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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not sure if this is the right place to post it. Mods, feel free to move if need be.<br><br>
I have a friend who is very much mainstream. Her DS and mine are good friends and go to Kindergarten together.<br><br>
She was telling me that her DS called her a f****** b****. When I looked shocked and asked where he heard those words, she said, "well, I curse a lot." She was also telling me she's having a hard time with her DS getting ready for school in the morning and general issues with doing what he's told.<br><br>
Since her older DS is seeing a psychologist for his ADHD, she decided to go ahead and take the younger one to see him.<br><br>
So the psychologist recommended that she resolve these problems by...<br><br>
a. making her DS go to school in whatever attire he happens to be wearing when it's time to leave (whether that's pjs or underwear or whatever). He even wrote a note to the boy's teacher explaining this!!<br><br>
And b. witholding help from him until he "learns to respect his mommy." Meaning no helping him eat or dress or anything else--my friend actually described it as "being mean to him" until he learns respect!!!!!<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br><br>
I don't get how basically withholding love (I suspect acts of service might be this boys' love language!) and humiliating the child are supposed to teach him anything!<br><br>
The sad thing is, we're having a lot of the same struggles with my DS (we don't curse, so that's not an issue, but he still comes up with names to call us--poopyhead is the current favorite). In fact, this board is innundated with threads about these issues with 5 yr-olds. So I have concluded that my DS is perfectly age appropriate with perhaps a little discomfort thrown in b/c of the new baby, and have been acting accordingly--working on keeping boundaries firm and giving him extra attention and extra help when he needs it.<br><br>
It breaks my heart to think what his friend is about to experience. I can't bear to think how traumatic it would be to be forced to go to school in your underwear! That's the stuff of nightmares! And to be basically shunned by your mother...<br><br>
What kind of a psychologist is this?!<br><br><br>
ETA: I forgot the reason I was telling this story in the first place... I was so stunned when my friend was telling me this that I didn't react at all. But the more I think about it, the more it bothers me and I'm wondering whether I should say something to my friend. The sad thing is that I just loaned her my copy of "Raising your spirited child." WWYD? Would you say something to her about how thoroughly this psychologists' advice flies in the face of reason and how traumatizing it might be to her son?
 

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I don't know what his or her official credentials would be, but IMO the kind of psychologist he/she is is a crappy one. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: WTF
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Arduinna</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9869039"><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 don't know what his or her official credentials would be, but IMO the kind of psychologist he/she is is a crappy one. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: WTF</div>
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WTF indeed, Arduinna, WTF indeed.<br><br>
That's just... no.
 

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Well...<br><br>
I wouldn't send my kids to school in pj's, but if it's time to go and they're not dressed, I'd put the clothes in a bag, scoop up the kids, and they can get dressed in the car.<br><br>
And the last suggestion? Maybe I'm misinterpreting, but when ds12 snaps at me I fee perfectly alright about asking him to try again and, if he won't, not helping him.<br><br>
I'm a bit confused about the bit about not helping a five year old eat or dress. Mine didn't need that at five, and I have two special needs kiddos. Am I misinterpreting?
 

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I don't think it was intended to sound as punitive as it sounds...of course, I have no idea as I wasn't there!<br><br>
I agree with Spanish Rose. At 4, my kiddo can feed himself and dress himself. He likes me to help him get dressed and I love to help him...but if he demanded that I do it or was rude to me, I would be less inclined to want to help - I think that's natural and I want to give him that feedback.<br><br>
I think taking the clothes in the car is a reasonable thing to do if kids aren't willing to get dressed before it's time to go.<br><br>
Having said all of that, I think mornings can be really tough. I would definitely look first at whether or not my kids are getting enough sleep and have enough time in the morning to get ready in a reasonable fashion...not rushing from breakfast to changing to the car. That makes anyone feel nuts. My oldest hates rushing in the morning so I try my best to get him to bed early so we have plenty of time in the morning to get ready at a leisurely pace. I'd be surprised if the psychologist didn't ask about these other issues first (like amount of sleep and when they're waking and the like).
 

