thread: Natural consequences plus help for attitude......

  1. #1
    BellyBelly Member

    Jan 2007

    Natural consequences plus help for attitude......

    We are struggling big time here, lots of yelling because I am at the end of my rope so I know something has to give and am about to sit my squids down for a family meeting tonight to talk about our family and how it should work and run and wanted some help from you lovely people.

    A few questions and ideas about natural consequences.

    What are the consequences for a bad attitude and talking back. DS (4.5) has this habit of starting all sentences with NO but etc. it's doing our head in, we often need him to do something simple - like brush teeth, toilet, put on pjs etc. and its followed up with NO.... What can we do here?

    Both kids are talking/arguing back whenever we ask them to do ANYTHING = could be as simple as get your shoes on so we can go to the rockpools - special outing and both were excited but do you think they could get their shoes on? Do we just warn once and then not go if they don't do it? Maybe we are being too soft.

    Lots of wrestling going on and we warn them to stop before they get hurt but they ignore. What is the consequence here? Let it go til they do get hurt? Not sure I am prepared to do that plus I think if we ask them something reasonable they should do it. Not mindless obedience but if we ask politely and calmly for them to stop something we expect them to stop.

    DD fell off a stool and scraped her arm today= not sure how many times we have told them not to monkey around in their room and climbing up on that stuff isn't allowed, I comforted her but also let her know yes it will hurt and that is why we ask that they should listen and not climb. Felt like I was saying - serves you right even though I didn't say it.

    Rambling a bit now but am seriously over the ignoring, attitude and talking back and need help please!!!

  2. #2
    BellyBelly Member

    Jan 2010

    Hey Tanstar, are your boys 4 and 5 as per your sig or are they older now? The refusal to put on shoes, I would ask, give a warning and then cancel the activity. Make sure you give plenty of notice rather than waiting until you are rushed. At 4 and 5 I would also be prepared to help with shoes, pj's etc although I would expect the kids to bring them to me for assistance. Hopefully it won't take long to realise that if they want to do something fun, they need to do as they are told.

    The 'No, but...' I would try modeling a 'yes, mum...' every time the child starts with 'no, but...' I would say 'yes, mum...' and I would tell my child I am not prepared to listen until they stop starting a sentence with 'no, but...'. This sounds like habit as much as poor behaviour?

    The wrestling is a bit tricky. Most little boys are, by nature, physical little beings and they need the opportunity to express themselves physically and explore physical boundaries. Can you redirect them to another activity such as kicking a soccer ball to each other? Are they both happy to wrestle? I would be willing to referee a wrestling match if they are both happy. Set out the rules (ie. no head tackles, no holding around the neck) set up a safe area and have a set time limit of say 5 minutes. Mum then referees and declares a winner based on who followed the rules and showed the best sportmanship. If they wrestle outside the 'matches' the next match is canceled. Wrestling is a bit like running around with sticks - all boys (and some girls) will do it, I reckon it's our job to ensure they do it safely.

    Good luck, parenting can be frustrating!

    ETA Sorry, misread your sig and though you had two boys, makes no difference though!
    Last edited by nickle730; April 2nd, 2013 at 04:45 PM.

  3. #3
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Sep 2008

    Re: Natural consequences plus help for attitude......

    Just on the wrestling bit, I just read a very interesting piece on importance of rough play in brain development - it did make me question my current thoughts on things like wrestling - am on coffee break at work but can post article when get home. One of things mentioned am sure was about allowing the physical aspect can then result in better behaviour in other areas so as long as your DD and DS are both willing participants in the wrestling and know when to stop, maybe can help.

  4. #4
    BellyBelly Member

    Jan 2007

    Thanks ladies in a rush but all makes perfect sense - DD is nearly 6 and DS is 4 1/2 - I guess I forget he is still so little when I expect so much from him. BBL. xx

  5. #5
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Jan 2006

    My situation:

    DS (5) hates being told what to do. So, on principle, he pretty much says no and/or argues about everything.
    DD (2) does much the same and has already picked up some very impressive interesting ways of defying us from her brother.

    I divide things up into 3 rough categories:
    1 - things that must happen and in a particular timefram/way Ie. safety stuff.
    2 - things that really should happen, though the timing and method may be flexible. So, yes, they need to get dressed, but what they wear is not really important. If they take their time, they may miss out on stuff, etc, etc.
    3 - things that I'd like to happen, but that don't *really* matter if they don't. I'd like the kids to choose sensible shoes appropriate to the weather, but if they want to wear gumboots year-round, well, it won't hurt me. Nor will having messy hair.

