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  • My son wont' obey at all

    Time outs won't work. He just keeps acting up. I tell him to stop throwing stuff he does it more. He is 3. Night time has become a nightmare. I know he is jealous of his little sister She's 1 . It's getting horrible. It makes me feel like such a failure that i have such an ill behaved child. Any suggestions?

  • #2
    Get yourself this book- http://www.amazon.com/Kids-Parents-P.../dp/0060930438
    Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles: Winning for a Lifetime
    The author's website - http://www.parentchildhelp.com/Power...6/Default.aspx

    How is your relationship otherwise? Are you able to have downtime together?

    API links
    Practice Positive Discipline - http://www.attachmentparenting.org/principles/disc.php
    Respond with Sensitivity -
    http://www.attachmentparenting.org/p...es/respond.php

    I think I need more information about you and your child, is there anything else you can tell us?
    Thanks....Do you have a local API group?

    Comment


    • #3
      Oh, that sounds aggravating...I'm sure you must be so frustrated! Things can be different though, and I'm glad you came here for support! I also find that time outs don't work the best for discipline. It's hard because they're so often promoted as the "go-to" tool for discipline (either by friends, family, or by "experts" in various parenting books), but it usually doesn't get at the root of the issue going on with a child, and isn't effective at solving problems together.

      Your son might respond well to a positive discipline approach...many people think that using positive discipline means giving time outs instead of spankings, but true positive discipline uses no punishments, rewards, incentives, threats or bribes. Positive Discipline is about working with a child to solve a problem, and communicating effectively together.

      If this is fairly new to you, a great book to get started with is Kids Are Worth It, by Barbara Coloroso. She has a helpful section in the beginning where she describes 3 types of parents: "brick wall" (who are rigid, inflexible), "jellyfish" (no structure at all), and "backbone" (structured, yet flexible). It's not necessarily a "how-to" book, but it provideas a really good understanding how you can work with your kids on behavioral issues without using traditional tactics like punishments and time outs.

      Also, a helpful email list to get on is Scott Noelle's Daily Groove. It's a positive parenting inspirational email to you everyday. I think they're great!

      And one more book that might be the ultimate on positive discipline:
      Positive Discipline, by Jane Nelsen

      I hope some of this has been helpful. Come back if you have more questions!

      Comment


      • #4
        Before I came to API, I thought it was impossible to discipline a child without using some form of punishment (ie, timeouts), so it can be hard to get your mind around the concept of positive discipline. But, it does work! You'll be much less stressed, as your child learns how to behave through gentle and patient teaching rather than timeouts. I love all the suggested reading materials, but I wanted to add another that is just my lifeline: Discipline without Distress by Judy Arnall. What I love best about this book is the chart at the end that has all the different scenarios you could encounter with your child (there are a lot for 3 year olds!) and what your options are.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Kelly View Post
          Oh, that sounds aggravating...I'm sure you must be so frustrated! Things can be different though, and I'm glad you came here for support! I also find that time outs don't work the best for discipline. It's hard because they're so often promoted as the "go-to" tool for discipline (either by friends, family, or by "experts" in various parenting books), but it usually doesn't get at the root of the issue going on with a child, and isn't effective at solving problems together.

          Your son might respond well to a positive discipline approach...many people think that using positive discipline means giving time outs instead of spankings, but true positive discipline uses no punishments, rewards, incentives, threats or bribes. Positive Discipline is about working with a child to solve a problem, and communicating effectively together.

          If this is fairly new to you, a great book to get started with is Kids Are Worth It, by Barbara Coloroso. She has a helpful section in the beginning where she describes 3 types of parents: "brick wall" (who are rigid, inflexible), "jellyfish" (no structure at all), and "backbone" (structured, yet flexible). It's not necessarily a "how-to" book, but it provideas a really good understanding how you can work with your kids on behavioral issues without using traditional tactics like punishments and time outs.

          Also, a helpful email list to get on is Scott Noelle's Daily Groove. It's a positive parenting inspirational email to you everyday. I think they're great!

