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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
yesterday while trying and trying and TRYING to negotiate a way to get my 3.5 yr old to pick up the bandaids she had dumped out I said to her " i know why don't you count them as you put them back so we know how many we have left" and she says "mom even if you try and make it fun I'm still not doing it..." did I mention she's 3.5yrs old....<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br>
I need to check into the "spirited child book" everyone talks about on here...she is def. that...I love that she is intensely brillant but....she's just exhausting!!!!!!!!!! and oh so defiant....emotional...high strung.....<br><br>
and ya..I ended up picking up the bandaids......but not when she was looking.
 

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No advice--I've got one too. She's three--sweet, smart, witty, intense, demanding, bold, and exhausting. Hugs, momma. I figure that my dd is challenging me to be a better mother everyday. We're both growing.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Meikos</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8167578"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">yesterday while trying and trying and TRYING to negotiate a way to get my 3.5 yr old to pick up the bandaids she had dumped out I said to her " i know why don't you count them as you put them back so we know how many we have left" and she says "mom even if you try and make it fun I'm still not doing it..." did I mention she's 3.5yrs old....<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br>
I need to check into the "spirited child book" everyone talks about on here...she is def. that...I love that she is intensely brillant but....she's just exhausting!!!!!!!!!! and oh so defiant....emotional...high strung.....<br><br>
and ya..I ended up picking up the bandaids......but not when she was looking.</div>
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See, I would have done something completely different. I WOULD have picked up the bandaids WHILE she was looking and the said.<br><br><i>"You dumped the bandaids and it was your job to pick them up. You did not do your job and so I had to. Next time, I expect you to pick them up if you dump them out."</i><br><br>
END OF discussion about the bandaids.<br><br>
Oh, and by the way this is said in a neutral NOT a hostile or mad voice.<br><br>
This really is more effective AND WAY LESS EXHAUSTING than trying to jolly them into work.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>maya44</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8167998"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">See, I would have done something completely different. I WOULD have picked up the bandaids WHILE she was looking and the said.<br><br><i>"You dumped the bandaids and it was your job to pick them up. You did not do your job and so I had to. Next time, I expect you to pick them up if you dump them out."</i><br><br>
END OF discussion about the bandaids.<br><br>
Oh, and by the way this is said in a neutral NOT a hostile or mad voice.<br><br>
This really is more effective AND WAY LESS EXHAUSTING than trying to jolly them into work.</div>
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This is what I do to.<br><br>
"O, it's time to pick up your toys and put them in the basket."<br>
"No, not now, I'm doing busy watching TV."<br>
Then I just start picking up saying something about next time we need to keep the Lego's in her room since she doesn't want to pick them up so that nobody steps on them and gets an owie."<br>
Usually DD will start to help me clean up.<br><br>
I think leading by example is incredibly powerful. Begging, pleading, and tricking does not work so well. (Not that I haven't used these techniques too!)
 

