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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dh and I have thought about this one for a while but can't seem to make up our minds; looking for input / opinions / experience. Ds is 16 mo, and when he hits / takes something from us etc, we'll use the "it makes me sad when you do that" type phrases, which he doesn't always understand. However, a few times we've made a very sad / crying face with it, and he does "get" that, even give us a hug or kiss.
On one hand, I'm thinking gestures / facial expressions are easier for him to understand, and therefore this may be appropriate. On the other hand, I sometimes feel it's deceitful; we're not really that sad, and I don't want to make him feel guilty or scared.
Anyone care to share their insight?
 

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I do this with my son..if he hit's me or does something that would or could hurt someone or does something mean i express it in a way he understands. i think that it is important to teach kids compassion. i don't act sad or hurt unless i feel like its the appropriate time, but i do think it is a good way to teach children about feelings and about compassion. i think that not saying or doing anything is way more harmful in the long run than pretending that you are sad/hurt..children learn from experience and from their parents and since they spend the most time with them at this age it is super important to show them about feelings, i think.. im not sure if that will help you, but it sounds like you are great parents and the fact that you are thinking about things like this makes it very evident. happy holidays!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by gabry
Dh and I have thought about this one for a while but can't seem to make up our minds; looking for input / opinions / experience. Ds is 16 mo, and when he hits / takes something from us etc, we'll use the "it makes me sad when you do that" type phrases, which he doesn't always understand. However, a few times we've made a very sad / crying face with it, and he does "get" that, even give us a hug or kiss.
Does it really make you sad? If someone grabs something from me or physically hurts me, my feeling is one of irritation, maybe frustration or even anger (if the hurt is intentional and serious). I might need to take a break from that person to keep those feelings in check.

There's nothing wrong with dramatizing feelings with facial expressions and actions, IMO, as long as the feeling, itself, is true. I've had to do this because I don't naturally tend to wear my emotions on my face. It's a great way to convey what's going on inside to pre-verbal toddlers. Show your son what you're truly feeling inside, though. If you think you're faking it, probably best not to do it.

(As for the "It makes me..." statements - not a fan. But that's a discussion for another time.
)
 

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maybe it's the word "sad" that's the sticky wicket? (omg is that even a phrase?) if you use the world "hurt" for when you're hit or "upset" when he does something else, kwim? maybe it feels weird to you because the emotion that you're dramatizing doesn't feel organic enough.
 

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I don't agree with that. My mom always did that with us, and it caused a major guilt complex with us. She is trying not to do it with my baby sister, but it is difficult for her to unlearn that parenting technique.
 

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i think that if you dont do anything when your child hurts you or takes something away then its going to cause problems later on.. i dont think that t will cause guilt if you are true with your emotions and if you explain to them why it hurts you or makes you sad and then love them up after..i dont think it has anything to do with guilt. unless you say "how dare you, you should be ashamed" or "you are a bad kid" or something like that and i would never say that..
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Okay, maybe there is something to that; that the word sad doesn't always describe the emotion correctly. Question remains the same tho, if you use an (exaggerated) facial expression to indicate say anger, is that okay or too much?
Mamafern, thanks for your kind words and encouragement. Pics in your siggielink are beautiful! (I mean your ds is)
Dragonfly, what do you use instead of the "It makes me feel..." type phrases?
 

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I used to say, and still do, "that is not ok". But if she hit me, I would say "OW" or that hurts. Now that she's 3 I still tell her that it's not ok, and I tell her that she needs to say sorry when she hurts someone. The reason I chose "that is not ok" is because I didn't want to associate a feeling with it. It is just simply something to me, that is not ok, it is not acceptable to hit people. I found that taking them away from the situation also helped, if she hit me, I'd move her away from me, if it was another child, I'd take her away and say that's not ok. They seem to understand much more when you incorporate a physical reaction, the toy gets taken away, they get moved from that situation etc....

