Crime & Punishment

by Scary Mommy
Originally Published: 

I have a really hard time disciplining my children. I’m not talking small punishments, like sitting in the corner or not getting dessert. Those are a piece of cake. I mean, the big stuff. The stuff that comes after numerous warnings, countless chances and never ending tantrums.

The problem? Those punishments always seem to punish me, too. And, frankly (said in my whiniest voice while stomping my feet,) it’s just not fair.

Let’s review the punishments that really get to my children:

• Cancelling play-dates: Not only do I look like a dick to the other parent, but I need to deal with annoying children complaining of nothing to do all afternoon and I have to entertain them.

• Not attending birthday parties: Again, I look like an asshole backing out and I’m already out the gift, plus I have to make lunch.

• Going to bed early: So I need to listen to screaming and crying for hours? That makes for a relaxing night.

• Going to bed without dinner: OK, so I’ve never done it, but I would without a doubt end up stressing all night that they are malnourished or dehydrated and that I am the sole cause.

• Turning around the car mid-trip: Are you kidding? After strapping the kids in, packing everything up, and schlepping somewhere I’m supposed to just turn around? Does anyone actually do this?

• Taking away TV time: The only time that my children are ever peaceful and quiet is during the hour when they watch television. I am not about to give that up.

So, what does that leave me? Time-outs? Pfft. I’d kill for a time out, myself. It doesn’t seem like much of a threat. Time in their toy-filled rooms? Nah…

Perhaps, I should record their meltdowns and subject them to incessant screenings. That’s certainly punishment for me.

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