I baby sit my niece and nephew on a daily basis. At their house they practically get away with murder, and I have different rules at my house. I don't allow food in my living room, or for the kids to go outside without supervision. My question is... Is it ok for me as their aunt, when they are at my house to put them in time out if needed? I have been trying to do a marble jar where they can earn marbles for good behavior, but they get taken away if they disobey rules. But they seem to not care when I take them out. They play nicely with my daughter, but when I have found Ranch Dressing all over my living room carpet and couch, I feel this is where a time out is necessary. Any advise?
It's not only OK but absolutely appropriate for you to discipline kids in your charge, especially when they are there on a daily basis. Kids understand that different homes have different rules; one of my favorite lines with visiting children has always been, "In our house, we (fill in the blank)." It's a way to differentiate without passing judgment.
I also love your marble reward system, but if it is working, it may be because they are too young or because the rewards are too far in the distance or insignificant for them to understand/care. Ditto for time-out. It doesn't always work, especially if kids are too immature to understand the concept. Review what makes it work (or not) here.
So what to do instead? When appropriate, the best discipline by far is natural consequences, in this case, getting out the cleaning tools and supervising them in the clean up of the Ranch dressing. Yeah, it's a lot of work but believe me, that'll stick with them in a way that time-out never would.
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