How do you discipline your children?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Arielle, Mar 14, 2008.

  1. Arielle

    Arielle New Member

    I was wondering if any of you have any techniques you could give me for as to how you discipline your own children and what methods have worked. I realize that with these children traditional disciplinarian practices don't work. So, I was curious as to what does?

    I, for one, am the disciplinarian or "meanie" in the family. husband is a wuss and of the opinion that daughter need not be disciplined so often. (Sure - he isn't home all day.) He basically only disciplines her when she directly does something to him. daughter can call me any vulgarity, hit me or not do her homework, go out and play in the backyard without asking me, walk out and go to the neighbor's house without permission, etc. -- husband on rare occasions scolds her for that when her behavior affects me. In my opinion, he is in essence allowing her to treat me like she does. Wouldn't you agree? My daughter's psychologist does.

    I have taken the Direct TV card away from her TV. She seems perfectly happy with watching DVDs over and over again and as of yet hasn't gotten bored. (I would disconnect the DVD player, but she would only annoy me and watch TV in my room and not relent until I let her. I am already completely embarassed of the neighbors concerning the shouting and screaming matches. Our house is attached on one side.) I have suspended her computer priviliges. That doesn't work either.

    Any insight as to how you handle discipline would be a godsend. Thank you in advance for any suggestions.
  2. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    It does sound like your husband is allowing the disrespect. Whether he agrees or not, you two need to be on the same page. Our kids are too good at triangulation.

    Mine was like yours, no consequences worked. Neither did rewards, really. At least not for the long term. Where possible, it was natural consequences. I'd be talking to the neighbors and tell them that unless you specifically called, she was not allowed over there and, if necessary, you'd call the police to come get her. That's the natural thing to do when kids run away.

    Violence should never be acceptable. Sadly, I never found a solution to this. From about age 9 on, I started calling the police every time she hit or kicked me. The goal wasn't to have her arrested but rather to get her to quit. I will say it didn't stop it entirely until her late teens, but it did slow it down. It quit becoming an automatic reflex, which, in some ways, was more frightening because it was thought out and controlled.

    I gave up on homework battles and simply had it put in her IEP that homework would be done after school at a special program the school had for honors students (she wasn't but they included her). That helped somewhat. Otherwise, she either did her homework or not. If not, she lost recess to do her homework. Her problem, not mine.

    I put a bolt high on the doors so my daughter couldn't leave when she wanted. Once she figured how to open those, I changed them to a keyed lock and carried the key on me at all times. Security alarms help a lot, too.

    I wish you luck on all of this. Getting our kids to follow basic rules is hard. It is even harder when both parents don't agree.
  3. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Have you read "Explosive Child" by Ross Greene?

    That has worked for many of the parents on this site. It operates along the premise that traditional "punishments" do not work for our children. It has been a life saver for me. In a nutshell, it makes you look at your child's behaviors and lump them into categories, or baskets. Then only reprimand the truly important ones. It gives tips on how to do so as well.

    Gentle hugs; I have read your posts and I know that you are struggling.
  4. happymomof2

    happymomof2 New Member

    I have got to get that "explosive child" book!

    Over the years we have tried the taking things away and grounding. Not much has helped. He really didn't care.

    Son is 14 now and grounding is working some. He loves to skateboard and hang out with friends. When I take those away he feels it and doesn't like it.

    Whatever you choose just remember if it doesn't hurt it doesn't work. (not meaning corporal punishment here)
  5. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Natural consequences seemed to work best for my difficult child as well.

    If he broke or lost something, it would not be replaced. He had to live with the consequence of not taking care of his things. After too many breaks and losses, we stopped getting him toys and gadgets, because he could not be trusted to look after them.

    When his TV privileges were taken away, we locked the door of the family room so he couldn't get access to the TV without coming to us to get the key. Our bedroom is also locked, so difficult child could not get to that one either.

    I know it's hard when you and husband are not on the same page. It makes things so much more difficult when your discipline is being undermined.

    Sorry you're having to deal with this.
  6. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    We have a local parenting columnist who speaks regularly on the topic and has written several books on disciplining with love, and her system does work well. We don't have to yell, we don't have to hit, and our kids have been much more cooperative because the cost to them for NOT being "good" is just too great for them.

