Usually I post our StArt project on Thursday. It didn’t happen this week. In fact, a lot of things I planned didn’t happen this week or last week. Instead we had a lot more “disciplining” than I would have liked. It looks like every week lately Anna finds a new creative way to get herself in trouble. Every time it happens during the time she is supposed to be down for her afternoon rest time. First it was sprinkling her room with water from her water bottle (we thought it was a fluke and let it slide), then it was making bookmarks out of a library book page. Yesterday she decided that it’s a good idea to pee all over her room. Mind you, this comes from a child who has barely ever had any accidents and has been potty trained for months now. Moreover, she is really upset when she has those rare minor accidents. This time she behaved as if nothing happened.
My husband (all those things happened when I was at work) is beyond himself. His whole approach to child rearing is based on belief that our child is a mature and intelligent human being. Even when she was a baby we chose not to baby proof our house but instead consistently impressed upon her what things are her things and what things are adults’ things. I keep reminding him that our daughter might be intelligent, but she is certainly far from mature. We had many heated debates about appropriate responses. I tend to apply “immediate consequences” (same day punishments) and then “forgive and forget”. He is more in favor of relatively long term modifications. Yesterday he even went as far as threatening to put a diaper on her and set the crib back up. Fortunately, so far we’ve been able to work out a joint strategy on every transgression, and usually it means removal of privileges for the day – no sweets, no books, no play time. It’s been tough going for adults in the house. Anna still behaves as a carefree child though – she is certainly upset that parents are mad at her, but now she has grandparents to run to when she is in trouble. And she seems to believe that as long as she covers us with kisses and we kiss and hug her back, all is good again in her world. Here is her strategy in dealing with an angry parent: Papa, I want to give you a kiss! Mwa! Are you happy now? I certainly hope that things will look up soon, but in the meantime we are curious – how do you discipline your kids for major transgressions and what would be major in your house?