Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Training Our Children and the Punishment Jar.

Flower is going through a phase.  Its been a very long phase, but a phase none the less.  She's got attitude.  She's independent.  She is a leader.   She's a rule maker and enforcer.  She's a boss in the making.  When she is an adult, these attributes are going to serve her well.  Unfortunately, she is only 8, the attitude she has is terrible, she is positive the rules do not apply to her in any way, and she forgets that Mama is still the boss.

Barb Wire Man and I have tried just about every punishment we can think of for her.  We have spanked.  We have grounded.  We've tried time out.  She takes her punishment, and by the next day, she has forgotten about it.  We've yelled and we have been patient.

The Bible tells us in Proverbs 22:6 to train up our children in the way they should go, and when they are old, they will not depart from it.  I take that very seriously.  I don't want to cram Flower (or Little Man) into a mold which she will never fit.  She is stubborn, a trait that I admit she got from me, and it will serve her well in the future.  I don't want to break her of that, but I do need to train her as to when it is, and isn't, appropriate.

But the other verse that God always reminds me of is in Ephesians 6:4.  "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."  So many times I have looked at her while disciplining her and I have seen anger.  Anger at me, anger in herself, even anger in people  who aren't even involved in the situation!

So, we are getting creative.  I set out on a search to find creative ways to discipline our children.  Things that will stick with them from now on.  I want my kids to realize that their choices have caused them to  get in trouble.

After church, Flower and I sat down at the kitchen table with an empty oatmeal container.

We pulled out the paints and went to town decorating the container.

On slips pf paper, I wrote some pretty creative, often gross, disciplinary actions. "Scrub the toilet."  "Scoop dog poop."  "Write the alphabet 50 times."  Instead of me coming up with disciplines that rarely work, she gets to choose what happens.  After all, she made the choice to disobey, right!?

I'll let you know how it goes, but by the look on her face when she saw the things she would have to do, I think it will go great!  What types of creative discipline do you give your kids?

So no sooner than I hit "save" on this post, Flower decided to cop an attitude about having to take her nightly shower.  Mind you, she has taken a shower at the exact same time, every single night, since she started school.  And it wasn't just an "oh man, I don't want to shower!" attitude.  We're talking stomping off, slamming doors kind of attitude.  I had her get the jar, and she drew out "write alphabet 50 times".  By the time she had written it 15 times, she had cooled down.  Her attitude was much better!  She did say that if she had known it was going to be this bad to be surprised by the type of punishment she was getting, she never would have painted a sun or a flower on the jar!


  1. it makes me smile how cheerful the punishment jar looks :)

  2. hey girl! Yes! When I first saw her art, I had to chuckle! All I could think was "She has no idea what is written in side!"


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