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Child Psychology or Child Torture?

Old 03-07-08, 08:00 AM
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Child Psychology or Child Torture?

I have a 5-year old son, and whenever we're playing, and I get his legs pinned, he starts to scream and panic. I immediately let go for two reasons: one, I don't want to tramautize him; and two, I don't want his mother to run out and interfere.

Now I'm thinking, and what if he does that kind of babyish behavior when he's playing with his friends in another year or so? They'll label him a baby, and you know how labels get carried around with you.

One day when his mother isn't around, should I do the thing he hates the most and just let him scream and slither? Hold him down until he finally "gets used to it" until it bothers him no more? Or is that cruel and unusual punishment, and should I wait for him to "grow out of it?"
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Old 03-07-08, 08:27 AM
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Ummmm I would never "play" Dr. with your own kid no matter how many episodes of Frasier you might have seen.

How old is your child? Oh you know what, it doesn't matter. If you have real concerns talk to your Dr. You are jumping to the conclusion that it is in their mind. For all you know there could be a physical reason for it. And even if there is not, you should discuss with a Dr.

As an example, my son was an extremely picky eater. I mean when he started eating solid foods he would ONLY eat Sonic Grilled Cheese. Seriously. Before we did any of the stuff friends and family told us, we talked to a Dr. So sure he told us "give him only water till he eats what you want him to". But then the Dr. (nurse) called twice a day. On the 3rd day the Dr himself called and freaked out a little, and said "we don't want to traumatize him, let him eat what he wants and keep working with him in a positive manner". Sure enough it took a little time but we got him to eat a few more things. But the key was peer pressure. He would be the only kid a the pizza place not eating pizza. Or the only kid at MacDonald's not eating. Or the only kid at lunch not having a banana, grapes, yogurt, etc. At 17 he is healthy and what I still consider picky, but will try anything and does like many "gourmet" things like steak, shrimp, grilled veggies and he eats a ton of salad and fruits.

To be honest, I'm surprised about your statement "don't want his mother running out to interfer". Is there a reason you and your wife haven't discussed this and agreed on on a plan of action? Why would you do something to your child that your wife would not agree on?

Last edited by Sdallnct; 03-07-08 at 08:30 AM.
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Old 03-07-08, 08:55 AM
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You are doing the right thing. Let kids his own size be the ones to help him "get over it."

You are too big.
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Old 03-07-08, 08:59 AM
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At 5 he is still at the early side of his development. Kids develop at their own pace, so you probably shouldn't be too concerned now. If you are really worried, go see a child psychologist and talk about your son's developmental progression and your concerns. Socialization once your son goes to kindergarten should give you a bit more of insight into where he is in his development. Some children are more sensitive than others, and that isn't necessarily a bad thing....it is just something to be aware of.
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Old 03-07-08, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Sdallnct
To be honest, I'm surprised about your statement "don't want his mother running out to interfer". Is there a reason you and your wife haven't discussed this and agreed on on a plan of action? Why would you do something to your child that your wife would not agree on?
Why? Because often his mother and father disagree on the ways of raising a young man. She mamby-pambys him; I'm more strict.

I tell her constantly: "he already has a mother! He doesn't need two mothers!" This usually occurs if, after she repeats herself twenty times for him to come to her, I raise my voice once and he jumps to it.

So, on something like this, i won't consult my wife because I already know what she will say. She'll say, "if he doesn't like it, don't do it." But sometimes I know that parents have to do things their kids don't like in order to help them grow/develop.
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Old 03-07-08, 09:06 AM
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And I just want to amend this by saying that mothers are often not the best judge on how to "toughen up" their sons. That's why sons have fathers.
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Old 03-07-08, 09:07 AM
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I disagree that you need a father around to "toughen up." I didn't have a dad growing up, and I'm just fine. Ask anybody in my crocheting society.
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Old 03-07-08, 09:12 AM
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I wouldn't worry too much about a 5-year-old who cries when he's pinned. Losing gracefully and/or bearing discomfort with patience aren't exactly hallmarks of the normal toddler. You're probably already on the right track; continue to encourage him. If you're really concerned, I'd say lighten up on the physical entrapment and/or bring it up mildly before you begin play... remind him that "playing nice" means you have to be nice whether you're winning *or* losing.
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Old 03-07-08, 09:32 AM
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instead of what I usually do - resort to his level by say, "I'm not playing with you anymore!"
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Old 03-07-08, 09:46 AM
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Maybe he cries because you are hurting him?
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Old 03-07-08, 09:54 AM
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btw, if you aren't a professional....I'd strongly suggest not trying to use 'psychology' on your son, as I've seen that end really really poorly.
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Old 03-07-08, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Jadzia
Maybe he cries because you are hurting him?
Maybe he just needs to Harden The Fuck Up?

