Sunday, November 8, 2009


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.


Booklover1212 said...

Oh, now THAT is priceless!!!

~ Jennifer

MoziEsmé said...

That comment is too funny!

This is interesting reading... We're dealing with our own discipline issues now. For the first part of Esme's life, I've tried avoidance - distraction, negotiation, compromise, anything to not back her up in a corner to blatant disobedience. It's not really working. So far time-out has had better results, though painful.

Felicia said...

Too cut!

My Boaz's Ruth said...

I definitely believe punishment in early years pays off as the child gets older. It is very hard for the parent to punish (I finally understand the whole "This will hurt me more than it hurts you") but in the end, it is the child that is punished the worst when the parent refuses to discipline them and the child is allowed to grow up undisciplined.

Just keep telling myself that over and over.

Christy said...

That comment is cute.

As a mother of three, I have found that a lot of what is necessary for discipline is dependent upon the nature of the child. Two of my children seem to be eager to please and are definitely well-behaved most of the time; a simple reminder or a few minutes to think about what they did or said is often enough. My other child, however, has been difficult, strong-willed, intense, determined (whatever you want to call it) from birth. Parenting this child is a lot more difficult, and I struggle with figuring out the best method of discipline. I think we are more strict with our children (compared to people we know) in some respects and less strict in other areas.

Chic Mama said...

That is so cute! Oh, and nice work mama!

Shannon said...

That is so cute! Faith said something similar once upon a time (probably around Anna's age).

And I totally agree with you. I'd rather be the stricter parent with a great child than the laid back parent with the kid everyone hates to have around. F&B have been raised that this is *our* home & *our* life and they will learn how to behave in it. However, I have a 4 & 7 year old that we can take to 5 star restaurants, to live theater productions, travel with, etc. It was completely worth it, imho.

The Fifth Street Mama said...

Hee hee that is too cute!

I totally think that consistency is the key in raising a well behaved child. Bravo for having such a great kid!

MaryAnne said...

lol you have one smart little girl!

Susana said...

This is a very amusing exchange between the two of you:-).

I agree with Sarah that consistency is the key, and with Christy, that what works for one doesn't always work for the other in our home either.

Right now I am just taking it one day at a time as I know I've told you lately more than once:-).

Ticia said...

Love that exchange.
We struggle with the same problem of walking the being strict line without going overboard.
I'm discovering with my little Princess that what has worked for her brothers she just looks at and laughs.

The girl who painted trees said...

I need to work on that consistency thing!

Anna is an amazing girl!

Bear is very strong willed and intense. She is so wonderful yet so challenging. I can take her out in public and not worry one bit, but when we are home, she has a lot of meltdowns.
Like, Susana, I'm taking it one day at a time!

Nadia@FunWithMama said...

lol she is hilarious.. i love her comments sometimes! They usually make me laugh..

PLEASE dont tell me three is harder than two because seriously I'm just a few months away from terrible two's... and im really hoping to get away from that age... its hard work!