After the Baby Bully incident I am re-thinking my disciplinary tactics for Sam. We’ve entered the “terrible two’s” phase and I did notice a more outspoken, strong-willed attitude (Side note: Can I just say, I don’t like the phrase terrible two’s. It isn’t so terrible really — or am I speaking too soon?). It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s just gotten a tad bit challenging.
I’ve looked up disciplining methods for toddlers, read the recommendations from our favorite source, the Baby Whisperer, and talked to friends about their techniques. I know that there is no right or wrong way and as a parent you do what you feel is best for each child.
Spanking, and physical discipline for instance, is always up for debate. Some parents I know and respect believe in it in extreme cases and it works for them, but Daddy wants us to avoid it as much as possible. He says that it teaches her an eye for an eye, and other studies have shown it can lead to bullying.
Standing in the corner? Timeouts? I haven’t tried it seriously, but some say she’s too young and really won’t hold still in a corner for long. Actually, I end up putting myself in the corner in my frustration for not knowing what to do next. 🙂
I try to show her extreme patience (which is not easy), understanding that she is pushing her limits and testing authority. Instead of raising my voice or punishing her, I teach her that there are consequences to her actions. For instance, if she writes on wall or spills on the carpet, then I make her stop whatever she’s doing to wipe it up. Or when she throws her toys in frustration, I make her pick them up and pack them away. Of course, there is a lot of explaining which I hope and pray she understands. I try to be as matter-of-fact as possible, but I am only human and sometimes hints of frustration come out in my tone (that’s not so bad, right?).
When Sam is in the mood to throw a tantrum, I just let her (for as long as she doesn’t hurt herself) until she tires herself out. She will not get what she wants until she stops, which generally takes longer than I would hope.
So far so good I think. I’m hoping it teaches her that “mistakes” are a part of life, and that she can still do something to “correct” it. On her not-so-good days, then she knows she can release and vent all she wants and I will just wait for her to finish. At the very least, she knows throwing a tantrum will not get her what she wants. Thankfully, she is not one of those children who will hurt others. In fact for as long as she knows who she’s playing with, she is very much willing to share or let the other child play with what she is holding.
I’d have to say it takes a whole lot of willpower and perseverance, but hopefully it will pay off and we can avoid developing negative attention-grabbing habits in the long run. Well here’s hoping!
If you know of any way you feel has worked for you, please share it with me! I’d love to hear it!