Below is a recap of the recent video I did with Chelsea Kunde of Building Blocks AZ about Discipline. Feel free to check out below, but you’ll find the most informaion in the video we posted here.
You more than likely have started it already, by redirecting your child without realizing (example: redirecting away from a certain area or not putting something in their mouth).
By one years old is when you can implement a time out.
Setting your expectations and being consistent and eventually she/he will learn that it not something they will do.
Time out or break
Giving a break/timeout, it is teaching them a way to calm their bodies. Especially when a time they are not using good behavior (hitting, etc.)
Instead of just saying no to them with no explanation, give a replacement behavior. (Example: show me gentle hands and practicing it before the opposite behavior happens).
You can’t expect a toddler to understand the names of emotions but it’s something you are working on with them, so they can easily do this at age 5 and on.
Deep Breaths, counting to 5 can be really impactful and practice when they are just hanging out and calm as you want them to be able to do it instinctually.
If kids are feeling overwhelmed, they have a safe place to calm their bodies down, so they can go to that place and take time for themselves.
Calm down jar.
Be in the room with them if needed, but do not engage.
Give them something to calm down with: books, coloring book, etc.
Give the emotion a name so they can better understand and identify with how they are feeling.
“I see you are frustrated, we use gentle hands in this house, since you can’t do that then let’s go calm your body down.” And take them to their break place, give them a minute or so, and then move on.
The best consequence is a natural consequence. If they throw something, it doesn’t make sense to put them in a time out, but it does make sense to take away that item.
If you take it away and they start to tantrum, you can 1. Ignore the behavior but not the child. “As soon as you are calm, I’d be happy to talk to you.” then catch them in a calm manner to start having the conversation. 2. Re-direct to another activity.
Public tantrum? Pick them up and either bring them in a safe corner to allow them to calm their bodies or talk to them.
A lot more research is coming out on longer term effects of spanking. When using physical punishment on children when you are not wanting them to do those certain behaviors (kicking, biting, hitting, etc.) then it wouldn’t make sense to do it yourself.
It’s not a natural consequence.
Do not do something at home that you aren’t going to do in public. The children will learn they can get away with it and the consequence will be less effective in the long run.
Spanking isn’t as much for the kid, then the reaction of the frustrated parent.
If already spanking and want to get out of the routine, have the conversation with your child and family to talk through things. At dinner or in the car, explain that things are changing, and reactions will be done differently going forward.
Creating a personal book about dealing with emotions or a big change (big girl bed, etc.)
Predictability makes kids feel secure. Your playroom does not need to be 24/7 clean but it is a good idea to have a place for certain items that belongs to your children so they know where they can find baby dolls, etc. When going to a playdate, you can set the expectation for the day: “when mom says it’s time to go in 5 minutes, we leave in 5 minutes.” Consistently say it so they become used to it.
Set a timer, that keeps everyone accountable (yourself and children). Allow them to press the off button and then you leave.
Weaning off soothers
Play up with big girl role.
No need for this to be an overnight thing- it can be a slow process and prepare your child.
It’s ok your child is upset about it.
Do a replacement behavior for the bottle such as reading stories, etc.
Give a warning, but then follow through. You don’t want to always be warning.
Mealtime: if you are all done then you can clear the plate. If your child gets up, you pull the plate up. If she comes back for more, then you can say, “oh you’re still hungry? Well we sit when we eat.” And then put the plate back down. Teach them that they can’t graze but teaching the expectation to eat dinner at the table.
You want to be a united front and communicate. Take some time to talk to your partner about what is going on with your child and regroup on what needs to be worked on. Compromise on your differences and educate yourselves on parenting.
Becoming a sibling
Work on taking turns, redirecting (you get the red one, she gets the blue one), setting timers to play with the toy for one minute and then switch, etc. The more you do it, the more he/she will understand. Talk about emotions. “I see you are frustrated that ___ has the ball, its ok to feel that way, but your sister had the ball first. In a couple minutes, she will give you the ball to play with.”
They will get used to each other.
If the toddler is taking something away from the baby, ask the toddler to give the baby something to play with. So, she/he will naturally do that.
Once the baby is out of the newborn stage and able to take toys, validate your toddlers feelings. “That’s very frustrating, sometimes having a sister is frustrating. It’s awesome, but sometimes it’s frustrating.” Have a genuine conversation, your toddler doesn’t have to like the baby all the time, and re-direct them to another activity. Give them a voice.
Communication with kids
Tell your kids what you want them to hear. No grows tired, so explain “we use gentle hands.” Kids saying no all the time is developmentally appropriate and it is normal for them to be saying this. Give them choices instead of a potential yes or no answer. Given the choice, if she/he doesn’t choose either, then you make the choice for them and follow through and work through any emotions that they may have about it. Next time, he/she may choose it.
What we missed:
Sharing- how to go about it so they start understanding the concept.
