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This room is dedicated to those who are facing the challenge of raising children without the support of a spouse. This is a place to share ideas and lend mutual support.

Saint Rita is known to be a patroness for abused wives and mourning women.
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I'm not a parent (yet) and if this is God's will for me, I will gladly pick up that cross laughing. In all seriousness though, I do want to be a parent.

Anyway, my question is about "boundaries". How does one teach their child that a certain behavior is not acceptable? An example that comes to mind is , I have a friend who has a 3-year-old and she tells me that her child will pull her (mom) hair when she's not happy about something of if she doesn't get what she wants. Or the child would hit her. It is not my place to say anything to my friend but I just listened with a sympathetic ear but in my mind I was thinking " No way my mom would've allowed me to do that. She's old school, I would've gotten by butt-whooping". I don't think I ever did that but I could be wrong. Sorry for the rambling, but my question is : What would you do if your child does that? Positive reincforcement? Negative reinforcement? Just let it go and they'll grow out of it? Or something else?

Thank you and God bless you all wave



May 4th 2013 new

Depends on the kid.

I don't believe in rewards, I don't believe in punishments. I believe in bluntly telling a young kid what's what. An older child (10+) you can go into reasons.

In the case of your friend,...young kids take what you tell them at face value. If you say, "Don't do that" consistently, followed up with a little reciprocal action (i.e., pull her hair in turn), they get the message. Sometimes hearing it from a stranger gets results because of the novelty. So, SPEAK UP and tell the kid what's not acceptable. "Don't pull my hair." "If you do that again, I will pull yours." "See? It hurts. That's why we don't do it."

If mom is the one the kid is walking over, step in and say, "You don't pull your mom's hair because if you do, I will pull yours. Moms are too special to treat that way."

Make it brief. No wheedling, no whining, no sissy stuff. Adults outrank children. Period.

May 4th 2013 new

(Of course, all of my kids turned out perfect....) rolling eyes

May 5th 2013 new
Marge has good points. Set boundaries and performance expecting, and generally the children will behave as they are taught. It's ok to be different from others if that is the respectful way you want to raise your children some day. If you teach them early and in proper settings how to behave at a restaurant for example they will almost always behave. On this point don't take them to a restaurant that is crowded and has a wait if they are overly tired or hungry. Result will not be good. If you don't want them to talk in church then don't talk to them unless essential. Etc.
May 6th 2013 new

Thank you Marge. Thank you Elizabeth.



May 6th 2013 new

(Quote) Reena-961146 said: I'm not a parent (yet) and if this is God's will for me, I will gladly pick up that cross...
(Quote) Reena-961146 said:

I'm not a parent (yet) and if this is God's will for me, I will gladly pick up that cross . In all seriousness though, I do want to be a parent.

Anyway, my question is about "boundaries". How does one teach their child that a certain behavior is not acceptable? An example that comes to mind is , I have a friend who has a 3-year-old and she tells me that her child will pull her (mom) hair when she's not happy about something of if she doesn't get what she wants. Or the child would hit her. It is not my place to say anything to my friend but I just listened with a sympathetic ear but in my mind I was thinking " No way my mom would've allowed me to do that. She's old school, I would've gotten by butt-whooping". I don't think I ever did that but I could be wrong. Sorry for the rambling, but my question is : What would you do if your child does that? Positive reincforcement? Negative reinforcement? Just let it go and they'll grow out of it? Or something else?

Thank you and God bless you all



--hide--

Hi Reena,

Each child is different. What works for one doesn't necessarily work for another one. I would recommend a book, called 1,2,3 Magic. I found it very helpful and it works very well even for young children, but the best part of the book is that it walks you through scenarios and what you can expect from your child based on their temperment.

The little one's behavior needs to be addressed and it needs to be addressed now or it will become a larger problem as the child gets older. I like the recommendation by Marge to step in and tell her that you don't treat your mom that way.

When my oldest was about two, he decided to throw himself down and throw a fit in his granddad's front yard. I didn't even think, I just yanked him up, swatted his backside and said we don't act that way. That was it, I never had another fit from him. My youngest could have tried the patience of Job. When she was five, she decided to throw an all out fit in the grocery store. I turned around and walked away. When she realized I had left, she stopped, came running after me, jumped in front of the cart and stopped it, then threw herself on the ground again, we did this several times on our way to the check out. Got her home, swatted her backside, as she had kicked the back of my seat all the way home, and put her in her room. Finally, she calmed down and we were able to sit down and talk about her behavior.

One of my nieces is the only girl and has four brothers. She is a whiner and it drives everyone crazy, especially her dad. So one day when we were all together, I took her aside and sat her down and said to her, that real women don't whine about what they want. They simply state their need or desire and their either get it or not, but they don't whine about it. (she's a teen). It had some impact because her behavior has greatly improved. Whenever she falls into the pattern around the family one of us older girls will say to her, "women don't whine." and she straightens up. Hard to break a habit of many years but eventually she will mature into it and she has good strong examples in the extended family. Her dad has a tendency to cave in to the whining, generally angry but caving none the less.

