Friday, October 12, 2007

Mean What You Say

So I have a friend whose kids are older - one is a preteen and one is a certified teenager. Whenever I have a weak parenting moment I remember a story she told me. About a year ago her 14-year old was copping quite the attitude (let me premise this by saying she is a charming, well-behaved girl!). Anyway, my friend and her husband had really had it. The husband said to his daughter - you will act respectfully or you will lose your right to privacy in this house. The girl, being a teenager, ignore him and continues with the attitude. The dad says - seriously, if you keep this up, I will take the door off your room. The girl doesn't change. Dad gets up, walks upstairs, takes the door off the hinges and gets rid of the door. The girl freaks out - I can't have no privacy! and gets a sheet to pin up. Mom steps in and says -- nope, dad said no privacy. Girl demands privacy - how will she get dressed? Mom points to the perfectly good bathroom next door with a door. The parents stuck with it for nearly a year.

I LOVE that story. Taking off the door -- how cool is that?! You KNOW their daughter thought that was NEVER going to happen. DH and I have always believed that when you make a threat or say you are going to do something while disciplining your kids (or whenever, really) you have to stick with it. Sometimes it is hard, when you say something crazy or that will be a major inconvenience - but you gotta stick with it. Whenever I get weak, I remember this story. You can always remove the door.


Anonymous said...

Love this story!! I'm already trying to mean what I say. I know Morgan is only 21 months old, but...she's been hitting when you tell her no or when she's mad. She's told "You hit, you lose a toy". By 11 am Thursday, she'd lost her balloon (the kid LOVES her helium balloons!!), her Dora hut, her baby and stroller and her flashlight (she loves to shine the light on the wall and chase it). I don't know if she "gets" why she's lost these things, but eh.....whatever. I don't know what else to do.

Okay that my comment is a mini-post, I'm leaving now :)

Happy Working Mom said...

I totally agree! So many parents out there threaten their kids to death, but never follow through with it. Of course over time the kids learn that the parents won't actually do what they are threatening to do, so why listen to them?

Sniz said...

I've heard about doing this before. Did your friend tell you if the year of no privacy really improved or changed the daughter's attitude? You're so right...doing what we threaten as parents in the heat of the moments can be so hard, especially like you said, when it is inconvenient for us.