Life with Coco and Gigi... and Jack-Jack too!

Life as a Mom, A Homesteader, A Blogger and A Wife.

To punish or not to punish

Tonight Brian and I has a discussion (if you can call trying to talk over two rowdy almost-two-year-olds a discussion) about what infractions are worth punishing in our house. We are not what you would call strict parents in that we see parenting as a moldable, changeable thing. We are also not lenient by any means. I guess we fall somewhere in the middle. We like to think of our style as "creative parenting". Anyway, as the girls creep up on two we are in the full throws of the terrible twos... TIMES TWO! We have two very ornery, wild, strong-willed children. They are exhausting and they can be downright unpleasant at times. It seems like I spend a fair amount of my day nursing wounds, breaking up fights and applying discipline to this problem or that.

This gave me room for pause. I needed to consider when should I punish and when should I look the other way. I think I have come to a rather simple conclusion. When a punishment holds a particular value it is worthwhile. If you are punishing a behavior that can lead to trouble later on down the line it is probably worth your time. On the other hand if you are punishing a behavior that is essentially a non-threatening two-year-old behavior is it really worth it. Is running inside the house really going to kill anyone? Is the occasional tossing of Cheerio's going to cause eating disorders as a teen? Probably not. So before punishing the girls I now ask myself is this a behavior I really need to stop or am I punishing them just for being wild two-year-olds?

Let's see how this experiment shapes up. :D


tim 3:30 PM  

since you have the blessing of twin children, you really need to be taking advantage and running experiments. For instance, you could let one run wild and free and micromanage the other, reprimanding her for everything you can think of...then in 20 years you can look and see which method worked better.

Anonymous 12:13 PM  

Tim--pretty funny! I struggle with this too with just the one toddler. so far our criteria is if it's dangerous and repeated or if its incredibly impolite (screaming in the library, grabbing toys from other kids) or violent (biting or the likes) and repeated. For the other stuff we just try and model and talk about the good behavior. We do the stern words and time out method right now, but I'm not sure punishment really sinks in until they're well into their twos. Good to practice anyways.

~Anon C



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Over 8 years we have struggled through 3 IUI's, 6 rounds of IVF, several RE's, hundreds of appointments and the loss of three little angels. Now we find ourselves the proud parents of two perfect little girls and a wonderful little boy!!

Both of our girls struggle with some disabilities but that won't keep us down. Each day has it's own brand of insanity but we love it. Most days I am more monkey wrangler than mother but I do the best I can. Todays goal - getting to tomorrow.

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