What did my charming son do on Friday?

I don't think you will ever know if you are cut out to be a mother until some event takes place that is so far out of what you think can happen that you are in new territory.
We came home from school and things were fine. He wanted to do some crafts until his Dad came home- it was only about an hour until that happened. The dining room table is where we usually do our crafts-but currently it's full of Etsy items that haven't been put away (my bad). I told him he could work at his desk in the living room. He wanted glitter- but the living room is carpeted, so no glitter. But, I gave him construction paper, glue sticks, markers, scissors and crayons. I was on the computer in the next room (which is open to the living room) and he was in there for about 20 minutes.

Now, with the stage set, let me tell you what I found. He took after my CURTAINS with the SCISSORS. He managed to try to cut out shapes etc... in/on 3 curtains. The denim resisted his advances, but the white duck gave him what he wanted. It never had a chance.
He was silent but deadly. I was less than 15 ft from him and I never had a clue.

This is where I can tell you that I know now that I am firmly against corporal punishment. I thought I was before, but since he came out of this without even a spank on the butt, I know that that is how I feel.
So, how was he punished if I don't believe in spanking?
1. weekends are his cartoon time. He loves cartoons. He has no cartoons this weekend, and he knows that he brought this on himself. He hasn't even asked to see any.
2. No more arts/crafts anywhere but the main table with me around for a while. This upset him because he says he's a big boy. I said big boys don't cut up their mothers curtains. He loves art and I don't want him not to love it, so it's a fine line I have here.
3. I took all the money out of his piggy bank to pay for the curtains. I explained, and showed him, that he had enough money to buy a large Playmobil Egypt set. (he loves those things) I told him he had to buy me new curtains to replace the ones he cut up. I took 44.00 total from his piggy bank. We talked about how many rocks he picked up in the yard to get that money etc... it really got to him to see it all go away.
4. Lastly, he spent a lot of time talking to me about what the hell he was thinking. We discussed how things belong to people. That I really liked those curtains. I think that he understood what he did was wrong, and that sometimes just saying sorry isn't enough. I hope so at least. He was concerned that I was going to cut up something of his. We talked about how two wrongs don't make a right. That destroying something of his wasn't going to make what he did go away, or make it right.

I was so surprised that I was so calm. Surprised, but somewhat happy. My patience has been tested before with the kiddo, but I've been had my curtains cut to shreds by someone that I love, and it was interesting in hindsight to see my reaction to it.
I think this turned out to be a learning experience for both of us. I'm not going to say it was a good thing though.
It did get me to put up my winter curtains though....


Anonymous said...

holy crap, TFD, LOL.....What a good mother you are.


Anne (in Reno) said...

Yeah, that sounds like a very reasonable, well-explained response. Piggy bank + no cartoons sounds very fair and clearly makes him see the results of his actions. How old is this kid now?

LOJO said...

5 and 1/2. Old enough to know better. Old enough to understand.

I don't think kids should be spanked. I never have. I still don't. The boy is pretty well behaved, even if this story doesn't show it.

Alana in Canada said...

I think you handled that really well. Really well! I'm glad he had a piggy bank. My kids don't. (Hubby is adament we "can't afford it."

Well done, Mom.

LOJO said...

he loves money. He picks up rocks in the yard and pine cones for quarters. I bribed him with quarters to learn how to snap his own pants and wipe his own butt. He has lost two teeth and got money for that, and he has some extentended family that give him dollars for holidays.
He has bought two of his own toys with his money already-now my curtains- and he's already trying to re-earn money again to buy a new toy.

Anonymous said...

"He was concerned that I was going to cut up something of his."

Kids sense of justice is funny. Totally playground retribution there--if someone had messed my stuff up as a kid, I'd have been right on it to mess up theirs. :)

I'm guessing he was a little relieved you don't roll that way.

Anne (in Reno) said...

Hey if he has the motivation to work for quarters maybe that will be good motivation to NOT CUT UP OTHER PEOPLE'S STUFF. This seems like logical parenting from where I'm sitting. Although cutting up something of his would have gotten the message across as well, I feel like you made the better choice ;)

LOJO said...

it's a fine line with a 5 yr old. He needs to learn a lesson, but not be terrorized. I think that cuting something up wouldn't have taught the lesson I wanted him to come away with in the end.
It's been almost a week now, and he's been perfect since the "incident" so I'm happy.