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From: Ericka Kammerer on
enigma wrote:
> Ericka Kammerer <eek(a)comcast.net> wrote in
> news:5dqdnT-1BrsfA-rYnZ2dnUVZ_u6dnZ2d(a)comcast.com:
>
>> cailleach(a)hotmail.co.uk wrote:
>>
>>> He might have a lot of things in his life just now that
>>> could make him feel that way. His medication routine is
>>> pretty stringent, and breathing trouble is stressful in
>>> itself. If your son is five, then he wont have been in
>>> school long? And the judo lessons? I'm sure these are good
>>> things in the long run, but in the short run maybe these
>>> add up to a lot of new demands and stresses in your son's
>>> life, and maybe he is reacting to the sum of all of it.
>>> Honestly, to me he really *doesn't* just sound defiant or
>>> stroppy or manipulative, instead he sounds as if he could
>>> be *terribly* anxious.
>> Actually, just to be pedantic again, the book in
>> question uses the word "manipulative" in a very particular
>> way, and in fact, one of the main reasons kids like this
>> manipulate is that they *are* very anxious. Some of the
>> most powerful motivators for manipulation are the desire
>> to avoid something one fears and the desire to control
>> one's environment. Kids who are confident and resilient
>> don't manipulate to this degree. They don't have to.
>> They have better things to do, though they're not
>> necessarily above it on occasion.
>
> so, how does one help the child become more resiliant &
> confidant?

That's what the whole book is about ;-)

> i *know* one of the issues here (my house, not toypup's son)
> is emotional immaturity. it's one of the reasons they wanted
> to put him in a DD preschool. i have no idea what type of
> therapy they would have used to make him more confidant &
> resiliant, especially since he's *very* confidant about things
> that he's good at.
> he's getting very manipulative to get out of doing things he
> doesn't perceive himself to be good at though. this is more
> recent, since last year when his teacher pushed him pretty
> hard to do a lot of math & reading...

I think in order to implement this well, you do
have to read the book, as it's more than can be summarized
in a post or two (or four, or eight ;-) ). But, the two
most basic techniques they give for shutting down
manipulation are the SPR (they have to understand that
they don't have the option to do things that you as a
parent have decided to take a stand on--they cannot be
allowed to manipulate you on these matters) and what
they call extinction of negative reinforcement. That
means shutting down their ability to manipulate in order
to successfully avoid the things that they fear. At
some level, that boils down to getting back up on the
horse with a lot of loving support. Basically, they
walk you through how to insist that the child confront
these things they fear, understanding that they need
your support to do that. (I.e., you don't just throw
them to the wolves, but you don't back down and let them
off the hook either.)
There isn't any real magic to this, no technique
that makes it all easy. Personally, though, I very much
believe that this is what you have to do. I grew up
an anxious, manipulative child. I was very compliant
in many ways, and had excellent behavior. That was one
of the ways I manipulated people. However, I was a
perfectionist and feared not doing well and I spent a
*lot* of time and energy manipulating my environment
so that I didn't have to do things I feared. I really
didn't want that for my children. That's not really
a worry with #3. She doesn't give a rip. My #2 also
is fairly outgoing and willing to give things a try,
even if he is going to fail a whole bunch of times
before he succeeds. It was clear, however, with #1
that he was a classic perfectionist of the variety
who simply wouldn't do it at all if he wasn't sure
it was going to be perfect by the time he was a toddler.
We had *always* applauded trying over succeeding and
never got on his case for failures and all that stuff.
It was just a part of his temperament. It's very hard
to figure out where to draw the line with these kids.
When do you push, and when do you say it's okay, he'll
do it someday when he's ready? If you do push, how do
you make it better for him? After reading this book,
I pushed more than I would have otherwise, and I think
it's done him a world of good. He is more confident,
more resilient, and happier than he was. He still has
the fears (and he has an unreasonable fear of weather
that nothing seems to help), but he is willing and
able to work through those fears when necessary. Above
all, his self-confidence and self-esteem grew tremendously.
I think it has also helped him dramatically on the social
front. He's never going to be like his sister, but I think
he will have more fun and more experiences than I was willing
to allow myself.

Best wishes,
Ericka
From: Ericka Kammerer on
cailleach(a)hotmail.co.uk wrote:
> enigma wrote:
>
>> i have no idea what type of
>> therapy they would have used to make him more confidant &
>> resiliant, especially since he's *very* confidant about things
>> that he's good at.
>> he's getting very manipulative to get out of doing things he
>> doesn't perceive himself to be good at though. this is more
>> recent, since last year when his teacher pushed him pretty
>> hard to do a lot of math & reading...
>
> As far as I know, the best way to get a child to do things he isn't
> confident about is by starting off with the bar very low and with tons
> of praise and encouragement even for doing the "easy" bits, so that he
> experiences lots of success instead of failure. Then when he starts
> thinking "this ain't so bad after all!" the bar starts rising, slowly
> and with continuing praise and rewards.

