My wife called me at work yesterday to tell me that my three-old daughter beat on some kid at daycare. My first thought: awesome; my second: what now? At home, I pulled my daughter aside and knelt down so that we were eye-to-eye. “What happened?” I asked. She told me how she had head butted some kid over a sippy cup (an important item for a three-year old), how he had hit her back, and then how she had pushed him to finalize the conflict. As a thirty-something guy, I thought this was hysterical, but as a Dad I had to find a creative way to both discipline and teach. This is what my wife and I decided: First, we hugged our daughter and told her that we loved her. Second, that hitting was never an appropriate way to deal with her emotions. We talked about how to express and, if necessary, remove one’s self from the situation. Third, we told her that she couldn’t watch “Goodnight Francis” on Netflix before bed. I have no idea if I handled this situation appropriately, but I tried my best. I love my daughter, but I am finding it harder and harder to not laugh while disciplining her.


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