Once I delved into the comments-whew! con-tro-ver-sy. Heated debate. Some people accused her of child abuse(which was laughable and quite offensive), while other's commended her strong stance on discipline.
|yes, this scenario was caused by a tantrum... and mommy mistakenly leaving a dish within arms reach|
But, to be honest, Isla June has received a "pop" one time. When we moved into our new condo, we discovered that she was able to take the outlet covers out of the outlets and she was doing it at the babysitter's house as well. It had become a sort of game to her.
There is an outlet right in the middle of the living room wall and is next to all of her toys (I can't really change this set-up, it's just how it is-there are outlets everywhere). So, after redirecting her multiple times, I realized that she was really testing this situation. I'm a true believer in (safe) forms of natural consequences, but I wasn't willing to let this scenario teach her the natural way (through an electrical shock!)
So, because it was a dangerous scenario for her, she got a pop (see description above). She had to stop this behavior immediately for her own safety. I see it as a way to say, "hey, that's gonna hurt like this but 10,000 times worse!"
Did I feel bad? yes. But I knew it was for her own protection to learn this lesson.
I know that I sound contradictory. But we all have to find what works for us. In all of her 14 months, I have used a physical form of redirection to attempt to save her life 1 time. I'm ok with that.
By no means is this part (or will ever be a part) of our normal discipline routine.
With all that being said, here are little tricks that we use in our house that I hope will have a positive effect on Isla June's behavior (most of these I picked up in the classroom and are now ingrained in me):
- we don't use the word no in the house to redirect behavior. Terms we use instead, "please stop", "that's not available to you", "that's not Isla June's phone, it's daddy's, let's go find your phone."
- when Isla June has something that we don't want her to have, we say, "may I please have it?" and then tell her "thank you" when she gives it to us. (much nicer than snatching, right?)
- we already implement some small form of time-out. If she's having a melt down about something, I try to sit her down next to me, without talking to her, and give her some cool off time. Now, because she is only 1 this doesn't work every time. But, the second she stops fussing, I swoop in with lots of praise to thank her for calming down. and then, we move on.
- redirect, redirect, redirect. At this age, it's the best form of behavior management. Laughing always lightens the mood.
- Most importantly, I try not to get into a battle of wills with my child. And trust me, this is way easy to do. I try to ask myself, "am I trying to help her grow or am I trying to be right?"
- I've also tried to create a "yes" environment in the house. By baby proofing, Isla June has freedom throughout the day to go and do what she pleases, so I'm not forced to follow her around frustrated and having to redirect her all the time. She is independent.
This is just what works for us.
It will change and we will have to adapt.
More than anything, my goal with discipline is to teach Isla June to be a polite, independent, self-controlled amazing little girl through love and positive, consistent reinforcement.
We are all doing the best we can.
Sometimes it helps to hear tips on how other moms are tackling this whole discipline thing.
Update: A great book I reccomend on the matter is The No Cry Discipline Solution full of positive reinforcement techniques.
And, as always, Kate (Motley Mama) speaks much more eloquently about this topic.