Saturday, October 6, 2012
What About Punishments & Consequences
I do believe in punishments and consequences. I've seen what the lack of them in a child's life produces. The reality of life is that for every action there is a reaction. What can be sheltered in the home cannot be sheltered out in the real world, especially in adulthood. So, the, "Great job, Buddy!" thing for doing as expected, like picking up toys, isn't heard in this house. If toys aren't picked up here, they become mine, if they are, then it's easy to give nicer toys at birthdays and holidays. For how long a toy is mine depends on how many times I've had to say, "Pick up your toys." Yes, I have thrown things away, too. The result, when I say, "It's time to pick up," things are all picked up - every single time, usually the first time, though I'm still teaching my new daughters that I mean it.
If one eats the entire box of cereal bars in secrecy and with bragging, an entire day's worth of calories, dinner is a glass of milk, enjoyed at the table with the family, during dinner time, as usual. Then, I make sure that there is no delay in breakfast the next morning.
If one rips my contact lense in half, as a practical joke, one works off the cost by raking the leaves and sweeping the driveway, alone, for two weeks. Usually, this task is shared by all of us or at least all three girls.
If one has a temper tantrum and rips the blankets off the bed, and the pillow, that's okay. I can take them into the other room since it's clear they aren't wanted for the night. If it's cold, I make sure to turn the heater up enough to compensate, but they don't know that.
If one pushes Jie Jie after she accidently stumbles into her, even if it's through lack of paying attention on Jie Jie's part, one goes straight to bed with only a potty stop, teeth go unbrushed (which means I'm very serious), a talking to is given so thought may occur, hopefully, by morning, though pajamas are allowed.
If one has multiple offenses in a day, it's off to bed in one's clothes, with only a potty stop, because comfy pj's are a privilege. And then I don't have to get angry and impatient because the child is stowed away in bed, bringing peace to the evening, even if it's 7:30pm.
If one tells another not to tell mom, and it's a safety issue especially, one must stay within my site all day for a set number of days and must earn back trust through examples of good behavior.
Please don't assume you know which child of my three did what, because you'd probably be very surprised! My bottom line is that I feel an obligation as the mother of my girls to teach them how to be upstanding citizens, choosing right from wrong, and self-sufficient by adulthood, and how to take full responsibility for their actions at all times and the consquences of those actions.