Sunday, May 20, 2007

not allowed to do things

You know the advice women get given about men in Cosmo? "Never try to change a man, just accept him as he is, and then find ways of being happy with the situation" I wonder whether that acceptance might be applied by parents who are in conflict with their children a lot.

Here's an equivalent between parent and daughter:


"She will deliberately do things she knows she's not allowed to do"


She thinks you are wrong about not letting her do those things. Either a) you haven't explained or shown why sufficiently well or b) you might be wrong. [and remember that a gesture may communicate more than a word and a sentence may communicate more than a paragraph - if you can't explain and persuade in less than 15 seconds, you maybe don't actually have a very clear and rational reason for forbidding the thing...]



"I have started sending her to her room telling her she can come out when she's
stopped crying"

(This is a parent who complained that her child doesn't listen) From her point of view, that's got to look as if YOU don't listen!!!



"Something as trivial as her asking for a drink and being told "in a second
babe" can be enough to set her into a full blown rage and I can't handle it any
more."


Don't worry - this one is easy. You say "yes of course you can have a drink. Do you want to get it yourself right now, or do you mind if I quickly finish up what I'm doing and then get it for you?" If she wants you to get it immediately? I'd be inclined to get the drink straight away (that's got to be better than rage), and then in future make sure there are drinks available near her so you don't have to fetch all the time. I know a man who used to keep a stack of bottled water by the side of the couch so that whenever his wife said "can I have a drink please?" he could say "yes of course darling" and hand one over without missing a moment of the footie...

4 comments:

stacy said...

a child who often flies into a "blind rage" over seemingly insignificant issues may not be your typical toddler having a normal tantrum. Could be something else altogether, like gluten intolerance or other allergies causing the problem. If that is the case, nothing parent does will help the situation until the root cause of the problem is addressed.

emma said...

Aren't the food intolerances pretty easy to spot, with, for example, child not putting on any weight or growing at all from first solids to when the problem gets sorted? That's the case in the people I've come across with severe lactose allergies or gluten intolerance (or both, poor loves)

I'm never quite sure to what extent mild "food intolerances" are another kind of label parents put on children to turn them into a problem to be fixed rather than a person to engage with, YK?

Enlighten me :-)

stacy said...

it wasn't the doctors who figured out that my daughter(s) and I have celiac. I did it all on my own. They blamed the low weight gain on breastfeeding problems we were having. She only weighed 14 lbs at one year of age, but was larger than I was at the same age, so it was genetics, right? They blamed her behavioral issues on my parenting philosophy. It wasn't until after she had her first (and only) MMR vaccine (delayed, at age 3), and started exhibiting signs of autism that *I* looked into the problem more deeply. It wasn't until a friend's child was diagnosed with "autism" that I realized maybe that was my problem, as this child is exactly like I was as a kid. Luckily for us, the "autism" was actually a gluten sensitivity. Most people with celiac never know they have it, experts say it might be as high as 95% of people suffering from celiac are not diagnosed nor do they take the necessary dietary changes in order to live a happy healthy life. It's no excuse for poor behavior (we all own our actions), but it does help to explain it, and gives us an idea of what we need to do about it.

stacy said...

just one more comment... no, food allergies are not always so easy to spot, especially if it's a food you eat all the time. If you feel sick all the time, you get to a point you don't recognize it anymore, it becomes the norm. Even when eliminating certain foods, it can take up to a month for the food to completely clean out of your system, or as is the case with wheat, you might experience a withdrawal reaction that is worse than what the offending food causes, leading you to believe that food is not the problem, as you have not been eating it.