Discipline and rewards?

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Registered: 01-08-2004
Discipline and rewards?
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Sat, 01-14-2006 - 1:01am

Don't worry, they're actually behaving for a change, LOL. But that raises other issues. I was going to post this on a discipline board, but you all know my kids better, and I've gotten flamed for saying I give rewards - can you imagine?

I think it all boils down to being fair. Like the last time we went to WalMart and we let Ruby out of her stroller. She needed a few reminders for not watching where she was walking, running off to look at something cool and touching, but overall she behaved quite well, no tantrums and took our reminders seriously. She made a point of trying to behave, which is a first out in public. I said we should get her a small reward, a sticker or sucker maybe. Sammy of course had to ask what about her? Was she good too? I tried explaining that yes she was good, but she wasn't "extra" good like Ruby. Sammy knows the rules and can follow them, she's 5 years older and it's always been easier for her anyways, so no I wasn't getting her a reward. Of course Sammy got mad because I wasn't being fair. (The same thing would happen if we rewarded Sammy and not Ruby) Somehow we've spoiled our kids into thinking fair means equal KWIM.
Ruby is better at other things, like bathing herself, eating without being messy and chewing with her mouth closed. We praise her for doing well, but it's not as big an accomplishment as when Sammy does well. It's practically a miracle if Sammy can eat and only be a little messy, LOL and we let her know how well she did. Then Ruby starts fishing for compliments as well. Which is another issue - fishing for compliments. DH and I just hate that. We don't like praising one dd and the other one basically demanding praise as well. So we say "No fishing allowed" and they get the point - sometimes.
I really suspect we caused this ourselves. Giving the same plate at dinner, they both get a treat or nobody does, the same happy meal toys, etc to avoid any major conflict. I think it was okay when Ruby was younger, she really didn't understand (had to have everything the same way Sammy did), but she's old enough now to learn. Not everything has to be equal, and that fair and equal don't always mean the same thing. For some reason, Sammy has reverted back to this too. So, now that we've done this, how can we undo it. They just have to learn they earn privelges, rewards and praise when they do good things. We expect different things from each kid because they have different ages and different needs. Sometimes they both do really well, sometimes only one of them does. We try focusing on the positives, so the kid that doesn't get positive attention thinks they're being neglected and never gets positive attention. Really, now I know why my mom was constantly telling us "Life isn't fair so get over it" and telling stories about everything having to be exactaly equal or there was a major crisis. I have 5 siblings, so I really feel for her now that I'm going through it, LOL.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 01-14-2006 - 10:41pm

My DH has a good line for this. "Fair isn't everyone getting the same, it is everyone getting what they need"

It is tough, I know, I have 4 kids. 2 have ASD and one is ADHD. It is really really hard to work out what "Fair" is. My NT daughter does things much easier than her siblings and tends to be able to earn more "marbles" (our reward system) and she can also handle typical kid activities like sports. My 2 ASD kids would like to do sports but when they did it was a disaster. Does that mean because they can't that she shouldn't? Nope, means they do something else. (Like therapies that Emily doesn't get to do)

I get alot of "It's not fair" and fishing for compliments. I figure that is life with kids and a big family. I hate it but yes, I have actually used the line "Lifes not fair". Ok it wasn't my best moment.

I don't usually get something like a treat at a store for just one. If I get I do get for all of them unless one has particularly NOT earned it. KWIM? I have been known to give out treats after the fact to children who behaved and let the other one who didn't squirm in the knowledge that they didn't earn it. Especially if they had been warned. They, particularly my SN kids, would have a very hard time understanding if they had behaved as well why they didn't earn the treat.

We give marbles for good behavior. The marbles convert into money for them to spend on trade in day. That way it is very structured and when we catch them being good they do get marbles for it. So the instance you mentioned in teh store I would likely give marbles. If the other kids fish for compliments and such I remind them how they earn marbles.

