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Monday, December 10, 2007

Empathy and Punishment

Last weekend, Will had several occasions to learn about empathy, and at least one occasion to learn about punishment. (We also had the opportunity to learn what he thinks about punishment!)
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On Sunday, we were playing with Will, and he kept trying to hit Zach. Finally, Zach said, "That's it. You're going in time out." Time out in our house for his age means that we put him in the corner and make him stand there for about 30 seconds. He usually hates it and squirms and tries to get out and sometimes even cries. This was the exact scene when Zach put him in time out that morning. About 30 minutes after the time out, Will and I were playing on the sofa when he tried to bite me. I told him, "If you bite, you have to go to time out." At this point, he hops down off of the sofa, walks over to the corner where we had put him earlier, and says "Mime ow? Mime ow?" Clearly, we have lost this battle and he's only 15 months.
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At one point during the weekend, I was changing Will, and he kept pinching my arm. (Are you seeing a disturbing pattern of aggressiveness here? Yes, so are we.) Anyway, I decided to try a new tactic, so I pretended like I was crying to let him know that he was hurting me. Instead of showing any sign of empathy, Will starts laughing so hard he could hardly breathe. Big belly laughs. More laughing than I think I've ever seen from him. Of course, this made me laugh, too. Will: 2, Parents: 0.
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We did have one successful parenting venture this weekend. We went to the zoo with the Petreys, and Coleman and Will seemed to have a great time. At one point they were standing next to each other, and we asked if they could give each other a hug. They both turned and gave a perfect hug...the cutest thing you've ever seen. As usual, it's all worth it.

1 comment:

Lindsay said...

No offense, but if I saw you fake-crying, I would probably laugh too ! :-)