Saturday, February 28, 2009

Presenting Marguerite as the Quiet Bunny

When it comes to discipline matters, my knee-jerk reaction is to be defensive as the philosophy I follow could be considered alternative. I don't believe in being punitive and when Marguerite acts out (and of course she does; she's in her terrific twos), instead of punishing her, I use other methods to make her stop whatever seemingly unpleasant behavior she was adopting. I've heard comments, of course, how their own kids can be controlled by a mere LOOK or how children shouldn't get away with throwing tantrums or how children who are not scolded/spanked will end up spoiled rotten... It takes a lot of willpower for me to block them out, but it is important that I do. To counter my exposure to all the unsolicited critiques/advice, I read up on the discipline approaches I want to adopt. For example, I intend to try the Quiet Bunny method recommended by Elizabeth Pantley in her book "The No-Cry Discipline Solution: Gentle Ways to Encourage Good Behavior without Whining, Tantrums & Tears". The following is an excerpt from the book:

"When children get worked up, their physiological symptoms keep them in an agitated state. You can teach your child how to relax and then use this approach when fussing begins.

• You can start each morning or end each day with a brief relaxation session. Have your child sit or lie comfortably with eyes closed. Tell a story that he’s a quiet bunny. Name body parts (feet, legs, tummy, etc.) and have your child wiggle it, and then relax it.

• Once your child is familiar with this process you can call upon it at times when he is agitated. Crouch down to your child’s level, put your hands on his shoulders, look him in the eye and say, let’s do our Quiet Bunny. And then talk him through the process. Over time, just mentioning it and asking him to close his eyes will bring relaxation."

I actually do something similar, which is to remind Marguerite of stories or rhymes she knows and she usually gets distracted and calms down. I still want to try out the Quiet Bunny as I think it will also be very effective.