A Chance to Choose Nurturing Instead of Punishment
My 27 month old loves to play in the sink. Almost every day he gathers a few toys, climbs in his Learning Tower, and begs me oh so sweetly to turn on the faucet. I put a towel down around his feet, pull up his sleeves, and turn the sink on just enough for him to get a small stream of water.
I am guaranteed at least 15-20 minutes of down time while he splashes and scrubs. The little bit of water we have to wipe up after he’s done is well worth the break.
We only have one rule during sink play: no intentional dumping of water on the counter or ground.
Usually, I don’t have to remind him of our rule. Every so often, though, he gets a little too exuberant and water goes flying. In those moments, you can usually find me gritting my teeth and saying (with more than a trace of exasperation), “Kieran, we do NOT pour water on the floor!”
It’s so hard to be patient sometimes. (sigh)
Recently, Kieran was playing in the sink. I let him know that I was running to the basement to start a load of diapers. I returned within three minutes.
The scene I was greeted with upon entering the kitchen?
Kieran almost doubled over belly laughing as he filled a little cup with an inch of water before flinging it onto the floor. Multiple times.
Nurturing, Not Punishing
a) Choose to Punish: Get mad. Yell. Angrily tell Kieran that he broke our rule. Shame him. Hit him. Make him go sit in a corner. Take away his toys for a set amount of time. Teach him “a lesson.” Ignore his joy. Turn my back on the fact that he is a two year old child having fun. Ruin his evening. Put a dent in the trusting relationship I have with him. Cause him to look at me with fear.
b) Choose to Nurture: Instead of hurting Kieran – or hurting his self-esteem, I chose to nurture him. Perhaps it was his carefree laughter, or maybe it was the few seconds I took to breathe before simply reacting. But when I walked into the kitchen it was with laughter. I laughed right along with him as he dumped another inch of water onto the floor.
I said, “what are you doing you goofball? Are you having fun throwing water on the floor?” He laughed and said “yes!” before dumping some more out. With a smile in my voice, I said “good! Oh my! Look at the water running all over the floor! Let’s have fun stomping all over it with some towels.” He stopped to look at the floor, and I took the opportunity to turn the water off. I ran out to get towels, and then we both sopped up the mess, laughing the whole time.
Have you chosen to nurture, rather than punish, your child lately? Tell me about it in the comments!
I’m also looking for people who would like to submit a guest post about choosing to nurture instead of punish.
24 Responses to:
"A Chance to Choose Nurturing Instead of Punishment"
My Book Is Now Available!
For My Children: A Mother's Journal of Memories, Wishes and Wisdom
Click the cover to order now!
- When Sharing Sleep Is Tiring
- Parenting From the Inside Out
- Five Ideas to Keep Babies and Toddlers Safe from Choking
- Vote Now for Your Favorite Photos in NPN’s Flickr Contest: What Does Natural Parenting Really Look Like?
- May 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting Call for Submissions: Emergency Preparedness
Forced Weaning Due to Pregnancy
101 Things To Do Instead of Yelling or Spanking
The Effects of Circumcision on Newborn Boys
Kardashian’s Call to Cover Up
- Mother’s Day Gift Set Giveaway from moksa organics and Zoe Organics
- Natural Parents Network Holiday Gift Guide
- Giveaway: 12×16 Custom Portrait from Destany Fenton Fine Art – $220 ARV CLOSED
- Giveaway: Story Starters Game from Mama May I – $25 ARV CLOSED
- Giveaway: $35 Gift Certificate to Earthslings – $35 ARV CLOSED
- Giveaway: $30 Gift Certificate from Dominna – $30 ARV CLOSED
- Giveaway: $20 Gift Certificate to Two Pink Hearts – $20 ARV CLOSED
- Giveaway: 3 Pairs of Earrings from Job Description Mommy – $45 ARV CLOSED
- Revisionary Parenting
- Giveaway: Qwirkle Game from SeriousShops.com – $25 ARV CLOSED