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Unconditional parenting - how would you deal with helplessness in a 2y7mo?

(10 Posts)
ForcesSweetheart Fri 22-Aug-08 23:56:20

Until now I have been very heavy handed with praise, almost in a backlash against my own upbringing where praise was so rare. I've gone OTT on positive reinforcement. I'm currently reading Unconditional Parenting and it's an eye opener. He could be writing about me personally when he describes the kind of adult bred by a reward/punishment upbringing, and my DD has become SO incredibly helpless in the last couple of months - a behaviour AK predicts will be the result of over-praising. The question I have now is how do I deal with this? After 2 years of constant praising interlaced with the occassional time-out/reward/bribe do I just stop cold turkey? When I ask DD to put on her shoes - a task she's more than capable of - and she starts whining "mummy do it, Lola can't do it", which happens many times a day over various tasks she is able to do - what do I do? I've tried explaining to her that I know she can do it herself but she just gets more and more high-pitched in her cries that she can't do it (whatever it may be). Please can anyone advise?

ThatBigGermanPrison Sat 23-Aug-08 00:00:31

Maybe she needs reassurance that you love her enough to help her with her shoes? Shoes must seem a fairly mammoth task when you are only two and a half - I don't know any children that age who put their own shoes on.

I don't know how to approach it from a AP perspective, but unjustified tantrums and whining get ignored in this house.

ForcesSweetheart Sat 23-Aug-08 00:08:34

They're very easy to put on, velcro fastening shoes, that she's put on by herself countless times before, but I think that's a good point about her needing reassurance. Thanks.

Elibean Sat 23-Aug-08 09:56:14

Agree with BGP...2.7 is an age where babyhood is fast being left behind, so quite scary. My dd1 (think being the eldest plays a part too) goes through phases of suddenly getting insecure and wanting to regress - its always when she's growing up a lot!

juuule Sat 23-Aug-08 13:15:15

I wouldn't read too much into why she doesn't want to do things. Some children are quick to want to do everything by themselves and others like help for a while. Just keep encouraging her to do things for herself and help her if she wants you to. Don't be too quick to offer the help if you know she can do something. Perhaps say that you'll help her in a minute after you've finished doing something. She may surprise you by doing it anyway because she doesn't want to wait. It will come in time.

No need to go cold turkey with praise. Just change over slowly and maybe ask her first whether she thinks she did something well. If she thinks she did something well and looks pleased about it, there's no harm in agreeing with her.

Othersideofthechannel Sun 24-Aug-08 07:27:18

DD is 3.8 and perfectly able to put on her shoes but still asks for me to do it from time to time, mostly when tired. As long as she asks nicely, it's ok.

onwardandupward Sun 24-Aug-08 20:14:40

Lovely responses here

I don't think it's about the shoes at all, I think it's about Mummy getting down to my level and making eye contact and smiling and holding my feet and... Perhaps when a child asks for help with something you know they can do, you can treat the experience like giving them a really special snuggly hug?

dilemma456 Sun 24-Aug-08 21:58:33

Message withdrawn

ForcesSweetheart Mon 25-Aug-08 22:24:26

Thanks for all the replies everyone. Been away for weekend so only just seen them.

Cathpot Mon 25-Aug-08 22:28:49

How about starting with 'ok I'll do one, you do the other and we'll see who is fastest?'and then of course lose...I have a very competitve DD so this may not be appropriate for all

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