It might not be just a discipline problem.
Have you ever got a call from your child’s teacher, saying «I would like to talk with you concerning your child’s behavior in class ». Wow! I felt like I was going to die on the spot! She said : « He is slow! When I ask him to go put his inside shoes and to put his bag away, it takes him a LONG time before he actually does it ». Welcome to my world!
I know my son and I’m not surprised by what she said. I often have to « battle » to get something out of him. We started our routine and he kind of gets it, but when it’s time to put his shoes and coat on to go to school, the battle begins, again!
Let’s say that my son is a strong-willed kid (well, it’s my son, as my husband likes to remind me!). He has trouble cooperating with us, especially when we « push him » to do something. He’s often defiant with our limits and our demands.
I tried different things (countdown, time-out, etc.) but most of the time, it’s a failure. I then turn to positive parenting ideas to help me help my son. On one blog I really liked, Aha! Parenting, I read something that made me think a lot : « Defiance is not a discipline problem; it’s a relationship problem. ». Ouch! I am often playing with my kids, trying to play their game or do something fun… but it’s « not enough ».
On another blog that I like (positiveparentingsolutions), I read that the first thing you need to do when you have trouble with discipline in your house is to give time to your kid. But not just « i play with my kid » time : there are some rules to follow!
- We should spend 20 minutes (or 2×10 minutes) with ONE CHILD AT A TIME, doing what he wants to do, EVERYDAY.
- Futhermore, we should name the time. For example, you can call it « Big boy and mama time » or « you and me time ». Make sure that you say that it’s your time before starting in.
- After your 10 or 20 minutes, you should « close » your time by saying something like « I had fun during our « Big boy and maman time ». I can’t wait to have another one.
By building our relationship with the « big boy and maman time », our kids are supposed to become more cooperative. At least, I’m hoping! I will put that to the test.
My husband and I are planning on doing it at night (not a lot of time otherwise), for 10 minutes with each kid (so big boy will have 10 minutes with my husband and 10 minutes with me, and my little one will have 10 minutes with me and 10 minutes with my husband). I know reading it seems easy, but we’ve tried for a couple of days and it’s harder then it seems!