Four-part denial

I’ve been thinking about the four-part denial lately. The steps are:

1. Acknowledge what they wanted.
2. Tell them they can’t have it.
3. Acknowledge how that makes them feel.
4. Offer an alternative.

I think this works really well for kids ages about 3.5 and up. And adults you have to deal with, too.

“I know you want ice cream. We’re not having ice cream today. I know that makes you feel angry and frustrated. We can have ice cream tomorrow.”

“I know you want the project rushed to be finished by tomorrow. That can’t happen given the project workflow. I’m sure that makes you feel frustrated. We can have all the specs revisited this afternoon at the regular meeting.”

Have you used it? Does it work for you? When were your kids able to respond to it?

57 thoughts on “Four-part denial”

  1. My little one is not old enough for this to be effective, but I am enjoying the analogy of certain co-workers to preschoolers…

  2. I use a similar one based on what I read in John Gottman’s ‘Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child’. His is 5 part and includes, after your step 3, expressing how it would make you feel, before getting both child and adult to work out an alternative together.So…
    “I know you want ice cream. We’re not having ice cream today. I know that makes you feel angry and frustrated. It would also make me feel frustrated if I really wanted something that I couldn’t have. Maybe we can do something else instead. What else could we do?”
    Gottman has tried it successfully with 12 month olds using faces representing emotions drawn on fingers. I use it pretty successfully with my 4.5 year old and have been using it for a couple of years now ( when I remember, that is). It works failly well on my 2.5 year old too.
    Must try it on my MIL.

  3. Most of the time, it works pretty well. One of the tricky parts is who is going to remember the rain check? For my stepson, he would never remember the raincheck until it was too late, my daughter always remembers it, just in the nick of time. Then it is easier to keep your word and they will continue to have faith in the system. Everyone remembering when it’s too late for the second chance ends up building frustration on all fronts and makes me feel all flim-flam about the strategy.Sometimes the offer an alternative works like changing the subject/offering a distraction. (esp. when the fun thing they want is in conflict with the fun thing next on the schedule.) The tricky part is to get them past being upset about the first thing and ready to enjoy the second (e.g. I know that you really want to go skating, but we can’t go roller skating now because of blahblahblah, but we can go to the playground for a while.)

  4. @Paola, I’m really curious to hear more about how the “It would make me feel ____ too” works in your family. I’ve had to edit that out entirely. My daughter becomes REALLy upset if I mention my own feelings in the midst of navigating hers. She’s 3. “NO Mama! You CAN’T be sad! Only I am sad!!” It perplexes me, because I’m wired to offer empathy. But somehow I think it’s making her feel as if her feelings aren’t her own. Anyone want to comment on this? What gives?

  5. I really like the sound of this and although my son is likely too young (18mo) I think I’ll try using it on myself: “Self, i know you’d rather stay in bed than work on your dissertation…”

  6. We usually get held up at #1…It’s like “MOM, if you know what I want…why don’t you give it to me?”I do use something similar at work, and when I mention “Resources”, everyone clams up and stops asking. So, I declare it GOOD.

  7. Doesn’t work really well with the 3.5 year old boy yet. Usually, after step 4, he responds with, “But I want it NOW!”Can’t wait till this starts working.

  8. We’ve been doing something similar with our almost 2.5 year old- with limited success so far. She still tantrums about what she can’t have. So then I move to offering a hug to make her feel better, which amazingly usually works. But we weren’t really expecting success yet with the “working through disappointment” thing yet. We’re just laying the foundation for the future. I started working on this more when she started asking “What happen to you, Mommy?” anytime I expressed frustration or sadness. I would explain to her that Mommy was frustrated, and this is what Mommy does when she is frustrated, blah blah blah. So I decided that I might as well take the next step.@Caliboo- there is a pronounced similarity in techniques recommended in parenting books and in management training. I actually posted about that at one point. I’m a middle manager at work and a Mommy at home. I spend a lot of time dealing with other people’s expectations and the fallout when they can’t get their way. Honestly, sometimes my daughter handles it better than some of my coworkers do!

