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Little Boys Out of Control?

by Lisa Stauber | September 30th, 2008 | Infants/Toddlers

I have four boys. Sometimes, they are so sweet they can melt your heart. Sometimes, they are bouncing off the walls, and it seems they’ve forgotten every rule you’ve ever made! What’s a parent to do? Certainly follow through with your usual consequences, such as time out. But then what?

I’ve found that often, when your son is in his fifth time out in as many minutes, he needs another form of discipline. He needs the Preemptive Strike.

Instead of waiting for him to throw something else or find a fun use for Mommy’s scissors, do something with him. This is not a reward for bad behavior, it is helping the child regroup and do better.

If he has too much energy and is running through the house, let him serve his consequences and then take him outside for a game of catch. Even 5 minutes will allow him to burn off some steam while encouraging a family bond.

If he is destroying things, scribbling on walls, trying to shave the cat, and poking holes in the cereal box with a fork, give him a purposeful activity. Sit with him and complete a puzzle, or make a castle with blocks and populate it with army men.

Turn that destructive energy into constructive service by cooking together or sorting cans in the pantry. If they’ve made a mess, don’t yell. Help them pick up and make it into a game.

Giving your boys (and girls) a touchstone of time with Mom and Dad also fosters a sense of family and teamwork and helps heal a relationship full of too many “nos”. Many times naughtiness is a mix of wanting attention and not knowing what else to do. You can solve both of these problems with a simple gift of a little time.

  1. Casey says:

    This couldn’t have come on a better day. I’ve been chasing my 21 month old around all day and he’s got so much energy. I think I’ll try to wear him out tomorrow.

  2. Signe says:

    ITA…I notice my days go better and are more fun when I take this approach.

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