What punishment works best in your house?

MB MinnieGirl

<font color=red>Elmo killer/Muppet murderer<br><fo
Jun 18, 2004
I'm a single mom to DD4, Maddie. She has the most tender heart, is smart as a whip and is more caring and loving than anyone I have ever known. She also has a quick temper and can be very explosive. High spirited to say the least. :rolleyes:

Right now she is upstairs in her room screaming because she was supposed to be a gymnastics (her favorite activiy), but instead is not allowed to go because she came home and pitched a screaming raging fit, including slamming doors, yelling "I hate you" at the top of her lungs, throwing things, etc. All of this over nothing. It was because she didn't like the way a toy crown was fitting on her head. :earseek:

She is now still screaming because she is not allowed to go. It breaks my heart in two :guilty: But I also know that she has got to learn this behavior cannot occur.

I have tried spanking, washing her mouth out with soap, taking away things such as TV, games, etc. I stick to my guns and am pretty consistent. However it seems nothing is working - it just keeps happening the next day.

It breaks my heart. I work and miss her all day. She is my angel, I love her dearly...I just don't know what to do. It's so hard and hurts when I've only seen her for 20 minutes before the fit starts.

So, after my long rant (sorry) what punishment has worked for you for tantrums and behavior issues? :confused3
I know how you feel. My DS is 3 and also has a temper. We give him time outs and don't allow him go places as well. If he has fit while we are out in public one of us takes him to the van. He still has fits so I can't say that it is working, but he doesn't like his punishment. I think you just need to continue doing what you are doing, eventually they grow out of it.
That sweet little face in your picture CANNOT be the same child you're speaking of. :earseek: She's just too precious.

You're doing the right thing. I always say hit 'em where it hurts--it makes the most impact and she'll definitely think twice about doing it next time. Hang in there, mom.
The only discipline that ever worked in my house was consistent enforcement of the rules and age appropriate punishment. In other words, my 10 year old is going to react to having TV taken away for a week more than he will a time out. My 6 year old is going to be able to tolerate and learn from a 15-minute time out, whereas when he was 3 the time out had to be shorter. Tantrums absolutely had to be ignored. I put my kids in a safe place where I knew they wouldn't hurt themselves and let them cry it out. One challenging thing I always found to be so hard to be consistent on -- but something I found ABSOLUTELY necessary in commanding respect -- a parent should never argue with their child. I would forget that, and sit there and try to reason with my screaming 3 year old. It's useless, giving a long, drawn-out explanation to a child that age. They don't pay attention after about five seconds. As a parent, we need to set the rules and stick to our guns and don't make threats unless we're prepared to carry them out. Easier said than done, and most of us make some mistakes along the way.

Best of luck! As my friend Sandy V. says, parenting ain't for sissies!

Okay, I have three kids of my own. I also teach parenting and behavior guidance classes. That is not to say that I have all the answers and my kids are a long way from perfect as am I. Just to tell you that I have heard from a lot of different people.

I think that the most important thing is one thing it is clear you are already doing--be CONSISTENT! I cannot tell you how seriously I mean that. If you set a limit, enforce it! Sounds like you are already doing that even when it is soooo hard. Good for you!

As for the tantrums--I would say a few things. First off, understand that when I child has a tantrum it is because inside, they are out of control and it explodes like a volcano. It is hard for kids to manage their emotions and frustrations. Because it's cause is internal, there is no way for an external control to manage or subdue the tantrum. Make sense? Yes, it is wise to demonstrate to your child (through sending her to her room for instance) that it is not acceptable to show her feelings this way. My point is just that I don't think there is much you can do until your DD matures enough to be able to hold it together, provide an example of how to handle strong emotions and yes, be consistent. Oh, and I would react the same way everytime and NOT be mad back no matter what she says.

If this is happening every evening when you are getting home from work, I would also look at why. Is she stressed at daycare and it is coming out in her safe place at home? (This is VERY common!) Is she hungry and you need to bring a nutritious snack for her to eat on the way home? Are you trying to rush her to get to the next activity which she may really like, but it means time that is not just with Mommy? You might be able to find a trigger that you were overlooking.

And as the mom of three who was convinced in the preschool years that my children were ALWAYS going to......they do grow out of it! Just keep doing what you are doing, love her and let her know that you are there for her, but make it clear that you are the mommy and not her friend. (Friends can't discipline us, mommies can!)

Good luck! It will get better!
don't you wish there was a magic answer?

I would have told her "I can't control how the crown fits on your head - if you don't like it we can throw it away and then you won't have to worry about it" - my DD would have begged me not to throw the crown away and i would have told her it must not be that bad then.

