Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium: Retribution

I made a huge parenting mistake the other night.  I didn't follow through with the punishment that I threatened my son with.  But I think, in the end, my method still worked.

I asked my son to log off his games so that we could go to bed.  He argued that it was still early, and thought it was "stupid" to have to get off the games so early.  I told him that I wanted to go to bed, and that he wouldn't be allowed to stay on the computer when I went to bed.  I again asked him to get off, but he said no.  I said, "You better not get in to another game, because if you do, I swear I will turn that computer off (mid-game)."  About that time, a movie came on tv, and I started to get in to it, so got a little distracted.  I looked up to see that my son had started another game.  I got mad at him and told him that he only had 5 minutes more before the appointed cut off time, and that I was going to turn it off.

My downfall was that I was so engrossed in the movie that I lost the anger I had felt.  And I was tired, so I was a little lazy and didn't want to get up and turn off the computer.  I ended up letting him finish the game, and then he turned it off himself.  But I was still mad, and I knew exactly how I was going to punish him.

The next morning he was not feeling well, so stayed home from school.  Of course he wanted to be able to use the computer.  But I made him wait many hours before I would let him use it, and told him it was because he refused to turn it off the night before.  At one point, ....and it was very quiet, so I'm not positive,....I could swear I heard him say he was sorry!  That was shocking!  I'll bet he was sorry, because most people are sorry when they have to experience the consequences of their actions. 

I have found that the best way to parent children is to give them consequences, and let them suffer the result of their own decisions. This helps to eliminate all yelling and arguing.  You set the punishment, and you explain it well to them, and then let them decide.  But you have to be prepared to suffer a little too if they choose not to obey.  My son may choose to not get up for school one day.  That bothers me greatly, and I suffer disappointment when he does that.  But I let him make that choice, and then follow up with the punishment.  I have found that he usually won't make that same choice as easily the next time. 

Last night when it was getting close to bed time, I said, "Hey, let's go to bed a little early tonight.  Can you wrap things up with your game?"  He quickly obeyed without my having to ask a second time.  See, punishments do work.  :)

Check out what the other consortium members have to say about retribution: 
Rummuser, Anu, Ashkok, Gaelikka, Grannymar , Padmum, Magpie11, andAkanksha,Will Knot, Maria the Silver Fox, Anki, Nema Noor Paul Plain Joe, and Rohit, Black watertown, The Old Fossil, our newest member MAXI! and last, but not least SHACKMAN! :)


Grannymar said...

It is not easy finding the best way to guide the 'teens' without sounding like nagging. At that stage they see the world through their own needs and desires, I suppose we did too at that stage. Given time they often come back to say that you were right in what you suggested.

shackman said...

Raising children is like tugging on Superman's cape and spitting into the wind at times. And your point - actions have consequences - is right on and I agree 100%. So there's retribution with a big R and retribution with a little r - :) Ya gotta pay the piper. Says so in the kid's manual but I think that poage was written invisible ink.

blackwatertown said...

Chalk that one up in the success column.

Rummuser said...

Despite the first oversight, the process of punishment was bang on. I would have done exactly the same thing.

Maxi said...

Good for you D. You got yourself out of a tight situation and your son got the message loud and clear. Good job.
blessings ~ maxi

Maria Perry Mohan said...

Well done Delores. I do that all the time. Tell the kids to close down the TV or computer or whatever, then get lost into some other activity like a book and forget to follow through. As a disciplinarian, I'm not too good.