[deleted account] ( 18 moms have responded )
On the way home from picking my son (about to turn 9 years) up from school today, he informed me that he had studied his spelling during dismissal, and asked if he had to study again when he got home. Not being the most trusting person in the world, and knowing my son's study habits, I wasn't confident that his quick glance over the words was sufficient, so I said, "I'll think about it." In my mind, I was trying to come up with a compromise--an abbreviated exercise just to make sure he knew the words.
He responded, "I'm not going to do it. I already did it."
To which I responded, "I decide whether you will do it or not. I said we'll see."
He then exclaimed, "I'm never doing my homework at school again!" and stabbed a sharp pencil into the upholstery of our car causing the airbag sensor light on the dashboard to start blinking. (He was in the front seat because we carpool and the other kids were in the back).
I was furious, not only by his unacceptable responses, but the fact that he damaged my car and embarrassed our family with his outburst.
When we got home, I had him write a sentence with each of his spelling words about why his actions were inappropriate, what he could have done differently, and the consequences of his actions....so 3 sentences per spelling word. He has been saving for several months for an Xbox, and I told him that he would need to use that money to pay for the repairs on the car and repay any amount above the $220 he had saved.
I would also like to prohibit screen time for the next month, as he has been playing a lot more than usual and I always notice that this makes his temper flare, but my husband says that is too harsh. Thursday is his birthday, and because he was so close to purchasing the Xbox, we bought him a TV for his room--we gave him a party this weekend, but plan to surprise him with the TV by having it hung on his wall when he gets home from school. The no TV portion of the discipline would ruin that surprise, and I must admit, I want it to be a happy day. This is his last single digit birthday and I don't want it to be overshadowed by this stupid temper tantrum, but at the same time, I don't want him to think it is okay to express himself that way. He needs to learn restraint.
Do you think letting him off without taking away the screen time rights is too lenient? Am I just being sentimental and letting that get in the way of effective discipline, or is it okay to let him slide this one time?
(I will be enforcing stricter limits on screen time--we had been lax with it due to having extra company in town, and allowing him to play online with his cousins).