Posted by Ethne~
So Shaun and I are always looking for ways to correct the girls’ bad behavior. They are not terrible kids, but they do things that are not acceptable and there are consequences for that.
Unless behavior is particularly egregious, tho, we really don’t like to spank them (swat is more like it – we don’t do it to hurt them). I feel super guilty after I swat them. I know Shaun hates to do it too. We were spanked as kids when necessary, and we both believe that spanking is okay as long as it is not excessive or over-used. We asked the girls’ pediatrician about this and she was supportive, especially knowing that we prefer other options whenever possible.
We threaten spanking more than we ever do it. Our spanking board (a mini cutting board Thrifty Nana used for the same purpose for Whit and me) is called Big Ernie (no idea how TN came up with that name). That is often enough to correct the behavior – the girls know that it is not an empty threat, and this gives them a chance to behave before actually getting the spanking. I internally chuckle as I pull Big Ernie out from the cupboard next to the dinner plates – the same location where TN and Dad stored it when we were kids – and that it’s actually the same Big Ernie from childhood.
NOTE: You may or may not agree with Shaun and me, and if you don’t spank your children, that’s a parenting decision you’re free to make.
So anyway, back to the other options. Shaun and I use a lot of 'time out' – we have a time out stool which sits in a place where the girls can’t see the TV (not punishment if they can still see a movie we might be watching), yet we can see the stool to make sure they stay on it. We’ll continue to use time out as it still seems to be effective.
We use positive reinforcement and re-direction, but sometimes that’s hard or it isn’t enough to correct the behavior. If the kiddos are acting up, re-direction is a good idea. If they’ve hit or kicked someone tho, there needs to be a consequence.
My invention: the ransom box. I saw something like it mentioned on Pinterest, and thought I’d take it for a test drive. I have a medium-sized, clear-sided plastic storage big with lock-tite handles. I taped a label on the top that says ‘Ransom Box’.
The key is that if the girls do something that needs calls for discipline, they will have to put an item into the ransom box (obviously it has to be something they want back) and have to do a chore in order to get the item back.
Shaun and I had some difficulty coming up with age-appropriate chores. Obviously clean the toilet or shovel the driveway aren’t going to work yet (though man, I can’t wait till cleaning the toilet is a regular chore I can delegate). Here are a few things we came up with: ‘Make your bed’, ‘Sweep the crumbs up from under the dinner table’, ‘Wipe off the table with a washcloth’ and ‘Empty the bathroom trash can’ are some tasks they can do.
So far, so good. KD was pretty ticked when she had to give up her teddy, but she got him back pretty quickly by emptying the bathroom garbage. Easy Mac threw a serious tantrum over losing her teddy to the ransom box, so she didn’t end up doing her chore till the next day since she fell asleep in the course of the tantrum.
If this works, I am going to be really stoked. I hate cleaning, so having them do some of it is genius.