How We Discipline

Wednesday, August 15, 2018
I have been asked three times in the last week or so to write a post like this. A post talking about how Justin and I discipline our children. I've tried to kind of stay away from this subject because its different for everyone and it usually stirs up far more controversy than I'm willing to take on... but I am going to try and keep it simple and focused on what WE do with our kids.

I think we started discipling when Ava was around three years old? She didn't really need any discipline before then just redirection, so Olivia was our first introduction to discipline in the early toddler years. I'd say from about 18 months or so? We'd have to start saying, "No, don't do that." but other than that, we really didn't dive into disciplinary methods in toddlerhood until Olivia was over two years old. The bulk of our discipline is time-outs, taking objects away from the kids, and just talking to them. Each discipline fits our children individually - we do not have a one size fits all when it comes to discipline. Ava has been a fairly easy kid for the last five years. All it really takes is a talking to and she is squared away. Rarely is Ava a repeat offender - she takes to direction and what her dad and I say SO well. Olivia requires more than just a talking to. Most times discipline through action is the way we go to see changed behavior. Normally this results in a two minute time out. We never put the kids on time out longer than their current age and it gives us as parents time to cool down as well as our middle babe. Liam is obviously a baby and requires zero discipline but we do maintain a structured environment for our boy.

Before we had kids I never thought Justin and I would be the kind of parents that spanked... but it has happened and it does when we see fit. Spanking is by no means a desired go to simply because it doesn't really benefit the kids or us for that matter. We would much rather talk to the kids then actually physically discipline, but there have been moments. Especially when it comes to their well-being and their choices endangering their well-being after they've been prompted to make better decisions. Before it gets to a spank, I try to use a stern voice, we give a three step warning system, and then if all else fails - the spank will come in. We don't spank our children in front of anyone else. It happens in private so they are able to have that privacy. I remember being spanked as a child and it not only hurt, but it was embarrassing. I really don't want the kids to feel that on top of a spank.

We are very consistent with our children no matter the disciplinary actions we choose and its because of our consistency that we feel they are overall really well-behaved children. The kids know whats right and whats wrong. They know lying is a no/no and they are very vocal about making the right choices. We ALWAYS make sure to love on them after things have simmered down to let them know that no matter what, mommy + daddy love them without question. We also remind the kids that they are GOOD people. Always. Sometimes we make bad choices and we need to remember to make better choices moving forward. We never refer to our actions as punishment and we try really hard not to used raised voices. A stern voice is far more effective than a voice that is yelling (in my experience).

So, that's pretty much the gist of what discipline looks like in our house, currently. I know things will change as they grow and we will change right along with them.

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