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CC: breaking your child's will...


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I'm done.

 

Thank you - I got TONS of great advice. I am still reading but I am finding it turning into something ugly so I will not respond anymore.

 

fwiw, NO SPANKING today...maybe yesterday was just 'one of those days' and I was afraid it would never end...

 

Today is my birthday. I am 28 - I certainly do not have it all figured out, hence all the questions and I love learning so thank you to those who helped me realize more about myself and my daughter...I am learning more everyday.

 

I guess that's all - thank you again, really, MANY of the posts (and all of the PMs) were EXTREMELY helpful! (surprisingly, even from people I normally do not agree fully with!)

Edited by kmacnchs
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This is for those of you have/had a willful/stubborn child and who believe spanking is Biblical - I am really struggling and need some advice!

 

Let me share a bit about my dd (JUST turned 3). She is the first one to tell you she likes your shirt, she had a fun time today, it is pretty outside, *always* says thank you...and cries at the drop of a hat - no kidding. I tell her it's naptime (cry); She has to go to the bathroom (cry) - I've just concluded she is a very emotional girl.

 

Her sister bosses her around ALL the time and most of the time she just does it/go w/the flow kind of thing...does that make her laid back?

 

Okay, so that's the background I guess...here's the issue: When I tell her to do something that she does not want to do, her responses are 1. cry and obey 2. cry and not obey 3. ignore me and not obey 4. poke around and 1/2way obey...none of these are acceptable. Most of the time (sadly), I will say her name very sternly and tell her to do it again and then #1 will happen. I have realized that she is not obeying right away happily because I am not expecting it of her/keeping her accountable. So, I have decided to nip it in the bud. If she does not obey the 1st time, quickly, & w/a happy heart, she will get spanked. So, she has been spanked 10x today :\

 

Sometimes I wonder if she understands and is seeing how much she can get away with or if she really doesn't understand so today she was doing the wrong thing...I try to *never* threaten or 'reward' by saying, 'if you do this, you won't get this' but I wanted to see her level of understanding so I said, we were going to watch Elmo's World after this but since you are doing x, I guess we won't be able to...guess what, she fixed her behavior immediately and did the right thing. She is a VERY smart girl (sometimes, I think to her detriment).

 

So anyway, w/the spanking...my dh just says keep at it, she'll learn but she really doesn't seem to be. She seems just so stubborn (like I was at that age)! My dilemma is this: I want to stick w/it b/c God says to *and* for personal reasons - I was *never* taught or encouraged to obey anyone and was encouraged to, well, be wise in my own eyes - you can imagine how detrimental that has been in my adult life with employers, friends, and my dh. I feel like if she can learn from an early age to obey, show respect, be quick to listen & slow to speak, etc., etc., etc., she will be happier in the long run...however, I am also afraid that I will 'break her spirit' and she will just turn hateful & resentful. After a spanking, she always wants to hug me (I always ask, never want to force that) and is perfectly fine afterward but it's like the 'why' never clicks for her!

 

I hope this all makes sense and I hope someone has btdt, is (almost) on the other side and can help me...I want to give up so many times but it is *my* job to stay diligent so I keep at it...I just want to make sure I won't mess her up and she will not lose her happy, thankful heart in the process...:confused:

 

I am 8mo pg so I'm sure *my* emotions have something to do w/these defeated emotions but... :)

 

I'm not anti-spanking. But I think you need to stop spanking her. Please.

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She's barely three... and she's been hit ten times today alone? That hurts MY spirit just to think about! And is a very good indication that it's NOT an effective tool.

 

It's just as easy and effective, and CERTAINLY less harmful, IMHO, to plop her down on a step and make her take a time out away from the fun things she wants to be doing every single time she doesn't "obey." Or make her stand in a corner. Or something that doesn't involve physically hurting her, especially multiple times a day.

 

I'm afraid I will never understand that, or agree with that.

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I spanked when I needed to, but I think the window for spanking is very small.

I have a 16 yr old that is still very willful, when she pulls attitude on me now it's enough to point out what she's doing and insist that she stop it. NOW.

 

I wouldn't tell you to stop or continue spanking, you are the only one who knows what is going on, but I will point out that this is also a heart issue, and three is not too young to understand that her attitude needs to change.

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I'm not anti-spanking. But I think you need to stop spanking her. Please.

 

I agree. Spanking doesn't seem to be the answer in this situation. Didn't you say you got better results by taking away

privileges?

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If you spanked her 10x in one day it obviously is not working. I suggest a different approach.

