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3.50 buy, do you let the little things so or not?

(40 Posts)
breeze Thu 22-May-03 08:13:29

MY son is going through a very willful stage, and just wondered how other mothers coped/are coping with their little one.

Yesterday he wiped his nose and walked up to be and asked me to "Put it in the bin" even though he had walked right past it to get to me. I told him he has to put it in the bin and for the next 30 minutes he was crying sitting on the floor, I ignored him for about 20 minutes then asked him what was wrong and he said again to put it in the bin and I repeated what I said before, and he started up again. What I am asking is do you let the small things go, I mean it would have been so easy to put it in the bin, but I get the feeling that I will be making a rod for my own back, or am I just making things worse.

Afterwards he is back to normal, I really hope that this is a stage he is going through, trying to test the boundaries etc etc.

I just got the feeling if I give into this now I will be giving in to more and more for a quiet life.

Mum2Toby Thu 22-May-03 08:35:37

Breeze - you were quite right to stand your ground. He testing the boundaries big time!

My ds usually throws his cup of juice on the floor when he's finished and we have huge episodes trying to get him to pick it up!

It'll all pay off though. I'm sure it is just a phase and he'll soon realise that it's just not worth it.


You could just lock him in the shed each time.

WedgiesMum Thu 22-May-03 08:51:16

It is definitely a stage in my experience, but a VERY LONG one.....DS is really lazy and threw a big strop yesterday becase I wouldn't pass him his juice (he was 2 feet from it, I was in the kitchen). Not sure if it's just a boy thing as DD shows no signs of this kind of behaviour and is always willing to tidy up after herself or do things for herself. I find that I just have to be firm as he seems to respect that more than anything else.

Ghosty Thu 22-May-03 09:13:16

I have this great kiwi parenting book called 'Of Course I Love You, Now go to Your Room!' written by THE kiwi guru ... Diane Levy.
Her advice would be to stick to your guns. One of the things she says is 'Let the child realise that it is HIS/HER problem, not yours ... and let him solve that problem'.
My DS is like that Breeze ... testing me at every opportunity and he would do something like you describe (he is 3.5) ... What I do is stick to my guns ... and he sits it out ... and eventually he gets the message and knows that I won't bend ... I ignore him while he is crying and carrying on. Sometimes I take him to his room and tell him he can come out when he is ready to do as he is told/be nice/not throw things etc etc. He sits there for a few minutes and comes out again when he decides to do whatever it is .... that way you have passed the problem over to him and he has solved it. We always have a kiss and a cuddle after it ...
I have been using this way for about 6 months now and often it just needs a 'Well, you can go to you room until you are ready ...' and he will comply straight away.
In the early days the poor thing spent quite a lot of time in his room (never with the door shut btw) but now it only ever really needs it once every 3 or 4 days ...
It doesn't have to be a child's bedroom btw ... I have a friend who puts her little boy in the shower box ... it just needs to be somewhere where they can think about the problem and come up with a solution. She doesn't call it 'Time Out' ... but some people would call it that.
Sometimes DS would come out of his room with a glint in his eye that told me he had no intention of doing whatever it was but I ask him if he is 'ready to .... blah blah' and if he says no ... back he goes until he is ready.
I find this method works really well for us ... I can't remember the last time I smacked DS and I now very rarely shout ...
HTH ... sorry ... a bit long!!

Ghosty Thu 22-May-03 09:15:28

Somewhere about halfway through the last post I refer to DS as 'it' ... obviously I didn't mean to ...

Lindy Thu 22-May-03 09:26:19

Is this just a boy thing, my DS is exactly the same, it would be interesting to hear from mums of DDs.

I hope it is a phase, but it is soooooooo exasperating, my DS constantly throws his food around at the table - but at least now he automatically gets the dustpan and brush when he gets down; so he must have learned something.

I agree, we have to 'tough' it out.

Scatterbrain Thu 22-May-03 09:55:26

My DD has just become like this - she's 2.5 now ! I feel like a really horrible shouty mother, it's such a battle of wills and I keep thinking I should let the little things go as she gets so very upset - but as I am as wilful as her it usually ends up a huge battle !

Think it's more an age & personality thing than a sex bias to be honest.

breeze Thu 22-May-03 09:59:31

Thanks, I am so glad that it is not just me, I mean 30 minutes of him screaming just because I wouldn't put the thing in the bin, DH commented yesterday that it would have been easier to do it, glad I am right again .

He started crying about 20 minutes ago and finally got it out of him the reason was because of the tissue, bless him poor little love was reliving it.

Marina Thu 22-May-03 11:15:28

We have this too, so keep standing your ground Breeze. I find it INCREDIBLY annoying, 15 minutes of whining because I told him to pick up his water beaker...ours is nearly 4 and a ds too.

XAusted Thu 22-May-03 11:27:20

My ds (4) is worse with this kind of thing than dd (6) was. Sometimes I think he would just like to be a baby and have mummy do everything for him - maybe it makes him feel secure to be dependant, I don't know. However, I always stick to whatever I have said. I think giving in would be fatal. I just repeat to myself thru' gritted teeth "this phase will pass, this phase will pass ..."! (And then the next phase will start, sigh.)

scoobysnax Thu 22-May-03 12:35:48

I have a different view on this. IMO to be overly confrontational is a bad idea.
You want your ds to do something, he refuses. You stand your ground firmly - leaving him to have to back down big time, which is HUMILIATING for him and a hollow victory for you.
You need to find him a face-saving way to do what you say after he has initially said no, then it won't be so hard to get him to do what you want.
Good luck

Marina Thu 22-May-03 12:53:36

That's a fair point of view Scoobysnax. What we tend to do with toy and belonging strewing, which is antisocial and a trip hazard, is tell him that he can of course leave it on the floor if he wants, but it will go in the bin in fifteen minutes. Then we do give him some space to pick up the stuff without standing over him etc. He always picks the stuff up and then we just say matter-of-factly how pleased we are he has been helpful after all.

meanmum Thu 22-May-03 12:59:02

I'm sure you all do this but did you ask him why he wouldn't put it in the bin and did you explain why you wanted him to do it and you didn't want to. My ds isn't old enough to reach this stage yet, or hasn't more to the point, so I don't know if this philosophy works or not but I'm already practicing it in the hope he will know that is how we do things.

