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Tell me how to deal with this, please. It needs 'punishing' but I don't know how.

(12 Posts)
LadyDamerel Thu 07-Jul-11 16:38:02

Ds1 is 7.6.

He is not allowed chewing gum because it's too sticky and I don't trust him to dispose of it properly.

Today I found some chewed and sticky chewing gum stuck down the side of the sofa cushions where it has spread all over the cushion, arm and arm cover. I found another piece stuck on the edge of the sink in the loo.

He admitted straight away it was him. He's been stealing it out of my handbag, there's at least 4 pieces gone by my reckoning but he 'doesn't remember' where the rest is. It's happened today as it definitely wasn't on the sofa last night.

What do I do now? I want him to realise that a) taking stuff out of my bag is Not On, b) I say 'no' to things for a reason and c) he's made a mess on the sofa that will not come off.

A little chat won't do it, like most 7yos it just goes in one ear and out of the other, I need to DO something, I think.

Selks Thu 07-Jul-11 16:43:03

You need to decide what you're going to do and do it swiftly - today - for it to have any impact on him learning that what he did was not ok.
What do you normally do when some discipline is needed? Surely you must do more than 'a little chat' sometimes?

LadyDamerel Thu 07-Jul-11 16:48:22

His usual misdemeanours are more along the lines of smacking his siblings/back chatting, etc for which he gets either time out or misses an activity if it's particularly bad.

But neither of those seem very relevant to this.

I've told him atm that I'm going to have a chat with DH before I decide what to do with him, to buy myself time.

MMcanny Thu 07-Jul-11 19:15:16

Take away tv time or computer time?

girliefriend Thu 07-Jul-11 19:17:57

I'd get him to do some extra chores and then no tv time.

LoopyLoopsBettyBoops Thu 07-Jul-11 19:20:06

I would get him to help you research the best ways to remove the gum, and get him to help do it, plus some other chores.

mopsytop Thu 07-Jul-11 19:23:16

Perhaps tell him that he has to do a certain number of hours of chores in order to pay for the cleaning of the cushion at the dry-cleaners. Re: stealing out of your bag, not sure. I stole some sweets from my mum when I was around that age and she had a really serious chat with me. I still remember it, it made a big impression. She sat me down and talked to me really seriously about the seriousness of taking something that doesn't belong to you. So maybe if you have a really serious talk to him, it will go in? Also, the next time I and my siblings were given sweets I was not allowed any. She did not tell my siblings why, but I ended up telling them and I was really mortified. It certainly stopped me ever thinking about taking anything not belonging to me ever again! Not sure if this is helpful, hope so!

Octaviapink Fri 08-Jul-11 07:50:37

To be honest I'd stop chewing gum around him and stop keeping it in your handbag.

seeker Fri 08-Jul-11 07:58:06

I know you can;t wind the clock back, but it would have been better to teach him about disposing of chewing gum properly rather than banning it, particularly if you use it regularly. 7 is more than old enough to put his own rubbish - whatever it is - in the bin.

As far a punishment goes, I agree with the researching removal and doing the best job he can of cleaning up. In two minds about the "taking from your bag". I suppose it depends on whether he opened your bag and searched it and took it. If it was open and on top of your bag I can see how the temptation might have been too much to resist.

Not really helpful - but a slightly different perspective, i think.

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Fri 08-Jul-11 09:21:40

I know you think it goes in one ear and out the other, but i think punishing him without a chat is pointless. Why should he want to do what you say when there is no logic to it? If he understands that gum is hard to clean, sofa's expensive therefore more work/less other things and what he should have done instead maybe it would make more sense than not doing something only for fear of punishment.

LadyDamerel Fri 08-Jul-11 09:37:17

Thanks for all your thoughts.

The gum was in the bottom of my handbag under all the other paraphernalia that lives in there, he would have had to rifle through it to get it so it was definitely a deliberate act. He also knew he shouldn't have it or he wouldn't have shoved it down the side of the sofa cushions when he heard me coming which is what he admitted he did.

I have told him he isn't allowed it because of how messy it is. He's off in cloud cuckoo land a lot of the time so it doesn't matter how many times he's told to put rubbish away in the bin, he doesn't. I regularly find apple cores and packets/wrappers underneath things or stuffed down the side of the sofa cushions - hence the chewing gum ban.

Octavia, where else would you suggest I keep it? My handbag is mine, he knows that, he knows he isn;t allowed to go rifling through it. Would it be okay for him to take money out of my purse because it's in my bag? No. Same principle.

It's the deceit, more than the sofa cushions that I'm cross about.

DH and I decided to ban him from the lounge which has made an impression on him. He loves being able to watch the big TV in there and for the time being he is relegated to watching the tiny one in the playroom which he hates. Especially as DD and DS2 are allowed in the lounge. We did explain why we were banning him and had a chat with him about taking things without asking when he knows that's wrong so we shall see.

mummytime Fri 08-Jul-11 09:37:36

Make him try to clean it up.
Tell him "taking things from your bag" is stealing, so fine him money, or stop a treat equal to the cost of what he stole.
Those consequences should teach him the meaning of No.

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