Friday, July 03, 2009

heckle and jekyll

There was a turning point the other evening in my approach to disciplining my daughter. She had a meltdown as we were walking to the store, because I wanted to go one way and she wanted to go the other.

In the past I may have gotten angry and even yelled at her, depending on how frazzled I was at the moment. I may have even given in, even if it was the wrong way! But the other day I just wasn't having bad behavior from either of us. I took her arm and got her across the street safely and then I told her to stop carrying on and kept walking. She tried to maintain the tantrum for another block and a half, but I basically (pretended to) ignore her. Well before we reached our destination, Hyde was gone and Jekyll was back. The whole incident wasn't mentioned again until we got home (sometimes when I'm pissed I tend to harp on things), but when we did get home I told her calmly that if she ever pulled that sort of behavior again she would be punished.

"No T.V?"

O.K. Whatever works. Hopefully we won't have to test that out.

Sounds simple, I suppose, to the innocent bystander, but let me tell you, these emotional pitfalls can be one of the hardest parts of parenting for me. Especially dealing with feelings of anger. You know, all the human stuff.

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