Chat on children pushing, hitting...
July 10, 2009: What about young children who are expressing themselves physically by pushing, kicking, hitting or biting? How can we help them?
ROUGH PLAIN TRANSCRIPT
probably will be cleaned up later, but here it is for those who need it sooner than later!
SandraDodd: Good Morning! (or whatever is appropriate in Australia...)
AussieTammy: Good very very early morning
socal77: Good Morning Sandra and everyone
kcbhsu: Good afternoon here in Ohio ..:-)
Guest5: good morning from the eastern shore of Md
SandraDodd: I don't think it can be morning in Maryland and afternoon in Ohio all at the same time, but if the good
morning was to me in New Mexico.... thanks! (spatial reasoning shouldn't need to be part of a discussion...)
Next time I'll just say "hello."
socal77: I love the cover art, Sandra, tell Holly she did an excellent job
There have been a few families in the past few weeks who have asked about problems with young boys being rough.
I think it was always boys.
And I also think there was always a younger sibling.
But perhaps I've summarized it all too simply in my memory.
If we can talk about the situations in general without naming names that would be nice.
I'm not sure it's doable, but maybe.
kcbhsu: My son is five, with a 3 year old younger sister. He can be rough in different ways - sometimes obviously out of
SandraDodd: I plan to keep notes on this one--to save and eventually edit the chat text, so don't say things you don't want
to have on a webpage. Thanks.
Also, a business/practicality question:
kcbhsu: the harder thing for me to deal with is when I don't see a trigger ... walks by and hits me or squeezes me - I don't think in anger
SandraDodd: Never mind my question.
kcbhsu: my husband says he doesn't respect when people tell him to stop, or he doesn't seem to care if what he's doing
SandraDodd: I was going to say that next Friday morning I'll be in an airport, but "next Friday morning" will be.... oh hell, I don't know.
Maybe I can make Friday's chat because I'll already be at Schuyler's house.
My guess (cold guess based on other stories over the years) is that maybe the way people tell him to stop is monotonous to him, maybe. Perhaps it's being a repetition rather than a personal communication.
Sometimes people speak as though from a script or as though they're speaking to a general hypothetical person.
I won't feel bad if my guess is screwily wrong.
SandraDodd: I was three when my sister was born. I still remember seeing her for the first time and having been afraid
when they left me with an uncle and aunt in an empty apartment with no toys while my mom went to the hospital, and on
kcbhsu: could be. usually i'll say something more along the lines of "Hey! I don't like that - it hurts" and his sister is
really bothered by the squeezing - she doesn't say stop so much as "hey", or general screaming.
SandraDodd: Lots of stories, but not good ones. Not happy ones.
Maybe in the cases in which he wanted to hurt you that's good information for him. (If he squeezed out of frustration, I
What if you said "I like it when you touch me softly."
kcbhsu: i hadn't thought of that - about it being good information for him if that's the intent
SandraDodd: And In the more general discussion, not just about one person's situation, I think there are some kids who
are themselves touched roughly, if at all. When I have introduced babies to cats and dogs, I've said
touch her softly,
and acted it out, sometimes on the cat
but sometimes on the baby.
I'll pet the baby the way they should pet the cat so they'll know how hard or soft or fast or slow
Zamozo: THis may have already been suggested, if so then nevermind, but what about providing inanimate objects to
squeeze and bonk about -- those punching clowns that bounce back up, pillows, squeezy balls?
SandraDodd: I've heard some spanking kinds of parents say, when a child says "That hurt",
"Good! I'm glad it hurt"
AussieTammy: That's what I do with my kids when they start to get rough. I tell them "gentle touches, like this" and then
I'll stroke their face very gently, and they almost always stroke mine back saying "gentle, gentle"
SandraDodd: or "If it didn't hurt you wouldn't remember."
Not even just about spankings.
Zamozo: My dad sometimes threatened me when I was crying to stop or he'd give me something to cry about.
SandraDodd: But when parents have the resentful feelings of hoping their kids will "get a taste of their own medicine" or
whatever all (my mom was quite that way), they seem to be glad when a child falls down or whatever, so they can "be
My mom loved "I told you so."
And her mom used to say "That'll learn ya, durn ya."
kcbhsu: it seems obvious, but i don't know that i've ever modeled back the gentle touches - usually in I'm so wrapped up
in the heat of the moment and especially lately impatient with it all, that I either grab his hands, move to another room, or
say "STOP IT!"
SandraDodd: It was a multi-purpose comment on anyone who "got what was comin' to him."
So it can be a whole-life expectation of negativity.
kcbhsu: i mean i've modeled gentle touches w. our pets and babies ... just not when i'm getting jumped on or randomly hit
Zamozo: "soft-n-gentle" was a freqent sing-song reminder I'd say softly when my kids were little and then gently show
them how to touch -- a doll or a pet or me
SandraDodd: If a boy is needing more physicality himself, maybe you could catch him and turn him with his back to you
and hold his arms and make a joke of it, and say "Oh no! I've been attacked! I have to defend myself!" but only if he's
laughing too. Not if he's
And don't forget that boys DO need to move and run and climb and bump up against people.
kcbhsu: one thing i did recently start doing is giving him my hands to squeeze when he's starts squeezing. if he walks up
and squeezes my arm I just say "hands" and offer my hands - and so far it seems to be working.
SandraDodd: It's the way they learn. Girls too, but boys more, in general. So if you have a boy who's giving physical
clues of physical neediness, maybe find him some activity or playmates who are willing to play rougher than you like.
Zamozo: I remember strange little rubbery toys that were stretchy and filled with something that was very satisfying to
squeeze. It gave a lot of resistance but gave enough to let you really sink your fingers into. I wish I could remember
what it was called.
kcbhsu: the humor aspect and playfulness usually does work - it's trying to get my energy level to the point where I can
SandraDodd: Martial arts classes can be great for physical kids, for sure. They not only learn to do cool things with their
arms and legs, but they learn why not to do it.
They felt like sand inside? Like stretch armstrong?
There were balls of that stuff.
socal77: the ones filled with water are cool too, like little noodles
Zamozo: There was something more than sand though because it would remember it's original form after squeezing
SandraDodd: Hey, Jill! You're home in Colorado?
RVB: We made some of our own with balloons and rice (doubling the balloons over - hard to explain).
JillP: Yes, and SO happy to be home.
