What are your ‘big guns’ for discipline?

“Children are not listening. I’ve taken away video games, computer and TV. Made Walsh run laps around the backyard this afternoon and clean up after the baby. And they are still being wild and not listening to their Mother. The big guns are coming out — I’ve just got to figure out what those are!”

This was my Facebook status last week when Michael was out of town. The kids were going crazy at home, especially around bedtime, and my little guy was getting into trouble at school. And my normal methods of discipline didn’t seem to be having an impact.

I think part of their craziness is because they haven’t had enough physical activity since it’s been so cold for so many weeks.

I also think they get into a pack mentality and feed off of each other – especially close to bed time. All three of them, even the baby, just get sillier and sillier. They laugh wildly and then start the fake Tae Kwon Do battle in the hallway. And then Rose pulls out the opera singing while she karate chops Walsh in the chest.

Sometimes I think you just need to send them to the basement to let them Battle Royale it out. Obviously not the baby in a free-for-all but the older two are in the same weight class.  I can remember wrestling with my older brother and you were exhausted afterward.

I’m not sure why my son just keeps making bad choices at school. He can’t seem to control his reaction to things even knowing he’s going to get in trouble at school and at home.

I have popped a bottom or two (with my hand) but I’m not a big hitter. I don’t think it accomplishes much other than to teach them to hit.

I am liking the running of laps around the backyard. It’s immediate. It runs off energy. It’s something they hate.  And it’s easy for me to enforce.

I did it at my mother’s house yesterday. Walsh was playing a little roughly with his cousin so I took out front to the cul-de-sac to run some laps. After five laps around I didn’t have any more problems from him.

I think maybe tired kids are good kids.

What are your favorite methods of discipline when they don’t seem to be getting the message? What do you do to calm them down when they’ve gotten into pack mentality and are being crazy? Do you let them wrestle it out? Are you seeing more discipline issues since they’ve been trapped inside so much? What are your ‘big guns’ of discipline?

Editors Note: Guys, sorry I didn’t post on Friday, I am sick yet again!!! Our family has passed around three rounds of illness over the last five weeks and I’m just so done with being sick!!!

134 comments Add your comment

Robin

March 1st, 2010
9:36 am

I am hoping to hear some good ideas for discipline. Our dear child was INSANE yesterday, and nothing got through to her. Help!

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

March 1st, 2010
9:41 am

I’m hoping too!!! We need some good parents to show up and tell us!!! I am liking the running laps — I do think they need more exercise and just aren’t getting it with the cold!

oneofeach4me

March 1st, 2010
9:46 am

Well… at least now I know I am not alone!

Like you, I also have to find alternative ways to discipline my children. Spaking my son just doesn’t work, it just pisses him off and nothing gets acomplished and there is no behavior improvement there. What I have to do with him is make him sit alone for a few minutes, or I take him to his room and tell him when he thinks he can calm down and listen and respect people then he can join the rest of us downstairs. I have to admit, I REALLY like the running laps thing and think I will try it out. He is only four, but requires SO much physical activity and like you mentioned, other than the snow day the kids haven’t been able to get out much.

Of course boys and girls are different. So with my daughter the spaking works, but she only gets one when she blantenly defies me and disrespects adults. She is 8 (almost 9) and has a REAL issue with this. She likes to CONSTANTLY argue her point, even if she is wrong, which most of the time she is. Disciplining her is exhausting to say the least. She also got to the point where she would play around and not get her chores done not to mention her room stays a MESS. At first we gave her an allowance to do chores. But when she didn’t want to do them, she would just say she doesn’t want any money. SO… I made coupons good for 30 minutes of TV time or 30 min outside time that she has to EARN. And if she hasn’t earned it, she will just read in her room. And here is the catch, cleaning the kitchen and folding clothes are HER chores. If she decides one day she doens’t want to do either one and they dishes and clothes pile up… she only gets ONE coupon per time she does the chore. She doesn’t get 4 coupons for doing 4 days worth at one time. So far.. this is working wonders!!

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

March 1st, 2010
9:49 am

I like the computer coupon — walsh would respond to that.

