Friday, March 11, 2005

CAUTION! a post about control, and POOP coming up!

I have GREAT kids. They are beautiful girls, smart, funny, and really cute. Mostly.

Lately, we have run into some problems with control with Kiddo. She has always been a little stubborn. I look back now and realize how easy the Bookworm was to deal with at this age. Over the past few months, the Kiddo's behavior has become quite a problem.

When I say she throws tantrums when she doesn't get her way, I don't mean little squalls that blow over if you wait long enough. I mean SCRU-HEEEEMING battles, over literally everything. She yells, throws toys, (not at anyone, just at the floor), refuses to do what we want, and sobs so hard sometimes I think she is going to throw up.

Kiddo is not a toddler going through the 'terrible two's.' She is five years old, very articulate, and very strong willed.

To some extent, she always has been. Friends and family always say to me "but she's so cute!" She is, just spend a day with her and sometimes the cuteness wears off.

I could use some advice. These past few weeks, she has kicked her behavior and control problems up a notch or two. My beautiful little girl has begun to lie. Blatantly. She has suddenly decided that she no longer wants to eat whatever it is we are having for dinner. She will sit at the table for a very long time, crying and yelling that she doesn't want it, although I know she likes the food, and she is hungry. Last week, she fed her meat to the dog THREE DINNERS IN A ROW, while our backs were turned. We knew what she had done, but she bald-faced lied about it, claiming that she ate the food. Yes, she was punished, and we had long fights about that, but I do not want to have to sit with her at the table for hours after dinner is over every night. We have adjusted our responses to her, and she now knows she cannot get away with this, and we're taking it one step at a time.

The next big problem is one that I know is common with toddlers. She is not a toddler. She is suddenly trying to retain her 'poop'. For days.To the point where she cannot hold it well, and has stomach aches, gas, and skid marks in her panties, but continues to lie to us, saying she doesn't need to go. Over the past 6 weeks, I have had to resort to suppositories twice, and I refused to do it this week. I don't want to have her need it in order to be able to go. Apart from her dinner-time issues, she has a very varied diet. She loves oatmeal, fresh fruit and veggies, including raw celery for crying out loud, but she will hold the movements in until she is blue in the face.

I am now at a loss. I spoke to her preschool teacher again today, trying to find out if something has happened at school to set this off. Nothing has changed a home, no issues that may have started this. I think she is really trying to be in charge. I just don't know what to do now. We are punishing her for lies, and for the messes in her pants when we are sure she was actually trying to hold it in. What next?

Does anyone have any ideas?

P.S. She did actually let go and get it out this week, by the way. Several large movements over the past two days, after holding it in for nearly a week. How do I stop it from happening again?


Closet Metro said...

For the more minor problem of feeding her dinner to the dog, put the dog in a "down-stay" far enough from the table so that she can't feed it.

As for the poop, I'm at a loss. Hopefully she'll realize pretty quickly that she's the one with the poopy butt.

Broken Bindings said...

thanks, Dave, but he is already wrapped around her little finger, and won't stay away.


mrtl said...

bb - Mine is 17 months, so I speak from watching the nanny shows and personal experience.

For behavior - the naughty mat is worth a try. Let me know if you want details on this. I'm definitely getting one - soon.

For poop - dried apricots. There is absolutely NO WAY one can retain poop after eating 10 of these (although you may want to give her less since she's smaller). I learned this accidentally. My first time eating them, they were just SO yummy!

Broken Bindings said...

HAH HAH HAH, thank you mrtl.

is a naughty mat anything like a time-out chair? we still use time out when needed.

Candace said...

Ah...such memories....*sigh* My little tax deductions are now eight and four, and I have soooo been where you are with Little One! What worked for us was giving The Boy more control in other aspects of life. I highly recommend letting each child choose the family dinner one night per week (within reason: each food group represented, only healthy choices, etc.). Also, let her choose the "little" things like clothing and how she wears her hair, which library books to check out, what drink to have with dinner (even if it's Kool-Aid every night). We had GREAT success with playing games that allowed The Boy to be in charge: treasure hunts where he made the map, etc. I found that punishments for the "accidents" didn't work for only made him more stubborn. He was looking for a reaction and got it, so we just stopped reacting. We also made him clean up his messes, if he made them.

Sorry this is so long! The Boy has been, to put it mildly, a challenge in more ways than one, and The Girl is looking to follow in his footsteps!

Good luck!

Candace said...

Oops, I forgot you changed their nicknames!!