SandraDodd: So let's think about adults for a bit, about what adults sometimes do when they feel restless or full of
adrenaline or frustrated.
Can we brainstorm ways that adults get that out?
I split firewood or walk to the store.
Zamozo: Zach used to bite his rubber duckie -- just when he had an urge to chomp something hard - not so much from
frustaration -- he lost his firt tooth biting rubber duckie
SandraDodd: When I did pottery, years ago, there was nothing as good as messing with heavy clay when I needed to
unload some pent-up biochemicals.
AussieTammy: Breathe! My number one frustration melter - big, slow, deep breaths.
SandraDodd: Some people drive, but that seems dangerous sometimes.
kcbhsu: I eat, or seek out alone time
RVB: I go for a walk. But sometimes I slam a door or just let one big "Ahhh" out at the top of my lungs. Then I breathe
SandraDodd: Some people run or bike or take the skate board or the roller blades out. We're near a bike trail here and
I've seen kids out.
AussieTammy: Playing with playdough is soothing too.
socal77: clay is nice, just making a pinch pot can be very soothing
SandraDodd: Slamming a door has done it for me many times. Hasn't ever done the door frame much good.
Zamozo: Yell -- not so good
SandraDodd: Some people bake. Frustration is time to make cookies or a cake.
RVB: Michelle works with clay to calm down. And she removes herself, if she can, to a quiet place.
JillP: Relieving adrenaline - I go outside, take the garbage out, go for a walk, lay down and breathe.
Zamozo: I'll try to get away if I can -- leave for an hour or two, be alone, go to a bookstore or coffee shop
socal77: sports, basketball before a big exam, changes your focus and helps with the feelings
SandraDodd: What about when your spouse or partner has adrenaline ?
Have you thought sometimes that it would be good to divert that into something better than an argument?
Sometimes I've asked Keith to go to the store when he was frustrated with someone else, or a situation.
Not when he's mad at me.
Not "Why don't you go to the STORE!?"
RVB: Ross works out on the treadmill or bike or shuts himself in his home office.
Zamozo: My hubby goes to his cave -- studio or for a bike ride
SandraDodd: But if he's angry from work or hobby or friend stuff, or car repairs or motorcycle problems...
JillP: My hubby doesn't like requests from me like that, I wish I knew of another way.
socal77: yes, give them an out... Can you help me with _______?
AussieTammy: My hubby does housework when tension starts to build
kcbhsu: My husband goes to be by himself too ... walks away from the frustration to take a break
RVB: Yeah, Ross wouldn't like requests either - he just goes on his own.
SandraDodd: Sometimes when I know something physical would help Keith I might ask if he could bring in firewood
later. If that doesn't seem like something he wants to do, no big deal
AussieTammy: Folding washing, doing dishes. Just any job that needs to be done that he can focus on instead of
focussing on frustration.
SandraDodd: But if he does, I know he feels good better.
RVB: Oh, Tammy! Ross does that too. I think it's because I'm not doing it .
Oh and he mows the lawn and does yard work.
SandraDodd: This is less applicable to adopted children, but however it is that you and your partner handle stress might
help with how your child might.
RVB: Gee, do I do anything around here?
AussieTammy: Yes, he does it sometimes to get a bit of space. I go online and he cleans the house
SandraDodd: There are some genetic factors in biochemistry. Maybe it's nothing BUT genetic factors.
RVB: Michelle, from an early age, gravitated towards swings. Some of the most soothing moments for her are when she
kcbhsu: i have noticed that my husband and son have similar outlets - my husband's first reaction used to be to throw
SandraDodd: Me too, when I was little! I'd go on the swings. I hadn't thought of that for years. I'm glad you mentioned
Zamozo: my daughter will do that -- toss over her desk chair, throw something non-breakable at her wall, lie down and
kick the wall -- she'll keep it up if left alone too -- she needs to talk through her frustrations
SandraDodd: Or I would take our dog and go out behind the barn or some place that seemed kind of far, and just hug the
dog and cry.
Use the dog as a sympathetic pillow.
or is that aw?
AussieTammy: Yes, sometimes my kids climb into the rocking chair and rock hard and fast. You can see them calming
down as the movement of the chair slows down
Zamozo: Zach used to swing on our long tree swing for all kinds of reasons
It was his thinking spot
RVB: We got a trampoline last year, which we thought would be good to bounce the frustration out. It was barely used.
So we went to the storage locker and brought out the old porch swing. That and the hammock have been good to have
SandraDodd: When the kids were small enough to pick up, sometimes I would pick one up, front to front even if they
were three or four, and (I'm thinking of a way to describe it in words)
JillP: I'd like some smooth ways to make suggeestions to people full of adrenaline, to get them to focus elsewhere.
SandraDodd: wag back and forth with them. Not rock, but twist my body left and right and left and right
RVB: Oh, I remember doing that, too.
SandraDodd: and they seemed to calm them, even though it was itself kind of big-movement.
I bet that's what rocking chairs and swings do. Resets their timing or something.
Jill, I used to ask the wired-up kid to do something real, and sometimes the kid knew it was because of his frustration and
sometimes he didn't. things like
Could you check the mail?
Could you see if I rolled the windows up on the car?
Could you get the dog some water, please?
Could you put this on Keith's desk?
Will you get me a box of kleenex, please?
JillP: And with adults (husband) who's less willing to shift from his stuck adrenaline state.
SandraDodd: It might not take half a minute, but it gets them into different surroundings, and sometimes into fresh air
and sometimes there's something physical involved.
RVB: That can really work, both to distract and have the brain take a break. Like shaking your head and snapping out of
kcbhsu: Sandra - Did the timing seem to matter? I need to work on catching the frustrations before they get to the point
where the distractions don't work (for the kids, not the husband)
SandraDodd: As they've gotten older, I might ask one to go to the store for me, which is walking distance.
Sometimes nothing works, but sometimes those things can help.
Even if the kid comes back from the mailbox still angry (thinking Marty, who doesn't get angry as easily as the others,
but doesn't get happy as easily either), he's not AS angry, and the others of us had a moment to consider what to do to
emiLyQ: At this very moment, my 5 yo pushed my 2 yo over, they came inside with my husband and to get them out of
the intense stage, went to the mailbox and to show my husband the big heart-shaped rock we found while weeding
I think the best things for us to do are to make sure everyone is fed and watered ..:-) and that an adult/babysitter/caretaker
is RIGHT there.
