Imposter in the Parenting Trenches

Let me start by saying that I am not a parent. I have never been a parent, and I might not ever be a parent. I’d love to have kids someday, but if I never do, then I never do. I’m at peace with my feelings on parenting and I don’t try to pretend I know more than parents as a group do about children. But I do have to say that it’s really weird to be lumped into a parenting group because of my profession.

I have a unique perspective that most childless people don’t have. I deal with children every day, full-time, but I don’t have any of my own. I know a lot about how to soothe a baby, how to feed a child, what kinds of age-appropriate activities are good for toddlers, how to get a ten-year-old to tell you what’s wrong. I’ve fallen into the “parenting rabbit hole” – and it’s strange, because I’m still nothing like the other men and women I talk to about unique problems related to parenting.

My other childless friends probably think I’m boring. I talk volubly about Glo-Worm and her latest developments, about Professor and Piglet and how well they learn, about Diva and Footballer and the oddities of twins. I complain sometimes about annoying things the kids do, or about a problem I’m having trouble solving. I talk about how much I love and miss the kids I work with. I laud the awesome properties of Early Years Centres and talk about the people I meet there. In short, I speak Mommy. But I’m not a Mommy, so it’s weird for people to listen to me, knowing that I can “turn it off” when I go home from work.

I’m not stupid enough to think that all of this nannying experience is going to prepare me for parenting. I’m not stupid enough to think that all kids are the same, or that the methods I use now are going to work with kids of my own. I also am not stupid enough to blindly try to give advice to people without knowing their situation or children – though I used to be. In my younger days, I probably gave a lot of stupid advice. Chalk one up to experience!

I think everyone has a moment of “Wow, I am really in my work bubble and no one else understands me”. But for me, it’s my work bubble that people totally get – they just don’t get why I, personally, understand some of what they go through. A lot of people have a weird view on nannies – we’re supposed to be aloof, professional, childcare experts but never overly familiar. But I think those people forget just how much you can fall in love with a child, how much you can care about them and their well-being.

I’m not a parent, yet. I don’t understand everything about parenting, by far. But I kind of like being in the parent rabbit hole – because I feel less alone in my job. I’ve made a lot of great parent friends through my work, and I like that eventually, once they get to know me, they accept me as someone else working in the trenches alongside them. I’m just not the same as they are.

I wrote a poem at the age of 16, sitting outside the cafeteria windows at my high school. It was a rough sketch of my elementary school experience, where I was disgustingly and mercilessly bullied. I had never been able to put the feelings I had about the experience into words, but I was able to now – and re-reading it after I had written it made the tears come to my eyes.

I put it away for years, but I brought it back out when I was putting together the poetry for my book. At the last, I decided to include it, because it still spoke of the rawness and horror that I felt while writing it that beautiful summer day just before I went into grade 10. I didn’t want to forget my experience, and the experience of so many other kids who go through bullying.

I watched a video yesterday of a news anchor who had been sent a fatphobic email. Her name is Jennifer Livingston, and she addressed this disgusting email with grace and aplomb. She said everything I wish I could have said to my bullies way back in those elementary school days – and she spoke out for people who are still going through that stuff. Kids who are dying because of it. Kids who feel like they have no hope.

It’s funny, because I’ve had several conversations, similar to Jennifer’s broadcast, with ignorant people. No, it’s not any of your business what my weight is. No, you don’t have to tell me I’m fat, I already know it. Most fat people do – we’re not stupid, and being fat is rarely the result of just eating “bad food” or not exercising enough. I also know that I have an upturned nose, or that there are other physical characteristics about me that may not be pretty or conventionally beautiful. It doesn’t mean I get your scorn. It doesn’t mean you get to make fun of me, or make me into a big joke or someone to torment. That says a lot more about you than it does about me.

When I nanny, I really try my best to show kids their best characteristics, and celebrate them for all of who they are. I don’t believe that anyone deserves torment of any kind. Now, with the advent of the Internet, there are people who seem to get their jollies on running people down. That’s . . . sad. I can think of so many other things to do to improve myself than running someone else down.

So, thank you, Jennifer Livingston, for being inspirational and a real figurehead for children and adults everywhere. As a woman, I thank you for standing up for women of all sizes on national TV. As a fellow caregiver, I salute you for setting the example for the children we both take care of.

