Discipline for sociopaths

Sorry if this is incoherent, my precious snowflakes passed along their intestinal plague and I haven’t had alcohol or coffee for three days. Or food. Really, though, it’s the first two that hurt. I feel faint.

I was reading a bedtime story to my eldest, sitting on “the couch that shall not be touched.” I gave her a kiss on to top of her precious head. She stood up. Her backside was covered in little melty globs of  chocolate. So was my couch.

I started screaming. “What the…why is there chocolate on your pants!?? Why is there CHOCOLATE ON MY COUCH!???”

She looked mildly chagrined. “I was hungry,” she said.

The chocolate chips, keep in mind, are not within easy reach. She had to do some serious cabinet scaling to get up there. Apples and carrots are much more accessible. Hungry my ass.

She was banned from all media for the next day. I go easy on first offenses, it’s true.

Two Nights Later:

I’m sitting on the same couch, painstakingly cleaned with q-tips and alcohol, watching the Daily Show while my precious snowflakes try to kill each other in their bedroom. There’s a lull in the chaos. Perhaps they’ve fallen asleep, I think. Then I catch the skittering of a giant rat in the kitchen.

“Madness,” I call. Silence. Then a thump. I’m up and in the kitchen in nothing flat, just it time to see her disappear around the corner. I chase her down and catch her frantically trying to climb into bed and, I imagine, feign sleep. She is not that fast. She is stuffing a handful of candy eggs under her pillow.

Lesson she learned from the last time: Candy covered chocolate melts in your mouth, not on your pajamas.

No Media, plus ZERO sweets for a full month. No ice cream, no Easter Candy, no treats of any kind. She had to clean her room and write a letter of apology. A nice one. With a picture.

At the end of the month of punishment, SHE DID IT AGAIN.

She doesn’t gnash her teeth or protest in the least when she’s punished. It’s more of a, “Well, that’s the price of getting caught!” as she skips away and finds something else to do with her time. The no media thing punishes ME more than it does her. She does not care.

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Seriously, we were in the car once after a long fun day and I finally lost it and yelled, “If you squeak that balloon animal one more time I will take it away and pop it!” After a thoughtful pause, she tossed it into the front seat. “You better just take it now,” she said. She was three. She cannot be bribed. She does not respond to threats.

I’m reaching out to the Internet. Short of physical abuse, which is not my style, who has some fun ideas for consequences? I got nuthin.

 

13 thoughts on “Discipline for sociopaths

  1. Extra chores? Suited to the crime, preferably. Just after Finn got toilet trained he decided to start doing his number twos in the garden. He’d go out of his way to go out to the washing line, hang his arse over the edge of the raised walkway, and poo on the ground. First time he did it we had a talk about germs and the importance of toilets and the yuckiness of Mummy having to clean it up. He said yes Mummy.
    Next day he did it again, in the exact same spot. So I put disposable gloves on him and made him bag and bin it himself. He was appropriately disgusted and didn’t do it again!

    • The Engineer just read my entire post in front of me, and then laughed the loudest at your comment. Michelle for the WIN! Not sure how to use that with chocolate thievery, though. Perhaps I’ll start sneaking into her room at night and stealing toys. She’ll probably start to notice sometime next year…

  2. No Media, plus ZERO sweets for a full month. No ice cream, no Easter Candy, no treats of any kind.

    I think I see your problem. “No” never works for a child. It is not in their lexicon. “No” is merely a sign post indicating an alternate path to mayhem.

    When my grandchildren misbehave, I never deny the darlings access to media, rather I delight them with C-SPAN. As for violations involving food, again it is unwise to deny a child anything but ask yourself, why did God invent SPAM?

  3. I once found a spoon in my bath tub. It didn’t take me long to figure out that the “middle one” was almost caught eating ice cream directly from the carton but she cleverly fled to the bathroom and hide the spoon in the tub. Not a bad idea if you remember to go back and retrieve the spoon before mom finds it.

    And this 1 was unpunishable. She decided in high school that homework (and even attending) was optional. No media, grounding, no problem, I will just lay in bed and stare at the ceiling… still so much better then actually doing homework. County college is turning out to be a great punishment (bad grades = no other options) and I am saving tons of money!

  4. Since candy is the entire universe for most kids, I feed them a regular, predictable stream of goodies. Once a week. I don’t hide them or make them inaccessible. BUT, if they take something before I give it to them, they don’t get to have the thrill and excitement of having it with their siblings and cousins. This is really a very cruel treatment and I only recommend it for the worst cases!

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