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Intersesting thoughts, I alos do not think it is as punitive as it sounds. But then again I have taken my DD to school in her jammies. It is not withholding love it is helping her gently realize that she alos has responsibilities as a part of our family, yes even at the tender age of 5. Now we had her clothes in teh bag and she was free to get dressed when we got there and out of our car seats.<br><br>
As far as no "helping" I am confused about the description, but yes if after a certain point in our mornings, which are spent in with both kiddos in our bed while we have morning coffee and milk as we all get started with our day together, and if she is pushing her boundries I am certainly going to respond in a "hurt" manner. I do not think that is out of bounds at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think it speaks to how GD we all are that so many of you want to interpret this in a much gentler way than what was actually said.<br><br>
The psychologist wrote a note to the teacher saying that this child might show up at school in his pjs or underwear and that he was to spend the whole day like that. That's a much different thing than what we probably all do--bringing clothes along so the child can change when the child decides he's not comfortable sitting in class in his underwear!!<br><br>
In our version of things, the child is given the power to decide for himself and allowed to change his mind. In this psychologist's version, the child is to be punished with humiliation for not jumping when his mother says jump.<br><br>
As for the other part, my son, who is also five, is also perfectly capable of dressing and feeding himself. And if I'm busy with his sister or the baby, or doing a myriad of other things, I tell him so and he takes care of things himself. He's willing to do that because he knows that if he's feeling out of sorts, tired or just plain wants mommy's help I will accomodate him when I can. I don't have any problem dressing him on a cold, tired morning when he doesn't feel like getting out from under the covers.<br><br>
There will come a day when DS will no longer want my help, but as long as he wants it, I will provide it. It's how I show him that I love him.<br><br>
The not helping feed or dress was also suggested in the context of the cursing (he must learn to respect his mother). There was no suggestion that if the mother wants her son to stop cursing, she should perhaps model that herself first of all. I suppose a five year old is supposed to reason that since she's an adult she can curse but he can't? And how does withholding help teach a child to stop cursing or to respect anyone? It doesn't make any sense to me.<br><br>
So the way the story was told to me, this other child spent the morning playing instead of getting dressed, and when he was told it was time to go, he came running down the stairs in a panic, holding his clothes, crying and begging his mom to help him put them on (so he could be ready to go.)<br><br>
In that situation, I would either help him on the spot (how long would it really take once the child was begging for help?! Two minutes?) or as many of you suggested, bring the clothes so he can change in the car.<br><br>
The psychologist suggested that the mother say, "You are not minding mom, and since you're not dressed, I will not help you and you must go to school in your underpants." I am certain that not one of you above would ever do such a thing.<br><br>
And yes, of course, I would look into whether the child was getting enough sleep, had had a good breakfast, etc, etc., none of which was among the psychologists recommendations.<br><br>
This is still weighing on my heart. DH says it's none of my business and I should stay out. He says the best we can hope for is that my friend will catch onto our gentle ways as she watches us handle DS. But I'm still sorely tempted to say something about how humiliating it is to be forced to go to school in pj's or underpants and suggesting the changing in the car thing, at the very least. And maybe talking about love languages, lack of sleep, etc as possible contributors to the issues.<br><br>
I don't know. Maybe DH is right and I should just sit by and do nothing. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:
 

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This is all really sad. That a PROFESSIONAL would suggest these things is really depressing. I wonder if the psychologist has children? I bet not and if he did I bet they hate him.<br><br>
I agree with the PP, perhaps the mother should set a good example.<br><br>
And as for the clothes things, for heavens sake if the child needs some help help him. I find when I give DS ample time and warning he can get it done himself.<br><br>
If my DS asks me rudely to help him I explain to him that people do not appreciate that and it makes them not want to help. Then I ask him to try again(just like another PP) that's just common sense, right? You don't ignore your child. I bet she wouldn't like to be ignored either or would like to go to work in her underwear.<br><br>
Hopefully she reads the book and it gets through to her. I would politely ask her how her son is doing and then maybe share some anecdotal stories(advice), but still not stepping on any toes.<br><br>
I personally could not just keep my mouth shut. That poor kid<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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I agree, crappy-sounding advice.<br><br>
Is your friend comfortable with this psychologist's advice? If she says or seems like she isn't completely comfortable with it, can you encourage her to trust her instincts about that? Can you encourage her to consider getting a second opinion-would she be open to that?
 

