In case you missed it, my parent puzzler question of the week can be viewed here.
Here’s what I told Maya:
Most of us parents make two fundamental mistakes when we discipline our kids and these set us up for failure. First, we don’t establish clear rules– the kind that stick. Maya needs to think through her discipline plan clearly and take two or three days where she commits to do nothing else, but make her demands stick. The second mistake we make is to discipline for too many things at once.
The next time her son acts up, she needs to tell him to go to his time out chair and she needs to go with him. When he jumps out, she needs to hold him in the chair until he quiets down. Once he’s quiet, she should stay in the room with him and make him sit quietly, alone, for two minutes. Then he can leave. This can be exhausting if you have a strong-willed, stubborn child who flails and screams while you hold him- but don’t give up. He’ll surrender eventually and you need to be more stubborn than he. The second thing she needs to do is to choose one or two behaviors that need correcting the most and work on these until he changes them. Then, she can move on to working on disciplining for other behaviors. This way, when she says “No”, it will stick and she will say it less often.