 

I tried to be careful w/my post b/c I am the worst at putting thoughts onto a post - guess I wasn't careful enough - she gets spanked 3x each time (b/c she is 3) - so let me be careful...she has disobeyed 3-4x today (it has blurred a bit) so 3x3 would be 9 times total...does that make sense?

 

One time was b/c she ignored me when I told her to come (I asked her if she heard me and she said she did - she told me what I said). One time was when I was telling her to do something and she acted like she didn't know what I was talking about, but she did (that stubbornness right there) - in other words, she was choosing to disobey but acting innocent...the other time was when I told her to go potty (which she knows means we are getting ready to take naps) and she just sat there and cried (did not obey). I am just tired.

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Um, yeah. You need to save the spankings for major issues, not every infraction or you'll be slapping her all day. That won't teach her to obey, that will teach her to flinch every time you move suddenly.

 

She's 3. This is just how 3 year olds are.

 

You're pregnant, and that's how pregnant women are.

 

While I'm all for obedience, I'm thinking the real problem is not your very normal 3 year old, I'm thinking it is your (entirely normal) lack of patience. Perhaps, for now, the best thing will be to avoid some of the issues by not seeing what she's doing.

 

I also think it's fine for your hubby to tell you to keep at it, but it isn't his heart hurting as he slaps his kid what feels like all day.

 

For what it's worth, when my 3 yo is being like this, I pick her up and say "Oh dear, dd is feeling naughty. Oh dear, she will have to go and be naughty in bed." And I plonk her down there. If there was some unresolved action like picking something up, or apologising, she has to do that when she gets back up. If she won't, I repeat.

 

:grouphug:

Rosie

Edited by Rosie_0801
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I think her behavior (cry/obey, cry/not obey, ignore) is normal.

 

I'm going to go out on a limb here. You say that she is not obeying happily the first time you direct her (sounds like you are trying to foster 'first time obedience' which seems popular in some conservative circles). You say that she is not complying because you are not holding her accountable by spanking.

 

She is not practicing 'first time obedience' because she is three years old. Period. She is a little kid. I do not believe FTO (when enforced by spanking) is normal or healthy. I have seen this in practice. It is painful to watch.

 

If you are spanking your daughter 10x per day then you are spanking her too much. I'm sorry. It is not working. It makes you feel bad. I disagree that God calls us to enforce either spanking or FTO.

 

I am not anti-spanking but I feel that the spanking you have described is not healthy.

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Sounds like she responds well to the 'IF you do X THEN you will get to do Y' much better than being struck.

I know that you probably will completely ignore my advice, but I just have to say that I wish you would rethink the whole deal where you spank her (and she doesn't understand why) and then ask her for a hug. Sounds like the perfect recipe to raise a daughter who will seek out an abusive partner later in life. Just a thought.

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the window for spanking is very small.

I think so too

 

I wouldn't tell you to stop or continue spanking, you are the only one who knows what is going on, but I will point out that this is also a heart issue, and three is not too young to understand that her attitude needs to change.

 

I agree it is a heart issue and that is part of my conundrum...training the heart is such a hard thing for me to grasp! I'm such a concrete person - but thank you for saying this anyway - it tells me one thing I need to do is pray for her more!

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I am not anti-spanking. But different methods work for different kids. I think it is Biblical to discipline your children. Spanking is just one method of discipline, and if another method works better than use the one that works!! I wouldn't use what doesn't work!

 

Mary

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no

 

 

You didn't exactly say that, but you mentioned that when you threatened to take away Elmo's World, she straightened up. .... And what is wrong with that? I would rather take away privileges for them being naughty (or have them earn them by being good) than spank all day long.

 

Spanking is not working for you, obviously. What you are going to end up with is a child who is afraid of her mother. I don't think you want that.

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I have 2 of these types of children. Have you tried the Love & Logic approach?

 

Strong willed children like to have control - so give them some of the control by providing 2 choices that are appropriate to you. Would you like to pick up your toys now or in 5 minutes, etc? The child will almost always pick the latter, but the result is the same and they have incentive to obey because they got to make the choice.

 

The other thing that I have found to really help is to say "yes" to a strong willed child as much as possible, so that when you say "no" you have the energy and means to enforce it. Who really cares if the child wants to eat spaghetti for breakfast? Its not normal, but it also is a healthy choice, and to me is not worth fighting about. Now, following routines/bedtimes is where I want to fight the battle. I've learned to let go and say "yes" on the things that might not be what I want, but are not a big deal so that I can focus on the important behavior that I want to see and save the consequences like time-out or losing toys for those. I hope that helps at least a little bit!

