Crime and Punishment

One of the biggest behavior problems we have with the kids is sibling rivalry. And, it sometimes develops into sibling warfare. Kenzie antagonizes Kaleb and he thinks it’s his duty to discipline her by yelling, hitting, pushing and/or tattling on her.

She reciprocates in-kind!

We have tried many forms of punishment to deal with the kids arguing and fighting with one another. You know the usual methods–timeout, standing in corner, banishment to room, taking away privileges, taking away possessions, and occasionally spanking.

None of these methodologies seems to have much impact or lasting effect.

So, as a last resort Tami imposed a repetitive writing exercise much like the teacher does at school–making the misbehaving child repeatedly renounce his crime on the blackboard.

She made the kids sit down and write repeatedly on a pad of paper: “I will not tease my brother” and “I am not the boss of my sister.”

Kaleb agonized through his writing assignment and finally finished. Lesson learned–at least for the moment.

But, when Kenzie completed her writing assignment, she announced, “I think I will write it ten more times” and continued filling in the lines on her tablet.

“It’s not going to count for the next time you get in trouble for teasing your brother, even if you write it ten more times,” Tami declared.

“I know, I just like to make lists,” Kenzie said.

Umm…let’s see. What’s next on the punishment list: prison, torture, excommunication!

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