", because it changes depending upon the abilities of the individual in the moment. Just like sometimes I am more or less patient, more or less able to think creatively, more or less able to cope with an additional person's needs. I find that it is more useful to focus on 'what does the child need in this moment?' and 'what do I need in this moment?'. When I connect with our son's need *in this moment* and connect with what I need *in this moment*, it makes it easier to find ways of meeting our needs in ways that are agreeable within the context of what we DO know. This assumes that we are all doing the best that we can *in this moment*. There is no place for blame or guilt or *expectations* of someone behaving in a way that is *more* than the best that they can do in this moment, imo. This trust doesn't require measuring my needs or ds's needs against some external measure of what is "appropriate" in any way. I have learned to trust myself and our son as the source of what is "agreeable" to the situation, rather than thinking some book has the answers.

Just my $0.02

Pat
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,052 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by scubamama
I have been ruminating about this thread.
I believe an issue is thinking that there is an expert who knows what is "developmentally appropriate" for another individual.

So, I would caution about relying on an external measure of "appropriate", because it changes depending upon the abilities of the individual in the moment. Just like sometimes I am more or less patient, more or less able to think creatively, more or less able to cope with an additional person's needs. I find that it is more useful to focus on 'what does the child need in this moment?' and 'what do I need in this moment?'. When I connect with our son's need *in this moment* and connect with what I need *in this moment*, it makes it easier to find ways of meeting our needs in ways that are agreeable within the context of what we DO know. This assumes that we are all doing the best that we can *in this moment*. There is no place for blame or guilt or *expectations* of someone behaving in a way that is *more* than the best that they can do in this moment, imo. This trust doesn't require measuring my needs or ds's needs against some external measure of what is "appropriate" in any way. I have learned to trust myself and our son as the source of what is "agreeable" to the situation, rather than thinking some book has the answers.
I agree with this totally. I think it's easy to judge a child's behaviors as being developmentally appropriate or not appropriate, and then focus on that, not the child. For example, alot of books say that kids aren't developmentally ready for sharing until preschool age, so you could fall into the trap of not pushing that behavior now but pushing it again at that age, because that's what they're "supposed" to be doing. That is more child led than some approaches, but is still pretty much led by what the parent thinks the child should be doing, not really the child.

I find that I do best by my daughter if I slow down, breathe, and observe her. Her behaviors tell me what she needs, what's appropriate for her right now. I feel like, if I'm in tune with her, what's "developmentally appropriate" doesn't matter--she's what matters. Does that make sense?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,177 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by scubamama
I have been ruminating about this thread.

This is basically saying 'you can't do what you don't know'. Or we all do the best that we can. So, to me whatever behavior they are choosing is "developmentally appropriate" (understandable) to the individual's developmental and situational ability. That does not mean that their skills are effective at meeting their needs or that their skills are agreeable to others.

So, I would caution about relying on an external measure of "appropriate", because it changes depending upon the abilities of the individual in the moment.

Pat
Pat, as usual I think you make a lot of sense. At the same time, I am not sure what to do to apply the principles you've presented here in the situations that cause me the most distress in my home. Presumably that's because my own developmental level is not yet prepared to cope.
: But I really need to get up to speed quickly, because I am tired of feeling afraid, angry, and humiliated as I watch my child scream in fear and frustration at her father's "discipline." I am similarly tired of stating that it is not acceptable and dealing with the fight/freeze that results. I want peace. I really do. I don't know how to get it.

Therein, I suppose, lies my own developmental struggle. Any help?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
374 Posts
Please look at this book:
Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs

This is the "go-to" book for early childhood educators. It is written for teachers, but clearly spells out what is developmentally appropriate for children ages 0-8. I have been working with toddlers and preschoolers for 15 years and am now a mother of an almost 2 year old. I haven't found anything else that lays it all out there.

http://sales.naeyc.org/Itemdetail.as...=234&Category=

Good luck. I am constantly defending my ds for his behavior!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,072 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by AmyY
Pat, as usual I think you make a lot of sense. At the same time, I am not sure what to do to apply the principles you've presented here in the situations that cause me the most distress in my home. Presumably that's because my own developmental level is not yet prepared to cope.
: But I really need to get up to speed quickly, because I am tired of feeling afraid, angry, and humiliated as I watch my child scream in fear and frustration at her father's "discipline." I am similarly tired of stating that it is not acceptable and dealing with the fight/freeze that results. I want peace. I really do. I don't know how to get it.

Therein, I suppose, lies my own developmental struggle. Any help?

I find that stating my observations of another's verbals and non-verbals allows ds (or dh) to draw his own conclusions of "acceptable" based upon his own value system. I believe that they both want to be harmonious with those around them. By assuming positive intent on dh's part, you can change the way that you are reacting to him and perhaps he wouldn't feel defensive. I am just speculating based upon my own ummm....personal experience of doing this to my dh.
If you have specific situations that you would like to discuss that represent dh's pov which seems in opposition to dd's pov, perhaps we could suggest ideas that would work for both of them.

