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Come and be a Better Parent with us in the Virtual Village

(450 Posts)
Letsgoforawalk Fri 13-Feb-15 10:34:16

This was originally started by Another Monkey, the virtual village refers to the phrase that 'It takes a village to raise a child'.

You are welcome to vent, to ask for advice or to give us the benefit of your experience. The only thing we all seem to have in common is that we are all either ‘in there’ or have ‘been there’.

Perfection is not the goal, we are more about, as monkey brilliantly put it “choosing one thing to be less crap at at a time”.

Books recommended so far:
How To Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk
When Your Kids Push Your Buttons
The Happiness Project
Calmer Easier Happier Parenting
The Explosive Child
The Highly Sensitive Child
How to be a Better Parent: No Matter How Badly Your Children Behave or How Busy You Are

Potentially useful websites (useful in quite different ways…..)

A wide range of potential sources of advice are listed because all our children are different and no book / technique / tactic will suit every family.

A link to the original thread is shown below, and I think Monkeys OP is worth a read as she sums it all up very well…….
wecome smile

Letsgoforawalk Fri 13-Feb-15 10:42:38

oops, forgot to say this is Thread 3!

Letsgoforawalk Fri 13-Feb-15 12:25:37

Link to thread 2

bexster5 Fri 13-Feb-15 13:18:18

Right! Thanks Letsgoforawalk I'm here! smile [marks place smile ]

BlueEyeshadow Fri 13-Feb-15 13:52:27

Thanks letsgo thanks

AnotherMonkey Fri 13-Feb-15 22:17:25

Here! Thanks letsgo thanks

It's diary week this week, on the theme of choosing one thing to be less crap at. I've been meaning to do this for a long time but have felt overwhelmed by it. I'm becoming a bit clearer about the main behaviour I'm worried about from DS so now have a code for it, so can just date, time, and add 1A or whatever.

Letsgo is the issue that your DCs are on their phones when they're doing a chore, or that they are doing a crap job of it because they're not paying attention, or because you just feel that they've got the head in their screens too much generally?

Whining, ugh. Empathy, humour, then apparent indifference. That's all I have!

BertieBotts Fri 13-Feb-15 22:35:32

MArking place smile (Too tired) Thanks for new thread!

BertieBotts Fri 13-Feb-15 22:36:19

Ooh we should have waited five days for it to be exactly a year grin Let's have a virtual party on Wednesday grin

HJBeans Sat 14-Feb-15 19:31:39

Marking place. Thanks for your thoughts on whining, folks. Will wait till his current cold / miserable sleep-denying cough has passed and give some of your suggestions a try.

HazyShadeOfWinter Sat 14-Feb-15 20:12:03

May I join please? Have 2 DS aged nearly 5mo and nearly 3yo. Main thing I'd like to be better at is not shouting and/or screaming at eldest over this which don't in long term matter but push my buttons.

Also have this constant worry that I'm ruining him by trying to be playful/gentle/empathetic and then flipping out when it doesn't work. Like my approach is too mixed up, and I'm letting him down.

Have read some of the books and used some of the websites listed but like the sound of what to do when kids push buttons, will see if our library has it

melisma Sat 14-Feb-15 22:10:29

Please may I join too? I have DS aged 3 and DD nearly 9 months. Hazyshadeofwinter I could written your post! Feel exactly the same.

Hello all! I've made it over.

hazyshadeofwinter I could also have written your post. I was nodding along with the whole ruin it by flipping out after being playful/empathic/patient and it not working or me no longer being able to control my temper.

