I have my kids 80% convinced that I have some kind of mommy super powers. Often, I tell them things like “you can’t see me, but I can see you!” Or, “I know what you are doing…” Or even more blatantly, “my super powers are telling me that you just took something from your sister… Give it back!” A little omnipotent parental complex does go a long way in avoiding bad behaviour! Lol (evil laugh)
Of course, Spice especially isn’t 100% convinced. But she isn’t surprised when I catch her doing things, either.
We’ve actually had a couple of parenting challenges this past week. Mommy has been unwell, and when the cat is away, the mice do play. Ok, so that was flippant, but really, when I am we’ll my very well behaved children start acting out. Sigh.
Anyway, Sugar and Spice had a protest about the lack of play time in the morning, so we negotiated that if they got dressed, ate breakfast and brushed their teeth, they could have the rest of the time after to play. The next day post-negotiation, Spice was dressed with gleaming teeth when I stumbled I to the kitchen. “Just going upstairs to play!” She announced with a grin.
I checked: “You’ve eaten and got your teeth brushed?”
“Oh yes!” And off she went.
30 minutes later it was time to go off to school and they were putting on their coats. “I’m hungry…” She complained. Ug. So caught in the act. Well, turns out she lied about eating so she could have more play time. She doesn’t lie often (thank goodness, ) but she has a complete poker face, so i totally would not have caught on if her stomach hadn’t ratted her out. I thought she should go to school hungry, as a natural consequence. Daddy thought that she should have a granola bar en route, as being awake for school was more important.
Well, I disagreed. After school the same day, she was finishing off her lunch. All the apples seemed to just disappear off her plate, and I asked about it. “I ate them in the bathroom.” Uh huh. Yeah right. Turns out she stashed them in the bathroom garbage. So mommy fished them out of the garbage (just old paper towel rolls, nothing gross,) and made her finish off the “garbage apples.” Tee hee. Well, no more lying after that. Natural consequences are the most powerful!
The next one daddy handled MUCH better, in my humble partisan opinion. I came home from some errand and Sugar was crying her eyes out. Daddy told me that she had pinched a bottle of nail polish from the drug store, and then threatened her sister when Spice was going to tell us. Spice ignored her, and Sugar was caught. So daddy told Sugar she had to go back to the store, say sorry, and pay for the nail polish.
Sounded like a totally logical consequence, to me. Well done, daddy. Poor Sugar though… She is so hard on herself. She felt so guilty, she started to try to hack at her stuffies with a pair of scissors until we stopped her. We told her that making it right would do just that… make it right. And that she had learned from this, and Mommy and Daddy loved her very much. Slowly, back to calm. I highly doubt we will ever have a theft problem with her again!!
I guess the moral of the story is that if my super powers don’t avoid a problem, at least the natural consequences can stop it from seeming a viable option next time!
Would love to hear any other stories you have about logical or natural consequences….