Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Beginning of Discipline

I think we've arrived at that place that is always so hard for me, as a parent.  The beginning of discipline.  I clearly remember the questions I had about my methods with Meryt, my doubt in myself, but my confidence that I must begin to discipline her. 

Does she understand? 
Does she know what she did wrong?
Does she know why she's being discplined?
How long is too long after the offense to discpline?

Luke, on the other hand, gives me absolutely no reason to doubt myself.  He clearly needs to be disciplined, but how? 

He's a hitter.
He's a hair puller.
He's a pincher.
He's a biter.
He's a spitter.

Yes.  He's a spitter.  That just started yesterday morning.  I was so shocked the first time he spit at me, that I busted out laughing.  It is slightly humerous to see your chubby, sweet faced, blue eyed toddler bend at the waist and slobber toward you.  He was so mad that he didn't even notice that I had a moment of amusement at his expense.  He just spit {spat?} again. 

We've tried "time out" where we put him in the chair for 1 minute.  He just screams--because he's still mad about whatever caused his aggressive behavior.  Not because we've put him in time out. 

We tried a quick pop on the hand or the leg.  Um...that just led to more hitting. 

The wooden spoon is what we use when Meryt needs some discipline, which is not very often.  So, this morning, I busted out the wooden spoon for Luke. 

The first time he spit, a TINY pop on the leg.  He was shocked, so he immediately spit again.  Another tiny pop.  Another spit.  Another tiny pop.  Another spit.  This went on and on and on. 

Oh...did I mention Luke is INCREDIBLY strong willed? 

By nap time this morning, he wasn't spitting back after his pop. 

So, at just a few days shy of 18 months, we are at the beginning of displine.  The hard core, we are the parents-you are the child type of displine.         


Megan said...

Awe, the discipline. Definitely doesn't sound like a fun phase, but I'm certain it's the right thing. Good luck getting through this step with your sweet babe.

And thanks so much for your nice comment on my blog. I loved reading what you had to say and very much appreciate your e-visit!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Arizaphale said...

Oh my, how I feel for you! But good for you making up your mind and sticking to it! That's the key thing, consistency. Removal from the incident is always a good way of defusing that clash of wills I used to find. When they're little and don't really understand the reasoning approach, your only recourse is deterrence. Mind you, be careful you don't make such an issue of it that it becomes negative reinforcement: you know, I spit and mama pays attention (not nice attention but attention none the less)'s a minefield alright but your instincts are good and Meryt is a good example of what you can achieve :-D
Good luck my friend!

Kelly said...

I love this post! I found your blog through Kelly's Korner and saw that your from Macon, and I live in Macon, too. I don't know many people from my area who blog, so I'm looking forward to reading your blog... :)


Lauren said...

Hi Natalie! I am in Warner Robins and have a 19 month old and am in the SAME disciplining stages where she is testing me and I am trying to figure out what in the world to do!! She hasnt spit at me yet though! I am adding you to my reader and I look forward to following you! Have a great week!