Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Big, scary word of the day: Discipline

Anna's been going through this phase lately.

She gets seriously pissed if something doesn't go her way. If I don't pick her up fast enough, she screams. If we don't get her down from her high chair as soon as she's done eating, she screams. If she falls, she screams. If we try to change her diaper, she screams.

For a little while, I was afraid that my darling little buttertart had turned into a butterbrat.

Then I got my regularly scheduled email from babycenter.com and the folks there told me that if my child was being "spirited" lately, it was completely normal. Phew.

On the same note, the email also discussed the importance of discipline.

Ah, discipline. Another interesting/difficult/strange/necessary thing for parents to do with their children.

To discipline or to not discipline. If you don't do it, you run the risk of being "that family". You know, the one that nobody really wants around because your kids are annoying as hell.

If you do it, you run the risk of looking like - and becoming - a cold, strict, angry, stressed out parent. (I'm really supposed to ignore my kid while she's screaming and crying, big fat tears rolling down her face?? Just wait until she throws a "Mommy" in there, too. I'll be done.) But really - you know the types of parents you see at Walmart who just yell at their kids all the time. Who seem so angry that they touched something they weren't supposed to. Ugh.

I'm all for the right kind of discipline. But is Anna going to really understand at this age? She's almost 14 months old, but she's not at the age yet where she shows that she completely understands everything you say.

So when she's screaming and I say "Okay, Mommy has to change your diaper, Anna. That's all." she really doesn't seem to get it and still looks at me like I'm some cruel, horrid Mama who is inflicting evil torture upon her by making her NOT sit in shit for 2 hours.

So when do you start the discipline? What types of things work for you and your family? How early should you start it before your child becomes The Problem Child?

And, more importantly, how do you tell this face no?


  1. For kids her age, I'd just use distraction. Find a rattle, or a cool toy and get her attention with it. She'll probably forget all about what she was mad at. If she is mad that you can't pick her up that minute (like you're chopping veggies or something), I'd just tell her that you'll be a second and ignore the cries until you're free.

    Sometimes I've found that a very short time out works if they get WAY angry and can't calm down, even at that age. I'll put Nate in his crib for literally 10 seconds or so and leave the room. When I come back in he's happy to see me and has usually forgotten why he was mad.

    Sometimes just a cuddle works, although sometimes this makes my kids more angry when I try it.

    Just wait until she's 3 and talking back and miserable. That's when it gets VERY tricky. They can push your last button at that age and distraction doesn't usually work.


  2. Thanks for your advice Kim! Where would I be without you?

  3. LOL - Probably in a better spot. Discipline is something that I really struggle with. Not so bad under about 2/2.5, but after that, they KNOW they are doing something wrong and push you right to the edge. 3 was a very tough age with Liam. I'd say 2 was a dream compared to 3.


  4. Erica twin mommyApril 1, 2011 at 4:23 AM

    Hi there, I have one year old twins girl/boy and my daughter knows the meaning of NO and DOWN and SIT and SLEEPY, my son only understands COME HERE and maybe NO? Well anywho he pulls her hair all the time and she runs crying to me, I have tried everything! I don't know if he understands which is the point, either he understands and still does it or just likes making her cry lol. I was so gentle for the last three weeks with him every time he did it to explain, now I just say NO and he ignores me :(

  5. Erica - I can't imagine having to discipline twins!! Eek!! Sounds like your boy is going to be full of beans - just like my Anna! :)