Monday, April 30, 2007

I'm not actually TRYING to screw up my kid, I promise!

Around here, we use the word "fart" a lot. Yes, this is partly because certain male members of the family happen to do it often (they do) but that's not really my point. I know there are plenty of other, less crude words that we could use. Here's why I say "fart"... BECAUSE I CAN! You see, when I was growing up I was not allowed to use the word... even as a teenager. And I thought it was a stupid rule. So now I say it as much as I want. FART FART FART FART FART! Ok, I'm done. Back to being a grown-up. Sorry.
Amazing isn't it? The lengths that I will go to for the sake of rebellion? Not that I'm proud of that...I've just come to terms with it. LOL! Here's where it comes back to haunt me. My sweet son, Isaac is A LOT like me, except with all that extra "boy energy" (if you have a little boy then you know what I mean!). So that is what I'm up against! Discipline so far has been...interesting.
Last week he was standing on the upside down bouncy seat. This ,of course, could break the seat so I told him to get off of it. He didn't. So I put him in time out. So far, so good. Then, a minute and a half into his two minutes, he started to sing. For some reason, I decided that he wasn't suffering enough and that he really needed to be sorry. So, I came up with a really really good idea (note the sarcasm). "Isaac," I said, "you can get down as soon as you tell me you're sorry. Say sorry to Mama."
This may seem reasonable to you if you don't know Isaac well. It seemed reasonable to me at the time. After all, Supernanny does it, right? Here's why it absolutely wasn't reasonable,

1. Isaac is a perfectionist (told ya he's like his Mama...poor kid!). He has only ever said the word "sorry" once in his life. And when he isn't sure about his ability to say a certain word, he doesn't try. He sometimes says a word and then waits weeks until he's ready to try again.

2. I don't really want him to tell me that he's sorry for doing something when he's really just sorry about being punished for it. I know I'm no Supernanny but after thinking about that a bit, it just doesn't sit right with me.

3. He's at least as stubborn as I am. And if you were to tell me that I MUST apologize or sit in the corner until I do, right or wrong, I would stay in that chair for a WEEK!

I had a lot of time to think about these things over the almost three hours that Isaac was in that chair. That's right, THREE HOURS (told ya we're stubborn)! And I'm sure I don't have to tell you how long that is for a not-even-two year old! Once I finally realized that it wasn't going to work (again, DUH), I still had a dilemma. See, Dr. Dobson says (I think Dr. Phil does too. LOL) that you must win decisively in these situations. So now I had to figure out how to get us out of this without admitting defeat (the same problem that would have kept me in that chair for a week as a child).
So, to be terribly anti-climactic, I gave in. I couldn't figure out how to end the whole thing gracefully so I risked possibly never being in control of the child and just ended it. The parenting experts would be very disappointed, I'm sure. You know what though? I think that giving up may have actually been my best decision of the day. My Dad always felt free to change his mind when he went overboard with a punishment. And I really appreciated it. And you know, I really respected him too.
So, I don't know if Isaac ever learned anything that day (maybe just that his Mama doesn't know what she's doing?) but I sure did!
I learned that from now on, I think I'll stick with spanking! It's a lot less traumatic for both of us!