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I would also agree that expecting first time obedience from a 3 year old is asking too much. And, I truly understand your exhaustion and frustration, but I would certainly give her at least a second chance to obey before inflicting any punishment, especially if you are going to continue to spank her. Explain to her that if she does not obey this second time, she will receive a punishment. I think it will be easier on both of you.

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In my opinion, spanking should be reserved for willful disobedience only.

 

After asking if she heard you, I would have then told her that she needed to come right then.

 

If you know 100% that she was acting like she didn't understand but really did, then that is disobedience and would be treated that way. But I would say "You know exactly what I'm telling you to do. Do it now, please".

 

When crying instead of going to the potty, I would take her by the hand and gently lead her over to the potty.

 

None of those times would I have automatically spanked. At 3 years old they need to be taught and led to obey. If I had called a child on any of those things and she still did not obey, then it would be a spanking offense. If I had tried to lead my child and they had dug in their heels to make me drag them, then I might have spanked.

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You are spanking her even when she obeys, because she cries about it? I am no longer CC, but was for many years (United Pentecostal Church). I do not believe the Bible ever says that children must be punished for failing to be happy when they do what you tell them to. In fact, despite being raised in that religion, I had never even heard of such a thing until coming to this board, where I've heard it more than once. It's just not in the Bible. The only thing I've ever seen referenced to show that it is shows no such thing. It's Psalm 40:8 and it says, "I delight to do thy will, oh my God; yea, thy law is in my heart." I don't take that as direction to spank your kids when they're disappointed about having to do something they don't want to do.

 

Teaching her that she can't be disappointed to cry doesn't teach her to have a happy heart. It teaches her to hide her heart from you. Besides, the Bible says NO ONE but God can know what's in another person's heart, and parents are not exempt from that rule. The fact of the matter is that you don't know her heart, and teaching her to smile in order to make you happy will never change her heart OR give you what the Bible says belongs only to God, which is the ability to know another person's heart. JMO, as a former ultra-conservative Christian who never heard of such a thing from anyone in my church.

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I know that you probably will completely ignore my advice, but I just have to say that I wish you would rethink the whole deal where you spank her (and she doesn't understand why) and then ask her for a hug. Sounds like the perfect recipe to raise a daughter who will seek out an abusive partner later in life. Just a thought.

 

 

:iagree:

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but I just have to say that I wish you would rethink the whole deal where you spank her (and she doesn't understand why) and then ask her for a hug.

 

I never spank her when she doesn't know why - she knows exactly why every time. I don't ask her for a hug. When the spanking is over, I ask her if she wants to hug me. I would understand if she said 'no' but she always wants one and I LOVE her hugs...just wanted to clarify...

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You didn't exactly say that, but you mentioned that when you threatened to take away Elmo's World, she straightened up. .... And what is wrong with that? I would rather take away privileges for them being naughty (or have them earn them by being good) than spank all day long.

 

Spanking is not working for you, obviously. What you are going to end up with is a child who is afraid of her mother. I don't think you want that.

 

Thank you. That was what I was getting at. I also wanted to comment on your thoughts on obedience in the workplace. As a woman that's a professional in the world I don't know that obedience in the work place is all that great of a trait anyway. My bosses don't want me to just follow their orders, they want me to think and if they ask me to do something that I don't think is the right way to go about fixing a problem then want me to bring it up. Your 3 YEAR OLD daughter is not going to be hurt in her future employment by anything going on at this point in her life.

 

Also, I don't get hit if I don't do something in the workplace. Poor comparison in my opinion.

Edited by aggieamy
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I think she needs a do-over.

 

"sweetie, I'm glad you obeyed me, but you were crying and whining. So now I need you to do it again but with a cheerful attitude."

 

rinse repeat.

 

thanks for this - grace is important. I am such a non-emotional person that crying annoys me (just being real). I will try to do this from now on - thanks again :)

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Why do you want to break her will? Teaching obedience/disciplining and breaking her will are two different things. I always saw my children's will as a God given gift that, while sometimes needing to be reined in, is their defense against everything in the world they are going to have to say No to. That will is going to help her be strong someday.

 

I will not comment on the spanking. If it were my dd (and it has been a couple of times), and considering that she just turn 3, I would consider this to still be training time. She's very, very young. Time to pick something up: I help her or get her started. Time to go potty: I get her and put her on the potty. I would make sure any chore is equal to her age and time span. Please, please consider her age. If she didn't listen, I would get down on her level, turn her face toward me, and make eye contact. If she's misbehaving, I would re-direct her behavior.

