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Parenting Advice: Kids' Interactions with Other Kids

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posted on Jun, 4 2014 @ 10:30 PM
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How/what do you teach or say to your young children when it comes to teaching them how to interact with kids who behave in a "not nice" manner?

Recent circumstances have forced me to leave my daughter with a babysitter (who happens to be a family member) for 6 hours a day who has a daughter the same age as my own (7). This child is smart mouthed and has a bad attitude. It turns out that the two have been bickering, speaking in a hateful way to one another.

I feel that my daughter is reacting to the negativity coming from the other girl, by acting the same way right back to her. Now, I realize that this is perfectly normal child behavior, I am just wondering how you deal with it or address it?

The mom of the other child feels that both should be punished for the bad behavior, and I agree. It is not acceptable to me for my daughter to behave or speak in an ugly manner. I feel like, though, that the mom fails to acknowledge that her child is instigating.

For example, today the bickering apparently began when the other child kept putting her feet on my daughter at the dinner table during lunch. Mine kept telling her to stop, and she kept doing it, until mine decided to smack her foot away from her. At which point the other child became whiny and hatefully told mine not to hit her foot away. *eye roll*

Now, I have a few thoughts on this. I would have been dang annoyed by that too. But, I also cannot condone my child acting ugly just because someone else is acting that way. At the same time, what else could she have done? Become a 'tattletale" and told on the other child? I find that ridiculously annoying habit, and firmly believe that my child needs to learn how to handle herself.

But that brings me to the question of exactly HOW I want my daughter to handle herself! Let someone walk all over her? Act ugly right back? Tattletale to an adult? None of those seem like great options.

I have a passive type of personality, and have always been one to "take the high road" by walking away, or ignoring issues. My daughter is so much like me that I fear for her! I want her to be more confident and assertive than I am, and learn how to handle problems gracefully and confidently.

So, I am curious to hear from seasoned parents how you would or have handled this sort of thing. I also hope that you'll be kind, I ask out of genuine concern for the social developmental well-being of my child.





posted on Jun, 4 2014 @ 10:42 PM
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The two things that many parents get wrong is:

1 Not listening and understanding the child's perspective.

2 Assuming the child has no rights.

Your daughter asked the other child to stop and then she defended herself. I would guess that the other mum did nothing while she was asking the other child to stop the behaviour.

She was right in hitting the leg away, problem is, she didn't do it hard enough.

Take your child to a self defense class. At that age, any of the Kung Fu types would be good. Then teach her to only use such knowledge when all else fails.

If it had been two adults at that table you would not be thinking along the same lines, you would instead believe that the stupid adult got what was coming.

I strongly suggest you make other arrangements for the care of your child.

To put this really bluntly, that should of been your first response. Do not put your child in a situation of your design where she has to defend herself. You made the problem now solve it.

P



posted on Jun, 4 2014 @ 10:44 PM
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a reply to: MojaveBurning

This is how I would try to handle this. I would try to teach my daughter she should state clearly and calmly to the person irritating her, "I don't like when you do (whatever). You need to stop doing (whatever). This does a number of things. First, it lets the bully know they've stepped over a boundry. Second, the daughter would be standing up to the bully. she is confronting the bully and telling them to stop. Third, she is confronting the bully in a way that does not imitate the bully. In other words, if the bully puts her feet on her, she needs to stay, "I don't like when you put your feet on me. You need to stop that." She uses words, and not swats with her hand.

Now the question becomes, what if the bully doesn't stop? Then you need to get the other adult in this situation. You both need to figure out what the boundaries are. If your daughter stands up for herself, but doesn't retaliate in kind with the bully, I don't see how the other adult could fault your daughter.



posted on Jun, 4 2014 @ 10:47 PM
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Giving one a taste of their own medicine is not always a bad thing IMO. We never want our children to be bullied or to act the bully, but we do want them to learn how to handle themselves in these situations because they arise all through life... not just between children.

