Friday, July 14, 2006

Learning No

Amy and I have both been fighting our battles with Jada in terms of disciplining her towards appropriate behavior.  For Amy, it's getting Jada to understand that when she's playing at the park and wants to have something to eat or drink, she has to pull over to the side and do that, and then go back to playing, rather than feeding herself snacks as she's running around or drinking from her sippy cup while she's scaling the slide.  Every time she comes over to the side to get food or beverage, she wants to grab and run, and Amy instructs her otherwise.  Over and over again, Amy has to sit her down, and over and over again, Jada wants to get up and go. 

For me, it's getting Jada to stop throwing her water toys overboard when she's getting a bath.  Last night, she threw a foam letter out of the tub and giggled.  I said no and put the letter back in the tub.  She threw another letter and giggled harder.  I did the same, but louder and more forcefully.  She kept on doing it, and so I got in her grill with my finger and said no very firmly, and then slapped her on the hand.  She kept on doing it, so I literally pulled the plug and hoisted her out of the tub. 

There's no way she understands yet that the consequence of her throwing the letters was that bath time had to end early -- after all, developmentally, throwing stuff is as natural as it comes for her age.  Just like there's no way she understands yet that when she's hungry or thirsty on the playground, she has to stop playing while she tends to those things -- who wants to stop having fun, after all?  But Amy and I keep encouraging each other to stay the course, that over time, if we're consistent, she'll learn, and that if we give in, it'll take her all the longer to get it.  I just hope Amy and I have enough patience to get to there.
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