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. :)
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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! :)