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Posts Tagged ‘discipline’

There are days that I feel like my 2 year old has got some major behavior issues to work on and then I turn on Supernanny or Nanny 9-1-1 and I decide she’s pretty good after all.

I found a book at a local thrift store by Supernanny Jo Frost.  “How to Get the Best From Your Children” and I was excited to read it.  Those nannies always work wonders on the show, so I bought it.

The first thing I was happy about is that I already do 80% of the things suggested in the book!  Yea, so I’m off to a good start.

A few things I learned by reading this book:

  • Don’t say “If” to your child, say “when”  i.e. “When you put your shoes on” (not if you put your shoes on.) We will go to the park.  If gives them an option.  I liked this tip, so I tried it out right away, and Jojo is right……it works like a charm.
  • Use the “Voice of Authority”  I’ve made it a goal this month not to yell at Grace.  As patient as I am, I will admit, there are days when I lose it and start yelling.  I know this isn’t constructive, but sometimes it happens.  Jojo says to avoid yelling, go over to your child, bend down so that you’re not towering over her, look her in the eye, hold her arm and explain in an authoritative voice (no yelling, or gritting teeth) what you want your child to do.  Again, I loved this tip, so I put it to practice right away.  This takes care of situations 90% of the time…..Thanks Jojo!
  • Instead of “time outs” Jojo uses the “naughty step” or the “naughty chair”  it’s the same as a time out, but she says that there’s nothing wrong with a child knowing that what they did was “naughty”  I never really thought about this.  It’s not that you constantly want to tell your child that they are being naughty, but I don’t think it hurts to let them know once in awhile that what they did was naughty and that’s why they are taking a time out.

She gives tips on everything from potty training to picky eaters, getting your child to stay in bed, getting dressed, TV, whining, discipline and boundaries.

Again, I was glad that I already to lots of things suggested in the book like the “Involvement Technique” where you involve your child in whatever you’re doing, cooking, shopping, cleaning, etc. and I picked up several good tips for a few things that I was at a loss for.  So all in all, I was pleased with this book.

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Some people call it discipline, some call it child rearing, some call it parenting.  Proverbs 22:6 tells us to “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”  No matter what you call it or how you go about it, every parent  has the same responsibility…..to train their children.  Our job as parents is to teach our children to be good citizens, to respect authority, to follow rules and laws, and to teach them acceptable social behavior.  As parents, we are accountable to society and ultimately to God for our child’s behavior.  This is a daunting task.  Every child is different, every family has different circumstances, every parent has different resources.

Grace was a VERY good and easy baby to care for.  She transitioned very easily to everything, most things she transitioned from before I even tried to transition her (nursing, table food, giving up bottles, binky’s, sleeping in her own room, etc.)  One of my friends told me that this is because Grace is strong willed.  “Strong Willed?”  I thought, she was going to be a very obedient child……well, my friend was right.  She has raised 3 strong willed children.  She told me that she could tell that Grace was strong willed because she was so easy and so good as a baby.  She started sleeping through the night when she was 5 weeks old, and when iit came time for her to sleep in her own bed, she didn’t have any problems transitioning, no problems using a cup, giving up her bottle and so many other transitions in life.  She told me that strong willed babies are easy to take care of until they are about 15 months and then you wake up one day and you don’t know who they are, their behavior changes drastically. 

When she was telling me this information, I thought to myself….”we’ll just see about that.”  Well the day came when Grace turned 15 months and she was still as sweet and as easy to care for as ever.  “See” I thought to myself, “she’s not strong willed, this is going to be a breeze.”  Then God laughed……a week after Grace turned 2, she was a different child.  Crying about EVERYTHING,  throwing a fit, wanting to do EVERYTHING herself and when things she wanted to do were not safe for her to do, and I wouldn’t let her do them, she SCREAMED her head off.  She’d take off running in public places and scare me to death.  She’d be sassy and then laugh about it…….”WHERE did this child come from?  This is not MY little Gracie.  What happened to my little sweetie?”  Some kids go through the 2’s stage when they’re 2, some when they’re 3, well Grace decided to go through the 2’s in FULL FORCE a week after her birthday.  She caught me totally off guard and I was at a loss for what to do.  She didn’t listen for one, so I could tell her to stop and she wouldn’t stop running. (She thought it was funny, well it was EMBARASSING to take her out in public is what it was.)  I had to figure out what to do and FAST.

