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    OT: Need a pep talk on discipline...

    So, this last Sunday we were in church and my son Z, age 4, wanted to know what number hymn we were doing. I was fumbling about and didn't tell him, so he started screaming. We went out for a pep talk and came back and the next hymn came along and I told him the number. But he couldn't find it before the song started (never mind that he isn't going to read along) and he lost it. I was barely able to get his squalling self to the privacy of the ladies room and it took thirty minutes to quell the mini rebellion and get back to church. Had I been standing on the outside, I would have said to myself, he thinks the world should stop because he can't find page 372? What a spoilt little only child that must be. Except he is number three of four!

    Z has from birth been my most challenging child (personality type: I!N!T!J!). But he is far from the only issue. I got a chore chart and I am attempting to drag son N, age 6, into the world of work (wiping the dining room table) but he is resisting, at very high decibels, six months later. I am afraid that being strict does not come naturally to me and my hubby is if anything less inclined to hold the line, especially if it involves screaming. I am working very hard to be consistent but it feels like every point is a death match. (See story above. A thirty minute tantrum. Because the song started too fast. We have done the same song and dance over such fun topics as being willing to open the Velcro on shoes.). I am particularly struggling because in a month we are going to be taking a trip with my in-laws. Z's behavior mortifies them, and they quietly believe that preschool would have done wonders toward making him more flexible and cooperative. Honestly, his behavior is mortifying, though I doubt their preschool thesis. (My family is full of adult INTJs and your don't bring them around with peer pressure.).

    Oddly, school is our best part of the day. We do LCC with lots of MP materials and they are fairly natural students and outside some weeping over copywork, the day often goes quite smoothly. But, for the moment it feels like homeschool socialization is raising up prima Donna misfits rather than model citizens. And from the outside it looks like strict parents have this all together. They decide on the law, enforce the law and small people see the futility of their ways and jump on board. Meanwhile, my kids throw themselves at known fences with much hysterical crying. And I am getting tired. Tired that ever single ounce of civilized social behavior is bought with hours of miserable enforcement. Tired of the embarrassment that my children can't handle little things like being polite enough to greet people because I haven't worked myself up to the effort yet of making them.

    So, this forum seems to have some parents that manage a pretty well run ship. What do you tell yourself? Do you have drama queens? I am not sure I can manage total consistency but I am working on being dogged about my requirements. Will this really bear fruit eventually? How do you pick your battles? How do you subdue the rounds of tears? Have you had a child that knows the consequence, believes the consequence, but just has to anyway? And what do you tell yourself when all those long term goals of homeschooling still seem mythic rather than actually bearing fruit?

    Lena

    #2
    Re: OT: Need a pep talk on discipline...

    Lena,
    Sent you a PM and a virtual hug. :-)
    Festina lentē,
    Jessica P

    '22-'23 • 13th year HSing • 11th year MP
    DS Hillsdale College freshman
    DD 11th • HLN & Latin online
    DD 8th • HLN & Home
    DS 5th • HLN & Home
    Me • Memoria College, MPOA Fourth Form for Adults

    Teaching Third Form Latin and co-directing @
    Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School, est. 2016

    Comment


      #3
      Re: OT: Need a pep talk on discipline...

