I think my life changed last night when my TV randomly landed on the reality show, “America’s Supernanny.”
I have to admit that I’m somewhat new to actively praying, but motherhood has brought all sorts of unexpected goodies into my life, and praying seems to be one that’s picking up steam.
At least a few times recently I have found myself praying for a solution to disciplining my 4-year-old, Siena, more effectively.
Overall, she’s (of course) a fantastic kid who is a delight to go out with socially, very cooperative with teachers and other authority figures, and quite exceptional most of the time with her little sister.
That said, she’s also exceptionally good at:
* “not hearing” that which she does not like,
* pushing for what she wants until she gets it,
* diverting virtually anyone’s attention exactly where she wants, and
* pushing her mother’s buttons!
She can also get very hot-headed and is able to get me angry in a way that no one else has ever done before.
I realize that many of these qualities will probably serve her quite well as she grows up but in the meantime it’s on me, and I can’t say I’ve been coping with it brilliantly.
Discipline is definitely the part of parenting I find hardest. As a result, I’d say I’ve been pretty inconsistent (I know, problem #1) and am now reaping the consequences.
So last night, I believe, my life changed.
America’s Supernanny, Deborah Tillman, taught a mom to put her child in the “Calm Down Corner” for not having her “Listening Ears” on.
While there’s nothing actually new about this concept, it gave me some terminology to use and a clear method to stick with (something that has definitely been missing in our home) so I decided to give it a go.
Siena’s most challenging time of day tends to be from about 4pm. Today was actually a fairly easy day and it wasn’t until tooth brushing time that the hard-core resistance started to rear it’s ugly head.
I gave Siena one warning (as Ms. Tillman recommends) and then said we were heading to the Calm Down Corner (which we had talked about earlier in the day).
Well, true to form, the fire came out and 15 minutes of screaming and flailing later I was finally able to start the timer for her “3 minutes of calm.”
While I can’t say this was exactly smooth sailing it definitely sent a clear message that I can be consistent about (a win for all involved).
The rest of the night did go extremely smoothly and lovingly, and the first try has given me hope that this can remove the greatest struggles from our relationship. I really just don’t want to have the chronically fiery mother-daughter relationship that I see develop so often.
Supernanny Deborah also recommends having written house rules and that you simply use this same form of discipline consistently when they are broken.
Listening Ears on when being addressed
Keep hands, feet and spit to ourselves
This part will be a work in progress, and something I’m excited to be getting clarity on – seems like my praying just might be working!
If you have other suggestions for house rules, or other discipline/parenting tips in general, I’d LOVE to hear them!
Cheers and Namaste,