Friday 27 April 2012

Deathly Glares and Stern Admonitions

One of my favourite shows to watch on cable is Take Home Nanny. I love to watch how Emma Jenner teaches parents across America on how to discipline their children. Also somewhat similar to Caesar Milan in his training of dogs. Not that children are dogs, although some regard their dogs as their children.. Ok ok you get the point.

Discipline used to be a big deal in the old traditional way of bringing up kids. Fathers used leather belts or canes to whip their kids (usually sons) in shape while mothers used a lot of scolding, which sometimes teethers on the edge of emotional abuse. My mother did both actually *laughs* (I'm laughing now but it sure ain't pretty when we were younger).

Nowadays people are more westernized and believe more in non-physical or violent ways of punishment such as getting them to do time at the naughty corner.

The thing is, as long as it was all done in love, I don't see a problem with whichever method of discipline that you choose to use (it's your kid, you know better). Just do it! Because it sure as hell beats having to listen to a screaming kid on the train or bus all day.

Young toddlers are at the stage where they're still learning what buttons they can push and what buttons if they did push, would send mama into a ballistic fit of rage and bring hell on earth. You know what I'm talking about.

So the key is to take a deep breath, stand your ground and NEVER give in! Even if she looks at you with puppy eyes that makes you all weak in your knees. And according to Nanny Emma, be consistent.

If you said "no!" today, make sure you'd say no tomorrow, and the day after and even 5 minutes after! So that they know you mean business.

Worse, never ever give in WHEN they are in their crying fits. It may be very tempting to do so but RESIST it! If you give in when they are crying, it sends them the signal that crying gets me what I want. So they'll keep doing it. It's exactly like emotional blackmail. It doesn't ever end.

Initially the tantrums may take minutes and even hours but if you keep at it, it will gradually decrease because they realize after a while that "hey, this totally is not working! Let me try something else.."

Should you find yourself in a situation where you just can't fight the baby eyes, you may give in.. But only AFTER she has stopped crying. That way, she realises the faster she stops, the faster she'll get what she wants. Everybody wins.

Another thing I learnt from watching Nanny Emma is that discipline does not mean barking out orders like a drill sergeant, which I have to admit I always do! All it takes is for a stern look and a firm voice to do the trick.

So I've been trying to put these tips into practise and I have to say so far it is working! Well 80% of the time anyway.

Bath time
Nai Nai (grandma): Come and bathe!
Girlee (runs away): NO!
Nai Nai: Quick, your mummy come already!

Girlee stops abruptly, scans the horizon and seeing that the coast was clear, continued in her mischief, not knowing that all mummies have an in-built radar that detects naughty children miles away...

Me (appears suddenly): What are you doing?
Girlee (smiles mischievously): Mama play?
Me (shakes head): No. Go and bathe. I count to 3 ah. 1... 2...
Girlee (chanting as she walks to the bathroom): 1. 2. 3!

Me: Sit properly.
Girlee (wiggles in her seat): No, no, WALK!
Me: No walking. Everyone sits properly in the MRT so sit properly.
Girlee (starts to cry): Wahhh...
Me (deathly glare): Stop crying.
Girlee continues to cry...
Me (stern voice): Look at me!
Girlee look me in the eyes.
Me (low whisper): I said stop crying. No more crying. Now sit properly and behave yourself. You naughty I don't bring you to the playground.
Girlee (stops crying but still whimpering): Paygound! Paygound!

I don't how long this will last (she is after all not at the "terrible twos" yet) but I'm praying that I've indeed got this. Otherwise... *shudders*

Not going to think about that. Will cross that bridge when I get there *laughs*

P.S: Check out my guest post at World Moms Blog if you haven't already yah =)
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