Don’t eat the dog poo!
Clearly this toddler discipline thing isn’t going to come easy, confesses Carrie Linder.
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Joseph is discovering new things every single day. Most of them incredibly wonderful to witness (First steps! First words!) But some are incredibly worrying to witness (Plugs! Dog poos!) And so out of necessity we enter the dreaded arena of discipline.

My husband and I are both in agreement that Jo’s too small for a smack, so we settle on firm ‘Nos!’ given with a pointed finger and the beady eye. But some days it does feels like all I ever do is say ‘No!’ It can get very tiresome, not to mention confusing. Especially when working from home. A phone call last week:

Client:  Hi, is this a good time to talk?
Me:      No! Mummy says No!
Client:  Er, I’ll back later, should I?
Me:      So sorry, yes, now’s a great time to talk.
Client:  Ok. I was just wondering if you could get me a first draft of copy by tomorrow?
Me:      No! Don’t make me cross, I said no!
Client:  Okaaaay, so when will you have it done by?
Me:      Oh sorry! By tomorrow of course.
Client:  Greaaaaat. And what did you think of the designs I sent through?
Me:      That’s dog poo! No! No! Mummy says No!
Client:  Huh? That bad?
Me:      Not in the mouth! NO! Oh crap. Uh, can I call you back?

So as you can hear, the ‘No!’ technique was working a charm (not). And then we went away for the weekend with my folks. On arrival, Joseph cased the joint out, settling his gaze on the most life threatening thing he could find (an unprotected plug hole) and made a beeline for it. My dad intercepted him, redirected him and gave him a stern, ‘No!’

Jo gave him a heart melting smile in exchange. And then headed straight back to the plug. My dad repeated above process. Again. And again. On Jo’s 34th attempt at self-electrocution, my dad intercepted him, redirected him and gave him a smack on the hand.

The entire room fell silent. And then there was a sharp cry of pain. From me.

‘Dad! Don’t smack him! He’s never been smacked before!’

‘Well, he has now,’ Was my dad’s nonchalant reply.

And how did my precious baby respond to this unduly harsh punishment? He laughed! And then headed back for the plug. Oy Vey.

Do the different generations in your family have different discipline ideas?
 

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