Jeff

March 1st, 2010
9:56 am

Can’t contribute as I only have one (that I’m aware of, insert punch line here), so I don’t feel qualified to give input to a parent of multiple. I imagine it’s an entirely different scenario and I’m not going to be so self-import to say I can understand.

I’ll be taking tips from you all today.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

March 1st, 2010
10:01 am

Jeff – i think if you have soemthing that works even for One it could be valuable for people with multiple kids — I think it’s about finding methods to match personalities –what works for some kids will not inspire others — the multiple kids does add a different elements because they absolutely feed off of each other — and get bad when the others are bad

RJ

March 1st, 2010
10:10 am

Raising kids is definitely the most difficult of all jobs! My son can definitely be a handful. Your son is behaving as any other little boy behaves. Young boys have difficulty sitting for long periods of time. They can also be quite impulsive. I’m sure if you ask him WHY he made a poor decision he’ll tell you he doesn’t know. Truth be told, he doesn’t. Just keep reminding him of your expectations. Ask the teacher what time of day he begins to really act out. Come up with some positive reinforcement activities that may, and I emphasize may help. Perhaps he can have a behavior chart that’s completed daily or weekly by the teacher (my daughter’s teachers did this in Kdg and 1st grades). If he earns a certain number of smiley faces or stays on green for MOST of the week he can earn a special priviledge. Maybe he can play video games for 15 minutes on a school night. Just a suggestion. My son is 11 and he has to earn his priviledges every day. He must show me his agenda with all assignments written down and signed by his teacher (he attends a private school where 6th grade is still elementary). No agenda with a signature means no phone, computer or TV. This has worked wonders.

I love the idea of running laps. They may need to go into the basement before bathtime and battle it out. Once they take that warm bath, they’re probably ready to pass out. Also, you’ve mentioned that your husband is more of the disciplinarian. With dad gone they decided to get a little loose. Just be firm and let them know what your expectations are, then follow through on any and all consequences. That’s a tough one for me. But I’ve learned that if I don’t they will just try to go further the next time.

I got my daughter really good in 5th grade once. She was constantly talking and just refused to shut up, plus she’d been misbehaving in the hall. Well a friend gave me some of her daughter’s clothes she couldn’t wear anymore. My daughter had no interest in wearing hand me downs. Well, after 2 weeks of talking I pulled out 2 outfits from that bag of clothes and made her wear them. She had to wash them every other day. Of course someone pointed out that she’d just worn that outfit. I told her to tell them that it was clean. After 2 weeks of wearing the same 2 outfits I didn’t have anymore problems. She couldn’t wear her Mary Kate and Ashley outfits and it was killing her. That was better than any spanking I could’ve given!

They also are able to earn allowance by checking a chart posted on the refrigerator (it’s their time card). Once it’s done I sign off on it. They earn a certain amount for each chore. They get paid every Friday. My son is the one that gets frustrated when he doesn’t get the entire amount he could’ve earned. He thinks I should remind him. I told him when he finds an employer that’s willing to call and remind him to come to work let me know.

Parenting is all about patience and creativity. It’s takes patience not to wring their necks and real creativity to come up with another solution. Good luck!

KidsRnd

March 1st, 2010
10:11 am

Kids today are rotten. They have EVERYTHING!!! What they need is free outdoor play. By this I mean, go play kickball, kick the can, use their imaginations. Climb a tree!!!! Put on a neighborhood play in a garage. Stuff people our age used to do as kids, when we didn’t have video games, computers, etc. We actually went outside, found some friends, and PLAYED. We didn’t have “playdates”. That is such a STUPID concoction. Scheduling “play” time with friends. Honestly.

I like the reward system. I like the coupon thing. They should have to EARN priviledges, like computer time, video games, etc. Just like in the real world, when we do something good, we get rewarded. Taking the computer away, is crazy, as the kid KNOWS he will get it back in an hour, a day, etc…..

