Friday, May 04, 2007

My child is too naughty!

With a list of misdemeanours...

Think PLAY!!!

"throws things". great! find some things which are good to throw - soft balls or cuddly toys and do lots and lots of throwing with her. No need to tell her off - when she throws something you don't want crashing around the house, just pick it up and get some throwable things and as you throw the first thing gently to her, pop the hard thing somewhere out of sight till the throwing game is over. No need to say anything - she'll soon cotton on that fun throwing games happen with certain types of objects rather than others

"draws on the walls" This is a good one. find ways for her to draw on the walls without staining. ELC ready mix paint is good as long as you wipe it off while it is still wet. Can't guarantee any other brands - I've always found crayola washable a bit staining. There are hints on the web about getting crayon off walls, though I've never had that one. Chalk is billiant because it brushes off dead easily. A paint brush and a little pot of water makes a good temporary mark which just dries off. I like those elc bath crayons too for drawing on any tiled surface or on enamel felt tip pens on the fridge and cooker is good - wipes straight off (er... test it quietly one evening before offering just in case you've got a stainy colour - I steer clear of black, blue, purple)

"wont eat" don't let food be a matter of "naughty". Of course she'll eat - all children do! You just need to offer a variety of foods, at least some of which you know she likes, on terms which she accepts - maybe a carpet picnic while you're playing together, or a sandwich while you're on the way somewhere in the buggy. I think the whole Family Meal is something children join in with when it becomes interesting - the conversation and the company.

"she throws a strop whenever she is asked to do anything " what kinds of things? Ask her things which won't make her throw a strop. It might be exactly the same thing, done differently. eg "time to go inside now" *TOTAL STROP* or "hey, you want to go inside and do some more painting on the tea caddy?" *mum chases daughter up the garden path as they go off to have fun inside!*

A teacher responded, and this was my answer...

[quote]Unfortunately, she still has to learn how to behave in other people's homes and at nursery! [/quote]

Well, of course, and a major part of the parents' job is helping their children learn exactly what is socially acceptable.

I would argue strongly that children can learn, with guidance, that there are different rules in different places.

You don't have to sit quietly on a sofa all the time at home because that is what great-granny demands when you go to her house.

[quote]"Imagine how upset she'd be if she thought it was fine to paint on the walls then did it somewhere else and got into trouble - she wouldn't even know she'd done anything wrong."?)[/quote]

Yes. So parent helps child to understand that that's something we just do at our house.

[quote]"I have taught many children who have never been told 'no' and they have a very difficult time settling at school because they never feel comfortable in case they're doing something wrong (if they've never been told it's wrong, how are they supposed to know?)?)[/quote]

My ideal would be that parents help children ease into the transition into an institutional setting, if they decide to go down that route, by being present all the time to start with (like at toddler group), gradually helping their child learn the arbitrary behavioural codes of that place. Making our children submit to arbitrary authority so they'll placidly submit to the arbitrary authority of teachers is a much worse long term strategy than helping them to dance with the society in which they find themselves.

Because these children forced to submit to the arbitrary authority of parents and then teachers are the ones who all the parents in the older children messageboards and the teachers at teachers forums are saying "they reject our authority and they are 6' tall and we can't do anything with them". Arbitrary external authority has a use-by date on it, that's the problem. End rant.

6 comments:

Clare said...

"draws on the walls"

My 2 year old has a huge compulsion to draw whenever she spies a drawing implement and will draw on whatever she can find...just so long as I keep plenty of paper lying around for her to find then walls etc. don't get drawn on...it's sometimes worth trying to work out the motivation for some 'naughty' behaviours I think :-)

"wont eat"

Ignore it...make sure there are plenty of opportunities to eat, but no child will starve himself!

Just another couple of ideas :-)

emma said...

Hi Clare!

I agree with both your comments. I'd always try to control the drawing implements around (i.e. get rid of permanent markers and leave washable pens lying around instead) and make sure there's always plenty of paper and colouring books around, but if a child is quite determined to try writing on the walls, I'd love a way for the parents not to treat it as the end of the world, YK?

And I also agree entirely about the eating - if a person can't control what they put in their body and when, what on earth are they left having control over?

Leo said...

Hey, you're writing on your blog again. Cool.

Chalk in the outside walls is another good idea.

Another idea I've heard: cover the whole kitchen floor in paper and then distribute ready mix paint in several paper plates. Then just do it! With brushes, potatoes, hands, barefoot, wearing wellies, etc. :D

stacy said...

I couldn't agree with you more. When will people start to realize that it is the constant authoritarian being told what to do that creates misbehavior in the first place? If you don't expect blind, immediate obedience, you don't have issues with disobedient children.... oh wait, you all agree with me anyway... it's like preaching to the choir, eh?

emma said...

Hello Leo! *waves*

Yes, chalk outside is good. Also on pavements, as long as they are the right kind of surface (some pavements you scratch scratch scratch away with your chalk and a little group of local children gathers around to watch this idiot adult attempting in vain to make marks on the ground).

And I haven't done potato printing for AGES!!! (goes off to find some non-mouldy potatoes in the fridge)

emma said...

Preach away Stacy.

I wonder how one communicates with non-choir members? That's the big question.