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    How do you discipline a kid that times himself out?

    May 27th, 2010

    I know discipline is important. It’s important to start early. We do lots of redirecting in our home, paired with counting and some time-outs for serious crimes. But I’ve hit a new ceiling. How do you discipline a kid that counts themselves into trouble?

    Case in point.

    We’re trying to get G to NOT walk or stand while on the couch. This is mostly for his safety as he’s tumbled onto the floor now on two separate occasions. But he thinks it’s a game. Yesterday he gets up on the couch and blatantly stands and walks around while I’m sitting there next to him. Of course grinning ear-to-ear. We engage in the following discussion:

    Me: G, I need you to sit down please

    G: [cackle]

    Me: Ok, that’s one!

    G: [laugh]

    Me: That’s two!

    G: Tree!!! (while STILL standing mind you!)

    And there you have it. G knows that three (or in his case “tree”) follows two, and he’s happy to participate in the counting game. BUT IT’S NOT A GAME, KID! You’re in trouble, and you just hurried yourself into it!

    So since he counted himself out, he got removed from the couch (which is what I was going to do if I got to 3 on my own).

    The thing is that this is the second time now he’s done that. He gives himself the 3 count, which has the same result as if I would’ve counted.

    I don’t really know what else to do here. The consequence is the same no matter who gets to 3, but why is this fun for him? Is this him disrespecting authority? Do I need to be harsher in consequences if he counts vs. me?


    Don’t bite. Push him instead!

    February 11th, 2010

    On our way out the door this morning S had some parting words for G: “Remember! Don’t bite. Push him down instead!”

    No, we’re not trying to raise a bully, but late last week when we went to collect our angel from daycare Miss J told us that he attempted to bite 6 times that day. This made my blood run cold as 1) G’s never done this before (at home or at school); 2) biting is a serious offense; and 3) in some schools cause for expulsion if it can’t be resolved (and I really, REALLY like our school). Miss J said that they would keep an eye on G though and see what could possibly be provoking him to bite. Luckily it seemed to be a one day thing, since we didn’t receive any reports that he kept trying… until yesterday.

    Yesterday, G made chompers contact. So much so, that the school had to write an Ouch Report for the victimized child and we were notified too. However, Miss J, under-breath also said “I don’t blame G! The other kid was pushing G around. G tried everything else, and since he can’t talk yet, finally bit the kid and that did the trick.” So a part of me is relieved that G only bit because he was provoked, but I’m bummed he has to result to this extreme.

    Hence the encouragement from S this morning.

    I did sneak a peak at the Ouch Report file this morning. It’s out in the open, so it wasn’t all that difficult. It said “Z was pestering another child and got bit as a result.” In a way I’m glad that the parents of little Z were told that there was provocation. I’m also relieved that G’s name wasn’t  written down.

    Still, I’m not thrilled for this to keep happening. While talking would hlp, I can’t decide if a rich dictionary of words will be helpful in this case. Sure, G will be able to defend himself better (verbally), but knowing my potty mouth, and what he’ll learn from me, he’ll have some choice words to add.

    I need to re-think this time-out thing

    January 30th, 2010

    I’m not perfect at this, but I’m really trying to be judicious over what we will allow G to do and not do. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m lax on a lot of things (you wanna play with a fork, kid? sure!) and yes, I cave in on a lot of his requests after a certain amount of whining (Ok, fine — you can take my computer mouse), but I really want to put my foot down on the big stuff. I also want to let him know when I mean business and that getting in trouble has consequences.

    I’m trying to establish a “time out” zone for G. I wanted somewhere he won’t easily run away from, but not used for other purposes. His dining room chair is out. While it fulfills part I of the requirement, it fails horribly in part II and I didn’t want him to associate eating with being in trouble. So I had an epiphany: the Bumbo chair. He never sat in it much as a wee one: we still have it downstairs, and he’s got a small enough rear, he can still fit.

    So I tried it (during a legitimate timeout offense, I assure you)!

    Fail 1: I thought that he’d be small enough to still sit in it, but too big to be able to get out on his own. Wrong!!! 10 seconds into Time Out, G just got up and rolled away. I put him back in, he rolled away again.

    Fail 2: A week later, I come to see this:

    That’s right: in the middle of his play-space, G got one of his toys and quietly crept into his Bumbo and decided to play.

    What gives, kid? Now, what am I supposed to do for a time-out chair? If he thinks Bumbo is for fun, it’s no good as a “you’re in trouble, Young Man” thinking place.

    Darn kid! Neutralized my parenting weaponry even before we got going.

    Back to the drawing board…

    My angel is a hitter :(

    December 23rd, 2009

    It’s true. G hits!

    For awhile now he’s been throwing temper tantrums. Well, he’s now taken it to a whole other level. G got a hold of the remote control in our bedroom this morning while I was getting dressed. He sure loves those buttons! Once I was ready we needed to go, so I took it out of his arms. Yeah, I was expecting his normal screaming in disapproval, but I was not expecting a smack and a head butt.

    S and I are not voilent people. We do not hit him or each other, so this behavior is very foreign to me. I understand it can come with G’s age: he can’t communicate to tell us why he’s upset so he’s turning to physical expression.

    I asked one of his daycare teachers if he hits in school and my heart sank to hear her say “Yes!” She said when he’s upset he’ll bang his head against a table (that explains the forehead bruises), which they redirect to the soft padded area of the room. He’s also started to hit. Why has no-one brought this up before? She didn’t sound concerned about it and used the “Well, he’s a little boy” reasoning. I’m hoping the focus was more on  “little” than on the “boy”, because irregardless of gender, I can’t stand for a child that’s abusive to those around him. The good news is he doesn’t do it unprovoked, so there’s no danger of him walking up to you and behaving violently.

    However, hitting is not acceptable in our home and I want it to stop. Pronto!

    I think we’re going to have to start with time-outs. I’ve read 1-2-3 Magic and really get behind the principles behind it. My hold-up has been his comprehension. The other day when I said that I feel it lets him get away with a bit more than if he was older is biting me in the rear. I just feel like he’s not really understanding what I’m saying to him, so what’s the point of a warning? The book even states it’s meant for kids 2+. I’m reading Love & Logic Magic now which can be applied to younger kids. Hopefully it will give me some better techniques with his age.

    Meanwhile, I think I’m going to re-purpose the Bumbo chair to his time-out spot. I don’t have a dedicated time-out area in our house yet, and I guess it’s time to assign one. The Bumbo feels as good as any: he still fits in it and can’t get out without assistance. I don’t use the Bumbo for anything else, so I’m also not fearing him associating any other activity while in that chair as punishment.

    Also, I need to be clearer why he shouldn’t hit. I’ve told him not to, but not what his hitting causes.

    Ugh… toddler-hood. I’m seeing a glimpse into the terrible two’s and I’m not thrilled.

    Oh, and for the record: while unpleasant to listen to, I think I still prefer the tantrums.