The Punishment

Published Monday, December 15, 2008 2:23 PM

 Why not have their clothes out the night before and stand over them every moment to be sure they get their teeth brushed and face washed before leaving? Well, at one time I did pick out their clothes the night before. Every night, I would go into their room, choose their clothes and be sure they had everything they need for the next morning. This left them with “0” responsibility in getting themselves ready and they have to be trained at some point, so why not now. I began “reminding” them to get their clothes out each night so that we won’t have to look for clothes the next morning. The answer to this was always “ok” and then nothing would come of it. I began checking behind them at night to be sure that the clothes were out for the next morning and this gave them “incentive” to be sure that it was done. However, over time they seem to conveniently “forget” everything that they don’t want to be bothered with. Hence the responsibility lesson  plays a part once again.

Why not watch them brush their teeth and wash their face before getting into the car? Again, it is a matter of being able to get something done on their own, without having to be told. This seems to be a huge battle between child and parent and if anyone ever figures out HOW to stop the cycle, please write a book for the rest of us to keep in our library!

Well, back to the title of this blog. After being really tired of a messy room that leads to chaotic mornings, we decided to get drastic. No TV, computer games, friends over or playing outside until the room has been clean for a straight two weeks! Yes, it sounds very drastic for a 5 and 9 year old, but that is what it came down to. Did it work? We saw a clean room for 11 straight days and we were so proud of them, we gave them time off their “sentence” and removed the restrictions. This was pending whether the room would stay clean when off punishment, and amazingly it worked! Not perfectly, we did have some bad days, but it worked.

by parker
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