View Single Post
Old 07-07-2007, 02:33 PM   #11
GCM_Sticky
master maker of stickies
 
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 654
GCM_Sticky has disabled reputation
Default Re: Collected Past Posts about Cleaning Up

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Title: Rough Day, Almost Spanked
Post by: mzietlow on May 23, 2005, 08:42:43 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Today was another rough one. We had a friend and her four children over to help organize the basement and visit. The kids played very well together upstairs in the playroom and down in the basement with us. At one point when there was an incident, we immediately stopped for lunch. The cleaning took several hours, and the kids did surprisingly well.

Then...it came time to clean up the playroom and friends to leave, and older spirited dd decided she should be exempt. All friend's children were helping (friend's without complaint because friend is punitive and they don't dare) but my younger was dawdling and older was refusing, saying, "I don't want to. I won't." I kept in mind that they were tired, overstimulated, and not wanting the playtime to end. I kept my cool, repeated the request, then gave specific jobs to do, handed them items, and reflected feelings a few times (which I don't think could be herad over the complaining or barking commands of my friend to her children). My efforts did not help older dd so I told her that she needed to help or take a break in the rocking chair. I said this while touching her arm and bending down to talk to her. She yelled at me and jerked away, so I said "I am helping you to take a break" while gently pulling her to her feet. She immediately began yelling, "I'LL CLEAN, I"LL CLEAN" in a mean tone. I said, "you need a break to find a better attitude" while walking her from the playroom. She resisted me by tugging and dragging as well as screaming all the way down the stairs. I then lost my calm and fell into, "Do you need a spanking to help you get control of yourself?" Of course she said no, and I managed to restrain myself. Then I took her to the chair, told her to sit and calm herself down then left to finish the cleaning with our friends and say goodbye, while dd SCREAMED in the chair. While saying goodbye, I had to rush back into the room to quiet her since dh was sleeping, and ended up harshly covering her mouth and getting very stern with my words. After friends left, I put her in my lap and discussed the problem by reflecting feelings, apologizing for squeezing her face, and telling her what the proper response should have been. Then I requested that dd take a basket of toys up to the playroom to put away (as a consequence). She whined and cried, and threw a fit, but I reflected feelings and left her to herself and said she could come downsatirs when she was finished. She carried on but did the job. However, she was whining terribly afterwards about anything and everthing so I finally had to say that her behavior indicated that she needed a rest and followed the above mentioned steps to get her into her bedroom and in bed. The scene just about repeated itself exactly. I ended up taking the timer in to help her get to sleep and after SCREAMING for about 20 minutes, she did nap ( which she has not done in a long time).

These scenarios are a fairly common occurance recently. Over the last month (hmmm, since we moved) she has become very oppositional to requests, saying "NO", "I don't want to" or "I won't" often. My response is similar to what I describe above, but I reach a point when the resistance (like at the end of the above scenario) escalates and I do not know what to do to help her. She is too big to carry... ANd i am not sure about using the bear hug on a child of her age. It seems to become a wrestling match the few times I have attempted it. Is that normal? Sometimes in the heat of the moment, I still think a spank is needed to deal with outright resistance like I described. Like I read in another post - in the way that a wakeup slap in the face is given to someone who is irrational. It is what we were doing in the final stages before GBD. To "help". That's how we were looking at it, and talked to the kids about it. My friend would have spanked at the very beginning, not as a last resort (cringe). It irks me that her kids were doing exactly as requested, and mine were not. What gives?

I know many of you will have strong opinions about this. Please offer me better perspective to get past this and suggestions on what to do INSTEAD of suggesting/giving a spanking as the last resort. How could I have handled this situation better? And how can I better handle my dds negative reactions to every request?


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Title: Re: Rough Day, Almost Spanked
Post by: ArmsOfLove on May 23, 2005, 09:23:41 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Is this your 5 yo or your 4 yo?

I wonder if your dd thought that if the clean up didn't take place that the friends wouldn't leave?

I would encourage you to, as much as possible, prepare her for how things will be and the response you expect *in advance*, reminder her if necessary, and what the consequence will be based on principles that you can put into place. Some of ours are "leaving successfully is part of coming again the next time", "family gets your best or no one gets the rest", etc.