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In the past, I likely would have done similarly to what Maya said. But even my husband, who is not at all convinced that punishments aren't necessary (although he has never found an occasion where he thought it would be necessary or helpful) "scolded" me one time when I said something very similar to:<br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">"You dumped the bandaids and it was your job to pick them up. You did not do your job and so I had to. Next time, I expect you to pick them up if you dump them out."</td>
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He said that I was guilting her, trying to make her feel ashamed of herself, so she would be motivated to obey me next time. And it was true, especially judging by her reaction to it. (Maybe I said it in a tone that would be more guilt-inducing than Maya would use?)<br><br>
Now, with my <a href="http://lollymom.com/2007/05/18/becoming-more-sweet-and-less-controlling/" target="_blank">renewed commitment</a> to allow her to be in control of herself, I would probably talk about the bandaids, why I didn't want them all over the floor, how I think it's important for us to clean up our messes and keep our house looking nice, but still, let her decide on her own. With my daughter, it helps to give her space, so I might say some of that, and state that I hope she picked them up soon, and walk away, going on with my business. She's much more apt to do something she knows I want her to if I'm not standing right there, staring, hovering, waiting.<br><br>
If I wanted them up RIGHT NOW, and it didn't look like she was going to do it, I might say, "I wish you would pick them up, but if you don't, I will, because the mess is really bothering me." And then start picking them up myself.<br><br>
Short of physically moving her arm around in the proper motions, there's not a lot you can do to force this if she is stubbornly refusing. Even if I can get her to do it by invoking feelings of guilt, or threatening or bribing, does that really instill in her any of the qualities I'm hoping to teach? Responsibility? Kindness? I don't think so. Those things aren't learned through bribes or threats or any other method of control.<br><br>
And I suspect that is the real issue that is driving you to want her to pick up the bandaids so much. Surely it doesn't take that long, and it's not that big of a deal for you to pick them up for her. You want her to pick them up because it's the right, responsible thing to do. So keep that main goal in mind. And be aware of tactics you might use to try to get her to exhibit the outward <i>behaviors</i> of responsibility, but aren't really instilling the <i>value</i> of responsibility in her. Values usually come from modeling. So model it for her. Ask her to pick them up. Explain why you think it's important. But don't attempt to force it.<br><br>
When I do this, and there truly is no guilt inducing in my voice, I've found that most often, my daughter will jump right in and start helping anyway. Or she'll help out in other ways later.<br><br>
It's also helpful for me to think about all the times she does little things for me, "Honey, would you grab a diaper for me to put on the baby?" "Sure, Mom." "Sariah, can you pick up those socks I just dropped, my hands are really full." "Oh, yeah, Sure!"<br><br>
So what's wrong with my saying, "Oh I see you're really busy right now/don't feel like doing it right now, would you like me to pick these up for you this time?"
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
For the record I wasn't standing over her trying to get her to pick them up I was doing the dishes and she was nearby with them, and the original deal was if I let her get them out and pick one for her finger and let her put it on she would pick them back up, granted I understand that 3.5yr olds aren't the the best at keeping their end of the deal but how do I get her to understand that follow thru is important, it's not about the bandaids being easy for me to pick up, I'm afraid that if I do everything for her and let her not ever follow thru or lead her to believe she never <b>has</b> to because I will always do it anyways, what am i teaching her to take people and things for granted...I don't know, I don't think it's realistic to raise a child to think they can always do exactly what they want when they want, life certainly isn't like that---I feel like they should start learning to be responsible for their actions early on, I try not to guilt or get angry but I do use ...I don't know what it's called... I try and make drudgery fun and interesting...it's the mary poppins approach I guess, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.<br>
ugh raising children is very hard....
 

