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Okay, this happens not extremely frequently, but it seems to be more and more lately. She appears to be purposely testing me and my reaction, and I just don't know what it should be.<br>
(She's 3.5)<br><br>
Example: She is standing on a chair playing with playdoh at the counter. There are fairly big chunks of playdoh that have fallen all over the floor under her chair. I'm fine with the mess, and even fine with cleaning it up for her at the end. But I'm worried about it drying out and so at a point when she is off the chair for a bit (and not doing anything else, she got off to follow me b/c I left the room for a minute), I start cleaning it up and when she came close I said happily, "Here, help pick up some of these pieces, I'm worried they're going to dry up or get dirty and you won't have them to play with anymore".<br><br>
But it's like I'm not talking.<br><br>
So I continue and right before she's about to get up on the chair again, I am almost done and I see one piece kind of far away from me but closer to her and I say, "Hey, will you get that last piece over there please?" And she kind of smiles at me and makes sure I notice that she is going to ignore me and gets back up on the chair and starts playing again.<br><br>
This is where I just don't know how to react or what to say. I am all for independence and I'm not even too concerned that she's unwilling to help at the moment--she does help me often without being asked. I just don't feel very respected (and I do my best to show respect to her), and I don't want to give the impression that I'm okay with it.<br><br>
In this situation, I got back up on her level and looked at her while saying something about how I wanted to pick those up so she could still play with them, and I asked her to help me and it's nice to do things for each other.<br><br>
But I could have been talking about calculus for all she heard because she just showed me the ball of playdoh and said she was making a cow.<br><br>
What do you do? Say? If I just continue to do what I did, will she eventually grow out of it? She really does turn off to any sort of pressure. And I was trying so hard not to pressure her, just asking in a light, kind way.<br><br>
It's like she's trying to get me mad at her (which I know sounds absurd, but that's the way it looks. I probably need to reframe what that look means in my mind so I <i>don't</i> get mad. Any suggestions?)
 

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For me, I usually touch my child on the body to make sure they know I'm talking, then I hand them what I want them to put away. That tells them I'm serious. If I'm not in a position to do that, I will usually say something like that "next time I hope that you pick it up. I don't like having to clean up your mess all by myself."<br><br>
As for the playdough drying out -- if you drop it and refuse to pick it up -- that's the natural consequence. At 3 1/2, she's getting to an age where she might actually make the connection.
 

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OT, a little: Not to muddy the waters too much, but if it's commercial playdoh (as opposed to a salt dough) it can be rehydrated. I didn't know that until dh told me. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"><br><br>
My dd, who is two, will sometimes very sweetly either not stop whatever it is she's doing or else give me a <i>look</i> with a certain smile to let me know she's heard me but she's not gonna do whatever.<br><br>
If I want her to know I'm serious about being heard, I touch her, then say "Dd, look at my eyes and listen to my words." then repeat what I had to say.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>claras_mom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7242312"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My dd, who is two, will sometimes very sweetly either not stop whatever it is she's doing or else give me a <i>look</i> with a certain smile to let me know she's heard me but she's not gonna do whatever.</div>
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Okay, this is exactly what my daughter does.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>claras_mom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7242312"><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 I want her to know I'm serious about being heard, I touch her, then say "Dd, look at my eyes and listen to my words." then repeat what I had to say.</div>
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And then what if she continues ignoring after that?<br><br>
I'm not looking for an imposed consequence of any sort. I'm looking for a better way to think of this than "she's being disrespectful by ignoring me and defying my requests and she's just trying to get me angry."<br><br>
So you repeat your request and she smiles again and continues playing. Then what do you do? What do you think? It's okay? She's her own person and she has decided at this moment that she's not going to do what I asked of her and I should respect that? I guess that's pretty much where I am, philosophically. It just feels so "permissive" and also like I'm a doormat in practice. But is that just because of my own issues? The way I was raised? I think I just need a better perspective.
 

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Maybe focus on how her ignoring makes you feel disrespected. To take the focus off what you asked her to do, you know. My DD has done this too. I say, "Look, if you don't want to pick this up that's fine. Just tell me that. I am talking to you and it is very rude for you to ignore me. When someone asks you a direct question it is polite to respond. Even if you don't want to do what I asked, just say 'Mommy, I don't want to pick that up right now.' I try to never ignore you and I'd expect the same respect."<br><br>
Jen
 

