Sunday, April 25, 2010

"I Will Not Write On Walls."

I am so frustrated right now.  Do you want to know how Grace and Zachary spent most of their day today?  Well, it wasn't playing outside or with friends and they won't get to do at all this next week.  Why do you ask?  Because they are grounded.  They are grounded from playing with friends, watching television, from playing the Wii, the computer, their DS's, their ipod and anything else that I can think of!  What did they do?  They wrote their names on their closet doors with a piece of metal.  Luckily for them it didn't actually scratch through the paint and THEY were able to scrub it all off with a magic eraser. And it might not have been so bad if it hadn't been just yesterday that Dave and I had this huge talk to them about respecting things like our house, furniture, clothes - everything that we work hard to provide for them.  We had to have that discussion because I found that my favorite chair in the living room had this huge sunken in spot in the arm.  I knew immediately what had happened when I saw it.  They like to sit sideways in that chair to watch TV and they (probably Zachary) pushed out his legs and pressed his feet into the side of the chair and the arm support gave away.  I was able to fix it a little so it doesn't look horrible but it's broken and there is nothing I can do about it.  I was livid after I found that.  And even though that was an accident, we still talked to them about how we need to respect and take care of things.  And it has just been one thing after another.  We went to Wilmington yesterday and in the car on the ride down, Zachary punched little puncture marks in the arm of his car seat with his DS pen.  I just don't get it!  He didn't learn a thing from our "talk" earlier that day.

So, when I walked into Grace's room this afternoon to hang up some clothes in her closet and saw "GRACE" written on her door, I thought I was going to lose it.  Then she proceeded to tell me that Zach did it first and even though she knew it was wrong, she thought it was cool so she did it too.  So, I went to Zach's room and scrawled across his closet door was "ZACH".  I literally felt like HOT steam was coming out of my ears.  I had to leave the room.  I just had to walk away for a few minutes.  They both got a lecture and talking to like they have not had in a long time.  And they had to write for me.  I told them since they liked writing so much, that I would give them something to write about.  They each had to write "I will not write on walls."  Grace had to write it 100 times and Zachary had to write it 50 times. Grace didn't complain about it as much as Zachary but it literally took him all afternoon long to get his 50 sentences completed.  Maybe next time, they will think before they do something like that.

We try so hard to teach them right from wrong.  And the things is, they do know better!  So, how do we teach them to respect things?  Any suggestions?


Steadfast Ahoy! said...

Is this something all children go thru? My 3 yr. old sister did a number on a new wall with a lead pencil. She pushed so hard, she dug right into the dry wall. I thought my Father was going to kill her.

My son, when he was 3, tried to do something weird to his wooden rocking horse that Grandma had envisioned being an heirloom when she gave it to him. He pulled out all the mane, and then he dug about 75 holes in its back with a screw driver.

When my oldest son was a senior in HS, he somehow got a 3 seat sofa up in the artfully exposed rafters of his newly built bedroom. What seemed to work that time, after I had cried and wailed in anguish, was telling him he was perfectly free to do whatever he wanted to the house he finally got just how he liked, when he got to be 50 years old, but he had to respect mine because it was all I was going to get.

Intentional vandalism is unacceptable, but it takes years to instill respect for other's belongings. Good luck with it, and remember not to discipline in anger. Harder said than done, I know. :)

Denise said...

Stopping by from Friday Follow to say Hi! I am now a follower!

Stop by and enter my giveaway for Rachael Ray Bakeware:

VKT said...

I suggest that you keep doing what you are doing. Consistent consequences will eventually help them get the message. Bravo Mom from your newest follower! We are neighbors btw!

Cherie said...

We make the kids write lines also! Kaulani hates it when we make him do that. It's awesome...:) I am afraid I don't have much more advice then that, I just found a huge dent on my new deep freezer, right after we talked to the kids about taking care of the things in our home.