Positive discipline(14 Posts)
I've been reading about positive discipline in the hope that I can change my parenting to better deal my 3 year olds challenging behaviour. I understand the principles and there are a good number of real life examples in the stuff I've read but having tried out some the techniques my daughter still plainly refuses to do as she is asked. This morning (like every other morning) I asked my daughter to get dressed for the day. I gave warnings such as 'after you've finished your drink we're all going to get dressed'. When the time comes to get dressed I ask whether she wants to put her socks on or t shirt on first (a win win situation the manuals tell me) except that my child flatly refused to put either on and says 'no I'm not getting dressed!'. We can't seem to do anything without her refusing and despite my best attempts I just get annoyed with her because we're then running late with all the faffing.
Help anyone?! Is this what is supposed to happen because the stuff I've read suggests that within 5 minutes you've got a fully dressed child happy to begin the day at nursery
It doesn't work exactly as the books say but it does work. I tried it with my youngest 3 and it takes time. 3 is also a challenging age. They are trying to establish themselves as a little person with their own opinions. Keep going and she will realise that the best option is to get dressed. Even DS4 realised this and he is the most stubborn 5yo I have ever met and I work with 4/5 yo 😊
But how do you actually get them to get dressed? This morning I had to pin her down and force clothes over her head while she was kicking and screaming. When I've been asking her to get dressed and going through the motions for an hour what else can I do? She knows she's got us over a barrel because I have to go to work.
Arghhhh why can't my child just cooperate !!
You need to stop forcing her, find your silly sense of humour and make it fun. If she won't play along just get on with your day. Be bright and breezy and don't show your exasperation "well, when you're ready we can go and <insert exciting thing you've got planned>" and walk away to do something else. Don't hang around cajoling and encouraging and twisting yourself in knots. If she knows that whatever you say you're going to force her anyway it won't work.
Thanks for your reply but like most people I have to go to work by a certain time so I simply can't just walk away and let the behaviour continue. We have used play / fun / competition with some success in the past although she doesn't always respond. Thank you for reminding me though I'll try some different play tactics tomorrow and see how we get on.
My little girl is same as you squiggle she's 2 years and 7 months. It doesn't work with mine either if she doesn't want to do something she puts up a hell of a fight. When I used her having an ice cube as a reward after getting dressed well that worked but yes I do have to force her into her clothes if she doesn't want to. I've tried waiting til later and not making a big deal of it but she happy to stay in a vest in a freezing cold house, and it was freezing cold and she still wouldn't get dressed
Getting DD dressed is my biggest challenge! She flatly refuses too - and if I say "well we can't do X until you're dressed" she just says she doesn't want to go to soft play / ballet / whatever. Even when she's been talking about it for days!
It's probably the pits of parenting but honestly on days we're in a real rush (nursery / work etc) she gets to watch an episode of Peppa while I slip her clothes on. And another while I brush her teeth and hair. She's 2.8 yrs. I save the making choices, positive parenting style for most other occasions, just not when we need to get out of the door in half an hour . And I think it works better when you're unhurried and cheerful - they pick up on your stress and play up.
not advocating watching Peppa as a parenting tool, oh no
We do quite a lot of positive parenting but I've found it most effective when I insist on certain key behaviours like get getting dressed. When DS was 3 we introduced the thinking step. I started on a weekend when I didn't need to actually be anywhere so I wasn't stressed. I asked him to get dressed and if he flat refused he had to sit on the thinking step until he was ready to get dressed. There was no anger just insistence. If he got off the step I put him back on. I said very little. Once he was ready to get dressed I made a big fuss out of how nice it was that he was dressed and whisked him off to something fun. The key was not forcing him to get dressed but insisting that we go no further until he had done it. Once he knew I wasn't going to cave he started doing it doing it with very little fuss and was far more receptive to all the choices etc. Now that he's older,4, if he gets dressed with no fuss in the morning he can have 10 minutes of iPad while I get myself dressed.
When dd went through a phase like this I would give her option "are you putting this on or am I doing it?" "Shall we have breakfast first or get changed first?" Then I would remind her of the agreement if she argued. I always found offering two options which meant to would definitely get done either way gave her no way to say no. But be firm with the options, and don't buckle. Don't let her back out of the deal. We pinkie promise sometimes to hold her to it! She also is much better if allowed to choose what she is going to wear. Giving a little independence can work wonders
The option thing doesn't with mine. If it's something she doesn't want to do she just doesn't answer which she wants cos she doesn't want any of course. And even if she did answer one it still wouldn't stop her playing up. I got so frustrated with her today at teeth brushing.
Just leave her be if she doesn't get dressed. Ignore it!
Also at 3 I didn't ask mine to get dressed. I let them help me choose but I did it because they struggled.
Mine are 6&4 and can and do dress themselves no problem.
Have you read "how to talk so kids will listen"? It has worked well for me. I've learned to be a lot 'shorter' in what I say - rather than endless rambling about why we really need to put on clothes now and otherwise mummy will be late at work etc etc I just say "DD, clothes" which seems to work much better. I think she switches off if I go on too much..
who can blame her
I agree about avoiding battles, and about keeping things cheerful and fun.
If a child won't get dressed then they come as they are- I would put the clothes in the bag and head out anyway.
That usually brings a change of heart as they start the journey.
A couple of other things to try - WHEN/THEN is a good one. The THEN bit needs to be very immediate and something she quite likes - “WHEN you have put your clothes on THEN we can have breakfast”.
Also, does she want to be dressed by you rather than dressing herself? Or would she enjoy it more if she gets to wrestle one sock on and then you praise her to the skies while you turn it the right way round and put on the other one?
Just getting up earlier (and putting her to bed earlier) can help. If you make time for faffing then it’s less stressful and actually goes better. You might have time for “WHEN you are dressed THEN I can read you a story”.
And I agree with not joining the fight if possible. If she doesn't want to get dressed then clothes in bag, coat or blanket over pyjamas and you're away.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.