30 January 2008

Feel the Awesome Power!

Yes, it's true: I blog about how Senator Edwards should drop out of the race and . . . he does. Would you look at that. I take all responsibility. Thank you, thank you. Or shoot me, shoot me, whatever your inclination may be.

On the subject of feeling the power, I have been rocking the discipline lately with the twins. There's been a spate of limit-testing of late chez Snickollet, especially from Maddie. Hitting, throwing things, not complying with requests . . . normal toddler stuff, but it was getting to the point that I was yelling a lot and feeling out of control and bad way, way too often. So I decided I needed a plan. Redirecting worked OK, but I have to admit that I lacked the patience to do it consistently and effectively, and instead I'd end up in the yelling and feeling bad cycle. I know that I've mentioned before that I'd read and started using the techniques in 1,2, 3 Magic (sorry, too lazy to link to the previous posts), but in the past couple of weeks, I've gotten really consistent about it.

Good news: it's easy. And it works! In theory, the twins are too young to understand time-outs. But I'm here to tell you that Maddie TOTALLY gets it. Riley kind of gets it; he seems to understand what causes the time-out, but once the time-out is over, he does not apply that knowledge very well to future situations. Maddie, on the other hand, will get a time-out for something, then later in the day consider doing the same thing again and say to herself, "No. No time-out," and move on. She gets it.

I have to admit, the whole thing sort-of cracks me up. I give them their time-outs in their cribs, with the lights on and the door closed. I leave them in there for about 30 seconds. They love their cribs and are very good about bedtime, so I'm not quite sure why it's so horrific for them to be put in there for 30 seconds. I guess it's my tone of voice and the closed door . . . I don't know. But they really do hate it.

I don't want to make it sound like I give them time-outs all the time. Not hardly. In fact, it only took about three time-outs before it got to where I could say, "Do you want a time out? No? OK, then please stop doing [X]," and it worked. I feel like a real parent, with a discipline strategy and everything. As with most things about parenthood, it's not necessarily the strategy I thought I'd use, but if there's one things parenting is good for, it's developing one's taste for humble pie. With a side of crow.

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I confess that I've had the TV on as I've written this. In an of itself, that's not such a shocking confession. But I have it turned to The Moment of Truth. I don't get this show. I mean, answer the embarrassing questions truthfully and admit to some horrible crap! Or lie and end up both admitting to some horrible crap and being exposed as a liar! (Assuming that the polygraph test is accurate, which is a big assumption.) And if you decide to give up your money so as to avoid answering a question, that's pretty incriminating in and of itself. I think it's my bedtime.

29 comments:

babybound said...

Ya know what. I actually thought of you today when I heard the news of Edwards quitting. I thought "Wow. Snickollet actually wanted this and well, she got it. What a lucky duck"

OTR sister said...

Congratulations! Instituting time-outs was a huge relief for me too, to go from feeling helpless to feeling effective.

Giovanna said...

When I heard the news about Edwards I giggled for ya.
As for the Moment of Truth...I totally said the same thing when I saw it the first time. Silly concept but hard to turn away.

Kim said...

Just something I wanted to share that I learned in my pediatric rotation last week - we are careful to keep the bed a safe area where the children feel comfortable. All treatments are done in a different room. I'm all for the 123 and timeout thing, it's the only way we all survived two trips through toddlerhood. They are so good about bedtime it would be a shame to have them start to associate their crib with being disciplined. Just my two cents - maybe it will save you a headache later down the road. I do timeouts on the hearth or entryway step.
Kim

kim said...

I thought of you with the Edwards news too! He must read your blog... :)

I'm glad the twins are getting the whole time-out concept. Sadly, Em LIKES being sent to the corner/stairs and sometimes even asks for it. I've asked the pediatrician and she says that "time out is different from time in (an activity)" and that we should continue it. But I agree, the 1-2-3 counting method seems to be a bit more effective right now. Isn't toddlerhood great?

Amy said...

Can you do something about Bush now? Maybe a post on why he should not be President? OK thanks.

I totally agree. 1-2-3 WORKS and continues to work with the kids who are now 10 and 15.

When the girls (twins) were little carrying out the time outs was difficult. I would put one in the room, chase the other, repeat, repeat, repeat. Call me a meanie but I finally put a lock on the outside of their door and just put them in, locked it. Cruel and unusual punishment? No. Time outs lasted about 2 min, 5 tops and they were VERY INFREQUENT!

1-2-3 works :)They did NOT want to go to time out. And sure beats the spankings I got as a kid.

kris said...

edwards leaving the race is totally sad. who do i vote for now? in the primaries i mean since no republican would ever get my vote. he was the absolute best person for the job. and his wife knew it.

Yankee, Transferred said...

You're an excellent mama. And a brave one. And I love you for it.

Keen said...

Just a few comments:
a) You rock, with the discipline. That book has been on my list for a while now, and it's nice to hear that it's worked for you.
b) I, too, just watched The Moment of Truth and had the same thoughts you did. Why would you lie and lose the money, if the lie is just as incriminating as the truth? Kind of takes away from the suspense. Also, after watching that I feel like I need a shower in a big way. Yech.
c) I was late to the Edwards party. I respect him and I love his wife, but I felt much the way you did, specifically because their situation made me think of you and John and priorities and it really affected the way I viewed his run. I thought of you the minute I heard he dropped out.
It's back to work for me--reading your post was a nice break.

peach said...

yeah the moment of truth sucks... we watched again tonight just on the off chance it was better than last week, NOPE it still sucks.
congrats on the twins and time outs working.