Zamozo: and rested -- hubby and I were just talking the other day about how being hungry makes Zoe cranky and being
tired makes Zach cranky
and being hungry or tired makes me cranky
emiLyQ: yes, rested too. That is something to work on long-term, it's not something that can be fixed in the moment by
offering food or a drink.
kcbhsu: yes - food makes a huge difference around here. and temperature - popsicles and ice even help calm things
RVB: I wish I could make my husband understand that. I used to tell Michelle that sometimes that eating or drinking
helped with crankiness. She'll say that to Ross and he'll tell her it's just an excuse - in other words she's chosen to be
kcbhsu: actually, now that i think about it, ice & popsicles work really well - i think i need to offer those more -
something about the crunchiness & temperature calm my son down.
SandraDodd: Emily's right.
RVB: He forgets that it happens to him, too,.
socal77: change of scenery, with the nice weather, we have been eating more meals outside and hanging/ working in the
SandraDodd: Robin or Jill, if you talk about things like that about yourself and your husband, separate from the kids, that
socal77: seems to help all around in our house
Zamozo: for older kids -- if they know they're tired and that is probably why they're cranky - they can ajourn for a rest or
SandraDodd: If you say "I think I should've eaten more today; my head hurts" or whatever's true.
JillP: ah, as in expressing something about myself out loud to my husband?
SandraDodd: Just a thought, jill...
RVB: Good idea, Sandra.
Zamozo: for littler ones -- mama may be able to coax them to settle in and lie down with her, maybe even nod off - or go
for a drive or whatever works, if anything
RVB: Sort of approach it sideways .
SandraDodd: So thinking about adults can help, and thinking about the specific adults to whom they're related can help.
JillP: it is a good one....that's how our unschooling has progressed and Steve getting more comfortable with it, by me
saying things over the years.
socal77: driving worked when Drew was little
SandraDodd: Kirby liked to be in the car, in the carseat.
That was his comfortable place.
It doesn't work anymore.
SandraDodd: (Kirby will be here in four hours!
Zamozo: Driving worked like a charm for Zach but Zoe never falls asleep in the car
SandraDodd: He called me from Houston a bit ago.
JillP: Awesome! how long a visit?
SandraDodd: Two days; a Saturday wedding of friends.
So am I right in my memory that the situations lately with kids have involved a boy with a sibling a couple or three years
RVB: Kirby is Michelle's hero. If they're ever in the same place, he should be prepared for worship and *lots* of
SandraDodd: Are you going to the Good Vibrations conference in San Diego or SUSS in Santa Fe? Those are Kirby's
next two "appearances."
RVB: One or the other.
AussieTammy: I haven't brought anything up before, but I have trouble with my daughter and her younger brother
RVB: Probably Santa Fe.
ShannonBurton: Good day/evening.
RVB: Hi, Shan.
SandraDodd: What's the age difference, Tammy?
AussieTammy: 2 years
SandraDodd: Two years sucks.
Because no two year old knows what's going on if another baby comes along.
RVB: One's not ready to stop being the baby.
AussieTammy: She's been more and more aggressive with him lately, as he gets bigger and more independent.
SandraDodd: And a three year old does know and isn't thrilled, generally speaking.
AussieTammy: Amd yet at the same time, she keeps telling me she wants me to have another baby!
JillP: the wish of having one to her exact specifications??
SandraDodd: I like to help parents be sympathetic to older siblings, because I was one, and it seemed the energy was all
"she's a baby; you have to be nice to her" for YEARS.
kcbhsu: My son has also asked said he wants another baby!
RVB: Hey, K.
katherand: Hey Robin
SandraDodd: AnOTHER baby, Tammy, not that ratty other one.
RVB: Yeah, maybe a girl baby.
SandraDodd: I think kids want playmates, not siblings.
AussieTammy: Yes, her order is very specific... "I want two babies mama, a girl and a boy... twins!"
ShannonBurton: sandra...you saying that before gave us a new perspective with jeremiah. jim and I are both 3rd children.
SandraDodd: Playmates who already speak English and can be sent home when they're tired of them.
ShannonBurton: so our understanding is more with annalise's experience.
SandraDodd: My husband was a third child too, and had no idea. Also his brothers were ten and five years older, so not
the two and three year old problems. But other problems, of them ignoring him or playing mean tricks on him.
kcbhsu: my son has a very hard time dealing with the times when his sister does NOT want to play with him - if she
requests a game, but only wants me to play it with her, and not him
AussieTammy: I'm an oldest child. The gap between her and my youngest is the same as the gap between my brother
and I. I know exactly where she's coming from!
SandraDodd: I have no answers for that except not to make anyoene play.
ShannonBurton: I am fortunate that, while they share many interests, they each have several that are their own...
kcbhsu: we don't make anyone play ... though we do try to persuade sometimes
katherand: I think it's great that a younger child has mom to play with. That helps because I know my mom would NOT
play with any of us kids and that was rough on olders and youngers who felt like tagalongs.
RVB: Karen, does your daughter need one-on-one time with you? Maybe I missed that earlier.
ShannonBurton: and are settling into different sleep patterns, so they each have our smallish house and yard - and me! -
to themselves for a bit most days.
kcbhsu: I think they both need more one-on-one time with me.
ShannonBurton: The biggest issue was with games play - one ready fro rules and one not. making sure Miah has lots of
computer games to play solo helped a lot with that.'
kcbhsu: i think that's part of the reason why she doesn't want him to play - they're at a point where they play the games
ShannonBurton: sandra...LOVE Holly's cover...fingers are itching for the book!
RVB: How old are they again?
JillP: Me too! I love that cover.
kcbhsu: and he's also very much wanting to win, which she doens't appreciate.
my son is five and my daughter is three
ShannonBurton: KCBHSU - we had that trouble, too....with chess, which 7.75 yo loves and plays to win. then 4yo (her
birthday was Wed) only wanted to play fantasies with the pieces!
SandraDodd: Thanks, about the cover.
Marty was a play to win guy.
Sorry. I meant to say Kirby.
RVB: Michelle, too.
SandraDodd: He would get made if he didn't win, and get mad if I let him win.
And get mad if I didn't let him win.
ShannonBurton: it was suggested by someone here to try the games with "anything goes" rules, or "cheating".
RVB: Same here!
katherand: Karl is 6 and still plays fantasies. Wish we were there for chess with your daughter Shannon. He loves that
stuff. Me too.
