Thursday, January 7, 2010

Determining How to Discipline

We are starting to enter the phase of toddlerhood when kids are exhibiting deliberate willful behavior. Standing on chairs, pushing over the other's toy, etc. Husband and I have been avoiding thinking much about discipline. It isn't clear to me what sort of discipline Nanny April does although we both count at Ned (up to three using fingers) when he stands on the chairs (then take him off the chair), and we all do lots of taking items away and redirecting.

Toddler Magic 1-2-3 is sitting next to my bed but I've been relaxing with trashy romance novels instead of focusing on beginning to turn our kids into people. We'd like to encourage the cooperation that Penny shows when it is time to get dressed (and man, that girl loves to "clean" using baby wipes) and discourage Ned's fits when it is time to get out of the tub.

Lately I feel like I'm just not with the kids enough to be in charge of discipline - that it will fall to Nanny April. Any thought as how to handle that? What techniques did you use for your kids when they couldn't communicate well and don't listen/understand?

12 comments:

Einat said...

I am alllll ears here. We think Max understands "no" and then he'll repeat the action with a sly little smile, as if to dare us to do something about it.

Anonymous said...

Master the "Mommy tone" At this age its important they know when you mean business, and they will understand tone of voice more than anything else. Timeouts didn't work for us until Sofie was older. But if she did something like hit or push, I'd remove her from the situation and make her take a timeout on Mom's lap. She didn't like that when she would rather play. Other than that lots of positive attention so that they don't look for negative attention. I like the Dr Sears discipline book, and also Dr Carp's The Happiest Toddler on the Block.

Nancy said...

We do a lot of removing the kid from the situation and making him/her sit down right where they are (or right by mommy/daddy) for X amount of time. Logan sits for a little bit...Burke and Maggie for longer. The time also depends on what they did to deserve the punishment.

It's a great way to practice counting too because after a certain amount of time goes by we say "Okay, Count to 10 (or 20 or more), say you're sorry, and you can get up."

With Logan, we count with him...he's got the intonation for each number.....

When we first started it with Logan, he'd sit for like, seconds...but he started to understand that we didn't like the behavior when we made him sit.

brittae@yahoo.com said...

I read Discipline for Life : Getting it Right with Children by Madelyn Swift and I really like it. It gives tons of real-life examples.
My kids are at daycare all day, but kids are smart and learn to respond to an individual's demands, so I'm sure you'll have your own brand of discipline for them & establish your own rapport with them.
We started timeouts with our youngest at 18 months, but I found the alternatives (more logical disciplines) in Discipline for Life more helpful. Now I only resort to timeout if I can't think of a better discipline.
An example of "Discipline" per the book would be: Child is throwing toys. Old answer: warning then time out. New discipline: Warning: If you don't stop throwing that Hippo, I'll take it away. It just tries to tie the "punishment to the crime." That way, it makes more sense to kids - and teaches them about consequences, not just rules.

Kathryn@ marburyvmadisonave.wordpress.com said...

Oh, I'm in the same boat. I have no idea what to do, and don't feel like I'm around enough to be consistent. I had to give E her first "time out" last week (for hitting me blatantly after I warned her...) She seemed to get it. But then did it the next day. Another time out. But, since then, no problems. I try to count to three, use a "mommy" voice, but admit I am expecting "How to talk to your kids so they will listen" (or whatever that book -- a well known one, from what I understand -- is called) from Amazon any moment...

Stacey said...

Not much advice on my end since at 9 months we are just at the stage of saying "No" in a firm voice and having Cameron laugh at us. However, I think that your bigger question is whether you follow your nanny's lead on discipline or dictate certain responses for her to utilize when the kids misbehave. That's a tough call. I always think about Cameron's daycare teachers as being way more experienced than me. Yes, I know Cameron much better than them but they have "raised" way more babies than me. So it comes down to a balancing act. I plan on asking about their discipline methods and if there are widly diverging philosophies either move her to a new daycare or ask that they employ what I request. We'll see how it all shakes out as Cameron gets older and more challenging :-)Do you find that Penny is a better listener than Ned? I have always heard that it is easier to managed girls in the toddler stage. Puberty on the other hand is a whole 'nother ball game.

ElizabethEK said...

I have nothing of worth to add to all these great comments.

But I do think that: "I've been relaxing with trashy romance novels instead of focusing on beginning to turn our kids into people" is HILARIOUS!! :)

Good luck! I am sure you are doing a wonderful job.

LauraC said...

n the 1s, we found keeping the discipline consistent between school and home really helped them learn boundaries, particularly with each other. The simple issues like throwing food or standing in the tub - those we could easily stick to day care policy. What was hard was when they hurt each other - when you have two mobile children who have no impulse control... it can get hairy!

Then at 2 we started using 1 2 3 Magic and we still use it now. School does time outs but I think they are better behaved at school bc of the pack mentality of groups.

Susan said...

Well, I have teenagers and adult children but I did raise two and help raise 3 (husband brought 3 with him in marriage ;))....so I have some thoughts. All boys too!! I have never been a fan of the counting but do understand that is a "modern" technique. I get so irritated at the store when I see "Johnny" dumping some type of food item on the floor and the mom watching him and saying "1, 2, 2.5 etc.." and bubble above my head says "Hello, grab Johnny and tell him "NO". But who am I, right? =) I like what some have said for your children's age...take them away from the negative situation and have them sit next to you. Is that considered a time out?? Maybe. But it would be a forced sit next to me. I know your little sweeties are young but as they get a little bigger you would obviously explain why they are sitting next to you. I also greatly agree with LauraC on the big word of consistency. Kids must have that. If Johnny pushing Suzy today is negative behavior...it will be negative going forward. We parents really make big mistakes when were tired, overworked or just plain crabby and don't feel like making Johnny sit with us. Have fun....the same rules apply as they get bigger except making sit right next to you maybe....=)

Leigh said...

I'm also all ears but I do agree with consistency. Even now, the nanny and I are consistent in how we care for the babies.

But this?

"I've been relaxing with trashy romance novels instead of focusing on beginning to turn our kids into people" I can totally relate to - same for me instead of reading Sleep Sense which is why they're still doing their own thing :)

Jane said...

Trundling along much like you. Just substitute Poisonwood Bible for trashy romance novels (I'm a dork, I know) and we're in the same boat.

I've read 123 Magic and Happiest Toddler. I have issues with consistency. I am starting to get the hang of 123 with my 2.5-er. With the little ones we do a lot more removing them from things or removing things from them. They are really starting to tantrum and it is tedious. The only good thing is that I could see it coming since I'd experienced it with the older one and have been waiting for it for a couple of months . . .

erinlaughs said...

My girls are 22 months and I'm definitely at the stage where I feel like I need a plan as to how I'm dealing with things.

I'm reading Love & Logic right now. I've heard good things about it, but also want to read 1-2-3 Magic as well. I started doing time outs a month ago and that consequence is just now really sinking in. I have caught myself yelling far too much, so I'm also trying to control how I react to things. But yes, I need a plan!