Saturday, May 1, 2010
DISAPPOINTMENT IS FOUR LETTER WORD
I am finding it increasingly difficult to get quality shit-scardness out of my 3yo. Bear with me while I explain.
See, Jacks’s one of these kids who was basically born standing up and drinking coffee. He can do most everything himself and usually does so, with a fair bit of skill. He can kick a ball, he can throw a punch (ask his eight year old brother) and he can dress (more often undress) himself with relative ease. And what he can’t do himself, he will attempt and crack the mother of all tantrums if it all proves too hard. At this stage, and only at this stage, will he begrudgingly ask for help. This is not without a fair bit of crying, whinging and moments when I think his head might spin 360 degrees.
Usually though, he needs little assistance from me. I guess what I’m trying to say, without sounding like I making out my kid is ready for Mensa, is that Jack is pretty switched on. Granted, way more street smart than book smart, but then again, I don’t flash card the shit out him either.
So that being said, discipline is hard because not a lot phases him. I’ve tried the smack, it’s all a bit meh, with me feeling like a child beater and it getting us nowhere, so that’s been nixed. I’ve tried the time out. He’ll just go back and do it again, the minute he’s out of toddler-jail. I’ve threatened to take stuff off him; he’s walked in and handed it to me. I’ve told him I’m going to pull the car over and he’ll have to walk home, he’s told me to pull over at the next red light we stop at. I am trying to outwit a 3 year old and I am failing. And I shouldn’t be, I mean I’ve had two before him who, whilst not angels, I could always control to a certain degree.
Perhaps this is just me getting my own back.
I was pretty straight at school. Until about year 10 that is. That’s when I got suspended. For taking drugs on a school trip. Then I was Bernie Drug. And the thing is, I hadn’t even smoked pot. I took a bucketload of travel sickness tablets and got faceless. Of course I wasn’t alone, we all did it, but I’m the only stupid one, who went running through the bushes in Canberra in Winter with no shoes on. And so, I got busted, and suspended.
I went home and lied through my teeth. I told Mum I had taken panadol with coca-cola. She of course, believed her previous to this, always straight-laced daughter. The fact I let her go to the school and meet with the principal and unwittingly defend me and be made a fool, still haunts me to this day. What kind of little bitch was I? A big one that’s what. So Mum found out the truth, could barely speak to me for weeks and was terrified I was now a drug addict. To be honest, drug wise, it may be the best thing that ever happened to me. I haven’t touched anything worse in my life. That’s because I had remorse and I was scared of disappointing my mother. My teachers, by boss at the times, my friends’ parents.
And I think as kids get older, that’s where the discipline will come from. Not wanting to disappoint the person or people they admire.
In fact, at kindy, they use this a lot. “When you just kicked Tyler in the back of the leg then Jack, that really disappointed Miss Jo” Cue lip drop and lots of tears. See, at Child care Centres they are not allowed to say “No” or negative words. Or Smack. Or yell. Holy hell, those kindy teachers deserve a pay rise and a trip to Mauritius.
So I tried this on Jack today. I told him “how disappointed I was in him”. He immediately looked distraught and his lip quivered.
“No you’re not Mummy, don’t say that!”. He was trying to hush my mouth up.
“Oh but I am Jack, you have let me down today slamming doors after I told you to stop”.
“No, mummy, I haven’t let you dooooowwwwnnn” and he lost it. Mission accomplished. Seems those kindy teachers are onto something.
So now, with my new plan of attack and my words of discontent, I will try a new way of discipline. Looks like I'll be needing those flash cards after all.