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Friday, November 7, 2008

Long lost parenting tips....

Last night Morgan was arguing with us about bedtime. She is under the impression that she deserves a later bedtime than her sister. Logan and I are not. She's horrible at getting up every single morning and her sister never is. (Although she can be a pain in the evenings.) When Logan told her that if we were doing it by that, that Bailey would have the later bedtime, she got seriously pissed. "That's crap", she said.

Excuse me, what did you just say?

That's crap, she repeated.

No, freaking way is what I said back to her. You're not doing that 12 year old attitude in this house. It's unacceptable and I'm not putting up with it.

Crap, That's crap, she muttered under her breath, while glaring at me.

I did the only thing I could think of, I pulled her into the bathroom and made her open her mouth and I shoved a small stick of soap in there. Then I set the timer for four minutes, one minute for each time she said crap to me. This is not how you are allowed to behave in my house, I said. You are NOT going to act like those bratty teens you see on Disney. You are 6 years old, not thirteen. Besides that, it's unacceptable behavior at 13 years old and you're not going to do it then either. You want to talk to me, like a rational person, fine. You want to come up with a rational argument, fine. But the truth is, after bedtime is mine and daddy's time. Not yours. Until you are at least ten years old, we're not having this conversation again. Your bedtime is 8:30pm and you should be happy about it, because I know kids your age who go to bed at 7:30pm. Your opinion matters in this house, I always listen to it and you know this. But at the end of the day, what Daddy and I say, goes. End of story. From here on out, when you cuss, this is what's going to happen. Also, parental controls are going on Disney channel for the next week. If you can't act your age and stop giving us teenage attitude, I will call Comcast and have them permanently remove the Disney channel from our TV.

Then I just sat there and picked at the towel for the next two minutes. When the timer went off, I removed the soap from her mouth. Now, do you have anymore smart mouth comments to make.

No Ma'am, she said.

Ok good, now go put your Jammie's on, brush your teeth and get into bed. I'll be in to read to you in a few minutes.

As she went up the stairs, I heard her mutter to herself, I'll never be that mean to my kids. It took everything in me to not laugh hysterically until I got back into the living room. As I told Logan the whole story, we both laughed our asses off at what she'd said. I remember saying the same thing to myself, when it was me with the soap in my mouth. Except I believe my wording was, I'll never do something so barbaric to my kids, because barbaric was my favorite word in the moment. Logan remembers saying something similar when it was done to him.

Here's the thing though, it worked. I think I only had to learn that lesson twice. Around my friends, once I was a teen, I cussed. But I was probably 19 freaking years old before I ever cussed around my parents again. Logan thinks he was a bit more hard headed and it took him a few more times to learn this lesson.

It was the only thing I could think to do to her to make my point known. It was the first thing that popped into my head. She is not an easy kid to discipline. She can think of ways around everything. She doesn't really play with her toys, so it's not like taking them away would matter. Taking away the wii only matters to her for a few minutes. TV works, but only the first day, because she can entertain herself. I won't take away jumping on the trampoline or playing outside, because then I'm really grounding myself, plus she needs to get that energy out. So, I did the first thing that came to mind. The thing that I hated as a kid, the thing that I swore up and down I'd never do. Soap in the mouth.

But it worked. She apologized last night and again this morning. She told her sister how horrible it was and that she should never cuss. Some things our parents did and their parents did are not cool. But some of it, dam it's freaking useful.

But um, you guys know if I can really have the Disney station removed? I can put parental controls on it and I can leave it on, but if I do it for too long, I have to keep changing the codes, because she messes with it until she breaks it. In this moment, I'm not going to do it, but I need to know if it's possible. Because I don't threaten things I'm not willing to follow through on and I think I may have just done that.

So my lovely peeps, have you ever done something to your kids that you swore you'd never do?


PsychMamma said...

Oh my word! I am laughing out loud! Totally cracked me up. I might have to use this method myself (and, YES, I think I would). Our daughter (almost 3) is the same as what you describe as hard to discipline. Oy. I'm constantly trying to think of creative things that will work. She already knows how to argue/negotiate until I could scream and/or poke a fork in my eye.

Can't help you w/the Disney station question though.

iMommy said...

Boopie is only two, so not yet... but I am learning to never say never!

Anonymous said...

I can remember being the same age as my oldest when I first started cussing. I'm waiting for it, but Lord, I hope it never happens.

And tell her you're a nice mommy...I make my 9yo go to bed between 8 and 8:30.

Becky said...

omg EVERYTHING my mom did to me i swore i'd never do and i'm already doing it. ALL. hannah's been as sassy as morgan is SINCE SHE WAS 3. i kid you not. she's just such a smart alleck stubborn kid. and usually i can laugh at it later cuz she's so clever with it. but at the moment it happens i'm not happy about it. maybe i will think about soap in the mouth next time. cuz hannah's been saying crap too and "WHAT THE..." all the time. stupid hannah montana. i blame her.

Anonymous said...

I think you can have a station permanently blocked. I THINK.

I don't think my mother ever used the soap trick. She just used her paddle :-) And so, I've never used the soap trick, either...although I may need to remember it for the next smart-mouth comment.

And, I STILL, to this day, would not dare say a cuss word in front of my mother. No way.

Childsplayx2 said...

Wow. Six.

I thought I had at least 8 years before I had to deal with this stuff.

My kids at 3.5 go to bed at 7:00 p.m. I don't ever see 8:30 p.m. being a bedtime. I need that time!

As for comcast, this is what their website says:

Customers can have channels removed from their cable lineup by using the parental control feature available on most addressable converter models. Another alternative is to have a "trap" on the line outside of your home to block the signal. It´s also possible that, depending on the model of television or VCR you have, you could program your own television equipment to block programming you prefer not to receive.

Mrs. Really Long Name said...

I am not quite sure how you didn't manage to laugh while the entire thing was going on....

"That's crap"....that might be my new phrase for a few days....

Kim @ said...

And this is why I turned cable off. Well, that and it's like paying for a really long commercial. Have you seen all the crap they sell to kids even in the shows? This year? We're limiting the Hannah Montana and High School Musical and the etc of it all.

You think I kid? Dude, I totally turned cable off. I was sick of the "lessons" my kids were getting. And? Bean now reads every single night. WITHOUT BEING ASKED. Seriously? That not paying for cable thing rocks.

That said? You crack me up. I've not gone the soap route yet. But I haven't ruled it out.

Jen @ Amazing Trips said...

Well, I swore I'd never threaten my kids with a BLOOD spatula and I've gone and done it before they were even five.

I don't think you can remove just one channel, w/o removing that segment of cable. So, you might have to drop down to basic cable @ which around here is $12/month. Might be worth a call to the cable company...

Thanks for sending me this link. Although I'd love to have seen that you talked to your mother about calling in a State social worker to take your children away.

What? None of that?? :)