 

Does it take a lot of time? Yes. A lot of patience? Yes. Does it work? It has in our family. Did I always do this? No - just a human, sleep deprived, short tempered mom at times.

 

I've never read about too much about tomato staking, just what I've seen here on this board, but it sounds somewhat similar to what we did. Maybe that's something you could check out.

 

And please, take it easy on yourself. It's hard having small children underfoot, being pregnant, tired, keeping house and homeschooling. And small children can be trying, but they're learning and it's a huge learning curve.

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Btdt. I too was not taught how to respect authority and it did harm me in my early adult life. I also am a believer in biblical chastisement, but like Remudamom, I think spanking should be reserved for willful disobedience. Also, the dynamic with her older sister is not good imo. You need to get older sister to lay off.

 

OK,what to do? Well, at 3yo it is very, very difficult to determine if they actually understand what you saying and are being passively rebellious or not. I had the same insecurities you do. I spanked a lot and looking back - for one child in particular - I think I would have taken a different approach at that age.

 

I know that one of mine was such a headache (in my estimation) that I actually began dreading him waking up each morning and having to deal with his behavior for yet another day. Not a good way to begin the day, let me tell you. I made a conscious decision to switch my thinking - radically. Each morning when he got out of bed and meandered into the living room I said, "Is that my cutie little boy? Come here and sit on my lap." Then I would snuggle him and read to him and snuggle him some more. All through the day I would try to enjoy him and not dread him. Gradually, his behavior began to turn around and he became more and more pleasant to be around. Now that could be just because he was maturing, but I like to think it had something to do with my change of approach.

 

You haven't really said how you respond to your daughter generally - but if you are like I was and dread having to deal with her and kind of cringe when you hear the bedroom door open in the morning, then I suggest you try this approach. Give her lots of love and cuddles. Overdo it. Get big sister to stop bossing her around, too.

 

Spanking should be a rare occurrence, saved for that beligerent child who shouts, "No! You're not the boss of me!!" or the child who is being destructive to others or their property after being taught not to. I might smack a little hand that is getting too near a stove burner, but other than that I would not spank unless my child showed outright signs of rebellion.

 

Natural consequences are also a good tool. Think about what your child is trying to gain from being forgetful, or not listening or not doing what you asked her to do. Then make sure she does NOT get it. Do not just let this kind of behavior slide - you need to address it - just not by spanking. Get up (off your butt, as Joanne would say, lol) and deal with her each and every time she does not follow through on your command. Do not let her wander away and get lost in some other activity. Be diligent until she completes the task. That way she knows you mean it.

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http://www.raisinggodlytomatoes.com/ might help.

 

BTW I hate the phrase breaking the will. There may come a time in the future when she very much needs that will. it also implies that mom and child are on opposite teams working against one another. I prefer to convince (through various methods, spanking as a last resort for big stuff) them to come over to my side of things.

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You said you got good behavior by rewarding your daughter with Elmo's World - why not use that type of system? Think about it - if you do well in school, you get an A; if you show up for work and do your job, you get paid. No one hits you if you don't do what's expected, but they do reward you if you do. Try that for awhile and see if it produces the results you want.

 

I don't think a swat on the bottom ever killed anyone, but if I had to hit my child ten times in one day, it would kill me and I'd be looking for some other way.

Edited by Mejane
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I never spank her when she doesn't know why - she knows exactly why every time. I don't ask her for a hug. When the spanking is over, I ask her if she wants to hug me. I would understand if she said 'no' but she always wants one and I LOVE her hugs...just wanted to clarify...

I thought you said she doesn't seem to be making the connection. It still sounds like setting her up for an abusive relationship in the future, IMO.

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I'm not anti-spanking, but I agree with the others that you're over-using this tool.

 

She is little. Discipline is about teaching what is right, not about breaking their spirit. If you are consistently practicing what's right, you will eventually see the fruits of that effort.

 

Can you make some things easier/more fun? For example-potty time, that seems easy enough. Why is she crying about it? Is it because you're interrupting what she's doing? Kids need a minute to adjust. So, you say (in a cheerful voice) in two minutes we're going to the potty. A minute later you say in one minute we're going potty, put your crayon down, push pause on your movie or whatever she needs to do to prepare. Give her a potty chart so that she gets a sticker every time she goes to potty. Not everything in her young life needs to be sad of hard.

