'Punishment' for a 3.5 year old?

(12 Posts)
SHarri13 Tue 03-Sep-13 15:31:23

So, my 2nd son has had a few violent outburst over the last 24 hours. Once with a wooden sword that he hit his older brother with causing a nose bleed and another when his 13 month old sibling crawled over him and 'spoiled' his game so her punched him on the head.

On the first occasion I threatened no TMNT until Thursday (3 sleeps) and warned if there was another occasion then it was banned until he was 4. Then he hit his brother so no TMNT until next march!

Now I realise this is a crap way to deal with the situation but I'm stumped at what to do to make him realise violence is NOT ok, ever, in our family.

Anyone want to share what has worked for them? I

AFishWithoutABicycle Tue 03-Sep-13 15:43:34

You could Get some books about playing nicely etc to back up the punishment and lots of 'playing nicely' praise. (I realise you probably do this anyway)
You could have a confiscation shelf for toys, so he can see it.
Also see if there is anything happening at the mo that is making him angry.

IrisWildthyme Tue 03-Sep-13 15:48:03

We have "time out" - initially (when he was 2ish) this was being strapped into a high chair or push chair facing the wall, but now sitting on the bottom stair without being strapped down - lasts 3 minutes (supposed to be one minute for each year of age) - with nothing to look at and nothing to do but if he gets up the time has to restart. Important points - always warn "if [whatever] you will have a time out, 5...4...3...2...1" to give a chance for the bad behavior to stop. (though there are some things e.g. hitting which get instant time out without warning once he's old enough to know that is a rule that always applies). Always end the time out with a cuddle, an explanation of why he had to have the time out, and a reassurance that you love him and the time out is over now - and no further guilt-tripping.

No violence required but he hates it so much that the threat of a time out is enough to make him behave most of the time.

worldgonecrazy Tue 03-Sep-13 15:49:00

I have no idea what TMNT is?

I have a girl and she is an only child, so this may not work for you. When her behaviour is less than desired, we tell her once to stop it. If she doesn't stop it, we immediately remove her from the situation and go and sit somewhere with her, usually the stairs. Once she has calmed down sufficiently I tell her why her behaviour was unacceptable. This seems to work as we don't have repeat bad behaviour.

I was told that if you continually need to use a form of discipline to try and correct the same bad behaviour, it's not the right form of discipline for your child, so try something different.

Mine have to go to their room to calm down and apologise when they come out. Longer term sanctions don't mean as much imo.

ReallyTired Tue 03-Sep-13 15:55:35

I think that punishments at the age have to be fairly short and sharp.

"On the first occasion I threatened no TMNT until Thursday (3 sleeps) and warned if there was another occasion then it was banned until he was 4. Then he hit his brother so no TMNT until next march!"

These are far too long periods of time for a three and half year old to understand. These threats are too vague to carry out and for a small child to understand. March is 6 months away. A week is etenity when you are three years old. There is no point in punishing a preschooler the following day yet alone any further into the future because they will have forgotten what they are being punished for.

I have been flamed for having an authoritian style on mumsnet before. I think you are right to punish your child for violent outbursts, but punishments need to short and sharp. I try and have punishments that fit the crime. Ie I would take away the wooden sword that your son had hit his older brother with.

Sometimes I use a naughty step and if the child point blank refuses to sit on the naughty step the I would shut my child in the downstairs toilet for 3 minutes so they can have some thinking time.
(I realise that I shall be flamed by those who never sanction their children!)

MaryLovesDick Tue 03-Sep-13 16:02:42

I think children that small have no sense of time so telling them next year doesn't work really.

With my two I find that trying to praise the good behaviour works best and then if my 3.7 year old DD does something like hit her brother I make her sit on the stairs and I explain why hitting isn't nice etc and then make her apologise and give him a cuddle.

It seems to work ok usually!

IrisWildthyme Tue 03-Sep-13 17:30:31

As ReallyTired and MaryLoves say, removal of privileges for long periods of time really isn't a thing that very young children can understant. For a 3/4 year old, the time of the dinosaurs, the time of knights in shining armor, the second world war and last christmas are all equivalently "A long time ago" and "when I'm going to be a granddad", "when my next birthday will be" and "next tuesday" are all equivalently "not for a very very long time". Things are either happening right now, or they are happening in a time so remote as to be irrelevant.

Six months is a seventh of your DS's life to date - equivalent to a 35 year old being punished for five years! by February he will have absolutely no memory of the incident that led to the six-month sanction.

hardboiledpossum Tue 03-Sep-13 20:33:25

I immediately remove to a different area and use my cross voice to make him realise that what he did was naughty, if we are at home then his room, and we have a chat about the offending behaviour and 2 mins to cool down before resuming play. I think this is called a time in.

You have to do two things. First, anticipate the violence. I wouldn't let dd crawl over ds (who's nearly 4) because he will get cross. Second, consequences need to be immediate. So a "no hitting", then time out. Tell him he's in three minute timeout for hitting and sit him somewhere, doesn't have to be the same place each time, and leave him for three minutes. Then when done, calmly ask him why he's in time out. If he doesn't answer remind him why and tell him what he should do next time.

I've found I really have to remind ds over and over what he should do eg tell dd not to do something or move away because when he lashes out it's because he didn't know how to stop something or express his anger. He's much much better now - rarely hits. When he does it's because he's tired so when he's in that sort of mood, I make sure that him and dd aren't left alone or that she doesn't bother him.

SHarri13 Tue 03-Sep-13 21:26:39

Fantastic advice, thank you all. It makes sense that a 6 month consequence won't mean anything to him.

I think the last 6 weeks are catching up with us all!

He's lovely, just energetic! wink

SHarri13 Tue 03-Sep-13 21:28:40

TMNT- teenage mutant ninja turtles.

I remember them from the first time, it's all the rage for you g boys apparently.

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