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Time Out for Timeouts

The first time I used a timeout to discipline my son, it was quite effective. At age 1-1/2, he kept trying to play with the knobs on the stove even though I'd said no. So I sat him in a corner for a minute. Sure, he cried. After all, he was a toddler not getting his way. But he left the stove knobs alone after that.

Given his age, I set limits on my use of the timeouts -- only for use in true hazard situations where "no" wasn't working. As he got older, our use evolved and grew, and then a timeout became far less effective, sometimes resembling a "bar fight," as Slate's Alan E. Kazdin calls it.


"Using more and longer timeouts might seem proportional, and it might even conceivably teach a lesson about justice, but it won't help change the behavior that's causing you to give timeouts in the first place. And if you don't change the behavior, you're going to be enforcing a lot more timeouts."

Kazdin goes on to write that to be effective, timeouts should be used sparingly. They should be brief, immediate, done in isolation and administered calmly and without repeated warnings.

Now that my first child is older, bigger and stronger, I find that trying to teach someone four-fifths of my height to change behavior requires far more psychology, rewards and praise.

With child number two, I implemented a different timeout strategy, one which worked perfectly for his personality: "Walk away." A friend learned this from her day care. "Walk away" sounds more positive and is something that the kids actually do, the day care had told her. And sure enough -- even now -- if I tell my 4-year-old to walk away, he does exactly that. He might find a quiet corner or go to his room. He cries for a bit, calms himself down and eventually starts playing. And when he's ready to rejoin us, he apologizes and we all move on.

What non-corporal disciplinary practices do you find effective with your kids and which ones have you abandoned because of their ineffectiveness?

By Stacey Garfinkle |  August 26, 2008; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Discipline
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Comments


"At age 1-1/2, he kept trying to play with the knobs on the stove even though I'd said no."

There's a shocker!

I took the knobs off of the stove.

"And if you don't change the behavior, you're going to be enforcing a lot more timeouts."

Yup. It's called prison followed by execution - the ultimate timeout.

Another retread. Sigh.

Posted by: Huh? | August 26, 2008 7:12 AM | Report abuse

"Walk Away"? Is this a version of shunning? I'm not familiar with it, but if what you're telling the child is that he should get away from you until he's properly remorseful, then I submit that you're going to teach them that your love is conditional, and instill in them a feeling that they can't count on you. When things go bad are you there guiding and teaching him? Nope. You're telling him to get away from you. You're rejecting him. BAD idea.

Posted by: Nofluer | August 26, 2008 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Huh? said, I took the knobs off of the stove.

Now what does that teach junior? He/she needs to understand that some things are off limits. How about redirecting the behavior (pots and pans to play with, etc.) or realizing that touching the knobs is just trying to be like mom/dad and get attention?

And Nofluer says that "walk away" is shunning. So is "time out." Sure, I've done both when the kids were tiny. Funny thing is, those kids get to be teens awfully quickly and those tactics don't work. Neither does taking off the stove knobs (figuratively, of course). About the only thing that really does work is to positively redirect behavior. Not surprisingly, that works for teenagers too!

Posted by: Been there, tried that | August 26, 2008 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Taking the knobs off the stove does not sound like a solution. After all, there are plenty of stoves in the world, and you certainly can't take the knobs off all of them.

You can't "child proof" the world. You have to teach your child strategies for living in the world, dangers and all, in a safe way.

My children are almost 3. I expect them to listen to me if I ask them not to touch something, (or to wash their hands for dinner, hold my hands before crossing the street, take turns with a toy ,etc). I use time-outs only for pretty serious things, like hitting. For other things, I say that if they don't do (fill in the blank) I will take away one of their bedtime books. My daughter caught on quickly and really listens incredibly well as long as she is not overtired.


Posted by: mom of twins | August 26, 2008 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Ditto on taking the knobs off the stove, kids need to learn right from wrong. We never used timeout or walk away, I think a strong "No" usually did the job.

The one thing we did that seemed to satisify the kids curiosity is allow them to open and close one kitchen cabinet that held plasticwear. It was "their cabinet" and they took great pride in pulling everything out and putting it back, the bonus was (for the most part) they left everything else in the kitchen alone.

Posted by: Siggy | August 26, 2008 7:59 AM | Report abuse

DD is only 2.5, so timeouts remain very effective for her. I tend to use them only when she deliberately defies me. When she's just acting overwhelmed or cranky, I'll take her to some quiet corner and sit with her until she calms down. I figure those time call less for punishment and more for a chance for quiet removal from the situation.

I also use her desire to be independent to coax her along. If she's, say, refusing to go up for her bath, I'll tell her I'm counting to three then I'm going to pick her up and carry her. I've never made it past two before she hurries to comply.

Posted by: NewSAHM | August 26, 2008 7:59 AM | Report abuse

"The first time I used a timeout to discipline my son, it was quite effective."

Is this the kid who picked his nose while he masturbated 24/7?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 8:04 AM | Report abuse

@ 7:28 - "Walk away" isn't telling your child to walk away from YOU. It's telling them to remove themselves from whatever situation they're in that needs to be resolved somehow. That's actually a pretty good skill to have even as an adult - leave the situation until you're calm enough to deal with it rationally.

I really hope this post today doesn't devolve into the regular spitting match because I could use some ideas. Yesterday was NOT a good day with my 2-year-old and timeouts and any other type of discipline I tried was just not working.

Posted by: treen | August 26, 2008 8:07 AM | Report abuse

We rarely need to discipline our daughter. Usually just raising our voice is enough to stop the activity and the rest of the time is generally attributable to tiredness.

Our six year old is apparently past time-outs. We used it twice and only once was it effective. Most times I simply have to say... You will do this (or not do this) or X will happen. He generally doesn't want X to happen and complies. That works better and better now that he has gotten to know me and knows that X always occurs if I tell him it will.

If we think the problem is crankiness due to tiredness... we send them to the bedroom to rest their brains from overload. Sometimes one of us will go with them to nap or read and they often just fall asleep.

I just wish I knew how to stop the step-son's temper tantrums. You do anything that he doesn't like and it starts the crying. For example, we often eat outside but if it too hot, we stay indoors to eat. If he wants to eat outside and we tell him we are eating indoors because it is too hot outside... crying and whining begins. On a bad day? this could happen up to 4 or 5 times. This absolutely frustrates me to no end.

Posted by: Billie | August 26, 2008 8:14 AM | Report abuse

A technique that is marvelously effective with young children is counting 1-2-3. There's a book about it called 1-2-3 Magic. "One" points out the problem and puts the child on notice. "Two" is the second and final warning. "Three" means consequences. Counting has power even if the actual consequences are minor -- a chair timeout or maybe a "walk away" to one's room.

There is something magical about the count. 90% of the time the behavior stops at 2. And you don't even have to do a lot of explaining about the problem -- when you say "one" usually your child understands exactly what you mean. So you don't waste a lot of time having to restate yourself -- and you also don't spend a lot of time in negative interaction with your child over bad behavior and penalties. Just 1 2 3.

Posted by: T Boyer | August 26, 2008 8:22 AM | Report abuse

It took a variety of strategies with our kids when they were younger - different kids responded to different discipline. For one, a stern warning and look (the kids call it my "bulldog face") was enough. For others, it was a timeout. Others required removal from the situation - I would have to pick a child up and carry him/her away from whatever the problem was.

The one constant was: never threaten a consequence you're not going to carry out. Don't say "if you don't stop that we're not going out to dinner" unless you intend to deny the whole family the meal out. Don't say "if you do that you're in your bedroom for the night" unless you really intend to carry that out. Mean what you say, and eventually the kids will understand that you really do mean what you say.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | August 26, 2008 8:28 AM | Report abuse

When I cought my daughter playing with the knobs on the stove, I simply showed her how they worked. Turn it to the left just a little, listen for the clicking, then poof, FIRE! Keep turning it more and the fire gets less and less.

Then I asked her if she would like to try.

NO WAY!

She was about 5 years old when she first turned on the stove, and I had to coax her to do it.

Repeated the same strategy for all my kids, results were all the same, never had a problem.

Posted by: Whacky Weasel | August 26, 2008 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Timeouts sometimes work still, definitely for the 2 YO. Or i send them to their room.

What is effective is taking away their bedtime stories, but that doesn't always work. We take away wii time or computer time now... and I've found that taking toys out of their rooms has worked. I keep doing it til they get to their room, like I told them. Then they get to take one toy back to their room before bed *if* they've kept their bedtime stories. It seems to be working.

The little one is good, as long as he's not tired or hungry - so I know that needs to be monitored, cause he can be a terror. So I try to get him to eat, or 'rest' in the afternoon, to avoid the tantrums.

Actually, walking away when they are screaming, etc, is also effective. Teach them that you will not deal with them while they are acting inappropriately (there's a book, 'don't shoot the dog' that talks about disciplining - children as well as pets - and it is great).

Posted by: atlmom | August 26, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Whacky Weasel - nice, but doesn't work that way for an electric stove. :-(

Posted by: ArmyBrat | August 26, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

We use time outs, but not as punishment. We use them to defuse a situation or calm a person (even ourselves). I believe many childhood development experts don't think time outs work - they prefer logical consequences. We try to do those, but when the kids are too upset, we just have them sit quietly for a few minutes to calm down. My 7 year old is very good at maintaining her cool now. My 4 year old even puts himself in time out if he feels too emotional. It seems to work okay for us.

Posted by: del2001 | August 26, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

My god, would you people shut up? There is no other blog on the post where people consistently waste more energy day in and day out belittling other people and trying to prove to the world how right they are.

Posted by: honeywagon | August 26, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

"I took the knobs off of the stove."

This is not a bad short term tactic working towards a long term goal of understanding the use of a stove. Not much different than putting all the cleaning supplies up high.

So if it works for a few months for this person or any other, what's to critize?

Posted by: Not a bad tactic | August 26, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

i love the "walk away" idea-- I'll try that. Has anyone tried dietary changes? I'm tempted to really reduce processed sugar intake for my soon to be 5 year old. My mother's instinct/ hunch is that he gets over emotional because of sugar in his body. But this could be an out dated way of thinking? don't really want to go back to the carob of my own youth!

Posted by: capitol hill | August 26, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

capitol hill - diet didn't seem to make much of a difference with our kids. Our pediatrician concurred with that. When our kids got too worked up/emotional it was almost always because they were over tired or over stimulated - environment, not diet.

YMMV.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | August 26, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

capitol hill: yes, it's possible it is processed sugar. In any event, even if it is not causing behavioral problems, it is not good to have the sugar in one's diet. So taking it out is not a bad idea. And this doesn't mean cutting it out completely.

Of course, if your child has reactions any time he/she eats it, then by all means, you'll have to reach for the carob. But if it's every once in a while and no harm is done, then it's not bad for a treat. We try not to keep that stuff in the house (then mom and dad don't eat it either!).

Posted by: atlmom | August 26, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Also, we try to diffuse situations by taking away the very thing that is a problem. If someone is hitting someone else with a toy, the toy gets taken away. If child is supposed to listen and is playing with something said thing gets taken away, etc.

Of course this hardly works with biting/hitting, but that's when we use timeouts, taking away other things they like, etc.

Posted by: atlmom | August 26, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

i want to second using the 1-2-3 magic approach. i would also recommend a book called kid cooperation.
we did use timeouts when my son was younger, mostly to help him get himself under control when he'd totally lost it.
other options:
logical consequences - child doesn't want to wear a coat? oh well, they get cold.
choose your battles. there are some things that aren't worth fighting over. clothing that doesn't match? oh, well. i do draw the line at socks with sandals....
some children react to a change in diet & others don't. some children have food allergies & others don't.
redirection - i also allowed my son a cabinet in the kitchen that he could play with. that worked.
the way we avoided tantrums in the grocery store - we reviewed with my son the rules of behavior when we were just outside the door of the grocery store. (no running, no tantrums, no begging, no screaming). if my son started any of the behavior that was against the rules i would remind him of the rules. if he continued my husband took him outside.
the way we avoided tantrums leaving the playground. my son & i decided how many trips down the slide or how many pushes on the swing he got before leaving the playground. about 5 minutes before we had to leave i would tell him 10 more slides or if he were on the swing 20 more pushes. when you've reached the limit - leave. yes, the first couple of times my son threw a tantrum but after that he was fine. he learned how to count to 10 & 20.
the other thing is that some children are natural boundary pushers & limit testers. with those kids; all bets are off.

Posted by: quark | August 26, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Posted by: Big snooze | August 26, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

OK, let's get the rest of it out now that zzz is here.

1. Interesting Moral Compass.

2. Speled incorrectly

3. Nancy is crying.

4. Crosspost from other blogs.

Everyone get their jollies out yet? OK, let's get back to the topic!

Posted by: Regular Lurker | August 26, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

OK, let's get the rest of it out now that zzz is here.

1. Interesting Moral Compass.

2. Speled incorrectly

3. Nancy is crying.

4. Crosspost from other blogs.

Everyone get their jollies out yet? OK, let's get back to the topic!

Posted by: Regular Lurker | August 26, 2008 9:43 AM


Why are you picking on me? I have done nothing to deserve such unprovoked animosity.

Posted by: Nancy | August 26, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Timeouts?? Walkaways??? -- I hope these kids like orange, they are going to be wearing a lot of it when the run into the real world.

Posted by: Woodbridge VA | August 26, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

my kids love orange -- GO UVA!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Who died and left you in charge? Or are you a frustrated teacher wannabe?

Posted by: to Regular Lurker | August 26, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Timeouts?? Walkaways??? -- I hope these kids like orange, they are going to be wearing a lot of it when the run into the real world.

Posted by: Woodbridge VA | August 26, 2008 9:49 AM

What happened to good spanking? All these people giving "time outs" to their kids are gonna be completely taken over by their kids when they become teenagers.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Why are you picking on me? I have done nothing to deserve such unprovoked animosity.

Posted by: Nancy | August 26, 2008 9:47 AM


Poor poor Nancy. She never gets any love. Maybe AB can comfort you.

Posted by: poor Nancy | August 26, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

OK, let's get back to the topic!

Posted by: Regular Lurker | August 26, 2008 9:43 AM

The WaPo Secret Police will come & get you if you don't stick to the topic, no matter how dull, or how many times it has been kicked to death on this blog.