You rock. And you’re gorgeous. I loved your video. Click on the photo below to view what Jennifer has to say.

Enabling the Babysitter Addiction

I was reading Salon and found an article called . Interested, I clicked on it – and read a really honest and inspiring story from a woman who uses babysitters as part of her “global village” – you know, the one that’s supposed to help raise your child. She’s a single mother with a passel of kids, and she went from micro-managing her babysitters to allowing them to help her. In turn, she relaxed and was able to get more of her own identity back, and not just be “Mom” all the time.

I really enjoyed this because I provide similar services to people I work for. I’ve been the sitter that’s been over while they read or study upstairs for their Masters assignments, or want to get some writing time in. I’ve taken kids out to the park while they cleaned the house or tried to get some office work done. I’ve done the babysitting while they’re still at home, and I honestly don’t mind it.

When parents who do want a break from their kids stay hands-off, it works out extremely well for all involved. When they don’t, they create an uncomfortable situation that makes it hard for me to do my job, and keeps their kids constantly trying to get to them, knowing their parents are there in the house. I tried to look after some children while their mother was home, but their mother kept coming downstairs every five minutes because she “heard the baby cry”. If you don’t let me handle things myself, you’re not going to get the time you need to do what you need to do – and I’m not going to want to come back and be micromanaged by you again.

I am proud to provide a great service to families that I’m with. I am the regular babysitter for a number of families, Diva and Footballer to name one, and it’s great that the kids know me and love me. I love being greeted at the door by happy faces and knowing that it’ll be a good time, even if it’s just an hour before bedtime, because we enjoy each other so much. I don’t consider wanting a babysitter to look after things while you get some me-time in selfish or worthy of judgement. We all need a break. That’s what nannies and babysitters are for.

Do you employ babysitters? What do you think about this article?

When I was five, I told my kindergarten teacher that I could read stories, and I did it.

When I was 8, I told my third-grade teacher that I could write stories, and I did it.

When I was 12, I told my friend at the time that I could write poetry, and I did it.

When I was 23, I told my best friend that I would be a published author someday . . . and I did it.

I published my first book today. I’m a published author. I did it through Amazon’s Kindle publisher, which may not make exactly as real as having a publishing house pick it up, but it’s real to me. My book is called , and right now it’s on Kindle only. Soon, though, I plan to make it into a print book. Soon, I’ll be able to hold it in my hands physically instead of just on my iPhone or Kindle screen.

My friend Anne at the says that writing is like gestating a baby for nine months and doing all the work to bring your child, your creation, into the world, only to discover that you’ve birthed a kitten instead of a baby. And writing is like that. I didn’t think that my first book would be an anthology of poetry and essays. I thought I’d be the novel that I was working on for years during university. I thought it’d be picked up by a publisher and given to the world that way.

Break for Beauty‘s title is taken from my third-grade teacher’s favourite exercise. We would sit, quietly, while she played music or showed us a picture of something beautiful. Then she would command us to write. Spelling and grammar meant nothing. The only thing that mattered was to break from the world and focus on beauty. To paint what we saw with words.

My first profession was writing. Before I became a nanny, before I worked in an office, before I went into marketing – my first profession was writing. I didn’t become a writer through this exercise – I have always been a writer. It’s in my blood. I’m a storyteller – I’m a poet – I know when to break for beauty.

So here’s my basket of kittens. They’re not what I expected to present to the world right now. They’re not what I expected to express when I was writing. But they’re mine, my kittens that I nurtured and raised and coaxed from their hiding places. They’re grey and brown and striped and orange. And I’m sending them out into the world.

I’ve published my first book. I can’t believe it.

(Cover by )

The tantrum, like “the break-up” or “the first time you take an alcoholic drink”, is an epoch in a child’s life. Wow! Now they can tell you exactly how they feel, complete with dramatic performance of anger, sadness and defeat. While the tantrum is a developmental step that shows that your child is emotionally maturing, it’s hard on parents – and nannies. Glo-Worm has lately discovered the intricacies of the perfect tantrum, and all of our ears are ringing.

She is sick this week, so the tantrums are in full-force. “No” is anathema. Distracting her from anything, dangerous or simply annoying, causes a five-minute meltdown that includes flailing, hitting out, screaming, dramatic upthrowing of the hands and kicking. She could win an Oscar for the acting skills she displays at only 15 months old. I have to say I’m impressed – when I’m not trying to regain my hearing from her siren-like screams.

