Crystal's Gallant Adventures - book trailer (picture - ages 3-8)

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

When Simple Becomes Tough



Welcome to the March 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Tough Conversations


This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have spoken up about how they discuss complex topics with their children. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


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Though veering a bit from the topic (as my kids are too young for tough conversations), I felt compelled to write this excerpt.
It started with a simple gentle request to do or not to do something, which then became the object of obsession for my two year old toddler, disobedient and defiant; the little angel started acting like a little devil – staring eyes, gaping mouth, hands thrown back in an obstinate manner or throwing herself on the ground refusing to budge. Discontent with the toys, always wanting something else, and starting to tell the grown-ups how, when, and where to do things and telling little non-truths. Oh no, I was very very troubled.
 
With the natural parenting approach I tend to be relatively gentle and un-authoritarian. However, this problem was getting out of hand and I didn’t want to see my lovely little ones turn bad. I tried everyone’s advice to no avail. Negative attention was still attention and weirdly my little one seemed to thrive on it.
So I did some research and found a remarkable simple way to deal with these problems in a paper by Marilyn Adams called ‘Solutions to Oppositional Defiant Disorder’ (http://www.guidancefacilitators.com/odds.html).
 
My version of her work is:
Avoid conflict:
·         Do not engage in long arguments or explanations;
·         You decide the outcome and calmly stick to it.
Use effective consequences:
·         Focus only on consequences that do not require a child’s cooperation. For example taking a toy away or not reading a book to the child (this works well for me) if she continues to do naughty things.
 
Another example, when it is time for little one to have an early afternoon nap, I put her to bed. I would sing her a lullaby and bide her sleep well.  She would throw her toy out and scream that  she needs it back, wee in her nappy and then demand a clean one (three times in a row???), demand that she needed to go on the potty (even though she just went before going to bed), insist that she’s hungry, need drink (just after lunch)... the list goes on. Frustrating to say the least.
Now I sing her a song, kiss her goodnight, and go about my business. She still babbles with her sleeping companion toys for a little while (which I think is fine), but settles much quicker and sleeps really well. She has much less nightmares and is generally happier. Any parents who are confronted with these kinds of problems would undoubtedly benefit reading the paper that helped me. Here’s the link (http://www.guidancefacilitators.com/odds.html).
 
Now I can be reassured and happy because things are getting much better. The photo included is a very young horse with the same behaviour as my toddler. He too threw himself on the ground and refused to budge while being tied to a post (a problem across species!) - thankfully a trainable challenge.

Oppositional defiance in a young horse



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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated by afternoon March 12 with all the carnival links.)

