Ugh. They were all awful tonight! Katrina grumpy and crying at the slightest provocation. Julian: whiny and complaining and refusing to do things as asked. Gabriel, who's usually the most reasonable: rude, defiant and persistent at both. I can't even keep track of the numerous infractions, charts, consequences and yet more consequences for the first consequences not being met.
Two day ago, I got so frustrated at Julian's nonstop rudeness, ignoring, and complaining when asked to do something. Geez, you'd think I was asking him to scrub the floors with a toothbrush, but I'm talking the basics here: put away your knapsack, move that pile of papers out of the doorway, stop throwing Katrina's favorite toy for the 100th time.
So I took the chart idea to a new level, one that Positive Parenters will just love: a spank chart. Every mark on the chart means a spank he'll get before bed. Any rude comment, defiance, running out a countdown to do something he's been asked to do, flat-out disobeying, or initiating an obnoxious behavior, gets a mark.
I took a chance on this approach, expecting that the threat of a spank later would do its job, and it mostly did. No spanking necessary. I still hate that nearly every basic instruction I gave him was ignored or resisted until I warned it'd mean a mark on the chart, but at least after a warning, he complied.
Tonight we didn't set up a spank chart, but one a little more sophisticated than that: a consequence is listed on the chart, with N number of spaces before that consequence. N marks means that consequence is carried out. Unfortunately, I ran out of consequences between the two boys, and had to scramble to find others. Gabriel refused to set the table (his turn) and I ended up having him clean up a room that was on Julian's chart as a consequence, as Julian was still one mark away from that one. Then Julian offended again and I had to find something else to do. And then I had to redirect Gabriel again, and make him go right to bed for not even cleaning up that room. Once again, he defied me: after his bath and PJS, he came back down and finished cleaning up that room anyway....a sense order or more defiance? I let that one go. Later, I realized he mostly wanted to play the piano and was jonesing for some leniency, which he didn't get.
Neither Dave or I could wait for bedtime for all three. Some days, on balance, this parenthood thing is a loser.