If my dd was doing what yours was then I'd let her know that she had a choice--help clean up while everyone is there to help *or* I'd have our friends leave and she could clean up the room without their help. And I'd let her make her choice and experience the consequence of it. I'd still help with clean up when she was ready, but she'd be doing more work because everyone else was gone.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Title: Re: Rough Day, Almost Spanked
Post by: Joanne on May 23, 2005, 10:03:29 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I agree with Crystal. Here (in my daycare, because cleaning up with my own kids is finally rarely an issue) the rule is that you help or you do it yourself.

A break, a cuddle corner, whatever is not an option at that time since that removes the child from the cleaning up.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Title: Re: Rough Day, Almost Spanked
Post by: mzietlow on May 23, 2005, 11:15:50 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The big issue this time was with my 5yo, not my 3yo. I do think a big part of the problem was fatigue and overstimuation, but I could have prepeared her better by taking her aside and explaining at eye level what needed to happen. I think I can use this experience to clarify the clean up rules. We don't have friends over too often, so it has not been an issue. I would not have considered the consequence of cleaning up alone. The girls generally help clean up without much fuss, but when there has been complaining or refusal, I have been using a break in the rocking chair with the explanation that they need to reassess and decide to be helpful - because if they are refusing to be helpful, they are not feeling right and need to separate themselves from the situation momentarily. Usually I will take a break with them to discuss the problem, and they choose to be helpful fairly quickly, but sometimes it turns into a drawn-out episode (especially with 3yo). And in this case, everyone else had to pick up dds slack. Is a break not the best way to handle this kind of situation? In some situations, an immediate consequence may be better?

Thanks so much.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Title: Re: Rough Day, Almost Spanked
Post by: mzietlow on May 23, 2005, 11:20:00 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quote
"family gets your best or no one gets the rest",

Just wondering what this means...?


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Title: Re: Rough Day, Almost Spanked
Post by: MarynMunchkins on May 24, 2005, 07:14:10 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think that means that your family is the most deserving of kind, respectful behavior.

We moved about a month ago, and the transition has been a lot of work. I make sure that I clearly state my expectations and help if necessary. I have no problem working along with my kids if they are cleaning beside me. If they refuse to clean, than I stop and leave the mess for them to clean on their own. Unless they are hurting someone else (hitting, kicking, etc.) I don't remove them to the CC, but leave them with the mess and walk away. If they come back later and ask for help, I give them something to do first and make sure they are willing to work, and than pitch in. When they don't come and ask for help a second time, they usually fall asleep.

Spending a lot of reconnecting time has helped since the move. I try to remember that we are in a strange place for them, and they are still trying to adjust to us. Especially since we moved from an apartment to a nice big house , there is a lot more to get used to. Making sure I play Barbies or Star Wars makes a remarkable difference in how much they are willing to do the things I ask them to do later.

Doug is just a couple months younger than your oldest, and he's a big kid. (And I'm not...:P) I still use the bear hug for him. I hold him until he calms down, and that has even occasionally meant sitting on him. I let go as soon as he is able to calm down and look at my eyes. IMHO, a spanking would be a lot easier on me and it would probably get his attention faster. But...the bear hug is there to help him get control of his own feelings and actions, and it is designed not to hurt. A spanking is designed to hurt enough that the child does what the adult wants them to do. So I take the longer, more difficult (for me) route because it is more effective at teaching what I want my kids to ultimately learn - to be able to express their emotions in a healthy way while in control.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Title: Re: Rough Day, Almost Spanked
Post by: APMamaX4 on May 24, 2005, 08:17:01 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quote from: Joanne on May 23, 2005, 10:03:29 PM
I agree with Crystal. Here (in my daycare, because cleaning up with my own kids is finally rarely an issue) the rule is that you help or you do it yourself.

A break, a cuddle corner, whatever is not an option at that time since that removes the child from the cleaning up.


