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I have read all of the non-coersive parenting books out there and I love that type of parenting. I aspire to be that kind of parent. However, I am finding a hard time between being non-coersive and too permissive. I feel like I'm allowing my son to do a lot of things that I shouldn't and not setting clear limits. Pam Leo wrote something that really made sense. The child is seeking limits.
I'm a softie by nature. I am having a hard time, because I feel like I don't want to see my son cry, I get flustered and I allow him to boss me around.
To make it clear: I don't allow him to be hurtful to me or other children. No way. But things like misbehaving in restaurants or standing on pieces of furniture he shouldn't be standing on, or going thru the fridge "for fun"

I really hope to get no judgement here. I am looking for suggestions on how to be more firm, how to stick to my decisions, how to make him understand that certain things are just not ok to do. I understand that everyone has their ideas of what's appropriate and what's not...but I think that most moms will understand what I'm talking about. Like basic common sense things.

And it doesn't help that my DH always points out that I'm too permissive.
 

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I feel I was too permissive with dd when she was younger, and am having to play catch-up now that she is 7. So kudos to you for recognizing this early on!!

I think what you need to do is sit down (maybe with you hubby) and figure out a set of general principles that are your backbone. Things like: we are gentle, we don't damage other's property, we are considerate of other's feelings, etc. Then, if he is talking rudely, that violates the principle of being considerate and you can talk to him about that. Or, if he is climbing on the coffee table and possibly scratching it, that comes under the not damaging other's things and you talk to him about that.

That way you are not having to make decisions about acceptable and unacceptable behavior "on the fly", you already have the framework in your mind.

I understand about being a big ol' softie, though. I'm one too. Good luck!
 

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Hi, I can really relate to this too as I seek to find balance between gentle discipline and having some rules.
I find that I need to get eye contact from dc to communicate that I really mean it (whether it's to say "I love you" or "After your rest, come and put your shoes on the shelf").
Sometimes I have to quietly, calmly and lovingly just go up to dc, take her by the hand and tell her, "I have asked you to do x, I don't want to ask you again," and gently lead her to do whatever.
Sometimes I can get her cooperation through a game. (Playful Parenting by Laurence Cohen has excellent ideas.)
Sometimes I have to get down and do stuff with her (e.g., cleaning up).

I find it necessary to fuse some GD stuff and some more structured stuff in order for me to feel like I have some control in my life, it's not this 2 y.o. steering the family ship! I have learned that my child's protests with me evaporate when Grandma has the same set of rules. It tells me that she really CAN handle them, she's just testing me
:


A way to teach inner self discipline is to set the rule (e.g., we don't lie on the kitchen table, feet down on the chair please) and then, when I see her doing it, calmly asking with eye contact, "What should you be doing? Where should your feet be?" Eventually she does what she's supposed to.


No flaming please! I think real families need real and varied solutions. Good luck, you're not alone!
 

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subbing. This is interesting too me right now. I am currently rereading Naomi Aldort (Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves). Have you read that one? I love it, but I really need someone to just give me a straight up handbook. THIS is okay, THIS is not. THIS is when you step in. This is HOW you step in.

All the books I've read, including this one, talk about times when we have to disappoint our kids. Aldort talks about when something is "unchangeable" and how we shouldn't go around trying to "change reality" for our kids. But she also says not to thwart them unnecessarily. Don't be the cause of their upsets. So... I don't know.

Just wanna listen to this discussion!
 

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I'm having similar thoughts this morning. I feel like I am not setting high enough expectations of my daughters and they are not learning to pull their weight in the family. Because I work full time and DH is only home Thursday as of midnight till monday morning, we really do not have a lot of time, both evening and morning routines are really quick. And I try so hard to have some time to play with my daughters. So, instead of teaching them to be helpful I too often step in and "do for" them. To save time. I feel very bad about this. My mom did not get much help from us, either and I do not think that's fair. With my dds, if I want to get them to help clean, or do whatever little task it takes really, really, a long, long time. I do that in the weekends, but it is not enough to set a good routine going. I feel like a bad mom about this.
 