I'm not sure about the "it makes me feel sad" I was visiting with a friend in the summer who had an almost 2 year old and he used to do aggressive things just to see his dad make the sad face. But perhaps that's another issue.

I don't think it's so much what you say to them, but how you convey it, if you think it's unacceptable for your child to hit people then you should say that. That's why I say "it's not ok". If like one of the previous posters said it does make you sad then say that. I think that the most important thing is to convey to them in one way or another that what they've done is not acceptable.
 

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I would use a phrase like, "When I get hit, I feel ___ because I need ____."

When I get hit I feel angry because I need others to show respect for my body!
When I get hit I feel HURT! Hitting hurts me! I need GENTLE touches!!

My feelings, my needs. My request:

"Would you give me a gentle touch?"

I think it's ok to exaggerate to express yourself clearly to another person... But I agree that you should be clear about the feelings.

The 'observation, needs, feeling, request' communication model can be explored here: http://www.cnvc.org/index.htm

Great question!!

Good luck!
 

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gabry: thanks


i use "that's not okay" too quite often..

i have to say that disciplining doesn't come easily to me..its like we have to learn, or unlearn behaviors and learn possitive ways of dealing with situations while we teach our innocent children hopefully good ways of being in the world....i always think about how im messed up, and how maybe its because of these simple things that i felt of saw or learned or didnt learn as a child.. not that im that messed up, but we all have things about ourselves that aren't so great.

anyways, i feel like im not making any sense its 1am and im sleeeepy! this is a great thread, thanks for opening this topic for discussion gabry.
 

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I found that "fake sadness" didn't work for us. My older kids got to an age where they were aware I was acting and then thought it was an even funnier bigger game, so would hit me deliberately. With the younger kids I kept working at what might work and finally the littler they were the more I just redirected and when they got older I said no and for 3 yo- up , paying more attention to the person who has been hurt worked the best. If the kids who were getting hurt got the attention, quickly no more hitting, biting, pulling hair.
take the toy they hit with and put it up, every time they would hit with it. or when it is just one child around and they are hitting you , say no to them and move away. This works a couple of ways, one they really don't want you to ignore them and because when they got hit I wanted them to move away from the other kids.
 

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I have always told my daughter, "I don't like it when you do that" and physically redirected her when necessary. I have not used exaggerated facial expressions; I don't want her to feel confused about emotions or how they are expressed. I can be sad without crying, I can be angry without making faces, etc.

Namaste!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by pamelamama
I would use a phrase like, "When I get hit, I feel ___ because I need ____."

When I get hit I feel angry because I need others to show respect for my body!
When I get hit I feel HURT! Hitting hurts me! I need GENTLE touches!!

My feelings, my needs. My request:

"Would you give me a gentle touch?"

I think it's ok to exaggerate to express yourself clearly to another person... But I agree that you should be clear about the feelings.

The 'observation, needs, feeling, request' communication model can be explored here: http://www.cnvc.org/index.htm
GOOD STUFF that NVC!!! I just asked about it for pruning possessions of DH's.

I don't fake things, but twice I told my toddler that I didn't want to play with her if she kept hitting me. I then turned my back. It was an attention-limit- setting thing. I first held her hands and told her to use gentle touch, but she kept hitting at that moment, so see what would happen. I'm pretty certain it wasn't an impulse control thing or anything. I normally wouldn't do this, but at that point, I DIDN'T want to play because she kept hitting in the face. I tried some other techniques first. That one stopped the hitting immediately and scooped her up and we went on to do something else.
 

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What I did ws try to use VERY simple language with very simple words. I found at this age, if I get too wordy, it is lost.

SO when they hit I say, "that makes an owie for mommy". then I take thier hand and stroke it on my face or where they hit me and say "Nice, nice touch".

When we hit the cat, same deal, that makes an owie. Then we stroke the kitty and make "nice. nice"

When we are playing with others and they hit my child, I further the point, "Oh no that makes an owie for you!"

Owie seems to be simple enough to convey hurt.
 
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