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Thread: Secular Confessions

  1. #29521
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    Molly would she react to you being disappointed instead of mad? It would give you something to work with that would affect her and yet allow you to remain calm and not have to yell.

    I suggest this because this is what my MIL told me worked on DH. Nothing else really worked, timeouts, yelling, taking things away....but a quiet calm, I'm disappointed in your behavior or I'm disappointed in whatever he did....worked like a charm. He was just really sensitive to his mom's feelings. Conversely she also praised him and made sure to tell him how proud she was of good behavior.

    Still works on him today. We were fighting Sunday and I was yelling...didn't work all that great. Later on when we were talking I said I was really disappointed in him for over-reacting (dog related...both girls were naughty that day) and that I knew he could have done it better. That hit him and he was like, you are so right and I'm so sorry. I will try to do better.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  2. #29522
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    Myles, I'm so sorry you had such a rough time. I was spanked as a child, and I can tell you that I think that there is a correct way to do it, and the way you described is it - dispassionate, not in anger, fair, and with fair warning. Done that way, the child is choosing that consequence, and I can tell you based on what happened with me that I *always* knew that I deserved it. My dad still tells this story about how he tried to comfort me after I got spanked, and I said something along the lines of "I know I deserved it. Mom is only doing it because she loves me. I don't need you to console me".

    Now, keep in mind that Mira is only 2, but here is what I do with her. She is *extremely* difficult to put to sleep, and will not sleep for anyone else.

    I do not attempt to put her to bed if she is wound up. It ends up in a lot of frustration. We do calming activities first, outside the context of the bedtime routine.

    In your case, I would have let him hold the lamp, with caveats. You can hold it for X amount of time, or you can hold it until the timer goes off (set a timer).

    When she gets restless, I give her a leg massage. She likes it, so she's more likely to hold still, and not try and run around. It also relaxes her so she is more likely to fall asleep. Backrubs and running fingers through the hair/scalp massage are also effective.

    Instead of reading to her, I tell her stories. Usually involving her, because that's what holds her interest. You can tell stories to B about when he was a baby, or make up adventures for him. I don't know if how he'd respond, but if he gets physical with you (right when he starts or is about to), you can say 'Oh, so this is how you fought off that big gorilla in the jungle, huh?' or something like that. I find that kids are usually fascinated by themselves, and it helps them calm and settle.

    I hope you feel better soon.

  3. #29523

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    Abbey sounds similar to Elle and I agree with Jen that you should use the "disappointment" angle. I sometimes even feel guilty saying that to Elle because she will burst out into tears if she disappoints me or I am angry at her. I do my best not to show her how very much I am disappointed when she does similar things as to what Abbey did, pottying on herself because she didn't want to stop playing. Elle has been PTd since before she was 2 but she started wetting herself over the past couple of months, even peeing in the bed, which she has never done before and I was considering taking her to the pedi. I put her in Pullups too because I know she hates pullups so I told her when she stayed dry for a week of mornings she wouldn't have to wear them anymore. She stopped bedwetting then started wetting while playing, once at the park, a few times at daycare and her caregivers were shocked because she NEVER has accidents at school. I didn't even have a change of clothes for her there (I'm so bad, I know I should have had some anyway) because they usually just end up being an outfit or two that she never wears and that she outgrows.

    Myles so sorry about your rough night. I don't know if I would have done any different in your situation. I do spank on occasion, very rarely but I do it and it is not something that guilts me out, mostly because I will give a warning before I spank, even in a crazy fall out tantrum.

    Bodhi sounds similar to Ky when he was that age, he was very sweet but could be a tantruming mess and would tear up a room, so I know what you mean about not leaving him in that state. I eventually had to take all of Ky's toys out of his room and he only had a bed and pillow because he would tantrum so much at bedtime. Every...freaking....night for like 2.5 years in a row, it was just crazy ridiculous. Anytime you'd say "bed" he'd freak out! I can laugh about it now but back then it was just torture. I even started telling him "it's time to go to bed" in French just to cut down on the freak outs, eventually he figured it out and even "a lit" (to bed) would freak him out. I actually have a funny video of him at 6 where I was filming Elle as a baby and I told him it was time for him to go to bed and his face completely changed and tears streamed down his face LOL! "Bed" still botheres him, he lingers on the steps and will do all he can not to go to bed, but doesn't tantrum anymore.

