The Shame Game

The Shame Game

Bella opens the drawer of the file cabinet and I call out her name. She looks up, hastily shuts the drawer, and then puts her hands over her face.

Bella watches me eating stuffed grape leaves and decides they look tastier than the bagel she’s currently eating. She motions toward them and I offer her a bite, not realizing she’s still chewing. She spits her bagel into my hand and I am not pleased. I tell her she isn’t to spit out food and oblige her to finish her bagel before giving her a bite of my food. Again she covers her face with her hands while I’m expressing my displeasure.

She’s starting to do that whenever I reprimand her. It’s kind of cute; but a little worrying too. Is it shame at being caught or not wanting to look at me when I’m scolding her? Am I being too stern? Expecting too much? Is she too young to understand why I’m upset with her behavior? Or is this response a sign that she does understand, a signal that she’s capable of learning and following some rules?


Join the discussion

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • And it isn’t just listening, there is watching too :(. I’m constantly having to say to my big girls not to do this or that as Cherub will copy them. I’m also aware that the reason my children say “in a minute …” and then do nothing is that I sit at the computer (or wherever) for far too long after saying I’ll do something in a minute :(. I’ve realised that if I want to teach Cherub to respond promptly, then I’m going to have to do the same. Ugh!

  • Oh yeah, I could right a whole blog post on responding promptly, and my tendency to not do so. So far it’s not an issue with Bella; but, as you say, it will be eventually. I need to work on only putting her off when it really is necessary (as when she wants me to read a book while I am in the midst of cooking dinner.)