Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Finding a balance between punishment and firm, consistent discipline

CONFESSION TIME—We’ve been yelling more than I care to admit this summer, time to go back to school anyone??  So I signed up for this awesome webinar called

It was a very nice reminder to me (someone who has taken many classes on how to care for and discipline children).  It is also seemed to be a great starting point for those that do not know the importance of positive attention and positive power and she is even available as an online coach! I really liked what she had to say.  I like the idea of positive parenting but there are some things that push me into my uncomfortable zone.  My goal is to discipline without punishing.  It is a struggle and I’m learning the way. Many times I resort to what I know, yelling, it is quick and gets the desired reults, but with a HUGE price. The price is my kids yell back or even worse, sometimes they start the yelling in their fight for control.  I have learned a lot by reading blogs about positive parenting but I have a ways to go.

I know how important positive attention is, I PREACH it, yet we were struggling. Discipline is HARD WORK!  It is much easier to punish. Listening to this webinar reminded me how important this is.  Another thing that hit home is the difference between discipline and punishment.  I have a tad bit of a control issue, not to be mistaken for OCD.  Control issue does not mean organized.  My pet peeve is wasting time so when members of my family are dawdling, my blood boils, or if members of my family have destroyed a room in 1.2 seconds minutes, and I walk into it, my blood boils.  When that happens I yell, and my kids have learned to act just like me.  It isn’t pretty so I am working my hardest on modeling appropriate tone (meanwhile I can keep my cool in my classroom all day, every day).  This is so not fair to my girls.  Do I expect more? Maybe.  Do I take it personally?  Yes.  Whose with me on this one?

In the meantime we are also focusing on two behaviors with consequences we discussed and came up with together.  First of all we are working on listening to each other.  We had to come up with a consequence and M CHOSE (as opposed to being given) doing extra chores, while J agreed to losing her Kindle Fire (at first she was grunting at me so I pointed out that until she is responsible enough to listen to people she was not allowed to listen to the Kindle Fire) Yes, it was kind of a stretch for related consequence but I digress.  The difference is I am not imposing a consequence (punishment), we are discussing the consequence beforehand (except for J needed a nudge for not listening in the first place). 

The other behavior I am working on is turning the Kindle Fires off at a reasonable time.  You’ve been warned, Kindle Fires, summer, bedtime and lax rules do not mix well. After books are read and bedtime is complete, I've been letting them play with their Kindle Fires until lights out.  However, they fall asleep so much easier without the screen time.  They do not usually choose to read books when given the choice between books and apps.  So they are to give them up when I ask for them without whining or complaining in order to be allowed to use them the next day.  They are in control of their choice.  I stress that we will try again in two days and that I trust they will make a better choice the next time. 
 Why am I confessing this?  I would love to hear from you!  Have you mastered the art of discipline? Are you struggling too?  What do you do that works?   I also want to add to my thoughts on positive attention and positive power.  We can help each other in our quest for a peaceful home.
Positive Attention- A little positive attention goes a long way.   Children get this when you read, play, talk to them.  I always make sure I give them a little before I sit down to work on a project (schoolwork, blog, phone call, housework etc.)  Then before I sit down I always ask if they need anything because I'm about to sit down, they know what this means.  It means I'm not getting up for awhile.  I encourage them to ask questions and always answer them.  At bedtime though I designate question time.  You have five minutes to ask me anything you want and then you need to save them for the next day.  This helps with the stalling.  They don't push this because their questions get answered.  

Positive Power-I think I could use a little work on this.  I do avoid the power struggle to the point of ignoring too much negative behavior.  I do give them choices throughout the day (what they wear, what they want to do etc.) When I NEED them to do something I ask if they want to do it now or in 5 minutes.  Other than that I'm at a loss.  How do you give kids enough control and power without losing control?  Do you?  

I would love to hear your thoughts.  Please share with those that are interested.                                   

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad to read that I'm not the only one struggling with this! I have tried all of the strategies that you spoke about (and constantly remind myself to model and stay positive) and yet we still end up having a yelling match! I totally connected when you said that you could hold it together in the classroom all day! Let me add that there are 24 students in that classroom and only a few (often only 1) at home! :) I'm off to view the video now, thanks for sharing!
    Second Grade Spots and Dots