Example of Discipline–that works!

Ever have those days when you feel your children are so misbehaved and you have no idea how it got that way?  I’d like you to think back to all the different situations you’ve found yourself in with your child.

Kid on the chair or standing on the table?  Maybe your child threw a huge tantrum and you had no idea how to respond.  Maybe your child just continues to do something and you feel you’ve said the word “no” a gazillion times.

Today I’m reminded of just how thankful I am that discipline in all of its meanings comes pretty naturally to me.  My son has been having the problem of being told to do something or not to do something and then will do it.  He doesn’t seem to care.  It started happening at school, too.  Two weeks ago his teacher and I worked together to devise a plan and figure out what to do.  He’s 3 1/2 years old and not quite rational enough to understand why he does things.

What worked?  Breaking his attention from whatever it is he was doing by asking him to look at my eyes.  Then I proceeded to give him the direction.  He did it.  Does it.  Still works.  Complaining may be involved, but he still does it.

I don’t yell.  I don’t raise my voice.  I simply turn around and tell him, “Dietrich.  Look at me.  Give him direction.”

Why does it work?  You’ve stopped your attention and his attention. You’ve told him that he’s important enough to look into his eyes and the task you’re about to give is important enough that you’re both stopped to do this.

I find that sometimes parents get lazy.  We’re tired.  We’ve had rough days or busy days that don’t even involve our children, yet they sometimes get the worst of us–or shall I say the lazy of us?  It’s easy to be not lazy with one child.  Add in another or more and it is quite easy to slip!

When my children are young and don’t quite understand what “no” means yet, I physically get up or physically move to tell them no, lightly smack their hands, and move them to some place safe or away from that object.  Sometimes it takes 500 times, but they get it!  They really do get it.  Yelling at a youngster isn’t going to work.  They learn to tune that out quickly, just like you and I do. I have this image in my mind of those moms yelling in public, at their wit’s ends, and the things they are saying are ridiculous.  Obvious empty threats, giving in to what the child wants, etc.  Children aren’t dumb.  They are quite perceptive.

If I yell loud enough and long enough, then Mom will give me what I want.

If I scream and cry because I don’t like/want to try this food, then Mom will make me something I like.

If I stand on this chair, then my mom will get off her phone/computer/facebook and give me attention.

Today my son got in the car after preschool and told me he was put on the “thinking carpet.”  I praised him first of all for telling me the truth.  I want my son to always know he can tell me whatever happened and know he isn’t going to be judged.  He will be met with love…. and consequences.

At drop off this morning, we had a conversation (me on his level looking into his eyes) right before he went into his classroom door.  We discussed consequences if he were to get into trouble today.  So he knew what was coming.

After I told my son that I was proud of him for telling me what happened, I asked him what his consequence was when we got home.  He responded with that exact consequence.  When we got home and the consequence was followed through with, he cried.  Said he was upset.  Bawled. Said he didn’t want to get into trouble.  He wants to be a good boy.  Anything and everything to get me to budge and give in.

Did I?  No?  Did I hold him when he asked me to hold him?  Yes.  Yes a thousand times over.  I want him to understand that even though he has a consequence it doesn’t mean I love him less.  It doesn’t mean he’s a bad person.  It just simply means we made a bad choice and now we have to pay the consequence.

Was it hard for me to not give in?  No.  Because I want him to be accountable for his actions.  I want him to think about what he does before he does it.

My daughter is a tantrum thrower.  What do you see most people do when a child throws a tantrum?  Yell, raise voices, panic, cater to the child’s wants?  Not this mama.  This mama lets her child throw that tantrum and walks away (watching so said child won’t hurt herself).  Guess what?  Those tantrums don’t last long.  I’m teaching my daughter that a tantrum is not the way to communicate.  Tantrums do not get attention.  If you want my attention or the attention of others there are other means and methods of doing so.

I love my children and I always want to be there for them.  Reality is that I can’t and won’t be.  Reality is that I will die and pass on sooner than I probably want to or they would want me to.  Reality is that I have just a blink of an eye to guide him in the right direction and have to depend on no other person but himself and Jesus.

I hope that this may reach those of you struggling with discipline.  I do plan to do many posts on discipline and even write troubleshooting methods in the future.  Please stay tuned!

Any comments?  Questions?  Concerns?  Problems you may face that you don’t know how to fix?

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hey, i’m Danielle

I love Jesus. I love my family. And I get joy from having a front row view of people growing toward their goals because of what I’ve taught.

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