SandraDodd: But that was when he was four and five
socal77: maybe stuff they can enjoy together that doesn't have a winner per se... legos, kapla blocks
SandraDodd: and for nearly ten years he has worked in gaming-related jobs.
RVB: Kapla blocks are awesome.
socal77: yes they are...
SandraDodd: Not counting the year to do pizza, but during that year he played games two or three nights a week with
others, and the rest of the time by himself.
He's a game fiend!
ShannonBurton: Katherand...they'd be a good match...truth is, I like the fantasy stuff, too...never had the logistical
foresight to care much about the game. But she wanted to play it with him and not me!
SandraDodd: There's online chess.
RVB: Other than sculpting in clay, games are what Michelle likes the most. And she usually sculpts all the characters she
ShannonBurton: Kapla blocks?
SandraDodd: We used to have a Mario game where he's play chess, checkers, backgammon or yahtzee with them
katherand: Karl is a story fiend. ..;-) Yes it's probably a genetic sort a thing Shannon.
RVB: I'll find a link, Shannon.
katherand: Karl plays online chess and has no idea of the rules. I'm not much help either as I don't know how and have
SandraDodd: Just noticed you were here; just noticed it had been a while.
ShannonBurton: Sandra...he's started playing with the computer. Lots of other games, too...so that fills his obvious need
for just that logistical stuff I don't get...and he's then more willing to pretend play with Lise.
RVB: Oh, you're faster than I am!
SandraDodd: There are probably chess instruction games online somewhere that tell you what your options are for each
katherand: Got get chick fingers off stove for Karl brb.
ShannonBurton: Yes...in that way, Jeremiah is like Jim, Lise is definitely more like me.
SandraDodd: Okay, so back to the go-crazy kids.
Perhaps they're just going parental-genetics.
And that's worth looking at.
And maybe some of the tools and tricks that work for you or your husband or other adults friends might work in
kid-form for your children.
RVB: Karen, are there games your son could play on his own that he could win - like handheld games - Nintendo DS or
something like that?
SandraDodd: And so if you're the partner, and there's pinching, someone on your team is pinching, and so saying "HE
DID IT!" instead of seeing it was a "we" problem isn't altogether thelpful.
AussieTammy: True for us. I can see myself in my daughter.
kcbhsu: oh - yes, we do lots of those. we recently got Royal Rescue, which he really loves.
SandraDodd: Maybe they need more room to run and explore.
RVB: Yeah. It can be a group dynamic.
SandraDodd: Absolutely they need time with the parent when the other kid, that new ugly little sibling, isn't in evidence
whatsoever. Not "the baby's asleep, let's play quickly and quietly," but a "what baby!? Let's PLAY!"
AussieTammy: We have been cooped up in the house all week due to rain and sickness, so tension is running high here
at the moment. Can't wait to get us all out this weekend!
SandraDodd: So find a spouse or relative or mother's helper if you need to, or a babysitter to come to your house while
the baby's sleeping so you and the bigger kid can go somewhere.
Tammy, would tents over furniture help? Hide and seek?
Things that make the house seem less all-one-small-place?
ShannonBurton: something that has helped here is realizing that if Lise does something to miah, there was usually
something he did earlier that led there...so tracing things back to see where things might have started going south helps us
all to see it more clearly.
That's how I traced things. Not with both kids there, like a trial.
kcbhsu: eek - I say that too much. and his sister is 3, so i've been doing it for 3 years - just last night she fell asleep and
he wanted me to play a game with him , and I said "i can do it, but quickly before your sister wakes up and wants to nurse
SandraDodd: Separate, back and forth
AussieTammy: Sandra, probably would. There's been a bit of creative furniture rearranging happening
SandraDodd: you say what too much?
ShannonBurton: sandra...yes...we go back and forth, with me as the mediator, and with only one kid at a time....
SandraDodd: Oh. "quiet; hurry; b aby asleep"
kcbhsu: the "the baby's asleep, let's play quietly and quickly"
JillP: Sorry to cut out early, but I feeling tired and distracted, so I'm not concentrating. See you all next time.
SandraDodd: I remember some of that with my mom. If/WHEN the baby woke up, I was in trouble.
ShannonBurton: Trying to help both see the other side...Jeremiah tends to say things like "that's stupid," without thinking
much first...Lise is a very language oriented person and takes it seriously..
RVB: Brb. Going to apologize to Michelle for being cranky this morning (no food, no coffee) .
SandraDodd: Tammy, what about pulling down a box of stuff they haven't seen for a while, or ever? Something out of
the closet? ,g>
I am personally very hungry.
I had tea and three cookies, oh.... five hours ago.
ShannonBurton: sandra....i wanted to say thanks for the pattern block suggestion. Gave them to Lise for her
birthday...already her favorite gift....and i got to make a mandala!
kcbhsu: so i wonder if i should not mention the sleeping sibling at all ... i do it because it seemed better to set the
expectation that i might leave suddenly
SandraDodd: But luckily I don't have little kids.
AussieTammy: Yes, I was thinking I need to start a "rainy day/sick day" idea list
SandraDodd: I played with some just this week, and that's why that picture at 4:00 on the book cover.
AussieTammy: I am hungry too... but I am not usually awake at this hour so that could explain it
SandraDodd: Do you need a list, Tammy?
Just do a thing.
List: Let them look in the jewelry box."
You don't have to write it down or remember it.
ShannonBurton: I took pictures, too...she loves that she has *a lot* of them....*bwg*!
AussieTammy: yes, true.
SandraDodd: Did you get two sets?
I'm glad she likes them.
ShannonBurton: yup....for just more than one.....might get another at some point, too.
SandraDodd: I think once the baby's asleep the other kid should have an advantage, and being reminded that the ONLY
reason he has one on one time is that the baby's asleep is another reminder that he's #2 now.
ShannonBurton: Tammy...does she like to 'cook"? Lise will spend an hour mixing up flour, sugar, chocolate powder,
whatever, at the table... we chat and sample.
RVB: Karen, sometimes I found that setting the expectation made things worse, especially in the case of spending time
together. It could make things more difficult because it wasn't real, yet.
SandraDodd: But I know it's great for babies to sleep, and for moms to get a break, and sometimes the mom IS resentful
of having to "work" (play) while the baby's asleep.
katherand: I'm having tea and cookies right now. ..:-)
SandraDodd: It's hard having little kids.
RVB: What I projected happening wasn't yet real for her.
