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Old 11-14-2012, 10:43 AM   #21
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Re: Mommy Mistake - How To Fix? Took Away 5yo's Birthday Party

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Originally Posted by badmisterkitty View Post
Thanks to everyone for chiming in. It's really helping me gain some perspective.

No, I do not think the punishment fits the crime. I think it's my fault she escalated to the point she did. I'm trying to think really clearly on this, and honestly, if I had chosen to ignore her like I hsould have, it never would have happened. But I fed into her tantrum and let anger take over.

I DO need to ignore her. She will not sit alone anywhere.. She panics and it's equally unpleasant as having to be with her because our house is small. I'm going to try taking her to her room and shutting the door and completely ignoring her tantrum, even if she tries to beat me up. And she will. That's where I get into trouble because I think her getting physical with me is an absolute NO WAY, but by acknowledging that I don't approve it fuels her tantrum. At least if we're in her bedroom she'll only beat me up and not lash out at her siblings. I should also point out that she doesn't hit DH hardly ever. He says it's because he can ignore her better. I can't disagree with that.
She's 5, can't "beat you up." Get physical, yes, but a 5 year old isn't capable of "beating up" and adult grown woman. Language like that says to me that you have given her quite a bit of power.

And, if you have to take her to her room when she's throwing a fit, why on earth would you stay IN the room? I sure as heck wouldn't. I suggest instead, closing the door and if she isn't going to stay there you stay OUTSIDE the door, and just continue to put her back in every time she tries to leave, supernanny style. You completely ignore the tantrum, do not say anything to her, you just silently put her back each and every time, until she's done with her fit. But stay OUTSIDE the door. By being in the room, you have now given her not just an audience, but a captive one. That will not help the situation at ALL.

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Old 11-14-2012, 11:21 AM   #22
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Re: Mommy Mistake - How To Fix? Took Away 5yo's Birthday Party

I would follow through with the threat. You could lay out a few things she could do (ie. good behaviour, good "listening ears", nice language, etc) to earn it back. But if she does not do the work you cannot give it and let her have the party anyways.

More likely, for us and our kids, I would just leave it at "you did 'x', now 'y' happens". They would still have a small family party - just us, some cupcakes - but no decorations (we always decorate the dining room with streamers, balloons, and banners), likely no presents, and certainly no "friend party".

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Originally Posted by jen_batten View Post
But TBH, you make it sound like this *is* an ongoing issue, and that she hasn't been willing to do anything/change her attitude to earn it back, so I would probably make it stick.
And that is why I say I would just leave it and follow through with it. A one-time thing, or a rare tantrum, is one thing.
But this sounds like a constant and ongoing issue with her and she needs to learn that there are negative consequences to her unacceptable behaviour.

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I might try it if I can get her in a good mood. She will turn on a dime, plug her ears, scream at me, and much more if the subject material isn't to her liking.
You shouldn't have to try to "get her in a good mood" (by "get" I assume you mean "catch"?). Life doesn't wait for our good moods, and crappy talks have to happen whether we like it or not. She can't always ignore things she doesn't want to hear or talk about.
My DD does try this (moreso than the boys) - if we say something she doesn't want to hear, she stomps to her room and slams the door. We just follow, knock and open the door, and say whatever we were going to say anyways. Then tell her that she's free to come out whenever she wants, as she put herself there, not us sending her as a punishment. I'm getting better too that I can stop talking and say "No. Stop and turn around. I am still speaking to you and you need to listen for a minute." when she starts to stomp off.

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Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post
SO, just don't give the child an audience. Walk away. If they follow, then you send them to their room. If they refuse to go, you pick them up and put them there.
Yup, I agree with that. Although I only will walk away when they're little (like the 2 year old, and even then we're starting to remove him from the situation/room instead of ourselves). As they get older I want them to learn to walk away themselves when they get feeling angry and out of control - go to their room, take a breather, come out when they feel better and have themselves under control. So, we will tell them they need to go to their room and if they don't go, we take them ourselves.

