Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Rewards and Discipline

You, like me, probably look at your children sometimes and thing that you don't recognise these little terrors that look more like little devils than angels? And you, like me, probably at times feel a little overwhelmed about the idea of helping discipline them.  So I thought I would share with you how we do discipline and more to the point rewards.

Firstly we have a couple of house rules, we have small children so there aren't many as that gets too complicated so our rules are quite all encompassing, most naughty behaviour can be made to be breaking one of these rules!

1.  Be kind
2.  Do good listening

We do timeout in this house, it is very much in the style of Supernanny and it is a useful tool.  It goes something like this

1.  Give a warning (this step is taken out if it is something like hitting or biting in which there is NEVER an acceptable reason for doing it)
2.  Sit the child in the desired place
3.  Give a brief explanation of why they are there and how long they will be there  (a minute for every year they are old) ("You are sitting here because you were not listening to Mummy, you will sit here for three minutes, Mummy will tell you when it is time to get up")
4.  Keep returning the child and restarting the time if they get up.
5.  When the time is finished explain again why they were sat there and ask for an apology, I like to also explain why the behaviour made me sad (it hurt, it was disrespectful, it was dangerous).
6.  Cuddle, kiss and forgive
7.  In this house we are Christians and we also ask our children to forgive each other if they have hurt each other, we explain that they don't have to but that it will be hard to be friends if they don't and will probably result in us all being sad.  (We are only starting to get into this now that our youngest is a little older (18 months), it is a hard concept to get your head around!)

The thing about time out, though, is it focusses on the negative, it makes you think about all that is being done wrong and I noticed when it was all I was doing it made me into a shouty, grumpy Mummy who felt like her children could do no right! So, we also have a button jar.

It's a bit like a sticker chart but without the mess of stickers getting stuck EVERYWHERE! The basic principle is that our 3 year old gets a button for being "good", so she gets one for getting dressed nicely and without fuss, or for eating her dinner without using her hands and making a mess or for going to the toilet on her own (a current "issue").  She also gets them for sharing nicely with her sister or for helping me around the house without needing to be coerced!

Here is our button jar, you might be able to see a line on it, this is just because I couldn't find a small enough jar so to be considered "full" she just needs to get up to the line

When her button jar is full she gets a treat.  We tend to make it a slightly bigger thing, after all she has to earn a lot of buttons first!  Sometimes I take her to soft play or sometimes we let her choose a parent to to take her to a cafe on her own for some one on one time (and a cake and some juice, of course!)

Our button jar was full just this morning and so we gave our darling 3 year old some Peppa Pig characters that we had bought to go in a house she had been handed down.  She was very happy!

Also, just for giggles, you might like to see the little scene she set up with the children sleeping upstairs and Mummy and Daddy pig watching TV downstairs! At least they aren't drinking wine!

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