I need discipline I ideas

Discussion in 'The Toddler Years(1-3)' started by Rollergiraffe, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. Rollergiraffe

    Rollergiraffe Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Ok, nothing works. My kids do not change their behavior ever.

    Here's what's frustrating right now. All this week I have been trying to enforce afternoon quiet time. I get them in their room, put them in their beds fifty times, and eventually when they are quiet, leave. This already takes over an hour.

    As soon as I leave, they immediately start dismantling things. They're in the vent, they take the matresses off the bed and play in the wooden slats where they're going to break an ankle or worse. They open their window. I go in and put them in time out and make them help me clean up, then do the quiet down routine, and then they do it all again. I yell, I do whatever, they DO NOT CARE. I HAVE to have some quiet time in the day. I HAVE to. But I can't, because I can't trust them. If I give them books, they rip them up and shove them down the vent. If I dno't give them books, they find something else to destroy. I don't even have Kris home this week to help me move furniture out or anything. I am so (INSERT STRING OF BAD WORDS) frustrated.

    Separating them is NOT an option. It causes more hassle because they want to be together, plus I would have to basically dismantle our whole spare bedroom/office and kid-proof it all. It's not happening.

    What works? How do you get through to a 3 year old?
  2. Rollergiraffe

    Rollergiraffe Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I should add that I feel like a seriously crappy parent. I have totally freaked out on them the last few days because I just feel so out of control. I can't get anything done, and days are so exhausting. I can't even count how many times I have tried the same things over and over again to just get a simple message through to them. I see other kids with bedrooms with lamps and clocks and all that stuff, and we're still living like they're infants without anything within reach of their bed at all under lock down. I hate it. I hate not being able to relax a little bit without worrying that they're getting into something dangerous. I have to be ON the entire time they're awake.
  3. Danibell

    Danibell Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I've said it before and I'll say it again. Having two (or more) kids of the same age is EXHAUSTING! Because what one doesn't think of, the other one does. And when one does something bad, the second on does too.

    I don't have any great advice for you, I wish I did. The only thing I could think of doing would be to screw the vent into the floor so they can't get it out, put bars on their window so they can't fall out, clean everything out of their room....and just lock them in for an hour or so! :/

    I know when I've just "had it", I do send my twins to their room. They are messy and destructive, but more in the sense of emptying all the toys out of their bins, and stripping their beds. Nothing dangerous. I know full well I'm going to have a disaster to clean up afterwards, but it gives me that much needed break from them for a little while and then I feel recharged to handle them again. (and most of that mess will get kicked under their beds for the next day! ;) )
  4. jjzollman

    jjzollman Well-Known Member

    How about quiet time on the couches in the family room? TV off, you in a nearby room, them each on a couch or a chair? That way you can always see what is going on and they ave a designated space they cannot leave.

    You do an amazing job, don't beat yourself up! My sanity would have been long gone. :hug:
    2 people like this.
  5. jjzollman

    jjzollman Well-Known Member

    What discipline strategies have you tried? I know you have tried a bunch. Just trying to think of other approaches coming from a teacher perspective.
  6. Rollergiraffe

    Rollergiraffe Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I have tried time outs, taking things away from them, reward charts and/or letting them earn something for good behaviour, I talk to them about why we have rules (because they could get hurt, sick, they don't get their wrecked stuff back, whatever), I make them clean up their mess and/or throw their damaged toys and books away. Nothing sticks. I can't find their currency. Yelling sort of kind of works a little in that it at least stops them temporarily, so I find that's my only resort sometimes. I am almost at the point where I think we need to go to a behavioural therapist or something because I feel out of options.

    Part of the issue is that no one else enforces stuff. Kris does a little, but he's only home 1/2 hour before bed and all he does is get frustrated with them, rather than trying any other method. If they're with my parents they get no discipline at all, so I don't even take them over there anymore unless I absolutely have no other options. I think part of the reason they don't care about toys is because my Dad buys them crap every they go over there. I have complained about this to them a thousand times, but he never stops.

    They do relatively well in classes and such, but getting them to and from is a total nightmare because they are insane about getting out of the house. I nearly cried at their gymnastics class the other day because all the other moms were standing there with their kids at their side while mine were running in opposite directions and fist-fighting while I was trying to do the paperwork.
  7. Rollergiraffe

    Rollergiraffe Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Also, I don't want to complain and run my kids down. They can be genuinely sweet and they are interesting, awesome little guys. But they are just way too high on the curiosity and independence scale for any one person to handle.
  8. eagleswings216

    eagleswings216 Well-Known Member

    What about something like music playing (on a high shelf out of reach, or even locked in a closet) or one of those pillow things that lights up? Maybe that would chill them out a bit?? My kids have this firefly thing that projects stars on the wall and ceiling, and sometimes I can sit with them in their room with the lights off and that on and it really helps break up the craziness. Sometimes I can even leave them back there for a bit like that once they calm down a bit.