Per Chelsea, “Sharing is hard. So first and fore-most just know that sharing can be a tough one. Sometimes trading or picking a similar toy in the moment can help. “Can you give your friend another toy instead?” You keep working at this. This is a skill we want to continue to work on. I also think sometimes timers can help. “In 1 minute we are going to give our friend or sibling a turn”, set a one minute and timer and trade. They may not love this, but it is helpful when they are learning. I also do not think everything needs to be shared all the time. I wouldn’t walk into someone’s home and say, I love your shirt, I want it and need it now. give it to me. That wouldn’t be right 😉 So it is also helpful to put away special toys when friends come over. I even have my oldest play with her special toys in her room if she doesn’t feel like sharing. I give her the choice.”
How to deal with peer rejection when kids are so mean
Chelsea states, “Use this as a teaching moment. Comfort you child and explain how they are feeling to them. Address the emotions. I can see you are feeling sad and hurt… And use this as a teaching moment to explain why it is important to be inclusive of peers. Also, talk to their teacher and see if they can provide insight as well. It takes a village and collaboration is key.”
Do you think spanking is abusive because you disagree with the punishment form?
Chelsea states, “Spanking is not abusive and does not fall under the physical abuse laws unless there is a mark left on the child. However, this is a very fine line. There is also a lot of research outlining how spanking is ineffective as a form of discipline verses other forms. I personally and professionally encourage parents to be consistent, safe, and fair. Making sure you practice the same discipline in public and private. Take a listen or look at our YouTube video for other ways to discipline. “
-New studies have come out like this one.
“The purpose of discipline is to teach children good behavior and support normal child development. Effective discipline does so without the use of corporal punishment or verbal shaming.”
I’d like to hear/see what verbiage you could use to replace the negative verbiage?
Chelsea states, “We addressed this in the video. A good rule of thumb is to use strength-based language. Tell your child what you want to see them doing. Example, instead of saying “stop yelling” you could say “I would be happy to help if you can use an inside voice like mine”.
Discipline when there is no time out spot?
Chelsea states, “You do not have to have one-time out spot. In public, you can redirect to a new and calm location and sit with your child. Sometimes it can be helpful to go to the car with your child and take a little break. Always be with them and turn the car on. But this can be a safe space to take a break when needed. “
What to do when they don’t listen?
Chelsea states, “I think choices is a great option here. If they do not make the choice, you can make the choice for them. I also think a timer helps, warnings, and taking a break when needed. It really depends on the situation for listening but have all of these in your tool belt. For example, if you ask them to sit down in their chair and they won’t listen. You can give a choice “do you want to sit in your chair nicely or do you want to take a break?” if they do not make the choice, then you can make the choice for them and take a break. Then try again.”
How to not feel guilty when you are trying to discipline and set boundaries
Chelsea states, “I always try to remember my end goal. My end goal is to teach my kids life skills, to set them up for success in the real world, to let them understand that they are loved and cared for and supported. However, they also will feel frustrated and mad at times. They will not get everything they want but I will be there to help them through those emotions. I remind myself, how do I want someone to describe them when they are 22? Those adjectives and goals start now. We want to chip away at teaching life skills and discipline is how that starts.”
Handling behavior once they get home from other parent’s house? (that doesn’t have a lot of discipline)
Chelsea states, “Being on the same page can be very helpful but I realize sometimes this is just not feasible. I think having a real conversation that every house has different rules, and these are the rules here. And this is hard, so know it might take a little bit to adjust back but with consistency they will learn the expectations.”
How to deal with bad behavior at preschool that we don’t experience at home?
Chelsea states, “Collaborate with the teachers. Teachers get to see our kids in a way that we do not. They are an incredible resource for us. If something isn’t going well at school, find out more, and offer insightful information about what works well at home. And vice versa. If a child is doing awesome at school and struggling at home, ask what is working well at school. Consistency in both places can be incredibly helpful too.”
How to get your LO to willingly give you items (we have to chase and take) results in a tantrum?
Chelsea suggests to try a timer!
Dealing with attachment issues. Always wants to go to mom and dad instead of trying to handle reactions?
Chelsea states, “this is very normal. Practice your calm down techniques with child when they are calm. And help them to use those when they are upset or working through something. Slowly chip away as they are learning.”
What to do if your toddler keeps coming out of time out?
Chelsea states, “You can walk them back, you can sit with them, you can use the crib or room as time out. This is a safe place for them. Remember of course time out doesn’t have to be a negative consequence. It is a time to take a break, calm their bodies down and reset.”
Toddlers saying no all the time?
Chelsea states, “NORMAL! Give choices which helps them to say something besides NO! Instead of “Do you want a snack?” say, “Do you want an apple or cheese for snack.””
Sibling rivalry/transition to new baby.
Chelsea states, “Change is hard, be patient and genuine. Have time aside for one on one time and honestly give it time. Also, more on this in the YouTube video.”