Renee

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Registered: 01-08-2004
Sat, 01-14-2006 - 11:05pm
OMG!! We do marbles too - my dd's would call us "marble twins" LOL.
I've also said "life isn't fair", I think all moms say it at some point. I just want them to learn fair and equal don't mean the same thing.
Looks like DH is ruining that for me. He took away the walkie talkies because Ruby was doing something wrong - I didn't bother to find out what. I asked why he yanked Sammy's as well, hoping he would say somthing obvious, like how can one kid play walkie talkie by herself. Nope, his new POV is that if they're together and one misbehaves, they both get punished. It's called peer pressure and it works great in the Army. Ugh, we're back to what works in the army :( I got snippy and told him this is a home, not the army - Sammy didn't do anything wrong, so she shouldn't have been punished. We both agreed they need to learn that fair isn't always equal, and now he's teaching him the opposite, and we have to find a new way of doing things. He refuses to bend on this, but no way will I agree with him punishing both kids just because it works in the Army. MEN! Can't live with them, wouldn't trade them for a nickel, LOL.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 01-15-2006 - 11:08pm

See, While I would reward or reinforce anyone who is behaving appropriately, I try to only punish the one who was misbehaving.

That can get tricky sometimes if you don't know who was misbehaving. Big problem in multiple kid families. Ask Bill Cosby. Didn't he say something about you aren't a real parent until you have at least 2 kids. If you have one kid you always knew who did it! ROFL.

We had a situation like that yesterday. One kid had done something and they were all denying responsibility. They all had to sit in the livingroom until the culprit fessed up. Of course they were reminded that if the culprit fessed up right away the consequence would be MUCH milder than if they continued to lie and mom found out, which she ALWAYS does.

It was Cait and she fessed up and she only had to fix what she had done since she was honest right away, lol.

Renee

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 01-16-2006 - 6:10pm

Oh, good subject! With my five, I made it clear from their beginnings that I love each of them differently and they all have different needs. I would tell them that I loved all of them just as much as the other, just each in a different way. I would let them know that today was Bryan's day to sit in the red chair, and they would get a turn on another day. Since I did this from the beginnings, they were usually pretty good about it.

I have dgd's whose parents think that because they are sisters, they each have to have the same presents at Christmas or the same type. I'm sure you know what I mean. If Suzy gets a Barbie with a horse, so does Robin. If Robin gets a coloring set, so does Suzy. Well, I never bought into that and never did it! Each of them are individuals and got treated as such.

I think that telling Sammy that Ruby was extra good and that's why she got a reward was fabulous. Then I would have followed up with something about you are always watching for her to do something extra good too because you really like giving her a treat for doing whatever she did. However, I would add that sometimes the treat is or the best part is that you get to feel good about what you did.

Steph


"In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards."


-Mark Twain


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Registered: 03-19-2003
Tue, 01-17-2006 - 7:26am

Cristen, I have to agree that each child is different.

 


 



iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2004
Wed, 01-18-2006 - 10:32pm
I've always told them how to act before we go anywhere and you know how far that got me, LOL. I like your idea, I'll have to let you know how it works!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Thu, 01-19-2006 - 8:28am

When the kids were younger we used to have "practice games"....like at the dinner table for restaurant manners; or keeping arms folded or hands in pockets when in a store; we even used to play a game called the "quiet game" to help them learn how to use whisper voices for church or the library.

 


 



iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2004
Thu, 01-19-2006 - 2:25pm
We've played the quiet game, they're too busy giggling about it to actually play the game. I remember we had to walk in the store single file behind mom, hands down at our sides and no talking. And my girls think *they* have it tough, LOL

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 01-19-2006 - 9:01pm
That reminded me of weekends with my father. We would take turns being the "waitress." We'd write a menu (good writing and organizing skills). Then we would take the orders (again, good writing skills). Then we would dish up the food on the plates (good reading, organizing, and OT skills). Finally, we would serve the dinner (good OT and PT skills). Last of all, we would sit down and eat (GOOD EATING SKILLS! LOL).

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Fri, 01-20-2006 - 11:34am
Gosh, Steph, that's what we would do...then we even started doing some short order cooking from a pre-planned menu.

 


 



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