Monday, November 16, 2009

Discipline -- Part 1

Okay, so I am thinking about some sibling squabbles that are ending up in fists and tears. The typical scenario is this: T2 tells T1 he cannot do something, or he is bugging her, or he is generally breathing in her sacred space. She tells him to leave her alone, he persists, she gets annoyed and yells, he gets frustrated and ultimately, because of his inferiority in the verbal skills department, as well as his upper hand in the physical skills department, he hits or kicks her. Dramatic tears ensue, I come running, he blames her, "She started it!" She cries, "He hit me!" Blah, blah, blah. Neither kid is hurt, really, so I usually sympathize with the hit-ee, scold the hitter, and then move on.

It occured to me recently, then, I wonder if this is how he solves his problems when I am not there. What about on the playground? Does he hit other kids, or is this just something that he saves for his sister? What is going on when I am not around? I did a little investigating. It is hard to get information about what happens at school from the kids who are there, you know? He claims that he never hits anyone at school. I have not heard from teachers or anyone else that he is, but I am not sure.

I wonder if she is as antagonistic with other kids at school as she is with her brother. Does she turn off playmates because she so much wants to control whatever game they are playing? Again, investigation is warranted. When we meet for school conferences, I am going to be like, "yeah, yeah, I know about the reading and math; how about their playground etiquette? How are they interacting with other kids?" (This is the main goal for 1st grade anyway, right?)

I made a new rule for at home. A consequence needs to happen for hitting. We need to have a zero tolerance for solving problems with violence. But I am certainly not going to single out the hitter. I think the hit-ee definitely has a part in this. So far, since I instigated the "time-out" rule for BOTH kids if hitting happens, no hitting has happened. What do you know?


Anonymous said...

I know. It's hard

Anonymous said...

It's always better to have a consequence for both when both have a part in it.

Happy Working Mom said...

I see this exact same thing with my two kids...although it hasn't moved to hitting yet...just pushing. And I agree...although the agressor needs to learn how to better control their anger, it's not fair for the other one to egg them on. I usually have some type of punishment for both as well!

notmytree said...

I agree. Hitting is never okay, and while T2 never deserves it and T1 shouldn't do it, it's still good for T2 to understand that it's also unacceptable for her to be overly controlling. It may not seem fair to them now, but both getting a time out when a scuffle like that happens is the best rule, in my opinion. I can't wait till the next visit! <3