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Monday, September 17, 2012

The Punisher

Ugh to the millionth power.

I am not a fan of punishing my kids.

This weekend they both managed to something that required a little more than a talking to.

My daughter told a lie.

A lie that was insignificant and not over anything she would have gotten in trouble for, but she told it anyway.

No matter how many times I tell my kids that they will be in more trouble if they lie, I am convinced they will take the risk now and again just in case they can get away with it. I did it, my parents have the gray hairs to prove it.  For some reason, I thought maybe I had cracked the code and my kids would totally get it.  Ah well.

I had read somewhere awhile ago that if you know your child is lying, you shouldn't repeat the question.  For instance, "Did you take the trash out?" If your child says yes and you know it hasn't been done, than asking them over and over only makes them learn to be better liars.

So, my daughter told the lie.  I gave her one more chance to tell me the truth, she didn't.  I showed her the proof I had that she lied and that's when she broke down.

I had her go to her room, because in my initial anger I wanted to hand out drastic , and let's face it, unrealistic punishments.  In the wind up, she and I were supposed to have a nice girl's day together since my husband had worked overnight and was sleeping and my son was out with friends all day, and I cancelled it.  Instead she helped me clean and organize things all day.  She also went to bed early that night.

Now, that boy of mine.  He's been on thin ice re: keeping his room clean lately.  It's mostly irritating my husband and I since we practically killed ourselves   repainting and decorating it for him.  I don't expect it to be perfect, but I refuse to send a man out into the world who thinks that 2 inches from the hamper is just as good as in the hamper.

So, I have felt really bad about all the homework he has had this year.  We even implemented a new system of working hard for a half hour and then taking a break for a few, otherwise he gets completely stressed and frustrated.  I thought we were a team, which is probably why I took what happened this afternoon so personally.

He was in his room doing homework, I knocked, looking for his flag football clothes from the day before.  When I went in he was playing a freaking computer game.  Now I know of all the things I could have walked in on, this isn't the worst, but I was....so.....mad.

It was just so sneaky, so ridiculous.  I called my husband at work, I don't like to call him and complain, but I needed to vent.  It made me feel disrespected, and yeah, my feelings were hurt.

When I was 15 or so, I kept my room a horrible mess, so my dad took my door away.  I was, of course, mortified.  Every adult we knew thought it was genius.  I get it though, it's an"appreciate what you have " lesson. 

When I called my husband, he suggested we follow in my dad's footsteps, I only hesitated to take the door off because I feel like this is the kind of thing you can only do once and I am not yet at my breaking point.

So we've decided that he will have no free time this week.  There are plenty of things to do around the house, and he will be the one doing them.  Yes, I like things done a certain way, but that's not the point of this.  It's to have him appreciate the free time he does have and to learn that he actually has it pretty easy around here. 

I am always looking for ways to make the punishment fit the crime.  I struggle with it.  What do you  think? 

Parenting is hard! 








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