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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not really sure what to title this, but I've been chaning my parenting habits and ideals a lot since 3 things have come up in my life a) I've learned about GD b) DD turned 3 in the summer and is really difficult c) I have been going through lots of personal stuff.<br><br>
I'm finding myself needing to let go of a lot of things that I used to try to control (TV, candy, wearing a coat, brushing teeth, etc.). I know I shouldn't bribe, reward, pacify DD with unhealthy thigns, but I'm finding myself giving in to DD's tantrums and demands in ways that I normally would not find ideal just so that I can keep my sanity.<br><br>
The personal stuff in my life requires that I take care of myself a little more, I have to get on the phone and talk to people, I have to journal or read, I have to sleep and eat well. These are requirements for me to become a better parent, so that I CAN practice GD and that I'm not a screaming lunatic of a mother. Then of course on top of this, I have to cook, clean, do the bills, play with kids, take them out, shop, etc. I have been reaching out for help like babysitting. And, I've definitley tried to keep things simple (not going out as much, making simpler meals even if they're not the healthiest, letting go of the small stuff)<br><br>
Sometimes I just cannot wait until both kids are asleep at night to do these things. When I get on the phone, I'm letting DD watch too much TV, then she knows that she can manipulate me and starts asking for snacks and candy (she knows the difference b/t healthy snacks like fruit and veggies and cheese and insists that snacks are the "junkier" stuff). I give her so called "healthier" snacks like organic cookies, non trans fat crackers, but she does get some lollipops from Halloween, and ice pops. I know I have the choice to just throw out anything that I do not want to battle with. HOwever, I feel the need to keep things around just to get her to do something, because lets face it the GD way of explaining, validating her feelings, etc etc, takes lots of patience and sometimes I just do not have it in me. I was reading the thread about giving medicine to kids, and I have given DD a lollipop everday for an entire week until her antibiotic was finished.<br><br>
I also have a 10 month old that needs me to nurse her laying down for her naps and takes up to 30 minutes sometimes to fall asleep. Our routine is that DD gets to watch TV while I'm putting the baby to sleep. Well, I often promise her to play a game with her after the baby is asleep but we have to turn off the TV now. She starts throwing a fit and fights me about the TV (probably b/c she's tired by midafternoon but if she naps now, she will go to sleep at 9:30 which is to close to my 10 pm bedtime, and I need to be in bed at this time b/c 10 month old DD nurses and wakes several times a night and DD#1 is awake by 6:30 and we start all over again!) We live in a small 2br apt and I end up giving in to her and leaving the TV on since I don't want her to wake the baby up with her screaming. She basically gets away with a lot more while DD#2 is napping then if she was awake. And, this is also some time for me to get a few things done. The other truth is that I'm just not getting as much enjoyment from playing with DD as I used to. I know that I'm practicing lazy parenting sometimes if I'm not sitting on the floor with her at all times. I do play with her, but not nearly as much as she'd like and I feel guilty about it.<br><br>
So, should I care? Is this GD? It's not my ideal thing, I read posts on MDC about no TV families, and all of the other ideal things that I would like to do for my family (meals from scratch, all natural eating, etc.) but maybe I'm trying to hard to be a perfect parent? When the baby IS awake, I am more firm, I try to be gentle with DD, say "you really love TV don't you", "you're afraid you're going to miss something on it if we shut it off", but I don't walk on eggshells and let her have her tantrum.<br><br>
I think my issue is that I'm comparing myself to what I read on MDC, and I do know lots of parents IRL who keep the tv on all day, let kids eat lots of junk, etc. Am I wrong in thinking that the parent who practices ideal parenting must have excellent emotional health.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>LylasMom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/6480146"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I know that I'm practicing lazy parenting sometimes if I'm not sitting on the floor with her at all times. I do play with her, but not nearly as much as she'd like and I feel guilty about it.</div>
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I have lots I want to say and will come back when DD isn't in my lap but this is SO not true. It is NOT your job to play with your child. You should get her started in something and then do your thing, she should play alongside you, etc but you ARE NOT HER PLAYMATE. And being so sets up a very dangerous dynamic for you and her. That puts you on her level, and you're not, you're the parent.<br><br>
You should join PositiveParenting-Discipline yahoo group - they had a great thread about this not too long ago, I may have it if you want me to email it to you. It really spoke to me as I used to feel like you do.
