Monday, May 19, 2008

Does it Work?

Recently at a parenting class I attended, there was some discussion on discipline methods and “what works”. So, we defined “works” in reference to changing a child’s behavior. I don’t remember the exact definition my friend, Cheryl said, but it was something along the lines of:

It’s where good attitude and proper behavior meet; a heart change in your child. It's establishing the boundaries necessary for peace in your home. It's training in righteousness.

Too many times we find ourselves corralling, controlling, or simply enduring our child’s behavior, hoping it will pass, or not even knowing how to deal with it.

And when we do find something that “works’ it doesn’t necessarily mean that particular behavior will never creep in or happen again. It might. It probably will. And we press on.

So, this week I want us to discuss some methods you’ve used to change your child’s behavior. Things that have “worked” in regard to talking back, lying, being a tattle-tale, not following through, whining, and others.

Do you have a definition of what “works”?

What are some particular areas you struggle with in correcting your child’s behavior?

Come back tomorrow….we’ll begin then with whining. Got some good suggestions?

18 comments:

HomeSchool Mommy said...

Although I DO punish Addyson at times, we are more into a lifestyle of discipline and training rather than punishing a bad attitude or behavior.

So, we train her how to behave. Explaining things to her about WHY we expect the things we do. Memory verses are chosen specifically to address character issues. For instance, if she does something she knows not to, I'll ask, "Who's the most important to 'mind'? What would He think about what you did? What did He say about it in Ephesians 6:1" We have that conversation and as she answers the questions, she realizes how big her disobedience really was. Kids understand a lot more than people give them credit for. And, they live up to your expectations. So, I explain things in a big way and I expect big things.

Also, we practice A LOT! We practice opening presents when we're just playing around the house. Then, when she's opening presents at her birthday party, she knows how to respond politely and excitedly to each one. When she was little we went to a church that didn't have children's church during the sermon, so we played church at home so she knew how to sit still and whisper for long periods of time. We also go over expectations EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. we go somewhere...before we get out of the car.

For whining, I simply don't listen. Not once. I don't respond...not even to say that I'm not responding. She knows when I don't answer, she has to speak without the whiney voice.

For lying, we don't punish ANYTHING as long as she tells the truth. I want her to ALWAYS tell the truth AND I want her to know she can always come to me to tell me things...even, and especially, as she gets older and may get into things too big to handle. So, she knows if she comes to us and confesses in truth, she doesn't get in trouble for the action.

We're actually very strict, I think. She's a very happy girl. She's not afraid of us. We NEVER have to spank her. We very rarely punish her. We talk to her. We help her learn how to make good decisions by explaining everything to her. We choose our battles, so we show grace in a lot of areas. We have a few issues that are non-negotiable:

Interactions with adults--
Absolutely speak with respect, call Mr./Ms. with first name (older people are last name), always sit in the floor when an adult walks in the room, no interrupting (we have a non-verbal signal she can give me if she needs to talk to me), she is not allowed to ask grown-ups what they were talking about (like if we're talking in the front seat of the car and she can't hear us in the back), etc., etc.

Lying for any reason is completely unacceptable.

Talking back is completely unacceptable. When we say something she is to immediately obey. If she disagrees for some reason, she can come to us after she has obeyed and ask to talk about it. We can sit down and discuss how she felt about it to foster the idea of changing the way it will be handled in the future. She knows she can express her feelings, but we've given her an acceptable way/time to do it. If we say something, she knows she better not say, "But", "In a minute", "What if", etc.

Wow...what is my problem? I promise I don't like to hear myself talk...I'm just passionate. :) Michael just asked if I was typing a book, so I guess that's my cue...

Ali Ruhman said...

As Sadie is getting older it has suprised us that what works for Lily doesn't work for Sadie. Lily responds well to spanking while Sadie just smiles at us and doesn't seem to "get it" .

Something I've found with Lily is we have started taking away her favorite toys when she is disobedient. The first time we did this she asked me about a million times when she could get them back.

Sadie on the other hand is a hard child to discipline. We've done all the same things with her that we have done with Lily but it's not being affective. Time out is affective most of the time with her. She just sits there with this sad little face and her lip puffed out.(so cute) It's just hard with a 21 month old because I can't talk with her like I can Lily and actually get a response back.

Brad is really good with Lily because he takes the time and talks to her about what she did. He makes her repeat back to him why she got in trouble, and then reminds her of her memory verse Ephesians 6:1.

I need to take more time with them when I am disciplining and explain things and talk about what we expect so it doesn't continue to happen. I think it's much more affective when you actually sit down and talk with them even if they don't always understand. It shows them that they are important.

