Discipline

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One evening as I was making dinner the boys were running and hollering all throughout the house. They raced into the living room and began jumping on the sofa; from the sofa to the ottoman; from the ottoman to the chair. They have been warned against doing this repeatedly; whenever they scoot the sofa off the rug it puts a scratch in the floor. Whenever they trounce on the cushions it breaks them down. Time outs, being grounded, standing in the corner, none of these punishments have penetrated through their hard heads to make a difference.

 

I felt the threat booming out of my mouth before I realized that it was my voice. Make it a threat you can cash! screamed the voice in my head.

 

"If you boys don't stop jumping on and destroying our furniture I'm going to jump on YOUR beds and show you what it's like!" I hollered as I stuck some rolls in the oven. The boys rolled their eyes and ignored me as though I were nothing more than a cigar store Indian.

 

Chris came home; I pushed him to correct them; he gave it a half-hearted "Boys! Listen to your mother!" They didn't stop. I'd had enough. I ripped off my apron and stomped upstairs, letting the force of my footfalls express my utter disdain for their behavior. I stomped into their room, right over to Liam's bed, climbed on top and jumped up and down as hard as I could. I upset the meticulous pile of stuffed animals lying on top and they flew everywhere. I BROUGHT THE RAIN. The bed creaked, the floor groaned, the house shook, the mattress flapped as though both ends were bird's wings.

 

"DANA!" Chris shouted from downstairs.

 

"I! TOLD! THEM!" I hollered back and put more effort into it. My head almost met my knees in mid-jump. I heard shrieks well up from first floor about the time I jumped across the room to Ewan's race car bed. The thick plastic didn't protest as much so I began losing interest.

 

"MOM'S CRAZY!" Liam shouted as he dashed up the stairs.

 

"MY MANIMALS!" Ewan cried.

 

"OH!" I said, standing triumphant at the head of the race car bed. "Oh - I see how it is. It's perfectly OK for you to disobey your parents and jump and climb all over every piece of furniture we have in this house, is it? But your stuff is off limits?"

 

"Yes!" They shouted.

 

"Sorry, that's not how it works. If you jump on mom and dad's furniture we get to jump on yours. And I can't tell you how much I love jumping on little boys' beds."

 

They looked at me as though I had lost it. I left the room so they could think about it and they went right to straightening their beds.

Something they never do unless nagged incessantly.

 

Have they jumped on our furniture since? No. Now they even put the quilts and blankets back properly after they use them. I am mentally high-fiving myself.  

 

****

In other news, I turn 3-Oh on Sunday. I'm hiding out until it passes. Le sigh.

****

(Also, please read the thing about the imposter if you haven't already. Thanks.)

31 Comments

Dana

Good for you on following through on your threat. I would love to seen the faces of you boys as you were doing it. Hopefully, they continue to remember the lesson.

Happy Birthday. I turn 35 on Sunday and I'm hding out also.

Dana

Good for you on following through on your threat. I would have loved to seen the faces of your boys as you were jumping. Hopefully, they continue to remember the lesson.

Happy Birthday. I turn 35 on Sunday and I'm hding out also.

Ha! I did this once and ended up breaking something. Lesson FAIL.

It's awesome when your kids think you are crazy.

Your jumping sounds cathartic (and like a lot of fun)!

Glad it was effective; wish I'd thought of something like that when my boys were young.

It is good for your kids to think you're crazy. They'll never quite be sure how far you'll go to make your point. This will become increasingly more valuable as they get older.

I'm sending you a virtual high-five right now.

That is SO funny.
I too have been known to act like that. When trying to get thru to my kids, I have acted like one.
Recently, I threw all of my son's clothes on the floor. Took them out of his drawers, left them there in a pile for a week. He got tired of trying to wade around them, and tired of trying to weed thru them. Now he puts his clothes away.
Jumping on the beds, my next kid punishment.
Cyber high-five!!

That's awesome, but I have two questions:
1. How do you get your boys to make their beds in the first place?

2. My boys would both want to join me in jumping on their beds and then beg for me to do it again and again - how did you prevent this?

Any advise on these 2 very important questions is greatly appreciated!

Awesome! Wish I'd had a camera there. :)
I'm sure, good or bad, that it made an impression on the whole family.

As for turning 30, this post so shows your really inside about 3.0. Ha.

Happy Early Birthday.

I am laughing so hard at the mental picture I drew of you crazily destroying your kids' beds. Haha! That's awesome :) Mine wouldn't care, though...they'd come in and jump right along with me :)

Hilarious! Way to go on making good on the threat!

BTW, do not fear 30. It seriously was one of the best years of my life. I am now 32, almost 33, and my thirties have been AWE-SOME.

i like how the jumping on the bed thing worked. not sure it would go down that way at chez mommymae. and crazy imposter?? wtf?!? that's weird.

You mean ol' momma. MY MANIMALS! Don't be messing up cheeks' stuff. the "I BROUGHT THE RAIN" line, almost brought tears from lauging so hard. Happy birthday. Welcome to the 30's.