          And one more book that might be the ultimate on positive discipline:
          Positive Discipline, by Jane Nelsen

          I hope some of this has been helpful. Come back if you have more questions!
          Thank you so much for this wonderful post you have about this problem. I have a daughter turning 3 years old and we're a bit worried of how to discipline her when she wants something which is too much. I read a book somewhere which says that if a child go into tantrums when she wants something, the best way of imposing discipline is not to give her what she want no matter what. In that way she'll know that she can't have whatever she wants no matter what she'll do. When you see your child crying, your tendency is to sympathize but you have to control yourself or else she'll keep on doing the tantrum whenever she like something that she wants.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by MayClaires01 View Post
            I read a book somewhere which says that if a child go into tantrums when she wants something, the best way of imposing discipline is not to give her what she want no matter what. In that way she'll know that she can't have whatever she wants no matter what she'll do. When you see your child crying, your tendency is to sympathize but you have to control yourself or else she'll keep on doing the tantrum whenever she like something that she wants.
            none of the books/resources that kelly listed would agree with this. sometimes the precise thing you SHOULD do is give a child what they want when they're tantruming. the point is that you should approach discipline in a co-operative spirit. how can everyone involved get what they NEED? it's not us(parents) vs. them(children) or a win-lose perspective where one person(usually the parent) wins the battle and the other (usually the child) loses.

            Attached at the Heart and the Positive Discipline Principle are excellent resources to learn more.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by jtothe4th View Post
              Time outs won't work.
              You seem surprised by this...

              He just keeps acting up. I tell him to stop throwing stuff he does it more.
              Why is he throwing stuff? Look past the behavior. What is he feeling?

              He is 3. Night time has become a nightmare. I know he is jealous of his little sister She's 1 .
              So is this the root issue then? If so you need to make a serious effort to understand how he feels. Kids under 3 are still very focused on their parents - that's why you're supposed to wait at least 3 years between kids. Think how hard it must be for him - he was loved and now suddenly all of his attention has been ripped away leaving him feeling lonely and without security... and by punishing him and treating him like a criminal you're only making it a lot worse, as this is being attributed to the existence of the new sibling, since I'm assuming you didn't treat him this way before. You need to make a special effort to reaffirm his value to you and how much he means to you. Reach out to him and do things alone with just you and him. Get his other parent to do the same. Listen to what he has to say, and encourage him to communicate by being non judgmental and receptive. Put spending time with him first before work, answering the phone, mowing the lawn, or any other thing you may have to do that day. Your son is more important than all of these things; show him that by making him your first priority.

              It's getting horrible. It makes me feel like such a failure that i have such an ill behaved child.
              Don't categorize your son like this. When you expect people to act a certain way it influences them subconsciously to act that way because it becomes a part of their identity. He is not an "ill behaved child." He is a human being who needs love, attention, affection, and respect just like anyone else.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by MayClaires01 View Post
                I read a book somewhere which says that if a child go into tantrums when she wants something, the best way of imposing discipline is not to give her what she want no matter what...When you see your child crying, your tendency is to sympathize but you have to control yourself or else she'll keep on doing the tantrum whenever she like something that she wants.
                NO!

                When kids have tantrums that is a LAST RESORT to communicate to you because EVERY PAST ATTEMPT HAS FAILED. The best way to avoid tantrums is to simply be receptive to your kids the first time they communicate to you what they need. When you do this tantrums simply become unnecessary. Contrary to popular believe kids do not just have tantrums for no reason.

                That urge to sympathize is there for a reason; to suppress it would be a dire mistake.

                "A baby's cry is just as serious as it sounds."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by MayClaires01 View Post
                  When you see your child crying, your tendency is to sympathize but
                  Yes, that is exactly what you should do! No "but"s about it. Sympathize...put yourself in your daughter's shoes...empathize with her and help her express in words how mad/ frustrated/ upset she is that she can't have "X". Let her know that you know how she feels, by repeating back to her in words the feelings that she's communicating. That alone goes a long way towards building a positive relationship; longer than you might think!

