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Home » 9to5to9

Screaming for discipline

Submitted by on Sunday, 1 June 2008 No Comment
Originally published Feb. 20, 2008, thehive.modbee.com This just in: According to a new article at parenting.com, kids want discipline. They’re practically begging you for it. Ah-HA! So that’s why Big Guy screamed half the way home tonight. I could have sworn he was shrieking, “But I want to go to the park. I won’t say bad words tomorrow. Let me GO!” I couldn’t tell exactly, though, because after the first minute or so I turned up the radio to block it out. And there’s always auditory distortion when the pitch reaches ranges only dogs can hear. After reading that article, I’m sure now he was saying, “Oh, you’re right, Mommy! I shouldn’t have said those things, and I know that now. Thank you SO much.” I did feel bad – but only a little – about cancelling the park. Today turned out to be far more gorgeous than expected, and I’m sure he’d been looking forward to the trip. I was up for it, too, until I saw the note from his teacher: Big Guy “was using foul language on the playground today, using the f-word.” Aw, sheesh, here we go again. I thought I’d battled that one back a year and a half ago. But suddenly it’s returned? I knew talking wouldn’t do any good, so I grabbed the first stick I could find. “I’m sorry, but we’re not going to be able to go to the park now. The kids there don’t like bad words, and you’ve had a problem with that today.” Deer in the headlights look, then profuse apologies. “I won’t do it anymore. I promise. Now, let’s go.” “Sorry, hon. We’ll try again tomorrow.” That’s when bombs started bursting in air. He fired the “not fair” carbine and tossed the “wanna go” grenade. He finished with a carpet bombing of unintelligible caterwauling. But just as quickly as it started, it ended. We had a remarkably placid evening, with only token grumbling about bedtime. Because kids – or, at least this one – really do want discipline. It's simply hard-wired into them to test limits, to see how much they can get away with, to figure out where the lines are drawn. Little Guy is much easier on this count. He <EM>is 2, so he'll throw his little fits, but most of the time he'll do what I ask with a cheery OK. Big Guy, however, is a boundary pusher – has been since the day he popped into this world. There’s a definite up side to that, such as the determination that had him walking at 10 months. The will that had him mobile mere days after abdominal surgery last fall. The down side, though, can be exhausting. Particularly after a long day at work. Letting him slide, though, has never worked. Give him an inch and he’ll take a continent. Sometimes talking is enough to bring him back into the fold, but I knew it wouldn’t be on something that has been an issue before. I’m hoping tonight’s death penalty re-solves the problem. Just in case, though, I’m going to have ear plugs ready for tomorrow’s ride home. Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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