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Old 04-23-2007, 07:59 PM
 
Location: Between Here and There
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Quote:
Originally Posted by threekidstoomany View Post
Now mind you these may be 3 of the longest days of you life, but I guarantee a difference after the 3rd day.!
I haven't used those particular resources...but truer words have not ever been spoken. I always tell people to expect "ugly" for three days or so, REALLY UGLY!...LOL But if you can get through those first few days and wait the child out with consistency...you have won the war!
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Old 04-24-2007, 01:34 AM
 
Location: UK but on the way to NJ!
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Hoosier, my heart goes out to you--we've all been sick here too and I know how hard it is to get along under these circumstances.

I'm going to suggest looking at things from a different angle. To take your example of the not peeing situation. It sounds like he was being willfully defiant and difficult. These things happen (happened to me just yesterday actually!). I guess the approach I would take would be--so he doesn't want to pee--what's the worse case scenario--he can't keep it in forever, so let him pee. He might get his clothes wet. Oh okay, we'll wash them. He might pee on the rug, okay, clean that up too. What is the big deal really? I would in that situation explain to my son the natural consequences of not peeing. I would tell him if you don't go you might get a pain and feel bad, you might get your clothes wet by peeing yourself, you might get the floor wet, which would need to be cleaned up. And then I would walk away and let the events take their course.

Chances are he'd go pee in the toilet, but if not--are any of the other scenarios all that bad? I would rather clean up a bit of pee on the floor with no comment or do a load of laundry without scolding than get into a screaming match or battle with a 4 year old who isn't feeling well. Whenever a grown up and a child get into a battle, the child will ALWAYS lose. How would that feel always losing--probably would make you angry and even more withdrawn and confused...Kids equate hugs and cuddles and attention with love, and they need a LOT proportionally speaking. Like for every negative interaction, there should be something like eight positive ones ( I just made that number up, but the idea is that most of our interactions should be positive not negative)

My son (who is ordinarily very good natured ) was being very defiant yesterday and no amount of asking nicely, asking in a stern voice, or pleading, begging bargaining would get him to stop. I was really at the end of my rope and spoke to him in a horrible way right in his face while I grabbed his shoulders. He of course got worse. So I stopped, apologized and I said "that was horrible of me, I should never have done that and I'm sorry. It was really mean of me" And I gave him a big hug and a kiss, and told him I loved him so much. All the while he was thrashing around and screaming. So I left the room (For my sanity) and put on a kid's DVD and sat and watched it. Soon enough he came in and sat next to me and we cuddled. When it was over, I spoke to him again calmly and told him I was wrong for shouting so loud and that I was angry because he wasn't listening to me and he was going to break something, but I still shouldn't have been so mean. and he said "I sorry too. I sorry not listening" And the rest of the day was great, even though we're both sick and have cabin fever. My son is 2 1/2 and my husband and I have always spoken to him this way and try to never use our "authority" over him to make him feel little or less important. I think that kind of treatment is unfair...but that is just my opinion. Remember the golden rule...

From the "no greater joy" link above, they talk about "training" (like a dog?) which talks about using a switch to hit a hand to train the child not to touch desirable objects that you have placed on a table to tempt them. Or to thump or swat a baby's hand if they try to grab your glasses. Or hit their little legs with a switch if they try to crawl up the stairs. The idea is to associate pain with the word "no".

If I was a young child who associated pain with the word "no" from my parents I would probably have an ulcer if not more serious emotional problems, not to mention troubles developing a healthy attachment to my parents. I certainly wouldn't want to be treated this way.

I believe "natural consequences" rather than being hit or sat on a naughty step are more effective and kinder. Throwing toys? Let's put these toys away for now. Running down the street? Hop on in the stroller now. Banging on Daddy's computer--computer goes away. Squirted the paint all over--okay here's a sponge, let's clean this up and put the paint away. Threw your peas on the floor--here's a little dust pan and brush, we'd better clean this mess up.

I won't go on because it is just a matter of what resonates with you. The examples I mention from the No Greater Joy site are the exact opposite of what my parenting philosophy is. I will never convince people who believe in this method that another method is better (nor vice versa). Follow your instincts, your son's actions are a cry for attention, love, closeness. Try to think of how you would like to be treated if you were 4 years old and try to come as close to that as possible in your interactions.

I do agree consistency is the key--consistently patient, consistently looking for a way to connect with the child, consistent empathy, and consistent love.

Good Luck, follow your instincts and get better soon! Everything is harder when you're not feeling well, no matter how big or little you are.
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Old 04-24-2007, 02:36 AM
 
Location: Between Here and There
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Tiggywink - I just checked out that nogreaterjoy site...how scary is that! - and how is that Christain????