                  Originally posted by MayClaires01 View Post
                  you have to control yourself or else she'll keep on doing the tantrum whenever she like something that she wants.
                  The word "control" is not at all associated with positive parenting. Like PaxMama said, positive discipline is about cooperation, about meeting everyone's needs, and most importantly about your relationship with your child. This may mean re-evaulating the situation or the request (whichever one started the tantrum), and compromising; finding a solution that works for everyone. Approaching tantrums this way does not make you appear to surrender to your child. It demonstrates that you are flexible, that you listen to your child's feelings and actually take them into consideration when making decisions.

                  I know that sometimes I am surprised at my kids' emotional outbursts that follow some of my decisions. I didn't realize that something was so important to them. But after some empathy and a quick discussion of everyone's needs, we come to a different solution. They feel heard and understood, and I feel more in-touch with my children. However, I must say there are definitely times when there is no appropriate compromise, and the situation for them just stinks! "I'm sorry honey, I really am. You're so mad right now because you really wanted that. You're very angry and sad! I'm sorry, I know it stinks!" And we just leave it at that until they cry & vent. Meanwhile, I'm offering them open arms and hugs, and eventually they are ready for cuddles. At which point I empathize again!

                  What are some of your most recent tantrum situations? Any that you'd like to brainstorm some responses to? Or any that you wonder if there's a possible compromise, and how that would go? All the mamas on this forum have been there before (or, if they haven't yet, they will! ), and we're all here to learn from each other! I'm sure you'd get tons of helpful responses!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Time outs worked very effectively for me and my daughter. By the time she was 3 she no longer needed time outs. I've given her 2 in the last 3 almost 4 years. She's almost 7 now. I think time outs have their place and work very well to control behaviour but I can see where they wouldn't work for behaviour related to jealousy.
                    That said, jealousy was not the issue for my daughter. I simply wanted a child that would obey when I asked her to. She wasn't acting out to get attention, she was simply being a toddler and testing her limits.
                    With jealousy the time out probably won't do much because the whole goal for the older sibling is to get the attention and take it away from the baby. It's that whole thing where negative attention is better than less attention or no attention. You should be able to fix the problem by spending consistent quality time with him. Schedule play time with him, one on one, so that he knows he has Mommy to himself at the same time every day. Whether this is done during nap time for the little one or by having a babysitter, dad or grandparent watch the little one for an hour, he needs to know consistently that he gets special time with you too.
                    Once he sees that he's special those behaviours should stop. It won't be immediate but it will happen. In the meantime, when he acts out, depending on the behaviour, try to ignore the ones you can and re-direct, provide positive reinforcement or simply walk away saying "I won't play with you if you do that. You need to play nice if you want Mommy to play with you." Since negative attention doesn't work then simply giving no attention will probably scare him and he'll probably play nice to keep Mommy around. Combine that with some one on one quality time and eventually he should start to get over being jealous of the baby.
                    Good luck!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      API encourages parents to approach discipline in ways that foster connection rather than disconnection. Offering time-ins (time on a parent's lap to reconnect) and empathy go a long way in creating a relationship of mutual respect. All behavior is an attempt to get a need met. Ignoring or manipulating does not address the need and can lead to long-term emotional upset. API's Positive Discipline provides more information. "Attached at the Heart" is a great source, written by our co-founders.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I think the term "time out" means something different to each family.

                        We use "time out's" but for us it means that DH takes DS to another room, usually when he's doing something pretty awful to his sister

                        He isn't alone, although he does scream and fuss, but hey we don't make him do the bad behaviour we're trying to stop

                        I don't think time out's work to stop behaviour, but when there are 2 kids or more they are needed sometimes to keep everyone safe.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Time-outs

