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My son will be 6 in July and since the age of 4, we've had this serious struggle. It has become much worse lately - basically as he has gotten a little older. Here's our latest incident:<br><br>
Getting ready for shower. Put baby in bouncer seat on bathroom floor. Son starts to play with it and it has been expressed previously by little one that she doesn't like the vibration/sounds, etc. on the seat. Ask ds to not play with it as it is already broken. I am right at his level, looking him in the eye. Ds looks at me and pushes the buttons again. I turn off and repeat same request in a steady, kind voice. Ds pushes again. Repeat same request but my voice level rises a tad. Ds pushes again. Repeat request. Ds pushes again. I absolutely lose it and yell at him which I then feel like total trash for. I HATE yelling and pray all day long that I will not lose it like that with him.<br><br>
This is a somewhat normal thing around here. Is he a strong-willed child? I checked the descrip on this and it didn't seem to fit him. Is this purely power struggle? I can't take it anymore as I have a very adventurous 3yo dd as well. I so want to connect with him, but as the day goes on and these defiances continue through the day, I'm so irritated/angry by the end of the day that I have nothing left for him.<br><br>
Please tell me about your experiences, books, etc that I can try. I just haven't a clue how to handle it. We talk about it all the time, but there's only so much that can do.
 

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In the case you described, I would have told ds to leave the bathroom, and I would have locked the door. Then I would have showered as fast as I could!<br><br>
If he won't stop doing something after being asked to stop, you have two choices - remove the temptation from him, or remove him from the temptation.
 

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I have a 3yr. old who is prone to similar behavior. Not sure if these tactics will work with your son since he's a bit older, but thought I'd share anyway. When you make your request, do you also let him know the reason? Example: Please don't push the buttons because...it makes the baby sad, cry...whatever your reason is. So, he understands why your making the request? That works sometimes with my daughter. If she knows a bit more why I'm asking her to do something, she's more likely to comply. Something else I've found that works is distracting her with something else. Ex. Mommy asked you not to push the buttons, could you please help me with.... or Mommy asked you not to push the button because it makes your brother cry when the seat is turned on..could you find his blanket for me. I try to find things that will redirect her attention. Like I said, these work for us "sometimes" and my daughter is 3 so, I'm not sure if this will work for an older boy. Hope it helps a little. Good luck!!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2">
 

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My tactic is basically a combination of the above advise. I make it a point to always give a reason for a request. I try (not always so good at it) to make a positive request ("Please leave the baby seat alone" rather than "Please do not push the button"). I make it once as a pleasant "Please do X". If he does the exact opposite of what I want, I will explain why its a problem, once. After that, I figure out how to either remove the item at issue or remove him. In this case I would have escorted him out of the bathroom, suggested an activity for him to do while I showered, closed the bathroom door and showered.<br><br>
For me this big key is not to let things escalate to the point that I want to yell -- proactively step in and do something before you get to that point. I really thought that actively having to move to intervene or change the situation (what someone here aptly named "get off your butt parenting") would be finished by this age, but its not. At least not with my two its not.<br><br>
The other key is to figure out why he is doing what he's doing and fix the underlying cause. Not right then, because that seems to reward the behavior, but overall. If its mostly the baby, does he need more attention or one-on-one time with you? That sort of detective work and a subtle shift in what is happening can really help. But I don't do it as a direct result of misbehavior. If all else fails I assume my DS (who is 7) needs more outdoor running around or sports time so he is more tired! And/or he needs more sleep so he can think through his actions with a clearer head.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Evan&Anna's_Mom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7895805"><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 tactic is basically a combination of the above advise. I make it a point to always give a reason for a request. I try (not always so good at it) to make a positive request ("Please leave the baby seat alone" rather than "Please do not push the button"). I make it once as a pleasant "Please do X". If he does the exact opposite of what I want, I will explain why its a problem, once. After that, I figure out how to either remove the item at issue or remove him. In this case I would have escorted him out of the bathroom, suggested an activity for him to do while I showered, closed the bathroom door and showered.<br><br>
For me this big key is not to let things escalate to the point that I want to yell</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">: I try VERY hard to only ask twice. If I know he's heard, and I know he's understood, then I escort him to another location. Often giving him something to do helps too. But it's got to be done BEFORE I get angry at him. If I get angry and yell, and then suggest something else (hey honey, can you go get me another towel?) it's not happening. But, if I remember to do it before I get upset, he'll often be happy to help.<br><br>
I think it must be partly developmental too, as we're getting more of that kind of behavior from our ds, who is turning 6 soon.<br><br>
Is he getting enough sleep? He still needs about 10 hrs a day, and if he's not getting that, it's going to be hard for him to control his impulses. 9 times out of 10 it happens when our ds tired and/or hungry, or mad at ME for some reason! All of these things reduce impulse control.<br><br>
Can you set a 'date' once a week where you do something he wants to do, with JUST you to reconnect? Ds and I go on city bus rides. It's cheap and he's in heaven.
 