For DD and DS2 this works really well - they will go to their room, lay on their bed or look at a book or something, maybe scream to get the feelings out (not crying screaming, but just screaming, like into a pillow, kwim?) and then calm themselves down.
DS1 is a bit more... well he needs to physically get his aggression out. Unfortunately he often does this by literally throwing things around when he is sent to his room - he'll take all the books off the shelves, dump out the lego bucket, take all the clothes out of his closet. He very rarely actually breaks or damages anything, and by doing it with just stuff in his room he isn't hurting anyone, though we would love to help him find a different way to get things out physically. For now, we let him throw (literally, lol) his fit, let him calm himself down, then we go and tell him he needs to clean everything back up before he can come out with us - after a few minutes of him actually cleaning up (as opposed to whining at us about how he "can't!" or doesn't know how to) we go in and help him finish up.

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Originally Posted by luvsviola View Post
Those kind of things are important memories of childhood IMO. I still remember my birthday party in Kindy. We had it at Chuck E Cheese and it was super special.
I don't think missing one birthday party is going to make or break her childhood, especially if her birthday is still acknowledged (which it should be in some small way!) - if it does, there's definitely something more going on.

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Originally Posted by badmisterkitty View Post
I'm going to try taking her to her room and shutting the door and completely ignoring her tantrum, even if she tries to beat me up. And she will. That's where I get into trouble because I think her getting physical with me is an absolute NO WAY, but by acknowledging that I don't approve it fuels her tantrum. At least if we're in her bedroom she'll only beat me up and not lash out at her siblings. I should also point out that she doesn't hit DH hardly ever. He says it's because he can ignore her better. I can't disagree with that.
First, we have turned the lock around on the boys' room - they know that if they are sent to their room to calm down and they start trying to fight back or come out while still tantruming, we will lock the door so they can't open it. Personally, I think that is preferable to being in the room with her - which is still giving her an audience especially where you have said that you aren't able to ignore her behaviour.

Second - hitting anyone is NEVER okay. Period. She should not be allowed to get away with that behaviour with anyone, and certainly not her parents. This would be another reason to have the door locked (or just stand outside and hold it shut) - she can't get to you to be physically violent.

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Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post
She's 5, can't "beat you up." Get physical, yes, but a 5 year old isn't capable of "beating up" and adult grown woman. Language like that says to me that you have given her quite a bit of power.

And, if you have to take her to her room when she's throwing a fit, why on earth would you stay IN the room? I sure as heck wouldn't. I suggest instead, closing the door and if she isn't going to stay there you stay OUTSIDE the door, and just continue to put her back in every time she tries to leave, supernanny style. You completely ignore the tantrum, do not say anything to her, you just silently put her back each and every time, until she's done with her fit. But stay OUTSIDE the door. By being in the room, you have now given her not just an audience, but a captive one. That will not help the situation at ALL.
Except, I really don't play around with them coming out and me putting them back in - I just don't have time or energy to play that "game" with them.
When I say we lock the door, we do, but we don't just lock it and walk away. We stand outside the door, or sit on the couch (right around the corner from their door/room). As soon as we hear them quiet and start to calm down, we open the door and let them know they can come out and join us again whenever they feel ready to.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:34 AM   #23
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Re: Mommy Mistake - How To Fix? Took Away 5yo's Birthday Party

I wouldn't give in tbh. I think that would be a good starting point with her to show you are not playing around any more. My dd is very high strung and flips out about every little thing. We use 123 Magic with her, the first time I did it she lost her tv time for the week. To her that was a serious consequence. She realized pretty quickly that she was no longer in control. I have to use big things to make her behave, timeouts are pretty ineffective for her repeated bad behaviors.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:43 AM   #24
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Re: Mommy Mistake - How To Fix? Took Away 5yo's Birthday Party

Just wanted to chime in and say that isolating her in her room does not work. She will panic. It's horrid. She's so out of control that she physically won't stop screaming and crying. We've tried it many times with the same results every single time. She will quit 10 times quicker if I am physically in her presence. I'm open to trying it again, though.

