Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tough Love

I don't know if our discipline approach necessarily qualifies as "tough love" or not, but I will say this...I LOVE my children, and disciplining them is TOUGH! I wasn't prepared for this part of motherhood either! 

Jack has so quickly transitioned into a full blown toddler and we are already feeling the pain of the "terrible two's" even though he's only 21 months old. He is still the best big brother; he's so gentle with and intrigued by his "baby brudder Meem." And he is still incredibly verbal which is a blessing and a curse. 

Case in point? At Mass on Saturday night (never again! I thought we could handle a 5:30 pm mass since bedtime is 7:00 pm but no sir! We can not!) Jack was really misbehaving. Or I should say he was really misbehaving considering the circumstances we were in. As we continued to ask him to sit down (he was running all over), use a quiet voice (he was laughing and talking up a storm), etc. things got worse. He went from demanding cookies to firmly smacking John in the face and laughing. I know that he was just getting tired and that it was a difficult time of the day for him to sit still for an hour, but after multiple trips outside, John knew it was time to be a bit more serious in our reprimands. So when they went outside the last time they talked about the fact that we don't hit people, and John gave Jack a firm swat on the bottom. Then they came back inside the church. And this happened.

Mama: (whispers) "Hi Jack."
Jack: (yells) "DADDY HITTING."
Mama: (laughs nervously and looks at the floor) "What?!?"

I swear everyone in a 50 foot radius was staring at us. John and I were both mortified. Jack's language is crystal clear. This was one of those times I was wishing he still did the impossible to discern, baby mumble version of talking! But he doesnt. And so the whole way home from church (only a five minute drive, thank goodness!) Jack repeatedly said, "hitting. hitting. hitting." He then woke up the next morning and told me, "Daddy hitting Jack." A FULL SENTENCE. AHHHHHH!!!! 

So we are in the process of figuring out this discipline thing. And I'm hoping we figure it out soon. I wish I could say timeouts were working better but when we were at a rosary & funeral last week (out of town) I realized they really aren't. Again, we were in church and Jack was having a really hard time behaving. I took him outside since he was jumping off rocks in the foyer and he got very frustrated so I said, "you are going to have to take a timeout if you don't listen to mama." His response? "YAY! YAY Mama! YAY!" Whaaaaaat??? So I said, "No Jack, timeouts are not good. They are not fun. And it's nighttime so your timeout will be in the dark."

Guess what I hear next? "Dark! Dark! Dark! Yay Mama! Yay!"

So we're working on that. And 98% of the time Jack is the sweetest, smartest, most loving, most wonderful child I've ever known. But he still has that toddler bug in him! And he still gets frustrated when he can't explain what he wants or doesn't understand why we are asking him to do, or not do, something. I soooooo badly want well-behaved children (for sooooooo many reasons) but man, getting there is going to be tough. But we'll love it, right?

This is how Jack "listens" lately. We say, "Smile Jack!" and he yanks Daddy's ears and laughs. He sure is cute though! As is that chubby little baby in Johnny's arms!

Our saving grace lately has been a) time with Jack's uncles and b) walks/visits to the park. He adores both!


  1. Definitely on the job training!! Trial and Error!!

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