Jump to content


What's with the ads?

Photo

Teaching a child to cope with frustration


8 replies to this topic

What's with the ads?

#1 rwilkenfeld

rwilkenfeld

    Hive Mind Larvae

  • Members
  • 13 posts

Posted Yesterday, 07:48 PM

My DD has been struggling lately with learning some life skills/fine motor skills. School-y things come easily to her so she's not used to struggling with a problem.  She was a late talker, because instead of babbling or learning a few words at a time, she pretty much jumped from soundless to sentences. She won't do something if she can't do it right.

 

So we are having trouble teaching her life skills that take practice. Dressing/undressing, potty training, using scissors, unclipping or clipping her car seat. If she can't do it, she won't work at it.  And it's driving me BONKERS.  

 

I'm at a loss for what to do to help her learn to deal with frustration/working through problems.  I try to let her see me struggle through problems, learn new skills, and fail at things. 

 

Does anyone else have this problem? Any ideas? Does it come with the accelerated territory?

 

Thanks!



#2 maize

maize

    Apprentice Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 5630 posts

Posted Yesterday, 07:59 PM

My kids have developed more persistence with age, keep modeling failing and trying again.

(But I'm cringing at the thought of actually teaching a preschooler to unbuckle their carseat--it's all I can do to try to keep mine from escaping his straps while en route!)

#3 Sneezyone

Sneezyone

    Hive Mind Level 6 Worker: Scout Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 562 posts

Posted Yesterday, 08:11 PM

I gave up trying to make my DS do everything that everyone else was doing and saved my sanity. Seriously, I just stopped fighting him all the time. Expecting him to comply just because I asked or demanded was not going to happen.

 

DS did not speak until 18 months and would not talk to anyone but me or dd until almost 3, and then only in complete sentences. By 3, I was at my wits end too and started getting down at eye level to explain, explain, and explain again what my expectations were. I didn't make him do stuff but I did make him understand what was expected. I did this for two years straight, consistently, in good times and bad (there were both). It was exhausting.

 

I bought him shoes with no laces. I served him deconstructed meals (same foods as the rest of us just not touching). When his kindy teacher told me she couldn't assess his reading because he wouldn't speak, I explained TO HIM that his teachers don't know what he can do because he won't talk. His response, "You mean, they think I'm stupid?!" Why yes, son, they do. By the end of the week, I was getting love notes about his sense of humor and academic abilities.

 

He needed the time/space to mature emotionally. He needed adults to talk with him not to him or about him and explain the reasoning for X Y, or Z. Then, and only then, did X, Y Z make sense for him to do. He is a control freak!

 

FWIW, my DS learned to tie his shoes just two months ago in a 15 minute session with DH, not me.  Apparently my bunny ear technique was too 'juvenile'. It's hard to be patient and rely on words with such a child but it did work for us. It is also an ongoing struggle. 

 

I wish I could say it was easy to get this child to take on challenges, even now, but it's not. If he cannot do it perfectly, he will not try. When he finally does deign to try it's like HOLY CRAP, where did that come from? He blows people away. It's just who he is. I'm just not worried anymore.

 

Honestly, I can't decide if he's conditioned me to accept less from him than he's capable of or I've learned to accept his idiosyncrasies.



#4 luuknam

luuknam

    Hive Mind Level 2 Worker: Nurse Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 126 posts

Posted Yesterday, 08:59 PM

I've started reading books with perseverance as a topic to my 4yo, and talking a lot about how you get better at things with practice. Even easy things get better with practice - if academics is easy, that still doesn't mean that she's going from not reading to reading at a college level overnight. Sometimes practice may just not feel like practice, even if it is.

 

Car seats are tricky though. My almost 4.5yo just learned to strap himself in (as long as he's not wearing too many layers - if he's wearing a sweater and a winter coat he still needs me), and can't unstrap himself, and I can understand his problem - it's just not easy. Similar problem with some of his shirts - he's got a big head, and putting them on/taking them off sometimes requires a lot of force (and can be painful if it snags on an ear or something). I'm getting too tired to write anything else... but my point is that some of these things may just be harder than you'd think.