I planned a special spa day with her on Saturday to get our nails and hair done. I did not tell her I would take that away, but it was a birthday treat so I'm not sure now.
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:04 PM   #25
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Re: Mommy Mistake - How To Fix? Took Away 5yo's Birthday Party

sorry you're having a hard time mama (((hugs)))

From a totally different perspective: I'm parenting an explosive kiddo with autism, and a very intense "spirited" toddler. For both of them, when they tantrum or meltdown, I don't look at it as behaviour to be punished or controlled, in fact I don't use punishment with my kids. I view tantrums as communication - my kids are telling me "I can't cope and am overwhelmed". Punishment just teaches them to bottle up their feelings and stop asking for help, it doesn't address the underlying feeling or need that led to the meltdown in the first place, you know? 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. This is especially key with my 15 year old, who can beat the crap out of me, as he's the same size of me. If I can be "on his side", then he's going to cry and be sad and accept comfort until the emotional storm is over, and then we can work together to solve the problem. When he's tantruming, he's not thinking clearly, so being adversarial is NOT productive, or even safe. With my DD, who's only 2 and not aggressive, when she's melting down acknowledging her feelings and offering comfort while she gets ahold of herself is just as key. Once she's stopped the hysterics, her body is relaxing, and her breathing is slowing, then we problem-solve together. Because she's only 2, this usually involves me suggesting alternatives that she can choose from (I know you want to go for a walk, but it's very cold and rainy. How about a different outing? Should we go to the library or the petstore?), or using a "first/then" approach (first is supper, THEN you can have ice cream). I also am not afraid to admit that I've jumped the gun with my "no" (happens all the time, I tend to say "no" automatically), and change my answer ("I can tell it's really important to you to colour right now, I only said no because I'm a bit tired and have to cook dinner so can't watch you. Do you think you could colour in the kitchen while I cook dinner, so we're both happy?").

Anyway, some different books you might consider: Unconditional Parenting, Discipline without Distress, Raising the Spirited Child, The Explosive Child
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:06 PM   #26
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Re: Mommy Mistake - How To Fix? Took Away 5yo's Birthday Party

Personally i would stand behind the punishment. Youve given her chances to earn in back and if she cannot do that and show you respect then maybe she really doesnt deserve to have a party this year. Its a hard lesson, and no one like to see their child upset but IMO following through with things is important.
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:09 PM   #27
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Re: Mommy Mistake - How To Fix? Took Away 5yo's Birthday Party

I have a freight train kiddo too. Mine is almost seven and is doing great, but he lives life with a certain intensity that can be both charming and challenging. I do not know what the right thing is for your child, but my son would do best if I admitted I overreacted. As someone prone to overreaction himself, he is quite forgiving about such things.

Can I suggest the book, "The Explosive Child." I have a whole shelf of similar titles, but this book has really turned things around for my son. I feel like it gave us permission to do what we already knew worked for my son and let go of the idea that we had to be in control. When we let that idea go and tried to really listen to him and work together to find a way for things to work for everyone, life got a lot better. It has allowed him to practice problem solving instead of practicing being as stubborn as possible. The world is very black and white to him and when he perceived some terrible injustice, he couldn't just let it go. We have actually gone away from using rewards and punishments at all which was hard for us, but was the right thing for our son.

Six months ago, I hated being his mother. I loved him, I was 110% committed to him, but I was not enjoying parenting him. I told my husband it was like being in an abusive relationship that I wasn't allowed to leave. My husband was shocked i would say such a thing, but it was really how i felt. Things are so different now. My husband and I are genuinely enjoying raising our intense little man. Our son is happy and cooperative. His siblings aren't dealing with the stress of having a sibling who cries and yells and fights everything.

All of that to say I recommend reading "the explosive child." I don't know if it will help your family as much as it helped mine, but its worth a try!

