Are you a punitive parent?

I was reading Entertainment Weekly’s recap of Sunday night’s “Kate Plus 8” when I came across a very interesting parenting concept – punitive parenting.

Reviewer Ken Tucker was describing how Kate was having some farmers and the kids build a chicken coop so they could produce their own eggs. But of course things went awry.

Tucker says: “What started as a nice family project turned into a punitive exercise, as do so many things involving Kate’s parenting.”

“’Showing the kids the area of the coop that will be ‘filled with chicken poop to be scooped,’ she announced to her brood, ‘Whoever disobeys will be assigned with this chore!’ ”

I do feel like things that I think will be fun often turn into a forced march with my kids and then you get ugly about it. For example, I have been having to force Walsh to go swimming lately.  Most kids would kill to go swimming and this kid doesn’t want to. It starts out me happily saying “Ok we’re going swimming.” Two kids on board but not Walsh. So then I try to convince him it will be fun. And then quickly it becomes you have no choice in the matter and you will either sit by the pool or swim. He generally chooses swim then.

Another example, about two weeks ago I took them to a science museum. You would have thought it was the Trail of Tears just trying to take them to an interesting educational place. So instead of being family fun, it’s mom forcing them to do something.

I have made an effort in the last few weeks to try to catch them doing good things and praise them for all the good stuff, but I know I often shift to punitive parenting when they are not cooperative. What are your other options?

So what do you think: Are you a punitive parent? Do you turn things that you think should be family fun into punishment when they don’t want to play along? What are you other options when they don’t want to do what you want them to do?

61 comments Add your comment

Jeff

July 14th, 2010
6:52 am

Lately, I have been giving my daughter options and letting her choose. It works in my situation because her mom doesn’t give her options when they are together, she’s more of a director. So the options thing might not work in other environments. It’s makes me think through what options are equivalents, plus I’ve noticed the tone of my voice makes a HUGE difference. If I propose things in a cheery, excited voice, her demeanor tends to mimic mine. I’ve noticed it works with co-workers as well, lol.

Well, yeah...

July 14th, 2010
6:53 am

…many chores are “opportunities” to teach your child the value of cooperation and behaving – there is nothing inherently wrong with making a child do an undesireble “chore” as a form of punishment IF there is nothing dangerous about said chore…

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Malc Crawford, Malc Crawford and others. Malc Crawford said: Are you a punitive parent? http://bit.ly/alFnLZ [...]

SS

July 14th, 2010
8:03 am

If given my five year old’s choice she’d sit on the couch all day watching PBS kids while eating all her meals and snacks and taking naps in her pjs when the BBC hour was on. Sometimes parents must force activity on the kids. (my mom just let us watch 30 min of TBS as a kid and then made us go outside to play, by ourselves, with no shoes on, and without snacks, until dinner) Now how mom (kate or others) act towards the kids who aren’t happy, or are learning to do something they’d rather not, is another story. Like a classroom teacher, the parents set the tone for the day or activity. We’ve all had our moments, thank god I don’t have a camera watching mine. ugh

Photius

July 14th, 2010
8:07 am

I think the way Theresa handles it is correct. Children need structure and also need to be pushed in certain directions. I have always believed in punitive parenting and by the looks of it when you walk into a mall today it is something lacking by today’s mom and dad.

Andrea

July 14th, 2010
8:24 am

I am okay with teaching kids consequences for their actions. I don’t have a problem with punitive parenting. I am guilty of telling my kids about an activity or outing and when my son initially balks, I try to coax him with the positives and when that doesn’t work, I just remind him that he has the choice to come and have fun or come and not have fun. It is then up to him.

motherjanegoose

July 14th, 2010
8:28 am

I am just back from 2 days at UGA for parent/student orientation.

T, I did want to share that over 17000 applied for the fall and less than 5000 were accepted. This is not a dumb class.