    In a nutshell, the kids lose time from their "life" (15 min. free time) for transgressions (parent gets to decide when that time is served -- might be the first part of their favorite show, might be at the start of a playdate with a friend, etx.), and if the offense involves hitting or being rude to someone, they get an instant timeout in the "penalty box" -- one minute per year of age -- which can be doubled if they continue to be uncooperative. At first, difficult child 1 racked up 90 minutes in the penalty box! He was ticked, but he realized we were serious about what he'd done and that he would serve out the penalty.

    At first, it does take an investment of time. Consider it training and education for both you and the difficult child!

    Eventually, the child realizes they will lose something they value or be bored to death if they don't follow the rules.

    The most important thing, though, is never to withhold your love for the child. The next most important thing is clearly stating the rules/expectations, and then being VERY consistent in your enforcement. Kids are natural boundary pushers, so you have to expect that they will test you every time. And as parents, we just have to make sure we reinforce our expectations every time, or it won't work.

    McDaniel has used this system with all kids at all different ages and developmental abilities.

    Anyway, enough proselytizing!
  7. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    In my house bedrooms have a few toys but no TVs or video games so when sent to their room it hurts. My major difficult child is addicted to video games so taking them away hurts too. I only use this for hurting someone, stealing, damaging some one's things...the big stuff. I have alot of little things I do with day to day stuff like -too some exercises, run in house... rewalk it, short little time outs on the steps or even just mention that I don't appreciate the behavoir, but to be truthful I overlook much of the small stuff with my major difficult child.
    If I am fighting the homework I just don't allow anything else to occur til it is done, if he continues with a melt down I'd write a note to teacher and send to his room. I understand and have come to accept that he will definately melt down and most likely be destructive when sent to his room. When he is calm he needs to pick up anything knocked down, clean up anything ripped up ect.
  8. 'Chelle

    'Chelle Active Member

    With my kids it's natural consequences where they work - ie homework is left up to the school, don't do it you don't pass and have to repeat. difficult child found that out with math last semester, he had an average 94% on tests, his end mark was low 70's because of homework not done. This semester he's been better at doing his homework. Even if he says he hates school, I think he hates to do poorly even more, and likes having high marks.

    For stuff at home, I take away what matters most to them, which right now seems to be all electronics. No TV, video games, computer - at all. If that means I can't watch TV so they can't watch it, I do that. I can amuse myself without, they have a lot more trouble doing that I think LOL. We've pretty much set before hand now what consequences they get for what behaviors. I think you need to take away her TV completely when you use that as a consequence. It's not much of a punishment if she can then watch DVD's on it. If you say no TV, she probably just mentally shrugs and thinks fine, I'll watch a movie anyway. And don't give in when she whines to watch a different TV. I know, sometimes the consequences can be just as hard on the parents LOL.

    What we had to do was pick the most important things we had to work on (yep The Explosive Child helped with that) which for us was school, disrespect, and verbalizing his problems/feelings. All the other stuff was relegated to the background and/or negotiated with him. For example I let go a clean room for just having the garbage stuff removed on a regular basis like snack wrappers, dirty plates/cups etc. If his stuff was on the floor and got stepped on and broken, too bad and wasn't replaced. We're now to the point where we work on the small stuff (doing chores LOL) and he'll actually do them now without too much complaint. They always have to complain.

    I'm sorry your husband isn't on the same page with you. As I mentioned, maybe some stuff should be let go a bit more say homework and let the school deal, but the stuff you mentioned, the disrespect (name calling), violence (hitting you), and leaving the house without your knowledge/permission (safety issue) are all pretty important things that shouldn't be small stuff. in my opinion you and husband need to sit down alone and discuss these things, and how his not saying anything when she does those things could be seen as these are all right with him.

    Whatever consequence you decide, you have to mean it and stick to it and not give in. Eventually they realize you say what you mean and mean what you say, and get with the program, somewhat any way. The thing with difficult children is that sometimes it takes longer for them to get it.

    Good luck and {{{{HUGS}}}}
  9. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    Let me add I am lucky that rewards do work with my son as long as I don't do it too often and I vary the reward. He will work hard for a video game, but I have never had any success changing his angry over reactions to things cuz he can't really control it, I have had some success with him reducing the destruction level.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    A word of caution: Push for couselling or whatever it takes to get on the same page with husband about difficult child's behaviors. Maybe have him take a week vacation and do ALL the care so he can see the issues?

