Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 18 of 20

Thread: Dealing with challenging behaviour

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Australia
    Posts
    8,980

    Default Dealing with challenging behaviour

    One of the many joys of parenting!!! What do you do when you are faced with challenging behaviour? It's important to mention ages here too as it will be different for each age group.

    For Marisa, who is 3.5 years now, we always try to avoid the negative - for example, instead of saying, "Marisa! You stop running through the house this instant!," we'd say something like, "It's time to settle down now Marisa, how about you come and do xxx" This way not only have we distracted her by trying to get her interest in something else, but we've gotten the message across without demanding or asserting power over her which she would no doubt try to resist!!!

    Of course this doesn't work every single time, as anything with young children but we find she is much more responsive and understanding as a result and it works a majority of the time. I'm very aware that she needs time to 'be a kid' - sometimes I feel John gets too stressed over a weeny little mess or over normal young child behaviour. I know his dad was very strict with him though so I can understand why he does it.

    Of course, we don't always have the patience to do this all the time too LOL! I have lost my temper every now and again but I am trying hard to teach myself that if I can feel myself getting to that point, that I tell her that mummy is feeling angry/frustrated right now and needs to have five minutes to myself to calm down.



    What sort of things do you do?
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Beautiful Adelaide!
    Posts
    2,877

    Default

    Olivia is now 20 months, and is really in the toddlerdom zone, where whatever she wants she wants it NOW, and as such gets screechy and demanding, which drives me batty!

    For example, she will be in her high chair and I will be making her lunch. She will see her water cup on the bench and scream, as if her life is threatened, "Drink, drink, DRINK, DRIIIIINNNNK, DRINK!"

    Somedays it is my tempatation to grab the drink and slam it down on the tray table, simply to get some peace. But I guess I am aware that whilst I know toddlers are egotistical little tackers, I also want her to start understanding that of course she can have her drink, but to start asking for it in a pleasant fashion?

    So as soon as she starts screeching, I go to the high chair, sit down opposite her (rather than leaning over her) and give her her lunch, and say calmly, "Now, do I gather that you would also like your drink? Shall I get your drink for you Olivia? Hold on, I will just get your drink." Then get the drink. Makes me sound a bit demented, but it seems to work!

    By repeating what she wants, 3 times, I am trying to tell her that I understand her, and am happy to accomodate, in a peaceful fashion.

    When she is not screeching, and waiting pateiently, I then always compliment her with something like "Thank you for waiting darling....it is so nice to have a peaceful happy lunch with you". She always grins her head off when I say stuff like that, so I am hoping she begins to aspire to gather more praise!!

    This type of confirmation that I understand her needs/what she is asking for seems to be working, as we seem to be having a lot less screeching. Yesterday at lunch, she even looked at me sweetly with her head on one side and said "Gogurt Mummy?" in such a nice way, I lept out of my chair to wait hand and foot on her to get her a yogurt!

  3. #3
    Debbie Lee Guest

    Default

    Ooo I like that strategy, Lucy! I will definitely have to remember that one when Gabby starts getting demanding when she's older. I have a short temper so a strategy like that might help me to respond rather than react.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Outer Eastern Subs - Melb
    Posts
    1,544

    Default

    I learnt through a training sesion at work - nothing to do with children - that people/kids will often latch onto the last thing you said, so rather than saying, "Don't run" choose the option where they will hear what you want them to do... "Please walk".

    IMO it's also important to explain why we don't do what they are doing... eg "because it's not safe to run in the house" "because we don't run in the house" "because it's not safe to run with scissors", "because Mummy has a headache and it's really noisy when you run". Whatever the reason explaining is so important with kids so they know they're not just being bossed around, they know we have a real reason for asking them to do the things we do.

    HTH

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Australia
    Posts
    8,980

    Default

    Yep we do that too - it's very good advice

    Also something we're going to be doing now we have two is to give Marisa more of her own personal space / area in her room where she can do things with her own toys. She loves to quietly colour in or read, and it's hard for her to do her thing quietly when Elijah wants to come and play too - she gets angry and is rough with him at times. It's like Pinky's most recent article with a second baby, "Imagine: Your partner has just brought home a new lover and announced that you are all going to live together. It will be fun! You will be best friends! After hearing that you and the new lover will be loved equally by your partner, you are asked to share your things (all of them) with the new lover."

    So we're going to get a safety gate and put it on her door, so she can go into her room and play undisturbed if she wants to, with a basket of her most favourite toys. We're also getting rid of the queen sized bed (only because we bought a new one and gave her our old one!) which takes up lots of room. So by doing this, she can make more of her own space in her room and I am sure will result in more sibling harmony!!!
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Outer Eastern Subs - Melb
    Posts
    1,544

    Default

    Indeed!

