|As for the 2nd one. When we are out eating, I generally say no dessert for anyone until everyone has finished (or has decided they aren't going to finish/don't want dessert). I think it puts way too much pressure on young kids to eat quickly when they see what they assume is a limited item (dessert) and know they can't eat it until they are "done" with dinner. If DS was going to be allowed dessert after finishing the burrito (were you going to order another? or was he going to share with DH?) I would say specifically, "I will put this cupcake aside for you for AFTER you finish. No one will eat it so you can go ahead and eat up your dinner. It will be waiting for you." In the situation you describe, my kids would be looking at the rapidly disappearing cupcakes and thinking, "I'm never going to finish this burrito before mom & dad finish those cupcakes."
and Ramama wrote:
|What first struck me, is why are people eating dessert while DS is still eating dinner? Dude, if I'm not done with dinner and someone brings chocolate cupcakes to the table, I'll toss my dinner and grab a cupcake too!
I know it must be confusing with the two incidents and multiple locations--Incident #2 (no cupcake until you finish your burrito) was not in a restaurant; it was a party at a friend's house. We arrived a little late and couldn't start eating until we cleaned up EnviroKid's scrapes from falling down on the way there. We could hardly expect the other ~15 guests to wait until we'd eaten dinner before they got out dessert; in fact, I think some people already were eating desserts when we arrived. However, it was a huge batch of cupcakes, and there were at least 20 piled up on the plate when I got mine. I can understand that seeing his own parents eating cupcakes while he was supposed to finish dinner was more of a temptation than seeing other people eating cupcakes, so that was poor judgment on our part. But, as I said in my first post, EnviroKid at first said he didn't want anything to eat; by the time he decided he DID want a burrito, EnviroDaddy was completely finished eating his, and by the time EDad had EKid's burrito ready for him, I was done eating mine, and everyone else present was done with dinner if not dessert. Both parents could have sat around waiting for EKid to eat, and if he had a history of this being a big issue (we've been to a zillion potlucks and buffets, and it's never been a problem before) that's what we would have done. Note that I did let him have a substantial taste of my cupcake when he asked; I only resisted getting him HIS OWN cupcake because he had eaten an amount of real food less than the volume of the cupcake, and I did not want him to fill up on junk or to get hyper and then crash as he sometimes does if he eats lots of sugar on a too-empty stomach.
To clarify, when we WERE in a restaurant in Incident #1, by the time the dessert orders were being taken, EnviroDaddy and I agreed that EnviroKid had eaten enough dinner. What I was pondering was how he could have an appropriate portion of carrot cake (I wanted a whole piece for myself, but I knew he would not eat a whole piece even if I got him one), and EDad felt he should not get any dessert at all. But the timing of/amount of dinner was not a problem.
|Is it possible to pull DH aside when he's in the midst of throwing around empty threats and quickly decide what an appropriate consequence would be, and have your DH deliver it?
Yes, it would be much better for us (at least both parents, ideally the whole family) to discuss and agree on a solution, than for EDad to leap into punishment. I mean, at the party, Ekid's action AND EDad's decision about what action to take went down in literally one minute. That indicates a "snap" reaction from EDad, and IMO when you feel that happen, the best thing to do is to step back for a second and get your breath (while taking action to stop the immediate problem, such as putting your cupcake out of reach). Even a few seconds' pause gives you a chance to calm your snappiness and think of a better approach.
However, I can understand that because he feels I've been intervening in his discipline too much, he may have thought he had to choose and impose a consequence before I got back or he wouldn't have any authority at all.
you should be able to save your treat if you specifically set it aside!
|If I offered no consequence but told dd to leave her shoes on and she took them off, I would tell her "You need to put your shoes back on. If you want to be barefoot, we will have to go home. Your choice." That seems much more fair than what happened.
By not stating what the consequence is, I don't think it's fair to end playtime.
Different kids may vary on this, but what I've found with my son (and this tends to work with my Girl Scouts, too) is that warning of the consequence seems to give the impression that I EXPECT him to do it again. Just telling him to stop tends to be more effective than, "Stop that or else." Warning of a consequence also has a negative effect on my ability to be patient and kind about his behavior after the warning, whether or not he repeats what I told him not to do. (If he repeats it, I feel like, "That dang kid, doing what I told him to stop! I'll fix him!!" If he doesn't repeat it, for quite a while I'm on edge watching for it.) In fact, sometimes it's best if I don't even give a "stop that" warning but just move on with the consequence. Really, the consequence is supposed to be a consequence OF THE BEHAVIOR, not of continuing the behavior after multiple warnings, right?
As for "If you want to be barefoot, we will have to go home.": Going home means walking 7 blocks on gravelly sidewalks and crossing a busy street where we need to walk at full speed, not mincing on bare feet. My child weighs 42 pounds; I can't carry him that distance. If he won't put his shoes back on, we have to stay at the park! I could say, "If you want to be barefoot, you can do that at home--so put on your shoes and let's go!"
|We (adults) follow rules daily--at work, on the road, etc--but I think it's safe to assume that we know what the consequences are for breaking rules also. If I didn't know there were any consequences for stopping at a red light, I probably wouldn't because I don't like red lights.
Well, different people may vary on this, too, particularly people raised with different types of discipline. I was raised with GD and natural consequences, and the reason I follow rules usually is NOT fear of an imposed consequence such as a traffic ticket; it's that rule-following is a way of cooperating with my fellow citizens so we all know what to expect and, in some situations, safety. The reason I stop at red lights has absolutely no connection to having been warned that I'll get a ticket if I don't. It's because the other drivers and pedestrians are expecting me to stop, and if I don't there might be an accident. Sometimes I do drive through a light that has just turned red, if I can see that there's nobody else around to be endangered by it or if making my left turn now (before the light for the other street turns green) will prevent me from blocking traffic and inconveniencing a bunch of people in the next cycle of the light.
In fact, the only time I got a traffic ticket, it was for something I didn't know was illegal, and I certainly didn't know what the specific consequence was going to be. The highway split into two lanes each way, I realized I was going the wrong way, I drove across the striped wedge to get into the right lane, and then I saw a patrol car signalling me to pull over. While I waited for the ticket, I wondered what it would say--"driving in the stripey zone"? It said "illegal lane change" and the consequence was a $90 fine. I didn't argue that it was unfair because nobody warned me that if I drove across the stripes I'd have to pay $90, and I certainly didn't think he should've let me go without penalty and said, "If you do that again, you'll have to pay $90."
I may have been unaware of that specific rule, but I know that the Highway Patrol officers know the rules and are there to keep us all safe and I need to do as they say.
In this case, EnviroKid is well aware that we wear shoes in outdoor public places except for rare exceptions. We've talked before about how going barefoot in the dark is more risky because you might not see things on the ground. We've even had several previous conversations about how wearing shoes is a condition of staying at the playground, this same specific playground. So it's not like he's unaware of the rule and its consequence; I don't think it's "unfair" not to warn him every single time.