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Mom Confessions Mom Confessions

Can you Gentle Parent a "strong willed" child??

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Okay, I'm just going to be blunt.

My 2yo DD is a terror. We are having her evaluated for Sensory/developmental/behavioral disorders as well as Autism (PDD-NOS is our worst case scenario). She isn't always awful, but she is at least difficult most of the time. I walk on eggshells for sure.

I have tried the gentle parenting approach with her. She used to be a wonderful little angel, up until she turned 2. I'm patient with her and use a gentle tone. I don't spank and only use time out for when she does something really bad. But I'm sooo beyond sick of this and I'm at my wits end. She is mean to her big sister... hits and yells at her. So many times I tell my oldest to just give my 2yo whatever just to avoid a 30 minute meltdown.

Being gentle (talking to her gently or sturn-but-not-loud), explaining etc.... it just isn't working. Her behavior is getting worse and worse. Her evaluation isn't until January. I may go insane before then.

Is 2.5 too young for a pop on the butt? She understands what time out is, and knows that if she does certain things she will go, but it doesn't stop her from doing it!! A big one is spilling things on purpose... throwing bowls of food, spilling an entire bottled water into the floor etc. She knows she'll go to time out, but still does it.

Can you gentle parent a terror?

by on Nov. 11, 2012 at 12:56 AM
Replies (11-20):
Matriarch87
by Ruby Member on Nov. 11, 2012 at 1:54 AM
Yay you!

Quoting svolkov:

Yes you can. And regardless of what some moms personal opinion is you do not want to hit a child especially an already violent one. Im a behavior analyst. Get scraps of paper and write the time..of each incident, what happed just prior before snd after each outburst . Do it for at least a week. See if you can see any trends or info from that. Never give in . Always be consistant even if its exhausting. I have seen first hand what happens when caregivers give up and use physical punishment instead of real discipline.

Also has she been checked over physically? Adnoids ears metabolics etc? What about her diet( get rid of all perservatives and dyes etc) those can really set off kids with any kind of sensory issues. Be firm, use simple words and use consistant discipline. Look into a visual chart for consistency

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Anonymous
by Anonymous 3 on Nov. 11, 2012 at 2:01 AM
1 mom liked this
How are her communication skills? I ask because I have a 23 year old "spirited" child and she got easier to deal with as her ability to express herself improved. I think she was most difficult from about 18 months to 2 1/2. I spent a lot of time helping her learn how to tell me what was wrong, and I tell you something was always wrong! Socks didn't feel right, something was not where she wanted it to be, I didn't understand her request, it was always something! But, like I said she's 23 now and we survived, it will get better!
moosesmom
by Ruby Member on Nov. 11, 2012 at 2:04 AM
3 moms liked this
This. I'm not saying you're not parenting but maybe it's too soon for a diagnosis. It seems like everyone wants to slap a label on a kid. There are some children who are just...full of life. Lol. Give it a little bit longer and then see what happens. Tough love.

Quoting luvem630:

Stop trying to get a diagnosis and start actual parenting.
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lalaboosh
by on Nov. 11, 2012 at 2:04 AM

I'd take a parenting class if I were that overwhelmed (I plan to take one before this baby is born because honestly, I will be overhwelmed with my toddler and newborn if I DON'T). Spanking isn't really a good teaching tool, but a parenting class will have a pro there to help you figure out what to do and lots of other parents to talk to. It's really supportive and helpful to take parenting classes and I wish everyone did it.

lalaboosh
by on Nov. 11, 2012 at 2:07 AM

Also include the foods ingested before the incidents, food coloring and allergies are known to cause behavioural problems and this will help you narrow down the cause(s).