    Honestly, I just gave up on routine quiet time because it was more stress than it fixed or helped. I admit that sometimes I end up using extra TV on days when they are crazy - I figure an extra 30 minutes of screen time is better than me losing my cool.

    My kids are totally destructive, too, and also fight like crazy, so I get where you are coming from. It's exhausting! Fortunately I am out of the house 9-5 four days a week for grad school and internship, and DH is also strict with them, so we are working on it.
    1 person likes this.
  9. megkc03

    megkc03 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    They are still young...but what about tae kwon do/karate/some type of martial arts? Where Anthony goes, they take kids at 4. Maybe something to look into...
    1 person likes this.
  10. Rollergiraffe

    Rollergiraffe Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    This is definitely on the horizon for them! They need some sort of outlet. I just learned about a preschool that is mostly sports based through our leisure center, but I can't get them in until September. I did just sign them up for gymnastics, which I think tires them out. But their refusal to nap leaves them really crabby by the end of the day. Still, it's better if they are tired so they'll at least sit still rather even if they're whining.

    We didn't have naps and/or quiet time for a long time. It was fine for a while, but right now I think they're too tired and they're obviously at some developmental phase that is making them insane. I need a break from them as much as they need a break from me during the day. I just wish I could reason with them a little bit; just enough to make them understand that everyone could be so much happier if they'd cooperate a bit.
  11. Mom2VLS

    Mom2VLS Well-Known Member

    I really don't have any advice since I only have 1 that can run wild on me. But I did want to say that even with only one there is NO furniture in her room. We were leaving a lamp in there and she was plugging it and unplugging it and doing all sorts of other stuff so her lamp stays in the hallway except when it's time to read before bed. I did have a cute Disney princess nightlight in there with her but had to remove that because one day I walked in and caught her drawing on the walls with the end of the light bulb. So now she has an LED light that you can't access the bulb on.

    My point is that even with one we don't have the cutesy bedroom with a lamps, lights, nightstands, etc. And any book that we don't want destroyed does not get left alone with her. Honestly, I have no clue what we're going to do when the twins get to that age. :unknw: Take up drinking again maybe?
  12. jjzollman

    jjzollman Well-Known Member

    I wish I had a magic answer for you!

    Some things I have done in my classrooms:

    1. Put up everything...and I mean everything...that the child was getting into. Locks on all cabinets and doors. Toys, pens, glue sticks, etc. P high or locked away. Only one item out at a time with supervision. BUT leave one cabinet open with a lot of toys that cannot be destroyed and cannot be used to desroy other things. Redirect child to that cabinet if it is a free play time.

    2. Make all activities structured until they learn how to/follow school rules. Playdoh at the table with an adult. Looking at books in bean g chairs with an adult. Legos with an adult at the table or on the floor. Thomas the train at the train table with an adult. Coloring at the table with an adult. Exhausting, but helpful to give kids instruction on how to play appropriately when it doesn't come naturally.

    3. Create a space that is ok to destroy. A ball pit where they an throw the balls all over or run and jump and crash into. A tub with dry pasta noodles that they can dig in. A chalkboard wall that they can scribble on. Spray bottles filled with water that they an stand in the tub and spray the walls with.

    4. Create a picture schedule of your day (brush teeth, breakfast, get dressed, playtime, etc), put the pictures in a small photo album, and give kids a smiley face cutout for each portion of their day that they did well during (great job getting dresses= smiley face,smearing toothpaste all over the bathroom walls=no smiley face) by sticking it in the album next to the picture that represents that portion of the day. Set a time, say noon and 7pm, where you count smiley faces. If you have 4 by noon, reward with something that they really enjoy. If there are 4 more by 7pm, another reward. It breaks the day up for the child and an help them see that they have power over their behavior and how their days go. It shows them they can recover from a bad start to the day and t helps them organize their day.

    I have more, but these are the first ones that came to mind. Hang in there, you are doing an awesome job! You just have some spirited little boys! :hug:
    6 people like this.
  13. rissakaye

    rissakaye Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I agree with Jori.

    I would even take it to the extreme of emptying their room. If all they have is a mattress on the floor, there's not too much they can hurt.

