laundry list of new bad habits! — The Bump
Pre-School

laundry list of new bad habits!

1- DD has a bff at her new school.  Hmmm- how to not sound like an a** here.  It was clear to me that her mom and grandma at orientation were on the trashy side.  I want DD to be friends with everyone and am thrilled she has such a connection with this little girl.  The scream with joy every time they see each other- it's adorable.  The problem is, I've never talked baby-talk to DD, but that's all this girl seems to be able to talk.  DD has started with "Me want ____" and similar.  I calmly correct her each time, and when she questions it I tell her that I want her to speak the right way, even if bff doesn't.  It's gotten worse though.  I don't know if her teachers are working with the little girl on it, or letting it go a "cute."  If it's the former I can deal with it.  If it's the latter, I wish they wouldn't!  It's totally not my business how they are dealing with someone else's child.  Thoughts?

2- DD has started lying about needing to go potty to get out of bed repeatedly (5-10 times each night between 8 and 10).  We just nighttime trained her and she's obviously ready because she's been dry for a week and a half, so we don't want to say "No you don't need to go!" but this is obnoxious!  We've talked about how bad lying is and how important the truth is.  We put the child-proof doorknob back on the inside so she can't get out on her own (don't judge me on that please- otherwise she's out of her room twice as much and the door doesn't shut properly so we have to close it every time), but the fibbing continues.  Thoughts?

3- She is suddenly terrified of smoke detectors.  The one outside her room chirped one morning while she was sleeping and scared the crap out of her.  The following weekend the one downstairs did, too (yep, we need to replace all the batteries and be done with it).  Since then she won't go to sleep unless I cover her up to her hair so she can't see the smoke detector.  All she talks about is smoke detectors!  Every new building we go it, she wants to know if they have one and where it is and if it'll beep.  Every night she asks if it's going to beep.  We've discussed that they are to keep us safe, and usually don't beep unless there is a fire.  We talked about how the microwave beeps and that's not scary, and I can say "beep!" too and that's not scary either!  She laughs, but still dwells.  A firefighter came to her school a couple weeks ago and I think he brought some kind of bell.  I found out last week she was scared of him.  My child is usually fearless and isn't scared of anything!  Her class is going to the firestation tomorrow and she's worried they're going to ring the bell again.  I told her they will, but it isn't scary because it just tells the firefighters it's time to get to work.  She's still worried.  Thoughts?

I know this is long.  TIA if you made it all the way through :) 

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Re: laundry list of new bad habits!

  • 1. There is nothing you can do besides continue to let your daughter know that you will only respond to her when she talks as you expect her too.  If you want you can let her know that people may talk differently but this is how you talk in your house and you expect her to do so also.

    2. Totally normal.  In fact I think it's pretty amazing you'd made it this far without going through it.  It's a pretty standard excuse once kids are first in a bed and again or when they day train.  She may be worried that she's going to wet the bed, she may simply realize it's going to get her out of her room.  I think it's fine to set up a routine, potty before books, then after books (is what we do) and then decide if you're going to let her up once or twice and then no more.  She may be trying to squeeze out every last drop.

    3. We had this problem too.  It just took some time.  It's developmentally normal for fears to start to emerge at this age so I'd expect more of them. I would keep explaining that it was chirping to let you know that it needed help so it was a good thing.  For the fire station I would tell her to let the teacher know ahead of time that she is afraid of the bell and ask if someone could take her outside or something so it's not so loud for her.

  • Hi.  I have a SS in preschool.  Things sound familiar.  

    1.  He has picked up many habits from his friends there that we don't like or allow in our household.  When we see or hear it happening we remind him of the rules here and that while he may have friends that talk or behave that way that isn't how we do it in here.  

    2.  Have dealt with this a number of times.  Consistency is definitely the key.  We have his bedtime routine down to 5 min and he doesn't come out any more.  He tried everything to come out including using the potty excuse.  We then started adding a potty before bed component into the routine.  Then it was easier to call him out on the fibbing if he came out right after that.  He gets stars as a reward system and it took a good month to get him into the thought that staying in bed was part of a good bedtime which he could earn a star from.  But sticking with it is what works.  At his BM's house we recently heard that he was still getting her up 5 or more times a night because of "nightmares."  It shocked us because we know what he's doing and that he's using the excuse to bring her into his room, but she lets him get away with it.  So, it's important for them to know what is accepted behavior in your house because they will honor it after they know they can't get away with tweaking it.  Legitimate excuses come up and we deal with those individually.  

     3.  The fears are normal.  We have a nightlight in SS's room and if we forget it, it's as if the world ended.  He was scared of monsters for a while until I told him I had a secret friendly monster in my closet that kept all the scary monsters out of the house (I happened to have a one eyed green monster stuffed toy in there tucked away for a later gift) and I snuck him over to my closet and showed her to him sitting in there.  I told him that he could have her in his bed if it made him feel better and he said ok.  No more monster problems after that.  I think with a little creativity we can think of ways to alleviate their fears.  Maybe finding a way to give a different kind of attention to the fire alarm?  Have your DD help change the batteries and show her how to test the alarm button (maybe with ear protection if it's that loud).  Or see if she can count the number of alarms in buildings that she goes into.  Something should work to deflect the negative attention on them.  Good luck!

