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March 9, 2010

I don't wanna get dressed

   That is something that my son has told me every single day for the past several weeks.  I don't know why he doesn't like his clothing anymore, but all he ever wants to do is wear his "jamas."  Not only does he wear his jamas, but he likes to change them several times a day throwing them all over his room while he's looking for them.  We've officially given up on trying to organize the drawer because of this.  I admit that it's a little funny how excited he gets when he finds a matching set though.  I'm surprised he manages to find them all after he pulls them out and places them strategically around his room.

   It's so tiring though to have to go through the same things every single day.  I definitely need to be cautious against comparing him to his older sister because she is approaching six years old this year and has never given us problems.  This may be the fact that she is a first child and they tend to be easier, or the fact that she is a girl as they also tend to be easier.  My bigger issue is with trying to control my temper.  There are times when he is so upset and says things like, "Why do you hurt my feelings" "You're not my friend" or "I don't love you."  I try to practice patience because I don't really understand why he is so bothered by getting dressed or going to preschool and keep reassuring him that I'm still his friend and I'll always love him.  After, he will sit in my lap and just bury his head on my and tell me he is going to cry forever because he is sad.  How much of that is a three year old stubborn boy and how much is actually in my control?  It's strange because while we see this rising in him, the past couple weeks have also been the most amazing times of watching him play with his sister without anyone major issues at all.  They've become great friends. 

   Even this morning before the clothing "incident" we watched a show together and then he put one of Emerson's CDs into the player and told me that the music was going to be "wonderful!"  He and Emerson even spent a little time dancing together.  I'm sure it isn't just my son who has these erratic swings in temperment.  I just want to be cautious in how I handle it and make sure that I don't just start to yell, and always make sure that even when he is upset and crying, he constantly hears me whisper to him "I love you so much" and "Little guy, you'll always be my best friend."

5 comments:

Scott said...

He's three. I have one too. About a month ago Amy and I were wondering if ours was going to be the destructive teen we'll have to send away to a remote camp to straighten him out.

Don't treat me as an expert, but I made some changes. One is don't yell. I got tired of yelling and I don't want that ingrained in his head. I was also clear with him that when he did this, then this would be the result. He was in control of the punishment. Last and most important, no matter the action or punishment I gave him a hug and told him I loved him.

A few weeks ago he was bad, really bad. When I got home from work I, without a word, took him to his room and sat him on his bed. Making sure he understood to stay where he was, I proceeded to empty every single toy into the hallway while he watched; even got the stuff hidden out of site. Cleared out the closet and left the doors open so he could stare at the empty cubbies.

He stayed there the rest of the night and wasn't allowed to see Amy, who he had been mean to in particular. I brought his dinner to him and he ate it in his room. I took the plate downstairs when he finished. Later, he got to hear me hauling every toy from the hallway into the attic, which is just above his room. He was informed that toys would be brought back one at a time depending on how he behaved.

Worked pretty well. He's slowly getting toys back. Still has some rough spaces, but there's definitely been a change.

Jon Kelly said...

Wow man...I'm really impressed. I really hate yelling at him, which is one of the reasons this keeps playing in my head. Like you said, I don't want that ingrained in his head. I love your response though and his ability to earn things back. I will talk with Sandra about this one and see what she thinks. One of the things that has made him so difficult is a lack of a "bargaining chip." I'm not sure he would care if he lost his toys, or movies or whatever. We'll figure out something though - maybe we can take away all of his pajamas?! haha Thanks Scott!

Kingdomseeker said...

Wow. Really gotta comment on this one.
Two thoughts:
1. I have yet to control my issues between me and God, and I'm wwwwaaaaayyyyyy beyond 3 years old. I look at the grace given me every day. His mercies are new every morning, so how could I extend anything different to my sons?
2. Let him wear his pajamas! Really, in the large scope of things, who cares? Let him wear them to preschool! I don't think DFS will remove him and put him in a foster family if he wears his jammies to preschool. To me it sounds like he wants to have some control in his life. Can he? Would it feed his little self esteem if he were to decide what he wears, even if he decides to wear jammies? Let's look at the big picture of 'choose your battles' and let's look at the little picture of giving the boy some power in his life.
Certainly I'm not an expert on how to raise boys, but I do have 17 (!) years of experience under my belt. If your little buddy is given some power in his life, my opinion is that he will feel respected, valued, and loved.
My 2 cents.
Jillian

Jon Kelly said...

I agree with you for the most part Jillian. This post just happens to be about the clothing. There are days when he'll say he wants cheese crackers for lunch instead of whatever and reacts pretty similarly in those situations. There's some major stubbornness going on there I think more than just a desire to control things. For the most part, we're all about the pick and choose your battles. However, we also expect him to learn to obey what we're asking and understand what is expected of him. If he goes through a day where everything is a battle, we have to hold our ground and make him understand he can't just yell and get what he wants.

I think that's where the battle is the most difficult. Knowing where to draw the line and when you need to just let some things go. It is so much more difficult to distinguish that with a strong willed child. I'm definitely open to advice though - 17 years tops my 3! Thanks!!

Scott said...

He's three. I have one too. About a month ago Amy and I were wondering if ours was going to be the destructive teen we'll have to send away to a remote camp to straighten him out.

Don't treat me as an expert, but I made some changes. One is don't yell. I got tired of yelling and I don't want that ingrained in his head. I was also clear with him that when he did this, then this would be the result. He was in control of the punishment. Last and most important, no matter the action or punishment I gave him a hug and told him I loved him.

A few weeks ago he was bad, really bad. When I got home from work I, without a word, took him to his room and sat him on his bed. Making sure he understood to stay where he was, I proceeded to empty every single toy into the hallway while he watched; even got the stuff hidden out of site. Cleared out the closet and left the doors open so he could stare at the empty cubbies.

He stayed there the rest of the night and wasn't allowed to see Amy, who he had been mean to in particular. I brought his dinner to him and he ate it in his room. I took the plate downstairs when he finished. Later, he got to hear me hauling every toy from the hallway into the attic, which is just above his room. He was informed that toys would be brought back one at a time depending on how he behaved.

Worked pretty well. He's slowly getting toys back. Still has some rough spaces, but there's definitely been a change.