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Old 11-15-2012, 12:25 PM   #42
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Re: Mommy Mistake - How To Fix? Took Away 5yo's Birthday Party

Originally Posted by badmisterkitty View Post
When my kids lose it, I tend to be very sympathetic, and say things like "you're very sad/mad", "you're having big feelings", and immediately offer comfort and help - not the same as giving in.

What would be the appropriate thingn to say/do when she insists that I help her do something she is capable of doing herself, like picking out clothes and dressing? I only have X number of minutes to get ready every morning and I can't build in an extra 30 minutes to deal with a meltdown and I do draw the line at doing everything for her.
What makes you say she's capable of picking out her own clothes and dressing herself? That's actually a somewhat complex task and really frustrating for a lot of kids. A bunch of things can come into play - difficulty with coordination, sensory issues making the clothes not feel "right", trouble with transitions, and so on. If morning dressing is an ongoing battle, I would try discussing it with your daughter in the afternoon or evening and problem solving with her. Laying out clothes the night before may help, if the issue is around choosing clothing. Having morning time be more structured, perhaps even with a visual/written routine might help if the issue is transitions. If it's coordination and your daughter being anxious about getting frustrated, then building small successes is the way to go.

Honestly, in that situation, I'd probably pick out clothes together the night before. Then, I would set my own alarm for 20-30 minutes early and get myself ready, lunches packed, etc. before the kids are up, then I wouldn't be running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get everything done, you know? And I'd just help my DD with the dressing, factoring in that time - still takes less time than dealing with the meltdown, and much happier for everyone to start the day on a positive note.

My own DD is a bit behind in her motor skills (way ahead in other areas), and gets horribly frustrated with any dressing/undressing tasks. If I ask her to do it herself, to even try it's an instant meltdown. But, if I pull her socks off to the point where they're over her heel, making it easier for her to pull them off the rest of the way, then she'll actually try instead of just freaking out. And we have a little happy party when she does it. I build in lots of being silly, songs, etc. to taks like this because it helps both of us stay positive and calm.

I know it's frustrating having to do so much for her, especially when you have other kids to take care of too. But every child is different, and giving each child what they need is more important than giving them the same things. Spending more time helping an older, spirited child is okay. You still log quality time with your younger, more easy-going children, and if everyone's needs are being met, everyone will be happier, including you, so even the kids who seem to need/get less will still be having a positive experience. On the other hand if you're constantly fighting with your oldest, trying to push her to be more independent than she is capable of (because of her basic temperament), everyone is going to be stressed out and nobody is getting their needs met, kwim? And I promise, you won't still be dressing your DD when she goes to highschool She will get to a more independent place, she's just not there yet.
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