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  1. #1
    harvs's Avatar
    harvs is offline Winner 2014 - Spirit of BubHub Award
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    Default Please tell me about picking your battles!

    I am barely treading water with DS at the moment. He's a typical 3 year old I guess and I feel I just have no leverage with him. His favourite word is no, he often purposely does whatever I ask him not to, and when he doesn't get what he wants he is violent towards me.

    After my heinous supermarket experience this morning, and being rougher than I needed to about half an hour ago, I need some advice.

    I feel like if I could relax about some of the things he's doing then maybe we wouldn't have so many battles during the day. It's just hard to know which things I should let go.

    So, for example, today:

    Asked me for a car in the supermarket. I said no, not today, and he carried on and hit me lots. So I put the Christmas decoration he had picked out for the tree back on the shelf and said he couldn't have it because he hurt mummy. I feel like that was something worth following through. But the result of that was hell.

    Pulled the decorations off the tree when I asked him to stop. I got mad because he didn't listen. But maybe if I could have relaxed and thought 'hey, he's 3 and a three year old is going to pull the damn decorations off the damn tree!' then it wouldn't have turned into a battle of the wills. Because once I've asked him something and he does the opposite then I feel like I have to follow through, but the only thing I have really is taking toys away. If I hadn't asked him to stop the worst case scenario is him helping me to put them back.

    He took all the rubbish out of the rubbish bag (to feed the fish) and wouldn't stop when I asked. So I took it off him and made him clean up after himself. He hit me very very hard so I put him in his crib and left the room for three minutes. He got hysterical in that time. I told him he can't be around people if he is going to hurt them. I feel like I escalated that scenario because I have so little tether for him ATM.

    So, I've been sitting here trying to work out a little list of things I can let go (ie running away when it's nappy change even though it's so annoying) and...well, I need advice. Because it just all feels important to me and I think I need to chill out.

    Thanks and sorry for the essay.

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    Harvs I'm sure there are so many things I could do differently myself. My kids tend to push my buttons in the mornings and I just get so worked up.

    the only thing that's worked for me is for me to not lose my temper no matter what. As soon as I get angry it escalates. Easier said than done though as some days i have 4 working against me. I've noticed that my response to them makes all the difference. No matter what the consequence I see it through and stay calm (or try to). It seems to shorten the resulting tantrum. Some days I can do it other days I'm too tired and we're all back to shouting.

    I'm not really answering your question.

    One thing that works for me is giving my kids the opportunity to win back a reward. So if I say they can't do something because of bad behaviour I then let them earn it back. Taking stuff off my kids and time outs have never worked for us and only makes it worse in the long run.

    I don't have a 3 yo at the moment so not sure how you would adapt that approach to that age. My 2 yo is feisty but mainly fights with her siblings rather than me. My son is 4 and a half and can be very challenging but I know we have to be really firm with him as he really pushes boundaries.

    It's often about working out what he will respond to and trying that.

    I take my hat off to you. Solo parenting is a tough gig when you're being challenged.

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    I don't know if you will agree with me, and I'm sure I am going to get jumped on for this, but a short smack on the bum does not hurt when your child is hitting you in public. It is not to punish him, but 'snap' him out of his behaviour in the moment and divert it elsewhere.

    I feel awful for mums I see in the shops who are being hit by their toddlers. I just wonder that if it isn't stopped will it continue as the child gets bigger?

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    For the longest time I struggled and quite often still do with 'picking my battles' with one of my kids in particular. ������ I never could figure out the happy medium for her or I, and things would escalate very quickly and then it would be this cycle of me feeling super guilty or the opposite, feeling super justified because she would have pushed me so hard. It's actually quite hard to write this down, much less verbalise, so hats off to you for starting this thread.

    I'll be honest and say, because of the dynamics of this, I found that even when she did minor things/wrong doingsI was reacting in an ott way purely because I was fed up. Dh noticed it too. ������

    Funny thing is, out of all my kids, this one is the most tactile, passionate and overtly loving one. She's not adverse to telling me she loves me or hugging me any chance she gets, she lives off hugs and affection.

    So after that novel above ������ and thinking of her when she was around your son's age Harvs, I told myself this and still go by this when I'm struggling with picking my battles with her:

    Are her actions/wrong doings:

    Hurting herself?
    Hurting others?
    Hurting me?

    I apply to any scenario with her. For example, if she took chocolate out of the fridge and got it everywhere or demanded something when we're out. Lame analogies, but you get what I mean.

