The Edmond Sun

Features

April 5, 2013

LIVING WITH CHILDREN: Using a ‘three strikes’ system can calm out-of-control boys

McClatchy — Q: We have two boys, 8 and 7. They are completely, and I mean COMPLETELY, out of control. They constantly argue, fight and tattle. If they’re not fighting, they’re playing chaotically. Homework is a constant battle, and getting them to bed takes over an hour. To top it off, they completely ignore us when we give them instructions, and one boy’s disobedience seems to make the other boy worse. It’s driving me absolutely nuts, but they don’t seem to care. We can’t go out in public or have people over to our house because their behavior is at its worst when other people are around. They love an audience. PLEASE HELP!

A: When unresolved discipline problems have piled up to this level, parents begin acting frustrated, frazzled, and frantic, all of which simply makes matters worse. No discipline approach is going to work when parents are at wits’ end. And when, under these circumstances, some method doesn’t work, the defeat results in a greater feeling of despair, greater frustration and yet another haphazard approach that’s bound to fail.

To begin solving the numerous problems you’re experiencing with these wild boys, you’re going to have to focus on one problem, and one problem only. While doing so, you will need to let the others “fall by the wayside.” Just muddle through them as well as you can, the important thing being that you stop losing your cool. How do you stop losing your cool? By experiencing some success, and by realizing that these problems are not insurmountable. You are in desperate need of some optimism, and I’m going to do my best to help you acquire it.

I’m going to recommend that you focus on the sibling conflict. Remember, even though the other problems are as big or bigger, you’re just going to let them go for the time being. After all, they’re not going to get any worse. I know it’s hard, but you need to take a deep breath and accept that if you try to solve more than one of these problems at a time, you’ll end up solving none.

Create a “three strikes, you’re out” rule. A strike occurs whenever the sibling conflict, regardless of what form it takes, disturbs you in any way, even a small way, and that most definitely includes tattling. A strike, no matter which boy causes it, applies to both boys, and means they have to sit in separate chairs, in separate places in the house, for 30 minutes. Use a kitchen timer to signal when the time is up. If either of the boys so much as stands up before the timer goes off, re-set it, and keep re-setting it until they’ve sat for an entire 30 minutes. The third strike of the day means they sit in their designated chairs for the rest of the day, which you shorten by putting them to bed immediately after supper. During this time, give them 5 minutes an hour to go to the bathroom.

If they have separate rooms, you can put them in their rooms at the third strike, but for this to be effective you have to first remove anything they can use for entertainment.

If you can keep your cool and simply enforce the “Do Not Disturb Mom and Dad’s Peace” rule dispassionately, you should begin seeing significant improvement in a couple of weeks. Give it two more weeks for the progress to “harden,” then add a second problem to the list. In relatively little time, these wild boys are going to realize that their wild days are over.

FAMILY PSYCHOLOGIST John Rosemond answers parents’ questions on his website at www.rosemond.com. Distributed by MCT Information Services.

1
Text Only
Features
  • NAMI classes begin in September

    NAMI Edmond North-OKC, the local organization of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, will offer its Family-to-Family Education Program beginning Sept. 2. It will contine Sept. 4 and 8-9. Classes will be at Crossings Community Church, Quail Springs United Methodist Church, Francis Tuttle Technology Center (Portland campus), Tinker AFB Chapel and the Thunderbird Club House in Norman.
    NAMI Family-to-Family is a free 12-session education program for family caregivers of adults living with mental illness. The sessions are offered once a week for a few hours each.

    July 30, 2014

  • clinic 1.jpg Edmond church to host free eye clinic

    An Edmond church and Feed the Children are partnering to provide a free eye clinic.
    Individuals will be able to receive a free vision test and free prescription eye glasses from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 9 at the Waterloo Road Baptist Church, 3100 E. Waterloo Road. All ages are welcome and registration is not required.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • UCO forensic volunteer wants to aid more agencies

    A four-person group of forensic investigators who volunteer their time to help smaller Oklahoma police departments isn’t enough to meet demand, a member said.
    Kama King, who recently completed her graduate research and will be a member of the faculty at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Forensic Science Institute, said outside of full-time jobs, members of the group volunteer to assist these agencies.
    As her career progresses, King hopes to help establish a permanently funded organization available to any agency in the state to assist in remains recovery as well as related training.

