Sunday, May 3, 2009

The downside of discipline

Mr W, through a series of unfortunate choices, today lost access to his video games, the computer and the TV. If he had his way, he wouldn't leave the house all weekend, he'd just bounce from screened thing to the next screened thing, so pulling it all is a fairly big deal.

But man-o-man today I wish he had a sibling. I spent more time than I probably should have helping him do his alternative thing. I was/am impressed though, that when he knew he had to find something to do, he thought of something creative. He made short videos with his legos.

Now we have about the lowest tech set up imaginable. A 9 year old digital camera that shoots 90 seconds of video at a time that has a set focus and sound, and is not editable. But he had little scenes that he shot and I put them in order and we burned them to a CD and he watched them. And was quite pleased with himself. I was too.

He didn't know enough about how to work the camera and that part of the computer to do it all by himself, so I didn't get a chance to sit down and do anything fun for me this afternoon (harrumph!).

He's going to hate to hear this, but I like him better when he's not consumed by the desire to play the video games. He's more patient and creative. I remembered something today that I had forgotten or dropped because it seems something like punishment, but I don't care anymore, I'm going to try it. I hereby deem one day a week an Unplugged Evening. Get some freakin' balance already.

I don't think he realizes it himself, but he will do sort of a classic "testing the limits" deal every once in a while just to know where he stands. I don't think the particular spot is as important as that he knows there is a spot, a line that he doesn't cross without consequences.


  1. Setting limits and the following through with consequences is, to me, the hardest part of being a parent. The child who is on the receiving end of the punishment certainly thinks the parents are full of glee while taking away privileges or electronic gadgets, or whatever the case may be. Little do they know that inside we're full of knots and tormented because we don't want to 'hurt' our kids and yet we have to set the limits. Gives me a stomach ache most of the time

  2. I do get stuck on the "I don't want to be mean" deal sometimes. What I TRY to do, with mixed success, is to tell myself, "he doesn't have to be OK with it." I thought for a long time that I had to explain why I was doling out the consequences until he willingly accepted them, but don't really feel that way anymore.


Hi, sorry to make the humans do an extra step.