I have a discipline problem.

Zachary screams and talks back to me, every now and then even pinching me.  He intentionally wakes his sister, tortures his brother, and this week hit a friend at school.  His favorite game is to get his brother to misbehave, then sit back innocently and watch him get in trouble.

Benjamin smacks his sister for fun, breaks things, and calls people “stinky butt,” a term I fear he learned from his brother.

Lilah, bless her little heart, is delighted that she understands my directions and – other than getting pissy when I refuse to change her clothes for hours – is incredibly obedient.

I can yell, I can take away privileges, I can send them to their rooms.  And it works.  On Zachary.

Benjamin?  He won’t stay in his room.  He feigns nonchalance when I take away TV time.  He laughs maniacally and breaks things.  And how the hell do I send him to his room when he hits his brother’s friends in the kindergarten line in the morning?

I truly fear this kid will end up in juvie.

You may have heard about the mom who had her friend in the sheriff’s department pretend to arrest her five-year-old because he was lighting fires.  The neighbor was shocked, but I wonder what the neighbor would have thought if the house had gone up in flames.  My guess?  Everyone would have been aghast that the mom hadn’t found a way to stop her kid from starting fires.

Really, to my mind, there is only one question: where can I get a friend in the sheriff’s department?

8 responses to “Discipline

  1. You have my full sympathies. I have one for whom nothing really seems to work. Sometimes he just decides to behave – what I do appears to have no bearing on reality whatsoever. It’s a mystery. We are stumped. No fire here yet.

  2. lifeineden

    maybe go to the next fraternal order benefit? 😉

    there are many days i don’t know what to do. how do you teach a toddler not to shove his sister, when you have to shove him away to stop him from doing it?

  3. collaborationconversation

    “Siblings Without Rivalry” by Faber and Mazlish was my bible and saviour. I highly recommend it.

  4. She Started It

    Consistently applied time-outs, taking away of privileges, etc., did absolutely nothing for my older two kids once they hit 4-5 years old.


  5. I , ooooh, This is one of the things that just scares the hell out of me to have kids

  6. We DO have a friend on the police department. One day, in complete frustration, I demanded “Badger, do I have to call Mr. E to come over here and lock you up like a monkey?” (Nope, not my finest hour, people. I admit it.)

    Badger looked right into my eyes and snapped “Mr. E never lock me up. He LOVES me.”

  7. My friends with similar issues started going to these Love and Logic classes. And they said it’s really making a difference. There are Love and Logic books too. Might be worth a look.

  8. defiantmuse

    I hear you. Same problem here. It’s lovely when your child screams, “NO MOMMY! GO AWAY MOMMY” while growling like a dog as she stomps off and slams the bedroom door behind her. If this is what 3 looks like I am not looking forward to 13.