Monday, December 30, 2013

A lesson at the playground

At the playground some time ago, my three-year-old boy wanted the slide all to himself. He had been playing there for a good 10 minutes all on his own when a couple of kids joined him. I told him to share, then stood back to see what he'd do.

He did not feel like sharing.

He barred the way up the slide. He shouted, "No! My slide! Go away!"

The little girl he shouted at got angry. She stomped her foot, and with one stern finger pointing at Vito's face, she snapped, "You are a very bad boy!"

My Vito looked like he'd been slapped. He ran to me and pointed to the girl, who looked at me in alarm. I said, "Well, Vito, you didn't share the slide. You shouted at them. That's not what a good boy does. She's right. That was very bad what you did."

Vito and the girl looked shocked. Vito's eyes welled up with tears, but I didn't say or do anything. When he realized he wasn't going to get any sympathy from me, he sat quietly beside me. The little girl and her sister played on the slide happily. A few minutes later, Vito stood up, looked at me and said, "I'm sorry, Mama." I hugged him, a big quick hug, nothing too special. "I'm glad you want to play nice. Now go and play." He went to the little girl and said, "Sorry!" And she smiled and then they all played together.

Since that day, we have never had problems with Vito not sharing or not playing nice. He's always been a good boy but he's a kid and he does naughty, selfish, stupid things once in a while. We're pretty relaxed parents but when our kids do bad things, we are quick to correct them. We never let bad behavior slide. We're aware that if you allow just one whine, one mean word, one rude expression, then it's back to square one and sooner than you think, you have a monster living in your house. It's exhausting, this constant vigilance!

You always have to stand up for what is right, even if it means standing up against your own kid.

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  1. I like how you disciplined your Vito. Although it might have stung a little having to do that. But I like how you did it. I wish I'll also have a strong resolve to discipline my child as much as you do. :)

    1. It's natural for us to defend our children from anything that will upset them, but in this case—and I hope in all cases where my kids are wrong—I hope I'll be more than a mother and be a decent human being! =)

  2. my toddler learned how to share from his pre-school =P Before he never ever share things even to us his parents. When he started with pre-school & had interaction with kids his age.. he learned sharing =)


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