  9. I’ve tried this–doesn’t work so well on my 2.5 year old yet. We get stuck on the acknowledging her feelings part–somehow, having her emotions put into words often makes things worse, especially when she’s on the edge of a tantrum. It’s like she’s going, “OMG, you’re right! I DO feel sad and frustrated! WAAAAAAH!”I think we do have a lot of work to do in general in getting her to verbalize her feelings instead of melting down. Ironically, she is an extremely fluent talker and talked very early, so it’s easy to mistake language skill for maturity, when the fact is that she still doesn’t have the emotional intelligence to go with her verbal skills.

  10. we get mixed results not sure if it’s our implementation or if it’s my son’s age. We get hung up on moving away form the source of the frustration, we start to get all better then a fresh remind will start it all over again. Also like Amy often if I though in the “I can see why you want X” or “I would be frustrated also” it tends to redirect him back towards the source of the problem.

  11. often if I though in the – you know I’m not ever sure what I was trying to say there? But I’m sure you get my point – it’s early where I’m at and gotta rush the little guy off to school

  12. My 3-1/2 y.o. responds well to this in direct relation to how *much* he wants the thing/activity. He has gotten a case of the “I wants” lately.We were at the grocery store last night, and when he saw the matchbox car display, immediately launched into how much he really, really wanted a car. (Never mind that he has approximately 34,000 cars at home…) I employed the technique, and was answered every time with “But I WANT it,” as if I wasn’t understanding him at all. This continued throughout the store.
    Luckily, I’m as stubborn as my son, and cheerfully repeated myself every time he whined about wanting it. I would’ve kept repeating myself, too, very likely making the ears of the other people around me bleed.
    If it’s something reasonable that I would probably get him anyway, we go and physically add it to our list on the refrigerator for the store. He sees us doing this, and I think it gives him faith that we’re not just blowing smoke.
    If it’s an activity, we talk about when we could do that next, and yes, I try to remember to do it (but don’t always succeed).
    If it’s unreasonable…too expensive/craptastic, I just fantasize with him about the object/activity. “Yes, wouldn’t it be SO COOL to buy an airplane! Where would you fly to?”

  13. We sort of stumbled upon this yesterday, timely! Getting back into the car with our one year old, she began crying and pointing down the street toward a store, she want to walk around more not get back in the car. Strapping her into her seat I said “I know you want to explore more, but we don’t have time now, we’ll come back later.” I think just being sympathetic really helped diffuse the situation, for both of us.

  14. This is exactly what I do, but I never gave credit to anyone for it before. I thought I just got it from my Mom ;). Anyway, I have a 21-month old here and it seems to go over well in our household. I think she likes that I’m acknowledging her feelings and the exact thing she is being denied (so she knows we’re on the same page) and explaining things to her, covering all the bases in that format. Also, she usually responds well (for now, anyway) with the distraction/alternative at the end (e.g., We can’t go to the park right now because it’s raining. I know that makes you upset because you were looking forward to it. But we can read some books or color now and go to the park after dinner when Daddy gets home.) And, even if she doesn’t respond well to the denial, I feel very good always using this approach. At least I know I’ve clearly and calmly explained the situation, offered an alternative, and if she wants to kick and scream at the injustice of it all, then, well, I feel I tried my best in that situation. We started entering the terrible two’s about 4 months ago, if that helps any for staging.

  15. My now-5yo gets furious (and always has) if I try to label his feelings. Against all parenting intuition, I’ve learned that if I attempt conversation, it will get worse. My best bet is to get far, far away and leave him alone. That said, it is often not possible or practical and we often get sucked in.

