My DS is strong willed at times. I'm learning that he has that temperment. He is not a child who is naturally compliant. He tests tests and tests some more. He needs firm, clear boundries. My problem is what to do when he tests them because he will!
Here is an example of a daily exchange in our home:
He misbehaves at the dinner table (throws food for example and laughs), I say "food is not for throwing, its for eating. If you throw your food again dinner is over"
He throws the food. I tell him dinner is over and remove his plate. he gets mad and starts crying and will hit me. He knows hitting is not allowed and there are no warnings its an automatic cool down. So I put him on the stairs (his cool down spot) and tell him he needs to cool off for 4 minutes. Inevitably he will not stay on the stairs. He will get up laughing and run away. I go get him and put him back on the stairs. This will go on for anywhere from a few minutes to 20-30 minutes. in between there is additional hitting and tantruming sometimes. It's exhausting.
I know you have said time outs don't work as they are a form of punishment. So in the above scenario what would be an alternative way of handling it?
I find it very confusing as I've purchased multiple books and they all seem to advocate a different approach. I have not and will never use physical punishment - relying on just reinforcing positive behavior because children really just want to please their parents doesn't resonate with me either. My child needs the boundries and there has to be some consequences for crossing the line doesn't there?
Thanks for reading and look forward to your reply