Emmie (Better Make It A Double) said...

You know, I think that whole "they have to be two to do time-outs" thing is really true for some kids and crap for others. N totally got it at 18 months, and time-outs still don't work that well with O at almost 3. We use the "uh-oh" strategy from Love and Logic, but it's just another flavor of the same thing, and it works as well as anything does. I think waiting until age two to really discipline is a mistake in a lot of cases. Good for you.

Rachel said...

It's awesome that Maddie already gets the if/ then sentences. That didn't happen until much later for us.

And you do indeed have magical powers.

OTRgirl said...

I liked your post on John Edwards. I've wondered a bit about that, but also respected their desire to try to make things better for the country, even at a level of personal sacrifice. That being said, I'm glad they'll be able to be together more now.

Yeah on the discipline plan! So cute that she gets it and mutters about time-outs.

Becky said...

Time outs are wonderful. I've never had the patience to constantly redirect my kids, so this is a better solution for me, too. Glad it works for you!

Mama Nabi said...

My goodness - you DO have awesome power. I couldnt' get LN to understand that time-outs were in fact punishments (she'd hit and happily run to her time-out spot, shrieking with glee!)... I did get her to redirect HER energy/frustrations by growling... that stopped some of the bad behaviors... and lately, I've learned that Mommy Roar is also very effective when it comes to getting her attention quickly in dangerous situations.

Yeah, can you do something about certain other people who should give up their political powers?

Driving With the Brakes On said...

I totally thought of you when I heard about Edwards! I actually pictured him surfing the web, coming across your post, and a little light bulb going off over his head. The big family sit-down ensued, and voila! Out of the race.

I have yet to actually read 1-2-3 Magic, but use the principle, and LOVE IT! Funny how at such a young age they 'get it' and realize there are consequences to bad behavior. I do need to pick the book up, however, as I have what is apparently referred to as a 'room wrecker'. Hope it continues to be a success for you!

Angela said...

That's great that your strategies work so well, and you are feeling good about the results, woohoo! Don't you just love it when things come together and you find something that really works for your family. I know time-outs worked with my kids. As they are older(6 and 10), I can reason more with them and talk about making the "right" choices, it's still hard, but as you say consistency and perseverance definitely helps. And my parenting motto is definitely "never say never"

Tiffany said...

My daughter is 2 1/2 and she doesn't really understand the whole time out thing. But the time out does allow her time to calm down which is normally what she needs more than anything else.

Newbie said...

"As with most things about parenthood, it's not necessarily the strategy I thought I'd use, but if there's one things parenting is good for, it's developing one's taste for humble pie. With a side of crow."

Gosh - this is so totally true. I have a 10 yr old, 5 yr old and 2 yr old and I have ended up doing a number of things I swore I never would. Sometimes it is because they WORK, when other things don't, and sometimes (it is hard to admit this) it is simply to survive!

I am glad the counting thing is working with the twins. Our 2 yr old is behind in terms of language development so is only just beginning to get the counting thing. But it worked well with the other two.

Newbie

Chorus said...

I have an award for you over at my place!

Anonymous said...

As long as you use your power for good and not evil :-)

Jolene said...

I watched a bit of this the other night and for about 10 minutes, I was hooked. But I don't get it either!!! It's ridiculous! I wouldn't go on that show if they paid me too! Yey to discipline! You go mommy!

Anonymous said...

Okay, now blog,"I want Cristy Hare to win the 150 million dollar powerball!" lol I use the 1-2-3 Magic book as well. I use it on my daycare kids too. It's like Magic! ;) Except with my daughter I sometimes whip her butt on 3. My fault for being impatient though.

Anonymous said...

The piece I've learned over and over (or that's been shoved in my face until I FINALLY GET IT over and over) is that the less I show my daughter that I am affected by her misbehavior and/or tantrums, the less appealing such behavior is to her. That is, the less I lose my shit in her presence, the better -- it's no fun if you can't push Mama's buttons, after all. But easier said than done, of course.

This even applied when she went through her toddler-picky food stage -- the more she saw it bothered me, the less she ate. The less I (appeared to) care, the more she ate. Until one day she started eating everything we eat.

Good luck...

Shelley

Anonymous said...

The piece I've learned over and over (or that's been shoved in my face until I FINALLY GET IT over and over) is that the less I show my daughter that I am affected by her misbehavior and/or tantrums, the less appealing such behavior is to her. That is, the less I lose my shit in her presence, the better -- it's no fun if you can't push Mama's buttons, after all. But easier said than done, of course.

This even applied when she went through her toddler-picky food stage -- the more she saw it bothered me, the less she ate. The less I (appeared to) care, the more she ate. Until one day she started eating everything we eat.

Good luck...

Shelley

buddha_girl said...

Hooray for some sort of parenting crap that's working. Like you, I've eaten quite a bit of humble pie with a side of crow since Buddha turned one. Ugh.

Right now, he responds to me locking up his almighty stupid trucks in a closet. Did I EVER think I'd LOCK UP MY KID'S TOYS? Hell no!

Caustic Cupcake said...

Snickollet 1; Misbehavior 0.
Snickollet 1; John Edwards 0.

Keep it up! :)

Anonymous said...

I agree with what Kim said. We avoided using our kids' cribs for time outs since we didn't want them to associate their crib with being punished. We wanted them to feel safe, relaxed, calm and secure while in their beds. We set up our Pack n Play for time outs.

Julia said...

There's really been too much crap on TV since the strike. I hope the deal is good and it's over. I never saw that show, and sounds like I shouldn't.

Glad the discipline thing is going so rockingly.