There should also be more “Family” time. There should be family dinners every hnight and at least one week a night, Family Game Night.

usually lurking

March 1st, 2010
10:13 am

Running laps is great – I used to make mine run around the outside of the house. Re Walsh, is he losing recess time at school for acting out? They used to call that “opportunity time” at my sons’ school. I always wondered why the teacher wanted to punish *herself* by taking away the one time per day the active children could run around outside!

oneofeach4me

March 1st, 2010
10:22 am

@usually lurking ~ I wondered the SAME thing!!! Especially in regards to young boys! Don’t you WANT to wear them out?!?!

A

March 1st, 2010
10:24 am

I have only one, so like Jeff can’t really add anything as we have almost zero disciplinary issues here. Just curious why some of you are spanking your kids? Sure, I was spanked on occasion as a child, as I’m sure many of you were, but does it really work with kids today? We’ve never raised a hand to our son, and I just can’t wrap my mind around a scenario where we would even consider spanking our precious guy. But that’s just us!

oneofeach4me

March 1st, 2010
10:28 am

@A~ I used to feel the same way with our 1st kid, which is our daughter. I SWORE I would never spank her. She never got one until she was 7 and only when she has been disrespectful to an adult (she can get REAL mouthy). It works for her, but spanking is after she has been warned 3 times. 3rd strike u are out.

Spanking does not work for my son though. AT ALL. Every kid is different.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

March 1st, 2010
10:29 am

they never take away recess time — if they are in trouble they make them walk in a certain area — so they are losing the choice of what to play and who to socialize with but they are still moving — so that is good.

A — try to get three crazy kids into bed for an hour and you’ll start popping a bottom as they run by laughing — I really think it’s the multiple — they truly feed off of each other’s energy.

oneofeach4me

March 1st, 2010
10:32 am

@ Theresa ~ they definitely have the “pack mentality”. My kids are great, when not with each other!!

A

March 1st, 2010
10:35 am

@oneofeach4me, totally agree that every child is different. Not saying our son doesn’t have issues…he gets frustrated easily from time to time and can be shy, but in terms of discipline we’ve had no issues to really speak of (knock wood). It could be that he’s an only child, and his personality is very much like mine and my husband’s. We are fairly calm people by nature and have always had a pretty strong routine at home from when he was a baby in terms of sleeping, eating, activities, etc. They’ve been modified along the way, and now that he’s into sports, piano and other things, it gets challenging, but we always have a schedule and he knows what’s going on everyday. We try to be proactive when things change and I think that may contribute to keeping things sane around here!

I am whatever you say I am

March 1st, 2010
10:36 am

I only have one and he’s a toddler.
When it comes to discipline with him, usually a mean look is enough to send him crying and on the straight and narrow path.
I’m sure as he gets older, I’m going to have to be more creative.
The terrific twos phase is settling in and he’s beginning to get a little testy.

A

March 1st, 2010
10:40 am

Good point, Theresa. I have not walked in your shoes and have never had to get more than one child to bed. Ours can be a huge slow poke with his shower at night, wanting to read a lot before bed, brushing his teeth, so it can be a challenge actually getting to lights out. So different issues for different families, I guess!

lakerat

March 1st, 2010
10:41 am

I am so old and my kids are now out of and almost out of college so I have forgotten what parenting is like – LOL – I am not sure how good or bad my kids are, or were, just that they seem to be OK today. They may not be OK, but I cannot tell (again, maybe due to age) but they do still call and come around when they can, or when they need money, but that is OK, too, ’cause, we tell them, whatever is ours is yours, and they really were good kids (I think) while at home from ages 0 – 18!

So, I do not envy you who are learning what we have already been through – just try to enjoy it and know that when all is said and done, you will have lost your mind, too!

first time poster

March 1st, 2010
10:48 am

I don’t know. I’ve never had to publicly humiliate my daughter (wearing the same clothes for two weeks) or hit her (spanking a 9 year old) to get her to behave. Taking away things has worked really well (computer, TV time, time with friends is a big one for her, she’s very social. I think the exercise thing might be good for kids who just need to burn off excess energy.

