Thursday and Friday went by quickly since he is at school all day, until 5:30pm when I pick him up from after-care, and then he is in bed by 8:30pm. The big test came on Saturday. After his soccer game in the morning, we went back home and that's when the punishment really hit him. He couldn't do anything. He actually got bored. So what's the next option for him....to attach himself to me!! Yup, ask me a million questions and want to help me with whatever I am doing. If I'm making dinner, he wants to help. If I am packing our home to move, he wants to help. If I am cleaning, he wants to help. It started becoming really difficult to try to get anything done. Same goes for Sunday. Boredom really kicked in and he would roll around on the floor, run back and forth down the hallways, ANYTHING to have something to do. So how did I handle his 4-day punishment without losing my mind or caving in, I was tough and stood my ground. It wasn't easy but it was definitely doable! So for all you parents out there that are dealing with tough 8, 9 or 10 year olds, here's what I did:
1. Stand Your Ground: You punished your child for a reason. Do not let them convince you to shorten the punishment time. If you said "No T.V. for one week" then it's no T.V. for one week, NO MATTER WHAT! If you back down now, then they have the upper hand. Being tough now while they are 8 or 9 will help when they are teenagers and think they know everything. Nothing gets them out of punishment. Be Strong and accept no negotiations (believe me, they are going to try it all to get out of their punishment!)
2. Play Up Homework and Reading: Advise your child to use this time to do their homework or read a book. Tell them to use their time wisely, they don't have anything else to do anyway.
3. Have Your Child Assist in Chores: An extended punishment is also a good time to get them to help you out around the house. Like I mentioned before, your child is going to attach themselves to you because they are bored. Put them to do laundry, wash dishes, clean-up the yard. They will actually keep doming back for more to do and you get some help around the house!!
4. Talk to Your Child About His Behavior: Every time they complain about being punished, remind them what got them there in the first place. Sure you will sound like a broken record but your child needs to know that misbehaving or being disrespectful is not acceptable to you or anyone else. Do not yell or threaten, just talk to them. Ask them why they misbehaved. Use this talking time to try to get to the root of the problem and ask them to work together with you to find a solution.
5. Let them get bored: This is important. They need to be bored out of their minds. Punishment is not supposed to be fun. The whole point of the extended punishment is for them to not repeat the behavior that got them there in the first place. Let them complain and be upset. You are not a cruise director. They did this to themselves.
Parents, you got this. Most of us got punished as children and we still remember. We remember being bored, remember having to do extra chores. I believe children need punishment to grow. They need to realize that if they do something wrong, there are consequences. You don't want the consequences, then behave!!
Have you punished your kids yet? A real extended punishment? Please share how you survived that first punishment!!