On Monday, we were told;
“today’s student’s are ambitious with unrealistic expectations.” I could not agree more. They county police,also showed ( on screen) pages of actual names and dates of students who have been arrested. Along with their offense. I am not sure all parents there take it seriously. Ambitious children who may not be used to negative consequences.

My son made it through and I am hoping my daughter will do likewise. We have always had consequences and sometimes they are not pretty.

I do recall a few of my own consequences…late payments on bills, speeding tickets ( $11 in ND LOL) sunburn from not wearing enough sunscreen , no money until pay day. This morning, we have no Sweet and Low ( for coffee) because I forgot to buy it ;)

I have done plenty of undesirable chores ( which is why I will not be retiring to the farm):
hauling hay, feeding/castrating calves, digging potatoes and weeding a 1/2 acre of a garden.
It did not kill me but motivated me to do something else.

Kids today want a lot of things. It takes hard work ( to me) and thus many of them will never be able to attain those things without their parent’s pocketbook. Many of these same kids will not work hard enough to keep their HOPE and their parents will be shocked.

So yes, a little punitive parenting might be good for kids.

Sk8ing Momma

July 14th, 2010
8:35 am

I don’t consider the examples you’ve provided as punitive parenting. IMO, it is simply parenting. Parents make choices. It is part of our responsibility. Yes, it is appropriate to give children choices at times; but, it ultimately parents who have to make final choices. Good ones do it w/o guilt or worrying about whether their children will like them or consider it punishment.

Whenever I make a choice that my children do not like, I remind them that they can make their own choices when they run their own households. :)

FCM

July 14th, 2010
8:36 am

TWG–are you asking the kids what they would like to do? Or are you just thinking up things you think they would like to do? They are getting older and should have some input into things….it could be even more of I was thinking of the Stone Mountain or the Zoo which would you prefer.

As to puntive damages for kid offenses…how else do you teach consequences and responsibility. Don’t give the liberal line of all reward either. Pleanty of life has to be done without the big rewards that conditioning sets up. However MOST of life has punitive damages…don’t pay the electric, you have no lights, run a light–get a ticket, etc. Now abusive punitive damages is another story.

Peachy

July 14th, 2010
8:46 am

This part of the quote really got me, ‘turned into a punitive exercise’ I mean, isn’t all good parenting punitive parenting? To me, teaching the facts of life i.e. actions have reactions, bad behavior results in punishment, a lack of responsibility leads to bad situations, should be top on the list of parent’s priorities. Maybe I am missing something, but I don’t see how this is bad: if you misbehave you have to clean the chicken poop. To me that seems like straight forward parenting. In my house growing up it was, if you misbehave one day you have to do the dishes that night. Now at work it is: if you don’t do all your work you get fired. The world might be a more productive place if more children were taught these action and reaction lessons and carried them into adulthood…

motherjanegoose

July 14th, 2010
8:51 am

@ FCM…I am all about giving kids choices, in certain areas and when the choices work out.

I also am reminded that my daughter ( age 13) did not want to accompany me to either Boston or Alaska. I made her go and she LOVED both trips…who wouldn’t? Sometimes, children do not see the value of things as they are too immature to realize the broader scope of life.

( to me) Kinda like adults I have met who say, ” I will never get on an airplane…no flying for me…if I cannot get there in the car, I do not need to go…”

Yes, your choice but you MIGHT miss something wonderful.

My husband never grew up doing anything related to museums nor history. He dug his heels in ( as an adult) when I suggested it. After he gave in and decided to join us ( myself and the kids)…he LOVED it. We have taken historical tours in many cities and he can remember most of the interesting facts.