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Honestly I would have reacted the same way as you did. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> BUT, when you describe it I see what I wish I could remember to do: Have you read <i>Playful Parenting</i> Basically, he says kids get stuck feeling either powerless or lonely and act out based on that -- the trick is to reconnect and fill <i>that</i> void because the current behavior is just a symptom.<br><br>
So, if it's a power struggle, chances are he's feeling powerless and seeking to exert control over something, anything, trying to get your attention.<br>
The PP book recommends stuff like making it into a game where the child gets to exert control in a positive way. "So you want to push buttons. You want to make something happen. Okay, but whatever you do, don't press the button on my big toe. Don't do it, whatever you do, because then I have to dance a jig, . . . etc" IN a VERY playful voice.<br><br>
The trick is to get the kid out of the no end situation (he doesn't want to back down, but continuing doesn't get him what he wants) and get him feeling like he Does have control over himself and over his interaction with you. So you goad him into touching your toe and you act totally silly. Then continue the game (don't touch my other toe or I hop like a bunny) until he's distracted, laughing, feeling good about himself. Then remind him of what good things he can do while you shower, what you will do together when you are done, etc and move on. If he wants to keep up with the game than his "cup" really isn't full yet and he still needs more connecting time. Now or later. But it really does work. It only takes a few minutes. And it keeps the bond between you both fed and fresh.<br><br>
some will say this avoids the issue of following directions. Some will say it rewards negative behavior. I disagree. By 6 he knows how to follow directions. And you can't really teach in moments of confrontation like this anyway. And he more than likely does follow directions, when his "love cup" is full. And if he really NEEDS to connect with you, then his behavior is just a shallow outward example of his bad feelings inside.<br><br>
Have faith. All kids like to push our buttons and nobody wins when we get in the middle of the "don't do that" situation. I doubt I would have thought of the above in the moment. But I really think it would work. Stuff like that has helped me many many times.<br>
good luck, violet
 

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My DD can be like this. She often is touching me in ways that make my skin crawl (I'm pregnant, so some things have just gotten intolerable). She will try and touch my breast when I am dressing or getting out of the shower. She's still nursing so it's understandable but Ahhhhh! I have had to ask her to stop a few times and then move her out of the room and lock the door so I can finish.<br><br>
Or she will insist on sitting on top of me or lean on me when we are on the couch. Again Ahhhhh! I'll have to move her to another couch or I go in the other room and close the door for a few minites.<br><br>
She usually gets the message.<br><br>
Just a quick idea for the bouncy seat, cause I know how important a shower can be with a baby! Can you take the batteries out?
 

