Friday, March 26, 2010

Family Friday - Discipline

Last Friday, we talked about consistency and how crucial it is in discipline. This week, I'd like to look at and basic discipline strategies.

First you need to decide what behavior requires discipline and what things you'll let go.

I firmly believe in the time out strategy because it works for us (as a first step).

Ever since Hannah was 15 months old, we've employed the timeout strategy. When she would touch the buttons on the TV repeatedly, she would have to sit in a the chair (with us sitting next to her) for 1 minute. Eventually she realized that she'd be confined if she did not listen and she stopped touching the TV buttons.

Now, Hannah's up to 4 minutes in time out. It is recommended that kids spend one minute per each year of age in time out. If she doesn't calm down, or if she starts throwing things or mouthing off, her time out gets bumped up until she calms down. She's spent as long as 30 minutes in her room.

If she refuses to go into time out, she will be warned again, and as a last resort, I am not totally opposed to a paddle on the bottom. I'm NOT a fan of spanking. Usually it doesn't work and creates more aggression in Hannah - so it's avoided.

We also have, on a case by case basis added or altered punishments for her. She's gone to bed at 6:30 without dessert (which is tragic to her), we've taken away TV and her DS, and we've left places she enjoys.

Last year we went to the pumpkin patch with her friends. Hannah had a terrible attitude. She was cranky and rude. So we left. Was it hard? YES! I wanted to stay! But it spoke volumes to her that I'd stick to my guns. She now knows that we WILL leave if she doesn't behave.

You'll should only have to do this one or two times. Kids learn quickly! But, you need to be ready to do it! This may mean time out in a grocery store (we've done it.) Consistency every time lets your child know, they will not win. It's hard!

Finally, the most important part of discipline is making your children understand WHAT behavior was wrong and how to ask for FORGIVENESS for their actions

When we put Hannah in time out, we tell her why she's there. After her time is up, we go back into her room and ask HER why she's there to see if she understands what she has done wrong. Finally she must apologize for her actions - even if that means calling her friends or apologizing to those outside the family. We then have hugs and kisses and the behavior is forgotten...until the next time.

1 comment:

  1. I was a big fan of punishing with time outs (like Super Nanny, we call it the "Naughty Spot.") For awhile, it seemed like we didn't need to use any punishment with our daughter. But recently, she started getting a smart mouth and not listening. So, I pulled out the old Naughty Spot punishment (now up to 7 minutes!) and found that it still works! In fact, I only had to use it for 2 days and it got us back on track. At first, you feel like you are putting them on the naughty spot all the time. But if you are consistant, they get the message! So big thumbs up for using time out, no matter what you call it!


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