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Ignoring vs Indulging

 
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Jan 13 2022, 4:04 pm
When my dd 5.5 is in a bad mood, she'll just cry and whine for like an hour, until she finally snaps out of it. Zaps me of every last drop of patience! Feels like complaining about everything and wants to sit on my lap forever! When I try to be extra patient and loving, it doesn't seem to help. So then I spend a while going about doing my own thing and ignoring her. Then sometimes I sit with her and she calms down. How do I know if I'm helping her or hurting her, either way? Should I try to be wonderfully supportive, even if it seems like indulging the tantrum sometimes makes it drag on? Should I just firmly tell her it's enough? Is that like emotional abuse, not letting her express herself? It's usually not that she wants something, I ask if I can help her with anything, nothing I say or do seems to help when she's in these moods. Today it happened twice! And then she asked if we are going somewhere special that I planned to go. Am I allowed to explain to her that her tantrum takes all my strength and then I don't feel like going anywhere or doing anything? Or will that make her bottle in her emotions? Sometimes it's that she's sitting on my lap reading or whatever and I need to get up and do something else- she flips out! What can I do??
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amother




Sage
 

Post Thu, Jan 13 2022, 4:14 pm
She sounds like a very normal kid.

It can be hard to give that constant attention to her and I can understand why you feel drained!

I think that as opposed to ignoring or indulging, there is a middle way.

Yes, mommy needs some time to herself, but she loves you and will set reasonable boundaries for both hers and your sake. You shouldn't be ignoring her, but setting limits.

It's not always instinctive to know how to do this and you might need help from a parenting mentor or by reading some books on the subject. Once she feels secure with you, that you can parent her confidently and without drama or feeling guilty, she will stop testing your love for her.
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amother




Daylily
 

Post Thu, Jan 13 2022, 4:20 pm
I would make sure she’s eating and sleeping properly for her age. Lack of food and sleep are often what cause kids to fall apart over nothing.
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amother




Tangerine
 

Post Thu, Jan 13 2022, 4:29 pm
You are such a good Mother for asking these questions ! Raising children in a loving way can be so challenging. You don’t want to spoil her but you also don’t want to stop her from expressing her wants and needs freely to you. Do not explain to her that it takes all of your strength . That’s over her head and she doesn’t care . Spend a few minutes trying to help her and if she doesn’t calm down say something like - Mommy is here to help you , but right now I’ve told you what I can do . If you need something else , I’m right here , but I’m not going to talk about this anymore until you’re ready to tell me how I can help you . The first few times she probably will continue to
tantrum , but when she sees it gets no reaction she will try to talk to you. No show goes on forever without an audience – if you ignore her tantruming she’ll see it has no effect.
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amother




Magenta
 

Post Thu, Jan 13 2022, 4:35 pm
I have this question also. I have several older kids, but all boys, so this is new to me.

She's 6, and she kvetches. Like all the time. About everything. And sometimes about nothing. And yes, it drains me. I'm used to kids being physical with each other, throwing a screaming kicking tantrum, slamming the door, and I think I respond pretty well to that. I empathize that they're angry, keep everyone safe, and talk through it with them after they've calmed down.

None of that works with my daughter. She asks me for something, even something she knows the answer will be "no" to -- "Mommy, can I invite a friend over?" (She's in pajamas and it's almost bedtime, and she knows that.) Whether I give a direct answer "Nope, it's almost bedtime now" or a more empathetic answer "Oooh, you'd really like to have a friend over now, huh? It's almost bedtime now, but we can call Sarah tomorrow after school, and I bet she'll be able to come over." But I know no matter what I do, she'll start screaming and collapse on the floor. Or, best case scenario, she'll just kvetch and kvetch.

Her favorite line seems to be "You don't KNOW what I MEAN!" And I've sat there and said "I really want to understand what you mean, can you explain it to me?" or "It sounds to me like you're saying X...Is that what you're saying?" But no matter what I say, she ends up kvetching and screaming.

For the record, I never change my mind based on her kvetching. Ever. And she knows that.

So I have the same question as the OP -- Is it ok for me to just say something empathetic once, and then ignore her? Or am I teaching her that her feelings don't matter?

And what if someone is sleeping in the house and she's being really loud? I hate to tell her to go into her room because she's crying, and I make sure she knows it's not a punishment, but like when my husband was sick last week and trying to rest and I knew she was going to cry for 30 minutes straight...We don't have a huge house, so the only rooms where he wouldn't hear her were her bedroom, the bathrooms, and the laundry room. Same thing when my baby is napping. I don't keep the kids super-quiet, but her screaming gets LOUD. It drives my older kids, especially my oldest, a teenage boy, crazy. It just doesn't seem fair for all of them to have to suffer...so I do sometimes send her to her room. I tell her it's fine to cry, and I can sit here with her while she cries if she needs, but it can't be too loud because it's bothering people.