Basically, I would state 'DD is crying, I believe that she wanted to get down to play, wanted to practice pouring water, was not wanting to change her diaper yet, doesn't want to leave the park, wants to hold the telephone, wants to climb the stairs some more, wants to play with the remote control, etc.' Perhaps asking dd 'You seem upset. Did you want to get down to play?, pour water, wait to change your diaper, etc.' By modelling treating dd like you want to be treated, you are not criticizing, just making observations without evaluations. I found that it was harder for dh if I was stating 'he doesn't like that'. To dh, this felt like *I* was judging dh's actions (although I felt that I was "voicing" ds's pov) and dh didn't know *what to do instead*. So, another option, is to offer 'what if we try xyz?' so that dh has some other alternative to consider. Telling dh 'Don't do abc to dd', or 'Do xyz instead.' doesn't go over very well from my own experience.


Does that help? Oh, another thing is to discuss your frustrations and challenges such that dh is seeing the *process* that you are using to determine your responses to dd's behavior/needs, then it doesn't feel like you are the expert over his own experience. If you can include him in the decision making process, all the more approachable it is for dh to adopt the same reactions as yours.
For instance 'I am struggling with the diaper changes. I want to honor dd's desire not to be changed until she is ready. But I can't seem to find a fun way to do it? I tried giving her a toy, that doesn't seem to work as well any more. I have been changing her standing up, and that seems to work. But, I keep forgeting to wait until she transitions from an activity and sometimes I don't have all the supplies handy. When I want to change her *right now*, we seem to get in a struggle. If you see me doing that would you remind me that I am rushing her?' This creates a partnership at parenting with similar (projected? assumed? suggested?) ideals.

What would often happen is dh would suggest some mainstream idea of 'I think he needs to just do what needs to be done and then he can go play.' Ideally, bite your tongue to this one.
And allow dh the space to consider that option as one possibility. What does NOT work in our home, is to explain why this is not my ideal.
Because THEN dh feels the need to defend his idea (however uninformed and unresearched it is), even if he agrees with my alternatives or thinking. This is just a process of holding on to your own idea as the "right" one that is prevalent in our culture.

To some extent this is a trust in your own judgement, rather than a trust in someone else's opinion. I believe this is an important strength in parenting, especially when you read such opposite pov from "experts" in books. There is always another "expert" to quote the opposite pov.
: Relying on one's own relationship with the child is a much more valuable guide to choosing our interactions with our child than any book, imo. AND, it is much more effective if dh comes to his own conclusions based upon his own beliefs, observations and thinking. Otherwise he is just doing what he is told, usually without believing in the process. And when it doesn't "work", he is likely to revert to what he learned from his upbringing. I have come to trust and not worry so much about most "discipline" techniques/thinking other than those that are obviously harmful (We don't have this problem as dh is very gentle. However, when I worried about doing parenting "right", it was much harder for dh to know the latest *opinion* on every little parenting "to do".). Unless he is the primary caregiver, I would relax your expectations for dh to parent in the same way that you believe the child "needs"? Their relationship is a separate entity from your own with your child, imo. And modelling is much more influential than convincing in our house. ("Actions speak louder than words".) My dh does like "expert" opinions though, so I certainly understand this thinking. They just can't come from me.

Yep, I have room to developmentally grow in this area still.
But, I am learning all the time.

HTH, Pat
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,177 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Pat, thanks so much for all your thoughts, and it's good to know I'm not alone in this struggle as well. The more I myself ruminate
on this, the more I think the marriage issues and parenting issues are getting confused in my brain. I need to separate in my own mind what I find horrifying and offensive from what the girls may or may not find horrifying and offensive. I need to learn to specify what is working for ME and go from there and let the chips fall where they may. I need to acknowledge my very real and deep fear that speaking out for myself will mean the end of the life I am living and am largely comfortable in now.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,072 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by AmyY
Pat, thanks so much for all your thoughts, and it's good to know I'm not alone in this struggle as well. The more I myself ruminate
on this, the more I think the marriage issues and parenting issues are getting confused in my brain.
We were just discussing these types of marriage issues on the Consensual living tribe http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=493985 and Consensual Living yahoogroup http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Consen...guid=140240070. You also might consider discussing particulars in the parents as partners forums if the issues are outside of the topic of discipline.

Quote:
I need to separate in my own mind what I find horrifying and offensive from what the girls may or may not find horrifying and offensive.
This is a very strong statement. One which may be a reflection of a "hot button" reaction on your part, rather than one based upon what is actually happening. I am not meaning to discount your perspective, I have found that I have some triggers that dh can push without much effort.
: For instance, when he says something like 'well he needs to learn responsibility', *I* hear punishments/consequences/withdrawl of privileges, etc. All dh is stating is a commonly held belief and desire for our child to be accountable for his actions. I don't hold the belief that this needs to be taught. Dh doesn't have experience observing that ds is learning accountability for his actions all the time without imposing the lesson of "learning responsibility" for instance. My initial reaction (in my head) is "Whoa buddy, we aren't starting punishments", but if I react with this statement, I have started a huge hoopla that doesn't address dh's underlying needs. We are discussing punishments and that wasn't what he was thinking at all! So, how do we stay focused on 'What ARE his concerns?', rather than dh having to react to my *reaction* is a work in process for me.


