Many of you asked that I update with what we decided to do as a punishment for what will heretofore be known as The Loveseat Coloring Incident (I wanted to go with The Day the Music Died, but that event has apparently already been taken).
Anyway, if you remember, it was important to us to make the punishment loving and logical. And I also wanted to find something that would “get to him”, as he really doesn’t care about so many things. So here is what we decided on….
First thing, that night at dinner, we took his money and explained that it would go toward cleaning the loveseat.
The next day we wrote out 5 sentences for him to copy. We had him copy each sentence 5 times and this was done during his regular Wii play time. The sentences were:
- I will obey my parents.
- I will take care of our things.
- I will use my words when I am angry.
- I am an important part of my family.
- My family loves me.
The sentence writing was done happily and without complaint and I think he finished it up in 2-3 days time, at which point he was allowed to resume Wii play.
That week I was painting our entryway and hallway, so I had him help by cleaning the baseboards. Again this was done happily, and we worked as a team.
The only punishment that really rattled him was that I made him throw his pumpkin in the trash. The day after he colored the loveseat, we were having cuddle time and we were alone and I began talking to him about it, and he finally admitted that he was mad at me for taking his pumpkin away and that is why he colored on the loveseat (which I knew). I asked him what he thought we should do about this, and he immediately started to sob, saying “don’t throw the pumpkin away!!”. I should say here that I intended all along to make him get rid of the pumpkin, but this was him handing me on a silver platter, the one punishment that he actually cared about. So we walked into the kitchen together and I watched as he threw it away.
He cried for at least 20 minutes and I held him.
The one thing that I have vowed to myself not to do is to bring it up again. I am not rubbing it in his face and this won’t be something I will hold over his head. It’s over. He did his punishments and I forgave him.
And the most remarkable part is that the marker (it was a washable type) has almost completely faded to nothing. We haven’t wiped it or washed it. I haven’t called the professional cleaner yet. Every day the marks get a little bit more faint.
But I’m still keeping the money 🙂