All kids have a certain level of sass and rebellion. All kids go through phases of exerting their independence and resisting when told they can’t do something.
All kids respond to their parent by saying something like, oh, I don’t know, this:
“If you tell me that one more time I am going to punch you in the face when you are dead!”
Sistah, meet the time out step. I have a feeling you’re going to become familiar with it.
I am pretty schooled in the area of behavior management and easily ignore some of the more annoying and frustrating inappropriate behaviors such as saying, “you’re not my friend anymore!” or plopping to the floor and having a screaming tantrum over not being able to have ice cream for breakfast.
I do a pretty good job at responding to the more significant behaviors, which I consider to be any type of hurtful, physical behavior such as hitting.
What I have a harder time with is the in between. The comments and/or statements that are very much NO OKAY (like the time Sweets told my mom, “I don’t need to listen to you, old lady!”), but also are a bit….funny.
Or puzzling. When Sweets first said, “I’m going to punch you in the face!” I was about to go all gangbusta on her about making hurtful comments and threatening others and blahblahblah, but when she added, “when you are dead!” I was sort of puzzled.
It caught me off guard. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I had her hightail it right over to the stairs to sit and reflect on the hurtful words she just spewed out of her mouth (and I could tell by the humming of “Let it Go!” that it was a very effective response to her behavior), but I was more concerned about her always talking about me being dead than the threat of her punching me in the face.
The following conversation took place when I went to talk with her about why she was in time out:
Me: “Do you know why you are in time out?”
Sweets: “Yes. I wasn’t nice.”
Me: “That’s right. Using those kinds of hurtful words is not okay. You can never say you are going to hurt someone.”
I should have just stopped right there….given her the kiss, say I love you, and just move on. But I couldn’t help myself….
Me: “but why did you say when I am dead?”
Sweets: “because when you are dead you won’t feel it”
Me: “well that’s just silly because I am not going to be dead for a long time.”
Me: “Sweets, this isn’t funny. It is not nice to say you are going to hurt someone.”
Sweets: “no, I am laughing at the part of you not being dead.”
OMG!! Really? That’s FUNNY? My NOT being dead? What in the world?
I then just decided to be done with the whole thing, gave her a kiss and sent her on her way. But I did call after her, just to be sure:
“AND I’M NOT GOING TO BE DEAD!”
I’m not really sure what kind of lesson was learned here.
Have you ever not known what to say in response to something YOUR kid has said/done? Would love to know I’m not alone here!
Have a great crazy day!