Posted by: Anon for this | August 26, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

"About the only thing that really does work is to positively redirect behavior. Not surprisingly, that works for teenagers too!"
--How does redirecting a bad behavior actually TEACH them not to ever do the bad behavior again? So you turn you toddler's attention to playing with toys instead of playing with the stove knobs...how did you teach him or her not to play with the knobs? You fill you teenager's afternoon with lots of after-school activities to keep him or her busy until you get home from work. How is that teaching him/her to say no to drugs or early sex? I never understood this dumb methodology.

Posted by: Soguns1 | August 26, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

my 3.5 year old daughter usually responds well to 1-2-3, but also will put herself in the timeout spot if she knows she is misbehaving and needs some time to compose herself. i've found that timeouts are less effective when there are other children over, and the arguments are usually a result of fighting over the same toy. so, i am a big fan of putting the toy in time out. it seems to nip things in the bud, the item being fought over is out of the picture, and the children usually get distracted by something else. it's worked wonderfully so far!

Posted by: spd | August 26, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

"OK, let's get back to the topic!"


Classic MM - Queen Bee - Wannabee - cheerleader crap.


Posted by: Sheesh | August 26, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Who died and left you in charge?
********************************************************

Your lack of wit and originality died! That's who.

Posted by: Regular Lurker | August 26, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

thanks for the feedback. I'll try it for a couple days, but not get my hopes up.

has anyone tried those parenting workshops that meet once a week? Seems like kids whose parents go to those are so well behaved, but I suspect they probably would have been that way regardless-- i.e., if you are the type of parent that is willing to shell out the money and the time to go, you probably are at an advantage over other, more harried parents like myself. anyone here think that the classes helped them? Or know where I can find unbiased reviews of such classes? thanks!

Posted by: capitol hill | August 26, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

You fill you teenager's afternoon with lots of after-school activities to keep him or her busy until you get home from work.

Posted by: Soguns1 | August 26, 2008 10:04 AM

Sounds like the stupid "bell work" and "busy work" I had in school.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

"We rarely need to discipline our daughter."

The word "discipline" is often interchanged with the word "punishment". Discipline, in its foremost definition of the word means to train, teach, instruct. The word punishment is associated with causing one physical or emotional distress. Unfortunately, the word discipline is often used instead or the word punishment to put a positive spin on an otherwise undesirable action.

So Billy, if I interpreted what you mean in the words that you used, I would think that you rarely teach, train, or instruct your daughter. That would b terrible parenting, don't you think?

Discipline and punishment are two separate terms with two different meanings, and If you ask me, the use of punishment is the absolute most ineffective method to teach children anything, (or dogs or adults for that matter)

Children not only need good discipline to grow up and become contributing adults to our society, they actually desire it over its neglectful alternative. Punishment, not so in the least.

Also billy, when a child whines and cries and throws tantrums, it means they feel bad. Punishing this behavior makes it worse. Empathy and patience is the best approach to overcome these emotional habits, though very difficult to consistently apply, however Billy, I think you have it in you.

Posted by: Whacky Weasel | August 26, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

"Seems like kids whose parents go to those are so well behaved"

LOL!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

What happened to good spanking? All these people giving "time outs" to their kids are gonna be completely taken over by their kids when they become teenagers.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 9:58 AM


Child abuser.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

"Empathy and patience is the best approach to overcome these emotional habits..."

Posted by: Whacky Weasel | August 26, 2008 10:12 AM

Fu4 giving parenting advice. Tee-hee.

Posted by: LOL | August 26, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

to the person frustrated with their stepson's behavior - maybe if you start thinking of them as your son and not your stepson, they will start thinking of you as their mom and actually listen to you.

Posted by: stepdaughter | August 26, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

sogun, you're right in the sense that redirection does not teach children not to do certain behaviors . however, there are certain behaviors that are age appropriate. once a child is past the age the behavior disappears. which is better: to redirect if i see a tantrum on the horizon in hopes to head off the tantrum or to let my child throw the tantrum & then punish him to show him that a tantrum is wrong? i would much rather redirect. it sounds like you would rather let the child have the tantrum & then punish.

that quaint expression "idle hands are the devil's workship" is so true whether you're talking about a 2 year old, a 20 year old or a 50 year old. boredom can cause so many bad decisions. i know that i've looked back at some of the things that i've done & thought to myself "it seemed like a good idea at the time." merely because i was bored on a saturday afternoon.

Posted by: quark | August 26, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Is this the kid who picked his nose while he masturbated 24/7?

Who would post this about their child? I hope no one did.

Posted by: OMG | August 26, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

del2001: We use time outs, but not as punishment. We use them to defuse a situation or calm a person (even ourselves). I believe many childhood development experts don't think time outs work - they prefer logical consequences. We try to do those, but when the kids are too upset, we just have them sit quietly for a few minutes to calm down. My 7 year old is very good at maintaining her cool now. My 4 year old even puts himself in time out if he feels too emotional. It seems to work okay for us.

------------

This sounds familiar! Our kids both grew up with timeouts on the "naughty step" (a la "Supernanny"), and it worked very well for them. Kid #1 (now 5) almost never needs a timeout anymore, although she sometimes puts herself there if *she* feels she did something wrong or if she is frustrated and needs a break.

Kid #2 (now 3) has trouble expressing himself and whines a lot these days. He rarely needs a timeout anymore for really bad behavior (like hitting), but we put him on the "naughty step" to break the cycle of whiny behavior, and to make him stop and think about what he needs to say and do. It seems to work, and now he also sends himself to timeout when he is frustrated.

I think the key was combining the reasoning (explaining what was wrong and why) with the timeout (i.e., physically separating the kid and imposing a few minutes of quiet time). I don't think that (for smaller kids, at least) doing one without the other is very effective.

Posted by: T | August 26, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

i know that i've looked back at some of the things that i've done & thought to myself "it seemed like a good idea at the time." merely because i was bored on a saturday afternoon.


Why deos this not surprise me about you?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

My god, would you people shut up? There is no other blog on the post where people consistently waste more energy day in and day out belittling other people and trying to prove to the world how right they are.

Posted by: honeywagon | August 26, 2008 8:52 AM

Put a sock in it yourself, Hall Monitor.

Haven't read On Faith or any of the political blogs then.

How is expressing an opinion trying to prove anything? You are so unremittingly insecure that you can't abide a little give and take with people who aren't PTA moms.

Posted by: paulina | August 26, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

"i know that i've looked back at some of the things that i've done & thought to myself "it seemed like a good idea at the time." merely because i was bored on a saturday afternoon."

George W.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Why does it HAVE to be non-corporal punishment? Physical pain is very effective at teaching us things. And why is psychological or emotional pain acceptable but physical pain is not?

When my kids were little, they would invariably try to stick stuff into the electrical sockets. I would say "NO -- Danger" very firmly, then I would pretend to do what they were doing and "give myself a shock" accompanied by loud OUCHes, then I would grab their hand and force them to probe the socket (using a plastic knife), and when they put it in just a little I would yell "BZZZT!" loudly in their ear and simultaneously smack their hand. Sure, it made them cry, but I never had to do this more than once, and they never repeated the behavior. Why? Because kids aren't stupid; they avoid pain.

Same with the stove/oven. Get the oven door hot enough to burn if you left your hand on it for a second or two but not hot enough to IMMEDIATELY burn. (Obviously it is critical that you test this on yourself first!) Then take the child over to the oven door, say "HOT -- Danger", act out burning yourself, then put his/her hand on the door FOR A SPLIT SECOND. (I repeat: Obviously it is critical that you test this on yourself first!) The interesting thing is that a child's hand will not actually sustain injury faster than an adult hand (unless you have lots of callouses), so this is totally safe, BUT a child's hot/cold receptors and pain receptors are more sensitive than an adult's. So, your child gets one good scare, maybe cries a bit, and never goes near the oven or stove again when you tell him/her that it is HOT. Why? Because kids aren't stupid; they avoid pain.

Do this with all sorts of things: knives, scissors, poison (don't let your kid drink poison -- act it out), fingers in door hinges, etc. The real plus side to this is that your children learn what the word "Danger" means, and that you want to protect them from it. By the time they are teens they are conditioned to take you seriously about "Danger" and they are likely to listen when you tell them about the dangers of drugs, smoking, extramarital sex, bad friends, political correctness, etc.

Posted by: dmm | August 26, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

By the time they are teens they are conditioned to take you seriously about "Danger" and they are likely to listen when you tell them about the dangers of drugs, smoking, extramarital sex, bad friends, political correctness, etc.

Posted by: dmm | August 26, 2008 10:42 AM

LOL!!!!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Soguns, I asked my boys, now in college, who were the troublemakers in a middle-class school and neighborhood. They said it was usually the kids who had no one at home after school and no extracurricular activities.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

dmm

"Because kids aren't stupid; they avoid pain."


And they dump their parents in crappy nursing homes where there is lots of "elder abuse".

Enjoy.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

If Anonymous is the same person posting semi-regularly on this blog in the past couple of days, then he (having said he was a 29 yr old PhD yesterday) certainly sounds like a bitter young man. Optimism and empathy are not key facets of his postings. I'm sure Nancy will be upset with Anonymous's nasty-styled comments.

Posted by: non-anonymous | August 26, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

What was very effective with my kids growing up was to have them stick their nose on the wall for a short time. I even had them do it briefly against a tree at a park once. Even the threat of having them do it, would very often redirect their behavior to something appropriate.

It worked very well in stopping misbehavior and to this day as adults they laugh about it and remark how effective it was.

I don't recall ever overusing it, and I used any number of carror and stick things also to reward good behavior or deny priveleges. But the one we all remember with a smile on our faces as a grandfather and with my adult children is: "go put your nose on the wall for a minute"

Posted by: Dad | August 26, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

dmm - I'd be interested in hearing how you demonstrated the dangers of drugs and sex...

Posted by: dmm stands for | August 26, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure Nancy will be upset with Anonymous's nasty-styled comments.

Posted by: non-anonymous | August 26, 2008 10:52 AM


Who gives a rat's a$s???????

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

What was very effective with my kids growing up was to have them stick their nose on the wall for a short time. I even had them do it briefly against a tree at a park once. Even the threat of having them do it, would very often redirect their behavior to something appropriate.

Dad

Weird, really weird subtext here. What worked for the Mother?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

But the one we all remember with a smile on our faces as a grandfather and with my adult children is: "go put your nose on the wall for a minute"

Posted by: Dad | August 26, 2008 10:53 AM

The adult kids are smiling because they are planning how to spend your money after they dump you in a budget nursing home.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

dmm,

somtimes the only way kids' learn is with a swat to the butt. However, the liberal, hippies on this blog would rather they sat in a corner planning the next attack on the stove than have a red butt.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

dmm,

somtimes the only way kids' learn is with a swat to the butt. However, the liberal, hippies on this blog would rather they sat in a corner planning the next attack on the stove than have a red butt.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 11:08 AM

Spelling and Grammar Police Alert for this
chowder head.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure Nancy will be upset with Anonymous's nasty-styled comments.

Posted by: non-anonymous | August 26, 2008 10:52 AM


Who gives a rat's a$s???????

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 10:55 AM

Why must everyone pick on me all the time? I have said nothing, nor have I criticized anyone. It breaks my heart that people will just attack me for no reason.

Posted by: Nancy | August 26, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

To Stepdaughter:

You said:
"maybe if you start thinking of them as your son and not your stepson, they will start thinking of you as their mom and actually listen to you."

So you are saying that I should somehow take on the role of Mom when they already have a Mom that they live with most of the time? It is absolutely clear to the kids that I am not their mother and I make no attempt to even pretend to be. When they accidentally call me Mom, I correct them and tell them I am their Second Mom. Lots of time, they correct themselves. I am not their mother and would never presume to take that role from their mother.

When they are with us... I often take on the mother role. I kiss their boo-boos and give them hugs, dry them off after a shower, make them dinner and read them books at night. I take turns getting up in the middle of the night when they are sick and comfort them when they are scared at the dentist. And at times, I have to enforce the rules. But I am not their mother.

I wish I could say that his inability to listen to me is because I am his step-mother but unfortunately his temper tantrums are equal opportunity. Often as not, the temper tantrums have nothing to do with me but something their father said... Like we are eating indoors. We have to leave the pool now... we aren't going to the pool or whatever sets him off.

I would like the child to be happy. I would like our family to be happy. Our family is not happy when we are continually confronted by his crying over every little thing. His crying even impacts what we do as a family. I suggest to my honey that we go swimming (or whatever). His response? No thanks. I don't want to deal with my son's temper tantrum when we tell him it is time to leave (even with 5 minute warning etc etc). He (and the whole family) miss out on doing all kinds of things because my husband doesn't want to deal with his tantrums. I find that very sad but I totally understand his attitude and a big reason why his tantrums frustrate me. I would really love to find a way to stop them so that our decisions are based on what we want to do and not what the consequences are - his inevitable tantrum.

I love those kids but I don't call them my children when I am talking to other folks because that would give them the wrong impression - that my husband and I have children together whom we live with. We do not. They only live with us part-time which of course impacts how we can and do interact with them.

Perhaps you should find out some facts about our situation before you sit in judgment about how I interact with them.


Posted by: Billie | August 26, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

When my kid misbehaves, I give him a conundrum: I put him in a round room and tell him he can't come out until he pees in the corner.

Posted by: Men's Room | August 26, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Billie

I've grown very tired of your "issues".

As stated a number of times before, you and DH and the kids and their mother all need counseling, group and individual. Check with your EAP.

No one can abuse you without your permission. Why does DH and the kids call the shots in your house? ZZZZZ

Posted by: Same problems over and over and over | August 26, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Whacky Weasel,

I am not going to touch discipline vs punishment as words. I would hope that we teach and train our children. I presume that some children also need to be reminded of the rules. For my stepdaughter, a raised voice is reminder enough although she tends not to need reminders. For my step-son, usually some privilege needs to be taken away or something more drastic. More drastic tends to be initiated

I think this is rather simplistic regarding temper tantrums. "it means they feel bad." He feels bad that we are not eating outdoors? He feels bad that he has to walk his plate to the counter? Maybe he feels bad that he is not getting what he wants but it seems a stretch to say that eating inside makes him feel bad.

Posted by: Billie | August 26, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps you should find out some facts about our situation before you sit in judgment about how I interact with them.


