We are the Stow Family and this is our story. Our lives are blessed by Love, Joy and Hope. Follow our sometimes interesting stories on loving our two boys, exploring parenthood, and celebrating a little extra - two parents, two boys and an extra chromosome!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"What are those things...

...on the side of your head for?" - I hear myself asking Malakai lately.


Talk about not listening...

Malakai is really getting up to mischief lately and I am finding it really difficult to get him to understand the concept of 'no'. Whether he understands and thinks its a joke anyway, or whether he truly thinks its a joke - 'no' elicits only a giggle and smile from my boy.

What do I do? I think discipline is really important, for obvious reasons - for his safety, for our safety, to stop him from breaking things (his little brother included...), and also so that he can one day be part of a peer group, contributing and getting along with everyone.

Now, I know he's not a bad kid - on the contrary, he's got such a beautiful and soft personality. He's just a boisterous little boy, exploring and pushing his boundaries. But, I still have had no clue from his behaviour as to whether any of our discipline methods are sinking in at all.

I am finding myself asking - is it just typical 2-year-old behaviour or is his Down syndrome playing a role? Is it more difficult to discipline a child who has Down syndrome? Do children with Down syndrome learn discipline in a different way? I know that Malakai having Down syndrome means that he learns things a bit slower and may not be able to generalise concepts - does this mean that discipline is affected?

At this stage, our discipline method is simply saying 'no' (a million times a day...) and it's having zero effect. I don't think that Malakai will benefit from a time-out method yet, because I don't think he's ready to understand it yet. And let me tell you - Malakai is fearless! He's climbing over things, standing on chairs, trying to get to the top of book shelves - my nerves!

What have other moms tried? What has worked for other kiddos out there? I know I'm not alone in this and would really appreciate a bit of guidance. So this is a shout out - please help!!


AKW said...

We have similar issues. Our Ben is 2 and likes to crawl up on things (unsafely) and has started to hit. For Ben it is all about attention, and trying to get a reaction. If I say "NO!" and look away from him, it really bothers him, and he will stop doing what he is doing and come try to get my attention. I try hard not give him a reaction when he has behavior issues, but I don't always do a good job. Good Luck!

TherExtras said...

I sure hope some of the other Moms of children with Ds chime-in. Heidi Marie? Jeanette? Would you consider leaving questions directly into their comments?

I more often try to make the environment support the child - childproof, yes! I have a linked-page on that under For All Parents, middle column. Then there's my blog carnival - Homing Development, near bottom, right column.

I suspect a lot is 2y/o behavior.

Anonymous said...

I am absolutely no expert on parenting or discipline, but my little boy must be about 12 months older than Malakai and oh boy do I remember the "no" being funny phase. Flynn was 3 in March and also has Down Syndrome. We tried some straight forward "no's" and found that they had little impact on stopping him from climbing, running, etc, in fact he seemed to quite enjoy telling himself no as he completed the activity that he knew was a little cheeky.

We introduced "time out" just after he turned 2, and have found this invaluable. It did take a lot of patience to teach Flynn what time out meant, but now find that he will do just about anything to avoid sitting by himself. We have found that he seems embarrassed if asked to go to time out, as though he really understands that he should know better. At 3 he is an absolute delight who we can take everywhere with no worry that he will get up to any dangerous mischief. Hope this helps

Elriza Paul said...

Well, I think this is just very very typical 2 year old behaviour, but I'm not an expert. I do know from Caden that discipline is the most exhausting of all the parenting "milestones", for me atleast. Just when you think "he gets it" one day, the next day he does it all over again. Some days it feels like the only words coming out of my mouth is "no", What I did find worked better than others, is the "action-consequence" thing, i.e. warning him, whether he understands or not (and they understand a lot more than what we think) that "If you keep bashing this toy (or whatever), I am going to take it away", and then really sticking to your guns when they do not listen, no matter how many tears flow. And be consistent, once a "no", always a "no". Good luck, it does get better, promise, and the fruits of disciplining your child from an early age will definitely pay off, so eyes on the goal, that should help in perservering, lol!

Jennifer said...

I wish I could help but we still have trouble in our house, except it's with Brendan, not Aidan!! My pediatrician told us to use "no" sparingly since kids start to tune it out. We use no for times when the kids are putting themselves or others in danger. Otherwise, I follow the advice "tell your child what to do, not what not to do" if that makes sense. For instance, instead of "no, don't jump on the couch" say "let's go jump on the trampoline instead. the couch isn't for jumping." That seems to work well for us in many instances. We've also learned to ignore things that are simply annoying and not dangerous, even when it's hard. Good luck!!