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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
MY 20 mo dd is really making me crazy. She has been battling a cold and allergies for weeks and has gotten a little tantrum-prone. Every thing we do has to be approached with care. Even a trip up the stairs, or out to the car, or putting on clothes....dry pants.....anything is NO. If I am patient, she will eventually come around to it so I try to go with the flow and respect her slooowwww toddler rhythm but sometimes you have to get out the door by a certain time.<br>
If I pick her up it's sure to start a tantrum/hissy fit and I don't know if that's the hill I wanna die on, you know?<br><br>
Suggestions? How long will this last?<br>
I am feeling a little "powerless" and silly. I'm the parent, right? I should decide if it's time to go, right??? Then again, I want to be flexible and not all crazy strict when it's really NOT necessary.<br>
I find myself asking her all the time if she "wants' to do something. Does she even know?<br><br>
I'm sure my family sees me coaxing her to move along and thinks I'm nuts which is maybe a sensitive area for me.<br><br>
do I just need to chill out and be patient? Do I need to stop and smell the roses, or the pine straw, or whatever we are studying at the moment? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Suggestions would be appreciated. She has good verbal skills and can comprehend directions when she wants. I have experimented with giving her choices in hopes of helping her feel in control and have had some success. I don't always feel creative tho.<br><br>
Perhaps this is a gentle discipline question? I dunno.<br><br>
Thanks!
 

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Sorry double post. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 

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Some things that came to mind upon reading your post...<br><br><i>She has been battling a cold and allergies for weeks and has gotten a little tantrum-prone.</i><br><br>
When my DS is sick (a little or a lot, doesn't matter), his whole personality changes. His mind has a very hard time coping when his body doesn't feel right. Very normal for kids this age to need that "extra care" you were mentioning during times like this. Also, is she teething at all? DS's second year molars were coming in at this time, and it really heightened his more challenging behaviors. Alas, these things WILL pass. Hang in there.<br><br><i>I am feeling a little "powerless" and silly. I'm the parent, right? I should decide if it's time to go, right??? Then again, I want to be flexible and not all crazy strict when it's really NOT necessary.<br>
I find myself asking her all the time if she "wants' to do something. Does she even know?</i><br><br>
Hm. I tend to avoid "the who's in charge here?" thought process. You are a person, your DD is a person. You <span style="text-decoration:underline;">both</span> deserve to be treated with respect and while you do have certain "powers" as a parent. She also needs to feel her own power as well. So, basically speaking, I do hang loose whenever, and wherever I can to the fullest extent of my patience (which I've found through vigorous exersize these past 2 1/2 years, has become much more flexible <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">), but never at the expense of my own integrity... that's where I draw the line so to speak.<br><br>
As to the "do you want" questions. Drop them, unless you are willing to take no for an answer. I make statements when it's imperative that DS work with me. "The bath is ready. Let's get undressed and go for a swim." Rather than, "Are you ready for your bath?" If she answers "no" then you put yourself in the position of either wasting a tub full of warm bubbly water (that you'd LOVE to take advantage of yourself of course but where's the time??) or coercing, cojoling, whatever. If you choose the latter (let's face it, we've all been there), you are basically telling her that even though you asked a question, she really has no choice in the matter, and that her answer, "NO" doesn't count. She needs to know that she can say no when asked and have it respected. OTOH, there are times when you can't take no for an answer so, make statements when you need to. Do make sure to ask her plenty of yes or no questions and choice questions when you can. The effort made there will hopefully help her to work with you when she doesn't have the choice. If my DS says 'no' to a statement, I can explain that it wasn't a request, but... if he wants to play a few minutes longer before getting into the tub, then fine. I can work with that.<br><br><i>I'm sure my family sees me coaxing her to move along and thinks I'm nuts which is maybe a sensitive area for me.</i><br><br>
I wondered if this was a factor when I read your words about "I'm in charge." (above) I hear ya. It's difficult when you percieve that others may be questioning. But here is the time you can ask that question, "who's the parent?" You are. You make the calls on your own parenting. Try to keep what other negative things people may be thinking away from your own thoughts. Like I said, it can be difficult but it's so necessary for your sanity and to be in touch with your own instincts.<br><br><i>Do I just need to chill out and be patient? Do I need to stop and smell the roses, or the pine straw, or whatever we are studying at the moment?</i><br><br>
In a word, yes. As often as you possibly can. :tumpb Not always easy I know, but so rewarding for her, for you, and for the way you and she relate.<br><br><i>She has good verbal skills and can comprehend directions when she wants. I have experimented with giving her choices in hopes of helping her feel in control and have had some success. I don't always feel creative tho.</i><br><br>
Empower, empower, empower... keep up with the choices, but try to determine times when she's maybe not up for it. When my DS is tired or not feeling well, I often times will go ahead and make the choices and also keep our activities low and flexible. That she has good verbal skills can be such a help. You may even want to start having conversations about those times that are difficult--getting out the door and such--BEFORE they actually happen. Maybe determine what the two of you could do to make those times easier. DS has difficulty with transitioning from one thing to the next (he gets very focused and I have to actually LOOK for openings in his activities if I need him to work with me on something). I often times, need to give him a little more time with what he's doing and give him plenty of gentle reminders/warnings when we need to switch gears. This has helped tremendously. "Ok, you may play for 5 more minutes and then we'll go to the post office." I do this again at 2 and 1 minute... and I don't always stick to ACTUAL minutes. I really do try to give him as much time as I can whenever I can. It helps so much.<br><br><i>Perhaps this is a gentle discipline question? I dunno.</i><br><br>
I suppose it could work there as well, but she sounds all toddler to me so this works too! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
Best of luck to you and hang in there. (sorry for the novel) <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey,<br>
That is sooo helpful. I will drop the sicky sweet "do you want" questions unless it's truly relevant.<br>
she is teething and experiencing personality changes from teeth and sickness.<br>
She was feeling better for a few days and the change was remarkable. But, now she has developed a cough and I worry that I will need to cope with her Mr Hyde persona very soon.<br><br>
I admit that I do feel like a babbling ineffective idiot sometimes, not just in front of family but in public. The general population is not exactly "attachment parenting friendly" esp in my area.<br><br>
I like your idea of giving her some appropriate choices. She may really enjoy that and learn too. I have started giving "advance warning" about what will happen. Today, I took her to the doctor and babbled the whole way there about what would happen. We practiced saying "ahhh"and looking in our ears. She did great, much better than ever before.<br><br>
re: focus - she is not focused at all and buzzes from one activity to the next. She's very social. I find myself taking her to stores just so she can have someone to wave at!<br>
I love to knit and am amazed at all the knitting moms that can apparently sit knitting on the sofa while kiddo plays at their feet. Not my girl! she wants human interaction 24/7. Read mommy! Read!<br><br>
You've given me a lot to think about.<br>
These boards are such a great parenting tool!<br><br>
ot - she counted to 6 tonight all by herself !!! genius!!<br>
Elizabeth
 