  16. 2 yr old -I agree that it’s effective if the offered solution is as desired as what has to be given up. Telling him that he can’t have an orange popsicle for breakfast is met with wails of protest and the offered banana or waffle just doesn’t cut it, neither does saying he can have one after school. I can empathize til I turn blue but I either 1. come up with a good enough distraction or 2. the temper tantrum just has to run out of steam. We’ve introduced the concept of “one more” and “last one”. He seems to really get those and is usually pretty good when it’s the last of something whether it’s the last story or last time he can turn on the water to rinse out his tooth brush. Consistency seems to really be the key there. Last one has to mean last one, period.
    Oh and playful parenting – I suck at it. Silly I am not. But – I hear it is effective and yesterday when I we entered the no-man’s land of diaper change/new clothes I went with silly and a diaper on his head – and it worked altough he did leave the house with a diaper on his head.
    The other frustration – the offering a choice to eliminate a tantrum. I just get no. Would you like to wear your red shoes or brown shoes? No. Would you like to have a bath with bubbles or without? No. Would you like mommy to buckle the careseat or you do it? No. And my partner thinks I’m insane asking a two year old what they want and getting nowhere – like I should just be doing more and talking less. So frustrating.

  17. @AmyI know on a similar post a while ago others mentioned the same thing as you. Maybe some children are extra sensitve about having their emotions labeled or get pissed off that their emotions have been overshadowed by somone else’s. I find the ‘yeah, I know I’d feel X/Y/Z if….’step is the deciding factor for my son. I see an immediate change in behaviour. And not only to deny something he wants/thinks he needs. Its a great technique to get to the bottom of why he is behaving in a particular way. Then again it might just be personality (and age too). He is a pretty laid back kind of fella who is generally very maleable.

  18. @mom2boys- yeah, the offering a choice thing doesn’t work so well in our house, either- particularly on getting in to the car seat. “Do you want to do the buckle or will I?” is ignored, and she climbs out of the seat into and then tries to climb into the front seat. I’ve had to learn to slow down and let her do things at her own pace a bit more, unless I’m REALLY in a hurry and willing to force the issue and put up with the ensuing screaming. Other parents can pull into the day care parking lot, pick up their kid, and leave- all while I’m standing next to my car watching my daughter sit on the running board and drink her water.We’ve had a lot of luck with playful parenting techniques, once I got past feeling self-conscious about them.
    We also pretend to be trains a lot. Trains heading down the hall to brush our teeth.

  19. I had never heard of this, but I’ve been doing something similar with my almost-3-year-old. It often works. Especially if I am willing to be patient and cuddle a lot during step 3 (that might not go over so well with coworkers).@Amanda – I tried to tell myself I should work on MY dissertation instead of reading Ask Moxie. I failed…

  20. @mom2boys: I find that offering choices often confuses or angers some kids, especially when they’re in their 2s.If my DS is having trouble listening and getting into his carseat, or coming inside, or whatever, I offer the choice of doing it himself or me helping him (i.e. enforcing what it is he’s supposed to be doing).
    But I don’t frame it as a question. I’d say, “K, it looks like you’re having trouble climbing into your carseat. You can either climb in yourself or I’ll help you.” (He usually still dallies for a moment.) As I begin to move toward him to help him get into his seat, almost always he decides to do it himself. The key is to help once you say you will and they aren’t moving.
    “I see you’re having trouble stopping playing so we can have dinner. I’ll help you.” Then you go over and physically help them by guiding them toward where they are supposed to be.
    A great site is http://goybparenting.com/ (Get Off Your Butt Parenting).

  21. My strategy is a little different, but it has been working since about age 2.Acknowledging the want is really key – she needs to know I’ve heard and understood.
    Then I say no and give a reason.
    Then I either tell her when she can have it and focus on how much she will enjoy it then, or (if it is something she can’t have) we do the fantasizing thing – talk about how much fun it would be to have/do whatever it is she wants.
    I find giving a reason really helpful for me, because sometimes I’m just saying no for no reason at all…and then I change my mind and let her do whatever it was she wanted.
    @mom2boys – I’ve found that choices don’t work most of the time. Would you like A or B? NO! The only choice that works is the “Would you like to do this now or in 5 minutes?” The answer is always “5 minutes”, (or if she says no, I say “ok, we’ll do it in 5 minutes”), and that seems to make things a tiny bit smoother…