    Somehow you need to get through to him that he has to support you to stop the disrespect/violence. Right now, after having sent my difficult child to live with-my parents because it was the only way my daughter and I could be safe, I am dealing with a marriage crisis. My husband did not step in when my son was being violent with me. It has created a real barrier between us.

    Do whatever you can to get him to work on the same page with you on the violence. It will really damage your marriage otherwise.

    I am sorry. It is so hard when our spouses are on a totally different "world" than we are.

  11. whateveryousay2007

    whateveryousay2007 New Member

    I think the thing that I've realized is that everything with difficult child kiddos is day by day. Mine understands time but in our house we discipline by the day. If difficult child is acting out and it's not bad (maybe he's overstimulated, etc) we mention that it's not acceptable and to stop doing.....(whatever it is).

    BUT, if it's something that he can control we take away for that day only. His obsession is "Cars" toys. So, if he chooses to make a bad choice, that priviledge is taken away temporarily. Long term punishment is futile. "The explosive child" helped a lot with what battles to tackle.

    (oh...and I've feared that the neighbors have heard us arguing before too.)

    But, I've learned that actions speak louder than words.
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Personally I like whips, chains and duct

    My kid must like chains the hand cuffs and leg irons he keeps getting put on him!

    Seriously, we tried everything up to and including spanking. Nothing seemed to work long term with the last one. The others quaked in their shoes if we even mentioned I thank my lucky stars that it only takes a raised eyebrow to get the oldest grandchild to least right now!
  13. I really do believe that your husband by not getting after your difficult child is ending up encouraging the behavior.

    As far as being embarrassed by your neighbors, I know what you mean! We currently live in a townhouse, so we have neighbors on one side of us. I am constantly wondering how much/often they are hearing it. I am surprised sometimes that the cops haven't been called.

    I wish I had some advice for you, but unfortunately nothing I try anymore with my difficult child seems to work. Rewards have never worked, we even tried the behavioral contract and it hasn't worked. I have even taken away all electronics (very much into video games) and he gets to the point where he doesn't care. You could take everything away and he will entertain himself with a pencil eraser if need be (not without throwing a huge rage and stuff though).


  14. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    Well I beat my 16 y/o with his pillows the yesterday morning. He thought I was nuts and said so in his "Ghetto language".

    And the little one, well to punish him is to punish me, sigh............. that's a tough one. I choose my battles and take priveledges when pushed to do so, but it get ugly, because difficult child II has no off switch, once he's going a police officer could come to the scene and it will not matter, everyone is a target!
  15. Lacie

    Lacie New Member

    Yes...I can relate...some.

    At times the spankings didn't now is part of her game....Acts Big Bad BK to me and when I call her down....she curls up like a scared rat...actiing!

    Took electronics away for 24 hours...except recently when she tried to use old checks of mine (account number cut off..since they were play checks) to buy some things at the Book Fair.

    Tonight she lit a cigarette in her closet...didn't inhale but put it in her mouth....I brought her in here and talked with her and told the cigarette or better yet...go ahead and inhale...your face will be a nice shade of green and then you will vomit (a try) punishment..just told her that behavior is unacceptable and wrong for her.

    She doesn't have anything yet.... hoping to enroll mine in some sports or something. There isn't much to do here in BFE (lol).

    Regarding your husband....mine did the best he could before he passed away...however the new b/f isn't...OMGsh....blames me for everything....denies and doesn't accept a disorder....

    Good Luck....
  16. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    TV in the bedroom made for a monster/violent child. It lasted about two weeks when he was about 6-7 years old. It never happened again. As he got older, the computer in the main room was a problem after our bedtime. He was up all night and became violent when we tried to stop him. Bedrooms are for quiet time and sleeping. When our house was smaller, there were lots of toys, but as he got older not so much. I just plain don't believe in tv's or computers in the bedroom. Sure there was a big fight when we took the tv out, but when he figured out that no amount of hissy fitting was going to get it back he got over it. Even with a difficult child, sometimes you just have to stand your ground.
  17. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    There were so many days I wanted to revert to a familiar "belt". I imagined myself shaking him until his teeth rattled. I had all the urges to show him that I was in charge by force. It was what I grew up with but I made a conscious decision that I wanted to do it differently.
    You can follow and be submissive because of fear or you can understand and follow because it's in one's best interest.