So, how does a nanny deal with tantrums? They’re extremely annoying, it’s true. I can’t really admit that they aren’t, despite the fact that I realize that it’s got to be frustrating to be Glo-Worm’s age with very little language and desires to be independent. While I mentioned in my discipline post that time-outs don’t really work for this age, what I meant was that a traditional time-out doesn’t really work. I still give Glo-Worm – and myself – a time-out, because sometimes it’s what we both need to stop feeling so rattled and relax.

So, when you find yourself with a tantruming child, here are some steps I use to calm the stormy waters:

1. Give them a few minutes alone: This can mean anything from walking away into another room (provided the child is in a safe place and can’t flail their way into an accident) or placing the child gently in a spot like a playpen or crib so that he or she can have their tantrum in peace without hurting themselves. This also gives the child a chance to calm down – and you to relax and consider next steps without screaming in your ear.

2. Determine the cause of the tantrum: Is it really about the toy that you just took away, or is the child sick, hungry, tired, or wet? Sometimes fixing the basic needs like determining that it’s lunchtime, naptime, diaper-change time or discovering a fever or a sore tummy can really go a long way into understanding the meltdown. Most of those problems have easy solutions, too.

3. Acknowledge the child’s feelings, but don’t give into the demands: I always tell Glo-Worm that I understand why she’s angry, upset, sad, frustrated. She needs words to put to these feelings, even if she can’t understand them now. Later, though, when she does start talking, she can name the feelings that she has. But I’m still not going to let her play with her father’s CD collection or grab my phone out of my hand. So I say, “I understand that you are angry that you cannot have my phone. But this is not yours, and I am going to put it away now.” A calming voice can sometimes reset a tantrum, and sometimes, she will just relax in my arms and stop crying when I do this.

4. Redirect, redirect, redirect: So Glo-Worm can’t have my phone. She can have this toy she hasn’t seen all day, or this other, safer household item like a wooden spoon or a plastic ice tray. These things feel “forbidden” to her, so she will often give up on what she can’t have and focus on what she can have.

5. Never punish or get angry in response to a tantrum: It doesn’t help, and it only teaches your child that their feelings don’t matter or are punishable. When they get older, you can teach them that tantrums are not appropriate ways of dealing with angry feelings, but the main thing is to still acknowledge that it’s okay to be angry, sad and frustrated. Adults feel these emotions all the time, and it’s okay to feel them. It isn’t okay to take out feelings on others, and that is what you can teach your child. At Glo-Worm’s age, though, children have no other way of expressing their feelings. A tantrum is a legitimate form of expression, not a way to make you angry or upset. Children that age never cry to make you angry. If you need a few minutes, place the child in a safe spot and take a few minutes. It’s okay to acknowledge and express your feelings in an appropriate way, too.

Tantrums are annoying – but they’re also important to a child’s development. I’m glad that Glo-Worm feels comfortable enough with me to throw fits over what she’s frustrated about. She’s trying to communicate. I do my best to meet her communication with an appropriate response – which will hopefully cut down on this type of expression later!

Before I launch into today’s post, I just want to mention that I am again featured on BlogHer’s Feminism page, for my entry! Wow! I am so happy, thank you, BlogHer!

Today, my friend Anne at the gave me an article she wanted me to write about. It’s by a mother who has written a letter to other parents at the park, asking them not to help her kids on the park equipment, even if they ask. The author is trying to foster a sense of independence in her children. Anne asked me to comment on this as a nanny.

First of all, I agree with the mother. She that she wants her children to tire of their own limitations, reach out and really work for what they want, not just at the park, but in life. And I agree. As a nanny, I used to be very overprotective of kids. I hate when kids fall, bump their heads, or otherwise get hurt. I hate seeing frustration when they can’t do something they want to do, or they feel like they’re never going to catch up, or be able to do what they want.

I’ve heard a lot of “Help me draw this, L!” and “Help me up here, L!” and honestly, it takes a lot for me to sit back and let them figure it out themselves. Glo-Worm is starting to be more and more independent as she becomes a toddler and leaves babyhood. Sometimes I’m overprotective of her, especially on the stairs. But if she falls, I’m right there to catch her, and she knows it, so she wants no part of me helping her. I’m okay with that. She does need to learn to do things herself – she won’t be a fearless, strong woman unless she learns who that is within her own mind. She needs to know where her limitations are, and then push them, to struggle to be better, to do more. And I think no one embodies that attitude more than Glo-Worm does lately. She is afraid to walk, but she keeps trying to stand up, she keeps holding onto my hands, and she keeps pushing her push toy. It’s inspiring to me, because I’m afraid of a lot of things.

