12-28-2013 09:24 AM
Change your language. " punishment " is not the right word. Your job as a parent is to teach. Discipline has roots in discipleship which is to teach. As a foster parent I must say I am quite upset at the idea of you leaving your child out in the cold in front of a store. Glad you came back so quickly and glad you recognize this was not right. We all have those moments but fear of abandonment will not help the situation especially in the cold. How would you have felt if your child panicked and darted in front I a car?. Please do not try to teach through fear. It doesn't work. I also am opposed to " timeout" as it is a negative message to a child. To quote Jane Nelson, positive discipline educator " children do better when they feel better." I use time ins w my child where I sit with her while she serves her time. That way you don't send the message that he is unworthy of being in your presence. This child needs you to adjust your expectations he's only five! He's going to make mistakes and that is what it needs to be looked at, as a mistake. I use the language of choices. I never tell a child that they are "bad" or " good" I talk to them about the choice that they are making. "That is not a safe/healthy/good choice" you need to separate the deed from the doer- I am very upset about what you just did. But I still love you. Kids need to know that their parents will love them unconditionally and will not leave them. Ask for help from a local organization if needed- churches, early intervention programs, the school, can all help. Be gentle with yourself parenting is the most difficult job you will ever do. We all feel at a loss sometimes. Make sure that you are doing something for yourself REGULARLY as I find I have a much shorter fuse when I am burned out and feeling empty myself. Even setting your child up w something to do while you take a five minute coffee break in the next room can recharge you, if only for a minute. You really need to make sure that you are meeting your own needs in order to meet your child's. Good luck!
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