338: When they don’t want to wear clothes; square one with sharing; talking about death with kids; when they push each other’s buttons just for fun – it’s a Q&A today!

My brothers and I : )

Today we’re answering your GREAT questions!
– “[My young daughter] is going through a phase of not wanting clothes on. Do I just not battle it? What’s appropriate at 4? How do I instill the importance of being careful without taking away her sweet innocence? Or am I totally overthinking this?”

– “This week’s hot topic is sharing and temper around that. The minute [my three-year-old’s] little brother walks in the room (even if he hasn’t messed with her stuff yet) she goes right to screaming at him and throwing stuff… I’m struggling with getting her to react in a bit calmer way.
“Understandably, she is having a lot of trouble letting other kids play with any of her toys. I get it, we haven’t had to share in a long time. I’m just wondering if there are some good strategies or advice for starting back at square one was sharing, and also talking nicely to others even when angry.”

– “My four-year-old was playing with her toys saying “this one is dead, it’s in the dead place” (inside the toy garage) then when I needed a shower “Mummy you need to go to the shower and be dead”… How can I talk about death at an appropriate level for children?”

– “They don’t stop fighting with each other – they push each other’s buttons just for “the fun of it.”

(I said they were great questions : )

If You’re Struggling to Keep Going
During this summer I’m using my newsletter to share about my own journey, trying to find peace and stop feeling so guilty while working, running our household, and keeping going sustainably.
Last week I shared about my first step (stopping “obsessively checking” on the Internet, and (as I share in this episode) it’s going well!
But I know I’ve got a long way to go… If you want to come along on this journey with me, I’m sharing about it in my newsletters. Click the link below to get them automagically delivered to your inbox!
Weturnedoutokay.com weekly

Tons of links today!
You’ll find them just below : )

Cheat Sheet of Answers

What to do when my child does not want to wear clothes?
– The short answer is, we get to decide. Sometimes it’s absolutely fine for them to not wear a shirt outside. Whatever you decide on this question, it must work for you. Your child will accommodate, just as they do when sitting in a car seat in the car.

“Starting back at square one with sharing”
– Let your child know “you don’t have to share”… This feels totally backwards in mindset, I know! But it’s the best way that I know to encourage them to share. Also, ask them which favorite toys they’d like to put away, so they don’t have to be shared. Finally help them understand “you don’t have to share… BUT we do try to use kind words.”

“Talking about death as an appropriate level for children”
– This is about understanding that kids, developmentally, play out stuff that they worry about. They can push our buttons to cause a reaction from us, especially because in a child’s mind “any reaction is better than no reaction,” a common reason for their misbehavior. Gently steer them away from the topic, by asking a question about their play, or (if they’re feeling emotional when someone they know has died) talking and sharing good memories about that person.

“Pushing each other’s buttons just for the fun of it”
– Teach them not to pick up the gauntlet; as Brooks Gibbs says, teach them that a bully is playing a game, and the way to make the bully lose is to not get upset, no matter what. Talking stick meetings can be very helpful when a sibling fight escalates to violence. Finally “catching them doing good” is a tactic that can be very useful in teaching prosocial behavior and moving away from kids teasing each other.


Key Links

Click weturnedoutokay.com/197 for my conversation with Dr. Catherine Pearlman, in which we talk about ignoring your child’s bad behavior to make it go away. Dr. Pearlman is awesome at helping us with that!

Click weturnedoutokay.com/255 for my conversation with Dr. Laura Markham, in which we talk about positive discipline and how sometimes we have to do the reverse of what feels “disciplinary” in order to get the best behavior from our kids.

Click weturnedoutokay.com/169, “When Siblings Attack,” on alleviating sibling rivalry. I get to share about one of my favorite books in the whole world, Faber and Mazlish’s Siblings Without Rivalry.

Click weturnedoutokay.com/302, “Why does my young child talk about killing and death?”, for a deep conversation about how young children confront and handle the idea of death – and how frightening their perfectly normal behavior can appear to us parents. (And how to handle it if your child is doing this right now.)

Click here for the recent newsletter I wrote about how not “obsessively checking” the internet has been instrumental in making me feel better – less overwhelmed, less burned out, it’s even resulted in less parental guilt.

Click the following link to sign up for future newsletters, including those in this “going from overwhelmed to at peace and sustainably keeping going” series:
weturnedoutokay.com/weekly

Click here for Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics, my first book. In it I share my experience in becoming a survivor of childhood sexual abuse (which is how this book comes up in today’s episode.)

Click here for my conversation on Authentic Parenting, Anna Seewald’s wonderful podcast. Anna and I talked about how being sexually abused as a child has shaped my adulthood.

Click weturnedoutokay.com/336, the listener Q&A episode I did a few weeks ago and in which I answer questions on sibling jealousy, and adoption.

Click here for one of Brooks Gibbs’ outstanding videos on how to stop a bully.

I hope you find this episode helpful!