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From: Donna Metler on
Can you save something special for meds time? Right now, the only way I can
get my daughter's hair brushed without a fuss is PBS kids-I figure a few
minutes of TV is worth the tradeoff of not having to fight with her.

Donna DeVore Metler
Orff Music Specialist/Kindermusik
Mother to Angel Brian Anthony 1/1/2002, 22 weeks, severe PE/HELLP
And Allison Joy, 11/25/04 (35 weeks, PIH, Pre-term labor)

From: Ericka Kammerer on
Chookie wrote:
> In article <25-dnTzmXLIw2evYnZ2dnUVZ_vudnZ2d(a)>,
> Ericka Kammerer <eek(a)> wrote:
>>>> For one of mine, it works to just stand over
>>>> him until he chooses to stop goofing off. No touching--
>>>> just standing disapprovingly. That's no fun. Yes, it
>>>> is incredibly time consuming for me, but also for him.
>>> So while he's playing with Lego instead of tidying it up, you just stand
>>> there disapprovingly? You have not explained what is happening. Can we
>>> have an example that we can picture?
>> No, I would put the Legos away or do something
>> else that would prevent him from playing Legos. I would
> So he pulls something else off the shelf while you're putting the Lego away --
> what then?

I don't know--it's hard for me to tell without being
in the situation, as there are always so many things that
inform me about the situation and lead to dealing with a
particular child in a particular situation in a particular
way (as is true with all parents and children). This kid
didn't do that, so I'm not sure what I would have done.
I *think* I would have stopped him, moved him out
of that room, or whatever. That would be continued
non-compliant behavior, so I'd continue to stop and
park him and give him the chance to calm down and give
me his attention. In my case, the child who'd have been
the one to run around behind me tearing things down
was the one for whom it was fine to park next to me,
holding him if necessary. Ultimately, he had to stay
parked even after I let go, and he usually complied as
soon as it was clear to him that unless he did that,
we were just going to go round and round until he did.
He didn't see that as a fun game. The child who was
more likely to make the chase part of the power struggle
wasn't likely to go around tearing stuff down behind

>> do what was necessary so that he couldn't do what he
>> wanted to do, but I would not chase him and hold him
>> down to attempt to effect a "Pause." If "Pause" has
>> turned into a game of chase and wrestle, then you
>> have to not engage in that way. Nevertheless, he
>> can't do anything else until he makes the choice to
>> do what is required.
> I am having enormous trouble trying to picture it. I can picture someone like
> Toypup's DS or Bizby's DD quite readily. This Pause of yours reminds me of
> that weird thing at netball where somebody dances around holding a hand up in
> front of the person who's trying to shoot. Completely ineffectual and very
> silly to look at.

<shrug> All I can do is say what worked for
*my* kid who was the one likely to turn it into a game
of chase and wrestle. It worked for him, which is all
that is really necessary. The goal is to eliminate
his ability to manipulate, and he soon realized that
his tactic of bolting wasn't an effective one. It
didn't get him out of doing what he needed to do.

>> In general, the child I was thinking about
>> wouldn't go off and try to play with Legos. He'd
>> try to go off and sulk or he'd just try to evade.
>> Making it clear that I was willing to wait him
>> out and he wasn't going to get a chance to go sulk
>> or get away from me until he did what was necessary
>> was enough to get him to get himself under control
>> and pay attention.
> Um, how do you stop a child *sulking*? The kid stands there pouting. You
> can't *make* them pull their lip in. And how do you stop him *evading*? Run
> around after him? What?

