I never spanked my children (ok, maybe a few times). However, my consequences were such that they begged for a spanking. First I put them on “pre punishment.” Pre punishment means that I am too mad to punish you right now, so until I calm down, you can’t do anything! After pre punishment, I “officially” put them on punishment. Remember, the punishment should not inconvenience the entire family. Don’t take things away; assign jobs that do not require you to monitor their every move. For example, my kindergartener threw wet paper balls on the ceiling in the bathroom at school and got caught (I was her Principal-SMH). When I asked her why, she said “I wanted to see how it felt to be bad.” So, I showed her. We have a book shelf in the garage that holds 300 books. I knocked it over and told her to put them all back. While she worked, I brought her sister an ice cream cone and we watched TV. After she put all the books back, I knocked them over again and told her I wanted them in order from tallest to shortest. Don’t judge me! Afterwards, I asked her how it felt to be bad, and she said “Not so good.”
Never take away TV, I repeat, never, ever take away TV because then you have to watch them like a hawk to make sure that they are not watching TV over everyone’s shoulder. The cell phone is a tricky one. I use the phone to communicate with my children when they are out of the home. So, their punishment is that they cannot use the phone when they are home, but don’t take the phone (that’s mean), take the battery!
So, what I hear you saying, if they “beg for a spanking” then you condone corporal punishment? Also, parents should calm down before administering any punishment? What I don’t understand is why you did not have her put the books in alphabetical order? What are other disciplinary actions? Parents buy a lot of gadgets for their children just so they can take them away as a disciplinary measure or a tool for negotiating. What is your opinion on administering inconsistent discipline? What about family situations where there is a step parent involved in the disciplinary process? What about boyfriends/girlfriends who think they can/want to discipline your children? What about internal conflict involving the disciplinary process? What do you do about resistance? Was the ice cream a reward to show what happens when you exhibit good behavior? Did your other daughter earn or deserve the ice cream? Would she have gotten the ice cream if you weren’t trying to provide supplemental punishment to your younger daughter?
I may have to respond to your post in segments. Let me start by saying that I did not have her place the books in alphabetical order because she was 6 years old and I wanted her to complete the task before she turned 12!!!!!!
When disciplining a child, it is important that business goes on as usual for the rest of the family. Some children use “negative” behaviors as a means to get attention. We don’t want to reward negative attention seeking behaviors. Having ice cream and watching TV was a “business as usual” behavior.
Discipline should be situational and fair. Many people would say that discipline should be consistent and fair. But, I don”t agree. If you are in a school setting, then discipline should be consistent and fair. When dealing with your own children, you need to consider other factors. I don’t believe in a “Zero Tolerance” in which you get an automatic spanking.
I need to work on the calm down before punishing them. I need work in that area. I instantly go into the punishment because I get so frustrated being a single parent and only I can come up with the answer or only I have to clean up the mess they created. Funny story, I did the wet papertowel on the ceiling in the bathroom at school. I am sorry I know you were the principle but I think I would have just gave a speech on that and sent them to bed early. Having experience doing that as a kid….I knew it was “Fun” for them. I would have laughed later…only because they would have taken up after their mother on that one. I haven’t gotten around to the “I wanted to see what it’s like to be bad” behavior…they are only 5 but I am sure I have something in store for me.
Thanks for sharing! You threw paper towels on the ceiling – SMH. It’s good to hear how others would address issues. As you know, as parents, everything is trial and error. I hope that by sharing, we can develop a bank of OPTIONS. Maybe next time (there will be no next time) I will try to laugh it off.
Please continue to provide alternatives to my tips.