Sunday, November 25, 2007

Strong-willed

All right all you mothers out there...I need some advice. ESPECIALLY if you happen to be a mother of a strong-willed child. Because as it turns out, my child is becoming more assertive and strong-willed by the minute.
When Bennett wants something and I tell him "no," sometimes he smiles at me or stares at me with a knowing look, then turns around and does what he wants anyway. He gets a swat when this happens. This was pretty standard for a while, but now it's getting to where he throws mini tantrums (throwing his head back and crying or screaming) when he doesn't get what he wants right away, like going outside. He's gotten to where he whines a lot when he's not instantly gratified, too. I would say this is just a phase and he'll grow out of it, but it's been a few weeks and it persists, so my question to all of you expert, veteran mommies is, "What do I do?" Do I give him swats for whining or fit throwing? Do I ignore it? Do I put him in his bed? Some of all of it? I'd REALLY like to know what you guys have done and what has worked well in your families. I didn't realize that the older your child gets, the more complicated things get discipline wise (naive, I know). This stuff may seem like no big deal, but my fear is that he'll be two or three years old before I know it and become a child who doesn't obey or is disrespectful because I didn't begin implementing basic discipline standards at an early age. As a Kindergarten teacher, I prided myself on my consistency and high standards in classroom management and discipline, but when it comes to my own one year old, I feel uncertain. I've always been a "trust my instincts" kind of gal, but I'm finding my instincts are falling short this time around! Input would be greatly appreciated.
Oh, and if you have any suggestions for good books to read on the subject, I'd love that, too.

3 comments:

Kristen said...

WELCOME TO MOMMYHOOD! The place where we really don't know anything and just wing it!! I'm sure you will figure out what is best. I think I have heard that redirection is key. Removing from the current situation and focusing on something else. Keep praying!!

Jason & Summer said...

I found your blog through Lori's - glad to find you! Redirection worked best with Elijah at that age. It can be tiresome but the point is that they are really too young to be able to stop themselves, so getting them interested in something else will usually keep them from throwing a fit or going back to what they were doing. It doesn't work every time, of course - these are real children we're talking about :-), but if you are consistent with it then that is teaching him something. Putting Elijah in his crib as a punishment just made him hate his crib so I stopped doing that after a few times. Hope this helps - each kid is so different. You'll figure out what works with him as he gets older.
love, summer cox

Amanda said...

I'd say whatever you choose to do, be consistent. I'm a big fan of the swat. It works for Gracie Claire. Just now starting to come into the disciplining phase with Sydney. I don't think that you'll have to worry about Bennett being "one of those kids." :o)