Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Back to the old drawing board

When I just had the three older girls, I thought I had this whole parenting thing figured out. I was confident, relatively sure of my parenting skills, and all of my disciplinary tactics worked...for the most part. The girls were easily redirected by using stern voices, time-outs, threats here and there, a few swats on heavily diapered bottoms, and sometimes a smidge of guilt, but only when needed (or when I couldn't think of anything else to do.)

Then the boys came along.

Really, that says it all.

And my long-standing theories on parenting? They flew out the window faster than I could say "Wha?!"

With my boys I've tried all of the above strategies and many, many others and have yielded pitiful results at best. You know things aren't working when they have to stifle their snickers throughout the punishment phase.

Um, yeah.

So, last week I saw a friend of mine with older boys at the middle school. This woman heard my little boy children (yes, even without seeing them, she knew they belonged to was probably the roaring decibels and the unexplainable thuds emitted from the hallway) and she suggested I try using physical activity such as sprints, sit-ups, and push-ups as a way to get their attention. In other words, I should try to wear them out.


Well, I'm to the point that I'll try anything so here goes:

Well, at least they're looking tired.

Then the girls decided to join.

Peyton liked the new game.

So my punishment ended up turning into the best part of their day.

Drats. Foiled again.


Annikke said...

Don't know that it would work, but with our boys we have started making them keep a journal. When they mess up they must sit in their room for 10 minutes writing in this journal about what they did wrong and what they will do to change the behavior. When they were younger and couldn't write we made them draw a picture of the corrected behavior. Recently with my 7 year old we made him sit in his room writing the things he did wrong, there were 5 of them in our minds but we didn't tell him what they were. We wanted to see what he would come up with. My husband told him that there were 5 things he did wrong and he must sit in his room until he had all 5 written down. It worked! He got all 5 (it took almost an hour though) and he corrected those 5 things also.

Devin said...

Great idea! I'm all over it. Thank you!!

jubilee said...

Another strategy that doesn't work: we have three kids and a small car. When they were naughty touching/poking/hitting etc. we made them put their hands in the air as a punishment. They turned it into making fun of praise and worship. And time to tickle each others arm pits. Yeah . . .

The physical activity thing works for us only when we remember to use it before they get into trouble. Otherwise mommy and daddy get more of a workout then a lesson taught.

Amanda said...

I was hoping you had a great idea that worked. Darn!

I will say that my two are in bed and asleep faster than ever on soccer night!

Anonymous said...

Ok, so the whole sit-up thing turned into fun and games once the girls chimed in. Perhaps the boys need to "train" by themselves? I mean really by themselves. Find the smallest room in the house in which they can still move without touching one. Add to that, no talking or laughing. You will have to set the pace so as not to hurt them physically, but a task that will truly become a not-so-found memory in their minds. Then become the true drill Sgt.! Talk to David, I'm sure he can give advice here. Keep the girls away on pain of (near) death. Use the drill session whenever they show signs of reverting to old habits.

MKHKKH said...

Ok Devin, you are really scarring me with this whole boy thing. Luckily you can be the guinea pig! LOL. You will have to share what works.

Anonymous said...

I felt your exasperation through the post! I'll tell you, Bailey has run plenty of laps/lengths down the block in his lifetime....usually to get his own frustrations out when he gets in trouble or is upset about something!