Friday, January 18, 2013 • 8:02 PM Comments (1)

Friday Night--Or Parenting Does Not Always Come Naturally

posted by Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

As the little girl went into a free fall of miserable behavior late this afternoon—hitting, spitting (does it beat biting?) and screeching—I had two realizations:

One is, I most certainly hold onto the hope that Mrs. Piggle Wiggle will emerge from retirement and sprinkle her magical curatives all over my household

Two is, you really can’t make dinner when you’re giving time out after time out.

Somehow, things calmed down. In the process, she lost access to her beautiful plastic dress-up high-heeled shoes, her Barbie and her pink unicorn sidekick and a television show around bedtime.

Anyway, reading our three stories was great fun as is always the case if two out of the three are Mr. Putter and Tabby books. There was a moment when the realization—no television tonight—settled that wasn’t so fun, but snuggling won out. Firm but tough but calm is not really my natural path. This parenting gig, though, it really makes the case for firm but tough but calm.

By 8:42 PM, she was asleep. So was her next brother (and their older brother, too). This is what I call rocking a Friday night.

**

I never offered a Tuesday Three round of links, so I cannot help but share the wonderful reverie of a Modern Love essay that will be in the physical NYT on Sunday, about the words husband and wife and how language and experience go together to change meaning—or crystallize it.

Comments (1)
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I found that threats and punishments that worked for boys didn't always work for Alice.

She has a greater emotional intelligence than they did at the same age. So she can somehow deflate the punishment to her advantage using "devious" tactics and language. She sounds like a monster. She isn't. But confiscating possessions for a number of days that she is attached to works for us. And then if she is very good returning them earlier than planned.

Because it is not fair to punish everyone else, we realized, just because we are having trouble punishing one.

And as Nigella Lawson says, missing one meal won't kill a child...

Posted by Emily Marbach on 1.26.13 at 10:42
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