Archive | June 2016

Discipline

My Discipline

I believe you need to start discipline as soon as possible.  When you are nursing and the baby bites, give a louder “ouch” so the baby understands there are consequences. Then when our darling toddlers start knocking things over or touching things they shouldn’t, we need to tell them no, not move the object.  By telling them no and keeping the object there, we teach them the world does not revolve around them.  To stay on this point; if you are going to take your child outside your home they need to know what they can and can’t touch.  When you go to a friends house, store, restaurant, etc. they know “no” and this makes your life a lot easier.  So there are different ways of discipline, I personally don’t believe in only one.  I do believe what the Bible says in Proverbs13:24 NIV= Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.

I have a few different ideas on discipline.  I can tell you that no 1 thing works every time and for every child.  You know your child, try different ways of disciplining and figure out what works best for you.  Remember the punishment needs to fit the crime.

Spanking: I use this when a child needs a quick reminder to open those ears.  I have used a wooden spoon or my hand.  This is not abuse, it is a spanking- not multiple hits.  1-2 swats on the rear end is all it should be, accompanied with redirection; that is what I am talking about here.  If my child touches “a pretty”, I spank their hand and tell them no.  Again, this needs to have some redirection or moving the child away from the area (if it’s logical).  By redirecting I mean have a toy, coloring book, blankie, pacifier available for your child.

Thumping their lips:  I use this when a child spits, backtalks, says a bad word on purpose, disrespects, screams or yells.

Hot Tabasco or dry mustard: I use a drop or 2.  I use this for biting or lying.  I cannot stand lying, I teach my kids very young that telling the truth no matter what is so important.  With biting, you can also bite back.

Hold therapy: this is for your out of control child where a spanking won’t shock them out of the behavior.  If leaving the child to throw a temper tantrum will hurt him or someone else; I pick the child up and hold their body close to mine making sure they can’t move, I hold them until I can talk to them and feel their body relax and they can respond with a desire to change their behavior.  If they are too big to hold, get on top of them similar to a wrestling position and keep them still until they relax.  My son was tongue tied for 3 years and we didn’t know it.  He would throw fits and fling himself around on the ground.  I would hold him and cry with him until he would relax so we could talk.

Time-outs: the child needs to understand what no means before you start time-outs.  They should be told why they are being put in time-out and not talked to until they are have remorse for what they have done.  You do not need a time-out chair or certain spot for this; I have put my kids in time out at the grocery store and literally stood in the aisle while they thought about what they had done; these tend to be quicker because they tend to be more embarrassed out in public.  For timing: a good way to start is by their age=how long they sit in time out.  Now I have a child that sat for 30 minutes at the age of 2 because he didn’t want to tell me what he did wrong.  Finally at the end of 30 minutes he told me why he was in time out.  You know your child; do what works for you, not what others say.

Taking things away/extra chores:  so this can start around 12-18 months depending on the child.  You may have a child that no other disciple seems to work, but taking that special toy away does.  (Do not take a blanket or something they find comfort and/or security in away, that can be traumatizing).  The length that toy is taken can depend on the child’s age and why it was taken away.  For a 1-3 year old 20-minutes to a few hours; while a 4+ year old it can be overnight or longer.  So when we are dealing with an older child who has a bad attitude, disrespects, or is mean in some way-  I start to give them jobs as discipline.  These are not their regular chores.  They might have to make a sibling’s bed, pick up toys that aren’t theirs.  Serve someone all day by getting them food, drinks etc.

Following and During any discipline I always tell my child I did not like their actions, but I love them.  Their actions are not them, so remember to separate their choices from who they are.  “You are acting like a brat”; NOT “You are a brat”.  You can always say, “I don’t like how you were acting, I always love you and I know you can make better choices”.  

Parenting can be hard work.  The earlier you start the easier it will be.  I can tell you it’s worth it.  Your children will represent your family and how they are raised.