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Old 03-07-08, 10:01 AM
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Have you tried asking him why he screams and panics?
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Old 03-07-08, 10:14 AM
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SO basically you want your son to like taking abuse..where he just gets over it? When he turns 18 are you going to get him a membership to the local S&M club, or will you let him do it himself?

Personally I am glad you were not my dad. Maybe when you talk to a shrink regarding your son, see if there is a 2 for 1 special because you might need to talk to them too.
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Old 03-07-08, 10:47 AM
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If this is the case, I would not initiate wrestling with him. The "worry" is that he will learn from you that the best way to get away is to panic and scream like a wussy. Why? Because every time he does, you let him go. So he is learning that panic and screaming like a wussy works. If you continue, he will continue. So let him panic and scream like a wussy with kids his own age, and he will quickly learn that it leads to worse consequences with them.

If he initiates wrestling, go fairly easy and always safely. I go with the Boston Crab with my kids.
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Old 03-07-08, 11:09 AM
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Call me insensitive, but I think children should fear their parents, if only a little.
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Old 03-07-08, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by sjrab16
SO basically you want your son to like taking abuse..where he just gets over it? When he turns 18 are you going to get him a membership to the local S&M club, or will you let him do it himself?

Personally I am glad you were not my dad. Maybe when you talk to a shrink regarding your son, see if there is a 2 for 1 special because you might need to talk to them too.



I would hardly equate a father and son wrestling on the ground to "abuse".

My 7 year old son and I have been doing this since he could walk. He knows he has to say "Daddy rocks" in order to be let up. He loves the game. Of course, he's actually made it a bit more difficult since he started learning martial arts and has figured out some escapes. The only worry now is that my 21-month old daughter loves to join in. That's when my son and I both have to stop wrestling and let her win so she doesn't get hurt.
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Old 03-07-08, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by antennaball

My 7 year old son and I have been doing this since he could walk. He knows he has to say "Daddy rocks" in order to be let up.
AWESOME!
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Old 03-07-08, 12:23 PM
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A 7year old with a safe word? Kinky!
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Old 03-07-08, 12:25 PM
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Old 03-07-08, 12:27 PM
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I fail to see how forcing your son to give up when someone many times his size pins him down would make him a tougher kid...
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Old 03-07-08, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Sdallnct
Ummmm I would never "play" Dr. with your own kid
How else is he supposed to learn about sex?
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Old 03-07-08, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Mrs. Danger
You are doing the right thing. Let kids his own size be the ones to help him "get over it."

You are too big.
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Old 03-07-08, 02:08 PM
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that whole 'i've got to toughen him up' thing can very easily turn into you bullying a young man... be careful not to bully him... man i hope you aren't... nothing is worse on a little boy than a bully father...

understand he is how he is... don't alienate and belittle your child for being who he is... even if you think you only do this in your own head, you will send him the message in subtle ways... children pick up on more than most adults... they haven't learned how to rationalize and bullshit themselves yet...

the best way to overcome fear in a child is to build him up... praise him... it means so much for a young man to have his dad proud of him...

my son can say at the drop of a hat... to my "why"? question... "cause i'm strong as an ox!!! and tough as nails!!!"... and not as some rote memorization i make him say... as a declaration of his own self esteem that i instilled in him... i would say that to him, and he knew i was proud, and he started saying it on his own... he shows pride when he says that...

but i build him up to feel that way, not tear him down... even when he doesn't feel strong sometimes, he gets afraid like any child... i build him up and let him know his dad is proud of him, and remind him he is strong as an ox, and tough as nails......

be proud of your boy... don't waste any time worrying over what others will think of him... worrying over other's opinions is weakness in itself... you aren't trying to resolve your own issues vicariously through your child, like so many do, are you?... how many times do you personally worry about how 'tough' people think you are?... might think on that a bit... pay attention to yourself on that issue...

if he gets afraid when you pin him stop it... don't make him afraid by pinning him... he doesn't have to mold himself into your, possibly shallow, definition of what 'tough' is...

if you aren't proud of your son just the way he is... that reveals a problem in you... not in him... if you are proud of him let him know it... a lot...
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Old 03-07-08, 02:25 PM
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I'm not pinning him like in the traditional sense of wrestling. We'll just 'rough play,' but when his legs and/or arms are trapped, I think he gets very anxious, which is why he panics and loses his composure. Its not because he loses at wrestling.

I'm just curious if that anxiety can be "bested" while the child is still young.

I'm sure its natural to feel a sort of clustrophibia when your limbs are immoble - nobody likes it, let's put it that way - but I think there are degrees in which to combat those unpleasant feelings. Just like there are degrees on how a child may react to the word "no." Some take it with defeated grace. Others throw tantrums. Those who throw the tantrums need to be dealt with - and right quick. You can't let them get used to throwing tantrums when they are refused something they want.

So in that vein, can we have a discussion without thinking i'm a bullying disgrace for a father?
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