My sister-in-law Heather, has a lovely theory about what the greatest thing about having kids is. I have to say, I think I agree. She says the greatest thing about having kids is finding out what matters the absolutely most to them, and then taking it away! Yesterday was a hard day for the children in our house. When it came time for Kayla to go to pre-school, she started to flip out because she didn’t want to leave her friend Grace’s house. She ended up hitting me, which in turn got her a nice hard spank as a consequence. She then was refusing to go, so I got to threaten to take away candy AND TV. Needless to say, she left without a further word. Last night it was Garion’s turn. He came home from school and had his afternoon snack. Which, on a side note, takes him FOREVER to eat. I think he uses it as a stalling method so he doesn’t have to start his homework. After his snack, he got started right away on his homework. He did his journal writing without a single complaint and he worked hard to keep it legible and put spaces between the words. It was great. He even wrote a whole page when the assignment was only half a page. He then had to move on to his spelling list. All he had to do was write the words 3 times each. Which is a break because I usually make him write them 5 times each. After I “thought” he had started I went upstairs to keep an eye on the girls who were in the bath and to clean the bathrooms and do some laundry. I came down an hour later and not only had he only written one of his words, he had his friend over who was sitting at the table joking and laughing with him. Over the next 45 minutes I gave him 3 different warnings to get his work done or his friend would have to leave. After the 3rd warning, I told Tyler he had to leave so Garion could do his homework. At this point, Garion completely broke down in tears and said he hadn’t had any time to play at all that day. I told him that wasn’t my fault because if he had done his words right away like I asked him to, he would have been done and playing a LONG time ago. He didn’t like that. He walked over to his shoes, kicked them at me (at which point I told him to go to his room) , and then ran up stairs saying he wasn’t going to give me kisses anymore, ever again when he leaves in the mornings for school. Once he was in his room, he ripped all his covers off his bed and then sat there for another hour crying. Once things calmed down and he talked with Jason and apologized to me, we tried his homework again. For 40 minutes after dinner he sat there. At the end, he had written 3 more words and half of them were spelled wrong. So the end of the story is, he is grounded from friends today and has double spelling and reading to do, since it didn’t happen yesterday. The best part of it all is that he woke up happy and ready for his consequence and didn’t complain at all when I reminded him of it. He wants his friends back as soon as possible!
Leverage is a beautiful thing as a parent.