It just seems so wrong on so many levels, but I don't know what to do! (Sorry if I'm stealing your post, OP, but I think we really have the same question.)
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amother




Aster
 

Post Thu, Jan 13 2022, 4:38 pm
amother [ Magenta ] wrote:

For the record, I never change my mind based on her kvetching. Ever. And she knows that.

So I have the same question as the OP -- Is it ok for me to just say something empathetic once, and then ignore her? Or am I teaching her that her feelings don't matter?


Yes, it's ok to do that.

You might never change your mind but I think she is still getting what she wants--more attention than you owe her and than is warranted by the circumstance. As long as this strategy keeps working, she won't stop.
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amother




Tangerine
 

Post Thu, Jan 13 2022, 4:50 pm
If you stay with her when she cries you are giving her the reinforcement she needs to continue. Also when she asked you these questions you should not even answer her but you should say to her I know you know the answer, you tell me. That way you didn’t refuse her anything - she’s the one that’s coming up with the answer that she doesn’t want, not you. And when she screams at you - you just don’t know what I mean - give her crayons and paper and tell her to draw you a picture. That is very empowering for children, and they have a concrete example of what to show you. She will probably get so distracted drawing the picture that she will forget about the screaming and hopefully be able to explain it to you.
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cupcake123




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Jan 13 2022, 5:02 pm
As long as your able to I would error on the side of indulging. She's little she won't do this forever. Just my personal parenting method
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amother




Tangerine
 

Post Thu, Jan 13 2022, 5:07 pm
cupcake123 wrote:
As long as your able to I would error on the side of indulging. She's little she won't do this forever. Just my personal parenting method

I respectfully disagree. I’ve been teaching this age for years besides being a parent and a grandparent. Her behavior is not age-appropriate. If it’s enough for her mother to write about it on this forum that means it’s happening quite often. To me it seems that the duration and frequency is above and beyond the normal of what is expected at that age.
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cupcake123




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Jan 13 2022, 5:13 pm
amother [ Tangerine ] wrote:
I respectfully disagree. I’ve been teaching this age for years besides being a parent and a grandparent. Her behavior is not age-appropriate. If it’s enough for her mother to write about it on this forum that means it’s happening quite often. To me it seems that the duration and frequency is above and beyond the normal of what is expected at that age.


Thats ok. I knew people would disagree. Teaching is not the same as parenting. I do think its age appropriate to kvetch. The part I think people disagree is what to do about the kvetching. A lot of kids come home kvetchy from school.
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amother




Camellia
 

Post Thu, Jan 13 2022, 5:26 pm
I don't have the patience for dd when she's in those sorts of moods. I tell her when she's ready to talk and have calmed down I'm happy to talk to her. And then just walk away. Sorry I don't have much useful advice, but you're not alone.
Something I've learnt over time is that sometimes I need to be the one to be in 'timeout' because I cannot cope with the kids for too long. I'm tired and they're tired and it isn't a great combination. I try and be organized, have supper ready so that it's served on time, get them into a good bedtime routine and I think the kids are calmer when things are more structured.
I don't think it's indulging to stay with her, but you have to know yourself and her and whether it's working for both of you.
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amother




Camellia
 

Post Thu, Jan 13 2022, 5:28 pm
amother [ Tangerine ] wrote:
I respectfully disagree. I’ve been teaching this age for years besides being a parent and a grandparent. Her behavior is not age-appropriate. If it’s enough for her mother to write about it on this forum that means it’s happening quite often. To me it seems that the duration and frequency is above and beyond the normal of what is expected at that age.


My dd is not much older than that and she totally gets the same moods. I think girls seem to be prone to 'whine' and everything is a big deal. I know when I'm tired I find it hard to cope with things, and if you have a more sensitive child, like my dd, and they're tired, it's very hard not to meltdown.
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amother




Bone
 

Post Thu, Jan 13 2022, 5:31 pm
Are you really trying to see things from her perspective when she is whining? Can you see the need behind her behavior? My ideal philosophy (I don’t always have the presence of mind to implement it) is to really empathize in a genuine way, welcome the feelings, and that way less them pass through. My goal is not quick resolution or tamping down the feeling, it’s letting the feeling be expressed and dissolved that way.
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my mama




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Jan 13 2022, 6:16 pm
You can ignore the behavior without ignoring the child. So while they are kvetching you can ignore it but if they ask for anything, or something happens do respond. I sometimes ask my kids to repeat themselves in a happy voice, or a calm voice, but I don't ignore them.
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amother




OP
 

Post Fri, Jan 14 2022, 3:06 am
amother [ Magenta ] wrote:
I have this question also. I have several older kids, but all boys, so this is new to me.

She's 6, and she kvetches. Like all the time. About everything. And sometimes about nothing. And yes, it drains me. I'm used to kids being physical with each other, throwing a screaming kicking tantrum, slamming the door, and I think I respond pretty well to that. I empathize that they're angry, keep everyone safe, and talk through it with them after they've calmed down.

