The other night as I was cuddling the kiddo and trying to get her ready to fall asleep, she told me to shut up. I'm not sure where she learned that, since hubby and I don't say that--not to one another, not to the cat, and not to her. "Shut up" is rude, and I don't want her saying it; it is also a deal breaker for me. So, instead of getting angry, I simply got up. I gave the kiddo kisses and told her that I love her, but that I wouldn't snuggle with someone who told me to shut up. She didn't take it well, and kept begging me to come back. After each plea, I replied "I love you, good night", as I walked out of her room. She whimpered for me for about a minute until she fell asleep, which tells me that her behavior most likely stemmed from exhaustion. We discussed it the next day, and I explained to the kiddo that "shut up" isn't acceptable in our house, and why. Then, I reminded her of the consequences and how she didn't like them the previous night. When/if she says it again, she knows I will follow through and get up and leave, no matter how she reacts.
I got to thinking about my list of deal breakers regarding the kiddo's behavior, and there is just one: No ugly behavior (hitting/spitting/insults--"shut up" falls under this category). This is not to say that I don't have deal breakers for other situations--I have a whole list of them regarding places the kiddo is allowed to play, for example. I'm saving that list for another post.
Maybe I don't have a lot of deal breakers because they seem so black or white, all or nothing, and I don't like to think in terms like that. Almost everything has nuances, in which case some exceptions can/should be made. Or is that wimpy parenting? My deal breakers are in place because otherwise, my reactions to those situations would be so extreme (yelling, stomping, etc) that it is better to just shut down, not answer, maybe just, um, shut up.