      My 4 year old son has seasons that are similar to this. Those seasons are terrible and make me feel like a failure. They put everyone on edge which drastically impacts the whole family dynamic. I totally understand your pain. I've found that the seasons typically come during a time of some type of stressor like moving or getting really busy and not having "enough" time for him. However the behavior is never ok, no matter what else is going on in life. I had tried all sorts of different behavior modifiers and rarely stuck with any of them long enough to see them through. I needed something that was not complicated, in any way. We now do a 3 strike policy. Any kind of behavior that they know isn't ok (and really, they always know) they get a strike. I have a small white board on the fridge with their names and simply draw a line next to their name. Three strikes and a toy goes in the trash. (Or a secret stash I have hidden away to donate if it's in decent shape). I don't know if this specific plan would work for you, but just the simplicity of it has really worked for us. When we started we were having several strike threes a week. Now they are pretty uncommon.
      When his behavior got really bad (screaming, throwing, etc) we have put him in his room and made him stay in there until he could calm down. This is miserable! I have to stand there and hold the door shut as he's mid melt down. He's thrown things and kicked at the door, he begs. It is horrible! However, it rarely happens now. Very rarely. Every now and again he seems to want to test and make sure we will still do it, but the tantrum is much shorter. Doing this was actually suggested by our pediatrician when I expressed frustration to him.
      It took an event similar to yours to bring me to this point. My husband was out of town and we were at church. My son flipped out over something and we wound up sitting outside on a bench because his screaming was so loud. (Thank goodness it was warm!) About 30 minutes later someone brings my crying 6 year old daughter out who was convinced we had left her. I was mortified and cried myself on the way home.
      My in-laws were telling us my son must be autistic (he's nowhere near the spectrum) and so I get the judgement you feel. Hang in there!
      Use your frustration as a catalyst to just say you won't do it anymore. Pick a really simple plan that's easy to stick to and just keep telling yourself that, while at first, the screaming will get worse, it won't last and it will get better.
      I guess the sum of it all is that this is a miserable thing to deal with and so many parents will sympathize with you. But you can do it! It's just a matter of finding something that works for you and sticking through it. Within a few weeks you should see change and you can survive a miserable few weeks! It'll be so worth it!
      Jen H
      DD 7 years old, 2nd grade
      DS 5 yrs old, Jr K

      Comment


        #4
        Re: OT: Need a pep talk on discipline...

        I really wish I could have some answers for you, but I also have young ones who can be challenging. I, too, would like to figure some of this out so that this parenting journey is a bit more enjoyable. I'm looking forward to hearing what others say. Hugs to you!
        2019-20
        DS--9, 3M/4M
        DD--7, mix of 1 and 2
        DD--5, MP K
        DS--3
        DS--1

        Comment


          #5
          Re: OT: Need a pep talk on discipline...

          Originally posted by Emilylovesbooks View Post
          I really wish I could have some answers for you, but I also have young ones who can be challenging. I, too, would like to figure some of this out so that this parenting journey is a bit more enjoyable. I'm looking forward to hearing what others say. Hugs to you!
          Hang in there to you too. My kids are dd 8, ds 6, ds 4 and ds 2. The hardest stretch of parenting was the baby's first couple of months with the rest of the kids so young. Age 7 was a game changer in our house. She went from just another little one to genuinely helpful. Not a change in personality, just a new ability to execute moderately complex tasks. And read! She can read me a recipe if my hands are full. And dealing with Z is easier with a toddler I can put down and a full nights sleep. I feel whiny about parenting today because I am dreading travel with a kid that is too big for temper tantrums, but I can also say with a straight face that everything in my life is easier from chores to school than it was two years ago. Take heart, a year of maturity does wonders even with average parenting when your family is this young. During the school year when our routines are in place parenting IS genuinely more enjoyable this year than the last.

          Lena

          Comment


            #6
            Re: OT: Need a pep talk on discipline...

            Lena,
            So nice to see your name on the forum again, but I feel for you that it is in this context. I cannot pretend that we have model citizens, or perfect children by any stretch of the imagination. We do have a bunch of turtles....kids who totally crawl back into their shells when a stranger is around (or when they are being disciplined), so they do end up seeming extremely well-behaved to outsiders. At home, they are totally normal kids. So I know I do not have "the magic key" to this whole thing, but I hope some of my experience will be helpful.

            I will start first with general stuff. Generally speaking, the best advice I can give you is that despite your exhaustion, you have to be the model of discipline for your kids. The best thing you can personally do is to keep your cool. Right now, it feels like a very, very personal thing, because you acutely feel the judgment that their behavior is a reflection on you, and that is so humiliating. Trust me, I have been there. My husband has been there. But it does no good to transfer that frustration to the interactions you have with your kids. So as someone mentioned already, keep things simple, have automatic consequences that are consistent, be firm, but don't lose your cool. Kids are kids; the goal is not to control them externally, but to help them develop internal controls. At this age it can be hard to tell them that they don't get to cry, but they do have to learn that. We have to tell them what emotional reaction is appropriate for a given situation, and what emotional reaction is NOT APPROPRIATE for a given situation, and that if they continue with the inappropriate reaction, there will be a consequence.