Too late to post much now but oh my, I think the 4 year old is testing me more than the not so far off 3 year old twins and breathes

Letsgoforawalk Mon 16-Feb-15 17:45:19

Hi just a quick post so no one comes on and says "where has the OP gone hmm?" Mumsnet style wink
monkey re phones/screens - all of the above. And then some. I know I am not alone as I have seen lots of stuff on the teenager boards about similar issues. Nothing is a major issue, it just takes so much energy to keep doing the right thing and not sit with my head in the ipad modelling exactly the behaviour that gets on my nerves when other people do it

I'd just like to say too that nobody is ruining anybody. If everyone had perfect parents we would all be doing exactly what our parents did and that would all be fine..? Right? No? So we all want to change and do things differently/better, and we are all learning all the time - especially with challenging changing all the time toddlers that so many of the current threadies have.
Not perfect but 'good enough' is as much as a child needs.
Sorry, not very thought out but right now my child needs me to help teach her how to follow a recipe so I gtg. smile

BertieBotts Mon 16-Feb-15 23:05:57

The Buttons book is BRILLIANT. Really good. It is more about working on yourself than practical tips, though, but definitely interesting. If you have time and emotional energy to do it, it's worth doing. If you are low on time or emotional energy, pick something more immediate like How To Talk, and put this one away for later.

OK I am going to copy and paste my "weekly challenge" from the last thread. I'll try to do a new one every Sunday (today's is a day late wink) so we can try and do it throughout the week. Obv just do it if you're interested, it's not compulsory but just an idea smile

Weekly Challenge 1
From How To Talk: Listening with full attention.

We all get distracted at times, whether it's with phones, facebook, mumsnet, jobs and housework, other children, just wanting five minutes to yourself, etc etc. This week's challenge is about silencing that inner sigh at the cry of "Mummy?" and stopping and giving your child your full attention. And I mean full attention. Turn off the phone screen, mute or pause the TV, put down whatever is in your hands. Turn towards them if you are sitting, or come down to their level if you're standing. Make eye contact and really hear what they have to say. (If you want to test yourself, write down the gist of the conversation afterwards.) If you're doing something really actually important that you can't stop, tell them just a minute, but then when you are ready, do the listening fully thing - not having half an eye on something else, facing them, eye level etc.

Easy mode: Do this once or twice during the week, even if they only say "Can I have a biscuit?" or talk about Minecraft. Well done. You win the challenge anyway!
Normal mode: See if you can learn something new about your child by doing this.
Hardcore mode: Make a point of doing the challenge when you really don't feel like doing it. When you're angry with them or socially overloaded or tired or whatever else triggers your least tolerant mood.

I am up to my ears in puppy-parenting videos tonight instead grin so that's all I have for now.

Do we want to do a rough role call again, BTW? Just a very simple, ages of children/family setup, any specific challenges/extra circumstances etc?

Here's mine.
Children: 1 DS aged six.
Challenges: Argh, mostly the usual. I am crap at remembering what I've said I will do. Too quick to jump from nicey nice to harridan. Try to follow "gentle parenting" principles where possible. Not averse to a bit of bribery or blackmail when needed. Suspected ADHD (me), DS is stubborn and can be silly but mostly normal, at the moment.
Extra circumstances: We live in Germany but have been here for 18 months now and so I think DS is totally adjusted. He can speak German fluently. He is now though starting to act out at kindergarten through, we think, utter boredom. If we had known we would have put him into school a year earlier, but 12 months ago his German was only just emerging, so it wasn't really an option.

BertieBotts Mon 16-Feb-15 23:15:42

Oh Hazy yes I can totally identify with that flipping feeling. It is possible to learn to handle it better - I've got loads better in the last year or two. Will try and go back and find some stuff if I can later. I remember DH saying that it was totally confusing for DS and me suddenly making that connection. Buttons is helpful with this but it's not a quick fix.

I have to say one of the sources I've found brilliant recently is Andrea Nair on facebook. She writes honestly about the fact that she has been there - she's not smug like some of the "gentle parenting" writers who talk loftily about never ever having given their child a punishment ever. She is honest and says, yep, I used to lose it. I used to scream and shout and threaten. And here's how you can fix it. It's refreshing. I don't like being told "Well it's so easy if you just get it right, I'm bewildered as to why people shout/use time out/smack/etc" because I just want to shout at THEM, well isn't it nice being so bloody perfect all the time.

