Monday, June 22, 2009

Time to crack down

I had a feeling this would happen. There are few things these days that I can predict and be prepared for and I'm getting used to the new schedule--or lack thereof. I'm not a scheduled person so it's not too upsetting as long as you don't mess with my sleep. Um, don't you have a baby in the house you ask?

This is true. That's not the issue today though.

The issue is discipline. I've (we've) been disciplining master Ty since he was literally 9 months old--he would try something and we'd have to teach him where danger was and what things he was not allowed to play with. He has a bit of an edge to him and is pretty intense so his biggest battle is controlling his fits. Which he can. For those people who told me to walk away and let him have at it I have much to say: you people did not and do not know my boy. He may be edgy but he is extremely self-disciplined when he wants to be. And stubborn. When I did try the walking away thing around 18 months, he would simply extend his fit throughout every room in the house. Wherever I went he went and he just got louder and more upset. They say it takes the wind out of their sails...and his sails just got more and more filled by the second. So we found what works for us and stuck with it. We say, "No fit," and he knows if he keeps on he will get in trouble. 9 times out of 10 he stops. The other time when he escalates he gets a spanking. He gives us little trouble these days aside from yelling at his sister when she is being disobedient. Thank you big brother, future hall monitor.

Nice bridge into today's topic: disciplining Charlie.

Isn't she too cute to discipline? She's chewing on a medicine dropper she stole.

No she is not. She has been a peach all her life and now is starting to try her hand at fits and whining. Neither are going to fly if I can do anything about it.

What I'm working on right now is how to tackle the issues. She's a sweet one and loves to be touching you--I've thought through how this plays into what she throws fits about. Inevitably it's when she wants/needs to be held and I can't hold her. Insert new mom guilt. Her new sister has taken her place, she can't get what she needs, etc. I DO have those thoughts but I have to remind myself that God gave Joy to us and it wasn't an accident that she was born a short time after Charlie. He planned it that way. There are times when I have to hold or feed Joy.

What I'm trying to achieve in Charlie's case is just the ability to help her learn to control herself. In the meantime I'm trying to hold her more, let her sit in my lap while everyone is playing, (and when Joy is asleep,) so she knows she is loved and then when I do start really cracking the whip I mean cracking down on her it's a good balance. She's just so funny sometimes it's hard to keep at it. Yesterday she started whining then when I just looked at her shaking my head she started stomping her feet. I couldn't keep from laughing. The best part is that she'd concentrate on her feet and forget to cry/whine at the same time so she alternated. I gotta get this on film...

Edited to add what Emmy suggested: Sean can look at Charlie and she'll start crying. If she throws a fit and he looks sternly at her or God forbid says, "No," she falls apart. Nice.

7 comments:

Emmy said...

Yeah, it's like we forgot that Charlie might not be perfect! She definitely is more huffy now than she used to be. She's given me a few little grunts lately to show me that she doesn't like what I'm saying, or that I can't boss her around. Huh. Oh YES I CAN boss her around, and I will, because I love her!

Emmy said...

You need to tell everyone also how she responds to Sean's discipline...

Matt, Joy and Ryder said...

I guess it is there age...Ryder has days when he is in full tantrum mode all day and others when he is not. The funny thing is...he is an angel when I am not around. I enter the picture and the worst comes out in him...it really frustrates me sometimes. We worked on patience yesterday...I am figuring I will need him to have a little of that trait come September. He wanted me to blow bubbles, but I was folding a load of laundry. I just kept repeating "When Mommy is done here, we will blow bubbles". There was just a small start of a fit, but as I kept repeating the fit stopped. He just stood next to me with bubbles in hand and then handed them to me when I was finished. I was soooo Excited!

Charlie is Adorable!!!! That is hilarious, the whole concentrating on the feet and forgetting to cry bit!

Heather said...

It's so hard to not laugh when their little personalities start to emmerge! Trevor's thing has been to do something wrong (grab a DVD, pen, etc. that he isn't supposed to have) and then literally RUN crying to me because he can't handle the fact that he knows he's doing something wrong.

Thankfully, he's been pretty easy to discipline. (I say that- watch, I'm probably that mom that lets my kid get away with murder and just don't know it). So far, it seems like a big part of it is 1) figuring out your child's personality (like how you know Charlie needs to be near you) and 2) setting limits 3) being consistent. (I like how I talk as if I know ANYthign about parenting).

Oh, and I'll update the art project post to tell how I did it...

Rachel and Ian Kirkland said...

I totally relate to you on this one! Elijah has been going back through all the previous discipline steps we trained him on ever since Joaquin came to stay. It is his little attention getting device because he knows I have to deal with it as quickly as possible, so he tries to get me away from his baby brother! I just hope his hasn't regressed completely.

Mama Em said...

Call me crazy, but I am feeling rather normal-ish on my kids' names...no Joaquin here...:) anyway we all have those times...both mine relate totally different, but I have learned (am learning) to spend what time I have with each one individually as I can (for example, R always "needs" me right when Luke wakes up- so, knowing his wake-up times (-ish, she stresses :)) I try to cuddle her before I get him) and to let them fuss it out in their rooms "until they choose to be a calm part of the family again"- that's part of being a family, right? Not always getting your way or what you want when you want it. sadly, neither of mine are low-maintenance, but then we have ourselves to blame for that- we didn't exactly bring that trait to the table.

Good luck. Seriously. I firmly believe that this (Charlie's exact age) is the time to establish who the boss is or you never will. (kind of need a dramatic score behind that, eh?)

Sarah Sharp said...

Will sounds a lot like Ty! I am having the hardest time finding the right way to discipline him. He is 14 months and so sweet yet so busy and into EVERYTHING. He loves to play with things that are not toys and throws a fit if we take the non-toy away. We tried spanking his hand if he was touching something he shouldnt but then he started hitting. So then we started warning him to stop then spanking him on his bottom which is effective half the time. When I tell him no or stop he says "Bah!" back to me. My husband can usually tell him no and just break his heart. So frustrating!