Julia

March 1st, 2010
10:51 am

I have no idea what it is with these demon children now… No they are not cute and when you are in a store and one is screaming at the top of their lungs its ANNOYING. Kids get by with what their parents let them get by with. This is defiantly one of these the kids run that house… The boy knew at a very young age the 1 2 3 game…. If I had to get to 3 and you got your butt tore up… Dont say you were NOT warned. No my child is not abused but he also knows that “mama dont play”

5!!!

March 1st, 2010
10:52 am

I have one and he rarely causes any trouble. if he does, I just send him to his room for a while.

MomsRule

March 1st, 2010
10:52 am

Mine have played outside every day except when it was raining. It is not too cold, IMO.

The absolute most effective things for me are a routine, consistency and minimal reaction to negative behavior. Minimal reaction does not mean ignore. It means, I don’t react with anger, yelling or any indication to the child that they are irritating the *&^% out of me. Positive behavior in my home is rewarded with boatloads of attention. Negative behavior receives minimal “attention.”

I do not yell, I do not argue, and most importantly, I do not discuss. Punishment is immediate and consistent. I state what will occur if behavior continues. I warn once. I follow through with previously stated consequence if behavior occurs a third time. No warning and no discussion for third infraction.

I once threw my 2 year olds toy out the car window because he did not stop banging it against the window after being told, and warned once that I was going to throw it out the window if he did not stop. He did not stop. I calmly reached over my head, took it out of his hand and tossed it out the driver’s window without uttering a word. He sat there stunned, wide eyed and silent. Issue never repeated.

Fast forward about 5 years..repeat scenario with little brother. I said, “Stop or I will throw that out the window.” I heard the older one lean over and whisper, “She means it. She threw one of my toys out of the window when I was little for doing that.” The little one responded very quietly, “really?” Situation over, never to repeat itself.

Lady Strange

March 1st, 2010
10:56 am

My son is 2 and he can be a handful. He’s very stubborn like his parents. He usually listen when you tell him something but sometimes he is very defiant. I’m still hoping to find a more effective way to dicipline him, if anyone has any ideas. Usually I try to explain to him why he can’t do something or why i took something away from him. I don’t like to spank my child but i am not afraid to do it if really warranted.

Why would your kids not be able to play outside this time of year? I don’t understand that. It’s not that cold, put a coat on ‘em and let them go play. Even my son plays outside, usually not more than an hour at a time though.

Cammi317

March 1st, 2010
10:57 am

There must be something in the air. I was watching my 3 y/o nephew yesterday when we were all gathered at my sister’s for dinner. She would tell him to sit and less than a minute later he would be back running wild. She would yell, he would cry (on cue and fake) and a couple of minutes later go right back to what he was doing before. It was mayhem for about 45 minutes until he decided that he was ready to stop and chill….

Anyone have any great discipline techniques for a mouthy, huffing and puffing, eyeball rolling tween that does not end with my doing time for connecting my fist to her jaw?

A

March 1st, 2010
10:59 am

Agreed it’s not too cold to be outside. What do you think kids up north do? They do go outside in the winter and have recess, etc. Layer your kids up and unless it’s raining or bitter cold like those few days in January, send them out. And also agree with MomsRule about routine and consistency. I don’t think I’d chuck a toy out the window, but it clearly worked for her and she didn’t have to spank her kid. I will say consequences are critical and empty threats will just give your child the upper hand and you may never get it back. I’ve seen it with so many kids and am grateful we have avoided that trap.

Michelle

March 1st, 2010
11:03 am

MomsRule…I love it!

T-I’m wondering if some “down” time with the kids might be needed. Let some of the other stuff go. With Michael being out town, and every taking turns at being sick, they may just need a little bit of momma time!

I know when my little guy is REALLY being bad, sometimes that helps! Being over tired (from not getting to bed early enough) also makes him act impulsively at school!

My husband is all about physical discipline (spanking, etc.) I would prefer to warn and take things away, but some days, he gets the spanking. Consistency is really key though. Sometimes it is SO hard to follow through with a threat, but that’s what has to be done!

I am SO thankful I only have the 1 little guy. He is enough to drive me insane at times. Good luck Theresa!

