Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Parenting tricks

We've talked over and over about things we can change in how we interact with Bailey and how to discipline him, I've even purchased books to help.  One book in particular hasn't given us much help, the other two I just bought last night so we still have hope for them.  There's two things we've tried so far and have actually noticed a change, and I thought I'd share just in case anyone out there is having similar issues with their munchkin.

1 - Every day I ask the kids to help me do something.  Jocelyn is a so a 2 year old, she'd rather play or empty out the bin we just filled with toys, plus she's seen her brother throw fits over cleaning and she thinks that's normal.  There are times we make it a game (see who can pick up the most toys before the timer goes off) and it works, other times neither could care less.  It's always hit and miss, but I refuse to let it go because they need responsibility.  Last week Bailey did his typical fit of 'NO I DON'T WANT TO CLEAN NOOO!', I told him he either picked up the 6 items or he'd clean something I chose.  When he didn't clean up the toys I said he got to clean the toilet.  Now I admit I made it worse by laughing and saying how happy I was that I wasn't doing it and there was lots of dripping sarcasm, but I was piffed and my attitude slipped out.  He didn't like it, but he cleaned it, and ever since if I say let's clean up our toys he does it without much of a fight.  In fact I can't tell you how many times I said that we'd start cleaning at a specific time because I had something to do first, and he'd start cleaning without me.  It hit me last night that he's been doing that ever since he cleaned the toilet.  Who would have thought!?!?!  So now it's either he cleans what I ask him to or I choose something.  Either way he gets his job done, he gets praise for helping and I get to check off one less thing on my to do list.

2 - Ignore the bitch.  Now I don't believe in ignoring the kids bad behavior, because it should be addressed and it should have repercussions, however sometimes ignoring can do you some good.  One of the things he does is he continues a fight for as long as he can.  For instance in time out he sits and screams and says mean things to me, and the more he does it the longer the fit and his anger lasts.  Most of the time I ignore him completely and just remind him ever so often in a calm voice that time out will not start until he is quiet.  Well that's not exactly how Super Nanny says to do things, but excuse me if my son says he didn't do anything wrong and it's my fault he just kicked the cat you bet your biscuits I'm going to put the smack down. Except what we've done is taken what he was initially in time out for and added on other things, making it a timeout for everything instead of one thing.  We talked about this the other day and how its obvious that sometimes he eggs things on for extra attention, and those times we should just ignore it.  We tested it out when he threw a fit over something (totally can't remember now they are all one blur at the moment) and instead of rising to his scream of no he wasn't going to or whatever it was, we didn't comment on it at all.  Instead of him screaming and whining/fake crying for 30 minutes, he didn't last but a minute or two before he stopped completely.  HOT DAMN!  This means that in time out we ignore him when he tries to make things worse, no matter what he says or does, we ignore him.  And to make sure he is given the least amount of ammo, he's now sitting in the corner on the floor with his back to us instead of on the rocking chair where he can see us and can rock himself into the wall.  Anytime he screams out in anger trying to keep the fight going, we are ignoring him.

This is not to say he's improved so much he's a new kid, not hardly.  But we've seen a few changes and a few instances of this working, and that is far better results than what we were doing.


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