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

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I realize I found this post a few days past its time but I was looking for something similar.<br><br>
My five year old isn't listening to us anymore...well mostly.<br><br>
When many people suggest to 'remove' the child from the situation would you say that it is ok to physically pick the child up, kicking screaming and crying in order to 'remove' him/her?<br><br>
This is what it has come to at times with my dd and I dont like it. It feels like bullying but I just dont know what to do when she completely disregards all my attempts to connect with her.<br><br>
Often when her father has to pick her up she says that he is hurting her. Honelstly I expect it does hurt but more so because she is fighting it so much. Tonight she was on a creek bed and he asked her to stop getting so close, she took another step towards the bank, he again asked her to stop, she went another step closer, he reached out and grabbed her arm and picked her up and carried her away and she got so worked up.<br><br>
I always tell him not to be so aggressive with her but I even find myself having to scoop her up against her wishes at times when she is running away not listening to me.<br><br>
So anyways, if the child isn't listening regardless of your clever respectful tactics is carrying her away against her wishes a natural consequence???
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>raisinghumans</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7944249"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">So anyways, if the child isn't listening regardless of your clever respectful tactics is carrying her away against her wishes a natural consequence???</div>
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I think you have to evaluate at what point this becomes a safety issue. In the example you gave, if the creek were rocky,wet and slippery and there was a solid chance of a banged head (not just wet shoes) then for safety sake picking up a protesting child is OK. Frankly, if my child is hitting or kicking at me I pick him up and move him to his room for his own safety because if he continues I am apt to loose control and hit back.
 

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Thanks mamas! I will try to be a little "craftier" in my responses. We have been struggling so much lately that I have a hard time being creative. I do realize that he is really craving some one on one or direct attention from me. Ohhh, parenting is SOOOOO hard!!!!!
 

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take the batteries out of the seat way before a battle starts...
 

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Validate what he *wants* to do. Empathize with the *fun* of what he is engaging in. Connect so that you are partnering *with* him and he sees that you understand that he is Just Wanting To Have Fun!<br><br>
Tell him what TO DO, not what Not to do. "Could you clap your hands up high and down low to entertain the baby?" "Would you run down stairs and get the xyz for the baby?" "Would you like to hold the towel while I fill the tub and play peek-a-boo?" "Would you hop on one foot while I sing the ABC song?" "Could you run down the hall 5 times before the shower is warm?" "Could you count backwards from 10?" "Could you tap out the ABC song with your hands like a drum on the wall, toilet seat, floor, sink counter, etc." Redirect his *desire* to that which is FUN and agreeable to you.<br><br>
Perhaps, fill the tub without everyone in the bathroom? I try to remember the HALT: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired process of figuring out what is the underlying need that the behavior is a message about. Is he hungry, needs a little snack before all the close engagement and excitement? Could he be angry about taking a bath? Is he wanting some more direct attention/help to be engaged while he is waiting? Is he just too tiredto maintain his self-control?<br><br>
I know that I am less patient when I am hungry, tired, stressed, needing a break, etc. But, mama giving away her self-control to a 5 year old when he pushes her buttons just sounds like the most fun and excitement in the room! What little person could resist the excitement of doing something that makes mama start acting so over the top. My experience (our son is the same age) is that MY reaction *fuels* any resistance that I create. I've learned that it takes two to have a power struggle. Suggesting alternatives which are agreeable to <i>Both</i> of us is the most effective way to break a power struggle in our home. Now, our son often suggests alternatives which are agreeable to me when I express my concern about an activity which he has initiated. By me modeling finding a mutually agreeable solution, he does just that (often, not perfectly <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">).<br><br><br><br>
Pat
 

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It sounds like he's doing it for attention. My 6 yr old is the same way and she knows the fastest way to get my attention and a big reaction out of me which is the ultimate reward for her (negative attention is better then no attention to a kid) is to do something she knows will make me mad and the fastest way to do it is to make the baby cry. We had the same exact same bouncy seat issue, baby hated the music/vibe and she would keep turning it on and making the baby scream. I lost my temper a number of times and it finally occurred to me to just take out the darn batteries to solve the problem<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Of course that just meant finding another way to annoy me and she's quite creative in that dept. The book I found the most helpful is "Transforming the difficult child" by Howard Glasser its made for parents of children with behavior issues related things like ADHD, impulse control ect. Most discipline techniques do NOT work on my child and back fire and make things far worse and this book was able to point out why in children like my dd and how to get things under control again.
 

