The Magic Of Sending My Kid To His Room

by Briton Underwood
Originally Published: 
A little boy playing colorful drums in his room
Mikolette / iStock

I recently discovered the magic of sending my kid to his room.

Holy fuck, thank you, Gods of parenting. Disciplining my child has never been as easy as it is now.

“Don’t do that! Don’t say no to me! Go to your room!

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*Piercing scream*

*Pitter-patter of angry footsteps*

*A red-faced toddler-sized spawn of satan screams*

*Slam of door*

“Don’t slam the door, Little Boy!”

I am sorry if disciplining your child isn’t supposed to be so enjoyable, but I secretly hope his brother does something to be sent to his room as well. The five minutes of respite I get to check on sports updates or actually finish my coffee are precious. I am almost tempted to make up new rules punishable by being sent to your room.

With great power comes great responsibility.

Whatever. Whoever said that didn’t have to throw toys outside so the kids would stop fighting over them. My lawn looks like we knocked over a Toys for Tots van in our driveway.

At 3 years old, my twins have begun to roll their eyes, talk under their breath, take over the TV, and say the dreaded “no” when they don’t want to do something. These threenagers are real, and they feel super entitled. Short of beating them or sending them to a Scared Straight program, I try to find ways to fairly parent them that don’t involve me spending the day sounding like a howler monkey, and this room thing has been super effective.

I get my five minutes. They return with puffy cheeks and sniffles, asking for a hug. Sometimes we even eat ice cream and talk out our feelings. Just kidding—no talking during ice cream time or you’ll be sent to your room.

I love my kids, even during the most trying times. I also don’t like disciplining them while angry, and boy, do they push me to my limits some days. This new power to banish them and talk it out later is nothing short of beautiful to me.

I have noticed improvement, too. Conversations with the word “no” are less frequent, or at least they don’t always end in shouting and meltdowns.

“Can you do this for me, Buddy?”


“Okay, well, while I do it, why don’t you go sit in your room?”

*Child does what he is supposed to for first time today*

I know it won’t always work. Eventually their room will no longer feel like a death sentence. I hope by that time the design and layout of the dungeon is completed, and I will just send them there and check on them every few days.

In an age where anything you do to your child is deemed as cruel and unusual parenting, sending them to sort out their bad attitudes on their beds seems least likely to get child services called on me. It is no essential oils and feelings circle, but it serves its purpose and has become an effective retreat for both my child and myself. Sometimes, all we need is five minutes of space from one another to continue loving each other.

Or at least for me to finish my coffee and rebuild my patience for my children.

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