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Old 11-15-2012, 10:57 AM   #41
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Re: Mommy Mistake - How To Fix? Took Away 5yo's Birthday Party

I wouldn't give her all that attention at the expense of everyone else at 5. I don't think she is starved for attention but she is taking advantage of being able to get all the attention. No one needs constant attention and she needs to learn she isn't the center of the world. She may be an extrovert and really like having attention but she also needs to learn balance. It isn't good for kids to get their way all the time. They will only learn to be self serving. We all need to learn we can't have undivided attention all the time. I would maybe set aside time where it is just you but do not let her get away with getting all the attention. Consistently respond to her tantrums. They won't go away but they will lessen. My dd has a hard time regulating emotions. I think it is sensory related. They will not go away completely but since she knows they don't have power they definitely have lessened. I don't know the perfect discipline method and I am definitely not perfect. Does your husband give her his undivided attention? How does she respond to that?

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Old 11-15-2012, 11:25 AM   #42
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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
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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Old 11-15-2012, 11:34 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by badmisterkitty
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? .
You could say that just don't have time even though you want to, but if she can help you do something else to save time you can help her. Is that even possible? This idea came from the Aha Parenting emails that I subscribe to.
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:56 AM   #44
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Re: Mommy Mistake - How To Fix? Took Away 5yo's Birthday Party

What makes you say she's capable of picking out her own clothes and dressing herself?

She's been picking her own clothes and dressing herself since she was 2. She is capable. She knows what matches, she has all the same socks and underwear, and we often do pick out clothes together the night before. And sometimes we do in the morning, too.

I get up at 5:30 and that is plenty of time, even including a minor meltdown, to get myself and 3 kids dressed and ready to go by 7:20. At some point, the time to leave arrives and if she feels like pitching a fit, it doesn't matter if we get up at 5:30 or 4:30 or any other time, she's going to use that entire time to pitch her fit.
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:44 PM   #45
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Re: Mommy Mistake - How To Fix? Took Away 5yo's Birthday Party

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I wouldn't give her all that attention at the expense of everyone else at 5. I don't think she is starved for attention but she is taking advantage of being able to get all the attention. No one needs constant attention and she needs to learn she isn't the center of the world. She may be an extrovert and really like having attention but she also needs to learn balance. It isn't good for kids to get their way all the time. They will only learn to be self serving. We all need to learn we can't have undivided attention all the time. I would maybe set aside time where it is just you but do not let her get away with getting all the attention. Consistently respond to her tantrums. They won't go away but they will lessen. My dd has a hard time regulating emotions. I think it is sensory related. They will not go away completely but since she knows they don't have power they definitely have lessened. I don't know the perfect discipline method and I am definitely not perfect. Does your husband give her his undivided attention? How does she respond to that?
I agree. You can't let her suck all your time....it's not fair to you, your DH, your other children, or yourself. If you think that she has emotional issues, step 1 would be to get those figured out and a treatment plan. It would also make it easier for you, because then you don't have it in the back of your mind "well, is she just being manipulitive, or is this some medical issue." Then you need to find a way to consistantly respond to her tantrums to make them counterproductive for her. If they are counterproductive she will throw WAY less of them. I know it's easier said than done and that it won't be an easy road for you to travel, but I think it's important for your family's wellbeing.
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:19 PM   #46
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Re: Mommy Mistake - How To Fix? Took Away 5yo's Birthday Party

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I agree. You can't let her suck all your time....it's not fair to you, your DH, your other children, or yourself. If you think that she has emotional issues, step 1 would be to get those figured out and a treatment plan. It would also make it easier for you, because then you don't have it in the back of your mind "well, is she just being manipulitive, or is this some medical issue." Then you need to find a way to consistantly respond to her tantrums to make them counterproductive for her. If they are counterproductive she will throw WAY less of them. I know it's easier said than done and that it won't be an easy road for you to travel, but I think it's important for your family's wellbeing.
Agreed. You need a behavior plan, and it sounds like she needs a major lifestyle adjustment. A good therapist should be able to help you. And, if you aren't impressed with the first person you call, don't be afraid to change. We spent a year with a crappy one because I was too chicken to change, and I am kicking myself.
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:27 PM   #47
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Re: Mommy Mistake - How To Fix? Took Away 5yo's Birthday Party

