If there’s one law I live by its Murphy’s Law: simply put, “whatever can go wrong will go wrong.” It’s how I keep my sanity as a parent. I don’t expect everything to run like clockwork because- the truth is- it rarely ever does. Children are unpredictable. They are wild cards. They change from minute to minute without a seconds notice and this keeps you constantly on your toes.
Some parents accept this and try to their best to anticipate meltdowns before they happen. Others try to correct meltdowns after they happen. Regardless, tantrums, “bad” behavior and insolence come with the territory and you have to deal with them. Now, I know, dealing with a screaming, whining, demanding child is more than most parents of young children can handle, but I’m not so sure sticking them in a corner, hoping their “bad” behavior will go way is really the best way to discipline a young child.
I’m talking about Time-outs. I’ve tried them on my daughter, they don’t work for me. Now, I know what you’re going to say, “You’re probably not doing it properly,” but I’m not the only one who has tried to use this method of discipline on my little girl to no avail. Hell, my daycare provider says my daughter holds the record for the number of time-outs in one day (9) and all that says is maybe my daughter’s not “time-out” material.
No, I’m not going to use corporal punishment on her. I had it done to me as a child and I know it just made my resolve to piss my parents off stronger. No, I’m not going to take her to therapy to find out what’s “bothering” her – she’s a kid and she wants to do whatever she wants to do, but we don’t let her (duh?). So where does that leave me: shock collars; bribery; a trip to a penitentiary to show my 2-year-old where her actions will be leading her?
No, it leaves me trying to find alternatives that work for MY child. Now, I’d like to say I have all the time in the world to do that kind of research, but I don’t. So we’re open to suggestions. Please tell us what methods you’ve tried to discipline your child: what’s worked and what has not. Feel free to share any links to books, or websites, or flow charts that show exactly what your method of choice entails. We appreciate your help with this. It’s bad enough that I spent most of my formative years sitting in a Vice Principals office for “behavior unbefitting a child.” Please don’t let this happen to my child. We welcome all advice (on this topic).
- Positive Discipline: Why Time Outs Don’t Work,Susan Shiffelma
- When Time-outs Don’t Work, Parents.com
- Discipline Alternative to Time-Outs