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August 03, 2005


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I'm so sorry you're having a rough couple of days. It will pass.

My little brother came running across the street last year from a friend's house after we say the mother scold the friend. When we asked my little bro why the friend had gotten in trouble, he said that the kid said a bad word. When I asked what the word was, he said "uck." I almost died laughing, but did my best to keep a straight face. Kids are hilarious.

You just put your finger on some issues I've been dealing with since my oldest turned 18 months. He's now a smart, surprisingly well-spoken and defiant two-year-old. I struggle every day with him. For instance, a command to go stand in time-out and consider his offense is often met with this reply: "No. YOU go stand in time out!"

Disciplining with love and kindness is harder than it looks.

My 2-year-old son's issue is agression. It drives me completely insane. It's especially annoying when he throws dangerous objects or slaps. I am getting to my end of patience on both of these issues.

In general he is a very sweet child, and he loves to take care of people, but I am convinced he simply does not equate hitting/pinching/throwing of hard objects to pain. We do not hit him, so how would he know?

I think it is purely developmental, and oh, how I wish that I could just bring myself to ignore it so that he wouldn't get the satisfaction of a reaction. I am really struggling with this right now.

It's also a problem when we're around other kids: their parents expect me to swat him when he acts out, instead of just saying "we don't hit" and removing him from the situation. I find it hard to be in social situations with him and other children.

It's good to know that other people have gone through this. I hope you can work things out with Joe.

It's hard. And it works. But it doesn't help to hear it works in the middle.


I am having the same string of bad days. I'm right there with you on questioning yourself, and wanting to do it right.

I'll pray for you, and you for me, ok?

Hrrrmmm...it took me a long time to figure out what my kids' issues are. My aggressive guy got lots of spanks and you already know that that absolutely backfires with that type.

When the kids keep having mean and rotten stuff come out of their mouths, I forbid them from talking. I explain that God gave us our voices, not to hurt each other, but to build each other up. If they ain't got nuthin nice to say, they can't say nuthin at all. I like this technique because it keeps them together and then they try other means of communication. Eventually, they have to really work together to figure out what they are saying to each other.

That's just another trick to add to your bag.

In the meantime, grab on to those moments of cooperation and hold on tight. Your way is the right way....but it takes time and patience. It's like financial investments...sometimes the market is up and sometimes it's down, even way down. But if you just hold steady, it comes out well in the end.


Jamie, maybe it would help to just go into your room, close the door, and scream "Chamber chamber chamber chamber!" into your pillow. My husband laughs at me whever I sputter "I wish I believed in spanking!".

Lisa C, is he still at the point at which he doesn't really realize what he's doing, or has he transitioned into the point of acting out because he's frustrated and can't manage his emotions? If it's the former I've got nothing for you, but if it's the latter, we found that giving our son an object to act out on was really helpful. Because there's nothing wrong with feeling angry or bity or hitty, but there is somthing wrong with biting or hitting people or animals. Our guy's issue was biting, so he and I went together to the pet store and chose a braided dog chew toy for him and gave it a name. I explained that when El Chico felt like biting he should bite the chew toy. And then I carried it around with us for weeks. Whenever I saw him hitting that frustration point I'd shove it in his mouth for him to bite. After a few weeks he started asking for it to bite when he'd get upset. We were able to go be around other kids without my worrying that he'd bite them, because he'd learned that when he felt like biting he could get out the feelings by biting his chew toy. I'm imagining you could do the same thing with a small hitting pillow for a kid whose issue was hitting or pinching.

Chamber is such a unique one!

It really sucks that the one of the most important jobs in the world is the one with the most uncertainty.

However, you are a rockin' mama.

An old boyfriend got in trouble in kindergarten for calling another kid a "basket". His parents dealt with it, and then went into antoher room and rolled on the floor laughing.

When one of my kids called the other one any kind of 'name' - I would ask the victim "Is it true?( what (s)he called you)?. If it is true, do you need to make a change in how you are behaving? If it isn't true, then you can just ignore it!
Now, if one of them called the other a 'chamber' I think that I would have to ask the perpetrator what he thought that word meant!

Sometimes, the name-caller really isn't the more responsible party for the action. Name calling is often (in my experience) a reaction to some sets of behavior that the name caller just doesn't have the tools (or maturity) to deal with. In a large family, there can be days when the younger children figure out subtle ways to torment the elder children, timed just so the retaliation happens in full view of mom or dad.

I'm not trying to get into a blame the victim mode, but sometimes it can be helpful for the victim to be asked to re-examine the behaviours that led up to the attack (verbal or physical). After all, the only person whose behavior anyone has real control over is that person himself.

Another parenting tactic that I have found to be useful with an out of control child (victim or perpetrator) is the strong hug. Physically restraining a child, sometimes even using a blanket to wrap the child, and then sitting with the child on a chair until the child can regain control - it can really help. However, you often will need to have another responsible adult (or older child) to keep the rest of the household under control until the crisis is past.

Must be something in the air. I'm pretty chambered myself. (it could be a verb as well as a noun - you never know) Hang in there!

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