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  • When your child talks in a way you don't like, calmly ask her to use her big girl words and don't respond until she does. I would continue not to point fingers at her friends unless she does specifically ask "why can't I talk like that, Mary does."

    As far as getting out at night, the emphasis on lying is kind of overkill in my opinion. I mean, if she blatantly lies and doesn't go sit on the potty when you come get her, that's one thing. But if she says she needs to go, you take her to the potty, and nothing comes out, well, I'd just shuffle her back to bed, and only answer her call every 30 minutes or so.  She's little. She's only been nighttime potty trained for a few days, maybe she just doesn't know how to empty her bladder or tell if she's empty, and maybe she's afraid of wetting the bed? The bottom line is by locking her in her room, she has no choice but to call for you. You'll either have to respond, put a little potty in her room by her bed, or unlock the door. I would probably work on positive reinforcement for both staying in the room and the potty thing (give her tickets, everytime she leaves the room, she has to give you a ticket, unless it was a legit potty trip) but it sounds like the won't work for your household.

    As to being afraid of smoke detectors, I think prepping the teachers for the firehouse visit, like the PP said, is key, and then let it run its course.  

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  • 1 - I would just continue with telling her that she can't talk like that and get a response.  Basically that she can't say "ME WANT" and get it, that she has to say "May I please have.." if she wants people to listen and respond.

    2. someone on this board had suggested to me that they get 1x out of their room for an issue (like "I lost my bear" or "I need a sip of water") and 1x for a potty run.

    3. Do you know if your smoke detector "talks"?  Because I've explained to DD that in our house, if there is a real fire, it will talk and tell us to get out.  I mean, it would beep too.. but  maybe that would help.  Can you get her to tell you why the beeping is so scary?  I think fire safety week was a couple weeks ago, maybe can she "help" you replace all the batteries or something.  I liked your analogy of the microwave.. maybe you can make cookies in the oven and she can listen for the beep and tell you when the cookies are done :)

  • whether she's around "trashy" kids or not, she's going to pick up obnoxious behaviors from other kids or come up w/ them on her own.  Kids are just obnoxious sometimes.  I wouldn't even make it a big deal, just continue to model the correct behavior and reward her when she does the same and she'll catch on. 

    I'd give her another few days of the fake potty calls and then give her a day or two of warnings and then find a reasonable comporomise - you can get up 2x, but that's it, no more potty, etc.

    IDK what to say about the smoke detector.  My DD does fire drills at schools so that seems to help.  Just talk about it alot and how its supposed to help her, etc., etc.

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  • THIS IS AMAZING! Good way I promise my 3 yr old is doing the same stuff and scared of the smoke detector as well. I have started to notice that she has little friends that dont talk as good as her and she will start talking baby again (drives me up the wall) She is extremely smart for her age and she just decided to start doing that one day and literally drove me batty trying to correct her and tell her that she needed to talk right so that mommy could understand her.

    Lying has started as well, she does the same thing about telling me she has to go to the bathroom and then all a sudden no i dont have to go 5-6 times after shes in bed...again...drives me batty.(usually wouldnt drive me that crazy but im 39 weeks pregnant and hormonal) I have tried to explain to her that lying is not nice and that it makes mommy upset and have to go out of the way sometimes (like if we are out and she does it) to take her if she really does not need to go..that its only nice to tell me or daddy she needs to go potty if she really needs to go.

    SMOKE DETECTORS..lmao..sorry to laugh but i burnt some toast one night right after she had just went to sleep and she has been terrified of them since..she see's them and freaks..mommy isthat goin to make a noise and scare me again?..of course i try to tell her no and that its there to protect us in case a real fire starts it helps mommy daddy and her know that we need to get out of the house so that the fire department can save our house (in case need be). well we just got into our new place and of all places for them to put a smoke detector (HER ROOM) RIGHT ABOVE HER DOOR. So I really hope that it never goes off in there...she will freak..but im scared to take the batteries out of it in case a fire did start and I wouldnt hear it or she wouldnt (if need be) the other one is in the hallway outside her room (down a bit from her door) and its always on BUT away from kitchen..so almost half the place would burn before they would go off. I just try to reassure her everytime anything happens and make sure to keep lettin her know its to keep her and her family safe (if need be)...

    my best advice...best of luck to you!

    ~*Mommy to 2 wonderful kids*~
  • imageKathrynMD:

    whether she's around "trashy" kids or not, she's going to pick up obnoxious behaviors from other kids or come up w/ them on her own.  Kids are just obnoxious sometimes.  I wouldn't even make it a big deal, just continue to model the correct behavior and reward her when she does the same and she'll catch on. 

    1.) I agree with this statement. I think the best thing you can do is model good behavior. Also just a side note my bff in school had "trashy parents" and that girl now has her PHD....just sayin ;)

    2.) My daughter has done this also. I know all may not agree with my tactic but after about the 2nd or 3rd time I let her go I will stand by the potty. I tell her if I dont hear pee hit the water there will be punishment (corner, time out, no cartoon in the morning ect.) after a couple times of this she has compelty stopped.

    3.) My daughter was terrified of fans. So her dad one day took one apart and showed her how it worked. She isnt scared anymore because she got to watch it be taken apart and see its just a machine.

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