Saturday, November 04, 2006

Juvenile Delinquent

Max now has grasped the concept that certain actions are forbidden. This does not stop him from indulging in these actions (quite the opposite, since he has also learned that the forbidden actions are mostly the best ones), but it is interesting to watch his sense of right and wrong begin to develop. When he is about to do something that he knows he is not supposed to do (climbing the computer table and messing with the record player are the current favorite forbidden fruits), he will stop and look at us first, to make sure we are watching. Then, he will commence wickedness, glancing at us all the while to make sure he is getting a reaction. We have tried what the books all recommend -- saying "no" in a firm but non-scary way and then redirecting Max's attention to parent-sanctioned alternatives to wickedness. This makes Max laugh uproariously, and double his efforts to create mayhem in the hopes that we will say no and move him away again. Tonight at dinner, he was throwing his food on the floor -- his new way of expressing that he wants attention, and my new biggest pet peeve. Ian and I both tried saying no-no, modeling eating, etc., etc. Food continued to fly, accompanied by wild cackles of laughter, until we removed his tray and declared dinner over. I have therefore begun a new discipline campaign -- moving him away from his evil of choice, saying no, and then ignoring him. This has been more effective at upsetting him -- he has begun flinging himself to the ground, squealing with rage and scooting backwards whenever this happens. It has yet to prove effective as far as reconditioning his desire to do wrong, but it is a young experiment, and I still have hope for it.


Joshua said...

I look forward to the day I can rant about such actions.
The "no" thing is kinda like what they say to do with pets. It, too, works about 30% of the time. The rest of the time, you have a lap full of muddy paws or a pumpkin with tooth "carvings."
Mason has begun to rebel. He only wants to eat just after you have served yourself your meal. Sheesh! Kids!

granny said...

Just don't send him to bed without his supper for goodness sake.

Chelsa said...

Heck, no. We all know that if you send a Max to bed without his supper, that very night in his room a forest will grow. And Max and I sleep in the same room.

Raging Wombat said...

Julia, too, is developing into quite a miscreant. I hope our little ones aren't sharing notes.

The only thing that works with Julia is ignoring her. It works wonders.