We are Time-Out people. It genuinely works in our family - it aggravates Abby to be still for two minutes and it brings a quick resolution to a questionable situation. I know that some people believe it to be malarkey, but we tend to go with what works.
While I'm at it, we're also a count-to-three family. This side of things is a bit more relaxed than I would like sometimes, but different situations call for different methods. Counting to three gets Abby motivated to move in the morning, and honestly I do not get to three very often. Maybe ever. I think she is so intimidated by the idea of getting to three that she strives to move at 2. Again, if it works, we use it.
With that in mind - how do you do discipline when you are in public?
I can easily pull out the count-to-three method for something that I can anticipate, but Saturday I was just in shock and clueless as to how to proceed.
To set the scene, we had to be out of the house on Saturday and the weather was crummy, so we left the house at 7 to head to my grandfathers house in Delaware. We stopped at a Panera Bread for breakfast, which went wonderfully aside from the rain getting in. Wow, that stuff was hard and heavy. Anyway, after breakfast I knew that we would be on the road for another hour and a half, so I took Abby to the Men's room with me to use the potty. Since it is a little tall for such a short girl, I was holding onto her legs to be sure that she did not fall into the toilet. That's happened once, and while funny it's a bit gross - especially the though of it in public!
While she was sitting she reared her hand back and I assumed she was going to play with her hair. If I'm holding her legs, she does not have to keep herself sturdy, hair play is not out of the question, right? As it turns out, she reared her hand back in order to slap me. Absolutely no reason except to get a reaction - our morning had been perfect up until that point. She slapped me silly in a public toilet in a situation that I had nothing to take away from her, nothing to use as punishment.
I talked with her about why we do not hit people, whether it is just playing or because she is angry. The totally got it and understood it, but I was not sure how to have handled that one better. I hate missing opportunities to teach her with more meaning, but I could not figure out what else to do! Any advice for the next time it happens?