 

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I could have written your post on so many levels. I also have alot to say but will have to wait a little later, I'm at work.<br><br>
But in a nutshell, after 3 years of total AP parenting, the truth is I am simply burnt out. Age 3 is REALLY hard. It seems harder than Age 2. I too give in to DS ALOT.<br><br>
"DS it's time to take a bath"<br><br>
"No take a baaaaathhhh Mommy!!!"<br><br>
just an example. I have found that he tries to "scare me with a tantrum" because it *feels* like he knows I cannot stand tantrums. They send me over the edge and I have low patience for them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>SillyMommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/6480208"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I have lots I want to say and will come back when DD isn't in my lap but this is SO not true. It is NOT your job to play with your child. You should get her started in something and then do your thing, she should play alongside you, etc but you ARE NOT HER PLAYMATE. And being so sets up a very dangerous dynamic for you and her. That puts you on her level, and you're not, you're the parent.<br><br>
You should join PositiveParenting-Discipline yahoo group - they had a great thread about this not too long ago, I may have it if you want me to email it to you. It really spoke to me as I used to feel like you do.</div>
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I guess that was not accurate, I shouldn't have written "at all times", but the fact is that much of the day when we are home, she doesn't let up with the "can you play with me". I do set her up with stuff, but even if I sit for a few minutes to satisfy her, the minute I get up she says "but who's going to play with me?" I've tried to set up paint for her, and then sit at the table and read a magazine or go through mail, and if I don't have that paintbrush in my hand she gets upset!<br><br>
Sillymommy-I will email you about that thread, I would love to read it..
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>LylasMom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/6480146"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm finding myself needing to let go of a lot of things that I used to try to control (TV, candy, wearing a coat, brushing teeth, etc.). I know I shouldn't bribe, reward, pacify DD with unhealthy thigns, but I'm finding myself giving in to DD's tantrums and demands in ways that I normally would not find ideal just so that I can keep my sanity.</div>
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I think it is good to have a relationship that is not controlling. I don't control those things you mentioned. I may attempt to guide ds somewhat, help him learn to follow his body's cues. For instance, if he wants candy, it means he is hungry. I explain that non candy foods will make his body feel better for a longer time, but I will give him candy or sugar if he asks for it. That is actually an improvement in that he realizes he is too hungry and needs a quick fix. I do follow up and put some healthier food in front of him after he eats his first choice food. He usually will eat it happily. If I had just said "No candy until you eat your whatever," he honestly wouldn't eat anything (not a food oriented person, won't eat when too tired, etc), just wake up frequently wanting to nurse.<br><br>
I have given him a yummy food snack when I need to make a phone call. I got over the hump of his not wanting his teeth brushed by brushing while he watched a video. I let him self regulate TV. There are only so many times he can watch the PBS reruns, anyway. If he doesn't want to take a bath, fine. He will eventually get an itchy bottom and I will say that it would feel better if he takes a bath, and he will happily take one.<br><br>
You can tweak how you do things so that you are doing the same things without the same motivations (bribes, rewards, giving in, etc). If you give dd something she asks for, it is simply honoring a request. If you hold out and say "no" or "only if you __" then you are turning it into another thing entirely. You can be not controlling about all the little stuff without being permissive, manipulated, non-GD, etc. Most of it stems from the attitude you take to your relationship.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>LylasMom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/6480146"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I also have a 10 month old that needs me to nurse her laying down for her naps and takes up to 30 minutes sometimes to fall asleep. Our routine is that DD gets to watch TV while I'm putting the baby to sleep. Well, I often promise her to play a game with her after the baby is asleep but we have to turn off the TV now. She starts throwing a fit and fights me about the TV (probably b/c she's tired by midafternoon but if she naps now, she will go to sleep at 9:30 which is to close to my 10 pm bedtime, and I need to be in bed at this time b/c 10 month old DD nurses and wakes several times a night and DD#1 is awake by 6:30 and we start all over again!) We live in a small 2br apt and I end up giving in to her and leaving the TV on since I don't want her to wake the baby up with her screaming.</div>
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Honestly, I don't make tv an issue. If ds wants it on, I turn it on. When he moves on to something else, I turn it off.<br>
Sometimes if I think its been enough tv, I suggest reading a book together, or playing. (We read a lot of books together a day, because I try to read every time he asks.) So he usually wants to read, and is fine with turning the tv off. I do explain that I don't like the noise from the tv if I'm reading or doing something else.<br><br>
It sounds like there are a lot of things that you are trying to change and work on, and that's great. But try to go slowly, and pick what is most important to work on first.<br><br>
I don't get thrilled playing with ds either. But really, we have lego blocks that are fun to play with for most adults for a while. I dunno, do you have something like that?<br><br>
As far as "giving in" I think it depends on your viewpoint. I "give in" to things that I've reconsidered, and decided it wasn't important to me. Sometimes, ds's "tantrum" lets me know that it was more important to him than I thought it was. So I'll tell him "I didn't realize it was that important to you. It's actually not a big deal to me."<br>
If you are talking about "giving in" because you feel guilty, or you don't want to deal with the tantrum, or whatever, then yeah, that's something to work on.<br><br>
I wonder if the asking for junk when you're on the phone has something to do with the bribes? If it has something to do with the value that is inherently given to a treat that is used as a bribe. kwim? So, if you are using a sucker as a bribe, it MUST be a great thing. So she knows that she can get one without having to do anything negative, if she asks at a certain time in a certain way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
One other thing I've been battling with is hand-washing after DD uses the bathroom. Sometimes she refuses to do it. I get very grossed out, and have forced her to wash them. Then I let go and let her use regular baby wipes instead, but IMO they are still not clean this way! I could use Purell, but to me hand-washing is a basic thing that she should do! And, overusing antibacterial stuff is not supposed to be good.
