"No. It's winter."
"No. It's summer."
"No. It's- AAAAAAA..."
Anna was holding her shoulders and crying. Allie had apparently grabbed the back of Anna's shirt and twisted it, which hurt and left red marks on Anna's shoulders. Allie knew that I was not happy with her behavior. I picked her up, marched up the stairs with her in my arms and deposited her on her bed.
At this age, I don't feel that a simple time out is effective with my children. Placing the girls in time out creates a negative attention type of situation so I have modified it. I remove the offending child from the area and tell her that I am upset/angry with her behavior. Shortly after I brought Allie upstairs, she appeared downstairs and I could tell that she was still fired up. By this time, we all had to head upstairs for the girls' baths.
In order to clear yourself of a wrongdoing in our house, you need to do the following:
- Tell me what you did wrong.
- Tell me why it was wrong.
- Give a heartfelt apology to the person(s) who was hurt.
During Allie's bath, we discussed how she had hurt Anna and why that was wrong. She was completely calm and it was a good discussion. She had also been told that if she didn't clear herself of the wrongdoing, she wouldn't be able to participate in story time that night. A punishment I have never had to follow through with. As I was drying her off, I said, "You know, Allie, Mommy and Daddy aren't always going to be here. I need to know that you are going to help Anna if she needs help when we're not around."
Oh, how I wish there was a re-do option in life.
Allie pouted before a few tears rolled down her cheeks. Why did I open my big oversensitive mouth? It turns out that she thought I meant that we wouldn't always be living in this house. Crisis diverted. She told me that she would live in the house next to us and recovered when I told her that I would really like that. I don't know how her future husband would feel about it but I would like it.
And then Emily joined the conversation. When she learned that Allie would be living next door to my hypothetical future home, she squeeze-hugged me while telling me that she was always going to live with me. You think I would have learned my lesson. But no. "Well, one day I will probably be living in a nursing home. Are you going to live there with me?" Yes. Yes, she will.
Allie ran out into the hall and hugged Anna to the point that Anna was clearly afraid of losing her balance and all order was restored. A temporary achievement.