I too believe you need to pick your battles...you will not get anywhere with a child of that age who is tired, cranky or not feeling well. But that doesn't mean you need to put up with the out of control behavior either. When my son is "melting down" (my term) I will tell him I love him but he needs to go to bed right now. I will then walk him through going to the bathroom, brushing teeth and put him to bed - usually fighting me all the way. He always wakes up in much better spirit and I usually get an apology (or at least an excuse) for why he was acting so out of control earlier or the night before...some of these are actually quite funny.

I don't think letting things take their course is a good alternative to setting well defined guidelines to what you expect and what will happen if they don't behave accordingly. Assuming you aren't telling them to jump off a bridge I do think you should have enough control over your 4 year old to get him to listen to you. Again we don't hit or physically discipline our children in anyway (that was our parents, oh the memories of the good old days...lol) but they do need to understand the behavior expected of them and act accordingly. If not the behavior will only get worse, not better.

I only say this because I was very much handled our first son (he will be 11 next month) the way you described. Now I need to mention that my first son and my second son are polar opposites of eachother. My first son's behavior was at least 80% better than my second. But because I didn't push him to do the few things we did expect, because I didn't want to fight with him and make him feel unloved...not kidding really thought he wouldn't feel loved if I was too hard on him. He ran into more social and behavior problems later on because he never had strong behavior guidelines to follow, because I never set them out for him. He never learned how to make good choices regarding his behavior, which flowed into his schoolwork and social interactions. Again remembering this is the good kid! We wound up bringing him to a pyschologist when he was eight, (a very wonderful man, like a dear grandpa figure) not only for him...but for me to learn how to deal with him. I am the first person to admit that parenting doesn't come with a manual and I am learning this as I go. So when I need help I will ask for it. So I told the doctor "I obviously don't know what I'm doing, I've broken him, you need to fix him and me." Not even kidding. This extremely patient and kind man explained that he was not broken, he was completely normal and like most kids learned how to behave because as parents even when we don't teach them to behave they will figure out what they can get away with, how to exploit their parents to get what they want, and make things go their way. Children are very adept at that, and if we don't show them that as parents what we say goes, and needs to be respected, they will do what they want. And why wouldn't they. Wouldn't you like to do whatever you wanted when you wanted to do it? Of course you would, we all would.

After several months, I learned a lot as did my son. I no longer discussed things with him...because they really don't need to know why it's time for bed, or why they need to clean their room, or not hit their brother, etc. They just need to do it. If they don't then they need to accept the consequences for not doing what they were told (I have found with older children the absence of media time is very effective). I do give them one warning, at which time I explain what the behavior they are doing that I want to stop is, why it needs to stop (or why it's inappropriate) and what will happen if it doesn't stop...that would be the warning...but they only get one and are told there will be no more warnings, next will be the consequence. This empowers the child to make a choice. Do the right thing, which I will praise them for. Or do the wrong thing, and suffer the consequence. And if you think about it isn't that what life is. Do the right thing - you get to keep your job, you get to stay out of jail, you don't hurt anyone, you are a valued member of society. All good. Do the wrong thing and you are an unemployed ex-convict that is shunned by society (ok this is probably a bit harsh, but you get the jist).

It has worked miraculously for us. My oldest has turned around incredibly...it's never too late to learn (for them or us). I have been able to apply the same knowledge to my youngest son, with great results. Of course I was more lenient with him when he was two, three and four...but as they grow you have to be more strict or by the time they are teens you will have no control and at that stage it's dangerous to not have control and it's probably too late to get their respect.

So although I do agree they need more positive interactions than negative interactions, and unconditional love no matter what their behavior is. I also think they can be taught to choose the positive interactions over the negative ones when clearly defined choices are given and consistent consequences are handed out for negative behavior. Just my two cents....

I also need to add that he always listened to his father, who was always stricter than I was...and of course I thought he was too strict or mean...and my very intelligent son exploited that to no end...Parents must present a united front to their children and only disagree about discipline when the kids can't hear you doing it!

Last edited by irishmom; 04-24-2007 at 02:50 AM..
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Old 04-24-2007, 06:36 AM
 
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Irishmom
I too am an irish mum, living in ny. My dh is also irish and we have two boys. The boys get along so well even if they are poles apart. When my 8year old last night had a tantrum because the lego wasnt working the way he wanted it to, he was sent to his room. He came down later and did realize that he cant have a tantrum whenever things dont go his way. Normally he is a great child, but it was his communion this weekend and exaustion took over.

