What do you do when consequences become a game between your triplet toddlers?

Playing together, I hear Eleanor tell Callista, “You’re in Time Out. Go sit on the rug. Deep breath. One, two, three, *inhale, exhale*.

During a meal, I hear Toby tell Eleanor, “I’m setting the timer. I take your food.” (I’ve had to set a timer often lately and end a meal without them all finishing.) Then Callista joins in and says, “I set the timer. I’m taking food.” Cue the three-way giggles and further declarations of timer-setting and food-taking.

Playing together, I watch Eleanor take a toy from Callista and declare, “You’re not playing nice. This is GONE,” then deposit the toy over the gate into the kitchen.

They know the rule-breaking actions and the appropriate consequences, and they make a freaking game of it with each other, laughing till they’re doubled over and making me laugh, too. I mean, it is funny … when they do it.

But I wonder, while I’m laughing, how effective is my parenting if my three 2-year-olds are laughing about their consequences together?

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9 Responses to Joke’s on Mama

  1. Ethel Phillips says:

    You are doing a wonderful job. Don’t second guess what seems to come so naturally to you. They are happy and well adjusted toddlers. They are understanding their consequences and having fun with it. Love it!

  2. Alissa says:

    OMG, yes. My 2 & 3 year old put each other in time out all the time. They are both bossy, (natural leaders I like to think) and my daughter tells my older son “You bad guy! You tiiiime out!” Makes me laugh every time.

  3. Susan Croft says:

    The point is to teach them, not to make them miserable. They are obviously learning – which means you’re doing it right! Pat on the back, Mom!

  4. Jessica says:

    IMO if they are doing that it means they are listening! At least that is what I tell my self when K tells me “1-2-3 timout Mama!”. 😉

  5. Jayme says:

    It sounds like they’re listening and understanding. I think that’s a good thing :)

  6. Gail says:

    They are listening and understanding. In fact, imitation is the sincerest form of flatter there is, right? It is no different than kids playing “school” or “house” when they are learning about their roles and how to interact with others. Great job, Mom!

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