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Picking your battles vs. discipline

Posted by on Sep. 2, 2013 at 11:45 PM
  • 15 Replies

I know a huge part of our world, or any parents world, is picking your battles, but when is it time to discipline? I give up on things that I thought mattered all if the time so we don't have battles. They are things that at one time seemed so important, but turned out that they weren't. Still, Isn't it important to have a few rules? Rules that I would like to have and I think my son is capable of doing are: play quietly while your sister is sleeping and do not pull all the covers off my bed every day and then spit on my bed. I'm sure there are others that will come up, but these are the two that have been a problem lately. Do these sound like fair rules? How oh how do I go about implementing them- especially about being quiet while baby sister is sleeping? 

by on Sep. 2, 2013 at 11:45 PM
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by Member on Sep. 3, 2013 at 2:22 AM

I have the same issue about baby sister,  I have a 2 story so tell him he can't go upstairs but sometimes I give in because he wants to be in his room :( I can't help it.  I always say I choose my battles, we have a lot in common sorry not much help.

by Member on Sep. 3, 2013 at 4:45 AM

I choose my battles...sometimes doctors and such gripe but hey ...if my child doesnt want to wear underwear today i say FINE dont ...his teachers now take his shoes and socks off as soon as he gets to school because he likes to take them off anyway and the socks get flushed ....picking my battles saves a little sanity

by Darby on Sep. 3, 2013 at 6:28 AM

I choose my battles for sure.  If I didn't, I'd be a helicopter parent and I'd be on his case all day long...not the way I want to be!  Hugs mama!

by on Sep. 3, 2013 at 6:46 AM
I hold my son to the same standard as I would any kids. Our house is a no hitting throwing house that's an automatic time out. We are working on the no screaming that's a stop no we don't scream. And then he's removed from the situation until he can calm down.

But as I would if he were NT I don't fight with him about wanting to always wear shorts or no shoes. I wouldn't argue with any kid about that. I think those are the little things to many parents get hung up on.
by Jen on Sep. 3, 2013 at 9:03 AM
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I see some parents trying to control every single thing their child does....don't say that.....stop playing with have to do it this way....stop that now.....get no no......cut it out.....say please......tell her sorry.......put that back......

It's exhausting watching them. I know they are only trying to be 'good' parents but when you push so hard, kids push back. I mean, who likes to be controlled??

Having boundaries is important and having rules that don't change is important too. Everything in moderation. You don't need to control. Every waking second of a child's life yet that doesn't mean let them have free range either.

So if my kid is insisting he gets the blue cup, I just give him the blue cup. It's not a big deal to me. If he wants to dip his wooden trains into a tall glass of orange juice for entertainment (true story) I say no. Like blue is appropriate. Sticking toys into orange juice is not.
Sometimes he wants to play with his wooden trains in the water at the kitchen sink. I don't want them ruined so I will allow him to play with plastic or die cast cars in the water, but not the trains.

Teaching your child to be quiet while the baby sleeps is a great skill and appropriate. You will have to teach him about the idea of being quiet over time depending how quickly he learns. You could make a picture showing someone shushing into their finger and also do it yourself and practice. Try it during different times at home or even while out like at the library. I don't know how old or how high or low functioning he is but it's fun to put different materials into clear bottles and then to play soft and loud with them. For example, fill one bottle up with paper clips, another with feathers and another with bells. Shake them and listen for loud and soft. Keep showing him the picture of soft or quiet so he learns to associate it. Then while the baby is asleep, put up the picture and remind him.
He probably won't get it at first so you'll have to maybe take him to another room or even outside to keep him quiet but keep practicing.
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by on Sep. 3, 2013 at 10:46 AM

I am not a helicopter parent. If my son sings over and over or is loud I just try to ignore it. The only thing I really discipline my son is if he is not listening to me about something.

by Emma on Sep. 3, 2013 at 11:50 AM
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I set boundaries in the sense that "If it's in your room and I can't see or hear it and you aren't burning the house down, do whatever you want."

if he's an inch from me, I'm totally the "If you can't find a way to talk with an inside voice, you're going to have to go be further away from me until you want to use an inside voice." kind of a mom.

If it's in his own space and he's not hurting himself or anyone else, I let him be. If he's out socializing, we have to follow some basic social rules, simply to coexist peacefully.

Life does not revolve around him, or any one person. We are a family unit, everyone's needs and wants are taken into consideration. That means if his sister NEEDS to sleep - he's expected to go read a book, or quietly watch a movie, or do something to entertain himself quietly until she's done. If he's sleeping, I expect the same thing from his sister. I'll remind her, that her brother's resting, and it's time to find a quieter activity.

