Meting Out Punishment

My boys fight. All the time.

And quite frankly, I do not have any good solutions to this. I tried reasoning but experts say they are too young to comprehend. So I tried time out corners as suggested by super nanny and 1-2-3 Magic. The boys do stand at the designated spots but they do not seem to associate the punishment with the act. It doesn’t help that they look especially cute at their corners, as they try to sneak away when they reckon I wasn’t looking. It is also quite a sight to behold when Xxm orders Xmm to stand at the corner whenever the younger boy slaps his older brother. Xmm will cheekily run to the wall, lean his back against it and await for more instructions with a look on his face that says, “That was fun! What’s next?” Poor Xxm is just as helpless as his mother.

Recently, my little disciplinarian had a brilliant idea. He had gathered the idea from a book that I had read to him. The story entitled Little Rabbit Foo Foo, by Michael Rosen – author of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, describes a misbehaving rabbit who was subsequently punished by the good fairy after given three chances to change.


So says the good fairy,

Little Rabbit Foo Foo, I don’t like your attitude, scooping up the field mice and bopping them on the head. I’m going to give you three chances to change and if you don’t, I am going to turn you into a goonie.

Xxm had memorized the entire paragraph and has been telling me constantly to turn his mischievous brother into a goonie. He even holds up three of his fingers to make his point. I was pleasantly surprised that Xxm at this tender age understood the relations of cause and effect and could apply it to his daily life.

Xmm at this juncture is just being an attention seeking little rascal, totally ignorant of his older brother’s desperate efforts to discipline him. Xmm loves the book too and affectionately calls the rabbit Foo Foo. He listens intently whenever I read the story to him but I guess he needs a couple more months (when he becomes two) before he can comprehend the morale of the story.

So for now, I suppose we will continue with our verbal threats. I am going to give both boys more time to grow first before changing my discipline techniques. I am already seeing positive results in Xxm who had a habit of beating and biting Xmm between 18-28 months. He tolerates his younger brother’s bashings silently now. I am very thankful for his forbearance towards Xmm. Hopefully, Xmm will blossom as well as Xxm too.


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