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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ds1 can be very particular and bossy in his play - you have to do the voice the right way, you have to make the train track the right way, etc. He doesn't want to do it himself, he wants you to do it, and then he bosses you around and gets all frustrated that you're not doing it right. We want to respect that he has certain ideas about how he wants things, but it comes to a point where it's just not fun for us anymore.

For instance - ds wanted dh to draw a train track in chalk on the patio in the backyard. So dh starts drawing one. No, it's the wrong color, he wants yellow. So dh find yellow chalk and starts drawing with that. But now it's wrong again, because at the curve it was supposed to be blue and then go back to yellow to match the other side. The whole time ds is getting all frustrated with dh and bemoaning that he's doing it wrong. Then he wants dh to start all over because it's not right. At this point dh has had it, says he's not drawing another train track. Ds loses it and starts crying about wanting dh to draw a train track for him the way he wants it.

We explain to ds that we are trying to do it the way he wants it but we don't always know. I'm trying to explain the whole "if you want it done right do it yourself" concept without being flippant about it. We've discussed with him that we don't like playing when we're being told that we're wrong all the time.

Anyway, I'm just not sure what to do about this. My dad is totally intolerant of it and will refuse to play the first time ds corrects him, which drives me crazy. I don't want to be that inflexible. But at some point ds has got to realize that he can either do it himself or accept that we are doing our best and it may not be exactly what he wants.

Any ideas?
 

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Hmm.. no real ideas, just sympathy. Maybe it's a 5 year old thing? Our 5 year old is doing the same thing -- and he gets very upset and well, rude, when we don't 'divine' what it was that HE had in mind.

I remember my sister having to teach my niece at about this age that if (a) she told her friend's moms what to do, they wouldn't invite her back and (b) she was NOT allowed to pick her friends up and move them to where she wanted them to be!


I'm all ears for what other people have to suggest!
 

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I'm trying to think back to when my kids went through this. I remember it, but I think they were younger, and I don't remember it being so intense or long lasting! Is he also hard on himself when it comes to getting things "perfect?" Does he give up easily on art projects that don't turn out the way he'd like?

I would not be as harsh as your Dad, but I think addressing it consistantly and immediately is actually the right way to go. If you really want to help him change a behavior, then you have to stay on top of it. It can't "work" for him sometimes. And its not fair or helpful to anyone to wait until everyone is on edge to react.

I would always begin with empathy. "I Know you want to get things just right. You have things planned carefully in your mind and you like things to be just the way you plan them. BUT...."

I would never follow directions that are rudely stated -- but I would help him rephrase. Eg -- "Can you please make the track yellow instead?"

Separate from the incidents themselves, I would have conversations with him about how to solve problems, and conversations about constructive ways to get what he wants/ needs. Role play. Help him rehearse.

Do give warnings about how you are feeling when he is doing this. Its hard because it feels like a threat, but its not the same thing as threatening to do something *to* him. It is fair and reasonable to let him know that you are getting frustrated, specifically why, and that if it continues you will find something else to do and he can work it out on his own. And then FOLLOW THROUGH.
 

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My DD has done this. One thing I learned (from Playful Parenting) is to have a designated time where the DC CAN be the boss. DD calls it "Mommy-Fiona Time" . . she knows she gets to make all of the rules and I'll do it. It only works one on one, though (at least for me).

It has helped with times when she can't be in charge all of the time!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Mizelenius
My DD has done this. One thing I learned (from Playful Parenting) is to have a designated time where the DC CAN be the boss. DD calls it "Mommy-Fiona Time" . . she knows she gets to make all of the rules and I'll do it. It only works one on one, though (at least for me).

It has helped with times when she can't be in charge all of the time!
:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the thoughts on this. He is kind of a perfectionist in general, which I think is why he wants us to do it in the first place - because he feels like we can do it better than he can (drawings, gluing, etc.)

Quote:
I would always begin with empathy. "I Know you want to get things just right. You have things planned carefully in your mind and you like things to be just the way you plan them. BUT...."
This is pretty much what we have been doing. But, we are also guilty of going along with it for a few minutes until we're on edge and then being sort of snappy about it, which of course only serves to escalate the situation.

And while I totally understand the concept of special time, and know families for whom it works very well, it doesn't seem to be our thing. I can't even say why, but there is something about it that doesn't seem right for us.

Baby wakes, gotta run.
 

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Don't know if this might help of not -- when ds#1 was struggling with perfectionism, we started making "artisistic creations." He loved that phrase. Essentially -- we'd sit down with supplies and make a plan -- the plan was, "We don't know how this will turn out, but whatever it looks like will be an artistic creation." After doing that handful of times, I started pointing out that other pojects he believed were failures, had actually turned out to be "artisitic creations" or "artisitic designs." It has also been helpful for him to look at "real" art, and notice that not all of it looks "perfect," kwim? Finally -- I have made an effort to frame or laminate, and hang up some of his less than perfect work, pointing out the things that I love about it.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by LynnS6
Hmm.. no real ideas, just sympathy. Maybe it's a 5 year old thing? Our 5 year old is doing the same thing -- and he gets very upset and well, rude, when we don't 'divine' what it was that HE had in mind.

I'm all ears for what other people have to suggest!
:
 
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