Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The boy who liked time-outs

You may have noticed I've been posting less frequently lately. It is due to the fact that I am now employed - YAY! I'm thrilled to have this job and feel incredibly lucky to get hired right now, especially in this economy.  Since I have been working, Nate has had to adapt to a lot of changes, namely starting school and a lot less mommy time.  Fortunately, Nate is super social so he's adjusting to school very well. I really couldn't be happier in that regard.

But I have noticed that when he is home, he's been testing me more and more lately. I know part of it is his age/developmental stage and part of it is undoubtedly from less exercise now that summer is over and we don't go to the park every day for hours. But also I am sure that he is adjusting to the amount of attention and stimulation that he is getting from me everyday. I mean, I'm simply too busy for ABC drills and multiplication tables over breakfast now.

Speaking of ABCs, after ONE week of school, Nate started singing his:

I do think I should get some credit for singing the alphabet song just about everyday for the past two years, but still - yay, school!

So back to that limit-testing. As a result, Nate's been receiving more time-outs lately. I follow the one minute for every year of life rule, so he usually sits in his Mets chair for a little over two minutes while I pretend to ignore him.  The thing is,when he does something that he's not supposed to do, half the time, he'll ask me - expectantly - if he's going to get a time-out. Like he likes it. Now, I know children crave discipline, but he can't like time-outs. What does that leave me with? I'm not spanking him. I couldn't be more against corporal punishment. I think hitting a kid only teaches the child that (a) violence solves problems and (b) you are bigger and stronger.

So, I have turned to time-outs for the toys. If Nate colors on the wall, his crayons get a time-out. If (when) he hits the dog with our arts and craft project, the mask/puppet/picture gets a time-out. It's been surprisingly effective.  And I also get to stick annoying/problematic toys on a high shelf that Nate eventually forgets about. In fact, his Halloween ax is still up there. And our television doesn't have a plastic ax sticking out of it.

How do you discipline your children?
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