Thursday, March 5, 2009


I'm feeling a little frazzled. Mothering is really tough some days. Most of the time it's fun work but it definitely can have rough patches. While I do feel that some parts of mothering come "naturally" other parts don't. For me, particularly, the discipline does not come naturally. I did talk about discipline a bit in this post, and what I hope it will look like for me at some point.

Today I feel very very far from that point.

Stinx has gone back to his beating up of little babies routine. He started this routine awhile ago and then it seemed to die down for awhile. I thought we might have escaped it. Ha! Yeah right! Yesterday he was back at it full force. We had friends over and Stinx seriously tried pummeling every baby smaller and younger than himself. I felt terrible.

I know he doesn't do it to hurt the babies. I know, logically, he's doing it to learn cause and effect. What will mommy do if I push this baby? or.. What will the baby do if I hit him? Will he cry?

It's still frustrating though. I tried to handle it a couple different ways but none of them really seemed to work. My first response put all the attention on him "No! Don't hit babies! It gives them owies! Don't do it again" type deal. Alisha suggested I try the "Hitting hurts - Oh poor baby has owies, poor little thing" where the victim gets all the attention. Tried that. I tried removing him from the room...

I guess it just comes down to me repeating the same thing over and over, and not letting him do it. Perhaps I need to stick really close to him while he's in these stages so he doesn't get a chance to push or hit. I did that before when this stage first started and it seemed to help. So next time we're around a little baby maybe I will try watching Stinx with an eagle eye, when he does attempt to hit, explain why it's not ok and then comfort the victim. Maybe it will help? It probably just goes back to consistency...

Can anyone share some 2 year old age appropriate discipline wisdom with me?


Kelly said...

Don't feel bad about Gideon. Judith is often rough with him and he doesn't seem to mind. He was just having a rough day on Wednesday. = )

I think when Judith was 2 our main thing was just redirecting. We didn't start any "real" discipline until she was almost 3. I think at 2 they are still learning and experimenting, so all you can do is explain why something is wrong or bad, and do your best to prevent and stop it. Consistency is really important. With Judith we just kept removing her from certain situations and telling her why, and eventually she figured it out. I had to be very involved and didn't really expect her to listen to me.

But now that she is 3 and DOES understand, I give her choices and lay out the consequences and let her have more space to make her decisions. I don't get involved or remove her from the situation unless absolutely necessary because I want her to learn to make her own decisions and listen to verbal directions. And deal with her own consequences. Right now our "discipline" is a kind of time out. She has to sit quietly for 3 minutes on a chair (we sit too, beside or across from her). Then we explain to her why she had to sit until she understands and either apologizes or says she won't do it again. She seems to have a good sense of empathy for other people/things so she usually realizes what she did wrong and doesn't do it again. Sitting also helps her to calm down and see that what she did was serious. Often all we have to do to get her attention when she is doing something bad is say "Do you want to sit for 3 minutes?" and she will stop. I always explain EVERYTHING too. That's important to me. As is consistency. The actual discipline part will vary from child to child though.

But yeah, for a 2 year-old I would just do a lot of redirecting and removing from the situation, and explaining the situation as best you can, but also realizing that it may take a while yet for it to sink in. I wouldn't do any form of punishment or stuff like that yet. You will know when your child can start to understand you better and make his own decisions to do right or wrong intentionally, and that, I think, is when you step in with consequences. Just my opinion though!

Your little man is really such a sweetheart! I had fun reading with him on Wednesday and watching him find all the ducks in the illustrations. I like him. = )

Stinx' Mom said...

Thanks Kelly. After talking to a friend today and reading what you shared, it really seems I have to just keep a close eye on him, explain why we don't hit, and redirect him to something else. I'll have to work on the consistency thing.

Alisha said...

I agree with Kelly. Consistency. It sucks, but it is all that will work.

Stinx' Mom said...

I also read a good idea the other idea. This book suggested that when you see the toddler going to hit someone, you take the toddler's hand and show them how to touch nicely (without getting into the "we don't hit" or "no hitting"). I did do this a bit before when he was younger and I think it worked quite a bit. It's funny how a few months goes by without much hitting and he's so much more verbal now that when this started back up it's like I assumed he would understand with just being told not to... I have so much to learn :)

Deb said...

Spud is getting better lately, but for quite a while I had to be right there any time he was next to Sweetpea. Ready to physically intervene. Although sometimes I almost wished he would try to do something as intentional as push her over. Generally speaking, he just ignored her and would walk on her because she is in his way.

I think what Stinx is doing is normal. He really is just trying to figure out what he can get away with.

You know, when I was a child, I always thought my mother had all the answers. Now, I wonder if she sometimes felt as lost and frustrated as I do.