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 had 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.