Adventures In Disciplining

Being a responsible parent can be so aggravating at times; sometimes it’s hard to remember that in the end it’ll be rewarding! The “terrible 2’s” (and don’t you dare say a peep about how 3’s are worse) are definitely a time of testing. In the last week we’ve had some interesting stuff happen here…

Let me back up briefly though. For the last 8 months or so (since the boys were about 20 months I believe), Nick and I have used the 1,2,3 Magic discipline method with the boys.

The method requires a lot of consistency on the parent’s part, but Nick I feel like we’ve been pretty good about that. Until recently the time outs didn’t seem to bother the boys a whole lot. Sometimes we’d even hear giggling as we marched them down the hall to their rooms (where they serve their Time Outs). Sometimes the Time Out they just served didn’t even phase them as they would come out of their room after the 2 minutes was up and proceed to repeat the offense that earned them the first time out! So frustrating!

In the last month or so we’ve seen a lot of progress in the time out department though. It’s rare they come out and repeat the offense and it’s rare to hear laughing while they’re in TO. Progress! So this past weekend we were getting ready to go get our Christmas tree when Tyler did something to land him in TO. We set the timer as usual and with a minute still to go he suddenly came walking down the hall. They’ve never been able to open their bedroom door (I don’t know why that one has been harder for them), so it took Nick and me by surprise! I told him to go back to his room until the timer went off and that sent him into quite the tantrum. Tough luck kid!

Since last Friday all three boys have figured out how to open their bedroom door. At the same time it’s like they’ve almost matured in the discipline department. When we tell them it’s time for a time out there’s often great weeping and gnashing of teeth, but they go. They also know to stay in their room until they hear the microwave timer go off, then they calmly come back out and join the family. Know what else? Since this started a week ago I have not had one repeat offense! Wow! In fact, the number of TO’s I’ve had to dole out has been greatly reduced. Now if I get to “2” they stop, instead of pushing me to say “3” and then put them in TO.

Not everything is coming up roses here though. A couple of nights ago Chase was once again throwing a tantrum just before dinner. He’s done this a few times in the last couple of weeks and Nick and I were getting tired of it. Finally I told Chase we were all getting ready to sit down for dinner. I told him I was going to set the timer and if he wasn’t in his seat eating dinner by the time it went off he wouldn’t get to eat that night. I set the timer for 15 minutes and let Chase throw his tantrum in the hall while I ate dinner with the other two boys and Nick.

The timer went off, Chase still wasn’t at the table (but at least he was quiet now) and we were all done with dinner. I cleaned up the table and a few minutes later Chase came out to get a hug… and announce he had pooped in his pants. Grrrr! Having accidents are like his little way of sticking it to Nick and me. Anyway, after cleaning him up he said he wanted pancakes (what we had for dinner). I told him no, he could have some in the morning. He got a little upset, but then was distracted by something Tyler was doing. He asked a couple of more times to eat and I continued to tell him “no”. He went to bed that night without dinner. That was a first for us.

Thankfully he didn’t cry or wake up in the middle of the night hungry, because I’m sure that would have weakened our resolve to be firm. The last couple of nights at dinner time have been enjoyable and tantrum free. Whew!

Being a parent can be hard at times, but the rewards we’ll reap down the road will far outweigh all of this crud!

I posted a video late yesterday afternoon! Make sure you scroll down and check that post out too!

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