Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Parenting Gone Awry

Isabella is pretty much a good girl. However, she's now a pretty much good girl who's two years old. That presents some problems for when she's not-so-much a good girl and is testing her boundaries and ours.

My husband has, up until recently, been able to discipline Bella with The Look. My Dad calls that look "The Evil Eye" and it always worked on us as kids.

Bella's learned the art of ignoring her parents or anyone else trying to tell her what to do. She'll just zone out, turn off her ears or simply keep doing what she's doing.

Last night as I was nursing Ava, Bella plopped down beside me on the couch (after standing on it which is no-no #1) and began to kick at me with both feet. It didn't hurt but was obviously not meant in a loving way. My husband told her to stop. She didn't. He sent her to her room. She giggled and ran as if he was chasing her. He told her to stay there until she could behave.

She came out moments later with some toys. He asked if she was going to behave. She said no. So he sent her back to her room. This time she practically skipped with glee to her punishment.

She returned a nano-second later with her babydoll. This time I asked if she was going to be a good girl. She said yes. Then she ran over to the couch, climbed up next to me and proceeded to kick me again. My husband gave his best Look. She returned that look with one of defiance, still kicking, and yelled "I want to go to my room!". She lept off the couch, ran to her room and I glanced at my husband who just sat and blinked.

I could not help laughing (You know, the parental look away laugh). So even today my husband is perplexed. I pointed out that perhaps sending her to her favorite place to play isn't a good punishment. We may try the Time Out method. I think she's too young to write 500 sentences.

Any effective disciplinary actions you can share with me that don't involve spanking? I'm all ears.


Kelly said...

Pffft! Let ME know if you find some...I personally think that they are too young at this age to understand consequences. They don't get it!
For the most part, I ignore the bad behavior (so that she doesn't receive NEGATIVE attention), and work hard to give her praise when she's behaving appropriately. I've not used the time-out method, but I have put her in her room and held the door shut while she screamed... (I'm really a good parent, seriously.)She KNEW then that she was being punished.

s@bd said...

We 'time-out' it. But when she has a time out, she sits on her bed in her room (we hold her there, if we have to) with no toys, no books, no stuffed animals.

(Also, we try to ask her if she's going 'do what she's asked' / 'make a good choice' / 'listen to mommy' / etc, as opposed to if she's going to 'be a good girl'. It probably makes no difference to her on a conscious level but I want her to (someday) understand that she IS a good girl who can control her actions and make good or bad choices.
(does that make any sense at all?))

Jennboree said...

Very good point, Shannon. Noted.

I've wondered about her ability to understand consequences since in the last five minutes she's come running to me twice, upset because Willie the cat keeps biting her.

When I ask what she'd been doing to him, she says pulling his tail.


Kelly said...

Yes. Keep her 'who' and her 'do' separate.

Anonymous said...

We do time out, and taking previlleges, like no playing with favorite toy for x amount of time.

Frannie Farmer said...

Boy oh boy .. 4 little ones and I still haven't found a sure-fire form of discipline. Some may work a time or two and then they get your number and you have to move on to a new form. I don't do spankings either, time out is tough because they don't get it. I *think* if you have a special time-out only chair it might be easier .. I wish I had more words of wisdom .. not so much!

Amanda Sue said...

oh, you are a brave one, jenn. soliciting advice on discipline!

i'll email you my advice. cause i can't make it all fit in this tiny box. aren't you glad you asked?

T-girl said...

ROTFLMAO! Time out is the only one that works in our house... that and Daddy saying "NO!" In a VERY stern voice! I have the same issues with my 19 month old... Mama is for ignoring in her little world. She pushes those limits SO hard sometimes it is not even funny! Today I told her she could not touch something so she put her little finger on it... just touching it- not grabbing, I told her no agian and so she took her hand and hovered it, so agian I said no, so she leaned in real close and stared at it... I went out front and threw myself infront of the first moving vehicle I saw! LOL One of the things I did, that I rememeber my parents doing with my little sister is got a specific chair, that is with-in site of me so I can monitor her, for time out. I have found with my little one that if she is with-in site and timed out she may fuss more BUT she HATES that we ignore her so she does not repeat the transgression... she finds new ones! LMAO Good luck and let us know what works... I am always on the look out for new tech! Funnily enough the hubby and I were discussing ear flicking as we went to the store this evening- I HATED that as a kid but... it worked. I was so fearful of the flick that I didn't do something twice! LMAO I am not sure if I am ready to go there yet though! LOL

T-girl said...

S@bd- Sorry I just read everyone else advice... I think this is very true! I also try to do this, I praise her when she does something nice or good and when she is doing something she is not suppose to I ask her like you do. Mine is still a bit young yet but she seems to understand at her level (I am not expecting miricles of concept at this age but a general prinicple, plus it sets me up for later on when she DOES understand- good habits in my opinion are formed for BOTH parents and children) I think many times we do not give children enough credit for understanding things. I know for a fact my daughter understands what is acceptable and not because of the way she tests the limits. I also think it is really important to pick and choose your battles, there are some things that yes I would prefer her NOT to do BUT they are really not that big a deal (for example piling my cookbooks in neat little piles next to the shelf- yes it sucks BUT...)

Good piece Jenn... I want to know what that EM says! LMAO

Anonymous said...

One piece of advice I may give is that when you do the time-outs...it is in a spot that is visible to you. (be as consistent as possible). We have a chair that the kids use.
I have learned that sending them to their room is not good. First, it gives them a negative feeling about their room and could possibly keep them from playing there, sleeping there or destroying things while they are in time out. Also, you want them where you can see them at all times. That they are sitting quietly and "thinking" about their behavior.
Sorry you are at "the two's". Been there. Done that. No fun.