AussieTammy: Shan, she loves cooking. She makes "apple pie" with a chopped up apple and some flour, and could
happily mix it for ages
kcbhsu: you're right - it'd make me feel pretty crappy (the reminder that i'm only getting one on one time because
someone else is sleeping)
AussieTammy: Ooh, I have a bean bucket I haven't dragged out for awhile. I'll try that later today for sure.
RVB: Sandra's right - it is hard having little kids.
ShannonBurton: Tammy....you could just be with her....we've got an easybake Jeremiah uses sometimes to cook what she
makes....I stay close, putter in the kitchen, or sit and talk. and, of course, clean up after....
yes, little kids *are* hard...but they do get bigger...i feel like we're entering a charmed phase now....
Bean bucket....I should bring mine out, too! Colored sand?
katherand: Karl is 6 and an only child so it's like having a younger child for an extended period because of course they
get to enjoy their babyhood a nice long time and he has. He's just now getting easier in some ways but naturally not in
ShannonBurton: hi is jeremiah
RVB: It's hard for kids to project into the future. I didn't get the "just be with them, right now" idea, then. I seemed to
always want to put limits (artificial or not) on things, so she wouldn't have unrealistic expectations.
katherand: So I'm enjoying babying Karl because I can and Brian too (his dad) who didn't get much babying.
katherand: I didn't get it for a long time Robin. He's 6 and it took most of his babyhood for me to get the clue.
What's up Jeremiah? Playing chess lately?
RVB: Since I like my alone time, I think I was afraid I would never ever get it. So, I tried to put some fences around it.
katherand: LOL. I can totally relate. Alone time meant freedom to me growing up and I used to hole up in a tree and
read for hours.
ShannonBurton: Katherand...he's gone...went to play with their new soccer balls (I hit a yard sale while they slept.)
RVB: Ooh, can you be my mum, Shan?
katherand: Ah. Just chattin' wit'm, Shannon. Cute heart he put up.
SandraDodd: Robin, that "unrealistic expectations" thing is interesting.
socal77: Going to the fair, have a nice weekend everyone...
ShannonBurton: RVB>..funny...I had those, too...now I'm finding I need a lot less of it than I thought i did...and I can
get most if that when they go off to their own things.
SandraDodd: When Keith called me during the chat, it was because someone we know has put up a note on a list that
says they want to hire a babysitter for 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 every day, and some days until 10:00 !!
ShannonBurton: Have fun at the fair!
SandraDodd: And they're poor, so we were discussing how much money they might be offering for this.
katherand: Yeah. Kids don't have unrealistic expectations about time and being able to project even for a few seconds
seems like eons to Karl.
SandraDodd: Whatever, it's not enough.
ShannonBurton: Yikes...my sister uses a lot of sitters, too...and has a 4.75 yo in all day school camp, and sharec
custody...seems like a lot of time away....
katherand: Ugh. that's a LOT of babysitting. Reminds me what Karl went thru when Brian and I were separated for so
ShannonBurton: I don't have a sitter aT ALL.
RVB: >> SandraDodd: Interesting, like let's examine it?
SandraDodd: Somewhere between nine hours a day and zero, it can be nice to have someone to stay with and play with
Maybe, Robin. Just the idea that being nice will cause people to come to expect you to be nice. Not "You" but "one."
kcbhsu: my son loves sitters - we have a mother's helper once a week, and both kids love her.
SandraDodd: I didn't withhold affection from Keith so that he wouldn't have unreasonable expectations.
katherand: But is she there in the house and wanting a sitter? Are the parents ill?
SandraDodd: I didn't cook badly so he wouldn't expect better.
ShannonBurton: katherand, jeremiah says he's been playing with the computer...sandra...I'm trying to find someone for
once in a while...but we have an odd schedule.
RVB: Yes, I see what you're saying, Sandra.
SandraDodd: If I tell my friend I'll be at her house at 3:00, I don't show up late just so she won't have unreasonable
RVB: Ross's mum used to buy cookies no one liked, so they'd last longer. Otherwise, the kids would eat them.
katherand: Hmmm.. I've never though about unreasonable expectations like that.
SandraDodd: I'm wondering if it was a child-training thought, like "You need to frustrate them" or "you don't want to
spoil them" and not a human-interaction thought or a relationship-building thought
kcbhsu: seriously about the cookies?!? I can't imagine buying something that no one likes.
SandraDodd: Robin, my mom would buy those almond windmill cookis, which none of us liked.
SandraDodd: Or Fig Newtons. I like them now, but didn't as a kid.
RVB: It saved money, I guess, and for her, that was more important.
ShannonBurton: Sandra..wish I'd've been a bit older..those are my * favorites*!!!
katherand: I think people do that stuff a lot to make themselves unreliable. Rather than just saying "I decided not to ...
whatever it is" they do the passive thing of making it unappealing?
ShannonBurton: my mom would do things like that.
SandraDodd: If I can choose them now, I like them. When they were offered as yucky cookies and I had no choice, they
They were intended to be yucky, I was NOT to have a choice, and by god my expectations were "reasonable." Low.
I gave up hoping for better.
I guess that's what "not spoiled" means.
RVB: I wonder if I was frustrated like that. It seemed to come automatically to me that I would set boundaries on my
time. One of those speeches that flowed effortlessly from my lips.
katherand: LOL. you may be onto something there, Sandra. My folks did a LOT of that. Sounds familiar.
SandraDodd: My human instinct to have life get better was snuffed out. My spirit was broken.
ShannonBurton: sandra....yes....it sounds like, minus the alcohol, we had similar upbringings....
katherand: I think it's pretty common.
ShannonBurton: But I still wanted better....i kind of always knew it should be better.
RVB: There's a big "not spoiled" thread in Ross's family. It took a lot for him to say yes more and not just to material
SandraDodd: So if you can think those thoughts and get those feelings in you, try not to inflict ANY of them on a child
who was happier before you brought New Improved child home, or maybe New and More Needy child
katherand: We're still in that process, Robin. Slow process.
SandraDodd: Shan, I had better, and I have better. But I got my attention from teachers at school, not from my mom
I figured, years later, why not be better and more interesting than school?
ShannonBurton: If my family knew a third of what we say yes to, they'd fear for our children's lives!
katherand: I had mentors and friends after I left home at 25. So it can be a LONG time for some folks.
