Could refusal to obey be extreme playfulness or plain defiance?

Eunice - posted on 02/25/2009 ( 1 mom has responded )




I have to dish out time outs or spankings or some other stuff a few times a day..could be due to boy throwing his toys around when he knows he is not allowed to or him getting out of bed to play when he knows it sleep time and that he is supposed to stay in bed..


Angela - posted on 02/25/2009




It sounds like your son is testing his boundaries with you. The best thing to do is to set up some consistent rewards and consequences for him. When you ask him to do something and he obeys, then really praise him for it using words like "Thanks for not throwing your toys." You could also give have him collect tokens or stickers of some sort to work toward something special like a new toy or spending special time with you on the weekend.

If he doesn't obey then giving time-outs can work. Depending on age it should only be about 1 minute per year, so 2 minutes for a 2 year old etc.. Have a designated spot and set a timer. After that process with your child and ask him in a neutral tone if he is ready to apologize/own up to the infraction. Also if he is able ask him to tell you why what he did was wrong, so he understands the reason for the time-out.

Also giving choices is very powerful with kids of any age. Jim Fay's book called Parenting with Love and Logic is terrific. You give your child choices that you are ok with whichever one he chooses. For example, at bedtime give him a series of choices as he is getting ready for sleep. Do you want to brush your teeth or put on your pajamas first? Do you want to wear the striped pajamas or the blue ones? Do you want to listen to some soft music or hear a story before bed? Etc. etc. This redirects your child's thinking to choose the options you gave him giving him a feeling of independence and control and you are satisfied with either choice because ultimately it is taking tiny steps to achieve your ultimate goal of going to bed. So it is a win/win situation for everyone.



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