    I agree though to have consistency, also not to get upset about things, even him picking up the lamp, if that were Ky, I would not have gotten upset. I would just remind him not to pick up the lamp again and we would have continued our regular storytime routine as that was (and I'm guesing) probably what set B off on the violent tantrum, not having his story/regular routine. I did whatever I could, within reason, to not let the tantrum escalate since I knew that Ky was going to freakout over going to sleep. The only time he didn't get his regular routine was when we came home late because not having his story/song combo would make him tantrum for 30-60 minutes.

    Erin
    Last edited by Ky'sMom; 03-16-2012 at 02:59 PM.

  4. #29524

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    Abbey is like Elle, because disappointment makes her feel terrible (she'll cry or ask me over and over if "I'm OK" or if "I'm happy"). Breaks my heart. I think you're right and trying to check my emotions will probably be a lot better for both of us.

    That's interesting about Ky and bedtime! I wonder if he had nightmares? Either way I can kind of relate, I was scared of bedtime and sleep when I was a kid, I don't know how to describe it, it was just an uncomfortable time... like nighttime felt strange somehow.

    Abbey and bedtimes are hit or miss, but if she's too wound up she won't sleep either. She will try to sleep for a long time though, but there's a point where it's frustrating for her and she'll just cry. Then I usually get up and make her a snack and we watch some sleepy TV show together and try again when it's over. I know I'm super lenient but that's probably because I remember just feeling uncomfortable and scared at night, and I don't want her to feel the same. I've started waking her up with an alarm clock after nights like that because otherwise she sleeps late and can't get back to her routine. I try to make sure that nap time is early those days.
    Last edited by AbbeysMom; 03-16-2012 at 03:48 PM.



    lost our bean to Triploidy Sep 2010

  5. #29525

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    Ky always used to complain about nightmares. He told me some freakish dreams when he was 4 and 5 about a huge owl swooping into his window and taking him back to its nest and ripping him apart with its beak! Very freaky and scary. Once a hawk that lives in our neighborhood was on a branch outside of his window and he really freaked out because of the owl dream (which was a recurring dream) and DH and I had to take turns staying with him at night until he went to sleep. We actually had the city come and chop that tree down for one because it was dying but mostly because the bird wouldn't be able to be in Ky's window anymore. It now hangs out in our pecan tree in the backyard, facing Elle's room. She likes looking at it and has never had nightmares yet.

    Erin

  6. #29526

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    Quote Originally Posted by AbbeysMom View Post
    again Myles. I do remember a tantrum B had when you were visiting (at the mall, I think?) and you tried to sing him a song, give him a hug, gently talk to him, all while he plainly freaked out, screaming, kicking, whatnot. Back then you had the power of the boobies too, lol. Anyway I remember thinking at the time that you must have the patience of a saint, because I had no idea how I would handle that kind of tantrum with Abbey.

    I have kind of a guilt hangover right now because Abbey recently learned how to use the potty and today had three accidents in a row while on a playdate. After two accidents, I asked her why she wasn't telling me and she said "Because I want to keep playing." I told her that she needed to stop playing and go, it wasn't fair to make mommy clean up the mess because she didn't want to stop playing and it would end her playtime anyway. Then she did it again. So we're not supposed to punish accidents, but if she admitted she didn't tell me because she didn't want to stop playing, so I get to clean up the mess, again. I got mad. I tried to stay calm but she could tell and she apologized in the car which made me feel worse. And we have our own issues with consequences, because nothing really phases her... she doesn't care if the playdate ends, she doesn't care if a toy is taken away, she doesn't really seem to mind time outs. The only thing she doesn't like and reacts to is mommy being mad (which can include me raising my voice or just trying to calm down). I really don't want to be yeller, and I'm sure you don't want to spank, but I get being at a loss. Parenting these 3 year olds is really difficult.
    right back at you, Molly... not only because your memory of Bodhi's tantrum at the mall made me miss "little" Bodhi, but it also made me miss you and Abbey. DH & I still hope to visit you there at some point, at least the last we talked.

    And I'm sorry Abbey pushed the wrong button for you today, mama, but if you're 22 wks pregnant and the least bit uncomfortable, I wouldn't expect too much patience from you. At the very least, and knowing you, I'm sure you said something very sweet and reassuring in response to her worries about disappointing you. If it has to escalate, then at least you showed her the resolution side of the conflict.

