Friday, February 05, 2016

Discipline or Personality?

Lately, I've been thinking about my own challenging children. I see parents who seem to magically be able to convince their children to obey with a whisper, while I find myself routinely bargaining, threatening, yelling, and all the other things you're not supposed to do when disciplining your children.

So, sometimes I do wonder whether my children are really just that challenging, or if there is a lack of appropriate discipline in my house. Obviously no parent is perfect, and maybe the people that I think have it all are just beating their children behind closed doors. However, it is difficult to determine whether or not your discipline is working when children have such different personalities.

My dad seems to think corporal punishment is the way to go, but I think he's forgetting when my brother turned 14 and there was essentially a knock down drag out fight in the hallway as he didn't want to be spanked (and he was never spanked again). I also think, that any discipline would have worked on me, so my "success" was not due to any one particular parenting or discipline style.

We've found a method that works for our oldest, and his behavior had been better for awhile, but he's also a 5 year old boy with sensory issues. He gets worked up at times and nothing will calm him down. We use a combination of consequences (usually sitting on a chair to calm down for a few minutes or losing a privilege, occasionally being sent up to his room if he can't calm down and obey. I feel like a failure as a parent at times, when I've tried all these methods and he's just gotten too overstimulated and I end up carrying a 45 pound boy up the stairs or out to the car while he kicks and screams.

So, the question is, is it a failure of our discipline methods, or just a consequence of an active 5-year old boy who ended up over-tired, over-stimulated, and is still at times unable to self-regulate?

It reminds me of the doctor appointments some of my homeschooling parents have been subjected too by well-meaning doctors who have met "those homeschoolers" who are apparently socialized and not teaching their kids anything. Haven't the doctors maybe considered that they are being homeschooled because they are autistic or learning disabled? Why do we excuse those personality or developmental problems at some times (public school) and not at others? Sometimes, we have children who aren't perfect, and today, I'm okay with that.
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