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What 'punishment' do you use?

(10 Posts)
maxos Thu 23-Jul-09 18:39:28

My DS aged 4 (just) is becoming more and more boisterous and physical. He's just a really normal boy, full of energy and fun - but last few weeks he's not listening to anything I say. So when I'm explaining that hitting his little brother, snatching toys, screaming at the top of his voice when I haven't answered him immediately, running headlong at speed into people in the street etc etc isn't the best behaviour, he just looks at me, says sorry then runs off again to repeat the bad stuff 5 minutes later.

We don't use any form of punishment on him - we choose to speak to him and explain how unreasonable/selfish etc he's being.

However I don't think that's working and need some form of punishment so that he becomes aware that if he behaves in an unacceptable manner, then there will be consequences.

I've thought about the usual (sending him to his room for time out, no TV etc) but I need something that I can use with immediate effect especially when we're out and about.........

Anyone have any tips?

He's beginning to get a reputation for being 'bullish' and I feel like I'm losing control. I need him to understand that if he's not nice to his peers then no-one will want to play with him.

LynetteScavo Thu 23-Jul-09 18:45:57

Maybe one of those portable time out mats?

The only punishment I use on DD who is just 4 is asking her to sit on the bottom step for 2 mins. (Yes, I know it;s supposed to be one minute per year of thier age, but I'm soft.)

maxos Thu 23-Jul-09 18:52:36

We use that at home. He screams and screams and it does have a very small effect on him. Until 5 minutes later....!

But what about out and about?

I've thought about telling him he can't have his favourite toy in bed that night, but my DH thinks I'm cruel. Am I?

celticbohys Thu 23-Jul-09 18:56:31

hmm don't think i would use the favourite bed toy as this may stop him from going to sleep (nightmare).

If out and about what about not getting a treat or not allowed to visit favourite store ie elc or such like?

nickytwotimes Thu 23-Jul-09 18:59:57

Ds is told he will have soem favourite thing removed (immediately). It HAS to be instant imo. Delayed punishment is no use. It works for us, but it is trial and error to find a method that works for you all.
Tbh, I don't think explaining works with kids of that young age. There has to be a consequence to inappropriate behavior, whether that is the natural consequence a la How To Talk..., or a parentally imposed on.

KembleTwins Thu 23-Jul-09 19:04:17

I use the stairs when we're at home. Seem to work fine, but obviously isn't great when we're out. I have an amazing friend who uses "face the wall" rather than steps - that works everywhere. She's even done it in the supermarket (once) and we were in our local art gallery this week and she did it there. Her DDs (aged 3) hate it, so it really works. She is VERY strong though!

BlueberryPancake Thu 23-Jul-09 19:55:43

We use face the wall at home for 1 minute if it's a 'minor offence' but hitting is 3 minutes. I put the oven timer on. DS hates being shouted at (like most kids I suppose) so I say to him that if he does it again, I will shout at him (I rarely do) and it works.

If he throws a toy (hard) I put the toy on the fridge for 2 days. Sometimes there are 8 toys on top of the fridge.

We also tell him that if his behaviour is good, he will get an extra book/special story at bedtime. It has to be specific tho, like 'if you don't push anyone at the park, you will have an extra story at bedtime'.

We have had him face the wall in a few different places, including at the park. Especially if he pushes a younger child (he has only done this a couple of times)

LynetteScavo Thu 23-Jul-09 21:22:46

Maxos - maybe rewards would work better for your DS than punishments.

danthe4th Thu 23-Jul-09 23:04:49

At age 4 boys have a testosterone surge nearly as big as when they are 14! they also become slightly deaf. It's not an excuse for bad behaviour but it does explain why they become boisterous. It may be worth channeling, my 4 year old son has a passion for cricket and ball games, he loves some rough and tumble and he beams when praised for anything he does well.
I don't give prizes for good behaviour,as you say it needs to be instant. If he misbehaved while out I hold his hand very tight tell him we are not doing anything else until he behaves,and walk swiftly towards the car. I will not budge until he is calm and behaving, we all hug and carry on. If he didn't calm down I would just go home, they soon learn you mean business, I only had to do this a few times with my older son and he knows if I say we'll go home he knows I mean it.

maxos Fri 24-Jul-09 09:45:24

I like the 'Face the Wall' angle, it seems you can do it almost everywhere.

I am fairly strong with both boys as I believe you can relax the rules as they get older if rules laid down when young. I think it's more difficult to enforce rules as they get older if you've been lax from the beginning.

I do however praise everything DS does good though LynetteScavo, depending on degree of goodness and he does get special rewards for really good consistent behaviour.

He is a very happy boisterous little boy so perfectly normal, but there are times when he just can't seem to control himself (maybe with testosterone surge he can't?) and I want to enforce a cause and effect punishment so I can deal with poor behaviour immediately.

I also like the thrown toy on the fridge technique BlueberryPancake - although may get quite a big pile going on?!!

Out and about today so will see how we get on.

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