I hold my NT child to similar standards when it comes to social rules... but she has the same freedom to do whatever she wants as long as it's not illegal, or destructive.

My son requires a lot more supervision, and I frequently tell him I'd like him to have more freedom because it's tiring having to watch him all the time... our only issue is his ability to make good choices unsupervised. His room is safe... but everywhere else, he needs one eye on him. Even though he KNOWS how to play, destruction is his go to happy place... and he won't destroy his own toys, but his sisters, or our garden, or the fences, or throwing rocks? Oh yeah. I'm totally the mom that has to remind him to "stop" 5000 times and keep redirecting him to playing in ways that are acceptable and less destructive.

It's hard. I use a lot of redirection, and rewards... because other stuff just doesn't work as well. I also use "5 minute" breaks when I can't redirect him but need to stop whatever he's doing. He hates them. but it gives him and everyone else a few minutes before we start over again. His time outs are usually more for our sanity than his though.

by Emma on Sep. 3, 2013 at 11:58 AM

Basically my point above was boundaries and consistancy are huge. I often come off as a super strict parent because I won't budge on a rule. but my son needs that consistancy. I have to follow through if I say something.... I try not to say things in the heat of the moment, or make anything that remotely sounds like a promise either.

There are rules that have to be followed. He isn't going to get special treatment in life and I don't want him to expect it. I hold him to the same standards and rules as I do his sister, and it seems like I'm a lot harder on him at times simply because what comes naturally to his sister - doesn't to him, so we have teach... over and over, and over, and over again.

We have meltdowns, but he usually won't do them in public. He knows better, he'll take it out on us when we get home... which is still not desirable, but it makes it so we can do family and public outtings. My main goal when he was little, was to teach him to fake it enough he could be functional in social situations, and if he had to fall apart at home, we would deal with it then, on a case by case basis.

Even if we fought every person, and every situation for special treatment, life just can't always be accomodating. As an autistic person who grew up trying to survive in the real world with no special treatment and often treated a lot harsher than a regular person... I feel protective of my son in a lot of ways, but also realize just how important it is that some lessons he learns. And one of those is he is held to the same standards, rules and laws as everyone else... and he has to be able to function long enough to survive situations with other people.

Rules... person space, boundaries, paying enough attention to his surroundings and being willing to ask for clear expectations are all part of what I feel he needs to know/do.

by Platinum Member on Sep. 3, 2013 at 12:39 PM
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Id be wondering why he is having trouble floowing those rules? Whats so fun about pulling covers off? Lol..spittng, well, yeah, thats fun.. So go spit in the tub, the sink... Heres some watermellon, have at those seeds. Lol

im not a huge fan of discipline that doesnt teach. My kid "doesnt get" a random punishment. Never has. Just pisses him off...and makes him feel bad about who he is.. He doesnt differentiate between a bad act/ bad person. Where you and I get that a bad choice, is just a choice, doesnt make you bad. 

My son was pretty distraught almost 2 years ago (at 5) talked about wanting to die,, that life was too hard. After that, I let go of a lot of disciplne thinking... Wow.. He just needs to be happy and embrace life. Dont care if trains are in OJ... Just want a happy 5 year old... Lol... 

So discipline in my house, is a simple talk. Why I dont like that behavior, what the outcome of the behavior might be, why it isnt a good choice, what a better choice would be, what he liked about doing that (some of his choices were sensory based) how we could continue doing what he wanted safer, or modified to where we all are happy. 

He is much happier now.. As am I. He really does listen, is respectful.. Sure, 1 or 2 reminders about why this isnt a great choice right now.. But wheh it might be.

could it be that it just seems like an unknown period of time that his sister is sleeping? That he needs to be quiet isnt defined enough...maybe giving 4 choices of quiet things for 1 hour.. Then let him know when she wakes he can (do activity that is noisy) that he wants?

I think too often we dont negotiate with our kids and listen to their wants/ desires/ thoughts/ reasons. We think OUR  rules are meant to be followed. But we negotiate with friends, family, spouses, all the time. Negotiation gets such a bad rap in the parenting world.. But its a great skill. Whats wrong with learning to express your wants, listening to anothers wants and meeting to where everyone is happy?  Showing concern for feelings and wants, and working together? 

by on Sep. 3, 2013 at 4:33 PM
Oh the give and take. There have been times when my son grinds crackers in thr floor and throws food at my. Sometimes I just throw it back haha. It helps alleviate some of that stress if I just join in sometimes.
My big problem is my son throws stuff at me and nothing helps this to stop. Sigh. Keep up the work...
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