  • A Difficult Conversation — Kellie at Our Mindful Life is keeping her mouth shut about a difficult topic.
  • Discussing Sexuality and Objectification With Your Child — At Authentic Parenting, Laura is puzzled at how to discuss sexuality and objectification with her 4-year-old.
  • Tough Conversations — Kadiera at Our Little Acorn knows there are difficult topics to work through with her children in the future, but right now, every conversation is a challenge with a nonverbal child.
  • Real Talk — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama explains why there are no conversation topics that are off limits with her daughter, and how she ensures that tough conversations are approached in a developmentally appropriate manner.
  • From blow jobs to boob jobs and lots of sex inbetweenMrs Green talks candidly about boob jobs and blow jobs…
  • When Together Doesn't Work — Ashley at Domestic Chaos discusses the various conversations her family has had in the early stages of separation.
  • Talking To Children About Death — Luschka at Diary of a First Child is currently dealing with the terminal illness of her mother. In this post she shares how she's explained it to her toddler, and some of the things she's learned along the way.
  • Teaching 9-1-1 To Kids — Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling talks about the importance of using practical, age-appropriate emergency scenarios as a springboard for 9-1-1 conversations.
  • Preschool Peer PressureLactating Girl struggles to explain to her preschooler why friends sometimes aren't so friendly.
  • Frank Talk — Rosemary at Rosmarinus Officinalis unpacks a few conversations about sexuality that she's had with her 2-year-old daughter, and her motivation for having so many frank discussions.
  • When simple becomes tough — A natural mum manages oppositional defiance in a toddler at Ursula Ciller's Blog.
  • How Babies are Born: a conversation with my daughter — Justine at The Lone Home Ranger tries to expand her daughter's horizons while treading lightly through the waters of pre-K social order.
  • Difficult Questions & Lies: 4 Reasons to Tell The Truth — Ariadne of Positive Parenting Connection shares the potential impact that telling lies instead of taking the time to answer difficult questions can have on the parent-child relationship.
  • Parenting Challenges--when someone dies — Survivor at Surviving Mexico writes about talking to her child about death and the cultural challenges involved in living in a predominantly Catholic nation.
  • Daddy Died — Breaking the news to your children that their father passed away is tough. Erica at ChildOrganics shares her story.
  • Opennesssustainablemum prepares herself for the day when she has to tell her children that a close relative has died.
  • Embracing Individuality — At Living Peacefully with Children, Mandy addressed a difficult question in public with directness and honesty.
  • Making the scary or different okay — Although she tries to listen more than she talks about tough topics, Jessica Claire of Crunchy-Chewy Mama also values discussing them with her children to soften the blow they might cause when they hit closer to home.
  • Talking to My Child About Going Gluten Free — When Dionna at Code Name: Mama concluded that her family would benefit from eliminating gluten from their diet, she came up with a plan to persuade her gluten-loving son to find peace with the change. This is how they turned the transition to a gluten-free lifestyle into an adventure rather than a hardship.
  • How Does Your Family Explain Differences and Approach Diversity? — How do you and your family approach diversity? Gretchen of That Mama Gretchen shares her thoughts at Natural Parents Network and would like to hear from readers.
  • Discussing Difficult Topics with Kids: What’s Worked for Me — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares parenting practices that enabled discussions of difficult topics with her (now-adult) children to be positive experiences.
  • Tough Conversations — Get some pointers from Jorje of Momma Jorje on important factors to keep in mind when broaching tough topics with kids.
  • Protect your kids from sneaky people — Lauren at Hobo Mama has cautioned her son against trusting people who'd want to hurt him — and hopes the lessons have sunk in.
  • Mommy, What Does the Bible Say? — Amy at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work works through how to answer a question from her 4-year-old that doesn't have a simple answer.
  • When All You Want for Them is Love: Adoption, Abandonment, and Honoring the Truth — Melissa at White Noise talks about balancing truth and love when telling her son his adoption story.

9 comments:

  1. I'm glad you figured out the best ways for dealing with the behavior while still honoring your child. I find I need confidence in what I'm choosing as the parent if my kids are going to pick up on it and follow through.

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  2. Nap time can easily become a tough conversation ;) much like you discovered, I find that when children are very tired, setting a limit and holding it, firmly but while being kind works much better than trying to negotiate in that moment when sleep/napping is really needed.

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  3. I appreciate you sharing your gentle strategies for dealing with the struggles your wee one was facing. Having a plan and being consistent is half the battle.

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  4. If you're still open to books, I really love the Your Two Year Old by Louise Bates Ames and even moreso The Emotional Life of the Toddler by Alicia Lieberman. It really helped me figure out that my 2yo wasn't intentionally defiant, but that he was in the process of developing inner control, and he needed my loving guidance along the way.

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  5. It's interesting to think about discipline from the perspective of natural parenting. While I consider myself a natural parent, I'm also potentially more strict than some, using what you might call an 'authoritative' approach rather than authoritarian. My kids know I am in charge, but I am open to their suggestions and listen to their concerns, so they also know they'll never get a "Because I said so!" reply. I agree with Dionna that understanding the difference between developing control and being defiant is helpful for empathy. It sounds like you got over the hump, so good for you!

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  6. Thanks so much for all your replies! I still haven't recieved the carnival blurb to include to the post.

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    1. I sent it to your hnimble address. Hope you got it now! :)

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  7. Thanks so much Lauren - Got it! And yes, it was in my spam folder!

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  8. Patience, patience, patience. Toddlers are full of uncommunicable emotions. Keep at it!

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