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WHAT is her currency?

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  • WHAT is her currency?

    Hi all I am a API leader but I am turning to you the experts for ideas. I have given a lot of thought before I posted and I really need your help.

    I have a 26-mo old very spunky daughter. She has always loved to climb, be curious and is very verbal. (She signs and has an older sister.) I am preggo with my 3rd girl and I hate labels but to give a clear picture, she has the typical middle child syndrome. Not really defiant (because I am BIG on following through with what I say and in giving choices within my perameters) but like has selective hearing almost.

    My oldest (whom I seem to have figured out) is 4 is very much motivated by not upsetting her parents and is intrinsically motivated. Explaining why something is the case really works. (You can't touch the door as it is closing because it can pinch your fingers.) Not so much with my 26-mo old.

    What currency is your child function under? My oldest has a currency of approval (which is the same as me) and I am very aware at the pros/cons of this but can't for the life of me figure out my youngest.

    Example: Playing in the sand box. We review the rules before getting in (one is keep the sand in the box), model the appropraite behavior and give reminders. She starts fine and then starts dumping out the sand again. Redirect, explain, repeat, model ... still. After several warnings I finally warn her that if that happens again she will have to get out. Then she does it, I close it up and she walks away as if it doesn't bother her. (Although it must becasue my husband has this trait and says he uses that as a coping tool for not getting what he wants. Just pretend you don't want it.)

    Or I will follow through with 'time-in' thinking about not doing what mom says, reasons why sand stays in the box etc. She says sorrry and really seems to understand and feel empathy but .... can't fugure out why she does this if she understands. SOMETIMES she does ask if I am mad anymore. I have figured out I need to reassure her that I love her even when I am mad and she is not listening.

    I know that she understands because random times throughout the day she will give me a 'new' rule she has learned, 'don't throw sand.' etc.

    HELP! Please.. your thoughts.

  • #2
    My second has a very different personality then my first. He is just more 'wild' and physical then my first was. He is only 20m now and my first is 4 1/2. He does operate on a different motivation that is for sure but I haven't 'figured him out' as you say.
    I know if he gets plenty of outside and/or running wild time and plenty of food he is much more tamed to rules and expectations then if he dosen't. He (my youngest) is also prone to 'meltdowns' or tantrums where my first was not. I try to just do my best and accept that as part of him. There is no way he will ever do things exactly like his brother although sometimes he is motivated because his brother does them. I guess you have a mystery going on! Have you read Playful Parenting? Maybe she is motivated by amusement? Who knows!

    Comment


    • #3
      i don't know much about 'currency'. i haven't looked at my children in that way. but have you tried NVC w/her? it's a way of framing things up by stating an observation, feeling, need, and request. first, figure out if it is a real need before making the request. for us, dumping sand out isn't a big deal. by the end of the summer, it all ends up out of the box anyway. but if it's truly a need for you, you could state something like "i see you are throwing sand. i feel annoyed when sand is thrown because i need to not spend more money on sand. please keep the sand in the box." if you begin speaking to her in terms of feelings and needs, it may make a valuable difference in how you communicate with one another. you may see important changes over time. if you haven't read it, i highly recommend Non-Violent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg.

      Comment


      • #4
        I am not sure about currency as such as I cannot use this 'in the heat of the moment' its more of a prevention tactic with my DS. I find that finding time to have cuddles and a 'reconnect' makes a huge difference to my LO. He is 20 months but pretty precocious, he would be doing just what you describe your little girl doing in the sand box, I find that those incidents reduce dramatically if we have had lots of cuddle time during the day. He just seems to be more willing to listen to me, and me to him. I am talking about two min on the couch having kisses and cuddles or picking him up and tickling him and then saying I love you.

        We do lots of book reading and he helps me cook etc, and we spend all day together just being close, but what he is needing is concentrated love just smushed all over him. Its like it fills up his good feelings tank and he is then happy to head off and play on his own for awhile and tantrums or not having his listening ears on doesnt happen as often, and when it does the problems are resolved a lot faster.

        I wonder what my next one will be like? I find it so interesting how different siblings are! I cannot wait to meet my next one.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by signingspangler View Post
          I have a 26-mo old very spunky daughter. She has always loved to climb, be curious and is very verbal. (She signs and has an older sister.) I am preggo with my 3rd girl and I hate labels but to give a clear picture, she has the typical middle child syndrome. Not really defiant (because I am BIG on following through with what I say and in giving choices within my perameters) but like has selective hearing almost.

          My oldest (whom I seem to have figured out) is 4 is very much motivated by not upsetting her parents and is intrinsically motivated. Explaining why something is the case really works. (You can't touch the door as it is closing because it can pinch your fingers.) Not so much with my 26-mo old.

          What currency is your child function under? My oldest has a currency of approval (which is the same as me) and I am very aware at the pros/cons of this but can't for the life of me figure out my youngest.

          Example: Playing in the sand box. We review the rules before getting in (one is keep the sand in the box), model the appropraite behavior and give reminders. She starts fine and then starts dumping out the sand again. Redirect, explain, repeat, model ... still. After several warnings I finally warn her that if that happens again she will have to get out. Then she does it, I close it up and she walks away as if it doesn't bother her. (Although it must becasue my husband has this trait and says he uses that as a coping tool for not getting what he wants. Just pretend you don't want it.)

