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I have heard that you want to create a "yes" space for your toddler so that you rarely ever say "no" but Dr. Sears says saying no is healthy/desirable as long as it's a minority of the responses because toddlers do need to learn self-control and it can damage them to be too permissive, etc. Now I feel so confused ... just how often am I supposed to be saying "no"? I mean there are lots of definitely "no's" (running out in the street or about to touch a hot burner) that we try to avoid entirely. Then there are the things that aren't that big of a deal and then there are things that I'd really rather she didn't do because she might make a mess that I'd rather not clean, but in the spirit of the "Yes" space I've been letting them slide. Now I'm wondering if I'm being too permissive?? I don't know if there is a right or wrong answer but, man, I feel like there are so many ways to mess up your kid.
Dr. Sears also mentioned how disrespect is a big no-no in their house, but he brings up an incident where the daughter says to Martha "I hate you Mom" and "You're a horrible mom" or something along those lines, and Martha was patient and didn't yell or punish her. I guess the girl was having a bad week and took it out on Martha, and later apologized. I just wonder if this is enough, KWIM? I'm not sure how this is not tolerating disrespect. Maybe the girl feeling bad on her own was enough to discourage it from happening again. Maybe the fact that Martha DIDN"T go off on her made her feel worse about it. But maybe it actually encouraged her to use Martha as a doormat because there were no repercussions. I'm interested in hearing others' thought on this topic. It should be a really long time before we get there but I guess it never hurts to start thinking about things early.
What I'm thinking would have been a good solution would be when she said "I hate you Mom" to say something like "You shouldn't say hurtful things like that, although I'm sure you don't mean it. We'll talk about it when you're calm." And then when she calmed down, I think I would ask if anything else was going on in her life, tell her I'm sorry she's going through that, but you can't say horrible things to your mom just because you're having a bad day. Then I think I would ask her if there were other things she could have done to manager her anger, or express her disappointment that she wasn't allowed to go to the movie. This is all in theory, assuming I could keep my cool with a teenager screaming at me. Of course, we need to model the correct behavior so we can't except a teenager with raging hormones to keep their cool if their parents can't do the same.
I have not gotten quite as far as you...but have opinions nonetheless (I am sure most people on here have noticed this )
I really do believe that NO needs to be used. I have actually run into it a lot lately because Liam just loves to do things that require lots of energy or prep/clean up. And I just don't have it in me to let him do them sometimes (think play with the sink and dishes, splashing everywhere and dishes strewn across the kitchen...at eight at night). So I tell him the truth, that mommy is too tired for that tonight and that he can do it in the morning (and follow through even if he doesn't ask). I have heard that it is healthy for them to deal with some disappointment and know that the world is not all about what they want to do all the time. Now they learn this in pieces, I think. I think it is more okay to say No to Liam about something than keiran. Since kieran is still entirely egocentric and Liam has begun to learn that the world exists with other people and those people have desires unrelated to their own. KWIM? So in regards to Juliana...I think it is pretty good that you have not said no a lot yet, especially if it is something pretty mild to you. But it might be time to start, so she knows that just because she wants to do something, doesn't mean she can right now. I mean, they need to get used to hearing no when they are begging for toys in the store, or when they want the fourth piece of Halloween candy, or when they nab a toy from the kid at the park and he starts wailing...I think no is appropriate in said situations. And the kids have to know that you mean it. That is how I try to use no...only for things that are immobile and will never be a yes. Or with the explanation of "later" or "why". I do think I tend to overuse it right now, because Liam is also in a negative stage. But I am trying to get better. But there is my two cents on that.
I think in regards to the disrespect...I do believe a quiet, calm response is best. I DO NOT agree with no response whatsoever. I think I would say "I am so sorry to hear you feel that way. It is hurtful to me to hear that." and leave it at that. They will get the message, but to ignore it sorta condones the behavior, at least some. It is not okay to take out anger on your boss in the workplace. Or on your teachers at school. And I know that parents are the safety people who it is more okay to take out anger on. But I think it does tend to encourage taking out anger on loved ones, which is a big problem in relationships of late. So I would definitely address it. I would not tell my child that they did not mean it though, since they probably do at that moment and it would likely cause a fight about me knowing how they feel and all that teenage angst. I know when my dad pulled the quiet, calm disappointment..it killed me! I felt so bad. I plan to use it with my kids.
Okay....so like I said, I am not very far in the book. But one thing that has bothered me so far (and they might address it down the line) is there seems to be very little account for personality. Both of the kids and parents. They make a distinct comment that "the more AP the child is raised early on, the easier the discipline is." I find I disagree. Some kids are stubborn. Some parents are stubborn. And if you put those two together...you are prolly gonna think your kid is pretty hard to discipline. Or the opposite. I find Liam hard to discipline because he is quiet. I am all out in the open with just about everything. What you see with me is what you get! Liam seems more like his dad in that way. He is quiet and that means he can be sneaky and manipulative (not necessarily in a purposeful way...but both ways really). It is hard for me to keep two steps ahead of him. And chances are that my DH will have a problem with an incredibly outgoing, in-your-face personality like mine. But I would "get" that child and probably have an easier time with discipline.
