Parenting Genius Backfires

Our dogs are always chewing on things and jumping up, and I've read all the books on being a good doggy-mom, so I got the spray bottle to 'humanely' discipline them. And it works!!! Gotta love a blast of cold water in the face to make your will known. SOOOOOOO....

Since it works with dogs, couldn't it perhaps work with a strong-willed 1-year old? Better than smacking hands or flicking ears, surely! So we've been having trouble with Isaac screaming, and I mean ear-piercing screams, whenever he wants something like another bite or a drink. It makes for a very noisy dinner, not to mention a splitting headache. So last night, in order to more fully enjoy our Ranch-marinated Tilopia filets with rice, I got the spray bottle out. As soon as he discovered he likes fish, the screeching began. I wiped out the spray bottle, ready to withstand his anger until it worked it's magic and changed his behavior, and gave it a squirt. I would do anything to have captured on video the look on his face. It was truly priceless...a definate $10,000 winner on AFV! What I was not counting on is just how funny that look would be, and the fact that the other two angels at the table might not be able to contain themselves. They tried to hold in the giggles, but it didn't work. And Isaac is most definitely Chad's son, so as soon as he realized he was causing laughter...he squawked again. So I sprayed him, which sent the older kids into fits of hysteria, and Chad lost his self-control as well. Isaac clearly made the connection: I scream, I get sprayed, everyone laughs. So he did it again, and again, and again. In hind-sight, perhaps I should have stopped the spraying if I wanted to salvage it's use as punishment, but I didn't, so there Isaac sat, water dripping off his ears, chin, and nose, belly laughing between screams, as Anya, Ethan, and Chad (oh, alright, and me) tried to not fall off our chairs. It had to be one of the funniest half hours ever (yes, it went on that long--I'm nothing if not persistent!)

It may not have been my most effective parenting break-through, but I'm quite sure we all digested our dinners a little bit better for all the laughter!


  1. Since AFV is one our favorite TV shows, your description of "disciplining" Isaac was hilarious. PD


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