 

Naptime-again, give warning that it's coming. Put on an audio tape, read a story before naptime, give her a transition time.

 

You can go get her and walk her through it until she gets that that's how it is and it's easier on everyone if she just complies.

 

resources:

http://www.loveandlogic.com/

 

Positive Discipline for Preschoolers

 

Dr. Sears' Discipline Book

Edited by Mrs Mungo
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I never spank her when she doesn't know why - she knows exactly why every time. I don't ask her for a hug. When the spanking is over, I ask her if she wants to hug me. I would understand if she said 'no' but she always wants one and I LOVE her hugs...just wanted to clarify...

 

 

After being spanked, could she be afraid to say no to your hug? Just a thought.

 

I know you are trying to do the best you can do, and it is hard to be pregnant and take care of little ones at the same time. Maybe you could read up a little on child development and see what is typical behavior for 3 yos? I'll second the Love and Logic approach someone mentioned above. It has to be hurting you to spank her that much, isn't it?

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I'm afraid I don't really understand how motivating her by "do this or get a spanking" is any different from "do this or we don't watch Elmo" - either way it is motivating them through self-interest, through avoiding something unpleasant.

 

I'm pg myself, and I sympathize with the raging emotions - hard to deal with, even as an adult :grouphug:. But your dd is only three - if we adults don't have the ability to 100% obey God the first time, quickly and with a happy heart, with all our experience, how much harder is it for a small child, with the same emotions but so much less experience dealing with them! She needs to be taught how to deal with them - but teaching her to obey by spanking her for failing is, to me, like teaching her math by spanking her for each wrong math problem - without ever having actually taught her *how* to do those problems :001_huh:.

 

My dd4 is very emotional, also - she cries quite a bit over things not going just as she would prefer, and (just like her mother ;)) she is often very persistent as she tries to get things as she would prefer. I know with my dd's combo of sensitivity and persistence, spanking over every infraction would *kill* our relationship. I have found much better success by working to teach her *how* to work through her emotions and do what needs to be done anyway - I use *my* personal methods for persevering in spite of my emotions as a starting place. It's hard work - but then I've hardly mastered that lesson myself ;). It's a work in progress for us all :grouphug:.

 

I pray you can find a way that works for both you and your dd :grouphug: - it doesn't sound like spanking (at least as you are currently practicing it) is it.

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Why do you want to break her will? Teaching obedience/disciplining and breaking her will are two different things. I always saw my children's will as a God given gift that, while sometimes needing to be reined in, is their defense against everything in the world they are going to have to say No to. That will is going to help her be strong someday.

:iagree: Well said!

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If I can just make a gentle suggestion to you. Please consider reading Loving Our Kids on Purpose by Danny Silk. And the other book I would suggest is Grace Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel. These 2 books have changed my parenting dramatically. Not that I have it down perfectly by any means, I don't. But, my now 8yr old was as strong willed as they come and I truly have fears that I have ruined our relationship forever b/c I was so much more harsh in her younger years. :crying:

 

I am a conservative Christian and these 2 books are very Biblical, however, they can really give you a complete paradigm shift...they have for me, and I'm so grateful.

 

Thanks for letting me share...this is a topic that is very close to my heart and I try not to get involved in the discussions too much for fear I will say too much, but I hope these book suggestions might help you as much as they've helped me! :)

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10x in one day is bordering on abuse. You need to step back, take a deep breath, and stop spanking her.

 

She's 3. I have yet to meet a 3yo who isn't stubborn. They are gaining independence, are learning to verbalize their needs/desires/protests, and it can be a confusing time for them.

 

She needs gentleness and instruction on what the boundaries are.

 

God doesn't teach me obedience and boundaries by breaking my will. He is patient. He gently speaks to me. At times He is firm in what He is asking me to do, but all the while he is patient and gentle. He doesn't physically hurt me because I don't obey the very first time He asks something of me.

 

Why should I be any different with my children? Why is it ok for someone to hit their child when the child doesn't obey? Would you slap an adult because he/she didn't do what you asked him/her to do? Why is it ok to do that to a child?

 

It's just as easy and effective, and CERTAINLY less harmful, IMHO, to plop her down on a step and make her take a time out away from the fun things she wants to be doing every single time she doesn't "obey." Or make her stand in a corner. Or something that doesn't involve physically hurting her, especially multiple times a day.

:iagree:

 

She's only 3. Help her, model for her, encourage her. Tell her to come, if she doesn't then just go get her & help her come. Talk to her kindly & with love & make obeying you a happy feeling.

