Results are in- the survey was very enlightening and made me feel so validated with these current tot concerns. You all are full of wisdom and insights and I thought I would share with you some responses that I think will work best for my daughter. A lot of you gave similar advice as well. (I will attach a pdf of ALL the answers to the end of this post if you are interested in seeing what everyone else wrote- the responses are 100% anonymous) My comments will be in red.
Question 1: When your tot screams "NO" in reference to sharing, how do MAKE them share? Or do you?
- loses the privilege of playing with that toy
- I have found in my many years as a preschool teacher and mommy that putting the TOY in time out and the toy can't play cuz your not being nice is sometimes more effective then putting the child! but the toy has to stay in time out ALL day and somewhere visible so they don't just forget! I love this idea- a toy time out! This could really drive the point or make my little one put all her toys in a time out...
- Hold both of her hands and explain in simple terms that we are to love others and share.
- I think it is great to encourage your child to share, but also nice to have a few toys that are just hers. Maybe have a share box and a not share box. Or one toy that is all hers. Maybe change the toy every couple of days. Cute idea- at this point my Boo doesn't have any favorites where I would consider this an option yet- plus I want her to know that our friendships have more value than material possessions. If she ever did receive a special gift from a grandparent, for example, I would make sure to implement a strategy like this.
- If they had something first then it is their work and I do not make them share it. I do ask the other child to be patient and say that they can play with it when she is done
- model sharing with your tot and use the appropriate sharing language (it's my turn, now it's your turn, etc)
- try redirecting your tot to another toy
- I teach my children to tell the other child, "You can have it when I am done." Then I make sure that the toy is given to the other when they are done.
- use the timer to alleviate sharing issues. One child gets the toy for a certain amount of time (say 5 min.), and when the timer buzzes, the next child gets a turn for the same amount of time.
- consistency- I think the key is just being consistent. If she does something wrong, and you put her in time-out every time, eventually it will sink in. She'll realize that she can either be a good girl, or she'll have to sit in time-out.
- she is testing you (yes, i know that now... consistency should help with establishing boundaries)
- Try some positive reinforcement methods. Redirection. Simple 5 step rule chart with pictures and positive wording: use walking feet, use friendly hands and feet, use inside voices, etc. and make sure to repeat those throughout the day.
- Redirect that energy to something constructive. Additionally, timeouts should be voluntary so she is on the right track already.
- Lately I have been trying to do "time-in" When I'm frustrated with him I take a solid 2 minutes and give him big hugs, or tickle him, or chase him around, etc. This is helping us b/c I have a 4 month old too and since having the new baby I felt I was putting him in timeout more not b/c he was necessarily acting worse, but more because I was stressed. So now if he's misbehaving I try time-in and it usually helps to put us both in a better mood. BUT... if he hits or bites it is an automatic time out.
- This may be a attention issue. After all negative attention is still attention. (much truth to that comment- our little one has had my constant attention from the day we brought her into our home and she does like to pull my strings (can I just say that just today she was in fits of laughter pulling my hair during the closing prayer at church?)
- Try a natural consequence. . . if she kicks the dog than she doesn't know how to play with the dog and is not allowed to play with the dog. Make sure she knows that if she is unkind to a dog, the dog might bite her. (actually, the dogs are currently scared of my Boo- they run away from her- but I do worry that other dogs may bite.... and well said about the punishment fitting the crime, thats how it should be)
- I really try to make sure there is at least something that he DOES like and other items that he may or may not. I figure we all have our 'favorite' food and our not so favorite, so I can't expect him to like everything I like or DH likes...but he is expected to at least try it. :)
- I have my girls take as many bites of each food for how old they are or no treat! but i never make them clean their plate.
- Stop right now. You are the parents. (I have to comment on this response- I grew up with a very small appetite- still have it- and I know what it's like to be sitting at the table completely full and yet forced to try and eat more- yes, i may be the parent, but i want to listen to my daughter's needs as well)
- I would set all the rules and expectations before the meal begins. For example: "you need to eat this much,you may have ____ as a treat when you are done".
- I think many parents end up in this boat. Myself and husband included. I reserve the right to choose the treat however, and sometimes it is just fruit and yogurt or a homemade smoothie. I personally think kids will always negotiate no matter what, it's more a matter of giving them choices within the negotiation.
- Well, I think some negotiation is inevitable. A friend shared this rule with me. Her child MUST eat the number of bites as her age. So, the 3 year old must eat 3 bites, no matter what or no dessert. If the child likes the food and eats more bites then great, but she must have at least 3 bites of everything on her plate.
- healthy diet is really important to me, and learning to like lots of different foods is a priority, so I do require that they "eat their veggies" so to speak. Miss O, especially is sometimes picky, so I usually serve her fruit or veggie first because she likes it less. She must eat at least the majority if not all of it before she will get the other parts of her meal. I don't require an empty plate, but to get "seconds", she must have an empty plate. No seconds on the yummy rice when she snubbed the carrots? We don't do desserts as rewards for finishing because I think that sets a person up for eating when they aren't hungry. If she is going to have a special treat, usually either it's a surprise snack at snack time (with no other eating requirements before hand) or it's something I surprise her with after dinner (that way she isn't asking for it, and I don't have to let her down by not giving it to her if she didn't eat her dinner the way I wanted her to.) If she doesn't eat well, I can just decide not to surprise her with the treat. As for the "all done" issue. I don't force mine to eat it all. If she is truly all done, then I would let her down. If you do that a few times and an hour later she is asking for a snack because she didn't take a full meal, then I would require she eat a little more before getting down, and of course, explain why you want her to eat a few more bites--because last time she didn't eat enough, and was hungry before the next meal time.
- A good book on child feeding is, How to get your kids to eat, but not too much, by Ellyn Satter. http://www.ellynsatter.com/ I used it and recommended it when I taught University nutrition classes.
- I think when she says "all done" take her at her word. She really may be full (though we can all make room for a treat ;) If she asks for more food later, give her the leftovers that she didn't finish. And don't worry, she will not starve. This was one my biggest concerns when my son started doing this but I stood my ground and all is well (of course with the occasional upsets, but that's to be expected). If she's just saying all done so she can get a treat, then let her know that all done means all done, no more, not even a treat.