If the truth be told I am an utter and complete puss when it comes to discipline. The fact of the matter is that if I didn’t think my children would suffer remarkable consequences I would likely let them throw dirt in your kid’s eye and eat candy all day long. I don’t like violence or confrontation of any kind. (hard to believe?) My tough as nails attitude in an argument is really an attempt to bully you out of arguing as fast as possible and work our way back to “hugging it out.” However, since I really don’t want to visit my boys in the State Penn someday I discipline my children. Brody, my 2 year old, is in the full throws of “terrible twosies.” He likes to kick, punch, slam doors, yell and act like a regular A-HOLE a lot of the time. He has many times attempted to inflict physical harm on his 3 month old brother. I don’t know about you but any and all endeavors to have a rational conversation with my 2 year old have been marked unsuccessful. I would love it if Brody and I could sit down and have a real heart to heart about his inappropriate behavior. I’d love it even more if he would reply to my list of complaints with a heartfelt, “I’m real sorry, Mom. I’m going to do everything I can to correct that behavior and be a better boy. PS I love you and thank you for making me a better man,…in advance.” But, alas, that conversation has never come and likely will not for years. So he gets swatted on the bootay. It grabs his attention. After a swat Brody is all apologies and love for whoever he has offended. You can tell that he feels badly for the infraction. This gives me great relief. This likely means that it is in fact just the terrible twos I am dealing with and I am not raising a sociopath.
Now that I have mentioned that with great discomfort to myself I still discipline my child for his benefit. I’d like to say that I’d appreciate it if you could find it in your heart to discipline yours too..mmmm…K!! There is really nothing more grating to me than attempting to enjoy a day at the park with my little boy and finding that the park it littered with other tiny little A-HOLES who are running amuck without any attention from their parents or guardians. The park is NOT a place to go talk on your cell phone for hours or chit chat with your girlfriend over a latte while your child pokes another in the eye with a stick. Especially if the kid who’s eye is on the other end of the stick is mine.
A couple of weeks ago a child who appeared to be 5 or was otherwise a giant 3 year old pushed my 2 year old son Brody at the park. My husband, who really kind of loves confrontation, searched for a parent to the little NUTCASE of a 5 year old but no one came forward. He watched silently for a moment to see just how aggressive the child would become towards our son. The boy loomed over Brody as if challenging him to get up. My husband had seen enough. He walked over to the unattended child and told him in a threatening tone, “if you touch him again you are going to GET IT!” My husband was greatly annoyed and disturbed that he had to discipline someone else’s child. He waited to see if someone would come forward to collect the child but alas no one did. WTF WAS HIS PARENT DOING?? Why did my husband have to do his or her job??
Now let me tell you the situation in reverse. Brody and I are at the park. Brody is playing with a previously confirmed 4 year old. They are in the sandbox…I hate the sandbox. Brody begins slinging dirt. (this is why I hate the sandbox) I give Brody his verbal warning. “No throwing sand! You can dig in it and make castles or whatnot but NO throwing.” He throws it again. The final warning is served. He completely disregards my attempts to “reason” with him. He throws it again but this time it lands in the 4 year old face and undoubtedly his eyes. I grab Brody and ask, “What did Mommy say?” He replies, “NO!” I spank his butt and put him in the stroller and explain that we are leaving because he didn’t listen to Mommy. The other Mom says, “Oh, its ok. You don’t have to leave.” Um no, it’s not ok. How else will he learn?? So I thank her for being kind in her response but reassure her that I don’t tolerate that kind of behavior. She looks at me like I’m crazy. And then I realize it…she probably doesn’t spank her kids. Oh well. I hope that everything works out for her in the end. I hope that when my child’s cognitive abilities are more developed I will be able to simply “time him out” or “reason with him.” In the meantime, I am going to swat his butt when he attempts to hurt someone else or himself. Call me crazy but I do believe a swat every now and again is effective and necessary. Maybe I’ll start using that tactic on his Dad. : )