Now he will NOT go with us to the Nutcracker….but we do not care as this is our Mother/Daughter thing!

usully lurking

July 14th, 2010
8:53 am

If nobody misbehaves, then how does the chicken coop get cleaned? I don’t get the chores as punishment thing. There are chores to be done, you are part of the family and you pitch in to get them done, even the undesirable ones.

lakerat

July 14th, 2010
8:57 am

Sorry MJG – at UGA 17000 applied and approx. 8000 – 9000 were accepted at UGA this year – less than 5000 accepted the invitation to enroll, and it is they who make up this year’s freshman class – congrats to your daughter – and yes, this is a smart class as the standards for acceptance at UGA gets higher every year.

lakerat

July 14th, 2010
9:01 am

And, yes, I agree wholeheartedly that punitive parenting is the cornerstone of teaching children the facts of what life in the ‘real’ world will be like.

jw

July 14th, 2010
9:09 am

Growing up, our two were polar opposites – one ready to go all the time – the other really tentative about everything – more than once, mom and dad would split the duty of waiting for Tentative to get going – when he did, all was well. We tried very hard not to make “fun” have punishment attached – like Kate’s Crate did – and tried to teach both to respect what the other liked to do – and help them enjoy it – corny, but it worked for us!

Truthfully – parents old/new need to watch Kate and the 8 to see how NOT to parent – I know she has 8 kiddies – but her parenting foundation is horrible – she misses that kids react differently to situations and fun is had in different ways – if she would listen to the kids talk about the experiences when they recap on camera, typically the one that participated the least gets the most out of it – “ME” centered moms/dads miss that component very much. For her, rarely is “family” event for the family – BTW – who has a female neighbor that wears a really short skirt to work on the roof of the house – think that’s purposeful? That right there should describe the parent component of Kate – NONEXISTENT – she only cares about Kate – nothing else!

Back on task – for us patience by mom and dad went a lot farther in dealing with the tentative child than anything. We tried to see it from their perspective and tried to remember not to get too keyed up about it – they pick up on that much quicker than you think.

motherjanegoose

July 14th, 2010
9:10 am

@ lakerat…sorry, I must have written it down wrong from the power point. So many things to write down and remember!

I am not trying to boast about my son/ daughter, while I am proud, I am saying that the freshman class is academically smart ( again) but may not all be ready for the world, as many did not live in families where consequences are a 24/7 thing.

abc

July 14th, 2010
9:32 am

To be an optimal parent is to be an effective leader. Resorting to punitive suggestion or force is not effective leadership, nor effective parenting. Everyone has to resort to it, to some extent, based on the personality of the kid; but to employ it as a constant parental tactic is a bad practice.

A

July 14th, 2010
9:35 am

Theresa–why are you forcing your son to go swimming? I understand gently nudging or pushing your child in certain directions in terms of trying new foods or activities/experiences, but if you’re having to force them to do anything, maybe you need to step back and see why it is. Maybe he’s tired, would rather do something else, who knows? Why is swimming so important that you have to force him?

Say What?

July 14th, 2010
9:36 am

abc said – “Everyone has to resort to it, to some extent, based on the personality of the kid; but to employ it as a constant parental tactic is a bad practice”.

Huh? How can it be bad if it gets the point across? And, you contradict yourself…

Hey, A ...

July 14th, 2010
9:38 am

…she has to force him to learn to swim so he can get away from the sharks when he goes to the beach with his high school and college buddies in a few years, cause we know she will not be taking him there.

We should be congratulating her since we all know that one can drown while swimming, and she never wants to expose her kids to ANYTGHING that might cause harm…

A

July 14th, 2010
9:41 am

Ha! Yes, Theresa does seem to be a big worry wart, but you know everyone is different. I have to remind my son to practice piano or other things, but I wouldn’t call it forcing. It’s parental guidance, which I think all kids do need. If he doesn’t want to practice, I’ll say something like, well how about you do it after dinner or after your shower or take a different approach that’s more agreeable.

abc

July 14th, 2010
9:45 am

I said nothing contradictory, please be more precise.

The value of learning to raise chickens is diminished if it becomes representative of punishment. How about lessons about the importance of a job well done, that may include unpleasant labor such as scooping chicken poo — that results in a larger and healthier brood, that produces more eggs?