You can't stop them from sulking. I could stop
him from being able to *go off on his own to sulk*. One
of his tactics was to "make me pay" by giving me the cold
shoulder and going off to sulk whenever I didn't acquiesce
to his manipulation. I simply didn't let that get to me
and didn't let him go off on his own. If he wanted to go
off on his own to sulk, first he had to do what was required
of him. The sooner he got it over with, the sooner he
could go sulk (if he still wanted to do that). By "evading"
I meant a whole set of behaviors where he tried to get me
to give up on holding him to his obligation (generally
passive aggressive sorts of behaviors--he's good at that).
Whatever the tactic was, I had to keep him engaged with the
process. He couldn't get rid of me until he did what he
had to do. As with Bizby's DD, any kind of physical
intimidation (like grabbing him, or holding him down)
escalated things dramatically. I couldn't always prevent
his escalation. Shutting down his ability to get out of
doing what he didn't want to do was sometimes enough to
set off fireworks. Kids who are wed to their ability to
manipulation, *especially* when it is tied to their desire
to avoid doing certain things, will do just about anything
to maintain their ability to manipulate you. It is very
scary to them to feel that they cannot make you do what
they want you to do. They've invested their sense of
self and accomplishment in their ability to manipulate,
rather than their ability to accomplish things on their
own. There isn't any pretty way to get them out of that
sort of thinking. They're going to fight it. So, it
would escalate sometimes; HOWEVER, *I* was not part of
the escalation. I didn't have to get increasingly physical
(dragging him off, holding him down, etc.). *HE* might
choose to respond to my continued presence and insistence
with a meltdown, but he was doing that on his own without
my being in the middle of it, feeding the fire. I was able
to remain calm and simply keep stopping inappropriate behavior
and waiting for him to calm himself down and give me his
attention. After all, with a little kid you *can* physically
pick them up and park them somewhere, but as they get bigger,
it gets darned hard to do that.

Best wishes,
From: Ericka Kammerer on
Chookie wrote:
> In article <3Hrdh.26279$wP1.7475(a)>,
> "toypup" <toypup(a)> wrote:
>> That's what we end up doing, but his neck muscles are strong, and it is not
>> easy to keep the fit snug with him moving like that. I sometimes hold him
>> so tight, I think I might be hurting him, but he keeps moving otherwise. As
>> for the peak flow meter, you can't hold a kid down for that. As for the
>> pills and liquids, he loves the chase and he takes forever chewing them up,
>> or he may even spit the pills or liquids out. I once held him on the ground
>> to force feed his liquid meds, but he spit it all over the kitchen. I held
>> his nose and everything.
>> It's not like we can't force him to do most of it eventually, it's that we
>> don't want to have to do that every night. We are looking for a way out.
>> It is driving DH crazy and he is losing his temper every night.
> What a nightmare. I would probably have sold him to passing camel-traders by
> now. Two things jump out at me. The first is that this is Classic
> Attention-Seeking Behaviour (TM). He *knows* you need to do these things and
> is performing in a way that maintains your attention on him for longer.

That's a possibility, but I think it is also a possibility
that he is simply maintaining his ability to manipulate. He hates
the lack of control (he can't not take his meds), and has capitulated
somewhat because he gets that they're not going to let him out of
taking his meds. He's preserving as much of his ability to manipulate
as possible, however, by controlling the process of *how* he takes
his meds. It's going to be on his terms. That's why all the
"accommodations" only work for a little while. He gets a payoff
when you find an accommodation, but then after a while he needs
to require you to accommodate him some other way to continue to
demonstrate that he is in charge of how he takes his meds.

> I'd
> be looking at the routine for the things that precede and succeed the
> medication -- make sure there is something enjoyable straight after the
> medication (eg bedtime story, family games, whatever), so that he has an
> incentive to get it over with quickly. Secondly, if it's possible, have
> something nice going on at the same time -- can he do his inhaler stuff in
> front of the TV? (I'm just thinking of those women who do their ironing in
> front of the TV.)

It certainly helps if you set things up so that he
loses out on things he wants if he drags out the process--
even with the SPR.

> The second thing is that this is a hell of a medication routine for a small
> boy. Up to four inhalers, a peak flow meter, PLUS multiple pills and
> liquids?! That would be a chore for an adult and must seem like forever to
> DS. Is there any way the number of medications could be reduced, combined or
> changed? Complain to your doctor next time you go about the fights and how
> long it takes (as for ). A talk to the pharmacist might also open up some
> possibilities. And as a final thought -- could some of the aggro be a
> side-effect of something?

Absolutely. Been there with the asthma meds too,
and some of them *do* affect behavior in that way. However,
I really do see the manipulative stuff going on as well.