  22. No comes like this at our house:1) No, reason, empathy, MY list of alternates (four-step) – including the ‘do it now or do it later, do you need more time before we start, shall I set a timer for you?’ options
    2) No, reason, empathy, more empathy from our side (four step but the second empathy is ‘yeah, I/your dad/your brother really hates when that happens, too’), NO alternate or solution offered at all – left open entirely
    3) No, problem statement, problem-solving (empathy is implied but not stated)
    4) No, empathy, rule restatement, request alternates from them
    There are times when it is No, you can’t have that for lunch. I know you want it, it’s yummy. We don’t have any, and so it isn’t in the list of options I gave you. Of the things I said were available, what do you want?
    There are times where it is No, you can’t do that, it isn’t feasible/possible/safe/respectful/kind/ allowed- here/whatever. I hear that you want to, I really hear you. It was very important to you. You are disappointed that you cannot. Do you want to sit with me for a cuddle while you be disappointed, or would you like to be by yourself with your disappointment for a bit? (Just did this one yesterday with Mr B, who was crushed because he wanted to help assemble furniture for a friend we were moving, but the friend assembled it before he could help – but he also didn’t want it disassembled just so he could help put it back, he wanted to be a REAL help, not just ‘do the task’, wanted to be taken seriously as an equal participant. He took a few minutes to get back to proud of himself for nearly single-handedly assembling their new IKEA bed, at least, even if he didn’t assemble ALL their furniture for them… but there was no solution other than for the feelings. No fix, and he didn’t want a sop to the hurt feelings, no ‘help with something else’ – he just wanted to feel his feelings and be allowed to get over it himself.)
    Often leaving that last part off is really useful – No solution. No alternate. Just ‘yeah, you’re sad, you have a right to be sad, and there’s nothing I can do but offer comfort if you want it’. They will even be clear at times that they don’t want an alternate or solution, they just want the empathy. And sometimes they want no empathy, only some problem-solving and options to explore.
    Some of my kids some of the time *just* want witness – just being there and waiting for them to be ready to move on. Miss R will scream if we offer empathy when she just wants a witness. Miss M will roll on the floor and wail if we offer an alternate that she didn’t get to think through in a more problem-solving manner. What drives them is part of that – Miss R likes to OWN her feelings, Miss M likes to OWN the solution. At least so far (they do get more complex as they go).
    It’s annoying at times, but actually, they tell us what they want. They say Yes, That’s Right. or Uh-huh, or No (or ARGH! GRRR! EEEEE!). It’s really amazing how fast the Yes response comes when you get it right, though.
    Mainly from Parent Effectiveness Training methods, those. I like that they have these skills. It takes extra effort now, but they have mad skillz on problem-solving already, including the ‘skill’ of sucking it up and dealing when there is no reasonable alternate. Many many different tools for them to use later.
    And yeah, I use the whole toolbox on… er, *with* my coworkers. Heh.

  23. Hedra once again I find myself saying “I’m not worthy, I’, not worthy” Thank you for your 1,2,3,4 list of options as I read them I realized we do most of them but it is SUPPER helpful to see them all laid out like that (easier for me to take mental notes and practice).

  24. mom2boys – I can combine playful parenting and offering choices into one tip! After a very awkward/totally unsuccessful start to the whole offering-choices thing, I started offering silly/obvious options to get us into the habit. So, “which do you want food A, which you like, or food B, which I know you would never, ever choose?” We got good at those pretty quick, and the high pressure ones – “do you want this jacket or this one?” (when he really didn’t want a jacket at all) – became much, much easier. I still do the silly variation though, ’cause it’s fun.With respect to the 4-part denial – #3 kind of gives me the heebie-jeebies when I think about following it at work. It would really depend on the particular scenario, the depth (& reasonableness?) of the emotion felt, my genuine empathy, and the overall emotion-sharing in going on in that particular workplace, etc. Since my child and I already do so much genuine-emotion-sharing, some variation on 3 is more conceivable. But there too, I struggle with how often feeling-the-pain can lead to wavering on the denial.

  25. @Karen, I often use ‘it sucks/it totally sucks/it sucks rocks’ at work as the lighter stand-in for empathy on negative feelings. Too specific mention of the feelings makes the engineers uncomfortable, and assigning direct feelings, “you feel frustrated” style, would cause them to not want to talk to me for a week out of sheer discomfort. ;)(and silly options are a way for me to bypass being annoyed, myself, so if I’m ramping up on frustration, going silly will help ME get out of it.)
    @Anne, you do know I totally blow it sometimes, yes? And I have been known to say, “No, and that means No, and it will stay No.” Usually that’s on the third go of them trying to convince me otherwise, though.