For example this: What do do when you have fallen out of like with your child - perhaps a bit extreme, but I don't want to search for ages for the right article. Although there are two nice ones linked at the end - toddlers and four year olds. smile

DishesToDoWineFirst Tue 17-Feb-15 03:28:53

Hello, I fell off the thread last year but lurked faithfully! You all on thread 1 and 2 were brilliant sanity savers. We were going through a patch of 'is this behaviour normal or on a spectrum of some sort' with DS (4). Apparently all is normal, we have a bright, stubborn, sensitive lad who is a little younger emotionally but should catch up.

Our gentle parenting ways got challenged as we need to add more structure and limit setting. Not that we didn't have those things but more balance needed! Reading Bertie's other thread got me nodding in agreement smile

We had a truckload of stressors early on that didn't help and on top of that I found they brought up some old emotional issues so while I was gentle parenting I was not calm if you know what I mean! I'd often react with tears or anger when DS pushed boundaries hard and that was NOT helpful. I haven't read Buttons yet but I totally agree that sorting your own stuff out is key, at least it has been for me.

So all in all things have improved for us on many fronts but I still think this parenting lark is the hardest job ever! Incredible, rich and full of learning and growth and all that good stuff but HARD! It can be easy to feel alone in it when people in RL seem to coast through with no problems confused Threads like this are gems for mental health and practical help! I might just keep lurking most of this thread too but wanted to say hello at the start smile (((waves)))

Good idea Bertie

children : I have a DD, aged 4 and twin boys who are nearly 3 (April birthday)

challenges I am a sahm now and we are mostly all together every day which isn't ideal. I may up my DD preschool hours but she's not that keen and it's not perfect. Very busy environment and she does no crafting or tabletop activities there which she loves at home. She complains you're not allowed to run or you're on time out and so we may stay as we are. One of the dts is very destructive. I find it hard to engage him in anything like a craft activity (very rarely joins in) or a puzzle. He mostly messes about messing up the others puzzles /lego building/games. The other twin is extremely clingy. He won't let me out of his sight willingly. Very strong willed. They all are actually. I thought my DD was the most persuadable but preschool say they can't get her to do things if she doesn't want to. Yikes. I struggle with a short temper myself and doing the flip from nice to screaming banshee. I haven't for about 2 weeks but I am.finding it so hard. Also try to "gentle parent" and feel very guilty when I then go batshit on them.

I love this Andrea nair links bertie I follow her fb page too.

I wonder if my DD is bored a lot but I actually dread her starting school so much. Not least because I have gone with a school I'll have to drive to as our first choice (argh!) and we are always, always late.

Oh and she does 2 mornings a week at preschool (and an hour 45 min session one afternoon at the school we hope she'll attend)

drspouse Tue 17-Feb-15 14:57:22

Hello again
We're doing better here. We have DS(just 3) and DD (nearly 9 months).
DS was hitting, biting, refusing to put shoes on in the car, refusing to put his nappy on at bedtime, and refusing to get ready to come home from nursery, also grabbing food when I was cooking.
And almost all of that has gone.
We now feel like were enjoying him again.
What has helped is mainly working from Calmer, Happier, Easier, and with DH getting very into descriptive praise.
I also worked a bit on rules (putting on nappy = watch YouTube clip, keep shoes on = listen to favourite music).

We have two current challenges: getting dressed by himself, and not being violent to DD.

He is learning to dress himself but thinks he can't. This is moving forward slowly with a combination of holding him still so he can't run away 10 times per garment and say I CAN'T, and lots of praise for putting leg in/pulling up leg/seeing foot come out the bottom etc etc. I think this one is getting there.

