Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Giant Shift

If you read this blog with any regularity, you may have noticed that I haven't posted in a while. Well, Allison has been in a trial that has spanned the last four weeks and she was working a lot the week before that. Because of the trial, she has either had the computer with her at work or she has been working on it at night when I might create a blog post. Over the past four weeks, or so, not much has really happened or changed. Nothing other than a GIANT shift in Cooper's behavior.

Cooper is two and a half as of yesterday and the easy thing to say is "Oh, he's just in the terrible two's." Except for the fact that his behavior has changed so dramatically over a very short amount of time. Over the last few weeks he has been in several incidents in which he has acted very aggressively. Two weeks ago at church we were told that he was being aggressive. I believe he was taking toys from one of the other children in class. One day last week when I picked him up from school, I noticed that he had an accident report in his slot. Before I even looked at the paper I knew what had probably happened, he'd been bitten. I was correct, however, he was bitten in retaliation for waking the other child up by jumping on him. Are you kidding me??? Finally yesterday when Allison picked Cooper up from his class at church she was told that he was aggressive with his friends again. Apparently, he had pushed a child and possibly bit another one. Wow! That's really all I can say right now.

Allison and I have chosen to discipline Cooper using timeout. This has, and still does, work when it comes to Cooper. However, the day care that Cooper attends seems to resist using this. When we started there we were under the impression that, when the child reached the age that it was appropriate, time out would be used as a form of discipline. In our minds this has worked perfectly in terms of consistency. However, because timeout is not being used he is not getting that consistent discipline that we hoped for. Am I blaming Cooper's school for his shift in behavior? Absolutely not. We think there are many contributing factors from inconsistent discipline, to being around other aggressive children to his age.

With the latest incident today we are taking an additional approach to discipline. We decided to take a toy away. I had one opinion and Allison had a different one about which toy to take away and why. Ultimately, I agreed with her and we decided to take away a riding toy that Cooper plays with every day. It is a Pooh riding toy, that since Allison brought home a badge from one of the Captains from Metro's police department he has started calling it his "Police truck." We told him that we were taking it and if he is good this week and is not mean to his friends he will get it back. We also told him that if he continues to be mean to his friends we are going to continue to take toys from him. We'll see how it works and I am sure I will blog more about it as time goes by.

Question: Have you experienced similar situations with your children? If so, what type of discipline (other than spanking, which we are choosing not to do) did you use and did it work?

1 comment:

Ashley said...

Other than timeout, this is the only other means of discipline we've used on Caroline. Of course, she's a girl, so we don't have the exact same issues, but she was having a problem a couple of weeks ago not listening to her teachers at school. They do use timeout at school, but we wanted to be sure she knew at home that we weren't going to tolerate bad behavior or sassiness with her teachers.
So, instead of a toy, we took away dessert. That might sound funny, but she loves dessert. So on the days when she doesn't behave, no dessert. It worked and we haven't had a complaint since then. I did remind her each morning, "Caroline if you do not listen to your teachers today, there will be no dessert tonight." I think kids that little have to be reminded frequently that there are consequences to their actions.
Sorry for the essay.