I’m a strict mom. I like my home life to be harmonious, happy and conflict-free and I don't put up with much crap. I definitely do the “reward the good behaviour” method, but when that doesn’t work I basically have three weapons in my arsenal:
1. Ignore them completely. I don’t respond to whining, fussing or yelling. I sometimes have to remind the little guys that I don’t understand them when they talk in “that voice”, but Lisa knows that when I’m ignoring her, it’s because of her tone. Ignoring them can initially make them more angry, but eventually they get it.
2. Take Stuff Away. A couple of weeks ago Lisa was AWFUL. After one particularly horrendous night, I wrote a list of all the privileges she had. The list had about 20 different things on it, including having friends over, watching TV, playing Barbies, going to friends’ houses including birthday parties, …and the list goes on. There’s another sheet that lists chores and behaviours that will help her earn back the privileges. She knows that if her behaviour is bad enough, The List will be back and she does not want that. Bart will instantly snap out of his tantrum if I threaten to take away his movies for any amount of time. This one isn’t quite as successful with Maggie because she doesn’t have that much that she really cares about losing. One time I told her I would take away all her princess clothes (which she plays with every day) and she went and got a bag to help me gather them up.
3. Time outs. I still do time outs for all the kids, but something I’ve been doing lately is leaving them in all their tantrum glory, going to my room and telling them that I’m taking a time out from them. It freaks them out.
What works for you with your kids? Did your parents do anything that you remember being effective?