            As for consequences, my favorite ones are physical, but not in the way most folks think. Yes, there are occasions where a swat on the tusch is necessary, but I personally reserve that for defiant back-talk. They have to know that that one is absolutely not allowed. But otherwise, I do use physical discipline that looks like running laps in the backyard (for bigger kids) or running stairs (for smaller people who cannot be outside by themselves). Or standing at the door (facing the door, forehead and toes touching the door with arms down at their sides). Any of these options continue until the emotional reaction is over. The physical choice is valuable I think because it is a habit they can use as they get older to deal with their strong emotions. It is what I do when I feel as though I am climbing the walls...I escape and take a walk (or a run, depending on the intensity of the interaction). The physical change that the exercise offers flips the switch on the uncontrollable emotions.

            For me, this has been the simplest, most consistent, most easily enforced, and most rewarding tactics. Not everyone is a strong personality type...I have several children who have only had to run stairs a handful of times in their entire lives. I have others who I have considered joining forces with to begin training for a 5K.

            For those tantrums that are loud and in public, there is no alternative but to leave. Take the child out of the situation, whatever it is, strap them in their car seat, and refuse to move the car until the tantrum stops. If a tantrum starts while we are in the car, I pull over and we stop until the child decides to stop. If they whole family has to leave wherever you are, so be it. We have left church, we have left Target, we have left friends houses, we have left parks, it does not matter. As someone else said, enough times of doing that, and they do get the picture. I don't speak to them other than to remind them calmly that we do not throw tantrums and we will not move the car until the tantrum is over. Repeated over and over.

            That is generally speaking. We do have one who takes the cake. I can say "she" without revealing who because we have six girls. When she was really little, she had nightly tantrums we could not prevent. When she was about your daughter's age, she would look at me and ask me what the punishment was going to be. She would actually consider whether it was going to be worth it or not. She is my greatest challenge, but also one of my most tender kids. She did turn out to be one of my celiac kids...so look for food issues. They are real, and they make a real change. All her symptoms are neurological or skin. So it was hard to pinpoint when she was little. Another thing that helps is coffee. I have never had any of them tested for attention issues, but I have a couple of kids who recently started drinking coffee with me in the morning, and it helps them just like it has always helped me. They get non-dairy creamer in theirs, but it really helps balance them out. Your kids might be a bit young, but from the sounds of it, it might be an idea to file away for later. Strong-willed kids do learn to control themselves, but they do not grow out of being strong-willed.

            I know this because my daughter is like a mini-me. I own it, and it makes me feel a special connection with her. I do not excuse her behavior, but I recognize the challenges that she faces that our other kids do not face. My goal is to help her realize that it is a special set of challenges that God has given her, that He does not give to everyone, and that someday, that strength will help her do what it is that God has in mind for her to do. We have to have a lot of pep-talks, but it does help.

            Hang in there, Lena. At this point, having an oldest child who is 15 and a youngest child who is 2, I often feel like a robot repeating the exact same reminders over and over every day year after year. But don't give up, hang in there, and center your life on prayer - however it works for you. I stay up late to enjoy the quiet then, but find your way of filling yourself up every day to keep going.

            AMDG,
            Sarah
            2020-2021
            16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
            DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
            DS, 17
            DD, 15
            DD, 13
            DD, 11
            DD, 9
            DD, 7
            +DS+
            DS, 2

            Comment


              #7
              Re: OT: Need a pep talk on discipline...

              Originally posted by RanchMom View Post
              When his behavior got really bad (screaming, throwing, etc) we have put him in his room and made him stay in there until he could calm down. This is miserable! I have to stand there and hold the door shut as he's mid melt down. He's thrown things and kicked at the door, he begs. It is horrible! However, it rarely happens now. Very rarely. Every now and again he seems to want to test and make sure we will still do it, but the tantrum is much shorter. Doing this was actually suggested by our pediatrician when I expressed frustration to him.

