Boy oh boy oh boy. Without it.. well.. we'd have even more chaos in our household and that's saying a lot because there's already tons of chaos here. Free for the taking by the way!
Discipline is our hardest challenge for so many reasons but the biggest reason is that Rick and I agree but disagree when it comes to styles. For instance, I'm more of a "if you don't listen right away when I tell you/ask you expect me to raise my voice instantly" kind of mom.
Rick is a "well I'll give you an extra chance just listen to me okay?" kind of dad but then can gravitate to yelling instantly after being calm. To be totally honest I'm pretty sure neither method and attitude works great with both kids. And let's get to the point even further: both of these kids are two totally different beings. James and Natalie respond to discipline styles differently. James can get sensitive and mopey in a split second and Natalie can get angry and lash out just as fast.
I totally get their personalities. That is the only thing we have perfected- pretty much predicting how each one will act.. the time of day also helps. If it's an hour after preschool for Natalie, for example, we know that she's going to blow up at anything. If it's bath time for James, for example, we know that he's going to start getting mouthy and weepy.
One major factor of discipline that Rick and I are great with would be addressing what went wrong immediately. If you wait too long, the opportunity is lost. I don't need the latest episode of "Supernanny" to explain that. I know simply from experience. If I wait too long, it's all completely forgotten when you're 4 years old.
This is why I created these with the family this afternoon:
I tried to keep the list to a minimum. Very short and sweet. Plus, I want them to memorize these rules. I also explained to the kids that the rules apply to Mom and Dad, too. So if they catch us yelling, which happens more often that I'm proud of, they can remind us of the rules. And well, then I go to timeout. Maybe to take a nap.. but that's not the point.
Next up, ways for each kid to earn a quarter here and there:
For each day that they follow a rule, they get a sticker. Each sticker is worth a quarter and at the end of the week, we tally them up and that's their allowance. That way, they're in control of how much they make. I almost didn't include Natalie in this whole allowance thing. But then realized she's almost 4 and the earlier the better.
In no way do I know what I'm doing. I really have no clue. But, this little experiment is worth a shot. It's going to be reeaaally inneresting.