Thursday, April 01, 2010

RX: Use Your Sad Face

Yesterday, I took the Spud to his 18-month well-baby visit at the pediatrician's. He was a charmer - winking at the nurses and conning treats out of them. He was a trooper too - he didn't cry at all during his shots. That's okay - I cried for him. :)

As I suspected, the Spud is about average for height, average for head size, and in the 9th percentile for weight. Yup, he's a little guy but more than makes up for it in attitude and general mischievousness. The pediatrician predicted that he will be the kid that breaks an arm or leg before age five and will most likely be the class clown. I would have to agree with that assessment.

On my way out of the pediatrician's office, I was handed a sheaf of papers with information about his shots, poison control, car seats, etc. I was a bit taken aback to see an entire sheet on Discipline/Time Out. Is it really the doctor's job to tell us parents how to discipline our kids?

"Use your body language, such as looking sad, to let your child know you do not like his or her behavior. A child this age may misbehave 30 times a day."
- Haha! Amateurs! I believe that 30 is on the low end of the spectrum for the Spud! And, yeah, looking sad has such a lasting effect on him. Right.

"Do not spank your child."
- Okay, so I don't want to stir up the pot too much with this one, but seriously? It's not your job to tell me what I can and cannot do in disciplining my kid. Especially when Oregon state law clearly states that parents have the right to spank their children as a disciplinary measure, as long as it is not excessive or abusive.

"Use time-out very little. You can try time-out when your child is angry and hits, punches, bites, kicks or has tantrums."
- So I'm not to spank my kid and I should use time-outs sparingly. Hmm, what to do the rest of the time? Oh yeah, I can give him a sad look...

"Do not yell. Talk in a soft, bored tone."
- I totally get the no-yelling thing. It isn't easy for me, but I do my best to not raise my voice with my kids. But a "soft, bored" tone? Where is the authority in that? "Okay, Junior, I don't really care that you're disobeying, but would you stop please? Not that it really matters to me, but maybe you should stop?" Haha!

Apparently I have got it all wrong. :) I am sure glad that my pediatrician is watching out for me and can help me in this area.

Excuse me a moment. ("Hey, please don't hit your brother anymore. It makes Mommy so sad when you do that. See my sad face?")

Yep, totally worked. I bet he never tries that again!

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