Tuesday, June 24, 2008

My new best friend

I implemented a new discipline technique at our house yesterday...we introduced Elsie to the wonderful world of time-outs. Of course, that means she did little else yesterday than sit in time-out. Sometime over the past few months, whining has become a daily ritual at our house. She's always fussing and crying when she doesn't get her way. Now, I tell her all the time that crying doesn't get you what you want, and trust me, it doesn't get anything for her. She does it anyway. I know she has the vocabulary to express what she wants to us, but I constantly find her crying and moaning instead. These little tantrums have managed to sneak out of our house and show up in public too! (I know, I know, the nerve of those little rascals!) Seriously, they show up at church, at friend's houses, at the mall...you name the place, tantrums are found there! So, I decided I'm done making excuses for her...she's just tired, blah blah blah. Anyway, yesterday I picked a time out spot...it's just a spot in the hallway which I can see from the living room or the kitchen. Bonus: there's nothing fun about a hallway. There's nothing actually in the hallway. So, yesterday she must've found herself in time out at least a dozen times. My goal for the time out is for her to learn how to calm herself down and use her words to tell me what she needs. These are things that I know she's capable of, and I already encourage her to do. She's gotten praise for quite awhile now whenever she responds in a good way to a situation or an answer to her request.

So, yesterday didn't go too smoothly. She'd sit in time out, crying, with her arms stretched out to me...pitiful look on her face. I couldn't look at her for fear I might breakdown with her. Anyway, she must've gotten the picture because she hasn't had a single time out today. Not even a warning. Usually, she wakes up in the morning and finds me nursing Claira in the living room. Her mood is usually good and she'll curl up on the couch and ask to watch toons. She'll ask if she can have a bagel and some orange juice when I'm done nursing, and she's content to wait. OR, she'll wake up and come out half crying, requesting to "hold you, Mommy" and cry louder if she needs to wait. Today, she walked into the living room crying, and I asked her if she wanted to watch cartoons. She reached the recliner, stopped, lifted her head up, and said, "Good morning, Mommy! I want to snuggle with you." I told her I'd snuggle with her as soon as I was done nursing, and she said okay. "I'm not cryin' or fussin' I don't need a time-out." I had to smile at her, but really. It's as simple as that. I don't expect everyday to go as smoothly as today, but I'll take a vast improvement any day!


~aj~ said...

That is fantastic...so glad it is working so well already.

We've been doing time-outs for a long time with Adam. It really does the trick for him too.

Ami said...

I'm glad it's working so well for you. I'd give or do most anything to not have to listen to the constant whining that goes on in my house. (OK, it's not constant, and he does get disciplined for it - but it still happens much more than I'd like.)

Jen said...

Cute girl! Glad it's working. It works sometimes around here, but sometimes it seems to make the whining even worse. If Lainey's going to have a fit, the time out chair can't stop it :)