  26. @Cloud – Yes, the slow child. Life in general works a lot better when we have enough time for real transitions between activites.@meggiemoo and todaywendy – he’s so into doing everything himself right now that I can sometimes use that instead of a choice but likely as not the answer is still no – whether or not I’ve framed it as a question. We have the conversation a lot about when mommy is asking a question or just making a statement. 🙂 But definitely the more hands on and present I am, the better for us both.

  27. @mom2boys- we’ve had some luck with using a timer to speed up some transitions- particularly the one between playtime and time to wash hands for dinner. We say “time to wash hands!” and when she ignores us or says “I just need to finish lining my cars up” (yes, really), we’ll sometimes set our kitchen timer for 1 minute and tell her that when it beeps we have to go wash hands. It usually works. The downside is that now every time she hears the timer go off, she says “time to wash hands!” even when it isn’t. I should have bought a different timer, with a different sound.I got the idea from the “Raising Your Spirited Child” book.

  28. @ Amanda. Love the idea of using it on myself so that I get work done!@ Hedra. Thanks for sharing your list. I realize that we use some of these variations, I just hadn’t thought about it so clearly. I’m still thinking through exactly which variation you use at which time. It sounds as if it depends on the child? Can you say more.
    @ Cloud and mom2boys. We use a timer too for various transitions.
    I sometimes finding myself changing my mind as I think through the situation with my 3.5 year old. My husband and I have differing feelings. I think that if I realize that my initial answer actually isn’t a good one (whether yes or no) then I’d rather explain my change of mind and change the answer. My husband feels that the kids need to learn that “no means no” and changing the ‘no’ sometimes is confusing to the kids. Any thoughts?

  29. I’m starting to use this with my 2.5 year old. I’m just getting ‘NOW’ or ‘I WANT’ before any acknowledgement on her part that I’ve said anything different. I’m sure something will click with time.BUT I am also going to start using this with other adults around me!!

  30. @Lucy — I change my mind too if I realize that my initial reaction was wrong or that the issue isn’t worth a battle. My son’s 2.5 and I don’t think it’s doing any harm to consider his perspective and change my mind if I realize it is ok to go the other way. He knows that I never budge about some things (ie he always goes to bed / naps when I say it is time, is only allowed healthy food options, is not allowed to do anything dangerous or disrespectful, etc.) but some things I am willing to budge on or change my mind about. To be honest, I think him seeing that I am willing to negotiate about some things, has made him more understanding of the things I will not budge on. I don’t know, maybe we just haven’t hit the terrible threes yet and I will regret this down the road. Thoughts from others?

  31. @lucy, it does depend on the child, and also the circumstances of the event, and honestly, on how much energy I have for one route or another. One of the things P.E.T. deals with is that you have to be honest about whether you have the energy to do a full negotiated settlement or not. If I don’t have energy or time, then I have to do a shorter version. I just have to be clear about it.Kids have the capacity to understand that sometimes there is No, and sometimes No means ‘Mom hasn’t thought this through all the way yet, let’s discuss’. The trouble is that they will try to gather supporting information through trial and error, instead of knowing when it is one or the other. If the conditions are complex, then it will take a long time to figure that out, meanwhile, they’ll test every instance they think might be on the line. I often explain why I’m considering revising my position, so they know what to look for as cues. It is much easier if it is always the same answer (No is No), much less effort all around. However, it doesn’t always solve the problem, and it places the burden squarely on the parent to ALWAYS have the fair and effective No reasoning/method/implementation in place. I frankly cannot read my kids minds enough to know when my No conflicts with something of real value to them, so I cannot in fairness say No is No always – only if I already know the situation, or there are strict limitations for time or situation, can I really feel morally/ethically comfortable with a top-down, I-said-so approach. There are plenty of situations where I do know ‘best’ but there are also situations (more as the kids get older) where I don’t actually know all the important factors affecting a decision, or the implications coming out of it.
    Mostly, they come up with the best ideas for their own problems, if I let them, anyway. The price of having kids smarter than we are (aren’t they always?) and also the benefit. Most of our effective solutions were worked out either by or in close coordination with our kids. The trick is making sure they know they’re not just solving ‘their’ problem, but ‘our’ problem (the conflict between their needs and ours). If it was just theirs, then they’d go selfish/greedy/self-serving all the time. Knowing they have to find a solution that works for everyone makes them have to work for it, but they generally then do a good job of actually solving, rather than just finding some way of meeting their own needs regardless of expense to others.
    I know I’m short on examples today (I’ll write some up on my blog in the next few days, if I can) – Running a lovely fever. Goodie.

