Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Such a sweet, innocent smile. This kid could never need discipline, right? Wrong.

Awhile ago, Micah was testing his limits by showing his anger and frustration through physical hitting. Lately he has gotten better and hasn't been hitting as much. He has also been learning more words so he is starting to communicate better, which decreases his frustrations, I'm sure. But one day last week he was playing in the cupboard in the kitchen with the glass bowls and after I told him that he was not to play with them, he got up with a bowl in his hand so when I went to take it away from him he could run away. I caught him and pried the bowl from his death-grip, but he squared up and hit me in the face. I grabbed both of his hands and very sternly told him that is unacceptable and that he does NOT hit. I took him by the hand and led him to the wall so he could sit for a minute of time out. I sat there with him and told him that he needs to make good choices and listen to me when I ask something of him. He sat there the whole time with his head down. He knew it was wrong. He's finally getting it. We have occasionally had to spank him, too. I'm not sure how I feel about the whole "You DO NOT HIT!" so I'll spank you. I've had to swat his behind when he's been squirming too badly on the changing table.

One time when we were at Dave's parents house after soccer, Micah was not listening to us and was whining pretty bad. Dave's dad was trying to talk to us about something, but finally David said "hang on dad, I need to deal with this" and he took Micah down to the bedroom, flung him across his lap, pulled down his pants and smacked his behind. Micah came back into the room with little tears almost spilling over, but he behaved much better after that.

I don't like to spank because usually when I do it I'm frustrated with his behavior. I have a hard time being calm in certain situations. His incessant screaming and whining gets on my nerves. Often when we're driving in the car Micah will scream. One way to get around that is to give him something to eat. He's always content when he's eating! But since I don't want an one hundred pound toddler I'm not going to give him food every chance he acts up. I'm not sure how to keep him from screaming in the car. If I try to give him a toy or book, he chucks it. Sometimes he'll even take his shoes and/or socks off and throw them. We have a little game we play, which calms him down. He locks his car door using his foot, and I can unlock it from the front. We go back and forth with that for awhile, which is a great, safe game because I don't have to turn around to look at him or use my hands to reach back there. I also sing to him, but I'll admit that it's very hard to keep singing when I can't even hear myself because he's still screaming. This morning, though, I went through the ABC's a couple times and Old McDonald Had a Farm about 6 times (with every animal I could think of that makes a noise I can imitate!) and he quieted down. Some days being a mom is exhausting!

So, does anyone have any great advice on how to keep a child from screaming during a 25 minute car ride? Or any creative ideas on ways to calm an aggressive child? If your children are older, does it get any better? I've heard from another mom that her 10 year old has always let out his frustration by kicking and hitting and throwing things around, so she makes him go to his room, do what he needs to do to let it all out, and then she deals with him when he's calmer.

1 comment:

Tom said...

How to keep a toddler from screaming? Not sure you can keep him from screaming. I suggest getting a sound proof glass barrier installed between the front and back seats, like in a limo. I'm looking into it for us because sometimes both the girls are screaming.