Thursday, May 24, 2007

This Thing Called Discipline

Now this parenting thing. I have noticed, lately, that my suspicion (that has been brewing in my head for the past 5 years) is actually true.
When Josh was younger, we never really had major behavior issues with him. But there would be times when I just wanted to explode whenever he would not listen to me (or pretend to not hear me) or disobey me and continue doing his thing i.e., climb on the sofa, run down the stairs, climb and jump off the night stand. And I noticed that when those things happened and I would reprimand him, he would not listen to me right away. It would have to take 4 or 5 times for me to tell him to "stop it right now" before he would actually stop. BUT when Jet would be the one, just hearing it once would make Josh stop.
And now with the little one who loves to climb and open everything 'glass" in the living room, I again am noticing this. I tell Dash "no" or "please stop, play with this instead" and it takes me 10-12 times for him to finally give it up. But when Jet says "Dash don't open that," Dash immediately stops. In fact, he can even stop midway into what he is about to do.
What is this about? Is it my voice? Ahem, softer, mellower and sweeter?
Jet and I share in the disciplining area of parenting. We talk about what the kids can and should not do and. We have agreed that "punishment" is done by making one "face the wall." We don't spank nor do we scream. And after facing the wall, we explain why we asked Josh (since Dash is still too small for this face the wall thing) to face the wall. With Dash, we explain to him why we don't allow him to do certain things.
Does this mean that I am not capable of being a disciplinarian? Why do they listen more to Jet? Should I be a bit more stern with them?


Maggie said...

In our house we have "normal voice" and "command voice". This actually started when we got our dog and were training him, but it works with the baby, too. Command voice is not louder, we definately don't yell, but it's deeper and sounds like we mean business. When the voice changes they know it's time to get serious and listen.

Jennboree said...

Exactly what Maggie says. It is all about tone. When I am angry or upset with Bella, I use a tone very different than any other, look her in the eyes (always get on their level when communicating) and talk to her in a low voice (to force her to listen closely).

And, what works with one parent doesn't always work with the other. Kids take advantage of Mom as much as possible!

Chaos Control said...

I agree with what both Maggie and Jenboree said here.

When V acts out, I tell him to stop. If the behavior continues I walk over to him, kneel to his height, hold his hands and tell him to stop and that this is his final warning. If I have to ask him again, he will get (insert punishment, ie: stand against the wall). He now associates the words "final warning" with his last chance to straighten up!

SusieJ said...

My guru parenting expert friend always says this: "just because you set a limit and it's not working, doesn't mean it's not working. They are testing your limits -- testing the boundaries to see if you really mean it. Once you are relentless in being firm, saying no, time and time again, they feel secure. Then, the move on to the next thing to test the limits on."