Just recently I have noticed that Stella seems to really get it when I’m upset with her.
As a background, I grew up in a house where spanking was non-existent and groundings were rare. If we did something “bad,” my parents had a talk with us about how disappointed they were with us, and we had to then think about the situation and (1) apologize to the person(s) involved, and (2) explain how we would change our actions in the future in order to not disappoint them again. Believe me, as a teenager, that was punishment. — not to mention it made us actually think about our actions.
At any rate, I really like this approach (because I truly believe that violence begets violence), and I hope to parent in a way that is similar to how my parents raised me.
SO, today, Stella bit my nipple while she was nursing. HARD. This isn’t a common problem, but it is a random occurrence, and I always break the seal (FYI – this is important – do not forget to break the seal first or you will regret it!) and then I firmly look her in the eyes with my disappointment face and tell her NO Stella, we do not bite Mommy – that hurts Mommy.
Today that happened, and I saw her bottom lip start to quiver. Then Charlie happened to be walking right behind us (we were seated on the couch) and he bent down and chimed in something along the lines of, “Stella, that hurts Mommy – that is not okay.”
The poor child LOST IT. Absolutely lost it. And then WE felt horrible for ganging up on her and spent the next few minutes hugging and kissing and assuring her that we loved her.
Geez, how the hell are we going to discipline a teenager?!