Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday... Punishment Essays

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My parents would occasionally dole out punishments in the form of essays and I'm starting to figure out why. It's SUPPOSED to be for the reason of making your kids think through their actions and really dwell on their stupidity... but the BEST part is the funny things they say and that you have it recorded on paper FOREVER. Oh yes... it's a beautiful thing.
Johnny NEVER remembers to brush his teeth when he spends the night at his buddy's house. It just drives me nuts. We've gone over and over it. I'm a very picky, annoying mother when it comes to dental care. Every night I'm all, "Brush your teeth REALLY GOOD." One night I got out the "brush your teeth..." part and Johnny interjected with, "I know, I know... REALLY GOOD." So anyway, he once again 'forgot' (ie. chose not to) brush his teeth during a sleep-over and I made him sit down and write an essay. Here are the questions that I wanted him to answer, and his response. Oh, I love being a parent.
  1. What happens when you don't brush your teeth? If I don't, they will gather plack. And plack isn't good for teeth. And then I have to go to the dentist more often.
  2. Why did you not brush your teeth? I didn't do it because we were making a Lego video.
  3. Why is it important to obey? It is important to obey because I could get hurt.
  4. How will you remember to brush your teeth next time? I will remember next time by putting a note on my pajamas or something. Put something on my underwear and not take it off until I brush my teeth.
  5. What should I do if you do not brush your teeth next time? If I forget again, you should make me do this again.

Re:#4... one of his original answers was "And I will tell Max's mom to remind me." Uh.. no way, pal. The whole point here is that this is YOUR responsibility, not someone else's.

Re:#5... make him write this again? Yeah, right. I'm uppin' the ante next time. But nice try!

And yes, this approach DID have a posotive outcome. So, it works for me.

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frillsfluffandtrucks said...

Oh, you have to save those answers for posterity! My 4 year old was very naughty one day and I was at my wits end, so I told her she had to write me a letter of apology. She labored over it for a very long time. I love that letter--her creative spelling is a riot!

~ Sarah

Lisa said...

Very cute - they say the greatest things.

Liam's Mom - Gina said...

That is totally awesome! I am so going to do this as soon as my son can write.

Marianne @ Meal Mixer said...

I do this, too! My kids are older, however, and I make them do it in paragraphs and correct any errors. It's not only a correction, it's home schooling! YAY! I also save them in a binder for when they are parents and moaning about how they never acted the way their kids are acting...