Friday, December 3, 2010

Discipline ideas?

I'm putting out a general call for creative discipline ideas! Right now I don't want to read any books so I'm taking the shortcut route and asking you instead.

I feel that the negative consequences we're giving Chickie right now are hit or miss in terms of their effectiveness. We do mostly time outs, grounding (longer than a time out), and loss of TV/computer privileges.

We don't spank and right now that's not something I want to add to our discipline plan.

Chickie's a "tester;" she likes to see what she can get away with. She's not the most compliant kid, which can make things challenging for me (since I was very compliant as a child.) But I love her independence and creativity; I just want to channel it in the right direction.

Thanks in advance!


Heidi said...

I will be curious to hear responses, because I am in the same boat with my 4 year old . . I thought it would get better by now, (he started his "terrible 2's" at 14mo) but it only seems to be getting worse now that he has stronger opinions . . .

Melinda said...

I haven't tried it myself because Ian is still so young, but maybe one of those behavior charts. Set up a set punishment and reward for her behavior and chart it out so she can see how often she was naughty and lost out on rewards. Maybe seeing how much she misses out on will help to limit her testing you. But what do I know, I am just guessing here. haha.

Ian is also a "tester" and it is really hard for us to get an effective punishment with him right now. Time outs work best when he will actually stay sitting for them.

Good luck.

Angela said...

Chickie and Paige are so much alike!! We've been going through this for a little while now and I've found 2 things that work for us. First we still start with a time out so Paige can calm herself down. And we tell her that's what the time is for. We sit her in the bathroom where there's no outside stimulus. No toys, can't hear us talk, etc. It's a good way for all of us to regroup. Then we take away her favorite toy. It becomes mine for a set period of time but always at least overnight. Our second punishment is actually positive reinforcement. Paige thrives on it. We have a sticker chart. If she gets a sticker everyday she gets a special treat. Tonight we're taking her to a Christmas event downtown. The reward doesn't have to cost anything. It could be a movie from redbox for cheap, or one on one time at the park with Mommy. Good luck I know how hard this can be.

Smoochiefrog said...

We have a 1-2-3 system in place. If K is acting in a manner that isn't appropriate, I start counting to three. She has until 3 to stop or she'll either be sent to the steps to sit or she'll get spanked if it's happened more than once (it hardly ever gets to this point).

My tadpoles (all 4 of them) have gone through this system, and it works like a champ. They're so well versed in it that if we're in a place where I can't count out loud, all I have to do is count on my fingers. Nine times out of 10, the behavior has stopped by the time I get to 2.

On the rare occasions that I get to three, and it's a repeat offense, they will get spanked. That's why it hardly gets to that point, they don't want that to happen. :)

The biggest thing is to be consistent. If you say they'll have a punishment if you get to 3, follow through, even if it ends in a minor spanking. Counting to 3 gives them the opportunity to gain self-control, which is a much needed self discipline. If you show that you mean it, they will quickly learn that they don't want you to get to 3.

Eternal Lizdom said...

Well, read my blog. My daughter is the headstrong, independent, limit pushing type. I won't claim to know what I'm doing... but I do think we have some victories and get things exactly right sometimes! I've shared about how I really struggled as this personality came out in her more and more because it is so not like me or my husband.

One thing that Teagan really responds to initially (it is ineffective long term but works well for about a week to get her on track) is a reward system. If she can earn stickers on a chart, she's a happy camper. She also likes having responsibility- she feels important when she is in charge of something. She also craves praise. I hate doling out praise- I like to compliment and praise in a genuine way but she's like a praise junkie. She needs to be confident that she is pleasing us and making good choices. So we have to give her those boosts.

We try to only go a punishment route for extreme situations (like our bullying problem a few weeks ago). We will use a brain break (like a time out but not a forced period of time- more of a time for her to sit on her bed until her attitude has changed; she is free to join the family once she changes her attitude) sometimes.

Um... and we started seeing it around age 4 and she's now almost 6 and it gets worse and not better because the challenges just get more difficult to solve. To be fair, it gets better, too, because the joys get that much deeper.

Also... find her currency and use it, use it, use it. Find what really matters to her- it isn't just a punishment thing. Currency is a reward thing and a channeling thing, too. She loves to paint- but painting is a special activity you earn by making good choices.

