Monday, July 21, 2008


The bad behavior has been escalating and it must come to an end.

My most pressing problem is that Lily has begun biting Evan. It's bad, real bad. He has three scars on his back and one on each arm. When she bites, she bites hard, breaking skin even through the shirt. We had a few some biting challenges early on. But that was different and short lived. Will occasionally bit but not necessarily maliciously, he would be snuggling up and then 'ow'. But we would tell him 'no biting' and pretty soon it passed.

They have a lot of fun together and often play well, but they also hit or throw toys at each other when they get mad and it has got to stop. Will has a calmer temperment and the least likely to get in trouble although he will see the others getting attention for bad behavior and he will cautiously step in to do the same.

They are much better when outdoors but it has been extremely hot. We have been forced to spend more time indoors where is harder to keep them entertained and out of trouble. Aside from getting bored, there are just so many things off limits inside - No jumping off the sofa, no playing with the stove, dishwasher or dryer, no climbing on chairs, no climbing on the TV console, no throwing food, no pulling on the blinds, no moving get the idea - that we are constantly having to distract or say 'no'.

We discipline with timeouts but we haven't been that consistent and it's not working. It's time to get tough and we have instituted new rules.
  • We now have a clear place for timeout, two minutes in chair in the corner, rather than just putting them in the playroom by themselves.
  • 'No warning' timeouts for any kind of violence. One bite or one hit and they are in timeout for two minutes.
  • Lesser infractions like throwing food and climbing on furniture get one warning and then time out.
  • When we put them in timeout we look them in the eyes and tell them in most simple language why they are going in time out. When we take them out we repeat why they were in time out and ask them to acknowledge ('no biting' ).

Lily went in time out three times until she would say 'no biting' after a time when she bit Evan on the back so hard it broke the skin through his shirt and left top and bottom bite marks. Maybe I was too tough making her stay until she acknowledged no biting, but we are desparate for her to stop. I wanted her to give him a kiss and say sorry but she refused, although he was quick to forgive and give her a kiss instead.

Meanwhile we are trying harder to keep them entertained and distracted so that trouble doesn't have a chance to start.

I also talked to Carmen this morning about our rules so we can all be on the same page. I'm optimistic that if we stick to our rules we will see improvement. We have to do better.

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