If there are significant "horrifying" ways that your daughters are being treated, that is another issue. However, I assume that you are judging dh's behaviors as such and the girls are not seeing things through your childhood (?) filter. At least this is something that I have realized that I do.

Quote:
I need to learn to specify what is working for ME and go from there and let the chips fall where they may.
Now, I wouldn't agree with this if dh is doing something that the children find "horrifying". But then often children believe that being hit for "misbehavior" is their own fault too. So, I don't know that I agree or not with this sentiment. "Owning" dh's relationship with his children is not worth destroying a marriage over, imo. He is always going to be their father and parent in whatever way he sees fit, whether you are working with him, or against him.

Quote:
I need to acknowledge my very real and deep fear that speaking out for myself will mean the end of the life I am living and am largely comfortable in now.

Again, I am ALL for speaking out for *myself* and for our son. And I do not choose to live in fear. These are very different issues though. Speaking out for yourself is a whole 'nuther issue than allowing your children to have their relationship with their father. The second is going to happen, basically barring abuse. The first has a lot of room for voicing your needs and expecting your boundaries to be honored and negotiating for what you need without expecting others to fill our needs. I found the book "The Dance of Intimacy" to be helpful in learning to set boundaries for myself without setting ultimatums for others. The other is "The Dance of Anger". http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/006...lance&n=283155

HTH, Pat
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,445 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by sapphire_chan
Einstein never used flashcards... It's written by women, but at least one's a professor and they reference all kinds of studies in child development.

Also, the book isn't about GD and makes no mention of GD, it's about how children learn and the stuff about 3 year olds not being able to be "bad" as we think of the term is presented very matter of factly as a "hey, check out this other aspect of a child's development" so maybe that'd make it more appealing to him?
both are women, both are professors and very cool people. But it's more about learning than discipline. SO, unless dh has made the connection that discipline = learning, he might miss the relevance.

Quote:

Originally Posted by jackaroosmom
Please look at this book:
Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs

I'd forgotten about this one - it's great too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,177 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
As difficult as this conversation is for me, I'm VERY glad I posted this question, and I want to thank all of you for your thoughtful, reflective, direct responses - both to my statements and to my book requests. I just realized something as I was nursing the girls back to sleep for the rest of their nap (one hopes
: ): I am behaving passive-aggressively about these issues that matter to me, both in my direct relationship to DH and in the co-parenting relationship. It occurred to me that I'm having EXTREME difficulty motivating myself to do basic housekeeping. This, I just realized (need lightbulb smilie here) is because I know DH counts this as an important way of my showing him both care and respect; so, rather than just telling him how royally pissed off I was about x, or y, or z (or, as Pat so graciously suggested, coming up with a more dispassionate and compassionate way of discussing these very difficult issues, which certainly have roots in my own childhood
), I just stop cleaning the house. This makes me depressed, since I too value a reasonably chaos-free living space; the depression (I don't think it's clinical - yet) fuels anger, guilt, and further withdrawing into depression, making discussions and housecleaning both very difficult.

So - since the girls are sleeping and DH is not around to either yell at (
: yeah I do get how hypocritical that would be and I'm not REALLY going to do it), talk to rationally (also probably not a totally realistic option at this point, sadly), or just tell how bad I feel about how the situation went down this a.m. - I'm going to empty the dishwasher.

We'll see what acknowledging my own passive-aggressiveness does for me.

I'll be back to read this thread again in MUCH more detail, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate all these responses - so if anyone has more to say or suggest please please do lay it on me.

Thanks again to all...
: Back later...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,072 Posts
*My* husband's love languages is 'acts of service' also, and 'words of acknowledgement'. So, *I* am going to go clean out the sink.
I can live with in piled up. But he can't. Sometimes, I am just not motivated to clean it. The Fly Lady has taught me, however, how much more settled and organized I feel when I clean the kitchen for *myself*. You might check her out. http://www.flylady.net/ Or The Five Love Languages http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/188...lance&n=283155 There is one for children too: The Five Love Languages of Children. These helped me to understand how I and my family *receive* love. I also liked Getting the Love You Want. It helped me to understand how I can give love and that helps others want to give love back.

I really like the communication tools of NVC at http://www.cnvc.org/bookchap.htm. It is a language of compassion. I find that it *really* helps me communicate my feelings and needs and make requests for what I need. It has changed my communication dynamics in so many positive ways: child, dh, friends, on-line, etc.


I know that I am a work in process.


Pat
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top