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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>Meikos</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8168640"><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 afraid that if I do everything for her and let her not ever follow thru or lead her to believe she never <b>has</b> to because I will always do it anyways, what am i teaching her to take people and things for granted...I don't know, I don't think it's realistic to raise a child to think they can always do exactly what they want when they want, life certainly isn't like that---I feel like they should start learning to be responsible for their actions early on, I try not to guilt or get angry but I do use ...I don't know what it's called... I try and make drudgery fun and interesting...it's the mary poppins approach I guess, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.<br>
ugh raising children is very hard....</div>
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I wonder about this too...
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I'm afraid that if I do everything for her and let her not ever follow thru or lead her to believe she never has to because I will always do it anyways, what am i teaching her to take people and things for granted...</td>
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I understand this fear very well. I think it's a very common belief in our society, but, as I have examined it, I have come to understand that this fear comes from a belief about children that they are inherently lazy, and also, that they will interpret the worst possible message from our actions. I don't believe this about children, and I don't think, if asked, many people (at least, people who practice gentle discipline) would believe it either. I think children are inherently GOOD and social and they naturally want to please the important adults in their lives.<br><br>
While it's possible that a child could get the message you're concerned about from my response, there are other, to me more important, messages I'm trying to send--and I think, if I do it right, she will get. Messages like:
<ul><li>While I do think it's important that you clean up after yourself, I also think it's important that you be in charge of your own body/actions, so I will not use coercion to make you do it.</li>
<li>It's charitable to do things for other people, <i>even</i> when it is something they could do for themselves. I will do this for you because I can see that you really don't want to right now, and I love you and like to do things for you.</li>
<li>It is not my place to judge whether another person is truly deserving of my help. I help when I can, however I can, because I think that's a generous and good way to be.</li>
<li>I'm not going to make you do this, because I trust in your ability to do what is right, and I want you to be able to trust yourself, to believe that you are the type of person who can do good things without being coerced into it.</li>
<li>I value your autonomy over blind obedience.</li>
<li>I still love you and accept you, even when you don't act as I hoped you would. I know you are a good person. We all have our moments when we don't feel like doing something.</li>
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And on and on, I thought of more, but by the time I got back here to write, my mind went blank. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I don't know, I don't think it's realistic to raise a child to think they can always do exactly what they want when they want, life certainly isn't like that</td>
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Nope, life isn't like that at all. Especially for children. There are probably thousands of times a week that children are prohibited from doing something they want to do, or made to do something they didn't really want to do (like going grocery shopping, for example). I don't think any child is in danger of thinking they can do whatever they want anytime they want, even if her parent consistently tries to help her find ways to get what she wants, and accepts them even when they utterly refuse to do what you want them to do.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I feel like they should start learning to be responsible for their actions early on,</td>
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I absolutely agree! But how can we teach them to be responsible for their own actions if we are taking the responsibility away from them by using coercive tactics? And, is simple act of picking up a bunch of bandaids when your mother has told you to really demonstrating responsibility? Or is it just demonstrating compliance? Even if you could persuade her to do it, does just exhibiting the behavior somehow instill in her the value of being responsible?<br><br>
I, personally, don't think so. I think they'll learn the value of being responsible by watching me do responsible things all day long, all their life long! And maybe through discussions about what responsibility is and why it is important. And when they reach the point of development and maturity where full responsibility can reasonably be expected, (and they are no longer at the age where power struggles are so frequent, because of their strong desire for independence) they will probably demonstrate it, just because they've seen their parents do it over and over again.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I try not to guilt or get angry but I do use ...I don't know what it's called... I try and make drudgery fun and interesting...it's the mary poppins approach I guess, <b>sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.</b></td>
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And so it is with just about everything. Sometimes our tactics produce the desired result (in this case, the child picks up the bandaids) and sometimes they fail miserably. It has been my experience that ensuring my daughter understands it's her choice makes it more likely that she will choose to pick them up. But, just like other "tactic", this doesn't always "work".<br><br>
Or does it? If by "work" I simply mean, get her to do what I want, well, no, not always. But if by "work" I mean it gives her an opportunity to make a decision, to see the natural consequence of her decision, and to feel a sense of control over her body and her actions, and possibly to reflect later in a neutral moment upon the values involved in the situation, then, yes, allowing her to choose, even if she chooses not to, still "worked".<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">ugh raising children is very hard...</td>
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Ohhh, yeah!!<br>
But hang in there. As we treat our children with love and respect, and exhibit the qualities we want them to have, they will treat us, and everyone, with the love and respect that has been shown to them. Have faith and trust in your children! They do want to please you. Even if they sometimes have other things they want a little more (like autonomy).
 

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I have a smartie 3.5-yo dd too. I'd have shrugged at the bandaids on the floor, said, "Then I guess you aren't big enough yet for ______ bandaids, so from now on you'll get the plain kind."<br><br>
smartie 3.5-yo dd: "Noooooo!"<br><br>
me: "Then help pick them up. If you dump them out, you help pick them up."<br><br>
smartie dd: "I won't."<br><br>
me: "OK, away they go." (starting to pick them up)<br><br>
smartie dd: "Noooo! I'll _do_ it. But I DON'T LIKE YOU. And I'm NOT IN YOUR FAMILY. I'll NEVER be in your family." (picking up bandaids)<br><br>
me, depending on mood: "OK, here we go, there's one over there. Good job, we picked them all up."<br><br>
smartie dd: (stalks off) "Humph!" Two minutes later: "Mama, pretend you're a _____________."
 
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