Pondering gentle discipline and my daughters

Discussion in 'Gentle guidance' started by Maura, Jun 11, 2007.

  1. ThirtySomething

    ThirtySomething About to burst

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    :sadhug: Don't say those things about the person I like!

    Some people really like schedules and they follow through with them beautifully. I am just not that person. However, there is nothing wrong with implementing something that you know you can continue with. I don't have the right answer. I'm just offering up information based on things I've learned and mistakes I've made.

    I was thinking more about this last night as I was putting the boys to bed. I'm a visual person so I see things that way. Move along if you can't understand my drivel. :lol:

    I see you and Ava as having a tug-of-war. You have one side of the rope and she has the other. The problem is, you don't want to play.

    You both get ready

    You make a request of Ava and pull gently on your side.
    Ava screams "no!" and yanks really hard on her side.
    You tug a little harder when you reiterate your request.
    Ava tugs really hard when she screams. She pulls you off balance.

    Now, I encourage you to just let go of your side. Don't pull back harder. You don't have to play. You have the option to walk away.

    I don't mean let her get her way. I mean literally walk away. Give clear instructions. Put the problem in her hands and walk away.

    A dynamic has been established. Ava won't change it. You can do it and I believe in you. You need to believe in yourself. Don't be afraid. :hug:
  2. Morgansma

    Morgansma Active Member

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    That's not true at all. You're not dumb. Parenting IS a hard job. You have to look at your child and circumstances then try new ideas to find what works in your house.

    What is Ava like? I think she's around my dd's age, 7-8? We've had some difficulty here lately too. We have a loose "routine". I have to keep dd busy and mix up her days so she doesn't become bored.

    I've had a lot of trouble getting her to keep her things picked up too. This week I started telling her that she has "X amount of time" to straighten up or I take what is left. She thinks it's a game and likes a count-down. If she doesn't have a time frame she will procrastinate forever.

    My dd is better behaved when we do a lot together. Play games, read books, play outside, bake. I remind her that we have to do a,b,c to be able to do x,y,z. I treat her as I would like to be treated. I remind her that we work together as a family. I don't send her off to do things alone. We do many things together. She helps me, I help her. We do chores together until they're well-learned then we do them side-by-side. I expect responsibility that is age appropriate.

    Everything does not run smoothly every day. We all have our bad days.
  3. SmartyMama

    SmartyMama New Member

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    my kids know that in order for them to leave the house to play or go to friends houses they have to do their chores. For awhile, they would wait UNTIL the friend called to decide to clean. The result was that they had to tell the friend "I will be over in 30 minutes" and then the friend would say "oh man, I can't wait that long!" They quickly realized that if they did their chores after breakfast they would be able to leave on a moments notice.

    On weekends I set a timer for 30 minutes and tell them it's chore time and they have 30 minutes. I follow it up with "everyone who is done in 30 minutes gets to xyz" which is almost always enough to motivate them to get it done. But I stick to my guns-if you're not done in 30 minutes you don't get to do xyz.
  4. Maura

    Maura Gene Genie

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    okay, back to my drawing borad:)
    I had to get out of the house for a bit and let Stephanie have some fun.
    So, Stacy, I really hope you don't think i was aggravated with your posts- i'm just feeling stuck and stupid, but that's not your problem- it's mine. I should just accept that i need to work harder at this and stop whining.
    So, I may try the schedule on a trial basis and see how Ava and I both work with it. I will set it up very simply with a few chores and let her know that if it does not work well we will have to try something else. I found a short list of chores in the Elizabeth Pantley book, so I will adjust it to fit our lifestyle:
    AM
    1. get up and have breakfast
    2. feed the dog
    3. get dressed, brush teeth and hair

    PM
    1. have bedtime snack
    2 brush teeth and get into pajamas
    3. choose book for bed and get into bed (no getting up after this unless bathroom)

    It's because of me that she needs this schedule- I have been too lax about setting up anything routine all of this time.
    next it's Stephanie's turn...bedtime is my nemesis!
    If you see any flaws in this, feel free to point it out- I'm done feeling sorry for myself and jsut need to buckle down:)
  5. SmartyMama

    SmartyMama New Member

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    how old is she? I don't count self care as a chore so I don't know that I would use those things. If your problem revolves around her picking up/doing chores I don't see how this schedule will help. Obviously, her age will be a big part of what your expectations of her should be.