After much prayer about her behavior, I came up with a few ideas, and most of them have helped us through this stage, so I hope that some of them will help you as you and your 2 year old go through this journey together. 

  • I had to find what works for Grace.  She is VERY social, so time outs work very well for her.  When she’s on a time out, she has to go sit on her bed with only her juice cup, and she has to stay on her bed until the timer rings (we set it for 2min,30 sec.  If she gets up before the timer rings, I reset the timer back to the original time and we start the time out over.)
  • When she’s done with her time out, she has to come out and apologize to whomever it was that she did something against.  Her friend, Grandma, Myself, etc.
  • I target a behavior to tame and we work on it until she gets it and then we move on to the next one that needs to be worked on.  I started doing this because when we first hit the 2’s, it was SO overwhelming, so I decided to choose my battles wisely, and what I found is that working on one behavior at a time works well for Grace and usually by working on that behavior, some of the other behaviors that aren’t so emergent go away too.
  • I use a positive parenting approach. I say “Grace can you please put this towel in the laundry for me?”  when she does it, I say “Thank you for being such a good helper!”  (If she tells me “No”, then I take her by the hand and make her do the task anyway.  Because of this reinforcement, she usually does it the first time that I ASK her to do it, again if she doesn’t do it after I ASK her to do it, I tell her to do it and assist her in doing the task.)
  • Instead of saying “stop jumping on the bed”  I say, “Grace, I need you to sit down for me.”  (so instead of giving her a negative command, I say it in a positive way and the end result is still the same, she stops jumping on the bed.  I just don’t want it to always be “stop this, don’t do that.” etc.
  • Our “Keyword” is “Obey”  I don’t say, you need to listen, you need to mind, etc.  I say “Grace, you need to obey mommy.”  By using the same word consistently, she knows that when I say that she needs to “Obey” that she needs to do it or there will be a consequence.
  • We also sing a song called “O-B-E-Y” to help her learn what it means to obey.
  • I also use losing priviledges when she doesn’t obey.  She likes gum now, so if she’s not listening and obeying, I tell her that if she doesn’t obey, she will need to spit her gum out.  She’s pretty quick to obey once tell her that she’ll have to spit her gum out if she’s not obeying.
  • I use rewards when she does obey.  Sometimes it’s a hug& kiss, high five, or a “Thank you for obeying mommy.  It makes mommy VERY happy when you obey.”

A few things that I’ve learned are:

Pick your battles, not everything is worth it, and at this age, not everything is an issue of obedience, some things are just because she’s a baby.  I’ve had to figure out how to seperate that out.  For example, she went through a phase not long ago where she’d take her pony tails out in the car.  I was getting very frustrated about it and then I realized that she’s not taking them out to be naughty, she’s being a baby, so now we wait to put her pony tails in her hair until we get where we’re going.

Be consistent.  If screaming= a time out this time, screaming has to =a time out EVERY time, other wise she’ll scream because she knows that it’s worth the risk because sometimes she doesn’t get in trouble for it.  If you’re consistent, the behavior will go away.

The punishment has to = the offense.  That means that if she’s picking her nose and I give her a time out for it but then when she’s screaming her head off, I let her scream and just leave the room, she will learn quickly that she’ll get in trouble for the little stuff and that she may or may not get in trouble for the big things, so she may as well push her limits and see what she can get away with.

If mom says it, IT’S THE LAW.  That means that if it comes out of my mouth, I HAVE to follow through with it whether it’s something positive or negative.  So, if I say that we’re going to the zoo……..we HAVE to go to the zoo, no if’s, ands, or buts.  I said it, we’re doing it.  Same thing if I say “Grace, stop screaming or I’ll turn off your movie.”  Once I say it, I HAVE to do it, so if she doesn’t stop screaming, I HAVE to follow through with what I said, and turn the movie off, otherwise she’ll do whatever she wants because she’ll know that I’m just giving her empty threats and that I wont’ turn her movie off.

In the end, YOU are the parent, the boss, and YOU are in charge.  You have to do what is best for you and your child.  Especially as a single parent, MANY people will give you their 2 cents about how you should raise and parent your child.  Remember that YOU are the one who accounts to God and to society for how your child is raised, you are not accountable to that person who approves or disapproves of your parenting methods.  You have to do what is right for your family and what works for your child.

WOW, it’s a lot of hard work being a parent.  I better head to bed so I have energy to be a great mom tomorrow!  I hope some of these ideas work for you.  Please share what you’ve found that works for your family!

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