Erin Spatz: Going ‘old school’

  • Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I have successfully run out of consequences to use on the kids.
So, I am going “old school” (insert evil laugh here)!

Time out in their rooms usually turns into a nap or a break from everyone else for them, so that isn’t working. Grounding them from stuff really just punishes me.
And I’ll admit it, when I do ground the kids from something, I will in fact forget what it is that I have grounded them from and why.
I know that’s terrible, but it’s the truth.
Once the “crime” is over and the punishment handed down, if it takes longer than 20 minutes for the punishment to be completed, it has left my brain.

I have actually said to whichever kid is in trouble “Hey, didn’t I ground you from something, for something?”
Thankfully for now they are honest and will tell me, but that can’t last much longer.
I had to find something that was immediate for them, just as much for me.

So this is what I have begun trying. Restitution. The actual definition of restitution is an “act of restoring , a restoration of something to its rightful owner, a making good of or giving an equivalent for some injury.”

A perfect definition of what a good consequence should be!

You knock over your sister’s doll house? Okay, you must put it all back just the way it was and write an “I’m sorry” letter to the dolls.

Push your brother? Write a note telling him five things you like about him and make his bed for five days.

Talk back to your mother? Perfect, you may now clean the toilets.

These things are immediate and pay back the “debt” you caused the other person. Similar to when we all were kids and we had to write 100 times “I won’t talk back to my mother.”
I am just adding a tiny chore to it.
It’s quick, painless for me, and painful for them.
Which for me is the best punishment!

And since it’s quick, I won’t forget! Maybe...

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