A trip to Vancouver

Willis and discipline

About two weeks ago Willis eliminated his naps.  Up until then he was napping from about 1:30-3:30, 5 days out of 7.  It was grande, but he was also having difficulty going to bed at his bedtime which is 8:00, so I wasn't really sad when we were over them.
In lieu of his naps, Willis was now given 2 hours of "quiet" time, which ranges from laying low and watching a movie to playing quietly in his room, to reading books on the couch.  He needs this time as much as I do.
Last week in San Diego he had neither naps nor quiet time to 'regulate' his 3.5 year old mood swings and thusly we found ourselves dealing with a bossy, attitude filled little boy.  This was completely unchartered territory for us, so we decided to just ride it out and hope that it was simply the circumstances that brought this out in him.
Now that we're home and I've reestablished a routine (which is so important for this little boy), I'm finding that his temper is flaring less but will occasionally make an appearance.  He still enjoys his quiet time and has even in the past two days told me he was tired and wanted to nap.  Reluctantly, I let him because it was already 3:30, but was pleased to see that his sleeping an hour so late in the afternoon didn't affect his nighttime routine.

Dan and I have had a chance to wrap our brains around discipline and have come up with a solution that works for us and so far has been effective at calming Willis down during one of his fits.  The problem is that I think he just got so used to being given everything by everyone and now we're seeing the ramifications of that.  He needs to win.  He needs to have the best.
Not good.
Sure, I want my son to have that competitive drive, but I also want him to be able to lose or not be the best and be pleased with himself because he knew he did his very best.

Anyway, there's going to be a whole lot of changes made to the way he's treated and this is one of them:
When he starts to talk back or not listen, I usually just say, Willis, when Mommy or Daddy tell you something, you need to listen.  At that point the conversation goes either of two ways.  1) He actually listens.  The key here is giving him enough to time to digest the idea and then come to terms with it.  He doesn't do well being told what to do and then expected to do it immediately.  He's a thinker.  or 2) he throws a yelling/kicking/screaming fit saying No carrots, no timeout, no outside, no bathroom........  I then tell him that I'm going to bring him up to his room for a time out, but I'll give him 5 seconds to calm down and talk it through with me.  I count to five, if he has calmed down and isn't crying and can muster out a sentence then we can talk it out and I can reason with him.  If, however he is still freaking his freak when I've done my countdown, then it's straight to his room until he calms himself down and comes downstairs to talk it out with me.

So far, it's been working.  But behind my smile, I'll be crossing my fingers because like everything else in parenting, I'm sure this is all going to change.


  1. ah yes, how changes in routine can affect a three year old - like when we took you to alaska in june and the daylight all the time totally messed you up for sleeping plus that's when you started bedwetting - our poor little darling!! good luck with the discipline thing!


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