Pleasant Company

Peter was really fun to be around today! The last couple days have been tough, trying different discipline techniques and feeling generally stressed about it all.

Conclusions I have arrived at:

1. I want my child to be self-controlled, not other-controlled. Not even mommy-controlled.

2. Forcing obedience doesn't work with my child. He needs to be guided towards doing the right thing, gently and thoughtfully. When he feels safe and loved, not forced, he typically complies quickly and easily.

3. My child needs a happy mom! When I am singing and pleasant to be around, so is he!

4. In general, swats only develop an attitude of anger in my child. The tantrum gets worse and the end result farther away. I want to focus less on misbehavior and more on positive behavior. If I can get him to obey without all the drama, I still win!

5. Age-appropriateness is HUGE. I don't want to expect too much of my child, thereby causing him to feel like he can't do anything right. I will not avoid disobedience, but will deal with it in a way that he can understand. He may not be able to sit quietly yet or always come when I call, but that will come with time.

6. Finally, respect must be earned, not demanded. I want my child to love and obey for the right reasons. I will respect his humanity and not degrade or treat him as any less. The end result will hopefully be a friendship that will last the rest of our lives.

Today, Peter was following simple directions!! "Peter, would you put your socks away in your bedroom?" (walk with him to his room and point to where the socks go) And he did it!! Twice! He got an enthusiastic high-five and a ton of praise! A very happy boy.

So, I can't say I'll always know what discipline or motivational technique to use. But when I have clear outcomes in my mind (like the six bullets above), I believe that will guide me towards the best techniques. Having a goal always helps with the details!