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From: cailleach on

Ericka Kammerer wrote:

> 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.

Yes, I think we're in general agreement on this! Power vacuums are very
bad for my son.

The impression I am getting from toypup is that the SPR is helping a
bit, and so maybe it's not that she's doing it wrong or that SPR is the
wrong approach, but that maybe he'll need some other help too.

All the best,

Cailleach

> 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: Ericka Kammerer on
Chookie wrote:
> 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?

No, the pause is the period of time where the
child is getting himself under control. It *ends* when
he is quiet and attentive.
The idea is that the SPR continues until they
*do* achieve that state. You keep stopping and parking
until they do. It's a very simple concept at heart--
they have the choice to do what is required, or they
can do nothing (well, they can kick and scream and
whatnot, but they can't go play or otherwise get on
with their lives). And yes, in the beginning, this
can take quite a while, especially if you've allowed
the child to manipulate you in the past so that he
has every expectation that if he ups the ante enough,
you'll cave.
It's the same as with the example below of
the child who tantrums to get a toy in the store.
What happens if he doesn't stop tantrumming? You
sure as heck don't buy the toy! At some level, he
can choose to continue to tantrum, and you just have
to wait it out.

>>> 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.

Yes, basically. You're waiting to have their attention
so that you can redirect them. Obviously, it's not all that
useful to tell a child what you expect them to do if they're
in the midst of a tantrum. A "pause" can be very short, if
they choose to make it so. At least for us, within a couple
days at the most, they were only seconds long. If it continues
to take a long time for weeks on end, complete with fireworks,
then either the child is waaaaaaay outside normal bounds for
persistence, or something is going awry in the implementation.

>>> 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 think it's useful to recognize it as a pattern,
just because certain people use it very frequently.
Once you know you're dealing with one of them, you can
save yourself a lot of frustration by cluing in that
this is their M.O. and planning appropriately ;-)

>>> 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.

I wouldn't say that manipulation is *always*
related to anxiety. Kids can certainly have the garden
variety manipulation where they throw tantrums in the
toy store to get what they want just because it's been
an effective tactic in the past. It's just that *that*
sort of manipulation is rather easy to see for what
it is, and while some parents seem mysteriously unable
to make the connection, it isn't really rocket science.
I think most of us would very quickly come to the
conclusion that if the problem is that you're spineless,
the solution is to grow a spine ;-) The manipulation
that anxious kids employ in order to control their
world so that they don't have to face situations that
concern them is more subtle and parents often
think something else is going on and basically coddle
the kid, enabling them to continue to avoid things
that concern them.

Best wishes,
Ericka
From: Ericka Kammerer on
Chookie wrote:

> 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.

I think this is absolutely true, but it can start
even younger. DS1 showed all these signs by the time
he was only a year old! We clued in very quickly, and
were careful to always encourage effort over achievement
and to try to avoid all those little pitfalls that
encourage kids to avoid failure. Didn't do a darned
bit of good. The only thing that helped him at all
was for him to go through the effort and stretch himself.
Now, I'm sure if we hadn't been doing those things wrong,
then changing our behaviors would have helped. I'm
also sure that if his life had been stressful, helping
organize his life to remove some stress would have been
helpful. But he was like this in a relatively low stress
environment, and he was like this even with us doing all
those other things "right." It was just his temperament.
So, while I definitely encourage doing all those other
things (because if you aren't, you can be making the
problem worse), I think there's is a point at which no
one else can make it any better for them. They have
to face the issue themselves and make some headway--
with a lot of love and support from us, of course.
The good news, at least for DS1, is that while
he still struggles with this at times, he is *SO* *SO*
much better! He confidently stands up in front of his
class to give presentations. He'll get up and dance
in front of 100s of people. But, there are still things
he won't do. He wouldn't do the zip line with his
big 6th grade trip (he claimed he was keeping his friend
who wouldn't do it company so he didn't feel bad...).
This year, he didn't want to add to his Nutcracker
roles, so he passive-aggressively didn't learn any
new roles during summer camp. Although he has a beautiful
voice, he wouldn't sing in front of people, even in a
group, if you had a gun to his head ;-) However,
all those things are pretty much optional. He did
build the confidence to do the things that are really
necessary in his life. It still takes effort on my
part sometimes, and it's sort of a delicate dance
knowing the things to say and do that will make him
feel better, rather than worse. But, he's made a lot
of progress, and I have faith that he will continue
to make progress.

Best wishes,
Ericka
From: Chookie on
In article <lZudne01vrHuP-TYnZ2dnUVZ_uiknZ2d(a)comcast.com>,
Ericka Kammerer <eek(a)comcast.net> wrote:

> > OK -- so a Pause occurs when the child has given up resisting. The obvious
> > question is: what if they don't?
>
> No, the pause is the period of time where the
> child is getting himself under control. It *ends* when
> he is quiet and attentive.
> The idea is that the SPR continues until they
> *do* achieve that state. You keep stopping and parking
> until they do.

This is the bit I'm not quite sure of. Why do you have to KEEP doing it? You
stop them, they stop struggling (eventually!), calm down, and become quiet and
attentive. Then you ask, "Are you ready to set the table?" Do they then lie
to you, or is it that they aren't truly calm and attentive, so that you have
to Stop them again?

> > 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 think it's useful to recognize it as a pattern,
> just because certain people use it very frequently.
> Once you know you're dealing with one of them, you can
> save yourself a lot of frustration by cluing in that
> this is their M.O. and planning appropriately ;-)

Fortunately, I haven't met this kind of person, and if I did, I'd use the,
ahem, layman's term for them.

> The manipulation
> that anxious kids employ in order to control their
> world so that they don't have to face situations that
> concern them is more subtle and parents often
> think something else is going on and basically coddle
> the kid, enabling them to continue to avoid things
> that concern them.

What sort of things did you avoid as a kid? I couldn't work out how to avoid
maths or PE!

--
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: Chookie on
In article <jeOdnbftPLffO-TYnZ2dnUVZ_sKunZ2d(a)comcast.com>,
Ericka Kammerer <eek(a)comcast.net> wrote:

> > 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.
>
> I think this is absolutely true, but it can start
> even younger. DS1 showed all these signs by the time
> he was only a year old!

Oh yes -- I just used a school example as that's easy to understand. Did your
DS not get up and awlk until he was sure he could do it?!

> He confidently stands up in front of his
> class to give presentations. He'll get up and dance
> in front of 100s of people. But, there are still things
> he won't do. He wouldn't do the zip line with his
> big 6th grade trip (he claimed he was keeping his friend
> who wouldn't do it company so he didn't feel bad...).

I hope "do the zip line" isn't as rude as it sounds! Translation?

--
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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