Thursday, April 23, 2009

The World's Meanest Parents

It is official - I am the World's Meanest Mom!  And Mr. P is the World's Meanest Dad!

As you might recall, in a previous post, I had written about the fact that I have been particularly cranky lately.  My crankiness is due a little bit to the drudgery of daily life, a lot to do with the terrible weather the lovely New England "Spring" brings us, but mostly because my Dear Cherubs have been monstrously horrible.

Over the last few months, they have screamed, sworn, threatened and even have actually resorted to physical violence with each other.  Not only have they been terrible to each other, but they have all of a sudden developed a sense of privilege conveniently smack dab in the middle of the largest recession Mr. P and I have ever been faced with in our household.  Just as Mr. P is telling me to "Tighten up the belt strap", the "I wants, I needs, Go gets" have reached an all time high. 

I think that Dear Cherubs truly believe that whatever the request, Mr. P and I should grant it immediately, without hesitation and ask, "Would you care for anything else, my dears?"  They have also apparently developed the opinion that although Mom and Dad MUST grant every wish, they, on the other hand, have no obligation to do anything requested of them and that is only if the knowledge of our existence is even deemed fit.  

So you see why I am cranky.  Have Mr. P and I been so lackadaisical as to have created these monsters?  I would hope not.  We were going along just fine and all of a sudden, as if by sheer magic, their personalities have been replaced with these frightening alter egos.  Some of our friends, when queried about this horrible change, chalk it up to the "Teenage Years" . . . Dear God, Littlest Cherub is only 12 - if this is the "Teenage Years", I need to start looking into Boarding Schools NOW!

So I have grown crankier and crankier . . . and finally, the other day I told Mr. P that this must end . . . NOW.  So down we sat, and at first stared blankly at each other, both at a loss of how to fix this mess.  

Then, after a while, Mr. P says, "I got it, we take away their lives."

"We CAN NOT kill our children . . . it's illegal if we get caught." (JOKE!  I didn't really say that)
I actually replied, "Take away their lives?  Huh?"

"Yup, every pleasure they have, we start with one week and extend it if we have to.  Teach them that they get nothing if they give nothing."

So that very day, we drew up the "new" rules.  That evening at dinner, we read and reread them with Dear Cherubs.  We asked if they had any questions, we asked if they understood these rules 100%, we asked if they realized that there was NO room for negotiation . . . 

After many tears, a lot of yelling, and about a gazillion "That's not fairs", they said yes, they understood them, no, they had no questions and they still thought it was unfair that there was no room for negotiation.  And then we all signed "The Rules".  We told the children that the signatures made "The Rules" a legal binding document and we could use them in family court if we had to.  Yes, I told you we are officially the meanest parents in the world.

So here you have them, "The Rules" - My Dear Cherubs new way of life for at least one week.

For one full week - 7 days - you will come home and do the following:  EVERY DAY

1.  Immediately do homework and have a QUICK snack
2.  SAMANTHA will check on rabbit and replace food, water, litter and clean cage
3.  Clean upstairs bathroom of debris left from your morning showers
4.  Go directly to bedrooms and if they are not picked up, do so immediately
5.  You are allowed to read or stare at the walls, THAT IS ALL
6.  NO DOORS ARE TO BE SHUT - You are not allowed to speak to each other
7.  You are to do all things requested by mom or dad immediately, without complaint

You are NOT to speak to each other for ANY reason for the entire week unless told to do so.
If you do, your punishment will be extended.

There will be NONE of the following:
TV - this includes EVERY TV in the house
Cell Phones
Computer or Telephone use
Ipods, Playstations, Wii, Nintendos, or any other electronic devices - You may READ
JP - loss of ALL Air Soft Guns and ammunition
You will not be allowed to spend time with friends or make any plans.  
You will only do the things mom and dad say you may do with us.

