Discipline Concerns - Examples, Questions, and Suggestions.

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Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852
Discipline Concerns - Examples, Questions, and Suggestions.

(I was going to put this up immediately after taking ds to school but then our internet was down for a few hours! ack!)
I thought we'd get "list" of specifics going. Not just "I use gentle discipline" but tell exactly what the child did and what you did in response.
Also, how bout tossing in some specific examples of relationship-building activities, as that is of coure the foundation of discipline.
I thought that this thread could be multi-purpose - list some examples that you can think of off the top of your head that you either had a good solution or are wondering about a better one. If your child does something or has done something recently and you honestly aren't sure how to handle it, or wonder if there might have been a better way, ask for suggestions. And others can respond with their thoughts.
Make sure you mention your child's age, as that will greatly effect the specifics on how it should be handled.
I'll start by listing out a couple of the things we've dealt with in the last week.
1 - Mikayla (4.5) opened and climbed out the window in their playroom. Also threw a toy dinosaur out. The window does "lock" but they can easily unlock it. *How we responded - honestly, we didn't do anything to punish her, as we were too wrapped up in #2. We'd been trying to think of ways to kid-proof that window while still being safe for fires. We're going to try putting a child gate in the window and see if that works. But we also need to address the safety aspect with her, not just block her from doing it again.
2 - While that window was open, and actually, in response to Mikayla tossing out the dino, Aaric Diablo tossed out a baseball, which landed on our van windshield. *He's been doing a lot of chores for the past week, and this will continue for at least another week. He does seem to understand, but he doesn't really grasp the concept of $200 being a lot of money.

So if you have other ideas for ways to handle those, toss them out there!
I'll add more later. Unfortunately, I have loads.
So add to this! Toss out other examples of things you've done that worked for other situations. I just think it will help to see specifics about how other parents handle certain scenarios, as opposed to just saying "we use time outs, we use redirection, etc"

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

What a great idea... perhaps Cyn can sticky this for us?

We are just getting into the beginnings of discipline as dd is only 10 months. At this point I am not even sure it could be called discipline but maybe more "firm instruction". Lol

Our biggest issue is that she most definitely understands what "no" means and when she is feeling daring (which is most of the time lol) she will push us and do whatever it is we told her not to do anyway just to see how far she can get with it. I have a couple of examples. We mostly use redirection and just removing her from the situation, although that doesn't always work very well since she is a very stubborn, determined baby and will not give up on what it is that she wants, I just don't know of anything else age appropriate so if anyone has ideas, of course please let me know! Smile


#1 A few weeks ago she was sitting in her highchair and we were trying to feed her and she has recently gotten to where she is not interested in ANYTHING, especially eating unless she can do it herself. This particular time I was feeding her something that had to be eaten with a spoon (don't remember what it was though). She would get mad and swat at the spoon and scream and try and grab the spoon and throw it. I asked her if she wanted to try and do it herself and she said "uh huh" so I went and got her a self feeder thing where she could dip it and suck the food off. That wasn't what she wanted so I took it away and commenced trying to feed her. She got even more angry and refused to open her mouth. I eventually jus gave it back to her thinking this wasn't a big enough battle to try and fight. I am sure I probably should have handled it differently, but it seemed best at the time since I was tired, getting very angry, and she hadn't eaten anything all day (not because it wasn't offered). Looking back now I probably should have just let her get down since she obviously didn't want to eat since the rest of the meal was a struggle.

#2 My parents have glass doors on their sound system in the living room as well as their entertainment center (these are magnetic so if you push on them they pop open and close the same way; this is a favorite for the kids to play with but my parents get angry since the dvd player and many wires are in there, plus, they could break the glass). Juliet likes to crawl over and touch them and look at her reflection and try and pull up on it. She knows she isn't supposed to but inevitably as soon as someone isn't watching that's exactly where she goes. When she does this I usually just tell her no, pick her up, move her to the other side of the room and give her something she CAN play with. We almost always repeat the process a few times during the visit, but it seems to distract her for a while.

#3 She has discovered the reaction she gets from hitting and scratching and pinching people. While I know I she isn't doing it to be mean, she genuinely thinks its funny, I feel this isn't something we can let her do now and then tell her later all of a sudden no you can't do that. So I just grab her wrist, tell her firmly "Juliet, NO hitting/pinching/scratching/etc" And she stops... usually.

