Monday, February 04, 2008

The Ins and Outs of Discipline

Did I mention that I have a two and a half year old?

Two is a fun age. Isaac can talk, he can make stabs at humor, he can willingly express feelings of affection.

He can also chose to rebel against any and all rules here at casa de phillips at any given moment.

Fun times, that age of two.

From the time he first began exploring the world and ignoring the infamous word of "no", we have made our best attempts at being consistent and fair in our discipline. We keep things simple and straight-forward, trying not to back down in hopes of preventing a tantrum or a tiresome evening (One of which we are currently having as Isaac is up an hour after his bedtime struggling with consti*ation and in a pile of tears due to being exhausted).

Isaac is learning the ways of our discipline and catching on to how things run here at casa de phililps. Our basic discipline principal is that he gets one warning (sometimes two depending on the situation) and then gets the lovely joy of sitting on the time-out carpet for about a minute if he continues to disobey(By the way, the official "rule" for the time a child spends on a time-out is their age, minus one minute.....any longer and they will completely forget exactly why they are in time out in the first place). After his stint on the time-out carpet is completed, he has to apologize for his behavior and do whatever needs to be done to correct the situation (for example, cleaning up toys when earlier he refused). So far, this system works for us. It works likely because Isaac is quite the compliant child. We fear E. might be our "problem-area" with her feistiness.

Being the cleaver two year old his is, Isaac attempts to bypass this discipline system at times. Lately when he knows he is about to be in trouble, he says adamantly, "But I say Yes Ma'am." It is as if he believes this phrase will erase all wrongdoings. Sorry, buddy.

When instructed to apologize to his sister for say, stepping on her head in an attempt to get to a toy before she does, he often says, "Your sorry, Baby Evelyn." Although he means it quite innocently, I am pretty sure this is not going to be the last time he issues such statements to sweet Evelyn.

I usually talk about changing one's attitude after Isaac has completed his time on the time-out carpet. In the past few weeks he has beaten me to the punch by proclaiming previously undesired tasks as now being "fun" or claiming he now "loves (previously undesired item) so much." and then forces the fakest smile onto his face. His heart is genuine in attempting to change his bad attitude and I have to hide my laughter over this dramatic 180 shift in behavior. His remorseful little voice will often say, "I not obey anymore, Mommy." meaning that he will not disobey anymore.

The art of negotiation is also budding in his personality. He often attempts to barter for just two more minutes for any activity that is about to come to an end. When rewarded with two chocolate chips for a successful trip to the po*ty (the only time we reward with food), he always asks for five. Perhaps he will use this craft of negotiation one day in successful business ventures....until then, we continue to say "no."

Two is a fun age and a tiresome age, all combined in a whirlwind of a little blonde hair boy. Isaac has finally retreated to his bed tonight, an hour and a half after we originally put him in bed for the evening. He finally produced something in the bathroom that earned him some chocolate chips and was tucked under his quilt, sporting the faintest of chocolate mustache, at peace with his little body and finally able to go to sleep.....ready to see what adventures lie ahead in the morning.


My little cloud of gloom and doom dissipated overnight. It is hard to stay grouchy with these little faces as your co-workers.

***I am having some serious trouble with won't even let me pull up the window for adding images or to run a spell check. Anyone else struggling with this? Check back later for pictures

1 comment:

Shelley said...

Aren't the two's fun!?! I was having trouble with blogger all day yesterday... glad it is working for me today? Blogger must have been having an EEYORE day, too :)