    I also work in special ed and some of our kids have behavioural challenges. We inherited our room rather than got to set it up ourselves. Quite frankly, we removed a ton of stuff from our room. There was a "play/reward" area with toys in it. You can only pull kids out so many times before you realize it's just not going to work. So that's totally gone now. We have a separate "sensory" room that the kids get time in to let off steam and it includes a lot of the stuff Jori mentioned. We have a small trampoline, a ball pit. We're getting a sand table.

    One thing I also realized when my kids were littler, and still occasionally, is that when it seems my kids are out of control, I had to change my behaviour to change their's. I had to make sure that I wasn't giving them a reaction that was worth the naughty behaviour. I also had to find positive interactions to have no matter what they had done that day. I had to find a way of giving them success so they could see that that behaviour was a) what mom really meant when she was using too many words and b) to see that it can be fun to follow the rules. I still notice that with some of our kids at school. The better reaction their para gives them, the more flamboyant the behaviour gets.

    I hope some of this helps. I once heard an expression that the days are long, but the years are short. I think all of us have those days with our kids. And now yesterday my kids brought home pre-enrollment papers for 4th grade.

    2 people like this.
  14. cheezewhiz24

    cheezewhiz24 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    My thoughts are to totally empty their room except a mattress on the floor. Get a window lock that screws into the frame from the hardware store- they are cheap and effective.

    It seems like they don't like being separated. Use it as a consequence for unacceptable behavior.

    I really think you need to get them 1:1 with you. It makes a huge difference even for 1 hour. Maybe some of this behavior is attention seeking?

    I won't lie, it took awhile for the concept of rest time to sink in, but if you start small- say playing quietly with 1 boy for 1/2 hr (reading or coloring) then have him look at books or play with quiet toys in the room with you, it's amazing.
  15. jjzollman

    jjzollman Well-Known Member


    I hope the list didn't overwhelm you. Some kids currency is so hard to find that you literally have to go bare bones with them. Sometimes they find what they are doing so rewarding there is no currency at first. Their currency is their misbehavior and the more opportunities there are to misbehave, the more their desire to misbehave is fueled.

    And Marissa is totally right about adult reaction/response fueling a child's behavior. I have spent hours allowing a child to hit my arms when he was angry I was requiring him to work. Why? Because any response to his hitting rewarded his desire to hit and get a response from me. Totally ignoring some behaviors or responding to them with a totally flat tone and facial expression are what leads to extinction of those behaviors.

    Please know I am in no way comparing your boys to the kids in my special ed class. I am not at all. But extreme behaviors are extreme behaviors no matter where they are taking place or who is doing them and the same principles apply.

    In a classroom, it is called errorless teaching. It means the kids don't make mistakes because we don't let them. We remove all things causing them to "get in trouble" so the need for others to tell them no is gone. I know a home is different, it is not the same as a classroom. But the same principles could apply. All doors are shut and/or locked except one room you have deemed safe. There is nothing in it they can destroy or hurt themselves with. If they hurt each other, separate them (much to their dismay). You might see a rise in behaviors at first. Totally normal because kids push harder when they are being ignored, but eventually you will usually see a significant decrease. :hug:
  16. MrsWright

    MrsWright Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    (Hugs) I think your right where we were last year! 3 was harder an got worse at 3.5 that I thought would never end!

    I would take all their stuff out but for me I hate to tell you quiet time ended up me 1/2 ignoring them on the couch while they played with quiet toys while Hannah napped. Now that she doesn't nap either they are pretty good about a movie time

    We also had a small trampoline that all 3 LOVED!! Waiting on DH to fix the bungee but they seemed calmer. Annnnd I think it's a boy thing. With 2 boys.....oO
  17. jjzollman

    jjzollman Well-Known Member

    Promise, it isn't a boy thing. It is personality. You are not sentenced to chaos because you have boys. Two of the most challenging kids at my boys' preschool are girls. :)
  18. Rollergiraffe

    Rollergiraffe Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    No Jori! Not intimidating at all..lots of great suggestions and I just need to do some thinking about how to incorporate things at our house. I really like the idea of an album with pictures; I think that's something that they would respond to. They do want to do good things, but I think the way our schedule has been set up they're not always clear of what the expectations are so they just run around like crazy kids.

