I remember once when I was a little girl, no more than 7 or 8 (I actually think I may have been younger than that, but I can't recall exactly how old I was), my mom asked me what I would do if my kids were disobedient and didn't do what I told them to. I remember saying, with quite a bit of determination (because I was trying to come up with the most horrible punishment possible), "I'll beat 'em till they bleed!"
Violent little creature, wasn't I?
Well, it so happened she asked me that question because I was being disobedient. My mother had told me to clean my room and I was out goofing around instead of cleaning. She very calmly said to me (something along the lines of, though I am pretty sure it was nearly exactly), "Well, Katie, if you don't go clean your room I'm going to have to beat you till you bleed." (I believe I may have sputtered about unfairness, but she had me cornered since the punishment was my own invention.)
I probably didn't do exactly as I was told and I probably got a spanking for it. But I know eventually that room got cleaned and I was not beaten till I bled.
No worries, I haven't and do not intend to inflict that punishment on my own children. But, remembering that conversation with my mom so many moons ago I posed the same question to my kids, just for kicks.
Adrienne resolutely said "I'd ground them!" I guess she sees that as the worst punishment possible. I think sometimes she'd rather be spanked than grounded because at least the spank is over and done with. Grounding is deprivation from all manner of fun things, most especially playing outside with friends. Which she lives for.
Genevieve said, with a big grin, "I'd send them to their room and make them clean up their messes!" (this from the kid who lets her big sister do the majority of the work!) I then asked her "What if they are naughty and don't clean their room?" "Then I would ground them!" she replied.
I asked Charlotte and she said "I don't know." Then I asked her all manner of things (including grounding, spanks, and kicking down the hall) and she replied yes to all of them. She is clueless.
Xander just hopped around on my bed.
The kids spent yesterday friendless because they were grounded because they didn't listen and obey that morning when they had work to do. Grounding is invariably the most effective disciplinary tactic for my kids because it deprives them of play-things they love the most; friends, movies, video games, playing outdoors. I feel like either way I go with this I could catch flack, but I'm going to forge ahead and say that I am not some hippy that's opposed to spankings. I utilize it when I have to. It's just not as effective for my kids. It might have to do with their personality types... probably has a lot to do with it, actually. Grounding didn't mean particularly much to me as a kid. When I was spanked I knew it was because I had done something wrong, and I always knew exactly what it was that I'd done. And I think every instance but one was totally justified (it was my brother's fault, I swear).
Today they are free to run as they please, just as soon as math is done. I suppose I am thankful that my children are not as blood thirsty as I, apparently, was. (I may have to talk to Matt about this and see how he would have reacted as a child. I feel certain they take after him the most.) Even when they are naughty they are very sweet kids.