As a parent, everyday is a learning experience. Some days I feel I fail as a mother and other I feel like the best mother. I am always learning and changing what is best for my children. Ashlyn is still very young and is exploring the world. She doesn't test the boundaries quite yet (lord help me when she does) . But Caiden on the other hand is my extremely strong willed, push the limits little boy. Nothing seems to faze him. We have been on a roller coaster with him since he turned 3. He never went through the "terrible two's". But once he hit 3 it was all over.
I am sure a lot of it is, he feels he is competing with his sister for our time. Caiden will scream and yell, and just plain be defiant. We have tried many different methods of discipline with him, with them all failing after just a few month.
Time outs - FAIL I would have to sit on him to get him to stay
Yelling - FAIL He just yells back
Getting down on his level and "talking" about it - FAIL He just yells back
Ignoring him - FAIL It makes the tantrum even longer
Taking things away - FAIL We would have nothing left in the house
The list goes on.................................... FAIL.......................
Now I know that all of this is not uncommon for his age group, and he is not rotten all the time. Just most of the time. *wink* =). His teacher at school tell me he is one of the most well behaved kids, always listens, and loves to be the "helper". My jaw dropped, and I ask if they were confused with another child. They confirmed that we were speaking about Caiden Deaner. Shoot I guess I am doing something right after all.
Anyway our last attempt at discipline has officially FAILED! We were doing a sticker chart reward system and it work great for awhile. But it hit me the other day while at a friends house, watching her kids and repeatedly ask him to stop doing something and he came over and kicked me. Though I was extremely embarrassed and well pissed off. I had a AHA moment!
Our current system was, he filled a chart full of sticker and he got some type of prize (i.e. a new toy). Well the lesson learned, giving a child (especially my child) a new toy was not teaching him anything. This chart system may have worked better with a different outcome or "prize".
Well after that moment when he kicked me, I was at a loss as how to discipline him in that moment, without beating the tar out of him (disclaimer i would never really do that). My mommy friend came to the rescue with the "Sad Spoon". (just a wooden spoon with a sad face on it) She explained to him what happens when the sad spoon comes out (a spanking). He was not thrilled at the idea but started listening, though still screaming, (which I was OK with at the moment) he sat in time out till he was ready to apologize for his actions.
This "Sad Spoon" got me to thinking, was I really OK with the idea of spanking my child. The answer to that question is yes. I know times are different these days and so many people are against spanking, but the way I look at it is, kids these days are spoiled brats and really get away with just about anything. When I was a kid I remember my dad spanking me with his belt and let me tell you, he would just have to point at his belt and I would straighten right up. It only took one time. Some might think i am a bad mother for "spanking" my child. I am not beating him, just a light tap on the back side to remind him, of his bad behavior, may be just what my strong willed child might need.
We will also continue with the sticker chart but his rewards will change drastically. For example when he fills a chart up he can choose from:
A walk/bike ride to the park with just Mommy or Daddy or the whole family if he chooses
He can pick a movie (he already has) to watch after dinner
He can pick a toy (he already has) that he doesn't get to play with often (playdoh, his paints, chalk, his water slide)
dessert before dinner (what kid wouldn't love that every once on awhile)
I want his "prizes" to mean something, something he earned. He doesn't understand money yet so just buying him a toy was worthless and teaching him nothing more than to be a spoiled brat.
i would like to end on a good note, I may have made it come across that Caiden is a horrible child. Yes, he is a stubborn, strong willed little boy. But he is not bad all the time. He is the best big brother in the world. I love watching them interact with his sister. Ashlyn can not get enough of her big brother. Caiden is such a snuggler. Every night after Sissy goes to bed we snuggle in Mommy and Daddy's bed. Melts my heart when he tells me he loves me. He loves to be my big helper. When I pick him up from school and he tells me all about his day. The way he looks up to his daddy SOOOO much. His favorite thing to do when I am cleaning is to help me dust. The way he loves to do his "homework" when I am doing mine. I could go on forever. I wouldn't change my little boy for anything!
Our usual before bed conversation:
Me: I love you so very much.
Caiden: I love you to, you are my favorite Mommy.
Me: You are my favorite little boy.
Caiden: Daddy is my favorite Daddy.
Me: Daddy is my favorite Daddy to.
Caiden: Sissy is my favorite Sissy.
Me: Sissy is my favorite little girl.
Caiden: I love you.
Me: I love you to.
We may have had this conversation a million times but each and every time it is like the first time. One moment that will hold a special place in my heart till, forever. =)