    July 29, 2014

  • jc_ITS map.jpg City to improve traffic flow

    The Edmond City Council this week approved a services agreement with Electronic Technology, Inc. For the  installation of Intelligent Transportation Systems’ video wall system at a cost of $314,620. The vote was 3-0.
    ITS is a fiber optic, wireless or hybrid communication system of monitoring road events and equipment in the field, data archiving and predicting traffic volume, said Kent Kacir, an engineer with Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • jc_Earp Marlin 2 - photo credit Noel Winters.jpg Shootout of a sale

    An original article of the Wild West will be made available at auction Thursday. The rifle of legendary lawman Wyatt Earp will be part of the J. Levine Auction & Appraisal’s Summer Quarterly Auction in Scottsdale, Ariz.
    Earp was an Arizona deputy sheriff and deputy town marshal in Tombstone, Ariz. He is legendary for playing a key role in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. He died in 1929 at age 80.
    Wyatt Earp collector Barry Tapp of Edmond will be selling his 1895 Wyatt Earp Marlin rifle at the auction. The rifle has an estimated value between $50,000 and $75,000. It includes authentication documentation from Tombstone Heritage Museum, according to the auction house

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • 11.6.12 Mother and Cub (2).jpg UCO forensic researcher answers key question

    After working a few human recovery cases on a volunteer basis with a variety of police departments, a question kept bugging Kama King.
    “You spend the whole day,” the UCO W. Roger Webb Forensic Science Institute student said, “sometimes days, searching for someone and only find a skull or a few bones and it just ate at me. Are we not finding this or is it not there to be found?”

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Karan & Rwanda.jpg Peace through Business empowering women entrepreneurs

    Peace Through Business is part of the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW) based in Oklahoma City. It is a program that connects small business entrepreneurs in Afghanistan and Rwanda with business owners in Oklahoma. One such entrepreneur found out about the program from a friend, applied, and was accepted to take part in this year’s session.
    Upon earning a master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the Universite de Sciences et Technique de Lille in Belgium, Lyliose Nduhungirehe began her career working for a construction company in Brussels, but she quickly switched paths to Information Technology.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • How to care for your pet without breaking the bank

    It’s a shame furry friends can’t pay for themselves. Though wagging tails after a long day at work may make pet ownership seem worthwhile, a happy pup won’t stop those bills from rolling in at the end of the month. Thankfully, quick and easy ways exist for dog owners to cut down on costs.

    July 28, 2014

  • MS_new pastor_Page_1.tiff Local church welcomes new pastor

    For one of Edmond’s newest pastors, faith and family intersect on a personal level.
    Sam Powers, pastor at Edmond 1st United Methodist Church, 305 E. Hurd St., and his family arrived in mid-May and his first Sunday in the pulpit was the second one in June. He and his wife Sheryl Heaton Powers, have two children — Kyla will be an eighth-grader at Cheyenne Middle School and David will be a fifth-grader at John Ross Elementary.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • pm_Ramona Paul.jpg Keith, 5 others to receive service awards

    The 2014 Door-Opener Awards Gala dinner and silent auction Sept. 4, benefitting ASTEC Charter Schools, will recognize five outstanding Oklahomans and one Kansan for lifetime contributions made toward helping others in society maximize potential and achieve dreams.
    Those selected to receive a Door-Opener Award at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel event include Dr. Harvey Dean, Pittsburg, Kan.; Toby Keith and Tricia Covel, Norman; Former Gov. George P. Nigh, Edmond; the late Dr. Ramona Paul, Edmond; and Natalie Shirley, Oklahoma City.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos