Before becoming a parent I believed that timeouts would be our number-one-go-to form of discipline. A minute in timeout for each year of the child. This sounded easy and I knew I could follow through on it. I wasn't against spanking but was hoping not to use it. I kind of felt there was no other forms of discipline. Maybe I was naive and just hoping my kids would be great kids and they wouldn't need to be disciplined very often?
When the girls were about nine months the "no-no's" started. They became more mobile and the "no-no's" were often in regards to their safety. NO pulling on cords, NO climbing on couch, NO touching pretty things on mommy's sofa table. Then became the no's for pulling sisters hair, taking her toy or biting. My first memory of having to "discipline" the girls is when Aubrey continued to bite Natalie over and over and over. We had done the no-no game. We had tried explaining to Aubrey why we don't bite. We tried time outs and a slap to the hand but nothing was stopping her from leaving teeth marks in the arm of her sister. One day she bit Natalie hard on her back. I didn't know what I could do to get the point across to Aubrey that we do not bite. The day of the back bite I took Aubrey's arm and bit her. Not hard but enough that she understood that biting hurt. Was I proud of myself? Absolutely not but from that day on after Aubrey's shock that mommy bit her and it hurt wore off she never bit Natalie again. Is this acceptable to all parents? No and to the psychiatrists of the world that one moment in time probably ruined my child forever. It was during this time that I realized my plan to only use timeouts was not going to work.
We also quickly learned the way we disciplined Aubrey was not the same way to effectively discipline Natalie. Aubrey has always been our tender heart. A look of disappointment is usually enough to get the point across to Aubrey that we are not happy with her actions. Now Natalie on the other hand literally laughs at you with any form of discipline. Looks mean nothing to her. Time-outs she spends fidgeting and sucking her thumb until the timer beeps. With spankings she tries to run away from you and laughs if you miss. Over time we have found that losing privileges, usually in the way of snacks or treats, affects her the most. As they have gotten older the loss of ipad time also has become a consequence of bad behavior. For Drew often getting him out of the situation is what works best. He also really dislikes saying he is sorry so for him having to do that is discipline in itself!
|Isabella got her first hair cut. She looks like such a big girl here.|
|Guess who's up next for a haircut!|
|The only one out of 7 who did not get their haircut. She was kept busy with goldfish.|
So during the last five years I hate to admit but we have had to change our plan of only using timeouts for discipline. We do use them but not as often as I thought we would. We do spank and sometimes too hard because my hand stings afterwards. We speak loudly and sometimes I am sure the neighbors can hear us even with the windows closed. We take away consequences. We send kids to bed without bedtime stories. Can you find literature out there that tells me why each of these is wrong? Yes I am sure you can and that is the reason I am trying to do better but I also know that when my children go out or are without their mom and dad they do know how to act because we have rules and expectations of them and they know there are consequences when these are not followed or met.
|Aubrey was 'Star of the Week' last week and she was so excited and took her job as leader very seriously.|
|He loves having time as the 'oldest' when the girls are at school. He also enjoys getting to do things he normally doesn't get to do such as play with sisters' tea sets.|