              Talk to me about putting them in their room! I am 100% onboard with this, but have encountered a few problems. I started this last summer with my oldest daughter, who was having meltdowns every 5 seconds. We later discovered that the problem was a lack of summer routine. We had gone from a lot of structure to no structure at all! Again, as you stated it is unacceptable regardless of any extenuating issues! It took a few times of going to her room before the episodes would go from 30+ min to more like 5. So, again, I know the method is effective. However, where I am struggling is keeping them in their room without me in it. It worked better if I was in it, but then I would have to endure hitting, kicking, stepping on me to try and open door, throwing stuff at me, etc. I was not strong enough to hold the door closed with my son. He could do it for literally 45+ minutes. In one horrific moment, we did switch the door so it locked from the outside, but I don't feel even remotely good about this, so it is not something I feel comfortable with. I'm not sure the alternatives though when I could get hurt or my child could. (We do have behavior and SPD issues, have ruled out autism.....)

              Armymom - I am not apart of a group for moms with behavior problems and the putting them in their bedroom (with parent in it) was suggested by therapists, so I know it is effective, just again not to sure what to do in the beginning when they are hitting/kicking you. The other advice I have seen is to work on ONE behavior and master it. So, talk to your husband and find out what is your biggest hurdle, conquer it, master it. Then, move on to the next issue. We are working on this now. I notice change in my daughters in about 3 days, but my son is more like 2 weeks...and then another 1-2 weeks before mastery - so you really have to hang in there!
              Christine

              (2022/2023)
              DD1 8/23/09 -Mix of MP 6/7
              DS2 9/1/11 - Mix of SC 7/8 and SC 9/10 (R&S 5, FFL)
              DD3 2/9/13 -SC 5/6

              Previous Years
              DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4, Mix of MP3/4, Mix MP5/6
              DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, AAR/Storytime Treasures), CLE Math, Mix of MP3/4, MP5 (literature mix of SC 7/8/MP5)
              DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK, AAR), MP1, MP2

              Comment


                #8
                Re: OT: Need a pep talk on discipline...

                Originally posted by armymom View Post

                Z has from birth been my most challenging child (personality type: I!N!T!J!). (My family is full of adult INTJs and your don't bring them around with peer pressure.).

                I don't have helpful answers (just sympathy, and an interest in reading other responses), but I am an INTJ. I didn't realize we were such a problem to the rest of you?! Why do we need to be "brought around"? Maybe this child is very different in personality from you and that makes it difficult for you to understand each other? Just wondering since you mentioned personality type twice as a negative.
                Melanie
                2021-2022: 13th year homeschooling. 8th MP year.

                A, 12th grade: online classes with MPOA and TPS
                E, 10th grade: 10th grade core; math with MPOA, biology at co-op
                B, 7th grade: 7th grade core; math and comp with MPOA

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: OT: Need a pep talk on discipline...

                  Originally posted by armymom View Post
                  So, this last Sunday we were in church and my son Z, age 4, wanted to know what number hymn we were doing. I was fumbling about and didn't tell him, so he started screaming. We went out for a pep talk and came back and the next hymn came along and I told him the number. But he couldn't find it before the song started (never mind that he isn't going to read along) and he lost it. I was barely able to get his squalling self to the privacy of the ladies room and it took thirty minutes to quell the mini rebellion and get back to church. Had I been standing on the outside, I would have said to myself, he thinks the world should stop because he can't find page 372? What a spoilt little only child that must be. Except he is number three of four!

                  Z has from birth been my most challenging child (personality type: I!N!T!J!). But he is far from the only issue. I got a chore chart and I am attempting to drag son N, age 6, into the world of work (wiping the dining room table) but he is resisting, at very high decibels, six months later. I am afraid that being strict does not come naturally to me and my hubby is if anything less inclined to hold the line, especially if it involves screaming. I am working very hard to be consistent but it feels like every point is a death match. (See story above. A thirty minute tantrum. Because the song started too fast. We have done the same song and dance over such fun topics as being willing to open the Velcro on shoes.). I am particularly struggling because in a month we are going to be taking a trip with my in-laws. Z's behavior mortifies them, and they quietly believe that preschool would have done wonders toward making him more flexible and cooperative. Honestly, his behavior is mortifying, though I doubt their preschool thesis. (My family is full of adult INTJs and your don't bring them around with peer pressure.).