Children's job is to push the boundaries. The parent's job is to place them and monitor them.

Below are two links for 123 Magic, the first is a short you tube video describing it and the other is the official website. This was recommended to me by a friend who is also a child psychologist, in fact, he gave me his copy from his library. It may or may not work for your friend, but the information in the book I found invaluable regarding behavior modification. From the looks of the website, it has expanded quite a bit from the version I used twenty years ago, but it definitely was helpful.

www.youtube.com

www.123magic.com

May 6th 2013 new

As many others have said, every child is different. If I were to pinch him back after he pinched me, it would not work because this is what he does at school. An eye for an eye or so to speak. The same thing with spanking, for my son, it would backfire. I am not one of those parents who thinks that you should never spank a child, but depending on the child and the parent, it could send the wrong message.


If my son pulled my hair, I would scream as if he cut my arm off and usually start to cry. If I am holding him, I put him down. If I'm playing with him, I stop and get up and leave the room saying I don't want to play with someone who hurts me. I want to get across to him that it hurts and is not OK. I will also send him to his room for a time out, partially because we need a break from each other and partly because it will give me an idea if this is a big issue or a little issue. If he stays in his room, it's a little issue and we can move on. If he keeps coming out, I know that it's a bigger issue that I need to figure out.


While many people have told me (including my mom) that I should not reason with him, I find that in the case of my son, it works. This is not to say I don't take the I'm the parent you are the child and the parent makes the rules too. We will sit on our chair and I have him (try) to tell me why he did what he did. He has actually in his own way, been able to tell me that he wanted me to come play with him which is why he started throwing his toys. There are other times when he has been so angry with me that he started hitting me and the reason had nothing to do with me, but rather he was mad at his dad and blamed me.


There many different ways to deal with children's behaviors. It's just a matter of figuring out what works for your child. I remember a co-worker's wife was very frustrated that her new baby was not doing anything "by the book". I told him that the baby hadn't read the book. Use the book as a guide and just do what feels right.



May 6th 2013 new

Good points. I've done the same things.

What works at one age doesn't work at another.

You said, people say don't reason with them. You DO reason with them -- when they are old enough to "get" it, like 6 or 7. Not at age 2. Until they are old enough, it's better to "make rules".
--That's not polite.
--If you're going to be mean, I'm not going to sit with you.
--Stop that.
--If you do that again, I won't read to you.

It also helps to warn them that someday, someone bigger than they and not as nice as you will give them "what for" when they act up. It's kind of fun when that actually comes to pass and they realize you knew what you were talking about! eyepopping rolling eyes

May 27th 2013 new
Hey girl!
I like the cause-and-effect approach, but only with older kids like 5+. For us, when behavior of any sort spikes, I state calmly, "This behavior is not OK in this place (where we are trying to talk, read, rest, watch a show, play a game, eat dinner, etc.) right now. If you want to throw a fit, you can do that but in your room with the door closed. When you're finished, you can join us again."

I heard somewhere that this is a very NON-shaming way to allow feelings to air, even if the behavior is inappropriate. I grew up in a family that did not like to express any feelings, whether they were considered positive or negative. I was frequently told to quit acting like a baby or that I shouldn't feel a certain way, and the like. So this works for me because it allows the kid to feel whatever they are feeling, but if the behavior associated with the feeling is not safe or appropriate for the surroundings, then they remove themselves until it is manageable again.

WHATEVER system ends up being the boundary-stater and enforcer, parents must find something that works and BE CONSISTENT. Believe it or not, this builds trust from the child's point of view: they trust you because you do what you say you're going to do. After the episode, then they will believe you when you say, "...but I still love you."
May 29th 2013 new
I have raised/am raising 6 children, ages 25, 23, 19, 17, 10, and 8. They are all very well-behaved children. I spent lots of time loving them and teaching them right from wrong. The best way to encourage good behavior is to give them words to use instead of scratching, punching, pulling hair or throwing things or fits.
I talk with them starting at birth about what is happening and what they are feeling. "Oh, sweetie, I know these wipes are cold and don't feel too good right now,but we need to clean you up so you don't get sore."
"Yes, darling, I know you want to nurse right now and it is so frustrating and infuriating to wait, but I can't take you out of your carseat for 2 minutes until we get home and then right away we will nurse."
"I know, sweetheart, you want to dress yourself but those socks are so hard to get on. Maybe you can let me start the socks and you can put them on the rest of they way. And tomorrow you can practice again and you will get a little better and soon you will do it all by yourself!"
"I know you don't want to stop playing and it makes you angry and sad and frustrated, but you may not hit Mommy! You must obey, but you can tell me how upset you are and you may kick the ground or punch a pillow if it helps to get those unhappy feelings out."
Children need limits and help keeping to them, and they need guided to proper outlets for their many frustrations.
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