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Old 06-11-2009, 06:42 AM   #3
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Default Re: Collected Past Posts Sharing Success Stories

Post by: MarynMunchkins on September 03, 2005, 05:13:25 PM
I'll share mine.

When I joined GCM, my very first post was about how to get my kids to fall asleep. Ana would fight sleep and cry if she had to be alone; Doug would talk and play and keep Ana awake, and Colin was nursing to sleep. I had been spanking in order to get them to bed. I stopped, and started helping my kids go to bed. I let Doug go to bed and play for 20 minutes while Ana stayed in the computer room while I nursed Colin to sleep (in front of GCM ) By the time Colin was asleep, I tucked Doug in and sang him his song. Than I rocked Ana for a few minutes and tucked her in. After about 2 months, Doug and Ana were going to bed on their own. They sleep happily in their own rooms, and while Colin is still nursing to sleep, he also sleeps all night in his own bed.

I had always known that Ana was difficult, but nothing I did seemed to help her. After reading here and vowing to stop spanking her, I realized that she was most difficult after drinking milk or eating ice cream. We went dairy-free, and her tantrums stopped almost immediately. I was able to recognize a medical problem because I was responding to my child instead of reacting.

In a similar vein, stopping spanking and switching to GBD made me realize that Doug's outbursts were much bigger than behavior. Being gentle helped me discover that he's is bipolar. Not only that, but as I read the suggestions for parenting BPD kids, I learned that they are pretty much GBD. His therapist has told me that we are years ahead of most people in therapy, mostly because of what we do at home. He can identify his feelings, and often ask for help before he gets out of control.

The biggest success, though, is me. I was a mean, angry mama most of the time , and I used spanking as a method to vent it. While I still have my moments, by and large, I don't even yell anymore. I discovered grace by giving it to my children, and I realized how valuable I am in God's eyes. I can give grace to my dh, and it has made our marriage stronger. 3 years ago, we were on the brink of divorce. And now we're happy!

Isn't grace amazing?!
Post by: MarynMunchkins on April 23, 2007, 02:23:53 PM
All of my kids were home today. The oldest two were running a low grade fever, and probably *could* have gone to school - but I didn't feel like dragging them up and around through protests to get them there.

Anyway, the house was a mess from this weekend and I had tons of laundry to do. They wanted to walk up the street to the play area in our neighborhood, so I told them we would after we got most of the house cleaned up. Bug (7) cleaned the living room, his bedroom, and his stuff from the playroom. Banana (6) cleaned their bathroom, her room, and her toys from the playroom. She also helped me with some laundry and dishes. Tater Tot (3.5) cleaned his toys out of the playroom and helped gather trash. I cleaned my bathroom and am on load #8 of laundry. 5 are folded.

We only had one meltdown, and it was the 3 yo. Bug didn't hurt anyone, and only screamed in frustration once.

We had a blast outside.
Post by: justTrish on April 24, 2007, 11:22:51 AM
Great!!! Don't you just love those days? We have had one so far today too!!

All of the kids woke up grumpy and fighting this morning. The house was a wreck from several days of being home just long enough to mess up, kwim? Well, my husband, who knows me well enough to know I was going into overwhelmed mode, decided to get all of the kids out of the house! He loaded them up in the truck, hooked up the boat and took them all fishing!! The kids were so excited. Dh knew they just really needed a change of scenery and some fun time to get over the grumps. He also knew I would rather do the cleaning with noone under foot, so he solved both problems! I just talked to him and they are having a blast. My house is clean now, and the laundry is well underway. They are about to head home and we are going to take them to the park for lunch. And I will actually be able to enjoy it because I have a clean house to come back home to!!!WOO HOO!!
Post by: AdrienneQW on April 30, 2007, 08:42:33 PM
We are on an awesome streak - one of those periods where I'm consistent in my grace-based parenting, both kids respond beautifully to gentle correction, everyone is kind and loving to one another, and the entire family just cruises right along. So rare. I'm loving every minute of it and storing away mental snapshots I can cling to on not-so-good days!
Post by: BornFreeBaby on April 30, 2007, 09:00:44 PM
GBD has made me a calmer, gentler person in general. Giving grace to my children and focusing on connection has been the best parenting advice. Crystal's 5 steps (well I have cut them down to 3 really) have been a God-send to me. We have our tantrum days, but most of the time, she is happy to comply.
I think the best part of GBD is that it makes the kids feel good about themselves because who they are as people are not shamed as most other Christian parenting advice seems to do. My girls are spirited children and I try to find approapriate ways for them to be who they are without harming or breaking their spirit.

