Saturday, April 11, 2009

does discipline start now?

So I'm thinking it's time to start thinking about discipline and I'm curious to hear any good tips from you moms out there. Dan and I want to be intentional parents and to have somewhat of a plan of how we're going to discipline BEFORE we find ourselves in a situation that needs discipline, to avoid just "reacting" with the first response that comes out.

This week Jaxon started doing a fake cough when he has food in his mouth, resulting in food spraying everywhere. He also sticks his tongue out and spits it out that way. At first I thought he might be doing this because he's full or not hungry, but now I know that's not the case.

Does he KNOW this is bad or is it just part of him exploring the world of food? How do I react to this? Today I tapped his lip and said "no" firmly, and he gave me such a sad look and I felt so bad. Should I just say "no" or should I ignore it or what should I do????

Any creative discipline ideas would be appreciated!


  1. this post made me chuckle, just the part where you said that jaxon got such a sad look (and you felt bad).. because I've been there.. it is tough to know when and how to discipline, but it is something that you will know (because you know your child).. kids like to push the boundaries, because they want you to show them where the boundaries are. I think you did just fine in that instance of dicipline, when potential bad habits start, it's easier to nip them in the bud, then let them continue for a year and then try to correct them! I have found disciplining my kids to be trial and error for what works for them at their different ages & stages..

  2. Yeah, I know...whenever we discipline Tate or Emily they (usually!) get SOOO sad...sometimes a bit angry too now that they're getting older. But oh my. That saddness makes it so hard to discipline sometimes! But I still do it because I know that it is the best thing for them and that if I can nip any discipline issues in the bud it will be a LOT easier in the long run. Sooo, I think you did great in your first "discipline time" with Jaxon. :) And like Ellen're the parent who's around Jaxon all day - so you're the one who's going to know best if he's pushing the limits or if he's just "exploring". If it's something that you don't want him to be doing then I'd say that the sooner you start to try to stop that action, the better. :) And yeah...I'm copying Ellen again, but sometimes it is a bit of trial and error as to what type of discipline works for a child at each age...sometimes they don't respond at ALL to one type of discipline, but then something else works wonders. :)

  3. I have to agree with the person who wrote the above comment and I too, know how it feels when you first start disciplining and they look at you so sad and it makes you feel sad! To be honest, when we first started training Taden, we used a flick on his cheek at mealtime for different things that he did that were not allowed. One thing he used to do was let out a loud squeal/yell while he was in his highchair. I didn't want to allow it b/c then I wouldn't be able to control when and where he felt like doing it, (church, Walmart, etc) so I figured I'd try to just nip it in the bud. It took about 2 weeks of training and consistancy, but it WORKED. I was leary to try the flick on the cheek and didn't want to inflict an ouchy but it was needed. I'm not saying that a flick is "THE" way either, there may be other things that work as well, but it's definit;y easier to nip things in the bud than to have to go back and re-train them not to do something that once was allowed. You might really get some good ideas in that 2nd Babywise book too. I really thought it was helpful. They even give steps, for instance, 1)give a verbal warning 2)if child does not obey, put them in their crib in isolation (I always talk to Taden when I do this and tell him "Beacuse you did not obey mommy, you have to go in your crib" that way he knows exactly why he's being put in there.) About 30 seconds to a minute or two later, I go back in and tell him I love him but that mommy needs him to obey the first time. Of course when I put him in the crib, he knows what's going on and protests and crys as I leave and shut the door, but it has seemed to really help. If I get him out and the problem happens again, I do the crib again. There's been a few times where I've had to take him back into his crib 3 times right in a row, but it's consistancy that I hear is supposed to be key. So....from one learning mom to another....for what it's worth... :)

  4. aunt sherry8:15 PM

    does he do it with all foods or only with that one thing you fed him? i just always took it away from them and let them think about if they were really hungry. if you offer him what is on the table just like anyone else he will figure it is time to eat and what his options are, he'll let you know what he likes or not,you wouldn't want someone to force you to eat something you didn't like would you? remember it is all new to him and it is taste and textures and chewing and what is expected at the table, too much punishment and they get to hate meals and don't want to eat anything for fear of getting into trouble when you are trying to teach this little person how to be a person and not a baby,, aunt sherry

  5. Thanks Laura for the comment you put on my blog - I wish you guys could come for ice cream too!!! :)

  6. thanks for the comment you left about video footage - I'll have to try that!!!

  7. Laura, with 4 little ones at home and one with Jesus I have to tell you that one thing I really miss with Samuel not being here is that I was really looking forward to training him. I know that may sound funny that I miss that, but for me it is one of the joys of parenting and obviously I miss so much more besides that. But I miss it none the less. Each child responds a little differently, some get it really quickly, others take a bit longer. I would recommend the book To Train Up a Child by Mike and Debi Pearl. Some think it is a little extreme. But I am the type that can read a book and glean from it what I can and when something doesn't set well with me, not put that into practice. There is a lot of great wisdom in that little book. It is one I reread every once in a while.

    I hear you with Jaxson making that sad look. It isn't always easy, but having a well behaved kid really is HUGE. I think the earlier the better, you start to train them to respond to you young and you are consistant and then it just continues with lots of little tweeks along the way. The more training you do now, the less disciplining down the road. Blessings to you on this parenting journey. He is just precious. Hey by the way, I kind of like the dark hair:)
    In Him, Sara

  8. Anonymous9:09 PM

    At this point, training is important but i've just read two amazing books that talk about training their hearts.. not their behaviours. THe behaviour will follow when their hearts are in the right place. I know this is all too far away for you right now but had to spill it.
    THe books are.....
    "Good and Angry" by Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller
    "Scream Free Parenting" by Hal Edward Runkel.
    Very good and changed the way I interact with my kids.

    Excited to see you in only 6 more sleeps ;)