    Erin, um... ok, the thought of B tantrumming like last night for another 2.5 years scares me. LOL. But, it gives me hope that B could still turn out to be a perfectly neat kid like Ky. Funnily enough, taking all the toys out of his room except books is something DH and I decided on just last night. Well, we'd already started turning the in-law unit downstairs into his playroom since January anyway, and it has a safe deck for him to play outdoors attached to it too. But yeah, we think his room might be too stimulating to sleep in. I just have to be ready to field a lot more requests to hang out downstairs from the little guy.

    Suja, just to give you a sense of my warped psyche, let me share with you how I read your post on the first pass:

    Paragraph 1: She said I "spanked the right way". Validation!
    Paragraphs 2-6: I am great! I am so friggin' great!
    Paragraph 7: She hopes I feel better soon!

    I am laughing at myself here, because it's been an emotional roller coaster today. It's hard to come on a mothering board to share something I did that I'm not particularly proud of, especially when I know beforehand it's something that's bound to elicit firm opinions and reinforce the disapproval I feel for myself. Even while I'm actively self-lecturing, there's that tiny part of me that wants a pat on the back... which would translate into my initial weird reading of your very helpful response. LOL. Anyway, thank you. Thanks to all of you. Let's hope I keep growing as a parent.
    Last edited by demigraf; 03-16-2012 at 08:53 PM.

  7. #29527

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suja View Post
    if he gets physical with you (right when he starts or is about to), you can say 'Oh, so this is how you fought off that big gorilla in the jungle, huh?' or something like that.
    Like! And stealing!

  8. #29528

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    So L, I've seen you talk about the magic treehouse books a lot and in the latest Scholastic Books form there was one of the books (number 43 or something insanely high like that)
    So I decided to get the first book out of the library. It's really good! I was wondering if you've read them all, or pick out ones that sound interesting, and if it matters if you read them all in order.

  9. #29529
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    Quote Originally Posted by demigraf View Post
    How else could me walking away from the power struggle have played out? (And I ask that in earnest without trying to sound like a smartass about it, I swear!)
    I know you aren't.

    Quote Originally Posted by AbbeysMom View Post
    Oh Myles. I'm so sorry. I don't know what you could have done differently that would've resulted in B staying in bed, but maybe walking away (even if he meant he would go an play) might have meant you could calm down and more importantly, not just take his hitting and yelling at you without you feeling like you had to use physical force, since it sounds like that bugged you quite a bit.
    This is the train of thought I was having. It seems like the fact that you resorted to the spanking is what bothered you most. I certainly will not rule out spanking my children for situations where it is necessary, but the thing is, I would be fired for spanking at work and I've had to deal with behaviors far beyond what you are describing here with Bodhi without the ability to resort to spanking. Restraining does work - but there are other ways to deal with it so behavior doesn't escalate to that point where physical intervention is necessary and at school that's what we have to use. Which is why although I won't rule out spanking, I can't imagine many situations where I will need to resort to it due to the experiences I've already dealt with with severely behavior disordered kids. I absolutely agree about moving the majority of the toys to a playroom, leaving more soothing wind-down toys like bedtime books and stuffed animals in his room.

    Quote Originally Posted by demigraf View Post
    It's hard to come on a mothering board to share something I did that I'm not particularly proud of, especially when I know beforehand it's something that's bound to elicit firm opinions and reinforce the disapproval I feel for myself. Even while I'm actively self-lecturing, there's that tiny part of me that wants a pat on the back... which would translate into my initial weird reading of your very helpful response. LOL. Anyway, thank you. Thanks to all of you. Let's hope I keep growing as a parent.
    I was going to share some ways of looking at that situation from a behavior analysis perspective - but it sounds like you've got the feedback you were looking for and your self-esteem is still recovering from what happened. If you want me to walk it through with you I'm happy to, but won't unless you ask.
    Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  10. #29530
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    Had my RE appointment this morning. I'm not quite ready to trigger yet. My biggest follicle was 13mm (he was looking for at least one over 15mm) with a few other, smaller ones. Also my lining was very thin - 4mm. Last time it was 5mm and he said that was thinner than he wanted to see but not too thin that implantation was impossible. I have to go back on Monday for a second ultrasound, and most likely IUI on Wednesday.

