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Giving children a voice July 22, 2004 9:53 PM

We have always raised our daughter to share her feelings. She knows it is okay to say no to a grown-up and to say when she is angry. Now she is three. She is VERY defiant and does things she knows are not permitted. When we discuss them with her she truns everything back around. For example if I say "pick your food up off the floor" she says "no, you do it". I know part of it is the age. I want to raise a child with self-respect, but I also want to raise a child who is respectful to others. Any ideas on how to find balance?  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 July 23, 2004 12:34 AM

I highly recommend the book _How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk_.  [ send green star]
 
 July 23, 2004 6:31 AM

What a great age... defiant little buggers they can be. As well as the book already mentioned I also recommend "What Did I Just Say!?!" (yes that's the title) by Donovan I think is the author's last name. It works a lot with feedback, talkign with a child rather than at them. It was HIGHLY effective with dealing with my son who was not only defiant but FILLED with rage that didn't seem to come from anything specific. We also found out for him, about that age, competition became big. If he was to pick up toys or something sometimes all he needed was a "hmm... I wonder who can pick them up faster.. me or you"... or I'd sing a song, repeating the lines (they do this in Kindermusik too... my one client has these classes and I hear the teacher sing to the kids "time to pick up your toys" in a sing songy way that leaves the parents going "huh?"... Key is to find what works... some kids respond well to one thing and not another and other kids respond to the second but not the first. One of our scouts is 3 and we've been able to work with him so he's not nearly as disruptive as he used to be during meetings. He'd tear a meeting apart.. but with his parents working on communication and his desire to want to belong, it's all getting ironed out.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
Just remembered.. July 23, 2004 6:35 AM

One of the techniques in that book involve not getting upset at a defiant child but letting them know you understand where tehy're coming from. Like... "Pick up your toys" NO A lot of parents would grab the child and either force them to pick up the toys or start screaming at the child... it becomes a game of force, power and will. But if one takes the time to figure out.. perhaps the child is interested in something else so you could say "well, I know you want to do xyz but that's not gonna happen til the toys are picked up, let's work quickly so we can get to xyz"... or they're tired and don't FEEL like it... we can relate and value that feeling with something like "I know you're tired, I'm tired too... let's work together and get the job done"... acknowledging the child's condition.. relating to it and valueing them as individuals while still getting the task done. Can take some juggling but it's amazing when one abandons yelling and screaming (I admit I used to be a BIG yeller... ) and uses some other techniques what doors will open not only now but later one when the child's emotions are high... you'll be a safe place to come to for comfort and understanding.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
Diet July 23, 2004 9:04 AM

You Also May Want To Notice If These Outburst Coincide With Any Foods. My Youngest Sister Has Reactions To Sugar And Red Dye. She Would Get So Angry and Throw HUGE Fits After Eating Either Of These Things, She's Now 16 And Still Gets Angry And Aggitated When Eating It. Just A Thought.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
Thanks for the input so far July 23, 2004 11:32 PM

I have tried acknowledging her feelings, which works sometimes, other times she just gives me that "well, at least you get it, but I am still not doing xyz" look. I don't think it is diet, as she doesn't appear angry (though she does throw HUGE temper tantrums when tired.) She is bieng VERY deliberate at testing her limits. She will defy regardless of the consequences. I will say "if you do x then y will occur" (usually taking away something fun)..that still doesn't help...she says "okay" or "well if YOU get angry then I will do y" and just turns it back to me. Talk about a power struggle! The ONLY thing that seems to work is if I say "I am leaving" and then go to another room....she always comes running saying "okay mommy..please be happy". I don't like to do that because I feel like she thinks I am abandoning her or something. I explain to her that even when I am angry, I still love her. It's like she will push and push till I finally pull out the okay mommy is walkng away act...then she goes into hysterics. You would think she is doing this for attention, but I am with her 24-7 and usually giving her very clear uninterrupted attention. It's very perplexing.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
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