Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Night Leftovers

Okay, so this is my first time doing this. I like the idea, because I don't have enough energy for a full post on each of these topics, yet they are rolling around in my head. Here, for your reading and commenting, pleasure:

1) I am kind of "done" with Christmas right now. Not done with the true meaning of Christmas, not done with the parts that I enjoy, like spending time with family and friends, but I am done with the over-commercialized, getting ready part. I am so over the mall, frustrated with the busier-than-usual supermarket, irritated by petty family drama as we prepare to gather together, and plain old grumpy about the last minute gifts that somehow keep getting added to my list after I think I am "all done." I am a little bah-humbug over the fact that all of this "to do" takes away from the meaning and enjoyment of the season. I know it's up to me to control that, but sometimes it's difficult.
2) I had my first public vomiting episode with this pregnancy today. I threw up at the Children's Museum. In a plastic fireman's hat. I rinsed the hat out and turned it into the front desk with a brief explanation and apology. The lady laughed at me. The other moms around me when I actually vomited were not as amused. Is it my fault that the only bathrooms in the entire place are on the basement level of a three story building?

3) It's going to be very difficult for me to keep my pregnancy under wraps this weekend. What with said vomiting very much an issue. We are going to be at my in-laws for 48 hours. Wish me luck.

4) Will has been so well-behaved this week. Seriously. Last week, he was all toddlerish (definitely not a word, but should be) and I was wanting to pull my hair out. This week, his behavior has bordered on angelic. We ran errands every single day; long, boring errands. I was smart enough to sprinkle fun things such as a play session at the mall playarea, a special snack from the food court, and a quick trip to the Children's Museum (see above) liberally throughout our shopping trips. Still, his behavior was admirable. I had no fewer than a dozen compliments on my well-behaved child over the course of the week. It always makes me puff up with parental pride when he gets those positive remarks. Granted, if they could have seen him hit me last week when I took a fork away from him, their impressions of his behavior might have been just a bit different!

5) Speaking of hitting and such adverse behavior, what do you lovely people do out there with your toddlers when they are being naughty? For tantrums, I just let him cry (so long as it's safe) and ignore him. So far, it seems to be working, but he's young and his "tantrums" are still relatively mild. For hitting and such, however, obviously ignoring it is not an option. I think timeouts are probably appropriate at this age, but how to you actually do a timeout? Do you place them in their cribs (effective at containing, but I am not sure I want to give his crib a negative connotation)? Do you bust out the pack n play (again, do I want that association when it's tough enough to get him to sleep in that thing when we travel)? Or do you put your kiddos in a corner or on some sort of special timeout mat? Do you keep them there yourselves? How long do you keep them there (I've heard a minute for each year)? Do you talk to them while they are in timeout (some of my friends use the timeout to explain to them why they are in timeout in the first place)? Do you ignore them (an equal number of friends do this)? Enquiring minds want to know! Currently, I do a "guided" timeout with Will, where I sit him down facing me, make eye contact and tell him that he made a "bad decision" and then make him sit for about a minute. I am not sure it's that effective, so please lend me your discipline strategies.

Wow, this was fun! You, too, can join the fun! Go see Danifred and find out more!


Intrepidgirl said...

I was doing itty bitty timeouts in his crib for hitting and it didn't work. He started crying when we were entering the room and he ended up with a short-lived (thankfully) bad connotation with his crib, which he had always liked.

I had read that timeout is one minute year of their age (so 1 for my toddler). But then I was at work and a teacher was telling me that research studies have shown even preschoolers don't remember what they did wrong after a timeout.

So I stopped. I tell him firming not to hit and like everything after a couple months he just stopped doing it. I think it's a phase.

Tracy said...

Katie, I've really struggled with the discipline thing. I feel, like Intrepidgirl, that timeouts at this age are mostly ineffective, but do serve as an *ok* redirection. This is a tough age. Not really old enough to understand enough to overcome their impulses and their strong desire to become independent and have control, whilst at the same time still SO dependent on reassurance from mama, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, I've tried it all...PNP, crib timeouts, shared timeouts (where I sit with them and look at them sternly), you name it.

Really, the only thing that I've found to be effective is redirection. Find something else that they are interested in doing.

Now, that's when they're getting into stuff that they know they're not supposed to. For tantrums (Rowan only, BTW), I usually give her a reassuring hug, and then gently lay her down. She has her tantrum and while I'm present, I largely ignore her while staying calm. She eventually calms down. For hitting and biting, we've paid attention to the victim after a stern "NO" to the biter/hitter, and usually that nips it in the bud. Or, they go straight to their crib. I'm not really concerned about the negative connotation, because it happens relatively infrequently, and I think they understand the difference between naptime/bedtime, and you need to chill out.

Long answer, huh?

I's just a phase. It's our job to get the message across that it's wrong, and then just survive it until it passes. :)

Anonymous said...

Can you say you're fighting a virus or something? "The doctor said it's past the contagious stage, and I so wanted to come visit all of you despite my feeling unwell..."

Obviously I don't have much experience with toddlers, but I remember what my aunt used to do with us. She had a special "no-toys-allowed" playpen, an old ripped up one from the thrift store, sitting in the corner for just such situations. The thing was just so bleak and boring my cousins and I never wanted to have to go there.

I love that video at the top of your page. I've watched it at least six times and I just keep coming back for more! He's so precious. :)

Anonymous said...

Aahh...discipline. I have a whole post brewing on this topic. For tantrums I usually let her CIO, though I do try to redirect her attention too after saying "I understand you're upset, but..." and give an explanation. I feel like it's ok for her to get her frustration out and I want her to know I'm there and not ignoring, but I'm not going to negotiate with the terror tactics of an emotional toddler either.

Being that Lemy is a hitter, I've used time out in the PNP. It's worked for the most part as I ignore her, then go in and explain why she's there, ask for an apology then hug and kiss her up. Other times i've just ignored her and saud if she hits I'm not going to play with her. This results in a short tantrum followed by her redirecting her attention someplace else. We are going to have to get rid of our PNP so we have room for Jasper so I'm not sure where TO will be after that. I'd like to keep her contained though. Still thinking on this one. Hope this helps! :)

HereWeGoAJen said...

I second the virus idea. Say that you seem to have some kind of bug. And cough a little, to throw people off the scent.

It is awesome that you threw up in a plastic fireman's hat.

PamalaLauren said...

I've been told to no do the crib thing. I did it once or twice but I didn't think it was appropriate to associate the crib with punishment.
Oddly enough she understood the concept of a naughty stool.
I agree ignoring tantrums is the way to go as well.

Danifred said...

Thanks for playing along!
Apparently we have the same feelings about the holidays... I'm just ready for them to arrive.
I used to carry grocery bags around with me when I was pregnant with my girls. Obviously, they were perfect for those "fireman hat" moments.
Good luck at the in-laws this weekend!

Anonymous said...

I use the bottom step as a time-out spot to avoid the whole negative association thing - I don't care how my kids feel about the steps :) but the corner or just any particular spot works just as well I think. I do one minute for each year old, they sit there & I ignore during time out (unless they leave the spot - then I just put them back without saying anything other than, "no."). When time out is over, we talk about why and practice giving a hug/saying sorry. At Will's age, you'll obviously be doing most of the talking so it'll be more modeling than anything else. Oh, I've also known other moms who have used the high chair for time out if needed.

Jen said...

I haven't started on timeouts yet. Mostly I've used the art of distraction and ignoring. If Jillian bites me (a favorite of hers) it is usually when she is sitting on my lap and putting her down seems to be enough punishment for the time being.