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What Disciplinary Measures Work Best with Your Kids?

When your kids act out, how do you take control of the situation?

We had soccer this weekend and it was freezing with a capital F. Luckily, my four-year-old daughter plays at 8:30 a.m. and then there's an hour break before my six-year-old son's game (sense the sarcasm?).

Last week we warmed up in the car in between games, but as I was feeling like an extra nice mom, I suggested we get hot chocolate at a little place across the street. We decided on muffins, too. Well, the nice moment was short-lived as my four-year-old decided she wanted orange juice, too–and sharing mine was an unacceptable in her eyes.

She proceeded to get upset and tried to grab my juice. I told her that isn't a nice way to act and if she kept it up, she wouldn't be getting her hot chocolate and we would leave. Well, my calm reasoning didn't work out so well and she got even madder.

I stood up and asked the waitress to pack our muffins to go just as she was bringing them out and put my son's hot chocolate in a to-go cup. We walked to the car where she proceeded to cry complete with telling me, "You're not my mom!" (see video clip...see how nice I am that I'll share my tortured morning with all of you!)

At that point, I decided ignoring her was the best bet. Though she continued to cry until we got out to go to my son's game, I just kept walking with her following behind. As his team's coach, I got the kids warming up and one of her friends showed up and then, like a switch, my happy little girl was back.

When we got home, it was straight to her room for a little rest. Other methods we've used to combat behavior include a chart system that rewarded positive behavior with stickers; the naughty shelf where toys go when the kids act up and they can then earn back with good behavior; and of course, there are some days when there's yelling!

How do you deal with bad behavior from your kids? What tactics have you used that have proven successful?

Jenn McCulloch November 04, 2011 at 04:41 PM
I probably did act that way when I was young, as did many other kids, hence the reason I am asking for people's opinions on how they deal with those situations. I also know that if I had the choice of OJ or hot chocolate, I would've been able to pick one and only one and if I acted out after that, I would have not gotten to enjoy either one. You also said above: "I found sometimes to show ur kids how they are acting let them see them selves and many times they will laugh and say how silly there were They can learn from their mistakes" Does this mean that you do think I should have taken the video and then shown it to her and maybe then she would have laughed instead of continuing to cry? Is that a disciplinary measure that has worked with your kids? I never actually showed her the clip of her tantrum, but if that has worked for you, maybe I will try it. Thank you for the suggestion!
SolarPete November 04, 2011 at 08:29 PM
Sometimes when kids see how funny they look they will learn from there actions. I know from the past many kids will see how foolish they are acting and they will change. I remember once a child was crying in the store and I turned to her and cried and acted like she was she laughed at me and said I was being silly, but once she saw herself doing it it showed how silly it was Show her the video
Lauren O November 04, 2011 at 10:39 PM
I think that you did the right think. I agree with Doreen's comment that giving her the juice would send the message that if you have a big enough fit that you'll get what you want. It sets up a bad pattern. As far as comments about "humiliating" the child. She is 4, and as good as some kids are with technology, I doubt that any of ther friends are reading the Patch at 4. When your kids are older, then it might be a different issue to contend with as an online writer. Thanks for posting. It reminds me as a mother of a 5 and 3 year old that all of us face tough moments with the kids.
fedup November 05, 2011 at 01:15 AM
How about just teaching your children that "no" means "no", all the time, not just sometimes. Home and School should be benevolent dictatorships. Parents who understand this have successful children. I know this as a kindergarten and first grade teacher of 25 years. (public school) Stop making excuses, and parent up! Whiny parents make for whiny children and a whiny (entitlement driven) world.
Krista Surprenant November 05, 2011 at 07:39 PM
So "fedup" I am curious- as a teacher myself for 11 years (not quite as lengthy as your 25 years) I completely get your comment- but, since you mention that you are elementary- what kind of positive reinforcement do you use in your benevolent dictatorship? The thing that I have found is that teachers often set up more consistent structure then sometimes happens at home, any advice on the + positive reinforcement and consistent structure that could be taken from the classroom and applied in the home? I have started joking with my husband that our house has started looking like an elementary classroom with charts, schedules, certain areas set up for specific activities etc...!

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