Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Don't Be That Guy!

How to make the punishment fit the crime when the crime is just being a jerk?

I love my kids, really, with all my heart and I take my job as their mother very seriously. I like to use reality discipline whenever possible. (Actually, I like to use no discipline, but we don’t live in a perfect world, and sadly my offspring did not come out of the womb obedient.)

Yesterday Will and Bob went to guitar lessons and then to the Wal-mart to pick up something for the Momma because I was too lazy busy. While they were running this errand for me, Will treated his brother like a jerk.

There is really no other way to say it. I was very disappointed in Will. I was sad. Why would he do that?

I told him that was crappy and he was acting like a real jerk (yes, I used the words crappy and jerk! Those are 4 letter words around here and the girls’ eyes bugged out of their heads when Momma said Crappy and Jerk!)

I told him he was not ‘that guy’. Don’t be ‘that guy’.

Sigh, disciplining teens is hard. I feel like he needed to be thunked in the head while I yelled ‘what were you thinking’ at him, but I don’t think that would be appropriate or effective.

So, how does one discipline for jerk-like behavior? I was thinking of making him take Bob to a movie Saturday night instead of going to the youth group function, but if his attitude stinks about it, it is kinda like punishing Bob. I could just go the old fashioned rout and ground him, but that seems to just instill bitterness in him.

I want a contrite heart. Any suggestions? Other than military school in Mongolia, cus we can’t afford that.


Tonya said...

I think I'd make him serve his younger brother - do his chores for him or something. At least until his attitude changes. Of course, at 16, when they are Christians, I think you can start talking to them as brothers in Christ. As in, "what does Christ say about this behavior?", etc. Still give him a punishment/consequence - but make sure that he has spoken to Christ about it first. Hard to converse with God when we know we are wrong.

Happy Mommy said...

I think it can be hard with my boys sometimes... We also homeschool so are boys are always together, now they are only 6 and 4 but anyway, they are always together and they get sick of each other. I don't allow them to be unkind to each other though.
I agree with the first commenter, make Will do Bob's chores. And remind him that even though he might get sick of his brother, God gave him to him, and he could be his best friend in the whole world...
Now this is coming from a Mommy of little ones, so I have no idea how I will handle teens...

Halfmoon Girl said...

Hmmm, I don't have teens yet, so I don't have any expert advice. I have a tween girl who can get very snarky when she is hormonal- this past week was killer- i wanted to run away! I have not allowed her to go to Junior Youth before, limited play dates until she chose to be more pleasant to her siblings. This past Sunday, I asked her to go to bed with the lights out at 7 pm because I was sick of the bickering between her and her brother- he got the same consequence. I was hoping that extra sleep would help as well. You have a good point about building resentment in them. I have been talking to my older two a lot about how growing in a personal relationship with the Lord should cause them to not just be ok, with being so ornery, that they shouldn't stop only because I am making them. I have appealed to their hearts, but I think it is a process as they mature. I remember being the same way sometimes, and I don't think I am still like that. (i hope)Basically, this long winded comment is saying that I just don't know, but if you find the solution- let me know.