OK could you elaborate a little bit here? There have been many times where I've thought that giving a break would be "exactly what s/he wants" b/c it'd be alleviating him/her from the responsibility of ____ (fill in the blank). And in this case, giving him/her a break means s/he doesn't have to participate in the cleaning. I have done the "you either clean up the playroom with help, or do it by yourself" thing, but always thought it might be a little punitive (and yet, still did it LOL) I'm glad to see that it is simply a consequence. Is there any "rule of thumb" to determine whether or not something would be punitive? For me, I usually ask if the consequence is logical (i.e. pertaining to what they just did) or not. If not then that usually = punitive. On the other hand... I know we shouldn't be assigning arbitrary consequences, but what do you do when they just don't LISTEN for some reason? Like during quiet time... I tell the older 3 to stay in bed (and they have a small tv on and I usually put in on pbs or something, so it's not like they are sitting there staring at the walls) However, they *dont*--they get up and parade around the room, rough and tumble, etc. LOUDLY squealing and stuff, and sometimes fighting (not LITERALLY fighting... but doing something to annoy one another) SO SO aggravating!


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Title: Re: Rough Day, Almost Spanked
Post by: MarynMunchkins on May 24, 2005, 09:09:34 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FWIW, I've never had any luck with quiet time unless each kid is in their own room. It's hard to settle and be quiet when there's people to play with.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Title: Re: Rough Day, Almost Spanked
Post by: CJ on May 24, 2005, 10:27:19 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Original poster--that sounds like a scene I could totally picture in my house! My oldest is 5 and seems to oppose EVERYTHING these days. I find that I don't even want to be around him much. And my anger usually bubbles over onto him, regretably. It's especially bad if there is another mom/kids around, probably because I'm embarassed. He usually doesn't give us a hard time about cleaning up (DD3 takes on that role ) but the battle you described is all too familiar.

One thing I thought of (it's easier from outside the picture ) was to give her the option: "Help us or sit out and we will leave part of it to do by yourself." That way the consequence is not too overwhelming (I know that later if I was helping her pick up everything, there would be no guarantee that she'd be ready to help then and I know that I might get angry again.) and the only consequence is that she does her part alone instead with friends--which is more fun.

I may run this by DH today and perhaps we will try it with DD next time she resists clean up helping in our playroom.

I've also found it helpful to start cooperative clean-up with a group cheer--"two, four, six, eight, we can cooperate! "Last name", "Last name"--Go, TEAM!!!
Takes some energy on my part, but sets the tone of cooperation instead of battleground.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Title: Re: Rough Day, Almost Spanked
Post by: ArmsOfLove on May 24, 2005, 10:33:40 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

taking a break is great if she's overwhelmed and that break will help her regroup and come back and finish helping. What her behavior was doing in the moment was stopping both you and her from helping the friends clean up her toys. That's rude to the friends. Certainly you could leave some of it instead of all, especially if your other child was helping. But the idea that family gets our best or no one gets the rest is about treating our family with our best and kindest behavior or not having the opportunity to give that best behavior to others. So if my child is being rude to me or other family members I have no problem cancelling whatever plans we may have had that day that would have had them around other people. Not only does this teach and reinforce treating family well, but if they can't treat us well they are probably too tired, overwhelmed, sick, etc., to treat others well.

Remember also that we're talking about a 5yo--so we're moving into child and correcting.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Title: Re: Rough Day, Almost Spanked
Post by: mzietlow on May 24, 2005, 07:47:56 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well today I had the opportunity to carry out the new clean up plan. We had unexpected company today, and the girls played all afternoon. The 6yo friend is one that usually has a problem cleaning up, and ends up in a showdown with her mother. When it was time to to end the visit, I went up and announced that they had 5 more minutes to play before clean up. When the timer went off I went to Orion and asked her if she would choose to be helpful today. She said yes, and I said "great, because from now on, if you decide not to help I will tell everyone else to stop and you can finish it by yourself". I helped alongside the kids, giving clear instructions, handing them things and even said to our little visitor that cleaning up is part of coming the next time. She did fairly well, the 3yo did fairly well, but Orion did the most work, without any complaining.

So, today was a better day...thanks!

GCM_Sticky is offline