” I’d easily dismiss her unnecessary tantrums as ‘prolonged terrible twos syndrome’ ”
Nyakio… She’s my little ray of sunshine. She makes me smile even when she doesn’t mean to. Babies have a way of doing that to us. But the other day, as I watched Nyakio throw an unnecessary tantrum, that I’d easily dismiss as “prolonged terrible twos syndrome”, I realized that my little ray of sunshine was slowly but surely, becoming a little terror!
Consequently, I knew what I had to do…it was time to introduce some form of punishment… (teren teren!!).
For the love of me, I could’nt quite figure out what she was crying about. All I knew was that, (1) first of all, she wasn’t sick, (2) furthermore, she wasn’t hurt, and (3) most of all, I didn’t think it was necessary for her to cry!
Right there and then, I picked out a corner in our living room and from then on, it was for this reason known as “The Naughty Corner”. “When Nyakio is being Naughty and crying for nothing, she’ll have to go and stand there!” I said, as I held her hand and guided her to the corner.
She didn’t seem to understand what was going on. I didn’t blame her; after all, it was a very new concept. So, in all her wisdom, she yelled even louder, and ran out of the naughty corner. I calmly held her hand and guided her back. Then I crouched down to her level and told her firmly, “When you’re ready to stop crying, I’ll let you out”.
Unfortunately for me my dearest husband waltzed in, right in the middle of my disciplinary action. He saw the little girl bawling, her droopy eyes in the corner of the room, and instinctively went to her rescue. He had not realized what was going on. However, a quick mummy-daddy side conversation in Kikuyu (which Nyakio fortunately or unfortunately doesn’t understand) corrected the situation. She felt like the world was turning against her when the one guy she knew always bembelezas her put her right back in the corner.
Now for sure she knew kimeumana!! She asked me for her blanky (it’s her comfort thing), which I handed to her and then repeated firmly, “When you are ready to stop crying, I’ll let you out.” And I went about my business.
Her crying began to grind down to sniffling… and then from the naughty corner, I head a soft little voice say, amidst sniffles, “I’ve (sniffle) stopped (sniffle) crying…”
In conclusion, it’s been a couple of weeks now and I must say that the naughty corner seems to work like a charm in the Mathenge household! Of course, this only applies to Nyakio. Tumiso has long outgrown this kind of punishment. For her, we use a totally different multi-layered approach. I’ll talk about it next time.
I am interested to know, what kind of disciplinary actions do you take on your kids? Does the naughty corner work for you or no? Lets chat!
Mama T signing out!
Wahu Kagwi is a Kenyan mum, musician and business lady. She loves to share her parenting journey to help as well as learn from other parents. Her blogspot at Babylove Network features her pregnancy and baby care experiences. Wahu welcomes comments on her blog posts. View her blogs HERE
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