I have two neighbors with the same name.  I’m just going to refer to them as Left Neighbor (LN) and Right Neighbor (RN).  This post is mostly about LN but now you know for future reference.

LN has a husband and four kids.  When her kids go to bed at night they do not get out of bed.  They will get a spanking if they do.

When her kids eat dinner they are required to clean their plates or they will sit there all night until bed time.

They are not allowed to drink anything after 6:00. (I think this is to prevent night time accidents but her 11-year-old doesn’t get a drink after 6 either so I don’t know)

They are not allowed a drink with dinner.

These are some of the rules I’m aware of in their home.

Her kids are really good.  They listen well when they are over playing with Luke and I don’t think I’ve ever seen one of them instigate a fight over taking a toy away from another kid.  It’s always pleasant when they are here.

Well.  Sort of.  One day all three boys were over (her 4th is a girl) and A, the youngest boy was in the house talking with me while I cleaned up in the kitchen and the other boys were in the back yard.  I got distracted and walked over to the door to tell the boys outside something and I left the faucet running.

“HEY!  You’re wasting water, Miss Stacey!!!!”

I mean, the kid had a point, I guess.  So besides getting yelled at by a 3-year-old, they are good.

Recently I’ve struggled with Luke.

He throws a fit about what I’m making for dinner before he even knows what it is.  And then it’s a fight during dinner about eating.

He doesn’t go to bed and stay in his bed so he usually falls asleep on the couch and I carry him up.  Not a good habit.

There are few other things but I guess my point here is to ask a few questions so I would appreciate you answers.

Sometimes I think LN is way too strict but man, her kids DO listen, however, they come over begging me for drinks so I don’t know.  I’d like to think I’m not too strict or too easy but with the age of three has come some difficulties and it seems harder lately.  Maybe I’m getting too easy and not realizing it.

I might need to check myself before I wreck myself.  (I just wanted to say that)

Here you go:

What is your form of discipline?

Do you “pick your battles”?  Like are certain things more important to you then others?  Example:  Would you rather have your child behave nice or eat all of his dinner?

How do you react when your child is whining and crying?  Or do you just put them in their room until they calm down or do you just try to ignore right there?

What is bedtime like with your kids?

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  1. I only have like ONE BAZILLION opinions on this.

    I do not want my child to run wild, to hurt others or himself, or to think that he can get what he wants by whining. BUT. When he grows up, he is going to follow societal norms and not whine and cry whether I teach him to or not. I don’t think it’s important that he knows every single rule in life by age 3 or whatever. I think it’s more important to have fun. Like maybe he won’t be a good eater now, but he’ll figure it out eventually, and his taste buds will change, so as long as he eats enough to be healthy, I’m not going to worry about it. And maybe he’s excessively loud now, but as long as he’s not bothering anyone, I don’t care. And maybe he isn’t the best about bedtime right now, but it’s not like he’ll be crying in his bed when he’s 15. He’s just a kid. I do not agree with the method of your neighbor at all, though I don’t think she’s hurting them. I just think she’s missing out on fun. And I don’t get the no drink thing. If her kids are begging for drinks, it seems like maybe they need them.

    So to answer your questions.

    We follow the discipline method of the book 1 2 3 Magic. If he’s doing something bad, we might say, “That’s 1 for whining.” If he keeps whining, “That’s 2 for whining.” And then if he talks back to us, “That’s 3 for talking back.” Then he gets a timeout for as long as his age (almost 3 minutes). Some things – like hitting or throwing – are an automatic time out. We do not spank.

    I think you can tell from my above humongous comment that we do pick our battles.

    We count for whining. I ignore crying. My husband usually counts for crying if it’s ridiculous.

    Ren goes up to his bed at bedtime without too much complaint, usually. Then H sits in the room with him for about 15 minutes. Ren is usually asleep by then. Every once in a while it takes Ren forever to fall asleep, and one of us will usually sit with him the whole time. We don’t interact with him; we just stay in the room. Ren usually HATES taking a nap, and he’ll cry in his bed. He’s so dramatic. Most of the time he’ll fall asleep after 20 minutes or so. If he’s still awake after that, we’ll let him skip the nap.

