Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Green Chair! {The Three "C"s of Discipline}

As you can see, this chair has seen a lot of use!
  {Not completely for discipline - I promise!}

I know there are as many different ways to discipline children as there are parents and caregivers to do so! 

First, I will say, we have run the gamut for discipline practices and beliefs...9 children later, we still don't have it down perfectly.  There are, however, a few principles that have proven themselves over the years:

~ Companionship ~ Currency ~ Consistency~


The number one place to start with training any child is in knowing their hearts! This actually is a pretty basic principle, but one that I think many parents over look.  Basically, are you spending time with your children?  Are you planting seeds of character into their hearts as you speak about and live out your faith?  The verse says, "Train up your child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not turn from it."  Notice it does not say, "discipline up your child"!  In other words you need to do the diligent work of speaking truth {God's Word}, directing their path, and being a living example before you bring down a heavy hand of discipline simply because their behavior does not suit your fancy!


The second area of discipline is what we refer to as currency!  In other words, figure out what motivates your child when they have done an offense.  For some children, this can equal a good, swift spanking.  For others you may have to get more creative. 

Our sweet angel Sarah is a perfect example of a child that spanking did not help.  It actually would provoke her to more anger.  But, she absolutely abhorred the green chair.  Having her sit in that chair quickly changed her demeanor ~ she became quick to comply with our expectations.  The chair method was so effective with her that she is the biggest success story of a "beast turned to beauty", even to this day! 

It stands to reason, that knowing a child's currency is more effective with your older children as well...losing privileges, extra chores, etc. all seem to be the currency or motivator for our older ones.

Which leads me to...


No matter what form of discipline you use, BE CONSISTENT!!!  And I don't mean, be consistent for the morning and then try something else after nap time.  I mean give any method you use a few days to see if it will work.  Children are very clever...sometimes one form of discipline will work for two or three days, and then they will go back to their old habits.  This is a test!  It is only a test!  Stick to your guns!  Let them know that you are the boss!  Really!  And Moms, don't threaten with "wait 'til your Father comes home!"  Remember, YOU are in charge, not little {insert your child's name here}! If you say you are going to do it, DO IT!!!  Don't count to three...don't warn again...just do it!

And, in this on the same page as your husband!  Agree to discipline in the same manner.  If you do not agree, NEVER let your children know this.  Discuss it when they are not in ear shot!  Ladies, if you still do not agree...follow your husband!  Ultimately he answers for the "order of his home".  {Trust me...I have erred in this area and had to live with the consequences for years!}

I want to give a couple of quick words...

Yelling is not effective long term!  While it may work in the short term, this is not is getting a quick "here and now" reaction instead of the long term heart change. {In fact, yelling will damage the Companionship I spoke of above!}

Your children's behavior does not represent how good or bad of a parent you are!  We all have bad days!  We all are sinners!  We all prove those facts...including our children!  If you have a bad day, or week, or month...consider it a phase..pray....keep your chin up ...and keep doing the hard work!  It will pay off!

Finally, but very importantly, if you have any inclination to spank in a manner that is abusive...decide now and commit that you will find another way to discipline!  Yes, it may mean it takes longer to see behavior changes, but it is still possible!{In fact, parents of Foster Children are in this very situation of not being able to spank, simply because they are Foster Parents.}

We do have a nifty motivating system that we call:  The Ticket System..I will blog on that later!

I'm happy to answer specific questions...feel free to leave them in the comments!

Thanks for stopping by!  Be Refreshed!


  1. It all sounds so easy in writing. :) My biggest challenge lately is getting my almost-3-year-old to listen to me. Sometimes it's that he's purposely ignoring me, but other times he honestly is totally tuned out when I'm trying to get his attention, so I end up yelling his name to get him to listen. Then he looks at me in surprise and says, "Mommy, you yelled."

    Our other problem is that when we're in the middle of telling him he can't do something (or has to do something) he will suddenly scream and throw a fit. I'm not really sure what to do in that scenario. We've tried spankings, and we've tried time outs to get him to settle down on his own. The time outs seem to work eventually, but it seems like there ought to be a swifter resolution. I don't really like giving time outs for discipline because I don't feel they're that effective, but it seems to be the only way I can get him to settle down when his emotions are out of control. Suggestions?

    - Jenai

    1. Jenai,
      My little boy throws tantrums too (so unlike his older brother at that age) and I was totally unprepared for such behavior. While I don't agree with everything this doctor says, the "Happiest Toddler on the Block" DVD gave me a method to use that worked immediately...I was simply amazed. It stops the meltdown every time!

    2. Marsha...I have seen that video...could you give a quick rundown of the technique?

    3. Jenai...Good Question! My best suggestion for getting him to pay attention, while disciplining, is to get down at his level, hold his hand/wrists firmly, and speak to him strongly, but calmly! Use short sentences! "Johnny, we don't do "call names" in our family. Words are for loving. You need to {add consequence here}." Then follow through with the consequence without emotion!

      The other idea that a friend of mine has used is a game called Boot Camp! This is where you let your children know that you expect them to come the first time you call their name..."let's play a game to practice it." Have them leave the room, and then call their name. When they come to you, you give them a treat. Do this a few times and then say, "Ok, I'm going to wait a while before I call you again, but I still want you to come right away." Lengthen the intervals until you no longer have to give them a treat!

      Tantrums are hard! Honestly, it took a full year for Hudson to learn the concept of not throwing a tantrum! For him, as soon as he begins to throw a tantrum, we put him in time out...then I tell him {through his crying} that he is in time out for throwing a fit and if he continues, he will get a spanking. Then I walk away...if his tantrum escalates or he continues to cry, then I come back, spank him (with no words), put him back down and walk away. This usually works...but it has taken quite a few times in the past. It can be exhausting, but if your are consistent it will pay off! Hudson's time outs are more rare these days, where before there were days that he spent almost the whole day there!


  2. Love your words of wisdom and encouragement! Can't wait to hear all about your Ticket System. I am intrigued! :)

  3. Kaylee gets the 1-2-3 warning, because I am not quite sure she understands me enough to know to come to me...being that she is only a year and a half. We expect her to do a lot at her age because River occupies our arms, so I figure as it becomes apparent that she understands what I am saying, the 1-2-3 system will die out. While I still have to use hand motions to convey what I am asking, that shows she is not quite ready to move up to the next level of training.