watched my 3.5 yr old lose his power and become a child and not a boss!!!
I took Joey to this karate school that has a kiosk set up at the mall and gave us 2 free sessions...today was our first session and I was totally not prepared for what we experienced today. I wanted to put him in karate because it teaches discipline, respect and focus...all of which Joey really needs. Anyway, the first session is with the owner and founder of this school and he takes things VERY seriously. I told him my problems with Joey's behavior and whatnot and he said that Joey is being defiant and in turn has become the boss of the house...he said he could correct and if at any time I was uncomfortable with things I could take Joey and walk out, he would totally understand and has had it happen in the past...he said he is one of those guys parents either like or don't like and he is used to parents walking out. I was uncomfortable with the discipline even though it didn't differ from our form of time out all that much but I could see that this guy was really getting through to Joey so I didn't say/do anything, I just let it go on.
Joey wouldn't do what he was asked and told the guy "I don't want to" and he just looked at Joey in the eyes and firmly stated "It does not matter what you want, you are a little boy and I am your boss here, just like your mom is your boss at home...when you are here you WILL do as you are told..." (I heard this phrase A LOT during our 45 minute session) then Joey was sent to the mirror and told to put his nose against it (this is like our time out at home, nose goes on the wall) only with this time out the guy held Joey's arms down to his side and stood behind him so Joey couldn't push away (which is a big problem at home, he will push away from the wall and kick it or hit it). I felt like a horrible mom letting this guy stand there not allowing Joey to move while Joey is bawling but at the same time I knew this is what is needed.
As a caring mom I wanted to rip the guys head off but as a loving mom I knew deep down that Joey really needed an attitude adjustment not just for me but for himself, so he can be a better child (person in general). The guy was really good about positive reinforcement though for when Joey would finally cooperate. Joey earned a special coin for his first good job, which was making it off the wall and taking his shoes off and putting them where he was told to. Then he got to practice high fives with the guy and then he used his "high five" to break his first board!!! The guy was really good about praising Joey for breaking the board because before hand Joey told him he didn't think he was strong enough to break a board yet and I think in the end it gave him a little bit of a confidence boost when he was feeling scared and upset. He earned a karate ghee (the white robe thing they wear) with that accomplishment.
As I sat there I bawled like a baby because I realized that he really was in total control but with this one session I have already seen a difference in behavior. We got home and had dinner and after dinner (actually, while I was typing the beginning of this) he was misbehaving and I told him he needed to stop (he got 2 warnings) and then he didn't so I put him on the wall and he stood there, hands at his side, nose on the wall and remained quiet!!!! After a few minutes I asked him if he was ready to behave and come off the wall and he looked at me and said "Yes Please" I was in total shock...time out was not a fight at all and his behavior since the time out has been great. His brother on the other hand is another story. He won't finish his dinner but wants a popsicle or snack and I refuse to give in...I'm not going to let him fill up on junk just because thats what he wants. Joey did get a popsicle for eating all of his dinner but I told them both before hand if they ate all their dinner then they could each have a popsicle...Joey did and Logan didn't.I know I have to be strong on this and stick to the rule I gave before dinner but its so hard...I am not only watching Joey grow with this karate school but I too have some learning to do about being strict and not letting them walk all over me.
Joey doesn't know if he wants to go back for the next lesson (which will be with the little dragons class so he'll be with other children his age and he watched the class today and thought it looked fun) but Dh asked him if he went with us if Joey would be more willing to go and he said yes so it looks like we will be going back...Dh thinks this will be very beneficial for Joey even after I told him about the whole ordeal we experienced....I don't like the way the guy does things but then again, I'm the mom watching her baby cry and be construcively disciplined and it sucks (plus I'm ready to pop so I am twice as emotional as normal) but I think we've come to the agreement that this is what Joey needs and as I mentioned above, its already changed started to change his behavior in a positive way.
Anyway, I just needed to vent/share about my some what traumatic afternoon. Thanks for listening!