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It's the age, they all do it...adults do sometimes too (like my DH!)<br><br>
Sometiems I think they really DON"T hear. I know once I finally get DS' attention he responds like he hadn't heard before. And I don't think he's manipulative or anything at 2.5 so I assume he just doesn't pay attention sometimes.<br><br>
If he's playing....<br><br>
me: Hey Joseph, are you hungry?<br>
silence....no matter how many times I would ask<br><br>
me again: "Hey there mister forklift operator, is there anything you'd like to eat while your working?"<br><br>
And he answers of course very happily. Off we go to the kitchen to make something<br><br>
I play all day long about everything, and it's keeps me fun too! I'll even call him silly names like he calls me. Like, silly muffin head, etc.<br><br>
It works, and it doesn't start a battle that doesn't need to be one. I really do think sometimes they are concentrating so hard they don't hear or pay attention. And even if they are just plain ignoring, let them know you can be fun and strike up a silly conversation to get an answer.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>jenP</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7243627"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Maybe focus on how her ignoring makes you feel disrespected. To take the focus off what you asked her to do, you know. My DD has done this too. I say, "Look, if you don't want to pick this up that's fine. Just tell me that. I am talking to you and it is very rude for you to ignore me. When someone asks you a direct question it is polite to respond. Even if you don't want to do what I asked, just say 'Mommy, I don't want to pick that up right now.' I try to never ignore you and I'd expect the same respect."<br><br>
Jen</div>
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I totally agree. I also agree that it is the age, but children need us to guide them through these phases. I don't think it's the same as when a toddler is throwing things around to see what happens (does that make sense?). Once they become more socially in tune, I think they really are seeking our guidance on how to navigate certain situations.<br><br>
I will often say something along the lines of what Jen said and then add a piece about how he might be feeling at that time. I.e., "it seems like you'd really like to decide when to clean up" or how or not to or whatever.<br><br>
I have read much on GD (so I probably shouldn't comment!) but it doesn't seem helpful to just sit back and interpret everything to be a step of independence...sometimes they really are testing to see what the reaction will be...if it's nothing or very passive, the message isn't being sent that this behavior is hurtful/disrespectful/etc.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>happeeevraftr</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7243563"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">And then what if she continues ignoring after that?<br><br>
I'm not looking for an imposed consequence of any sort. I'm looking for a better way to think of this than "she's being disrespectful by ignoring me and defying my requests and she's just trying to get me angry."<br><br>
So you repeat your request and she smiles again and continues playing. Then what do you do? What do you think? It's okay? She's her own person and she has decided at this moment that she's not going to do what I asked of her and I should respect that? I guess that's pretty much where I am, philosophically. It just feels so "permissive" and also like I'm a doormat in practice. But is that just because of my own issues? The way I was raised? I think I just need a better perspective.</div>
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Slightly more than half the time, if I just sit and smile back at her, she'll do as I ask within a minute or so. I actually see it more as being playful than being disrespectful.<br><br>
But let's say she's making a big mess with something--once I get her attention long enough to remind her that she'll be helping tidy it up afterwards (I'm thinking of something that happened recently--she pulled all 72 magnetic letters off the refrigerator, flinging them all over the kitchen), I just let it play out. It may change later, but she's still at a point where she <b>will</b> help tidy up a mess she makes. In fact, she insists at times! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
To me, the joy of this age--and I think it will continue as she gets more verbal--is precisely that she's starting to be her own person in a very <i>conscious</i> way. I don't see it as an issue of disrespect at all, or of trying to make me angry--trying to elicit a reaction, perhaps, but not pushing buttons the way an older child might.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Barb36</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7245557"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><br>
I have read much on GD (so I probably shouldn't comment!) but it doesn't seem helpful to just sit back and interpret everything to be a step of independence...sometimes they really are testing to see what the reaction will be...if it's nothing or very passive, the message isn't being sent that this behavior is hurtful/disrespectful/etc.</div>
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I dont' think those of us that engage in playful parenting to avoid a battle think we are "sitting back" letting our kids run the show. Key word here TWO YEAR OLD. And we aren't talking about a child throwing things all over, or hitting someone/doing something hurtful or really innapropriate. When it's just ignoring over something that can be resolved without a big deal, why not?<br><br>
And you are right, a 2 or 3 year old DOES know that ignoring can be annoying/rude, and DOES know that if you make a mess it's nice to clean it up. But are you going to beat yourself in the head trying to get a response to no avail? Or just chill and find another alternative like make it fun? Most issues can be solved by making it fun and games. You don't always have to 'teach a lesson'.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>425lisamarie</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7245722"><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 dont' think those of us that engage in playful parenting to avoid a battle think we are "sitting back" letting our kids run the show. Key word here TWO YEAR OLD. And we aren't talking about a child throwing things all over, or hitting someone/doing something hurtful or really innapropriate. When it's just ignoring over something that can be resolved without a big deal, why not?<br><br>
And you are right, a 2 or 3 year old DOES know that ignoring can be annoying/rude, and DOES know that if you make a mess it's nice to clean it up. But are you going to beat yourself in the head trying to get a response to no avail? Or just chill and find another alternative like make it fun? Most issues can be solved by making it fun and games. You don't always have to 'teach a lesson'.</div>
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It's hard to have a dialogue when it feels like an attack but I'll give it a go!<br><br>
The OP's child is not TWO (it feels like you are screaming when you capitalize)...she is 3.5. I was responding to her, not you.<br><br>
Yes, making it fun is great!! I totally agree and I do that any time that it works. But it doesn't always. Sounds like you're very lucky to have a child who responds so well to that 100% of the time. My child is actually 4...very different from 2. He is now more socially sophisticated and that creates times where I do need to do some "teaching"...or guiding, as I prefer to see it. He doesn't know how is actions/behaviors make me feel unless I tell him. I never think he is doing something to make me angry...he's doing it because he wants to...but he doesn't live in this world all by himself and sometimes his actions/words are hurtful or disrespectful to others...I strongly believe he needs me to help him understand that. It doesn't take one time...it takes many, many times of talking about how it feels when someone does this or that.<br><br>
I don't want to raise a child who doesn't care about how other people feel. I've always talked with him about feelings and I feel like he is a highly emotinoally intelligent kid. And, I'm not implying that anyone else's kid is not emotionally intelligent because they choose to do things differently!<br><br>
To the OP, I would definitely attempt the fun route...if it doesn't work you can talk about feelings, get down to his level, tell him how it feels to you to be ignored, etc.<br><br>
Ignoring is a really hurtful thing. My son is at preschool and lots of feelings get hurt when kids ignore one another. It's a very passive aggressive behavior. Now, I agree with the PP that sometimes they are just concentrating very hard. But you know your kid...you know if they are absorbed in something or if they are intentionally ignoring you. Those are very different things and call for different responses, IMO.
 

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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;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>claras_mom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7242312"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My dd, who is two, will sometimes very sweetly either not stop whatever it is she's doing or else give me a <i>look</i> with a certain smile to let me know she's heard me but she's not gonna do whatever.</div>
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My DS does this as well and it frustrates me<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 
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