I know a lot of people are probably thinking that she is too young for these expectations, but I know my daughter, and she is a smart little cookie. I believe that every parent knows their child and while the average number of children may not be developmentally at a specific stage, we all know kids progress differently, and I don't feel that I am expecting too much with the guidelines and such.

kismet's picture
Joined: 08/25/03
Posts: 18

I'm sure first off you can find child proofing for windows. We found first before we would get frustrated at acting out that could be child proofed we would child proof everything and deal with the rest. Our son could find plenty that wasn't child proofable to make us crazy. Brennan is by nature an impulsive child. An example would be throwing a hair brush in the toilet, or his friends clothes in the lake when they were wading naked. For us immediately removing from the situation and talking through works best. A time out from the fun and the toys happens for us when anything distructive or hurtful happens. We use counting to three to give him time to think if it's just naughty behavor but distructiveness we try to immediately step in and explain and put him in time out. I try to remember to positively reinforce any good behavior he does when playing. "I like how you play gently with that toy... it's so much better then throwing it out the window." I think I would have specifically taken away the toy that she threw out the window too... and made sure that each children that threw something out were talked to and had same consequences even though your older son did something much more distructive.

Basically that is how we do it... Smile Hope that can help you. Smile

kismet's picture
Joined: 08/25/03
Posts: 18

Here is an example of when he threw the clothes in the lake:

I immediately stepped over to him and sat him on the side and talked to him about how it wasn't nice and how his friend now had to wear wet clothes, he wasn't allowed to play for two minutes while he sat on the side lines.

Ridirection works well with young children... say my son constantly wanted to play with the buttons on the tv. I would tell him no... and then give him a toy with buttons to play with, "this is a button you can play with.""

Does this make sense at all??

Joined: 05/05/04
Posts: 435

Biting - 20 or 21 months
Sam went through a phase recently of LOTS of biting. It was driving us nuts and it was her response to everything we did that ticked her off Lol

Anyway, I told her to bite her shirt. After a few times of redirecting her from flesh to her shirt, she hasn't bitten us in a couple of months.

I think I'm going to try a different version of this with pillows for when she tries to kick me.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

As for the window - my kids have out-smarted every other kidproofing product we've ever used. Cabinet locks, door handle locks, refrigerator locks, plug covers, you name it. So I have little faith in them. the only thing they've never mastered is a gate. They climbed over them, but never figured out how to unlock them. SO we're putting a child gate in the window. But that doesn't address the fact that she knew better, and did it anyway. She knows she's not supposed to open the window and that if I open it, she's not allowed to go out or put anything out.

Okay, here's a new one.
Aaric refuses to pay attention to what he's doing. He's nearly hurt Xander several times and its always because "I forgot!" or "I didn't see him there!", etc. Like, he jumped on the sofa and landed right beside (less than an inch) from Xander's head. He knows better tahn to jump on the furniture, but now he doesn't even bother looking to make sure that he's not going to land on his brother! And we have a baby hammock. Its currently hanging in a doorway. Its the only place it can go right now. I knew we'd have to tell them to be careful when walking through that doorway. No less than 10 times this afternoon, literally, he has RUN through the doorway at full speed. A few times when X wasn't in there, a few times when he was and luckily the hammock didn't get knocked too hard.
Things like this are just NOT okay. But we've explained that he will hurt Xander very badly if he's not careful around him. It's not acceptable for a 6 year old to "forget" not to jump on his brother's head.

Joined: 10/09/04
Posts: 74

My DD is 15m and we're mainly into re-direction at the moment. Examples
This one I posted about before...eating lunch, she kept standing up in her chair. I told her to sit and sat her down about three times, then just took the chair away and we both sat on the floor. She has stood on the chair a few times since and we've tended to respond the same way - warn her to sit down, but if she doesn't stop after about 3 times, take the chair away. She doesn't tend to do it much any more.

Another thing she did this weekend was pull some leaves off a house plant in our hall. DH and I were both nearby so we came over, got down to her level, told her "no, that hurts the plant" then took her in another room and gave her something else to do. She's gone towards the plant since, but after a quick no,don't pull the leaves, she's left it be.

