Sunday, February 12, 2006

Hair-pulling Da-Me

My darling daughter has exploded head long into the toddler stage where the idea of slapping you across the face and pulling out mommy’s hair is the funniest game she has ever played.

Of course the best course of action is to NOT over react but try to do that when those little pit-bull-jaw-locking hands have just taken possession of a large chunk of your hair.


I have talked to other mothers about this problem asking them what it is they do and how many lives they have removed from their lovely kids life lines. There are some very consistent answers;

  1. Pull back: lightly of course, and teach your kid the line “Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you.”

  2. Gently remove the fingers and say ‘no’.

  3. Ignore it and don’t react to it so that your child considers it boring and doesn’t bother any more.

All great answers but;

  1. Ji thinks this is the start of a great game and it only makes her pushier and pull harder.

  2. The key word is gently and it is very hard to do.

  3. I have an extremely hard time not reacting, as does my husband.

But then there was idea number

4. Ask our daycare ladies what it is they do and copy.

Duh! This should have been obvious to me but it wasn’t. Consistency and continuity in discipline is the key to getting anything ingrained into your child’s head.

There was a small hiccup in this idea: my total inability to speak Japanese. This could of course be solved by having my husband talk to them: but with his night time working hours right now this is much easier said than done.

I finally bit the bullet, used my imagination and talked to the day care ladies myself. Using a combination of bad Andrea-Japanese, hand gestures, some occasional dancing and a few English words they actually understood me.
They were actually very shocked that I was asking. I told them that I wanted to make sure that we were all doing the same thing so that Ji would learn properly.
Judging by the look on their face I am assuming this was not a regular question asked by them.

The answer to my question was:

  • Grab both of her hands after she has done something (at daycare it is pushing, shirt grabbing, hair pulling and smacking) look her directly in the eyes and tell her a stern but not mean or loud ‘DA-ME’.

‘Da-me’ basically means ‘no’, it can also imply ‘you went too far this time buddy, stop it!’

I explained this to Li so that he would keep with the continuity goal, and have started trying to use the word da-me before using the word no for basically everything at home. Ji has started reacting to the word and gives you a side ways glance when you have snapped it at her across the room.

She is also stopping what ever it is she is doing.

It takes saying it two or three times before she will stop pulling your hair but it used to be five times so things are getting better.

YAAA, one parenting issue ending with a reasonably good result.

(ahh) Sigh of relief coming from this mom.

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Posted by (Top)Andrea::2/12/2006 :: 10 Comments:

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