Monday, November 15, 2010

What do I do?

I want to smack him hard, but hitting children these days is frowned upon. So how do you appropriately punish an almost 4 year old for putting coins into my laptops cd/DVD drive?

The very expensive MacBook pro I received as a mothers day gift? The computer he knows he is not allowed to touch?
Suggestions are appreciated.





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15 comments:

Mrs.Spit said...

Sorry, no help. I'd lose it.

chall said...

have no children... how about no food [ok, real boring/cheap food] for everyone in the family since he did ruin something expensive?!

Then again, it's the Northern Scandinavian Lutheran guilt and punishment talking... "we are all suffering because YOU made this bad decision". Come to think of it, don't do that. I'm still not over the guilt punishment from my childhood ;)

Did the coins come out? Is it broken? Hope its ok and that you can keep from losing it (too much)

Maggie May said...

I hope this isn't too annoying, but as an experienced mom, I know at four, they are going to do things like this. And is sucks! But they aren't being 'bad', just their age. I remember when my Dakota, at 3, poured nail polish all over my brand spanking new bed duvet cover I had saved for and loved. They are learning impulse control at this stage and still can't really do it- if they are unsupervised- which of course they will be sometimes at home, that's life- things like this will happen.

What I did with Dakota and my other kids was explain to them that it was my favorite 'toy' and now I feel sad because they did not listen and they broke it. ' Please do not touch this again because it makes me sad if you break my things. I know you love me, I love you, and I know you will do a better job. '

At four you could also add on a task, like I had Dakota help me try to clean up the nail polish he put on the wall, too.

Fia said...

Ahhh! Worst case scenario!
We have fairly strict rules in play, our laptops are and have always been no-touch objects. But things happen. I no this does not help you now, but you can actually insure a mac against such stuff. Didn't cost much and I get a free replacement even if I myself pour coffee into it (yes, I asked).

Did you bring it to the store and ask if they can take them out?

Becca said...

Apparently, my little guy (15 months now) has already entirely ruined one laptop via liquid spill (it was Dada's lappy, otherwise I'd probably have some... Issues right now).
I think you should celebrate that your child made it to almost 4 before doing something in the 'awful yet inevitable' category. You must be doing something right; perhaps accumulated good karma ;)

Seriously, I think you're doing a *lot* right if you're fantasizing about hitting instead of actually hitting. I believe such fantasizes are entirely healthy. But then, I started thinking about enrolling Roo in Tae Kwon Do just so it'd be a fair fight when I kick him in retaliation when he was still in the womb. Which is probably a smidge extreme. So I'm probably not a perfect role model here.

Anonymous said...

Biting a very hot pepper as a punishment/bad behavior deterrent. Worked for me as a kid.

DuWayne Brayton said...

Honestly? While I am extremely adamant about how it is appropriate to spank, I am not averse to it - though I do believe it best to save for misbehavior that might actually harm the child. I think though, that if youngest decided to do something like that, a spanking might just happen (eldest knows better by now).


Another option and one that I would use whether or not I spanked him, is to take away a prized possession. A rather close friend of mine did this when his daughter decided to use their desktop box as a step stool - dragging it out of it's cubby and then by cord to the dvd rack (killed the motherboard, no other permanent damage). In his case, they took her and her favorite doll down to a shelter, making her watch as they gave it to someone who would give it to a little girl who really needed something like that.

She never touched stuff like that again. Whether scarring occurred, who knows? But if she did, that's what therapy is for.

ScientistMother said...

Mrs.Spit - oh it took everything in me not to lose it.

Chall - I use the "it was your choice" line all the time. Not to guilt him, but to teach him that his choices have consequences. I did refuse to speak to him, which was very hard on him...

The computer and drive are fine, thankfully!

Maggie May - I kinda of agree with you, but I kinda don't. He's been in BIG trouble bc he went near my computer before. He knows he is not allowed to touch it.

Fia - we have a strict no touching computers rule too, which didnt' work! haha! The store fixed it, but he was pretty lucky :)

Becca - OMG it is so normal and healthy to fantasize about whacking your child. I tell every new mom that it is OK and NORMAL to want to throw your child out the window, its not normal to act on those feelings :)

Anon - I could not do that.

Duwayne - I have no issues with spanking. I know some people are adamantly against it. I am not. I do believe spanking should be used minimally and without anger. I was angry yesterday. I have spanked the young monkey. I've smacked his hand away from electrical outlets, from hot stoves etc. When he has whacked me or another young child, I will whack him back and ask him if he liked it. The favourite trucks are currently in "jail". Jail consist of a shelf where he can see his trucks but not reach them.

Arlenna said...

I feel like DuWayne's example of making the child give up something that was really important to them would be pretty effective, and teach a good lesson in general. It's much better to give it to someone else who would appreciate it than throw it away, too. It's also a story that once the kid is 25 or 30, the whole family can laugh about. "OMG, remember the time you made me give my favorite doll to charity because I broke X?? AAggghh!!"

ScientistMother said...

Arlenna - I do like the idea of giving toys away. Every Christmas and Bday monkey has to pick a new toy to give to a hospital / shelter. I don't want to give toys away as punishment though, as I want giving to be associated with good feelings and not bad.

He has a new box of trucks he would like to open and is asking to pack away is older toys, as he knows for every knew one, he has to give away and old one.

Becca said...

I saw this, and thought of you... http://tinyurl.com/2g6dlap

Girlpostdoc said...

I don't have kids and admire your patience but did you ever ask him why he did it?

I mean if he was just curious about computers then maybe you could get an old laptop one that no one in the family uses for him to play around with and do shit to it.

It could be that he wants in on the fun!

The bean-mom said...

Glad to hear the store fixed the computer, SM =)

I like Girlpostdoc's idea on asking Monkey why he did it. Although he would probably just say "Because I wanted to!" or something like that (my littlest one's answer for most bad behavior).

No advice here from me, unfortunately, just sympathy. They are maddening at this age, aren't they? At least Legume hasn't touched our computers yet. Don't know why--she just doesn't seem interested in them. We are very lucky...

The bean-mom said...

Oh, and I agree with about wanting gift-giving to come with good feelings, not to be associated with a punishment!

Fowl Ideas said...

Don't give him any more coins.