    I have also been thinking a lot about why they're going through such a crazy time. They are on the verge of being potty trained (as in, they go for a week at a time and then revert back to it, and then go at it again), and I think that is really upsetting the apple cart. Maybe once they feel like they've mastered it and they have their new role as "big boys" things will settle down a bit. For a while anyway ;)

    Michelle, at your advice I also took Austin out one on one last week to the grocery store and I plan to repeat the attempt with Miles. It was a bit of a gong show because Austin had a major messy potty episode as soon as we got out, but it was also a lot easier to get it back under control with just one of them,r ather than having a second one getting into something else while I was cleaning him up. Valuable advice.

    Thank you everyone. I have had a string of bad days, and it helps me a lot to know I can come here and get advice without judgement from a wonderful group of ladies!
  19. Leila956

    Leila956 Member

    "I should add that I feel like a seriously crappy parent. I have totally freaked out on them the last few days because I just feel so out of control. I can't get anything done, and days are so exhausting." Oh my goodness do I know EXACTLY how you feel! My twins are 2 1/2 and are wild!!

    They go to daycare all day, which I would assume help them burn off energy. Well, that is absolutely not the case.
    The biggest issue with me is the testing. They test everything I say. I understand that it is normal for people in their age group, but I feel like theyre to the extreme with it. Most of the time they just blatantly ignore me while maintaining eye contact. Very frustrating, let me tell you.

    It feels like I have tried everything to get them to listen. I have tried time outs, spanking (although personally, thats just not MY thing), scolding, threatening, bribery.. I never have gotten the 'ahah! THIS works' moment. Instead I get the 'ok, I just tried to be strict and got food thrown at my face' moment.

    I guess I didnt add anything to this forum, no disciplining miracles. I just sort of wanted to add my two cents and say how happy I am to know I AM NOT ALONE!!! It seems like all the mother's who I know have these little angel children. They sit there reading a book singing while my children are slamming cupboards and throwing food out people's fridges (true story).

    So to anyone who has posted their frustration as well, thank you. :) And hopefully we will get out of this 'terrible twos/threes/fours' with our sanity.. until the dreaded teenage years hit. But thats another story...
  20. Rollergiraffe

    Rollergiraffe Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    So, update.

    This week I have:

    1) Set up an art center for the boys where they can make as big of a mess as they need. They love this! I have very specific rules for it, and I have been enforcing them very closely, and they seem to be responding to it. I know it's just been a few days, but it's an outlet for them at least. I have also been combing kijiji for a trampoline, because they're in a gymnastics class now and I think they'd like to be able to jump.

    2) I took the bed frames out of their room so I could help them focus on avoiding one thing at a time. So right now we're working on the vent. If they stay out of the vent (I can't screw it down without making a major mess of the carpet the way things are there) they get a reward. I leave them there for 15-20 minutes at a time so they have a good chance of being successful. If they make a mess, we have to clean it up before we leave the room.

    3) I found a drop in preschool that has open gym times where they have their gymnastics class. I had them in today and they did pretty well. I am going to sign them up for more times. Also, because it's just drop in, I might sign one up at a time once a week and take the other one out with me to spend some one on one time.

    4) I got my own stuff together. I got on top of the house, the laundry, and looking for a new house (my major goal right now). And now with preschool/gymnastics I have a couple of hours to myself so I started working out again. I find that often the kids are more overwhelming and feed off my negative energy when I am in a rut, but now that I feel on top of things (for now! Oh, anxiety and depression, I shake my fist at you) I can think my way through the meltdowns a little easier.

    So who knows.. I don't know if any of this stuff will help them long term, but I feel more in control than I was a few days ago, anyway! So thank you ladies for all of your suggestions and commiserations.
  21. jjzollman

    jjzollman Well-Known Member

    Jen, that all sounds awesome! Way to go!
  22. miss_bossy18

    miss_bossy18 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Great plan Jen! :good:
  23. megkc03

    megkc03 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Sounds awesome!!
  24. w101ttd

    w101ttd Well-Known Member

    Congrats. You have everything going right way. I'm sure te preschool and gymnastics will help. And big YEAH for going to gym. You will feel so much energy and great after working out. Anyway, maybe 1-2 hrs/week when the kids are at school, drop everything, do something that you could enjoy (a glass of wine and your fav movie), forget about dirty dishes or laundry for couple hours/week. You will feel so much happier

    I think it's Kindda late for them to play in door soccer now since the season already started. But you can check. Man it's awesome. They will be worn out after 30 min practice and 30 min games. The key to keep my kids under control is activities activities. My kids are younger than yours. They do tumbling, swimming and soccer. My husband said that's too much for little kids. But yeah I need them ready to drop before I get them home. It's very busy everyday, but in the return I have 2 nice kids.

    Good luck! Be strong. You can do it :)
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