So far we have dealt with the Bub’s toddler tantrums, toddler meltdowns and basically learnt how to navigate through the situation either by distracting her with something else (if we are out) or giving her the space to cry it out before going to her after she has calmed down to speak with her and resolve the problem.
Between the Man and myself, there isn’t a distinct ‘good cop’ or ‘bad cop’ role. We simply assume the bad cop role if needed there and then to deal with the situation. However, I think the Bub is a little more afraid of the Man as when he gets angry, he really does angry (think Incredible Hulk with clenched fists and a huge frown).
While a couple of our friends have already imposed the ‘Time Out’ and ‘Face the Wall’ as a form of discipline. We’ve so far done it once or twice to the Bub when she refused to eat her food and started throwing her utensils at the table. After crying and apologising, she would come back to the table and go back to having her meal.
Last weekend, we were having dinner and I fed Bub her rice. Yes, while she is capable of feeding herself, sometimes she fusses and so it’s easier for us adults to feed her. She knows that when she’s done with her meal, all she needed to say is “I’m done!” and depending on how much she has eaten, that’s the cue for us to stop feeding her. I was more than happy to stop feeding her had she said that but instead, she let out a couple of wails and then flung her plate of rice off the table.
The Man was furious and slammed the dinner table almost immediately when he saw the plate fly off the table. He spoke to the Bub in a stern tone as to why she did that when all she could do was to tell me that she’s already full. The Bub knowing that she was in the wrong simply refused to make any eye-contact with him and simply stared down at the table. The Man continued asking her why she did what she did and whether she knew what she did was wrong. She remained silent through the whole series of questioning.
The Man prompted to pick her up from her high chair and then placed in front of the wall. She was asked to reflect whether her actions were right and when she was ready to admit her mistake and apologise to us, she could come back to the table.
The time-out session lasted all of 2 minutes (at most). She knew she was in the wrong despite being somewhat stubborn initially. She walked over, apologised for swiping the dinner plate off the table.
There sure are no shortcuts to parenting and even though it’s hard, discipline is necessary just like the quote that my cousin shared.
Discipline is caring more about a person’s future attitudes, personality, and perspective rather than their current comfort.