Thursday, 8 March 2012

Discipline (or lack of)

I'm not very good with discipline. Perhaps we are lucky, because Harry is generally pretty well behaved. He's never done anything really naughty, and if he has it's been our fault anyway (like the time he put the digital camera in the toilet, that taught us not to leave small, expensive items lying around near babies!). Of course, like all toddlers he has his strops if he doesn't get what he wants, but generally I just leave him to whinge to himself for a bit, and he'll gradually move himself closer and closer to me until we end up having a cuddle, then a few minutes later it's all forgotten.

I don't think that I've ever even shouted at Harry, only if he was about to do something dangerous. Even if I raise my voice he gets upset and hides behind his hands and I end up feeling bad and giving him a cuddle anyway. I do try to be consistent though, and if I've said that he can't have or do something then I don't give in. I'm also very good at ignoring him - if I ask him to come over so I can get him dressed and he runs off, I just let him run about without giving a reaction and he soon comes back!

We've never even used a naughty step. I have a friend who visits with her son the same age, and she uses the naughty step very effectively. Harry has therefore seen the naughty step in action a couple of times, and it has made such an enormous impression upon him that we can now threaten the use of the naughty step to stop him doing something, without him ever having sat on it!

Mia is crawling about everywhere now so it's time to start with the 'No' word. Like Harry, she has learned very quickly which things she isn't allowed to touch (sockets,  radiators, the television and so on). This doesn't mean that she doesn't try her luck though. I love how she heads for something that is out of bounds, then looks back over her shoulder in anticipation, and just to make sure that I'm paying attention! It's also funny to watch Harry copy me, giving her a stern 'No' when she picks up one of his toys!

Sometimes I wonder if I'm too soft. Does everyone else use a naughty step with their toddler?

10 comments:

  1. We use the naughty corner sometimes but we give her a warning first and that usually does the trick anyway. I wouldn't say you're being soft if you don't use it though. Everyone uses their own methods and if yours work for you then keep at it! Children are all individuals and respond differently to different types of discipline.

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    1. Sometimes the warning is just as good as a punishment! That's what we do with our lack of naughty step! I like the idea of it being a corner though, I've read ideas about having a sort of 'chill out' corner where you can send little ones when they need to sit quietly for a bit, maybe we'll think about something like that.

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  2. We've never used the naughty step - no reason really, just never have! Like Harry, Laura is pretty well-behaved. She learnt fairly quickly that I don't give in to tantrums (hard to be consistent at first but was so worth it! Still working on it with Emily). Both hate to be told off so that usually works by itself!

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    1. I think that we just never got round to it, sounds like you didn't either! Harry hates being told off too, he hides his face in his hands and doesn't say anything and then cries because he wants a cuddle, and I feel awful, without even having shouted at him or anything!

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  3. I think you have got it sorted without resort to naughty step. I am sure your quiet discipline is the way to go.

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    1. I hope it's not just because we are lucky with Harry. We are all complacent, and Mia will probably completely throw us and be a nightmare toddler!

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  4. My 2 year old can be quite a handful but we don't use it. Tried it once and she threw herself off it so abruptly in full thrashing tantrum, she hit her head really hard and I felt terrible! It's not for everyone. She's improving all the time: we find toy confiscation works much better.

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    1. Poor thing! I think that it is something that can take a while to get to work. I know my son would just jump straight back up again if I sat him on it, and I'm not sure I've got the time or patience to keep running him back there and starting all over again. I also have 'toy prison' if he has done something that might damage a toy, like dropped it (on purpose).

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  5. Kit's childminder tried the naughty step with him and apparently he thought it was hilarious, sometimes he tries to send me to the naughty step (we don't actually have any steps in the flat) he thinks it is a game. I do send him to his room some of the time for time-out if he is really playing up, because he just gets worse and worse, generally until he hurts himself (or me), but him having a few minutes in the quiet alone generally calms him down.

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    1. You're right, I think that sometimes they just need to be taken away from whatever they were doing and given some time to calm down. I think that Harry would think it was a game if we kept putting him on the step and putting him back when he ran away!

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