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    #74421 - 04/19/10 09:02 PM How to deal with Inflexibility in Kids
    blob Offline

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 263
    I'm wondering what some of you have done with regard to inflexiblity on the part of your kids.

    DS7 has always had very strong opionions. When he was 4yo and in a church kindy, he came back announcing that there was no God. Why? Because there was no answer when he prayed. "It's just the teachers' imagination", he said. DH has leanings towards Buddhist philosophies. "No tks, Papa. It's ok for you but not for me." (Apologies - I don't mean to start a debate on religion or be offensive).

    We've had a long running debate on mistakes and how positive they are because they help us learn. He's adamantly against it. "Sorry Mummy, you're just saying words. Words can mean nothing." Ok, he's work in progress.

    While I admire his confidence, I also see that this attitude is very limiting - the decisions are made with little or no life experience. He's made up his mind about a lot of things and it's near impossible to change it. He's unwilling to try new things or experiences because he's decided they're too easy/boring/hard. Like he won't play chess even though he's very good with strategy games (Blokus; Risk)- he thinks he'll lose. He won't learn any musical instruments - too hard; books have to be about a certain genre or he won't even read something different from the same author (well, very reluctantly) - too boring.

    What have you guys done about your kids with this sort of tendency? The gifted board suggested that I sign him up for a variety of different classes so that he can see that treading in unknown waters isn't always difficult or bad. But I'm concerned about enforcement (he'll fight against attending). I'm hoping to gradually encourage him into being more open about trying. So far, I've given in when he says no, but at some point, I'm hoping he can be more adventurous on his own. Will kids grow out of this?

    #74444 - 04/20/10 08:06 AM Re: How to deal with Inflexibility in Kids [Re: cricket3]
    Austin Offline

    Registered: 06/25/08
    Posts: 1840
    Loc: North Texas
    Originally Posted By: cricket3
    Her first suggestion was to have everyone sit in different spots at the dinner table. Well, to our surprise, DD was so upset by the new seating arrangement that she refused to sit at the table at all and ate by herself in the kitchen.

    Well, at least that is a different seating location!!

    #74498 - 04/20/10 04:56 PM Re: How to deal with Inflexibility in Kids [Re: cricket3]
    blob Offline

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 263
    Hi Cricket3, Thanks for the support and the company! The kitchen incident is hilarious, but it's also telling. I haven't tried it yet, but changing dinner time to 30 mins earlier even though we're starving is also a no-no in our home - he'd rather have a glass of water first.

    Maybe the only thing to do is to leave things "inadvertently" around the house, bring things up in conversation, and hopefully, it'll catch on, at some time. I've been talking about aikido for 2 years now, and oh well. Maybe it'll happen one day smile.

    Another poster in a different thread talked about kids outgrowing so many things she worried about in the past, so perhaps this is one of them. Only time (and life experience) will change their minds.

    #74561 - 04/21/10 12:26 PM Re: How to deal with Inflexibility in Kids [Re: blob]
    Dace Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 04/12/10
    Posts: 25
    Mine is has loosened up (a little) over the years, but I thought you would enjoy this....

    One day little A, who was probably 2nd grade, was playing at the neighbors. I went to get him because his sisters and I decided it would be fun to go get ice cream. The fit he threw was enormous and any witness would be fairly certain I had hit him, or was at least pinching his arm the whole way home the way he carried on.

    Fast forward a couple years, again playing at the neighbors....I go to get him because Daddy is coming home early to take him to a
    pro baseball game. Oh Lordy, you would think the child was being tortured.

    Yes, we did finally learn that A needs a little more time to switch gears.

    Yesterday afternoon he was going shopping with dad to get new shoes. Dad said "We'll bring the bike and stop at the lake on our way home so that I can get in my run and you can keep me company"
    The melt down included tears...he is now 14.

    #74573 - 04/21/10 05:25 PM Re: How to deal with Inflexibility in Kids [Re: cricket3]
    blob Offline

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 263
    Dace, so it's a long, long process huh? OK, at least the direction is right - he is loosening up a tad.

