Tried it, it made the kid throw up

My parents were traditional Southern folks. Lying, fighting amongst each other, disobeying, and being dangerous were all serious offenses that were quickly rewarded with a quick a smack on the bottom. Like most humans, I’ve attempted to do what I was taught, so I try to correct the same types of undesirable behaviors in my child. He’s nearly two, and in case you don’t know, one of the hallmark characteristics of the terrible two’s is the word no.

No. No. No. Nah. Uh-huh. NOOOOO!

Recently he started telling me things he didn’t want me to do by saying “No.” “No mommy cracker” when he doesn’t feel like sharing his goldfish. “No mommy book” when I sit down to catch up on some reading. “No mommy play” when I’m at the piano.  He’s a bossy little cuss.

Of course, as soon as he says he won’t do something with a long, loud, “NOOOOO!” my Southern training hits a high gear and I face a dilemma: go through the battle of making my child obey me, since disobenience is a spanking offense, or carry on with alternative tactics like giving in, bribing, or just ignoring him. Problem is, if he goes on long enough, he cries himself into a screaming fit and pukes. And now I have a mess to clean up and a cranky kid.

Perhaps for some parents the choice is obvious. My husband, for instance, seems to find the situation quite clear, and always insists on enforcing character improving rules, like obediance. But in the back of my mind I can’t help but think–isn’t he still a baby? Maybe we’re expecting too much from him.

What’s your take? Are the terrible two’s just a phrase to be endured, or is there an opportunity to encourage healthy behaviors in my child?

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2 thoughts on “Tried it, it made the kid throw up

  1. IMO a two year old is still a baby with very limited vocabulary. It’s tough to be that age. Everyone tells you “no” (is it any wonder that no is among their first words!) and “you can’t/don’t do that” and there is very little they can control. Not to mention they can barely speak the language and when they are communication the big people seem to have trouble listening 🙂 When my DD says no I try to think of all the words she can’t say, “No, mommy I do not want to brush my teeth right this second, can’t you see that I am in the middle of a very delicate scientific experiment involving logic and spatial orientation with these puzzles–I am on the verge of a breakthrough here!? Help me for a few minutes and then let’s brush our teeth together.” 😀

    Discipline is guidance. IMO we must model the behaviors we admire. If we want our language learning toddler to say please and thank you , we must say them ourselves. If we want them to learn to share, we must first let them work out exactly what that means when they reach that developmental stage and to set them up for success (we adults have things we do not, and will not share — we have a choice). I just try to respect her individuality as much as possible and choose to dig my heels in for matters of safety. Car seat — non-negotiable. Want to wear two pairs of pants — not worth arguing over 🙂

    • As my mom would say “Pick the hill you want to die on.” A little extreme, but I agree with you. There are some things that are non-negotiable and some which are just kids being kids. Thanks for the great comment!

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