When I first fell pregnant I started to think what kind of mother I wanted to be. Luckily I had two very strong mother figures in my life, my own mother and my best friend who has two children of her own. My best friend happens to have two of the most beautiful and well behaved girls I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing, and I knew that’s what I wanted my child to be like. Both these fantastic women are probably two of the most loving mothers in existence, but they both have very set ideas in regards to discipline, and that is an example I’ve followed closely with my own daughter. And hey, guess what? I have a wonderfully charming and well behaved two year old! This really proved that to be a good mother, you don’t have to boycott setting rules and enforcing them for fear your child will resent you for it. After all, your kid has to enter society and we all know that life is all about following rules, or as we grown ups call it, the law.
Little Miss turned two back in January, and I can count on my hand how many tantrums she’s had. I like to think this is because she knows by now that no, means no. She has always had a bedtime, this is another thing I have stuck by rigidly. She has always slept (unless she’s ill) in her own bed, I’m not talking about co-sleeping here. I’m talking about since she went into a bed with no sides on. She is wonderful at sharing and brilliant at entertaining herself. Yes, this could all be down to her temperament, she could just be a “good” child… but I would be lying if she didn’t have her moments. Usually in public, obviously. But not to blow my own trumpet, I do believe I deal with it very well.
If Little Miss decides she’s not happy that she’s being told no, or she isn’t able to get her own way and she decides to shout at me/cry/lie on the floor or all three. I get down to her level and tell her that “we don’t behave like that, do we?” I don’t bother with threatening her, because this usually just leads to her arguing more. If she does continue to have her tantrum, I simply ignore her, or act bored. If i’m not giving her attention, positive or negative, she gives up. I don’t shout at her in the beginning, but sometimes if she is in danger of hurting herself or others I do raise my voice, not to a shout, but a stern “No” or “Don’t” usually gets the message across. I can seemingly have a very “teacher” voice according to my family, but it works a treat and she knows mean business.
Of course this doesn’t always work, there are times where she simply needs to have a burst of emotions but at twenty six I still sometimes need to have an outburst! However, in today’s society, disciplining children has become a very touchy subject with on going debates on possible methods always making the news. Personally I don’t believe in smacking, mainly because I think it just tells a child it’s okay to smack someone else. I’m sure that’s why my sister and I smacked each other around as kids as my parents smacked us. I don’t think it had any lasting effects on us, so I don’t judge anyone who does. I won’t deny I often use the threat, but since she doesn’t actually really know what one is she often replies with “yes” when I ask her if she wants one!
Room to Grow is currently conducting a survey to find out how parents in the UK manage their children’s misbehavior. It would take you less than 5 minutes to complete, it’s completely confidential and you can win yourself £250 to spend on the Room to Grow website! It would be wonderful if you could take the time to complete the survey.
What do you think is the best way to discipline your child?
This post is a collaborative post.