#5 maize

maize

    Apprentice Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 5630 posts

Posted Yesterday, 09:19 PM

 

 

Car seats are tricky though. My almost 4.5yo just learned to strap himself in (as long as he's not wearing too many layers - if he's wearing a sweater and a winter coat he still needs me), and can't unstrap himself, and I can understand his problem - it's just not easy. Similar problem with some of his shirts - he's got a big head, and putting them on/taking them off sometimes requires a lot of force (and can be painful if it snags on an ear or something). I'm getting too tired to write anything else... but my point is that some of these things may just be harder than you'd think.

 

This is true. Carseats in particular are designed to be difficult for children to undo.

 

Because of Houdinis like mine... ;)



#6 rwilkenfeld

rwilkenfeld

    Hive Mind Larvae

  • Members
  • 13 posts

Posted Yesterday, 09:59 PM

The car seat thing is part of a bigger pattern...can't put on lace-free shoes, can't pull up/down pants, can't open easy doorknobs. She can't do any of it, and refuses to try. Her development is constantly marked by refusal to work on skills, and waiting until she's certain that she can do it easily.

Edit: i do adore her, and she has plenty of skills and talents. I just don't think the ability to struggle is one of them

#7 maize

maize

    Apprentice Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 5630 posts

Posted Yesterday, 10:23 PM

The car seat thing is part of a bigger pattern...can't put on lace-free shoes, can't pull up/down pants, can't open easy doorknobs. She can't do any of it, and refuses to try. Her development is constantly marked by refusal to work on skills, and waiting until she's certain that she can do it easily.

Edit: i do adore her, and she has plenty of skills and talents. I just don't think the ability to struggle is one of them

 

Some kids are natural perfectionists and don't like to try things they are not sure they can do. Since you are aware of this tendency and are trying to encourage her to "get messy, take chances, make mistakes!" as Ms. Frizzle would say, I think you're already on the right track.

 

That said, from the perspective of a mom with a bit more experience, all of those are pretty normal things for a 3.5 year old to not do themselves. It's perfectly OK for mom to put on the shoes, pull up the pants, and open the doors at that age. I promise you won't still be doing those things for her when she is 18 :)


  • Sneezyone likes this

#8 Grover

Grover

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1356 posts

Posted Yesterday, 10:41 PM

I just waited it out and refused to do anything for him that he could do for himself.  Picked a time when it didn't matter (to me) if we got to the place we were going, but my perfectionist wanted to.  Then I bought a book and sat in the car while he wailed and complained about not being able to get done up.  I made soothing noises, acknowledged his frustration, and reassured him that I had faith in his ability.  Same with getting dressed and aaaaalllll the other stuff.  I'd start getting ready to leave 2 hours before so he had time to do all of the wailing.  He's 8 now, and it is a LOT better... the tears are usually only a few minutes, if at all, and he is much more willing to give things a go now.  He also repeats to himself all those things I've been murmuring in his ears all these years.  "Calm down.  DOn't panic.  Deep breath.  I can do this.  Everything takes time.  It just takes practice.  I am building muscle memory"  and similar. 



#9 Incognito

Incognito

    Hive Mind Level 5 Worker: Forager Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1720 posts

Posted Yesterday, 11:08 PM

You could practice strengthening her hands (it sounds like that is the key issue in most of the things you want her to do).  There are a lot of fun ways to do that - playing with pretty beads, tongs, perler beads, etc.  I'm sure you could look it up on pinterest and get a million things.

 

FWIW, the only way I've had a kid WANT to do all that stuff for themselves at that age was to have older kids doing it around them all the time and they wanted to be like them.  Otherwise, it is actually quite challenging for some kids and it isn't worth the struggle to them (what do they really get out of doing it for themselves besides the satisfaction?  And if they aren't battling to be like older kids, what satisfaction is there, really?).




What's with the ads?