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I struggle with this, too. When you are into AP with your babies, it is so hard to switch off the "I must keep them from crying and make it all better" thing in your head. I read a great book recently, after reading UP and "Raising Our Children...". These books were great on principle and philosophy, but "Easy to Love: Difficult to Discipline" shows you HOW to be a gentle parent while still maintaining a calm sense of control (over yourself, not your kids) and while avoiding permissiveness. The secret is learning how to discipline your own mind, and to learn self-control as a parent. There is a great section on assertiveness vs. permissiveness or aggressiveness that really spoke to me. I hate the feeling that I'm not respected, and this book teaches you how to teach others to respect you by the words you choose and the way you think about yourself and others. The book says the question is not "how do we get our children to do x", but how do we act to make it more likely that our children will choose x". I can't recommend this book highly enough... I think it's amazing for those of us who don't know how to go from ideals and theory to practice. Good Luck!
 

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I really need someone to just give me a straight up handbook. THIS is okay, THIS is not. THIS is when you step in. This is HOW you step in.
The closest I have seen to this description is "Kids are Worth It," by Barbara Coloroso.
 

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I was just thinking about this this afternoon! I was wondering why DD (2yo) hasn't thrown a tantrum ever. Yes, she is laid back, but I was wondering if maybe we just allow TOO much. I see so many things as a learning opportunity or as a part of a stage (she's into climbing, so I'll let her climb on the table!), and I think I just don't set enough boundaries.

Excited to learn more from you mamas!
 

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Quote:
I'm a softie by nature. I am having a hard time, because I feel like I don't want to see my son cry, I get flustered and I allow him to boss me around.
To make it clear: I don't allow him to be hurtful to me or other children. No way. But things like misbehaving in restaurants or standing on pieces of furniture he shouldn't be standing on, or going thru the fridge "for fun"
Are you redirecting him to acceptable alternatives? If he's standing on furniture he shouldn't be standing on, what exactly do you do? I would say, "Oh, honey, we don't stand on this because it could get scratched/broken, etc. Hop off, please." I'd hold my arms out for him to jump. If he got upset at this, started crying, etc. I would then empathize with him. "You want to be up there, huh? I know, it's hard when you don't want to get down. Do you want to sit on my shoulders instead?" (Or something like that.) Specifically, with my ds, telling him that I know it's hard works wonders. He needs to hear that I understand and that it's okay to feel upset, that I am not upset with him. But I still ask him to get off the table.

On those occasions where he doesn't cry, but instead starts laughing and saying, "No! I won't get off!" (or something similar,) I would quickly make it into a game. Laughter is usually an invitation for play, and often a sign that a child is embarrassed and unsure of how to proceed, (and I think people often misinterpret this sign from children and mistake it for sassiness or rudeness, when really the child is asking for help.) So I make it fun. Do a little chasing, tickling game that leads us away from whatever it was we wanted him away from.

None of those things you mentioned seem urgent, so I would be sure to keep that in mind and not get swept away by the idea that 'I must stop this now.'

GL
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Kateana View Post
I was just thinking about this this afternoon! I was wondering why DD (2yo) hasn't thrown a tantrum ever. Yes, she is laid back, but I was wondering if maybe we just allow TOO much. I see so many things as a learning opportunity or as a part of a stage (she's into climbing, so I'll let her climb on the table!), and I think I just don't set enough boundaries.

Excited to learn more from you mamas!
If you don't mind her climbing on tables, then let her climb on tables. It is part of a stage and is a great learning opportunity. The fact that she is not throwing tantrums does NOT mean you are too lenient. Arbitrary boundaries, just for the sake of setting boundaries, will surely lead to unnecessary power struggles.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by abac View Post
Are you redirecting him to acceptable alternatives? If he's standing on furniture he shouldn't be standing on, what exactly do you do? I would say, "Oh, honey, we don't stand on this because it could get scratched/broken, etc. Hop off, please." I'd hold my arms out for him to jump. If he got upset at this, started crying, etc. I would then empathize with him. "You want to be up there, huh? I know, it's hard when you don't want to get down. Do you want to sit on my shoulders instead?" (Or something like that.) Specifically, with my ds, telling him that I know it's hard works wonders. He needs to hear that I understand and that it's okay to feel upset, that I am not upset with him. But I still ask him to get off the table.