I went to a few lectures by a child psychologist... our daycare offered for free. I (knock on wood) haven't yet had to deal with tantrums, so forgive me if this comes out too basic-- keep in mind this is an 8 hour class and she says people take it many times! Let me check my notes at work to see if I can find the books she recommended. One thing I work on is making the consequence fit the infraction (as in, once you get to consequence stage--she doesn't start there, you are supposed to relate it directly-- loosing a party is too steep and not directly related-- even adults make rare mistakes or get mad themselves. And stick to the reasonable ones-- this one I'd likely sit down with her and tell her why I was changing my mind. But not condone the behavior. I think the current most popular philosophy is to validate the emotion (oooh, you're really mad aren't you) and passively ignore (as long as everyone is safe) a raging tantrum because the child is unable to function otherwise at that moment. Or flat out ignore-- meaning you calmly sit by but don't add to the drama (its not like you're punishing them this way- they just need to work it out). Then you engage the child once they've calmed. You are in no way expressing to the child that this behavior is ok-- not saying that either. I know looking for the triggers is important. Not making it a battle of wills-- not winning and losing. You're the mom, you get respect-- I don't mean to imply anything else.

sigh, I hope I said something usable, but not sure I did at all. I don't have this degree please remember that-- I just went to lectures and liked what she said. It changes as they get older and I can't remember what she said! I do think it will escalate HEAVILY the first time you implement-- and the second, and the third-- this isn't something familiar to you both. Everything is a learning process.

She does a whole hour on choices (age appropriate). Like clothing. That was helpful. Getting kids to buy into good behavior-- they're personally invested in the decision and its not just being told- its learning how to do it yourself someday. Can be a good distraction sometimes. Thought it was a crazy example when given in the class, but "do you want to stand or sit to take this medicine" actually worked. It ends up their choice to take the medicine they need.

Forgive me if this was covered elsewhere, but to help with my mornings and dinner prep, I ask DD to select something (given choices that are all fine with me-- sometimes her brother's pants selection, sometimes broccoli or peas for dinner), be in charge of something (her blanket for nap time), draw a picture to help someone feel better (my boss had a bad day) just anything to keep her productive.

note to self-- make sure you read all! i see you reinstated the party- its hard, but good for you! And I bet these books mentioned are the same ones I'll find on my paperwork.

hugs, mama.
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:58 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmpmercury
I wouldn't give her all that attention at the expense of everyone else at 5. I don't think she is starved for attention but she is taking advantage of being able to get all the attention. No one needs constant attention and she needs to learn she isn't the center of the world. She may be an extrovert and really like having attention but she also needs to learn balance. It isn't good for kids to get their way all the time. They will only learn to be self serving. We all need to learn we can't have undivided attention all the time.

Does your husband give her his undivided attention? How does she respond to that?
This.
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:13 PM   #49
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Re: Mommy Mistake - How To Fix? Took Away 5yo's Birthday Party

You are only human. Don't beat yourself up. We all make mistakes. These kids don't come with instruction manuals. We do the best we can with the knowledge we are given. HUGS
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:08 AM   #50
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Re: Mommy Mistake - How To Fix? Took Away 5yo's Birthday Party

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Originally Posted by c&w's mama View Post
I went to a few lectures by a child psychologist... our daycare offered for free. I (knock on wood) haven't yet had to deal with tantrums, so forgive me if this comes out too basic-- keep in mind this is an 8 hour class and she says people take it many times! Let me check my notes at work to see if I can find the books she recommended. One thing I work on is making the consequence fit the infraction (as in, once you get to consequence stage--she doesn't start there, you are supposed to relate it directly-- loosing a party is too steep and not directly related-- even adults make rare mistakes or get mad themselves. And stick to the reasonable ones-- this one I'd likely sit down with her and tell her why I was changing my mind. But not condone the behavior. I think the current most popular philosophy is to validate the emotion (oooh, you're really mad aren't you) and passively ignore (as long as everyone is safe) a raging tantrum because the child is unable to function otherwise at that moment. Or flat out ignore-- meaning you calmly sit by but don't add to the drama (its not like you're punishing them this way- they just need to work it out). Then you engage the child once they've calmed. You are in no way expressing to the child that this behavior is ok-- not saying that either. I know looking for the triggers is important. Not making it a battle of wills-- not winning and losing. You're the mom, you get respect-- I don't mean to imply anything else.
Thank you for taking the time to write all that out. This is exactly why I came here - to help me decide if I'd made a right or wrong choice. The field was fairly evenly divided, but I think it boiled down to the punishment being totally wrong for the crime AND the fact that it was partially my fault it escalated the way it did.

DH and I DO need to be more consistent with her tantrums. We try, but sometimes emotions or time constraints or whatever else gets in the way and we deal with them incorrectly, therefore setting the precident that she can continue to do them. Perhaps she IS ill-equiped to handle her emotions, but I am struggling to teach her good ways to handle them. I was not a difficult child, it pained me greatly to upset my parents, and I don't know anyone in real life who has a child like this.

When I dropped her off at my parent's house this morning, my mom asked if she was good last night (she was) because my mom had told her she could spend the night if she was good. *sigh* I'm not sure how I feel about using rewards to get good behavior either. Clearly, it worked but something felt wrong about it.
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