Infractions when I'm not there

Forums Quarterly Parent Focus Sibling Relations Infractions when I'm not there

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #5598
    Avatarjen
    Participant

    Hi Karen,

    My girls have “gone underground” with their fighting. Now that I’m intervening in fights with the talking-stick sort of approach, they have gone over a week without escalating to that point! I’m much more confident about what to ignore and why I’m ignoring it too — if flesh, property, or feelings aren’t getting damaged then I can let it go.

    More often now, though, is what I’m calling the “after-action report.” Ruby might come over and tell me that Lily hit her or called her a mean name. I’m dealing with it by asking her to move on (“I wasn’t there, I didn’t see who did what”), offering Ruby some phrases she can use when people mistreat us (“You can be mad at me but you can’t call me names.” “No hitting!”) but I sense that’s not enough. I don’t think Ruby wants me to give her justice; she’s not asking me to punish Lily. I think she wants me to give her a way to react to Lily. Even though it’s quite possible that Ruby provoked her, but that’s beside the point. My phrases aren’t cutting it. Are there “magic words” I can offer her? Or do you recommend a more effective way I might handle these after-action reports?

    #5599
    Karen Lock KolpKaren Lock Kolp
    Keymaster

    Hi Jen! You are making such good progress! There were bound to be questions and new challenges as you change your behavior, and they adapt to the new practices you are bringing in. I am so proud of you 💕

    Regarding your question, how would it be if you asked Ruby “and what did you do about that?“

    Give her a chance to share a success story, to tell you what she did about it.

    That may be the only magic words you need… It’s possible she just wants you to connect with her on the changes she is trying to make.

    Give it a try, and chime in back here if it’s either successful, or if we need to be more creative. And in the meantime hang in there!

    Host of the We Turned Out Okay podcast
    Author of Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics: Key Tools to Handle Every Temper Tantrum, Keep Your Cool, and Enjoy Life With Your Young Child
    Head Honcho of the Ninja Parenting Community

    #5624
    Avatarjen
    Participant

    It’s not working 🙁

    When I ask “what did you do about that?” I get responses like:

    • “well I pushed her BUT SHE WAS PULLING MY TOY AWAY!” (passionate justifications of their own behavior)
    • “I came to you” (so, tattling)
    • written description of offenses that happened before I woke up (they are learning play independently and let me sleep till 7:30 AM), even one yesterday from Lily who can’t write yet, haha!!

    20190612_141936_12

    I always empathize with the victim, acknowledging that nobody wants XYZ done to them, and when I try to call them both over to talk about it, or move into what the victim could do next time they’re in that situation (other than retaliating or tattling), they get mad at me and won’t talk. Maybe they really ARE mad that I’m not doling out punishments!

    I’m trying to make the attacker see the hurt they’ve caused, and let those natural consequences change their behavior. While also equipping the victim to respond with non-violent options. But when they’re mad they don’t care about each other’s feelings. And if I wait till everyone’s cooled off, nobody’s actively hurting anymore and the consequences are too abstract to make an impact.

    I worry they’re getting away with this bad behavior, looking around to make sure they’re not being watched before they do mean things. Or choosing mean things like property destruction that are easier to deliver quietly.

    Can you also help me see what I’m aiming for here? I’m not expecting to have kids that let things go and politely disagree with each other at this age, nor to be doormats at any age. And I’m also not willing to let them be tattletales or meanies. I want them to know a handful of tactics to use when they’re being mistreated, have the discipline to try those tactics, and the confidence that I’ll help if their efforts don’t work. And I want them to accept that my “help” comes in the form of a discussion; I am not their weapon they can manipulate to inflict mom-sanctioned punishments on each other.

    Attachments:
    You must be logged in to view attached files.
    #5630
    Karen Lock KolpKaren Lock Kolp
    Keymaster

    Host of the We Turned Out Okay podcast
    Author of Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics: Key Tools to Handle Every Temper Tantrum, Keep Your Cool, and Enjoy Life With Your Young Child
    Head Honcho of the Ninja Parenting Community

    #5632
    Avatarjen
    Participant

    I know right?!? The written notes are precious. I came to you because I want to make sure and handle them positively to make sure they continue! If I’m not careful to show the kids that the notes *are working,* they could get discouraged that it “didn’t work. My sister didn’t get punished, I better try something else.” Yikes!

    Yesterday on the dirt pile (truck-sized delivery of topsoil) I rushed over saying “goodness – I hear somebody screaming at her sister, what is going on?!?” Then I asked Lily to wait for her turn to talk while I listen to Ruby. No problem. I LOVED that the first thing Ruby did was to look around and say “What can we use for a talking stick?” Squeee! We followed the talking stick formula and by the end, they claimed they couldn’t come up with any solutions for the next time. I think they were ashamed of themselves for throwing dirt and name-calling, so I reminded them “we already have a playground rule forbidding anyone from throwing mulch, so if we use the same rule at home would that work do you think?” LOL!  “Ok mom, we won’t throw dirt.”

    Thanks so much for the super-long video. It all resonates with me, and I can’t wait to tell you how it goes next time we get a chance to try it. (PS – can you imagine how long it would have taken you to Dragon-type-and-edit all that?!? Video rocks.)

    I love how you ended your thoughts: “I’ve got the most respectful kids anywhere!” That mindset will certainly help a lot.

    #5633
    Karen Lock KolpKaren Lock Kolp
    Keymaster

    💕💕💕

    That is one heart each for you and your two wonderful girls : )

    Host of the We Turned Out Okay podcast
    Author of Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics: Key Tools to Handle Every Temper Tantrum, Keep Your Cool, and Enjoy Life With Your Young Child
    Head Honcho of the Ninja Parenting Community

    #5650
    Avatarjen
    Participant

    Lily is making me nuts.

