A lot of people comment on how well-behaved our daughter is most of the time. Some of the same people comment jokingly that she gets a timeout once she blinks at the wrong time. This is definitely not true, but I admit that we are on a stricter side of average, and we enforced some rules very early on. We never used physical punishment with Anna, but we used restraining, timeouts and privilege withdrawal. My husband also has a very effective discipline technique that I nicknamed The Voice. It’s not yelling, but, trust me, it makes even adults jump. I remember only two tantrums that our daughter threw. In both cases, we just let her go at it until she was exhausted and wanted a hug. She learned pretty quickly that tantrums don’t work, and whining aggravates both parents. I heard that three is more challenging than two in testing boundaries department, but so far I feel that all unpleasant work of discipline that we suffered through in the second and third year has paid off. Of course, she has her moments, but overall she knows how to negotiate appropriately for what she wants, and she also knows that she cannot expect to always get what she wants. Here is an amusing exchange in the middle of me being angry with her. I was explaining something to her. And… she also knows sometimes how to get herself out of a tight spot. Just a couple of days ago we had a funny exchange:
Me: Anna, you know that you are not supposed to swallow toothpaste!
Anna (putting her little finger on my lips): Mama, you still love me. You just don’t like my behavior. I will listen to you… tomorrow.