Discipline & Seeing Stars

Monday morning, I threw my back out.  I’d pushed myself a little harder than usual the day before at the gym, which probably greased the wheels for what happened.  I was drying off after my shower, twisted to the right, and suddenly there was shooting pain.  It was all I could do to get to the bed and lie down.  Thankfully, Rick was due home soon, so I didn’t have to worry the boys or anything.

Long story short, I stayed home Mon, the 2nd half of Tues (I tried going to work and just couldn’t make it all day) and all day Wednesday.  Thanks to my chiropractor and my GP doc, I’m doing much better now.

Monday and Wednesday, I learned a few things.  Monday I was in too much pain to sleep but couldn’t get up and do anything, so I was just lying in bed…listening.  Kay was out there with the kids, Rick was asleep next to me.  And the things I heard coming from the living room shocked me.

My children were acting like little monsters!!

It was constant back talk, hissy fits, rudeness to each other and towards Kay.  I was flabbergasted. 

Around noon, I tried to get up. The naproxen was working and I thought I was superwoman.  I couldn’t even bring the pizza from the freezer in the garage back to the kitchen.  It was too much.

While I was out there for my brief stint, I apologized to Kay.  I told her I was sorry they were having such a rough day.

She raised her eyebrows at me. “Um…this is a good day.”


I told her they don’t act that bad with us and I can’t believe they’re usually WORSE with her.  How has she not quit by now?  Good grief!

I’m not sure what all went on Tuesday – I was at work when she was there.  Between the hours of about 2pm Tuesday until roughly noon on Wednesday, I slept somewhere around 18 hours.  I still can’t believe I slept that much.

Wednesday was not a great day, either, but I only caught the tail end of it.  More disrespect, back talk, etc.  More picking on each other, being mean to each other.  Just the opposite of how we’ve been raising our boys to act. 

Thursday morning, as I was getting out of the shower, I overheard one of the boys say something along the lines of, “Don’t do that! He’ll get sick!” Then I heard Colin say, “He’s going to throw up!”  (Vomit is one of Colin’s obsessions – if you so much as cough, he thinks you’re going to throw up and freaks out.)

I snuck around the corner to see what was up.  Ryan was on his way to the kitchen, but he stopped and held his cup of juice out to Chloe!  WHAT?? I lost it.

I’ve told them more times than I care to count that they are not allowed to give the dogs anything.  Main reason?  They don’t know what’s good/bad for dogs.  There are more than a few foods that are safe for humans and dangerous for dogs!  I pulled Ryan aside and asked what he was thinking.  He did his typical mumbling-with-mouth-closed thing.  I asked him if he thought he could just do anything he wanted if Mommy and Daddy weren’t looking.  That seems to be the case. 

Thursday during the day, Robbie had a horrible time with Kay.  He got in trouble and it just snowballed from there.  He refused to sit in time out, threw a pillow at Kay when she tried to discipline him.  He was sent to his room and when she came in to check on him, he chucked a shoe at her!  And every time she tried to talk things out, he made talking hand motions and made fun of her.

Something had to give.

I thought about punishments – Ryan had already lost his Wii privileges for 2 days due to a meltdown on Wed.  Robbie had lost his privileges through Sun. But this isn’t enough.  It’s not enough to just react all the time. I want to be PROactive.


We have a reward chart we were using during the school year.  We’d gotten awfully lax with it over the summer and essentially stopped using it altogether.  I decided it needed an update.

Before, they earned prizes for having “green” days at school.  Now they will be earning TV/Wii time. 

This is now a 7-day/week chart. If you have a green day, you get one hour of TV or Wii time (or some combination of the two).  A yellow day only earns you 30 minutes.  If you have a red day? No Wii or TV time the following day.

I wanted to make the rating system a little more concrete for them.  At school, they don’t always know what their color will be until the end of the day.  I wanted to give them a visual aide, so I added stars on a cork board next to the chart.

If you have all your stars by the end of the day, it was a green day!  If you lose 1-2 stars, you’ve had a yellow day.  Lose all the stars – red day.

So far, it’s been great.  Granted, I’ve only had it up for one morning so far, but it worked well for me this morning.  Colin was messing with the dogs this morning and I said, “Colin, you don’t want to lose a star, right?  Please stop messing with the dogs.”  Of course, he was back at it in 5 minutes, so I said, “Colin, this is your last warning – if you don’t stop messing with the dogs, I will take away one of your stars.”  He stopped! 

Ryan and Robbie both woke up excited about the new chart, even though they knew they weren’t getting any Wii or TV time today.  I explained that Kay can take away stars just like Mommy and Daddy can.

Fingers crossed that this works.


Oh, also?  Not sure if you noticed, but the names on the chart and stars are, “Colin, Ryan, Rob.”  My baby has decided he wants to be known as Rob, not Robbie.  *sigh*  I told him it’s his choice, but he had better be sure about it before school starts next month!  He seems to be sticking to his guns.

He’ll always be MY Robbie.  🙂

4 responses to “Discipline & Seeing Stars

  1. Sorry about your back! But glad you are doing better! what a great chart! I may have to do something similar with my fiance… “No slacking off at work earns you video game time later” lol

  2. Kids do so much better with boundaries and opportunities to be good. Maybe you could incude an incentive side to the rewards – 2 green days you get to do something special with Mum/Dad or save towards a new wii game? Sorry to hear about your back. Mine is slowly improving thank goodness, but still having to nurse it along every second of the day. UGGGG!

    • I forgot to mention that! We are still doing the “whole green week = prize” deal on top of everything. The typical prize they always chose was a new “toy” of no more than $10 cost. Sometimes they would get smart (with a lil’ nudging from good ol’ mom) and pool their money to purchase new Wii games. 🙂

      I hope you’re feeling better soon! My issues are nothing compared to the back pain I imagine you’re in!

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