I was rather taken aback when I heard my 3 year old begging for me to smack him! After all this isn’t the type of request you expect to hear from a small child, and especially from one who hasn’t been disciplined by being smacked.
He hadn’t been naughty, he wasn’t pretending to be a pony, he was simply getting changed for bed. The question was – what to do (apart from laugh that is). As far as I could see I had the choice of three options:
- I could give his little bottom a tap and fulfil his wishes? but then this would surely make him think that it was ok for me (or any other adult) to smack him.
- I could take it seriously and explain that no, I wasn’t going to smack him as physical abuse simply isn’t acceptable in any format.
- I could just ignore it and hope he didn’t repeat the request.
So – what did I do? I pretended not to hear and walked out of the room (whilst stifling a giggle or two) to put his socks in the wash basket. Joshua repeated his request and before I could explain that no I wasn’t going to, Tilly ran into his room and landed a rather flat little hand on his bottom.
I haven’t heard Joshua call out for me to smack his bottom since.
My Big No Shouting challenge is continuing. I think I can report that so far I have managed to avoid the full on shouting sessions (so gold star on that front) but I haven’t quite avoided the raising-of-the-voice-on-the-verge-of-shouting-but-not-quite sessions. I am checking myself all the time and if I can make it through Lent with no full blown shouting sessions I shall consider it a success. I have to be realistic after all!