It works and has made me a happier mommy!
Post by: reneandbaby on March 08, 2006, 06:39:00 PM
Of course, we usually come to GD because we're having a problem and we want advice on how to deal with it. Sometimes I think people can come into this forum and assume we never have anything but problems with our children. :P And sometimes it's just an encouragement to hear how *well* GBD is working for most aspect our relationship with our children, even if we have specific areas of struggle. So, let's here some successes.

Things that I have learned from this forum that have gone over fantastic in our house and really made a difference:

BE SPECIFIC: This is a huge area I have noticed a huge improvement, in being more specific and intentional about my words.
For example: Elijah is very easily agitated by things that don't bother most children, or scared by A LOT. I found myself reverting to an automatic "It's o.k., it's o.k." said in a soothing voice. Several posts in GD challenged me to think of what I was *really* trying to communicate to him. I realized that what I was trying to tell him was that it was o.k. because I would keep him safe. As soon as I switched from saying "It's o.k. Elijah" to "Elijah, Mama keep you safe" I noticed a *dramatic* change in his reaction. It was clear that telling him "Mama keep you safe" vs. "It's o.k." made him feel much more secure. He calms down more quickly, and is comforted more easily...all with the switch of a simple phrase. He clearly calmed down because he trusted those words to be true.

That dramatic change motivated me to look for other ways I could really "say what I meant". This included more specific ways I could speak words of affirmation over him without simply resorting to "Good job." This ended up developing into a naptime and bedtime ritual where I recount all the things I saw him doing that day. Again, he responded *so* dramatically to this. He listens intently and smiles as I tell him all about what I saw him do that day, or all the new things he did...and it always ends with him signing for more. Then I kiss him and tell him how much I love him and I can't wait to see what things we will do when I see him tommorrow.

MODELING EXPECTATIONS: The whole idea of *telling* Elijah what we would be doing, what the expectations are and letting him play those out have been *huge*. I think I just had the automatic idea of just expecting that he would *know* and then you just correct when they screw up. Realizing that I could tell him "Elijah, we are going to have another girl over today. We are going to take turns with toys" while doing a lot of practice on what taking turns actually looks like. Again, *huge* and noticeable response difference. While it doesn't eliminate meltdowns, it has made a noticeable difference in his behavior when I remember to do that, than when I don't.

I have a whole bunch more, but I don't want to write a novel, so maybe I'll add later. But these are all great ways that GBD has really done very positive things in my relationship with my children.
Post by: milkmommy on March 09, 2006, 08:12:35 AM
I've found the same to be true here another is for me to get at her level. Its such a basic parenting skill but when shes been playing on the floor perfectly fine and I'm settled someplace else and suddenly she gets cause a plastic cupcake wont fit inside her little people school bus and all the kids are going to starve... Its hard not to just say Quit whinning and take out the cupcake but twenty seconds of getting down going Oh no we will just have to take the kids out so they can at their cupcake ALright everyone off the bus..Can avoid soo many melt down ect. I also think its sends a bigger message that of serving others.

Post by: red_head_angel on March 09, 2006, 11:35:19 AM
When/then is really helping right now. for example, "When you get your shoes on, then you can go outside." It is really helping with my 4.9 year old.

