Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Solving the Fridge Problem and Other Thoughts on Preschooler Discipline
Thanks for all of the great advice on my post: Is It Adoption Issues or Just a Normal Phase?

We incorporated the idea that Piney gets a certain spot in the fridge (one of the produce drawers) for her food. She can get her water cups, cut up fruit, cheese, etc. from her special drawer. We put her name on it with masking tape and made a big deal out of it.

She seems to really love it so far and has been staying out of the rest of the fridge since we implemented it.

It is actually nice for me because I can make all of her food at once. I only put non-messy finger foods in there (nothing crumbly or runny) so that she won't make a mess or need assistance.

She really likes the independence and we haven't had any problems since. However, we have yet to see if it is a long-term solution or just a fun novelty for her. Time will tell.

As for the other behavior/ discipline issues discussed....

I felt like a lot of the advice was along the lines with-

Discipline sometimes sharply when the situation calls for it, but then show an increase of love to make sure Piney understands that although we don't approve of the behavior we love her unconditionally.

The sharp discipline needs to be consistent and she also needs to feel consistent love and attention at all other times for it to be effective.

The question I am still mulling over is how sharp the discipline should be. Do some situations warrant spanking, while others a time out, and others a loss of privileges and others just a reminder- depending on the situation and her level of understanding and warnings?

I have read a lot of different theories about this.

We haven't used spankings in the past, but I wonder if certain situations call for a stricter response. If she knows the consequence, is given warnings and continues to misbehave.

Another idea is to not let her wear underwear if she pees or poops in her pants. She hates that and her brothers won't play with her if she isn't wearing underwear, so it is a big deterrent. I don't mean she has to wear a diaper. I mean she doesn't get to wear anything except a dress to cover herself like we used to do when she was two. However, this doesn't solve the problem of her pooping in her pants at school.

Perhaps a reward (candy?) for staying dry at school would be a good idea.

Anyway, I am still mulling it over and thinking about all of your great ideas. Any more thoughts would be appreciated.

Meanwhile, Piney wants to show you her pretty butterfly that is painted on her arm:

"Oh... You can't see it very good? How's This? I LOVE Butterflies!"

"Did I tell you how much fun I had plucking the little green tomatoes off of mommy's tomato plants? My mommy just smiled at me through her tears. She does that a lot. Oh I am A HAPPY girl!"


Blogger Debbie B said...
Great solution on the fridge. Good luck with the rest!

Blogger Lauri said...
Good idea about the fridge drawer, giving her a little bit of freedom.

I can relate with trying to find a good balance with your tactics.. there are times I think I am just going to parent Livi as naturally as I can using my gut instincts and other times I think about her attachment & needs and want to parent her with those things in mind.

I have been trying to change my mindset and am reading BCLC- still wrapping my head around the whole behaving out of fear theory, because sometimes it seems she is just being a stinker and stinky behavior needs consequences.

as you can tell, I am still working my way through this myself.

Your post reminds me that I am not alone in my quest

Blogger Mrs. Pagett said...
A Christian Educator once told me to never spank with your hand or a child over 6yrs old. We do time out with a one, two, three warning. If after 3 one of the kids still aren't behaving, they go to the chair. Big problems land them on their bed in their room, sometimes with the door shut. We rarely spank. I used to have the same problem with our strawberries, as you did with the tomatoes. I just started showing and explaining to ours the whole process from plant to fruit, and that if you don't wait then you can't eat the yummy fruit. It works!

Blogger daysgoby said...
Great idea!

I re-read and re-read the comment I left before, trying to make it say exactly what I wanted it to - and you just phrased it beautifully.

I hope you find a terrific balance!

(And OH MY GOD is she growing up beautiful!)

Blogger Beverly said...
I lost your link for a bit. She is really growing! cute cute.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Piney looks so grown up. I hope she loves her draw and independence and it makes her happy to get her own snacks for a long time. (Either that, or she wants more attention from you and asks you to get it for her.) It reminds me of something I read in a book about a family that was living in a very small apartment. Each child was given a box to put their special things. It helped them feel they had their own space.

As for the discipline issue. I think having her help you clean up messes and maybe pay you back with her time doing other chores around the house or lack of privileges means more in the long run than spanking.

The issue with the accidents after school. Maybe she could help you wash her clothes. And maybe figure out the reason she is acting this way. Then maybe you can talk to her about it, is it a friend she misses, a different location, etc.
Also if the preschool has different bathrooms for different classes, she might feel uncomfortable using them.

I moved lot's of time when I was in elementary school, almost once a year, and it was very stressful for me.

Good luck with it all. She's adorable.


Blogger jeneflower said...
Thanks so much for your comment. The problem; however, with using "clean up your own mess" or "clean up your underwear" as a consequence if she makes a mess is that she LOVES to clean up her own messes. She LOVES to clean her underwear. She LOVES to wash the floor. She begs me to clean things. She wants to clean up everyone's messes all the time. (Not so much picking up toys and stuff- but washing tables, counters, chairs, floors, sweeping, vacuuming, loading and unloading the DW, doing the laundry, washing dishes in the sink, etc.) She makes messes just so she can clean up the mess. She fights me for the broom. She starts loading the dishwasher at every opportunity. It is not as helpful as it sounds though because she is too young to do a good job, but if I help her she is non-stop smiles. So making her clean up her own messes is a reward, not a deterrent to misbehavior unfortunately. In fact I don't let her clean up her mess as a punishment for making it many times.

Anonymous Nat said...
I think that the food thing is a three old stage. My three year old watches her older brothers help themselves to food, and so she thinks she can do it to. The drawer thing was brilliant, I think I will try it too!

As for the regressing with the potty training- I absolutely think that it is a reaction to her enviroment being changed once again. Maybe you could see if you could volunteer at her school for a little while, so that she can feel more secure. I have found that when toddlers hit, it is because they feel threatend in someway, and they are almost proving to themselves that they are in control and they have sometime of power over their situation. Perhaps if her school is on base, you could arrange some play dates with kids in her new class. Then she might not feel so threatened by her new enviroment.

Spaking is not going to fix anything. Be creative, there is always another alternative to causing physical pain.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I only have boys, so maybe it's a girl thing to always want to help out more? I remember that age well, where it's easier to do it ourselves.

It seems like a logical consequence that she doesn't get to do something she loves to do. I think that is what I meant to say, somehow have logical consequences for actions, and simply by having them again and again, she knows what to expect and she'll feel secure with these boundaries. Hope that makes sense.


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