Julia

March 1st, 2010
11:05 am

Cammi317 yes there is a solution.. the first time, ok.. the second time.. I get sterner.. the third time.. I snatch his little arss up take him outside and he gets a good swat on the fat of his thigh… we dont go back in until he can act like a human

Julia

March 1st, 2010
11:06 am

Cammi317 Yep here is another one.. Take everything away from her and make her sit in her room til she can act like a human….. You want a 14 year old boy as well :)

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

March 1st, 2010
11:07 am

Michelle – the annoying part of that particular night is I had been doing all kids of fun things with them — Walsh and I had played Battle Ship earlier and I was trying to read them chapter from Harry Potter and they just wouldn’t settle down to listen. They wanted to wrestle. So I was trying to give them all my attention and do fun things with them. And they were just out of control. I honestly think that night was didn’t get enough exercise and daddy being gone.

Julia

March 1st, 2010
11:09 am

Theresa, I see prozac in your future :)

oneofeach4me

March 1st, 2010
11:10 am

It’s not that its too cold outside for them to go out.. however, when they do go out it’s for about 15 minutes. I KNOW what kids in the north do in the winter. I also know that my kids were born in GA and we have lived her our whole lives. I was born and raised here and this has been one of the WORST winters I have experienced in terms of tempature. The kids here in the south just aren’t used to playing in 20 degree weather. Plus, at school, if it is below freezing they do not take the kids out for recess.

I agree with MomsRule that consistency is key. I do what I can in that area. Sometimes I am just exhausted after 10 hours at the office, soccer practice, karate, dinner, baths, and a drawn out bedtime.

@Cammi317 ~ LMBO… I am NOT looking forward to those days with my daughter. Good luck to you. I would say start taking things away from her that she loves. Like I tell my 8 yr old, u want all the priviledges of being an 8 yr old, yet you don’t want any of the responsibilty that comes along with being an 8 yr old. So I think we are gonna have to start over. LOL

Julia

March 1st, 2010
11:14 am

I have a friend of mine her 3 year old grand daughter spit at her.. yes spit at her.. if that child would have been mine yep popped in the mouth…

5!!!

March 1st, 2010
11:21 am

From your story, they seem to feed off of one another. Just seperate them.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

March 1st, 2010
11:25 am

I do and they run back out of their rooms — they just get crazy — it;’s not all the time — just sometimes. then what do you do — and that’s when I start yelling about all the things I’m going to take away and then when they do it again I start popping bottoms as they run by — it;’s like a gauntlet and they even think that if fun — separate, separate, separate — again ist’s not all the time — jsut sometimes –

TechMom

March 1st, 2010
11:29 am

I’m a mom of an only kiddo too but have a very energetic boy who needs lots of activity. We learned very early on that time outs do nothing. Being an only child, he had already learned, even at 4, how to entertain himself. In preschool his teacher was so frustrated b/c their only real means of punishment was time out and it simply did not work for him (seriously, he can talk to a brick wall- even his teacher said that). At 4 we switched him to a small private school that still paddled. I LOVED IT! Seriously, I know some parents are against any form of spanking but it worked for the boy. I think more or less because it was humiliating to get sent to the principal’s office and know when you came back that everyone knew you’d just gotten paddled. They were very calm about it and it only happened if he lost 3 points/stars/whatever the theme was in the day. So he knew very clearly if he kept misbehaving what the consequences were. I also liked it because it meant the infraction was dealt with immediately and when he returned to class, he was much more likely to behave the rest of the day (instead of driving the teacher insane until I got there to pick him up and could effectively deal with it at that point). That being said, my dad spanked me long past the age of it being effective and so by the time the boy was about 9, we had stopped spanking for the most part. Although I will say when he was I think 7th grade, my husband spanked him again… again more of a humiliation factor than anything but let me tell you it was way more effective than the things we’d done in the previous two weeks (no activities, TV, radio, bike, etc.)

Usually now at 14 he gets things taken away or he gets extra projects to do around the house. Usually it’s the cell phone (TV & video games aren’t real effective with him since he doesn’t watch/play much) and we like grounding him from doing anything with his friends. He’s all about being social. I think the key is finding what is important. The other thing we’ve done a lot in the past couple of years is make him do extra projects around the house. We have a drainage issue in our back yard so this past summer he got to spend several days digging a trench. Nothing like a little manual labor without an iPod to make you think about how much you don’t want to get in trouble again.