    Which launched a whole list of craziness at work because I told them I would not be able to make it for my first appointment on Monday. A co-worker was going to cover for me, until a second co-worker went home sick and told them she wouldn't be in Monday, either. Then they wanted the co-worker who was going to cover for me to cover for the other person instead, because the child was Spanish-speaking. It would have been much harder to find a bilingual backup than an English only backup. So then they told me we'd have to have my parent come in on another day (a non-appointment day, basically giving me a larger than normal caseload despite the fact I would be taking sick time for that missed appointment - so docked and then having to make up the work). We found a time and they called the parent, who had insisted she had previously called and rescheduled that appointment and gave a date. I looked it up, and it was a Sunday, which made no sense. Turned out she did reschedule, just had the date wrong, and our scheduler never let us know that the appointment had changed. Long story short, we don't have an appointment at that time for me to miss. As I told my co-worker, it all worked out in the end so I guess I shouldn't complain. At least I don't have to do a make-up eval.
    Last edited by Gwenn; 03-16-2012 at 07:09 PM.
    Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  11. #29531

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    That scheduler should have a different job title if that is how she does her job. Maybe she could be called the confuser.

    Mylah - I know exactly how you felt last night and today. I've done things I'm not proud of that make me feel really sad and mad at myself. But we are all just doing our best, and B knows that you love him. xo

    "Any idiot can face a crisis; it is this day-to-day living that wears you out." -Anton Chekhov


  12. #29532

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    I'm curious how you guys deal with requests after bedtime. Every night before I go downstairs I ask Josh if there's anything he needs before I go. Usually he says no, or wants an extra hug and kiss or whatever. I go downstairs, and the questions start. Do you all give in to requests for stuffed animals, another hug and kiss, complaints of tummy aches, etc? It goes on forever and usually ends in crying if I don't give him what he wants. Should I just make a list of the things he usually wants and go over it before I go downstairs?

  13. #29533

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    After the second request I usually tell J that she has one more question she can ask me and after that I will not answer her or interact with her again. Usually it works pretty well.

    "Any idiot can face a crisis; it is this day-to-day living that wears you out." -Anton Chekhov


  14. #29534

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    Quote Originally Posted by daylilies View Post
    So L, I've seen you talk about the magic treehouse books a lot and in the latest Scholastic Books form there was one of the books (number 43 or something insanely high like that)
    So I decided to get the first book out of the library. It's really good! I was wondering if you've read them all, or pick out ones that sound interesting, and if it matters if you read them all in order.
    We have read the whole series and it's best to read them in order since a few of them are grouped together in "missions" where they have to go to certain places to become master librarians. My kids love The Magic Treehouse books.

    Mylah my kids have always responded really well to fantasy play to divert them from bedtime shenanigans. Dbf actually used to do this really cool bedtime routine with Kai where the bed was there space shuttle and he'd make all these machine-like noises and pretend to be pressing buttons and avoiding meteors and they'd go to planets and have to fix the shuttle when it broke down. It transitioned nicely into settling in because when the mission was over they'd have to bring the shuttle into home base and get some sleep for tomorrows mission. Kai would actually race into the bed while they were doing that because he loved it so much.

    I also want to apologize if my response to your post came off as holier than thou. I'm paranoid about coming off that way and I was truly offering my support and understanding for your difficult night. When you asked, "What next?" after walking away, I have told mine that I needed to walk away from them because I felt really angry. Then come at them with a totally different angle like sneaking into our cave (bed) because we don't want to wake the newborn baby mice (we have to keep it really tame at bedtime, Kai scares easily) or we're getting into our tent after a long day of hunting...whatever works.

    We're at my bros and I am just sitting in the bedroom with 2/3 of my kids asleep and waiting for Kai to drift off. Dbf and I had a squabble just before we left since i needed to load the car as he can't lift things. I asked him to watch Sawyer for me while I did that and on my way back into the house after my first load, I see him walking out to his truck to get his wallet, sans Sawyer. So I loaded the rest of the car with Sawyer on my hip. That ticked me off. But everything else has been good so far
    Last edited by Bridget; 03-16-2012 at 08:18 PM.

  15. #29535

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    Oh, and Kate I learned on here the tactic of giving kids 2-3 passes or tokens that they can physically hand to you for a request and when they're gone, they're done.

  16. #29536

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    Ah yes we used to do one ticket for each parent. The questions stopped so we stopped using the tickets. Guess we should start up again.

