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How to avoid discipline getting physical

(17 Posts)
Eachpeachpearwherestheplum Tue 18-Feb-14 23:00:16

Ds is 6 and either so so so lovely or quite a hand full, nothing in between. If for example he hurts his brother and is sent to time out for 6minutes, he point blank goes into hysteria and won't go. This leads to having to be physically placed there.....then he won't stay and it just ends up getting too much so he has to be left not in time out to calm down!

In the same way, getting dressed to go out etc, he starts throwing himself all over the place, jumping on backs of others etc, told to stop.....won't and often ends up hurting someone, yesterday he jumped on my back whilst I was putting on baby,s shoes.....I leap out in pain, he fell on floor screaming he was hurt!

I don't like it getting so physical! How can it be avoided? Tips please!

clearsommespace Wed 19-Feb-14 05:45:06

No advice on the time out front, we've never really done that but it sounds like you need a different strategy. Mine was to give all my attention to the injured party in the immediate, lots of cuddles etc.

If your DS is 6, being disciplined, told to say sorry, finding out what caused him to hit etc can take place 10 minutes later.

We had the same problem with DS at shoe time. Not getting ready and hindering everyone else big time. Gave him a designated spot to get ready in. He had to stay there until everyone else was ready. He had a book or toy to play with once he was ready to make it easier to stay there.

DevonFolk Wed 19-Feb-14 06:03:35

Time out will never work while he is in that state (I'm not convinced by it full stop tbh but that's your call).

While a person is in a heightened state of stress, such as a tantrum, the thinking part of their brain is not active and so sitting still to 'think about their behaviour' just can't happen. He needs to be taught and helped to calm down in a way that doesn't require thinking or talking, whether it's with a hug if they're upset or steady breathing.

Once he's calm and thinking then his behaviour can be dealt with in a completely non physical way.

DevonFolk Wed 19-Feb-14 06:08:54

Sorry for brief-ness of post. On phone and being jumped on by dd. If you need or want any more information about soothing techniques let me know.

Fairy1303 Wed 19-Feb-14 10:42:38

Have you read how to listen so kids will talk and talk so kids will listen? I found it really helpful when dealing with a very stroppy DSD.

TheBuskersDog Wed 19-Feb-14 10:54:29

Devonfolk, yes you are right a child in he middle of a tantrum cannot think about their behaviour, however the OP is saying her son is reacting in this way because he is being disciplined for inappropriate behaviour e.g.hurting his brother. Basically he is having a massive strop because he is being told off, no way should the OP reward his behaviour by giving him her attention and hugs.

AcrylicPlexiglass Wed 19-Feb-14 10:55:08

Have you tried putting him in his room with the door shut/sending him out the the room the rest of you are in and shutting the door rather than placing him on a spot or step? Being calming and soothing and doing steady breathing would be playing into his bad behaviour, imo, unless you are sure it is an anxiety response. Sounds like it really isn't - he's more likely to be tantrumming in order to get out of the punishment after hurting his brother. Agree with reading How to Talk.

neolara Wed 19-Feb-14 11:10:46

As he is now 6, if he does not go to time out when asked, I would add one extra minute for each refusal up to 10 mins. If you get to 10 mins and he still refuses to go, warn him that he either needs to go to time out, or he will lose a privilege. E.g.
You - DS, stop jumping on your brother.
DS - jumps on brother again.
You - DS, if you jump on your brother again you'll go to time out. (Warning of consequences)
DS - Jumps on brother again.
You - DS, you need to go to your room for 6 mins.
DS - No! I'm not going. YOu can't make me.
You - That's one more minute
DS - I don't care. You're a meanie and I hate you.
You - That's 8 minutes.
DS - YOu're so unfair. Waaaah!
You - That's 9 minutes. If you don't go now, there will be no TV this evening.
DS - I don't care. Waaah!
You - No TV tonight. (And walk away from the ensuing tantrum. Literally, just walk into a different room. He may scream and wail and shout but remember, he's just cross. You haven't done anything unreasonable.)

Once he goes to time out, he needs to have 2 mins of quiet before he comes out. If he's throwing things around his room and screaming and shouting, leave him in there until he's calmed down. Let him know he needs to be quiet for 2 mins before coming out so it's not a surprise.

He may get worse before he gets better. This is typical testing of boundaries to see if you will hold the line. You sound like you already know that you need to crack this behaviour asap. Holding you to ransom with tantrums is not not great in a 6 year old, and has the potential to be just hideous in a teenager.

Davsmum Wed 19-Feb-14 12:36:44

Have you just reduced the 9 minutes to 2 minutes?

neolara Wed 19-Feb-14 13:23:36

Davsmum - No. Sorry, I wasn't clear. What I meant was that if your dc is in time out for 5 mins, he needs to be calm for at least the the last 2 mins. If dc is raging / shouting / screaming for the full 5 mins, then he stays in time out until he is calm for 2 mins. DC should know in advance this is the rule. Does that make sense?

Davsmum Wed 19-Feb-14 13:47:05

Yes,..makes sense. I tend to agree with your method..Course' it has to be consistent each time.

Eachpeachpearwherestheplum Thu 20-Feb-14 00:33:10

Thank you for your detail advise. The problem starts as soon as he needs to be told off, he starts to tantrum in response to being told off. So as an example today whilst walking alone a busy road he started giving his brother a Chinese burn! I said stop that right now, he carries on, I shout stop, he ignores....I grab his arm and pull it off.....he screams that I hurt him! So now I feel I was too forceful sad and it's got physical again. 5 mins later angel child again.

Eachpeachpearwherestheplum Thu 20-Feb-14 00:35:46

Part of the problem is that also it tend to be really hyper silly outbursts where he is so physical I end up hurt or bashed so react physically.....pull him off or away, but he reacts like I have beaten him!

neolara Thu 20-Feb-14 12:13:21

Can I recommend The Incredible Years. It's really very good.

Fairy1303 Thu 20-Feb-14 13:06:06

Have you tried 1 2 3 magic? Have heard good things about that too.

What if you had said 'DS, stop hurting your brother now.'
Carries on...

'DS, I'm going to count to three. If you do not stop hurting your brother there will be no tv'

And follow through.

I know it sounds basic and I felt like I'd tried it already, but when I actually thought about it I realised that I wasn't following through properly and it escalated.

Davsmum Thu 20-Feb-14 13:36:16

You cannot start negotiating if he is hurting his brother. You have to physically stop him, being firm and without shouting.

When you shout at a child they will react., probably by shouting or getting more aggressive instead of listening.

I don't know why people shout at children.

AcrylicPlexiglass Thu 20-Feb-14 18:53:36

They shout because they are stressed, usually, Davsmum. And sometimes to try and shock children into stopping doing something dangerous/unacceptable when their hands are full. I see that eachpeach has at least 2 other children, one a baby, so I imagine she has a full on life and it is not always easy to drop everything and concentrate fully on discipling her son at these times. I think you would be hard pressed to find that many parents who haven't shouted or even bellowed horribly, (sometimes very unfairly in my case), at times of extreme worry/stress. It is a very difficult habit to break. I agree with you that it is not usually effective and needs to be consciously kept to a minimum and that striving for a consistent calm but firm approach is the way forward. Hope some of the suggestions here work for you, eachpeach.

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