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Affection After Misbehavior

 
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amother




OP


Post  Sun, Apr 14 2019, 1:59 pm
I have a delicious 4.5 yo son who pushed my buttons a lot today. Nothing crazy, just some regular old disrespect in words and actions. I tucked him in and told him good night and I love him. Then I told him I want him to speak and act more respectfully tomorrow. Then I left dh to help him get to sleep.

Now he's asking for me to come sit with him so he can hold my hand which helps him sleep. Usually I will do that when I finish whatever else I need to do, but I just don't feel like it. I don't want him to think that I won't love him if he misbehaves, but I also don't want him to think that he can do whatever he feels like. I am a human being and his actions have an effect on me and how I'm feeling towards him.

So how does that work? I know I'm not supposed to take it personally when a 4yo misbehaves and pushes my buttons, but doesn't he need to learn that his actions have consequences? I gave him consequences at the time, too- taking away things, not giving things, that kind of thing... but he kept at it, and it just wiped me out. So I'm tired of him for today. How do I deal with that???
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Zehava




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Apr 14 2019, 2:03 pm
Looks like you guys are locked in a power struggle. Withholding affection will just continue the pattern and escalate things.
He’s your little boy. He’s doing what normal healthy little boys do. Go give him a kiss and a hug and hold his hand and whatever you normally do. You’re his mommy. He needs you even and more so when he misbehaves.
Tomorrow is another day.
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amother




Yellow


Post  Sun, Apr 14 2019, 2:03 pm
Withholding affection from a child is not in the realm of normal consequences. It's ok for him to know that when he does x you feel y, but he should not be led to believe that your love for him is dependent on his behavior. What he's asking for is your love.
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amother




OP


Post  Sun, Apr 14 2019, 2:07 pm
amother [ Yellow ] wrote:
Withholding affection from a child is not in the realm of normal consequences. It's ok for him to know that when he does x you feel y, but he should not be led to believe that your love for him is dependent on his behavior. What he's asking for is your love.


Yes I know all that. The problem is he wants me to show my love when I'm not in a loving mood, particularly towards him. It's a natural consequence based on his behavior. How do you get over that feeling?
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amother




Yellow


Post  Sun, Apr 14 2019, 2:09 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Yes I know all that. The problem is he wants me to show my love when I'm not in a loving mood, particularly towards him. It's a natural consequence based on his behavior. How do you get over that feeling?


You don't have to get over it, you just do it even if you aren't feeling it. It's ok to give hugs and kisses and hold his hand even if you aren't feeling especially loving.
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amother




Oak


Post  Sun, Apr 14 2019, 2:32 pm
This is our job as a mother- to give love, even when we don't feel like it. Witholding love at a time like this can be very deeply hurtful to a 4 year old child, and can create a lot of insecurity and issues with self esteem if it's a repeated pattern. It is your job as a mother to find it in your heart to forgive his misbehaviors so you can heal the relationship and help him grow emotionally healthy.
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trixx




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Apr 14 2019, 2:38 pm
He's specifically reaching out to you for reassurance of your love after your discipline. His little brain thinks maybe you don't love or even like him as much. He's still young and naive enough to ask for your affection outright.
Don't hold back! Smother and love him. This will show him that he is NOT his actions - you can disapprove of his behavior and still love the whole child.
As for yourself, maybe a little cheshbon nefesh is in order, like why exactly does a 4y have enough power over you? I get needing a break from our kids. But to feel like he disrespected you when his behavior was probably within the realms of normal little kid stuff. Consider which buttons he pushed and whether those are important or valid buttons to have in the first place.
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amother




Seafoam


Post  Sun, Apr 14 2019, 5:40 pm
You want your child to show respect even when he doesn't feel like it. You need to show love even if you don't feel like it.

Hashem loves us even when we mess up. Emulate Him.
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greenfire




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Apr 14 2019, 5:45 pm
separate the misbehavior/punishment from the child ... every child needs love & assurance
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behappy2




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Apr 14 2019, 5:55 pm
You can let your child know that you are not feeling in the mood of cuddling with him bec of how he behaved and at the same time giving him a way to make it up to you.

