Monday, September 29, 2008

Discipline with a Smile

A very wise, very wonderful elementary school guidance counselor once imparted on me and my fellow teammates this brilliant motto when dealing with tough, defiant kiddos ... "It doesn't count unless they cry."

I am wondering, darling, BB, does it count if you make them laugh?

Effective my discipline is not. Funny ... well, both Natalie and I usually end up giggling by the time all is said and done, so ... WHAT am I going to do?

Let me give you an example ...

Natalie has a darling little while rocking chair in her room. A gift from our favorite mom-of-triplets :) For quite some time, Natalie would just stand supporting her weight on the seat and stare at the letters written across the back. And I would spell, "N-A-T-A-L-I-E ... Natalie." Great fun. Occasionally she would pat the seat as if to say, "Hey, I'd like to sit here," and so I'd lift her and set her rear first in the chair where she would rock a little and then scoot to the edge and stand up ... looking all proud of herself. Oh, the good old days.

Now my sweet almost-15-month-old has figured out how to climb onto the chair ... not into but onto ... as in standing on the seat, holding on to the back, and rocking like she's on some sort of amusement ride done wrong! My reaction: a stern, "No, no, Natalie. We don't stand on the chair. We sit." followed by removing her from the precarious perch. Natalie's reaction: giggling, lots and lots of giggling, and more climbing back to that exact position. After we repeated this scenario a handful of times - and I was reduced to turning my back to her in order to giggle without being seen - I can't suck at discipline and be a bad role model - I put the rocker in the closet and closed the door. Not even that got a reaction, still no tears ... Apparently, my style of discipline involves putting things out of reach ... but in the future I should probably draw the line at putting my sassy, back-talking five year old in the closet ... don't ya think?

Well, that darling rocking chair simply could not STAY in the closet, which leads me to the next funny part of my tale. Every time Natalie approaches her chair, she looks over her shoulder, gestures with one hand, and says, "Naa, na. Naa, na." in this sarcastic and hilarious tone ... and then proceeds to climb onto the chair ... but she only "stands" on her knees. It seems we've reached a compromise, and that's something to smile about :)

1 comment:

TX momma said...

Hilarious that you should blog about this (a long awaited site for me to see that you added more thoughts, by the way! :)). I just came downstairs from putting B down for a nap. Before napptime, he wanted to have a little bit of rocker time. This has become a very hot item in the past few months. Anyway, he too does not like to use it in a traditional manner. The preferred way is on his knees, facing backwards, laughing like a crazy man! After bath, he goes straight for it, bare naked! Nothing cuter than a naked rocking baby!

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