Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ultimatums

This is not what I wanted to blog about today, but this is what my day/week/month has been about.  My 4-year-old is very smart and very loving, and lately, very obstinate in his refusal to cooperate with my requests.  I've been trying to give him choices.  The Parenting Pro's tell you, kids love choices, they love the feeling of control.  It's true, I can see that, and sometimes it works.  Most of the time, though, my real life experience does not reflect the scenarios written in parenting books.  When I ask Max, "do you want to leave the park now, or in ten minutes," he happily agrees to leaving in ten minutes.  However, when those ten minutes are up, does he joyfully get in the car, content that he was able to make the choice to stay a little longer?  No, and reminding him that he chose this time to leave does not help quell the crying.

I'm not going to lie, I really don't know what to do.  Lately the choices I have been giving him end with "or do you want to have time-out in your room?"  It's not really a choice at all, more of an ultimatum, and one that isn't really working.

So I guess this post is more of a cry for help, encouragement, advice?  Are some kids just more prone to fits and tantrums?  How do other parents deal?


4 comments:

  1. You could try if we leave the park now, we will have (does he like fruit?) applesauce for dessert. Or you could try making going to the car a game, like who gets there first gets to choose which story at bedtime. Sometimes giving a child choices is more confusing for them than just saying what it is that you want them to do.Sure kids love feeling in control, but they have to know that the parent is in control. Parenthood is a hard job and I am so glad that mine are grown. Good luck. :)

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  2. It is good that you give your child the knowledge of consequences in advance. This always makes it his choice to be disciplined. My son was a lot like yours - strong willed! Consistency is the key. He has to know you will follow through EVERY time. Wishing you the best!

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  3. Someone I know uses a timer (basic kitchen turning timer) with the child so that he can visualize when it will be time to go and he will be getting ready for it to happen.

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  4. i totally understand! thanks for writing this post! and, that book i mentioned in my 'y' post does have some really good ideas. i just don't like the idea of reading the whole thing. :P who has time!?

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