    Kelly, we too will be putting some kind of gate on Viv's door when Blake is up and running.

    I think she's having some issues about sharing me with Blake. She no longer has my full and undivided attention whenever she want it as "the lover" also needs me We make sure she gets quality time without Blake as well as much needed mummy/daughter time.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Copenhagen
    Posts
    617

    Default

    Okay I have a tricky one, but maybe its a common one for some of you out there.

    Our little 3 month old has had screaming fits from 3 weeks of age. We have had him diagnosed with colic and treated him accordingly (with colic relief medicine and osteopathy). But he still has a screaming fit once every couple of days. Top of the lungs screaming...highest pitch, deafening completely unstoppable screaming. He won't feed, he won't lie down, nothing in his nappy, his temperature is fine, he won't stand up, listen to me sing, bounce on the fit ball, walk around, go in the sling, the pram! Nothing! Completely in his own world of pain (in the stomach we assume).
    eg yesterday we were in the park for a picnic and he woke up and had a feed and burped, everything was hunky dory, then suddenly out of nowhere we had terrifying screaming, that didn't stop for half an hour. We tried EVERYTHING! Eventually we put him in the pram and pushed him around until he fell asleep again. He was all smiles the rest of the day.

    Anyway, my point is I find this behaviour extremely challenging! I'm happy to hear any suggestions how I can keep my cool when it gets bad. A good mantra perhaps? Sometimes I feel like its public humiliation that I have a baby that is in so much pain, 'what sort of mother is she to let him suffer..' or 'why can't she settle him?'...Being new at the game I should just worry less about others and more about how to comfort the little one I guess.

  8. #8
    Kirsty77 Guest

    Default

    I can relate Deb and I'd like to hear everyones advice.Gemma yesterday had a screaming fit in the afternoon from about 5.45-6.45pm.I just couldn't do anything to settle her at first.I did everything walked, checked nappy, she'd just had a bottle, burped, patted, rubbed everything!I think it could have been cause Corey wasn't home from work as he finishes at 5.30pm and had to go to a work function till 7.30pm.Could she have been missing him?Normally as soon as he gets home he has a shower then devotes all his time to her, then at 7.00pm he gives her a bottle then baths her.Or is it just a coincidence?I know most bubs have an unsettled period that starts around 5pm, its just that Gem can normally be settled so easily and hasn't done the uncontrollable crying thing in weeks!

  9. #9

    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Beautiful Adelaide!
    Posts
    2,877

    Default

    I was smacked once, and only once, as a child, by my Dad (very out of character for him, I must have been driving him to distraction!) and it is one of my clearest and most upsettling childhood memories. He cried, I cried, it was just terrible. I never want to give Olivia or Charlie a memory like that! So

    So Theresa, I am totally with you on the no smacking issue.

  10. #10
    Melinda Guest

    Default

    We have a "three strikes and you're out" policy in our house. Now that sounds like something harsh, but it's actually not - it's simply our way of referring to what we do! LOL

    Basically if Jacob is doing something that we don't want him to do, we always say "no" or "ah" sternly to him and make eye contact with him. At the same time, we normally say something like "Jacob, we don't play with cords because they are dangerous" followed by offering an alternative like "come and help Mummy do X please". If he continues with what he is doing, we repeat the process another 2 times - so he is told "no" or "ah" a total of three times. The idea behind this is to give him the opportunity to quietly remove himself from the situation before we intervene, whilst also letting him know why it is that what he's doing isn't acceptable. Obviously if the situation is dangerous, there is immediate intervention! If after us doing this three times, he hasn't responded or moved away, then we physically remove him from what he is doing and provide him with an alternative....which might be a different toy, a book (usually a very good distraction for Jacob) or some kind of other activity. Sometimes he may well throw a tantrum when he removed from the situation/activity, but distracting him seems to work fairly well.....at this stage!

    I think the safety-gate on Marisa's door is a really good idea and something that we will keep in mind for Jacob when we have another baby. Currently he has toys and boys in our lounge room with his own dedicated space and he loves that.

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Forestville NSW
    Posts
    8,944

    Default

    Deb, Matilda often screamed for hours as well. She had reflux and I would try everything, often I would have her in the sling, bouncing on the fit ball and crying as well. The only advice I have is to breath. Take deep slow breaths and maybe remove yourself from her for a few minutes to do it and restore some peace within you. I found that Matilda settled better if I was able to settle down too. So I would put her in her rocker or pram and strap her in and take a step outside and breath & stretch for a minute, then I would go back in and restart settling her.

    Good luck!!