Oh my - I love it! I wish I had been a fly on the wall to see the looks on your boys faces. You may have looked like a loon to them but hey, mission accomplished!

Turning 30 this Sunday huh? Didn't you know that 30 is the new 20? Remind me of that when I turn 40 next, won't ya? Seriously, it ain't nothing but a number sweetie. A early Happy Birthday to you!

That made me laugh. I issued a completely unattainable threat to my kids the other day, but I'm trying to think of a way to follow through - at least partially. My kids have a house full of toys - seriously, so many toys. Yet, they seem to be incapable of playing with said toys and instead insist on constantly getting into my stuff. After my son came upstairs with a gigantic hole in his shirt the other day (his nice shirt that was wearing for picture day, I might add) due to his decision to slide down old pieces of Pergo flooring left over in the basement, I told them I'm going to sell all their toys in a garage sale and not buy them any more. Of course, that's not true, but I am having a garage sale next weekend, and just to make a point, we are going to purge a.lot. of stuff. Of course, Christmas is around the corner so it'll all be replenished and then some I'm sure. But for a couple of months I will feel triumphant!

After you hit 30, you'll find that you have more credibility, more self-confidence, and that people start taking you more seriously. It's all too easy to dismiss twentysomethings as being mindless and inexperienced.

The big 3-0? sissy.

You are my kind of parent - I love the jumping on their beds, and will probably borrow that trick sometime soon (probably within the hour).

And the thirties rock - life if just getting fun.

You are awesome! haha!

I love that you contacted WF about the impostor. You are so smart! I hope you are going to talk about that at SXSW!

Happy birthday!!

I'm the kind of parent who will, in public, lie down on the ground to demonstrate just how ridiculous a tantrum can be in a toddler :)

My big 3-0 is in 2 months. Brown paper bags for hyperventilating are on standby - and have been for a while now!

Happy birthday! May it be a good one :)

You are lucky to turn the big 3-0 surrounded by loved ones. I was stuck in a foreign country when I turned 3-0 last year. AND it was my golden birthday! 30 on the 30th.

Trumped by my sisters wedding... darn her!

www.aweddinginrome.com

-Erik

HA! HA! YOU'RE OLD! (Said in my best Nelson Muntz voice)

awesome. sounds like my life oh, about everyday.

i hope you had a blast. poor ewan.

they must have thought you lost it. (only thing worked for me a little is differentiating between toys and real stuff, but hey, real stuff is more fun. who doesn' like jumping on furniture.)

30 - you're a baby. it's a great age. you won't feel a thing, really. happy birthday dana. May your sons see you get older for a very long time, you know what I mean. I work on a university campus and i see a lot of young girls, reminds me of me not long ago. But sometimes i have to say to myself, I am glad my kids got to spend another year with their mom.

Dana, I love being in my 30's. I'm a lot more sure of myself..a lot more sassy, and life just seems like more fun. You have experienced so much success in your twenties that your thirties are sure to be mindblowing. :) Happy Birthday!

p.s. I headbanged to Veggie Tales last night with my boys and they loved it. Going to blog about it later. :)

Good one. Sometimes you have to think out of the box with kids. Our oldest one started whining when she was 2, and my wife started whining back at her. Sarah said 'stop!' and really hasn't whined since.

I love this post. I have two girls, Sarah and Hannah. Sometimes you just have to think outside the box. Happy Birthday!

Dana,

Loving this post! Just shows that age is all in your mind. :) BTW, welcome to the wonderful world of the 30s, um, I mean 29+. ;)

So I am very excited to find your blog...I love it. AND...I love your "name". Love the jumping on the beds...true consequences seem to hit harder than some of the traditional ones at times...dontcha think? Love it.

I turned 30 in January...honestly, it was liberating. I felt like ...WOW, I'm 30 and I'm still cool! Or, rather, I'm 30 and being cool doesn't matter as much any more? Or...being 30 is the new 25... Well, I am not sure but I felt like 30 was some validation of me having had quite a journey in my 20s. :-) True Story. *wink*

OR...like my mom does with turning 50...she's just 49.95 plus shipping and handling.

Elizabeth

I turn 30 next Sunday. I'm claiming 29+ and hiding for the day.

My mom was great at putting a profound fear into the six of us boys. Now, ranging in age from 28 to 38, and ranging in height from 6'3" to 6'6", we still give her a healthy dose of respect. She put the fear of God and Mother into us at a young age, and she never dropped the reins.

And, Happy Birthday. Something in the brain seems to snap into place around 30. The closest way I can think of to describe it is trying to balance an egg on end during an equinox. You spend a long time nudging everything around when suddenly the stupid egg stabilizes and balances, and you just sit there and go "Wow. So that's how it's supposed to be."

That's awesome. I don't think that would work for me though. My 4 year old would think it was cool and start jumping on her bed with me. Happy Birthday. I turned 33 on Saturday. I celebrated by going to the state fair, eating WAY too much junk, and going down the super big giant carpet slide with my daughter. Hope yours was fun too!

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