    So kids get a lot of autonomy to manage stuff in cat 2 & 3. And we make lots of compromises. DS still complains, but he also sees what happens when he makes different choices:
    You know mum, next time you suggest i wear a jumper to school, I think I will. (It was freezing today)
    Just today he conceded that cleaning up the lego might be a good idea after all - he cut his feet on some.

    It's not easy. There's still lots of yelling and complaining, but mostly I let it go. it doesn't really matter. If something really needs to happen (or not), then I let them know that. But other stuff I let them know what i need - we have to go to the shops so you need to get dressed - and beyond that it's up to them to decide how and when they do it (though, again, if I need to get to the shops within a certain timeframe, then I let them know that).

    And then I might phrase things like: We've got 5 minutes playtime, then we'll have to get dressed to go to the shops. (rather than making it an order. He still complains, but anyway)

    I figure, on a long-term view, the attitude is a good thing. It'll serve them well when they're adolescents and moving into adulthood - they can get their point across and preserve their sense of personal autonomy. Make their own decisions. Hopefully good ones.

    ETA - oh and wrestling type stuff, yeah, I would let them go for it. I guess they need to learn to handle themselves physically and get along with others and that's what siblings are for.... probably any injuries are unlikely to be serious

  6. #6
    2014 BellyBelly RAK Recipient.

    Feb 2012
    Melbourne , Victoria

    Natural consequences plus help for attitude......

    I really like your approach MadB.
    So I need to preface this by saying that my ideas come from professional experience not from having children the same age as yours 'cause my DD is not quite 6months old.
    The thing about natural consequence is that they don't really need any intervention by you. You can make clear what might happen if they decide not to put their shoes on, but with natural consequences the decision making is their responsibility. E.g if they decide not to put shoes on they might get sore feet. If they decide not to eat, hunger is a natural consequence of that decision.
    And if they decide to wrestle, the consequence is they might get hurt. The child that hurts the other would also need to comfort the hurt child.

    I know I don't respond we'll to being told what to do and respond much better when I have options. Are you comfortable with giving choice? E.g if to want your children to put on shoes how about the 'no choice choice'? "Are you going to put on your boots or your runners?" " do you want to put your shoes on by yourself or would you like my help?" Shoes get put on and you can get going and the children feel like they are in control.
    I hope I've given you a couple of ideas to chew over :-). Maurice Balson wrote a great book that talks about natural and logical consequences. It's called Becoming better parents.

  7. #7
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Mar 2007

    I'll just reply with what I would do in each situation...

    With saying NO to everything........ That really frustrates me and it's easy for me to get angry quickly. I'm trying really hard to stay calm and think about how to respond. Usually it's because I've just said 'go brush your teeth now please' and when I think about it, if that was me and I was busy doing something and someone just all of a sudden ordered me around I'd be highly likely not to do it either. So first of all I try to make sure I'm explaining why we need to do things and giving enough warning before of what is coming up next. I try, if possible, to let them finish what they're doing first before asking something. If I've done everything 'right' and I still get a NO! I might say something like 'Wow, you really don't want to do that now, I need you to brush your teeth because.....we can't start our bedtime story until teeth are brushed so I'll wait with you here until you're ready.

    Arguing back, not getting ready to go out...... I would just do the same thing as I said before. Maybe try not to phrase it in an argumentative or threatening way, i.e. put your shoes on or we're not going, that's your last warning, etc. I just try and sound more cooperative and that gets them onside. If they feel heard and understood they are more likely to cooperate with me. I would say: Yeah, I know you don't like getting your shoes on. When you have them on we can go to the rock pools.... we will wait here until you have your shoes on....if you need some help you can ask me. If they don't get their shoes on, then don't go.

    I would let them wrestle. Or if it's in a dangerous place just say 'it looks like you're having lots of fun there, I'm just a bit worried about you hurting yourself here though, you can move out onto the grass if you would like to keep wrestling'.

    When they get hurt I would just comfort them. It's frustrating when you've warned them. But I just try and remember that they don't want me to tell them about life, they want to experience it. They're just learning. Seeing how far can they push themselves. When they fall it hurts, but they are learning about their capabilities and that's ok.

