so yesterday morning, ben was whining and whining for something and we thought he wanted blueberries. tim got the blueberries out and gave him a little bowl of them. ben screamed in frustration and dumped the berries out on the ground. i gave him a stern (ha) "no dumping out your food! let's pick these up and mommy will help you." it didn't go over well. off i hauled him to time out (which is in his bedroom). after a minute, i went and got him. i reminded him why he was there, asked for a "sorry" which he gave and asked if he was ready to pick up his blueberries. "yeah!" was his answer. but in reality, the real answer was no when we got back to the blueberries. i sat him down next to them and i picked up some and made a little pile for him. he wouldn't pick them up. so i walked away while he sat there. when he tried to leave the spot, i took him back, sat him by the berries, and told him to pick them up. then i went and continued to unload the dishwasher.
(i normally wonder about parents who take pictures of their children who are doing something they shouldn't be doing but after SO much time spent sitting here moaning and groaning, i couldn't resist. sorry, parents, for judging you.)
well, it turns out this is a MUCH better way to doing a time out! making him sit by the thing he has to pick up gives him all the opportunity in the world to pick up his stuff! a much more logical consequence. ben chose to sit next to his blueberries and cry. he moaned. he kicked them a little with his feet. he dumped the berries that i'd picked up for him out of the bowl. he cried some more. but when he started to scoot himself away, i went over, placed back next to the berries and said, "you are in time out until you pick up your berries." and then walked away.
i started to wonder if ben would be sitting there all day. i wondered if this was worth the battle. it seemed to be torture for him but after a good 10 minutes of sitting and crying about spilled blueberries, he picked them up. when he started, i went and helped him. when he was done, i gave him a hug. it was SO super nanny.
oh, parenting - why must you be so trial and error?