Have you ever felt like what you were doing just wasn’t enough? Or questioned your own methods? Or faced a dilemma that you weren’t sure of the best possible solution (or felt like there weren’t any at all). I’m not crying the poor me’s. I’m not fishing for compliments. However, maybe an opinion or two might help.
We’re at our wits end, which also where our rope ends and our sanity blows away in the wind. Discipline is such a tough issue. The how to, when to, where to, gets complicated and everyone seems to have different methods, strictness, and outcomes. So the conversation of discipline can get a bit heated.
We have tried the time outs that last as long as their age. They don’t really work on our boys. Sure it stops them from doing what they were doing that got them a time out in the first place. However, it doesn’t stop the behavior indefinitely. Five minutes to an hour to the next day they’re right back to doing whatever it was they did wrong to earn them yet another time out. So we’ve progressed to bedroom timeouts. They have no toys in their bedrooms. No TV. Just a bed, a dresser, and books. So they’re what I call “reading timeouts”. They usually last between 15-20 minutes. Bang took a reading timeout for nearly an hour one day.
That’s just one method. We take away fun stuff when they misbehave. Usually it’s electronics. But that doesn’t really work because once the electronics are out of sight they forget about them in lieu of other (often better) things to do (their screen time is limited to a 1/2 hour to an hour per day, anyway, depending on the situation).
Lately, Bang has been driving us mad. He’s pure threenager. His preferred method of communication is whining and screaming. I would prefer he communicate in words. Hell, I’ll accept Navajo code at this point. He’s a typical three year old who knows what he wants and likes and won’t accept anything as a substitute. Unfortunately, this results in some meltdowns. Most meltdowns are resolved quickly. Few require him to be removed from the situation completely and spend some quiet time in his room either alone or being read to. Even this isn’t fool proof, though. Most times, his timeout works. However, there is the odd occasion when he’s fine in his room but as soon as he leaves it he remembers what it was that upset him and we’re back to square one.
Contrary to my Facebook depiction, life isn’t always picture perfect of pure cuteness and fun. Sometimes it involves an argument. Crash is 7 going on 15. Everything has to be an argument. With the smaller arguments I’ll let him have his way in hopes that he’ll learn that what his mom and I tell to do is for good reason. Like when he refuses to put on a sweatshirt to go outside and 5 minutes later he’s cold. I’ll ask him “What did you learn about the weather today?” and he’ll tell me “Put on a coat when it’s cold outside.” See, he learns. Unfortunately, it’s like me… the hard way. What happens if I put my head in this cinder block? Oh, it gets stuck. (I plead the fifth) However, we have come to learn that some of his arguing and anger has been learned by observing a classmate. He’s mimicking poor attitude. Let the talks commence. We will talk to him until we are blue in the face and hope that something sinks in. He will lose privileges and gain chores and homework. He does have teachers for parents, after all.
Furthermore, he’s going to be held to more responsibilities. He’s had chores before, but somehow they got pushed aside and forgotten about. Not anymore. I’m going to put reminders on the fridge. Dry the dishes. Load and unload the dishwasher. Vacuum. Make beds (all of three of them). Help with laundry. Clean up his toys.
Things are going to change around our house. It’ll be for the better, even though Crash and Bang won’t recognize it as “for the good of the family”. Order will be restored.
Do you have any creative disciplining techniques you’d like to share? Has the behavior/attitude of one family member affected the whole family? How did you resolve it?