I do not envy your position as a single mom - my DD is always a little worse when her dad is out of town and I know she is acting out in protest of the trip and a lack of attention - as I tend to make her have quiet time in the afternoon if Daddy won't be home that night -

with her big tantrums - i would just ignore her - I am sure she is throwing the fit to get your attention - I always leave the room and tell DD she can follow once she has calmed down.
I have found that with my High-Spirited 13yodd, that HUGGING/love/understanding is the best medicine in those situations. Oh how I wish I could go back those days when she was 4 and implement more of a calming influence on her.

What I do know when her internal "barbs" go off (which is alot at 13)I comfort her instead of trying to change the direction of the rage, anger, irritation. It is like a "stop-gap" measure. Think about it. For example somethings happens that is beyond irritating like the washer overflows for example...you are mad. Let's say for arguments sake you were in a "rage". Calmness and hugging or understanding will reduce your rage. In fact that is what you want, someone to "understand" you.

I reserve punishment for when she intentionally does things she knows is wrong. She doesn't do that often. She is a great kid, just intense.
Anyway that is my story.

Our 8 year old like to give us the no one loves me anymore speach when we give her trouble. We use spanking and loss of privelages for our 2, 3 and 8 year olds at home.
For my family, I do not believe in spanking. I like time outs for little ones. I have sat on the floor and hugged them when they are in a rage. I like using removal or privelages for older children. my 11 year old DS is on week 3 of no computer, and video games, and he is begging for release. Mostly I try to follow my instincts, but if I ever make a mistake I am not afraid to tell my child that I am sorry. Once when I was very angry at one of my children I told her if she wanted to go live with someone else, go. I will pack your bag. When we both calmed down, I apologised for the remark, she apologised for what she did wrong (long story). She took her punishment of no friends over to visit for 2 weeks and life moved on
My 3 year old does not throw tantrums (knock on wood). What she does is get what we call her "attitude". At 3 she crosses her arms, gets snotty look on her face and goes "humph!" while turning her head from side to side. She usually does this when we want her to do some thing she doesn't want to do.

I have found, like snoopy, that consistency is the key. And sticking to what we say no matter how irritating the whining is. Counting to 3 and time outs work for DD. I have not given a time out in quite a while actually.

I also try to keep in mind the overall situation. A big one for DD was whether or not she took a nap. Right now she is in a "no nap" stage and gets crabby at 5pm. Makes for a long night sometimes. I like to turn the situation around by making her laugh. This works well for both of us (especially if I feel my blood pressure rising. ;) )

Good luck to you. Hopefully she grows out of it soon. :)

Thank you all for such great advise, and the encouragement!

Thankfully, things are going much better this evening. I really believe missing gymnastics no matter what she said or did was like hitting a brick wall for her - or at least it seemed that way. She had no choice but to back up and think. I hated it, but as one poster said, parenting ain't for sissies. :smooth:

The Mystery Machine - You are right, and I do this often, however DD seems to need to wait until she has calmed down before she can be comforted with hugs and support.

- Something I had not even thought of you nailed! She, for the first time, does not care for her teacher. In her words, Miss Fran doesn't like her. She is acting up regarding something every morning, and then again in the evening when we get home.

TimeforMe - HA HA!! Oh yea - that sweet little face is the one. princess:

I knew you would all be full of great advise for me. What did I do before the Dis? Thank you guys!! :flower1:
Well taking the computer away from my 15 year old works like a CHARM. :D

But when she was 4, I had to resort to removing her favorite thing back then - NO BARNEY for one whole day. That worked very well. The next day I had the sweetest little 4 year old in the world. :cheer2:
My 5 year old is very quick tempered and honestly a 10 minute time out works like a charm with her! She hates to be quiet and keep still, so 10 minutes is like an eternity for her and she will avoid it at all costs. She has to sit very still on the chair, no moving and no talking. If she moves or talks, she has 1 minute added on for each infraction. (Of course, if she has to go to the bathroom, the clock stops and then starts again when she is done.)

I use this same method with my 7 year old son, but he is completely opposite of my daughter and I think he has only been in time out twice that I can remember!