Vacation Time

Summer is almost here for my family.  This year my husband has a sabbatical, so he will be off the same time our kids are.  For us this will be a very relaxed, non-alarm summer (except for church of course).  We have some fun trips planned, that are different from our normal summers.

Most of our summers look the same.  Some things wait until daddy gets off work so we can make memories as a family.  We love to paddleboard, camp, go on bike rides, have family room sleep-overs (this is the whole family) and more.  Every summer we make a Zfam adventure list and a Reading Challenge chart.  (These are on a poster board and hung on our back door).  Our adventures are determined by the whole family, some don’t make the list as they are too expensive or unrealistic. The above mentioned things are on the list along with reading, swimming, s’mores, and playing games.  If you decide to do a list tailor it to your family.

  So of course with the reading challenge I have a reward system.  I decide how many books I want my kids to read over the summer.  Each book has to be pre approved for how much it’s worth.  I have some very avid readers in my family, so a 5th grade level book for my child who reads at a 9th grade level is worth a ¼ of a sticker; none of the books are worth more than 1 sticker.  The chart has each child’s name on it with 4 sections: 2 books-4 books-6 books-8 books.  Below each section is a prize like ice cream or going out to dinner(this is our final prize).  So the other stipulation is, no reward is given until all 5 kids reach each goal. (They can continue reading more books and adding it to their chart towards the next  goal).  My children are very encouraging to each other with this challenge.   I like this challenge since it gives me a chance to get some reading in during our time off.   

  I believe in making life an adventure.  This is a year round thing. We go for walks,  sing, and play I spy.  When we go for a car ride that is more than 20 minutes, I act like it is a long way away so everyone needs some water and a little snack.  During time off around holidays we always sleep in the family room a few times, play games, and act like the clock doesn’t matter.  We have fairly strict bedtimes during school, but in summer midnight is always an option=).  Of course you need to take about a week before school starts again to re-train the kids that bedtime is important.  No matter what you do, have fun and remember the little things can leave lasting impressions and great memories.  

Parent to Friend

Balance, that is the main goal here.  Some of us grew up in the generation of the authoritarian or permissive parents.  I believe the best type of parenting is authoritative.  We need to teach our children to respect us and to know we are in charge, always.  Teaching starts very young; by 6 months old you should start telling them no, while still showing them security and love.  Always stay strong when disciplining, even with those sweet eyes looking at you.  Sometime we lose our cool and threaten to throw things in the garbage or other extreme measures;  we can change it by saying “I was frustrated and I am changing the punishment to _____”.  Typically the toys and things our kids have, we bought with our money, so take things away, don’t waste your money.  

So how do we go from parent to friend? What is the right age to do this?  Now is when you start.  When our kids are little, we play with them; this teaches friendship.  When they get older we talk to them about issues in their lives and help and teach them how to deal with conflict. Stop here! {By the time they are in junior high, they want to share with you and don’t always want to you “fix” or advise them on what to do.  They want you to listen and know you are there for them if they want help}.  You still need to ask questions and ask if they want your advice on certain situations.  If it is something big,  please step in and help your child!  We always need to be an active part of our kids lives no matter their age.  By the time our kids are going into high school the groundwork should be laid to start moving from parent to friend.  What I mean by this is your child should have the tools to make their own decisions and know their basic beliefs.  This is not a time to go hands off, you need to be an active part of their life.  You don’t go hands off till they are out of your house; we know there is always room for growth and maturity.  Continue to ask them about their day, their friends, how they are handling and feel about everything.  {This should start when they start school}.  Continue to guide them on religion, drugs, sex, life choices.  It is important at all ages for our children to know actions produce consequences.  So back to friendship; our children need to show respect for our authority and as they mature a natural friendship can occur.  We have to let them make mistakes and suffer the consequences, whether it is from us, a teacher, or another adult in their life.  Better to start disciplining when they are little, than to have the cops do it when they are teenagers.  By setting the foundation while they are young; you will be able to have a lifelong friendship with mutual respect.

*Trust is earned. Love is given.*