As a writer, I’m afraid of bad criticism or comments. I’m afraid no one will notice or read me. I’m afraid in life, as someone who has been burned before, laid off, and left behind. But I take inspiration from Glo-Worm and from others – because they are afraid, but they keep trying. And that’s what this mom is trying to tell everyone else. Don’t help my kids, because they need to learn to help themselves. Instead, be a support. Stand behind them. If they turn, they should see you there, ready to provide help if needed. But they need to learn that the help is there if they NEED it – not because they EXPECT it.

It’s a great lesson, and a great blog to read on a day like today when Glo-Worm is full of a cold, tired, clingy, and definitely not in the mood to push the envelope. I hope she realizes that as long as I’m with her, I will stand behind her – because I do want to support her development and fearless spirit.

When I was little, I had a lot of different babysitters that looked after us, because my parents went to work. We went to their homes, or they came to us. There were a lot of negative experiences for me, but there are a few sitters who have really stood out to me, and they were the ones that made me want to be a babysitter and a nanny when I got old enough. They were women that were caring, creative, and understanding. They’d sit with me on the grass and look at clouds. I could tell them anything. They were like a best friend and a caregiver all rolled into one.

Nicole was a young girl, probably around 13, who looked after my sister and me when we lived in British Columbia. She used to play My Little Ponies and Barbies with us, elaborate games that would go on for days. We looked forward to her coming because we knew we’d act out the next installment in our toy soap opera. Helen was a lady in Brockville that we went to when my mother went to work. She made the best crafts – I learned how to make friendship bracelets with her, and she would have brand-new craft kits she would open just for us. Julie would take us to the park all the time and chase us around and play games of house with us. And Crystal would let us watch movies that we normally weren’t allowed to watch when my parents went out at night.

As a nanny, I try to emulate all of these women who were engaged, creative and careful to always look at it from a child’s point of view. They made every day special, and we looked forward to them coming over. They would read us stories, cuddle us if we were upset or scared, and you could tell they really loved their work. I am honoured to be among those ladies, and I wonder where they are now – I would love to tell them in person how I feel.

I know several ladies now who join the ranks of the really great babysitters we all remember. J is a homeschooling mama who also runs an alternative preschool for kids in her area. She’s amazing – creative, always thinking ahead, and taking her kids out to amazing places. Her photography is outstanding and her ideas out of this world. A is an international nanny with a thousand stories – some of which I hope she will share on this blog! And O works with an agency and has stories galore, good and bad, to tell about the families she meets and the kids she’s with.

Happy Nanny Appreciation Week to all nannies and caregivers – without you to pave the way, nannies like me would not strive to be as good as we hope to be! I’m proud that I’m in the profession with you awesome ladies! And check out this on how to appreciate the caregivers in your life – this is a blog I’ve recently discovered and it’s great!

I’ve been hearing a lot about the advent of “the woman-child” lately. Urban Dictionary, that wondrous source online, defines it as a woman who is above the age of 25, lives at home, and “whines a lot”. One of the writers at Jezebel decided to explore this phenomenon more thoroughly, and full of mockery and derision towards these women who “clearly” have no sense of responsibility or know what it’s like to truly be a real adult.

The inner feminist in me is enraged. Outwardly, I’m eyerolling. Because honestly, what’s so bad about being a “woman-child” anyway?

By the standards of society, states the article, I, myself, am a woman-child. Why? Because I’m single, childless, and give into the many pleasures in my life. I like to go out to coffee shops and write. I like to hang around with friends, read books, and watch TV. I collect My Little Ponies (okay, that one is definitely a childish thing to do – but who is it hurting, really?). I like artists like Katy Perry and Carly Rae Jepsen. I’ve been known to dance around my house wearing only a towel, singing at the top of my lungs to these songs. I own cats. I like to sleep in late on Saturdays and Sundays. I am a woman-child.

