More Mommy embarrassment when I took Hugo to the playground on Tuesday. It was pretty crowded and I confess I was distracted by a phone call. I hadn’t spoken with my mom in almost a week, including her birthday, so I picked up when she called. Hugo was at the top of the rock wall when another boy approached him. He was at least 3 and much bigger than Hugo. The next thing I knew the boy was flying through the air, landed expertly on his feet and burst into tears. Hugo had pushed him off the wall.
I was shocked. I scolded Hugo but he looked defiant. I apologized profusely to the mom of the boy who graciously kept telling me it was OK. There were two subsequent incidents with more embarrassment, especially when I told a little boy that Hugo had pushed that he doesn’t know any better and his dad answered, “oh, he knows.”
I may be inexperienced, but I’m not anti-discipline. I didn’t want to implement anything harsh that wasn’t effective or that Hugo wouldn’t understand. I tried redirection, or positive reinforcement (though I could do better with this). So what about timeouts? Hugo talks about timeouts at school though his teacher assured me that he doesn’t misbehave or ever act aggressively there. He notices when other kids are punished and wants to avoid it.
After Tuesday, my husband and I agreed to put Hugo in timeout for hitting or pushing other kids, or us. Daddy play fights with Hugo so I have been reluctant to punish him for hitting when he may have thought it was play time. But Hugo hits Daddy when he gets jealous because I’m touching him or hugging him. There have been two timeouts since we put the new rule into effect.
In a half hour I’m taking Hugo to Bounce U for some indoor playtime. We’re going to have a talk before he goes in so he knows any pushing or hitting will result in a timeout, and three strikes means we leave. It seems to be pretty effective so far. I hope I wasn’t being silly by trying other things before now.