Best wishes,
From: Rosalie B. on
"toypup" <toypup(a)> wrote:

>"Rosalie B." <gmbeasley(a)> wrote in message
>> "toypup" <toypup(a)> wrote:
>> I still do not think this is a SPR type thing. I think it would be
>> more productive to say - "I don't think you can get this mask to fit
>> onto your face for more than six breaths" or "How many good breaths
>> can you take" - something that challenges him to help rather than
>> challenges him to get out of it.
>Well, SPR obviously does not work for us.
>We have done the fun med thing, but he does not go for that anymore. He
>used to have fun counting to twenty with the mask on. In fact, he used to
>love being the big boy and doing it all himself, but as the years roll on,
>he finds all those fun tricks less appealing.
OK - he's old enough now to discuss this with you. What would he like
to do? Make him go back to taking charge of the inhaler part of it.

>> In this case, is there a downside to capturing him and holding him
>> down before you give him his meds?
>That's what we end up doing, but his neck muscles are strong, and it is not
>easy to keep the fit snug with him moving like that. I sometimes hold him

I was only talking about the pills - not about the inhalers.

>so tight, I think I might be hurting him, but he keeps moving otherwise. As
>for the peak flow meter, you can't hold a kid down for that. As for the
>pills and liquids, he loves the chase and he takes forever chewing them up,
>or he may even spit the pills or liquids out. I once held him on the ground
>to force feed his liquid meds, but he spit it all over the kitchen. I held
>his nose and everything.
>It's not like we can't force him to do most of it eventually, it's that we
>don't want to have to do that every night. We are looking for a way out.
>It is driving DH crazy and he is losing his temper every night.
>> I think it astonishing that he will tell you that you've got the wrong
>> meds and still make it difficult for you.
>Well, he knows what goes where and that he doesn't like to get wrong,
>whether it's meds or anything else (like he won't wear anyone else's
>clothes, for instance).
Maybe you could work that to your advantage somehow. Would he rather
give in and get the meds appropriately or not get them at all? Would
that even be possible - I mean would it mean that he died or had to go
to the hospital ER if he didn't get them?

What would happen if you "totally forgot" (on purpose) to give him his
meds? Or said that you just were going to give up, it was too hard to
do? I mean what would happen to him if he didn't get them? Does he
know that?

>> I bet DH would do better with putting DD to bed than with DS (it
>> usually works that way). How about trading?
>I dunno. I think he likes working with DS better. Sounds weird, but he
>always wants to take DS places when we have to split up. He never asks to
>take DD unless I tell him. Same with meds and bedtime routine. I think
>it's because DD prefers me. She doesn't like him to do things for her, so
>he naturally flows with that. Also, I think he is more comfortable with DS
>because he is a boy. Don't flame me that DH must take care of DD, too. He
>does. There are just certain jobs DH prefers to do with DS, even if it
>drives him up the wall.
Oh right - I forgot that about her dh. It just seems with us that my
dh gets along much better with his girls than with our ds. There's
not quite as much problem with the girls and me, but it was there.
Maybe that was at a later stage.

From: Ericka Kammerer on
toypup wrote:
> "Ericka Kammerer" <eek(a)> wrote in message
> news:efidnRR7Scq01-vYnZ2dnUVZ_sGdnZ2d(a)
>> He sounds like a very strong willed, and clever,
>> child. I think you have to accept that he's just testing
>> you, and is better at it than most ;-) I rather suspect
>> he doesn't *really* like sitting there doing nothing for
>> hours.
> Well, he's a good actor, then. What makes me think he likes it is that he's
> deliberately trying to do things that get him SPR and then he's laaughing
> and giggling all the way through it and then every time he gets it the
> entire three hours. It looks and sounds exactly like the laughing and
> giggling that he does when he's playing.

That's because he's being successful at manipulating you.

