Thursday, March 18, 2010

Disciplinary Action

These two play pretty well together. Mostly because Fred isn't too bossy (yet) and Stella is good at giving in. Recently, they've started fighting more. Yesterday I enacted a new law: If you hurt someone you are punished with hot sauce on your tongue. I realize that this stings which means I am trying to teach my kids to not hurt by hurting them. I'm not sure how well it will work. They'll probably just acquire a taste for spicy foods.
I had to pin Stella down after her first offense. After her second, she was willing to take it.
Fred: (crying)
Me: Stella, did you hurt Fred?
She: (standing defiantly) Yes.
Me: Stick out your tongue.
She stuck out her tongue and took her punishment. And even smiled.
I really like this about Stella even though it is slightly maddening. If she doesn't want to eat her veggies then she (usually) is fine without getting her dessert. She is not a conformist. Which makes it really hard to discipline (control/manipulate) her. Plus, she is so forgiving that I have a hard time following through with a punishment because I know that she quickly forgives me when I make her feel bad.
Like the time I popped her balloon. I had taken all three kids to a restaurant where Chloe's school was doing a fundraiser. When we got home it was bedtime. Bedtime is always hectic and I was already frazzled from dealing with the kids in a restaurant. I was trying to get them to focus on getting ready for bed but they were focused on the balloons they had brought home. Stella let hers go and couldn't reach it. She kept asking me to get it and I told her I didn't want her to play with it when she should be getting her jammies on so I would get it after she had changed. She kept asking and asking and I finally said, "If you don't stop I'm going to pop your balloon." She didn't stop. (She doesn't usually respond to threats.) So I stormed in her room, grabbed a balloon and stomped on it. Fred started crying. Stella stopped crying and stared at me wide-eyed. Then I realized that Stella wasn't upset--she was confused. I had popped Fred's balloon. So I gave Stella's balloon to Fred and then she started crying. And Fred continued to cry because he wanted his balloon. About five minutes later, as I was getting Fred settled in bed, Stella came in and gave me a hug and cuddled up to me. She gave me a hug. Because she is loving and affectionate and forgiving. So I promised her another balloon.
I want to be more like Stella.


amy said...

Wow- I was hoping Stella would outgrow that "non manipulation" phase... It is so nice to trick kids into being good- but it didn't work for Stella. sorry.

Good ending to the story, something I was raised doing or having and want to do with my kids

T Fowler said...

Wish I could be like Stella too.

Leslie said...

That's the sweetest and also funniest story ever. Glad you wrote that one down to keep!

rowena said...

arrh, i can just imagine the balloon fiasco. brilliant. i was just thinking today how easy it is having one kid.. no fighting.. blah blah. not for long. you are a good mum katie.