I think that's good to a degree, but it is also
*essential* that these kids experience failures and realize
that they can survive them. It can help to try to support
them so that they learn to survive little failures first and
work their way up to the gut-wrenching failures, but you
can't manage them out of failures. With this temperament,
one of the roots of the problem is that they desperately
fear failure. As they build up successes, their fear of
failure actually *grows*! They *must* fail at times, and
work through that to realize that everyone fails sometimes
and it *is* survivable. No on will think you're a bad
person because you failed. In fact, people don't particularly
like people who never fail, even if they don't have a smug
attitude about it. People prefer other people who seem more
human to them.
You also have to be careful of all the praise and
rewards for success. For many of these kids, they need the
praise and rewards for *trying and failing*. The success is
reward in itself.
This is a particularly difficult trap for gifted kids,
because they have the *ability* to be successful such a high
percentage of the time, and because they're better than average
at manipulating their world so that they don't have to experience
failures. They can delay experiencing failure better, and all
the while their fear of someday failing grows.

Best wishes,
Ericka
From: Ericka Kammerer on
cailleach(a)hotmail.co.uk wrote:
> Ericka Kammerer wrote:
>
>> Actually, just to be pedantic again, the book in question uses the word "manipulative" in a > very particular way, and in fact, one of the main reasons kids like this
>> manipulate is that they *are* very anxious.
>
> Yes, I do understand that, though I only read the intro on Amazon so I
> haven't read enough of the book to know exactly what the authors mean
> by "manipulative". My own son is highly anxious by nature and
> *extremely* controlling, both by nature and also as a result of his
> anxiety. I'm sure he'd *love* to be manipulative too, but having
> Asperger's syndrome he doesn't really have the means. Controller,
> absolutely, manipulator, no chance :-). So the SPR book may use
> "manipulative" to include what I would call "controlling".

I think it likely does.

> True enough. So maybe toypup's son is not feeling remotely confident or
> resilient right now. If so, then toypup may also need to look at all
> the various factors that could be stressing her son out, and as well as
> doing the SPR she might also benefit from lowering some of the stresses
> on him. And maybe from praise and rewards just for meeting "normal"
> expectations, too, to build up his confidence!

Absolutely, but I think an additional key is to realize
that effectively shutting down the manipulation often lowers
stress in a child in and of itself. The burden of having to
manipulate and the burden of fearing the loss of control are
stressful all by themselves.

Best wishes,
Ericka
From: Anne Rogers on

>
> As you can probably guess I am not a netballer (or even slightly sporty).
> In
> fact, it's still the only sport in which I have been sent off, and also
> the
> only one in which I have been injured... in the same month at school! I
> was
> sent off for the hand-waving thing; apparently I Did It Wrong :-P

you have to be 3 feet away from the other player, which then leads to
interesting techniques with the shooter stepping on to their back leg, then
shooting on one leg (putting the other leg down would be walking with the
ball and thus not allowed). I never like netball much at school, I was one
of the smallest and when I started learning it, due to which schools we'd
previously been at, almost everyone else knew how to play, but then I
started playing again for fitness at university, I played on my colleges 2nd
team (university made up of smaller colleges) and found that I had quite a
knack as goalkeeper, though I'm not tall, so if the opposing team managed to
produce a tall shooter I'd be stuck, but in the lower divisions of the
league this wasn't common, I think we won all but one of our matches and
went up a division.

Cheers

Anne


From: Chookie on
In article <meSdnY-s54DY1OXYnZ2dnUVZ_uGdnZ2d(a)comcast.com>,
Ericka Kammerer <eek(a)comcast.net> wrote:

> It was clear, however, with #1
> that he was a classic perfectionist of the variety
> who simply wouldn't do it at all if he wasn't sure
> it was going to be perfect by the time he was a toddler.
> We had *always* applauded trying over succeeding and
> never got on his case for failures and all that stuff.
> It was just a part of his temperament. It's very hard
> to figure out where to draw the line with these kids.
> When do you push, and when do you say it's okay, he'll
> do it someday when he's ready? If you do push, how do
> you make it better for him?

As I said, DS1 has never been an anxious child, but as a toddler he was
intimidated by gatherings of people he didn't know well, eg ABA meetings. I'd
tell him to stay by me until he was ready to play with the other children.
That is: I had an expectation that he would play with the other kids and that
he would enjoy it, but OTOH he had control over when he jumped in to do so.
Similarly he was a bit worried about starting school, but we (as parents)
believed he would enjoy it, told him how much we enjoyed school, etc. The
school orientation programme was very helpful too. Is that the kind of thing
you did, or did you have to use different strategies since his anxieties were
stronger than the average?

> After reading this book,
> I pushed more than I would have otherwise, and I think
> it's done him a world of good. He is more confident,
> more resilient, and happier than he was. He still has
> the fears (and he has an unreasonable fear of weather
> that nothing seems to help), but he is willing and
> able to work through those fears when necessary.

"Weather"? That seems a bit global!! Electric storms particularly? Some
people (and animals) are sensitive to the electricity in the air, I believe.
He might be handy to have around if you live near an earthquake fault ;-)

--
Chookie -- Sydney, Australia
(Replace "foulspambegone" with "optushome" to reply)

"Parenthood is like the modern stone washing process for denim jeans. You may
start out crisp, neat and tough, but you end up pale, limp and wrinkled."
Kerry Cue
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