When we started disciplining our son, it was as if someone just said, “Go! Discipline!” What I mean is, his behavior was disobedient all of a sudden. He was always exploratory and a risk-taker, but there was a sharp turn in him to willfulness.
Anybody else have this happen with your kids? 😉
Since he loves people and being the life of the party, time outs work awesome for Samuel. There do come times where just time outs are not working, but for the most part, being separated from what he wanted to be doing is quite a punishment for him. Even to the point of crying over it.
He wasn’t too old when we started doing time outs in a pack n play; he really hated it and would cry and flail his hands, as if to say “Take me out, please! Anything but this!”
Our hearts sort of broke for him, but at the same time we had to laugh. I remember one time when Grandma was here. Sammy got a time out, and she said, “I’m never going to give him a time out.” You have to understand – her heart is all grandma’d for Samuel. 🙂 We responded with, “OK, but that means he will never respect you.” (She has since given him time outs, by the way. But she’s still gracious like Grandmas should be!)
Now that he’s 2, there are times where he looks you in the eye, and his face tells you, “I’m doing this because you told me not to, and I want to be in charge.”
Surely, your child has never looked at you this way? 🙂
His time outs are no longer in a pack n play, and sometimes we have to take toys and privileges away, and there are wretched times where a rare spanking is in order.
And those are the worst for a mama’s heart! Even if I’m the one providing the punishment – I just want to melt on the floor and cry with him.
The real test always comes for me when Brad disciplines Samuel. Even if he’s just getting a simple time out, it’s like a *flinch* inside me wants to stop him: No! That’s my baby! He’s just hungry/tired/needing attention!
But I have to stop myself from making excuses for my son. I have to let my husband follow through with what he told Samuel.
Otherwise, Samuel will learn that daddy has no say-so, and mommy will always rescue me.
These are not the makings of a man – or a grown up if you have girls.
But we are not perfect parents. We will discipline incorrectly sometimes. Which means sometimes we need to admit our wrong to our children and ask for forgiveness from them.
Now, there are times where Brad and I have disagreed about punishment, but we have talked about our plans as a team quite extensively so that we’re on the same page. We know what punishment we plan to do for what kind of behavior, etc.
The most important thing here is that one of us is not undercutting the other. And to avoid that, we actually need to talk about discipline before we take action!
It’s also a good idea to evaluate your discipline methods:
- Are you still on the same page?
- Is something not working?
- What else, particularly if you’re spanking A LOT, should you be trying instead?
Talking about discipline like this will unite you as a couple, which in turn shows your kiddos that you are a team, even during the hard stuff.
Have you had these conversations with your spouse? If not, will you plan on making time for it this week?