                  Oddly, school is our best part of the day. We do LCC with lots of MP materials and they are fairly natural students and outside some weeping over copywork, the day often goes quite smoothly. But, for the moment it feels like homeschool socialization is raising up prima Donna misfits rather than model citizens. And from the outside it looks like strict parents have this all together. They decide on the law, enforce the law and small people see the futility of their ways and jump on board. Meanwhile, my kids throw themselves at known fences with much hysterical crying. And I am getting tired. Tired that ever single ounce of civilized social behavior is bought with hours of miserable enforcement. Tired of the embarrassment that my children can't handle little things like being polite enough to greet people because I haven't worked myself up to the effort yet of making them.

                  So, this forum seems to have some parents that manage a pretty well run ship. What do you tell yourself? Do you have drama queens? I am not sure I can manage total consistency but I am working on being dogged about my requirements. Will this really bear fruit eventually? How do you pick your battles? How do you subdue the rounds of tears? Have you had a child that knows the consequence, believes the consequence, but just has to anyway? And what do you tell yourself when all those long term goals of homeschooling still seem mythic rather than actually bearing fruit?

                  Lena
                  I have a 4yo son -- AKA the drama-queen screamer -- who is also third of four children. And my husband is ENTJ -- way more of a control freak, if you can believe that. I laughed OUT LOUD at this post (hope you don't mind!). It started at 3.5 and has escalated. He FREAKS OUT about NOTHING. But it will pass. My oldest was a monster at 4. By 5, he mellowed considerably. And he's my best helper and chore-completer now. So don't worry.

                  Chores: Be consistent. Every day. Quietly enforce consequences. "If you do this, that happens. If you don't do that, this happens." Follow through. Again: Be consistent. Every day. Quietly enforce consequences. Follow through. Repeat.

                  They'll get it. They'll SCREAM AND PITCH A BLOODY FIT AT FIRST. But they'll get it. INTJ likes to be in charge. Give him a chore that puts him in charge.
                  Last edited by Anita; 06-28-2016, 09:23 AM.
                  “If I should fall even a thousand times a day, a thousand times, with peaceful repentance, I will say immediately, Nunc Coepi, ‘Now, I begin.’.”

                  ~Venerable Bruno Lanteri
                  ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
                  Wonder Boy 14 ... MP5 + R&S Math 6
                  Joy Bubble 12 ... MP5 full core
                  Cowboy 10 ... MP5 + R&S Math 4
                  Sassafras 6 ... MP1
                  All … SSPX Catechesis

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: OT: Need a pep talk on discipline...

                    [QUOTE=howiecram;45264]Talk to me about putting them in their room!


                    In our case I have been able to hold the door shut with him yanking on it. When he starts throwing stuff I go in and remove anything that's available for him to throw, or at least anything that I think might do real damage. I don't say a word. I can imagine feeling pretty awful about switching the door, but if that's what it takes for now then I think that's absolutely ok. When our pediatrician first recommended doing this he suggested installing a lock on the outside if it would help. I'd probably get funny looks from people that came by, but oh well I guess!
                    I try to stay totally silent when he's in there except for occasionally, calmly reminding him that once he calms down he can come out. I usually wind up grabbing a kitchen chair and putting it outside his door so I can sit and hold the door since I might be in for the long haul!
                    Jen H
                    DD 7 years old, 2nd grade
                    DS 5 yrs old, Jr K

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: OT: Need a pep talk on discipline...

                      To all,

                      Reading a series of stray comments, mine and others, does bring to my attention that this could very well be a summer problem. He loves the control he feels when he knows what happens every day. He loathes vacation because he gets very homesick for the familiar. So goody, we are starting school in less than two weeks. We are staring early this year...because we are moving from Germany to Washington DC this winter. Any thoughts on handling a MAJOR life transition with a child who hates change? He knows it is coming and that both of his parents are super excited about how awesome it will be to go home to America.

                      Sarah,

                      Thank you for sharing that even with a system there are still children that barely get with the program. He is the child most like me of the four. And he is so bright. I do enjoy his insights. I have a couple of specific questions though. Did leaving church work? I am afraid he might throw a tantrum every week if it meant he could sit in the car with me instead of going to church. Do you ever travel? I do try to leave places over tantrums, but when we are on the rode he and I don't eat of we can't manage a little restaurant behavior. I like the physical exercise idea, but it will take adaptation for now as we have a postage stamp of a yard and neighbors that complain about our children walking on the stairs, so running them is out. We do have a basement but with a jungle gym. Finally how does the wall thing work if they are collapsed in tears? Do you hold them in place? Just wait till they recover and will stand? They are often deposited in their room to compose themselves if life is too much but when Z is upset I have to move him because pretty much nothing will get him to obey at that point. Do the miles of stairs make a dent in the end? Oh, and did you have to instill consequences to get your children to pleasantly greet others? Mine are all shy, especially in crowds, so a smile and hello at church is still a trial.