          Or I will follow through with 'time-in' thinking about not doing what mom says, reasons why sand stays in the box etc. She says sorrry and really seems to understand and feel empathy but .... can't fugure out why she does this if she understands. SOMETIMES she does ask if I am mad anymore. I have figured out I need to reassure her that I love her even when I am mad and she is not listening.

          I know that she understands because random times throughout the day she will give me a 'new' rule she has learned, 'don't throw sand.' etc.

          HELP! Please.. your thoughts.
          It sounds like you first got a child with a personality that matched yours, so was easier for you to communiate with, and now your 2nd daughter has a very different personality that you aren't sure how to match.

          I think it's a great opportunity for you to grow! To learn more about communicating with different types, which it sounds like what you are striving for.

          From reading your sand box example, a rhetorical question pops up in my mind: Why? Why shouldn't she throw the sand over the edge of the box? I know you have adult reasons for this, but dig a little deeper and think about it from her standpoint. I imagine she really wants to explore what happens when she does it, but is getting a different message from you that her desire to do this is bad. You give her all of these logical adult reasons, but she just wants to have fun! Maybe approaching it from this point would help you find a better compromise that respects the needs of both of you.

          It's aways an opportunity to grow when we are challenged on our ideas and beliefs, most of which come from some sort of societal expectations that may or may not be as valid as we think they are when everyone is going along with them willingly. If some people aren't willing, it's time to do a little more reflection.

          I know this is much easier to say here than do in real life, and I wish you the best in finding ways for everyone to be happy!

          Comment


          • #6
            Oh, I just read this beautiful article by Scott Noelle, right after posting on here! It's an excellent example.

            http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/scott_noelle.html

            Enjoy!

            Comment


            • #7
              She may be able to understand what she is supposed to do but have a hard time actually doing it. For instance, she is able to resist playing with the sand for awhile but eventually it becomes too tempting and she starts throwing it out again.

              I think that being really clear and consitent with the rules is extremely important but it may not be enough the solve the issue if you're LO is having a hard time controlling her impulses. It may be helpful to think of these sandbox incidents as "part of the process of her learning not to throw the sand out" instead of as "unsuccessful attempts at getting her to keep the sand in". She may have to be in the sandbox and physically experiment with keeping the sand in and putting the sand out. Have you tried helping her to put the sand back in after she has thrown it out? Redirecting, explaining and modeling might be a bit too abstract for her in this particular case but actually putting sand back in the sandbox might be the visceral experience she needs.

              The fact that she seems apologetic, remorseful and needs reassurance after she throws the sand out makes me suspect that she is in fact "working" on getting the whole sandbox thing "right".

              Hope this is helpful,

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Jessica View Post
                She may be able to understand what she is supposed to do but have a hard time actually doing it. For instance, she is able to resist playing with the sand for awhile but eventually it becomes too tempting and she starts throwing it out again.

                I think that being really clear and consitent with the rules is extremely important but it may not be enough the solve the issue if you're LO is having a hard time controlling her impulses. It may be helpful to think of these sandbox incidents as "part of the process of her learning not to throw the sand out" instead of as "unsuccessful attempts at getting her to keep the sand in". She may have to be in the sandbox and physically experiment with keeping the sand in and putting the sand out. Have you tried helping her to put the sand back in after she has thrown it out? Redirecting, explaining and modeling might be a bit too abstract for her in this particular case but actually putting sand back in the sandbox might be the visceral experience she needs.

                The fact that she seems apologetic, remorseful and needs reassurance after she throws the sand out makes me suspect that she is in fact "working" on getting the whole sandbox thing "right".

                Hope this is helpful,
                This is a great post and I love your suggestions!

                I just want to expand on what you said to better illustrate my point. What is really "right" is connecting with and guiding our children. Where sand goes is purely a societal construct, not right or wrong. I'm not saying that you shouldn't try to keep the sand in the sand box, because I can certainly see how that could be a problem! But just that the primary focus is on your child--in other word, the goal isn't to keep the sand where it is -- it is to connect with and guide your child. And if that results in the sand being in the box, great! But, until it does, enjoy the connection with your child first and foremost!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by AwakenedMama View Post
                  This is a great post and I love your suggestions!

                  I just want to expand on what you said to better illustrate my point. What is really "right" is connecting with and guiding our children. Where sand goes is purely a societal construct, not right or wrong. I'm not saying that you shouldn't try to keep the sand in the sand box, because I can certainly see how that could be a problem! But just that the primary focus is on your child--in other word, the goal isn't to keep the sand where it is -- it is to connect with and guide your child. And if that results in the sand being in the box, great! But, until it does, enjoy the connection with your child first and foremost!

                  i LOVE that! thanks, AwakenedMama!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by AwakenedMama View Post
                    Oh, I just read this beautiful article by Scott Noelle, right after posting on here! It's an excellent example.

                    http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/scott_noelle.html

                    Enjoy!
                    What a great article, I loved it!

                    Comment

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