Oh Roxy, I was going through what you are going through just recently. My son will be 3 in June and he is what you might call “all boy”. Stubborn, aggressive, rambuncious, strong willed…but yet still SO sweet and loving and FULL of personality! Upon turning 2, I quickly felt the need to brake his will, not his spirit. God gave him these wonderful personality traits and I’m sure all of them will benefit him as he gets older. I just wanted to steer that aggression and stubborness into a positive direction.
My husband and I had different ideas as to how to discipline of course. He is a bit more old fashioned and came from a family of 4 boys where spankings were a part of everyday life. I came from a family of 2 girls AND was a psychology major in college and planned on being an adolescent therapist (therefore studied alot of child psychology) until I got married and started my dream job…SAHM .
So I did the “naughty corner”, the time out chair, time out in the room all for the directed amount of time “one minute per year”…all of the more liberal approaches. Guess what? Didn’t work. Then we were out in the store and Mommy told him to stop doing something once, twice, then three times all in a row and I took the toy away from him….long story short, I became that mother, you know that poor mother we always looked at in Walmart when we were all still single and said, “Oh my gosh, I’m glad I dont have kids!”
My feminine nature and modern day psychological approach was taking a back seat to the idea of a sore bottom. I talked about it with my husband and he of course was jsut waiting for me to get to this point. I also read a book that I HIGHLY recommend for any parent who has a son, “Bringing Up Boys” by Dr. James Dobson. Although the author (whom I’m sure many of you have heard of) is not Catholic, he is very much a Christian conservative and I trully believe God has blessed him with some wonderful insight on the true nature of boys. It really helped me understand his physical and aggressive nature. I will also be reading his follow up book about girls if we ever have a girl because little sassy bossy girls scare me to death!!
Yes, I spank, there I said it!! Although illegal in some states, it probably helped keep me out of a woman’s correctional institute and I know it has helped my son to learn cause and effect…in a physical way that boys really understand. We do not spank hard and never out of anger. Of course it all depends on the nature of your child and not all approaches work for every child. A more tender and sensitve child would not respond well to that kind of discipline…only you know your child, not me, not Dr. Spock or any other child psychologist.
I also stopped being so leaniant (sp). I always did “3 strikes, you’re out”, well I should not have to ask him 3 times to do anything. If the task or behavior is not taken care of by the time I get over there after I said the number 2, then he is either going to time out or if need be a spank on the tushy is probably coming.
I know it’s hard but those moments of him pushing the envelope are not only good signs of him desiring independence from us (I know, cry my eyes out!) but they are wonderful opportunites to teach him obediance. As we all know obediance is SO important in every part of life, most importantly in our relationship with Christ and His bride, the Church. Hang in there, this too shall pass…pray for endurance and PATIENCE!!!! I wonder if little 2 yr old Jesus ever acted up for Mary, surely He did…ask our Blessed Mother to pray for all the things that got her through the “terrific two’s”! Hope this helps even a little bit! May peace be with you, Gina
P.S. My son Asher is now a very well behaved child. He of course still acts like a typical 2.5 yr old and still needs discipline daily but I KNOW he respects me now, the way he respects his Daddy which is so great becasue I am the one who is home with him all day. The occurances of discipline has lowered along with the unexeceptable behavior. He comes to me with an apology often on his own now and he hears the words, “I forgive you” which is also (in my opinion) very important.