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I highly recommend 2 books: How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk, and Raising Your Spirited Child.<br><br>
I have 2 spirited kids and one spunky.<br><br>
I rec giving 2 or 3 choices (that you can support) and letting her choose (the red shirt or the blue shirt?). When it is time to go out, or leave anywhere, I always gave the 5 minute warning, so the child had time to get ready. if we were out at a toy store, (which we did just for enterrtainment on long cold wet or snowy days) and it was time to go, first 5 minute warning. Then "do you want to put the toy back on the shelf, or should I do it?" Of course, child would always do it, maybe with a good-bye kiss.<br><br>
Struggles over putting on coat or jacket were avoided by just letting them choose not to put the coat on. After they were outside for a minute, then they would "choose" to put on the coat (which I was carrying).<br><br>
These and many other coping and communication tips are in both the above books. (How to Listen has comic strips for when you don't have time to read much)
 

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I don't know if this would work for anyone else, but DH and I were SHOCKED to discovered that telling dd, "fine you tell me when you are ready" works really well for her. I tell her that, then let it go. Sometimes I wait; some times I go about my business, but I cajole no more. 80% of the time she say, "readddddy" in this really cheerful voice. Sometimes I find it necessary to say again, "are you ready? Well remember to let me know when you are." And sometimes I still turn red in the face waiting for her, and I have to leave and come back with some other tactic, but she LOVES to say, readdddy!<br><br>
We have also had some success with a Stop/Go game. Where she tells us to stop then go again as we come toward her or while we do something (like brush teeth). It took us a while to teacher her this one, but it is fun. When she forgets or fails to say go, I say it for her.<br><br>
Embee, I also thought your novel was helpful.
 

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Elizabeth,<br><br>
Oh, those ills and what they will do! Mr. Hyde can be pretty tough to take somedays. *sigh* Of course, I say this feeling totally crummy myself today with a cold of my own. Guess who's the one who's been whining and fussy all day?? DS has actually been putting up with me like a trooper... hope I can follow his example next time the situation is reversed.<br><br>
Indeed, dropping questions for statements (when necessary) has been HUGE for us. I learned this from "KIDS ARE WORTH IT" by Barbara Coloroso. Excellent book, highly recommend it. I also second Darylll's suggestion on the "HOW TO TALK" book. I just finished reading it myself and found it a great companion to "KIDS ARE WORTH IT." The first book tends to discuss philosophy and the second is chock full of great examples and more importantly for me, <i>articulation</i> of how to get your point across. That's where I stumble and bumble. I need actual words to say... I need to have them readily available in my head or I stumble and bumble. As I've been using examples from the book, I'm finally starting to feel that it's coming more and more natural which is a huge relief. That's actually what struck me about your thread title btw... one of her segments is actually entitled, "engaging cooperation."<br><br>
I haven't read Raising Your Spirited Child, but I've heard it's excellent. I have read Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles by the same author (Mary Sheedy Kurcinka). It's quite good.<br><br>
Happy reading and best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Spirited? Spunky? hee hee who thinks up these expressions?<br><br>
I will try all of the above mentioned books!<br>
I will also try the "ready" trick. that's a good idea. I have had great success with telling her to let me know when she needs help. She will struggle a bit to put on her shoes then hand it to me and say "help". that's assuming she is ready to have her shoes on in the first place <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
funny how much trouble I have applying all that I have learned. You'd think that if "help" was workable that I'd figure out "ready" and whatever else we need. Maybe I should try that with eating??? hmmmmm I know that if I leave her "alone" in a room with nibble she will eat but if I'm in there not likely unless I'm eating too.<br><br>
will any of this work on my husband???<br>
Elizabeth
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by Yarnia</i><br><b><br>
will any of this work on my husband???</b></td>
</tr></table></div>
Now you're on to something!!!!
 

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No joke, it absolutely helps with dh's! And friends, older relatives, co-workers, whomever. Reflecting their feelings back at the person, as advised in How to Talk, otherwise known as active listening, is valuable no matter whom you are talking to.<br><br>
It is the core of loving guidance.
 
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