Friday, August 12, 2011


Okay, my kids are pretty much angels most of the time. =) 

and I'm obviously kidding.  But they aren't bad kids either. Regardless, discipline is something that simply has to happen and isn't just for bad behavior....... and I feel like blabbing about it today.

I'll confess: Once when Nolan hit Carter, I grabbed Nolan, told him "no!" then smacked his hand. What? That was dumb. What a crappy lesson.

This is why parents should discuss their discipline strategies so they are on the same page and don't attempt strategies that don't make any sense! Brad and I discussed our dicipline thoughts the other night over nearly 10 a couple of beers by the pool.

Our conclusion:

Some discipline is to correct purposefully bad behavior (toy taking, pushing, etc). Some is to teach them what is okay and what is not (throwing dirt out of a potted plant, holding hands in a parking lot, throwing food at meals, etc.)  I want them to know how to behave when we are out of our house and that has to start with what we accept in our house! It is tough! We could do nothing and say, "they're just babies." But they aren't! They know what's going on and they test and they can learn!

Right now, we have three different consequences. The first two happen either after he deliberately repeatedly misbehaves or does something he already knows is wrong

1.  Mom or dad restrains his hands for about 30 seconds while he stirs and fusses.  We say our mantra, "do not ________!"

2.  We rush him off to his crib while saying the "do not _______" mantra, clear out toys and blankets, close the door and walk out. After about 1-2 minutes of crying, we go back in, remind him why he was there and then forgive and forget!

We got very tired of saying "no." I swear we were saying it ALL THE TIME for several months. It lost its meaning. Now it is reserved for very serious things. That and the boys say it lots now. Awesome.
3.  Ignore bad behavior or take things away.  We do this when he looks at us, throws his sippy cup on the floor, and smiles.  We used to tell him "no!" and make him set it on his tray gently.  Finally we realized they just want attention. They don't care if it is good or bad attention. So you don't get any for that behavior and the sippy cup may just stay on the floor for the rest of the meal.

It is important to us that we don't get angry, take things personally or hold grudges.  Besides punishing when they've done something wrong, we try to remember to acknowledge them when they've done something right. And it is possibly most important that we show by example. But hopefully that goes without being said!

I'm sure we have lots more challenges ahead with the discipline category and our plans will change as they change.

There's my take. Anyone have some techniques that have worked? We all want to be good parents and send good people out into the world so let's share the good stuff!


  1. I have tried to word everything in a positive phasing for example, "Food stays on the tray." instead of "Don't throw your food" We are starting to get wonderful tantrums (at 20 mths, lucky us) and we just have to let him scream and ignore the behavior. He will eventually stop :/

  2. Thanks, April! I already started working on that positive thing today!