Each Friday during lockdown, we will be having a question and answer forum. Our question this week is:
“Hi, have you any advice on “discipline” – we currently don’t do anything, have tried reflection, time out, but my child just bounces off the walls. Sometimes breathing helps calm things and space does but I am seeing increasingly deliberate (my child laughs at me) ill behaviour, and I am struggling for an appropriate way to address it. As long as I don’t get my child to do anything they are ok. if I try to get my child to do anything (even getting ready with me dressing him, eat etc) my child is “acting out”. It’s getting quite draining as I am on my own all day with a 2 year old also.”
This is a difficult one as we are not experts in discipline, however there is some advice that we could offer.
It does sound like your child would benefit from a structured sensory routine with controlled movement (“my child bounces off the wall”) – up/down slowly on therapy ball followed by lots of heavy work.
Every 2 hours do heavy work ie pulling/pushing/carrying/stretching for 10-15 minutes would really help. Incorporate it into a daily routine but also set time aside twice a day to do as a sensory workout. Look out for our proprioceptive video on Tree Tops Shares soon! Try to keep firm boundaries and consequences eg use time out consistently.
Keep calm – remember your own self-regulation can help the child through co-regulation so no matter what your child does, do not react or it will cause them to become more stimulated.
When doing breathing, incorporate pressure through the shoulders (if will tolerate this!) and count very slowly out aloud.
Do not respond to your child should they shout or laugh, just continue on with the pressure, counting and deep breathing -again this technique uses co-regulation from parent to child.
Before you ask your child to do anything or make any demands, try to apply deep pressure through your child’s shoulders or engage your child in some pushing or pulling with their hands so they are in a calmer state before you make a request!
Finally, the terrible two’s are a difficult stage especially in the current situation where life is very restricted. Try to ensure your child does get outside and into the garden frequently. But make sure slow, sustained heavy work follows these vital movement /active periods.
Hopefully, some of these tips will help!
Can you please send your questions to any of the following social media and mark it in the title “Tree Tops Shares”.
All questions will remain anonymous.
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