Disciplining an almost two year old
Enlightenment -that moment where you realise you are doing ok in the world and all is well.
A few months ago, my daughter was going through a phase of biting. After seeing a friend doing the naughty step with her daughter I felt that I should give it a try, after all biting is not ok! I tried it 2/3 times before realising that for my daughter it was breaking her spirit and her soul! She wasn’t used to being treated in this way.
We treat her with utter respect and as adult like as possible. If you did something wrong to me I wouldn’t put you on a naughty step. I might not hang out with you as much, so that would be a natural consequence which we prefer to use as a model for discipline.
After much research reading blogs from @mightymother and attending a discipline course by @montessorifamilyuk who both shared similar values to me that traditional disciplining did not work in their homes and what to do instead, I joined forces with the peaceful parenting tribes in how I discipline.
The philosophy is more that discipline in the home is of a spiritual guidance, where the child will come to their own understanding of what it means to collaborate, participate and contribute towards society in a social system they want to be part of. One where you may wish to be kind and share from an autonomous place in yourself, off your own back, rather than being told off, forced or coerced into ‘being good’ and cooperating.
I believe children are inherently good, so if Sophia was biting me she would be using her best tools of communication as a way to show me something. What I noticed for example is that she would often bite me if she was nervous, overwhelmed or tired. I would take her to another room and have a chat with her, even though she was pre-verbal, I would assume she could understand from my tone. I would ask her if she was ok and what she wanted me to know by biting. It was like a time out but not a punishing one, more of a one to one moment with mummy to explain what was happening. A quick therapy session!!!
The biting stopped almost immediately!
One morning Chris pulled a glass out of Sophia’s hand that she found on his bedside table, because he was worried that she could hurt herself and that she may drop it and spill water everywhere! She started to have a meltdown!
Instead of being angry that she has emotion we try to understand what is happening for her. We forget how fragile her world can be! Imagine the scene yourself if you just picked up a glass of water and another adult pulls it from your hands! It might feel pretty degrading! I think we ask a lot from our toddlers that we ourselves wouldn’t like!
When she melts down it reminds Chris and I to look at OUR behaviour! When I reminded my hubby that he needs to explain his fears to Sophia so she could choose to give him the glass or not! Probably the not being the case but really does it matter if she gets water everywhere! We can learn to put the glasses higher again! Or do something different like bring up her water bottle so that in the mornings she can get her own safer glass of water!
Got to love children for pushing us to learn quicker and adapt harder to the life they need us to lead!!! They truly are our teachers as much as we are theres, I am sure of it. I have really loved learning more about how to treat Sophia with absolute dignity and respect through the discipline role. It would have been the easy route to have broken her spirit but I am not sure how much she would have actually learnt from that experience.