I have watched the entire first season of Orange is the New Black on Netflix over the past few weeks. Like many (real life) prisons, inmates are put into solitary confinement for violent or unacceptable behavior. It is called The SHU (Special Housing Units -- I googled it so you won't have to).
Lately I feel like I am running a correction center and my 2-year old daughter is what prison officials may call "a problem inmate." Last night I had to put her in The SHU. It was awful.
I have tried everything else I could think of prior to resorting to this method of discipline. When she has been defiant, I have taken away her favorite toy. She then went in her playroom and found another toy. I have then taken away a whole bucket of toys, dolls, stuffed animals, etc. This was upsetting, but there are always more toys somewhere. I have sent her to her room. Also upsetting, but once calmed down, she waltzed downstairs on her own terms and proudly declared, "I am happy now."
So last night when all else failed, after she literally LAUGHED through my other attempts at disciplining her unacceptable behavior, I put her in her room and locked the door. END OF THE WORLD. It was like prison (from what I have seen on TV). She was scared, angry, kicking, screaming, banging on the door, demanding to be let out, begging to be let out, going out of her mind. Only when she calmed down and apologized and promised to improve her behavior and act like a big girl did I open the door. She emerged quiet, subdued, and tired. It broke her.
I cried. I hate The SHU. But because it is the only thing that has worked for this kid, I told her frankly (like a prison guard would tell an inmate) that if this behavior continues, she will go back in her room again with the door closed. Or -- and here is a crazy notion -- she COULD just behave and not be defiant. Please oh please oh please do not make Mommy put you back in the SHU.