One more thing, she had developed a tendency to slap faces a few months ago. Not in rage, just playful. What we did with that was say "gently for faces" and took her hand and stroked it gently on our face and her face whilst repeating "gently for faces". Now and then she will get carried away and slap faces, but if you say gently to her, she'll stop and stroke instead.

Can't think of any more at the moment. Good thread though.

Joined: 10/31/06
Posts: 1

Kelly... **sigh** i feel your pain!! i have a son who will be 6 next month and an 8 month old... and three other kids as well.. they play rough, dont listen and attack each other all over my furniture. we had a VERY serious incident not too long ago while we were moving into our new house. heres what happened:

i was upstairs unpaking my good dishes (something i did not want ANY help with!) and the kids were getting bored so i let them go downstairs to the play room to work on finding places for all their toys to go our the new shelves we built. before they ran off i stoped all of them and made sure they were listening (eye contact, repeate it back to me etc) "you can be in your bedrooms and the play room only... do not go into the guest room!" everyone repeated 'dont play in the guest room" "why? i ask" they all answer "because the breakable stuff is in there still"

after about 15 minutes of nothing but nice play and a few arguments about what toys got where drifting up over the baby moniter Katie started fussing at the gate to go downstairs with her brothers and sister so i took her down, set her in her walker and hung out with the kids for a few minutes... they all know the rules, dont every pick the baby up unless shes fallen on the floor and your helping her sit back up. no carrying her around, getting her out of a swing or exersaucer thingy...this has never ever ever been a problem....EVER, not once has any of my kids tried to tote the baby around...soooooo you cant imagine my surprise when 10 minutes later i hear a huge crash, glass breaking the baby scream bloody murder and my daughter shrieking for me... i really thing i made it down a whole flight of stairs witout touching the floor once... when i got down there i found 5 kids IN THE GUEST ROOM, tv knocked over and an upside down excersaucer!!!! i thought oh my god they killed the baby... it took me a few seconds to realize that the baby was NOT in the seat...apparently they got katie out of her seat so they could flip it over and use it as a stool to get a box down that they thought had video games in it (it had glass vases in it!!! grr). aparently luke sliped off the bottom (top?) of the seat and fell aginst the tv knocking it to the floor breaking the tv, the box of vases and the excersaucer!!

i was PISSED!

after making sure we still had 50 intact fingers and toes between them i marched everyone out into the hallway and told them to "SIT DOWN" and left them sitting there trembling in fear...i never yell...it scared them lol, while i went in the bedroom and rocked the little two for a minute..to calm them down and to take a breath myself, katie needed a nap anyway and noah was upset (noah has downs syndrome and is developmentaly much younger than his 4 years and would not be responsible for what happened..he probably diddnt even realize what was going on)

when i went back to the hallway to interview the criminals (lol) they all imidetly started pointing fingers at each other which made me even angrier. i gave them the speach about being disapointed in them, almost killing the baby...what if the tv landed on her!!! i made them hlep me clean up the mess and sent them each to a time out spot upstairs where i made them sit for over an hour (i know bad mom!) wile i finished un packing. when my partner got home we all sat down and had a family meeting about what had happened and punishments. we decided the kids needed to fork over some piggy bank to replace the excersaucer and the vase that broke and they would need to save up to help replace the tv and in the mean time natural consequences would work...no tv!

i usually handle dicipline problems eaisly with a cool head, but i was not prepared for so much all at once!!! who swaped my kids out for these!!!! lol

sorry i know that was way long... there are tons more stories, ill keep you updated on the good ones!!!

GarlicBreath's picture
Joined: 09/12/06
Posts: 488

I have a new one...any advice would be great!

DS is 15 months old. Up until this point, redirection and reminders have worked well. I was thinking to myself last week that he was understanding a lot and following directions. I was impressed at how he was obeying without me having to spank, etc. He usually follows directions like "sit down" "lay down" and if I say "thank you" he'll give me whatever object he's holding.

Anyway, his new behavior is when I say "thank you" or "come here" he'll giggle and run in the other direction. He knows what those commands mean, and he's choosing not to follow them. I think it is more mischief than malice, but I don't think it's okay for him to be running off. It could be a safety concern, kwim? When I grab him, he giggles more, as if it's a game of chase. Any ideas on how I can handle this? Right now he is in his pack and play, but he doens't seem to get that he's supposed to be punished...he is laughing and bouncing. :roll:

FreelanceMama's picture
Joined: 12/08/02
Posts: 140

It probably wouldn't help if I told you we still go through this even at age 3...

OK seriously. Yes it is mischief. He has no idea of the danger he could get into. There are a couple of ways to handle this...

- Make sure he knows it is a game he can only play in the house or yard. If he does it anywhere else, he gets a consequence (your choice). I did this - chased him in the house and yard, but I would get serious elsewhere. In fact, most of the time I demand that he holds my hand (mall, parking lot) or push his stroller (street, mall - tends to slow him down). He can run TO preschool (from driveway to building) but not FROM - he needs to stick by me because there are cars.

Another thing you could try is different types of communication. If I tell DS "Come back here" and I'm smiling, that's his "run away" cue. LOL But if I tell him "STOP. Come back by Mama, please" and I'm totally serious, he knows he needs to come back.

- Stop chasing him. By necessity I had to do this earlier in my pregnancy; now he hardly ever runs away. Let him know when he runs that you aren't going to chase him, but he does need to get dressed/get a new diaper/whatever and you will be waiting for him.

In dog training you are told to handle a runaway animal through profuse praise. Totally worked with our dog. He thought he'd be beaten or something (we'd adopted him), so we had to use the opposite tactic - instead of a harsh "COME" command, we had to praise him, tell him he was a good boy, etc. Later we did get to use COME and he knew he'd get loved on, so he obeyed.

You can use a similar tactic with children, I think - modify it maybe, tell him you will chase him AFTER he does whatever (or in a public place, find a reasonable alternative). Another thing - don't ever chase when you are dead serious. Just plant yourself, get on his level. Open your arms, encourage him to come back, preferably in a quiet voice.

Those are some things that I've tried that seem to work without spanking! GL!

GarlicBreath's picture
Joined: 09/12/06
Posts: 488

Thanks for the suggestions! The last couple days have been better. The praise suggestion was great! We've started "practicing" at home, and when he follows the directions, I praise him profusely. Unfortunately, we live in a tiny apartment, and there really isn't a good distracting place outside where we can practice...so that will take a little more work, I think. I'm amazed at the change I've seen in 2 days.

ETA: I decided on what I feel is a good consequence, too. He has to go in his pack and play and give the object to me 3 times nicely. I *hope* he associates the behavior with the consequence of going to the pack and play.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I know I'm late on this... I find that changing my language helps the most. My 22 month old daughter doesn't usually respond to "come back here." But she does respond to "stand still." KWIM?

Joined: 11/12/06
Posts: 21

Natalie examples. She's 9yo, has the vocabulary of a 12yo and the emotional/social skills of a 3yo...

Behavior: She spills the milk.
Consequence: She cleans it up.

Behavior: She won't do her homework.
Consequence: She can play after she does her HW.

Behavior: She throws a tantrum.
Consequence: She goes to her room until nine minutes after she's calm (9 minutes because she's 9).

Behavior: She grabs a toy from a child.
Consequence: She has to give it back *and* allow the child to play with one of her toys.

Behavior: She won't eat her vegetables.
Consequence: At the next meal, she gets to eat her non-vegetable food choices *after* she eats her vegetables.

Behavior: She's disrespectful to a teacher.
Consequence: She has to write an apology to the teacher with specific about how she is going to work to improve her behavior. When she was too young to write much, I'd spell out "I'm sorry" for her, and just have her write that and draw an apology picture.

Behavior: She gives me trouble getting up in the morning.
Consequence: She takes a "nap" when she gets home from school for the same number of minutes that she gave me trouble.

Behavior: She hits, or hurts anyone in anyway.
Consequence: This one is very serious for me, so I take away whatever is very important to her at the moment for 24 hours. And I state very very clearly to her: "There is no hitting or hurting in this family. No one ever hits or hurts you in this family and you are never to hit or hurt anyone." It is very very important to me that she understand that she is safe and that violence will never be tolerated from anyone or towards anyone in our family.