:iagree:

 

When you can, give her a "heads up" that something is about to happen. Take nap time for example. Buy a timer. Set the timer for five minutes and tell her what you are doing.

 

"You have five more minutes to play before nap time. When this timer beeps let's go pick out a book together and I will read to you before nap time!"

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Why do you want to break her will?

 

I DON'T! Sorry! That was the question: how to train & discipline WITHOUT breaking her will!

 

Teaching obedience/disciplining and breaking her will are two different things. I always saw my children's will as a God given gift that, while sometimes needing to be reined in, is their defense against everything in the world they are going to have to say No to. That will is going to help her be strong someday.

 

I will not comment on the spanking. If it were my dd (and it has been a couple of times), and considering that she just turn 3, I would consider this to still be training time. She's very, very young. Time to pick something up: I help her or get her started. Time to go potty: I get her and put her on the potty. I would make sure any chore is equal to her age and time span. Please, please consider her age. If she didn't listen, I would get down on her level, turn her face toward me, and make eye contact. If she's misbehaving, I would re-direct her behavior.

 

Does it take a lot of time? Yes. A lot of patience? Yes. Does it work? It has in our family. Did I always do this? No - just a human, sleep deprived, short tempered mom at times.

 

I've never read about too much about tomato staking, just what I've seen here on this board, but it sounds somewhat similar to what we did. Maybe that's something you could check out.

 

And please, take it easy on yourself. It's hard having small children underfoot, being pregnant, tired, keeping house and homeschooling. And small children can be trying, but they're learning and it's a huge learning curve.

 

thank you for all of this.

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Thank you. That was what I was getting at. I also wanted to comment on your thoughts on obedience in the workplace. As a woman that's a professional in the world I don't know that obedience in the work place is all that great of a trait anyway. My bosses don't want me to just follow their orders, they want me to think and if they ask me to do something that I don't think is the right way to go about fixing a problem then want me to bring it up. Your 3 YEAR OLD daughter is not going to be hurt in her future employment by anything going on at this point in her life.

 

Also, I don't get hit if I don't do something in the workplace. Poor comparison in my opinion.

 

sorry for the poor comparison - I group obedience, submission, respect, etc. when I mention all of those things. For example, I talked back to my bosses and did not respect them (NOT GOOD) and submission to my dh is a struggle at times - I want to help my children with those things (esp. my girls)...

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Also, the dynamic with her older sister is not good imo. You need to get older sister to lay off.

 

yeah, no kidding - I try - any advice welcome there too :)

 

OK,what to do? Well, at 3yo it is very, very difficult to determine if they actually understand what you saying and are being passively rebellious or not. I had the same insecurities you do. I spanked a lot and looking back - for one child in particular - I think I would have taken a different approach at that age.

 

I know that one of mine was such a headache (in my estimation) that I actually began dreading him waking up each morning and having to deal with his behavior for yet another day. Not a good way to begin the day, let me tell you.

 

I TOTALLY feel this way :( I think pregnancy has a lot to do w/it as well...

 

I made a conscious decision to switch my thinking - radically. Each morning when he got out of bed and meandered into the living room I said, "Is that my cutie little boy? Come here and sit on my lap." Then I would snuggle him and read to him and snuggle him some more. All through the day I would try to enjoy him and not dread him. Gradually, his behavior began to turn around and he became more and more pleasant to be around. Now that could be just because he was maturing, but I like to think it had something to do with my change of approach.

 

thx

 

You haven't really said how you respond to your daughter generally - but if you are like I was and dread having to deal with her and kind of cringe when you hear the bedroom door open in the morning, then I suggest you try this approach. Give her lots of love and cuddles. Overdo it. Get big sister to stop bossing her around, too.

 

Spanking should be a rare occurrence, saved for that beligerent child who shouts, "No! You're not the boss of me!!" or the child who is being destructive to others or their property after being taught not to. I might smack a little hand that is getting too near a stove burner, but other than that I would not spank unless my child showed outright signs of rebellion.

 

Natural consequences are also a good tool. Think about what your child is trying to gain from being forgetful, or not listening or not doing what you asked her to do. Then make sure she does NOT get it. Do not just let this kind of behavior slide - you need to address it - just not by spanking. Get up (off your butt, as Joanne would say, lol) and deal with her each and every time she does not follow through on your command. Do not let her wander away and get lost in some other activity. Be diligent until she completes the task. That way she knows you mean it.

 

thx

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http://www.raisinggodlytomatoes.com/ might help.

