Lily hurt a friend on Wednesday and had to be punished. No popsicle after dinner. The child was heartbroken and did everything in her power to break my will. Despite many close calls, I held my ground and Lily went to bed with no treat.
Why was this so hard? Because she was authentically distraught over her "bad decisions" and did not understand (or tried to fool me) why saying "I'm sorry" was not enough this time.
The answer was that our poor choices often lead to painful consequences, and that these tough lessons remind us to make better choices in the future ---- translated for a two-year-old, of course.
MY lesson in all this was that consistency, and standing firm really does work.
That night, Lily was devising a plan to get her popsicle back.
"Mum, I be nice tomorrow and I eat popsicle."
The next morning, "Mum, today I be nice at school and I get popsicle."
Two days later, "Mum, Jack made bad choices at school. He gets NO popsicle."
While discipline is hard, hard on a parent's heart for sure, it is the right thing to do for our kids. They learn by the boundaries we set......and motivated by our actions, they make their own plans to right the wrong, and make tomorrow a better day.