Friday, October 23, 2009

Discipline vs. vocabulary

For the last half year, and especially since school has started, Doc and I have been trying to stress with the girls both the taking of personal responsibility for the consequences of one's actions, and the art of finding other things to do besides watching TV. This has been toughest on Aslan (age 3 1/2), who is not in school all day yet, and who got to watch more than the others last year during the first few months after Daisy came while I was struggling to get back into a routine. Although she loves to be read to and played with, Aslan does love to watch the ol' tube, and many of her famous tantrums (now, thankfully, diminishing in frequency) have resulted from being told that it's time to turn it off. This has worked to our advantage in some ways, as we have learned that being threatened with the loss of TV time is a powerful motivator for Aslan right now...

...and, as it turns out, she really is listening when we talk to her about consequences. The other day when I revoked her TV rights for a repeated infraction, she pitched a typical fit, whining about how she wanted to watch a favorite show. I told her that if she wanted to watch it tomorrow, she would have to do a better job of listening. She was thoughtful for a moment, then inquired:

"Then can I have my TV pwiviwedges back?"

Well, maybe she doesn't always listen so well, and certainly she doesn't need to watch any more TV than she already does. But doggone it, she knows that TV is a pwiviwedge. Now if she can just learn to pronounce l's and r's, she's going to wow her teachers in kindergarten.

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