Today I had an opportunity to watch one of my favorite shows, where childhood problems were being discussed. Breastfeeding after the child was once weened off of breast milk, that would seem to me to be a no-brainer. Honestly just think about that one for a moment and you will not require the consultation of a psychologist. Breast milk is for babies not for children. A child asking for breast milk is having another type of issue, and it is usually competition of the attention of mom because of another sibling.
The other case, one which is very familiar is that the child decided what he or she will or will not eat. My mother who had five children, knew how to handle that one. What? you don't want to eat, your not hungry, leave the table. Nothing would be given in between either. One of my aunts told me she was punished for asking for a second cup of milk, during the depression and while she was bringing home the bacon. We are too soft with our children, who are playing us. Yes, it is a power struggle and if they win, have fun when they are teen-agers.
The other two dealt with going to bed and getting up, and that again is their way of testing your tolerance. I learned how to deal with that one when my oldest son was still in his crib and a wise doctor told me to have my husband block his ears or go out while the infant screamed himself to sleep and eventually the resistance would become nil and go away. It could have meant that he even could get sick and he said to that, "clean it in the morning". Now they have come with videos that show animals yawning and stars along with soft music and eventually after 20 minutes, lights are out for the night. The understanding here is that this is the behaviour of the child continually, and not an occasional sleep disruption, where something may be off, like a nightmare or fear or illness.
Children usually do not become disagreeable for nothing. What the experts claim is that this is in fact a power struggle. Who should rule the roost? You. It is that simple. Learn to say NO. And never allow them to say "NO" to you.
I believe in positive reinforcement. Bribing is okay. They gladly go to sleep when Santa's coming. They want things, mostly your attention. Gold stars work. A favorite video, and sometimes pennies saved toward a favorite toy. Let them earn things by "good" behavior or a special treat. Sound familiar?
I once knew a boy who would not go potty. Nothing worked because he loved watching his parents squirm. With everything, it was his way or the highway. One day while playing with friends, one of the boys said Uh! you still go in your pants, and he told all the other boys who made fun of and teased him. The humbled boy changed his tune fast, peer pressure, is a good tool. The experts say that a young child should learn from watching an older child use the potty, or dad in the case of a boy. And believe it or not besides reading about it, you can purchase a doll who demonstrates the bathroom technique.
Its probably a sad fact that some parents never really get it. Or, perhaps they just cannot discipline their child. What that means is that unfortunately, you are setting your child up for failure. A person who is disciplined in their behaviours will be able to face all problems with a sense of security and recourse of action. Everyone knows that you cannot always have it your way and when you cannot and you can't handle it, it sets you up for an unhappy and insecure life. Relationships will be shattered, and that may include yours.
I have a neighbor who has three boys, and she said something to me once that I thought wise. Something my mother said that I forgot. "They've got to respect you." And that is something that you teach them. Is it time to stop letting them dump on you? I would say so. Everything has its limit.
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