Attachment Parenting

Discipline-ish question

I'm not even sure how to phrase this. I'm dealing with how to get DD to accept/recognize/understand the consequences of her own actions. I know she's only 3.5, but she's smart as a whip and understands a lot. There are some things, like health or safety, that I insist on, like if she doesn't want to wear a coat/gloves/etc. and says she doesn't want to bring them, I either insist before we leave the house or take them with me and then have them available when she wants them 10 minutes later out on the street. I think it would be cruel & harsh to say, "sorry, you have to freeze now since you didn't want to bring your coat out."

But what do I do in situations when it's not a safety/health thing? Like if DD didn't want to bring something non-essential and then has a breakdown on the street 20 minutes later because said item is not magically in my purse?

Do you need specific examples? I should note that DD has been prone to having more meltdowns lately with the move to France. I totally get that everything is different and new and that she has to deal with a new language at school (although there are also some teachers and kids who speak English & Spanish) and that it's all exhausting. Heck, I even want to have a tantrum sometimes. However, I need to get a handle on it somehow and this "evading responsibility" thing (for lack of a better term) is one I would love to tackle as soon as possible. Is there anything I can do or is it just a grow-into-it kind of thing?

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Re: Discipline-ish question

  • My LO isn't anywhere close to that age yet, but I like Fred's idea of the backpack. Maybe even keep the bag just for her "special" things - like a book, toy or something. That way, when she asks for it you can say "did you pack it in your bag?" and shift the "responsibility" to her. "I'm sorry you don't have it, let's try to remember to bring it next time." 

    Do you have a specific example?

    LO does things like not wanting to wear a coat or shoes - so we just shove them in the diaper back for now and put them on her when she asks or when it's appropriate. She pitches a fit sometimes, but we just get through it at this point.

    I would think your move is exacerbating the situation, and hopefully it will calm down for you in a bit. 

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  • the backpack idea is a good one but, in general, i think 3.5 years is a great age to start stepping back and letting the natural consequences fall as they may. 

    At that age we had a reminder checklist for my son of the things he may want to "consider" bringing with him when he left the house.  But if he choose not to bring something, I didnt provide a back up.  It was really only a time or two that he had to suffer a consequence before he became a pro at getting himself ready :)

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  • Argh, don't tell me she still doesn't want to wear gloves etc. I thought "next year" DD will be completely capable of reasoning with and not take off her hat the minute we get out :-) This morning it was minus 13 (Celsius, =8 F) and she did not want to wear her hat. I don't know what to do, because I don't think she can put together the relation between hurting ears and no hat, no matter how much I explain. We ran to the subway and she was fine.

    I think the moving abroad part plays a lot more into her actions than you think. DD easily picks up on my mood and the whole big move must be hard for Amalia (as it has been for Zoe). On that note I developed a method for dealing with our stressed daycare commute: I tell Zoe a story. I have no idea how much she understands but for example now she wants to get out of her stroller when we ride the subway. This is not an option because there are never any seats and we are only going 3 stops with each train. So I tell her the story of the little girl who stood up in the subway but fell over and they had to go to hospital. And of course a number of varieties of this. She listens and seems to get at least some of it and it distracts her. Perhaps Amalia needs to hear a story of the little girl who forgot her favorite teddybear and had to be without it for the whole day. Anyway, just a suggestion :-)

    Single mom of DD (2010), TTC #2 since June 2013.
    Occasionally I'm blogging about my life with flybaby.
  • imageLouiseB2001:

    Argh, don't tell me she still doesn't want to wear gloves etc. I thought "next year" DD will be completely capable of reasoning with and not take off her hat the minute we get out :-)

    It has been absurdly cold here, too. But rather than wear gloves during our 15-minute walk somewhere the other day (no bus or subway goes that exact route), she just decided bursting into tears over how uncomfortable she was, just as we were about to meet someone for our very first play date in Paris, was a better option.

    I will admit it was not my best moment. I told her no one wanted to play with a girl who cried and refused to wear her gloves, so we'd have to cancel the play date and go back home. Naturally, this made her cry harder and I felt like utter and absolute crap.

    A story would have been nicer and gentler and much more AP. Luckily, the other little girl showed up and the whole incident was brushed under the rug, but I'm happy to get good suggestions from everyone about how to manage this whole thing better.

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