If you feel it’s important to force a child to learn to swim, is it as important to force them to learn to play a musical instrument and play in the school band? After all, it’s proven that such participation will improve math and science performance. Or, will the kid resent it enough that they lose the value of music appreciation, or likewise the joy of simply playing in the water because it’s fun?

Do you start to get the point yet, Say What?

JATL

July 14th, 2010
9:47 am

I (almost) always give my kids choices -if there’s a choice to give. Granted the choices are two or three things that I’ve already pre-approved, but I like for them to have a choice and learn to make decisions and stick with them. Once they make it -I don’t want to hear any griping! I expect cooperative attitudes so we can all have pleasant experiences, and if they don’t want to cooperate, then I suppose I do become a punitive parent. Children MUST have some guidance, and I try as often as possible to make that guidance nice, but when the whining and tantrum-like behavior starts -Mama gets mean, and they need to learn that NOW because it’s not going to change!

Bottom line -we live in a punitive world. Kids need to understand there are consequences for unpleasant behavior or doing things that are wrong. They also REALLY need to learn to be grateful and appreciative to parents and people who offer and give them nice opportunities and experiences. I find a startling lack of gratefulness and an overwhelming sense of entitlement in our kids today. We’re driving ourselves crazy over-analyzing the way we parent and trying to be little Johnny’s friend and make him happy all the time. Do you think our parents ever gave this two thoughts? Hell, no! If they provided something fun for us to do, and we were ungrateful enough to whine about it -then too bad! And they never felt bad about any “punitive” measurements they took either.

abc

July 14th, 2010
9:53 am

Teaching consequences for bad behavior and employing ‘punitive parenting’ as described by the TV show cited in the topic are not the same things. Apples vs. oranges.

motherjanegoose

July 14th, 2010
9:56 am

Please pay attention everyone :0

I am not always an effective leader with my children, nor an effective parent. I employ many techniques that ( based on educational research) should work but sometimes they do not and I must be forceful and punitive.

Here is an example for those of you with young children:

You need to eat some breakfast ( suggest)
The food looks yummy ( visual cue)
I am eating my breakfast ( model behavioral expectations)
Your brain needs some fuel ( nutrition/ science)
You will be hungry when you get to school ( cause and effect)

OK…IF YOU DO NOT EAT YOUR BREAKFAST NOW, YOU WILL NOT GO TO THE PARK ( or whatever) AFTER SCHOOL
OR
I AM GOING TO BRUSH MY TEETH AND WHEN I RETURN, YOUR BREAKFAST WILL BE EATEN OR YOU WILL GET SOME EXTRA CHORES TO DO AFTER SCHOOL ( or whatever)

Young children do need someone to be forceful, when it is in their best interest. Kinda like:
“you need to go to the potty before we leave.”
“I do not have to go Mommy.”

When you are in the car and on the interstate, in rush hour…a little voice will wander up to the front seat;
“Now, I need to go to the potty…”

Has anyone here heard that voice?

Once my kids got to middle school, I let them learn the rule of eating breakfast themselves:
the consequences of being hungry at school taught them their own lesson. Mine rarely ate breakfast in HS but that was their choice and not mine. I had food here but they were not interested ( at 6:00 a.m. the bus came at 6:30) . They often went in the pantry and took their own granola bar in their bookbag as they would be hungry later.

@ A, I am often too tired to do the things I need to do but I force myself. I know many kids at UGA will be too tired to go to class in the fall but I have made it clear to my daughter that she will force herself. The punitive punishment will be living at home, if she loses her HOPE scholarship, and going to school near here. I can lead all I want but that threat is the key to compliance in this house.

abc

July 14th, 2010
10:01 am

Things like that, motherjanegoose, while they may seem trivial on the surface, are good examples and measures of parental leadership effectiveness.

One can say that leadership is the ability to influence people toward accomplishment of a goal. How is such motivation achieved? Some people seem to have a natural ability to get others to do what they want. That would apply to getting children to do what you want, too. That’s what I’m talking about regarding the relationship between parenting and leadership. A leader, or parent, that must resort to threats of punishment in order to motivate is not a very effective leader or parent.

