To me, the hardest part about being a parent, is having to discipline. Myla is generally a very sweet, well mannered child, but other times, she is a whiny, selfish and hard-headed 3 year old. (My mom told me I am getting "paid back".) Anyway, we have tried many different forms of discipline, as I truly believe each child must be disciplined in the way that works best for them. The hardest part is figuring out what is best for your child. Nobody call child services or anything, but Michael and I believe in spanking, and Myla has had her fair share. However, spankings from me are not nearly as effective as spankings from Daddy (I think when a spanking comes from daddy, it hurts her feelings more!). So, I had to figure out something different.
When Myla was probably 15 to 18 months old (or maybe older, I can't remember), she started throwing "fits" where she would scream and cry and walk around whining. Well, for a stay at home mom that is with their child all day, this behavior becomes very frustrating! What I would do at that point was put her in her crib and let her cry until she was done, then I would get her out, and she would normally get happy again pretty quickly. She didn't like to be isolated. As she got older, she started having to go sit in her room in her pink chair when she was crying and she knew she could come out of her room when she was done. She even started putting herself in there when she was throwing a fit.
Well, time moved on and then she got verbal. She moved into saying things like, "I don't want to do that" or "Don't tell me that" or "Don't tell me no", etc., in a very sassy voice, mind you. I understand that she is just now 3, and a lot of this behavior is "normal" for her age, but I just didn't feel like her age is an excuse for disrespectful behavior. I feel like as her mom, it is one of my jobs to teach her to control her temper and her tongue. I don't have it completely figured out yet. Obvisously, I have a long way to go.
This brings me to my latest tactic. Earlier this week, Myla was having a hard time readjusting to being at home with "mean old" mom and dad after being with grandparents for 8 days straight. (I am not placing any blame on the grandparents. She was already having these issues before the vacation, but some behavior was just a bit escalated when she got home.) I knew we would have some issues, but she honestly just got crazy! On Tuesday I was at my wits end, and I knew that I had to get a handle on her behavior. I decided that I was going to start taking things away from her until she realized that all of her toys, movies, music, etc. are privileges and they could easily be taken away based on her behavior. So, after a meltdown, I took away her pink dogs, which if you know Myla, is something she HAS to have. She is completely attached to them all the time. This didn't solve the problem. The horrific behavior continued, so I went in her room, and I put almost every toy she owns in her closet. (see picture above) Of course, she DID NOT like this at all. I told her that the only thing she could play with was her books. Her attitude and behavior that afternoon was a world of difference to what it had been that morning! She has started to "earn" back some of her toys, but as soon as she starts to meltdown, something gets taken away again. She is smart, and I believe she will quickly believe that privileges and behavior go hand in hand.
I don't write this as an expert by any means, but I am just saying it worked for us (so far). I realize that she will have MANY more meltdowns over time! I know that parenting is so hard, and we can always use ideas from others. I actually read about taking things away from another blogger. I didn't mean for the post to get so long, but I just thought that maybe it could help some other desperate mommy out there!