Counting is a big help right now. I know his teacher counts at school, so following through at home has helped. Usually when I say 1, he is off and running. Not always of course.
Post by: OpalsMom on March 09, 2006, 11:36:21 AM
Here's a suggestion from here that worked:
Me: Time for a diaper change.
Opal: No!
Me: Would you like to walk or ride?
Opal: No walk, no ride.
Me: OK, I'll pick. We'll walk. Would you like to hop like a bunny or stride like an elephant?
Opal, brimming with enthusiasm and leaping to her feet: HOP LIKE A BUNNY!

I swear, she'll go anywhere hopping like a bunny.

Here's a completely stupid out of the blue desperation tactic that worked:
Opal is howling for a cookie in her car seat. I try every known variation on "You REALLY want a cookie. You can have a cookie when we get home. We will be home soon. Would you like to..." (sing a song, tell me what a hippopotamus says, hold mama's hand, count to 10...) Finally I say "Would you like to give me 10 good reasons why you should have a cookie right now?" (Bear in mind, this was last week, just before her second birthday.) She says "Yeah!" I say "Great, go for it." Nearly a minute of absolute silence follows.
Post by: Beyond Blessed on March 09, 2006, 11:51:25 AM
Angry Dance

Jeanna, 3 years old, has been melting down a lot lately. In a situation the other day when I couldn't help her calm down I suggested that we do the Angry Dance. She wanted to part in it till she saw me stomp dancing around the kitchen singing "I'm so angry, I'm so mad. I'm so angry, I feel sad!" She started cracking up and asked me if we could then do the Happy Dance.
Post by: mom2threePKs on March 09, 2006, 02:58:11 PM
When dd was 2.5-3.5 she was very physical and often agressive, hitting and biting when she was very angry and upset. I would tell her to use her words to no avail so then I told her when she is angry she needs to use her maddest face, her angry laud voice and her angry foot. I showed her how to say, "I'm MAD" and stomp her foot and swing her fist in the air. It was amazing how well she responded. When she got angry she would often stop in mid swing to hit or mid-chomp to bite and say I'M MAD! She has even told me other children need to learn to say I'm mad when she has seen an angry kid lashing out.

Post by: raisa on March 09, 2006, 03:24:57 PM
Getting off my butt has changed my life. I'm not kidding. "Sit down," oops he doesn't. Guess I have to go sit him down. "Come here," he doesn't, time to go get him! For an instant I always feel "sigh I have to get up?" but that's followed by "whew that's over." Instead of "ARGH he won't do what I want him to!" and a power struggle.

My 16 mo old almost always sits when I say SIT. Not through fear but because I've taught him that the word means action. For now
Post by: B Hope on March 09, 2006, 10:08:39 PM
One thing that has always worked for us is having DD1 say good-bye to the thing she doesn't want to leave. For instance, she's found a toy at the store she wants and has assumed it's now hers. Rather then taking the toy out of her hand, and dealing with an ensuing tantrum, we've gotten to where we say, "Oh! It's time to go. Tell dolly (toy, ball, random object) Bye-Bye!" I have no idea why, but being allowed to give the item a proper farewell helps her to let go and release any frustrating "me, mine" emotions she may have been having. The toy/ball/dolly/random object gets put back and we cheerfully go on about our day.

We do the same thing when it's time to go to bed. She's given opportunity to say good-night. Or if we're leaving Grandma's house, it always goes better if we take that extra second to let her make her farewells.
Post by: 4LovesMom on March 09, 2006, 11:01:34 PM
I like that line, raisa, "Getting off my butt has changed my life." Same here. Making my words mean something. My kids listen sooner. The five steps are super helpful for us. And playful stuff - making what they need to do fun. Even just a switch in mindset from control to grace and all the finer and broader points of that. HUGE stuff. Good. Great.
Post by: mom2threePKs on March 10, 2006, 05:20:57 AM
I have another one... I've wanted to tell this story for a while so here goes....

