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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Once again I'm sorry. I'm sure this has been discussed plenty of times but no search so hopefully some of you don't mind discussing it again...

We've been using do-overs with our DD (25 mos) for a few months now. Overall, I'd say they work really well. But lately I'm questioning their effectiveness/appropriateness and would love to hear others' thoughts.

Here's a couple of examples of when/how I've been using them:

Car seat...

She likes to get in and play with her car seat buckles for a few minutes. I allow her to do this while I buckle her brother in his seat and then when I come around to her side she has to climb up. I usually giver her until the count of 10 to climb up by herself or mama will help.

I count slowly...sing-songy...stop and encourage her....slow way down as I get close to ten. Most times she waits until 10 and then jumps up in her seat and turns around...proud as punch that she does it herself (and that she's so clever for waiting until the last possible second).

Sometimes (and it's happening with more frequency) she doesn't get in her seat in time and I say. "Lily chose not to climb in her seat by herself so mommy is going to help her."

Tantrum begins. Kicking, screaming, hitting...etc. (I don't know why I'm spelling it out, you all know what a tantrum looks like!
)

Me: Lily do you need a do-over.
DD: Yes

She climbs down and almost always climbs right back up and we're on our way. Sometimes she still plays and won't climb up and I've been consistent that there is only one do-over and if she doesn't cooperate I am going to put her in her carseat (I've only had to do this a couple of times).

So overall I feel like this has been a good strategy to diffuse what had been a major power struggle for us. I'm just concerned that we are using the do-over with more frequency.

Second scenario...feeding the dog:

Me: Lily, it's time to feed Gilligan (dog). Do you want to do it or do you want mommy to do it?
DD: Mommy.
Me: Ok. You want mommy to feed Gilligan.
DD: Yes

I tell the dog to sit and that mommy is going to feed him. Slowly get the food out...walk over to the bowl. Ask one more time...she still says mommy.

Pour the food in the bowl and all hell breaks loose.

DD comes running...crying, screaming. "Nooooo...I WANT TO DO IT!! Mama you can't do it." Sees that the dog is eating and it intensifies. "Nooooo Gilly you can't do this. Stop eating. I want to do it."

I have saved a little bit of food in the cup and offer to let her pour it in.

DD: No. I want "lots of". Stop eating Gilly. DO OVER...DO OVER....DO OVER!!!

Here I feel like it's a little more tricky. Doing a do-over means I have to stop the dog mid-gulp, pour the food back into the cup and let her pour it back into the bowl. I did this once and it didn't feel right. Not fair to the dog.

So I guess I have a couple of questions....

How many do-overs are too many with a two-year old?
Is it always an option? If not, what are the alternatives (like in the dog example...what could I do differently...probably long before we reach the do-over point)?
Do you think that the child knowing that you are going to allow a do-over "cheapens" (I can't think of a better word) the original request....like I'm teaching her that she doesn't *really* have to listen or do what I ask because she can always play the "do-over card"???

If you made it this far...thanks for reading!
Love to hear your thoughts!!

~Erin (who is SO very grateful for this forum....I am learning so much here
)
 

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A do over seems a reasonable approach to the car seat issue, but not for feeding the dog. I'm not sure why I think the scenarios are so different. Not just because the dog is happily eating already. More because getting into the car seat is about her being in control of her body. Having that taken away can be very upsetting, so allowing her to do it over herself gives her back her autonomy. Feeding the dog isn't about her being in control of her body so it is turning into an opportunity for her to be in control of you. And I rather think that people should be in control of their own selves as much as possible. I would certainly let my ds do something for himself over again if I forgot to ask him if he wanted to do it and just did it for him.
 

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I agree with 4evermom.

With feeding the dog, I think it would be fair to simply say to her, "Sorry, Lily. Gilly's eating already. It's not fair to ask him to stop. Let me know next time and you can do it." I wouldn't make a big lesson out of it or anything. Just matter of fact. I'd also remind her at the next feeding that once Gilly's fed, there are no do-overs, so you need her answer before you give him the food.
 

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I think do-overs are great except in certain situations where the child is clearly using the do-over to delay something they don't want to do. When this happens, I think it's become a manipulation rather than "oops; I made a mistake; I'd like to try that again," in the spirit in which the do-overs are intended. Its not a real do-over; its an intentional delay. Since you already build a delay into putting on her seatbelt (the ten seconds), I don't think you should use the do-over in that case. Unless you are fine with making one do-over part of getting into the carseat every time.