 

BTW I hate the phrase breaking the will. There may come a time in the future when she very much needs that will. it also implies that mom and child are on opposite teams working against one another. I prefer to convince (through various methods, spanking as a last resort for big stuff) them to come over to my side of things.

 

yeah, sorry, I meant I DON'T want to break her will!

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Have you talked with her about how precious her tears are? I talked with my

little girls about this (ah, it's always been my girls....PPPPPPMS, I guess...). I share with them that they really should be saved for when they are really necessary. The Boy Who Cried Wolf is a good story example.

 

That said, I find that they shed those tears in hopes of an audience or your change of mind. I have learned to remain calm and say, "Even if you cry about it, you will still have to pick up your toys (make your bed, etc, etc)." When I calmly resist caving, the teary outbursts come less often. You will have to use this tactic repeatedly...lather, rinse, repeat.

 

Occasionally I will ask, "Are you sure you aren't wasting those tears? Do you think you should save them for something really important?"

 

Hang in there. Remember the two sons from Jesus' parable in Matthew. One said 'yes sir!' to his father, but did not obey. The second griped, but then obeyed. The LORD knows none of us obey joyfully all the time. Use a lot of grace as you train your dear girl through this. Hard to think so now, but this stage will pass.

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I'm all for first time cheerful obedience. At the same time I practice appropriate consequences. That said, my dd has been spanked less than a handful to times in her life, and at her age that will be all she receives.

 

Three year olds do not have a clue what first time obedience is. They do not know to cheerfully do what you ask them, when you ask them to. As far as they are concerned the world revolved around them. And really, IMHO, to an extent it should. They are small creatures exploring their world.

 

Your dd can not cheerfully obey until you show her what it is. If she does not come to you, get up off your rear and go get her. Cheerfully make her come to where you were. Don't beat her into submission. Don't snatch her by the arm and drag her across the room.

 

I can not believe anyone would spank a child for not going potty. That is absolutely outrageous! So, nap time is a little late or you use the appropriate consequence and put a diaper on the bottom.

 

Also, 3-year olds try their adults every. single. day. They are not doing this to be rebellious or stubborn or whatever negative label you want to apply to justify the spanking.

 

You as the parent have to model behavior over and over and over again until it becomes second nature to the child. At that point the child will start to obey cheerfully the first time. It is a lot more work than trying to beat them into submission.

 

ETA: How long has she been awake today? 10 hours? If you work it out she has been hit once for every hour she has been awake.

Edited by Parrothead
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I agree! I have found that with my more emotional children, spanking is the least effective tool (and should be the *last resort* too anyhowl!) to use. They have trouble getting their emotions in check and are ruled by them, because they are immature little humans. I give more grace and training whenever possible rather than punishments. Training, which is exhausting and time-consuming, yes, has better results in most kids than simple spanking which can be the easier way out, believe it or not. But the effectiveness of spanking relies so much on a child's personality, developed (or not) sense of morality and fairness, and how often it's used. When spanking is the go-to "discipline", it seems less effective.

 

2 favorite training techniques of mine:

 

The Rewind: When a wrong behavior choice is made, we walk through the right/better response together. Stomping up stairs in anger? My 15yo dd STILL rewinds and has to do it over! LOL She's been doing it since she was 3; less often now... ;)

 

Good Choice/Bad Choice: When you see or feel a situtation is ready to blow or are giving your child a request/command that you KNOW is going to probably cause their contrary nature or misbehavior to rear its ugly head, offer them the good choice in that situation and how it will benefit them/you along WITH the request. "Jane, I need you to pick up those blocks now. A good choice would be to do it quickly so that we can go get our lunch!" Maybe add in an occasional pep talk line: "I know you can do it really FAST!" Sometimes adding the negatives of the bad choice helps as well: "If we don't get those cleaned up now, though, our lunch might get cold (or we will have to wait longer to go to the park, whatever)." It doesn't have to be long and drawn out every time, though.

 

If it's too late for preventative medicine, haha, go over the good choice opportunity that was missed when the child made the poor choice and explain how much better it could have been. Look forward to the good choice being made next time and PRAISE big-time when that happens! Lots of praise for good choices is HUGE at our house. On the other hand, downplaying an emotional response to the poor choices has a greater effect and we tend to use matter-of-fact tones with those as much as possible.

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Can you make some things easier/more fun? For example-potty time, that seems easy enough. Why is she crying about it? Is it because you're interrupting what she's doing? Kids need a minute to adjust. So, you say (in a cheerful voice) in two minutes we're going to the potty. A minute later you say in one minute we're going potty, put your crayon down, push pause on your movie or whatever she needs to do to prepare. Give her a potty chart so that she gets a sticker every time she goes to potty. Not everything in her young life needs to be sad of hard.

