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  • HELP!

    I am having a terrible time with my 3 yr old! Up until the last week my dd1 has been one of the most fantastic 3 yr old girls! She's had great manners, she thoughtful, compassionate, even strangers comment on how great she is. But things have started to deteriorate lately. We use to do time in. When ever she was having trouble I would hold her until she was calmed. BUt unfortunatly I have a sever arm injury and when she became much stronger than me time in's were no longer an option and I turned to time outs. she really hated them and I rarely needed to use them. I would let her know the behaviour she was exhibiting was not accetable and if she continued to do it She would be place in a time out. Often the warning was enough for her and she would stop the behaviour. however, in the last couple of weeks or so she started fighting at being placed in the corner or laughing and running around when i tell her i'm unhappy with her behaviour and that she needs to go sit in the corner and think about it. When i do manage to get her in the corner she'll apologize for her behaviour and than 10 min later is doing it again!
    I try to compliment her frequently when i see positive behaviour, 'i'm proud of you for...." or "that was very thoughtful of you to..."
    I try to remind myself that she is only 3 and this is normal behaviour for a 3 yr old, but its hard, because she's ahead of her age group intellectually she is emotionally only 3 (this is the reason her dr recommended not putting her in kindergarden this year. Itellectually she could be going to school this year but she's not emotionally ready)

    I am planning on going to the library to request Dr. Sear positive dicipline book. However, it could take them several weeks to get it in (I live in a small town and the library here has a limited book supply and has to "Order" them in from larger libraries in near by cities). I would appreciate some suggestions on how to deal with dd1 until I can get ahold of the book.

  • #2
    AP would not be consistent with the behaviorist approaches of punishments (time-outs) or rewards (verbal praise) in order to produce desirable behavior. Behaviorism views the individual as the sum total of their behaviors whereas AP believes all behavior is an attempt to meet an internal need. So, rather than focus on the behavior itself, we try to understand the behavior's underlying need. So when your child does something that you do not like, the first question is, "Is my expectation here appropriate?" and then, if so, "What is my child trying to tell me with this behavior?" Examples of answers could be, "I'm hungry", "I'm tired", "I have excess energy that needs to get out", "I need to connect with you", "I need to explore". Then, based on that answer, focus on WORKING WITH your child, rather than DOING TO your child and solve the problem together.

    I am personally not a big fan of the Sears' discipline book, there are a number of things in there that are not in line with the 8 Principles of Parenting. "Attached at the Heart" further describes the discipline principle. My personal fave and all-time go-to for discipline is "Unconditional Parenting" by Alfie Kohn. It takes a lot of work and getting used to, but it is the best way to promote attachment between you and your child which is, after all, the goal of AP.