    My boys were to speak to me with the same respect that I speak to them. I don't call them names or demean them. I don't disrespect them. They weren't to raise a hand to their parents or hurt each other. They were to remember they were brothers and when they got older they would appreciate that they have each other in a way no one else could ever be.

    I didn't have a lot of rules. I didn't stress smaller things. Kept the baskets of A,B & C simple. We tried to have positive, fun times with them even if it's for 5min. husband and I saw the bizarre humor of our difficult child. Being able to see some humor relieved the intensity. They also knew there were no idle threats by mom(the meanie) I didn't make empty threats and I didn't use that route unless nothing else worked. I did 3 spanks on the behind before they were 5yrs old if the did not straighten up by the count of 10. It seemed to work.

    To tell you the truth, difficult child was still very difficult and very oppositional. I figured nothing I did worked.
    Over 18yrs the boys don't talk disrespectfully. There are no police at the door for my son's.(TG)Drugs and alcohol don't seem to be an issue.
    They are courteous and respectful to adults and their peers. They aren't perfect and I would like to see them grow in some additional directions but it's not my job anymore.

    The plan is always to get them to adulthood to be law abiding, tax paying, independent adults. Some of our teens just make it difficult to see them at that stage. :future:I tried to remember what the goal was and how was my disciplining getting difficult child or easy child to that goal.

    There were so many days that I would fantasize doing grave damage to difficult child's backside.:devil: :bag:

    I think discipline is something that should be dealt out with thought and understanding of where a child is developmentally. You hear horror stories of 2 yr olds being beaten for wetting their undies. It's ignorance and a knee jerk reaction.
  18. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    I'm a little late to post on this , but we're right in the middle of moving out of state and I haven't been here as often as I'd like to be lately.

    I echo the sentiments of natural consequences. It's very trying on my patience, but at least the whole family is on the same page as to what consequences will be for certain actions. For me that has been the key (but will always be a work in progress!) you and husband need to try to get on the same page for difficult child's sake and your sanity. I would think if there were house rules (even posted on the fridge) it won't stop bad behavior - but everyone in the home will know what the consequence will be for certain actions. We've also tried just about everything. We go through a few days or weeks when things are relatively calm - nad then BOOM! But at least now when it goes BOOM I don't have to come up with a punishment/consequence off the cuff and difficult child already knows what's coming to her (We take privelages away) But on the flip side if difficult child's been good all week she gets a small rewar (extra TV time/computer time/1/2 hour extra curfew, etc.) I am sending big ((HUGS)) it is most frustrating dealing with difficult child's to begin with, but even harder when you and your partner are not seeing eye to eye on how the home is going to be run. You're certainly not alone - just add me to the club!!!
  19. Arielle

    Arielle New Member

    Thank you everyone for your insight on how to discipline.

    I do have the book the Explosive Child. I have read about 3 chapters so far. Hope to try to finish it when I have more time over Easter vacation. I think I am also going to invest the $350.00 on the Total Transformation. At this point, I am desperate. I do not know what else to do.

    It is hard to discipline a child that does not respect you or listen to a word that you say. I blame a lot of that on my husband for allowing this to happen or pretending daughter's bad behavior does not exist.

    Right now, I am totally at a loss because I do not know where to go from here. I wrote about the Child Psychiatrist appointment. we had yesterday that went bad.
  20. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    First, a few points of procedure.

    Lacie, welcome. I haven't met you yet. I look forward to 'talking' to you in more detail when you begin your own thread - that way, you will get more personal response. But a word of caution for you - you probably should remove personal identification from your ID here. WE'RE good people, but you only have our word on that. You and your daughter look like very good people, your daughter is a beautiful child. But the 'Net is a dangerous place. Also, this site specifically is one where you need to feel you can say what you need to, without fear of recriminations from people you know tracking your every word. For example, when I first joined this site difficult child 3 was attending a school where I had major concerns (and still do) about their teaching techniques, their methods of dealing with difficult students and especially their response (or lack of) to bullying. As the months progressed, my concerns deepened to the point where even at district level, I was being stymied for political reasons. I needed somewhere to ask for advice anonymously, because when I needed to take political action, it would not have been good for the various educators to get advance warning. And I do know that a number of teachers at least were tracking anything I wrote (in hard copy publications), copies were being circulated around the school. Also I had an earlier incident where stuff I had written online was being emailed to people in an attempt to cause trouble for me.
    As a result - if you want the luxury of speaking freely here, you should cover your tracks.

