help me punish my boys!!

Rosie - posted on 07/20/2010 ( 17 moms have responded )




ok, so my 2 oldest boys ages 10, and 5 share a room. and last night when they were supposed to be sleeping i heard laughter. so i went in to check on what was going on, and it was a waterworld in there!! the floor was soaking wet, vinnies bed was covered with water, the bathroom had water all over it, grrrrrr!! i told them they were grounded and i started getting ready to go to bed myself. 2 min. after i lay down, i hear the bathroom water turning on. i get up to see them showering water everywhere AGAIN!!! this is the 4th time it has happened in like 5 weeks, and i've grounded them each time. obviously it's not working. last time i also added picking up dog poop to the punishment. still, not a deterrant.

can anyone give me an idea for punishment? i am at my wits end with their behavior and disregard of our house, and their stuff. thanks!! :)


Krista - posted on 07/20/2010




That's a tough one, where they're far apart in age. What might work for one wouldn't work for the other.

Can you make them do chores to earn money to replace something that was ruined as a result of the drenching? They can put the money in a jar, and then when there is enough, they have to go with you and pay for the item themselves, and see their hard-earned money go towards replacing that item.

Now if you REALLY wanted to hammer it home, you could then go home and wilfully destroy that item yourself, and make them do the work and the paying for it all over again, to show them what they basically put you through.

But that might be a little too harsh...

[deleted account]

I think that Krista does have a great idea. the consequence needs to fit the behavior. He ruined the item, now he has to pay for it. Getting the items out of their rooms also sounds good to me. It's a privilege to have theses items and if they can't take decent care, then they can't have it. Also, you can have them clean up the mess themselves and be VERY picky about how well they do it...

IMO, taking the toys away, preventing them from going outside, etc. will only make the behavior worst. Boys will be boys and without any outlet to channel their energy, they will wreck the house and behave like animals. Moreover, I don't think these consequences will teach them WHY you are upset with what they did.

It may not be the right time now since their behavior really wasn't up to par but have you thought about enrolling them in activities like martial arts, team sports, play groups? It might help them learn self-discipline and help them channel their energy in a more positive way.

Edited: I also like the suggestion of asking them WHY they did this. One mom on another group suggested sending the child to their room with paper and a pen so that they can write down (or draw) why they are acting a certain way. You can find out a lot of things that way... and it might help you find a consequence that is more fit for them.

Good luck

Riana - posted on 07/21/2010




WHY? Ask yourself over and over and over again why do they do it. In order to solve the problem you need to understand it first. You can't start hopping from one form of punishment to the next until you understand the problem first. Talk to them and get behind the reason why they do it? Maybe they like palying with water, then the answer would be to explain (and yes this might include making them clean up and pay for damage) that their room is not the place and create a place where they do get the opportunity. Maybe they are trying to test you? See how you react. You need to know who instigates it and why. You will never solve the problem otherwise.

Then once you understand the problem you can reinforce a working solution (that does not need to included public humiliation!) but simply needs to reinforce why what they did was wrong and offer an alternative solution. If you need to use punishment to reinforce it then the punishment should suit both the action and the child. So definately there should be a difference between the 5yo and 10yo also keeping in mind their personalities ie children who are very social is easy to ground but children who prefer being on their own are not.

Find in your mind the thing you think is most valuable or important to your child. Sit them down find out why they do it, explain why they shouldn't offer an alternative and agree to what will happen if they do it again.

In my house it would go like this: Why did you play with the water, do you like having your room in a mess, do you like having mommy angry, are you borred, do you like playing with water, did one dare the other ect ect. (It could go as far as maybe the 5yo had wet his bed and was trying to wash it!) Then: You are not allowed to have water, in any form in your room as it damages the floor, furniture, your beds and your toys. If you would like to play with water tell me and we will do it during the day outside on the grass where it is appropriate. If you need to wash anything in your room then tell me and I will help you wash it in the laundry. However if you do make a mess of your room after today you will have to face the consequenses of not listening and (Annika my 9yo daughter who loves nothing more that visiting friend) will not be allowed to visit friends or have friends over for 2 weeks and (Kobus my 5yo son who adores his puppy and is allowed to have him in his room at night) will have to let his puppy sleep outside for a week.

This would be a gauranteed fix in my house as I know my children and know what is most important to them. Also I gave them a valid reason a clear rule and a suitable alternative option.

Sharon - posted on 07/20/2010




If my 10 yr old showered water all of his bedroom - I'd whoop his ass.

He knows better than that. HELL, my 7 yr old knows better. If he did it a second time, - fuck, that sort of shit has NEVER happened a second time.

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Stifler's - posted on 08/03/2010




Oh dear. I'd tell them they can sleep outside with the dog if that's how they want to act. And give them a flogging. But that's just me and apparently spanking is outdated. Pfft.

Becky - posted on 07/22/2010




I agree with some of the other moms that the FIRST thing you need to do is talk to them. Not nag, lecture, or huff and puff, but actually sit down with them, calm, cool, and collected, and see whats up. If that doesn't work, ask them to write you a letter. Well, the 10 year old anyway.

There is a REASON behind this behavior. It could be as simple as boys just having fun (and not caring about the consequence) or it could be a real cry for attention.