Jess

March 1st, 2010
11:30 am

Momsrule, that is the funniest thing I have ever read onthis blog!! I love it.

MomsRule

March 1st, 2010
11:31 am

@oneofeach4me, my kids have been raised in the south as well and I really believe that if they play outside all year long they develop a tolerance for the cold that a child that is shielded from the varying temps does not develop. I also believe that parents forget that a child running and playing outdoors is not as cold as we are when we are just standing there supervising. I watch the same parents keep their kids indoors claiming its too cold turn around and keep them in during the summer because its too hot. I’m not saying this is you, I’m just stating my personal observation.

Something else I’ve watched that I do not understand is Mom’s who state “wait until your Dad gets home” rather than disciplining immediately. I don’t understand this position at all. To me, you are undermining your own authority. I don’t want my kids left with the impression that they don’t have to listen to me (which I believe is the subtle underlying message) and I don’t want Dad to have to be the hard ars when he walks in the door. Does anyone do this or know why Mom’s do this?

MomsRule

March 1st, 2010
11:32 am

@T – in response to your 11:25 am do you take away the things you threaten?

MomsRule

March 1st, 2010
11:38 am

@Julia, how did the grandmother respond? The childs parents?

oneofeach4me

March 1st, 2010
11:39 am

@Momsrule ~ If my kids would stay outside all day everyday I would let them, trust me! lol That’s actually what I love about summer, they stay outside all day! If it’s too hot, we turn sprinklers on or head to the pool for a while. And even now, when it’s raining, we go to the gym where the kids have physical activites they can do (rock climbing wall, indoor swimming, kids basketball court, ect.) I think part of it is that the schools do not send them out if the temp is below freezing. By the time we get home, homework is done, chores are done, ect there really is no time to be outside until Daylight Savings. And my daughter does okay with only 15 or 20 minutes a day of outside time but my highly energetic 4 yr old son is not. I dunno… I do what I can but with him I do believe that it’s alot of pent up energy.

I do agree with the wait til your dad gets home thingy. Heck that wouldn’t work for me anyway being that I am mostly the disciplinary in the house.

LM

March 1st, 2010
12:07 pm

I must have been a very difficult child to discipline. I was never a TV person, beign grounded was no biggie because I would enjoy sitting in my room and read, going to bed without dinner again was no biggie. Looking back I feel for my Mother.

As to feeding off of each other. I know my brother and I did. Mom just felt we deserved each out and left us to battle it out. As long as no blood was drawn all was good.

My daughter is similar, most things don’t work on her. When she was little we used 1-2-3 magic. It helped and things were good, but at some point time outs stopped working. The biggest issue with her is she has no drive, is not driven and has no desire to put in more effort than she feels she want to.

RJ

March 1st, 2010
12:15 pm

@ first time poster – “I don’t know. I’ve never had to publicly humiliate my daughter (wearing the same clothes for two weeks) or hit her (spanking a 9 year old) to get her to behave.” Wearing the same two clean outfits for 2 weeks is not public humiliation. It’s a reminder of how blessed you are to have more. Public humiliation would be wearing the same filty clothes every day, which I see much too often at my school. Or sending your son to school in a dirty Peter Pan blouse, no socks and hair not combed. Just saw that a week ago. That’s humiliation. Thank goodness he was only 5.

Julia

March 1st, 2010
12:16 pm

MomsRule she really did not say what she did and the mom well she is just a child her self…. Girl I would have busted her rear end for sure… I keep asking my friend.. and now what would your mom have done… she says.. my mom would have beat me half to death….. well there is your answer…..

JJ

March 1st, 2010
12:18 pm

Theresa, and others with more than one kid, have you ever thought about a “special date night” each week with only ONE child. Hire a baby sitter for the other two kids (in Theresa’s instance), and you and Michael go out with a different child every, say Thursday night. Let that child choose where he/she would like to go, whether it be a restaurant or some activity like Putt Putt, laser tag, etc. But designate one night a week for this, and be consistent. It’s all about scheduling, so don’t schedule anything for that particular day of the week.

