Since this blog is for me, an expression of my own thoughts on my life, but I am a mother and often have people requesting to know everything about my daughter, I decided a while ago that I would devote this one post each week to all things Emily and called it; "Tuesday Toddler Tales".
This week's Toddler Tales is all about discipline.
Overall, Emily really is a mild-mannered, fairly easy-going toddler and we haven't had any real behavioral problems with her in the past; compared to other children in her age group, we've noticed she isn't aggressive when it comes to toys (whether her own, someone else's or community toys at a play place), nor has she ever done anything physically violent to another child or us, but like other typical toddlers, she struggles with sharing, taking turns, being patient and leaving when it's time to go. More recently, she has begun to be defiant, purposely doing things she knows she is not allowed to do and doing it while looking at us right in the eyes.
In order to show her that David and I are a united front and there are boundaries, we sat down a while back and discussed how we would handle any discipline and ultimately decided that, at 18months to 2 years old, time-outs would be most effective. While they have been rare for her as she is quick to give up on certain bad behaviors, the few times we've had to give her a time-out haven't been too successful. Especially recently, at nearly 3 years old, it seems she doesn't respect the time-out (she often gets up off the step and runs around, giggling... so frustrating!) and we feel talking her down from her bad behavior is moot (she just doesn't comprehend explanations at this age).
So, after asking for some advice from my circle of friends and my family, as well as reading up on discipline on The Berkeley Parent's Network and on Baby Center.com, David and I have decided to give 1-2-3 Magic a try. I am half-way through reading the book and, while the concepts are surprisingly simple and a bit obvious (I had several; "Oh, duh, of course that would work!" moments while reading the book), they make total sense, seem effective and almost fool-proof and really opened my eyes to something I personally had overlooked: how my OWN behavior when disciplining Emily was actually making things worse! Yes, MY behavior is a huge factor in the success of MY discipline!
I think I am going to do a weekly update post on how it's going and what I think about the book, but I'm not sure just yet so, check back for updates. So far, we both are still reading the book and discussing how we can best implement the strategies, we haven't actually started using the techniques just yet, which is what the book suggests. And it makes sense: we should both know exactly what to do and how to do it properly before we begin something new.