After I had an idea what the heck they were thinking, I'd nicely (!key word!) explain to them once why it is inappropriate and what is expected of them. I would explain that, if it happens again, they will have to earn money to help pay the water bill. They would, of course, have to clean up their own mess, or lay in it, whichever. The next time it happens, and it will because they'll have to see if you're for real, I'd remove all the things out of the room that could actually be damaged by water, put them in a bag, and put them away for the duration of these episodes, and I'd do so by saying "wow guys, I'm afraid these things may get wet and ruined. I'd hate for that to happen! I'm going to put them away until it stays dry in here." *smile* What I wouldn't do is gripe or lecture while I did it. Let your actions do the teaching! Lecturing just fuels the fire!

Now, with the damagable items gone, and them doing chores (decent, real chores, not picking up crap), I'm guessing its not going to take these boys too long to figure out that maybe this spraying water isn't the greatest thing to be doing. Of course, if they spray SO MUCH water that they could actually damage floors and stuff, I'd put a lock on the bathroom and they'd have to ask for a pass to potty. If its just your run-of-the-mill water mess, then they'd just have to deal with the icky wetness they created. I may even consider separating them at night if it continues past 2 more times.

The keys here are being clear about what is expected, enforcing your rule kindly, and NOT lecturing about it. Don't show them that they can get you so upset. You're the mom, and you can handle this. Even if you don't feel that way at the moment, make them THINK you feel that way ;-)

As a side note, which is totally irrelevant, my kids are 3 and 1, and they LOVE to play in the sink. They make such a mess and there's water all over the floor by the time they're done. Kids love water! We all grab towels after they're done and we dry it up. They had fun. The floor is dry again. They helped. That's that. Hell, its just water. But 3 and 1 are different than 10 and 5 I suppose.

Shelley - posted on 07/20/2010




I think its an attention issue so if they want attention give them attention. Does your local shopping centre have a stage where you could make them stand holding a sign we are standing here because we like to wet our beds or something equally uncomfortable. Some times embarresment is a good deterant

Rosie - posted on 07/20/2010




my oldest have tentatively been diagnosed with high functioning autism (still waiting on a second opinion), and he has adhd. my 5 year old well, shit, i feel he should know better.
this whole autism thing is really scary for me. i don't know how to punish or what to do with him sometimes. i don't know if his punishments are appropriate for his "problem" (for lack of a better word) and i'm worried he won't be learning anything from them, and since it hasn't been totally confirmed yet that is what is "wrong" with him i feel even more confused. one of my good friends has 2 autistic children, but they are not as high functioning as grant is. her 7 year old just learned how to talk last year. so i don't know if her advice would help me. i don't know.....

anyhoo, thanks guys. and yes, cathy i did make him sleep in his soaked bed (the 5 year old), BUT he peeds the bed almost everynight anyway so that isn't much of a deterrant. keep the ideas coming though!!

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 07/20/2010




When you get them young…you have less to do when they are older… My son is only 7years old, and he has his moments, but over all I have him in check. I don’t spank him, but I do snatch his little behind up when he gets out of line…other wise I make good on my threat. He LOVES THE Wii….and his many toys, and his DS. It only took me one time to do this and now he knows im serious. I took a garbage bag and literately filled it up with all his toys, I threw in his Wii, and DS along with all his games that go with them. I told him I was throwing it away and let him watch me put it in the garbage(mind you he was utterly shocked... The look on his face was priceless…he didn’t really think I would do that) but (after he was sent to his room, I did take it out and hid it in my room) he had nothing to play with for a week and he was 5 at the time.

You could try that…or when I ask him to pick up his room I tell him anything not put away will be thrown away, and I actually do throw them away. Im a believer in getting them where it hurts the most…and most of the time that is there prized possessions. Now at 7 when I tell him to pick up his toys, he scrambles to have everything picked up, or when we are out shopping he knows that t when I say “If I have to say your name one more time for anything…the rest of your day will be ruined,” the other thing is I have my son on his toes…he doesn’t really know what I will do or what I will take…but he knows I will do something.

I hope you find what works.

Rosie - posted on 07/20/2010




i've thought about standing them outside and spraying them with a hose!!! lol!!
i can just see myself showering them screaming how do you like water now!!!and then they would be running around playing in it! sigh.... LMAO!

[deleted account]

Maybe you should take away the privilege of having in a bath. But they'd probably LOVE that! So....not a good idea.

Have you asked them what the purpose of destroying their room with water? Sounds crazy, but as a teacher I learned that sometimes if you know the "why" behind a crazy behavior, you can discipline better.

Rosie - posted on 07/20/2010




it means they can't play with toys, watch tv, play video games, or go outside. sometimes i've made it so they have to stay in their room, but that is when one of them was grounded, not both at the same time. oh yeah, i've already taken the tv out of their room for other reasons, so there's that too!!

[deleted account]

Could you take all their stuff with the explanation that they don't get the privilege of having stuff if they can't take care of it? I mean, everything but the beds of course.

Isobel - posted on 07/20/2010




just out of curiosity...what does grounded mean in your house? In mine it means that they are stuck in their rooms...but that's SOOOO hard when they share...I'm thinking and will come back.

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