If all she is doing is giving as good as she got I am not sure I would do anything. Of course you have to watch to make sure she isn't doing to others and that she is aware that that kind of attitude is not welcome in all situations. As in it would not be acceptable for her to be a smart mouth to you when you are enforcing rules.

It's hard teaching kids how to act in varied circumstances. In a perfect world other people's children would act decently so that parents would never have to worry about distinguishing differences of acceptable and not acceptable.

This kind of thing is also normal. We all learn conflict resolution this way. Not a lot of kids are going to keep taking the high road to prove a point when the other child just doesn't get it. Especially if the other child gets physical (like putting her feet on your daughter).

I know I will probably be flamed alive for saying that I would not force my daughter to be nice to this other child if the other child continued to be a brat. She doesn't need to go out of her way to be unpleasant to the other child, but she also doesn't need to sit there and allow others to do whatever they wish to her. Your daughter needs to learn how to take up for herself and it is these types of situations that will help teach her.

Like I said earlier, there is no easy answer. A lot of times the children will work their own way through it given the time to do so. If that can happen without interference, that would be awesome. Unfortunately that is not always possible.

You worry about them being ugly to others, then you worry about them getting pushed around because they won't stand up for themselves. I do hope you can find resolution one way or the other.



posted on Jun, 4 2014 @ 11:15 PM
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Thank you all so much for taking the time to post these wonderful replies! You each make really great points.

a reply to: pheonix358

I do try to see my daughter's perspective, and I was not angry at all with her for responding the way she did. This other kid is a real brat, she even gets on my nerves. And I do believe that my daughter was justified in pushing the other kid's foot away. This is hard to say to the mom, because she is a family member, one of the very few that I still have contact with.


You are absolutely right though, it is not fair to my daughter that I have put her in this situation. I knew before it even began that something like this would happen, but at the moment other arrangements aren't feasible.

I do like your idea of putting her into martial arts, although she is a girly girl who is all about ballet. Maybe I can find some cool videos of kids doing martial arts to get her interested in that, as I don't want to force her into an activity she has no interest in, and you aren't the first person to recommend this idea to me!

a reply to: Toromos

Thank you for your response! I think that we must think somewhat alike, because your suggestions are very similar to how I talked to my daughter about the incident tonight. I assured her that I wasn't mad that she stood up for herself, that I was happy that she did that. I told her that there are other ways that we can stand up for herself, to include telling the kid that she isn't acting nice and she doesn't like it, and if that doesn't work she can go play on her own for a few minutes, or if it keeps on she can tell the girl's mom.

If it does continue, I will have to speak to the mom, but I sure hope it gets better. If it was just a random person it would probably be easier, but since it's a family member I suspect she will take great offense at my words and hold a long lasting grudge. *sigh*

a reply to: Kangaruex4Ewe

I'd like to find a happy balance between my daughter being kind, but assertive and confident. You make a good point in that she was simply 'giving what she got' and I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing either. I think she did the best she could with the situation she was handed. It really bummed her out though, and I hate to see her sad about things like that. She's not happy there, but I have no choice for the next month that is my only option.

Hopefully I can apply the advice you've all given here, and help my daughter manipulate her environment in such a way that she doesn't become miserable every time she goes to the sitter. Maybe I'll start sending her with books, and tell her if she gets annoyed to walk away and read for a while to get away from the other kid!



posted on Jun, 5 2014 @ 03:06 AM
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Yes, it's important to listen to our children. But it's also important not let them pull us down to their level.

Explanations are not excuses. And in many instances it doesn't matter what caused our child's behavior. The behavior was just wrong.

The minute I read the words below, I felt I'd moved from adult world to child world:

"For example, today the bickering apparently began when the other child kept putting her feet on my daughter at the dinner table during lunch."

Children have to understand that we're not going to litigate every second of their lives. And some explanations we're just not interested in hearing.

Once our child has returned to good behavior, and the other child continues to behavior badly, then we can listen to our child's chronicle of events. And we can give them additional tools to help them adjust the other child's behavior.

In this way, we've brought our child up to an adult level of reasoning and problem solving, rather than dropping down to the child's level.

