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Sunday, January 22, 2012

The magic of logical consequences

The other day my children decided to play the game "Tangled" in J and O's room. For Christmas M received a Tangled wig so they play this make believe game a lot. Well in the movie Rapunzel paints all over her walls because she can't leave the tower so what else is she to do, right? Can you tell where this story is going? So while they are playing "Tangled" the kids have this brilliant idea to color all over the walls in J's room!

After the walls are beautifully decorated, my husband walks into the room to check on the kiddos and sees all the crayon on the walls and when he asks them who was responsible the older two point to O and said he did it. Of course they blamed the 2 year old! My husband takes them at face value and starts disciplining O while M and J sit by and watch. I have yet to see the room and am thinking it is just a little bit of coloring . . .

While we are eating dinner J then tells us that he has to be honest and says that he also colored on the wall. M then fesses up as well. I am curious now about the coloring so I go back and look and it is blatantly obvious that it was not the 2 yr old! Those stars are just a little too perfect, the word welcome on the door . . . I mean really the 2 yr old can't even draw a circle on purpose! Not only did I see who was responsible I was shocked at how much they colored on the wall, the doors, the dresser, and even the ceiling! I asked my husband if he actually looked at the coloring because then he would have known exactly who did it! We expressed to our children that we were very disappointed in them and that they would no longer be allowed to play in their rooms or have any art supplies anywhere but the kitchen.

M's a people pleaser BIG TIME and all I had to tell her was that I was disappointed and she was devastated where as the boys just thought it was fun. So I knew I needed a discipline for them to really understand that what they did was wrong. Well every Saturday we have a family fun day where we take our kids out for some fun activities and they have really come to look forward to this special time on Saturdays. So I decided that for family fun day the kids would have to scrub the crayons off of the wall, which is next to impossible with just soap and water.

Yesterday was the big day and when the kids woke up they came running in to our room and were anxious to find out what we were going to do for family fun day! I told them I had a big surprise for them and that they would find out after breakfast. While they were eating I started filling up a bowl with some dish soap and water and got out 3 washcloths. M is quick and the minute she saw what I was doing said, "Oh great we have to clean the crayon off the walls!" I was a little proud at that moment that she knew what the consequence was going to be, we do a lot of logical consequences at our house.

After breakfast I gathered the kids into J and O's room and handed them each a washcloth and told them that before we could have fun they had to get the crayon off the walls. In the beginning they thought it would be great fun, but after ten minutes of scrubbing the same spot and not having that crayon budge one bit they started getting frustrated. I left them to the cleaning while I ran to Walmart to pick up some magic erasers, because that is really the best and easiest way to get crayons off the walls. When I came back my husband told me that the kids were extremely frustrated and were repeatedly vowing that they would NEVER color on a wall again. After I gave them the magic erasers and worked with them the crayon was completely gone in fifteen minutes and we were able to have a fun family day.

I loved that I decided to not give them the easy way to clean it first, but instead had them struggle and work hard with no results. This way they learned that while it is fun to color on the walls it is not fun to clean up those walls and therefore are less likely to make that choice again.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! They must have been acting out Tangled for awhile. Just so you know, mens shaving cream also works great to get crayon or marker off walls, but it sounds like the magic eraser stuff is even better. You did a great job at teaching them. I bet they won't do it again.


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