Posts Tagged With: discipline

Twisted Sister: Opening a Can of Whoop-Ass

Dear Kids,

This week Buddy came home with another bite report and a conversation with the teacher that began, “Buddy plays a little rough with the other kids.” Great. I know that he’s one of the biggest kids in the class and I suspect he will be for quite some time. Without a bigger kid to knock him down a peg, I don’t like to think where this is headed.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that buddy is a bully – what 2 year-old is? But he is a 2 year-old the size of a 4 year-old; he’s a bull in a China shop.

I decided that Buddy could really benefit from having has ass handed to him. I decided that, as the older sister, Kitten should do the honors.

After school I gave Kitten the scoop. “Buddy needs your help to learn to play nice. He doesn’t realize he’s being too rough. He needs someone to stand up to him and push him back. Can you do that, Kitten? Can you push Buddy back if he pushes you?”

Big, bright, glowing eyes. I have given Kitten the keys to the city. “Yes. Yes, I can do that.”

The rules are that Kitten can only push back defensively. This is actually really good for Kitten too, who has trouble standing up for herself. Her reflex response is to cry and tattle. Every time. It’s disheartening.

Let me be clear; I am not trying to set up a kiddie Thunderdome in my living room. I’m trying to instill a little physical awareness and respect for boundaries in my son and a little confidence and self preservation in my daughter – under adult supervision.

Kitten is not naturally aggressive. The first time Buddy pushed her under the new rule, she still cried before she remembered she could defend herself. And then the tap she gave him in retaliation was so light Buddy didn’t even notice it. Regardless, Kitten was so proud of herself. It was kinda cute. But it also illustrated that we’re not looking at any knock down, drag out brawls anytime soon. Or ever. That’s not the point of this exercise.

The point of this is teaching Buddy that most people don’t like being played rough with. The point is teaching Kitten that it’s ok to stand up for herself.

That’s the theory…let’s see how it goes…

Categories: Buddy, Kids, Kitten | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

Dear Kids – What’s In a Name?

Dear Kids,

We spent a lot of time thinking about what to name you guys. We thought about first names, middle names, and nicknames. We thought about how your names would sound with your last name and how they would sound said together. We thought about family names, unique names, and names with cool meanings. We thought about your names before either of you were conceived and we thought about them while we were waiting for you to arrive.

Three names: first, middle, and last. After so much time, thought, and love devoted to crafting your unique and precious names, what do we do? We only use them all when we are really, really mad at you. Ain’t that a kick in the teeth?

The more name I use, the more trouble you're in.

The more name I use, the more trouble you’re in.

Categories: Kids | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Dear Kids – Custom Parenting

Dear Kids,

I recently wrote this in response to a post (kid.) by everday.

“I constantly question myself – especially when it comes to discipline. I think all parents are just kind of feeling their way through parenthood. There’s books, but what do they know about YOUR kid? Nothing! Kids are so different.

You can scream ‘No’ at the top of your lungs at my son and he won’t bat an eye until he is physically restrained from hurting himself, someone, or something. He is tactile and visual and you need to be blunt and quick with him.

My daughter, however, you can look sideways at and she’ll dissolve in to tears. Her proudest moments are, “I didn’t cry that time, Mommy!” She is emotional and needs a light touch.

The same discipline and parenting won’t work for these two kids; even if they are being raised in the same house by the same parents. But here’s the constant: they both crave our love and attention. I figure we’ve got that part down pat ;)”


Categories: Kids | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Dear Kids – Good Cop, Bad Cop

Dear Kids,

There’s always going to be a good cop and a bad cop. Sometimes I’m the bad cop. Sometimes Daddy is the bad cop. The key is splitting it. No one wants to be the bad cop all the time.

It’s easy to slip in to roles; some parents are more comfortable doling out discipline than others. That’s normal. But it’s not fair to never take your turn as bad cop, even if it doesn’t come naturally to you. For one thing, your kids will never take you seriously if they know you won’t discipline them. For another, it’s unnecessarily stressful to your partner. You’re a team. Take your turn.

Recently I’ve noticed that Daddy has been bad cop more than his fair share. Buddy, you were drawing on the table with a yellow crayon and even though I was right next to you, it was Daddy that took you to time out. That should have been me, but I didn’t jump in to action, so he did. I know that’s stressful for him and if it’s always him taking you to time out then you will start to think he’s the bad guy. He’s not the bad guy, Buddy. And if I start taking my turn as bad cop, you’ll know that.

Photo Credit: Microsoft Clipart

Photo Credit: Microsoft Clipart

Categories: Kids | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Dear Buddy – Your Bad, My Bad

Dear Buddy,

We had a bad evening. A baaaad evening. It started with something you did and got worse with something I did. It started when you threw the bubble bottle and then wouldn’t pick it up. I put the bottle in your little hand and together we picked it up – parenting win? Not quite. You know exactly when you’re being manipulated. You picked up the heaviest thing in your vacinity and chucked it, which got you an automatic time out. The time-out chair? You threw it. Which got you a one-way ticket to your bedroom. My role in all of this? Beyond the obvious ever-escalating discipline measures, I pulled a low blow…I held your pacifier hostage. At first I thought this was a great manuever – Want your paci? Pick up what you threw. Want your paci? Apologize. But your paci isn’t like a treat for training a dog. Your paci is your comfort object – like Linus’ blanket. I didn’t realize it would be so cruel. By keeping from you the one you use to comfort yourself you were completely unable to handle the situation. You collapsed in tears on the floor and you didn’t understand why I was keeping it from you. It was horrible for both of us until, finally, after 15 minutes of mutual stubborness, we met in the middle. I put the paci in your hand and you immediately – in a fit of gratefulness – told me, “I sorry, Mommy”. Win, win.


Categories: Buddy, Kids | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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