ETA: One premise of the strategies presented in this book is that if a child can do well, he will do well. Children who are not doing well are lacking the skills they need to do so. Accepting this changed the way I felt about my son. Some kids have trouble learning to read, some have trouble with math. My kiddo needed some extra help in just handling frustration.
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:17 PM   #28
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Re: Mommy Mistake - How To Fix? Took Away 5yo's Birthday Party

I would explain to her that I reacted in anger by taking away the party & everyone makes mistakes , mamas & dadas included. I would fix my mistake by giving the party back & modeling appropriate behavior by not being stubborn myself.

I have 4 DDs, 2 can be very stubborn, and 2 display more extreem emotions than their sisters. DH and I have made huge improvements simply by listening, acknowledging that we understand their feelings, not playing the blame game or making them feel as if they are bad kids for feeling extreem emotions, and apologizing for & fixing the mistakes we make ourselves.
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:25 PM   #29
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Re: Mommy Mistake - How To Fix? Took Away 5yo's Birthday Party

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Originally Posted by chillimom View Post
sorry you're having a hard time mama (((hugs)))

From a totally different perspective: I'm parenting an explosive kiddo with autism, and a very intense "spirited" toddler. For both of them, when they tantrum or meltdown, I don't look at it as behaviour to be punished or controlled, in fact I don't use punishment with my kids. I view tantrums as communication - my kids are telling me "I can't cope and am overwhelmed". Punishment just teaches them to bottle up their feelings and stop asking for help, it doesn't address the underlying feeling or need that led to the meltdown in the first place, you know? 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. This is especially key with my 15 year old, who can beat the crap out of me, as he's the same size of me. If I can be "on his side", then he's going to cry and be sad and accept comfort until the emotional storm is over, and then we can work together to solve the problem. When he's tantruming, he's not thinking clearly, so being adversarial is NOT productive, or even safe. With my DD, who's only 2 and not aggressive, when she's melting down acknowledging her feelings and offering comfort while she gets ahold of herself is just as key. Once she's stopped the hysterics, her body is relaxing, and her breathing is slowing, then we problem-solve together. Because she's only 2, this usually involves me suggesting alternatives that she can choose from (I know you want to go for a walk, but it's very cold and rainy. How about a different outing? Should we go to the library or the petstore?), or using a "first/then" approach (first is supper, THEN you can have ice cream). I also am not afraid to admit that I've jumped the gun with my "no" (happens all the time, I tend to say "no" automatically), and change my answer ("I can tell it's really important to you to colour right now, I only said no because I'm a bit tired and have to cook dinner so can't watch you. Do you think you could colour in the kitchen while I cook dinner, so we're both happy?").

Anyway, some different books you might consider: Unconditional Parenting, Discipline without Distress, Raising the Spirited Child, The Explosive Child
I 100% agree
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:04 PM   #30
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Re: Mommy Mistake - How To Fix? Took Away 5yo's Birthday Party

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Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post
...

Now, as to dealing with the tantrums...my teenager has been having teenage tantrums lately. And one thing my mom keeps telling me that I keep forgetting is, it's really hard to have a tantrum with an audience. And it's true. The vast majority of tantrums, especially in the younger set, are about the audience and displaying to EVERYONE just how upset/unhappy/angry the tantruming child is. SO, just don't give the child an audience. Walk away. If they follow, then you send them to their room. If they refuse to go, you pick them up and put them there. And, that's not even a time out or a punishment. It's just..."I am not going to listen to your tantrum. When you are ready to stop throwing a fit and listen to me, then we can talk about XYZ. But until then, you go have your fit somewhere else so I don't have to listen to it." And you do your best to completly ignore it. Which can be next to impossible. But really, that type of response isn't even about stopping the behavior, it's just about not subjecting yourself or anyone else in the house to it.

...
Plus, that time alone, in her room/whereever, she may be able to figure out what works for her to calm herself down.


That sounds like a tough spot to be in, hon. And I can totally relate to taking out my frustration/lack of control over situations by picking fights with DH. Maybe give him a hug later, tell him you made a mistake and offer him a princess cake to make it up?
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