Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Talking About Tiny Talk

Ok, this isn't my normal Tiny Talk Tuesday and it's been a LONG while since I've visited Talk About Tuesday, but this week I'm in need of some help with my 5 year old tiny talker, Will.

Seems as though just when school let out, so did his mouth. He's been pushing buttons, teasing, and just plain testing the waters on how much he can get away with. Common phrases lately include:

"No, I'm not going to do that!"

"I don't want to!"

"I want it NOW!"

All this with major attitude and whining. Oh, the whining!

This is all new territory for me since he is my oldest child, and right now nothing seems to be getting through to him. So, what I'd like to Talk About Today is adjusting attitude and proper discipline (when/if necessary).

I know this is a personal decision, but I'm asking for your opinion because I'm needing suggestions, so please feel free to leave it in the comments below. Thanks!

Help please!

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E. Tyler Rowan said...

I've had my run-ins with attitude and back talk. Here's what I've done (for these and many other problem behaviors that are habit-forming).

- talk to the child about how the bad habit of wrong behavior is developing, and how you want to help break the habit (we also then pray about it together - that mom and dad will parent how God requires and that the child will have a willing spirit to learn and change)
- then, every.single.time the behavior crops up - the discipline is IMMEDIATE (no warnings, no 2nd chances) and HARSH (no 2 minute time-outs)
- we don't always use the same discipline strategy, but are flexible depending on the child's personality, the severity of the behavior, etc.

- sometimes it's time out (I send them to my room b/c they can't sneak out without my knowledge, and none of the siblings can sneak in to play); the first time out usually lasts about 20-30 minutes (basically, however long it takes for both the child and me to be TOTALLY calm); the second time out last long (I'll often say that they need to stay in the room 'until lunch time' or 'until it's time to leave' - basically until the next transition in our day, even if it's a couple hours...its worthiwhile to note that when the time out is for an extended time they are allowed to take their blankie and one special toy to keep them company)
- there have also been times where we've used spankings, but it's a very intentional and calm method --- I send the child to the designated place to wait for me (the waiting varies depending on how busy I am, how frustrated I am, and how upset the child is - I never go to the room until we are both completely calm); next I remind the child that I love him/her and want to help break this bad habit; I have the child decide whether to stand or lay over my lap; then I issue very firm open hand spankings on the bum (1 spank for each year of age); then I hug the child (who is usually crying) and say "I love you, and I know that together we can stop this behavior"; I tell them that they are free to come out of the room whenever they're feeling ready

This comment is super long, but I'll recommend a book that I refer to regularly - "Creative Correction" by Lisa Whelchel. This book doesn't just talk about one stragegy - it gives (literally) hundreds of different ideas, scripture verses, and more! If you can't find the book, let me know and I'll send you a copy! I love it THAT much.

Blessings to you, and keep up the great work! Parenting is tough stuff.

MorningSong said...

I have read that getting them to SAY "I will obey you" or "I will do that" or "May I have x please?" is one of the best tools you have. OK, that is the problem - right? I know! My kids have gone through this and enforcing the above works. The battle is about authority. He is testing YOUR authority over him. So when he says "NO, I'm not going to do that." I tell mine - fine. You've made your choice. You may go to your room until you are willing to obey. (make sure he sits on bed w/out toys or put him in a place he can be bored) When he comes out, tell him "you must tell Mommy I will obey you Mommy or you must return to your room". Keep doing this until HE CHOOSES to obey you. Once you get him to verbalize it - even if it is in a 'you win but I'm not happy' way then you are making HUGE progress! The battle is about him willingly surrendering to you as the boss! Once you win this battle once, you will find it reappears from time to time. Make sure you have time to outlast him on his waiting game. YOU MUST WIN! or it is a waste of time!

Blessings and God's favor on your journey!

MorningSong said...

Oh, sorry to comment twice - but I wanted to clarify.

This problem will likely re-occur from time to time but if you nip it and get him to say "I obey you" or whatever you want him to say - that ends it for a while. At this age, if THEY say it - they do it! That is key! Get him to agree to obey! It may take a while the first time but if you stand strong you will have a shorter fight each time it resurfaces b/c he will know you are the boss and you mean what you say!


Anonymous said...

My son is 5 and right in the thick of that, too. I just make it very clear to him that he doesn't get to talk to me that way, and I won't respond to him when he does. If he talks that way to me, I turn around and walk away and then he ends up doing what I asked him in the first place. It's all about giving attention to the behavior...if you do it, he'll do it more.

Lara said...

I can't help because I'm have the same problem with my ten year old all of a sudden! Good luck to both of us!!

Andrea said...

Very nice comment from ET!

Figure out the words you'll use when confronting this attitude so that you don't end up giving him too much attention when dealing with it.

K.I.S.S! "You're attitude/body language is not respectful or obedient. 'SuchNSuch' is what I expect and 'SuchNSuch' is what will happen until you comply"
I have heard great things about that book too so give it a try.

As far a consequences go, I believe that spanking works if used w/o emotion (from you) and consistantly. Consistantcy is soooo key - do not be wishy-washy or slow to act but have the same response to this behavior EVERY time.

I know this can be tough but pray hard and the Lord will give you the guidance that you need!

My name is Dianna said...

THREE Words...COD LIVER OIL!!! I bought the capsules, you just prick a hole in it and squirt into whiny little mouths. The result is amazing! It is good for the kids, only takes a tiny bit and can be done in public. But you can't threaten with it you must act immediately...Good luck!

Mary@notbefore7 said...

I love the Creative Correction book, so I'll second the sentiments with that.

I have not been good about dealing with this lately, but have been there and am there often.

We give a second chance to "try again" with the attitude and then do a time out. we often end time out with a chat and pray for a "happy heart". My 5 year old will often tell me her heart is not happy and she needs a time out now. That was the best term I heard for this young age.

best of luck.

4funboys said...

The boys all answer "yes, mom or yes dad or yes coach..." (It also help eliminate that excuse "but I didn't hear you" when they get a little older) We work on having "happy hearts" too...

I grew up hearing my dad say a zillion times...

it's not what you say, it's how you say it!

For family night, we've actually had them practice saying stuff... several different ways, in several different tones... I think sometimes kids don't know what they "sound like"... It's always easier to hear it in someone else, so we've actually used the Karioke machine to drive the point home... "Do you realize when you talk to your brother like that, that that is how you sound?"

When that doesn't work... vinegar is our secret weapon! As nasty as that tastes... it doesn't take too many times before they stop and think before they speak.