Sunday, February 8, 2009


I wish I could come up with an effective punishment for my children that didn't involve punishing me. Two of the three are currently grounded for lying, which I cannot and will not abide. Why is lying to me so much easier than the truth, especailly when they know how ballistic I get when I find out they've lied? And nothing punishment-wise seems to affect them besides being denied time with friends. However, this also means that I am trapped at home with grouchy, crabby children 24/7. This is not a happy time for any of us. ::sigh:: Someday I'm going to look back and think this was an easy time in their lives, aren't I? Right now it sure doesn't feel that way though.


  1. Instead of taking away priveledges, have them write an essay about what they did, why it was wrong, and what they should do next time. Oh, and the "fun" part for you is that you get to correct it with a big red pen and make them go back and rewrite it in their best penmanship. Neglecting to tell them that their first writing is just a draft is just icing on the cake for you.

    Lest you think I'm evil, this was actually the suggestion our pediatrician had at one of the kids' checkups a few years ago. She said one of her sons had to rewrite one of the essays five times because he refused to use his best handwriting and thought mom would give in. Nope. She kept all the essays in a binder for posterity.

  2. sounds like a good idea to me-- and while they're writing in the other room, pop in a movie they like with the volume just loud enough to drive them crazy...

  3. I'm curious as to what you hope to achieve by punishing the lying. Do you want to make them resent you, or do you want them to learn lying is wrong, or do you want to make them feel bad because they did something 'bad',or do you want them to feel they are able to tell you the truth without consequence? (ie did they lie to try and save their skin from what they thought would be a worse punishment?). What's your long-term goal for your relationship with your kids? To have them feel like they can be honest with you, or to have them always fear potential punishment?

    I'm reading a very thought-provoking book at the moment called 'Unconditional Parenting' by Alfie Kohn.
    I've really cut back on the 'if you do x, I'll do y' sort of parenting, and tried to concentrate on explaining (in small doses not massive lectures) how things make me feel or the impact they have on other people, and yet at the same time making sure my kids feel unconditional acceptance, and trusting them and giving them time and space to do the 'right thing' rather than hanging over them. Challenging. And I sucked at it tonight (complete with screaming match), but in general it is a much less confrontational and more enjoyable way to parent. I work hard to be nice to my kids *all* the time, not just when they are 'good'. :) It also forces me to slow down and take time to discuss things ('working with' rather than 'doing to' the children).
    Parenting is so much fun... :)
    Right now with puberty just about staring us in the face, I'm working hard on making sure my children think of me as approachable and accepting, willing to help problem-solve without judging, or just listen and sympathise, hoping some of that will stay in their heads over the next ten years.
    I just spent much of today discussing such parenting issues with my sister (and getting sunburnt) so it's all fresh in my head!


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