Last year when we were doing our Individual Interviews for B’s adoption my social worker asked me how we were going to deal with discipline. I think everyone knows how truly opinionated I am here but for some reason I have not jumped onto any specific parenting style. I had read several parenting books: Bringing up Boys; What to expect in the first year; Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby; Happiest Baby on the Block; etc. and have taken numerous child development classes throughout my undergrad/grad school/CEU history. I just don’t have super strong opinions on things like co-sleeping, breastfeeding, baby wearing, time-outs, or spankings. Don’t get me wrong I never wanted to spank as a punishment, but I also am fully aware that in the parenting world you NEVER SAY NEVER.
When our SW asked us this question we had just crossed over into full blown “terrible 2’s” and I was a little at my wits end. Owen had been getting time-outs since 18 months old, but they had started to not work quite as well. My fuse is long but the explosion ain’t pretty. She recommended a book called The Connected Child. So being the huge book nerd that I am, I immediately downloaded it on my kindle app. I was about 30% of the way through when we got the call about Ms B. Needless to say I quit reading it and didn’t think about it for months.
Then two months ago I received an email from this adoption group that I follow. It was offering a women’s book study specifically on this book. I thought, now that’s weird. Owen had escalated his bad choices right about this time conveniently when B started crawling (and getting to his toys). So I emailed some adoptive/foster mom girlfriends and we jumped on. This discipline style is so tough especially for an exploder like myself. It sounded a little hokey in the beginning. Connecting and then correcting the behavior. Constant nurture along with constant structure. Time-In’s instead of time-outs. Stopping and thinking about why I am saying no and if I can turn it into a yes. Choices with opportunities to compromise, but I cannot deny it COMPLETELY works. Owen is a much happier, easy to comply child when I am on my Connected Child game. He listens better and is much easier to take no as an answer when it is surrounded by loving yes’.
The book study ended about 2 weeks ago and I have been slacking big time. Owen’s behavior has gotten a little worse but I am comfortable in the fact that I know what to do. I am no parenting expert and use to cringe at my elementary school when parents asked me for advice, but I can answer those questions now with a little more confidence. I don’t know if this will work for every kid or even if it will work for Baeya, but I am on board. We have signed up for another book study including the fathers and I am anxious to see how much more we can curb those bad behaviors as a parenting team. So if you are in a place similar to where I was 6 months ago and you are open to a complete overhaul on parenting techniques please please check it out.