I accept it – but I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I work a full-time job and take care of children. I am responsible, pay my bills on time, and give to charities when I can. So my fridge may not always be full and I eat take-out a lot – so do many so-called adults with children. I like the pleasures in life. So do many adults with children. I resent being infantilized because I’m childless and single. And I resent being mocked because of it, too.

Also, why is it one or the other? I worry about global warming, the latest US or Canadian election, nuclear war. I read the Financial Post and I look at economic trends. I can hold my own in any conversation about any “grown-up” topic, because I watch the news like any other adult. People who enjoy traditionally childish things can still also enjoy a lot of adult pleasures. I enjoy many kinds of wine. I enjoy nice restaurants. I definitely love shopping and I love a rousing debate (just ask my friends!).

So, Jezebel writers, don’t you think that this is just another way to run women down, to make us feel inferior, to make us feel less-than? For a site that touts feminism, I was amazed to see this article. I don’t see a thing wrong with what anyone does with their lives, childish or not. I don’t see a thing wrong with my My Little Pony collection, my collection of children’s books and movies that I keep for nostalgia’s sake and because yes, I still enjoy them, or the fact that I like to sleep in late on Sundays. Maybe it’s because you, personally, miss those times in your life now that you have kids? But that’s okay – why can’t you rediscover them with your children? Why do you need to call other women “children” in order to feel better about yourself?

I’m so tired of the judgement. I’m tired of women running each other down. Who cares what people’s hobbies are or what they enjoy? If you don’t like it, I direct you to mind your own business, or check out a . We women-children can look after ourselves, thanks.

I was looking after the twins last night and hanging out with SaraBeth and her husband as I was leaving, as usual, when they mentioned that some of their sitters had a favourite twin. I was gobsmacked.

“How can anyone actually pick a favourite twin?” I wanted to know.

“Well, we don’t mind if they have favourites,” replied the twins’ father. “People do, you know.”

“I don’t!” I insisted, and they both smiled a little wryly at me. Of course I must have a favourite twin. Their twins have favourite sitters – Footballer adores me, while Diva could take me or leave me, most days. She adores another girl who has a lovely voice and sings to her all the time, apparently. I have noticed that while I don’t have a trained voice, Diva has warmed up to me now that I’m singing songs to the twins more and more!

But I digress. Anyway, I don’t have favourites, most of the time. I just don’t like playing favourites among the kids I babysit for. Each and every one of them has characteristics that I love and enjoy about them. Each of them has annoying faults, too, but that’s just human beings. We all have awesome and annoying faults and characteristics.

While I don’t play favourites in the traditional sense of favouring one child obviously over another, I’ll admit that there are children I enjoy babysitting for more than others. It’s not about liking them more, it’s about getting along with them better. I looked after a very lovely little baby who was sweet, energetic and intelligent – and screamed at me constantly. Her separation anxiety was awful. She never stopped crying. And I came to dread going over there, not because I didn’t like her as a person, but because the crying was guaranteed to leave me half-deaf and stressed out. I really looked for a way to drop the family, because it was too stressful for me and I didn’t enjoy going to work at all. But did it have to do with the fact that I didn’t like the baby? No. I did like her. I just hated the crying that made it so hard to deal with her.

I measure my life by positive and negative experiences. A balance of them means that I am able to take the negative experiences in stride. For example, Gamer and Puddleduck are kids I love a LOT. But when Gamer, who has ADHD, is having a bad day, it makes it very hard for me to get along with him. Do I like him still? Of course I do – he isn’t his ADHD. But his ADHD sometimes makes it really hard to like him in the moment. And maybe that’s what people mean by playing favourites – it’s not about obviously favouring one kid over another or hating one kid and liking another (at least, it’s never been that way for me), it’s about who you connect with more.

I will say there was one kid that I fully did not like, and I feel bad, because most of it wasn’t his fault. He had severe behavioural problems that just made it really, really hard to get along with him or even like him. When a child is peeing in corners of rooms to be defiant, setting things on fire or pulling a knife on you, it’s very hard to like him. Nevertheless, I did my best with him and I hope he got the help he needed. I used to see glimmers of a personality that I wanted to nurture and get to know – but he held me off so harshly that I was never able to see who he really was. I still feel bad to say that he was the only child I’ve looked after that I’ve never liked.

