Pushing the boundaries of discipline

Daughter is mischievous, naughty, but not insolent. At least not so far.

Last week she mentioned that a child in school, stuck out her tongue at her a few times, and she thought it was very rude. I agreed, and asked her to ignore children who behave like that.

I thought that was the end of it, but apparently not. A couple of days back she stuck out her tongue at me, when she did not like something I said. I took her to task, and she apologized.

She did that again the next day, and the same routine followed, of her apologizing and promising to never do it again.

Yesterday, she did it again. Now, I was quite upset that she picked up something and was bent on doing it even when she was aware that it was quite rude. So I said to her that she hadΒ enough warning, and if she persisted in doing it, I would have to take away one of her privileges. She did it again immediately – as if she were testing me. So I calmly, carried out my threat, and asked her to think about what she had done.

She was upset, and she did apologize and has promised to never do it again.

We had a chat later, and she does seem to understand why I don’t want her doing stuff like that. But this episode shook me, she has never deliberately tried to test her boundaries so far. Normally, she understands when it is explained to her. This time, for some reason, she wanted to see how far she could go..

I can only hope that I handled it properly and that she realizes that bad behaviour will not be tolerated – ever. But it does worry me… and I guess I will continue to worry until I know that it worked.. And it also worries me how easily bad behaviour is picked up.

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49 thoughts on “Pushing the boundaries of discipline

  1. Smitha she will stop doing what you don’t want her to do as she grows.It happens to me too and pinks shows her food when she is eating,which she picked from her classmate,how many times i told her not to do she does,my mom says some kids take time to understand good and bad,as she grows she will follow what i meant was.And she doesn’t do all that in the school..

    Don’t worry much,its always bad language,bad behaviour which is taken up easily then the good,take the case of songs which are vulgar picks up very fast..

  2. Smitha, as long as you target it early on and are consistent with the consequences, she will learn. Yes, she will try to test you but as long as you don’t cave, things should be all right. Most of the time, we tell parents that the kids’ behaviours will get worse before they get better…and trust me, it’s nothing like what you described. These are kids who throw things at parents or hit or scream…and they are all testing their parents to see whether the consequences will be carried out. Some manage to not cave and eventually, the child’s behaviour does change for the better…but the ones who can’t be consistent are the ones who have difficulty setting those boundaries.

  3. Simitha as kids we all have tested our boundaries and checked if our parents would actually punish us or not and you did the right thing by sticking to your words… I’m sure she would soon learn that and be nice as she has always been….

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  6. OH I have the same problem with R..and R is only 3.5..she picks up stuff from daycare and then dares me (I also do what you did, try and explain a couple fo times before threatening) ..I was pretty upset myself and can I tell you..thank you for this post..it makes me feel better (Eeeps..I sound so horrid na!)

  7. I am going through a similar phase – My daughter loves to do exactly the opposite of what I tell her..she will be 3 this dec and I have tried disciplining her with a rod but to my dismay that too doesn’t work anymore…. she cries for 2 minutes and the next moment when her mind gets occupied with something else she forgets it and behaves in the same manner… Phew!!! I guess unless they really understand the pros and cons of their behaviour howsoever we try to discipline them, goes in vain.

    • I used to use the ‘naughty chair’ concept when she was that old. It worked for her, but loads of my friends have had no success with that. I think it will be fine once she starts to understand things better.

  8. Am waiting for more posts like these from you so that I can learn how to tackle the little monster at my home…..too bad I am already 4 years ahead than you in this mommy son war πŸ˜₯

    You are the last person who needs help. S is such a wonderful child – am sure all the credit goes to you!

    I think it’s going to be alright. I always wonder if Samy has got the rebel genes in it’s full potential from both of us. But what I get to see is that, usually after a try or two the boy understands that he cannot get away with this behavior as I make sure his privileges are cut down big time.

    Yes, thats what works for Poohi as well. That behaviour has not repeated itself again. Fingers crossed.

    sigh! Now only if I believed in god, I might actually make some kind of offering to make sure the boy turns out fine and not end up as a complicated mix of his dad and mom 😳

    He is such an adorable boy – he will be fine πŸ™‚

    Ps: poohi is just experimenting with her individuality and I can guarantee that you have nothing to worry about that precious angel πŸ™‚

    Hopefully πŸ™‚ Angel, she most certainly is not πŸ™‚

  9. Hmm, following through with the threat/ privilidge without having a shouting match- hmm, you were succesful.
    My FIL recently told me, now they are at an age, where in aiddition to being the kids they want to try to be a bit older and understand push and pull regions.

    I think you handled it really well.

  10. I get tested a zillion times this way πŸ™‚ It was S, and now A does that often. My thought is that children have this urge to experiment, by imitating everything around them to get the feel. I read 3-4 books to understand this and still am confused.

    It think you handled it beautifully.

    • They do that, don’t they? It was scary because she tried to push her boundaries, even after I explained it all to her – but thankfully, withdrawing of privileges seems to have worked…I used to read about all this too.

  11. Bad habits are very easy to pick up which is why kids tend to learn them faster than the good ones which parents continually try to teach them at home. I think there is a way to teach kids the difference between right and wrong.Being a kid myself until 5-4 years back I can tell that kids learn to acknowledge the wrong only if parents consider to give them a reason behind it.Unless a reason is told , it is very difficult and questionable for kids to understand why something is wrong. When you tell them what their wrong behavior could do in the long run they may get frightened for the good and will stop doing wrong things. Your daughter has learned to stuck out her tongue on you from one of her school mate, I’m sure she will forget it as quickly as she has picked this habit.Kids do all kinds of stuff in school . Don’t worry!

    • I always tell her the reason why something is not correct, and most of the time, she does not repeat it. This time, I think she wanted to test her boundaries.. She has not repeated it since, so I am hopeful.

  12. The excitement will wear off if you ignore the behavior. You can try telling her that she has been warned enough times and if she wants to be a bad girl it is fine with mommy. Only thin mommy does not talk to bad girls. That should be enough.

    • I am not too sure about ignoring it.. I worry that ignoring it might give her the message that it is alright to do it, you know. Right now, she has not repeated it. Infact she has been very good after that episode.. So as I said, I hope it works out..

      • Hmmm at the end of the day nobody knows your child better than you. So all I’ll say handle her the way it is u feel best & am sure you have brought her up in such a manner that she will not disobey you πŸ™‚

  13. It’s a part of growing process, but yes, we as parents need to be consistent and persistent in our efforts at moulding, guiding and nurturing them!! πŸ™‚
    You did the right thing! πŸ™‚

  14. You handled it very well, Smits! Its all a part of growing up, so dont worry!. Hugs! I know how disturbing it is when your child picks up wrong actions and funnily those actions are picked up much faster than the good ones :). But so long as our children understand we will not give into their bad habits, I dont think theres much to worry at all. You’re a great mom and Kunju is a darling of a daughter! Now cheer up πŸ™‚

  15. I think you did a good job and as most have said here..Poohi will know what is right and what is wrong…of course you had to act on spot without any delays and you did…

    you are right,like Deeps also said yesterday in her post…wrongs are picked up faster and without even being taught than the rights 😦

    Idea,what if the rights are taught in disguise of wrongs? πŸ˜‰ lol silly me…

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