Scaring my kid: dick move?
December 14, 2011 5:06 AM Subscribe
Question about scaring my two-year-old to get him to obey. Am I being a bad dad?
posted by zardoz to human relations (41 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
My two-and-a-half (almost three) year old is a well-behaved, good natured little boy. He does get stubborn, though, when it comes to bath time. He doesn't want to go in, but once he's in, he doesn't want to come out. I take him in when the wife is cooking dinner, so I need to take him out in time for meal time.
But he won't get out of the tub. "But I wanna play!" is his usual refrain, and no amount of cajoling will get the kid out. Of course, I can just pick him up and take him out, but he cries and kicks and pitches a fit. Somewhat dangerous, and anyway, that doesn't seem like fun to do everyday.
Here's what I do, and I feel a bit bad about it. I'll turn out the lights and say "ooh, it sure is dark in here". There's still ambient light from the next room over, so it's not totally dark, but it's enough to spook my son, who gets a scared look and says "I wanna get out". So that works, but it makes me feel terrible. I don't want him to be scared like that, especially on a regular basis; it feels like I'm conditioning him to be scared of me, or the dark, or just the stress that causes him.
It's not a drawn out thing--I pick him up and dry him off and ten seconds later he's back to normal. So I'm torn. What say you all? Am I being a jerk? Or am I overthinking this? Or somewhere in between?