We all love our children and don't want to see them mistreated by other children. But we do them no favors by reinforcing childish problem solving skills.



posted on Jun, 5 2014 @ 04:49 AM
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a reply to: MojaveBurning



BIAS ..... Find another child minder a.s.a.p. never leave

your child with someone who has with a vested interest in 'one' of any

team/party. There are very few people who would act in a fair manner

in the situation you have described.

I have witnessed that sort of thing within my own family!!



posted on Jun, 5 2014 @ 04:56 AM
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a reply to: Moresby




In this way, we've brought our child up to an adult level of reasoning and problem solving, rather than dropping down to the child's level.


But .... they ARE children who are unable to think at an Adult level.

Respectfully, you have to understand the child, don't expect the child to come up to your level, they are children. You need to understand at their level.

Yes, they do need to learn, but gradually, not while they are hot under the collar. At that time, cuddles are better.

P

edit on 5/6/2014 by pheonix358 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 5 2014 @ 03:38 PM
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First one question for me. Is this normal behavior for your daughter or is this a direct result of being around this other girl?

Also is your daughter an only child?

Ok that was two questions.

edit on 5-6-2014 by nixie_nox because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 5 2014 @ 04:42 PM
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Last year during one of my oldest son's baseball games, my then two year old was having dirt thrown in his face and this little boy was kicking him and hurting him. It lasted as long as it took me to get off the bleachers. Jason just wanted to play with this kid and was incredibly hurt by his actions. The other parent was nowhere in sight. I got down on their level, took Jason's hand and asked him if he even wanted to play with someone who was acting so ugly. Two things happened simultaneously. Jason perked up and said no like that thought had never occurred to him, and the other kid immediately stopped his behavior. He was shocked that I ignored him first off, so many kids act like that to get any attention they can from the adults, good or bad. He instantly sat down and stated playing nice, Jason and I still went elsewhere, but they both seemed to learn a very valuable lesson. We need to trust their thought processes, and train them just a bit, they will figure it out.

I'm sorry that your situation is a regular occurrence, but maybe your daughter can learn how to deal with ugly people through this situation. There are always going to be ugly people in this world and the sooner our kids learn to deal with them, the better off they will be later in life when they find themselves in a situation when we aren't there to help fix it. I also believe in self defense, there is never a reason to hurt someone, but everyone has a right to stand up for themselves. Good luck!



posted on Jun, 5 2014 @ 05:38 PM
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originally posted by: nixie_nox
First one question for me. Is this normal behavior for your daughter or is this a direct result of being around this other girl?

Also is your daughter an only child?

Ok that was two questions.


Not normal behavior for her at all, and she is not an only child. She has three sisters.


a reply to: woodsmom

Thanks for your reply! I talked with her, and let her know that sometimes we get stuck with people that behave or speak differently than we do, in ways we might not like, and that we have to find ways to keep from becoming hateful at each other anyway. I sent her with books and told her that if she starts getting angry at the other child, or if she won't leave her alone, to just take her book and read for a while so they can both have some space. She liked that idea, and her spirits were much higher when I picked her up today.



posted on Jun, 5 2014 @ 10:27 PM
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Thank you for answering my question.

Any change that brings out a new and sudden behavior in your child is a red flag. It seems like you can't help but have this arrangement, but I suggest that you get your daughter out of it as soon as possible.

IT IS NEVERT OK FOR A CHILD TO VIOLATE YOUR DAUGHTER"S SPACE!

is this at night when she isn't in school?

I also suggest you have a tough love discussion with the mother of the other child and explain her kid is harassing yours.

But until you can change the situation, I know you need to handle it. It is opportunities like these where you have a chance to teach your child emotional intelligence. Emotinal intelligence is the most important intelligence of all.

My son is a little bit older than your daughter. This is the age where they learn how to navigate relationships. it is where they learn where they are in the pecking order. They are learning how to socialize.