    I know you are paranoid about sounding holier than thou because of certain complaints but I never feel like you sound like that.

    I didn't know you had read the magic treehouse series too. I will read them all then. It looks like our library has most of them and I can always request the ones they don't have.

  17. #29537

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    Thought I'd share with you guys, I made this earlier in the evening, after a 4th accident (and almost breakdown):

    potty.jpg

    And she already has 3 stars. She's using it to watch a cartoon before bed, but technically she can get 'treats' too, which are either Fig Newmans or Hot Wheels cars. And she's really excited about it... she has plans to earn 9 stars tomorrow. Hope it keeps working!
    Last edited by AbbeysMom; 03-16-2012 at 09:30 PM.



    lost our bean to Triploidy Sep 2010

  18. #29538

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    Oh great! It's good news when they're excited about something.

  19. #29539
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    Quote Originally Posted by AbbeysMom View Post
    Thought I'd share with you guys, I made this earlier in the evening, after a 4th accident (and almost breakdown):

    potty.jpg

    And she already has 3 stars. She's using it to watch a cartoon before bed, but technically she can get 'treats' too, which are either Fig Newmans or Hot Wheels cars. And she's really excited about it... she has plans to earn 9 stars tomorrow. Hope it keeps working!
    What a cute, creative idea!!! I will have to keep this one in my back pocket

    Things are a little crazy, but I'm loving every minute of it My Blog


  20. #29540
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwenn View Post
    Had my RE appointment this morning. I'm not quite ready to trigger yet. My biggest follicle was 13mm (he was looking for at least one over 15mm) with a few other, smaller ones. Also my lining was very thin - 4mm. Last time it was 5mm and he said that was thinner than he wanted to see but not too thin that implantation was impossible. I have to go back on Monday for a second ultrasound, and most likely IUI on Wednesday.

    Which launched a whole list of craziness at work because I told them I would not be able to make it for my first appointment on Monday. A co-worker was going to cover for me, until a second co-worker went home sick and told them she wouldn't be in Monday, either. Then they wanted the co-worker who was going to cover for me to cover for the other person instead, because the child was Spanish-speaking. It would have been much harder to find a bilingual backup than an English only backup. So then they told me we'd have to have my parent come in on another day (a non-appointment day, basically giving me a larger than normal caseload despite the fact I would be taking sick time for that missed appointment - so docked and then having to make up the work). We found a time and they called the parent, who had insisted she had previously called and rescheduled that appointment and gave a date. I looked it up, and it was a Sunday, which made no sense. Turned out she did reschedule, just had the date wrong, and our scheduler never let us know that the appointment had changed. Long story short, we don't have an appointment at that time for me to miss. As I told my co-worker, it all worked out in the end so I guess I shouldn't complain. At least I don't have to do a make-up eval.
    Wow what a fiasco!!! I hope Monday brings on some big mature follies

    Things are a little crazy, but I'm loving every minute of it My Blog


  21. #29541
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    Congrats to Abbey!

    I tried to do The Magic Treehouse. I bought the 7 or so books on CD and we tried to listen to them on a road trip to Tahoe and the kids got too scared of them. Even when we were right there (because we were, in the car, driving along with them), telling them that it would be okay. They were scared of the mummies, scared of ghostly things, scared of ninjas, scared of everything. They won't watch The Backyardigans anymore (their favorite show when they were 2 1/2) because the characters pretend to be pirates or because they're in spooky museums or they get chased by things. Tangled was recommended to me and we tried to watch it and I had to turn it off after 15 minutes because there was a chase scene in the beginning and an aggressive horse.

    Pretty much everything is too scary except they can talk about actual real death or amputation or frostbite or foot binding or being killed by a volcano or an avalanche or by falling off a cliff or by having a stroke or a heart attack or drowning without batting an eye. I do not understand it.

    I got the books on CD because of Bridget's recommendations. They will last a long time, and I'm sure there will come a time when they will enjoy them.

    Mandy, good luck to you with Monday's appointment! Sorry you had to jump through so many hoops to get it.