When we moved in the little girl across the street was about 11, well call her jane. She had a bit of a reputation for being fun to play with sometimes and just mean others. She played with my kids well for the most part but I was always on the lookout for her to do something bad. I viewed her very adversarially in many ways.

Fast forward a year later. She is being nasty to my girls. Calling them names. My dd is scared of her. i try to talk to her about it one day but from a very adversarial place. She won't come talk to me. I threaten to call her parents. Shortly there after one of the neighborhood kids tells me that Jane's parents are getting divorced and her mom is moving to Germany. I remember standing inthe dining room folding clothes when she told me. It was one of those times when God spoke to me as clearly as if He folding clothes with me. "Love her." And the sense of her pain came flooding into me and I realized that she was just a little girl who needed someone to love her. And I realized that my attitude toward her was just as adversarial as could be and she needed the same kind of Grace-based friendship from me that I offered my kids in the form of GBP.

And so I did. The way I treated her and the way i talked with her and interacted with her really didn't change all that much. But my heart changed dramatically. And it has made all the difference. Jane is doing well now. i no longer wonder if she's going to make it through high school without getting arrested. Now she could still mess something up and find herself in a heap of trouble like any teen but she isn't going to flush her life away. That used to be a serious concern. She still has her mischeivious side but she isn't mean anymore. She is now 14 and will still come over and play and she babysits for us. My girls consider her an older sister. When she comes over she always wants to chat and give me the low-down on who likes whom amond her friends, how her teachers are and what's going on at school. Before she went to Germany this summer she babysat for the girls (it was our anniversary) and left notes for each of us telling us she would miss us and admonishments to the girls to be good. My note talked about how much she appreciated "this love that we give her." If I can find the note later i'll post it on here.

So I have to credit GCM with changing Jane's life. She may not know it but I do.

Post by: Wonder Woman on March 10, 2006, 05:37:43 AM
The biggest success for me was the switch from "he is REALLY pushing me! He's just seeing what he can get away with, the little brat!" to

"this is another time he's looking for me to show him the appropriate behavior. It's a time of teaching."

That in and of itself has completely changed our interactions

Giving him proper scripts has worked very well for us, too. For instance, we had a potential meltdown in the grocery store because the candy I was letting him munch ( ) was pretty tiny, and a piece of it fell through the cart onto the ground. He responded with an almost-scream of intense frustration because the candy didn't belong on the floor. I leaned over and said "you sound *really* frustrated! when you need help, you may say 'help me please, mama'."

He said "pwease hewp me mama" and I picked up the candy piece -and that was the end of the issue. Throughout the rest of the trip, he asked for help when he dropped a piece. My friend (who'd never seen GBD in action before) said later "Wow! so instead of you being one of those moms who yell at him for yelling and then spank him for being upset, you tell him how he can ask for help and that is the end of his frustration!"

He's still very almost-2.5-in-disequilibrium phase, but empowering him has made a tremendous difference.

The only problem is I found myself responding to my dh that way the other day - "I don't like it when you say that. You may say ............."

We both cracked up then
Post by: HomeWithMyBabies on March 10, 2006, 07:09:50 AM
My MIL took me and the boys out for lunch the other day, along with my neice. We sat at a table right in the middle of a bunch of business people on their lunch breaks.

I had a few small books, crayons, dollar store toys, etc with me that the tots played with while I nursed and held the baby and sang the occasional song. When the waitress brought the food ds said, "Oh, tank you!" It was very pleasant.

As they were leaving a group of people from the next table came over. One of them said, "When I saw two highchairs and a carseat sling set up next to us I thought, oh great, this is going to be annoying. But these kids are so well behaved, it was really a joy to be around them!"

I was proud of ds. And I was glad I can look at where ds is coming from developmentally before expecting him to act like a miniature grownup. I had plenty of stuff to make the mealtime fun for him, so he was set up for a pleasant afternoon, not a meltdown. Age appropriate expectations are a big deal and can make or break an experience.
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