I commend you for wanting to handle this situation safely. A bad parent would of dismissed the child's feelings, belittled her, or told her to deal with it. That can have severe consequences down the road.

I use these situations to teach my son that he can't ever control what another child does or feels towards him. He can only control how he feels about it.

I tell him to not give this person any more of his energy and thoughts because they do not deserve it.

I tell him that sometimes parents are bad parents and don't teach their children how to interact or behave around others.

He can't control their actions, he can only control his own.

You hit the nail on the head with your passive aggressive comment. Completely ignore them. They want to get a reaction out of you. And if they get it, they want more because they know they can do it.

IF this other little girl is saying stuff to yours, teach yours to go about and ignore her and do her own thing. Just because they are being baby sat together doesn't mean they have to play together.

If the other little girl insists on vocally assaulting your daughter, than teach her to ask the questions that will disarm the other and give her a chance to gain control.
Tell her to hold her anger, be confident, and don't give this girl the reaction that she is looking for.

Questions such as:

Why are you doing this?
Why are you saying this?
Why are you so mean?
Why are you trying to hurt me?
"You can say what you want but I know better."



posted on Jun, 6 2014 @ 05:08 PM
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a reply to: nixie_nox

It's during the day while I'm in class. She is out of school for summer vacation. Your advice is really really good. I like the idea of telling her to ask the other girl questions! That's might be enough to diffuse any problem, and who knows maybe even get the other girl to think about how she's acting!



posted on Jun, 6 2014 @ 09:16 PM
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a reply to: MojaveBurning

Please let me know how it goes. And feel free to message me if you need any more help. It is tough being a parent!

And being a parent, you want to bop any child over the head if they hurt yours. It is hard to refrain yourself. But all you can do is give them the tools to fix it themselves.



posted on Jun, 13 2014 @ 06:45 AM
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a reply to: pheonix358

Great points.

Agreed.

Though in that situation, I might have suggested that the daughter could have said something like.

"I'm not willing to finish my meal if ________ is to be allowed to kick me."

Yeah, could be seen as tattling . . . however, it is also taking a problem to the authority present.

Alternatively, she could have just said.

"I'm finished eating. Please excuse me."

If the other parent wanted to know why, she might have said

"Ask your daughter."

I don't find any of the above suggestions of mine ideal. I think the best thing is to get different sitter care. However, that may not be very economically workable or whatever.

Obviously the other mother and her daughter need some professional help. The daughter obviously has some serious attachment disorder going on that will bring havoc and a lot of pain to her life the older she gets. It NEEDS addressed NOW.

This may be a useful source of help:

www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Jun, 13 2014 @ 06:50 AM
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a reply to: nixie_nox



Questions such as:

Why are you doing this?
Why are you saying this?
Why are you so mean?
Why are you trying to hurt me?
"You can say what you want but I know better."


MUCH AGREE.

However, the above "WHY" QUESTIONS tend to come across as fiercely accusing--reasonably so.

However, sometimes it is more diffusing to make statements instead:

Questions such as:

Why are you doing this?

I don't understand your urge to ___________

Why are you saying this?

I don't understand your goal when you say ____________

Why are you so mean?

I don't understand the source, cause of your meanness.

Why are you trying to hurt me?

I don't understand your desire and efforts to hurt me. You must be hurting inside.

imho.



posted on Jun, 13 2014 @ 10:16 AM
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originally posted by: pheonix358
a reply to: Moresby




In this way, we've brought our child up to an adult level of reasoning and problem solving, rather than dropping down to the child's level.


But .... they ARE children who are unable to think at an Adult level.

Respectfully, you have to understand the child, don't expect the child to come up to your level, they are children. You need to understand at their level.

Yes, they do need to learn, but gradually, not while they are hot under the collar. At that time, cuddles are better.

P


Children raised as you suggest have been in entering the work force over the last few years. I've had a number work for me. And they're a disaster. Bright, lovely people in many ways. But they learned how to be children and that's it. They act like children, they respond like children.

They remind me of the Eloi from H.G. Wells "The Time Machine". And we all know what happened to them.



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