Monday, July 31, 2006

To discipline, or not?

Owen loves school, in fact, today, he ran for the gate where the teachers come to get them. I was a little surprised that he was so ready for school, but grateful. I feel glad that he is embracing it, and not hating it. After school, when we came home, we watched some TV while he had a snack (actually, he ate a whole bowl of pasta, I couldn't believe it!). Then, I told him we had to do his homework. Now, it's only a little bit of coloring, but he didn't want to do anything. He tried to get out of the chair, then he threw the crayons. So I told him that was not acceptable, and made him go over and pick up the crayon. He started dancing around the table, so a little more forcefully, I led him over to the crayon and made him pick it up. Of course, then he started crying like I was killing him, and he picked up the crayon and gave it to me. Then, he wanted me to hold him, so I picked him up. And he hit me. Just smacked me. I think he was testing me, waiting to see how I would react. So, of course, I told him that was not nice, and put him down, and told him you do not hit your mom, etc., etc. But the point is, he has done this hitting thing a couple of times lately, is this a typical 3-year old thing, or is it because he is not able to talk to me and tell me what he wants? I almost think it is normal and he is just testing the waters like any 3-year old, but then I think, how far do I go in punishing him? How much does he get it? I think he gets it a lot, and knows what is going on, but what if he doesn't? What if I am just being cruel because he doesn't understand?

Any thoughts?

I can't believe it's August already. Where has the year gone? More importantly, where has the summer gone? What happend to lazy days at the beach?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Typical 3 year old behavior - yes!!! Get used to it because these little people will try testing you every time they have an opportunity until they are on their own - yes 20 something. Also, keep in mind that when children go to school and are in a very controlled environment most of the day, the only thing they want to do when they get home is losen the reigns and play. I saw this in my little one for a whole month when she first started school. Eventually they get the program and do homework on a nightly basis. Keep up the great work. Remember children like to know where the boundries are and don't allways remember them from situation to situation - hope this helps :-)

7:59 AM  
Blogger shellsbells said...

I agree with anonymous. It is typical 3 yr old behavior. We discipline our Owen the same way we discipline our other children. We try not to coddle him (sometimes it's hard for me because of the way his mouth turns down when he's sad-he knows what buttons to push). For instance after he hits another child, we show him the child and how he/she is crying and maybe the injury (if it's visible) and let him know that he/she is crying because of his actions. Then we give him a short time out and it has to be short because his attention span is also short. His therapists are the ones who suggested this type of discipline. That's how they discipline him at his school. He has to be held accountable for his actions and it helps him feel remorse and compassion for the person he hurt. I also agree your Owen knows whats going on because we feel the same about our Owen. He'll begin to understand about hurting other people. Have you asked his teachers how they intend to discipline him if the situation arises? It's probably best if you all are on the same page. I don't want to sound like a "know-it-all" - just sharing info. I hope this helps......

11:03 PM  
Blogger zannetastic said...

Thanks for your comments, they are a great way to do it! His teacher actually did tell us that she is disciplining him by making him take a time out, so we'll try that, but I agree, his attention span is very short (and he laughs when I give him a time out, because he thinks it's funny!)

12:59 PM  
Blogger Naomi said...

The bahaviour sounds like pretty typical testing behaviour, Callum went through it (and still has his moments) and Kieran is just starting to do it.

Callum most definitely "gets" time outs outs now. He gets a warning "do you want to go to quiet time?" for the vast majority of things and usually that's enough. For violent bahavious her goes straight to quiet time.

We use his crib and he goes there for 3 minutes. The crib is not the best time out spot but we found it impossible to get him to stay anywhere else and quiet often he really does just need some chill out time particulary if he's had a tiring day at school. He's still sleeping well so I don't think he equates bed to punishment.

Kieran has just starting transitiong to a new classroom at school and the last 2 days has put himself in quiet time for about 30 minutes when he gets home. He asks to go to bed, snuggles with his blankie and just chills out for a while. When he gets up he's in a good mood and ready to interact with everyone again. I think new school situations can sometimes be a bit overwhelming and when they get home they let loose.

10:13 AM  
Blogger The Imperfect Christian said...

I agree that it's typical three year old behavior! I always let my son wind down, have a snack and play when he got home, instead of going right into homework. I would often wait until I was making dinner then he would sit at the table so I was close by if he needed help. This way he blew off some steam after being in such a structured environment most of the day.

11:17 AM  
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