None of that works with my daughter. She asks me for something, even something she knows the answer will be "no" to -- "Mommy, can I invite a friend over?" (She's in pajamas and it's almost bedtime, and she knows that.) Whether I give a direct answer "Nope, it's almost bedtime now" or a more empathetic answer "Oooh, you'd really like to have a friend over now, huh? It's almost bedtime now, but we can call Sarah tomorrow after school, and I bet she'll be able to come over." But I know no matter what I do, she'll start screaming and collapse on the floor. Or, best case scenario, she'll just kvetch and kvetch.

Her favorite line seems to be "You don't KNOW what I MEAN!" And I've sat there and said "I really want to understand what you mean, can you explain it to me?" or "It sounds to me like you're saying X...Is that what you're saying?" But no matter what I say, she ends up kvetching and screaming.

For the record, I never change my mind based on her kvetching. Ever. And she knows that.

So I have the same question as the OP -- Is it ok for me to just say something empathetic once, and then ignore her? Or am I teaching her that her feelings don't matter?

And what if someone is sleeping in the house and she's being really loud? I hate to tell her to go into her room because she's crying, and I make sure she knows it's not a punishment, but like when my husband was sick last week and trying to rest and I knew she was going to cry for 30 minutes straight...We don't have a huge house, so the only rooms where he wouldn't hear her were her bedroom, the bathrooms, and the laundry room. Same thing when my baby is napping. I don't keep the kids super-quiet, but her screaming gets LOUD. It drives my older kids, especially my oldest, a teenage boy, crazy. It just doesn't seem fair for all of them to have to suffer...so I do sometimes send her to her room. I tell her it's fine to cry, and I can sit here with her while she cries if she needs, but it can't be too loud because it's bothering people.

It just seems so wrong on so many levels, but I don't know what to do! (Sorry if I'm stealing your post, OP, but I think we really have the same question.)


Wow, they sound so similar!!! Thank you for writing all this out! I was so drained last night, I couldn't even figure out what to write, but a lot of what you said is also true for me. I also have an older son (not teen) who throws WAAAAY different kinds of tantrums. This seems easier sometimes... but more confusing!

For the one who said to have her draw a picture, my husband actually happened to try that yesterday- he gave her a whiteboard and told her to draw what's making her upset. She just got more and more upset, like wondering why he's bothering her with this nonsense when she's clearly so upset!

The most annoying part is she doesn't want anything usually- although she does sometimes cry more when I ask what she wants and she says "YOU KNOW!! I ALREADY TOLD YOU!!!!" So I relate to your "You don't know what I mean!!!" PP. But she just wants to sit on my lap forever! Sometimes she's probably hungry, but refuses to eat anything. Good to know it's fairly common, if not the norm. Definitely a more sensitive type of kid, so I guess maybe it's that type that goes this route. Thanks everyone for the perspectives!
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amother




Mocha
 

Post Fri, Jan 14 2022, 3:37 am
OP I’ve dealt with similar w/ my 5 year old dd, I find it happens lot when she’s overtired + hungry, like right when she comes home from school... I don’t know if these would be helpful for you but a few things I do -
The first thing I try is to anticipate and preempt these meltdowns, so let’s say right when she comes home, and comes to the supper table, I’ll come over and take her on my lap and start feeding her her supper while snuggling with her for a few minutes, ( this way I can talk to the rest of the kids at the table at the same time while giving her special attention)
next - if she’s already in that mood, I try to be playful , tickling her , being silly, telling her a story, offering to play a board game, turning on music she likes etc. This often helps for me but Possibly this would irritate your daughter even more, I’m not sure.
Last- I don’t know if an option for you but if she’s already too far gone, I’ll turn on something for her to watch. this is the best method actually 😃 Sometimes even just a few minutes of watching something relaxes and snaps her out of her mood.
Good luck, it’s tough!
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amother




OP
 

Post Fri, Jan 14 2022, 3:47 am
amother [ Mocha ] wrote:
OP I’ve dealt with similar w/ my 5 year old dd, I find it happens lot when she’s overtired + hungry, like right when she comes home from school... I don’t know if these would be helpful for you but a few things I do -
The first thing I try is to anticipate and preempt these meltdowns, so let’s say right when she comes home, and comes to the supper table, I’ll come over and take her on my lap and start feeding her her supper while snuggling with her for a few minutes, ( this way I can talk to the rest of the kids at the table at the same time while giving her special attention)
next - if she’s already in that mood, I try to be playful , tickling her , being silly, telling her a story, offering to play a board game, turning on music she likes etc. This often helps for me but Possibly this would irritate your daughter even more, I’m not sure.
Last- I don’t know if an option for you but if she’s already too far gone, I’ll turn on something for her to watch. this is the best method actually 😃 Sometimes even just a few minutes of watching something relaxes and snaps her out of her mood.
Good luck, it’s tough!


Thanks so much, I think some of these suggestions may work!
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rgr




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jan 14 2022, 4:25 am
If she's hangry and refuses to eat start with a cup of juice, it raises the blood sugar faster
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