My name is trinity, i have two boys and I'm pregnant due in June. Disciplining my boys is very difficult. No matter what i do, they don't listen to me. I've tried putting them in the corner, spanking, I've even yelled, but nothing works. It's like they think I'm a joke. Their father and i split in December, I've moved in with my father and they'll listen to him, but when it comes to listening to mommy it just doesn't happen. It's stressing me out and i don't know what to do our how to deal with it. All I want to do is cry. I need help, any advice?
This sounds familiar. Spanking doesn't work. Yelling causes them to "tune you out", and forced time outs...nope they only cause angry feelings from both sides.
I have a couple of stubborn girls. It was hard to find discipline that actually worked. I talked with my pediatrician and he actually had the answer. He told me that kids need to take a "time out". This time out is not to be forced to sit on a rug or in a chair or even with a nose in the corner. A time out is a moment in time away from you. A time to settle down and learn to calm themselves. You can't expect them to calm down if you yourself are at your wit's end.
I have a small bathroom. It has a light, and a door. It has a sink and a bathtub. It is a safe place. A quiet place. It is this place that I use when my kids need a time out.
When one is needed I tell my child due to their behavior the consequence is to sit in this room for awhile. With your hand on the door, let them know that it is not going to open. They may scream, they may cry, they may throw a tantrum...but you know what? Let them! I know it seems counterproductive, but think about it a minute. When you are angry, upset or just can't take something anymore, you want to scream at the top of your lungs, or throw things, or just "let it out" with a bout of tears....well give your child that opportunity.
Once the crying has stopped, the fit is over, and it is quiet, ask them if they are calm. If so you can open the door. If not, allow them more time. During this time do not yell. Do not try to get a point across. Just let things be quiet. Remain calm. Speak in a calm even tone. Allow them to think you are in control of your emotions.
The first time I ever had to try this, I waited outside that door for nearly 3 hours! *Yes my daughter is extremely stubborn*. But one time is all it took. She got the idea that she wasn't going to get mommy angry anymore. She also caught on that in her time out she could calm herself. It didn't matter what she did, I used this technique every time. Eventually I didn't have to hold the door knob. Eventually I could walk away from the door.
Once a child knows you are serious they start to understand that there are consequences to their actions. If you do it calmly and not lose control of your emotions they can learn to calm down too.
I also want to say...I don't want to "control" my kids. I want my kids to learn how to control themselves. You don't have to be a tyrant. You don't have to be a pushover. You do have to show you are in control of your emotions. You do have to be consistant.
I went from a mom who would scream at the top of her lungs in the middle of the room (scaring my child), to swatting their butt (losing control of myself) to sitting on top of my child (so they would stay in time out)....to this calmer easier way of dealing with a child who just needs time to learn to calm themselves.
Once calm, children can actually have a decent conversation about why they did the bad thing they did. They are also open on what they should do instead of doing what they did.
It is our job as parents to help them find their own way, by calmly guiding them along their life's path. We aren't here to control them, we are here to teach them.
...and these kind of time outs for your kids, give you a time out too. A welcome time for your to relax your frazzled nerves. Even now with my girls being 8 and 5, mommy still takes a time out from the day.
Also don't be afraid to talk to them about it. When they see you giving yourself a time out they will realize that it's not a punishment, but a time to calm down and think rationally.
Best wishes hon and I hope things work out better for all of you *S*