Discipling kids and making them independent

November 23, 2009 at 4:29 pm | Posted in Parenting | 15 Comments

I have been thinking about it from quite a while. I read poppins some time back and then I read Kiran. Am I doing right ? What more should I do and how ? And how much is enough ? How much should Aryan do at this age ? How should I train or enable him to do what he should ? I also saw a very nice TV program on doordarshan where the speaker used a phrase “age appropriate independence”. The phrase has been on my mind since then.

I know discipling kids and making them independent are two different things and I am kind of mixing them up. But there is something that relates them.

Aryan CAN do a lot of things on his own but he won’t do them , unless he feels like doing them. So though he will show off his skills every now and then , it doesnot always solve the purpose since he would anyway say “Mumma” at the drop of a hat.

For eg , he can fetch a glass of water from kitchen , which includes taking out the glass from drawer , opening and closing of tap and getting a full glass out without spilling , but he would still call me when he wants water. Though sometimes he agrees to fetch it himself.

He can bath himself , but the soap will only be over the tummy and hands.

He can wear his own clothes with perfection 99% of times , if the clothes don’t have buttons.

He can wear and take off his shoes.

He can eat with a spoon with perfection but he usually demands to be fed.

I do not expect him to do things better than the way he does now. I definitely do not expect him to wash his plate , but ofcourse i do expect him to clear the toy mess he creates , which ofcourse he knows how to do , but doesnot want to do.

Now why am I mixing all of this. According to me Aryan almost has “age appropriate independence” , which means a kid should be able to do what he is capable of at his age.

But that does not solve the trouble , even if the kid is able to do ,what if he doesnot want to do. How to handle that ?

Aryan loves to show off that he can wear his own shoes and clothes and thats great , but he doesnot love to show off that he can eat on his own. He can ofcourse keep his toys back in place , but he never wants to do that. And here comes the discipline

How do you discipline your kid ? Do you scold them to follow instruction ? Do you bribe them ? Do you let them cry ?

And its not just doing things. Its about so many other things too. For example ,having milk. He once loved milk but he has stopped having it. What do I do ? Shall I sit with a glass of milk for hours prodding him to drink. I have never forced him to eat. But milk is something thats essential. So sometimes he drinks with incentives like new mug , different glass and all that. And those times he even asks to refill , which shows that he loves it even now. But I cannot get him to drink it every day.

So the problem lies in not making them learn to do something but making it a habit. And thats where I fail. Any ideas ?

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15 Comments »

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  1. Ok – so making them do what we want them to do is a very hard task – and here’s the catch – it’s BECAUSE they are getting more independent that it’s so hard. Independence after all means everything – independence in thoughts included. So on one end, we want to make them independent, but on the other hand we want them to do what we want ONLY.

    I know as parents we cannot let them do whatever they want to do in the name of making them independent but it’s important to remember this I think.

    I think a list of non negotiables are important, atleast in our minds. Perhaps we need to also lead by example or make it a fun game. Screaming never helps though (ask me I’ve tried it umpteen times) It makes them resentful and us tired.

    I try to use the methods in the book ‘How to talk so your children listen..” by Adele Faber. They work 90% of the time. The rest of the time I just ignore and indulge them – they are after all still babies.

    • Wow ..I never thought that way. Should get the book NOW

  2. age appropriate independence – interesting!
    That book which Poppy has mentioned sounds interesting too . wil recommend to my Mommy friends!

    • πŸ™‚

  3. poppy the wise one as usual said it all…

    and i agree ojas can do a lot of things but will do when he wants to and from my side I dont push him just let it be and surprisingly most of the times if i do that he comes back and does it and ALWAYS if i shout then he WILL NEVER DO IT

    that book has been reco by so many people i am going to pick it up soon

    • I hope Ojas doesnot get into the terrible two Mona πŸ˜€ All the best ! Yeah , shd try the book

  4. you just wrote it right……very true thinking…even I am in the same confused state….
    Sometimes I think in this way: This is the time, he/she will be a mamma boy/girl…later on when they grow anyway they will do it alone…so let them enjoy our pampering………..anyway we are not with them for the whole day….

    • True AM ..I also give in so many times

  5. awww.. this feels just like tomorrow to me.. mera bhi yahi haal hone vala hai shayad.. no tips to offer here.. but will come back to this post when i myself run up the same hill.. All the Best.. thats all i can say..

    • All the best!

  6. Well, I am still screaming hoarse and having 2 teenagers to listen can be tougher than having a toddler to listen! Sigh

    • Don’t say so WIAN…i was looking up at u with hope

  7. i wish i had a answer to this. i am an impatient mother and more often than not I hate myself for it. but then when the time comes again to control my temper i forget all about it and holler.

    i keep saying i will try harder but havent managed to. on his own Cubby, like Aryan CAN do a lot of things but wont exactly or rather always do them.

    i wish i had some answers!

    hugs!

  8. I guess you have to find out what work best for your child. For my son, I usually ask him to “help” me – like putting clothes in washing machine. Or keeping the glass in the sink. He does them gladly. I also have some set of rules. Like he cannot start playing with another toy till he puts away the previous one. And sometimes, I have to incentivise him. Like finish your milk quickly and then we’ll go to the park πŸ™‚ I also encourage him and let him do whatever he can do independently. Like I soap him up and then ask him to finish the rest of this bath and then give me a call. My husband on the other hand likes to pamper him and do everything for him. πŸ™‚ The result is, my son listens to me more and almost always cooperates with me but gives his dad a tough time. But then, his dad is the clearly favourite parent πŸ™‚

  9. Good thoughts. In the right direction. Just keep doing what you think is right and tell him so too. Forcing things on them whichever way doesn’t give any good end results in the long run and is very exhausting on both sides. A compromise can be good in many situations, the child feels respected too.
    Incentives are very good, Rishab’s OT made me realise that they can be a boon if used rightly. I have to decide which are the situations where there is most stress between us and there i startd working on them to find out a solution. I made rules and all of us had to follow them for that situation, not just Rishab. It may not work perfectly, but it helps relax the situation a lot. We had to work out the whole thign with Rishab’s eating dinner, which was really going on my nerves. He was already 4.
    But, he’s had his phases too. I think keep asking him to do that what you think is right and with time he will realise and learn.
    If you read the book, do share your thoughts with us.


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