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Willfull disobedience

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  • Willfull disobedience

    I know that something hits home for me when I want to read it over and over. Like this passage...

    "Children don't usually wake up one day and think, 'I'm going to bug the heck out of my parents today. It's going to be fun. I'm going to watch their anxiety and displeasure with glee!' Most children do not intentionally set out to bug their parents. They do try to get their own needs met, sometimes at the cost of their parent's needs. However, it's not about us. It's all about them.

    When children willfully disobey, they are saying, 'My needs matter more than yours right now'. Usually it's a pattern of where one person's needs are met in the relationship, and they are usually not the child's. They are usually the parent's needs. A parent would do better to really examine what the child is communicating." (p. 63)

    When combining that passage with the discussion of Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs on pages 64-66, I really had an "ah-ha" moment. I never really thought of the need to run around and be active as a core survival need, for example. or the need to be free of ridicule (from wearing a helmet) as a security need. Very enlightening!

  • #2
    ok, I know I'm replying to myself - but I'm struggling with this evening.

    I'm alone with the three kids for four days. The babies have a cold and are very high needs, so the little girl is feeling neglected. I've spent as much time with her as I'm able and it's not enough.

    So, early this afternoon she wanted to do a craft project. I didn't want her to, because I didn't have time to help and I knew it would make a mess. So, after a meeting on the couch, I agreed to let her take out her craft supplies and to help as much as possible if she agreed to put everything back away.

    It's now the boys bedtime and we are in a complete power struggle about picking up the supplies. Both babies are crying because they want to go to bed. I've spent the past hour gently reminding of our agreement, trying to make it fun, helping where I can. Now I just need it done. I've gotten to the point of refusing to help with anything else ("get me a drink, turn on the computer for me, tie my doll's dress"....) until the supplies are picked up. She isn't crying or upset, just saying she doesn't want to do it right now.

    What else can I do????
    Last edited by WildBlueberry; 12-19-2008, 06:22 PM.


    • #3
      I can definitely read in your thread about how tired you are and you acknowledge this. I wonder, does she give a reason for why she isn't wanting to put the supplies away? You know that you need to put the boys to bed as well as feel like it's one less thing for you to do in regards to putting crafts away but we're unsure of what her need is in not wanting to help put it away despite the agreement?


      • #4
        I think her need is just to play. She feels like she is doing to much "for me" (helping with the boys) and that I'm not playing with her enough. She wants me to pick up the toys for her so that she can play. Well, what she REALLY wants is for me to play WITH her and then HELP her pick up the toys together. At night, when everyone is getting tired, she just doesn't want me to ask her to do anything else. It's like she waits until she knows I'm about to lose it, and then she does it. I don't want to get in the place where I need to be frustrated in order for her to do something, that doesn't feel right. Hmmm... maybe I should save pick up for first thing in the morning when we're fresh?

        After I wrote that message yesterday, it was only another 5 minutes before she had picked up the toys (it was 2 minutes worth of work) and came to give me a big hug. I know this is about my time being stretched too thin. I just don't know how to make it better (other than letting the boys get a little older), kwim? It is getting a tiny bit better every day....
        Last edited by WildBlueberry; 12-21-2008, 04:31 AM.