    I am in the midst of bedtime crappiness here, too. I feel like I have nothing to offer in the way of advice, because although things have gotten better with things we've done in the past with the twins, I actually spent about two hours crying last night, off and on, just feeling miserable, and every time I think about talking more about it here I get weepy again so it's really hard for me to talk about. Between all of our children, it's an epic struggle involving hours of our time some nights to get them to sleep. I have spent hours patting Baby S. in his crib again, which is something we haven't had to do for months. DH basically told me we have no intimacy in our marriage because after all the kid bedtime issues and we finally get out in the living room and have time to ourselves, having to spend the next hour-plus telling DS to go back to bed every few minutes when he comes out makes him want to just avoid contact with everyone for the rest of the night and spend his time in quiet solitude.

    That wasn't all of it, but it's part of it. Bedtime, like I said, has been the great dissatisfier of my motherhood career. My worst moments have been spawned from bedtime shenanigans. It follows the witching hour, where the kids act up the most, and when I have so much to do and so little time to do it, and to spend hour after hour after hour trapped by children who can't go to sleep but who need to go to sleep--it's so frustrating. I feel for them too, I really do. I can completely understand how difficult it is to lie still and settle down when I'm worked up. I have the same issues, but they don't have the same motivation to settle down. It's very difficult.

    And obviously you've caught me at a particularly bad moment in time, too. You know, when Baby S. slept so well at night for the first 8 months, I knew I was lucky. I was not resting on my laurels or bragging about it.

    Bridget, I hope everything goes smoothly for the rest of your trip.


  22. #29542
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    L. I have to say it's conversations like this that make me a little glad to be STC, if that makes any sense. Some days I wonder if I should quit while I'm ahead. Especially since I'm constantly surrounded by disabled children. Doesn't make for a lot of confidence in my future offspring.

    Congrats for Abbey's stars! Glad the chart is working.
    Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  23. #29543

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    I really think that bedtime is far too romanticized! It can be the most difficult part of the day for me. One thing that I have been thinking about trying when J is having trouble settling is to let her lie in bed in the dark and listen to a podcast for kids. That might keep her from being lonely or bored and maybe get her more relaxed. I found a bunch of free ones a while back. Let me go find them...

    Okay - there's Candlelight stories (http://www.candlelightstories.com/so...dStoryBlog.htm) and StoryNory (http://storynory.com/) and International Tales - just search for them on itunes.

    I don't know if it will help, but it is worth a try.

    "Any idiot can face a crisis; it is this day-to-day living that wears you out." -Anton Chekhov


  24. #29544

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwenn View Post
    I was going to share some ways of looking at that situation from a behavior analysis perspective - but it sounds like you've got the feedback you were looking for and your self-esteem is still recovering from what happened. If you want me to walk it through with you I'm happy to, but won't unless you ask.
    Mandy, I'd really like it if you did walk through it, if you have the time. I'm ok. This is the place I come to talk about myself - warts and all. None of my own IRL friends get this much disclosure about me. I'm lucky that you guys actually listen to so much detail about me. I wouldn't have posted here if I didn't want to learn how to do differently and/or better next time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bridget View Post
    I also want to apologize if my response to your post came off as holier than thou. I'm paranoid about coming off that way and I was truly offering my support and understanding for your difficult night. When you asked, "What next?" after walking away, I have told mine that I needed to walk away from them because I felt really angry. Then come at them with a totally different angle like sneaking into our cave (bed) because we don't want to wake the newborn baby mice (we have to keep it really tame at bedtime, Kai scares easily) or we're getting into our tent after a long day of hunting...whatever works.
    There's no need to apologize, Bridget. I don't believe anyone can make you feel bad about yourself except for you. So if you said something that was hard for me to hear (and I did expect to hear it when I posted last night) and if I felt bad, it's because that part of me agreed with you. So it was my voice of disapproval I was hearing.

    I am seeing the recurring suggestion of next time leaving the room and redirecting. The good news is, I think can see ways in which that might work. It's at least something to try. I wouldn't have that response in my arsenal if I hadn't talked to you ladies, so that was worth the price of admission today.

  25. #29545

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    L... . I'm sorriest to hear that you and J are feeling the effects on your marriage. I can only imagine how hard that can be. Erin's description of younger Ky's earlier bedtime difficulties today gave me something to hold onto. It ends! I know that's little consolation, especially coming from me, but I thought it's a good moment to remind those of us with night-night challenges that there will be a time that our children will cease to present them.

    Molly - super cute potty chart. Hooray for Abbey!

    Mandy - how maddening that your scheduler jacked things up for you like that. But I'm glad you're free and clear for your appointment on Mon. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that larger follies come out of hiding by then.