The other... Ouch.
We have pushing over (she's not very good at sitting), shouting in her face, sitting on her etc etc. I think it's a combination of him thinking she's a doll, and liking the reaction. He does also amuse her and cuddle her but sometimes I just want to separate them permanently.
I get so, so cross and try not to shout but just remove him the other side of a door or stairgate, but he fights it so the calm "pay attention to DD, ignore bad behavior" backfires.
And we both praise endlessly for playing nicely.
But it's getting to the point where really we can't leave them in the same room unless DD is lying down in her cot (today she was sitting up and I went to the bathroom to flush a nappy liner and he pulled her over).
My only solutions are, up his nursery hours, and shut him out of rooms where she is. Not practical when I'm at home with both of them!

AnotherMonkey Tue 17-Feb-15 15:11:05

bertie I love the challenge. I'll be doing that with you. Do you have a puppy?!

dishes hello! It's great to hear how you're getting on. If I ever get time, I may PM you about the process you've been through with your DS, if you don't mind.

dreaming your DT1 sounds a lot like my DD!

We had a tough day yesterday, I wrote a huge post and deleted because it was so pathetic blush

DD is at nursery today and me and DS have had a brilliant, chilled time together. But he has written a little note to DD telling her how much he misses her. Very cute.

Hi melisma and hazy, hazy I can also relate very much to the Jekyll and Hyde parenting.

So my situation is ... DS (5). We are beginning an assessment process with him at the moment and I don't know quite what I expect the outcome to be. DD (heading for 3). Strong willed, incredibly funny, inadvertently makes life far more difficult for DS to handle, although he loves her too.

AnotherMonkey Tue 17-Feb-15 15:15:40

Hi drspouse! It sounds like things are getting much better. My two needed supervising constantly, too. I used a stairgate to separate play areas when needed, and keeping them (or at least one of them) with me basically at all times.

BertieBotts Tue 17-Feb-15 15:22:13

We're getting the puppy in August but as you may guess from this thread grin I like reading and learning theory. At least dogs are a lot simpler than children smile

drspouse Tue 17-Feb-15 15:57:11

Thank you, Another . It's possible I'm being unrealistic expecting them to play in the same room. I try not to leave them alone but this morning was literally 10 seconds. I feel bad excluding DS when I'm with DD as then he doesn't get my time. But it's also when we're all in the same room, even when DD is on my lap (e.g. shouting at her if she cries and he's watching tv).

AnotherMonkey Tue 17-Feb-15 16:22:03

Honestly, I know just what you mean. It's still the same sometimes <helpful> BUT... sometimes they do entertain themselves beautifully so it does get better.

bexster5 Tue 17-Feb-15 18:47:14

Hello everyone!

Well in other news our house chain collapsed for the fourth time but we've just found ANOTHER place today. So let's see what happens this time :/

Situ here is DS 22 months now and DD 4 months. DD feeds all evening but it's better than the colic. Though I do find it really hard not to have any time to myself or with DH.

I am naturally quite a stressy person and have ridiculously high expectations of everything which doesn't help (and no apparently it's not as simple as saying chill out and adjust your expectations :/ Ho hum).

DS has been pretty aggressive (biting, hitting) since I was preg. It is worse when his teething flares up but I think it's also associated with feeling unsettled. I do think however, that he's becoming better adjusted to having DD around.

Other frustrations are that he climbed / fell out of his cot so now he's in a bed. And he gets up and turns the light on. Both when we're trying to settle him and when he feels like getting up. I find it very difficult when he won't just go to bed.

Even worse at nap time which he seems to be rejecting as I need the break and a nap myself! Argh!

We have storage issues in this house so most of our clothes are in drawers in his room. Which he now ritually empties when he doesn't feel like sleeping. Argh.

None of this is actually very bad. At all. It is actually pretty trivial and normal stuff. But I'm crap when I'm tired. And that's the standard state for a parent! So I just want to be calmer, nicer, more positive, less catastrophising, less shouty and not losing it!!!!!

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