Each child gets one on one time with mom and dad, every three weeks. It makes each child feel special.

RJ

March 1st, 2010
12:24 pm

@Julia, you seem to use physical punishment a lot based on your responses. I’ve noticed that kids that are hit a lot are not better behaved than kids that are rarely spanked or not spanked at all. Usually it’s those kids that want to fight all of the time. I witnessed a parent slap her child in the mouth because she was talking to her while she was on the phone. Her daughter will fight just about anybody in the building. And even though she knows her mom will come up to the school and beat her if she misbehaves, she still causes problems. I just don’t think that spanking is the only way to show “mama don’t play”.

Julia

March 1st, 2010
12:29 pm

Yea, RJ sorry to bust your bubble but yea I have popped my son’s rear end and no he is NOT a fighter…. the kid is very laid back.. Its just I have boundaries in my house… he KNOWS that the affects are if he gets out of line.. I am NOT a time out mother and if you want to go on your observations.. take the teachers for instance.. now they have all these little angels that do not get discipline at home or they have just time out… these kids are hellions at school and I have teachers.. tell me I wish there were more parents LIKE you. :)

Julia

March 1st, 2010
12:45 pm

RJ, let me add this as well. I will not ever spank or slap my child because I am on the phone and he wants to try to carry on a conversation with me .. I will usually just say son I am on the phone. There are MANY things I do not spank him over, I dont abuse him in the least…. Now if he were to get stupid in the store…. I would tell him, you want to leave because if we do, I will bust your tail when we get home, and Yes I have followed thru on it. I have never just hauled off and smacked him with out warning. He is now 14 and really a good kid… yes he has his own share of issues and no I am not a perfect parent by no means… he was I guess about 4, we were in a restaurant, he kept standing up in his chair.. the first time I told him, you need to sit down and eat… the second time, I pulled him down to sit on his behind and I told him dont get back up because you will get it.. the third time.. I just popped him in the chair on the side of his leg and never stopped eating, I looked at him with the look of, well I told you :)

TechMom

March 1st, 2010
1:05 pm

Theresa, I do think siblings feed off of each other. Our good friends have two boys that are less than 2 years apart and fight constantly with each other. When they’re separate, they’re fine but I cannot stand being around them when they’re together. Of course, I think it also has to do with their parents since they do not discipline or enforce punishments consistently. They’re the kind of parents where “no means no until you’ve driven me crazy and then it means yes because I want to leave me alone”. It’s gotten to the point that their kids are the reason we don’t hang out hardly ever and only invite them over on nights when we know their kids are off at their granparents’ house.

Not to say that’s happening with your kids, just saying that kids do feed on each other. I think when they start getting out of control collectively, you have to separate them and deal with each appropriately. It could mean one has to sit at the dining room table and read, another has to sit on the guest room bed and twiddle his thumbs or go sweep the kitchen floor while you get the youngest ready for bed. Then move on to the next and the third individually. It kind of depends on your kids and their ages but I think separating them is the only way to deal with it ‘in the moment’. If it’s a consistent problem then I think you have to come up with a new routine so they can’t feed on each and get each other wound up the 20 mins before bedtime.

Julia

March 1st, 2010
1:08 pm

TechMom thank you thank you thank you!

JATL

March 1st, 2010
1:13 pm

We use running quite a bit. I don’t care if they run in the house, so on bad days when the behavior is out of control, I tell the oldest to take a few laps, or I have him run from the front to the back door until his tongue is hanging out! I do spank him sometimes -and that or the threat of that works about 80% of the time. We use time out and taking away or bestowing privelages, but when that doesn’t work he gets his butt popped! He always has more than ample warning. I will say -I’ve NEVER hit him with anything but my hand, but I carry a wooden spoon in my car and I threaten him with it occasionally -especially if we’re going somewhere where he seems to have a really difficult time behaving. That REALLY snaps him to attention!