I hesitate to write about discipline because I am not an expert. I do not have a degree in child psychology. I do have a degree in Elementary Education where I did have several courses, along with some practical experience, with children. I have to say that I am speaking more from the experience of being a mom who once had four little ones running around, messing things up, fighting, yelling and arguing.
Sometimes being a “stay at home mom” was like being on a rollercoaster that NEVER ENDED! I remember one child psychologist on TV stating, “I know what it’s like, I have a child of my own,” and thinking, "buddy you really have NO IDEA!" The dynamics of having several children is so much different than when you just have one child. So here goes:
1. When my children were fighting, I ALWAYS put all the children involved in the fight into time out. I swear by this. You never know what another child is doing to instigate or provoke the situation. By punishing them all, they all get to have time to think and calm down. Plus this does not allow one child to have the upper hand over another. (For me time out was usually a corner where they couldn’t see each other.)
2. The amount of time for a time out is usually just a few minutes. But, if a mom needs more time to cope, the children can stay longer. There are days when a mom just needs a few extra minutes to calm down and take control. If a child is in time out for a longer period of time (and I don’t mean hours) what will it hurt him? The outcome will certainly be better than mom losing her cool!
3. If the fighting starts again, it’s right back into time out. No if, ands or buts! If it continues again, the children need to go back again, and stay in time out until they can commit to getting along. Now, I don’t think this ever became an issue, but really they do have to learn how to deal with each other in a positive way.
4. Sometimes, if everyone just seems cranky, it might be nap time or movie time. If nap time, have them all go to their beds and tell them they must stay it for a certain length of time, without talking. Usually a half an hour or so. Chances are the children will fall asleep. If it’s movie time, have everyone get a blanket & pillow, lay on the floor, turn down the lights and tell them they are not to talk or they will have to go to their bed. The hour or so of quiet time can be bliss for a mom and the fact that quiet time is disguised as movie time puts a positive spin on the situation.
These cute little time out dolls are made by Ann Golden on Bonanza. Check out her story and her booth at: http://www.bonanza.com/users/327693/profile
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As I sit here in a California hotel room while my almost grown children are enjoying a fun day at Disneyland with a group of their friends, I am feeling reminiscent about the years when they were little. Anyone who knows me knows that I am the biggest kid of the group. Nothing is more exciting for me then a few days at Disneyland. But, alas, health issue at the present time are preventing me from indulging in my favorite pastime. Thus sitting in a nice hotel room with free Internet and free parking are the highlights of my day! I'm sure I will get a chance to go out and explore some fun places to eat, maybe do some shopping, and if I see a good place to get a pedicure, I might just have to indulge.
Sitting here so close to Disneyland has caused me to reflect back on the years of watching my family grow. It is this reflection that has given me thought to share some of the techniques we have used in raising our children. I don't want to sound like a "know-it-all" and say that our ways are the only ways or the best ways, but many of them did help us to cope with the day to day struggles.
Road Trip Wrangle
"Sit on Your Hands and Stick Out Your Tongue!"
The road trips for us were always a challenge. We never had a DVD player. The most the kids had was a CD player to listen to music. At times it was really tough. The fighting and the arguing could drive anyone crazy. When a problem arose we would have the children involved "Sit on their hands and stick out their tongue!" Usually for about a minute or two. If they didn't do it the full time they got another minute. If they argued they got another minute. At first it was funny for them, but after a while it wasn't so much fun. Often the few minutes of silence could really change the atmosphere in the car. To this day the kids still laugh about this type of discipline.
"Who Has Their Seat Belt On?"