    In regards to the issue where she did not pick up the books you could say "Ava, I would like us to go buy some Popsicles at the grocery store, but we can't go until the books are picked up." This gives her an incentive to do it.

    If she still refuses, "Ava, please put these four books on the bookshelf, and the other three in the basket. Then, we will go to the store to get some Popsicles."

    Continued refusal: "Ava, I am going to set the timer for 5 minutes and when the buzzer goes off you need to have the books put away. If the buzzer goes off and the books are still out, your sister and I will get Popsicles when Dad gets home, but you won't be able to have one because you didn't follow directions"

    Screaming, crying: "this is a choice-pick up and get a Popsicle or leave them and you won't get one"

    She may go to her room screaming and leave those books out for days. Each night that you have a Popsicle without her is another reminder that she made a poor choice. Eventually, she will pick up those books.

    Obviously, Popsicles can be replaced by any other incentive-a quarter (allowance), 20 minutes of TV time, etc.
  6. Maura

    Maura Gene Genie

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    I want to start very simply and see how we do...getting her to do *anything* is a chore for me. I was using the books/toys as an example. If tell her it's time to get ready for bed i assume she is going to brush her teeth- no way! She'll say she forgot or that she doesn't have to because she did it after lunch. She wants to do what she wants to do when she wants to do it. I'm hoping that she will get these simpletasks to become routine so I can move forward.:)
  7. lassie

    lassie Happy Potty

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    CIVILIZATION AT LAST!
    (((Maura)))

    FWIW I think you are a great mom.

    I'm struggling with this myself. For one, my mom is now my best friend, but she wasn't always the best role model in this area growing up. Pulling this stuff out of nowhere is hard for a mom. I don't know how to do it. One thing I find working for us right now is telling W. that we have a certain amount of time in each day. There are all kinds of fun things to do every day. If Mommy has to pick up after you, then that uses up all our time when we could be doing fun things. She now knows that it is easiest and quickest to pick up after herself. She ends up with a less cranky mama and fun things to do (which might just be going outside and riding her scooter). I've really buckled down that our house needs to be in reasonable order before we do other things.

    This also carries over to how we treat each other. If she's snotty to her sister, then she doesn't need to play with the little girl down the street either.
  8. ilfan96

    ilfan96 Active Member

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    My 8yr old ds sounds alot like your Ava. I do use a schedule with him...it is not strictly structured throughout the day in the sense that I have every half hour of every day scheduled, but there is a morning routine, evening routine, etc. By having things scheduled, it tends to cut down on arguments. It is hard for him to argue with me about a written schedule. My other kids don't have as much of a need for a written schedule. They follow the same general routine as my 8yr old, but are not nearly as argumentative as he can sometimes be.

    :hug:
  9. Maura

    Maura Gene Genie

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    Thanks...I'm really going to try to make us all stick to a schedule. I am *very* unstructured and probably need to find a middle ground. I have vowed to do that before and not followed through.
    I know a lot of moms are probably wondering why an almost 8 year old needs a chart with "brush teeth", but we have to start from scratch and she fights me on *every* issue. I want to get these things down then work our way up to the bigger things. Now that school is out- as of tomorrow afternoon- we will have a full summer to get things in order. Hopefully a fresh start!
  10. lassie

    lassie Happy Potty

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    I KWYM. These girls with strong wills will be awesome women some day! I'm seeing a glimpse now of the woman Whitley may become and it gives me a lot of hope. I think she was given to me to teach ME something, and she has taught me a lot already.

    (although I'm going gray)
  11. Maura

    Maura Gene Genie

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    Well, I always thought that if I had one "spirited" child the next one would be much easier:) Then we had Stephanie- the happier version of Ava, but just as stubborn! Today she was playing with some children and I told her we were leaving in five minutes- to which she responded, "Mo-om! I'm playing with my friends! Okay?!" It's a good thing I have Ava to work out my mistakes.:rolleyes: I even made a chore chart for stephanie today...she wants to be just like her big sister. I figure we'll start earlier on her!
  12. SmartyMama

    SmartyMama New Member

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    gotcha. What is her age? My 10 year old DD was a hellion until about 8 so I feel your pain LOL
  13. Maura

    Maura Gene Genie

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    She'll be 8 in July:)

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