Don't Wait Until You Are Angry to Punish

We’ve all been there. Junior has forgotten his math book again and thus cannot complete his homework tonight. It’s the third time this week. You have talked about why it’s important. You have reminded him in the morning. What else can you do? Many times we snap under the strain and yell and punish out of anger. This is understandable, but avoidable.

Was Junior really given enough reason to remember his book? I mean, if he forgets it, he doesn’t have to do his homework. In this scenario, he is rewarded for forgetting his book. We are setting ourselves and our child up to fail when we do this.

I suggest a different scenario to help jog his memory. Before Junior leaves for school in the morning explain to him the alternative he will choose if he “forgets” his book again. A combination of yard work, cleaning house, writing sentences extra homework made up by Mom, a “plain” supper followed by an early bedtime and NO FUN OR FREE TIME!! Then if he chose to forget his book, there is no reason for you to get mad.

If he respects you, he probably won’t forget his book after that warning. If he doesn’t respect you, you need to earn back his respect by following through on your warning.

“But, Mom, I’m sorry and I’ll never do it again!!!”

“I hope not, dear. Now change into your work clothes. I have some sticks and leaves for you to clean up for starters.”

“Aaawww, Mom!”

“I love you, dear, but you’ve got to learn to make homework a priority in your mind.”

DO NOT GIVE IN TO YOUR CHILD’S PLEA FOR MERCY!!!! If you did, it would train him to not respect you and it would tell him that you aren’t really in charge. HE IS. I have met many parents that let foolish children run their lives because they are afraid to stand up to them.