Posted by: Billie | August 26, 2008 11:17 AM


You get what you pay for when you ask for free advice on the Net.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

this does not make any sense. please remember to review your text for grammar mistakes before hitting 'submit.'" --grammar police
---------

OH. SHUT. UP. Take your editorial skills to the New York Times and spare us your genius further. Even great editors and writers make mistakes.

And if you're going to continue to correct everyone, capitalize your sentences.

Posted by: td is annoyed by smug people who think they are perfect | August 26, 2008 9:57 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Why must everyone pick on me all the time?
Posted by: Nancy | August 26, 2008 11:16 AM

Because you look like a giant nose full of big green boogers

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

"Spelling and Grammar Police Alert for this
chowder head"

Really? Why don't you break it down for us then since you are so great?

Just a question: why is Grammar Police capped and chowder head isn't? If they are both proper nouns, why is there a difference? Also, can you let us know why alert is capped?

Posted by: please | August 26, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

to all the anon posters on this blog. can you guys help me shut up some of the celeb blog posters who think they're so self important? i'm talking about curmudgeon and sasquatch, each of whom post 40 posts a day on the blog, while acting as a "hall monitor."

thanks in advance.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/celebritology/2008/08/morning_mix_new_dancing_with_t.html

Posted by: need help | August 26, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps you should find out some facts about our situation before you sit in judgment about how I interact with them.


Posted by: Billie | August 26, 2008 11:17 AM

It's obvious that you were really unprepared for marriage and the stepmom role but you went ahead and got married, anyway. And there is the "citizenship" issue. Yes, there is going to be judgment.

Posted by: It's not magic | August 26, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

back to the topic-du-jour: is a time-out punishment a la dennis-the-menace? or is it discipline a les marines? Mayhaps people are referring to a 'timeout' when there are really two different parental options known as timeout?

Posted by: timeout? | August 26, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Please take your crassness to the celeb blog. they appreciate that type of disgusting humor.

Posted by: for Jeff at 11:34 | August 26, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

You get what you pay for when you ask for free advice on the Net.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 11:29 AM


which is why noone takes your advice of course

Posted by: for nothing, chicks for free | August 26, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Billie, I read "How to talk so your Kids Will Listen and Listen so Your Kids will Talk" recently and it provided some good ideas. but it is really hard work-- very differenet from the habits that I have for discipline right now so tough to switch tactics. Looking at your situation, I could suggest that having your son write or draw when he is upset could make a big difference. It's easy for my looking on the outside in to say that! I keep meaning to do it with my son, but when the temper tantrum hits, I don't have a pen and paper handy or I just plain forget that technique and do what I usually do. which obviously isn't working in the long term!

Have you heard of the book?

Posted by: capitol hill | August 26, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

One thing about timeouts that I want to add is this:

1. My first son acted independently and when he would intentionally act up or damage things we would put him in age appropriate "time outs" on the stairs. He would escalate his anger, hitting, biting, just going crazy with anger. We went through many different processes and eventually took him to a therapist to work out ways to control his anger and to effectively work with him on that. For him we had to give the toy the time out or give something he liked the time out, but we couldn't move him if we wanted him to calm down, apologize, and get his behavior or back-talk on-track.
2. When we put our second son in time out he sits there and feels sad and runs over and apologizes at the first chance we give him. We haven't had to put a single toy in time out yet.

It's literally a night and day reaction.

People with an "easy" kid the first time around do not understand what it means to have a "difficult" child. Since I have one of each I can easily see the differences in their personalities and how they react to things. As the therapist told us, "It's not what you're doing, it's how this one kid reacts to what you're doing."

I am always eager to learn more positive parenting techniques, but the above posts show very immature minds and I cannot wait for school to go back so these kids have something else to do besides hang out here.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I keep meaning to do it with my son, but when the temper tantrum hits, I don't have a pen and paper handy or I just plain forget that technique and do what I usually do. which obviously isn't working in the long term!

Have you heard of the book?

Posted by: capitol hill | August 26, 2008 12:03 PM

What good is the book if you don't apply the techniques? What a nitwit!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

My mother had an effective way to quell the misbehavior of her four step-ladder sized, rambunctious sons.

"Go cut me a switch."

Worked every time.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 26, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

How is that teaching him/her to say no to drugs or early sex? I never understood this dumb methodology.
-----

It's called "physiology" in scientific circles and called "idle hands" in religious circles, but it works for a lot of kids. When my BIL let my niece stay home after school suddenly she's IM'ing all these boys and flirting. When she got an afterschool job suddenly she's not IM'ing these boys. When my nephew stayed home afterschool he got into petty fights and trespassed and wrecked the house with his stuff and sat sullen in the basement with video games, when he got into the football team in Jr High then he stayed at the gym 2 hours a day after school and made fun of the kids sitting on the couch all day. Life ain't perfect, but there is a lot of evidence that physical activity pumps blood to the brain for better cognitive abilities. seriously.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

What good is the book if you don't apply the techniques? What a nitwit!
-----

I think the only real nitwit is nitwit who calls someone they don't know a nitwit on a board just to feel better about their pathetic lives.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

My mother had an effective way to quell the misbehavior of her four step-ladder sized, rambunctious sons.

"Go cut me a switch."

Worked every time.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 26, 2008 12:08 PM

On kids with low IQs.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

i think the comment at 11:34 applies to you as well. or you should at least follow its instructions for jeff.

Posted by: for mudge | August 26, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Why does it HAVE to be non-corporal punishment?
----

Gee I dunno, ask your doctor and ask a cop and ask your local county council who made the laws against corporal punishment? Don't post such a stupid question to a bunch of people online, ask the people who wrote the laws forbidding it numbnuts.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

On kids with low IQs.

Don't worry, I am sure his mom breastfed so that makes up for it.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

"when he got into the football team in Jr High then he stayed at the gym 2 hours a day after school and made fun of the kids sitting on the couch all day"

A big bag of macho b.s.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

If all the posts signed Anonymous are the same person then someone has WAY too much time on their hands. Maybe we should look forward to you going back to school?

Posted by: About Anonymous | August 26, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Do the kids on leashes get timeouts?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

On kids with low IQs.

Don't worry, I am sure his mom breastfed so that makes up for it.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 12:16 PM

Breastfed kids have higher rates of autism.

Posted by: Curious | August 26, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I think timeouts are effective for some kids, but it would only escalate things with my daughter. I do put myself in timeout sometimes when I am getting frustrated with her, though, and tell her that I will be back in a few minutes.

For parents interested in a compassionate approach to discipline, I highly recommend the Positive Discipline books and Brene Brown's blog and CDs, "The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting:" http://ordinarycourage.squarespace.com/my-blog/category/imperfect-parenting

Re processed sugar, I think both it and food additives and preservatives affect some people more than others. Also, I think blood sugar crashes from sugar without whole grain and/or protein to balance it out create a difference in behavior. My daughter is very much like me--steady blood sugar equals steady mood. If I forget her snack or mine, though, beware!

Posted by: restonmom | August 26, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

"which is better: to redirect if i see a tantrum on the horizon in hopes to head off the tantrum or to let my child throw the tantrum & then punish him to show him that a tantrum is wrong? i would much rather redirect. it sounds like you would rather let the child have the tantrum & then punish."

-I believe it's better to reprimand the offsensive behavior immediately. So if my 4 year old child has a temper tantrum in the grocery store, I'll rather deal with it than to try to redirect her behavior. If I constantly redirect her attention, I am NOT teaching her not to get upset because I refuse to buy her a candy bar at the check out lane. That's called 'ignoring the offensive behavior.' Where are the consequences?


"Soguns, I asked my boys, now in college, who were the troublemakers in a middle-class school and neighborhood. They said it was usually the kids who had no one at home after school and no extracurricular activities.

--Kudos to those parents. They failed to teach their idle teens to stay out of trouble. An occupied teen has less chances of getting involved in bad behavior than an idle one. That doesn't mean they make smarter choices. Again, keeping your teenager busy with after-school activity does NOT teach them about safe sex or saying no to drugs/alcohol. Quit assuming that all you have to do is plop your teen in soccer practice, band, and piano lessons and a magic wand will wave to give them knowledge about making the right choices.
And besides that, a busy teen is not always going to be kep busy 24/7. There are moments that arises.

Posted by: Soguns1 | August 26, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Breastfed kids have higher rates of autism.

Posted by: prove it | August 26, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

"Gee I dunno, ask your doctor and ask a cop and ask your local county council who made the laws against corporal punishment? Don't post such a stupid question to a bunch of people online, ask the people who wrote the laws forbidding it numbnuts."

--Depends on how one defines corporal punishment. To my knowledge, there are no laws in the U.S. against spanking. If there are, it's far and few.

Posted by: Soguns1 | August 26, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Capitol Hill,

I have not heard of this book. I might need to investigate a couple of books to get some good ideas. My parents were hitters so I don't have good role models in terms of correction of misbehaviour.

I hadn't heard of the 1-2-3 counting either and I think that could be effective. My goal from reading this blog is to pick up ideas to help me with my parenting.

We have tried ignoring his behaviour and continuing on with whatever we are doing. That is fine for in-house and works fairly effectively. We have even used it outside of the house for different things. We have also tried to give 5 minute warnings but these tricks are hit and miss. One time he will stop at the 5 minutes and then the next time he will try to renegotiate and then get upset when enforce the agreed upon leave time.

I feel a little bit behind the 8-ball because I don't have my own children so I don't have experience in parenting children. I am starting from 0 with them but I think we are forging a good relationship. My step-daughter is an absolute joy but my step-son can be quite frustrating with his acting out. When he is not busy acting out... he is really quite funny and enjoyable to be around.

I suppose I haven't really updated anyone with my situation (for those that might care) because the OB community had ended and I felt this community was different. Things came to a head several months ago where his choice was to end the relationship or make drastic changes. My husband chose to initiate those drastic changes and we have moved forward from there. Everything is not roses but we are back on track and our relationship is strengthening every day. For everybody that supported me... thanks.

Posted by: Billie | August 26, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I feel a little bit behind the 8-ball because I don't have my own children so I don't have experience in parenting children.

Billie

Did you consider this before you married? How did you prepare to become a stepmother?

Posted by: Really confused | August 26, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

A big bag of macho b.s.
-----

only in your mind and not in reality. quit fantasizing about other people, mmmm'k?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I believe it's better to reprimand the offsensive behavior immediately. So if my 4 year old child has a temper tantrum in the grocery store, I'll rather deal with it than to try to redirect her behavior. If I constantly redirect her attention, I am NOT teaching her not to get upset because I refuse to buy her a candy bar at the check out lane. That's called 'ignoring the offensive behavior.'
-----

Uhhh... that's not what's being described here. I dunno, do you need to read a better article describing it? Do you need to re-read these posts? You've knocked down a straw man of your own creation, ok, but that's not what others are talking about, you know that right?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Depends on how one defines corporal punishment. To my knowledge, there are no laws in the U.S. against spanking. If there are, it's far and few.
-------

Nope, there are laws against corporal punishment, but it depends how you define it and if the victim can describe it to a teacher I suppose. Ever hear about someone whose family was investigated by child services just because they discipline their kid? I sure have, only their discipline was physical in the extreme.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I bet he/she is the person who is at every party who has a comment about everything. They have been everywhere. Done everything. If someone is cold, they are freezing. If someone is hungry, they are starving. Enough already. You have a snide comment for everything.

Posted by: About Anonymous | August 26, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

By the time they are teens they are conditioned to take you seriously about "Danger" and they are likely to listen when you tell them about the dangers of drugs, smoking, extramarital sex, bad friends, political correctness, etc.

Posted by: dmm | August 26, 2008 10:42 AM

the dangers of . . . political correctness? WTF does this mean?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I feel a little bit behind the 8-ball because I don't have my own children so I don't have experience in parenting children. I am starting from 0 with them but I think we are forging a good relationship.My step-daughter is an absolute joy but my step-son can be quite frustrating with his acting out. When he is not busy acting out... he is really quite funny and enjoyable to be around.

-----------

You remind me of a woman I knew many years ago. She was a serious professional who married a CEO who had kids and I think because she never went through the completely helpless stages, she thought that having kids of her own would be like taking care of her nieces. Although she was way overboard sexist, so any "boyish" behavior like needing massive exercise between school and homework was wrong and "girlish" behavior like sitting down reading was "normal." I think you'd be much much much better off talking to a therapist, counselor or step parents parenting group than posting questions to an online forum of cranks. I'm being serious, if you haven't talked to other step parents face to face then you just don't get it.

my mother hated and still hates my half-brother to this day over things like his drug use and minor run-ins with the cops in 1971. She won't forgive him for that, but she dealt with mistakes I made much better because she knew from my early years that I was a "fundamentally good kid."

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

" I bet he/she is the person who is at every party who has a comment about everything. They have been everywhere. Done everything. If someone is cold, they are freezing. If someone is hungry, they are starving. "

Tha would be ABrat. What he doesn't know, he quotes from Wiki........

Posted by: Please shoot this topic and take it out of its misery | August 26, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

dmm,

somtimes the only way kids' learn is with a swat to the butt. However, the liberal, hippies on this blog would rather they sat in a corner planning the next attack on the stove than have a red butt.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 11:08 AM

11:08, interesting moral compass.

Stacey's question for the blog was this:

"What NON-CORPORAL disciplinary practices do you find effective with your kids and which ones have you abandoned because of their ineffectiveness?"

If you want to rant on about how you've found the perfect way to spank your child, write your own blog. Gotta say, though, that if you have to employ any technique more than once to correct the same conduct, it's not exactly working, is it?

Posted by: golly what a day! | August 26, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

"Nope, there are laws against corporal punishment, but it depends how you define it and if the victim can describe it to a teacher I suppose. Ever hear about someone whose family was investigated by child services just because they discipline their kid? I sure have, only their discipline was physical in the extreme."

--Yeah. Sure I heard of CPS investigating families like that. You're right-mainly, that was dealing with extreme cases of corporal punishment. Spanking to the hand or bottom, and even an occasional slap to the face isn't going to land one in jail and be labeled a "child abuser."

Posted by: Soguns1 | August 26, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

But Anonymous is SO much worse than AB - at least today. Every other post is "it's". Talk about a zzzzz fest.

