I’m trying to be more specific when it comes to the things I say to Elliot, more specifically when it comes to discipline. I have the worst habit of just saying “Stop it” or “Don’t do that.” Sometimes I’m not even sure what exactly I want him to stop doing. I’m pretty sure this could breed a monster of confusion, especially because discipline is so much more effective when it is clear and consistent. Emphasis on consistent.
I want to learn to be clear about what I am asking of him:
“Stop banging that drumstick on the wall. Bang it only on the drum.”
“Hold my hand all the way across the street until we can touch the car.”
“Please don’t whine at me if you are done eating. Use your words.”
Because, in his juicy little brain, my “Stop it” could be directed toward any number of things. Stop making awesome music with your drumsticks no matter what surface you are banging them on? Heavens, no. Music will be made in this house! On the appropriate surfaces.
This is not to say that the longer my sentences are, the more he’ll obey. He hasn’t even been alive outside of my uterus for two years — I don’t expect advanced cognitive miracles. This is also not to say that I need a miracle. My kid is pretty even tempered (if he has had his morning banana). This is mostly to say that I’ve recognized a bad pattern in myself and I’m working hard to shake it now before things get sticky. But kids are always sticky. Amen?