That has little or nothing to do with teaching children about consequences of behavior.

JD

July 14th, 2010
10:17 am

Super Dad – $500 a mth for an 18 year old? How many shifts can she work at McDonalds? And I thought I was being tough for telling mine she had to start paying her own cell & insurance bill.

Not Going To Use My Usual Name

July 14th, 2010
10:22 am

I forget what the concept is called, but in psychology, there’s a term for how it’s beneficial to children to NOT have perfect parents because life is not going to be perfect. This of course is not a license to abuse or neglect children, but mistakes will be made–and that’s okay. I think every parent is going to fall back on threats from time to time. As long as it’s not the primary form of interaction with the child, that’s okay. However, if threats or nagging become de rigueur for a parent-child relationship to the exclusion of other communication styles, there’s a problem.

JATL

July 14th, 2010
10:26 am

@MJG -I completely agree!

@abc -Do you have small children? Do you have any children? If so, you should open a school or something, because you must certainly be the only “effective leader” I’ve ever come across. I know of NO ONE who parents small children who doesn’t go through the scenario MJG described above on a daily basis -at least once -but usually several times. Personally I think it prepares my kids for the real world where these two scenarios are closely relative:

Parent/Kid (borrowed from MJG): You need to eat some breakfast ( suggest)
The food looks yummy ( visual cue)
I am eating my breakfast ( model behavioral expectations)
Your brain needs some fuel ( nutrition/ science)
You will be hungry when you get to school ( cause and effect)

OK…IF YOU DO NOT EAT YOUR BREAKFAST NOW, YOU WILL NOT GO TO THE PARK ( or whatever) AFTER SCHOOL
OR
I AM GOING TO BRUSH MY TEETH AND WHEN I RETURN, YOUR BREAKFAST WILL BE EATEN OR YOU WILL GET SOME EXTRA CHORES TO DO AFTER SCHOOL ( or whatever)

Boss/Employee:

Boss: I need this report in an hour.
Employee: I can’t get it done that fast.
Boss: OK, but I must have it by noon.
@noon -Boss: Where’s the report?
Employee: I haven’t had a chance to finish it.
Boss: Can you absolutely get it to me by EOD today? I must have it! Tell me now if this isn’t possible. If you tell me you can, and I don’t have it, I will seriously consider letting you go.
Employee: Oh sure! It’s fine -you’ll have it by 5.
@5 -Boss: Where’s that report?
Employee: Oh -yeah, I actually didn’t get it done….
Boss: YOU’RE FIRED!

motherjanegoose

July 14th, 2010
10:29 am

@ JD …I payed $80 per month to live with my parents, once I turned 16 and that was in the 1970’s.
I do not charge my kids a dime to live here ( as long as they are in school) but they know they will work their own jobs and pay for their own optional things when they turned 16. Mine know what it is like to spend their own money and not have enough for the things they would like to have…LOL… me too!

I am not a perfect parent but I HAVE made it perfectly clear, as to what I expect from my kids and that the consequences are there no matter if they like them or not. Follow through and empty threats are common with kids today.

abc

July 14th, 2010
10:46 am

My kids are 20, 23 and 29. I’m far from being a perfect parent. I don’t see how passive/aggressive criticism is very productive to the discourse, JATL. If anything, it detracts from any points you’d like to make, add, or comment upon regarding how to optimally get your point across, influence and motivate anyone, much less children.

newblogger

July 14th, 2010
10:53 am

@MJG-I totally agree with your comments. Punitive parenting-logical consequences-whatever you want to call it. It prepares children for the real world. I do not want my children headed out as adults without knowing that everything in life is not a choice, even if it is a choice-you might not be the one doing the choosing every time, if you make a choice you stick with it no matter what (barring safety concerns)and that not everything is as it seems. Sometimes as parents we need to gently push our children into activities that they wouldn’t otherwise choose because it’s either good for them or they don’t have the background knowledge to know if they would like it or not. Like someone said earlier, their children (and husband too) had been “forced” to participate in something and then ended up loving it. Even if they end up hating it, it might be a learning experience. I like to “torture” my kids with this statement when they think something is too difficult/boring/not their choice: “Adversity builds character”. They hear it so often that they sometimes turn it around and use it on me!

theresa

July 14th, 2010
11:03 am

there sre two topics today guys. I haf some technical glitches. Plese look at the next topic down about recess coaches. You, like this one too. I also had some bad typing on my phone.

