Water for Whine

Finding ways to discipline your toddler can be challenging.  Some people stick exclusively to time-out, others to spanking.  We use a variety of methods depending on the offense.  You know, "the punishment must fit the crime".

I enforce time-out for things like pushing, hitting, throwing things, exhibiting aggression, etc, because I feel that he needs a chance to call down.  If he's angry and needs to let it out, I allow him to hit the table or the floor, but he knows not to hit people.  I feel like this is an acceptable punishment for these offenses because if I would choose to spank instead, that would be counter productive.  "Don't hit"::WHACK::!  That doesn't make sense.  This will hopefully teach him to take a breather, relax and then go back and play.  Right now, he doesn't really get the whole time-out thing.  I usually have to stand in front of him and continuously put him back into the corner... or hold him while he flings around if we're out and about... for 2 minutes.  2 minutes is all I give him.  And it's a LONG 2 minutes.

I am also okay with spanking... :insert GASPS here:.  I think that sometimes it is appropriate and needs to be done for the most severe offenses.  We only spank when Marco puts himself or someone else (usually Jonas) in a dangerous situation.  Reasons in the past why we have spanked include:  sitting on top of Jonas, trying to pick up Jonas, hitting Jonas with a toy, running away from me while in a public place, running out into the street... you get the picture.  But the problem with spanking is that as a parent you have to be very careful.  Especially as a stay-at-home-mom who is around 24/7... sometimes you want to go a little slap happy.  And THAT is not ok.

Here's what started happening to me.  Although he could speak, Marco would choose to whine... about everything.  He would stand at our kitchen gate and whine if the milk was taking too long in the microwave, or if I didn't peel the banana fast enough, or if his juice wasn't in his hand the second he thought of it.  After a few days of hearing constant whining, (and Jonas' constant crying), my ears felt like they were going to bleed.  Every time Marco would whine, I swear my blood would begin to boil... and honestly, I wanted to smack him.  But really, whining does not merit a spanking... so I wouldn't.

Then I remembered a trick my sister-in-law Bea used to use on her toddler.  A spray bottle.  So I went to Target and invested in a $1 spray bottle, I filled it with cold water and put it in the fridge.  The next time Marco came over whining, I pulled it out and sprayed him in the face.  At first he smirked, thinking I was playing, but I gave him a very serious face and said "No Whining", and he  knew I wasn't kidding.  The next time he whined, I did it again.  The time after that, all I had to do was pull out the bottle and he went RUNNING!  We've only been doing this for about 2 weeks, but I don't think I've actually had to spray him more than twice.  Just seeing the bottle is enough.  Sometimes I just take it out and leave it on the table, as a reminder.  Or I can say, "do you want to get sprayed in the face?" and he stops.  It's unbelievable!

Yes, I am aware that this is the same kind of training they use on animals.  So?  Mauricio doesn't like it.  He refuses to partake... but then again, he's not around the whining and crying as much as I am.  And I have to do something, or I'm going to go bonkers!  This way no one gets hurt... just a splash of cold water in the face to snap him out of it!  It's perfectly harmless and works like a charm.


Jax1026 said...

THIS IS AWESOME!!!!!! LoL...I'm going to steal this from you SOME DAY ;)

Unpolished Parenting said...

So this idea makes me laugh a little but only in the that's so brilliant/crazy it just might work. I think I'll give it a try tonight. I'm with you - timeouts and spanking (especially) are only appropriate in certain situations. We haven't done the spanking yet but I'm sure there will be some once her little brother arrives. And oh the whining... hugs to all mommas going through this!!