Posted by: About Anonymous | August 26, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

another note to stepmom - you questioned how I could comment on your use of the term stepson, thought I'd respond. As a stepdaughter of a stepmom who always referred to me as her stepdaughter who ALWAYS came in second to her "real" daughters (exactly how she referred to them), I think I do have some idea of what I'm talking about.

I just don't understand why you felt the need to identify this boy as your stepson instead of your son on this anonymous message board, unless it was to say that it isn't your fault that he misbehaves, since he isn't your "real" son.

Posted by: stepdaughter | August 26, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

to all the anon posters on this blog. can you guys help me shut up some of the celeb blog posters who think they're so self important? i'm talking about curmudgeon and sasquatch, each of whom post 40 posts a day on the blog, while acting as a "hall monitor."

thanks in advance.

Posted by: need help | August 26, 2008 11:31 AM

$10 says that, in real life, need help has an office full of colleagues who'd pay good money for someone to shut him up permanently.

Posted by: Roseanne | August 26, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

my mother hated and still hates my half-brother to this day over things like his drug use and minor run-ins with the cops in 1971. She won't forgive him for that, but she dealt with mistakes I made much better because she knew from my early years that I was a "fundamentally good kid."

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 1:06 PM

"half-brother"???? Must be pATRICK.

Posted by: Please, child | August 26, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Really confused,

"Did you consider this before you married? How did you prepare to become a stepmother?"

I did consider this before marriage and expected to be behind the 8-ball. How can you not be if you haven't raised your own children and are suddenly helping to raise two little children that you have incredible influence over. And that influence continually amazes me. Even something little like mimicking the way I speak or the way I push the stool out of the way with my foot when she is finished brushing her teeth puts me in awe. It is that influence that makes me want to ensure that I am doing the best I can.

Preparation? I wasn't able to prepare while dating. The children lived in another country while we dated and during the first year of our marriage. We knew that I would be going from nothing to the full shebang in an instant. You can talk all you want about what to expect but that still doesn't fully prepare you for the experience. It is a lot like having a baby I presume. You can read all the books and get all the advice but reality can be an entirely different thing.

Posted by: Billie | August 26, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

"Uhhh... that's not what's being described here. I dunno, do you need to read a better article describing it? Do you need to re-read these posts? You've knocked down a straw man of your own creation, ok, but that's not what others are talking about, you know that right?"

--Then tell me, OhGreatAnonymus, was does it mean to "redirect one's attention or behavior?" I know exactly what the means. It does NOT teach the offender not to behavior in offending fashion.

**Example**

A 3 year old want a candy bar in a check out lane. Mother tells child 'no.' Child starts crying and stomping, demanding to have a candy bar. Mom tells child, "Look Billy. Look at all the pretty balloons over there." Or "Billy, why don't come help Mommy set the groceries on the conveyer belt."
Or maybe I'm missing something here. In the example that I just gave, is that not "redirecting" the offending behavior-the temper tantrum?
How did Mommy teach Billy not to have temper tantrums whenever she tell him her can't have a candy bar?

Posted by: Soguns1 | August 26, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

The children lived in another country while we dated and during the first year of our marriage. We knew that I would be going from nothing to the full shebang in an instant.

Posted by: Billie | August 26, 2008 1:17 PM

And now the kids are screwed. You need counseling. Big time.
This is why I don't date men with dependent children .....

Posted by: Anon for that | August 26, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Billie,

There is a lot of garbage on this board but I want to say that I for one enjoy your thoughtful posts. It's obvious that though imperfect you care about your stepkids and are doing the best you can. I am engaged to marry a man with a 5 year old, 3 year old, and moody/aggressive ex-wife. Since I have no children myself, I am trying to learn all I can in advance and prepare the best I can (from MANY sources, to those would say get off a blog full of strangers...this is one of many places I come for information). I hope you will continue to post your story and what you are learning along the way...I'd be willing to bet there are many quiet, longtime lurkers like me here who DO learn bits and pieces from those who take the time to submit actual thoughtful comments.

Posted by: Auntie W | August 26, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

To Stepdaughter---

I hope you will see my question in the sincerity I mean it, and not trying to be snarky like a lot of the other garbage on this board. I see your point how your stepmother's singling you out as a "not real" daughter was very hurtful. That must have been awful.

But as a future stepmom who has no children of her own and no plans to, and also an ex-wife in the picture who very much values her EXCLUSIVE role as their Mom, how should I refer to my stepkids? Or they to me? As Billie said above, I am not their mom, they have one already, and I want to be very careful not to give the appearance of trying to usurp her role. However, like Billie, I do mom-ish tasks like preparing their meals, kissing their booboos, reading them bedtime stories, holding and hugging them. I am just treading uncharted waters here and trying to figure out, how can I honor the love for them and relationship I have with them, without dishonoring their mom?

Posted by: Auntie W | August 26, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

soguns, the tobacco companies have done numerous studies about tobacco use. most people who are 18 to 20 don't pick up the smoking habit. i forget the percentages but it's not very high. why don't those people start smoking? because they're old enough to recognize that smoking is dumb. a 14 year old is not that smart. that's where redirection works. keeping your child busy so they don't make stupid choices until they're old enough to recognize the choice is stupid. yes, i can't watch my son 24/7, nor would i want to, but if he's busy 4 afternoons a week then those are 4 afternoons when he doesn't have to say no. it's far easier to say no when the question is asked occassionaly than it is to say no on a daily basis.

Posted by: quark | August 26, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

"It's called "physiology" in scientific circles and called "idle hands" in religious circles, but it works for a lot of kids. When my BIL let my niece stay home after school suddenly she's IM'ing all these boys and flirting. When she got an afterschool job suddenly she's not IM'ing these boys. When my nephew stayed home afterschool he got into petty fights and trespassed and wrecked the house with his stuff and sat sullen in the basement with video games, when he got into the football team in Jr High then he stayed at the gym 2 hours a day after school and made fun of the kids sitting on the couch all day. Life ain't perfect, but there is a lot of evidence that physical activity pumps blood to the brain for better cognitive abilities. seriously."

--That's nice. Your BIL didn't teach his kids jack sh*t by keeping them busy. You think that because you shove activities in your kids schedule that it will prevent them or even teach them from engaging in sex or using illicit drugs? You're a very naive person. There is ALWAYS going to be moments that are unoccupied. Not to mention, life after high school.

Posted by: Soguns1 | August 26, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

You think that because you shove activities in your kids schedule that it will prevent them or even teach them from engaging in sex or using illicit drugs? You're a very naive person. There is ALWAYS going to be moments that are unoccupied. Not to mention, life after high school.

Posted by: Soguns1 | August 26, 2008 1:44 PM

Yup. Martha Stewart was super busy in high school...

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

to all the anon posters on this blog. can you guys help me shut up some of the celeb blog posters who think they're so self important? i'm talking about curmudgeon and sasquatch, each of whom post 40 posts a day on the blog, while acting as a "hall monitor."

thanks in advance.

Posted by: need help | August 26, 2008 11:31 AM

$10 says that, in real life, need help has an office full of colleagues who'd pay good money for someone to shut him up permanently.

Posted by: Roseanne | August 26, 2008 1:14 PM

i think the comment at 11:34 was directed to you as well Rosie.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Quark-

You realise how many young people make dumb mistakes or go wild in college, right? I'm beginning to think that this board is full of naive 35+ year old parents who graduated high school and/or undergraduate college more than 10 years ago. Silly parents rely too much on statistics instead of actually TEACHING their children.

Posted by: Soguns1 | August 26, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Stepdaughter:

In this instance, I think you are reading too much into the reference. I do my best to call them my step-children although I slip up on any number of occasions and call them my children or son or daughter.

They will never have to worry about being loved less than a 'real' child because I don't have any 'real' children. These are the closest I will get to having 'real' children and I cherish the opportunity I have to help raise them.

I am sorry that your step-mother felt that way AND communicated it to you. That is not right. My mother often told me that I was unwanted and she didn't love me. No matter how frustrated I might be at the children, I always make it clear to them that I love them. I would never want them to feel like I felt growing up.

Posted by: Billie | August 26, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

to stepdaughter: Billie describes this so that people will understand. I makes so much more sense to say: hey, I just met stepson a short while ago, so I didn't get to learn this gradually, I have to learn it all at once.

If you heard 'son' then you would think she raised that child from when he was a baby, and if she was having all these questions and issues, you would probably be thinking: but you should know this kid pretty well, since you've raised him. But she doesn't, since she really only just met him. Parents who raise kids from babies are able to know a child better - that doesn't necessarily mean that all of them know exactly what to do all the time, but being with my kids all the time for so many years, yes, I can anticipate what they are going to ask, etc, because I have been with them and have been in those situations before. Billie has not.

Posted by: atlmom | August 26, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

"i think the comment at 11:34 was directed to you as well Rosie. "

Anonymous, you DO realize that the 11:34 comment has since been deleted and so this comment of yours has no context at all, don't you?

Posted by: D'oh! | August 26, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Anonymous doesn't not realize anything silly. He/she is too busy talking to him/herself about nothing.

Posted by: to D'oh about Anonymous | August 26, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

another note to stepmom - you questioned how I could comment on your use of the term stepson, thought I'd respond. As a stepdaughter of a stepmom who always referred to me as her stepdaughter who ALWAYS came in second to her "real" daughters (exactly how she referred to them), I think I do have some idea of what I'm talking about.

I just don't understand why you felt the need to identify this boy as your stepson instead of your son on this anonymous message board, unless it was to say that it isn't your fault that he misbehaves, since he isn't your "real" son.

Posted by: stepdaughter | August 26, 2008 1:14 PM

Oh please. There is nothing wrong with calling a stepparent a steparent and a stepchild a stepchild when this simply reflects the reality of the situation. Kids with stepparents will often resent a stepparent's perceived efforts to replace the other parent, and may not want the stepparent referring to them as my "son" or "daughter." And they may not want to call the stepparent "mom" or "dad" for the same reasons. As long as the stepparents treat their stepchildren with love and respect, the actual name that they use is pretty much irrelevant. I have never noticed that Billie has disparaged her stepkids in her posts, and as far as I can tell, she has filled her role with grace, humility, and compassion despite being in a very difficult situation.

Posted by: Emily | August 26, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Responding to a tantrum is actually, in everything I have read and heard (mainly from doctors) absolutely the wrong thing to do. Ignoring the kid is the best. yes, sometimes that is not possible, but the kid is trying to get a reaction, so if you ignore them, then it is the best thing.

When my little one starts screaming, etc, then I walk away. What's the first thing he does? Come running after me. It is terrorist tactics, pure and simple. If you want to stop the behavior, stop enforcing it by doing all sorts of things. Yes, when the kids are VERY young, you need to be able to help them to calm down - i.e., i realized they did not have the capacity to do this themselves. But at some point, just walking away is the preferred response, unless you want them to keep having tantrums.

Posted by: atlmom | August 26, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

To Billie and Auntie W - thanks for your thoughtful responses. I'm certainly not questioning the fact that there are challenges to raising a stepchild. There definitely are, many of which are compounded by the actions of the real parents. But even so, I would hope that all stepparents do whatever is possible to find good in their stepchildren, find what is unique and find an appropriate approach for dealing with them. What child won't (eventually) respond positively to someone that sincerely tries to treat them as someone special? As a parent myself, I can tell you that each of my children required different handling and only through working hard to understand their personalities was I able to effectively parent them.

And while there may not be a better word to use than "stepson", if you really try to think of them as your child, you may find that it is easier to deal with their misbehavior.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

such vicious attacks today! i don't know what kind of people you are that you post such horrible things about each other.

Posted by: Nancy | August 26, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

the post at 2:10 was by me, not anonymous...

Posted by: stepdaughter not anonymous | August 26, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

"As a parent myself, I can tell you that each of my children required different handling and only through working hard to understand their personalities was I able to effectively parent them."

Brag, brag, brag.....

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Anonymous is having a jekyll-hyde kind of day, or else a Golem/Smeagol day. Take your pick.

Posted by: non-anonymous | August 26, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

That is not right. My mother often told me that I was unwanted and she didn't love me. No matter how frustrated I might be at the children, I always make it clear to them that I love them. I would never want them to feel like I felt growing up.

Posted by: Billie | August 26, 2008 1:59 PM

Get professional help! Now!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

What happened to good spanking? All these people giving "time outs" to their kids are gonna be completely taken over by their kids when they become teenagers.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 9:58 AM

Depends on the kid.

My 16-y-o is a delightful young man. I can count on one hand the number of swats he got to his diapered bottom. We used time-outs until he was about 5 or 6. He would still give himself a timeout in 3rd or 4th grade if he was overwhelmed and needed a break to get himself together.

The 11-y-o needed even fewer applications of hand-to-posterior. He's a bit more challenging, still, than his big brother, but he's got those pre-adolescent hormones starting, and his big brother was similarly challenging at the same age.

My sister's kid (15) and my brother's kids (11, 9, and 6) are used to spankings as discipline. They're pretty good kids too, but they're all more aggressive than my kids are.

I don't go around second-guessing other people's discipline of their children. I got really furious with my sister (the one who has no children of her own, just a series of badly-messed-up-step-kids) for pulling that with me and my kid - she was out-of-line for hitting him after he'd turned around and headed back into the house as instructed. I know what works with my kids, and they don't need to be bullied or beaten by any adult. But I don't know what will work, or what won't work with someone else's children, so I'll stay out of it unless I'm asked.

Posted by: Sue | August 26, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

This blog is so full of blowhards.

Posted by: ArmyBrat's wife | August 26, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for your response, Stepdaughter. I agree with you and also Emily that it's not so much about a name or a label as it is how we all treat each other--ideally with love and respect even in less-than-ideal situations. That is one thing I count myself particularly blessed in, I truly adore my soon to be stepchildren for the unique little people that they are.

Even with all the crap postings today, it's nice to see some actual give-and-take like this. I'm sure I'll get flamed for just saying that though.

Posted by: Auntie W | August 26, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

"Responding to a tantrum is actually, in everything I have read and heard (mainly from doctors) absolutely the wrong thing to do. Ignoring the kid is the best. yes, sometimes that is not possible, but the kid is trying to get a reaction, so if you ignore them, then it is the best thing."