Quoting svolkov:

Yes you can. And regardless of what some moms personal opinion is you do not want to hit a child especially an already violent one. Im a behavior analyst. Get scraps of paper and write the time..of each incident, what happed just prior before snd after each outburst . Do it for at least a week. See if you can see any trends or info from that. Never give in . Always be consistant even if its exhausting. I have seen first hand what happens when caregivers give up and use physical punishment instead of real discipline.
Also has she been checked over physically? Adnoids ears metabolics etc? What about her diet( get rid of all perservatives and dyes etc) those can really set off kids with any kind of sensory issues. Be firm, use simple words and use consistant discipline. Look into a visual chart for consistency


Aleta775
by on Nov. 11, 2012 at 2:10 AM

I would make her help you clean up the mess when she makes one. My 3 year old could help me clean up messes when she was 2.5. You can have her get the towels, and show her how to mop it up. Then send her to time out on top of helping to clean up the mess. I know you hate her screaming, but you have to stop giving into to her no matter how much she screams. I know my dd hates it when she's upset, and I keep smiling at her and talking calmly. She gets mad when she sees that she is not making me angry even though I feel like I'm going to boil over. That's what you need to avoid, and it sounds like you are trying that. From now on until her evaluation, take a huge deep breath, stay focused and calm and do not let her know you are about to snap. LOL. Keep putting her in time out and do it a million times a day if you need to. Take away toys if you have to.

Have you thought about a chore chart? We started one with our dd, and it has done wonders. The only sticky issue we have left to deal with is her being stubborn at bedtime. All the other issues have cleared up big time. Good luck.

Liltdanh
by on Nov. 11, 2012 at 2:15 AM
My dd used to o the same things your talking bout. She got better as she turned 3 and is way better now at 4. Still the occasional hiccup but nothing that's too big a deal.
Anonymous
by Anonymous 4 on Nov. 11, 2012 at 2:31 AM
3 moms liked this

I think you can totally gentle parent are terror - HOWEVER- I say this not because I have parented one, rather, I work with children who have some serious behavioral issues, and lack a parental/authority figure in their life. I have a tornado two year old as well who I handle in a similar way

I don't think that being a gentle parent, means that you are soft/push over/etc.

What some may call gentle parenting, I just consider being clear and consistent. So, this is just how I roll, and it might not work for others, but it works like crazy at work and with my own child (who, let's be honest at two, still has his moments). 

1) Let them know the plan and how you expect it to go "Jessica, we are going to go to the pool today, it is going to be SO much fun! We are going to splash, we are going to swim, but when I say that it is time to go, we are going to get out of the pool, get bundled up in our towels and head back to the house.  If you cry like yesterday, then we won't have time to read our two books before nap". This also let's the child know what to expect, which is so helpful.

2) If...then.. statements.  It removes a lot of noise and puts the responsibility on their actions. For the older kids (even my kiddos with autism), it removes the adult from the equation and puts it on their choices. For the younger kids, it works well as a simple set up for what you expect, and if a consequence is necessary - they know why they got it. 

3) I messages.  I use these a lot at work with my older kids (including the three who have varying degrees of autism), because, well, there isn't much sassing/negotiating/blaming on others that can come after them. I have been working on a training for my company, so I have been up to my elbows in emotional intelligence, and I happen to use one of these on my toddler on accident. He is 2 and some change. I said " I feel frustrated when I have to ask you to pick up your trains 2 times. I should only have to ask once. Can you please pick up your trains? If you don't then you won't get to play with them until after nap and that is a really long time. He said "Sorry mama" and started picking up his trains. To be honest, I thought this would be over his head, but it has been working consistently for him. 

