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05:52 am: a lot of nothin' and a little excitement
Still doing the house-selling bipolar thing.

Still getting frustrated with the slooow start to The Big Project.

Still ready to smack/kill/divorce Peter. Sometimes. When I don't want to hug/smooch/nominate him for medals.

Teddy and I are going to the Vineyard for 4th of July weekend, which I think will be a most excellent break for everyone (except my parents, into whose peaceful lives we will descend). It's supposed to rain much of the time, which will likely reduce the beach time and increase the indoor madness time. Maybe not... I like walks in the rain (piña coladas, too, but not Rupert Holmes).

In any case, Peter will get time to himself and I'll get time with my family. There's unlikely to be any action on the house, so we'll actually be paying the cleaner to clean next week (instead of paying him to maintain the relationship, as we have been these past 6 weeks).


* * * * *

On a much happier note, Teddy astonished me yesterday. I asked him "what's the most important thing?"


"What else?"



"Be kind."

He's been listening! He remembers! Eventually, we'll add effective, prudent, and true. Thanks, Hedra.

* * * * *

I've had to explain to Peter repeatedly (who mostly believes me, but doesn't do any of the research himself) that he expects too much of a three-year-old. Teddy understands the definition of respect (more or less: "use a nice voice and words, look at someone when they talk to you, and be nice"), but doesn't necessarily know how to do it - and even when he does know how, he can't always muster it. However, he responds very well to "when you X, I didn't feel you were respectful... what could you do to be respectful?" That process gets him using his words and engaging his brain, which move him toward respectful.

Peter claims I won't let him discipline Teddy (by which he means punish, as in spank), so he has to resort to yelling and cussing. I understand how frustrating Teddy is, but spanking has been shown over and over to NOT be effective or prudent, and it's definitely not true for me. I don't think it's true for Peter, either.

It sure is tempting though.

Current Location: Boston
Current Mood: okayokay


[User Picture]
Date:July 2nd, 2008 01:08 am (UTC)
do you do time outs? they are amazingly effective for us. we also do the "you have to the count of 3 to do X, or you get a time out. One. . .two. . ." and it works. Well, mostly. i agree with you that when you do spanking and yelling, the kid becomes desensitized eventually, and you have to yell (or hit, i suppose) harder to get your point across. then how do you tell the kid that it's not OK to hit other kids?
[User Picture]
Date:July 2nd, 2008 11:00 am (UTC)

time-outs and count-downs

We have done them in the past, and still do them occasionally. They've become less effective recently, though I'm not sure why. Time-ins work nicely as long as we have the patience for them, which we don't always.

Another argument I read recently about the ineffectiveness of spankings is that they don't build life-long discipline: eventually every kid will be too big or too old to spank. And then what? Unless parents have built the skills to interact with kids on a lasting level, they will ultimately be screwed. I don't relish losing my ability to parent to a teenager, of all things.

But there's no doubt that the talking-it-through methods are very time- and energy-consuming.

:sigh: This parenting stuff is hard.
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