Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Was I too harsh?

You know, until we had Bean, I hadn't been around many little kids.  I don't have a babysitting or sibling background to draw on either.  I only have the memory of the discipline my parents used with me.  So I am really flying blind with parenting and I have no illusions that I am mother of the year (any year) by any means.

So sometimes usually I find myself second guessing the way I discipline Bean.  Second, third, and fourth guessing sometimes.

Yesterday was one of those days.

I've mentioned here recently about an incident Bean and I had in a grocery store.  In that incident, Bean ate a piece of candy that she wasn't allowed to have and that hadn't been paid for yet.  That's not that bad on its own.  But Bean seems to have a problem.  To be quite honest, my kid's a klepto.  She has no sense of ownership or possession.  I don't think she steals things to steal.  Maybe she does.  She's only 4 so I tend to believe it is just because she has not yet grasped the concept that not everything in this world belongs to her.

In the past, she has taken items that belong to her cousins.  Stuffed animals, candy, toys, etc.  She's even "borrowed" things from a couple of kids at school.  If there is something she likes, she believes she can just take it home.  Now, again, she was even younger then so her understanding of ownership probably didn't exist at all.  There is a little "funny" I found recently online that pretty much sums up Bean's thoughts on what does or doesn't belong to her.

A Toddler’s Rules of Possession

Yep, that really does sum up what she believes.  And I know all kids go through this.  But it just gets tiring trying to explain the concept over and over to her.  I know she has to understand some of it by now.  Even being an only child, I understand she doesn't have someone else competing for things with her all the time. But she must realize when her father and I tell her that stealing is wrong and that grownups get punished very badly by having to go to jail and all that.  I've explained that if she keeps doing this that one day she might not have any friends because no one wants to be around a thief.

And truly, at 4, "thief" might be too strong of a word for it all but that's what I've used with her.

Yesterday when I picked her up at school, her teacher explained that at snack time, Bean took a portion of another child's snack and lied about it several times.  The teacher knew Bean had done it but when she asked Bean, she just kept denying it over and over.  It wasn't until later that day when they were outside playing that she finally got Bean to confess.  Because of the continued lying, the teacher explained that she had no choice but to write Bean up for it.  Now I don't know what exactly that means.  I didn't think about that until we were on our way home.  I don't know if you can get kicked out of preschool but I guess maybe it's a possibility.

So now Bean has a permanent record.  Great.

The teacher said that she couldn't understand why Bean had done it and it was so unlike her.  Well....not really.  But it is becoming a habit and I'm just at a point where I don't understand what else I have to say to make her see that just because she sees something she wants or likes, she just can't take it.

All the way home I tried my best to figure out what I could do to make her understand how bad this is.  There was only one thing that I haven't done yet that I thought might get through to her.  So I did it.  And now I'm wondering if I went too far or overreacted.

Once we got home, I made her sit on the couch so she could watch me.  Our living is completely cluttered with Bean's toys.  The whole house seems to be nowadays but I digress.  I started picking up all of her toys and placed them in her playroom.  Once I had that all finished, I walked her to the door of the playroom.  I said "Bean, you see all of the toys you have and love to play with?"


"Well, they are in this room now and this is where they are going to stay.  You are not allowed to play with them or have them until you can stop taking things that do not belong to others.  This is how it feels to have your things taken from you."

"No, no, no, Mommy!"

"You don't like it when people take your things, do you?  Other people don't like it when you take their things."

I locked the door and shut it.  The crying began.

I have decided that each day I will show her the toys and explain it all again to her but the door will keep being shut and locked until I see some improvement.  She is allowed a few of her toys and her art supplies but that's it.

Is this too harsh?  Should I have done something different?  It wasn't a decision that I thought long and hard about.  It was more of a knee-jerk reaction to the fact that I felt my child had embarrassed herself and me at her school.  I don't want her to be a person that others do not want to be around.

I guess I could have read several parenting books or asked in some online forums that have become so prevalent.  But life still goes on when your reading or online trying to find some answers and yesterday this was the only answer I came up with in the moment I needed it.

I will keep you all updated on how my punishment works or turns out.  I don't mind getting parenting advice from anyone.  That doesn't mean I use any of it.  But I am more than willing to listen because you never know what you might learn.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Beanisms - "Mommy, I just can't say that!"

I wanted to share one of the latest Beanisms.  These are usually for my own memory but sometimes I know others get a kick out of them, too.

As I posted earlier, Bean has been excited about Valentine's Day.  She's been making me cards and pictures to celebrate.  But she has a slight problem with the word "Valentine".  So when she brings me one of her creations, she says...

"Here Mommy, I made you a Thanksgiving card."

"Bean, don't you mean Valentine's Day card."


"You made me a Valentine."

"Balantimes!  Mommy, I just can't say that!"

So, there you go..."Happy Thanksgiving Day".

Be Our Valentine 2012

Happy Valentine's Day 2012!!!!!

To those of you with hunnies, enjoy the day together.

To those of you without a hunny, you can be our Valentine.  The more the merrier!

Things are starting to get back to normal around our little home.  That is until the next germ invades, I guess.

If we could win the actual lottery like we have seemingly won the germ lotto, we'd be sitting pretty.

Today is also my Aunt Grace's birthday.  Happy Birthday to you!  We love you.

Recently Bean and her Daddy attended a Daddy/Daughter Date Night at a local Chick-fil-A.  They really enjoyed themselves and this is what I was brought back.  The restaurant gave it to Bean but she passed it along to me.  My ownership of this rose lasted about five minutes until she decided that it was much more practical to dance around the living room floor twirling it about.  The rose put up a good front but I don't think it was happy about it.

Poor Bean.  She has fallen victim to the flat hair curse just like her Mamma.
I have a couple of tutorials I'm working on.  I have the completed projects but need pictures to show my work.

Bean's school is having a Valentine's Day party today and we were in charge of the goody bags.  Ugh.  I never noticed the sign-up sheet for the party and by the time I did, wouldn't you know it, the only thing left to pick were goody bags.  God sure does have a funny sense of humor, doesn't he?

We went retro with these bags - regular old brown lunch sacks.  Bean stamped each bag with a heart outline.  The design was made with a toilet paper roll bent in the shape of a heart.  Well, she started this process but 17 bags was asking way too much from her so Mommy finished them up.

I am hoping to be back posting regularly here with all of our friends.  We've missed you all.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Under the Weather

I wanted to write really quickly that I'm sorry for not posting lately.  I haven't forgotten about our sweet little blog at all.  We had Bean's birthday party and a few days later, she came down with a deep inner ear infection and some type of virus.  One day she had a slight fever all day.  The next day it was slight again until she took a nap.  When she woke up from her nap, her fever was 102.

Same thing the next day.  Then once I got it down again, she went back to school.  I got a call from school that she had a fever again and it was 102.  I picked her up and drove her to the pediatrician.  By the time we got there, it was up to 104.  The doctor tested her for flu and ran her blood for bacteria but both were negative.

She is finally on the mend but still has a runny nose and nagging cough.

But now I'm sick again.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - kids are nothing but walking germ boxes.

But I guess they are cute, too.

We'll be back once we both feel better.  Hang in there with us, please.