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Copenhagen
    Posts
    617

    Default

    Hey Christy, thanks for your advice. Slow deep breaths are always a good thing to remind oneself to do in times of stress.

    Kirsty - I hope your Gem has settled and isn't giving you too much of an ear-ache this week! Alex has a scream around bathtime or while dressing after his bath just about every day. We have tried bringing the time forward now to 5:30, but it hasn't helped much. We've learnt this scream means 'I'm just tired and over it!' Or ... 'I need to get rid of this last bit of energy...and VENT!' and then he's ready for bed.

    A good suggestion may be to have a set of ear-plugs handy. It cuts out that ear piercing part of the scream and then you can safely hold the baby on your chest with his head up near your ear and not worry about going deaf!

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Outer East, Melbourne
    Posts
    581

    Default

    Hi - I'm not sure if I read this or someone told me, but if you are saying no to something, then give them an alternative that they can touch or do.

    Cait is nearly four now and I find that if I'm going somewhere with the potential to misbehave (just about anywhere!) I set some rules down before we leave home or get out of the car and explain the consequences if she does not do as she's told. And I ask her to repeat things that I've just said.

    I learnt this from teaching rounds with the preps, I went to great lengths to tell them how we would be getting ready to go to the library, about being quiet on the walk up, but not about what to do once we got there ... once we did get there they went psycho, there was tears and blood and mayhem !

    I have a sister who is 16 years younger than me and I used to smack her when we were both at home and she used to come back with 'that didnt hurt' which just made me want to smack her harder. As a result of this I don't smack Cait now and try to keep the yelling to a minimum. For a while, 'angry face' worked - I used to put on this stern head if she starting playing up, but she's over that now.

    I did the mother of all yells about a year ago when she got into my jewellery and I found an earing in every room, necklaces in the bathroom sink .. that sort of thing ... and Cait remembers that yell !

    Barb.

  14. #14

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Ubiquity
    Posts
    9,922

    Default

    You know what girls, nearly everything you've all said I do LOL! We have 3 strikes unless its dangerous or extremely unexceptable behaviour. I use time out to set boundaries, I don't like it to be used as a threat as I don't think it works. As humans we work on consequences, we do things to see what the consequence or reaction is and then we know what to expect and are comforted or feel safe by that. I find when Paris knows whats going to happen we have a happy house

    I try really hard not to yell, but sadly I'm still learning on that one. In 4 yrs I can honestly say I can count on my fingers the times I've done my top, but I will have to start using toes soon LOL! However we have a very strict respect policy in our house. We respect each other as people, not as child or adult, parent or daughter but as people and I find this works best for us. In any situation of any type of behaviour I always try and find a reason, a reason for the behaviour or a reason why it bothers me, or both. And then I try and work with that.

    But I'm not perfect, I often forget, and need to remind myself. For example most recently (last wednesday in fact) Paris had been playing with the remote, and when I went to look for it, it couldn't be found. I asked her where it was, she said she didn't know. I asked her to look for it so she wandered aimlessly through the house and came back and said she did. Now I know she hadn't looked she walked into each room stood at the door looked around and resolved that it couldn't be seen, therefore found LOL! I kept asking her please look for it, don't just stand at the door but LOOK for it. I was starting to get more and more anxious, then frustrated, then I finally lost my top and screamed "WHY CAN'T YOU LISTEN TO ME, I'VE ASKED YOU TO LOOK FOR IT!" And she's immediately covered her ears and said straight to my face "Mummy DO NOT YELL, the sound is hurting my ears" I snapped out of it instantly and apologised and cuddled her and repeatedly told her I was sorry for getting so angry, and I shouldn't have yelled blah blah blah (this is another strong policy in our house, if they should have to apologise for behaviour we don't like the same applies to us, and just as I can tell her to stop doing something so can she ie. yelling). We had a cry together and I felt (as you do) like the worlds WORST mother. I kept thinking about how many times this has happened, and how each time I say to myself you can't let this happen again etc etc. But then I stopped, I looked at her and I realised this wasn't working, I needed to address the problem differently. So I sat down and tried to think about why she didn't listen, and I realised. I have never shown her how to find something, how can I possibly expect a 3 nearly 4 yr old to find something when she doesn't know how. The reason she doesn't listen isn't because she wants to **** me, but its because she either doesn't understand what I'm saying, is distracted or doesn't have the confidence to do what I've asked and therefore needs my help. SO next time I'll stop and think about WHY she isn't doing what I've asked, or answering me or whatever it is that I normally respond with in my head "She's not listening". And I realised that with this "listening" situation I wasn't doing what I normally do and ask "why?". And I agree very much with Kelly's theory on "you reap what you sow" and she respects me and reacts to me in the same way.