                      I appreciate the advice all. And this is the first time in five years that all of our children are sleeping through the night, so we are all about fresh starts this year!

                      Lena

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: OT: Need a pep talk on discipline...

                        This is two of my children -- especially one of my sons. If he's been this way since birth, he may have some trouble with executive function which has to do with working memory, mental flexibility and self-control. It doesn't necessarily mean he's ADHD or anything, it just means that, for whatever reason, his brain has a hard time dealing with certain situations. We've struggled with my son since birth and have only the past couple of years begun to understand what's actually going on (due in part to experiencing it again with one of our daughters). Knowing the root (or being 95% sure) does not excuse the behavior, but has helped us tremendously to understand what may be causing it.

                        The biggest struggle for our son is mental flexibility: the ability to shift gears when things change or if one approach doesn't work in a problem, or if he can't figure something out, etc. This then feeds into the self-control issue.

                        He takes nearly everything literally, HATES even slight changes and tells us that "it doesn't make sense!" when we explain a temporary shift in the normal rules or an exception to the norm. He also doesn't know how to verbalize negative emotions and this led to SEVERE tantrums when he was a toddler; he didn't know how else to express what he was feeling if the feelings were negative. Like Christine, I was in a room with him while he threw stuff, screamed and once even shoved the mattress off my bed. Maturity has helped a lot, but he's just now (at middle-school age) getting to the point where he is able to attempt using words to describe his feelings instead of tantrum-ing or shutting down.

                        With our daughter (who is 4) we have begun labeling for her, encouraging her to use her words (or at least point or nod/shake her head) to verbalize what she is feeling. This has helped AMAZINGLY with her and I wish we had known this years ago for my son!

                        Again, consistency is key and the challenge doesn't give them a free pass, but knowing what's behind it definitely helps guide how we can effectively overcome it. Just remember that it will be a process, approach it as a team effort WITH your son and rejoice in your child's little victories at overcoming their challenges. I rejoiced when I saw my little girl take a deep breath after getting hurt instead of shutting down or breaking into a tantrum. It was beautiful because I finally understood how hard this was for her.
                        Last edited by jen1134; 06-28-2016, 09:44 AM.
                        Jennifer
                        Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

                        2022
                        DS18: Graduated and living his dream in the automotive trades
                        DS17: MP, MPOA, headed to his favorite liberal arts college this fall
                        DS15: MP, MPOA
                        DS13: Mix of SC 5/6 & SC 7/8
                        DD11: Mix of 5M and SC7/8
                        DD10: SC3
                        DD7: MPK

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: OT: Need a pep talk on discipline...

                          Lena,
                          As you can see from everyone's experience, children of this age can be really tough! But I have to agree that structure and routine help a lot, and so does talking "for" them. I model for them what they need to say when they need to apologize to me, or to someone else, and they don't get away with, "I'm sorry." I say, "Repeat after me: I am sorry for being rude. I will not talk to you that way again. I am sorry I hurt your feelings." Something like that. Always more specific, admitting the actual thing that was wrong, and then the way they will behave from now on. I model it for them and expect them to apologize that way all the time. I think it starts clicking at around, um, 12. (not kidding...still modeling, but they at least "get it" at those older ages. they still don't know what to say exactly, but they get that it needs to be "more")

                          As for your specific reply questions:
                          Did leaving church work? I am afraid he might throw a tantrum every week if it meant he could sit in the car with me instead of going to church.
                          Sitting in a car seat with a car not moving is a lot less fun than seeing all the people at church. He might do it for weeks, but you have to keep trying. But it is also about not disturbing the Mass for the people who are trying to pray. I take that very seriously. I explain that to them when they finally calm down. If they call down, I tell them we can go back in if they are quiet. And if we go back in, they have to stay in the vestibule. I tell them that if they stay quiet in the vestibule, then we can go and rejoin our family in the front. And I follow through on that. I try to instill in them that "in with the family" is where they want to be. The folks at our church sometimes see us in and out several times. But we are teaching, and we are keeping it quiet for them. In the end, they learn to behave.

