The post I was going to write tonight’s just going to have to wait for some time tomorrow, I fear.
1-2-3 Magic is great sometimes for discipline, but I think there’s points where applying it with the Monster hits a brick wall – mostly where it comes to immediate infractions and sending him straight to time-out.
The wife has choir on Monday evenings – this means I’m usually home with the children while she’s there, and this can be anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours depending on how close to a performance we are. Now, understand that the kids generally do go to bed shortly after she leaves, so that’s not so much of a struggle.
Tonight, though, the Monster was being a little more rambunctious than usual, and the baby was riled up as well. So that means I had two kids running around the living room for a few minutes while I was straightening up from dinner. I had actually just gotten back into the living room when the Monster went running through the living room proper and straight through his brother.
To me, that’s that point where there’s a clear course of action – physical violence is an immediate time-out.
Of course, the Monster’s not understanding why he’s gone to his room. I did, of course, make sure that he clearly heard me inform him that hitting/running over his brother is not acceptable and that we go to time-out when we hurt someone. How much of that sticks, though, is really anyone’s guess.
This is really one of the rare times where this has happened, and I don’t even really think that it was intentional, but rather that he’s not being careful or taking a good look at his surroundings. The baby’s less than half his size, though, and he needs to learn to be mindful of his environment, especially as he gets older and into environments where anyone he might run into isn’t going to fall over (or where they might do something worse than put him into time-out).
Just have to keep trying until he figures it out…
Thank you for your post. It helped me get an additional idea. An autistic child may throw tantrum or behave aggressively when he is disappointed or frustrated as other children do. But he is not doing it intentionally, because as an autistic child, he is unable to understand that other people have thoughts and feelings. Punishment must fit the crime. Whenever possible, the only punishment should be experiencing the natural and logical consequences of an undesirable action. If an undesirable behavior happens repeatedly, and neither incentives nor disincentives seem to curb it, you should look closer for hidden causes. Behavior analysis techniques can be very useful in this regard.