Well, not a parent, but I'm the oldest of four; had to act as the third parent a lot of days for my two youngest siblings and my various younger cousins. Also did my time as a camp counselor for the YMCA for some summers as well as a few nanny gigs, so I have some experience I think.
There's already been a lot of good advice offered here but I'll throw in my two cents:
1. Consistency is a huge thing, that I agree with wholeheartedly. Leeway is a not something to be used often; if the three year old commits the crime he does the time. We assume, a lot of times, that just because kids are a certain age they function in all respects at that age. In my experience, that's not true; your son is likely ahead of his age group in some ways and behind in others, that's the nature of being a kid.
That being said, I don't treat the three year old like their dumb; they're not. Especially in this day and age. I used a "three strikes your out" system. Much like baseball, I'm the umpire and my strikezone grows/shrinks depending on my mood, but I try my best to keep things as consistent as possible. If the three year old is told not to do something and they do it anyway, that's two strikes in my book; one for disobeying and the other for not listening. If they hit three strikes, they go to timeout-ten minutes is the minimum and it's in the corner, facing the boring wall away from the TV and computer.
That's one out. If they get another three strikes, something they like is taken away from them-computer, TV, toys, whathave you-for the day.
That's two outs. If they again manage to get up to three strikes, that makes three outs and their day is done. They're sent up to their room, banished there till dinner (or if dinner has past they're sent there for the night). Dinner will determine what happens from that point on; if they can behave their allowed to rejoin society but they only get one strike; if they do something against the rules again, they're gone to bed. If they can't behave at dinner and generally pout/be a jerk, say goodbye, they're in bed for the night.
I've found this to be an effective system for ages up to 12 if need be (and some of my siblings needed it, lol). If they seem to be taking everything in stride, IE, the consequences aren't really affecting them anymore, you up the ante.
My biggest thing with kids is to NEVER bluff. I don't bluff (I suck at poker and all games that require bluffing) and I make sure to remind them of this. When I say something, I MEAN IT. Now, some like to test my mettle but don't bend to their will. Remember, your the parent in the situation, your will is KING. It's a dictatorship, not a democracy, so if they start giving you backtalk you give them a strike right there for that.
Also, I fully support spankings/whippings/what have you. Got those as a kid and let me tell you, they will set you on the straight and narrow unless you're ungodly stubborn (like my brother).
In the end it's about discipline, consistency, and letting them know your in charge, not them. Do those three things and you'll avoid a lot of issues in my experience.
But, as with everything, it's just my two cents so your mileage may vary.
Went Primal July 25th, 2011.
Current Age: 24
Total Loss: 126 lbs
Starting Stats: Weighed 266 lbs, Body Fat 37.6% (100 lbs), BMI 40.9
Current Stats: Weight 140 lbs, Body Fat 15.2% (21.1 lbs), BMI 21.2
Current Goals: Do 20 pullups in a row (currently at 13), continue developing upper body strength, and being as Primal as I can be.
My Weight Loss Notes Now on a blog page. It starts with "My Weight Loss: Introduction." Available to the public, share with friends if you'd like!
Also, when giving instructions it's more effective to tell them what you want them to do (positive), not what you dont want (negative). "get down from there" is more effective than "don't jump on the furniture"
true. the more specific the better.
my husband is a phase-out person, too, though. he'll get focused and my DS will be screaming in his ear "DAD! DAD!" and DH won't look up. I touch him and go "DH, did you hear DS?" and he'll go "what? what? no."
No? You didn't hear DS screaming DAD right next to you? seriously? good lord. LOL
As a child free adult, all I ask is that if your kid acts up in public, either deal with it effectively or leave.... or at least make some attempt. Don't just tune them out, especially at restaurants.
I have no idea how hard it may be- all I know is that my mom would have dragged me out of places by my hair had I acted like some kids do. And to parents with quiet, well behaved kids, you are awesome people and whatever you do is OK in my book!
Starting Date: Dec 18, 2010
Starting Weight: 294 pounds
Current Weight: 235 pounds
Goal Weight: 195 pounds
Parenting requires several disciplines of the parent:
1. a consistent philosophy or belief in parenting
this is what makes you strong willed. you need to know your values. it's similar to going primal. it's not hard living without bread (or meat if you are vegetarian or whatever) if you hold a strong belief/philosophy about it.
parenting becomes consistent and easier when you have a philosophy or ideology that you follow. it doesn't have to come from a book, and it can be a very general idea like "paleo" or "attachment parenting" -- both of these having a distinct focus, but not a single way of achieving the principles and outcomes that we want from these methods.
always having an idea to fall back on, and to say "yes, this is in alignment with my values."
2. resources for learning
i find it really important for parents to have resources to check out -- whether books or online or other parents. I have chosen to raise my son in an "attachment parenting" way, and I take strong influence from the continuum concept and "free range" parenting.
But, these words are actually quite vague, and how they apply can be diverse depending upon the family. So, it's important to have diverse resources.
It's important to have a place to go where you can ask about a developmental age and also gather a variety of techniques to manage a specific situation. A family is often juggling all kinds personalities, back grounds, and unique formations. Not one technique is going to work for all families, which is why having a place to go and get ideas for parenting techniques is infinitely helpful.
then you have things to try.
3. remembering it's often you, not the child, that is the problem.
I know that this one seems funny, but the reality is that it is often very true.
DS is a reflection of DH and I. when we are under stress, DS "embodies" that and starts to 'act it out.' It's really normal.
So, we really have to check ourselves. If something is escalating between us, we have to take a step back. Instead of blaming DS as the origin of the problem, we can recognize that WE are the origin of the problem.
Likewise, when DS is "scratchy" of his own doing, it's often because he doesn't feel well, is hungry, tired, or frustrated because his needs aren't getting met. That is *not* being bad or willful or what have you. That is as simple as not getting needs met.
And we all get upset when our needs aren't met -- but as adults, we have more capacity to meet our own needs, or voice the needs that we have. Children don't, so they get scratchy.
Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )
I've got a book recommendation! It's called 'Don't shoot the dog' by Karen Pryor. Its actually a really cool read about interacting with ANY other animal (humans included in that) She talks about different types of reinforcement and how you can shape behavior and all kinds of stuff. It's pretty cool and as I read it I realized that there were a lot of ways I could use the info. She talks about self training and how some time praise can actually be harmful if your timing is wrong but praise or attention or some other reinforcement at the right moment can work.
Anyway. It's a pretty quick read it isn't a huge book but it is the only book I have every read straight through and immediately flipped back to the beginning for a second read. It was THAT interesting to me!