                          If we are in the church and they simply start to get loud or fussy, out to the vestibule we go - standing, quietly, with them holding my hand. If they quiet down, I will ask them if they are ready to go back in, and if they don't say yes, we continue. But the vestibule is boring. You can't see anything. So they don't like it. There are stages where we have to do this weekly for a long time, but they do eventually learn. And we do sit in the front so they can see, rather than just the backs of people. For these stages of their lives my prayer at Mass takes place in the context of teaching them to behave, even if I miss a lot. I keep praying, but dealing with the behavior too.

                          Do you ever travel? I do try to leave places over tantrums, but when we are on the rode he and I don't eat of we can't manage a little restaurant behavior.
                          We used to travel a lot more than we do now. We always lived at least 5 hours away from family, so it was always days of long car travel. But yes, we have taken them out of restaurants and out to the car. My dh would box up our food, and bring it out to us when they are done, but we would sit in the car while everyone else was finishing. The thing for us is that we really enjoy being together, as a group. So when a young one is deprived of that privilege for misbehaving, it is not as nice. I tell them that if they cannot treat their family well, they do not get to be around their family. It does click, eventually.

                          I like the physical exercise idea, but it will take adaptation for now as we have a postage stamp of a yard and neighbors that complain about our children walking on the stairs, so running them is out. We do have a basement but with a jungle gym.
                          We have had that problem before (row home, Philly). But there is always jumping jacks, push ups, sit ups, running in place. Instead of "sets of stairs" you can set a time on your phone. The threat can be, "That will be one minute....that will be five minutes," etc. If they fuss while doing it, then the time starts over. If they will not even cooperate to do that, then they do have to go to their room until I come talk to them.

                          Finally how does the wall thing work if they are collapsed in tears? Do you hold them in place? Just wait till they recover and will stand? They are often deposited in their room to compose themselves if life is too much but when Z is upset I have to move him because pretty much nothing will get him to obey at that point. Do the miles of stairs make a dent in the end?
                          When they are collapsed in tears or anxiety, I calmly try to hold them. If they are little enough, I hold them tightly and I say, "You are throwing a tantrum and you need to stop. I am holding you to help you stop." Over and over. When they calm, we talk. If they are big, I try to come sit near them and gradually try to sneak in and hold them. This is where keeping your cool becomes so necessary. When they have lost it, I don't see that as something on me, it is something that is plaguing them. I try to use physical touch to help them calm...rubbing their back, rubbing their head, something like that. Gentleness wins over in our house a lot better than more anxiety.

                          These are different types of moments than the "you are behaving in appropriately...go stand at the door." The standing at the door is more for when you have told them to stop doing a behavior (like being a pest, or teasing a sibling) and they just won't quit. The miles of stairs do help, and it doesn't take days either. They have to keep running until their mood changes. If they stop, and start doing the bad behavior again, back to it they go. They start to see that I am not angry with them, that I am actually trying to help them. And they see that they feel better when it is over, rather than feeling as though we have been through a knock-down drag out fight. I don't like fights. I avoid them at all costs. So when I can give them something positive to do, they understand that I am actually on their side rather than the enemy.

                          Oh, and did you have to instill consequences to get your children to pleasantly greet others? Mine are all shy, especially in crowds, so a smile and hello at church is still a trial.
                          We have famously shy kids at certain ages. Our friends at church know that, and simply avoid trying to draw them out until they are about three, or even older. I don't sweat it. They come around on their own schedule. I never forced them into that at all. My husband is more introverted, and I know that several of the kids really take after him. Our shyest was our oldest. She would "accept" my husband holding her if necessary, but even that was a stretch. My husband was in grad school full-time and working 40 hours a week. She was used to it being just her and I all day long, so that is what she wanted. Major reactions from family over it, but, so what. That was how she was, and that was what she needed. She is so beautiful now. Works a job where she interacts with the "public" all day long, if she is not out in the fields. She did have to "learn" to talk to people, as it was not "natural" for her. Even that was not until she started working, but it was just right for her. I put that totally into God's hands - that He will give them what they need when they need it. Relieves a lot of pressure on me - being as imperfect as I am!

