Sunday, 25 March 2012

Crime and Punishment

Generally Jack is an obedient child. He's only disobedient when he's not paying attention to what he's doing, which is often. Or when he's tired, which generally just means that he doesn't pay attention. It's a vicious cycle really.

Punishing Jack is easy now but it wasn't always. When he was very little he had a way of making his punishment seem like your punishment. Usually by the end of the punishment we were angrier with him than when we started. If we sent him to his room he'd start throwing things down the stairs. Once his room was empty he'd start breaking things or run up and down the hallway and eventually rope us into playing a game of 'chase him back into his room
Eventually we got things under control by a long series of trail and error. Thank fully they paid off and now we have our moderately well behaved child to take to fancy places.

Now a days Jack more or less punishes himself, he doesn't like the idea of having misbehaved. It's somewhat problematic because he gets very upset if there's even the possibility of his having been naughty. So usually just letting him know that you're angry with him is punishment enough. We'll tell him off and he'll usually exile himself to his room or somewhere for a while. Often he won't come out until we go get him.

The other day Jack was misbehaving and lost his morning television privileges. We didn't think much of it really, we figured that he'd just play with his toys instead until breakfast arrived, so we left him in the living room while we prepared in the kitchen. It was Saturday so breakfast was taking longer than usual and after about half an hour I went to get the table ready and found Jack sitting at his table looking glum.
What are you doing?
Nothing... he moped.
I noted the undisturbed toys in their pile in the corner. You can play with your toys you know.
I know.
Have you just been sitting here this whole time.
Just staring at the wall?
I'm not allowed to watch the television this morning.
So staring at the blank TV screen then.

I must admit that I felt a little bad about it all, more so that breakfast was taking so long.

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