The art of parenting comes with the ability to dish out creative punishments consequences so as to help us parents impose discipline that teaches our kids to be responsible and accountable for their actions.
Consequences in itself is not an easy concept to grasp in the minds of the youngling. Often, the word consequences is used interchangeably with the word “punishment”; which should not be the case at all.
For a young child, the word “consequences” is also harder to pronounce as compared to the word “punishment”.
Teaching what punishments consequences exactly means takes time, practice and consistency. It’s about encouraging them to learn as to how they can do things differently and not make them feel bad about themselves.
How then do we know that the child gets it?
Well, for me it happened in the form of the conversation below once upon a time:
Squirt kept calling out for my attention relentlessly when I was cooking and was in the middle of doubling up to prep as well as needing to focus on the meat that was almost burning on the pan.
After calling out for the 100th time, he came to me, tugged at hand and spoke loudly as if I was deaf:
Squirt: Mama, you are not listening to me!
Me: Hold on, Squirt. Give me a minute. I heard you. I’m in the middle of something right now.
Me:Wait, Squirt. Just a minute. (me still furiously attending to the food on the stove and was almost done with whatever I needed to do)
Squirt: No mama, you are not listening. You will be punished.
Right. He got my attention alright. So I turned off the fire, wiped my hands on my apron, got down on my knees to his level and with an amused look said:
Me: Oh? First, we don’t use the word “punish”. But, how will you punish me?
Squirt: No kisses and hugs.
This child has got a sense of humour. Unfortunately, I cannot live without hugs and kisses so I sucked it up and let myself be emo-blackmailed by this tiny little Squirt.