Monday, March 31, 2008

The Dawning of the Age of Defiance

There is defiance. Defiance against tyranny and oppression. Like the Tibetan monks against the Chinese regime.

Then, there is defiance for simple defiance's sake. Like Mr. P when we tell him to clean up his room.

He has had his Webkinz taken away for three days this week because for some strange reason, he feels it is appropriate to tell us no when we ask him to do something he doesn't want to do.

Hubba-hubba tells me that I try to reason too much with him, and he uses it as a stalling technique. This could very well be true.

But I am simply wondering what his motivation is. Why all of a sudden he thinks he is on equal footing. That he thinks he has some sort of choice. Why he is making such poor choices when he knows what the consequences will be.

The consequences are always enforced. I don't forget.

And, he has never NOT had to clean his stuff once he has been asked. It just hasn't happened. So why the sudden optimism that this might be the day he can skate by without having to do it?

What is going through his mind, which is most of the time a bit too smart for its own good?

Hubba-hubba says he is displaying a blatant disrespect for authority, and it must be quashed, pronto.

Lordy, and here I thought the three's were bad.

13 comments:

Awesome Mom said...

Just keep telling yourself that this is just a phase. Maybe if you say it often enough you might believe yourself.

Family Adventure said...

And the good news.. it's only going to get worse! You should have seen my pre-teen this morning. Rudeness personified. Ugh!

Bearer of good news, aren't I? Sorry...

Heidi

Steph said...

My 3-going-on-13 is fully in the defiance stage. I don't know how I am going to get through the teen years with her... My 6-year-old is much more mild-mannered and her defiance is much easier to control.

dgm said...

If he's rebelling then "making him" respect authority is only going to amp up the defiance--take it from someone who hated being told what to do as a kid (a tradition I continue to this day). I've got two kids with the same streak. The trick is to give them the right incentive to obey, such as "I'm putting on the timer now and when it goes off, everything not picked up becomes mine and I can do what I want with it. I can give it to someone who will take care of it, I can sell it or throw it away." This gives them the illusion of control over the matter and teaches them cause and effect. I swear it has never failed me!

The timer is great for things like this because it gives them time to reflect on their choices, but it also gives them the pressure of time passing and the need to act. Your little dude is looking for power and if he senses the grownups have all of it (he probably already senses this), he will fight it tooth and nail. It's a natural instinct. The trick is to give him power in the little things like choosing to act before the timer goes off and in other ways like choosing his clothes.

Also, with the "But I don't want to!": we always tell our kids, as if this is great news "The good thing is, you don't HAVE TO WANT TO! You just have to do it. Yes, don't even bother working yourself up to the right emotional state--it doesn't matter! It's okay that you don't want to!"

Sorry--you didn't ask for advice but I couldn't help myself.

Anvilcloud said...

Enjoy the power struggle. :) Now, to find a way to not fight and struggle. Let us know if you can.

Sunshine said...

No one thing works the same with any of my kids, and it morphs almost weekly.

Now, I'm tired...

Autumn's Mom said...

Good times. Hubba-hubba makes me laugh. QUASH IT! All I can say is the smart ones..are the most defiant. Is there some comfort in that?

Hope said...

dmg offers great advise....
power struggles takes two people, and removing yourself from the mix means there is no struggle.
This is just a independence stage.

"Hubba-hubba tells me that I try to reason too much with him, and he uses it as a stalling technique. This could very well be true."
This was very true for my daughter, who always, always wanted a million reasons for everything. I was in a supermarket once, debating why I was not going to buy a whole bag of apple pears at a dollar and a half each. A social worker friend of mine had been listening to the exchange, unknown to me, and he came up behind me and whispered in my ear
"because I'm the mom".... these words,empowered me like you wouldn't believe.They also left me daughter speechless, which was a true gift.

Atasha said...

Same trouble going on here. Yesterday when he grabbed the bag with his train and tracks, I reminded him that he could only play with them if he cleans them up afterward. I know A waste of time!

well you know where this is heading. It was getting late and toys needed to be cleaned up. When I told him to do so he gave me a loud no that I am sure the neighbors heard.

I in turn told him in a very stern voice, MR, if this mess is not cleaned when I am finished here, you will never play with them again because I will throw them all in the garbage. At his age, it works for now. He takes me seriously when it gets to that point because mama doesn't play around. Dad on the other hand is a big joke.

Sorry for the story but I can relate and I too have heard it gets worse. I am not sure I will survive "worse".

Good Luck!

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

DGM is correct. Also Hope. Don't get sucked in to power struggles, and stop with the explaining. I explain too much, always have, and it gets me in all kinds of trouble. Py doesn't explain everything, and Maya listens to him MUCH more quickly.

The timer is a great idea. My mom used it with us, and would put our toys away in a box for a week or two if we left them on the floor. Only happened once or twice.

Cherry said...

I was a few years older, maybe 9, but my father kept telling me to clean up my room and I refused, so he took everything on my floor and threw it all out into the yard. I was a little turd and it didn't matter. I continued to refuse until I ended up with maggots from lunches I was hiding my closet. I didn't tell my father about the "situation" but my room was never that dirty again.

I was such a doll!

Beenzzz said...

I must agree, the smarter the child the more it argues and the more defiant he/she is. I must have a freaking genuis in my house then! I feel your pain sista. It comes in waves.

dr sardonicus said...

Only four, and he's already smarter than you. You've got a long road...