Disciplining your toddler | My Method

Monday, January 26, 2015


This obviously isn't a fitness or nutrition related post, but raising children & leading a healthy lifestyle are the two most important things to me & things I will be talking about often on my blog. First off I would like to say this is our method of choice, I do not think that this is the only effective method, it is just me sharing what works for my family in hopes that it could be useful information to a new mom somewhere. As always I appreciate your feedback & would love to hear your take on discipline as well.

From the beginning Brian & I both chose timeout, and it has been very successful. Am I naive in thinking that this will work just as seamlessly for all of my children? Probably, but I intend to use the same process & hope that consistency will prevail once again. One thing we have received many compliments on from friends & family members alike, is how well Kirby handles timeout & how well behaved she is, most of the time. Don't get me wrong, she is a stinker and a half & we have our fair share of tantrums daily, but for the most part she is a pretty well behaved child. 

Kirby has always had very strong verbal communication skills & maybe that is why we don't struggle with the biting or hitting, which I imagine stems from a lack of verbal communication between parent & child, or it could be the whole violence begets violence concept. I mean it really makes sense if you think about it, if as an adult we show that we are frustrated with our children, so we spank them (which to them registers as hitting), then it sets an example of expressing their frustrations with hitting as well. However teaching them to take a timeout from the situation, think about what occurred & handle it once emotions have settled, is such a valuable trait that I think even most adults lack, myself included. That is a concept that we are teaching Kirby to grasp at a young age in hopes that it will make future relationships easier, whether it be siblings, friends, teachers or lovers.



Now let me preface this by saying CONSISTENCY IS KEY, it really & truly is. Kirby handles time out well now because we have been so consistent with it & use the same method every time. Is she throwing a fit in the middle of a store because she doesn't want to ride in the cart or she wants said toy? Yes, well you can bet your bottom dollar she is sitting of to the side & I am watching my clock or counting in my head for her 2 minutes while people walk by & look at me like I am bat shit crazy. But hey, it works, if you stick with it no matter the situation & you discipline them the same each time, it. will. work. The technique that we have chosen goes a little like this... 

Step One; The warning: When Kirby has done something that we deem necessary for a warning we are sure to get down to her level & clearly inform her that this is her warning & if she chooses to continue that behavior she will be placed into timeout. Surprisingly after the consistency of this method of discipline the warning now works quite well, and timeouts are much less frequent. I don't count to three, I don't do anything but a single verbal warning. 

Step Two; Time out: We chose to do one minute per year of age, so at the moment Kirby is in time out for 2 minutes. If she disregards the warning & continues with the behavior we have warned her of, we place her into the designated timeout area. When we place her there the ONLY thing that is said to her is "You are in time out because you did this (and we say whatever it is that she did)". The timer starts, if she gets out of timeout then the time starts over, every. single. time. We never talk to her once the time has started, rewarding them with communication can be counter productive, so we just quietly place her back into timeout & start the time again. And if you are thinking my child will never do this at home let alone in public, I promise you they will, you just have to battle it out a million few times. The public disciplining can be awkward & embarrassing at first, but I would rather be seen disciplining my kid in a calm & productive manner than walking around with a screaming misbehaving child.

Step Three; Apologizing: When timeout is over we walk over & inform Kirby that timeout is over & we ask her if she knows what she did wrong. At this point in her life she can now clearly state to us what she did wrong. When she was younger & couldn't quite communicate it clear enough, we would simply reiterate to her what she did & why it was not good behavior. We then ask her to apologize to us (or the person she misbehaved towards) and to give a kiss & a hug and she is on her way. If she refuses to apologize then timeout starts over, you want them to understand the concept of taking ownership for what they did & making it right. This is the step where you can discuss with them what they did & why it was wrong in more detail. Brian always wants to do this when he is placing her into timeout, which is understandable, however when their emotions are high it needs to be a simple one line reason & calm down before we talk solutions. I still try and keep the explaining to a minimum at her age, and be sure to get the point across clearly & move on.

Now that is where we are with discipline in the Rainey household. I love talking about & reading about topics such as this, so feel free to chime in! I did tons of research on this topic while I was pregnant so that I could be prepared for the way we would discipline from the beginning . I hope you enjoyed my take on disciplining your toddler & maybe this will help out a momma to be or a momma just struggling with discipline in general. It's definitely not an easy task & one of the most difficult, but most essential parts to parenting. I am so lucky that Brian & I agree on the way we discipline our children, because being on the same page as your partner makes all the difference. If you choose to use this method, but your partner doesn't follow it exactly, it can cause major setbacks & confusion in young minds. Brian was patient enough to allow me (after doing much research together) to lead him in a few timeouts so that we were both sure that our method was uniform. 

3 comments:

  1. I love this and will be talking to Ben about it when the time comes. Discipline is so important to me also. I see it as a form of love and keeping one's promise. Aka Consistency. Right there with you girl. Thank you for posting!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wonderful advice! I have been trying this method with my kids. I was raised being spanked. I feel it worked. I never felt I was abused. But I hate the idea of doing it. So hard.
    Thank you for sharing!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wonderful advice! I have been trying this method with my kids. I was raised being spanked. I feel it worked. I never felt I was abused. But I hate the idea of doing it. So hard.
    Thank you for sharing!!

    ReplyDelete

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