Good Luck!
Tickling. I know it's archaic and a lazy way to discipline but tickling works everytime
in our house.
I'm glad you posted this, and read all the advice. My DD3 has a bad temper too. Never really mattered much until baby DD came along in April. It was a rough few months. She still says she doesn't like baby, but isn't bad....except Tuesday...she threw a tantrum for almost 3 hours, and nothing worked. I gave her multiple time outs, as we do if she misbehaves, but she screams and kicks in them, and won't sit still. I sent her to her room, but she opens the door and leaves. Plus, when she was a baby, she always held her breath so we worry about her doing that again. I know she was tired with no nap that day, but she was just in one of those moods, that if you gave into her 1st thing she was whining about, she'd continue, so I didn't give into anything. She calmed down when Raven was on tv. Anyway, I'm not sure what to do either, or how to discipline her at this point. You're not alone, sorry I have no advice.
Boy OH boy can I relate!! My DS(5) is the most sweet little guy in the world UNLESS (LOL) things do not go as HE plans! I was in the store the other day and before entering I told him "do not ask for anything...we are NOT here to buy you presents". All went well until about 4 minutes in :rolleyes: Anyways, like a dope I agreed he could have a spiderman hat that he really wanted(it was on clearance for $2) Well that just wasn't enough he kept asking and asking an asking for other things. When I said no his final response in a VERY fresh way was "You never buy me anything"!!! :earseek: I said "you are absolutley right and now you do not get that hat"!!

Well we kicked and screamed our way out of the store and I COMPLETELY ignored him! I was not going to give in even though my heart was breaking. The entire store was looking at me/him but I figured they have all probably been in my shoes at some point. It just bothered me more because this is not his normal behavoir-I was embarrassed for him.

So I think he learned his lesson that screaming and crying doesn't help him get what he wants! I hope he did anyways!! LOL

Minnie824...It's nice to know I'm not alone, but I'm sorry you are dealing with the same thing. It is not easy at all. You feel your heart break a little more each time.

Today started great. She got up on her own, was nice and happy and sweet while telling me about the great dreams she had last night. Then she wouldn't eat breakfast. Pitched a fit. Threw her food in the sink. Screamed yelled, the whole 9 yards - again. This is the way our day has started eveyday this week and for many in the past few months. I took away TV privileges, and she is to come home, eat dinner and go to bed. That just sent her for more of a loop. She was still screming and crying when I took her to school.

I do have to say that after reading some of the responses yeaterday, I'm thinking more and more that she is unhappy at school. This is the first time she hasn't liked her teacher. Honestly, I'm not thrilled with her either. I tried sitting down with her a month ago or so to discuss Maddie's behavior at home and see if she had an idea of what may be gong on. Her response was, "I think it's just you mom. She doesn't act like that with anyone else. I've seen her with you and she is different with you than anyone else."

That just pissed me off. Of course she's different with me than anyone else, I AM HER MOTHER. So that was no help at all.

antkim...I feel for you. Maddie usually doens't pull stunts like that in public but I would have done the exact same thing as you. It's not easy is it? :rolleyes:

It's especially hard right now during the hooliday's. This is supposed to be a special time of year and she's having eveything taken away from her. She even told me she didn't want to see Santa because she was afraid he would yell at her for being so mean. I tried explaining that Santa doesn't get angry, that he loves her too and only wants her to be good so he came come on Christmas Eve, but she's still scared to see him. This is breaking my heart. :guilty:

Geesh! I didn't mean for this to be so long, I'm sorry. I hope all of our evening are better, children sleeping soundly dreaming of sugar plums. LOL! :cloud9:
Be assured that you are not alone. When DD was that age she would have to fits too and sometimes I would lose my temper in the process (sometimes I can only take so much). At a child birthday party one of the other mothers as talking about the same thing happening in her house. I felt so much better. Until that time I thought I was a lousy mother.

Anyway, you have to keep searching until you find what works for her. When DD was younger I would take away certain toys when she misbehaved or was disrespectful. She would cry and have a fit and I would have to send her to her room -- I would tell her she could come out when she calmed down. Sometimes this took a long time. But when she did she would come down and apologize and at that I we would talk and I would try to reason with her (when we were both calm).

When she would scream 'I HATE YOU' it would really shock her when I would reply back that I didn't care-- she didn't have to like me I was her mother.
Hang in there, MB MinnieGirl. Like others have said, consistency is the key. You're doing a great job! It does sound like this teacher may be part of the problem and your daughter may be acting out because of it.

Your daughter is adorable, but they all know how to push our buttons, don't they? Mine are teenagers now, and although they don't give me behaviorial problems, I get to deal with that wonderful(?) teenage "attitude".

And I'm the one that says parenting is not for sissies. I stole it from my friend Bob because it is SO true!

Best of luck with your little sweetheart.
Maybe you should try positive reinforcement. I have a very high-spirited dd and at that age negative reinforcement made her worse. She seems truly stressed and is venting in the only way she knows how. If you vented to your friend about your day and then she punished you, would that help?

As for the teacher, grrr. Obviously, your daughter is holding herself together all day and saving her anger for someone who gives her unconditional love.

Good Luck!!


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