On those occasions where he doesn't cry, but instead starts laughing and saying, "No! I won't get off!" (or something similar,) I would quickly make it into a game. Laughter is usually an invitation for play, and often a sign that a child is embarrassed and unsure of how to proceed, (and I think people often misinterpret this sign from children and mistake it for sassiness or rudeness, when really the child is asking for help.) So I make it fun. Do a little chasing, tickling game that leads us away from whatever it was we wanted him away from.

None of those things you mentioned seem urgent, so I would be sure to keep that in mind and not get swept away by the idea that 'I must stop this now.'

GL
:

Pat
 

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You're only too permissive if he's doing things that bother you. In some ways, the parent-child relationship is like any other--you have to set the limits that make sense to you. If it doesn't bother you that he's going through the fridge, then let him.

I was with a parent of a child my son's current age when my son was a baby, and he was complaining that his kid was jumping on his lap. I said, "You're allowed to say no." I think we often feel like we can't say no if the behavior doesn't hurt anyone else. You're allowed to enforce limits because behaviors hurt, worry or bother you. It's not different from your relationships with adults in that way. If your partner or friend or parent makes a scene in a restaurant, you wouldn't put up with it. Of course, your options are different with a small child than with an adult--you can't just leave them there to take a cab home! But just as you wouldn't hit or yell at an adult to make them stop yelling and acting out in public (or going through your fridge without permission, or standing on the coffee table) you don't have to do that here.

See, I think some of the problem is that we put up with a lot of behavior from our peers and our parents that we really shouldn't, either! You have to model limit setting not only to teach your child to follow limits, but to teach him how to set them for himself. I want my kid to have the tools to stop people from hitting him or doing unsafe behaviors around him, or whatever, so I have to model that. (Though up until now, he's more likely to be the victim of unwanted hugging! Still.)
 

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Originally Posted by captain optimism View Post
You're only too permissive if he's doing things that bother you.
I agree with this, Captain Optimism and no, I do not let my dds do things that bother me, I say no, I enforce my limits. What I do have a problem with is getting them to do things that they do not want to do, especially the issue is about straightening up, helping around the house, etc. My mother was permissive with us in the same way. We were "allowed" to not help. I do not think that is good, yet, I am doing the same with my dds and it is an area of my parenting I do not like.
 

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I agree with what others have said -- setting limits means articulating and enforcing your own personal boundaries. Its important to recognize and know what your boundaries are, and it is helpful to our kids to learn that the people around them have those boundaries and deserve to see them respected. Now, granted, its a tricky process because sometimes our boundaries are unreasonable or encroach too much on the developmental needs of our kids -- so its always helpful to question yourself a little bit before you draw a line, kwim? But its okay to decide that you don't want your kids climbing on the table, or whatever -- as long as you are conscious about your rationale and your own needs.

Another thing I want to point out is that its not our job to keep our kids happy. It is a real disserve to our kids to send the message that we can control whether they are happy or not. Its also a disservice to send the message that being sad, or frustrated, or angry is not okay. So when they react to a boundary by having a tantrum.... they need to know that its okay to have all those feelings, and to experience them, and to give them the opportunity and the tools to get a handle on themselves and move on (eventually) without always getting what they want. You can teach your child that hard feelings are okay to experience, and they go away eventually -- by sitting with her/him and talking them through it, or even just being there and weathering it with them. If you are scared of big hard feelings, and you tip toe around trying to avoid them, then your child will grow up to be scared and overwhelmed by big hard feelings too. Take those tantrums in stride -- always be empathetic and kind, but be strong too.
 

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