Discipline Blunders

I made a mistake this morning.  I’ve got a parenting problem.  When should I teach Sophia to apologize and how should I do it?

Here’s what happened.  Sophia had been attacking Abby all morning, ripping toys out of her hands.  I’m not sure that she new what she was doing other than, “That’s mine. I want it. I will take it.” After the 4th or 5th time, she wounded Abby in the process–hit her in the mouth.  Of course, Abby cried.  I think that might have been punishment enough…  But, I thought that Sophia should apologize.  About 30 minutes later, I realized that she’s not quite emotionally ready for this expectation.  Or is it that I went about it all wrong?

Here’s what went down.  After I told her to say, “Sorry, Abby,” she cried and said, “Mommy happy!” Again I asked for her to say “Sorry, Abby.” She cried and asked for her stuffed dog, Cowboy.  I told her that she could have it after she said, “Sorry, Abby.”

Woops.

I said something that I then needed to follow through on.

Woops.

I didn’t think that through.  She got so emotionally devastated about her “Cowboy” that she wasn’t capable of saying anything, let alone, “Sorry, Abby.” And, eventually I realized that I had parented in a way that I never want to parent–forcing an apology by keeping away her comfort toy.  Ultimate shaming.  What had I done?  But, then I was in a situation.  I needed to follow through… I have to follow through… Thirty minutes later and the help of Daddy, she got Cowboy back and we’re trying to not remember the whole event.  How did this happen that I had absolutely no idea what to do?

The thing is, I know she’s capable of saying the words, “I’m sorry.” She says it when she accidentally bumps into  you. I realize, though, that she doesn’t know what the words mean, only that that’s what you say when you run into someone.  How do I teach that that’s what we say when we hurt our loved ones?  Ah!  Discipline sucks.

Too much Sesame Street?

Sophia was drawing this morning. After drawing a few blue scribbles, she put her hand up over her mouth, “Hmm. Something’s missing.  Needs more humongous meatball.”

I said, “What? Humongous meatballs?”

She said, “Draw dinosaur. Something’s missing.  Need more humongous meatball.”

If any of my blog fans ever watch Sesame Street, then you’re probably rolling on the floor laughing.  Either Sophia watches too much Sesame Street, or Sesame Street needs some new material!  (There’s an episode of “Abby’s Flying Fairy School” in which the case is a ‘humongous’ macaroni dinosaur that can only be tamed with a ‘humongous’ meatball…)