Disciplining your children

My thoughts about the following article No public lectures needed to discipline children from the Christian Science Monitor…
From Every Day Life…


Parents, please stop lecturing your children in public. You are bothering everyone around you. Here’s a case in point: I was at the grocery store. A 3-year-old girl wanted a piece of candy and was lying on the floor throwing a tantrum. The mother turned to her and said calmly, “If you don’t stop crying, your privileges will be severely restricted. Mommy doesn’t appreciate your behavior. And, anyway, you know candy contains a lot of sugar and is bad for you.”

This is right. We need to stop treating our kids as if they are adults – they aren’t. Isa and I took a parenting class, that went into all kinds of topics – with one of them disciplining. One of the resources we used was the 1-2-3 Magic method – which boils down to some pretty simple concept: when the child acts in an undesired way, count it to a certain amount and then have them take a timeout. First thing – tell them “that’s one”. Next thing -> “that’s two”. One more time and “that’s three – and take 5.” They should go their room for 5 minutes. No further explanation. Most times, they already know it was wrong – they were just testing you. 123 Magic just doesn’t allow them to get away with it. This has mostly worked quite well for our kids … when we follow the concepts! Sometimes we still “feel the need” to explain why – like this article is focusing on.

I’m quite sure 123 Magic was probably developed for our parents’ generation (the video we watched showed parents that were dressed in styles I recall seeing my parents in when I was growing up!), but still applies.

Before that parenting class, my problem was getting to learn new techniques. We knew what we (well, more me) were doing wasn’t working, but didn’t know better ones even watching shows like Super Nanny. The parenting class was a big help, unfortunately they were not many others that took the class (two others other than us finished the class), and even more so, it was only moms that attended the class – no fathers. I do know that for one of the couples, the father was watching the kids while the mother was in the class, but still seemed like the fathers need the concepts just as much if not sometimes more than the mothers. I know it’s hard to change my ways…

Maybe I will pull out our notes on the class and put some of them in here… I doubt my brief summary of 123 magic is much help.



2 responses to “Disciplining your children

  1. I do not agree that training a child to understand the “why” behind corrective action is the equivalent of treating him like an adult. I would never talk to my husband in such a way; it would be considered condescending (or, like talking to a child…). To me, explaining to my son & daughter the reason (briefly) for some corrective action I am about to take helps him/her reason out how to behave the next time. Not just, “Dictator Mommy said ‘no’,” but, “The answer for that question will always be no because it is unsafe to climb on the banister.”

    In your example, then, to say, “No, we cannot have that bag of M&M’s because you haven’t eaten dinner, yet, and there has already been one special treat today” means the end of the discussion. If, instead, I say, “No,” to the question of “May we get some M&M’s, pleeeeeease?” then I will be faced, instead, with, “Oh, come on, Mommy. Please? You know I love them and they taste so good, and I’ll only eat the green ones, and….”

    Then, I’d reply, “No. My answer is no.” So, the next piece of dialogue, with my strong-willed son, sounds like this, “Mommy!! I want those M&M’s now!”

    By the way, I do not cave in (as many parents do, which perpetuates the whining-gets-me-what-I-want problem). No, I do not. Instead, I say, “No, Son. Maybe next time, if we’ve already eaten, but M&M’s are just not on the list today. I know you love them (I do too!), but I’m sorry, you’ll have to wait for another time.” or some such reasonable thing to say to respect my child as a person. There is a book that helped me see my children as active participants in our day-to-day life called The Baby Whisperer, which got me in that mindset from infancy. Anyway, just another perspective for you.

  2. Well said… yes it definitely isn’t always clearly black and white. Quite gray in my opinion – especially depending on our kids (or maybe their age – as we have an almost 2, 4, and almost 6 yr olds).

    Since I wrote this a few months ago, I’ve found my older one (who’s going to be 6 at the end of the month) starting to not be as happy with such a response and I believe I’ve depending on the situation gone about the same route as what you are saying in trying to explain the reasons.

    Yeah the 1-2-3 Magic definitely doesn’t like this. Usually if I do it, it is after-the-fact and later like after reading books and right before it’s sleep time. Honestly that’s my time to really talk with at least my oldest daughter about anything going on…

    If I didn’t feel like we already have a ton of books to read about everything topic, I’d say I definitely will look into the Baby Whisperer. Being honest – I’ll just say I will tell my wife about it and see if she’s interested 🙂 I really appreciate the comment and input!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s