With feeding the dog, its harder to figure out (for me, anyway). Do you think she is busy with something else and doesn't realize that its happening until its too late? Or has it become a kind of game/ritual for her to see you taking the food back so that she can do it? Would it be possible to give the dog a tiny bit because you know she will want to do it herself in a minute?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:
I think do-overs are great except in certain situations where the child is clearly using the do-over to delay something they don't want to do. When this happens, I think it's become a manipulation rather than "oops; I made a mistake; I'd like to try that again," in the spirit in which the do-overs are intended.
Ahhhhhhh.....you hit it here. THIS is what I was feeling but not able to express well. It *has* started to feel like manipulation and game-playing.

Quote:
With feeding the dog, its harder to figure out (for me, anyway). Do you think she is busy with something else and doesn't realize that its happening until its too late? Or has it become a kind of game/ritual for her to see you taking the food back so that she can do it? Would it be possible to give the dog a tiny bit because you know she will want to do it herself in a minute?
I think it's a little of both. At first feeding the dog was a really big deal to her and she would prioritize that as soon as she came downstairs. Now I don't think it's that exciting to her so she often doesn't want to stop what she is doing to feed him.

Maybe an hour after she's been downstairs she thinks of it (or if she hears us do it)....then she wants to. But he gets fed as soon as we come down...that's the way we've been doing it for 6+ years and I don't think it's fair to change that on him.

For a while I was feeding him 1/2 of his food and leaving 1/2 on the counter until she asked to feed him and she would. No problem. But then she started insisting on "lots of" food and would not accept feeding him 1/2 a cup so I stopped doing that.

Very interesting. As always, I appreciate all the thoughtful responses. Lots to think about....
 

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Dunno about the carseat thing. It sounds like a win win, though. I'd guess it gives her the space to feel free to do what you want, while saving face. kwim?

With the dog, I would not make the dogs stop eating to let ds feed them. I'd offer to let him feed them. And if I was pretty sure he'd want to, I'd pour maybe half in the bowl. Then offer him the other half. But I agree, its not fair to the dog to make him stop. And I'd tell ds that. Plus, I think there is something to not rescueing them from all disappointment. If I reasonably can, I will. But in this situation, I think the dog's rights matter too. So, like I said, I'd let him pour a little more in, but that might be the extent of that. OH, and tell him that next time he's more than welcome to give her some food.
Perhaps you could get another bowl, and let your dd pour a whole cup of food into the other bowl? Then pour it back in the bag? Maybe that would help the disappointment.

I started do-overs as a response to when ds hits. It seems to be working really well (ok, I only had to do it once, he hasn't hit since that time.). But I think it helps him to be able to do something more acceptable, and probably "save face" too.
 

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I think the situation with the dog (where it is really not fair to the dog to bother him) is the prefect situation for her to get to realize that disapointment does NOT mean that you will feel bad forever.

I think at two, when kids are rescued from the disapointment, they can get to a point where they live in absolute fear of the disapointment itself. They really are not sure they can survive it.

When it comes to having control over their own bodies (like with the carseat) some "rescuing" is ok. But with the dog thing, I wouldnt'.

She will feel so much better when she suddenly realizes, hey I can feel really bad about a choice I made, but then without anything happening, excpet time passing and me letting out my feelings (tantrum) I CAN AND WILL feel better again!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just wanted to update (in case anyone is interested
)...

I've been more proactive about the dog feeding and it's been 100% better. Instead of yelling from the kitchen, I go to where she is...get down at her level and say...

It's time to feed Gilligan. Lily would you like to feed Gilligan or should mama?

Many times she's said...I do it...and run into the kitchen.

A couple of times she's ignored me and I've repeated. Now is the time to feed Gilligan. Mama's going to feed Gilligan. If you want to feed Gilligan, you need to come to the kitchen right now.

And she comes running right after me yelling...I WANT TO DO IT!!!!

So good deal. No more doggie feeding do-overs.

We're still doing do-overs in the car as needed but as someone else posted, it's almost become our little game. It only take an extra minute or so and it almost always ends with everyone happy so I'm feeling ok about that.

Thanks again for all the great advice.
 

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if theres a situation where you dont want her to take a do-over can you literally just say, before she makes her decision, "this time there are no do-overs because x,y,z...are you sure about your choice?"
 
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