    Now back to topic - Arielle, I hope you are getting your daughter assessed by a neuropsychologist. This could just be ADHD, but she sounds to me like there could be more. I would like to see Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) checked out and hopefully taken out of the equation, because a lot of what you describe is VERY familiar to me.

    What has worked for us - natural consequences. Plus we learned that we had to change direction almost completely. So much of what I was brought up with was, "Because I said so, that's why."
    And it doesn't work with my kids. It worked for easy child, and for difficult child 1 to a certain extent, but never as well as backing off and being firm in other ways.

    "Explosive Child" has helped us a great deal. There are other good things around too, but what "Explosive Child" did was validate my belief that if you understand where a child is coming from and work from there, it's actually a good thing. Other people were telling me I was spoiling the child, not disciplining, etc. difficult child 3 especially was the worst by far. I couldn't send him to his room because he wouldn't go. Picking him up and putting him there was disastrous. But I needed something that worked. To attempt to discipline your child and fail, is a very bad thing because you lose face and you must never do that. Before a discipline method fails you need to recognise the risk and avoid the confrontation in the first place.

    Because of difficult child 3's Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), traditional methods were doomed to fail. difficult child 3 could never distinguish between individuals. He treated everybody the same, he considered everybody to be his equal. He would read a book to a baby and expect that baby to be able to interact and communicate on his level. If a baby hit him, he would be likely to hit back, or tell the baby off, even if it was an accident from a flailing arm. To punish this in difficult child 3 as if it were a deliberate act of premeditated violence was to miss the point, and it wouldn't teach him a thing.

    The aim of discipline is to teach. You need to be sure that the child understands the message; that the child is capable of making the behavioural change required; that the child is capable of remembering and that the child is NOT going to see your actions as purely revenge.
    difficult child 3, in order to stop him from hitting babies, had to learn 'relativity' - he needed to understand theory of mind, which is a big problem in autism. Until he was capable of this, we simply had to watch him around babies and try to help him learn a baby's point of view. Education worked far more than punishment ever would have. All punishment would have taught him was that babies are spoilt and can do what they like to you, but difficult child 3 as a law-abiding person would have been determined to find a way to put his own justice back into some sort of balance (ie attack the baby when nobody's watching).

    Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kids learn by observation. They also are generally very law-abiding - to THEIR laws, the laws they work out for themselves based on their observations.
    For example, we taught difficult child 3 that hitting people is wrong. This was of course undermined if we spanked him, and he told us so. So we had to find other ways to get our message across, since spanking was only breeding righteous indignation.
    Then we tried to model situations for him, we read him the school rules which stated that kids who hit others would be punished.
    Then difficult child 3 saw kids hitting and not getting punished. difficult child 3 would get hit by other kids, and would hit back. difficult child 3 would generally be caught, but only he would be punished. So in his own mind, the rule became, "Other kids may hit me, but I may not hit them or I will be punished. They have permission to hit me even if the teacher won't admit this to me. Therefore the teacher is punishing me by allowing me to be hit all the time, so I may as well not bother to tell anyone. It's got to be my fault because I'm just a bad person. Because I'm different."

    We needed to teach difficult child 3 that his belief was wrong, but he had to experience it to understand it. We moved him to another school where hitting was thoroughly trained out of all kids.

    difficult child 3 will shout at you and swear at you if he is frustrated. Tonight I was checking the work he had done today and I found some mistakes which needed correcting. He got angry, not at me but at whoever had written the study notes, for leaving out information he hadn't known. I explained tat the work had not been included because it was work that he HAD been taught, but we do know that in his earlier years he simply didn't have the language skills to take a lot of that stuff on board.
    His medications had worn off, he was angry and freely expressing it. If I had allowed myself to get angry at this apparent disrespect, it would have ended badly with the work being uncorrected and difficult child 3 feeling victimised. Nothing would have been learnt behaviourally. Instead, I stood beside him and told him, "You didn't need to use that word, you could have said, 'This is VERY annoying,' as an alternative." Kids swear. We can't pretend they won't. All we can do is teach them that it is socially unacceptable, and help them find another word instead.

