Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Respectful Discipline

How many times have you had to bite your tongue from lashing out at a mom disciplining her child in public in an inappropriate way? I seriously can't count the times! I've seen a mom pull her child out of the cart by her arm and throw her to the ground. I've seen a toddler be slapped (I did say something to the mom about that one). I've heard a mom tell her child she's going to lock her in the car next time they leave the house.... crazy stuff. Believe me... I get it.... kids are tough! They can wear you down in the WORST way and it's easy to snap BUT there is a right way and a wrong way to discipline. The right way is respectfully... and the wrong way is disrespectfully. It's your judgement call as to what type of discipline falls where but I've done some digging for us moms, and here's what I've found (all opinions; however, mostly from doctors... so please no yelling at me... thanks!):

1st background... why am I doing this post?

Well... honestly. this little guy.... he's the love of my life and is generally a great kid....but... he can be booger sometimes and we've gotta nip it now!

When Parker 1st started acting out, we decided to pop his hand and say "no!" firmly. This worked for while but then we noticed him saying "no!" and spanking his toys, food or the dogs when he didn't want them or when he was done. Essentially, it just wasn't effective. AND... to be honest.... I found myself popping him out of anger sometimes and later apologizing because it wasn't necessary or beneficial to him. I'm not against spanking as a whole BUT I've decided I am against it for a toddler in 95% of situations. I don't think they get why you can hit and they can't...simple as that. PLUS I don't think it calms them down which is really what they need to do most of the time!

Next, we tried time out. We're getting results out of this and it's exciting! When he does something I've asked him not to do, he goes to the specified time out chair. It's the same chair every time if we're home and it's in the den. He sits until he's calm and we discuss it. Problem: I'm getting upset when I put him there and it upsets him more because I'm mad which then takes longer for him to calm down. I also usually firmly say NO SIR and tell him why he's in the chair.

Then... I started researching and asking questions AND my savior of a pediatrician told me he had a podcast (which he calls pedcast) on the VERY subject and I LOVE IT! Enough to share it with my other mommy friends! It's all about respectful disciplining so that we raise respectful and well behaved children. How angelic does that sound?

It's so simple!!!! What does yelling teach them to do? YELL! What does hitting teach them to do? HIT! What does shouting NO NO NO over and over teach them to do? YELL NO NO NO back! DUH! (insert tone of bricks hitting yourself here) For them to respect us and learn boundaries we have to 1st respect them.

Listen to the podcast ... but here is an abridged version:

1. When you need to discipline your children put them in a specified location in isolation. They need to be removed from the situation. Not a crib or highchair. Preferably a corner or chair away from toys and TV. Key here is BORING! You place them here calmly and without yelling at them or throwing them on the chair. You simply let them know while they're acting out that they're in time out.

2. It doesn't matter how LONG they sit here... it's about being calm enough to look you in the eye. Wait it out until they can make eye contact.

3. Once you have eye contact. You explain to them calmly why they are in time out. You should lower your tone and rate of speech. (How hard is this when you're totally frazzled and at your breaking point?! I know... but it makes sense so I'm gonna do it!) Example: Parker, you are in time out because you hit the dog. We do not hit the dog because it hurts her and gives her an owie. You do not like owie's do you? No, it hurts. (If there is an offense, an apology is a must) Please go say you're sorry to Ellie.

4. Even if they are too young to apologize, this is still a habit and step that should be included even if you're the one apologizing.

OK... so how easy does that sound? Not hard right? I think the hardest part will be not getting upset and raising my voice when I'm frustrated and at my breaking point... especially if he's being whiny! UGH! BUT... I want to raise a respectful and well behaved child and THIS is going to be how I do it! Wish me luck!

Project Perfectly Precious Parker starts tomorrow morning!


  1. Thanks for sharing Taylor :)

  2. Taylor! I'm so excited I found your blog! Your post hits home with me, since I have an almost 2 year old. We had toddler discipline boot camp a couple of months ago...whew - is it exhausting, but so worth it. ~~ By the way, Parker really is perfectly precious!!

  3. Thanks Byerly!!!! Your babies are precious! Somedays I'd love a housefull of toddlers because they're so stinkin' fun and other days I want to lock myself in a closet! Whew! What a whirlwind!