Saturday, March 29, 2014

Don't Go Breakin' My Heart

"You're breaking my heart." It was "somewhat" cute the first time, but manipulative just the same, and then her brother decided to try it out too. Children sure do have a vast array of tactics to play on the heartstrings of the adults in their lives. Just try to discipline a rambunctious youngster and he or she is sure to come up with a creative attempt to coerce you otherwise. Tearful pleas, negotiating, and angry threats. I've heard them all.

I learned much in the raising of my own children. I made plenty of mistakes, some of them out of sheer frustration, others out of complete exhaustion. I've found a simple "time out" chair to be quite effective (it doesn't leave welts...) as well as said child being left to cry it out, if my nerves (and those of others present) can handle it. One small child told me not so long ago, "I'll cry." I was unmoved and so he said, "I'll cry and get mad." I assured him the tactic would be ineffective and he didn't bother to try either one.

Disciplining children in crisis is hard. They are tired, they are frustrated and angry, and they are hurting emotionally. On top of that, they are little and naturally naughty. Consistency is of utmost importance and yet so hard to implement. I'm still searching for what works, especially for one soon to be four year old with a desperately hurting heart and bad attitude.


  1. Aw, that's hard. I admire you, though, for keeping some control and not letting them do whatever they want just because they are hurting. Taylor wasn't under any kind of stress like these little ones are, but it seems he only got in trouble when he was overly tired. It's hard even for adults to behave when our world is spinning.

    Hopefully today will be smooth and time-out free. :)

    1. I know there are several contributing factors. Knowing just what the underlying problem is would be helpful in choosing a remedy, but sometimes it's just not that simple. Yes, it's hard for us when life spins out of control too, and yet adults always expect children to behave as if nothing is going on.

    2. PS. They are still sweet and much loved, and today it wasn't my turn to deal with them.