> He's just got nothing better to do than to figure
>> out where your breaking point is! ;-)
>> What are you doing for a Pause?
> Pinning him down.
> Also, what are
>> you counting as a successful Pause?
> When he's in a spot not doing anything, just quiet. Isn't that supposed to
> be a pause? Maybe I misread the book.
> For instance, why
>> is he laying down somewhere?
> I tried telling him to stand, but he ran, so I held him. It was easier to
> hold him if he's sitting, because he struggles, but he started kicking and
> scratching. Each time I pinned down a limb or a finger or a head (he'd head
> butt me), he got lower to the ground until he's laying down. I'm laying
> down behind him (hard to paint you this picture) just to pin him down, but I
> don't talk to him nor look at him. This is what he likes, but he likes
> being chased, too. What to do?
> It's not a Pause if he's
>> supposed to be doing something and he's just lying
>> there.
> I thought pause was not doing anything, just being quiet in one spot.

It's really him calming himself down and giving you
his quiet, full attention, ready to listen to your Redirect.
You may have to physically park him, but if you've asked
him to stand by you for a Pause, then if he is not standing
by you without your holding him there, he has not Paused.
He is continuing noncompliant behavior.

>> That's noncompliant behavior, not a Pause.
> He wasn't compliant when he was running away, either. Sometimes, he'd jump
> to the floor and just lay there when he knows he's getting SPR. I'd just
> let him lay there but then he'd start acting out and kicking the wall or
> something.

Again, he's still manipulating you. He's saying, "Okay,
I see that you're playing a new game with me. You go right ahead.
I can make this game work for me too. I'm going to participate
on my terms, and my terms only." If he's supposed to be parked
standing or sitting on a particular chair or whatever, then he
hasn't successfully Paused until he is doing that under his
own steam.

>> If you need to take him physically to park him
>> somewhere, it doesn't count as a successful Pause
>> if he eventually relaxes in your arms. If you
>> have to put him there, then you have to step back
>> and he has to make the choice to get himself under
>> control. If he darts out, you can recapture him and
>> put him back, but again, you have to step back and
>> he has to make a choice.
> If I keep chasing him, he's having fun. If I'm sitting there staring at
> him, he likes that, too, because he'll just pound the door or tip the chair
> with his feet or kick me, if I'm close enough.
> Keep it moving along.
>> Park him somewhere different. Don't give him the
>> opportunity to just lay there for three hours.
> What should I do? How do I do that?
> Honestly? I don't think this is the technique for us, at least not in its
> purest form. I have taken a few things from it, though. It somehow has
> gotten me to relax and I love that part. I no longer heap on the
> punishments. I like that, too. I was planning to give this a month, but we
> aren't going to last that long the way things are going. We'll have to try
> maybe a variation of it, like having him go to his room instead of pausing
> right there in front of us. The only problem with that is it will only work
> at home.

Take a step back and think about his behavior
in terms of how he's trying to manipulate his world.
Really, the technique is just a technique, but the *problem*
is the underlying manipulation. He is very clever, very
persistent, and he's become very, very good at manipulation.
He's turning the tables on you. Whatever it is that you do,
ask yourself if he's still manipulating you somehow--particularly
in order to avoid doing what he doesn't want to do, or get
you to do things he fears doing. It is often the case that
the kids who do this the most persistently are the kids who
are very bright and aren't confident in their ability to
do things on their own, so they get others to do for them
(at least with some things). They have to expend a lot
of energy maintaining their ability to manipulate, sometimes
even in areas where they don't really care all that much
about the particular behavior, because they *MUST* at all
costs preserve their ability to manipulate you. When the
chips are down and it *is* something they fear, they have
to know they can successfully manipulate you to avoid doing
it. He sounds like a classic perfectionist, and perfectionists
are often that way because they fear not being good enough.
Better not to do something than to do it less than perfectly.
So, if you change and send him to his room, will
he still be able to successfully avoid doing what he needs
to do? He's worked the SPR around so that he still doesn't
have to do something. Will he just do the same with being
sent to his room? If so, it's not going to get to the
root of the issue.
It is, however, great that you are remaining calm
and avoiding the escalating punishments. Those are two
big ways in which you are no longer being manipulated.
(Yes, even the escalating punishments are a manipulation--
they're a distraction from the issue at hand.) However
you do it, you need to keep shutting down avenues for

Best wishes,
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