Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The toy-thrower strikes again.

What is a good discipline for a toy-thrower? We have a toy-thrower in our home. I have put the toy-thrower in time out explaining that throwing toys can break things, including the toy, and could hurt others. It wasn't just once. We have been consistent in sending the toy-thrower to time out for throwing. Then we also started taking the toy and sending it to "toy time-out." Sometimes the toy didn't come back for a week. But seeing as how most toys in our home belong to all the children, this didn't seem very fair.

About two weeks ago I implemented a new rule after a light-diffusing glass was broken on the light fixture in the office area from an airborn toy. If a toy is thrown and it belongs to the thrower, it will get donated or trashed. If a toy is thrown and the toy belongs to someone else, the toy-thrower must go and get a toy that belongs to them to be donated in its place. If toy-thrower refuses to get a toy for donation, I will.

Today toy-thrower chucked a toy again just a couple minutes after my warning, "If you throw any of these potato head pieces, you will be done playing with them, and a toy will be donated." Toy-thrower was escorted to time-out with an explanation of why we do not throw toys. When I told toy-thrower to go down to the playroom and pick out a toy, toy-thrower said (and by "said" I actually mean "screamed at me in a sassy tone"), "I am SO DONE with THIS discpline!"

And we'll just leave the story there for you all to ponder.

I know there are other toy-throwers out there. Perhaps not in your home, but maybe in others. Maybe you have heard of a good discipline for toy-throwing. Maybe you read a good idea on Works for Me Wednesday or BabyCenter and I missed it. Please share. And should you feel the need to remind me, I know this is but a little worry in the life of raising children into responsible adults. As far as the "pick your battles" comment goes, I'm not interested in ignoring flying toys.


OHANA said...

Ok, "I am SO DONE with.." is a great phrase. Anyways, but I think Your choice of discipline is what I would do and have done. Maybe in addition to "donation or trash" you can give them a RED coin (isn't that the bad coin?) when a toy hurts or breaks things. Or maybe just invest in soft toys for this toy-thrower to use until he/she can understand not to throw in the house....but you got me. I am not the expert.

Mrs. Morty said...

I'd have to say that the throwing toy battle is one to pick. If it is damaging people or property it is definitely one to nip in the bud. I think that your idea is great, just be consistent. Once the offender is out of toys they may learn, and if they don't by then perhaps they should not be allowed to enter into the toy room or touch other children's toys (although that would be harder to enforce)

Amy said...

Oh man - no consistant toy throwers here. We have our own issues. Is this throwing done in anger or just in play? AT someone or AT something, or just in general?
If not done in anger, then I'd look for a different way for them to get their throwing energy out. A safe place to throw a soft ball; inside or outside (I know going outside there is sometimes not an option). Throwing a scarf?
If it's in anger then I'd probably get to he root of it by focusing on appropriate ways to display anger. Practicing at non-angery times. And just repeating that along with your current strategy, "It's not ok to throw things when you are angry. You may _____ (stomp your feet, draw and angry picture, scream in a pillow, count to 10, etc...) instead.)"

SuperCoolMom said...

My solution has gone a different direction. I chose to remind him that we don't throw toys. If, however, he would like to throw something appropriate he is welcome to. I help him make a paper airplane, blow up a beach ball or balloon, or make a pvc blowgun for shooting cottonballs. Cottonball snowball fights are cool too. You can also make snowballs out of old pantyhose, fill with a half cup of flour, tie a knot, leave a gap, tie another knot, more flour, etc. cut them apart and you can have an awesome snowball fight - wearing black is best! (Just remind them, bodies only.) Marshmallow bloguns rock too - but only outside. Try giving him an appropriate outlet for it. Other thoughts - bean bag toss, sockwad basketball, frisbee, bubbles, etc.

Haddorkus said...

I've reached black out phase of the toddler years. Did I have a thrower? What did I do to handle it? I can't remember. How did I potty train? Sleep at night?

I don't know. I don't know I tell you!

I have totally repressed all that stuff. I do remember the cute stuff though. It is a rather nice amnesia.

Julie V. said...

Sounds like you are on the right track..can't allow harmful behavior. I was going to suggest something along the lines of Amy's suggestions. But caution you to be careful. Supercoolmom's ideas would have to be discussed or implemented during a non-toy-throwing time to avoid those fun activities becoming a reward for throwing toys. Have a family night discussion about appropriate behavior and have them role-play better ways to deal with stomping feet or punching a pillow. If he's not angry at time of throwing, but is doing it for fun or attention, maybe a cheap soft ball and wastebasket target would work to "hone his skills". Maybe you could reward him with a white chip each time he plays without throwing a toy...of course the other kids would have to get same reward. You know - accentuate the positive. I don't know. Some kids are really stubborn or set in their ways and just keep misbehaving no matter what you try!!! I hope your toy thrower is more open to change. We are curious to hear if he really is "Done" with this punishment...and ties to stop his impulsive tossing of toys.


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