I haven't talked much about how I discipline my kids, mainly because I don't feel like being criticized by those who don't agree with me and because unless you know my specific situation I can promise you that you don't know the best way to deal with my kids. Being a single mother with this many kids and fathers with different levels of involvement in their lives makes it harder to use one form of discipline with all of the kids. There are times when I have to handle each kid differently, even within the same situation.
I am one person and I am not a perfect parent by any stretch of the imagination. I know that, and I admit that. But at the same time, I do the best that I can at any moment in time. So if you want to trash me for my parenting skills, I'm opening myself up for it tonight.
I have not been in the best mood today, and that was made worse by the way that the kids acted for about 95% of the day. They would play nicely for about a minute, and then the next thing I knew they were screaming at each other or beating the crap out of each other or taking each others' toys or whatever. I mean, I know we all have bad days, but holy wow this one was ugly.
|Just a small portion of the mess.|
Finally I told them that if they didn't pick up the toys, I would do it for them, and the toys would be gone. They looked at me like "whatever!" and continued playing. So I just let it go....
After they were given a final chance to clean up before bedtime and refused, I made up my mind. I got a hold of The Dude to see if he had any big trash bags that he could bring over (plus it gave me an excuse to see him) - so he came over after they were asleep and helped me bag up every. single. toy. in the living room. All of them.
And then we stashed the bag deep in the garage.
Whenever I've gone on a garbage bag rampage before, I've always just left the bag somewhere around the house where they could see it, and then eventually when they straightened up they could get the stuff back. This time, it's not visible. As far as they're concerned, the crap is gone, never to be seen again.
They're going to be mad at me when they realize it in the morning. And at this point, after the way that they acted all day today - I don't really care.
Maybe it's a bit harsh. But then again maybe it's what they need to realize that I expect more of them. I expect them to pick their crap up when they're told to do it. I expect them to listen and to follow directions. I expect them to respect each other, their toys, and me. And if they can't do that, they lose their stuff. Period.
I'm quite sure that we can find any number of places to donate the toys to if they don't figure out how to behave.