Thursday, March 21, 2013

Discipline isn't always a pain in the ass.

Yesterday, a lady told me I should come to her work and teach some classes, because she overheard me lecturing Dahlia on the importance of intention vs. action. This happened because three weeks ago we vowed to stop yelling at Dahlia completely, and start talking to her (at length if necessary) until she understood the importance of being well-behaved (on a case-by-case basis). This is pretty win/win, because we have to first examine whether or not we're potentially sanctioning an ACTUALLY bad behavior, or if we're just punishing her because she's doing something "inconvenient" but not actually bad (e.g. taking too long to put on her socks, to arrest our attention) - AND she has time to consider the consequences of her actions.

It's weird to actually say to your kid "do you need some attention right now?" ...but it's eye-opening. Sometimes she'll say "yes, you haven't been talking to me very much today, other than during school" and I'll realize she's right, I've been dicking around for half an hour arguing with some dbag in a Facebook group/cleaning/reading/ignoring all humankind. A portion of the time, however, I will be knee-deep in something of actual importance, and then she gets a lesson in patience and not being the only person on Earth. I love this kid more than the universe is ever-expanding, but if I drop every single thing I'm doing to indulge her every six year old whim, she may grow up to be an entitled dbag - and I, as a result, will become a hollow shell of a woman.

Soooo... no hitting/spanking, no yelling, lots of communication, sometimes restrictions (if she thinks it's more important to scream about something than to be free to roam, she has to sit in her room until she can calm down - those are the consequences - a bad mood is not excuse to ruin everyone else's experience). It's been extremely interesting - and not being able to lean on "because I said so" is a trip! Her tantrum/screaming/fit level is at 2% rather than an average of 10%, which I consider a great success. Also, she's started taking her OWN deep breaths to calm down, rather than waiting to be prompted to do so. WOOOOOO!

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