Monday, September 23, 2013

it's not so simple

So Jack is crying.  Aharon hit him with a toy car.

I am thinking about whether or not to take away the car.  At first it seems like a simple, easy answer.  Clear rule: if you hit with something, it gets taken away.
This is to discourage hitting people with objects.  (I've mentioned before that I've discarded the blanket "no hitting" rule because, as it turns out, there is actually plenty of measured hitting as they work out their conflicts.)

Hit with object.  Object gets taken away.  Child will either a) restrain himself from hitting someone with the object next time because he wants to keep the object or b) will not have the object to hit anyone with.  Happy ending either way.

But I'm not sure that is the most effective, efficient way to handle it.  I didn't actually see how hard Aharon hit him with the car.  It's possible Aharon (age 2) hit him because Jack (age 3) was attempting to wrest it away from him.  It's possible that Aharon hit him with a hit calculated to prevent him from attempting to take it away again, but not too hard.  It's possible that Jack's cry is a manipulation attempt to get me to intervene, when in fact, it has been handled beautifully and efficiently.

I did, in fact, take away the car, saying the rule, "If you hit someone with something, it gets taken away."  Aharon did not object.

But I wonder.

1 comment:

  1. On Mon, Sep 23, 2013 at 10:34 AM, Witty, Emily wrote:

    I think u did the right thing. I totally believe in protecting the victim EVEN IF the victim was an instigator . . .

    From: jessie fischbein:

    i don't agree. i think if the victim is an instigator, i'd rather work with the victim to help him understand that he is instigating and to teach him to extricate himself quickly and stand near an adult to protect himself.

    if he did indeed start up by trying to take away the toy, then he was not the victim. he was then a recipient of self defense.

    On Mon, Sep 23, 2013 at 10:40 AM, Witty, Emily wrote:

    I hear this point very clearly . . . but am not a fan of physical hitting. I would work with the in your case, victim and teach him/her to use his/her words to express displeasure . . . in truth, they both need to be taught to problem solve

    From: jessie fischbein:

    i used to believe that words were the answer. it seems to me now my children sometimes (often?) do try the verbal approach first, and resort to measured physicality as a second but more effective approach. at this point, it does not seem to me to be efficient nor beneficial to insist on "educating" them to be more verbal. i try to give them a lot of space for healthy emotional growth and maybe i'm taking a risk here, but i think that if they become emotionally healthy adults, they will NOT brawl with every person they disagree with. i think that giving them the space to work out their conflicts (assuming there is no abuse going on between them) will perhaps even increase their conflict resolution skills for when they are adults.