Both dh and I always give an united front. The boys know they can never go to one of us and try to get somehting that the other said no to. We do praise the good behaviour(not all the time) and we do punish bad behaviour. While they arent perfect boys, they are good 80% of the time and thats the best we can expect ; after all, they are children and they need fun also.
dorothy
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Old 04-24-2007, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Johns Island, SC
797 posts, read 2,695,170 times
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Default Winning your childs heart

I have 4 children, 2 girls, 2 boys. My boys are twins and being a woman they are a complete mystery most of the time. That being said I also have to say getting and giving parenting advice is a slippery slope. While I do think there are a lot of good parents out there I also see plenty who seem to have no clue what it really means to be a parent. It is a sacrifice day and nite 24 hours a day 365 days a year and I see a lot of selfish parents day in and day out.

Our kids are all adopted through foster care, they are related to us biologically through my sister but that link actually just makes everything more difficult. It took 5 years to finally adopt them and gain full authority over them and I can tell you the 5 years of foster parenting were brutal! The government ties your hands and forces you to parent in a fishbowl and it is near impossible to do. Our boys were only 1yrs old when they came to us and they were labeled "failure to thrive" when we took them in. We tried for 5 years to very consistantly parent them using "natural consequences", rewards for good behavior and time outs, and I can tell you it was hopeless. They were nearly 4years old before we finally got them potty trained. We had very little control because they had no desire to please us.

When the adoption was finally complete we immediately took full authority over them and enlisted the "training" techniques offered by Michael Pearl of Nogreaterjoy. It took a year to get them to give up the power and gain authority over them. But it was still very stressful and every day I looked at them and thought why don't they want to be good? Then after praying about it for the millionth time I called up an old friend, she talked to me for almost 2 hours and reminded me that it is a sacrifice to be a parent and winning their hearts was the missing link.

To win your childs heart is the key to obedience and it is NOT through buying them stuff or bribing them or rewarding every good thing they do. They want your heart in return. Sacrifice yourself, spend time with them, use the rod if you must gain the control it is not cruel it is discipline and when you understand how to do it right you won't have to do it for long. They do not need another friend they need fathers and mothers that are willing to sacrifice for them. This sacrifice is the key and most people will probably say they already do sacrifice but what we sacrifice is often not the right thing.

My husband and I have no biological children of our own, we had no plans to have children, we were content to work and spend our money on whatever we desired. When our kids needed a home we answered the call just the same as anyone else would given the situation. In less than a year we became parents of 4 very neglected special needs children with more baggage then most people aquire in a life time. It has been a huge sacrifice to take on parenting them, but thats not the sacrifice I'm talking about. I am a fully devoted follower of Christ and I understand my kids are a gift from him and we are called to be stewards of them as they are really His children not ours. We are meant to sow into them praying good fruit will come of it. With out winning their hearts I was sowing poison into them reeping a harvest of ash.

Since focusing on winning their hearts everything has changed, my boys are not perfect but they truly desire to please me now. They feel bad when they misbehave and they sincerely want to avoid getting in trouble. Yes we do use the rod when necessary but it has become a much less frequent need as a result of winning their hearts. Practically how you do it is specific to who you are and what your children need. I am a full time mom that home schools and I give them most of waking my time, but that was not the answer. It's more then that.... hug them, kiss them, listen to them, play with them, give them your heart and they will give you theirs in return.
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Old 04-25-2007, 12:31 AM
 
Location: Between Here and There
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okaydorothy View Post
Irishmom
I too am an irish mum, living in ny. My dh is also irish and we have two boys. The boys get along so well even if they are poles apart. When my 8year old last night had a tantrum because the lego wasnt working the way he wanted it to, he was sent to his room. He came down later and did realize that he cant have a tantrum whenever things dont go his way. Normally he is a great child, but it was his communion this weekend and exaustion took over.

Both dh and I always give an united front. The boys know they can never go to one of us and try to get somehting that the other said no to. We do praise the good behaviour(not all the time) and we do punish bad behaviour. While they arent perfect boys, they are good 80% of the time and thats the best we can expect ; after all, they are children and they need fun also.
dorothy
Congratulations on your son's communion. I'm sure he looked angelic in his little man suit!

Your boys sound perfect to me...perfectly normal!
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Old 04-25-2007, 09:50 AM
 
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This is a terrific thread and I have so enjoyed reading and learning from it. Hoosier it's interesting to here what is working with your son and what is not. Thanks for keeping us posted. Well unfortunately I don't have any wonderful advice like these more experienced moms but lots and lots of questions!
My son just turned 3 and he is like pure energy. He is going all the time and boy does he want his way and if he doesn't get it he just throws a fit. How can I stop this behavior. If I take him up to his room to throw his fit I need to stay in there with him or hold the door shut because he will come right out. Is it ok for me to sit in there with him or is that hindering the situation?
The other problem (well that I can think of at this moment ) is that he is getting too mean with his sister (pushing, laying on her, tipping her out of her exersaucer) I don't think he means to hurt her I just don't think he understands that she is smaller and weaker than him (she's almost 1 and a complete drama queen; if he so much as touches her its bloody murder! but if I do it it's fine....what's up with that?) Anyways I've tried time-outs when he does this but again he just usually throws a fit although I have got it to work a few times. I'd love some advice from you very wise, more experiences moms and other moms going through the same thing. Thanks.
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Old 04-25-2007, 10:22 AM
 