You will NOT request items back, argue, whine, complain, cry negotiate or make ANY comments regarding your punishment.  You will behave in a kind, considerate way and will not make faces, noises or comments under your breath.  IF YOU DO ANY OF THESE THINGS - YOUR PUNISHMENT WILL BE EXTENDED

When the full duration of this punishment is done, you will be on PROBATION for an indefinite timeframe.
Be VERY aware that these rules may come back into effect at any moment and for any extended length of time.  

So, as I said before - I am officially the Meanest Mom in the world and Mr. P is the meanest Dad in the world.  I have so many mixed thoughts about this punishment, but I am agreeing to do it with Mr. P in the hopes to get my Dear Cherubs back and be rid of these alter egos.  So, I truly want to know.  How truly terrible are we?  Tell me what you think.  

By the way - We are now on Day 4 of "The Rules" and I do hate to admit it, but the silence and stillness every afternoon has been a wonderful thing.   


Gifting Gumshoe said...

Wow-good luck! Hopefully this week will teach them how good they have it when they're not being punished.

Thinkinfyou said...

I think that it's a wonderful idea. My children tend to turn into little monsters every now and then and need a wake up call too! It happens to everyone! Good luck to you!

Anonymous said...

WOW sounds great. Can I drop my kids of for some of your reform school discipline?

Preppy 101 said...

I think this is the perfect thing to do. This should make the future years much easier, too! You are not the meanest parents in the world at all. You are doing what most parents won't do! They just let it go cause it is much easier to bury one's head in the sand. This is tough love, but not too tough!! xoox

Chris said...

I think it is wonderful that you actually CARE what kind of kids you are raising. So many people ignore any problems until it is too late.


I hope you keep us posted on how it works out.

The bottom line is that they have WONDERFUL parents and that will come through loud and clear, even if it takes time.

Miss Janice said...

You are definitely NOT the meanest parents in the world! This is pretty much what my life was like growing up:) Mama and Daddy made the rules and we followed!

Anonymous said...

I must say, this is quite the punishment.

However it does seem you are going SLIGHTLY, very SLIGHTLY, overboard. I hope you do realize that the more you punish them, the more likely they are to retaliate. And when I say retaliate, I mean, sneak out, go to parties, hang out with friends, etc. And if they go to parties, they are more likely to drink, which we all know can be detrimental to their health as teens.

If your kids are under 12 then this is the ideal, perfect, FLAWLESS, plan.

If they're over 12 I would renounce these rules, and replace them with more freedom giving rules, for instance-

-8:30 curfew
-No TV/Computer after 9
-No TV/Computer before homework is done
-Phones are taken away for 1 hour for saying malice swear words (i.e. "Fuck" "Shit" "Cunt", not the words like "Friggin" or "Crap", as those are slang words, not cuss words.
-At least more than half of their dinner must be gone in order to receive desert, and they MUST have tried everything at least once.

Hope this helps.

DMLD said...

Thank you for your comment. Not sure you noticed but this post is from 2009. I no longer keep up with the blog, but still get notified of comments posted.
I am happy to report that aforementioned cherubs seem no worse for the wear from this (and many other ) crazy punishments. By the way, as an aside, we feel it is just as important to reward the good and the successes as it is to point out the negative.
Eldest cherub is now 18 and on his way to the college of his choice. #2 is a high honor student at age 16. We feel that we have done our jobs relatively well, as I can honestly say our children are both successful, kind, compassionate and respectful young adults.
Mr. P and I have a joke about being "parents of the year" because we more often than not, feel like we are making some sort of colossal mistake in the rearing of our children. We are not perfect. That being said, we are true believers in adamantly demanding the values we feel are important being displayed by our children both in and outside of our home. Though this premise is not for everyone, it has worked well for us. I think each child needs to be taught in a way he/she understands and is comfortable with. We have used many different ways and techniques with each of ours.
We are now starting to enter the "I hope they were listening" years and so far, our children seem to have "gotten it" and usually make us proud.
I thank you again for your comment and wish you the best with your brood as well.