Abbi said...

I'm looking forward to this week! There has been some poor behavior going on lately, and I'd love some ideas on how to get older children to understand the importance of obeying without tattling, whining, and bossing their siblings around. ;)

Cindy Beall said...

A few years ago we taught Noah about the consequences of lying. As he was getting older, we didn't spank him as much. Instead, we took other important privileges away that seemed to hurt him more! However, when he lied, he got a spanking.

We would say to him, "If you tell the truth, you will not get a spanking. However, you will still get in trouble. But, if you lie? You will get a spanking AND get in trouble."

It worked for him and now, he is HONEST, praise Jesus!

Kim Heinecke said...

I am SO looking forward to this week on your blog. Oh, this parenting stuff is so very hard at times... My 8 year old is promising to make me gray WAY before my time...and with high blood pressure. (But at least I'll be laughing)

Kim Heinecke said...

Oh and that definition of "works" -- where good attitude meets proper behavior is really good.

-The Mountain Man- said...

Glad to see you guys in a parenting class. 'Bout time you figured it out...

Roger Garrett said...

I can always find something that works today, tomorrow is a totally different story

Bikerwife said...

With a 2 and 3 year old in my house this is always interesting.....Mikala, my oldest is my drama queen, she is very hard to discipline while Miranda, my 2 year old is very easy....well, compared to her sister. I easily get frustrated that my youngest daughter acts better than her older sister. One of my friends with 4 children told me about apple cider vinegar last year....she calls it sass water. You put a little in a spray bottle with some water and it's MAGIC! All you have to say is do you want the vinegar....it's magical...they straighten up really fast.!

Christi said...

We learned some things in our adoption training on discipline vs. punishment. Punishment (such as spanking) usually gets an immediate desired response (but does not necesarily teach the correct behavior), whereas Discipline (teaching the child the why's and how's- which still might include a consequence of losing a privilege) trains them and brings a desired response over and over again. I realize I try to handle things quickly when sometimes it takes a while to get the point across. There's SO much to learn about parenting! Wish each kid came with a manual because ours have totally different personalities.

Nikkie said...

Oh, this comment could be a book, but I'll refrain. Here's a few thoughts.......
Give choices YOU(mom) can live with and then let the little person make the choice and live the results (with some grace of course.)
Use the word "no" sparingly.
Read the book Parenting With Love and Logic.
Practice saying, "probably so." Works great when you have nothing astonishing to say.
Time spent in one's room (away from thy mother in times of disobedience)is never wasted.
Oh, one more......Just start fresh tomorrow.

Nicole Knox said...

I learned that staying home more with my boys helps a lot and not going a 100 places a day. ha ha.

I still need more help with them too=)

erin said...

I definately agree with Elizabeth & Ali that taking the time to talk & explain things is the key. Now I do have a strong-willed child that did require lots of spanking, but of course it was only affective if the spanking went along with the teaching. We had two hard years with him, but he rarely has to get spanked anymore. I also do as Ali does in taking favorite toys/priveleges away. We have a "naughty box" that things go in & they have to earn it back with their change of attitude. Having their toy visible helps in their desire to change their behavior. When whining was an issue we had a seperate whining chair to sit in until they can talk in a "big boy" voice. For polite talk we memorized Proverbs 16:24 about words being sweet as honeycomb. Now all I have to say is "honey words". We memorize a lot of scripture to correct character as well. And we teach about choices. I am not mean because I take their toys away or spank them, their bad choice has determided that. One thing I would like to discuss this week is how to teach them the grace of God as well as you reap what you sow. I've thought about this a lot, but I would like to hear others thoughts on this.

mandy said...

i'm not-a-mama, but hope to be someday - and i'm SURE that disciplining will be a tough thing....


so this week on your blog might be helpful for me!

Donna said...

I do not have any answers. I am all ears. I think we have hit a brick wall with my daughter. My husband suggested we pray with her tonight about her choices (behavior). We are making changes.

I declare Robin, you must be a fly on my wall, your post are always relative to what we are experiencing that week.

Natalie Witcher said...

So looking forward to this week.

5purposedriven said...

Enjoying this line of posts. Tonight I made my son set "Seek peace and pursue it" to a song to a sing to his sister after picking at her inordinately, again, just for the fun of it. They both thought it was funny. It was much better than me harping!

5purposedriven said...

Can I also say here that the most kids I've had to deal with (and only three for me), the more I've had to let some natural consequences take over. They seem to need that balance between "nice play" and "rough play".