4) Dude, I have a kid at work with...well, I don't know what he has going on. I have never asked because it isn't relevant. It is very easy to see what his different needs are and how to accomidate them.  I could make my guesses, but again, they don't really matter. ANYWAYS, the spilling. Oi! The spilling. He does it on purpose too, and it took me a short while to catch on to. If we have any art supply out (he will run it through his fingers and then *boop* poured out. Paint...glue...glitter...you  name it. *boop*. Setting him up with some sensory bins that he can do that with anytime he needs to (because, he isn't doing it to be a jerk - he is doing it, because he honestly can't NOT do it. For him, he HAS to do it. He is a polite, respectful, good, wonderful kid. He just can't NOT do it) has been really helpful for us. Right now he (well, anyone, but he is the only one who uses it) has a big thing of pinto beans in a corner with cups, spoons, funnels, bowls. He can pour away until his heart is content)

5) This might be a little out there for the younger kids,  have a peace corner - a place to go that isn't a time out, but a place to cool off. "Cool Off" is a word we have worked hard to code into our son's mind, he knows that it means that it is time to do some deep breathing, but we are trying to transition it to mean that he needs to go to a certain place in his room, do some deep breathing and chill out while his emotions settle (he usually chooses to read a book), it sounds like the emotional regulation is a bit difficult with regard to your daughters behvaioral concerns, but I thought I would throw this out as another option for a time out. At work the kids have a table with a nice table cloth, some worry beads, a stress ball and a few tools for conflict resolution.  The older kids go for a wide range of reasons, from self regulation, to me asking them to take a breather there.  The ones who go for self regulation, I suspect go because of the calming jar. It is oddly facinating (pretty, but so over my 2 year old's head).

6) The emotions are okay, your child feels sad/upset/frustrated/mad, it might be out of whack, but that is how they feel and that is okay.  What ISN'T okay is the behavior. Address the hell out of that. 


I will stop boring you - but I think the one thing I want to get across is, I am a hard ass. I might not spank my kid, or pop them in the mouth, but I DO NOT tolerate unkind, rude, or disrespectful behavior. I just happen to think that there is nothing wrong with tailoring the emotional coaching and consequences in a creative approach that works for everyone - as an example, the child I talked about with regard to pouring things out, has two awesome parents.  Then, I showed up to work one day, and the kid was outside doing push-ups. I was taken aback and shocked that they would make him do something like that. I mean, a 2nd grader doing push-ups? Ick.  Then, I saw how it really worked for the child.  He has a huge amount of extra energy, and he will bounce (like jumping jacks, but without the arms), so for him, it was a way to channel the extra energy that sometimes leads to the behavioral issues (he is focused on jumping instead of listening) while getting a point across. The parents are not sitting there with their foot on his back making him do 200. It is appropriate, he knows the limits and what matter's most is that it works for the child in a constructive way.

 Also, I can only imagine how draining it might be to parent a child with higher emotional needs, and I know how hard it can be to parent effictively when drained yourself. Your fuse is short, you are at a loss and just want something to stop the unwanted behavior. So, ,take care of yourself mama. Things can be stressful, make sure you are doing things for yourself too! 

There is my novel. I doubt it was helpful, but there it was. 

svolkov
by Emerald Member on Nov. 11, 2012 at 8:49 AM
Yep I said that in the last paragraph too we dont have any in our house b ut that is a tough one for many parents


Quoting lalaboosh:

Also include the foods ingested before the incidents, food coloring and allergies are known to cause behavioural problems and this will help you narrow down the cause(s).

Quoting svolkov:

Yes you can. And regardless of what some moms personal opinion is you do not want to hit a child especially an already violent one. Im a behavior analyst. Get scraps of paper and write the time..of each incident, what happed just prior before snd after each outburst . Do it for at least a week. See if you can see any trends or info from that. Never give in . Always be consistant even if its exhausting. I have seen first hand what happens when caregivers give up and use physical punishment instead of real discipline.

Also has she been checked over physically? Adnoids ears metabolics etc? What about her diet( get rid of all perservatives and dyes etc) those can really set off kids with any kind of sensory issues. Be firm, use simple words and use consistant discipline. Look into a visual chart for consistency



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Anonymous
by Anonymous 5 on Nov. 11, 2012 at 8:50 AM

I don't think so.  You see yourself as being gentle...all a two year old sees is DOORMAT

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