  8. #8
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Sep 2008

    Here is the blog post I mentioned earlier -

    Ban Chairs – Not Tag, by Heather Shumaker
    Why roughhousing prepares kids better for life and school than a life of safety and sitting down
    The original title of my book was “Boxing at Preschool” (now titled It’s OK NOT to Share…And Other Renegade Rules). That’s because my childhood preschool had boxing gloves and welcomed wrestling matches in the classroom. This was a bold school not afraid of life and childhood, with all the accompanying messiness and glorious risk.
    When kids began to tumble together like puppies on the floor, instead of screeching “you two get your hands off each other!” the teachers at this school said, “Why not?” They brought in tumbling mats. In fact, they went further. They created a designated Running Room: a big, empty room where kids could MOVE – run, jump, yell, climb, wrestle and play chase games. There were hooks on the ceiling for rope swings and otherwise big open space.
    Kids need play, not chairs, for academic success. Roughhousing– playful physical games with willing partners—actually boosts brain power.
    During book talks I give, men in the audience often approach me and confide that they grew up being told they were “bad” simply because their bodies needed to move. It’s even worse in this generation. Moving has become misbehavior.
    It’s no surprise it’s the men who tell me this. Boys move more. Studies by psychologist Warren Eaton show boys are consistently more physically active, starting at age 2 and peaking at ages 7-8. Of course, many kids are “high energy” or super active – girls included – and active motion is good for everyone.
    My preschool teachers back in the 1970s knew rough-and-tumble play was good for kids. Now we know why. Current brain research shows that roughhousing games increase brain power. All that goofing off and horsing around? It actually strengthens the frontal lobe – an area of the brain vital for impulse control, memory and later academic success. In fact, researchers credit rough play to better learning, flexibility, problem-solving, impulse control, memory, executive function, social and emotional skills, and creativity. Wow. All that from rolling around on the floor with a friend in a fun game.
    What’s important to remember is that preparation for school looks nothing like school itself. Roughhousing can be just as important as reading to kids.
    Rough-and-tumble play advocates like Dr. Anthony DeBenedet (The Art of Roughhousing) consider roughhousing to be the “holy grail” of children’s play. Long-term studies by Dr. Rebecca Marcon tracked kids in academic preschools versus play-based preschools. The kids in the academic programs did worse later in elementary school – both their grades and behavior. It’s simply the way human development works.
    Here are some ideas for adding action, movement, risk and power into kids’ lives:
    Active energy is not misbehavior. Kids need room for loud, fast, daring and rough-and-tumble play. Change the environment to make room for it.
    Motion boosts learning, memory and focus by building neural pathways and neuron growth. Some kids learn best while moving (read a book to them while they move). Some kids need near constant motion. Remember, human brains evolved while in motion.
    Let kids climb trees – and don’t help them down. If they get stuck, say “I’ll stand right here, but I won’t do it for you. Where could you put your foot next?” Kids need to learn their own limits and become partners in their own safety.
    Welcome powerful roles. Kids thrive in powerful roles. Welcome the superheroes, mommies, teachers, tigers, dragons and tough, physical play.
    Welcome powerful actions. Karate chopping boxes, throwing mud at trees, throwing rocks in water, climbing up the slides, making big splashes, jumping on bubble wrap, riding bikes fast, lifting heavy logs or bricks, digging with metal shovels, painting huge cardboard boxes.
    Set up a Running Room. Clear a room or basement area for big body action. Put screens around light bulbs if you have to. This should be a room where loud, fast, physical risk is welcome. Small home? Go outside – even in the rain. – H.S.

  9. #9

    May 2008
    Melbourne, Vic

    Tan I just wanted to say it sounds like you are living in our house at the moment... Especially with the "No but..." Ours is "But mum..."

  10. #10
    BellyBelly Member

    Nov 2008
    in the ning nang nong

    Soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo subbing.

  11. #11
    BellyBelly Member
    Add Butterfly Dawn on Facebook

    Aug 2008
    Climbing Mt foldmore

    Re: Natural consequences plus help for attitude......

    Subbing too

  12. #12
    BellyBelly Member

    Jan 2007

    Natural consequences plus help for attitude......

    Sub sub subbing here. Need to work out how to deal with DD never doing what we ask. Sigh.

  13. #13
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Feb 2006

    If I want my girls to do something and they don't once I've asked...I count down from 5, if I get to 0 it's time out....they usually move pretty quick. If I want them to stop doing something (whinging etc) I count to 3, after that is time out.

  14. #14
    BellyBelly Member

    Jan 2007

    Back again - thanks so much for all the advice.

    Jols - Time out isn't working here unfortunately - yesterday I sent DS there for 2 mins and took his toys off him and DD smuggled him toys there and they were giggling about it and after the day we had I had to laugh at their ingenuity too but the threat of t/o doesn't really do anything!

    WYSIWYG - thanks for the link hun, will let them wrestle away in a safe place! xxx Considering they spend the whole time giggling I think they should be ok, might just set some rules that if one person starts crying or says stop they need to stop! (Tap out ala pro wrestlers?