                          HTHs!
                          AMDG,
                          Sarah
                          2020-2021
                          16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
                          DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
                          DS, 17
                          DD, 15
                          DD, 13
                          DD, 11
                          DD, 9
                          DD, 7
                          +DS+
                          DS, 2

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                            #14
                            Re: OT: Need a pep talk on discipline...

                            Hello- I am not sure if what you are dealing with is the same thing I am or not, but it sure sounds similar. Like you I have a son who "freaks out" at every little thing, and anger/tantrums were his "go-to" coping mechanism. We found out that he is dealing with an anxiety problem. It manifests as very bad behavior, but when you dig a little deeper, it is a severe insecurity that comes out as huge anger outbursts that are based in fear. Assigning consequences in the typical way, just makes the fear and associated anger outbursts no better, or even worse- no matter how consistent you are, no matter how long you keep trying and applying. Things like finding the right number in time, feeling at all left out or pegged by another child (this one is huge) not understanding the lesson or being unable to get it quickly enough, having to change activities too quickly, not being "good at stuff" having to do something that wasn't his idea, and unfamiliar food- all will trigger the anxiety, out-of-control feelings, and the anxiety will trigger the outbursts and fight response. The predictability of the Memoria routine provides a structure and safety to our days that helps my child feel more in control. Sounds like you are finding the same, glory to God...

                            For myself it is SO hard when I am with other parents, relatives, or out in public, and I am trying to figure out how to respond to an outburst without making an even bigger scene. My thoughts run: "Oh no- they are going to think I am a terrible parent for not immediately assigning a consequence for this awful behavior. But if I do, the behavior will spin even more out of control, because the consequence causes even more anxiety response-and then things are going to get really ugly right in front of them, while they get a good public look at all my dirty laundry...ahhhhhh! Trigger my own freeze response." In this case, I used to basically "leave" because I didn't know how to deal with the situation. I needed to get some professional help to deal with this problem, to be honest. I had to learn how to not to let the judginess of others get to me- to tune it out and think- "what does my child need right now, regardless of what I am feeling."

                            What Sarah suggested in particular reads right from the methods a psychologist suggested- about physical consequence (with anxiety kids, it has to be assigned with total calmness, not like a "punishment" assigned in anger- more like you are coaching them through the consequence, making it really clear that the consequence is to help them- you are using the consequence to help overcome the strong emotion, remaining "on their side" as their strong and in-control "coach" through the whole process. She calls it "emotional regulation" which is just a fancy way of saying "make them do something very rhythmic and physical until they are able to calm down enough to talk to you, and understand what you are trying to teach them about the behavior." There is so much to say about this, but this is getting long- please feel free to PM me if you want to talk. And again- I have no idea if you are dealing with the same issues, or just true discipline problems without anxiety- but I thought this might help a bit, just in case!

                            Maria

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                              #15
                              Re: OT: Need a pep talk on discipline...

                              A MILLION TIMES YES ON HOLDING!!!!

                              We discovered this with our son, but we saw it as a way to "control his behavior" because we thought he was "strong-willed". It just devolved into power struggles. With our daughter, I didn't do the holding because I would get so mad during the whole thing. But I knew she needed to be held during these episodes so I decided to change my perspective on it and began scooping her up as I would if she was hurt. I rock her, tell her I'm helping her calm down, etc. She often fights me, kicks, or tries to bite but I just keep holding her as if she was hurt and keep my focus on nurturing. Sometimes talking helps more, sometimes she needs silence. Either way, we sit and rock until I know she's ready. Sometimes she tells me she's ready but I know she's not so I tell her she's not quite ready yet and we stay where we are.
                              Jennifer
                              Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

                              2022
                              DS18: Graduated and living his dream in the automotive trades
                              DS17: MP, MPOA, headed to his favorite liberal arts college this fall
                              DS15: MP, MPOA
                              DS13: Mix of SC 5/6 & SC 7/8
                              DD11: Mix of 5M and SC7/8
                              DD10: SC3
                              DD7: MPK

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