Friday, 25 October 2013

The Discipline Dilema

So I've heard of parents who don't believe in saying no to their children, I've read a lot on gentle discipline, and briefly read about more corporal approaches.

My personal choice is to use lots of positive praise alongside the understanding that unacceptable behaviour has consequences, these include time out, loss of treats, a heart taken down from our reward chart or the temporary loss of a toy. We've made it to almost 5yrs old with peanut and it's always worked well.....

But for the last 6 weeks she has had some anger issues, normally at the end of the school week and always an explosion out of the blue but she lashes out, hitting kicking and screaming.

We've been to see the teacher who was shocked at the descriptions of 'one of the classes most sensible and responsible girls' yes that's a direct quote! Someone her teacher says can be trusted to do as she's asked and always is lovely. 

I find myself feeling really low about it all and unsure what to do. My dream child is becoming something terribly aggressive and cross and I find it so upsetting to see her behave in such a way. We've never allowed them to watch anything violent or aggressive (not even Tom and Jerry!) we don't hit or scream at them and the rare physical sibling fights are nipped immediately in the bud so this choice of tantrum has surprised us A LOT !

Today after a lengthy and horrid episode she shared that she was cross because we didn't go out as planned today (understandable) and she wishes I wasn't her mum and Termite wasn't her sister! 

And so realisation dawned, unlike the unquestioning acceptance we saw when the golden child arrived, Peanut literally looked at him and stated Ooh a baby, we now have a whole bunch of mixed up emotions and insecurities which she can't form into an explanation for us and is instead turning to violence. 

She is shown lots of love, praise and attention. She spends time holding the baby and helping so that she feels included, we have one on one story time and conversation time so we are a bit lost as to how best to move away from this behaviour. 

So my question to any of you reading this is .... How do we deal with this sympathetically yet firmly but without making her feel any more insecure! Suggestions in the comments box please...

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