Kids respond differently to different kinds of discipline.
I remember when my daughter was a toddler, and I had a friend over who had a son the same age, and the two of them were wreaking havoc on the living room. When my daughter got to the CD tower (remember those?) and started to pull the CDs out, I called her name and gave her “the look” and she stopped, put the CD back and moved on to the next thing.
My friend was aghast and said, “How did you do that?”
I was oblivious…Do what? I told her to put it back and she did. I didn’t get it. I didn’t realize that I had the kind of kid that was just, well, easy. She was the type that when throwing a tantrum in public, all I’d do is get down to her level, and take her hands in mine and quietly tell her to stop what she was doing, and 9 times out of 10, she would.
And then I had my son. And the CD incident would all make sense to me. Yeah, he was different. When I gave him “the look” it was like I was daring him to take the CD. And 9 times out of 10, he’d take the CD.
Different disciplines for different kids. I don’t know how it happened, but over the years, I’ve forgotten that each kid responds to discipline differently. I think it came from wanting to be “fair” and “balanced” between the two of them. But the truth of the matter is, each responds to different discipline differently. Does that make sense?
The teenage years are just beginning with my daughter, and at times, I feel like I’m really screwing up. She doesn’t respond to grounding, and taking away computer time the same way that my son does. I don’t get the same outcome.
The other day, after I had time to think about things, I tried a different approach…kind of byaccident.
Suddenly, we were brainstorming instead of fighting. We were listening to each other instead of each trying to get our point across.
I went back to taking her hands in mine (figuratively), and speaking to her quietly, and within minutes, she had stopped what she was doing.
Now this was only a few days ago, so time will tell if it really worked, but there were a whole lot less tears this time around. And it ended in a hug instead of a slammed door.
Have you ever had to adjust your “parenting technique?”