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Discipline…

28 Nov

I’m a first-time mom.  I’m new at this discipline thing.  I don’t know what I’m up against.

I want to empower Jake.  I want to set him up for success.  And I understand that in doing so, I will need to set boundaries, to enforce those, and to discipline him when need be.  What I don’t understand is what that looks like right now.

We are entering the phase.  “No Jake”.
In my defense, I think I have a pretty kid-friendly home.  I try not to say “no” very often.  Really the only things that are off limits are the toilet, the Christmas tree, and Cole’s hair (Cole’s hair is like Jake’s kryptonite!).  And I’ll admit, it’s hard to say no to these faces…

For my own growth, I have been studying a book called “Celebration of Discipline” by Richard Foster.  It is about Spiritual Disciplines, and how to put them into practice in your life.  The premise of the book is that discipline is actually good, as it helps you grow and mature.  It is hard (in the context of this book it is hard work on the individual’s part) but the rewards are there.  Maturity.  Wisdom.  Knowledge.  Understanding.

In the same way that I am studying discipline in the spiritual sense of the word, I desire those outcomes in my kids’ lives too.  I want to discipline them, so that they grow, mature, become wise, and gain understanding.  My struggle right now is figuring out what this looks like for Jake.  I’m not sure he understands the word “no”.  I’m not sure he attributes any sort of negative consequence with the word no.  I want to be firm and not be a push-over, but I also need to work within his cognitive abilities.  And I don’t always know what that looks like.

I can close the bathroom door.  I can put obstacles in front of the tree.  I can make sure Cole is not where Jake can grab him.  But ultimately, I feel it is important for Jake to grasp the concept that some things are not okay, instead of me just taking away the temptation.

Like I said, I’m new at this discipline thing.  Thoughts?

 

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4 Comments

Posted by on November 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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4 responses to “Discipline…

  1. Maureen Slater

    November 28, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Hi Karyn, Just read your post and “loved” the pictures!!!  They are little cuties!  As a gramma I can’t give you any advice on the discipline thing because “no” isn’t even in a gramma’s vocabulary!  We used up all our “no’s” on our own kids!  All kidding aside, it “has” crossed my mind that it’s going to be more of a challenge for you to discipline Jake .  He has such a gentle spirit and desire to please.  Up until now you’ve been able to get away with, kindness, gentleness, humour, and patience.   (The discipline part is the hardest and part.)  If I were you, I would ask the teachers and aides at PREP how you would go about it with Jake, as they would be most knowledgeable. I missed seeing Jake and Cole this week. love you lots! xxoo ________________________________

     
  2. Tara Robertson (@tarasview)

    November 28, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    oh discipline is SUCH a hard issue with special needs kiddos! We still struggle with that with Aiden and he is 10… what is something he can control and what is Autism? What do we need to be firm on and what should we let slide? Because for us- we really can’t be firm on every single thing or the child would literally ALWAYS be in trouble – he simply is not capable of living in ways that are the typical social norm. So we re-work the norm to fit our lives. Because I am not ok with living my life in a constant state of NO AIDEN, STOP! We have a few things that are “hills to die on” (that basically revolve around showing love/respect to yourself and others) and the rest we let slide and work on very slowly and very casually at a pace he can follow.

    And it sometimes drives. me. crazy.

    Because simple things can be REALLY hard for him to get. Things that my 5 year old daughter just understands automatically Aiden still hasn’t figured out. Things like – don’t throw garbage on the floor if you don’t see a garbage can. This is basic stuff here people.

    We actually asked professionals for help with this- we asked several professionals for help in deciphering what his cognitive abilities were and it really helped. And also in HOW to discipline because for Aiden just saying “no” is almost useless. We have to use about a zillion steps to get to being able to just say no.

    Before Aiden was diagnosed (he was 6) I had no idea what was going on and I was honestly too hard on him. I regret that now. He couldn’t control a lot of what was happening- probably most of what was he was doing. But I listened to what others were telling me and I read a zillion parenting books – all about neurotypical children of course- and I followed REALLY GOOD ADVICE – but it was all for kids that were not Aiden. And it was bad. It did more damage than good I am certain. But I didn’t know he had Autism and I didn’t know what I was dealing with and people just kept telling me we had to be firm with him. So I was.

    It was disastrous for our whole family really.

    But hey, hindsight is 20/20 they say and we do what we can with the information we have at the time!

    Anyway- all that to say I think it is wonderful that you are thinking about this now and that you know so well what you are up against. Your children are beautiful and so blessed to have you as their mother! xox

     
  3. Johanna

    November 28, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    I try to replace something she is not allowed to do, with something she is allowed to do. For example she is not allowed to pull ornaments off the tree, because she might pull down the whole tree. So I bought her a set of plush ornaments that are placed in the bottom boughs of the tree that she can take on and off. When she goes for a star or bulb I re-direct her to the plush bears and let her play with them. Now she is learning a replacement behaviour that is acceptable. I find this type of shaping of behaviour to be the most successful with her, and you don’t have to say no all the time.

     
  4. Kristan

    December 6, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Hey Karyn…I know that I’m just at the very beginning stage in terms of having to discipline my child. She still is mostly unaware of her actions and whether they’re right or wrong. But I’ve been reading the book called The Discipline Book by Dr. William Sears. I love the approach he has to dealing with babies and children. Now, he is a very large advocate for attachment parenting and I know that that’s not for everybody, but even if you overlook that, his ideas and suggestions just seem to make so much sense to me. Maybe you’ll like it.

     

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