Small success with CPS

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Malika, Apr 15, 2011.

  1. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Well, I'd like to report a positive tiny step into the world of Collaborative Problem Solving, which I suspect will grow increasingly important in my dialogue with my son J... He had a late nap at 4.30 (doesn't usually sleep in the afternoon any more as the school won't allow it, unfortunately, though his body doesn't follow the diktat), waking up very cranky about 6. Starting crying and persistently whining about this and that, and I could feel it getting to me, that particularly annoying sound that seems to drill into the nerves... Then he began whining for "chocolate on a spoon" (ie chocolate spread). I said he could have it on bread, salvaging some nutritional benefit, at which point he starts careering into a tantrum. So... I bit my lip, girded my loins, gritted my teeth and went down to his level, managing to bypass my strong desire to get angry with him over such "nonsense". I said I understood he wanted chocolate, but that I wanted him to have something good in his tummy and what could we do about it? He just kept saying he wanted chocolate on a spoon, so I proposed that he could have that as long as he drunk a glass of milk with it... he kept muttering and protesting, but stopped the tantrum and then... accepted the proposition! Mummy and J both happy.
    I need much more practice and skill in the technique but... I guess using Plan B can work. Much more difficult than Plan A, though...
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Good Job!!!

    It is NOT easy to get into the mindset and habit of using this type of parenting. Esp when every other resource tells you to do it the more traditional "I'm the parent and what I say goes now be quiet and go do your chores" way. You did a really great job.

    I learned to keep things like those protein bars on hand and to take them in my purse when we went anywhere. I also made sure that when we went to do a shopping trip the kids had protein with them or we got popcorn chicken from the deli. It cut down on the meltdowns and whining and getting upset from ALL of us. My kids still think the protein bars and the fiber bars are a "treat" like a candy bar. They cost more than some candy bars, but they are worth it. Mine tended to want chocolate syrup more than spread, but I found that if i combined it with peanut or almond butter they got the protein boost and the chocolate fix. Even if I just gave it to them on a spoon it helped.

    Learning a new way to parent is hard work. You earned a pat on the back today!!

    If he wants this often would it be helpful to mix the spread with peanut butter ahead of time and keep it in a separate container? Then he could have a spoonful when you said it was okay and you would feel better because he would have something better than just the chocolate spread. He might even enjoy helping to mix them (and licking the spoon!). If he is allergic to peanuts you can make almond or cashew or pecan butter in the blender or food processor.
  3. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Thanks Susiestar :) And the protein bars are a great idea - I will stock up on these from the health food shop. Not sure I could fool him with the peanut butter (which he doesn't like) or that he would accept to have the purity of his beloved chocolate spread sullied in this way :)
    An interesting conversation ensued later, which does shed interesting light, perhaps, on how we underestimate children... In talking about what had happened later, I explained that sugar was not good for him... he was keenly interested in this and asked why I let him eat it (very good question, sir: because your mother is too weak-willed and frightened to brave your tantrums if I refuse??). He then announced that he wasn't going to eat sugar any more and, good as his word, insisted on having a fromage frais without sugar at supper and pronounced it delicious...
    In the way of four year olds, this will probably all have been forgotten tomorrow, but it does make me wonder why I have not shared information like this with him before, thinking he is too young, or won't understand, etc. Not true, I think.
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I'm thinking that "chocolate on a spoon" can be a very effective food reward for you in other ways. For example, is he a fussy eater? Is he restricting his food choices? We went through this with our youngest two. It's part of the Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) stuff. difficult child 3 especially will not try something new unless he has a glass of water handy to ash the taste out of his mouth. I used to allow difficult child 1 to have a sip of cordial concentrate if he had to taste something bitter or unpalatable. He found his medications very bitter and used to take them with a sip of cordial concentrate.

    When our kids started eating hazelnut spread with a spoon, I started buying generic brands of it. I also taught them how to make filled chocolates using the hazelnut spread as a filling. Kids love to learn to cook if you start with dessert!

  5. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Actually, this chocolate spread is mixed with hazelnut... a very popular foodstuff for children here at "gouter" (snack around 4 or after school) :)
    J is a fussy eater, but then so are a lot of children I know... But I'd like to know more about what sensory integration disorder is - I could look it up on google, but there are maybe other people coming here who also don't know?
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Very interesting!

    ... and you're making me hungry :916blusher:
  7. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member


    you were doing ' in the moment ' plan B which is very difficult because the child could be very intense etc . It is better to be proactive with plan B out of the moment when you are both feeling good about each and there is connection. It is not easy but there is always learning involved in the process. We can practice plan B by discussing other people's problems , looking at concerns, taking perspectives and then brainstorming mutually satisfying solutions - we can show them the difference between a concern and a solution.

    When it comes to food I believe that we should try to have only tasty healthy food around and then leave it up to the kids. Let them develop their own taste , learn how to regulate their eating - when hungry and stop when full instead of we controlling how much and when they eat. If there is non-healthy food around , when need to be controlling and say a lot of no