    Thanks Nickle, MadB and FL - The choice thing is something I have done in the past but forgotten about. It's definitely something that has helped in the past so will try to remember that as well! I think when I get to this stage I forget all my strategies and just resort to yelling Like that is going to help.... Have to say on the Lego - DS couldn't care less how many cuts he gets on his feet (he's had heaps!) he would be happy just leaving it all over the lounge and we can't do that long term!!!!

    Heaven - thanks hun, your post has made me realise how short tempered I have been and if DS who is 4 1/2 needs help I shouldn't be getting short tempered with him but just helping so I am at fault more than him. So easy to forget how little he is especially as DD is so independent and always has been. Last night I asked the kids to brush teeth and DS was blowing up his thing from the fair, he turned to me and said "I will just finish this" normally I would get a bit cross but can see now that I haven't shown them respect so I said - ok but as soon as you finish go do teeth and he did!

    They respond well to charts so have one at their request for bedtime so they don't muck around too much(sharing a room) but I told them that we wouldn't be using it for other things and had a good chat about how we are a family, that we need to help each other and that we hate yelling so are going to try hard and I think it went as well as it could for a meeting with little kids who get distracted. I still struggle a bit with the natural consequence stuff, will see how we go today and come up with any scenarios that get me stuck!!!

    Thanks again everyone! xoxox

  15. #15
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Mar 2007

    Last night I asked the kids to brush teeth and DS was blowing up his thing from the fair, he turned to me and said "I will just finish this" normally I would get a bit cross but can see now that I haven't shown them respect so I said - ok but as soon as you finish go do teeth and he did!
    That's great! For some reason, whenever they are not listening or talking back it makes me feel like I need to control them more. But all that does is result in more conflict and they are less likely to do what I say!! I was really skeptical that just talking calmly and listening would do anything in these kinds of situations until I tried it, but it actually really works! And so much nicer for everyone.

  16. #16
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Jan 2006

    Guess my DS is soft!
    This is what happened to us yesterday - Boy versus Reason: Love my Boy

  17. #17
    Add Rouge on Facebook

    Jun 2003

    (I'm a bit all over the place so please forgive me)

    I personally believe that manners are important. And whilst in my household it's ok to say "I don't really want to do xyz." It is not ok to yell at me, scream, hit etc to get that point across. And that behaviour is something we don't tolerate (They don't tolerate it from me either). Yes it's part of learning. But if you don't teach a child how to have nice manners and be respectful, don't suddenly expect them to just change at 5 or 15 because they are old enough to know better.

    I know sometimes I come off as weird because there are things that I believe children should be able to do, and things parents shouldn't do. But in society it is not acceptable for someone to run up and say NO rudely in someone's face. And I think not teaching them that is a disservice to the child. It might be annoying and a PITB fir you now to be constantly on it. But that's what we're here for. And you can achieve this without crushing their soul, smacking them or screaming.

    Saying they don't want to do something is often more to do with how you tell them (or how they perceive you tell them) and less about a power struggle just because. Sometimes introducing choice helps here. Instead of saying "Lets hop in the car we have to go to xyz." You might say "When we go to xyz would you like to look at a) or b)"

    I have a very thorough dialogue with my kids from the second they wake up to the second they go to bed. To the point they probably get very sick of hearing my voice. I think this helps prevent the arguments too.

    As MadB says there are levels of negotiation. Some things are negotiable. But make them a conversation. Not as though you are giving in because you are too fearful of a tantrum. It's another way of teaching them compromise, listening and questioning skills.

    So is it ok to negotiate? Yes. On some things. Is it ok to behave badly when asked to do something? No. And on the flipside is it ok to whisk into a room and make demands of a child as though they should have been in your head and known what was going to happen next? No.

    Consequences are dependant on your household. We were a time in family. Only way to describe it is they would have to go to a quiet space to think. And I would be with them or near them. I would continually ask them if they were ready to talk. And then we'd have an in depth (age appropriate) discussion about what happened... Why? And what we both can do to sort it in the future. For us this worked. And any other type of consequence was pre determined together such as Warning first, discuss, confiscation of xyz was agreed on, happens again then xyz is confiscated.

    My DD is nearly 12. She can't remember the last time she had a consequence for bad behaviour. DS is 7 and he's the same. I know I harp on about this but if you be consistent, fair and firm (where it counts) you can get through this. And if you're struggling with their emotional reactions think about your own behaviour and how you react sometimes and you'll see you aren't that different. We as parents often expect more from our children than ourselves. And our reactions to their reactions is often what can turn an incident into a behaviour pattern.

  18. #18
    BellyBelly Member
    Add STARRYSKY on Facebook Follow STARRYSKY On Twitter

    Aug 2007

    awww Mad B ,

    I'm having these struggles myself with DS 4 1/2... think I will be trying out some of these tactics!