DH and I are Clashing on Discipline for our 3 year old - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 08-03-2013, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
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How do you mamas go about discipline? My husband and I are clashing when it comes to this. I am anti-spanking of course, So that is NOT an option for me. Although my husband sometimes thinks spanking will solve the "issues" with our DS, who will be 3 in a few weeks. The hubby feels DS"rules the house" and "rules us" and he "gets away with whatever he wants". I don't like time outs and we use them sometimes but they are not effective. So this morning the hubs told me to pick between "5 minute timeouts or spanking". I feel at 3, a 5 minute timeout is extreme and I am not spanking. I keep telling my husband that it will get easier and that it is DS's age but he seems to disagree. I need some help mamas :((

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#2 of 5 Old 08-03-2013, 05:39 PM
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Well does he always get his way? You need to counter with reasonable gentle dicipline.

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#3 of 5 Old 08-04-2013, 06:23 AM
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Athora80, I'm sorry you and your DH aren't on the same page.  He knows you won't spank, so his "pick one" is really just an ultimatum.  And if you don't think that time outs will work, they probably won't, so that doesn't help much.  


It would be helpful to have some more details about your son's behavior.  Can you give an example of the 3-5 things that happen most often.  Are we talking about safety issues (hitting, biting, running away), communication issues (not listening, whining, tantrums, begging, backtalk, name-calling), or something else?  What situations or activities are triggers?


Without specifics, I'd say that responding in a calm, consistent, predictable way to misbehavior will help.  


My DS is almost 4, so at this point hitting will get him sent to his room immediately - no warning anymore.  (He doesn't usually hit, but he tried it this week once when I wouldn't let him watch another video.)  Something less extreme will get a warning with a consequence.  (Sad tone: "If you don't get in the bathtub now, we won't have time to read three stories.")  If you can plan to avoid a trigger or prep for it, that can help, too.  Our main triggers are transitions and DS didn't get what he wanted ("I wanted to win."  "I wanted to push the button."  "I wanted to . . .!"  Those situations are inevitable, but if I see them coming I can at least be prepared for the mini-meltdown and take a deep breath.  I try to remember to talk about when we'll need to leave a place and to thank him for transitioning well.  That seems to help, and it's getting better.  It gets better.  3 is hard.

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#4 of 5 Old 08-05-2013, 08:32 AM
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You can come back that behaviorally 5 minutes it too long for that age, and 3 minutes *might* be more appropriate.  DD will occasionally go to her room for repeat offenses that she's been asked to not do or stop, usually things that involve destructive behaviors (throwing objects, or hitting the dogs) and might end up in something being broken or someone getting hurt.  DD spanked her once the other day for throwing his phone, and I flipped on him.  She cried and fussed for almost an hour after and while she was always more attached to me, it only reinforced that divide.  I train dogs, I understand complexities of behavior, DH does not.  So the way I see it, I know more than he does by default on this subject :-P

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#5 of 5 Old 08-05-2013, 06:37 PM
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You could also suggest a five minute time-in (where you sit with him in a quiet place) instead of time-out.  To me, though, even time-ins only really work during periods of rampant misbehavior when the child is kind of out of control and really just needs to stop and get it together.  For us, that's normally not the case, and other methods work better.  I think spanking/time-outs are popular because they're not complex.  When people are overwhelmed by a crazy 3 year old, it's really tempting to have a simple, one size fits all solution that requires no thought.  Maybe your husband's just feeling overwhelmed, and is seeking that kind of simplicity?  If so, perhaps you can work out a list of strategies for each problem behavior, including preventative measures, so there's still a simple, agreed upon manner of dealing with each problem, but the solutions are more tailored to the behavior.  


BTW, we are also in the challenging 3's, and all of my successful "2" strategies seem to be null and void.  I'm having to get creative and test out some new tricks, some of which work and some of which don't.  It's not an easy age. 

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