Discipline has been a big issue in our house lately. Skye is making full use of her terrible two status and ensuring that even the simplest of instructions are met with resistance. Needing to change her nappy, or put a shirt on, or get in the car usually results in Skye running and hiding in the tiniest space she can find. Swipes to my face in protest are common when I try to speak to her about her behaviour and at times she will flat out ignore me as if I am not even in the same room. Nothing out of the ordinary for her age, but exhausting none the less.
Some of her favourite phrases right now are “GO AWAY!” “NO!” and “I DO!”, yes they are all in capitals because they are only ever said at full volume. Our current choice of discipline in these situations is to send her to her room. Even if it is only for a couple of minutes, it seems to be enough for her to calm down or at least forget why she was being so stubborn in the first place. Despite knowing that she is being sent to her room as a form of discipline, she will generally still take herself in there without me having to physically move her. Recently though, she has started saying that she is happy whenever she is told to go to her room, kind of like she is saying “I’ll be good, you don’t need to send me to me room.” It’s cute, but not enough reason for us to stop being consistent in our expectation of behaviour.
Earlier this week she was launching into a throw yourself on the floor meltdown about something (possibly being told not to stand on the window sill or similar) when I told her she needed to go and sit in her room. She turned to me and said “I happy, I happy!” in an attempt to convince me that she did not need to go. My response to this was to say, and I quote:
“I don’t care if you’re happy, I want you to be good!”
Whoa. Did I really just say that? What kind of mother says that to her child? When I heard the words come out of my mouth I was horrified. It’s right up there with “little children should be seen and not heard”. I certainly don’t want her to be submissive at the expense of her own happiness. I just wanted her to listen to me, and I could not have chosen a worse thing for her to hear.
Most definitely not my finest parenting moment.