--I think I speak for 80% of people, but I find it very offensive when I'm shopping say at, Target, and some parent thinks it's best to ignore her screaming 2 year old child while she's continues to cruise up and down an aisle with her crying screaming child following behind her.
Or a father who ignores his daughter's cries for a toy while standing in a check out lane because he doesn't want to lose his space in line.

How the hell is the child suppose to learn not to throw tantrums? Many children have energy like the Energiser Bunny. Even if you walk away or don't react to it, they will keep on crying because they are upset about not getting their way.

Posted by: Soguns1 | August 26, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

He/she needs to get help now too! What is wrong with someone who simply criticizes on what other people write and has nothing to add to the "conversation"?

Posted by: About Anonymous | August 26, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Time outs NEVER worked for my son. My mother insided upon using them and I swear my son started becoming anti-social. Counting worked some time at least until he was 3 or 4.

But what worked all of the time for me was to let my son know that if he did A that B would happen. I then made sure that if he experienced the B results every time he did A. This was for good and bad things.

By the time he was a teenager, he had many years of knowing that A=B and that if he liked and/or wanted be he would do A.

I feel people use sugar as a scape goat. Many times my son just acted up because he was bored. Children should be out running and playing in unstructured environments as well as using their brains to create playscapes. One of my son's favourite playscape was to play hockey in the olympics. He would imagine our backyard as the olympic arena and he would run around with his hockey stick and a ball, shooting into a bucket to score the gold medal winning goal.

Kids also need far more sleep than what many parents give them these days. Kids act up when they are tired, heck so do adults. Kids need at least 9 or 10 hours of sleep each day. The younger kids need even more.

Bottom line each child is different and like cars your mileage may vary. It is best to keep stiff spine, an open mind and be very very consistent.

Posted by: sierra | August 26, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

How were you people raised? Did you have time outs? How did your parents handle your misbehaviors? Did it work? Why not try tried and true methods?

Neither my brother nor I ever had a time out, nor were we physically punished in any way. We'd get the occasional, "wait til your father gets home" which worked well because we didn't want to disappoint both parents. Perhaps we were inordinately well-behaved children. We had a SAHM who treated us like people, not things; we ate all meals together and had conversation while we did so; we went to the playground together and it was as much fun for our parents as it was for us. Never were we forced to participate in extracurricular activities just because our parents wanted to get us out of their hair for a while or to distract us. And we grew up to be thoughtful, educated, non-smoking, non-drug-using, adults without criminal records.

How many of you spend quality time with your kids, getting to know them?

Posted by: Holy Crap! | August 26, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

How were you people raised? Did you have time outs? How did your parents handle your misbehaviors? Did it work? Why not try tried and true methods?

Neither my brother nor I ever had a time out, nor were we physically punished in any way. We'd get the occasional, "wait til your father gets home" which worked well because we didn't want to disappoint both parents. Perhaps we were inordinately well-behaved children. We had a SAHM who treated us like people, not things; we ate all meals together and had conversation while we did so; we went to the playground together and it was as much fun for our parents as it was for us. Never were we forced to participate in extracurricular activities just because our parents wanted to get us out of their hair for a while or to distract us. And we grew up to be thoughtful, educated, non-smoking, non-drug-using, adults without criminal records.

How many of you spend quality time with your kids, getting to know them?

Posted by: Holy Crap! | August 26, 2008 2:44 PM

I'm in the same boat! Glad I wasn't alone!

Posted by: WDC 21113 | August 26, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

i dont know which is worse. reading the OP blog comments by all you blowhards, or the inane and "cliquey" posts by curmudgeon, hermespal, and sasquatch on the celeb blog.

Posted by: argh | August 26, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

soguns: that is exactly why i said: that is not always possible. When in target, whatever, sometimes the best thing to do is to leave. no most parents won't. So the kids learn that they get what they want - sometimes they just want to create a scene. We just leave. Or I take things away. I.e., stories, toys, they don't get to buy what we came for, whatever. sometimes, it works to ignore, even in a retail store, sometimes not. i am not advocating ruining other people's meals in restaurants (far from it, if you've read other posts I've written). However, having a screaming kid in target is not going to ruin your life, either. You're shopping...you are not typically on any given aisle for more than 2 minutes. Then you walk away. What's the big deal, really...?

Posted by: atlmom | August 26, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

"i dont know which is worse. reading the OP blog comments by all you blowhards, or the inane and "cliquey" posts by curmudgeon, hermespal, and sasquatch on the celeb blog."

Posted by: argh | August 26, 2008 2:46 PM

Choice #3 - reading whiners like this.

Posted by: Or door #3 | August 26, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

i dont know which is worse. reading the OP blog comments by all you blowhards, or the inane and "cliquey" posts by curmudgeon, hermespal, and sasquatch on the celeb blog."

Posted by: argh | August 26, 2008 2:46 PM

Step away from the Blog.

Posted by: Grip - here is yours | August 26, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I am surprised at the number of people who posted to ignore the child having the tantrum. How horrible for everyone. I also fear for the children who scream at the stores and the screams are that of real distress or pain and the parent ignores it and act like the child is having a tantrum.

What I found works best for tantrums is to stop, tell the child why you have stopped, tell them what is expected to start moving again, and see it through. Let them know you are willing to stay in that spot all day if need be.

From the Nanny shows on TV, I cannot believe parents are driving down the road with their kids pitching a fit in the back. How UNSAFE for everyone on the road. If you see yourself in this comment, please for everyone's safety pull off at the soonest and safest place and wait them out.

You just need a stiff spine and consistency when dealing with children.

Posted by: sierra | August 26, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I am surprised at the number of people who posted to ignore the child having the tantrum. How horrible for everyone. I also fear for the children who scream at the stores and the screams are that of real distress or pain and the parent ignores it and act like the child is having a tantrum.

Posted by: sierra | August 26, 2008 3:02 PM


Perhaps you and Nancy can commisserate together.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Time out used to work with my 4 year old when he was younger. I found out though that taking privileges away from him works best, one thing I use when he is just out of it, is sending him to his room to calm down and he comes downstairs, apologizes and is all better.

I guess the #1 thing for me is taking away privileges or perks. It works so well, I even use it to get him to eat vegetables or try new foods. Rewards are effective too.

Posted by: mg | August 26, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

"What happened to good spanking? All these people giving "time outs" to their kids are gonna be completely taken over by their kids when they become teenagers."

This is bull!

Sue, spanking isn't discipline, it's punishment. It's a way for parents to gain control of their kid through pain and suffering, = violence.

Those kids that have learned that it is acceptable to control people through violence, well, the prisons are full of them.

Has anybody thought that a strategy for ending a tantrum from a child can sometimes be accomplished by comforting them? Kids get irrational fears and need attention and giving them a hug or just holding them in your lap for a few minutes while they cry is exactly what they need. Though kids can be brutally honest at times, some lack the verbal ability to communicate how they feel. Hence, the emotional outburst as what adults see as a tantrum.

Posted by: Whacky Weasel | August 26, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

to Holy Crap!: "How were you people raised? Did you have time outs? How did your parents handle your misbehaviors? Did it work? Why not try tried and true methods?"

Time outs? Not per se, although I was certainly sent to my room on occasion. I was also spanked when needed. Between the First Sergeant and the English Teacher, they had no trouble disciplining us.

Their methods produced three relatively successful, productive adults - we all have graduate degrees; nobody has any criminal records/drug addictions; etc.

As far as why we didn't use their "tried and true methods" - I have the engineer mentality. I tried to pick what I thought worked from my parents' methods and get rid of the stuff I hated. DW was raised in a somewhat different manner, so we tried to blend her experiences/opinions with mine.

Did it work? Ask me in 20 years and I might be able to give you a definitive answer.

'Course, then I'll probably be complaining about my kids not raising my grandkids right (and yelling at them to GET OFF MY LAWN! :-).

Posted by: ArmyBrat | August 26, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

You realise how many young people make dumb mistakes or go wild in college, right? I'm beginning to think that this board is full of naive 35+ year old parents who graduated high school and/or undergraduate college more than 10 years ago. Silly parents rely too much on statistics instead of actually TEACHING their children.


Posted by: Soguns1 | August 26, 2008 1:52 PM

my son does not beg for candy in the check out line. he doesn't throw tantrums in stores. his tantrums are few & far between. so for me & my child the "dumb" (your words) idea of redirection works. maybe for your child redirection would not work. different methods of discipline work for different children. as sierra said, your milege may vary.

so what exactly am i not teaching my child? he experiences the natural consequences of his choices. i find that for my child personal experience is a far better teacher than mommy saying "don't do that". those kids in college who go wild? yeah, i remember them. they were usually the ones whose parents protected them from consequences of their own choices.

Posted by: quark | August 26, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Know what I like about this blog?

it's that you're all such a bunch of tools.

Posted by: Phoock You | August 26, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Children whose behavior goes into the Red Zone should not be taken out in public without a harness and a muzzle.

Posted by: Caesar Milan | August 26, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Billy, I may very well be repeating things you have already heard and tried. Your stepson sounds like his problem is transitions - changing from one activity to another (leaving the swimming pool), or from an expected/anticipated activity to one he wasn't expecting (eating indoors when he expected to eat outdoors).

If my guess is right, my experience with other kids who have the same challenge (my older son, and younger son's best friend since toddlerhood) is that it's a very long slow process - and frustrating too.

Planning is important, but letting him know over-and-over-and-over-and-over ... I don't remember if you've said how old he is. If he can't tell time yet, ignore everything else in this message because he's not ready yet.

When you get to the pool, point out the clock to him, and tell him that you will be leaving in one hour. At 45 minutes, point out the clock again, and remind him again when you'll be leaving. Again at 30 minutes, 20, 15, 10, 5, 2 and 1 minute warnings. Yes, I know, he's going to melt down when you get out of the pool, even with *all* those warnings. Get through it and get out of there as quickly and gracefully as you can.

Once you get home, and he's calm again, tell him how much fun you had while everyone was swimming. Get him to tell you how much fun it was for him.

Then tell him how disappointed you were by the behavior when it was time to leave. Tell him you don't think you can take him to the pool again if he's going to behave like that when it's time to leave.

When the next pool trip is being planned, talk to him again about how much fun it was, but how unpleasant the leaving was. Ask him if he can behave better this time when it's time to go. He'll promise to be good.

If he actually keeps the promise, WONDERFUL, but don't expect that to happen. He's most likely going to lose it again, even though you've gone through the same (excessive) number of warnings during the whole time in the pool. Once again, at home when he's calm, repeat the conversation about having fun, and not liking the behavior when it's time to go.

Make a deal with your spouse - one of you will take the cooperative girl swimming, and the other will stay at home with the boy. Make it a trade off, for one or two outings each. When the boy has been left home a few times, try again to take him to the pool, with all the previous warnings, etc. When it's time to actually get out of the water and leave, when he starts to melt down again, remind him that he'll stay home if he can't behave appropriately. If he manages to pull himself together even a little bit, compliment and encourage him for the effort he's making.

Expect to have to repeat the staying-home-while-the-other-adult-takes-the-girl a few more times. E-v-e-n-t-u-a-l-l-y he will learn to control himself, but it's going to be long, and slow, and frustrating for everyone involved. Be sure to tell the girl how much you appreciate her cooperation. You know the relationship between the kids, so use your best judgement about whether you can say that in front of her brother. Some kids can emulate their siblings when parents praise the sib, and some kids just get provoked even worse.

Try something similar for the evening meal being indoors or outside. If he wants to go outside, send him out without food, and tell him he can come inside again when he's ready to behave and have a pleasant meal. Or remove his plate from the table, and give it back when the behavior is acceptable, or remove him from the room where the rest of you are eating.

Obviously, the kid has got to be fed, so after 10-15 minutes (and when the rest of you are finished, or mostly finished) go ahead and let him eat indoors, regardless of how under control he is, but if he's still wild let him eat alone.

And you have my total respect and support - this is a hard one. Some kids just don't transition well, and it takes a long time for them to learn, and it's very hard and very frustrating for everyone while working through that learning process. My now 16-y-o responds quickly and easily to transitions for about the last two years - finally! Younger son's best friend is 12, and he's still working on it, but there is definitely noticible progress.

My best to you and your blended family!

Posted by: Sue | August 26, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

"that is exactly why i said: that is not always possible. When in target, whatever, sometimes the best thing to do is to leave. no most parents won't. So the kids learn that they get what they want - sometimes they just want to create a scene. We just leave. Or I take things away. I.e., stories, toys, they don't get to buy what we came for, whatever. sometimes, it works to ignore, even in a retail store, sometimes not. i am not advocating ruining other people's meals in restaurants (far from it, if you've read other posts I've written). However, having a screaming kid in target is not going to ruin your life, either. You're shopping...you are not typically on any given aisle for more than 2 minutes. Then you walk away. What's the big deal, really...?"

--If I'm shopping for say, a bed comforter or a bathroom set, it's going to take me longer than 2 minutes to decided which one I want. I'm not a guy :-) It would take me an average of 10 minutes. So yes, the screaming kid in the next aisle over who's being ignored by his mother because she believes it "works" greatly annoys me and I'm sure TONS of other shoppers nearby.

Parents who ignore their kids throwing temper tantrum in public do NOT have any control their children. It's disgusting.

Posted by: Soguns1 | August 26, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

"How were you people raised? Did you have time outs? How did your parents handle your misbehaviors? Did it work? Why not try tried and true methods?"

Glad to hear you had such great parents, and I hope their "tried and true" methods work for you.

Me? I got the cr*p kicked out of me on a regular basis. I got to kneel in the corner for hours. I got the belt. I got told how I was the devil's spawn and an huge burden and disappointment and how much better my parents' lives would have been if they'd just never had kids. Their discipline was a huge success if you measure success by how seldom I got into trouble, but I'd like it if my daughter didn't grow up hating and fearing me.

So I'm pretty much starting from scratch here -- there is no tried and true. I'll use time out as long as it works, and then I'll figure out something else.

Posted by: NewSAHM | August 26, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

"my son does not beg for candy in the check out line. he doesn't throw tantrums in stores. his tantrums are few & far between. so for me & my child the "dumb" (your words) idea of redirection works. maybe for your child redirection would not work. different methods of discipline work for different children. as sierra said, your milege may vary.

