Monday, August 25, 2008

Discipline

It is something that is becoming important in our home. Natalie is a very easy-going toddler, and minds exceptionally well. We have a lot of love, fun, and laughter in our home, always surrounding her. Mike and I say to each other often, "I love having a two-year-old!" (we've said this about every age/stage with her)

However, like every two-year-old, there are moments that require us to discipline her. Thankfully, they're always minor things, and are resolved quickly. I will admit though, it was not easy to figure out the best way to correct her. She is sensitive, and very much a tender-heart. What works for many children, I think would crush her.

I have found that most problems can be avoided by explaining 2 things to her. WHY I'm asking her to do or not do something; and WHAT she should be doing instead. Once she gets a warning, if the behavior doesn't improve, I ask her if she needs a timeout. If things still don't improve, she has to go sit on the bottom step for 2 minutes.

I used to roll my eyes at the idea of using timeouts to discipline children. Most kids would shrug off a timeout (and Natalie might someday) but for now, it works...and works well! She sits for two minutes, (usually crying loudly so everyone in the neighborhood can hear) After the two minutes are up, I put her on my lap and explain again why she had the timeout, and have her apologize. (She is usually saying "I sorry, Monnie. I sorry." between breaths before I ask) Then reassure her, tell her how much she is loved, hug and kiss her, etc. It is a process, but one that I have come to respect b/c of the wonderful results we see, and how lovingly it is done.

One of the last times she got a timeout, my parents were visiting. Afterward, when I was explaining everything to Natalie, my mom took a picture.

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