Thursday, 10 May 2012

Y4 - 223/365: A New Regime

Little Bunny has now realised there are some set rules in the house to "play by." Lately it seems he has been exercising his independence more and more, daring to give us a defiant "no" when we tell him to do something. Not long ago we purchased a blue, circular rug for the purpose of issuing time-outs when he tests the boundaries. He found out pretty quickly that he didn't like this "time-out" malarky and he showed us his displeasure in the form of screams, fits and...wait for it...head banging. Oh yeah, it seems we have THAT kid.

The first time he ever did it, it shocked both me and Matt and I know Matt was ready to jump in and intervene. I reminded Matt that he was only doing it for attention and if we gave it now, it would only show Ryan that we had a limit and would eventually gave in. No, we had to stay firm. So we ignored it. Now he has gotten to the point where he will actually say, "I calm down now," after seconds earlier giving the performance worthy of an Emmy.

In addition to the time-out, Matt and I discussed some actual rules to have set in place. Supernanny, Jo Frost (of whom I am a big fan), says in her book Confident Toddler Care that you should post a list of rules you want your child to follow, even if they can't read, because they're a reminder to us and help us stay consistent. They should be simple and there should be as many rules as their age (Ryan is nearly 2.5, so we gave him 3). This way, Ryan only really gets put on the time-out spot when he has broken one of these three rules, and they pretty much apply to anything.

Of course, this doesn't mean our problems are solved and he is suddenly an obediant child. He will break these rules over and over, and sometimes even right after he's been placed in time-out for one. But it is important that we stick to them and consistently give him his consequence when he doesn't comply. This is the only way to teach him that Mommy & Daddy mean business and there are certain behaviours that are unacceptable.

We have our work cut out for us, but at least we have the tools in place to deal with it and Ryan will be a better person for the consistency and structure.

1 comment:

Eastendmom said...

I can tell you as the parent of two adults and three teenagers, the more consistent you are now, the easier your life will be as your son grows. Sometimes it's very hard to see them being upset & throwing a fit, but you are very wise to recognize a bid for attention & learning how to self-calm is very important for toddlers! I'm a big Supernanny fan, too - lots of good, common sense advice there.