Posted by: zulumoose | 2004/11/02

child discipline


I have a problem reaching agreement with my wife about discipline concerning my son (almost 6). He is often defiant and tests boundaries constantly. I believe consistency is the most important thing and that he should not be allowed to get away with disobedience. My wife believes we should pick our battles, and allow him to get away with the unimportant things, and will even openly contradict me in front of him when I am telling him to stop something annoying. She does not understand my concern that this is counterproductive.

How can we overcome this contradiction? As far as I am concerned, when he has been told repeatedly and sternly to do or stop something, and he ignores me, it is the disobedience that is important, not the act. My wife will then tell me to ignore it because the act is unimportant, and does not even see that talking like this in front of him is wrong.

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Our expert says:
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Hi zulumoose,
You're right that consistency, between parents, and within each parent, is important. Inconsistency declares openly that all the rules are openly and need not be obeyed. But your positions are not necessarily inconsistent ! Maybe she's right that it's worthwhile for you to distinguish between issues too small to be worth a fuss, and "must-win" battles. have a grand summit meeting, with or without United Nations intervention, and decide between you which issues fall into which category, Then be consistent in applying the rules you have agreed.
And hold your discussions together and alone, NOT in front of the child.
BT's technique of choices makes good sense, doesn't it ? And Lulu's right, too

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Posted by: . | 2004/11/02

Opes! Die vraagb was deur wie, vergeet om te se: Gesing deur Brotherhood of man

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Posted by: . | 2004/11/02

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For united we stand
Divided we fall
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Divided we fall
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Posted by: Inc | 2004/11/02

Very interesting to read... I am also going to try to 'choice' method... being a single parent, I don't have anyone to contradict me... I can tolerate naughtiness, but I put my foot down when it comes to back-chatting and rudeness... that's when my kids get the slipper or the wooden spoon! In my house, my kids may be the boss, but I am still the government!

Reply to Inc
Posted by: PARIS | 2004/11/02

I agree with G.

I remember when i did some thing wrong repeatedly then i got a hiding. And i turned out just fine.

It was never a beating, only a couple of smacks on my bum. I learnt later to put a magazine over my ass when i knew i was going to get it, but that was only when i was much older.

To this day, my dad still says to me ''you're not too old for a hiding'' if im cheeky or some thing. And too this day, i still kuk myself.


Reply to PARIS
Posted by: G | 2004/11/02

What about a smack on the bum?? before all you new age parents have heart attacks and start accusing me of being a abuser...I'm not talking about beating your child, just a smack on the never did me any harm, kids are getting away with absolute murder these days because parents are too scared to discipline thier children properly. Our parents and thier parents before them never had any problems disciplining thier children, why all of a sudden do we?

Reply to G
Posted by: lulu | 2004/11/02

What BT says is very true. One technique I've learnt from my son's therapist is the one of choice. Always give him two options when he misbehaves. If he takes too long or refuses to choose, make the parametres smaller. Keep doing this for three or so choices, eg: "Tantrum in your room or be quiet here?" No response. Next step: "Quiet in your room or 10 minutes in Time out?" Next step: "20 minutes in Time out or no TV for the rest of the evening?" Then make the choice again and stick to it. No matter how much he protests or screams.

Next time you give him a choice, he'll be sure to pick the best option before you can choose for him!

Reply to lulu
Posted by: lulu | 2004/11/02


You are right in thinking that you are making the problem worse by letting him get away with some things and not other things. Who decides what is unimportant? To him, testing the limits set and getting away with ANYTHING means the limits have moved. Regardless of the "importance" or things.

My advice: Talk to your wife about your feelings when your son is not in earshot. Also pick a time when you are both relaxed and not fighting about him. This will bring objectivity into the discussion and leave emotions on the side line.

Do a google search on "setting the limits" (you will be surprised at the number of hits!) and discuss your findings with your wife. It's important that the two of you agree on discipline for it to ever work in your home.

"United we stand, devided we fall." I have no idea who said that, but I bet you it had to have been a mom or a dad with a todler or teenager. (o;

Good luck!

Reply to lulu
Posted by: Beyond Tired | 2004/11/02

How do you discipline your child? Lately I have been told to give them the choice, for instance, if they want to watch a specific program and are misbehaving, one can give them the choice and behaving and watching the program or misbehaving and not watching the program, but there is no debate, if the child then misbehaves, you remind him of his choice and he may not watch the program, this scenario can work for anything. I have been attempting to do this with my daughter (7), she is very cheeky and talks back a lot lately. It is partly my own fault as haven't been able to cope with her, but I am starting to see that this is better than shouting and screaming at her. She is thriving on knowing where she stands and it is more difficult for me to remain consistent than for her to handle the choice. Speak to your wife, it is not good at all that she contradicts you, your child will loose respect and knows that Mommy can overrule you, don't let it happen. He will become your boss, he is already hers.

Good luck.

Reply to Beyond Tired

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