DigALittleDeeper

July 14th, 2010
11:07 am

newblogger

July 14th, 2010
10:53 am

Isn’t it great when they turn it around and use it on us. My 15 year old does the exact same thing too me and I’m happy to know she is actually listening.

motherjanegoose

July 14th, 2010
11:25 am

@ Dig…I loved it when my son told my daughter
“I know Mom sometimes has crazy ideas but she did a pretty good job raising us and we turned out o.k.”

@newblogger, I am the parent who has forced my children and encourage my husband to try things outside of their sphere. I am all about engaging in new opportunities and meeting new folks.

I made lots of Mom friends ( for the day) at UGA. I just sat next to someone and start chatting.
On M, there were 3 of us who ended up spending the day together. When I got back with my daughter, I told her ” I have 2 new friends…how about you?” She rolled her eyes!

@ T maybe you can get Mike D from July 13 at 1:00 in the morning to help you out with the other blog today. His idea really added to the topic ( NOT) and maybe he is up for it again today. Of course, I was told :
“MJG…then thats not all you’re not getting…rotflmao.” by notimpressed, so maybe I do not understand the real intent of this blog. I see one post I was referring to was deleted…maybe I can tell when folks are totally off base…who knows?

Joyce

July 14th, 2010
11:37 am

Why couldn’t Kate just say “There are good parts and not-so-good parts to just about everything in life. If you want cute, fluffy baby chicks, then realize that they poop and it has to be cleaned up.” (Anyone remember the diaper days??) She could have then had the kids help figure out the system to get all the associated work done, Thus teaching several valuable lessons, instead of making necessary work a punishment.

Of course, the sensible thing rarely makes good “reality” tv or good ink for EW…

FCM

July 14th, 2010
12:24 pm

YUNEL was traded. Thought we should point out that Secret, Arrid etc…won’t matter much as he is no longer a Brave.

FCM

July 14th, 2010
12:28 pm

MJG the kids cannot chose on everything. However I was thinking that perhaps Walsh is sick of the pool and would rather do something else. Or maybe the Science muesum wasn’t interesting to them but World of Coke would be….However if the kids feel they never get any input how does that teach them?

My kids will be joining me in Philly, DC, Boston, and parts of VA. I love history…and really don’t care if they do or not. I think they will gain value on these trips regardless. However they can have a choice of White Water vs Stone Mountain.

motherjanegoose

July 14th, 2010
1:01 pm

FCM…yes input is good sometimes. When my kids were little, we took turns deciding where we were going to eat after church on Sunday. I was not crazy about Mc Donald’s but we went :). This showed that we did respect the idea of doing what others wanted to do, even if one of us did not want to do it…i.e. the pool. We also allow them to pick most any restaurant for their birthday…it is a little more expensive now.

One idea is to brainstorm several things you want to do over the summer;

Pool
Zoo
Stone Mountain
World Of Coke
Lake Lanier
Six Flags
Chuckie Cheese

Everyone gets to suggest 2 things and everyone has to go with the group to the other choices

My thoughts would also be that everyone has to earn $5-$10 towards the “payment required” trips
with projects around the house as summer is not a 10 week vacation with MOM footing the bill. But then I am co-president of the mean mom club :) This way, you can get some projects done around the house…i.e. Rose could straighten the linen closet and Walsh could dust the baseboards or whatever. Everyone can work together and play together…this is what we do here but I do know many children are not familiar with the concept!

