Interesting factoid about two year olds of which you may not be aware: They do whatever the fuck they want, whenever the fuck they want and you and your silly rules can go to hell.
We had a good day, can you tell?
Let me preface this by saying, Lil G and Ladybug are actually not “bad” by toddler standards. They don’t listen like they should and they get into a little mischief here and there, sure, but they don’t do a lot of breaking/wrecking/disobeying on purpose for the fun of it. They are two, which by default means that their little brains simply have not developed the cognitive ability to exercise impulse control in all situations. The fact they exercise impulse control as often as they do is really quite remarkable. Knowing this does not make it any easier on me when we have days where I have toys thrown at my head, I get hit, fishing poles get tangled into light fixtures (don’t ask) and there are lots of toddler vs toddler death matches.
When we have days like that, I am not a very good Mommy or Nanny and that needs to change. I have to admit that I had a temper tantrum today and put the kids in a long time out in their beds. I also popped both of the kids on their bum (separate incident, not two punishments for the same incident). I feel HORRIBLE. I spend all day saying “We don’t hit” and “Please don’t scream” only to turn around and scream and hit. I need a new discipline method up in here. I don’t like the one I’m using and it isn’t working anyway. Not that I would like it better if it were…
My experience with discipline is primarily of the dad will beat you and mom will scream and flip shit over on you variety. My parents were not “abusive” although, my dad did take corporal punishment a little far. Of course, their parents were far worse, so you live you learn, you improve from the generation before. This is NOT about criticizing the way I was raised, nor anyone else’s discipline methods. If your method is working for your family, then great. I obviously have 0 legs to stand on in the judgement department, and am super glad for you that you found something that works. Also, I don’t necessarily believe that punishment is 100% all bad, all the time. It just doesn’t feel right to me, for these kids at this time.
I love these kids. I want them to listen and obey because they WANT to listen and obey. (I get that they are two and their desire to do whatever the hell they please is going to trump their desire to make me happy. It’s not about making me happy.) Or rather, I don’t want it to JUST be a reaction to fear. Let’s face it, at this age they are going to fight, they are going to do whatever they want sometimes. Even when they know it’s not allowed/OK. The thing I constantly have to remind myself is “they are new here.” Sometimes the lure of Daddy’s fishing poles is just going to be too strong. That doesn’t mean that I have to let them play with the fishing poles, but there are other ways to enforce the boundary than yelling and time outs.
Ultimately, the goal is children that exercise self control and exhibit moral/ethical behavior naturally as adults, right? So, I’m researching ways to get there without all of the stuff that I’m feeling negatively about. Again, I’m not talking about being permissive, just disciplining a new way. Because I don’t like ME right now and we sure as shit aren’t making any headway on the behavior front. I think we’re going to start with Mommy having time outs when ever she feels a temper tantrum coming on…