Saturday, May 17, 2008

Ogre Mommy

I hate disciplining my kids. I do it, because I want them to grow up to be responsible, loving, caring human beings who know the difference between right and wrong, and who consider the consequences of their actions. But taking away my son's favorite activity for the next three weeks really hurts my heart.

The Chief and I have always used natural consequences to discipline the children, which teaches them that their actions have consequences, and hopefully teaches them to think before they act. You leave your bike outside all night where it could be stolen? The bike goes up in the garage rafters for a couple of weeks. You deliberately break your sister's toy? You replace it with your own money.

And when Hell's Barrister deliberately blows off assignments at school, and admits that it was because he'd rather play his new video game, obviously the video game privileges have got to go. I hate taking away his video games, because his games seem to be the only thing he really enjoys. He's not a social kid--doesn't have many friends. Doesn't really have any hobbies other than reading and playing elaborate strategy games by himself. I've been trying for years to help him discover where his passion lies. We've bought art supplies, encouraged him to take community ed. classes, helped finance things that he was interested in that had the potential to become a lifelong passion and hobby...with no success. I've made myself available to take him to friends' houses, made our house available if he wants to have friends over, but he just doesn't seem interested. The video games are his passion, and I guess I just have to accept that.

And when I have to take away the only activity he seems to truly enjoy, I feel like the terrible, growling, teeth-gnashing, baby-eating Ogre Mommy.

Must dash now, it's time to polish my fangs...

10 comments:

Coco said...

I can sure relate to that. It makes you feel terrible! My oldest son is very much like that, and I've done the exact same thing - withdraw the gaming priveleges. Sometimes it's for a period of time, sometimes it's just until the missing assignments are done and handed in. Never seen such scholastic efficiency in my life :) But ultimately it has to be done, and we're doing our job as decent parents. I've discovered that the WAY in which I do it matters too... the less I get angry, and just let the consequences speak for themselves, the more it falls back on HIS shoulders.... it's all about his choices, not mine. Easier said than done sometimes though. Signed, a Fellow Fang Polisher.

Jazz said...

Never seen such scholastic efficiency in my life

I laughed out loud when I read this, because my son also becomes amazingly efficient when his video games are on the line!

It's tough, isn't it? But you are right, I've also learned that it's better to just deal with it quietly and matter-of-factly and let the consequences speak for themselves, as you say.

I've noticed that as he gets older, sometimes I really have to think about what the consequence ought to be...like the time he started a fight in the locker room. What's the natural consequence for that? Go to your room or grounding didn't seem to fit. After a lot of thought, I told him that if he was an adult and he had assaulted someone, if it was his first offense, he would likely be sentenced to pay a fine and do community service. So I took away his allowance and called the assistant principal at his school and explained the situation, and asked if they had anything he could do after school. She was very helpful, and he spent an hour a night for a week picking up trash on the school grounds. And he hasn't started a fight since.

Maybe we should start a Fang Polishers' Club?

Gianna said...

wow Jazz...I'm very impressed with your creative consequence creation!!

Jazz said...

Parenting has certainly required a lot more creativity than I would have imagined before I had children!

Gianna said...

Oh god, to do it well I think it requires an artist!! that doesn't surprise me at all...

and you seem to be quite artistic...

Jazz said...

*blushing and shuffling feet*
Why, thank you...

Mark Krusen said...

I wandered on over here from Stan site, and have added you to by blogroll. I can relate to taking things from the kids they really enjoy being painful. Although ours are grown up and have thrived despite the parenting they received. LOL

Liking video games may get him a good gaming career. The way society is today maybe your better off with him not having as many friends. What with the influence a bad apple could have on him.

Jazz said...

Thanks for stopping by, Mark, and for adding me to your blogroll.

Believe me, as he approaches the teenage years, I've considered the advantages of him not having a ton of friends. He seems to be a happy enough kid.

superlagirl said...

Just letting you know that I'm taking notes over here. Fine and community service. That's good.

Jazz said...

Hi, Superlagirl.
It's one of the punishments he remembers most vividly, particularly since he was given the choice of being punished like a child or like a mature young man. He chose to be punished like a mature young man (without knowing in advance what that was going to entail!).