So, the votes, finally totaled, had “Misbehaving: Acting Out” as number one.
So let’s begin by talking about the different kinds of “acting out” that our kiddos do:
1- Tantrums- Crying / Screaming
2- Fighting others / Bullying
Each of these 3 types can be handled in a MULTITUDE of ways, but I have suggestions on how to handle them with the LEAST amount of conflict and the MOST amount of character development in your child and deepening of respect for your word, alone.
Now, what I want to address FIRST is what I have come to call the “Counting Technique”. A LOT of people will tell you “DO NOT COUNT”. BUT, they are WRONG! There really is only ONE policy that, if not in place, makes this technique fail. YOU MUST FOLLOW THROUGH! At the end of the count, 3, 5, whatever! You have to follow through with the severest of punishment. Mine is spanking when younger, time out incorporated when a little older. Then, as they get even older is becomes “You have such and such minutes to do this or…” you’re grounder, lose your phone, car, tv, xbox, ps3, laptop, WHATEVER! But ALWAYS you MUST FOLLOW THROUGH.
Now, we begin with
#1- Tantrums- Crying / Screaming
Now, obviously, there are TWO settings…
- At home
- In public / With company
So, I’ll address BOTH.
At home, it’s VERY SIMPLE. If your kid disobeys and they begin a TANTRUM. I mean, kicking screaming, flopping on the floor, the works. You pick them up, place them in their room and say “When you’re done throwing your tantrum, you may come out and apologize”. Then walk out and shut the door. Do NOT allow them out, do not talk to them. If they try to come out, you put them back in whatever spot they were before (It’s called a “RESET”) and walk out again. Keeping doing it, but never speak to them unless it is “No”. Continue until they stop. Believe me IT IS TIRING!!! But it is the EASIEST WAY to make a BEHAVIOR not just a temporary fix!
Now, if you are in public, there are TWO ways you can try, on is my mother’s way.
“Mama Knows Best”- I threw a tantrum once at Kmart, I believe and my just stopped and announced to the ENTIRE PARKING LOT “Attention, ATTENTION! Christy is throwing a tantrum and she’d like everyone to see, could you all please watch?” There weren’t many people in the lot, but I don’t think I ever threw a tantrum again. lol
Second way, is the “walk away”. You announce to them that you’re not going to wait for their tantrum and just continue on. Just make sure to turn a corner and wait…
Now, if the child is SCREAMING or CRYING, you can use the techniques above, but in addition, there is the “WHISPER techinque”, but it can only be used with a STILL child. You lean into their ear and WHISPER. What I mean is a whisper/yell/growl, whatever, something that sounds angry and disciplinarian like. What you say is “If you do not stop screaming/crying, right NOW, I am going to…” whatever your punishment may be. Then, again FOLLOW THROUGH!!!!!!!
2- Fighting others / Bullying
Now, I separate the two because there is a level of FIGHTING that happens among kids. And sometimes, it may be best to let them work it out so long as it stays non violent, and under volume control. But, when it becomes loud or just non productive “mine” arguing. Here are my suggestions…
1- Take it away. If they are arguing over a toy or object, take it away and announce that because they cannot share it, they cannot have it. Easy.
2- Time out. Sit them both in time out but make them holds hands. When the time out is over they can try to share the toy again.
If they get physical and there is hitting/kicking/pushing, I recommend letting all parties share their side of the story, then making every who needs to apologize, do so.
For biting, I personally use the “bite back” rule. If a kid bites, I bite them in the same place. Obviously, not as hard, but hard enough to make the point. You may disagree, but I know this works well. Usually within a couple of bites.
But. If you have a bully… that is different. For one, teach your kids as they are growing to always MAKE FRIENDS with EVERYONE! That can really help develop a good kid. But, if they end up bullying anyways, here are my choices. For non physical bullying I recommend time out. If you can include a CHORE, do so. For PHYSICAL bullying I recommend physical punishment. Meaning, spanking. Of course, many parents disagree, and I can see why. But I know this works, like I have said before, and fairly quickly. If they hit/kick/push/etc. you spank and time out. Bites, of course, in my book deserve return bites and time outs.
And then we have
Now, first I’m going to tell you, the BEST way to stop mischievousness is to WEAR THEM OUT. Make them get physical REGULARLY. Go to the park, dance in the living room, take a walk, WHATEVER! Just get them active and see if they start acting better.
HOWEVER, if they CONTINUE to get into things, start by putting up PERIMETERS or LOCKS. Either lock them out of areas you don’t want them in and lock cabinets, etc. Or, put up fences to keep them in smaller SECTIONS of the house. I don’t always recommend fencing them into ONE room, unless it is a LARGE one. I like to include bathroom for older children, as well. But usually I like to use the bedroom, bathroom and living room so they have options. But if it’s not possible, try putting the fence down the hallway to give them space outside the door, rather than placing the fenced INSIDE the door.
Then, if they get mischievous with something, remove it, or them from it. If they end up in a boring room, tell them it was their fault for using everything the WRONG ways. Give them a time to wait for a second chance and as long as they don’t act out again, allow them 1-3 toys, depending on circumstance, to try with again. Then slowly allow the toys back with good behavior or take them away for bad behavior.
But, you HAVE TO BE CONSISTENT AND HAVE TO FOLLOW THROUGH!
And that is the backbone for all parenting. Following through and being consistent.
Okay, so, join me FRIDAY when we discuss the next topic… BEDTIME BLUES!
We’ll have tips on getting your child to accept bedtime! I swear, they’ll totally be COOL with it. They may even put themselves to bed, after you use this special FORMULA! Join me WEDNESDAY for that special formula !