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Positive and Effective Parenting Strategies...because we can't really count all of the Cheerios!

Constant fighting; tantrums; arguing; talking back; being a kid testing his boundaries.

Now, I know that only my children act like this from time to time. I know that none of you kind folks have days when you would much rather lock yourself in the bathroom than to listen to the fighting between your children. Yeah, yeah... I know it's just me.

You see, my boys simply do not know how to do anything without fighting. If they play ball, they fight. If they are reading books, they fight. If they are eating dinner, they fight. "Mom! He has more Cheerios than me!" "Ma! He took the blue cup and I wanted it first" (as if wanting it first gives you any rights to it!) "Dad! He threw my toy on the floor."

It gets a bit monotonous to say the least. So we did what any good parents would do.... we watched reruns of Supernanny!

Really it just happened to be on. We aren't big TV watchers but on weekends we get lazy and can sometimes be found flipping through the channels. That is when we found Jo Frost's show. I have not watched all of her shows and I am not advocating that everything she does is right but we can always take the ideas and techniques used by others and use them in a way that is beneficial to our family. That is what we did. We put a biblical foundation to some of the methods we found to be worth of a try.

I was actually quite surprised at the simplicity of some of the methods she uses and was eager to try them. The first one that we implemented was the "reflection journal". Anytime one of the boys did something that was inappropriate they were sent to their room and instructed to write down what they did wrong and what they should have done instead of the wrong behavior. They were not allowed to come out until they completed the assignment. They greatly disliked having to do this but they did it to gain freedom once again. It also caused them to examine their heart.

I learned quite a bit from these journal entries. I learned about their perception of the events and that helped me to parent them more efficiently. Reading about their feelings also helped a great deal. I felt like I understood them more and knew them better. Overall, this was an amazing addition to our repertoire of parenting skills.

The next thing that we implemented was for the younger children. It is the non-mobile time out location. What I mean by that is this space does not move. Unlike a chair or a rug, this "X" is placed on the floor and that is where they must spend time out. They can't move this "X" like they used to move the time out stool around.

Supernanny used tape to put hers on the floor but I wanted something that wouldn't be difficult to remove in case company came over so I used a dry erase marker. It wipes off clean in a hurry.

They go to the time out "X" for minor occurrences and they do the "Reflection Journal" for major occurrences. Even the 18-month-old is fully aware of what "time out" means!

For our teenagers we began implementing physical activity to combat their aggression. If they fight, throw things, or yell then they are instructed to run around the house or do push ups to relieve some of the pinned up aggression typically caused by raging hormones. They tend to resist when we tell them to do this but once they are finished they tell us just how much it helps and how much better they feel.

I still despise Mr. Puberty.

What kind of disciplines do you implement with your littles? What about the teens?

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