I come from a family where I am “the black sheep”. My parents definitely get along with my sister better than they do with me. It’s mostly a personality clash, and the fact that I haven’t really taken the path that they hoped I would take. But do they favour my sister over me? No. I think they just understand her better, get along with her more, and are closer to her. She also is closer to them in geographical proximity, and she also sees them and makes more of an effort to see them. “Favouring” goes both ways. Your “favourite” parent also changes over the course of your life. My dad and I have always been closer in personality, but my mother and I got much closer again when I moved out of my house at the age of 19. Sometimes absence makes the heart grow fonder!

But back to the twins – no, I don’t have a favourite. I will say that Footballer and I normally have more positive experiences, but last night, Diva came crawling up to me with a huge smile and wanted me to pick her up. So, even though traditionally I have felt that I am not HER favourite, she definitely showed that things can change a lot.

What do you think about playing favourites? Do you do it?

One of the things that I come up against most often as a nanny is the idea of discipline. Everyone seems to be afraid that a nanny is going to take it too far and turn simple discipline into abuse. I’m here to tell you that that is really not the case in about 90% of cases – most of us would never lay a hand on a child, and never have. I certainly have never spanked, hit, or otherwise manhandled a child. Why? Because it’s not my place. I’ve been given permission to do so, but it horrified me. Spanking is not something that I would ever do, and I’m not even really sure I agree with it for any kids I will have. I find other discipline methods much better to use than laying an unkind hand on a child.

Instead, I use a variety of discipline methods at my disposal that are tailored to each individual problem that a child may run into or choose to do. No kid is inherently bad, but there are children who are challenging, and I find that my discipline not only has to be firm and kind, it can’t be the same method for every offence, either, since the child simply stops listening or taking me seriously. So here are a few methods I use to help keep control when I nanny!

1. Time outs: Time outs are a wondrous thing. I don’t know who invented them, but I daily want to kiss his or her feet. They are perfect for almost any situation, but work the best when a child is overtired or just overemotional. And the child is not the only one who gets a time out – I give myself one, too! It’s very easy to get frustrated with young children, especially if you yourself are tired and overemotional, too. These don’t work for babies, obviously, but anyone over the age of about 18 months can understand a short time out to gather their thoughts and feelings and deal with it in a less tantrumy way. I do one minute for each year of age, added on to if the child is taking themselves out of time out. I never go over 10 minutes for a young child, though. If time outs don’t work that day, they don’t work. The message is still driven home – this behaviour is not okay, and you will be removed from the situation until you can calm down.

2. Taking away privileges: This is a big one for an older child. Taking away privileges is a surefire way to see behaviour turn from a downward spiral back up! The trick with this method is to figure out what a child’s “currency” is – what they will miss most if you take away, and what will give them the incentive to return to good behaviour. Also, I’m not mean about this – I take away a privilege for a short time only, and give it back for good behaviour. If I’m with a child all day, this means that he or she has something to work towards, which can really be a nice thing to see.

3. Redirection: This is a big one I use for younger children, like babies above the age of 7 months and under-2s. Obviously, these children can’t understand regular discipline methods. You’ve got to remove them from the situation, but they’re not going to sit quietly and think about it, either. Instead, you redirect. Baby’s got an item you don’t want them to have? Redirect with a special toy. Two-year-old is getting into trouble? Redirect with a new activity. It works and cuts down on tears, too.

4. Going home: This is a method I use when we’re out and about and fighting breaks out at the park or someone is being disrespectful. They get warnings – if I see that again, we’re going home. You get one more chance. If they refuse to listen, we go straight home. Normally, I don’t follow this up with another punishment because the punishment is going home – they’ve lost their fun. This is enough to make them turn themselves around. If they continue the bad behaviour, they go into time out or lose a privilege.

5. Tell me why: With any discipline method for kids that can talk, I finish up their time out or privilege-taking with one question. Tell me why I took it away/put you in time out. I want them to understand that I’m not doing this for my own pleasure – there is a reason behind it and they need to understand that this behaviour is not okay. I am a person that deserves respect, just as they are people that deserve respect. We need to mutually give respect to each other and follow the rules. Most children are able to tell me why they were punished, and most of the time, they apologize. I don’t demand apologies for bad behaviour because I don’t like the idea of a “fake sorry”, but if they’ve hurt someone else, they must apologize to that person, no matter what, fake or not. It’s only polite and showing remorse for hurting someone.

What are your favourite discipline methods that don’t involve physical punishment? I’m always looking to add to my arsenal!

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