Next: action songs
From: Ericka Kammerer on
Chookie wrote:
> 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?

I had to be more firm with him at times. Obviously,
being positive and encouraging and giving him a little time
to warm up and so on are great preventive strategies, but
he'd often still want to bail when it came to the critical point.
So, he needed a bit firmer insistence than what you describe.


>> 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 ;-)

Thankfully, we don't ;-) Actually, his problem seems
to be more tied up with wind. Anything that involves lots
of wind seems to send him around the bend the fastest.

Best wishes,
Ericka
From: Chookie on
In article <oMudnWQdm4TN2-XYnZ2dnUVZ_tednZ2d(a)comcast.com>,
Ericka Kammerer <eek(a)comcast.net> wrote:

> > I'm just not seeing how you can "stop and park" a recalcitrant child
> > without physical contact, or "stop inappropriate behaviour".
>
> I didn't say you have to stop and park without physical
> contact (though you certainly want to work towards that
> goal). I'm saying that you don't have a successful pause
> (i.e., where you can move on to the redirect) if you are
> still holding the child down, even if they've stopped
> actively resisting.

OK -- so a Pause occurs when the child has given up resisting. The obvious
question is: what if they don't?

> > I can't understand what the magic is and I do not know how you "made" your
> > children do what you wanted. Usually, your writing is very clear, but this
> > time I just can't picture what you are doing. You keep talking about
> > preventing them from doing something else wthout actually saying how you
> > did it.
>
> Well, much of this sort of thing is far enough in the
> past for me that I can't recall all of the details.

Arghhhhh! LOL

Seems to me that this Pause is the same as the *getting the attention* stage
of dealing with a more compliant child.

> > And I still can't work out what passive-agressive behaviour is (it's
> > another term I see here from time to time but nobody seems game to define
> > it).
>
> Passive aggressive is basically behavior where you
> say or imply that you're going to do something, knowing full
> well you're not going to. In other words, you are being
> aggressive (because you are deliberately attempting to
> harm/annoy/whatever the other person), but you are passive
> in that you are not engaging in open conflict.

Got a good def late last night from
http://www.straightdope.com/columns/030530.html

The husband who volunteers to wash up and smashes six plates while doing it
(so as not to be asked again) is passive-aggressive, then. I've never thought
of the listed behaviours as a pattern before; I'd tend to deal with such
things on an individual basis, as deceit, etc.

> > I am waiting for an inter-library loan of the book.
>
> I'll be interested to hear what you think once
> you've read it. It really is too much to summarize in
> a post or two, which is why I don't usually talk about it
> except to recommend the book.

It does sound interesting, though probably (given that manipulative = anxious)
not relevant to us. We seem to have Mr Assertive living here. DH and I both
arrived separately at the conclusion that we would have been much more like
DS1 as children if our own parents had not been through so much suffering
themselves.

--
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
From: cailleach on
Ericka Kammerer wrote:

> it is also *essential* that these kids experience failures and realize
> that they can survive them.

"Essential" is relative :-(. It's very desirable but for us a lot of
things do have to come above it. Still, we're all pleased when my son
*does* struggle with things and persist -- though he has to succeed in
the end or he'll never try again.

> 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.

Oh I know, my son's a smart cookie too, and having worked in a
university I've seen some *very* smart people totally fall apart when
they finally meet intellectual challenges they can't defeat. But IMO
it's a valuable life lesson, whatever age we learn it :-).

> No one will think you're a bad person because you failed.

I can't tell you how much that doesn't matter to my son :-(. *He*
doesn't want to fail, and once he's decided he *has* failed other
people's view is meaningless.

> For many of these kids, they need the praise and rewards for *trying and failing*.

Not my son. He reacts as if we are rubbing his face in failure. So we
stick at that much less advanced level, getting him to *feel*
successful at the things he finds most difficult by setting easy goals,
so that at least he doesn't stop trying altogether.

I suppose this must seem a bit weird to most people :-) Ah well....

Cailleach


> 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: cailleach on

Ericka Kammerer wrote:

> 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?

Well, like you I don't have any hard and fast answers, but I've had to
spend a lot of time worrying about those same questions because for us
the consequences of getting it wrong either way can be disastrous, not
just for my son but also for the other people around him.... so I can
think of a couple of rules of thumb.

I wouldn't push hard while a child is under *multiple* sources of
stress. At the very least, if you are pushing on one problem and you
know there are already a lot of other stressors aound, you have to stay
in neutral or ease off on other demands and stressors. Otherwise you
can hit stress overload.

And a possible way to tell when you have hit overload is when you know
that your child fears/ dislikes some things, but he doesn't *always* or
*only* react to those things - he sometimes tries to do them, maybe
succeeeds quite often, and he sometimes reacts badly against *other*
things too. If he's reacting against things he coped with before, or
things that are unrelated to his biggest problems, maybe even during
quite nice (but demanding) things like outings, then that suggests that
the child's resources have been depleted by trying to manage too much
difficult stuff, and he really doesn't have enough left to deal with
the demands of everyday life.

All the best,

Cailleach

> 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: Chookie on
In article <Xns989248B0BA783enigmaempirenet(a)199.125.85.9>,
enigma <enigma(a)empire.net> wrote:

> so, how does one help the child become more resiliant &
> confidant?

Put Es in place of the As :-)

> 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...

Is he bright? A loy of bright children have problems with perfectionism and
websites like hoagiesgifted provide numerous ideas on dealing with it. My
theory is that bright children fail so rarely that they're unused to the
feelings, so they "pathologise" failure. Secondly, we often celebrate
*achievements* rather than *effort*. If a child is coasting at school, they
don't have to make an effort, so they start to think that having difficulties
is abnormal.

--
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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