Annoying deserved consequences.
You know, giving consequences for dippy actions is something I can completely support!
For 3 out of 4 of MamaBear's kids, it works beyond perfectly. Said kid acts more idjutotic than a drunk moth testing out the heat of a nuclear flame, said kids receive appropriate consequences, and life just goes on.
Then there's HS2, my youngest.
He's my extremely sensitive, "does his best but his focus flies into Mt. Vesuvius when his brain gets engaged" boy.
In other words, he has zero malicious/stupid intentions but wow, his carelessness manages to hose him more than fireworks hose the worlds largest toothpick city, ie:
Yesterday, I took my kids to visit a friend for a playdate. And upon spying the TV remote control…
HS2 figured it would be a magnificently glorious adventure if he dismantled it and bravely took out the batteries and secretly put them back in.
Which would have been barely tolerable if…he remembered then to reattach the back cover.
Luckily, a black hole did *not* engulf said cover, so the issue was fixable. But on the way home, I told HS2,
"Each one of your siblings has my permission to dismantle something of yours. You simply have to learn to keep your hands *off* of stuff you don't own! Let's see how much you like it then."
Well! HS2 figured that wasn't enough.
A few hours later as I was happily relaxing and reading, HS2 came to me with tears in his eye, held something out to me, and said, "I didn't deserve this so I broke it".
- It was his cherished North Carolina glass pendant that I had just bought for him a few days ago.
In two, I might add.
And then he said,
- "I thought about it, Mom, and decided I *had* to break it because I broke the remote. It's fair, see?"
What an incredible boy.
Of course, I took him in my arms and told him, "No you didn't have to do that, Mom makes the consequences, not you, I would never have you break something you loved so much! That is overkill and now doesn't fit the crime."
10 minutes later, all was sunny etc. But it sure did give me pause as to the values of right and wrong I'm instilling in my kids…and possibly how with HS2, it has to be guided *bigtime*.
Which brings me to the point of this post.
I am a massively *huge* believer in the punishment fitting the crime.
- You hit your brother to be a jerk, your brother gets to hit you back.
- You forget your kitchen chores, you do your siblings' chores as well the next day.
- You leave dishes in your office, you lose the ability to *use* your office for several days.
But when kids take the whole notion into their hands and go overboard, it has to be addressed immediately.
What I did with HS2 was present several negative scenarios like the above, and then asked him, what would be a good consequence? ie,
"If you whined to go to a trip after I said to cut it out, should I:"
- Refuse to take you on that day?
- Refuse to take you during that week?
- Blow up the store?
Luckily, HS2 did *not* choose option 3. He *did* choose option 2.
"If you back-talked to your parents, should I:"
- Give you to another set of parents who wouldn't care?
- Take away every privilege imaginable until the next solar eclipse?
- Have you write down what made you do that, how you could have acted differently, and how you'll act in the future?
Given that option 3 is how I deal with such matters, that's what he chose.
And so on, and so on.
Now I know why they call "parenting"… "a loving adventure in dismantling your sanity, precious day by day". 🙂
Thus, if you have a drama queen or drama king who believes that if one act of self-sacrifice is worthy, a whole Shakespearean play of it must be even better…..do yourself the following favor.
*Spell out to your kids* what constitutes the punishment fitting the crime.
It will save your future parenting a heck of lot of grief….trust me on that.