LM

July 14th, 2010
1:10 pm

As a single parent raising a only child I would often ask my daughter “what would you like for dinner”, “do you want to see a movie or go to the pool”

As she got older she felt free to give her opinion on many topics which I had not opened for discussion with her.

Later I was was told by my counslor that by giving my daughter choices, I was actually giving her the impression that her opinions were equal to mine as an adult.

JD

July 14th, 2010
1:36 pm

MJG – $80 a mth (even in those days) is very reasonable. $500 is not IMO. My daughter just recently graduated and works 35 hrs a week. She pays for all entertainment, clothes and pretty much anything else she wants/needs. I just can’ t see making her pay rent with the little money she works so hard for. She’ll be doing that the rest of her life once she moves out. She is taking off a few months to figure out which career path she wants but she’s steadily working. My son is 10 years older than her and thinks she gets too much special care compared to when he was her age but then again, he didn’t finish school and like most young couples, we were struggling more in those days. I think we do for our children as much as were able at the time.

Sally

July 14th, 2010
1:46 pm

I think it is important to remember that TWG is giving us an example and from that example we can NOT assume that Walsh is constantly forced to do things he does not want to do. The reality is that with three kids there is usually at least one who is being “forced” to do something he/she does not want to do. It is the price you pay for being part of a family and compromising. She can not leave him home alone yet while the other two go swimming even if she wanted to. It would also not be fair to make the girls stay home simply because Walsh never wants to swim.

motherjanegoose

July 14th, 2010
1:53 pm

@ JD, my point was that I do not know many parents who charged their children rent, as soon as they turned 16. I was allowed to eat and sleep at the house but paid for my lunch at school, food out and anything else I wanted. I drove a 1966 Ford station wagon, paid for by my parents in 1976. I even paid for all of my college myself. No loans….I worked.

$500 per month may seem high but I do not know where else you could live for that amount.
Some kids stay home with Mom or Dad for a LONG time, as it is cheaper. Kids sometimes need incentive to go back to school. Once they start with a paycheck ( no college) and do not have realistic bills, they are used to their own money. They do not want to go back to college. Not all kids are cut out for college but most need to be cut out for life IMHO. Some parents charge the rent and put it in an account for the child to have when they actually finish college.

I know a 24 year old who lives with his parents, in and out of college, has a child ( mother and him are not together), lost his license for too many DUI’s and needs a ride from his parents to get to and from work. He does work!

motherjanegoose

July 14th, 2010
1:55 pm

Sally and LM…good points. Now I am going to the pool….:)

newblogger

July 14th, 2010
2:50 pm

My oldest just lost the HOPE scholarship as of last semester. Only by a little so maybe he’ll get it back in the fall. His choices right now are: you can live at home and commute to Kennesaw or you can use the loan money (which was paying for rent) for your tuition and get a job to pay the rent. He has chosen to get a job to pay the rent. (He said he didn’t mind living at home, but when you get a taste of freedom it’s hard to give it back.) When he earns back the HOPE, he can go back to using the loan money for rent and keep the job for extra spending money or not. As I’ve said before, he is a Marine Reservist so he gets paid for one weekend a month, but that is usually his spending money and not enough for rent. I like to think these are logical consequences that are tough with a safety net for now. Of course we’ll chip in what he can’t cover if he is honestly putting forth an effort and we still pay for the car, insurance, some spending money, etc. But I think he is learning a valuable lesson about priorities and responsibilities. He seems to understand and is willing to step up to the plate. I can only hope this lesson will help him in the future. He seems very determined to stay focused next semester and bring up his grades!

FCM

July 14th, 2010
5:14 pm

MJG my children went to Toys R Us…one had $20 the other $10. The one with $10 starts bellyaching about not having the “same” (yeah a prime candidate for the Democrats if I were to actually cowtoe to it)….I said um, when I asked for someone to do the dishes where were you? How about the bathroom? Who folded all the laundry AND put it up without my asking while I made dinner? (All over the course of two weeks). She said “I don’t want to talk about the work I didn’t do I want more money for the toys.” I told her to remember that the next time I was looking for volunteers—since the base rate at my house is $5 week for the standard chores there is still room to get more $$$ to spend.