 

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A friend of mine had some kind of pump liquid soap dispenser that turned the liquid soap into foam as it dispensed. I always thought one of those would make my ds much more interested in washing hands. You could try fancy soaps in cute shapes, as well. You could also try giving her some toys that "need" washing which will get her hands clean in the process. But if it helps, know that urine is a sanitary bodily fluid, no bacteria unless she has an infection. My ds tries to not touch anything (the toilet or his penis) because he doesn't want to wash his hands, lol.
 

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I think that its fine to operate in "survival mode" for a period of time, which it sounds like you need to do right now.<br><br>
Choosing your battles and deciding to let things go is fine.<br><br>
If you want to make some changes, then I agree with the suggestion to prioritize and take things one at a time. Don't try to make sweeping changes all at once -- your life will implode.<br><br>
If it were me, I would prioritize the way you react to tantrums. Honestly, if you make a habit of "giving in" to tantrums then you are going to make things harder for yourself in the long run. It is very different to "let something go" ahead of time, when you want to avoid triggering a tantrum, than it is to set a boundry and then slack off as soon as the tantrum starts. That teaches her to get what she wants by tantruming, and you will increase and prolong the tantrums. Ugh. Its good to empathiz with her when she tantrums, and allow her to express feelings. But if you "give in" then you reward the tantrum, and she will keep having them, which is the opposite of what you really want. This is one area that is *really* worth expending a little more energy. There will be a very clear pay-off.<br><br>
I also wanted to ask about playdates or pt. preschool for your 3 yo. Are you doing either of these things? Three was an age that my kids began to need regular interacton with other kids in order to really thrive. Sometimes, having another preschooler over to play at our house actually made my load lighter -- they would occupy each other so beautifully. I established regular trade offs with other moms, so we both got regular breaks and our kids got regular playtime. Preschool can also be very fun, if you choose a school carefully. She could go just 3 days a week or something. The nice thing about that is that those become a couple of hours where you KNOW she is engaged in constructive activities, you know she is not watching television, but YOU don't have to be the one coordinating the good time for her. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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We put so much pressure on ourselves to parent the best we can. I know I do. I have really been trying to tell myself its all about balance. Some days I am really able to meet DS where he is at and use good GD techniques. Some days I get frustrated more easily and I may yell or give in. I pick my battles carefully tho. I simply don't have enough energy to fight them all! One thing I don't do is have a TON of rules. That will set both of us up for failure. I have a few basics but try to be fluid about other things. School, respectfulness, teeth brushing, bedtime....those have more stern boundaries. TV, food choices, cleaning up, clothes....these are more flexible. Its good for DS to make some of his own decisions anyway. The playing together thing is a huge battle for us. I have no problem saying flat out....I hate playing with toys with DS. Yuck! I have tried to talk about it with him about eight million times and it seems the only way to actually make it happen is to start playing with him and then leave and let him keep going. When he really wants to be with me I ask him to help me with whatever project or chore I'm doing or I choose something for us to do that I like (not playing with Matchbox cars!!!!!) to do as well.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mamaduck</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/6489228"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">If it were me, I would prioritize the way you react to tantrums. Honestly, if you make a habit of "giving in" to tantrums then you are going to make things harder for yourself in the long run. It is very different to "let something go" ahead of time, when you want to avoid triggering a tantrum, than it is to set a boundry and then slack off as soon as the tantrum starts. That teaches her to get what she wants by tantruming, and you will increase and prolong the tantrums. Ugh. Its good to empathiz with her when she tantrums, and allow her to express feelings. But if you "give in" then you reward the tantrum, and she will keep having them, which is the opposite of what you really want. This is one area that is *really* worth expending a little more energy. There will be a very clear pay-off.</div>
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YES!<br><br>
LylasMom, I definitelydefinitelydefinitely think you can and should "let go" of some things and do what you need to do to feel healthy. For the past 3 years I was the mommy in your post, and it was NOT a good place to be. I am in a much healthier place now because I gave up the idea of homeschooling (at least temporarily) and I gave up limiting tv. I need the alone time, the quiet, the nap time, and the time to pursue my own interests more than I need to fulfill the HSing/TV free items on the AP/NFL checklist. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">:<br><br>
I do want to reiterate what mamaduck is saying though, because I think it is SO important. You need to decide ahead of time what you are willing to let go, rather than deciding that during a tantrum.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 
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