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?