‘If you don’t hold Daddy’s hand you will be put in the corner Little Man’ we told our 2 and a half year old on a trip to the park. We are not strict parents, we like to take Little Man places where he has the opportunity to run free a bit. Not in a dramatic running happily through a field, picking daisies way but in my somewhat limited experience toddlers need to burn off their energy. They need to run and run and run otherwise at 9pm at night they will still be singing ‘Old MacDonald had a farm….and on that farm he had a plane’ at the top of their voice.
The aforementioned park we were in had a rather large duck pond and I didn’t fancy fishing my son out of there so the rules were to hold our hands. Little Man continued to pull away so he went in the corner. Have you ever tried finding a corner in your local park? Harder than it sounds. So instead of a corner, Little Man was put down facing a rather large bush and told to stay there. He cried a bit, he moaned a bit but then after explaining why he had been put in the corner he gave his sorry cuddles and held Daddy’s hand the rest of the way – Thank you Super Nanny.
I am not sorry we did this. I am not embarrassed of this but other people around us were obviously uncomfortable with this. Why on this lovely sunny day had we put our poor toddler facing a bush and left him to cry it out?! Because he needs to learn right from wrong, safety and that he must listen to his parents.
I noticed a few people looking at us, giving us a bit of a stare, a bit of a disapproving look while their oh so perfect child trotted alongside them hand in hand (I bet when said child saw the duck pond they wanted to jump right in too or is that really just my child who wants to join the ducks for a bread based feast?!) My boy is a well behaved little lad most of the time but he is also a toddler and desperately trying to find out where the boundaries are. Well my boundaries stop at swimming with ducks. The corner has always worked for us. It gives him time to calm down and realise that he was making a mountain out of a mole hill, like the day he cried because his sandwich had been cut into four and he would not eat it unless it was stuck back together.
I wrote a post a few months ago about how it made me feel when people stared at me when my toddler had a tantrum. I had so many supportive comments and tweets that it helped me to not care any more. I am glad I don’t care and I am glad that I now have the confidence as a parent to find a corner (or the nearest bush) if Little Man needs it. Sod what people think, it really doesn’t matter. What matters is teaching our kids what is right and wrong.
Do you use the naughty corner?