To get really uncomfortable around a friend when she smacks her children...(236 Posts)
....and other harsh (in my view) disciplining?
I know it is none of my business how somebody else disciplines their DCs but they are all under 3 and they are so lovely. I also don't always understand why they are smacked - seems like trivial things to me. I just can't see my friend in the same way as I used to if she is capable of treating her children like that.
Blueberry, your post does answer my question in relation to older children but I am still quite stumped by toddlers. Surely there are occasions when removing the toddler from the scene isn't feasible - if you are out with family or friends, particularly if you haven't seen them for a while, you aren't going to want to leave because your toddler has done something naughty. Or if the toddler is being naught at home etc
Thanks for the link Twofingers and for your post Cory
Sometimes you can remove the toddler temporarily, Dreaming- and if there are two of you, the parents can take it in turns. Or you can just restrain them.
It depends on the kind of naughtiness.
First of all, you would be anticipating the situation and planning for it. e.g. "We are going to be meeting DM in a restaurant, how do I cope with that?"
You might ask for a more child friendly venue, or you might simply bring lots of things to keep toddler entertained. You would probably have to expect at least one person to spend a fair bit of time talking to toddler. But why not? They're quite interesting. And DM might also like talking to toddler.
Secondly, naughty behaviour occurs. The question here is "What kind of naughty behaviour? How do I stop it?"
If toddler is trying to throw her glass, remove the glass. If she is trying to run around, sit her on your lap and distract her with a story or joke. If she goes into total meltdown, take it in turns to walk her outside until she calms down and is fit for human society again. (they do calm down eventually).
Dreaming, for me part of it is about understanding the developmental age of your child. For instance, that 2 year old you were talking about sounded just too young, developmentally, to cope with being in a busy cafe. Of course there are things you can do to try and distract them - crayons, toys, talking to them and so on, but for some young toddlers they're going to really struggle to sit still in that kind of situation. As a parent of a toddler, you have to pick your battles and perhaps avoid restaurants til they're a little older (not all people have to do this!).
Having read GeorgeDawes' post I want to emend mine to a kind of combo of mine and hers.
Basically, I think sometimes you do have to, or you really want to, do things that are tricky given your child's developmental stage. But a big part of the trick is knowing that you are doing something extra difficult so you will have to work extra hard for that one occasion. Doesn't mean every aspect of toddler minding is equally hard work.
I didn't have to spend every day of my life being some kind of entertainment committee for dc: a lot of the time, they were happy to be pottering around next to me and do their own thing.
But when I did something extraordinary, like took dd on the train to Berlin, or for a meal in a restaurant, then I knew it was an extra and would need an extra input, so I wasn't surprised or frustrated when that proved true.
Some of those things became automatic. Dc and I travelled a lot on public transport, and I used to start telling a story just before the bus pulled up, to make sure I had their attention hooked before they got on the bus and could get bored. If we went into a pet shop I would stop on the pavement outside and just remind them of what pets like and what they don't like. I went into an aquatics shop the other day and I almost stopped on the pavement to remind myself that fish don't like it when you knock on the glass.
I agree with cory and georgedawes, a lot of managing behaviour is thinking ahead and taking action so that you don't have any misbehaviour to deal with. If we think that something is too much for the children, e.g. a long meal in a quiet restaurant, we just don't go, we have three small children and it can be too much hard work for us to enjoy ourselves. We do go out to eat, but we pick busy restaurants with a lot happening and that can help them be entertained. Sometimes no matter what you do it is hard work for that particular outing, in that case eat quickly and go.
If they are being naughty at home, I can remove something, say no and keep repeating (they are young so they are learning at this stage). I try to avoid issues where I can by planning ahead but if I can't or it there is nothing I could have done to avoid it I tackle it head on, pick your battle but once you do, be consistent and follow through. I tend to ignore tantrums, mainly because another child needs my attention plus I don't want to encourage them by reacting to them.
Toddlers are a bit of a law unto themselves really and should definately not be viewed and treated the same as an older child. Consequences and Punishments are a bit wasted on them as their sense of reason is still not quite cooked yet.
Distraction, consistency and example are definately the best ways to "teach" them. The aim is to stop the unwanted behaviour, not necessary to make them regret misbehaving IYSWIM
DreamingofMaldives; regarding discipline (learning) for a 2 year old. As far as I can remember, sometimes I did have to cut a pleasant time short by removing my child and leaving.
If leaving is something they don't want to do,( e.g if you are at a playground) then they learn quite quickly, even at 2, that their behaviour has consequences. Better to leave and suffer once or twice than suffer every tine you go anywhere.
I did do time-out, especially for hitting/throwing things/ wilful bad behaviour.
If he hit, I would put him immediately in his cot and leave him for a couple of minutes. Just instant removal-no negotiations or warnings. That absolutely worked, because it was dead simple and he got the message that the behaviour was just not going to be tolerated.
I think that's the key with toddlers-simplicity. Not too much talking, no need for shouting, just "no" and swift retribution.
Also "no" has to MEAN "no". Every time. NEVER say "no" to anything your child asks you for if you are planning on caving in to nagging/whining.
It's good to give a reason why the answer is "no" but it's not negotiable.
And positive reinforcement works wonders too. Sometimes it's really easy to forget that, but every time I have a renewed attempt at it I am amazed how much better me and ds get along.
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