 

Okay, NO bashing my dh b/c I LOVE him but I used to warn dd1 all the time: "we are leaving in 5 min, bedtime in 5 min, etc." and she NEVER threw a fit or anything. however, my dh who is way more laid back than me (I am ALWAYS on a schedule), would say out of the blue, "okay, it's time to go to bed" and she would BREAK down! It was b/c she always got a warning and he said he wanted me to not warn as much b/c she needs to be able to obey even when she is not warned...does that make sense? So now, I don't warn at all (I am very all or nothing, can you tell?). Maybe I should work on my balancing skills - warning some and not warning some :)

 

Naptime-again, give warning that it's coming. Put on an audio tape, read a story before naptime, give her a transition time.

 

You can go get her and walk her through it until she gets that that's how it is and it's easier on everyone if she just complies.

 

resources:

http://www.loveandlogic.com/

 

Positive Discipline for Preschoolers

 

Dr. Sears' Discipline Book

 

thanks for the resources

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That said, I find that they shed those tears in hopes of an audience or your change of mind. I have learned to remain calm and say, "Even if you cry about it, you will still have to pick up your toys (make your bed, etc, etc)." When I calmly resist caving, the teary outbursts come less often. You will have to use this tactic repeatedly...lather, rinse, repeat.

I like the C.S. Lewis quote: "Crying is all right in its own way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do."

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I'm afraid I don't really understand how motivating her by "do this or get a spanking" is any different from "do this or we don't watch Elmo" - either way it is motivating them through self-interest, through avoiding something unpleasant.

 

I'm pg myself, and I sympathize with the raging emotions - hard to deal with, even as an adult :grouphug:. But your dd is only three - if we adults don't have the ability to 100% obey God the first time, quickly and with a happy heart, with all our experience, how much harder is it for a small child, with the same emotions but so much less experience dealing with them! She needs to be taught how to deal with them - but teaching her to obey by spanking her for failing is, to me, like teaching her math by spanking her for each wrong math problem - without ever having actually taught her *how* to do those problems :001_huh:.

 

My dd4 is very emotional, also - she cries quite a bit over things not going just as she would prefer, and (just like her mother ;)) she is often very persistent as she tries to get things as she would prefer. I know with my dd's combo of sensitivity and persistence, spanking over every infraction would *kill* our relationship. I have found much better success by working to teach her *how* to work through her emotions and do what needs to be done anyway - I use *my* personal methods for persevering in spite of my emotions as a starting place.

 

Any specific insight about this? I am NOT emotional so I just don't get it. I just logically explain it to dd1 and she gets it - doesn't work that way for dd2...

 

It's hard work - but then I've hardly mastered that lesson myself ;). It's a work in progress for us all :grouphug:.

 

I pray you can find a way that works for both you and your dd :grouphug: - it doesn't sound like spanking (at least as you are currently practicing it) is it.

 

thx

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:grouphug:

 

I haven't read all of the responses, so forgive me if I repeat.

 

At 3, especially just-3, most children are still developing a true sense of cause-and-effect, and the language centers in their brains are still developing.

 

She may not fully understand why she's being spanked. I know that to us as adults it is crystal clear, not obeying (whatever that is in the adult's eyes)=spanking, and often we feel that the child *should* understand. But she may not be there developmentally yet. Asking her to obey so that she can watch a show is a different kind of causal connection than a spanking after *not* obeying.

 

It may simply take her some time to process the directions. She might still need to hear things more than once before it clicks.

 

Threes still think with their little bodies. She may need a gentle physical direction: "Time for nap" accompanied by a loving hand on her shouder to guide her to her bed. "Oops, dear sweet, Momma said come here," followed by walking to her and taking her hand. "Little ones who fuss and cry need a rest on their bed," then calmly carrying her to sit on her bed. This is not giving in to disobedience. It's providing age-appropriate guidance and discipline/direction.

 

You are clearly a loving momma, with a little girl who loves your hugs. If you choose spanking as a discipline tool, save it for the big stuff.

 

Cat

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Hang in there. Remember the two sons from Jesus' parable in Matthew. One said 'yes sir!' to his father, but did not obey. The second griped, but then obeyed. The LORD knows none of us obey joyfully all the time. Use a lot of grace as you train your dear girl through this. Hard to think so now, but this stage will pass.

 

thank you for the reminder :)

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