Counting to three really works with every request you make that isn’t being heeded. If you request your three year old to start picking up the toys and they are not responding you can give the instruction, “I’m going to count to three, if you have not started what I’ve asked you to do, you will have a time-out, one, two…” When you ask your child to clean their room, come inside, get out of the pool and you start counting, your child will automatically know that when you get to three there will be a consequence. That way, once again, your child is in control of his destiny.
If you are dealing with more serious wrongdoings such as biting or other violent behavior, you must remove your child from the situation altogether, immediately. If you are going to a play-date and your child has been guilty of biting his buddy in the past, tell your child ahead of time that you will be going home if he bites and FOLLOW-THROUGH. The same punishment is necessary for parties even if you’re having a great time. The bigger things need to be handled with bigger consequences- especially if it happens often. If the crime scene is at your home during a play-date, party, etc., you can always put your child down for a nap or a rest for at least twenty minutes, away from everyone. No matter what kind of fit they throw- this will definitely get the message across that you will not tolerate their inflicting physical pain on another person.
An offended brother is more unyielding than a fortified city,
And disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel.
Word to the Wise:
Friends and children sometimes don’t mix.
All of a sudden the person you loved to hang out with and watch the game with has children too and the problem is—he has different ideas about parenting than you do. This is fine…until their kid bites, hits, bullies or otherwise mistreats your kid and he does… nothing. I promise you, no matter what secrets you have between the two of you or how many stories you’ve shared and how far you go back, once we become parents it changes our wiring forever. You will have to stick up for your child even if it comes down to, “I don’t think our children should play together right now and maybe we should stick to watching the game without kids” or you can just blame it on the distraction and suggest no kids when you get together.
The rod of correction imparts wisdom,
But a child left to himself disgraces his mother.
He who listens to a life-giving rebuke
Will be at home among the wise.
As I mentioned before, no child will greet every act of discipline or refusal to give into her desire with quiet acceptance. It is more than likely in fact that she will greet it with a good old-fashioned temper tantrum. Once again, it is not easy but no matter where you are or what the circumstance is, never let your child see you sweat when she screams and flails. Just ignore her. If he is throwing himself on the ground at Target because he doesn’t want to get into the cart, just pick him up and place his little legs through the little holes and move on. Ignore the screaming. Don’t try to reason, bribe or go over the shopping cart rule a second, third, fourth time. Ignore him. Your child knows the
rule; he just doesn’t want to comply. Don’t look around you. Yes, people will be staring and other people will be running away from you, for some reason a child screaming is always new news. You may have to cut your shopping list down to the necessities, but don’t leave. This gives power over to your child and he will win the shopping cart battle. Get through it. After just a couple of these incidents when they don’t get their way, I promise you, they will stop their little performances.
The number one reason why your child has a temper tantrum is that she is tired. In the sleep section I discuss ways to make sure your child sleeps enough, gets through or over nap time. What is important to remember though is that you must not give into tantrums or tirades, whatever their cause. This will actually feed the beast and work against you. Your child will learn that as long as he throws a fit, he will get what he wants when he wants it. There should be signs in public places: Do Not Feed the Tantrum. It is not easy to ignore a screaming child in public or to pick up a body that turns into jell-o. But if this frazzles you and you give in, take a seat in the palms of their little hands.
Stern discipline awaits him who leaves the path;
He who hates correction will die.
When words are many, sin is not absent,
But he who holds his tongue is wise.
You are better off to have ground rules just about everything. This is the way children think: black and white. If you have a rule, you take out the power struggle. For instance, if your child loves juice and you want them to drink water during the day and milk for dinner. Make a rule. Juice is only for breakfast. When they throw a tantrum or try to create a power struggle about wanting juice for lunch you have the artillery. All you have to say is, “You know the rule and if you ask me again you will have a time out.”
He who ignores discipline despises himself,
But whoever heeds correction gains understanding.
I guess you are getting the picture that the Bible has a lot to say about discipline! That can only mean one thing, it must be gravely important to God. When I look around at today’s society, I can see its importance when it is not handled properly. It’s an amazing thing, but kids who grow up with some of the most amazing dysfunctions can fare okay if there were ALSO discipline in the house. If you don’t believe me, ask your mother or grandmother. My mother was raised by an alcoholic mother, yet because she didn’t let discipline go, my mom STILL faired well. Not that it was easy or it was the way it is supposed to be. However, you take a child who was raised in a loving, nurturing, “normal” home and take out discipline, it’s an ugly scene and it has dire consequences for that individual later in life.
Attention. We all know this type: the child who must be the center of attention, ALWAYS. She talks louder than anyone else in the room, he is impulsive, in your space and in your face, she wants what every other child has and his favorite sentence is, “Watch this.” And behind him is usually a meek or checked out parent doing damage control but too paralyzed or embarrassed to really do anything about the behavior. They figure, “Maybe if I don’t respond, I won’t call attention to my child’s problem,” when in fact, the attention to the “problem” is all anyone can notice.
When a child is dominating with his voice and boisterous with his actions, he needs to be taught how to behave appropriately. Some children have difficulty with social skills and that is all right, but to let it go is to cause problems for that child in the future when it comes time to make and keep friends. If he refuses to share space with his peers, he will be ostracized.
If we can teach our children to brush their teeth, we can teach our children not to be loud and boisterous. If your child is boisterous, apply the timeout measures. If you have to repeat this twenty times at one party, this is a signal something is wrong. If you get tired, by all means say, “The next time I have to talk to you about the same problem we are leaving.” You can and must teach children self-control… with a lot of patience.
Word to the Wise:
If our children get on our nerves,
you can be rest assured they get on other’s nerves as well and
probably even a little more so.
He who scorns instruction will pay for it,
But he who respects a command is rewarded.