                          Time-outs worked very well for me when my daughter was a toddler, eighteen years ago. This is because she is a very compliant child and would do anything to get my approval and attention. Like I said, it worked very well for me. However, it has not worked out so well for her in the long run. I realize in hindsight that putting her in time-out, rather than helping her grow toward independence, reinforced her need for attention and approval, and now whenever a friend of hers gives her the cold shoulder, or goes too long without giving her their attention, she's in agony, wondering what she did or said wrong, how she can fix a problem she hasn't even identified yet, etc. The effects of method I used to spare myself frustration and inconvenience so long ago have proved to be extremely painful for me to witness now that my daughter is grown. My using distance from me instead of closeness to help bring her into line--not in a control sense, but as a matter of calming down enough to work through strong feelings--seriously imperiled her attachment to me and the effects are still evident in our relationship eighteen years later. My husband and I have come to AP in its entirely very slowly, positive discipline being the last hurdle. The reason we finally surrendered is in part because time-out and other forms of behavior modification flat out failed with others of our children, who, once they reached a certain age no longer cared about closeness to us, or our approval, or attention. I am heartbroken over the harm we inflicted on our children due to our ignorance and stubbornness, but I am forever grateful to the powers that be for opening our eyes to the damage that trying to control other people with the fear of some form of suffering can do to them and us emotionally, spiritually and even physically. I cannot justify ever putting one of my children in an isolative time-out, especially when it was obvious that all they wanted and needed was to be held in the safety and security of my arms.

                          As the mother of nine children and late-comer to AP, I have had loads of experience with practically every form of child control ever recommended. Nothing ever even came close to the kind of relationship I now have with my children which is rooted in unconditional love and mutual respect--never control.

                          When those times arrive that one of my children is having difficulty controlling himself, I get him out of the situation, either by picking him up, if he's small enough, or gently taking a hand and inviting him to come with me to another room, where we sit together, usually quietly at first, until we have achieved a calm enough to talk about what happened. Since my children are no longer afraid of me or me actions, they usually come willingly, and it doesn't take very long to work through an incident together, always feeling closer spiritually than before the incident occurred. Of course sometimes I lose my temper and apologize, which also has a way of bringing us closer.

                          My youngest is 2 and when she's frustrated with something, I don't even think about trying to control her desires or reactions, or even actions. I scoop her up in my arms and give her the words to express her frustration. Like I'll say, "You really wanted another piece of candy," or "You really wanted to go outside to play right now." If I got it right she'll say, "Yaaahhhhhh," and very quickly calm down. Sometimes we have to move to another location to take her mind off of what just happened, but I try not to jump immediately to distraction so that the validation and futility can sink in that the answer just had to be no this time. I've also found that it's very true that sometimes the thing the child needs is exactly what he wants, or vice versa. Senseless consistency, or consistency for consistency's sake, is never good for a relationship. It doesn't work in a marriage and it sure as heck doesn't work between parent and child.

                          Three books I have really loved are Hold on to Your Kids; Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves; and Raising Your Child, Not By Force, But By Love. There's also lots of good research out there about the effects of cortisol wash--always triggered in children by painful isolation--on the development of the brain. It isn't pretty. And further evidence that what human beings need to calm down is warmth and touch.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MamaLion View Post
                            I think the term "time out" means something different to each family.

                            We use "time out's" but for us it means that DH takes DS to another room, usually when he's doing something pretty awful to his sister

                            He isn't alone, although he does scream and fuss, but hey we don't make him do the bad behaviour we're trying to stop
                            MamaLion, I think what you're describing is considered a "Time-in" not a "Time-out"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Robynn View Post
                              Time-outs worked very well for me when my daughter was a toddler, eighteen years ago. This is because she is a very compliant child and would do anything to get my approval and attention. Like I said, it worked very well for me. However, it has not worked out so well for her in the long run. I realize in hindsight that putting her in time-out, rather than helping her grow toward independence, reinforced her need for attention and approval...
                              Robynn thanks for your post. I think it really explains the key issue concerning time-outs. It is irrelevant as to whether they are successful or not in changing a child's behaviour. What is important is how they affect the relationship the child has with the parent because our relationship with our child is the best discipline "tool" that we have.

                              Gordon Neufelf can explain all this much better than me. If anyone is interested here's a clip from one of his talks. It's called: "Why We're Losing the Context to Parent". At the beginning it won't really seem relavent to the time-out discussion but keep listening and he'll get around to the topic.

                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDKWh...eature=channel

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