Caring for my 10-month old baby is hard enough so thinking about teaching my little guy all the intricate rights and wrongs in his sheltered little world is just another gray hair in my life. I know first hand that if I put in the time I reap the rewards down the road. It was not that long ago that I redirected my now 5-year old a zillion times a day against climbing on the brick fireplace towards safer activities and climbing places until eventually she “gave up” and it stopped being a problem.
The difference this time is that back then there was one child. It was easy for me to gently redirect and to set clear boundaries and reasonable expectations. So here is my discipline dilemma – how do I get my older daughter to participate correctly or frankly “butt out” of the process?
Don’t get me wrong I love that she is a little mommy’s helper. It comes in real handy when I need to finish getting dressed for work or get dinner on the table. She’ll tattle on him like only a big sister can. But it’s a big pain in the behind when I’m truly trying to do the positive “discipline” thing. Time and time again I try to model the right way for her to help me and guide Owen towards another activity or gently use our “eh eh” sound to indicate that an action (like eating a crayon) is not appropriate. Instead I hear a lot of “No Owen! No! No! No! No! No! No!” The one word all the positive discipline articles say is like the baby “F” bomb – you don’t say unless absolutely necessary.
Honestly it’s getting to the point that I am going to un-positively discipline my daughter so I can positively discipline my son. I know I should be “training the trainer” but I feel like I tried that and it’s just not working.
On October 2, Bright Horizons is hosting a webinar on Discipline for Young Children. I’ll be listening closely and asking questions there but I’m still looking for advice from “been there done that” parents out there. How do/did you handle positive parenting when an older sibling wants to help?