When T started getting into more and more things, we realized we had to start discipline somehow. We had a fantastic conversation with great friend’s of ours. Their pediatrician suggested timeouts at their daughter’s 1 year appointment (she’s 6 months older than T). I’ve never heard of timeouts with such young kids, so of course I turned to my handy dandy mommy blogs! A lot of people agreed and a lot of others disagreed…. So after another few weeks of frustrations (for all 3 of us), Watson and I agreed to give it a shot.
We decided to take a few methods and mash it all up into our own special brand of “try it and call it parenting”. A lot of people (our friend’s included) said 1 minute for every year, and that made some logical sense, so we started there and it actually made a lot of difference. We did notice pretty quickly that you cannot put him in timeout and walk away. We have to put him in time out and sit down with him and calmly explain (ha! there’s a trick in itself) why he’s in time out and that he needs to sit down with mommy in time out for 1 minute because of <insert negative behavior>. After the minute is up I thank him for doing so well and we hug and get up. He. Does. Awesome~ We very rarely had to ask him twice not to repeat something.
Then he turned 17 months and it’s like someone turned a switch on in him. We’d go to do time out and he started hitting at me. Throwing himself around trying to get out. It has been insane and absolutely obnoxious trying to maintain my sanity let alone not want to cook him up and serve him for dinner (kidding! sort of….). So back to the boards, and 30 thousand pieces of advice later decided we’d go back to the basics. For every hit, we extend his time out another 60 seconds. The hardest thing for me to do is to remain stone faced in the corner with him and keep saying “That is not acceptable, we don’t hit people and definitely not mommy’s. We have to sit in time out another minute because you hit me”. Thus far, one of the hardest things I’ve had to do is just sit there and let him hit at me. My heart just breaks in half every time.
It takes about 4 minutes and then all of a sudden he just sits down in my lap quietly and starts talking to me! I tell him again how hitting hurts mommy and its not nice. How when he hits we have to sit longer in timeout, which isn’t fun. We finish out the 60 seconds from the last hit and then I let him know we can get up if he feels ready, but he doesn’t always get up. Some times its almost as if the tantrum was because he just needed to sit quietly and needed my undivided attention for those few minutes. It’s been a month and I feel like sometimes it works, and sometimes I’m just being beaten on unfairly. Somebody tell me my sweet baby will come back!!!