Discipline - what do you do?(2 Posts)
I have a 4 (nearly 5) year old DD. She is extremely strong willed and tantrums can last hours. She is also incredibly strong, can lift doors off hinges and break things. I feel that the naughty spot is ineffective as the tantrums last so long she forgets why she is punished despite being told. Time out just doesn't work as, unattended she is destructive, she has had a door off the hinges more than once, managed to tip over furniture and has smashed a glass panel on the living room door. Attended, she is violent towards me and DH and again can go on for hours. Smacking is just a straight forward no, I can't teach her that I smack her as a punishment for her smacking me or anything else for that matter. I feel that it's not safe to continue trying these methods.
So today, I was upstairs building something, had been maybe 10 minutes, DS comes up to tell me she's emptied talc every where, and indeed she had - all over the living room, an entire bottle. I came rushing down the stairs and she hid, knowing she had done something wrong. I had my angry voice and told her it is not OK to do it "because she wants the living room to smell nice". I hoovered up the worst of it, and said repeatedly to her that I wasn't happy. So about an hour later, I was talking to DS about what is and isn't fair (separate issue), an example gave him is that I have to clean the living room all over again because of DD and that hadn't even said sorry.
DD appeared round the door and said sorry, I also then suggested to her the right thing to do, is to help me clean it, which she did.
My parents have just lectured me about my children having no consequences and no discipline and it's no wonder they are the way they are. DD knew immediately it was naughty, she then offered a half prompted apology and helped to clean it up. Given all the above, what could I have done differently?
You know, I'm not sure I would have treated emptying talc as naughty, actually. It is annoying for you, sure, but from her perspective she was trying to do a shake n vac to put the freshness back. I think being angry and shouty with her, and then repeating that same negative message again to her brother later (designed to humiliate), was counter productive. It would have gone a lot better if you'd 1) taken a deep breath, 2) breezily observed the problem in one short sentence (eg DD. There's talc on the floor), 3) asked her for her solution to the problem (eg what will you do?), 4) help her implement her solution if she really needs it (eg help lift a heavy vacuum cleaner from the cupboard, but not do the actual vacuuming).
ignore your parents.
And buy or borrow the book, How To Talk So Kids Will Listen.
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