Simeon is a great kid. He does really well with the 1-2-3 system and really doesn’t do much to ruffle feathers, but sometimes the willful bug bites him. Usually in public and when I’m in a hurry. Last week he refused to walk while we were in a huge store. I was running late and needed him to move along. I had already carried him part of the way, but he is too much to carry so far AND he is perfectly capable of walking. He froze, he went blank, he melted to floor and screamed. I was so ANGRY! I’m a pretty rational disciplinarian, but I didn’t know what to do. If he were mine, there would be a swift swat on the hiney and we’d be done, but that’s not an option. So, I carried a screaming, wiggley, refusing to walk 3 year old out of the store. I wanted to scream and throw myself on the ground.
I believe techniques like “make as few rules as possible” and “avoid changing your toddlers schedule” are baloney! I have rules for his own good. I’m trying to help him develop moral character and protect his person. I don’t care if he eats his cereal with his hands or sings “whooo, hooo” as loudly as possible for 45 minutes straight (he did that this morning), but he must not touch the knife I told him not to. I also will not stop my life for a 3 year old. I work hard to cater to his naps and feeding schedule. I stay home with him and give him tons of attention, but there are 2 other people in this household and we have needs too, I will not postpone my life entirely so that he can have things his way. Nope, not gonna happen.
I don’t know what to do. I get very frustrated when these episodes crop up and after the blogging incident, I’m afraid to ask my county for advice. They say they want to help, but they have made it clear they’d prefer me to have a happy, perfect family where the kids don’t throw temper tantrums and I always know what to do. Pshaw!!!
I feel that yelling, lecturing and taking things away from a three year old is punishment. Simeon’s language skills, or lack there of, make it difficult for me to know if he is able to remember that when I took a toy away 3 hours ago, it was because he disobeyed. And even if he does, he’s 3. I don’t believe he should have to suffer the consequences of his actions for hours and hours. A quick address is best, then we can both move on. Then again, several parents I know say spanking doesn’t work, but something else did for their kid. By reason, the things I’ve tried don’t work, so maybe spanking would. Of course, I have very little child rearing experience, so what do I know (can you tell I’m feeling a little cynical). Maybe I really do have it all wrong. Maybe there’s a solution out there that works and doesn’t include physical discipline. If you know of any, pass ’em along ’cause we’re willing to try anything at this point (ya know, except maybe water boarding. I am pretty sure that would be wrong).