SandraDodd: There are people who get their attention and nurturing in prison. Life outside is worse than prison for
They're not spoiled!
katherand: I think that's true Sandra. About prison. Life is saner inside those walls. Weird.
SandraDodd: Robin, part of the "support" some parents give other parents is "You have a right to time by yourself," and
"Children shouldn't change your life entirely" and "You deserve time alone."
Meanwhile, what are the children's "rights" and what do they "deserve"?
I need to go add those to my support page!
katherand: So what we're saying is something like lack of a certain kind of freedom just means endless boredom and
feelings of unworth can be constant throughout the boring phases of one's life.
ShannonBurton: That has been the epiphany for me, lately....just thinking of what they deserve, and giving it to them....
SandraDodd: Are we, k? I didn't see that. Make it personal now. What are YOU saying?
ShannonBurton: I had major food, TV, video, bed, and toy issues...jim was just looking at their yard sale haul, and
reminding me how i purged the toys a year ago.
katherand: It has taken a lot of thinking to ferret out what those areas of deservedness are, Shannon. That's what's work
for me. I had the same epiphany but it's still in progress to find those areas.
ShannonBurton: But i like what *we're* saying..lol!
RVB: Yes, I heard that, though it wasn't part of my circle of friends' thoughts (except for one). We were all attachment
parents. I'm not sure where it came from. I'll think on it a bit.
SandraDodd: Katherine, by "boredom" do you mean lack of joy and lively life?
Like boredom inflicted on one from above?
ShannonBurton: and i just realized that i love my kids *just as they are* i wouldn't change them....and that means, I
wouldn't change their messes, either...because that is part of who they are...very busy people who are seldom bored and
tend toward wonderful creative
SandraDodd: No one else can bore me without my consent. Probably Gandhi didn't say that.
katherand: I was talking about boredom, Sandra, as in being ignored and not having anything to do, no real interaction
with parents/sibs ... and that is a lack of freedom that is inescapable in some life circumstances like our highly religious
separation from world.
RVB: I expected Michelle to change my life entirely, at least intellectually. But, sometimes the whiney little kid came out
in me. "What about me?" I struggle with it, even now that I have plenty of time to myself. Maybe I should have been a
SandraDodd: Ah. I see now.
RVB: But a social-when-I-want-to-be hermit
SandraDodd: A hermit who gives afternoon teas upon occasion...
ShannonBurton: RVB>>>>"ME TOO! (TM)
RVB: In pearls and twin sets!
kcbhsu: i have to actively talk myself out of a martyr mindset sometimes
katherand: LOL. I just finished my tea
RVB: Yes, that martyr thing. Argh.
SandraDodd: So what about kids and the martyr thing? If you can actively talk yourself out of that as an adult, what can a
four or five year old do? A six year old?
Maybe he hits or shoves or squeezes or pinches because he doesn't have the words for what he's trying to express.
ShannonBurton: Why do so many people raise children to think being a martyr is a good and noble thing, when they are
miserable being martyrs themselves?
SandraDodd: I coudln't understand Katherine a bit ago, and she's too far away for me to shove.
katherand: All the real martyrs are probably all dead. All the way dead as they say in Princess Bride.
kcbhsu: i think that's the case - not having the words.
RVB: >> SandraDodd: Bwahaha!
RVB: Maybe martyrhood is genetic.
katherand: LOL. Sandra. Sorry about being obtuse. ..;-)
SandraDodd: I don't think you can be a martyr while you're still alive.
It's a posthumous award.
ShannonBurton: tee hee!
CapnFranko: Ha! You shoulda known my mother
RVB: I sometimes don't have words for my frustration.
katherand: Hey Frank. Your mom!
RVB: Cap'n Franko - how are you, me hearty?
SandraDodd: Frank, when you were a little boy did you have a younger sibling about two or three years younger?
CapnFranko: I loved her but she carried a cross around always ready to mount it in "grave disappoiontment"
SandraDodd: We need the perspective of a four year old boy.
RVB: Oh, dear.
CapnFranko: Arrrgh! I'm great.
ShannonBurton: There does seem to be a lot less strife here, now that I've (mostly) given up the "poor me' whine...and a
reward for anyone who can help me give it up during unpredictable, perimenopausal PMS!!!
CapnFranko: I had a brother 6 years younger than I was.
SandraDodd: Six years does not qualify you for our needs. Sorry.
But good, because you got six years of being the youngest!
RVB: Off with his head!
katherand: LOL. The self made variety of martyrs crack me up.. from a distance.
ShannonBurton: I used to yell at the kids for whining...guess who i figured out was the family's biggest whiner....?
CapnFranko: I was the oldest (after my older sister died in a car wreck when I was two). My next sib was my sister who's
4 years younger.
ShannonBurton: Frank..I'm sorry.
SandraDodd: But Shaaaaan (whining tone ..:-) You have a RIGHT to whine. You NEED to express yourself, and those
kids... those kids are so NEEEEEEDDDDDYYYYYY."
ShannonBurton: sandra....thanks...you got it...it was me!
katherand: I have a niece who loves to martyr it up. She's funny as all get out and then her mom tells her to cut it out.
Says she's a hypochondriac. And so on. The girl just wants attention. That's it.
Guest11: how young is young?
SandraDodd: Well Frank, that's altogether rough, and maybe your mom wasn't as attentive as I had merrily imagined her
to have been, for a moment there.
Be more specific, Guest 11
We cannot answer that question as you've worded it.
Guest11: as in is 5 too old?
SandraDodd: Too old for what?
Guest11: my son is 5 and he is doing these things
katherand: Too young for what?
juillet (Guest69): hi everyone...just woke up, listening in.. ..:-)
Guest11: sorry to just jump in.
CapnFranko: I just joined too. We seem to be in the middle of *something*
katherand: Hi Juillet. Guest 11 jumping in is fine. I don't bite.
SandraDodd: There will be a transcript later. I might just put it up raw, as this is a pretty busy week for me.
Guest11: hadn't got any chat history showing so wasn't sure where u were all up to
juillet (Guest69): hi katherand
SandraDodd: So you can read the very many sterling suggestions made in the last hour and a half.
katherand: I want it cooked Sandra.
Guest11: that would be good
SandraDodd: You don't want it cooked by me... I forgot to turn the oven off so the carrots on top of the roast are dark
and dehydrated. Yuck.
katherand: But what's the question. You're anonymous so ask away. Guest 11. If you like.
RVB: The dog will like 'em.