  32. @Lucy- Hubby and I both change our minds sometimes. I do it more than Hubby, but that is because he is more stubborn than me.I think our philosophy is very similar to Sarah’s. We’ll change our minds on the “less important” things, and will usually explain why we changed our minds, e.g. “On second thought, Pumpkin, you CAN watch an episode of Noodlebug right now, because it is longer until dinner than I thought.”
    We don’t change our minds on our rules, and she doesn’t seem confused by this.
    I think its good for kids to learn that you can change your mind, and don’t have to fight over every issue. I also can’t imagine trying to parent in way that meant I never got to change my mind. I just don’t think that quickly sometimes!
    She’s almost 2.5 years old.

  33. @Cloud. Yeah, that. Much shorter when you say it.@Lucy, I was thinking on the way to pick up the girls of something that happened recently between my mom and ep.
    My mom had made one decision (you want a banana, I give you the one I want to give you), and I think it was Miss M said she had her eye on that other banana. She asked nicely. Ep said okay, and swapped bananas. My mom thought that was excessively indulgent.
    Yet, if it had been my mom who had said (granted, likely with more of a social wince) that she had her eye on that one, would you mind swapping? We’d have of course said sure. No biggie. Actually, we’d have offered her the bowl and let her choose, rather than selecting one and giving it to her.
    Where we run into a lot of the NO/denial stuff is often where we would never dream of saying no if it was our parent, a disabled person (which is more comparable to our kids, mentally compared to adult reasoning/function), or a guest. Why do we (as a culture) treat our kids with less courtesy than we do others? They learn from us how to act, so if we are treating them with respect, they treat us with respect. We use courtesy and consideration with them, they use it with us in return. We do hold the lines on the ‘rules’ (Safe, Respectful, Kind; Effective, Prudent, True/Ethical; Acceptant, Loving, Faithful), but that still grants plenty of leeway (actually demands that we be fair, honest, direct, responsive, considerate, etc.).
    One of the most effective things we say in the parent education night for school that we do is to have people picture that they have a temporarily disabled older relative (parent, aunt, etc.) in the house. Picture how you’d rearrange the house to allow them autonomy and safety and dignity. Picture how you’d handle if they were frustrated with trying to tie their shoes, knowing they should be able, but not able. Picture trying to get them to the doctor on a schedule, and them, due to their disability, unable to focus, attend to task, stay with the program… and now picture using the same words, tone, and attitude we use with our kids. Horrifying comparison, for many people. Yet what is the effective difference? They will one day be fully able human adults, and are not yet there. It will take years of effort, patience, and practice to get there. What ‘there’ looks like is somewhat unknown. What we hope for them is to be fully able, self-reliant, self-assured, competent… again, no difference.
    I figure if the approach is something I can use with adult peers in a work situation, then it is one I can use with my kids (and that I won’t be horrified if they use at school, either, for that matter). That means I can say ‘right now, I’m really busy, I will need to get back to you later on this, when is a good time?’ – I may have to work out how to manage their issues in the meantime (because they are not in fact fully functioning adults), but it isn’t disrespectful (as long as I a) ask when is good, and b) follow up responsibly).
    Kind of fits in with one of my mom’s rules, which is that I’m not raising children, I’m raising adults. That’s the target, goal, direction – that is where I am always aiming. That also means that sometimes it takes a lot of effort – talking through the umpteenth time the implications of opportunity cost, responsibility, helping others vs. ourselves, making time for ourselves and our goals, etc., etc., etc. At the same time, I watch my mom struggle with my brother (raised by my dad, very differently than we were), trying to teach him these things now, so that she doesn’t have to worry that if she dies, he’ll fall through some crack and we (sibs) won’t be able to catch him. It’s way less of a burden to do now, even doing it a thousand times, than it is later, when it affects actual life decisions. I want my kids to be able to do these things, to see their path, assess, adjust, and respond to changing conditions, feel things through, manage their feelings without discounting them, work with others without losing their own needs, find joy in service, know the skills of maintaining their property, all that. There’s so much of adult competence to model and teach – might as well start with it now, no?
    Still blow it and face plant on it all the time, and have to find the next opportunity to work, the next season of growth for that… But enough gets through that sticks, so I think we’re okay.

