I have 3 kids--I'm a single mom, full time student (graduating in May!) and the kids' dad lives 2 hours away.
I am having the worst time disciplining my kids. Last fall I got really depressed and that sort of spiralled me into bad discipline technique, but the other part of the problem is that my older 2 kids (11 and 7) never required much discipline. They were always easy going and willing to please. They pretty much still are that way. My 4 year old daughter is another story. Her awesome characteristics are that she is motivated, fun and funny, creative, smart, engaging, and cute as a bug. My trouble is that she is moody, sometimes difficult, has a sense of believing the world revolves around what she wants. Not in a huge way, I think her behavior is pretty typical for a 4 year old who is the youngest of 3. She has been hitting her brother (7yr old) when she doesn't get what she wants, screams at the top of her lungs, sticks her tongue out at me, throws a huge tantrum over little things that she would willingly do in other situations. Example, she wouldn't clean up her orange bits off the couch and started crying and yelling "nobody likes me! I can't do it! My fingers don't work! I don't have enough hands! etc.etc.)"
The other part of this trouble is that I really don't handle these little explosions very well. In hindsight it's rather funny, but I'm already so stressed out that when these scenarios pop up, I start out really nice and "Parental" and it ends up a screaming match. I end up putting her in the bedroom for time out, but all that does is cool her (and me down). I don't feel like I'm teaching her anything -- or a better way to respond/act. Come to think of it--that is a general problem in my discipline--that I don't feel like they are learning more adult ways of acting--they just are getting punished (sometimes) for bad behavior. I tell them what I expect but it falls on deaf ears.
I'm open to suggestions, good books, good websites (better because I don't have money for books and I have a library late fees right now).
Thanks! IT's good to be back!