SandraDodd: Guest 11, do you want us to do a little brainstorm over your five year old and what he's doing? (or she?)
RVB: The carrots, that is.
Guest11: yes please that would help a lot
SandraDodd: The compost pile and the worms will LOVE Them.
RVB: Lucky worms.
juillet (Guest69): maybe shadow the 5 yr old and help them thru situations--actively preventing the hitting ot whatever...is
that what you mean, guest 11?
SandraDodd: How long have you been unschooling parenting sweetly?
Guest11: he is a very "lively" "spirited" young man
SandraDodd: And how old are all our children?
Guest11: i have an 8 year old 5 year old a nd 3 year old.
katherand: OUR children, Sandra or Guest 11's?
Guest11: i am happy not to remain annonymous but don't know how to add my name
the 5 year old is a boy between 2 children
juillet (Guest69): hover over the green button
SandraDodd: OH! Your children, meant, sorry
juillet (Guest69): and add your name and then sign in as guest...that's what I did anyway
SandraDodd: Guest 11's.
WHAT green button?
juillet (Guest69): ...um...
SandraDodd: there's a triangle, on my screen
Guest11: done ..:-)
juillet (Guest69): I see a green button
ShannonBurton: I was thinking the samew thing...I am green button deficient.
juillet (Guest69): an oval
Guest11: oh maybe not
SandraDodd: A little grey triangle past "Guest11?
That's what I see.
I want to see a green oval now.
juillet (Guest69): oh...maybe it happened after I signed in
CapnFranko: No green symbols on my screen as a signed-in member.
ShannonBurton: I want a green button...i don't care what shape.
SandraDodd: Yeah, I'm jealous.
CapnFranko: Moi aussi!
juillet (Guest69): no, at the bottom of the screen on the right, just above the "powered by Geesee"
ShannonBurton: Me too (tm)
juillet (Guest69): it's a pretty green too
RVB: I want a button that says "mmmm, bacon"
ShannonBurton: No...I don't have one...waaaah!
CapnFranko: Yeah! Bacon!
juillet (Guest69): kind of chartreuse
juillet (Guest69): it says 'sign up"
ShannonBurton: juillet..that is not helping my jealousy!
CapnFranko: That's why we don't have it. We're already signed in.
juillet (Guest69): sorry... hhahahaa
SandraDodd: Are you straight into geesee and not on a page on my website?
Guest11: i've done it but my name is not appearing....no matter maybe it will be up next time
juillet (Guest69): ah, that's the key! "sign in as guest"
SandraDodd: Right, Guest11. You might show up as registered next time, or you could go out and come back in, but you
can put in a name for today.
For the last fifteen minutes.
We can just talk about your five year old boy, though.
Guest11: i have no idea i came from a link on your yahoo group.
RVB: Or just tell us your name!
CapnFranko: 15 minutes, then brunch with bacon!
ShannonBurton: Or you could just tell us your name!
mmmnnn...bacon.....had some yesterday......
SandraDodd: So there's an older child. A boy?
juillet (Guest69): no, it says chat chat chat chat and I see the beautiful book cover Holly made--cool!--and I see little links
Guest11: 1 girl 8, 1 boy 5 and 1 girl 3
SandraDodd: When the five year old was a baby, was he bullied by the older sibling?
SandraDodd: Are you the mom very still and peaceful?
Guest11: i am m_aduhene
RVB: Hi, Michelle.
CapnFranko: Hi, Michelle.
juillet (Guest69): hi michelle
Guest11: hi all
SandraDodd: Is your husband very still and peaceful?
Guest11: i have my moments particualry hormonal
SandraDodd: My question is really whether maybe you have an active, extrovert in a den of passive introverts,
Guest11: he is calmer than me but not around much he works a lot
SandraDodd: and what you're seeing is normal but unfamiliar.
But in any case, you had a baby boy.
Was he happy and sweet as a baby?
Guest11: my son is more the introvert he likes to be home a lot. my 8 year old is more the extrovert
he was happy and content bcos he was breastfed but then his sister came along when he was 2 and i got a pni and he had
to stop bfeeding
not sure if that affected him
SandraDodd: Yes you are. Certainly it affected him.
Or at least "probably."
Guest11: he can be still peacful, totally absorbed in something but every so often does things like throw his sister's toy in
the pool or jump upa sin a kick jump and get his sister.
he is probably the kindest of the three, can be helpful and very thoughful and a deep thinker.
being hungry, tired these can be triggers i watch for them
he is also allergic to eggs
SandraDodd: Does he have time and space of his own?
ShannonBurton: Michelle....mmine are similar ages.....I've found my daughter reacts later to things my son says/does
hours earlier...could that be happening?
SandraDodd: Does he get to be with you and his dad together sometimes, just him? Or with one or the other of you, just
When you get to read the transcript, look for sure at the part about the baby taking a nap, please
katherand: Shannon that's the way I still am... reacting later to things that happen. Some people do that.
Guest11: maybe but it doesn;t seem to be a "reaction" to somthing just a unprovoked action
ShannonBurton: she will also forget all self control when she needs to sleep. Help her to her bed(she needs to be there
when exhausted), and rub her back, and she's asleep in minutes.
SandraDodd: Actions don't have to be "provoked" to be attempts at communication.
Guest11: not nasty just well like he "had to do it"
no i guess not
he is very sensitive
SandraDodd: to think of it in terms of "provoked" (someone else's fault) or "unprovoked" (his fault) isn't good.
juillet (Guest69): do you think he just needs more snuggles? (guessing)..like the calm, nothing else matters, but you kind
SandraDodd: I think "nothing else matters but you" is important for every child.
hahamommy: This was a good time to practice Focus on the Message instead of the Delivery
juillet (Guest69): (thinking of the breastfeeding here...)
ShannonBurton: It could be a small comment...if my dd thinks ds has done anything to "diss" her favorites, she will try
to get even.
Guest11: the idea of being totally alone with one or other parent is good but hard becos daddy away a lto and 3 year old
still needing a lot of attention#
juillet (Guest69): totally, sandra
SandraDodd: BUT, you said, BGuest 11.
"the idea of being totally alone with one or other parent is good but hard "--find ways.
Make it a priority.
Your son will not be five for more than a year. "Is five too old?"