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I haven't read all the replies.<br><br>
I pick out a reasonable consequence, give ONE warning (this is really important) and then always follow through. So in the situation you described, I would ask dd not to push the button and explain why. If she did it again I'd say "if you push the button again I'm going to put outside the bathroom, honey."<br><br>
Then I'm quick to try and find something else to talk about, something else for dd to think about or do ("hey sweetheart, what do you guys want to do for lunch?"), so that she isn't just sitting there in a stare down with me, thinking about whether or not she's going to push that damned button again. Give your kid every possible opportunity to do the right thing, in other words. If she did push it again, however, I'd either walk her or carry her out of the bathroom.<br><br>
I think it only works well if you're acting in good faith and not looking for a fight yourself, KWIM?
 

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i found it really hard not to yell until my pp hormones came down a bit. i had reminders posted all over the house.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/innocent.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shy"> especially if misbehavior was delaying me getting my needs met (showering, toileting, eating. sleeping)<br><br>
i hope my son was not traumatized by his scary hormonal mama
 

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I feel your pain!! I have an almost 6 yo ds and things are getting much tougher, alot of testing, power struggles etc. His teacher said that they call the 6 year old transition "pre puberty" because it entails limit testing, back talk and anything to exert power!! I would love some more book recommendations, I am sorry I cannot respond with some help, but I am at a loss myself, my previous AP parenting is just not working!!! HUGS to you !!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>naturalmame</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7987769"><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 would love some more book recommendations,</div>
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The <a href="http://www.cnvc.org/" target="_blank">www.cnvc.org</a> site has a lot of articles and books available about using NVC in different situations. I specifically like the two NVC booklets: Parenting From Your Heart and Raising Children Compassionately. They are about $6 each and are transformative, eye-opening resources to change the dynamic toward cooperation.<br><br>
Here is a link to Inbal Kashtan's article: <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Parenting for Peace:</span> <a href="http://www.cnvc.org/prnt4peace.htm" target="_blank">http://www.cnvc.org/prnt4peace.htm</a><br><br>
Another article by Inbal Kashtan: <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Compassionate Connection: Attachment Parenting and Non-violent Communication</span> <a href="http://www.cnvc.org/motherin.htm" target="_blank">http://www.cnvc.org/motherin.htm</a><br><br>
And one from Marshall Rosenberg: <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Raising Children Compassionately</span>: <a href="http://www.cnvc.org/raisekds.htm" target="_blank">http://www.cnvc.org/raisekds.htm</a><br><br>
One I just found by Rosenberg: <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Anger and Domination Systems</span>: <a href="http://www.cnvc.org/anger.htm" target="_blank">http://www.cnvc.org/anger.htm</a><br><br>
I also highly recommend Pam Leo's book "Connection Parenting". She focuses on connection parenting. LOL She even talks about seeking to discover underlying needs and not using coercion. The subtitle is "Parenting Through Connection Instead of Coercion, Through Love Instead of Fear". I have read some of it and highly recommend it. Even more than Naomi Aldort's because it goes beyond validation.<br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FConnection-Parenting-Through-Instead-Coercion%2Fdp%2F1932279172%2Fsr%3D8-1%2Fqid%3D1158853700%2Fref%3Dpd_bbs_1%2F002-4052086-2190453%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com/Connection-Parenting-Through-Instead-Coercion/dp/193227917\<br>
\<br>
\<br>
2/sr=8-1/qid=1158853700/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-4052086-2190453?ie=UTF8&s=books</a><br><br>
Here are the chapter titles:<br><br>
1. Connecting with Ourselves<br>
2. Connecting with Children through Respecting Children<br>
(I have to add the explanation of this chapter, it is so novel:<br>
"Respect is the foundation of connection. We teach children respect by<br>
modeling respect. We model respect by treating children with the same<br>
respect we expect.") !!<br>
3. Connecting through Listening to Children's Feelings<br>
4. Connecting through Filling the Love Cup<br>
5. Connecting through Communication that Builds Relationship<br>
6. Connecting through Decoding Children's Behavior<br>
(Again, I have to delight in the explanation of this chapter:<br>
"Children communicate their emotional hurts and needs through their<br>
behavior. When we learn to recognize chidren's acting out behavior as<br>
a communication of an unmet need, we can respond to children's needs<br>
instead of react to their behavior.")<br>
7. Connecting with Our Own Needs: "Parents have needs too. Families<br>
work best when everyone's needs are met."<br><br><br>
Pat
 
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