"Im really not in the mood of helping you fall asleep tonight bec of how you behaved. How about you lay nicely for a few minutes and give mommy time to calm down and I will come in to you" then when you come in give him a big hug and kiss and forgive him.

I don't think it's healthy for kids if we turn into angels. They do need to see our very human side. That said we need to work on ourselves and also model forgiveness. This is personally what feels comfortable to me. I have a vey real relationship with my kids and it feels good. I respect that ppl have different styles of parenting.
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pizza4




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Apr 14 2019, 6:14 pm
It's hard. I'd take a break for a few minutes by myself to calm down and analyze what happened and what I could do differently next time. Then when I'm calm I could go to the child and give him a hug and reassurance that I love him.
He knows you're upset at him, he wants to make sure you love him still. Usually little kids will run to us after discipline, for a hug. This is why.
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amother




Ivory


Post  Sun, Apr 14 2019, 6:48 pm
you sound resentful of a little child for misbehaving, and not in the heat of the moment. I don't think that is a typical response and maybe there are deeper issues pushing you to feel this way. do you feel frustrated at yoursef for not being able to control him or perhaps this triggers a parenting style done to you. in any case, no I dont think holding a grudge against a child is ok. yes you should hold him and love him unconditionally for him to grow up emotionally healthy.
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trixx




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Apr 14 2019, 7:18 pm
I want to add that you might find Janet Lansbury approach to parenting very helpful
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causemommysaid




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Apr 14 2019, 7:31 pm
Aw give ur baby a hug and hold his hand.

Hes so little and wont want those hugs forever.

If you already gave him a consequence for misbehavior then he doesnt need any more. Just love him.
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Chayalle




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Apr 14 2019, 8:41 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Yes I know all that. The problem is he wants me to show my love when I'm not in a loving mood, particularly towards him. It's a natural consequence based on his behavior. How do you get over that feeling?


No it's not a natural consequence based on HIS behavior. It's YOUR behavior here that's the issue. (It sounds like your expectations of him might not be realistic. )

Dina Friedman says, in her parenting course, that when we give our child a consequence (like a reprimand for their bad behavior, which you have already done) then as soon as possible, show your child that you are back on track.

She says that with a young child,, it would be a loving gesture, like sitting with him, giving him a hug, etc...with a teen, it would be continuing a normal conversation. Whatever it takes to show that your relationship is still intact.

Go sit with him! Take a minute to breathe and get over your feelings, and then go be his loving Mommy, as always.
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Miri7




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Apr 14 2019, 11:06 pm
I agree with the other posters. He needs a hand holding today more than most days. When I’m the mood you’re in and don’t feel like sitting and holding the child’s hand, I hold it and think about how tiny their baby hand used to be, how squishy their toddler hand was, etc. Those thoughts in a quiet bedroom seem to help me get back on track
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amother




OP


Post  Mon, Apr 15 2019, 2:02 am
Thanks everyone, this was a big help!
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FranticFrummie




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Apr 15 2019, 9:44 am
I always told DD "I will love you forever, no matter what. I may not always like the choices you make, but that won't make me stop loving you."

She's 15 now, and those words have been part of the cement that keeps our communication going.
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Chayalle




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Apr 15 2019, 10:02 am
A smart person once told me that a mother's love is like the ocean. It's deep, it's endless, and it's consistent.

It's not a 50/50 relationship (you behave, and I'll love you) but rather, I'll always love you, no matter what. Like you said, FranticFrummie - I may not like your choices, but love doesn't stop.

I fostered a little boy around 10 years ago for 3 1/2 years. I remember when he was about 3-4, he was rather rambunctious, and pushing boundaries was part of the way he was programmed. It's normal behavior for the age, but hang in there OP. They do grow up. I'm really proud of him today - he's a great kid and doing really well B"H.
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amother




Yellow


Post  Mon, Apr 15 2019, 10:57 am
FranticFrummie wrote:
I always told DD "I will love you forever, no matter what. I may not always like the choices you make, but that won't make me stop loving you."

She's 15 now, and those words have been part of the cement that keeps our communication going.


Similarly, I tell my kids often, "I will always be your mommy, and I will always love you." It is SO important for them to know this and believe it.
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