    Cricket3, that's a great idea, getting the instructors to talk to him. That worked out very well, now that I recall, for swimming although that was on and off for many years and he's finally learning his strokes now smile. We've been to a lot of demos, and I'm still not giving up! I'm totally with you on the sneaky part, hehe, so I'll have to bide my time as I look for opportunities. Whatever works smoothly!!

    #74736 - 04/24/10 02:34 PM Re: How to deal with Inflexibility in Kids [Re: blob]
    Kim B. Offline
    New Member

    Registered: 03/06/06
    Posts: 1
    Loc: Chicago Suburbs
    Hi Blob,

    I have a champion in the infexibility department. He is 8 and starting to embrace change.

    I think it's a great idea to just leave things around the house for him to discover... This has worked very well for us in the past. I do sometimes force the issue, for instance switching seats in the car with his brother. I was prepared to listen to the whining and complaining for the entire ride, and that's exactly what happened. :-)

    I do, on occasion, offer a reward he wants even more than he *doesn't* want to try something or participate in an activity. Often the reward gets him over the hump...but this is a huge departure from my days of swearing I'd NEVER bribe my kids! lol

    Sneakiness, in a loving way, is a fabulous strategy.

    Good luck!

    #100917 - 04/29/11 06:56 PM Re: How to deal with Inflexibility in Kids [Re: blob]
    frannieandejsmom Offline

    Registered: 02/01/11
    Posts: 833
    Loc: somewhere out there
    I just happened to see this post.. and would love some updates. I think I have a clone of Cricket's son! EJ is 5 and you would think I was beating the kid the first day of swim lessons a few weeks ago. We had a big scare on our Florida vacation and decided he MUST get in the water and learn to swim. ( We told him he couldn't go on the boat and go fishing this summer if he didn't). As for dinner... no one can sit in "his" seat. He will go hungry. I might have to try crazy dinner night and switch up the seats. He will happily do work at school.. nope not at home. He will say its too hard I can't... grrrrr

    looking for some good suggestions to those of you who have been thru this


    #100921 - 04/29/11 08:40 PM Re: How to deal with Inflexibility in Kids [Re: blob]
    BWBShari Offline

    Registered: 10/24/08
    Posts: 1167
    Loc: NM
    I too have one of these.... I stopped conning, bribing and leaving things around the house when he was 6. It was way too hit and miss. At 8, it is about choices. I tell him "you will play a sport" and give him the available choices. Ten I give him a couple of days to decide. If he hasn't I give him a few more days. If he still hasn't made a choice, then I do. This method works for anything, books you want him to read or chores that need to be done. My kiddo seems to need to feel that he has some sort of control and by allowing him to choose, things have gotten much better.

    The secret to success here is that I, the MOM, am equally inflexible and have way more patience!

    Mom to DS 10, DS 11, DS 13
    Ability doesn't make us, Choices do!

    #100922 - 04/29/11 08:43 PM Re: How to deal with Inflexibility in Kids [Re: cricket3]
    DeeDee Offline

    Registered: 04/16/10
    Posts: 2498
    Originally Posted By: cricket3
    in K, DD's teacher noted that inflexibility was a major issue, and suggested we change up little things at home. Her first suggestion was to have everyone sit in different spots at the dinner table. Well, to our surprise, DD was so upset by the new seating arrangement that she refused to sit at the table at all and ate by herself in the kitchen.

    LOL but feeling your pain.

    We have a super-inflexible child, and we practice sabotage. We run out of the favorite brand of bread. The favorite shirt is sometimes in the laundry. I cook non-favorite dinners and everyone has to say something nice about them. I drive a new way to the store or (horrors) don't say where we're going ahead of time. We started by changing up one small thing at a time and went from there.

    Sabotage makes it feel worse in the beginning (you may see more meltdowns and protests) but after a while the child realizes it's not the end of the world for things to be different, and they get more relaxed about change in general. It's very effective.


    #100926 - 04/30/11 01:46 AM Re: How to deal with Inflexibility in Kids [Re: blob]
    Giftodd Offline

    Registered: 10/25/10
    Posts: 221
    Loc: Australia
    Oh thank goodness, I thought this was just our house hold. I missed this post when it first came up, but boy can I relate to all these stories. Sigh... nothing to contribute. Just glad it's not only us and liking having a few ideas smile
    "If children have interest, then education will follow" - Arthur C Clarke

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