Friday, January 25, 2008

Do the words "threatening" and "parenting" sound alike?

I feel like our boys are normal kids. They run, play, bicker and and don't eat their vegetables (or fruits or a lot of other "grow" foods, but that is a post all its own). They are also helpful around the house to the best of their toddler ability and they looooove to help do chores and try to do things for themselves.

Most of the time.

Then Mickey decides he doesn't want to cooperate with anything I say, no matter how minute the issue. I tell him to do something ("Pick up the playing cards and put them in the bag..."), he says no ("well I'm not doing that..."), I sternly tell him again without raising my voice ("Mickey, Mamma said pick up the cards..."), and he says no again, or ignores me.

So I'm left with figuring out another way to ask/tell him to do it that suits his fancy. Then if rewording it doesn't work, I threaten him with time out. Then the job gets done most of the time. If not, he goes in time out.

I guess that's an okay way to handle it, but I just feel like he should do what I say (most of the time) without me threatening punishment. How can I motivate him to obey me without threatening him? I don't expect him to be-bop around the house picking up after himself, I'd just like one small request to not turn into a big production.

Comments welcome, and you veteran moms can be brutal.


Chilihead said...

Forget the warnings. Or, warn for the first infraction of the day and then not any more.

OR, and this may be more effective, have an immediate consequence. Well, the one above is immediate too, but what I mean is if he won't pick up the cards, then what happens? Do they go in the trash? Can he play with another toy before he picks up the cards? If he's misbehaving does that mean he needs a nap? Whatever a logical consequence is, that should be the next step. Does that make sense?

I much prefer offering parenting advice to others than having to do it myself. These are the things that make my heart ache. ;)

Anonymous said...

Chili's right about considering where the behavior is coming from, like maybe being tired. (Don't you hate it when kids who need a nap misbehave in the grocery cart, and the parents yell at them or threaten a spanking ...) And are your re-wording efforts along the line of:
"What do you want to do first,pick up the cards or put away the books?"
"I'll pick up the first one and then you can take over."
"Soon as you put away the toys, we'll start the story."
"Mom really needs help straightening up the house. Let's go!"


Anonymous said...

Ok, I couldn't help myself so here goes. Whether or not the cards are picked up is not the important issue here. What you are teaching is discipline (which means- to learn obedience) If he is running to the street, you want him to stop immediately when you call to him. He does not have a choice. As he grows older, he will be told to do things such as homework, assignments, athletic practice, orders from the boss. Children need to learn discipline because it will get them through life. These little ones are pretty smart. They are working Moms and Dads, Grandparents and anyone else
who stands in the way. That is why it is important "to pick up the cards" Nope, it isn't easy, but why do you think all 11 of my children have been successful in their jobs and life. Discpline!!!
So,be brave, you are the parent,so
teach, teach, and keep on teaching.
You are doing a good job!!Sounds to me like you Mamma's are doing a good job.
And, think about it, aren't we all still learning discipline???

Anonymous said...

I don't have a parenting tip but here's my aunting tip: "mom and dad said WE are not allowed to do 'X' until WE do 'Y'. Makes it sounds like we are in it together and we are BOTH going to pay the consequence if we don't do something. I guess that's why all my nephews have always been so good for me?

Anonymous said...

Well now, here is Goldilocks to the rescue. Never fear, your boy will outgrow not wanting to pick up the cards. I wouldn't expect him to act any differently at his age. are some tips. Set a timer. "Let's see if you (or we) can pick up the cards before the timer goes off." And choices are good. Pick up cards first or blocks? This will make him feel like he has some control and children need to learn how to make choices and decisions for themselves. Be positive in your discipline. Discipline is not synonomous with punishment, but I think you know that. Don't say, "YOu have 2 choices, pick up the blocks or _____________ (fill in the blank with negativity.) They will learn self-confidence that they will need the rest of their lives if you let your boys make decisions themselves. Then they will learn to understand that sometimes the grownups are in charge and they don't always get to make a choice.Also, try "Ok Let's pickup the blocks!" And just start in with him. I would just try to be positive, just cause that's my style so I won't go crazy. OR how about "I see a secret card, I'll see if you can get it before I say 10." Of course, mom, he'll get it and reward him with a silly but fun celebration that you make up, a dance, high five,or whatever.Even a 2 minute finger game. Get the Picture? good luck.