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© 2019 by Joyce Fetteroll

We let him choose consequences he feels are appropriate

DS is brought up [in the family meeting] for hitting mom because she asked for a turn at the computer to check her email for a few minutes then he could return to his game. DS [was asked] did you hit mom? DS says yes, so we ask him what he thinks he should do?

 

I think this was turned into a way bigger deal than it needed to be.

 

It was treated as though his reaction were coldly calculated, as though he sat there poised between saying "Okay" and hitting mom. Then he chose hitting mom. I don't think that's the case.

 

He might know what to do, but doing it isn't as easy. I think of it as like taking a second piece of cheesecake. I might know that one is enough but do I as an adult with a lifetime experience of putting knowledge into practice always stop with one?

 

He has the knowledge but he also has emotions swirling around in him that he doesn't know what to do with. (Lots of adults are never given help so never master that!) He will eventually be able to become aware of his emotions and stop before he reacts to them. But it takes time, patience, and help and understanding from you.

 

Assume that it's like riding a bike. He may know to keep pedaling and keep the wheel straight but it takes time for him to master it.

 

In the above example when he hit you, you could have calmly said "Use words please."

 

So in my opinion "going for an hour without computer" is a consequence that he offered and which we will use if it happens again.

 

Even self chosen punishment is punishment. The consequence of consequences is that he'll avoid hitting someone because he doesn't want to lose computer time, not because it hurts someone.

 

Is that what you want him to learn? It's silly to project that into the future and imagine that once he's on his own with no one to take away computer privileges that he'll hit people! But it isn't so far fetched that kids will do that with other actions that are limited by fear of consequences rather than because they aren't a good idea.

 

 

Joyfully Rejoycing