We seem to be falling into a mantra in our house- when you make good choices, good things can happen. We just try to emphasize that. When the kids aren't making good choices and are testing limits and being mean and all that, we odn't go out to eat, we don't go to special events at church, we turn down playdate invites, we don't go to the library, etc. Not because it's a punishment- but because those things are a privilege and you get to go when you show us tha tyou can make good choices. We've had to trun down birthday aprty invites because Teagan was having bad day after bad day after bad day. Well, mean mom that I am- I made her go to the party to give her gift to her friend but not stay for cake or anything. She handled it with so much grace that I let her stay and play in the bounce house for 15 minutes and then we left.

Anyway- you'll figure it out. I'm going to stop typing now or else I'll never stop!

Melody said...

Isn't it crazy how the same characteristics such as creativity and independence can be so wonderful and difficult at the same time? It has been my experience that the things that really work well are also the most difficult for mom. :( If consequences or "rewards" can be closely tied to behavior I believe it has by far the most impact. It takes a lot of time and effort to make that happen, though. For instance, if bad behavior is related to toys then the toys would be taken away. Then if you can be diligent to watch and when she is sharing or whatever the issue is give the toys back at that point. So often if there is a time limit or whatever a strong-willed child simply makes the decision that it is worth it to them to live without it for two days or whatever. They are sooooo smart. This also works with special things given for good behavior. For instance, is she has been still and quiet when you needed her to be then a special trip to a movie, play or whatever where that would be important would be in order. This is lots of work on mom's end but pays big dividends! :)

SurvivorBlessing said...

Well, it seems that most disciplines only work for a certain time anyway, because the kids grow up and things just change. Like time-outs will only work for so long.... Though, I don't like when kids get send to their room for time-outs. Not only are there too many toys to play with, so it's not really a time-out. But also they don't really see the 'fun' they are missing out - like when the siblings keep playing and the one child is excluded.
Once they come out of time-out I make them tell me why they were in time-out. So it gives them and me a chance to review the bad behavior. I also ask if it was okay and if we are doing it again.
I also use the 1-2-3-system. And like the one lady said before, it works on my oldest like a charm, MOST times. One points out that what they are doing is wrong and it gives them a chance to change that, or they will be punished.

We also do the taking-away-of-a-toy, like when it was not treated nicely. Depending what happened and with how much (not so nice) attitude, that determines for how long it will be taken away.

No matter what the punishment is, BE CONSISTENT. It is actually much harder than one would think. Like I forgot once that I took the TV away and when I was asked if it is okay to watch it, I said yes.... about five minutes into the show I remembered. Oh well.
Positive reinforcement seems to work as well. I try to point it out whenever I get a chance, and also tell what GOOD thing will now happen that we all played nicely.

Expectations is also something that the adult has to think about. I mean we can expect little ones to be real quiet for about five to ten minutes when making a really important phone call. But we can't expect them to be that quiet for an hour while we chat on the phone with our best friend. So as a parent one should think about that.

I am also for punishing right on the spot when it happened! Not like I have seen the mother say: "we talk about it later at home" - yeah and the child will remember?

Never had to do the chart thing or reward system with stickers. But I can tell that I will get there with the youngster - she is a tester. So I will come back to you and ask for advise....

Lara said...

I know you don't want to read a book, but Love and Logic by Jim Fay is amazing. Lots of natural consequences and it really teaches responsibility.

Anonymous said...

My step children are much older but we don't spank them either. What we found was helpful was taking away the toys or in our case books that they like to read when they are grounded. If they have something they like in their room to even just look at that goes in the closest as well. My step daughter doesn't like it when we don't talk to her so in a "grounding situation" she doesn't get to do the fun things and has to be in her room with no one socializing with her. They have been grounded less since we started doing that.

Anonymous said...

Center For Effective Discipline:

Becky said...

No brilliant suggestions here, but I wanted to let you know I'm in the same boat. My 4-year-old is a MAJOR tester and, like you, I was a very compliant child so I am at a loss. I do agree with what someone said about finding their currency. For my own 4-year-old, the most effective thing does seem to be time-outs because the thing he hates more than anything is to be by himself. But even that is hit-and-miss as a discipline strategy. According to psychological theory, positive reinforcement is much more effective than negative consequences, for what that's worth. I've had limited success with it, personally. For my own kid, I've found that he behaves badly when he's 1) tired, 2) hungry, 3) overstimulated. It seems like he's always one of the above, but if I can remove the cause I see a HUGE improvement in his behavior. Good luck and be sure to let me know if you find a solution that works for you, so I can try it. :-)