Becoming comfortable with my discipline style

First published on Essential Baby – July 11th, 2014

Photo by Daiga Ellabyh on Unsplash



n a recent visit, my friend and I laughed together as we watched our two toddler sons quickly go from tentative ‘hellos’ to the best of friends, taking turns pushing each other on the ride-on car.

And then it took a turn for the worse when, out of our view, the kids started screaming. I discovered my child giving his new best mate’s curly mop an almighty yank while pinning him to the ground, the poor thing yelping for mercy beneath him.

Unfortunately these incidents have been becoming a frequent hazard of social interaction. Whether it’s a play date or a romp in the playground, the fisticuffs inevitably make an appearance, leaving me to clean up the mess.

He never used to be like this; my sweet little boy had often received comments about how shy he was. He was permanently attached to me, and the slightest change on an otherwise familiar face – an uncle’s unshaven stubble, a grandparent’s dark sunglasses – would cause him to burst into tears and bury his face in my chest. “Oh, he’s so sensitive!” would come the comment, and I would glower with indignation. “He’s fine the way he is … YOU have the problem!” I’d reply in my head.

It actually started to become a problem. He wasn’t the biggest boy for his age (possibly thanks to his mother, who grew to the grand height of 157cm), and regularly came home from daycare with injuries from other kids. I don’t know when it happened, but suddenly he got a burst of confidence and now he’s not afraid to go after what he wants – physically…