    I know it seems terribly simplistic, but the turn around in me in helping to decipher if something's worth a battle or not, has been a big (positive) change! It doesn't mean I don't react or do necessary re-direction/discipline, but it does mean I seldom get to the point where I'm locking horns not acting in a way I'm proud of.

    Wow, that's made me feel a bit emotional writing that down, a little cathartic in terms of thinking about the struggles she and I have had.
    Last edited by Mod-Uniquey; 22-11-2015 at 13:30.

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    Default Please tell me about picking your battles!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonja View Post
    Harvs I'm sure there are so many things I could do differently myself. My kids tend to push my buttons in the mornings and I just get so worked up.

    the only thing that's worked for me is for me to not lose my temper no matter what. As soon as I get angry it escalates. Easier said than done though as some days i have 4 working against me. I've noticed that my response to them makes all the difference. No matter what the consequence I see it through and stay calm (or try to). It seems to shorten the resulting tantrum. Some days I can do it other days I'm too tired and we're all back to shouting.

    I'm not really answering your question.

    One thing that works for me is giving my kids the opportunity to win back a reward. So if I say they can't do something because of bad behaviour I then let them earn it back. Taking stuff off my kids and time outs have never worked for us and only makes it worse in the long run.

    It's often about working out what he will respond to and trying that.

    I take my hat off to you. Solo parenting is a tough gig when you're being challenged.
    This! Harvs, my once adorable and eager to please toddler has quite frankly turned into a little brat, add into the mix a newborn so massively sleep deprived so I complete relate to having a short fuse.

    Yelling, saying no and god forbid actually punishing dd1 just makes it worse and makes both of us miserable, so I try to just ignore the bad behaviour.

    I openly admit to bribery, and rewarding her for stopping her from whatever naughty thing she is doing. If she wants a kinder surprise in the shops I go F it, it's only $2 anyway, but she must then be on her best behaviour until checkout (this usually works)

    If she was pulling down the decorations and wouldn't stop, I would say casually, oh, only good girls get a chocolate after dinner and you aren't a good girl. That stops her quick smart too. (And costs me a fortune in chocolates)

    This is all easier said then done. I'm so tired that I usually start yelling,or quite frankly don't care what she does anymore unless it's hurting somebody or breaking something, so I just let her do it.

    It's so hard at this age.... That's why I have a drink most evenings 😜
    Last edited by Little Miss Sunshine; 22-11-2015 at 12:19.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cicho View Post
    I don't know if you will agree with me, and I'm sure I am going to get jumped on for this, but a short smack on the bum does not hurt when your child is hitting you in public. It is not to punish him, but 'snap' him out of his behaviour in the moment and divert it elsewhere.

    I feel awful for mums I see in the shops who are being hit by their toddlers. I just wonder that if it isn't stopped will it continue as the child gets bigger?
    Ok I'll jump. How does hitting a child send them a message that hitting is unacceptable?

    This is one of the strangest logics around. My son has hit me when he's tired and angry. You know what I do? I sit him down and give him a hug and tell him I understand he's upset. Works every time.

    Never smacked. Never will.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonja View Post
    Ok I'll jump. How does hitting a child send them a message that hitting is unacceptable?

    This is one of the strangest logics around. My son has hit me when he's tired and angry. You know what I do? I sit him down and give him a hug and tell him I understand he's upset. Works every time.

    Never smacked. Never will.
    I distinctly remember as a child getting a smack for hitting my sister and thinking to myself but you just smacked me how is that fair. It left me confused and angry. Did it stop me hitting... No

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    I respect your choice Sonja.

    In saying that, I can count on both hands how many times my kids have had a smack on the bottom, and I have 3 children, ages 22, 10 and 6. So I am not a repetitive smacker.

    I would be concerned with trying to find out why the toddler is hitting out, hard,.in the first place?

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    I recall advice I read on here years ago. When babies are distressed and upset we comfort them. We hug them or cuddle them. It often calms them down.

    If we do the same with toddlers it often has the same result. So when I say no to one of my smaller kids (my 4 or 2 yo) and it upsets them I don't give in but I comfort them. I acknowledge they're upset and deal with the upset emotion. If it's fairly trivial and they calm down quickly it sometimes means they get their way or if it's major them they don't.

    This is why time outs don't work for them. They need comforting when they're upset.

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    Eta: Once I worked out my child's 'currency', that too was an effective disciplinary tool in terms of rewarding or taking away privileges etc.

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