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March 22nd, 2013, 08:11 AM
Join Date: Jul 2012
I saw this yesterday but am just responding now. Sorry! I like to respond to posts like these when I have time and am not feeling distracted or needing to unwind (which is in the morning LOL) so here I am!
First, Yes, my kids test boundaries! I won't say there's no kid who doesn't, but I will say I DOUBT there's a kid who doesn't. I at least personally have never heard of a kid who doesn't test boundaries eventually. So, it's normal. I like that get that out of the way first
How I respond really depends on the situation, which is true of ANY behavior with me. For example, there is always a consequence for, say, my son throwing something. BUT I will also look at WHY he threw something, and there will be secondary things done to deal with that behavior by giving him (or trying to give him!) the tools to handle the situation better. It also helps the child feel heard, not like you think they are some bad kid who just threw something because they are being bad, but because they are a good kid who handled their emotions wrong. They are in trouble for their behavior, but I believe they are inherently good and can learn to do better next time they are in that situation.
Does it work? Yes, for us. that's not to say we see change overnight or that I don't become frustrated or have moments where I feel like a failure as a parent. It's also not to say that I don't look for new advice and ideas when I've tried something for a long time with little to no progress. But, we do see improvement. Sometimes we just want MORE improvement and need to try new things or add new methods to our "parenting toolbox".
I'd say with the physical thing, I would handle it in a way that would first give my child a better alternative and if that doesn't work, then show them a real life "consequence" for being unkind to someone. Example:
"Use your hands for nice things, like touching soft or tickling."
*child hits again*
*I get up and walk a foot or two away from them* "I don't like being hit. It makes me not want to be next to the person hurting me." Depending on age, walk back after a few seconds of letting that sink in. If it happens a second time, I might stay away for 30 seconds to a minute. If it happens a third time, I might give them a solitary activity to work on without me. When they are older, though I would probably send them to their room to take a break. They are welcome to come out when they are ready to be kind.
I think you handle things great with your daughter, especially her frustration. It just takes time for them to learn. As you well know, I have a 6 year old who still struggles to appropriately express her emotions. I do still like the card idea with the different emotions on it
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