    • Stacey

       /  October 18, 2011

      I like that 1 2 3 method! I think I’m going to start that. Luke is very dramatic also!!

      • The book is really good. It’s practical and gives good examples of how to implement discipline methods.

  2. I’ve several opinions on your neighbor’s forms of discipline. I think spanking for getting out of bed is harsh….. too harsh. The eating everything on the rule plate…. Do not like at all! Some times kids just aren’t hungry…. hell, sometimes I’m just not that hungry at meal time. The rule we have is if our boys chose to not eat their meal they will not get a snack after said meal. I’m not letting them eat junk over healthy food. I’m also aware of how much food I put on my boys’ plates. Sometimes I’ll put a little extra just to see if they eat a few extra beans, for example. I don’t expect them to eat every bite.

    I can understand the do drinking after a certain time rule…. within reason. But if a child ask for something to drink, I would find it hard to not give them something. And not drinking with a meal…. wow!

    Whining is just part of being a kid and dealing with it as a parent. I’ve been in a mood the past few days almost to the point of whining. I think that’s just part of life. For my boys….. times I just ignore it, sometimes I send them to quiet time to get over it and sometimes I give in. I enjoy being spoiled on occasion so I’m sure they do too.

    I think parenting is all about balance. I want my children to respect me NOT fear me! Luke is probably like my kids….. they’re a lot better for other people and more well behaved for others than they are me.

    • Stacey

       /  October 18, 2011

      That is true about Luke. Every one else thinks he behaves wonderful while he’s driving me insane.

  3. Sass

     /  October 20, 2011

    I agree with the other comments. Yes, I pick my battles. As far as crying it depends on what it is. If he’s just whining then I ignore it and tell him to use his words that I won’t respond to whining. If he asks for a hug I will always give it to him. Lately he’s been saying, “I need a hug!” whenever something isn’t right and I eat that right up.

    As far as dinner, my child doesn’t eat. Last night he had apple slices. Sometimes I will give him something separate to eat as long as it is easy but I don’t stress about food. He won’t even try foods yet. He’s picky. He’s 2. He won’t be picky forever and I refuse to make it a battle at the table (I had an eating disorder for years, I will not have food be an issue if I can prevent it)

    We’ve tried time outs but he doesn’t quite get it yet and he’s been pretty good about responding to corrections (keep your hands to yourself, sharing, etc)

  4. Wow, lots of questions. No drinks seems extreme. I mean we don’t like accidents so I say if you want to do X, you have to go potty now just to be on the safe side. Discipline is time-outs for repeated naughtiness. I give a couple warnings then I do the time-out. Apologies are mandatory, too. I also count 1-5 and sometimes there is no threat when I get to 5 but Ian takes it seriously most times–I think he’s worried about what comes after 5! Bedtime is pretty good. Knock on wood, Arthur goes down the same time as big bro Ian or a little earlier. We do books with both or read to them together. Arthur gets snuggles and songs and then down he goes. Ian wants verbal stories from daddy, lights on, door open, and for one of us to be next door in our room which we oblige to until he falls asleep. If he gets out of bed and wants to play/talk I tell him the lights will go off or that I’m going downstairs and he runs to his bed like his pants are on fire! Throw in some teeth brushing and baths before that and you have bedtime. Ian used to go down after some books, but it’s semi-new that he wants at least one of us upstairs in the next room and lights on. If it helps him settle, we oblige. He can come into our bed if it’s after 4-5am, and he was a fan of this, but as of late, he skips trying to crash our bed. Now that I’ve written that it’s somewhat smooth, you know all hell is gonna break loose!! It depends on the situation for picking battles. Do I want to get all crazy with timeouts in a store if Ian has acted up? No, so I might save that for when we get home–but we will leave the store right away. For eating, I try to negotiate. So if he wants dessert but hasn’t eaten much and is screaming I tell him that he doesn’t have to eat it all, but he has to have 2 bites. Then I talk up dessert and usually he will do that much for me. I always try to get something if I’m going to cave or not push an issue. That way, I feel like I’m spoiling less and teaching something (I hope??).


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