    In days past, I would have scolded difficult child 3 for talking back to me or being rude. Instead, I stay calm and talk him down. I treat him as an adult simply because in difficult child 3's eyes, he and I are on an equal footing in most things. We each have our own responsibilities and often he treats me as if I am his hired help, with a job to do (looking after his needs). I calmly bring him back to saying please and thank you, and remind him that I'm not paid for any of this, I could walk away at any time and my job is to teach him to do all this for himself so he can be an independent adult one day.

    By showing him respect, he is learning to give respect. A teacher he had once did not show him respect and so difficult child 3 would treat her as she treated him. If she shouted at him, he would shout at her and once actually told her in front of other students that she should have better manners! The trouble was, from his point of view he was right! If she had been polite to him, she could have got him to do whatever she wanted. But she was (and is) in the habit of belitting her students, being sarcastic.

    And you should NEVER use sarcasm on a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) or ADHD kid. They either don't get it, or they will respond literally.

    These kids come with a huge amount of baggage. It seems every word out of their mouth is disrespectful, rude, loud, angry, defiant. But before you punish, try to think WHY. Is this a gut reaction to fear, anxiety or frustration? In which case I quietly correct, but I don't punish. Instead, I try to help alleviate the fear, the frustration, the anxiety. One common cause of explosive behaviour in Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kids (and sometimes in ADHD) is problems with task changing. Let's say you want difficult child to go wash his hands, but his favourite TV show is on. If time is no big deal, then tell him with plenty of time, that his hands must be washed, but he can do it in the ad break. Try to find ways to make it easier for him to succeed, find ways to catch him out being good, and praise him.

    Think about what you know when someone has a car accident, a mild rear-ender. A lot of the time, one or both drivers will jump out of the car and verbally (or physically) attack the other driver. "You flamin' idiot! can't you look where you are going? NOW how am I going to get to work?"
    And so on.
    When we are on the receiving end of this, especially if the accident was not our fault, our gut reaction is to respond in kind. If we do, before long it can escalate to violence.
    But why this reaction?
    It's because of adrenalin. Stress. A sudden shock. Chances are, if we knew that person socially, we could find them mild-mannered, kind, considerate and polite. But fear and panic does strange things to people.

    In changing how you handle your child, if your apparent main aim (to the child) is that you are trying to prevent them getting panicked, they will appreciate your efforts.

    "The Explosive Child" teaches you just that - find what is triggering your child and learn to recognise the early warning signs. Then choose just a few behaviours which you think your child is capable of managing, and forget the rest (for now). Work on just those, but stop pushing if it's about to cause a meltdown. As the child calms, try again.
    This works. But it needs consistency.

    On the Early Childhood forum there is some discussion on this. I also wrote a summary for husband and my other kids, when for various reasons it wasn't possible for them to read the book. In writing the summary, it helped me consolidate my own understanding.

    Natural consequences - these reflect what happens in real life. You cannot be blamed for the natural consequences. If your child doesn't do his homework, t he teacher will be angry and he will get a bad mark. Not your problem. You could remind him tat homework needs to be done, maybe ask if he needs any help or support, but stop short of nagging. Just remind him that the teacher will be unhappy, but if he chooses that option, then it is HIS choice. Not yours.

    difficult child 3 knows that if he gets all his schoolwork done during school hours (because he works at home) then he will have the rest of the afternoon free. But if he doesn't, for ANY reason, the work won't do itself, so difficult child 3 will have to give up some play time to get it done. If difficult child 3 chooses to go play anyway, then tomorrow morning he will have much more work to do that he will be happy with. And it won't be my fault.

    He still needs help with this, so I am currently rewarding him for completing a quota of work in a day. If he goes over the day, he doesn't earn the reward. It's not a matter of punishing him with no reward, sometimes things just get in the way. But just as there can be bad days, so there can be productive days when bonus rewards are earned, so it balances out. It does need to be achievable, though.

    Just a few ideas and examples for you. Doing things this way has made our lives so much more pleasant, so much easier. But until husband got on the same page, he became the ogre. It wasn't pretty.