Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Green Squared...

I am proud to say to date I have yet to "spank" either of our Brownies. This doesn't include the time I have popped Big Brownies hand for spitting his medicine in my face or when he began kicking me while trying to put his pants on him. However, there has to be some form of consequence to bear for unacceptable behavior. Back in early Spring, I found a couple of colored carpet square samples and decided I needed these as "time-out" placements. So now anytime Big Brownie is exhibiting poor and unacceptable behavior, he gets to sit for 2 minutes on the "Green Square".

That being said, to date, Little Brownie has not exhibited such unsatisfactory behavior that has warranted such discipline...until last night. I knew it was coming in part, because he had only had about a 15 minute nap, but still not an excuse for unacceptable behavior. Big Brownie was playing with his cars and Little Brownie decided he wanted one. Because he is just learning that the world doesn't revolve around him, I'm trying to teach him not only to share with Big Brownie, but to also put out his hand and ask Big Brownie if he wants Big Brownie to share with him. This is not going well, but I'm trying to be consistent with this teaching. He reached for a car and decided he wanted them all. When Big Brownie reacted and told him "NO", Little Brownie reached out his hand. For a moment, I thought it was working, I thought we was asking Big Brownie for a car. The word "Psych" entered my brain when he reached out and grabbed a handful of Big Brownies hair and not only pulled hard, but began thrashing around so that he could really inflict the pain.

As this is unfolding before my eyes, I realize, Little Brownie isn't so little any longer. I have known for several months, he has a tendency to be more physical than Big Brownie. As the youngest and I may add, sometimes meanest baby of my family, I know that sometimes in order to get what you want, you have to fight for it. However, Little Brownie being only 14 months old, I wasn't expecting to deal with this so early in his little life. I ran to Big Brownies aid and Little Brownie had a good firm grip on Big Brownie. I finally got them apart and I swooped Little Brownie up for immediate discipline. Not having to officially discipline him before, I looked around in dismay. Like a traffic light appears at night so bright and colorful, the "Green Square" called my name.

We haven't had to really use the Green Square in quite a while. I took Little Brownie to the square, I placed him firmly on it and I told him that because he was mean to his brother, he had to sit there for 1 minute. Of course, he has NO clue what I'm saying. I walk away to attend to Big Brownie and he gets up quickly. I put him back on square and explained again that he had to sit there for pulling hair. I knew in the back of my mind that he didn't understand the concept, but I needed to be consistent and that I needed to put him there a maximum of 3 times to try to instill in him there is a consequence to his poor behavior. After the 3rd time, I brought Big Brownie over and told Little Brownie to say he was sorry. He made a good attempt at saying what I like to believe is "I'm sorry" and then we all hugged and kissed each other.

This was very difficult for me...why? Because my natural reaction to most extreme behavior is to spank. I was spanked as a child and so was Daddy Brown. We do very much believe in the punishment. However, we want to make sure the punishment fits the crime and we only want to inflict this punishment when there really are no other options. I hear myself in my head, often when the Brownies do something unacceptable, think..."I COULD BEAT YOU!!!" or "YOU ARE KILLING ME!!!" However, I have to take a step back, take a deep breath and realize that I need to teach my boys how to resolve conflict and be kind and respectful to one another and each others belongings.

We've made it 29 months with Big Brownie, hopeful we can do the same and more with Little Brownie. That being said, Little Brownie is now very much aware of the Green Square. And by the way, Big Brownie is getting a hair cut today.

1 comment:

KellyRose said...

You are much better than I. We have spanked Lila and I hate it evertime I do it. This mainly happens when she doesn't listen and we have tried everything else first. I have a feeling the our little G isn't going to be much of a listener either! AAHH! I have read that when one child is mean to the other to show a lot of attention to the one that got hurt. Ask them if they are ok, rub their head, kiss them etc. and then discipline the other. I try this sometimes when Lila is mean to Graham. I don't want her to think she gets attention when she does something wrong, even if it is negative attention. Just a thought for you. I just think your Brownies are too cute to ever get into trouble! :)