Guest11: i know . little one cries if not with me
no 5 is not too old
he is very young still
SandraDodd: Too old to need to have his needs met?
katherand: I know when I was a kid and I'd say I'm pretty sensitive (at least about myself that is ..;-) ), my attempts to
communicate were sideways so much of the time because my off the cuff things to say got misunderstood very easily
too. It was a switch to get thru
juillet (Guest69): do the 5 yr and the 3 yr nap at the same time of day?
Guest11: no and thats what i want to do just seems then older one feels left out to me
they don't nap at all
RVB: My back fence neighbor just said to her 3 year old son "Stop crying. You're not a baby." I shouted, "yes, he is!"
ShannonBurton: RVB...good for you!
CapnFranko: Good for you!
RVB: They went inside.
juillet (Guest69): "nothing else matters but you" can happen in little snippets, moments, words, throughout the day...
ShannonBurton: Frank....are we on the same wavelength today!
juillet (Guest69): rock on RVB!
RVB: Hot sexy backup chick that I am.
CapnFranko: Damned right! Just wait til Good Vibrations!
RVB: I would take that advice that I didn't take - get a mother's helper, Michelle.
Guest11: what if they all need u at once tho ?
i have 2 girls who are more than willing to come over but then i feel guilty
SandraDodd: The transcript won't be as easy to read at first as it might be later, but I'll put it here:
RVB: Still hoping to make it happen, Frank. Otherwise, I'll be seeing Diana!
hahamommy: see me either way!! .:-D
hahamommy: oooh the scary face again! sorry! ..:-)
ShannonBurton: Good Vibrations is where?
CapnFranko: That'd be fun, too. But the Greybeards need all the Hot, Sexy Backup Chicks they can get!
CapnFranko: GV is San Dieog in Sept.
SandraDodd: San Diego
hahamommy: Breathing, Shannon, is the first, best answer to any question ..;-)
ShannonBurton: Wish i was out west...you guys have all the cool stuff!
hahamommy: while waiting for that second, better option to kick in
SandraDodd: The second answer is "It depends"
ShannonBurton: I'm learning......
There'll be no stopping me when we move to OR!
Guest11: depends on what?
adversarian: Hiya guys, I'm late haha
SandraDodd: I am happy to say that I need to go and make a bed for Kirby!
katherand: DON'T feel guilty about a mother's helper. The kids will LUV it! And you'll get a little time to reflect, time to
yourself. Its GOOD!
ShannonBurton: Yes, you are......
adversarian: Yeah was busy picking strawberries tonight ..:-)
hahamommy: Yay Sandra! ..:-)
Guest11: yeah does that noe mean i'm not giving my children all of me tho?
ShannonBurton: I didn't know he was home.
SandraDodd: After all the bed making of the past two decades, today I'm very happy to make a special bed for my #1
hahamommy: or a time to focus on one kid at a time, even better!
SandraDodd: Holly will pick him up from the airport.
ShannonBurton: No...you are giving them you and then some!
CapnFranko: When our kids were really young and I was still working fulltime we had a fulltime nanny to help Ronnie.
It was goodf. It was even better when I quit and had more time at home.
Guest11: ok makes better sense that way
hahamommy: I feel most recharged as *diana* in those moments when I am being the best mommy diana can be ..:-)
ShannonBurton: Do enjoy it......revel in it!
juillet (Guest69): and do your best not to feel guilty about not being there for all of them all the time.
SandraDodd: When he was little I never thought "In 10 years he'll come and visit, and he'll have a younger sister who will
dibs the airport pickup!"
RVB: Guilt stopped me from getting a helper - thinking I should want to be with my little one every minute of the day. I
would've been a better mum if I'd allowed for the possibility of her enjoying someone else.
ShannonBurton: Diana...well said... I'm starting to feel more of myself...my writing has gotten a lot better, too!
hahamommy: a younger sister who will be EXCITED to pick up her biggest brother!
juillet (Guest69): that's so awesome Sandra
ShannonBurton: Segue.....I'm finally ready to share my blog.
SandraDodd: Michelle, I think there will be things in the transcript that will help you.
Guest11 (Michelle): rvb.makes sense and as we have no family nearby they are not getting benefits of that
ShannonBurton: sandra....life's little surprise packages!
hahamommy: Guilt should be the first voice in your head that your fire.
CapnFranko: Cool! My blog is my cut-rate psychiatrist. I get a lott shit out of my head on there.
Guest11 (Michelle): brilliant thanks sandra
hahamommy: Kill the martyr (mine resurrects like a damned mental zombie!!)
Guest11 (Michelle): lol
ShannonBurton: www.memismommy.blogspot.com....the early ones are hard reading.....grief stuff.
juillet (Guest69): we have no family nearby and I get sad of that too (with only 1 kid)
katherand: Michelle giving your kids ALL of you? Do they even want that? A few seconds here and there throughout
the day is WAY more attention than I had growing up. It'll probably work well that way.
RVB: No kidding, Diana. You'd think I'd been raised Catholic. Oh, I was! Anglican - Catholic without the confession.
AussieTammy: I'm going back to bed, I can hardly keep my eyes open. Glad I came though, this has been really helpful.
G'night (morning!) all.
Guest11 (Michelle): they seem to need mte to do a lot tho
adversarian: Sleep well Tammy ..:-)
juillet (Guest69): loving moments add up
ShannonBurton: Mine work well with what i call intersecting orbits...we cross each other's paths over and over
throughout the day, but have time to do our own things, too....
Guest11 (Michelle): as in play with them all at teh same time
RVB: Bye, Tammy
Guest11 (Michelle): read to them all different books
hahamommy: WoOt! I get to be your first follower, Shannon <3
CapnFranko: I LOVE volleyball! (grin)
ShannonBurton: No way...too cool...esp. since i love your blogs!
Volleyball?! I love spock.
hahamommy: I overwhelm Hayden, often at first, less so now, it's best to give him *me* in small doses ..;-)
juillet (Guest69): crum, I've got to go...take care ya'll!
ShannonBurton: Oh, and Jim!
RVB: Bye Juillet.
ShannonBurton: Yeah....i have this word thing..I'm starting to notice when Miah's eyes glaze over!
Guest11 (Michelle): so i am not neglecting them if they are doing somehting without me the homeschooling police won't swoop
katherand: Unfettered.. I like that, Shannon.
SandraDodd: Thanks for being here everybody. Feel free to stay as long here as you want to.
ShannonBurton: he'd rather read than listen to me natter on...unfettered is a BIG thing for me...I am essentially a wild
Helping straighten out problems