The things that will never make it in the baby books and other musings from a stay at home mom

Monday, August 15, 2005

Is it too late to rethink our child spacing decision?

I would be fine if I were raising each of my kids individually. My discipline techniques -- scolding and redirection for the 18 month old and time outs and consequences for the 3 1/2 year old -- work reasonably well in a bubble. But with the two kids together in one house, things are just not working out so well.
Even I can see the inequity -- when Julia does something wrong, she loses a privilege or gets sent to her room. And when Evan does the exact same thing, I tell him no and offer to read him a book. If I were Julia, I'd be pissed, too. But I'll be damned if I can figure out a better system.

The "let's be good role models and teach Evan" line gets parroted beautifully but is useless in practice. Giving Evan timeouts and taking away toys he cares about makes Julia happier, perhaps, but does bubkus in terms of preventing or correcting Evan's negative behavior. And Julia? Has taken up flinging her food off the table, emptying dresser drawers in giant heaps on the floor and other charming 18 month old habits. And then throws a temper tantrum worthy of a 2 year old when she gets a 3 1/2 year old's punishment.

Oh, Dr. Spock, where art thou? Calgon, you'd do, too...


At 2:50 PM, Blogger Kristy said...

I've been thinking along these lines lately, as well. One other thing? The cruel trick of having "gotten over" one problem with one child only to see it surface again with the second. I thought I was clearly out of the woods with one issue recently, and then, lo and behold, there comes Evan with his chance at the helm.

At 7:20 AM, Blogger gkgirl said...

i would stay strong with what you are
doing...julia sounds like a very
bright little girl and probably understand to some extent why there
is a difference between consequences..

sounds like she is just testing
the water to see if it is going to
stay that way...

good luck

At 12:10 PM, Blogger Dana said...

I feel your pain. Try it with an almost 8 year old and a 3 1/2 year old: it seems that we are alternately shafting one or the other. It does balance out in the final analysis, but they'll never really see that.

At 4:04 PM, Blogger Steph said...

We're in the same boat... why is it okay for the baby to spit, when I get a time out for it? Why can she bang on her high chair tray when I can't bang on the table? The list goes on and on.


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