Signature Move

Removal of possessions, withholding of privileges, and modified time outs are my go-to tools in our current no-spanking method of discipline and correction. Just the threat of not getting to watch Tangled during lunch will usually get my kids out of the pool at the first request, and only one time did a child not get to sing along with Rapunzel and Mother Gothel. If you are the parent of a child who can walk…or at least has control of his limbs, you know there are times when none of these work. None of them. And, you are left to physically restrain a child. Out of love of course. Sometimes out of your love for the child. And, sometimes out of your love for doors without holes kicked in them.

This week I have been grateful for the younger brother of my high school best friend. He was a wrestler, and a pretty good one if I remember correctly. We couldn’t walk into a room he was in without being dragged into a wrestling match with him. I eventually learned to just give in, wrestle him, put up a good fight but still be instantly defeated. Fun times they were. However, I must have subconsciously stored away some strategies I saw because I whipped out several of those moves on my children this week. I even put one of my best friends in a particular hold on my kitchen floor because she didn’t believe my story.

Um, now she does.

Monday and Tuesday these matches were so intense…and long…that I unashamedly skipped my class at the gym. Had to skip it. I was still fatigued when it was time to leave my house an hour after I had declared victory one day. As if I could be defeated. No. Mommy always wins. Always.

My side of our bedroom has become a holding place for nearly all of this child’s belongings, including his entire wardrobe. Each time he asks for something, for instance a pair of undies or an electric train, we remind him of the broken rule that resulted in the removal and withholding of his possessions including his favorites of the community toys.

It’s not like I had made the child go naked. Each day I gave him an allotment of clothing that included one outfit (of my choosing), one pair of undies, and one pair of PJs. I’ve used this same technique with Avery for probably 2 years. It was a little easier with her because she will only wear dresses and an occasional skirt, so a removal of just those items was enough…or just verbally restricting her options worked as well.

I will admit I felt a little like Mommy Dearest when I denied his request for new undies after our trip to the pool. As the kids change into their swim suits, each stacks his or her clothing together for me, and I leave the 3 neat stacks at the door so that when we get home they can change into dry clothes without tracking water upstairs. Clever, right? After his little pouting episode over the mysteriously missing undies, during which the other kids and I went and had lunch while he stood...naked...at the bottom of the stairs glaring at us in the kitchen, the undies were found right where he left them: inside the day’s pair of pants. While he pretended not to understand the irony of the situation...or my sarcasm over it, I have had many good laughs because of it.

After naptime today, all undies along with the rest of this child’s clothes were returned to him because he followed this one directive. If we have a replay tomorrow, he will get back his favorite shoes and silly bands.

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