I think the lesson was good to learn, and maybe it sunk in but we shall see….

FCM

July 14th, 2010
5:17 pm

oh one other thought on the rent….my folks said “Full Time School w/good grades, Full Time job and pay us rent/get the heck out and rent your own, or military you chose”

motherjanegoose

July 14th, 2010
5:29 pm

FCM…HAHA!

Oh yes, I have paid my daughter to do lots of things for me around the house and also for my business. Usually around $100 per month since she was 16. Others say, ” you can afford to PAY your daughter $100 per MONTH?” I say, “you can afford designer jeans, gas for their car, movie tickets, Chik Fil A, manicures etc?” It is all the same to me and makes more sense for my daughter to work for it. I am checking in with her friends, who will be home in the fall, now as I will need new help! We do not operate on a hand out mentality here nor do we vote for those who support handouts.

My parents basically just wanted us out!

FCM

July 14th, 2010
6:00 pm

oh mine are still little enough for some handouts–they get shoes, food etc for just exisiting…or maybe that is just the expenses that the various chores that get $5 a week also cover…like keeping a neat room, putting up their own laundry (putting up mine gets the bonus $$), keeping the bathroom picked up (scrubbing gets the bonus), bringing in the grocery and trash bins. That sort of thing.

I seem to recall that one wanted to go see a movie at the dollar theater. I said, nope don’t want to do that since we decided to do “x” the other day, however if YOU want to splurge YOUR money to take the 3 of us to the movie (total cost $3.75) I will drive us. Well that movie didn’t seem so important anymore. It wasn’t that I couldn’t pay for the movie, it’s that I didn’t see why I should cater to the whim. A few weeks later there was a different movie and I was approached with “Hey I would like to see [movie] will you take us if I buy the tickets?”…So I know it left an impression, and I did arrange to let them take us to the movie.

My current deal, now that they are earning more money..is that as long as it still conforms to my rules (so certain movies/clothes are out) then they can spend the $$$ however they want no questions asked. Do you know if they go with the grandparents and they aren’t sure, they call to ask if what they want is within the rules since they don’t want to waste their money on things they will be removed?

HB

July 14th, 2010
6:04 pm

There’s nothing wrong with consequences for bad behavior, but the punitive nature of the chicken coop does send a bad message I think. Sets up the not fun job as a punishment rather than as a responsibility that comes what the kids might generally see as a fun thing (having chickens). It also introduces a new fun family thing as a new opportunity for punishment before they’ve even misbehaved. Along those same lines, I don’t think scooping poop when the family takes their dog for a walk is an appropriate punishment for a misbehaving child — it should be seen as a responsibility shared by all and a small inconvenience outweighed by their love for their pet.

I also don’t get trying to force Walsh to swim. Have you asked him what he’d rather do? I think it’s fine that he has to go along with everyone else sometimes, but why not give him a choice of playing with a small toy or two or reading comic books instead of sitting quietly (sounds like his choice is swim or time out) especially if you’re going really often? Is he getting the idea that he has to go just because he’s outnumbered by pool lovers? Maybe every third excursion should be something he especially likes even if his sisters aren’t crazy about it. How long do you swim? If a 2-3 hour trip, he may feel bored and miserable for half the time and dread going — shorter trips (1-1.5 hours) might be more fun for him.

Theresa, you’ve mentioned your kids fighting and complaining a few times recently. I wonder if you’re all just getting sick of each other? Have the kids been to day camps on their own this summer? Do you hire a sitter often? Would the grandparents be willing to have them over one at a time for a special day without siblings? Summer can get long and miserable, and I wonder if some time away from each other or a new face (sitter) might help put everyone in a better mood.