  26. #29546
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    Quote Originally Posted by demigraf View Post
    Mandy, I'd really like it if you did walk through it, if you have the time. I'm ok. This is the place I come to talk about myself - warts and all. None of my own IRL friends get this much disclosure about me. I'm lucky that you guys actually listen to so much detail about me. I wouldn't have posted here if I didn't want to learn how to do differently and/or better next time.
    Applied behavior analysis would look at it this way. They key to managing behaviors is to understand the purpose of the behavior. The purpose of a behavior management is to make undesired behaviors ineffective, and desired behaviors more effective. Psychologists like to set up a behavior chain like this: Antecedent - Behavior - Consequence. So let's start by describing the "behavior" as the tantrum. What is the antecedent for the tantrum? Well, his bedtime routine was disrupted and he was upset over that. I agree with Erin that you can travel back to when he threw the light. So I'm going to make my behavior chain look like this:

    Antecedent: Didn't want to go to bed
    Behavior: Threw the light
    Consequence: Bedtime routine was disrupted (bedtime story removed), bedtime was avoided through tantrum.

    So following this behavior chain - throwing the light led directly to the desired behavior, which was avoiding sleep. Your (perfectly logical) consequence of removing the bedtime story in this situation had the effect of doing exactly what he wanted - the behavior was reinforced because actually going to sleep was avoided. It wasn't a positive experience, but it was reinforcing.

    The behaviorist would tell you to make that behavior ineffective. In this case, let's say you ignored his throwing the light and continued with the bedtime story. No need for a tantrum over the story being removed, routine continues, eventually B settles to sleep. Let's describe it with another behavior chain:
    Antecedent: Didn't want to go to bed
    Behavior: Threw the light
    Consequence: Routine continues, bedtime story - wind down - sleep
    Result - behavior was ineffective at disrupting bedtime routine. Therefore, the negative behavior (throwing) was extinguished because it did not provide him with the consequence that was reinforcing to him. With the added bonus of a much lower probability of a tantrum. (Of course, since this isn't a perfect world, something else could always have set him off).

    I'm sure a real behaviorist could pick plenty of fault with my illustrations above - they aren't perfect - but I hope the point is there. Is that in any way helpful?

    And yes, I've used this to analyze plenty of examples of my own actions and motivations in dealing with my kids. And it wasn't pretty. This does help to plan through, of course it never is something you can think through "in the moment." Getting in the habit of thinking it through in calm times can help your reactions when you are "in the moment", though.
    Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

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    Thanks, Mandy. That is just an AWESOME framework for looking at a variety of parenting situaions. I'm going to share it with DH right away.

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    I like it too. It works on husbands and co-workers, too, I hear. So long as you can keep your head clear which I never seem to do with either of those!
    Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

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    When I've attended workshops on this topic, what they always, always stress is this: The time to intervene with the behavior is before it happens. Plan out those chains and see the paths of A-B-C. That way you avoid the total meltdown. When you get to that meltdown point, as we all do unfortunately, it's too late and you won't end up teaching any valuable life lesson. That's when you walk away and regroup.
    Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

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    3andMe is offline Every day is a gift. It's just... does it have to be a pair of socks? Hopelessly Devoted
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    Thank you, Mandy. Those are really good examples and a great framework to look at, especially using the bedtime example. In that context, would you think of doing anything about throwing the light? Or would you just tell him that it is not okay to throw things and continue on as normal?

    Bridget, I never think of you as holier than thou either.

    When I was talking about that multiples camping trip and how I try to always learn from parenting examples, both what to do and what not to do, I was thinking about you, too, as one of my good examples. It's funny how I was trying to actually write good parenting and bad parenting, but I couldn't do it because it's not black and white. It's all shades of gray. I love hearing all of the different stories from all of us, and how we handle things and what we tell our kids about things and what we do in different situations, because it's giving me more options and more things to think about. I may look at an example and think it's not exactly how I would want to deal with it, but I could pull a little bit of Bridget's technique, a bit of Mandy's, a bit of Katy's and Kate's, a bit of Molly's, and maybe Erin's or Suja's would work better for this other situation, etc. I think maintaining an open mind and talking like this makes all of us better parents.

    So back to my main point--Bridget, don't stop sharing stories, and don't stop saying the way you would do things. You offer a unique perspective and it's very valuable.


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