The Key to Effective Discipline


Ok, fine so we didn’t get any real snow, we got those little ice pellets, mixed with rain and like three, total, snowflakes. Screw that. That bums me out.

My daughter desperately wanted to participate in this sky falling episode. She walked outside and jumped onto the sidewalk, which was a thin layer of slush, and said \

“This is ice, let’s eat the snow”…

and I said “Noooo…this snow is icy and it’s touching the ground….and you only eat the part of the snow that’s on the very top, the part thats touching other snow.”

….and so we get to the car and she takes one single finger and leans forward and scoops it up and shoves it in her mouth, and then looks at me for some sort of approval.

A part of me started wiggling around wanting to squeal “EW EW EW GROUND COOTIES, GERMS IN YOUR MOUTH!!!!!!!”

But I didn’t, I stayed completely calm, totally collected and with a stone cold straight face, I said.. “Was that good?” and she looked me dead in the eye and said.

“Delicious.”

Good. Lord. I am going to be in so much fucking trouble when she is a teenager.  She is already in so much trouble all the time.. Santa’s not bringing her a kitty, and she sure as hell isn’t getting any more markers or crayons, or even any Color Wonder markers, because even though they may not “Color” on the walls… they leave little clearish tan trails ALL OVER white walls… She refuses to listen to directions and ok, let me run down a scenario with you… We’ve been having serious problems with her not staying in bed after we’ve put her to bed. Three nights ago she got into the bathroom and squeezed out half a tube of sulfur mask onto my green towels, which then discolored parts of the towels. I was fuming.  This child does NOT respond to redirection, positive reinforcement, time outs, swats on the bottom, taking away privileges etc…

So I told her that in conjunction with being a bad girl at school and disobeying at home, we were going to have to up the ante here. Every time she was caught out of bed in the middle of the night, a stuffed animal of my choice, went straight into the depths of nothingness…….you guessed it..

 The trash.

Of course, I’d never actually throw things I spent my hard earned money on, so they get shoved into a storage box under the stairs to collect dust for eternity.

Rhiannon’s in bed, I’ve kissed her goodnight, sang to her, hugged her and put every single stuffed animal that she has into her bed with her, even the gigantic ones…. I head down to the basement where my P.C. is, it’s the one time of night when I get uninterrupted “me” time. No hubby. No kiddo. ME ME ME ME ME!!!

After about a half an hour I hear the pitter patter of little feet, and I wonder if its the neighbors, we live in a townhouse, but this particular pitter patter sounds like the pitter patter of a dainty little girl trying desperately not to be heard. The neighbors on both sides, have little boys.

I start creeping up the stairs and that GOD DAMN top step creaks and I hear the fastest pitter patter up the second flight of stairs into the second floor and I take off in a full on sprint to catch her in the act, just to see her feet disappearing into the upstairs. I run into her room as she flops onto the bed.

“You’re so busted!!” I yell.

“No I’m not.”

“You sure the heck are! Let me pick a stuffed animal to throw away tonight.” I cackle evilly (not really).

“Ok…but just not my baby” 

Huh….? Did she seriously just offer up every other stuffed animal in the room, but just not this 2 dollar baby doll? You’ve. Got. To. Be. Kidding. Me! I recollect myself.

“Ok well then maybe I should take the baby.”

“Noooo…… ok take the baby, but just not my rabbit.”

WHAT THE HELL!? Is she trying to trick me into a whirlwind of confusion so that I eventually just get a gigantic question mark over my head and X’s over my eyes, and then leave the room? Or wait wait wait, maybe she wants me to blue screen like a computer.. Feeling defeated I pick up the rabbit and tell her it is gone for her behavior.

She screams and cries insanely, and then tells me she is “not my friend anymore!!”

Night #2. She gets out of bed, and I decide to take two little ornament sized bears, she’s been carrying around calling them “married”. I snatch them up and she screams and cries and tells me she is going to “run away”.

She’s three and a half, how does she know anything about running away?

Night #3, I put her into bed and she refuses the blanket, and she hauls off and in an effort to kick the blankets out of my hands, she kicks me squarely in the chest, right below my windpipe, and in an effort to teach her empathy, I look completely sad, and disappointed… she looks at me and puts her arms around my neck and says “I’m sorry mommy,” and then she cups my chin in her little hands and says “I’m still your friend.”  like that’s the upside of her knocking the wind out of me.. and then again.. “I’m sorry, Mommy”…

By George… I think I’ve got it.

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3 thoughts on “The Key to Effective Discipline

  1. Nice — can you come over and look sad for my kids? Also, I was just looking at your flickr stream. You need to be a professional photographer, screw business studies. You are amazing. I was looking at your art and I would put almost all of it on my walls. You should open an etsy shop and sell it. Photography seems to do well there.

  2. That is one of the best things that works with my son. I take toys away and give them back one by one when he goes a day without being bad. One time I found a sword I had taken away, in the depths of my closet months later.

    Hang in there.

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