There are times when I just have to laugh. Times when I have to shake my head when I have gone "back to the basics" and found just how well they work.
My son is nearly 12 years old. He's quite spirited and strong-minded. And, like many kids growing up, testing the waters to see what he can and can't do. He's testing me 24/7 to see just how strongly I will back up what I tell him. And dude - he's finding out the hard way.
Our current biggest "issue" is homework. He doesn't want to do it. Duh. I get that. Tough luck. He likes to "negotiate" - but what that really adds up to his is constant "fast-talking-so-she-will-wear-down" motus operandi. He asks. I tell him no he has to do it. He asks again. I tell him no again. He starts to interrupt and say "wait" and starts to just try to talk loudly and quickly over what I'm saying in the hopes I'll give in just to shut him up. Sound familiar?
I'm tired of it. It is disrespectful for one thing. It's annoying for another. And it just wastes time. His time. My time. It's completely ineffective and the ONLY sure-fire result is that I get ticked off and punish him. He gets ticked off and acts up even more and gets into even more trouble. This has been going on for a few weeks. But yesterday I went "back to the basics".
I made the dummy do push-ups. When he predictably started to "over-talk" me (I'm so sorry I cannot think of a better term), I made him do push-ups. Unfortunately for me, I only had to do this once. I was quite looking forward to doing it over and over. But I was disappointed on that front. The boy got the message and made himself go and do his homework in a timely manner.
I just had to share since it just goes to show you that you CAN diffuse a potentially difficult night with methods from boot camp. That complete structure and physical discipline (that doesn't require spanking or flogging) DOES work. I didn't hurt his spirit and I enforced my will and the rules in my house.
Last night was a success. It won't last. Maybe next time I'll also make him run around the block......