Marina Thu 22-May-03 13:35:07

I think our downfall there, Meanmum, was once saying to him, jokingly, I'm not your servant you know, to which he replied, yes you are!
He does know about toys being trip hazards and rubbish belonging in the bin - and has been much better about the former since twisting his foot badly on a small ball on Easter Monday and getting carted off to Casualty.
We explain everything ad nauseam in our house, and agree with you that starting them young on there being good reasons behind rules and requests from parents is a *good thing*! Alas, it does not stop them from arguing the toss sometimes just for the fun of it

meanmum Thu 22-May-03 13:39:05

Thanks. I've always feared it's good in principal but may not work in reality. I also don't think he's too far away from this stage unfortunately.

Bron Thu 22-May-03 15:14:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sis Thu 22-May-03 15:15:54

Breeze I agree with the stand your ground but not necessarily in a very confrontational way(if possible) - DH, on the other hand is made of pure marshmallow and gets ordered about by ds. Of course, I try and explain to ds that he mustn't be rude etc but it is tiresome having to discipline for two people

breeze Thu 22-May-03 15:37:02

Just noticed I done 2 typo's in the heading. doh

suedonim Thu 22-May-03 15:43:31

I don't think it is just a boy thing as my dd is awful like this! She was bad, improved and is now worse again, although she doesn't cry nowadays, thank goodness.

Re the original problem with the tissue, could you compromise by offering to do it together, maybe just holding his hand or taking an unsnotty corner of the tissue, or bringing the bin to him?

anais Thu 22-May-03 20:37:51

I think Ghosty's post said most of what I was going to say - but I also think Scooby has a very good point.

It really is tough. I try to avoid these situations as much as possible, but once it has arisen I believe it's important to stand your ground.

What if you were to say that one way or another it HAS to be done (say before lunch time, or before he has his bedtime story, whatever) but then within that time-frame leave it up to him. So he then has the responsibility, you are not backing down, but you are giving him the option not to have to back down either, iyswim. He has to do it, but he can do it when he's ready (within reason), then just walk away and take a deep breath!


Ghosty Thu 22-May-03 21:04:07

We are lucky that we live in a one level house ... and so DS' bedroom is a short walk (or march ) from the living room or kitchen.
I agree with the 'no confrontation' approach ... and the way we do it is usually calm and matter of fact ....
I will admit that if I am REALLY cross (like when DS smashed the glass door of the tv cabinet the other day ) I send him to his room and tell him that he can come out when I'M ready ... In fact, I was so cross that the other day (when he smashed the door) he stayed in there for an hour ... he knew he had done something really naughty and tbh he was happy to stay out of my way. It was a good thing to do in retrospect as I was livid and I would have given him a smack and yelled at him ... but I was able to clear up the glass and calm down before I went into his room to talk to him about it. The first thing he said was ... "I am sorry I did smash the door mummy" .... before I had a chance to say anything .... I defrosted pretty darn quickly and we had a big kiss and cuddle and talked about it. He then asked me not to be cross any more .... bless him ....

Britabroad Fri 23-May-03 00:58:45

Agree with you Ghosty. I too read that book and now just sometimes have to say to my DS who is 2 " do you need to go to your room to think about this" and he snaps out of it. Did it first of all for anything and everything. No just have to mention it.
Also out here are fab people Ian and Mary Grant. Have you read or seen their lecture series Ghosty? I went this week it was fab.The even have a radio talk show where they talk about parenting issues on air every week!
Have tried some of their ideas and they work. I loved their ideas on teens.
Should definately

cathncait Fri 23-May-03 02:29:17

Can I ask a dumb question? How do you get them to stay in their rooms with the door open? My dd is still a baby but She is already very willful and I'm thinking about this stuff as I want to have ideas other than smacking which I'm not against but..not really for either.

cathncait Fri 23-May-03 02:30:10

I mean for when shes older...not yet (in case you're thinking I'm psycho-mum)

zebra Fri 23-May-03 04:35:10

Am I only the one who thinks this isn't just a "discipline", "power-struggle" situation? We tell our children to do things, why shouldn't they tell us what to do; what other example have we set except that of giving orders all the time? Child believes we're all-powerful and can do all sorts of things easily that requires concentration from him, why do we moan about merely chucking something in the bin? I would probably ask my child to chuck snotty tissue in bin, but I would emphasise the fact that child is personally responsible for his own snotty tissue, not that he should do what he's told.

As for staying in their rooms... young children want to be with their parents all the time. It's normal. They love us and can't get enough of our company.

Feel like this discussion is unduly harsh.
The child-gurus fail to understand how children feel, etc.

And if anyone thinks I'm some huge indulgent softie... I have major battles all the time with my 3.5yo DS, where I absolutely put my foot down. But I don't see it as a battle of wills, just ordinary arguments and wanting different things at the same time.

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