    She answers my questions with lies: no I didn’t color on Ruby’s chart – while Ruby is erasing the marks and Lily’s holding the marker. (Later after I’ve yelled and threatened she says she did do it.) Ruby said that she also hit and kicked and I heard name calling and we didn’t even GET to that part.

    She answers my questions with grunts, or with whatever she thinks will make me mad. It works, and I hate it. I’ve got nothing positive happening when she acts this way, refusing to talk about the problem while she proceeds to make it all worse with lying and disrespectfully turning her back to me and calling ME a liar and demanding that I stoooooooooppppppp!

    I am so frustrated. I want to hit her and I don’t even feel bad about it. (Which sounds like something she would say.)

    #5651
    Avatarjen
    Participant

    She found a life saver candy in my room during all this, and kept asking if she could eat it. While refusing to talk about the lying and hitting. After a few times of telling her no, she couldn’t have it, ever – I dropped the candy into the toilet to get her to give up!

    And now that I’m cooling down, of course I feel bad about the yelling and wanting to hit her. I just truly hate disciplining her because she’s so rebellious. On the occasions when she does act appropriately for these talks, I’m sure it’s because I haven’t flown off the handle yet. It’s the lying that pushes my buttons. That’s the thing that has got to stop setting me off. But there’s nothing that’s worked to make her be truthful.

    I remember screaming at my mom when I was a horrible teenager, and her yelling at me the same way I was yelling at Lily today. I wanted to hurt her feelings because being nice is hard and isn’t working anyway. Sigh!

    #5657
    Karen Lock KolpKaren Lock Kolp
    Keymaster

    Host of the We Turned Out Okay podcast
    Author of Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics: Key Tools to Handle Every Temper Tantrum, Keep Your Cool, and Enjoy Life With Your Young Child
    Head Honcho of the Ninja Parenting Community

    #5658
    Avatarjen
    Participant

    Video seems broken… It says it’s not available

    #5659
    Karen Lock KolpKaren Lock Kolp
    Keymaster

    Hmmmm… Try this?
    https://youtu.be/3Iw4Cp41rvA

    Host of the We Turned Out Okay podcast
    Author of Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics: Key Tools to Handle Every Temper Tantrum, Keep Your Cool, and Enjoy Life With Your Young Child
    Head Honcho of the Ninja Parenting Community

    #5660
    Karen Lock KolpKaren Lock Kolp
    Keymaster

    It’s so weird, because I can see it in my computer and when I am logged in and chrome… But when I try to view it in Firefox, it tells me is unavailable as well.
    I will keep trying!

    Host of the We Turned Out Okay podcast
    Author of Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics: Key Tools to Handle Every Temper Tantrum, Keep Your Cool, and Enjoy Life With Your Young Child
    Head Honcho of the Ninja Parenting Community

    #5661
    Karen Lock KolpKaren Lock Kolp
    Keymaster

    Okay, try this:

    Host of the We Turned Out Okay podcast
    Author of Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics: Key Tools to Handle Every Temper Tantrum, Keep Your Cool, and Enjoy Life With Your Young Child
    Head Honcho of the Ninja Parenting Community

    #5662
    Avatarjen
    Participant

    Thank you for the kind words. I teared up hearing you hug me. Thank you for real, I needed it.

    I’m latching on to your comment about viewing her lie as a reaction, not as an action. The same as when she reacts negatively in other ways, I can see how ignoring is the right thing to do. Well, I can almost see it.

    This morning’s battle started like this:

    Me: I hear girls calling each other mean names, what is happening? Ruby first.

    Ruby: Lily hit me and kicked me and wrote on my chart!

    Me: Lily, your turn, tell me what happened.

    Lily: I didn’t color on her chart!!!

    Now instead of showing Lily how obviously lying she is, and instead of trying to get her to admit that she hit or kicked Ruby, what do I do? It seems weird to ask Ruby if she’s OK, checking her for nonexistent injuries. But that’s how I picture giving attention to the victim. And anyhow I don’t even know what Ruby has done to provoke Lily. Surely Ruby’s not coughing up the whole truth either. But I can’t get Lily to talk about it, even about Ruby’s offenses, because she gets stuck defending herself with “I didn’t do the thing!” and I’m stuck on “you’re lying, LOOK at the evidence!” And if I could get her to tell me her side of the story, where am I, at the beginning of a talking stick conversation?

    #5663
    Karen Lock KolpKaren Lock Kolp
    Keymaster

    Maybe “OK, what about the kicking and hitting?  What was happening there?”

    Or, “It sounds like, Lily, you’re saying that you didn’t color on Ruby’s chart. But  I see marks that look like your handwriting, how did they get there?“

    Or “it sounds like, Lily, you’re saying you didn’t color on Ruby’s chart. What happened, in your own words?“

    I think any of these would be truly fine. And probably an infinite variety of other ways to obliquely approach what happened.

    Basically, finding a way to get Lily talking. Not defiantly shouting about all the things that she didn’t do, but just talking about what, in her view, actually happened.

    And remember, this is definitely a work in practice. If you can get Lily to do anything besides defiantly shout, tell her “thank you for telling us that.“

    You’re trying to show her that you are respecting her words, and that this talk isn’t about anybody getting in trouble. Instead it’s about understanding how to move past, or resolve, the conflict.

    I’m glad my hugs helped. You’re doing a great job, in a really tough situation 💕

    Host of the We Turned Out Okay podcast
    Author of Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics: Key Tools to Handle Every Temper Tantrum, Keep Your Cool, and Enjoy Life With Your Young Child
    Head Honcho of the Ninja Parenting Community

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.