--I NEVER once claimed that redirecting doesn't work momentarily. I'm saying that redirecting does NOT teach a child or teen to stay out of trouble or nip a bad behavior in the LONG run.
For instance, in the 10 times a mother stands in line at the grocery store while a child cries for a candy, she will have to keep redirecting his attention to something else each time. Afterall, she is not discipling her child. She would have to keep redirecting his attention each and every friggin time she's in the checkout lane until he grows out of asking for a candy bar.

Immediate reprimindation: A child cries for a candy bar in the grocery's check out line. Mother tells the child firmly no and tell him she will take away his favorite toy, or they won't go out for icecream, or she will take the Lucky Charms out the cart, or good a spanking/timeout when they get home if he contines (whatever tactic one chooses) and she has to follow through. A few times at the max, is all it will take. The child learns that if he tries to start a tantrum, there will be consequences so he does not start it in the first place any longer. THAT is teaching your child that there are repurcussion to their offensive behavior.

Posted by: Soguns1 | August 26, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

This is bull!

Sue, spanking isn't discipline, it's punishment. It's a way for parents to gain control of their kid through pain and suffering, = violence.

Posted by: Whacky Weasel | August 26, 2008 3:09 PM

Um... Whacky, you are preaching to the choir. I was quoting another poster, and my children didn't get spanked. They got timeouts, or they got to learn from the natural consequences of their actions - like, if they pulled the cat's tail and it scratched them.

But when the natural consequences are potentially lethal, I had to come up with a non-lethal consequence. When the 15-month-old pulled his hand out of mine and ran towards a busy street, I nearly tackled him, and he got 1 (one) pop on the diaper. He cried for 15 minutes, he was so shocked. And I was consoling him. But he was too young to reason with, to understand the danger of the street, and he *needed* to be afraid of the street.

My siblings and I were regularly punished with spankings - some of which should have been reported to CPS, but that was back in the 60's when it was normal to use switches/belts/etc. I wish my parents had known and used the discipline methods I've used with my kids. I wish I'd learned self-management and self-control, and how to control my own temper like my kids have. Those skills are a lot harder to master as an adult trying to overcome bad habits due to ineffective parenting.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Those kids that have learned that it is acceptable to control people through violence, well, the prisons are full of them.

Has anybody thought that a strategy for ending a tantrum from a child can sometimes be accomplished by comforting them? Kids get irrational fears and need attention and giving them a hug or just holding them in your lap for a few minutes while they cry is exactly what they need. Though kids can be brutally honest at times, some lack the verbal ability to communicate how they feel. Hence, the emotional outburst as what adults see as a tantrum.

Posted by: Whacky Weasel | August 26, 2008 3:09 PM

You have trained your kids to pitch a fit whenever they want attention. Pitch fit. Dad hugs me. Why would you want to train a kid to act in an antisocial manner that will guarantee no other child or adult will want to be in his company?

What they need is to be sent to another room to get control of their own behavior so they will have an incentive to develop self-control. Your job is to raise them up to be independent, not to turn them into the kid no one wants to be around - one unable to manage her emotions.

Posted by: Cart Before the Horse | August 26, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Er - sorry. That anonymous post at 3:59 was me, Sue.

Posted by: Sue | August 26, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

i dont know which is worse. reading the OP blog comments by all you blowhards, or the inane and "cliquey" posts by curmudgeon, hermespal, and sasquatch on the celeb blog."

Posted by: argh | August 26, 2008 2:46 PM

Step away from the Blog.

Posted by: Grip - here is yours | August 26, 2008 2:59 PM

I am surprised at the number of people who posted to ignore the child having the tantrum. How horrible for everyone. I also fear for the children who scream at the stores and the screams are that of real distress or pain and the parent ignores it and act like the child is having a tantrum.

What I found works best for tantrums is to stop, tell the child why you have stopped, tell them what is expected to start moving again, and see it through. Let them know you are willing to stay in that spot all day if need be.

From the Nanny shows on TV, I cannot believe parents are driving down the road with their kids pitching a fit in the back. How UNSAFE for everyone on the road. If you see yourself in this comment, please for everyone's safety pull off at the soonest and safest place and wait them out.

You just need a stiff spine and consistency when dealing with children.

Posted by: sierra | August 26, 2008 3:02 PM

I am surprised at the number of people who posted to ignore the child having the tantrum. How horrible for everyone. I also fear for the children who scream at the stores and the screams are that of real distress or pain and the parent ignores it and act like the child is having a tantrum.

Posted by: sierra | August 26, 2008 3:02 PM


Perhaps you and Nancy can commisserate together.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 3:07 PM

Time out used to work with my 4 year old when he was younger. I found out though that taking privileges away from him works best, one thing I use when he is just out of it, is sending him to his room to calm down and he comes downstairs, apologizes and is all better.

I guess the #1 thing for me is taking away privileges or perks. It works so well, I even use it to get him to eat vegetables or try new foods. Rewards are effective too.

Posted by: mg | August 26, 2008 3:08 PM

"What happened to good spanking? All these people giving "time outs" to their kids are gonna be completely taken over by their kids when they become teenagers."

This is bull!

Sue, spanking isn't discipline, it's punishment. It's a way for parents to gain control of their kid through pain and suffering, = violence.

Those kids that have learned that it is acceptable to control people through violence, well, the prisons are full of them.

Has anybody thought that a strategy for ending a tantrum from a child can sometimes be accomplished by comforting them? Kids get irrational fears and need attention and giving them a hug or just holding them in your lap for a few minutes while they cry is exactly what they need. Though kids can be brutally honest at times, some lack the verbal ability to communicate how they feel. Hence, the emotional outburst as what adults see as a tantrum.

Posted by: Whacky Weasel | August 26, 2008 3:09 PM

to Holy Crap!: "How were you people raised? Did you have time outs? How did your parents handle your misbehaviors? Did it work? Why not try tried and true methods?"

Time outs? Not per se, although I was certainly sent to my room on occasion. I was also spanked when needed. Between the First Sergeant and the English Teacher, they had no trouble disciplining us.

Their methods produced three relatively successful, productive adults - we all have graduate degrees; nobody has any criminal records/drug addictions; etc.

As far as why we didn't use their "tried and true methods" - I have the engineer mentality. I tried to pick what I thought worked from my parents' methods and get rid of the stuff I hated. DW was raised in a somewhat different manner, so we tried to blend her experiences/opinions with mine.

Did it work? Ask me in 20 years and I might be able to give you a definitive answer.

'Course, then I'll probably be complaining about my kids not raising my grandkids right (and yelling at them to GET OFF MY LAWN! :-).

Posted by: ArmyBrat | August 26, 2008 3:16 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

You think that because you shove activities in your kids schedule that it will prevent them or even teach them from engaging in sex or using illicit drugs?
-----

no one suggested that, you created a straw man and knocked down a fantasy argument of your own creation, whoop de doo!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm with Concur. Saving money is one thing, but adding a ridiculous amount of inconvenience to a trip is something else. Over two days of travel into the city from your "find", you could spend the same amount of money and just drive to New York and park in the city and sleep in your car (you'd avoid that commute at least). Not the savviest way to travel, Mr. Vogel.

Posted by: What?? | August 26, 2008 10:01 AM

This is so stupid. Why would someone travel to NY to stay in Connecticut AND stay in a place going through renovations? That means inconvenience and headache, not vacation. And have you looked at the hotel scene in DC lately? Prices are skyhigh here too. I would say the best way to get good deals is to look for them, and travel in the off-peak times.

Posted by: DB | August 26, 2008 10:25 AM

Something I've done for friends with kids who have come to visit me in New York: give them my Bronx apartment and have them put me up in a hostel in Manhattan. I don't mind the dubious shared-bath quarters that tourist families would run screaming from, I don't have to put up with the kiddos underfoot, and my apartment is near the Zoo, so it works out for all of us.

Posted by: BxNY | August 26, 2008 10:44 AM

also, the $18 train fare adds up if you are two people, or more, and go back and forth more than one time. You soon eat up your savings.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 10:49 AM

DB is right. This is the stupidest suggestion I've read in a long time.

Posted by: FrequentTraveler | August 26, 2008 11:08 AM

Red Roof Inn - Secaucus NJ. You don't have to drive PAST NYC to CT to stay. 10 minute bus trip to midtown. Free parking and right off the turnpike. Plus they take pets

Posted by: Dan | August 26, 2008 11:49 AM

I thought this was going to be an article about dropping NYC hotel prices. Not purposely staying in a renovated hotel that's a commuter train ride away.

We start hear from someone other than Ms. Sottili and it's this? Let's go back to just her, please. Or hey - reporting on TRAVEL news. Like all the planes that seem to keep falling apart globally. Updates on airline mergers. Updates on the outing of the Customs/Technology brouhaha. Or is that too much to ask?

Posted by: Chasmosaur | August 26, 2008 12:41 PM

Chasmosaur, I'm with you. Could not agree with you more. I used to enjoy this blog, but I get the sense that you people don't even know how to travel (except for Carol -- I agree that she should do the blog alone).

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 1:04 PM

Thanks for all the feedback, guys. And sorry to disappoint you.

Posted by: Scott Vogel | August 26, 2008 1:07 PM

you guys are all mean. scott, dont take it personally. most of the people who respond to these blog postings are haters.

Posted by: awwwww | August 26, 2008 4:08 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Sue | August 26, 2008 3:39 PM

and if none of these work, threten to turn them into a toad. That's what SUE THE WITCH does.

Posted by: Wiccan nonsense | August 26, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

"half-brother"???? Must be pATRICK.
-----

Uh, what's wrong with the term half-brother. He's 25 years older than me and moved to Japan, never to return. You want me to call him my brother? We don't have that kind of relationship.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Children crying in the check-out line or excessively whining to get something in the store is purely created by the parent. My four year son is very good in a store or anywhere else when we are out. He knows he's not getting candy and definitely knows he doesn't have to have something new everytime we go to the store. If you go to the store and constantly buy stuff for the children when they are there, they will feel that you have to do it all the time when you go to the store and they will lack appreciation.

And for the good ole' spanking, when I was growing up I think I was excessively spanked, yelled at, and cursed at so much; I very seldom spank my child. Sometimes spanking can cause self-esteem issues with kids. Depends on the kid, every kid doesn't need a spanking. And I can say my four year old is pretty darn well behaved.

Posted by: mg | August 26, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Wow, please keep turning the words I say around and around and then taking what I say completely out of context.

If the kid is crying for 10 minutes straight there is something else wrong. And really, at some point, yes, mom or dad should bring kid out of the situation. But yes, if you ignore it, eventually (eventually) it goes away. If you allow your child to terrorize you, then they are clearly the one in control.

In the checkout line, I continually say: no, no candy, no no candy no no candy. I don't know how much redirection that there can be, when the person in front of me is just standing there waiting for their groceries. Hey, look at miley cyrus? Or hey look at the balloon? At some point, they ask again. And I say no again.

My supermarket has taken to putting toys in the aisle, so when we stop so I can look at something, then my kid always says: can I look at *said toy*. I am so angry - and have wanted to complain to a manager, but it's a lot of annoyance when I have two kids with me at the supermarket (may do it next time I am there alone, tho). At first, kid would cry, and I do stop and let him look at the toys, but we've been there a lot (goodness, I'm *always* there...) and each time we go now I say, before we go inside, no we are not buying any toys, but we can look at them....etc...continuous reinforcement. Continuous and again. Kids need reinforcement again and again and again and again. They are constantly testing the limits that they have, and they will constantly do that. *sigh*, so we do what we can...

Posted by: atlmom | August 26, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

You know that channel in your cable tv package that you went to once and were so appalled you never went back? OP is like that.

Posted by: byoolin suspects the OPers say the same thing about Celebritology. | August 26, 2008 12:38 PM

***************************************

You mean it's Fox News?

Posted by: Dorkus | August 26, 2008 12:41 PM

You know that channel in your cable tv package that you went to once and were so appalled you never went back?

You mean Faux News?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 12:43 PM

ker-sploooott!!

(rimshot)

nicely played, Dorkus and Anonymous

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 26, 2008 12:49 PM

I FIND IT very strange that angie/pitt dont have PETS. arent we all supposed to PRACTICE on a DOGGY or KITTy or BirDIe before having 15 people kids?Why is ANigie on "W" magzine when the FABULOUS JEN is on GOOD HOUSEKEEPING?:???! Tells ya sojmething right there....GOOD HOUSEKEPPING MEANS PETS!! JEN Has at leat one DOG..and it aint from VIETNAM but at least its AMERICN!
LUV JEN!! MY HEART walks the beach with you and your DOGGIE in MALIBOO!!!!!!!!!
HUGGGGSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: luvjen | August 26, 2008 12:52 PM

I FIND IT very strange that angie/pitt dont have PETS.

*************

They probably didn't want to be bothered with fencing the yard.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 12:56 PM

"... arent we all supposed to PRACTICE on a DOGGY or KITTy or BirDIe before having 15 people kids?" - Posted by: luvjen

****

You try breastfeeding a kitten or diapering a budgie or teaching a dog to ride a bicycle.

Posted by: byoolin did have a cat that flew through the air and landed in a bucket. | August 26, 2008 12:59 PM

"... arent we all supposed to PRACTICE on a DOGGY or KITTy or BirDIe before having 15 people kids?" - Posted by: luvjen

Well, you can probably get a dog to eat the Cheetos but you sure as hell can't walk through a horde of papparazzi holding a kitty and make it out in once piece.

Posted by: jes | August 26, 2008 1:09 PM

that should be one piece dammit.

Posted by: jes | August 26, 2008 1:10 PM

Then I really messed up because I practiced mommiehood on my kids before I got my dog. But it worked, 'cause my dog's not spoiled at all!

Posted by: hodie never feeds Max under the table | August 26, 2008 1:10 PM

And don't worry, hodie, the kids usually grow out of that whole biting the mailman thing...

Posted by: byoolin | August 26, 2008 1:15 PM

You try... teaching a dog to ride a bicycle.

Well, byoolin, Bush managed to turn Blair into his poodle, so this one's possible.

Posted by: Nosy Parker needs lunch | August 26, 2008 1:19 PM

Can you train small babies to use the litter box?

Also, when the babies start screaming like my cat did very late last night, can I keep using the spray bottle on them until they stop screaming?

