Wednesday, March 23, 2011


My oldest friend (as in I met her in 1st grade, not as in she's 103) wrote a great post on discipline--and overall the necessity for it. She recognized the developmentally appropriate behavior of her 2 year old, which she called limit testing--more commonly known as "No, NO, no, NO, Mommy, NOOOO!"--and the developmentally appropriate response for an adult in charge of said 2 year old. She lamented the lack of developmentally appropriate adults in charge of children and the obvious yet rampant consequences of rewarding bad behavior by simply redirecting the miscreant to another activity. 

She recommended flogging with a wet newspaper.

I heartily cried out AMEN, sister!

It reminded me of our new hairdresser who told me that the best kids take no work at all. You either get a good apple or a bad apple, said he. 

I told him he clearly does not have kids;
then I told him he never should.

Then I got to put it all to the test.

(code for: I hate it when that happens except I don't use words strong enough to express said hatred so I will use the word Proper Southern ladies use when they detest something).

One of my darlings has decided to have a strong opinion on EVERYTHING and express that opinion LOUDLY. 

Geez, I have no idea where that comes from. 

After many warnings over the past few days, this particular offspring took it to a whole new level by deterring a sibling from choosing a prize out of the treasure box that was "inappropriate for their age." (That is code for: I-want-to-pick-it-next-time-so-get-your-grubby-hands-off.)

So, while the very hurt sibling happily played with their treasure box selection, the opinionated one had a little cooling down period (code for: Sit on your bed with no toys or books and think about what you have done while I get a piece of dark chocolate and a cup of coffee and decide not to evict you).

Then I allowed the creative parenting juices to flow (code for the brilliance that gave Juliana our 10 year old dog for her 4th birthday after she begged for a pet of her own, and that connected Gabriel and Juliana to each other at the wrist until they could get along. We're talking good juices people).

Then Daniel came home and added some creativity of his own.
Here's the final punishment:

3 days of Dad picking out all articles of clothing.

That is not code. It's just torture.

The goal is that each time this child is tempted to be bossy, they will look at their clothes and decide if it's worth it to express a strong opinion on something that is none of their business. We are hoping they decide it's not worth it. 

But, on the off chance that fashion a la Dad is not a strong enough deterrent, we have some other tricks up our sleeves (and that is code for this kid had better shape up because the juices flow freely these days).


Kristie said...

Love it! Keep the juices flowing

Jennifer said...

"Parent Trap" right? Let the punishment fit the crime? I like it. How about the creative parenting that led to backyard archery? How has that turned out?