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My 3 y/o dresses and feeds herself so I don't get the not helping thing either. I think the natural consequences of not being dressed for school when it's time to leave means that you have to go in whatever you're wearing. But 5 seems a bit young for that, like at that age they can't understand that it will be embarrassing until it's too late. Maybe I'm wrong, my 3 y/o is my oldest.
 

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As a psychologist, let me just say that it's often the case that people garble our advice or twist it so it sounds more like what they wanted to hear. So I personally wouldn't get excited about this unless I heard it directly from the psychologist myself.
 

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Rivka, I agree that your assumption of a misunderstanding makes sense, except for the note to the school saying the child should stay in his underwear all day.<br><br>
That's a little harder to explain away.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Rivka5</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9874725"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">it's often the case that people garble our advice or twist it so it sounds more like what they wanted to hear. So I personally wouldn't get excited about this unless I heard it directly from the psychologist myself.</div>
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I agree. In so many things it is about the tone. And, really it doesn't have anything to do with you - does it? It might be good to stay out of it and dedicate your energy more to things that really affect you directly.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Would you say something to her about how thoroughly this psychologists' advice flies in the face of reason and how traumatizing it might be to her son?</td>
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Absolutely.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Rivka5</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9874725"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">As a psychologist, let me just say that it's often the case that people garble our advice or twist it so it sounds more like what they wanted to hear. So I personally wouldn't get excited about this unless I heard it directly from the psychologist myself.</div>
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I am also a therapist and this was my thought exactly. Did you see the note? I can't imagine why a psychologist would even think it necessary to go that far...if she thought such a note was necessary, I would imagine she'd suggest the parent write it.<br><br>
Another thing is that a therapist can only respond to what is being presented to her by the parent (other than what she sees in the office). So if you're friend is adjusting things a bit or exaggerating (or not telling the psychologist that she actually swears around her 5yo), then the psychologist can only go by the report she is given.<br><br>
Sometimes when parents are convinced all problems in the family stem from their children, it is very difficult to change that mindset. I get the sneaking suspicion that this mama might present things this way to the therapist which can be quite tricky.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>swampangel</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9876214"><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 am also a therapist and this was my thought exactly. Did you see the note? I can't imagine why a psychologist would even think it necessary to go that far...if she thought such a note was necessary, I would imagine she'd suggest the parent write it.</div>
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I have seen this approach suggested in a book written by a psychologist, but I do believe it was the parent who was to write the note explaining the pjs in school.<br><br>
Personally, I don't know how a parent could send a child to school in pjs (let alone underwear!) without giving them a last chance to get dressed....all you would need to do is keep one extra outfit in the car at all times,and let the child know ahead of time that there are clothes in the car (so they don't panic). Although, at kindergarten age I would most likely just help the kid get dressed in the morning!<br><br>
But, I agree....if the child is calling the mother such a horrific name, and the mother says that the child got the language from *her*, then there is more to this story. My dd has heard some language from me, but nothing like that--especially directed at someone!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sunnmama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9876291"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Personally, I don't know how a parent could send a child to school in pjs (let alone underwear!) without giving them a last chance to get dressed....all you would need to do is keep one extra outfit in the car at all times,and let the child know ahead of time that there are clothes in the car (so they don't panic).</div>
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ITA. This seems like a pretty harsh intervention and totally unnecessary. But Dr. Phil is a psychologist and look at him...he's a total behaviorist and, IME, a pretty big jerk a lot of the time. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">:
 

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I know this is going to snarky, but it's not meant to me. Could you ask you friend, as nice as possible, how she would feel if her husband made her go to work all day in her underwear because he was ready to leave and she wasn't dressed yet?<br><br>
Why does some people treat kids so differently from how they would want to be treated? Or how they would treat another adult? I will never, even if I live to be 1000, understand that. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>chfriend</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9875172"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Rivka, I agree that your assumption of a misunderstanding makes sense, except for the note to the school saying the child should stay in his underwear all day.<br><br>
That's a little harder to explain away.</div>
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She just said the psych wrote a note about the situation, not exactly what the note said.
 

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I think it sounds reasonable, a 5 year old can understand you need to be dressed at a certain time and if you don't, then you don't, but life won't stop for you because of it. I'd use a visual reminder, a kitchen clock or something. Now of course you can't send them naked, one could throw a robe over and bring the clothes along or something..
 
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