    I am very pleased with how Marc and I have raised Paris. I am very lucky that we are on the same page when it comes to parenting. And I look at little things and I am glad. When I was a child and my father or mother yelled at me, I would NEVER in a million years had the guts to tell them to stop yelling. I know I shouldn't have yelled in the first place, but the fact she can tell me she doesn't like it and to stop makes me feel as though I've done something right, as she doesn't fear me or think I am intimidating iykwim. And so much so that the next day we were sitting and talking, reflecting about the wonderful day we'd had. And she mentioned that I hadn't yelled today. And I said no and she went on to say how "You screamed soooo loud mummy, and I don't like that like I don't like the wind or the fire (the towers at crown)" and I told her I know and that I would try not to do it again, I said I couldn't promise I wouldn't but I promised to try very hard (there's no point in promising something you can't, or she'll end up not trusting me). Her next remark was, "You wouldn't want to do that again" in a slightly threatening voice. I said why. Her reply was "Because the policeman will come and take you away, and that wouldn't be very nice would it mummy?" I was shocked. I've never used the policeman threat, I think its stupid she should see a policeman as a person she can trust not someone to fear. I explained to her casually that the policeman wouldn't take me away for screaming. But mummy should try not to scream because Paris doesn't like it, and (honestly) neither does mummy.

    Oh and lastly Theresa, Paris has never been smacked EVER. It has not done her any harm, in fact it has only done her good. It has taught me and her to overcome our differences through communication as I think they should be. I can see the difference a "talk" will have on Paris almost instantly. I was always warned that if I didn't smack her she would be naughty etc etc. Well Paris has great manners, she *does* listen (even though sometimes I think she doesn't), she knows her boundaries, and she is very thoughtful and concerned when she has overstepped them.

    This post is definitely bigger than I wanted, but I'm loving this section and I'm sure I'll be posting more.

    *hugs*
    Cailin

  15. #15

    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    419

    Default

    we, too, have never ever smacked our children, they are 10, 7 and 3 months. we were told that a smack never harmed anyone, would show them who was boss, sort them out! none of which, i believe, are true. we also base our family relationship on mutual respect. we all knock on each others doors. we speak nicely to each other, we consider the other person's point of veiw. our children are very respectful, loving and kind of us, each other and friends and have great self esteem, and a great sence of justice. we have weekly family meetings and have done so since our older child was about 3. this entails how we are feeling around the family. any issues we have and naming at least 3 positive things that another person has done within that week. this has taught our kids to be proud of themselves and each other (it also helps our self esteem as adults too as an aside!) we are always honest with our kids and try to encourage openness and honesty. i really believe ignoring bad behaviour has worked for us and as soon as the behaviour stops we try and find something positive that the child does for example my 7 year old didn't want to get drinks of water for everyone tonight at the dinner table (this is part of the jobs on job day which they alternate) DH my 10 year old and i kept our discussion going ignoring him until he gave up on not doing and went and got the water. as soon as he went towards the tap i said good boy zak for being so careful of the dishes in the sink and then included him in the conversation. have to go bubba crying be back to finish soon

    beckles

  16. #16

    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    419

    Default

    Deb, Oscar is also 3 months and has at least one screaming fit a day where nothing seems to calm him. i often just sit on the bed and try and relax and rock him gently back and forward and sing made up songs about how sad Oscar is and how mummy hates it when he crys usually just stuff about how i am feeling about him crying it kinda helps me cos i can express how i feel and i think it helps relax me and hence he becomes relaxed quicker.

    i guess we just have to wait until they mature and get through this stage. this too will pass!

    love beckles

  17. #17

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Copenhagen
    Posts
    617

    Default

    Hi Beckles, it sounds like you and your DH are doing really well raising your kids. Its very inspiring, so thanks for sharing!
    I will try making up a song next time, that's a really nice idea! And you're right, 'this too will pass'.

  18. #18

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    1,241

    Default

    Its great to see some of us on the same page. Cailin, you always amaze me with how you are with Paris and you do stuff I haven't even thought of!

    DH and I are very into treating Matthew how we would like to be treated. We were at the supermarket the other day and heard a dad (assuming) say to his DD (again I am assuming) 'Get out of the F******** way! 'The DD was around 7 and was only trying to her dad get to the car! I saw the look on her face, poor girl, it could have been a one off... but it was so sad to see her face. It was like he had slapped her.

    My own mum called me a female dog several times when i growing up - sometimes nastily and sometimes not but I still remember that and have never forgvien her for that. I'd hate to think Matthew feeling the same way when he is older.

    Matthew is just the same as us, only little so he deserves the same respect as me and DH.

    I could go on and on about this lol but I won't for now!

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •