Have you ever heard that old phrase about how dogs can “smell fear?” Well, dogs aren't the only ones who can smell fear; children can too. Children know the moment they have you. They know when mom is out of ideas and dad is ready to explode. They know.
All people are born with this kind of sense about other people, so it is natural for children to consider it as valuable as seeing or tasting.
"Just wondering what you do when a child denies doing something like this even though you know it was them or else they try to deceive you about it even though they know that no punishment will be given out for their mistake or wrongdoing if they are honest about it. How do you confront them and have them face up to their failures and take responsibility for their actions? My ds10 will get defensive whenever he does something wrong or makes a mistake he then will usually compound this by trying to lie or deceive his way out of it to save face. We end up punishing him for the lying and deceit when really it should have be a non issue if he had just been honest.""Any suggestions?"
There are three steps to handling this situation.
Step one; Make sure you are not accusing, but that you look and feel safe to talk to.
Step two: Pre-teach the situation before you say anything............."Right now _________ just happened. I am going to ask you about your actions. If you choose to be honest about your actions you will not earn any negative consequences. (or you could have a positive consequence in place for being honest) However, if you are not honest then you will choose to earn
“I do struggle and maybe you could give me some advice. I spend quite a bit of time with my kids in the morning going over little activities like school workbooks and story time and exercising together. Yet the minute I get on the phone or sit down to nurse the baby, the three boys are arguing or fighting or taking toys from each other or something of the sort. I have tried to get them to color or do a certain activity together, but that only lasts so long. It's hard to discipline when you are nursing the baby.
I know I have a bit of post-pardom and always feel like I am always nursing the baby or disciplining my children. I have felt discouraged with my 3 boys behavior and realize some of their actions comes from mom spending so much time with the new little one. Do you have any tips or suggestions for me on how to best help teach my boys and solve the problems.”
J You hit a common discipline problem right on the head. I would like to meet a mother who can have a 30 minute phone conversation and not have things fall apart a little bit. My one hopeful thought to you is that as they grow, they learn to live without you for 30 minutes, or more. ;)
Nursing a baby is also a hard one. I have been there too.
As I go around the country teaching parenting seminars and trying to help parents make healthy changes in their family relationships, I notice there are two things which get asked the most.
1. What do you do for attitude problems?
2. How do you stop tantrums?
I an not going to expound on tantrums today, but I will say that attitude problems are just tantrums at a different level. The difference between the two are that tantrums usually happen when a person is small and they often include uncontrolled body movements and crying, and attitude problems are usually mostly verbal with abrasive body language. Attitude problems are usually more controlled than tantrums. Both tantrums and attitude problems are signs of frustration, anxiety and lack of healthy communication skills.
I am pretty confident talking about attitude problems, because I was the attitude problem queen of my house when I was in my teen years. I think my poor parents earned all their gray hairs during my attitude problem years. Luckily, I had a very insightful young women's leader who saw my problem and wasn't afraid to tell me how to change.
One day I was at her home telling her daughter that my parents wouldn't let me go to a youth party because they
"I have a 5 year old son that is in kindergarten. He loves school because of all his friends there... Unfortunately with school I see him still coming home with some bad habits that we must work to break. I think his teacher is great but with all the kids in the class she can't be expected to enforce/reward self-government principles. My concern is that he is getting confused with discipline at home and less discipline at school. How do you address this issue with your kids?"
It is hard to have a child come home from school with behaviors you need to break all the time.
Thank you so much for your teaching this subject! I purchased the CDs about two months ago when I heard about them through the LEMI mentors association, listened to them, took lots of notes, and put it into action at a family meeting about 3 weeks ago.
"My question, as it relates to the above entries and to my four year old is what to do when he will not stay in time-out (on our washer)? He will not stay there. He runs after me, screaming. I put him back - try hard to do it calmly and sometimes I have tried to keep him there using my hands to keep his legs on the washer, but then I feel like I am forcing him and it all goes down hill from there."
I wrote an answer to a similar question over a year ago. It is called "Tantrums, Time-out and Tired Moms." The article should answer most of your questions. It is alright to do a soft hold with a child to help him learn to want to stay on time-out himself to calm down, but you are right about it being a sort of "force."
My friend Jason Alba sent me this link to a great article about inspiring self-government in people in your community or sphere of influence.
"...I hope you will discipline yourselves and your fellow students. This request is in keeping with my commitment to self-government for students. It should not be up to me to enforce proper behavior that signifies the intelligence of Duke students. You should do it. Reprove those who make us all look bad. Shape up your own language..." -Duke President Terry Sanford
The whole thing is really worth reading. I hope you take the chance.
Coach Sanford did some great things here. He