Monday, August 3, 2009

Time Out

Ben doesn't need punished very often. He is naturally eager to please and loves to hear us praise and applaud his positive efforts. He is easily entertained and responds well to humor to get him out of a funk. This being said Ben is almost 2. With this new territory we are treading deeper in the waters of discipline... We don't use physical punishment and try not to raise our voices unless his immediate safety is in jeopardy, it is a method called "gentle discipline" and seems to be working very effectively with Ben who listens well and knows where the boundaries are...He is too sensitive to use more forecful measures. This method is rooted in creating mutual and earned respect. I wouldn't expect anything different from him then I would from myself. What we use as consequence then most often if a natural consequence is not relevant is time outs- more accurately "time in's" because we don't send him away or isolate necessarily but sit with him quietly for a few moments until we have a chat about what naughty thing has transpired. This is still a negative consequence as we have ended the activity that got him in trouble, he knows he has done something wrong and is being called on it.

He bawls his eyes out before I start talking to him followed by him clinging to me while we talk about what has happened. This is how it usually goes;
"Ben, look at Mommy". He reluctantly keeps eye contact for a moment before dropping his eyes again.
"Ben, do we hit each other in our family?"
"NOOOOOO"! he says this as though the mere suggestion is horrifying even though a moment earlier it was in fact he who took a swat at me.
"He rubs his hand over the the place where he hit (bit, pinched...) me and looks at it sadly.
"Sowwy Mommy, Sowwy." he says softly. "I kiss it now?"
"Yes Ben, you can give Mommy a kiss now".
"All better now, Mommy?"
"Yes Ben, all better now".

And he's off again. I do feel sad for him most times as I know he doesn't mean to be aggressive, but as he learns self control his impulse gets the better of him sometimes. He does seem to be genuinely remorseful afterwards which makes me think that this whole "gently discipline" think many just be doing the trick. Of course we will see what the "terrific two's" bring along...

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