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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The D-Word

I have so much to catch up on with my blogging, but I'm just going to put that off for another day or 2 and write about what I'm trying my best to deal with...DISCIPLINE. In our house, the terrible 2's hit hard and fast. I think Caroline is best described by a famous nursery rhyme. I'm sure you've heard this one before:

I am completely amazed at how fast she can go from the sweetest, most fun kid ever to a demon possessed madwoman. And it wears me out! We're tried time out. She goes (and sometimes even asks to go when she's done something naughty) and sits for her 2 minutes while alternating between fake crying and talking about the squirrels (or whatever catches her attention outside). Then we do the whole Super Nanny thing where we talk about why she was in time out, she says sorry, and then we hug/kiss/say we love each other...blah, blah, blah. [I should add that sometimes she refuses to apologize and inserts a really creepy kid laugh in the middle of her crying that reminds me of something out of a horror movie.] And then she goes and does the exact same thing all over again. So....I'm guessing time out doesn't work.
I've also tried spanking. Yes, I spank sometimes. Don't judge. I received 2 spankings as a child--1 from my mom and 1 from my dad and apparently it worked for me. Guess what...it doesn't really work for Caroline. I especially struggle with this when she's getting in trouble for hitting (she only hits or tries to hit me; I guess that's a good thing). I tell her not to hit and then I hit her. Yeah, I know that it doesn't make sense but sometimes I'm at my wits end by this point. [I should add that the hitting usually comes after she's yelled "NO!!!" several times in my face.]
As of yesterday, I tried putting the toy she's playing with when she is acting bad in time out. It kind of worked. I thought she would just move onto another toy, but it did bother her that her toy got taken away. So this might be something that I keep trying.
I work with kids and have done so for a long time, including 2 1/2 years in a preschool room with 12-18 kids. I did pretty good with discipline back then, if I do say so myself. But I feel like I'm failing miserably with my own kid. Caroline can push my buttons and I can truly almost understand how some parents reach the point where they shake/hit/hurt their children. And I know that I sound like a completely horrible person by saying that. [Disclaimer: I would NEVER hurt Caroline.]
In the past couple of weeks, I have seen her throw an uncontrollable fit where she hurled herself out of the tub (and I learned that it's super hard to get a grip on a wet, soapy kid), watched her throw herself in the floor of a really nice Hilton hotel (and the parking lot--yes, I let her lay face down while I loaded up the car), packed up food and left in the middle of eating at a restaurant, and carried a kicking and yelling kid out of Dillard's while everyone stared. I try really, really hard not to let her show how frustrated I am. I'm welcoming any advice, funny stories of your own, or encouraging words from all you moms out there. I'm also turning to these 2 things:


JUST KIDDING! Well, maybe a little of those. :-) These are what I'm really turning to:


I will add that she was the sweetest kid ever tonight (about 99% of the time!). I'll be posting about Disney, her birthday party, and Christmas really, really soon--I promise!

3 comments:

melanie

I hear you. This started with Luke about a month and a half ago and i have had to leave restaurants, etc. He is so loud! It is brutal. I too understand shaken baby syndrome - would never do it but I get how it happens!!! I read Happiest Toddler on the Block and it works come times. Luke seems to really respond when I "gossip" to his toys when he does something good. let me know what works for you... what works for me is wine and lots of it starting at 5 p.m.

Telena

I have read the Happiest Toddler on the Block as well and it seemed like she'd be in a "good phase" when I was reading it but I still tried things. I wish I could tell you it gets easier, mine is 3.5 and we still have our days. I always heard 3 was worse and I wouldn't say "worse" but still trying at times..especially since they are more like little people trying to bargain and manipulate.
Pick your battles, I've tried that but then be careful because it can easily go from "picking battles" to just "letting her win."
I've had to leave playdates b/c she's been a monster, leave families' houses, parks, etc. I, too, have worked with kids and still do and felt like such a failure.
I am just now seeing a turning point in Reese, so I PROMISE it does get better. I think what we have against us is the fact that girls are strong willed. Lucky us, right?!
Good luck and know that you are NOT alone!!

Shelly, Mom to 4 Princesses

Hang in there and remember that she saves her worst behavior for those she feels most secure with (you, for example). Emory has the same type personality and is going through this same thing right now, keep trying different approaches to discipline and stick to what works best. It may not seem to be working but eventually it will.
I read Happiest toddler & thought it was bizarre, maybe a little bit helpful. I loved No-cry discipline solution by Pantley. And there is nothing wrong with spanking but it's pointless if it doesn't work. It doesn't on most of ours. One little tidbit that helps us some - try to say "yes" as much as you can b/c at this age they hear "no" a lot! We are right in the middle of the same type thing and I've dragged screaming kids out of many places :) You are doing a great job, it will get better!

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