If you all think that I was a perfect mom who never got upset, mad or frustrated, THINK AGAIN. Many times I was all of those!. The ideas I am sharing are things I did that worked, but unfortunately I didn't do them all the time. If I had, it would have saved me a lot of frustration.
The hardest thing to do, as a mother with young children, is to follow through with the discipline you are trying to do. You think, at the time, that it is easier to give a second chance. You are busy with other things and let it slide but in doing that you are defeating the purpose of the discipline. Anytime you give a second chance you are telling your child that he doesn't have to obey the first time because mom or dad will always give a second chance. Then the second chance becomes a third, fourth or fifth chance and you have become extremely frustrated and maybe even angry.
It does not take long to make a child understand that when you tell him/her something, your expectations are that he/she will follow your orders right then, no questions asked. You don't say, "Sally, will you please pick up your toys for Mommy?" That is putting your child on an equal level with you. You are giving Sally an option to accomodate you if she so desires. You instead say,"Sally, I want you to pick up all of your toys immediately." You are the boss! She is not helping you, she is obeying you. If the orders are not followed immediately, you calmly inact a punishment that will leave an impression upon the child.
A time out for a young child, 2 or older, is effective if you make it severe enough. Five minutes will NOT work. Find a chair, turn it so that it faces the corner, and sit the child in it, telling him that he must sit there for one hour, two hours, three hours because he did not obey you. Choose whatever time you think it will take to make an impression. He/ she cannot talk, cannot look around and cannot do anything for that time period. That may seem too harsh for you, but the punishment must leave an impression upon the child, in order for him/her not to repeat it. You may have to stay right there with them for the time to make it work the first few times. If the child cries and misbehaves then you extend the time. A kitchen timer is very helpful, as young children do not have any concept of what an hour is. You tell them that if they sit there quietly until the bell rings, they can then get up. When the bell rings, sit them on your lap, reaffirm your love for them, tell them again why you made them sit in the corner and firmly tell them that everytime they disobey they will have to sit on the chair facing the corner for one hour or longer. Then, FOLLOW THROUGH! If this is done consistantly, and they truely do not have anything to do for that hour, they will soon decide that it is much more beneficial for them to obey.
If your child is having a temper tantrum, don't try to placate them or bribe them into behaving. Calmly pick them up and take them to their room. Put them in their bed or crib and tell them that they are to stay there until they can be quiet.They are not to get out of their bed until you say they can. When they are quiet you will come get them. Then go out and shut the door. When you do come to get them, again, reaffirm your love for them, and tell them that each time they have a temper tantrum, they will have to go to bed until they can behave.
You might say," That might work at home, but what about when I am out with the children?" I promise you, if you do this consistantly at home, the benefits will carry over when you ar out in public. Studies have shown that a three year old can retain things for 8 hours. If your three years old misbehaves in public and you tell him that he is going to have a time out in his room when he gets home, HE WILL REMEMBER. Then, when he returns home, you remind him of how he misbehaved and what his punishment is and then you follow through.
Enough for now... I welcome your thoughts!