Posted by: Dorkus | August 26, 2008 1:25 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Then tell me, OhGreatAnonymus, was does it mean to "redirect one's attention or behavior?" I know exactly what the means. It does NOT teach the offender not to behavior in offending fashion.
------

Look, that's not what it means, ok? You're wrong and you don't appear to have a clue about this concept, ok? Why dig yourself a deeper hole? just drop it, you're embarrassing yourself.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Has anybody thought that a strategy for ending a tantrum from a child can sometimes be accomplished by comforting them? Kids get irrational fears and need attention and giving them a hug or just holding them in your lap for a few minutes while they cry is exactly what they need. Though kids can be brutally honest at times, some lack the verbal ability to communicate how they feel. Hence, the emotional outburst as what adults see as a tantrum.

Posted by: Whacky Weasel | August 26, 2008 3:09 PM

You have trained your kids to pitch a fit whenever they want attention. Pitch fit. Dad hugs me. Why would you want to train a kid to act in an antisocial manner that will guarantee no other child or adult will want to be in his company?

What they need is to be sent to another room to get control of their own behavior so they will have an incentive to develop self-control. Your job is to raise them up to be independent, not to turn them into the kid no one wants to be around - one unable to manage her emotions.

Posted by: Cart Before the Horse | August 26, 2008 4:04 PM

Cart, it depends on the age of the child. Under two, Whacky is right. That young, they have no concept of another person even being separate from them, and they can't knowingly deliberately manipulate.

After age two, yes, it *may* be manipulation. But it may also be a freaked-out kid who needs comfort. Hopefully, the parent knows the kid, and can tell the difference between the whiny-manipulative-cry, and the frightened-and-frantic-cry-for-rescue, and can respond appropriately to each kind of cry.

Posted by: Sue | August 26, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

That's nice. Your BIL didn't teach his kids jack sh*t by keeping them busy.
-----

Soguns, come back to earth, you're living in a total fantasy world. There is no possible way you ever met my Brother In Law. I challenge you to explain how you know the above to be true. you write in a very strange way that is fantastical and almost, dare I say, delusional.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Children whose behavior goes into the Red Zone should not be taken out in public without a harness and a muzzle.
------

what the hell is a "Red zone?" what kind of nonsense are you posting?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

"so what exactly am i not teaching my child? he experiences the natural consequences of his choices. i find that for my child personal experience is a far better teacher than mommy saying "don't do that". those kids in college who go wild? yeah, i remember them. they were usually the ones whose parents protected them from consequences of their own choices."

--Are you sure you remember them? When did you graduate from high school and/or undergrade college? Those kids who went wild in college are the ones whose parents were too strict or whose parents wouldn't let their kids make mistakes.
By distracting your teens in keeping them busy with activities, you are simply not allowing room for them to make any mistakes. What have you taught him/her about staying out of trouble? Even the most busy teenagers have time to stray. Own up to your responsibilities and don't expect teachers and activities to keep and teach your child to stay out of trouble.

I wouldn't be suprised if you're one of those parents who gets upset if your child winds up pregnant or smoking pot because you relied on the school and countless activities to keep them from doing so instead to talking with them. Pathetic.

Posted by: Soguns1 | August 26, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Sue | August 26, 2008 3:39 PM

and if none of these work, threten to turn them into a toad. That's what SUE THE WITCH does.

Posted by: Wiccan nonsense | August 26, 2008 4:10 PM

Obviously your attempts to eavesdrop on my family haven't been too successful - if they had, you'd know that's a joke, just like my kids know it. (grin)

Posted by: Sue | August 26, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: hermespal | August 26, 2008 3:52 PM

i think jeff stryker is calling for you guys. he has something extra special for you ladies.

Posted by: to sully and hermespal | August 26, 2008 3:55 PM

Nosey P,

Mr Urdang must have had wonderous senses of humor and of the absurd. My favorite kind of fellow.

I personally love language like that. It's why I keep my Oxford American close to hand.

Posted by: Mudge | August 26, 2008 3:55 PM

Oh! I hope it's candy...

Posted by: Sully | August 26, 2008 3:58 PM

I'd take a kitten, too.

Posted by: Sully | August 26, 2008 3:59 PM

male equivalent to "skank
***
skunk

Posted by: janet holds her nose and types | August 26, 2008 4:00 PM

i think jeff stryker is calling for you guys.

Posted by: sic 'em, Frankie | August 26, 2008 4:00 PM

janet, who did you p*ss off
***
jake, someone who'd had enough of dogs/cats/pills/lizards

Posted by: janet thinks she has the answer | August 26, 2008 4:02 PM

I'd take a kitten, too.

Posted by: Sully | August 26, 2008 3:59 PM

Well, if you're going to ask for a kitten you might as well ask for a p*ny.

I am now prepared for someone to request this post be deleted as well.

Posted by: jes | August 26, 2008 4:02 PM

And now *drumroll* I expect there will be a request for THIS post to be deleted.

Seriously, has Liz EVER deleted a post that was merely off topic?

Posted by: hermespal | August 26, 2008 3:52 PM

Posted by: Liz, pls delete this! | August 26, 2008 4:05 PM

What ever happened to just scrolling past the things you don't want to read? Works for me.

And on topic -- ummm...I don't have anything. Oh wait, still liking Charlie Sheen.

Posted by: WDC 21113 | August 26, 2008 4:06 PM

Liz, pls delete this asking that this be deleted.

Posted by: Liz, pls delete this! | August 26, 2008 4:06 PM

First of all, I think Liz is most likely sipping a mojito by now (and probably has been since 2:30 today, I know I would if I could).

Also, since Liz likes to discuss Andy and Page, I don't think she will mind a little pet talk.

I have no celebrity things to discuss, please ask Liz to delete my post.

Posted by: Dorkus | August 26, 2008 4:09 PM

I'm with Concur. Saving money is one thing, but adding a ridiculous amount of inconvenience to a trip is something else. Over two days of travel into the city from your "find", you could spend the same amount of money and just drive to New York and park in the city and sleep in your car (you'd avoid that commute at least). Not the savviest way to travel, Mr. Vogel.

Posted by: What?? | August 26, 2008 10:01 AM

This is so stupid. Why would someone travel to NY to stay in Connecticut AND stay in a place going through renovations? That means inconvenience and headache, not vacation. And have you looked at the hotel scene in DC lately? Prices are skyhigh here too. I would say the best way to get good deals is to look for them, and travel in the off-peak times.

Posted by: DB | August 26, 2008 10:25 AM

Something I've done for friends with kids who have come to visit me in New York: give them my Bronx apartment and have them put me up in a hostel in Manhattan. I don't mind the dubious shared-bath quarters that tourist families would run screaming from, I don't have to put up with the kiddos underfoot, and my apartment is near the Zoo, so it works out for all of us.

Posted by: BxNY | August 26, 2008 10:44 AM

also, the $18 train fare adds up if you are two people, or more, and go back and forth more than one time. You soon eat up your savings.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 10:49 AM

DB is right. This is the stupidest suggestion I've read in a long time.

Posted by: FrequentTraveler | August 26, 2008 11:08 AM

Red Roof Inn - Secaucus NJ. You don't have to drive PAST NYC to CT to stay. 10 minute bus trip to midtown. Free parking and right off the turnpike. Plus they take pets

Posted by: Dan | August 26, 2008 11:49 AM

I thought this was going to be an article about dropping NYC hotel prices. Not purposely staying in a renovated hotel that's a commuter train ride away.

We start hear from someone other than Ms. Sottili and it's this? Let's go back to just her, please. Or hey - reporting on TRAVEL news. Like all the planes that seem to keep falling apart globally. Updates on airline mergers. Updates on the outing of the Customs/Technology brouhaha. Or is that too much to ask?

Posted by: Chasmosaur | August 26, 2008 12:41 PM

Chasmosaur, I'm with you. Could not agree with you more. I used to enjoy this blog, but I get the sense that you people don't even know how to travel (except for Carol -- I agree that she should do the blog alone).

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 1:04 PM

Thanks for all the feedback, guys. And sorry to disappoint you.

Posted by: Scott Vogel | August 26, 2008 1:07 PM

you guys are all mean. scott, dont take it personally. most of the people who respond to these blog postings are haters.

Posted by: awwwww | August 26, 2008 4:08 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 4:10 PM

this this this this this this this this this this this this this this this this this this this this this this this this this this this this this this this this this this this this this this this this

Posted by: delete this | August 26, 2008 4:14 PM

I have to confess, I love Two and a Half Men. Just started watching it in syndication, but I'm hooked. It feels so good to get this off my chest, I can't tell any of my friends I watch this show. I know they would look down on me. I haven't started watching According to Jim, so I think there's hope for me.

Posted by: anon out of smame | August 26, 2008 4:14 PM

Then tell me, OhGreatAnonymus, was does it mean to "redirect one's attention or behavior?" I know exactly what the means. It does NOT teach the offender not to behavior in offending fashion.
------

Look, that's not what it means, ok? You're wrong and you don't appear to have a clue about this concept, ok? Why dig yourself a deeper hole? just drop it, you're embarrassing yourself.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 4:13 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 4:15 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

And who's the Anonymous idiot who keeps cutting and pasting posts b/c obviously the person doesn't have kids and shouldn't be here.

Posted by: mg | August 26, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Said earlier:
"purely created by the parent"

I would have believed this and probably said it until I met my step-daughter and step-son. She rarely asks for anything she sees and if you say no... moves right on with her day. He often asks for things and starts to get whiny/cries when he doesn't get it.

They were raised by the same parent - their mother for the most part - and yet two different outcomes.

Posted by: Billie | August 26, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Consider your BIL lucky, Anonymous. One has to allow room for a margin of luck when raising children. You know, like the ones who grew up in an inner city raised by a stuggling single mother but went on to graduate from a 4 year university? Or the one whose parents had juniors life all set out for him with millions of dollars in his trust fund but he wound up being a college drop out living with his parents until God knows when.
Yeah, they both got lucky. Life has its luck. Allow room for it.

Posted by: Soguns1 | August 26, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

My goodness. These blogs have become even more heartbreaking than before. The amount of hatred out there just brings me to tears. My husband doesnt believe me when i tell him about it. This evening i'm going to show him all these horrible comments you all make. Hopefully it wont drive him to tears!

Posted by: Nancy | August 26, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Children crying in the check-out line or excessively whining to get something in the store is purely created by the parent.
------

Oh PLEASE!

I have two kids. One whines and begs and the other doesn't. Neither gets any treats from the store and they never have. Please explain how I created this for one kid, but not the other. It's as if you believe that children don't have their own personalities- if you had two different children you would know how... moderately the parents contribute to their children's behavior.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

--I NEVER once claimed that redirecting doesn't work momentarily. I'm saying that redirecting does NOT teach a child or teen to stay out of trouble or nip a bad behavior in the LONG run.

um, soguns, actually it did work for my son in the long run. so you're wrong. & i really hate to pop your bubble but the other ways you listed of handling the problem are a form of redirection.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

please please do something. Someone called Anonymous is cutting/pasting. This is ridiculous. The OP blog is in ruins due to this peurile behavior

Please institute registration tomorrow, if not earlier.

Posted by: Stacey PLEASE! | August 26, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm having one of those strange universal confluenc of events moments sitting here reading about orbital maneuvers, listening to Phillip Glass and getting SPAM mail about Paris Hilton.

I think Celebritology has now become the nexus of the universe.

Posted by: Dorkus | August 26, 2008 11:54 AM

"Ted McGinley, Susan Lucci and Cloris Leachman??? Sounds like the Love Boat soon will be making another run....."

And Murder, She Wrote......

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 11:59 AM

Mudge observes:
"

Sasquatch, we're fameous.

We were thrown into the roiling black hole of internet uploading and blog software and came out the otherside dazed but with our loud-mouth reputations intact.

What a feet.

Posted by: Curmudgeon checks for bruises | August 26, 2008 11:54 AM

-------------------------------------------

I've been dealing with all sorts of application, database and permission crap-outs for the past several days. It's getting real old.

Since my nose is running and my feet smell, I'm obviously built upside down.

Posted by: Sleep-deprived Sasquacth | August 26, 2008 12:06 PM

Bring back Hollywood Squares! This dancing stuff is too much work to keep your name current.

Posted by: hodie | August 26, 2008 12:08 PM

there's a comment at 11:34 on the OP blog directed to Sasquatch. Please follow the instructions.

Posted by: for sasquatch | August 26, 2008 12:14 PM

there's a comment at 11:34 on the OP blog directed to Sasquatch. Please follow the instructions.

Posted by: for sasquatch | August 26, 2008 12:14 PM


This sounds ominous. It's not a ransom note, is it?

Sasquatch? Are you still with us?

Posted by: Sully | August 26, 2008 12:21 PM

What is the OP blog that I see referenced so often?

Posted by: Just wondering... | August 26, 2008 12:29 PM

I'm sorry, Sas and Mudge, did you say something? I wasn't paying attention.

I'm worried about how the Benji-Paris duet will affect their relative celebrity orbits. Does one drag the other up or down? And will it affect the space-time continuum and result in an endless loop of Celebritology postings? I'm scared.

Posted by: epony | August 26, 2008 11:40 AM

====
epony wins the prize for analogious Paris/Benji references. Clearly, Paris/Benji is "A Star is Born" for the new milennium.

Posted by: MoCoSnarky | August 26, 2008 12:30 PM

there's a comment at 11:34 on the OP blog directed to Sasquatch. Please follow the instructions.

Posted by: for sasquatch | August 26, 2008 12:14 PM


Don't go, Sas. It's a trap!

Posted by: jake e. poo doesn't trust those OP loonies | August 26, 2008 12:36 PM

What is the OP blog that I see referenced so often?

Posted by: Just wondering... | August 26, 2008 12:29 PM


The On Parenting blog. They are also they source of the cut and paste posts that don't belong. We call them the MM -- Mean Mommies.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 12:37 PM

What is the OP blog that I see referenced so often? - Posted by: Just wondering...

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You know that channel in your cable tv package that you went to once and were so appalled you never went back? OP is like that.

Posted by: byoolin suspects the OPers say the same thing about Celebritology. | August 26, 2008 12:38 PM

You know that channel in your cable tv package that you went to once and were so appalled you never went back? OP is like that.

Posted by: byoolin suspects the OPers say the same thing about Celebritology. | August 26, 2008 12:38 PM

***************************************

You mean it's Fox News?