Location: North Dakota Farm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreameyes View Post
This is a terrific thread and I have so enjoyed reading and learning from it. Hoosier it's interesting to here what is working with your son and what is not. Thanks for keeping us posted. Well unfortunately I don't have any wonderful advice like these more experienced moms but lots and lots of questions!
My son just turned 3 and he is like pure energy. He is going all the time and boy does he want his way and if he doesn't get it he just throws a fit. How can I stop this behavior. If I take him up to his room to throw his fit I need to stay in there with him or hold the door shut because he will come right out. Is it ok for me to sit in there with him or is that hindering the situation?
The other problem (well that I can think of at this moment ) is that he is getting too mean with his sister (pushing, laying on her, tipping her out of her exersaucer) I don't think he means to hurt her I just don't think he understands that she is smaller and weaker than him (she's almost 1 and a complete drama queen; if he so much as touches her its bloody murder! but if I do it it's fine....what's up with that?) Anyways I've tried time-outs when he does this but again he just usually throws a fit although I have got it to work a few times. I'd love some advice from you very wise, more experiences moms and other moms going through the same thing. Thanks.

I can tell you what has worked for us...we have TWO drama queens...so I know what that's like. Although mine are a bit older (8 and 10...youngest will be 9 next month), it's a VERY similar situation. My youngest is the one who throws big fits and temper tantrums....the older one is the MAJOR drama queen. In our house, our youngest is the 'bully'. She picks on her sister...any excuse to get a rise out of her. When she doesn't get her way, that's it....she's flailing all over the place, saying mean, mean things. The corner...well, we literally have to HOLD her in the corner. Stand there leaning against her so she can't get away. Sounds mean, but she'll hit you if she can. Then comes the drama...'I can't breathe....you're hurting me..OW, my arm is squished"...etc, etc....Don't fall for it!!!! Sometimes when she's literally flailing around (posing a threat to herself) we literally have to pin her down. We don't sit on her with full weight or anything like that...don't hurt her, but keep her from hurting herself or someone else. Again, the drama..."I can't breathe.....you're squishing me"...etc..etc... Again, don't fall for it. It sometimes takes her a good 15 mins to calm down but I think the key is to talk softly. Never punish/correct out of anger. We personally don't believe in punishment...but we DO believe in correction. I've tried everything too and one thing I've learned is that raising your voice and/or yelling does not help. It's excites them (not in a good way) and shows them that's how they get the attention, even though it's the negative attention. Sounds like your son has a jealousy problem...which is common when there's a new sibling in the picture. He was used to getting ALL of mom's attention, now he feels he has to compete for it (even if that's not the reality of it...just how he's feeling).

I would say that if he hurts the little one, let him know the consequences if he does it again, then stick by your word even if it means having to pin him in the corner. We usually let ours out the moment they calm down and tell them that we weren't going to make them stay in there long if they would have just gone to the corner and done what they were told. But, of course, EVERYTHING has to be dramatized. We ask them what they did wrong to make sure they know why they were there in the first place. They have to look in our eyes and explain WHY they went to the corner then look us in the eye and if it was a bully situation, look her sister in the eye and apologize and say what exactly their apologizing for. You, or other members here may not agree with our method, and that's fine....it's just what's been working for us. We give ours stern warnings, tell them the consequences and always follow through on our promise. That has been key to our situation. Empty threats have lead to even more outrageous behavior so it's important to be consistant. When we first started this method, it was VERY hard. We were CONSTANTLY having to 'correct' the girls, but now...they're really getting the hang of it and they know we WILL follow through on whatever we say will happen should they choose to make the wrong decision.
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Old 04-25-2007, 11:15 AM
 
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Thanks for the advice cold eh ND.
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Old 04-25-2007, 11:44 AM
 
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Hi there
When our oldest was about 3, he got a huge kick out of pushing his little brother down. After doing it a few times and getting in trouble, I wasnt get anywhere.
So one day I brought the oldest into his room, had him stand in the middle of it and I pushed him from behind. Then I asked if he liked it, he replied no, and I said ; thats what you are doing to your brother. I made sure he couldnt get hurt and only pushed him a little ; enough to drop down.

Some people will argue with it. But I tend to think that he learned what it felt like.

Both of the boys are close in age and with eachother.
dorothy
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