Sometimes You Have To Use Good Old Fashion Discipline

Tyler is my spunky and outgoing child.  He is witty and will often make you laugh with out trying. He is convienced he is an adult!  He will cuddle with me anytime I ask and loves being told that he is a good boy. But, do not let this handsome little face fool you! 

He can go from the sweetest and most caring child to a wild coyote in a split second.  He is, after all, 5 and he likes to get his way! The trouble with this is when Tyler’s mad, well he is entertaining.  It’s so hard not to laugh at him, thus encouraging the behavior to become worse.

Last Thursday he decided to have a melt down when it was time to leave soccer practice. I tried some of the Super Nanny’s tricks to avoid a tantrum. He was not interested in diversions, choices or warnings. He was very upset that he could not stay for his brothers practice. I finally wrangled him into the car he continued the meltdown.  He began using words that he knows are pushing his boundaries.  He has been disciplined in the past from speaking this way. He KNOWS better! Once we arrived at the house and I announced he would be going to time out.  To my surprise he went to time out without incident and quietly sat there for his 5 minutes.  Around minute 3 it occurred to me, that while the melt down was over, did he really understand the punishment?  Did he really understand that I do not want him speaking the way that he did?  How was I going to nip this in the bud? That is when I had my AHH HA moment.  When his time out ended I had him apologize to me for his behavior and his words.  We hugged.  And then he was ushered to the bathroom and I washed his mouth out with soap!  Tyler then had his AHH HA moment.  I could see from his body language and swelling eyes that he really understood it.  We then hugged lots more and a had very constructive discussion on why his mouth was washed out with soap. I know he will think twice before speaking that way again.  I saw him hesitate this weekend.  It was obvious that washing his mouth out with soap made the wheels in his head start spinning before he spoke out in anger.

This type of discipline made an impression on Tyler.  I am excited my boy is learning to think before he speaks!! I tried today’s modern discipline techniques and received a mediocre reaction and repeated poor behavior.  I tried some good old fashion discipline of washing his mouth out with soap and nipped it in the bud.

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  1. Oh the joys of little ones!! My daughter just turned 2 yesterday and she is definately giving us a run for our money! I too believe in the old fashion discipline. My dad only had to discipline me once and from them on all he had to do was give me “the look” and I knew if I didn’t stop what I was doing I was gonna get it and I didn’t want it!

  2. Oh I could have written this post. I believe in this too! We have a three year old and discipline is key. In return, she really is a good girl.

  3. My daughter rarely gets time-outs. She is autistic and most of her misbehavior is surrounding her frustration in lack of being able to communicate her needs, so I do give her a bit of leeway in some areas. Direct disobedience results in prompt punishment though. I have found the after-talk (explanation of why she was punished, in our case) & make-up hugs are more constructive than anything.

  4. I totally remember getting my mouth soaped as a child. I think you handled the situation just like you should, you talked it out, discipline, etc. I think a lot of times parents just tell their kids not to do something but a child doesn’t always understand why or understand consequences. Great job mama!

  5. I don’t think there is a “one size fits all” method of disciplining our kids…. If washing out his mouth was what was needed to get the point across, then woo hoo! I have my own little hard headed boy (he is 2) and I can see needing to try this trick in the future!

  6. Raising boys is so much different than raising girls in my opinion. I have 3 daughters and 1 son which is my youngest. He is 4 and sounds a little like your son. 🙂

  7. I was a little boy once too and, although I was pretty good, this is the one place where I’d get myself in trouble too. If it got out-of-hand my Mom would give me a little one-finger-snap on the lip. Not hard enough to really hurt, but enough to get my attention. I think the soap approach could be even better, depending on the child.

  8. We’ve been there!! Unfortunately, my five going on fifteen year old likes to rhythm words often…not knowing some of those words are bad!

  9. Glad you followed THROUGH and followed UP with him. You sound like you’re doing a good job.

  10. Ugh, I know what you mean. Our boys find potty talk funny until they get punished. I am the oldest of eight kids, but sometimes different kids need different discipline. For example- the four year old would probably lose dessert or get his mouth washed out with soap for teasing his sister or saying “butthead” while the eleven year old would get sent to mow the lawn or take care of the compost for teasing or talking potty talk. 😀

  11. I haven’t done it to either of my girls but I definitely remember getting soap in the mouth when I was younger. My youngest is 2 and already giving us a run for our money but discipline is key. We all have different ways when it comes to raising our kids so I think what you did was perfect for your situation.

  12. I put liquid Dawn on Samantha’s tongue once when she decided to drop the F Bomb at a childs birthday party. That was nine years ago, and she will laugh and tell you she STILL hasnt said it since ROFL

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