And I skipped ahead to read up on whining. Liam is a huge whiner. And the suggestions are completely and totally useless to me! He whines because he does not talk much yet. And me telling him to use his words and that I can't understand or hear his whining just leads to either more whining or a tantrum because he is frustrated. So yeah, that was a hge disappointment.
I just finished the whining section and I agree! It's more geared towards preschools and older, I think. Not whining due to frustration. We have been experiencing that quite a bit, too. I don't think me saying "I can't understand you when you whine" will help, because the problem is that I can't understand!
I do tell Juliana "Don't whine. Use your words. Use your signs. TELL mom what you want." It seems to help some, or maybe just gets her attention long enough for a short reprieve in the whining. I hope someone else or one of the other books has advice on whining. It is so annoying sometimes. I hope I'm not encouraging it by doing everything she wants just to get her to stop!
On the subject of telling her "no", I guess with the night weaning she'll get a healthy dose of "no". I'm going to try not to over think this and worry about what % of the time she should hear no, as long as she hears it occasionally but not too often.
I really like having a "yes" space again (totally didn't have that this winter in our temp apartment)! Really cuts down on tantrums we're having since downstairs is toddler safe and okay for the most part (kinda can't do much about the cat pan in the laundry room lol). I don't think that having a yes space means that you can't say "no." I think AP is more about using "no" appropriately and to not use it all the time. I notice so many parents constantly telling their kids "no" that "no" has zero effect. I think by limiting when "no" is said, it makes it more effective. It means something.
I'm on that chapter just past the "yes" space. Hey, at least I started it.
I love when Dr. Sears writes about Hayden, his "high needs" child. She sounds just like Juliana. Since he had 3 easy ones before one challenging one, it made me wonder if I would get an easy one next time. I can dream, right? I think Juliana acts the way she does because she wants to make sure she's an only child.
Ugh...this book is annoying to me. They repeat the same thing over and over and over and over. I feel like I am reading a broken record. One more sentence about "a child feeling right" or "because you are the parental base" is gonna send me over the top. Maybe the style is just not mine. I know it is supposed to be inspiring ans helpful, but It sorta bugs me how they always are referring to their children and the attachment as well. I think part of the problem is that I am also reading The No-Cry Discipline Solution at the same time and I love how they have tons of "test" subjects instead of just this one family with what worked for them. I find I am NOT enjoying hearing about the Sears perfect parenting. It strikes me as irritating versus informative. Partially because they make it sound like some experiment in parenting and ot real parenting...Kwim? I will still keep reading, since I am only still in the section on threes (only about halfway thru). But I wanted to say that this book is decidedly not my style.
I am also not enjoying this one as much as some of the other parenting books I've read. Every section of every Sears book goes on about how AP is the answer to everything. I agree, but I don't need to be reminded of it every dozen pages!
I have only read the first couple chapters. But I like it so far. "It's "real." The author talks about being "the perfect parent" 70% of the time and how real life sometimes just means we can't do it all or be it all. And how to make that ok and the times you can do 110%...how to make it count. It's just way more realistic and inspiring.
I think that "AP is everything" is sorta annoying and just not realistic. It's like the parenting magazines that always remind you of the things you aren't doing with your kids (flash cards, classical music, taking him to the museum, etc,etc) and it makes you feel like crap fo not getting it all in.
I find myself forcing myself to read and finish sears, even though I prefer the no-cry one. But I am not too far in, so we will see if it continues to be good.
I am behind! I am still only on like chapter 3 or something. It has opened my eyes so far though to normal toddler behaviour, so that is good. I need to get reading more though so I can actually contribute to this!
Proud mama to:
Avery Elizabeth (08/27/2011) & Dawsyn Brielle (10/29/2013)
i'm only about 55 pages in because i've basically had visitors since march 21st!
i read a couple of pages last night and i did appreciate the section on structure and setting limits so i could point it out to my husband. i think he's afraid that with gentle discipline you let them do whatever they want, etc...i was glad to be able to read that section to him.
once he gets into "separateness" i got kind of sad! but i know i need to prepare myself emotionally for that so i can help him through it too.
i haven't read the other discipline books, so i have nothing to compare this to. so far it's opening my eyes to toddler behavior, what's appropriate, what isnt, etc. i dont want to fall into the trap of expecting things that are unreasonable for his stage of development. my mother is definitely one of those "they are little adults" types and she always expected us to act like we were grown ups. we weren't allowed to have "too much" fun.