Quick when you have kids means you know how to react when a 2-year-old is falling backwards on a tall stool, how to shower in 5 minutes flat (still working on that one), and how to discipline in a way that actually means something to each different child.
My 7-year-old really hates time outs. So that works perfect for him. My 5-year-old daughter now responds, but didn’t up until she was 3. It was really hard. She really doesn’t have any possessions that she loves, being able to quickly pick up something else. So if we took something away, it didn’t work. And time outs? She happily sat there, not caring, not feeling like it was a punishment. Or she would sit there for a minute and then just get out and wander away, not caring again. So on a whim (like most things we figure out as parents) I decided to hold her on my lap, my arms over hers across her chest, held firmly but not meanly. Bingo. She did not like restriction and actually felt sad about it. It’s sad that we have to find something they feel sad about to actually make it mean something to them.
With my 2-year-old, I think we all think of him as a pet. He makes us laugh all the time and if he does something bad, we often all suppress laughter. I guess that’s exactly why last-child-syndrome exists! But at the same time, he’s a little punk. I think there might be a slight improvement of late, but he’s in the hair pulling, little kid pushing, counter climbing, destroying phase and we definitely have time outs. Thankfully he knows what’s expected and obediently goes to the bottom of the stairs to sit. I walk over almost immediately (knowing he’ll probably forget after a couple minutes) and talk to him about what he did wrong. They are very smart little people.
I think the hardest moments right now are when we’re at a park and he’s up on a play structure, little girl’s hair in his hand, pulling hard. She’s crying as her head sways back and forth to his pulling motion. I frantically try to find my way up the structure, which is sometimes not as easy as assumed. I promise he’s cute and sweet, but I’m suffering just as much as the other moms
who are trying to hide their glares…or not and hope we can all pass over this successfully.
The other 2 kids had a stage like this, but without the hair-pulling, so at least I know it ends. So, does this make you want to come on a play-date with me? What are things you do as a parent that you’ve figured out on a whim?