Posted by: Dorkus | August 26, 2008 12:41 PM

You know that channel in your cable tv package that you went to once and were so appalled you never went back?

You mean Faux News?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 12:43 PM

ker-sploooott!!

(rimshot)

nicely played, Dorkus and Anonymous

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 26, 2008 12:49 PM

I FIND IT very strange that angie/pitt dont have PETS. arent we all supposed to PRACTICE on a DOGGY or KITTy or BirDIe before having 15 people kids?Why is ANigie on "W" magzine when the FABULOUS JEN is on GOOD HOUSEKEEPING?:???! Tells ya sojmething right there....GOOD HOUSEKEPPING MEANS PETS!! JEN Has at leat one DOG..and it aint from VIETNAM but at least its AMERICN!
LUV JEN!! MY HEART walks the beach with you and your DOGGIE in MALIBOO!!!!!!!!!
HUGGGGSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: luvjen | August 26, 2008 12:52 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

p"And who's the Anonymous idiot who keeps cutting and pasting posts b/c obviously the person doesn't have kids and shouldn't be here."

--LOL. Yeah, it's pretty obvious. That's why he or she refered to his/her BIL with children. Not him/herself. LMAO!

Posted by: Soguns1 | August 26, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

To people with more than one kids who try to use the same tactic for both of their children and claim it doesn't work. Hello! Everyone has different personalities. Apply a different tactic. Duh!
Such simpletons.....

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

You have trained your kids to pitch a fit whenever they want attention. Pitch fit. Dad hugs me.
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I'm sure that's exactly what the scenario would look like, NOT.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

atlmom, if they are used to getting stuff at the store it's kind of hard to break them out of wanting stuff. I don't know your situation. The only other thing I suggest is trying to schedule going to the store without them. Maybe having dad keep them or go to the store when you have a day off. I even sometimes do it when I just don't want to haul two kids. They aren't bad in the store but sometimes you just want to go by yourself.

Posted by: mg | August 26, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

By distracting your teens in keeping them busy with activities, you are simply not allowing room for them to make any mistakes.
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Such a statement is nonsense. Nothing you're writing seems at all. By signing a kid up for boy scouts or by helping them get a first job they won't make any mistakes???

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

they're asking for you on the celeb blog.

Posted by: for Jeff | August 26, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Nancy, meet Jeff. Jeff, Nancy. Now Nancy can have something to do during the day to tell her hubby about that will REALLY bring tears to his eyes when he gets home.

Posted by: 2 birds with 1 stone | August 26, 2008 4:27 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Wow. First time reading this blog, and I've never encountered a group of commenters like this one. I thought the bowels of the internet was 4chan, now I see I was sadly mistaken!

Posted by: shelly | August 26, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Nancy, meet Jeff. Jeff, Nancy. Now Nancy can have something to do during the day to tell her hubby about that will REALLY bring tears to his eyes when he gets home.

Posted by: 2 birds with 1 stone | August 26, 2008 4:27 PM


I don't understand what you are insinuating. Hopefully it's nothing mean, bc i'm tired of all the mean comments. I'm a good, decent person who is the victim of horrible attacks on this blog.

Posted by: Nancy | August 26, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse


"Oh PLEASE!

I have two kids. One whines and begs and the other doesn't. Neither gets any treats from the store and they never have. Please explain how I created this for one kid, but not the other. It's as if you believe that children don't have their own personalities- if you had two different children you would know how... moderately the parents contribute to their children's behavior."
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You know I observe people all the time and their kids. Yes I have two kids and from day one I was never the parent that went into a store and picked out stuff and gave it to my kids b/c an older parent schooled me who has teen kids that said they never stop doing it. Some parents will say no, I am not doing that and they do that. I don't know you or your situation but I have been very good at taking wise advice from wise people that have worked. So if you haven't spoiled your kids at the store and are now annoyed by them being spoiled, SORRY THAT JUST NOT YOUR SITUATION. Try going to the store without them.

Posted by: mg | August 26, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

LOL. Yeah, it's pretty obvious. That's why he or she refered to his/her BIL with children. Not him/herself. LMAO!
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Yes, I talked about my kids today, but I stopped putting my name up because of online freaks.

But I talked about my kids and I mentioned that you're making up stories in your head about other people and this is more of the same. You imagine far too much to be healthy and I don't think it's funny, frankly Soguns, I don't think it's healthy at all.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Anonymouse: is it possible for you to conceive there may be more than one Anonymous posting today? And not everything refers to you?

Posted by: non-anonymous | August 26, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

wow, soguns, i just read your rant. very impressive. my son is fully capable of making mistakes even with all the parenting i do (or don't do, in your opinion) & you know what else, your child is fully capable of making the same stupid choices. since you define the wild kids in college as the ones who had parents who were too strict which is not me since you go on to further say that i'm allowing the schools to parent my child then i must be the one who don't allow my child to experience the consequences of his choices. since i've already explained to you that i do let my son experience the consequences of his choices i guess that's not me either.
in your mind, redirection = parents who don't talk to their child. that's a pretty big step.

Posted by: quark | August 26, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

wow, soguns, i just read your rant. very impressive. my son is fully capable of making mistakes even with all the parenting i do (or don't do, in your opinion) & you know what else, your child is fully capable of making the same stupid choices. since you define the wild kids in college as the ones who had parents who were too strict which is not me since you go on to further say that i'm allowing the schools to parent my child then i must be the one who don't allow my child to experience the consequences of his choices. since i've already explained to you that i do let my son experience the consequences of his choices i guess that's not me either.
in your mind, redirection = parents who don't talk to their child. that's a pretty big step.

Posted by: quark | August 26, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

"I don't understand what you are insinuating. Hopefully it's nothing mean, bc i'm tired of all the mean comments. I'm a good, decent person who is the victim of horrible attacks on this blog."

Nancy likes to be spanked like the bad girl that she is....

Posted by: have paddle, will travel | August 26, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Anonymouse: is it possible for you to conceive there may be more than one Anonymous posting today? And not everything refers to you?
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um, naturally, but Soguns directly referenced my quote about my BIL. How does that NOT address me directly? Or should I think that someone else wrote that post about my BIL?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Firstly I agree that knowing the difference between discipline and punishment is essential. Also that by the time you've reached punishment, it's a signal that all your other methods aren't working or there's some deeper issue that you aren't getting. This doesn't mean punishment should never be used, simply that, if things are functioning well, it shouldn't need to be used very much.

I like the counting method described above, but I hate counting. It drives me to no end of crazy hearing tired moms counting slowly up to 10(!!!), whining at their kids to stop their bad behavior at every point.

Knowing what your kid is feeling and how they process things goes a long way. It won't be until puberty I think until they really start to gain that sort of awareness to communicate with you (if the kid is lucky enough to have parents who sincerely teach their kids those communication skills at all). 90% of the time what I see as misbehaving kids is a SYMPTOM of the bigger problem of being too tired, over sugared, unreasonable expectations and the parent simply ignoring the kid.

Which doesn't mean I think we should be kid-centric, simply that rather than the mom saying "OK go up to bed now while I'm busy here" the mom will let the kid wander around all over the place and THEN expect them to be quiet, out of the way and not get into stuff.

Billie- I think Sue gave some great advice, but I will emphasize that perhaps changing expectations might be a trigger for him. Try letting him know about the plan of a day as early as you can and about dinner plans as much as possible. And make him feel included with jobs to do. Feeling out of control and like he can't count on anything can be a real anxiety pusher.

And try to stop it before it gets bad.

Posted by: Liz D | August 26, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

at the check out aisle:
son: i want candy.

me: son, you're not getting any candy but you can help me put this on the conveyer belt (i hand him an item). here take this (hand him an item), & this (hand him an item), & this (hand him an item). the cart is empty. can you go push it forward for me? can you push it over there? thank you. that was very helpful.

son has totally forgotten his request for candy. according to you son has now missed out on what exactly?


wow, your jump about not talking to my child. that's a big one. i don't expect the schools to parent my child & i don't expect to keep him busy 24/7. i think it will be easier for my son to say no to temptation when he only gets offered it occassionally then when it gets offered on a daily basis. yeah, i expect he'll get all kinds of offers. i also expect he'll make stupid choices and despite all the teaching you did with yours, yours will make stupid choices too.

Posted by: quark | August 26, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

at the check out aisle:
son: i want candy.

me: son, you're not getting any candy but you can help me put this on the conveyer belt (i hand him an item). here take this (hand him an item), & this (hand him an item), & this (hand him an item). the cart is empty. can you go push it forward for me? can you push it over there? thank you. that was very helpful.

son has totally forgotten his request for candy. according to you son has now missed out on what exactly?


wow, your jump about not talking to my child. that's a big one. i don't expect the schools to parent my child & i don't expect to keep him busy 24/7. i think it will be easier for my son to say no to temptation when he only gets offered it occassionally then when it gets offered on a daily basis. yeah, i expect he'll get all kinds of offers. i also expect he'll make stupid choices and despite all the teaching you did with yours, yours will make stupid choices too.

Posted by: quark | August 26, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

how about noting there are other people posting as anonymous? Or else you suffer from multiple personalities

Posted by: non-anonymous | August 26, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

please please do something. Someone called Anonymous is cutting/pasting. This is ridiculous. The OP blog is in ruins due to this peurile behavior

Please institute registration tomorrow, if not earlier.

Posted by: Stacey PLEASE! | August 26, 2008 4:24 PM

If we knew what peurile (sic) behavior was, maybe Stacey could do something about it!

Posted by: Gramar Sheriff | August 26, 2008 6:20 PM | Report abuse

please please do something. Someone called Anonymous is cutting/pasting. This is ridiculous. The OP blog is in ruins due to this peurile behavior

Please institute registration tomorrow, if not earlier.

Posted by: Stacey PLEASE! | August 26, 2008 4:24 PM

If we knew what peurile (sic) behavior was, Maybe Stacey could do something about it!

Posted by: Grammar Sheriff | August 26, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

please please do something. Someone called Anonymous is cutting/pasting. This is ridiculous. The OP blog is in ruins due to this peurile behavior

Please institute registration tomorrow, if not earlier.

Posted by: Stacey PLEASE! | August 26, 2008 4:24 PM

If we knew what peurile (sic) behavior was, Maybe Stacey could do something about it!

Posted by: Grammar Sheriff | August 26, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Sorry about the triple post. The Post seems to be whacked out today!

Posted by: Grammar Sheriff | August 26, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Sorry about the triple post. The Post seems to be whacked out today!

Posted by: Grammar Sheriff | August 26, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Sorry about the triple post. The Post seems to be whacked out today.

Posted by: Grammar Sheriff | August 26, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

please please do something. Someone called Anonymous is cutting/pasting. This is ridiculous. The OP blog is in ruins due to this peurile behavior

Please institute registration tomorrow, if not earlier.

Posted by: Stacey PLEASE! | August 26, 2008 4:24 PM

If we knew what peurile (sic) behavior was, maybe Stacey could do something about it!

Posted by: Gramar Sheriff | August 26, 2008 6:20 PM

Pot, meet kettle.

Posted by: Spelling Police | August 26, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

please please do something. Someone called Anonymous is cutting/pasting. This is ridiculous. The OP blog is in ruins due to this peurile behavior

Please institute registration tomorrow, if not earlier.

Posted by: Stacey PLEASE! | August 26, 2008 4:24 PM

If we knew what peurile (sic) behavior was, maybe Stacey could do something about it!

Posted by: Gramar Sheriff | August 26, 2008 6:20 PM

Pot, meet kettle.

Posted by: Spelling Police | August 26, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Gramar Sheriff | August 26, 2008 6:20 PM

Pot, meet kettle.

Posted by: Spelling Police | August 26, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Gramar Sheriff | August 26, 2008 6:20 PM

Pot, meet kettle.

Posted by: Spelling Police | August 26, 2008 8:11 PM

No, not at all. The Washpo posted my comment when I hit "Preview."

Posted by: Grammar Sheriff | August 26, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Just in case you did not notice your triple post, Spelling Police.

Posted by: Grammar Sheriff | August 26, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

No, not at all. The Washpo posted my comment when I hit "Preview."

Posted by: Grammar Sheriff | August 26, 2008 8:15 PM

Is it too difficult for you to proofread before you hit "Preview"?

Posted by: Spelling Police | August 27, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

As someone who frequently visits this column and am always looking for good parenting tips, I'm almost ALWAYS disappointed in the discussion that follows. Instead of offering ideas and suggestions that perhaps might help readers, the posts are used to slam the columnist and other posters. Do you people have nothing better to do than to nitpick at each other? Is this the kind of discussion you would have if you were face to face with these other parents?? What could be a very useful tool for those of us raising kids in this crazy world has simply become a tool to vent personal frustration on the unseen masses. We are going to need to work together if we're going to raise a generation that can deal with the immense challenges this world faces. As for me, I'm taking this column off my favorites list. now.

Posted by: West Coast Mom | August 27, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

"at the check out aisle:
son: i want candy.

me: son, you're not getting any candy but you can help me put this on the conveyer belt (i hand him an item). here take this (hand him an item), & this (hand him an item), & this (hand him an item). the cart is empty. can you go push it forward for me? can you push it over there? thank you. that was very helpful.

son has totally forgotten his request for candy. according to you son has now missed out on what exactly?"

--And your son will KEEP on asking EACH and EVERY time you guys go through a check out line. Therefore, you haven't taught him anything.

Posted by: Soguns1 | August 27, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

--And your son will KEEP on asking EACH and EVERY time you guys go through a check out line. Therefore, you haven't taught him anything.

Posted by: Soguns1 | August 27, 2008 3:18 PM

Hmmm - are you saying your child is like this, Soguns1?

Because my kids (and most kids, I suspect) are smart enough to give up on something that never works for them - i.e. after the 5th or the 10th redirection-and-no-candy, my kids wouldn't bother asking any more.

But hey, some kids take longer to learn, don't they.

Posted by: Sue | August 27, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Is it too difficult for you to proofread before you hit "Preview"?

Posted by: Spelling Police | August 27, 2008 9:06 AM

I guess I am not perfect and type perfect drafts like you do. I would suppose you would never need to even hit "Preview."

But then again, I don't need to have the last word, either.

Posted by: Grammar Sheriff | August 27, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

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