Discipline Dilemmas, p.3
Q: My son just turned 3. His favorite word is no. "No, I don't want to get in my car seat." "No, I don't want to sit in the grocery cart." I try to give him choices, but he's stubborn. My husband and I find ourselves now spanking our son out of frustration (just a small pat, nothing major) and sending him to time-outs. But it's endless and we'd like to make peace once and for all. Any suggestions?
Dr. Brodlie: There'll be no such thing as peace once and for all until your youngster leaves for college or establishes a home of his own. "No" is a way of expressing an increasing sense of independence and power, all of which is not bad. So I would suggest that the parent keep using time-outs. Have patience and eventually a state of equilibrium will be established where there won't be as many "noes." It'll be more manageable, but there will always be some "noes," so get used to it.
Q: I find myself increasingly frustrated and impatient with my 7-year-old son, who has been diagnosed with ADHD. He basically can't do any chores and never pays attention to us when my husband and I try to explain what we expect of him. I feel bad that I get so frustrated, but at the same time, I don't expect him to be completely checked out. Will medication solve all of this?
Dr. Brodlie: Medication should help and it often does sometimes quite dramatically. What also might help would be to network with other parents whose children have the same diagnosis. In many communities there are parent groups that provide meetings of this sort. Check with the schools or local hospital to see if they know of these meetings, or with local pediatricians or psychiatrists. There are some books that tell parents what to expect and tell them how to cope. One of those books is titled, The Difficult Child, by Dr. Tereki. As much information that you come across should prove quite helpful in learning as a parent to deal with this and what expectations are reasonable.