  34. @ hedra, @ Cloud, @ SarahThanks for those additional insights and thoughts. They will provide a great basis for discussion between my husband and me.
    I think that a recent huge developmental spurt in the 3.5 year old (The talking … oh, my the talking … after a language delay it’s a new experience!!) and an upheaval in the sibling relationship with our 1 year old has left my husband and I scrambling to catch up!

  35. I tried this today (2 x) with my 2.5 yr old. It (surprisingly) worked both times. Of course, he was also in a pretty good mood, and not hungry. But I will keep using it! Thanks!

  36. I will have to remember this, as my 3 yr old daughter has been an emotional volcano lately. We have been talking about ways to deal with anger other than hitting mommy or throwing a tantrum. We have come up with playing the drums or smiling. I didn’t get smacked with a Dora kneepad today, so maybe I’m making progress…

  37. I noticed that “say why” is not in the list. Is there a reason for that? Is it a bad idea to tell a child why they can’t have/do something? Or is that included in step 2?I know a lecture doesn’t work for a toddler, but I’m talking short statements like “That’s not safe” and “You’ve had enough cookies today.”

  38. @Dr. Confused, ‘why’ (reiterating the rules, etc.) is part of it for me. “reason”, “problem statement”, and “reiterate rule” all include that step, for me. I suspect Moxie includes them in step 2, though.

  39. ‘Jungleland’ is unquestionably one of my all-time favorite Bruce tunes. (I probably have only 50 or so such favorites.) It’s a great story, it is cinematic, it rocks, it can make you cry, it is a powerful and sprawling epic with a great emotional arc, and it features the single greatest sax solo in the history of rock ‘n roll.I thoroughly enjoyed watching ‘Wings for Wheels: The Making of Born to Run’, the documentary DVD that Bruce included in the 30th anniversary edition box set released in 2005. As much as anything, I loved the story of how Bruce pieced together Clarence’s sax solo from the numerous tracks they had recorded. Once Bruce had assembled all the best bits in the right order, he taught Clarence the solo and the rest is history. Bruce was just like a master wine blender assembling the best lots of wines made from different grapes, from different vineyards, resulting in one classic wine for the ages.
    I loved the performances on the Darkness tour for the sheer force and passion of a band both proving and discovering how great there really were. (By the way Brucie, I know you’re reading this… Isn’t it about time you gave us that Darkness box set we’re all waiting for, complete with full concert footage, a making-of documentary, etc.) This performance of ‘Jungleland’ has it all, with special mention going to Roy’s piano, Vinnie…, I mean Steve’s solo, Clarence’s solo and Bruce’s vocal, particularly that final, mournful wail.

  40. I loved the performances on the Darkness tour for the sheer force and passion of a band both proving and discovering how great there really were. (By the way Brucie, I know you’re reading this… Isn’t it about time you gave us that Darkness box set we’re all waiting

  41. I loved the performances on the Darkness tour for the sheer force and passion of a band both proving and discovering how great there really were. (By the way Brucie, I know you’re reading this… Isn’t it about time you gave us that Darkness box set we’re all waiting

  42. The value of culture is its effect on character . It avails nothing unless it ennobles and strengthens that ,Its use is for life, Its aim is not beauty but goodness.Somerset Maugham, British noverlist and dramatist

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