What did I just say?

It's come to my attention that it's really hard to discipline kids. I'm just as convinced that Mrs. Squiggles is a special case, as she seems to want to laugh when you discipline her. Seriously, Cheryl and I cannot find a way to make her understand that her actions are incorrect according to societal norms. We can't punish her because she thinks it's a game. We've tried time outs, spankings, ear pulling, hand swatting, toy removing, scolding, ignoring, and even stern leanings on with about as much success as Martha Stewart selling IMClone the day before. It's just not working. Frankly we're getting a little concerned that our daughter is a masochist and loves pain. Funny thing to say about a 15 month old but I can't image any other reason.

The bad thing is that she's at the age where she knows that there are reactions to her actions. She knows that hitting a bright orange star makes it beep a tinny rendition of "Twinkle Twinkle" (which I just figured out is the same tune as the Alphabet Song. Just never put the two together, but that's another story...) She’s just not at the stage that she understands that her actions have consequences, not just reactions. She's still at the cause/effect level. So it's hard to teach her this. "Yes when you bite something it makes your teeth and jaw feel good. But you can't bite people because it hurts them." Do you think a 15 month old would understand that? Well don't because she doesn't.

So it's hard to teach them right from wrong, it's also hard to understand when they reach the teachable age. When will they understand these things? Also, will it ever stop making my heart ache when I take a toy away from her and she sticks that bottom lip out and makes that face like "How DARE you remove that object of amusement and pacification. My only recourse now, dear father, is to make you feel like a heel." Commence the barrage of salt water pain.

I'm sure parents have grappled with this for ages; how, when and to what extent you should discipline your child. But why does it seem like we were better kids? Why does it seem like our parents had it easier? We weren't bad kids were we? Did we bite other children? Did we slap our parents in the face then laugh like a clown just farted? Did we collapse in a heap when we didn't get our way?

Of course we did, silly. That's why grandparents are so happy.

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