Crime & Punishment

All of you avid KT fans out there know that we talk a lot about disciplining preschoolers here on KT. I have a veritable hoodlum living chez moi and as any parent knows, we must creatively re-invent our punishments constantly, otherwise they fall on deaf ears.

My current punishment du jour is this “If you land in 2 time outs, then you don’t get a popsicle for lunch.” (This is usually threatened by oh – about 6:24am, with the first time out locked in by 7am. And of course, I am pretty generous, for to use the timeout too much with my hoodlum is a total waste of time and energy).

It’s working. But this one has only been used for a few days.

Ahh…behold the power of the sweet, easy to melt, unbelieveably cheap popsicle. Who knew?

The old rules chart worked pretty well for about 2 weeks. Then it lost its luster. The cheap thrill of drawing a smiley face next to one of the followed rules quickly grew boring. And really, who can blame her.

I’m thinking of bringing back the rules chart, however, as it’s been a few weeks and I scored some new stickers at Target’s One Spot (where, am I alone in this, I easily wrack up like $20 to my final bill because not everything is $1).

But here is my current dilemma – finding a punishment that solely punishes DD – not me. I am not alone here people. If I take away, say, cartoons – then who am I really punishing when the going gets tough?
Me.

So I try to take away things that I either don’t care about (like popsicles) or things that tend to drag on into perpetuity (songs, stories at bed time).  Again – I should get a reward for having to endure the crime, no?

What I’m desperately searching for is a creative list of things I can also take away from her that again, only punish her, and not me. I am all ears for any ideas here…..please….I bet of you……help a sister out.

Here is a list of some offenses that warrant punishment:

Pinching mommy because she doesn’t like what I’ve just said

Assaulting baby sister under the guise of “gently playing like such a good big sister”

Taking all of baby sister’s toys away from her and then hiding from her – with the toys- because she can now crawl

The old power trip that started with the arrival of baby sister “No, I don’t want daddy to take me out of my carseat, I want mommy to do it” (because mommy has baby sister, basically whomever is preoccupied with baby sister then becomes the only person who can complete the task and this gets old after about 10 seconds but a heartfelt battle inevitably ensues several times a day complete with kicks and screams)

I could go on and on with the lists of crimes but what I’m looking for are creative punishments. And spanking – doesn’t work on this kid – I tried it. I was never sure if I would spank her. Not because I am opposed to spanking but because I just never was sure if the crime would warrant the spank. Oh indeed, that day did come and it was just obvious that the only appropriate response would be to spank her and then send her to her room.

She didn’t care. And she also likes going in time out. I’ll say “Do you want to go in time out?”

And her response is “yes.”

OK then.

Hence the need to take things away…things that only punish her and not me…..put your thinking caps on kittens…..for I am all ears.

Signed,

Pleading for ideas

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